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Tuesday, 12 June 1928

Mr MAKIN - That may be; but the Prime Minister's restrictions are certainly not having the effect of reducing the number of foreign immigrants. I say emphatically that especially at this moment there should be a full stop to the inrush of these Southern Europeans. The Returned Soldiers Association is also concerned over this matter. I have here a newspaper extract dealing with the position in Western Australia. It states -

Thu annual congress of the B.S.L. decided, to ask the Federal executive to request the Federal Government to reduce considerably the present influx of southern Europeans, or preferably, to suspend it entirely on the ground that an undue proportion of such immigrants created unemployment, and tended to lower the Australian standard, and to weaken Empire ties.

It was said the £40 which an immigrant had to possess before entering was sent back to Italy continually by a Fremantle agent for the use of a new immigrant.

It is only necessary to visit the Commonwealth Bank in any of the cities on a Saturday morning to get an idea of the large sums of money which are sent from Australia to southern. European countries by these immigrants. They do not spend their money here, but send it overseas, thus impoverishing this country. We find that after six, ten, twelve, or fifteen years - as soon as they have been able to save sufficient money - they go back to their own countries tO enjoy the wealth with which this country provided them. I wish to place on record a statement made by Sir George Fuller, AgentGeneral for New South Wales, which is reported as follows: -

Speaking at the luncheon tendered at the Army and Navy Stores, Sir George Fuller, Agent-General for U.S.W., said that migration was in a most unsatisfactory state.

Emphatically and systematically, Italians are going to Australia. The Australian authorities do not encourage them, but the Italians manage without knowing it, owing to their own excellent local organization. Each newcomer finds the credit necessary to establish him - a sort of " loan of honour " is made which the migrant engages to return, by making a loan to the cohorts following him. It is easy to imagine that after ten years of this kind of penetration, Australia and Canada will not retain the traditional aspects of British Dominions; their spirit will be changed, and their political tendencies modified.

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