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Friday, 24 April 1936

Senator COLLINGS (QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Whether it is true, as stated in the public press, that in an address to the members of the Commonwealth Club in Adelaide on Tuesday, the 24th March last, the Prime Minister said: " We have reached a stage of recovery when we must, not only permit, but invite our own kith and kin from Britain to come out here ".? 2.If the report be true, will he give an assurance to the Senate that no scheme of immigration will be initiated or permitted by the Government until Parliament has been first consulted?

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - The Prime Minister has supplied the following answers : -

1.   The Prime Minister did express the views to which the honorable senator refers, but the sentence which he quotes if divorced from the context of the Prime Minister's speech conveys an entirely wrong impression of the Prime Minister's views. These remarks were preceded by the following: "The Commonwealth Government had no scheme in mind for the indiscriminate dumping of migrants into Australia " . . . " The Government wish to examine the position to see what could be done without lowering the standards which had been built up".

2.   See reply to 1. I can give the honorable senator an assurance that Parliament will be consulted before any scheme for the resumption of migration is entered into. The present view of the Government, after examining the position from every angle, is that it would be premature to embark upon any scheme of migration until there is some further substantial abatement of unemployment within Australia. In any case, as settlement, except within the territories controlled by the Commonwealth, is a matter for the State governments, schemes of migration will not be entered into without the co-operation of the States.

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