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Tuesday, 4 December 1973
Page: 4185

Mr OLDMEADOW (HOLT, VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Immigration. Insofar as migrants have played such a significant and crucial role in our history, has the Minister given consideration to the writing of a history of Australia, in which this role is given full recognition?

Mr GRASSBY (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Immigration) - It is probably appropriate that the honourable member has asked me this question as, just a few days ago while in Victoria, I saw a copy of a text book that he has just written for schools. My daughter, aged 10 years, enjoyed reading every page of it. The honourable member has asked whether we can do something about recording the history of immigration properly in an authoritative volume. I am pleased to say that within the Department of Immigration, thoughts that have been nurtured for some time have come to fruition in the History Section, which is at present engaged in gathering material together. I am at present considering a submission that would enable the commissioning of a history of immigration. I am sure that all former Ministers would like to see that done, because it is a great national project that has lasted as long as the history of our people and country. I am hoping that this can be done, perhaps in the new year. A list of 47 academics, authors and writers has been compiled and I hope that from that list a selection can be made to commission a history of immigration and the Australian people.

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