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Wednesday, 25 May 1904

Mr HUGHES - In reply to the right honorable member's questions, I desire to state as follows: -

1.   Yes.

2.   Yes

3.   Yes.

4.   Yes.

5.   I have no information, but such may prob ably be the case.

6.   The convenience of the publicwill be inter fered with as little as possible.

7.   Yes.

8.   No. See answer to No. 6.

9.   Copy of the instructions to the Collector herewith. The exact instructions issued to the officer have not yet been received.

The Secretary, Department of External Affairs, to the Collector of Customs, Fremantle,

Dated11th May, 1904.

Minister directs that special officer be instructed to visit vessels likely to contain Austrian and Italian immigrants, and to examine all immigrants separately and carefully, particularly as to whether they are under contract to perform manual labour. If he is satisfied that they are under contract, they are to be treated as prohibited immigrants. If he is not so satisfied, but has reasonable grounds to suspect that false statements have been made to him in this regard, he should permit immigrant to land, and instruct him not to leaveFremantle until advised that he may do so, and while there to report himself every secondday at Customs Office. In meantime all possible inquiries should be made by officer to ascertain whether his suspicion is well-founded. If he comes to the conclusion that such person is really under contract, you should report matter briefly as possible by telegraph, and ask for instructions. Special written report to be furnished by officer after each ship examined, stating what action he has taken."

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