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Wednesday, 9 March 1966

Mr OPPERMAN (CORIO, VICTORIA) (Minister for Immigration) - I have seen statements of that kind, but always they have been attributed to newspaper correspondents. At the official level there has been nothing of that kind whatsoever. Mr. Locsin's case was considered by the Department. It has been stated that he was a citizen of outstanding capacity and quality. We have nothing against Filipinos coming to Australia. As a matter of fact, some have been naturalised; some are living here now. Recently an outstanding Filipino citizen and his family were allowed in. There has been no actual prejudice against Filipinos as such.

However, we have the right, under our immigration policy, to look at applicants for entry to Australia and the possibility of their obtaining satisfaction in this country. Just lately we have had the experience of a Filipino citizen who came to Australia on the basis that he was qualified for a certain type of work but who, when he arrived, was not satisfied with what was offered to him. He believed that discrimination had been shown. Although Mr. Locsin probably has some academic qualifications, they had not been proved in practical terms. He was employed with a banking institution as a clerk. Of course, we have nothing against that. But we in Australia do not advertise outside Australia for bank clerks; such employees are recruited from inside the country. When all the circumstances were taken into account, it was decided that the terms of our immigration policy did not permit Mr. Locsin to come as one who could be satisfactorily settled in Australia. No racial considerations entered into this particular case.

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