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Wednesday, 5 September 1928

Mr SCULLIN (Yarra) .- We intend to call for a division on this item as a protest against the provision of £300,000 out of loan for the payment of passage money in respect of migrants coming to Australia. The first point that should be stressed in thisconnexion is that the Government cut down its public works vote last year by £1,200,000 on the plea that no money was available; yet it is now proposing to bring more people here to swell the ranks of the unemployed. We have more unemployment in Australia today probably than ever before in our history. The second point is that it is unsound finance to provide passage money for migrants out of loan. Such a policy cannot be justified. The Treasurer has on numerous occasions attempted to justify it, but has always signally failed. According to the latest statistical returns there were 180,000 unemployed in Australia in the second quarter of this year. That is unprecedented. We strongly protest against increasing the number by assisting migrants to come here.

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