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Tuesday, 11 May 1965

The CHAIRMAN -(Senator DrakeBrockman).- Order! I think the honorable senator is getting outside the ambit of the Bill.

Senator FITZGERALD - Only by a little, Mr. Chairman. I think the question of people becoming naturalised is a very important one. I personally believe that if it is a matter of reducing by perhaps 100,000 the number of about 400,000 people who are now affected in this, the point would be pertinent to the debate, since it concerns the main purpose of the Bill. Senator Ormonde raised the question of migrants being subjected to a personal search. People treated in that way would not get much of an introduction to this country.

It is obvious that aliens have not been co-operating with the Government in regard to notification of change of job, marital status or place of living that the law has required to be made by them every 12 months; otherwise there would be no difficulty in this regard, or need for this amended Bill. I believe that if the association between the Department and these people were placed on a better and higher plane we would get better results.

I turn now to the question of English immigrants. It is not suggested for one moment that aliens are receiving treatment comparable with that given to British migrants. Aliens are subjected to pressures - 'because of their lack of knowledge of our language - that do not apply to British migrants. They are exposed to the operations of get rich quick artists operating in regard to housing and land. The fact that such people exist is not a reflection on Australians generally and I do not involve directly the Government in any blame for their existence, because they would exist under most circumstances. However, there is a problem which I think can be lessened. I do not think the Government has any false ideas about the complaints made by British migrants. There is a terrific hue and cry about the dissatisfaction of British migrants and to listen to them one would think they alone were the only ones being hardly dealt with. The fact, of course, is that British migrants do not face the language difficulties that many aliens face. Many aliens probably have not access to organisations which help them to the same extent as British migrants are helped. If aliens do not become naturalised they are subjected to frustrations that they might otherwise avoid, with a little more co-operation and concern from Government Departments.

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