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Thursday, 15 October 1964

Senator ANDERSON - The Minister for Immigration has supplied the following answers -

1.   The new Australian passport introduced in July of this year contains a printed entry making it valid for all countries. This was one of a number of minor changes introduced to speed up the preparation of passports and facilitate inspection by entry control officers, both in Australia and abroad.

Prior to the introduction of the new passport, the practice was to insert a stamp stating that the passport was not valid for travel to Communist countries; however, if the applicant desired to visit such a country, an endorsement was made by hand and in practice Australian passports were made valid for all countries the holder wished to visit.

The printed entry in the new passport reduces the need for special endorsements. The printed entry can, of course, be qualified should there be in any particular case some valid reason for limiting the geographical validity of a passport.

2.   Australian security will not be affected in any way, since the change is merely one of procedure and not one of policy. However, it should be appreciated that a passport is not a permit to visit any country, or a document prohibiting a visit to any country; each country determines for itself what persons it will or will not admit, irrespective of what limitations are made in their passports.

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