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Thursday, 9 May 1957

Mr TOWNLEY - The honorable member may be interested to read in the Melbourne press to-day a report of a speech by Professor Copland, who is very well informed and who has given some most interesting figures on the number of British immigrants to Australia. He says, in part, as I have said in this House, that Australia is still attracting more British immigrants than Canada and New Zealand together and. over the years, has always been the country favoured by British immigrants. From our point of view, there is no restriction whatever on British people coming to Australia. As far as assisted passages are concerned, we book every available berth on ships from England. To-morrow, I shall sign an agreement with a new shipping company under which we have been able to obtain a newly air-conditioned and renovated ship, " Fairsea ", which normally is used on European immigration and for other things.

This ship will be put on the British run. We have taken this action because, no matter how much we try to get berths, we still cannot get enough to accommodate the number of immigrants offering. A tremendous number of British people want to come to Australia. The only restriction on them is that of accommodation in ships and in Australia. Because the accommodation that is available is limited, we have started a " Bring out a Briton " drive, in which we are asking any one in Australia who can provide accommodation for Britons to assist us. That movement is gaining momentum every day. The first 50 families under the new scheme, which is additional to ordinary United Kingdom immigration, are on their way now. They are in the process of moving to Australia and will be here very shortly.

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