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Wednesday, 25 March 1942

Senator ARTHUR (New South Wales) . - I draw the attention of the Senate to the activities of enemy aliens in this country. An enemy alien can, if be so desires, and if he has the means to lo so, obtain the possession of property in Australia such as factories, flats or -Iia res in companies. Many enemy aliens in that way are doing their best to sabotage our war effort. I urge the Government to issue immediately regulations prohibiting enemy aliens from possessing property in this country.

Another matter associated with the treatment of enemy aliens was referred to me in the early days of the war, and I again bring it under notice. Notwithstanding that the Commonwealth Investigation Branch, as well as the investigation branch associated with the Army, in addition to the Minister, may decide that an. alien should be interned, his case must go before a committee of three before he can be placed n an internment camp. The committee consists of a citizen, a retired police magistrate, and a legal gentleman. In -Vew South Wales the legal representative is a gentleman who is a good representative of the class to which he belongs. The committee of three to which I have referred may allow an enemy alien to go free.

Senator Fraser - That is not so.

Senator ARTHUR - An enemy alien who is interned is given the right of appeal. When these appeals are heard, strings are frequently pulled. Two enemy aliens who were released from an internment camp last January are still at large, walking about the streets of Sydney and doing their best to sabotage Australia's war effort. Regulations should be issued to provide that an enemy alien who has been interned shall be kept in custody for the duration of the war. It should not be possible for parasitical lawyers, many of whom are fifth columnists, to obtain the release of these aliens. 1 recognize that there must be a distinction between the naturalized enemy alien and the real enemy alien who has been the subject of a report by the military authorities. In his case, ne appeal should be entertained, and he should be debarred from holding property. Earlier this evening I mentioned the names of two enemy aliens in connexion with another matter, and I now wish to say that they have purchased twoblocks of flats, one at Point Piper overlooking the harbour and the harbour bridge, and another at Vaucluse. They are drawing £60 a week from each of these blocks and, though they are interned the wife of one is free and may be given a power of attorney to carry on business on their behalf. That should certainly not. be permitted.

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