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Thursday, 11 September 1958

Mr Daly y asked the Minister for Immigraation, upon notice -

1.   Is any special procedure or instruction issued to municipal and shire councils in regard to the conduct of naturalization ceremonies; if so. what are the details?

2.   What arrangements are made for the enrolment of naturalized persons?

3.   Are councils or shires obliged to ensure that naturalized citizens complete enrolment forms; if so, what councils or shires take this action?

Mfr. Downer. - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Instructions for the guidance of municipal and shire authorities in the conduct of naturalization ceremonies are contained in a booklet entitled " Australia's Naturalization Ceremonies " produced by the Department of Immigration, and which was distributed to all local government authorities alter the present type of civic naturalization ceremonies was introduced. The booklet covers in detail the sequence of the ceremony and the procedures to be observed in regard to the formalities associated with the renunciation and oath of allegiance. In addition, the booklet deals generally with the requirements for naturalization; the essential features of ceremonies; the arrangements to be made for the holding of ceremonies, including details of members of parliament to be invited; and contains suggestions for additional features that may be introduced into ceremonies at the discretion of mayors.

2.   Arrangements were made some time ago to have electoral enrolment cards, and a post free envelope, made available to each adult new citizen at the time of his naturalization. Mayors were also asked to draw attention to the cards when they mentioned in their speeches, the new citizen's right and duty to vote. In addition, the names and addresses of all adults naturalized are supplied to the electoral authorities by the Department ot Immigration. Recently, because it was claimed that some new citizens found the enrolment card difficult to understand, it was decided that the Department of Immigration should arrange to issue to newly naturalized persons, with the electoral enrolment card, instructions in simple language to assist them to complete their enrolment. The issue of these instructions is about to commence.

3.   The local government authorities are not obliged to ensure that newly naturalized persons are enrolled as electors and, so far as the Department of Immigration is concerned, they have not been asked to do any more in this connexion than to bring to the notice of persons being naturalized, their obligations to enrol as electors and cast their vote at elections.

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