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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4640

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: (.1) Did he receive recently a telegram from the Federation of Netherlands Societies Limited indicating that the inadequacy of Australian social services is causing unrest among migrants and is one of the main reasons why so many migrants return to the country of their birth.

(2)   If so. what are the precise terms of the telegram and the nature of the reply.

(3)   ls there substance in the complaint; if so, what steps are being taken to remedy the position.

Mr McMahon - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(I)   and (2) A telegram was received from a gentleman, signing himself as Chairman, apparently reporting the views on Australian social services of members al a general meeting of the Federation of Netherlands Societies in New South Wale.

No reply was sent to the telegram because it contained neither the address of the sender nor of the organisation referred to and these, could not be obtained from sources available in my Department.

(3)   Migrant departures are the subject of a current study by the Immigration Advisory Council. I am advised that previous studies by the Council of the settler departure rate ha Ve shown that it was not unduly high. The evidence examined did not show 'inadequacy of social services' as one of - the main reasons for return, but that departures generally resulted from a complex of causes. These derive from the individual's own personality as much as from material circumstances encountered in Australia.

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