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Tuesday, 9 May 1961

Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that advertisements have been appearing in Australian newspapers inviting Australian workers, particularly those in the building trade, to accept employment in New Zealand?

2.   Is there a serious possibility that skilled tradesmen may be permanently lost to Australia in this way?

3.   is it a sound economic proposition to bring immigrants to this country at the rale of 125,000 a year whilst people already resident here are obliged to leave because of growing unemployment and lack of housing?

Mr Downer - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Yes. 2 and 3. There has always been a two-way movement of people between Australia and New Zealand. In fact, we have a reciprocal arrangement with the New Zealand Government whereby citizens of Australia and New Zealand may travel between the two countries without passports. The latest statistics available show that in 1960 the number of long-term and permanent arrivals in Australia from New Zealand exceeded the number of long-term and permanent departures from Australia to New Zealand. Perhaps the honorable member will agree that a movement of people between two countries of the British Commonwealth, with so many similarities, is inevitable, and is not necessarily a cause for concern. It is certainly not inconsistent with Australia's immigration programme.

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