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Tuesday, 11 May 1965

Senator BISHOP (South Australia) . - Senator Cavanagh has referred to Mr. Pappas and has indicated that I prob ably would have known him. I think I should say that 1 knew Pappas during the seven years that I was secretary of the Trades Hall Council in South Australia. I knew him to be a member of two unions, the Federated Ironworkers Association and the Vehicle Builders Union. I know nothing against this man which would prevent him being a good Australian citizen. I was aware that he had been in Australia for a long time and I knew that he had approached Senator Cavanagh for assistance in obtaining naturalisation. I make the point that, as far as I am aware, Pappas is an ordinary good Australian citizen. I do not know whether he is a member of the Communist Party. I would have suspected him of being only a mild trade unionist.

I can only assume that this case has been dealt with on a purely routine basis. It should be re-examined. It is possible that some investigation or scrutiny has been made, going back, perhaps, to the depression years when there were all sorts of turmoil and differences in organisations. Possibly this is the reason why this man has been denied citizenship for all these years. The opinion of Mr. Pappas' general character which has been expressed by Senator Cavanagh, Mr. Lawn and myself, no doubt, can be readily checked by inquiry from his employers and certainly from the trade unions with which he was associated. I have already mentioned the Federated Ironworkers Association and the Vehicle Builders Union. If this re-assessment were made it is possible that the application would be dealt with in a new light. I trust that the Minister will occasion this investigation to be made and that inquiries will be carried out along the lines that we have suggested so that Mr. Pappas will receive the justice to which he is entitled at this late stage of his life.

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