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Australian passports exclude "British"



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News Release 4 45/67

F R O M T H E M I N I S T E R F O R I M M I G R A T I O N

EMBARGO;

For release after midday Thursday 14 December 1967

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION,

THE HOW. B.M. SNEDDEN. Q.C., M.P.

New Australian passports to be printed in the future will

not include the word "British" on the front covers,

' The front cover of passports now being issued displays

the Crown, the Australian Coat of Arms and reads "Australia"

"British Passport". The only change will be to delete the word

"British". -

This was announced today by the Minister for Immigration,

Mr. Snedden.

Mr. Snedden said Australia would now join New Zealand and

Canada and all other countries of the Commonwealth in using on the

cover of passports only the name of the issuing country. '

, Australia was the only country of the Commonwealth, other

than Britain, which in recent years had used the word "British"

to describe her passports. ;

"The Crown still will remain on the passport cover, as ■

the symbol of our constitutional monarchy. '

. "Removal of the word is necessary to avoid misunderstandings",

Mr. Snedden said. "The change does not signify or foreshadow any :

change in Australia's relations with Britain", ·

Mr. Snedden explained that the British Government now

used the word "British" to describe all things pertaining to the United

Kingdom; for example what was once the United Kingdom High Commission

in Canberra was now the British High Commission. '

"Australian passports are issued to Australian citizens. .

The description of them as 'British* passports has been confusing to ,

people in other countries. '

"Many Australians have had the impression that production

of their 'British' passports gives them an unqualified right to enter

and remain in Britain.

' "This has not been so since Britain passed the Commonwealth

Immigrants Act in 1962. · /o

2 .

"The new passport covers will come into use at varying

times in different passport-issuing offices, when their stocks of the

present type of passports are exhausted.

"Passport offices in Australia are expected to be issuing

the amended passports within a few weeks, but issue at overseas posts

will not commence until some time afterwards.

"Passports already issued remain valid and their holders '

are not being asked to have them replaced before they expire",

Mr. Snedden said.

Department of Immigration,

.CANB2RRA. A.C.T.

14 December 1967