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Thursday, 8 July 1926

Too many migrants to Australia are not up to standard. In the past few weeks, an amazing state of affairs has been disclosed, and Australia House has an impeachment to answer.

To-day, the liner Jervis Bay will reach Melbourne, en route to England.

One of her passengers for London is a young woman, assisted out here by Australia' House, and returned by the authorities, at the taxpayers' expense, on account of mental deficiency and venereal disease.

Yet she is only one of many.

By the Moreton Bay, which left here a few weeks ago, a German-deported passenger from Rabaul was booked in an ordinary cabin with three others toy the New Guinea agent.

On arrival from the islands, the Federal authorities placed him in quarantine, and kept the nature of his disease so secret that no one guessed it - until he was well out at sea.

Once the disease was diagnosed by the ship's doctor, he was placed in hospital - also at the expense of the State.

The liner Esperance Bay preceded the Moreton Bay to London.

An officer on board, at an inquiry, said that she left Australia with eight mental defectives in various stages, of whom all had been previously assisted out to the Commonwealth by Australia House.

Among them were three young men, aged 18, 21, 22, who had been deported from Australia, and had charges to answer when landing in Britain.

At each port of call made by the Esperance Bay, between Sydney and London, detectives boarded, handcuffed the trio, and kept them in local prison cells until the ship sailed again.

Two others were declared insane.

One passenger was on board in charge of a keeper.

Another was a girl of 22, who was put aboard - with a kindly injunction for Captain Rod McKenzie to keep a watchful eye on her.

She tried to jump overboard the same night, and it was discovered later that she was an English girl in an acute state of melancholia.

That should be sufficient to prove that proper supervision is not exercised over the migration, on which £610,000 has been spent during the last three years. The present Treasurer, when a private member, strongly condemned the Government of the day for assisting migrants out of loan money instead of out of revenue; but the policy which he then so strongly condemned is still being adopted by the Government of which he is a member. Under the agreement, which has been ratified by the Commonwealth Government without the consent. of Parliament, the Commonwealth Government can borrow £34,000,000 from Great Britain for the purpose of assisting migration. It has been said by some that the terms are reasonable, but before many years have elapsed, it will be found that they are the reverse. All the State Governments, with the exception of New South Wales, have signed the agreement, and from what I can gather from a perusal of the document, the States will be charged 1 per cent. for the first five years, and onethird of the rate of interest for the second five years; the Commonwealth and British Governments each paying onehalf of the remainder. If the interest were 5 per cent. for the first five years, the States would pay 1 per cent., and the. Commonwealth Government and the British Government each 3 per cent.

Senator Andrew - A very generous arrangement.

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