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Thursday, 18 October 1956

Mr CASEY - This matter is one that has preoccupied my friend and colleague, the Minister for Immigration, and myself. In its international application, it falls to me, and in the practical day-to-day operation of extradition arrangements, it falls to the Minister for Immigration. It was fully ventilated at the time of the incident of which the honorable gentleman has spoken. The undertakings that were given then, on behalf of the Government, by the Minister for Immigration and myself, as well as, I believe, by the Prime Minister, should have quelled any fears in the minds of recently arrived foreign immigrants about the attempted misuse of extradition treaties. Since then, the matter has been under constant review by the Attorney-General's Department, the Department of Immigration and the Department of External Affairs, but I do not think any final decision has been made yet on Australia's proposals for the continuance or otherwise of the treaties. In actual fact, the matter is under current discussion between the Minister for Immigration and myself, and I would expect that in the relatively near future the final Government view will be reached in respect of the main subject of the honorable gentleman's question, that is, the future of the extradition treaties between Australia and iron curtain countries.

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