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Thursday, 22 October 1964

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Wood (QUEENSLAND) - Order! The honorable senator, in making his point, is indulging in tedious repetition. I direct his attention to the fact that we are discussing the estimates for this Department, and I ask the honorable senator to confine himself to them.

Senator CANT - -With respect, 1 will put it this way: Last year, the appropriation made by the Government was £44,800, of which £18,053 only was spent. The appropriation proposed this year is £93,200. Yet, here is a person who has previously been in this country and who is now refused a visa. He does not want an assisted passage this time. He is prepared to pay all the expenses for his family and himself to come here. The Government is more than doubling the appropriation this year, yet the Department does not propose to issue a visa to this man and his family who are people who should at least be considered eligible to come to Australia, particularly as this man was eligible previously and has not suffered any deterioration in health since then. I want the Minister to tell me exactly what the policy of the Government is in respect of cases of this type. li the Minister wants the name of the applicant, 1 will be pleased to give it to him.

Senator ANDERSON(New South Wales - Minister for Customs and Excise) [3.40J.- - I think Senator Cant's last sentence sums up the position. If the honorable senator gives me the name of the person concerned in this case, I will certainly have the matter re-examined. It is easy to obtain a re-entry permit before leaving Australia. There may have been some reasons why-

Senator Cant - The extra length of his mother's illness.

Senator ANDERSON - There may be some circumstances in this particular case which may be associated with that matter. As Senator Cant will appreciate, I am not competent to give an answer here to a particular case. There is an agreement between the Governments of Australia and Italy in regard to the number of assisted passages for migrants. This may have been another factor involved in this case. But if the honorable senator provides me with information about this case, I will see that a thorough examination is made of it.

Senator Wedgwoodraised a matter which related to the migration office in Greece. This office is used for dual purposes. It is also the office of the ConsulGeneral. Certain amounts are to be appropriated for this office in the estimates of the Department of External Affairs. Therefore, the honorable senator will be able to pursue this matter, with the thoroughness for which she is famous, when those estimates are being considered. If I am wrong, I will no doubt be brought to heel. But my officers tell me that this office is used for dual purposes and there are certain amounts appropriated in the estimates of another Department.

Senator Wedgwood - It would have been appropriate for a notation to have been included to that effect.

Senator ANDERSON - That point is well founded. Some of the decreases are due to the transfer of some items to the estimates of the Department of External Affairs following the establishment of the Consul-General's office, which takes over certain common services, such as transport, and some staff. As to the number of Greek migrants for 1963-64,. our original programme provided for U500 and the actual intake was 2,633. The estimated intake for our 1964-65 programme is 3,500.

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