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Wednesday, 30 November 1960

Debate resumed from 24th November (vide page 3309), on motion by Mr. Downer -

That the bill be now read a second time.

Mr. L.R. JOHNSON Hughes [11.2]. This bill is designed to amend an act which is generally good, and the Opposition offers no particular objection to it. We are pleased to see a measureintroduced which will encourage the rate of naturalization in Australia.

The bill is a very simple one, and my colleague the honorable member for Bass (Mr. Barnard) dealt with it in an extremely effective way a few days ago. I do not want to take up the time of the House unnecessarily, and I am sure that honorable members opposite, who are anxious to close the proceedings of the Parliament as quickly as possible, will agree with that sentiment. I am sure that most honorable members are concerned about the fact that so many people now in Australia have failed to avail themselves of the opportunity to seek Australian citizenship. One of the aims of the measure is to break down some of the barriers to naturalization which exist at the moment.

The measure will make it easier for people to participate in naturalization proceedings. It will abolish the need for an applicant for naturalization to produce three certificates of character. Honorable members will appreciate the dilemma in which new Australians find themselves when they are required to produce three certificates of character after having been in this country perhaps only a short time.

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