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Thursday, 29 March 1973
Page: 849

Mr FOX (HENTY, VICTORIA) - I direct to the Minister for Immigration a question supplementary to that asked of the Prime Minister by the honourable member for Gippsland. Is the Minister aware that a considerable number of migrants believe that a slur has been cast on the migrant community in general by the statement made on Tuesday by Senator Murphy and that many of them who are not yet naturalised are fearful for their safety? Will the Minister give an assurance that before any action is taken by him to deport any member of the Yugoslav community or any other migrant community in Australia he will require the production of substantial evidence and that if such evidence has been provided solely by a communist government it will be disregarded?

Mr GRASSBY (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Immigration) - The position is that the greatest slur that has been cast on the migrant community in Australia has been cast upon it by the handful of people who have brought discredit on all of the community by their acts of violence and by their law breaking, and this is resented by the vast majority of migrants who resent being associated with people who are criminals. That is the first point I want to make. I would be at one with the honourable member in saying that there is no-one, I would hope, in this Parliament who would denigrate the overwhelming number of people that have come to this country since World War II - more than 3 million of them - and who are now an integral part and a fine part of the Australian community. I also want to make it very plain that as far as deportations are concerned each case is viewed and dealt with on its merits. It is not a casual procedure. It is not a procedure, I might say, that could be carried out at the behest of any government or any authorities outside our own country. The only decision that can be made is made by the Minister for Immigration on the advice of many organs of government and we will be proceeding with justice and compassion. I can assure the House of that.

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