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Wednesday, 21 September 1949

Mr CALWELL (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Immigration) - The Australian Government does not afford every facility to Communists to go abroad to spread their propaganda. It gives Communists, as citizens, the same rights, including passports and travel facilities, as other citizens receive. That position will obtain until action is taken to declare that the Communist party is not a legal organization - if such action is ever taken. We do not give passports to Communists or to anybody else to go to other countries. A person does not need a passport to permit him to leave Australia, but he generally requires one to enable him to enter another country. Although a person may have an Australian passport, the fact remains that many governments have laid down the rule that vises shall not be issued for entry into their particular countries unless the necessary application is made before the traveller leaves his own country. The Governments of Pakistan and India demand that a person who desires to leave Australia on a passport and enter those countries must first obtain the right to do so through their diplomatic or consular representatives in the Commonwealth or by direct application to their own officers. I deplore the volume of propaganda which is being disseminated abroad by Communists, but it is not the Communists alone who are spreading propaganda detrimental to the interests of this country; and it is not the Communist newspapers in Budapest alone that are doing everything they can to damage the credit and standing of the Australian people.

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