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Wednesday, 25 March 1942

Senator FRASER (Western Australia) (Minister for External Territories) (12:14 PM) . - It is not correct to say that enemy aliens are allowed to transact business in connexion with property. They must have permission from the Government before they can do so, and many applications which I have handled have been refused, even in the -case of naturalized aliens. Neither is it correct that interned enemy aliens can give a power of attorney to their wives, and thus transact business just as freely as can ordinary citizens.

Senator Arthur - The Minister does not know what he is talking about. I can prove what I have said.

Senator FRASER - As a matter of fact, an ordinary citizen to-day must obtain permission from the Capital Issues Advisory Board before he can build a residence. I am pleased that Senator Cooper raised the matter of enemy aliens in Northern Queensland. I . wish honorable senators to understand that it is sometimes very difficult to deal with naturalized aliens married to Australian women, whose children, being born here, are Australians. It is necessary to have substantial grounds for interning such men. Even so, I can assure the honorable senator that many of them have, in fact, been interned.

Reference was made to Major-General Bennett. That is a matter for the Advisory War Council and for theChiefs of Staff, and I have no doubt that it is receiving their attention.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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