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Tuesday, 16 September 1958
Page: 1293

Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice -

1.   How many applications for certificates oi naturalization have been refused since the inauguration of the present immigration scheme in 1949?

2.   How many of those refused were rejected for security reasons?

3.   How many persons deemed unfit for citizenship have been deported?

4.   Are persons whose applications are refused (a) advised of the reason for the rejection of their application; (b) given details of the information upon which the decision is based; (c) informed oi the source of such information; and (d) given the opportunity, if they can, of answering the charges preferred against them?

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

1.   Between 1st January, 1949, and 30th June, 1958, 4,402 applications for naturalization have been refused or deferred. Close to 90 per cent, of these cases were rejected or deferred because the applicants were unable to satisfy the language requirement.

2.   One hundred and thirty-six.

3.   No persons who have been refused naturalization have been deported from Australia simply because of the decision not to grant them citizenship. It does not necessarily follow that the1 reasons which are considered sufficient to deny to a person the privilege of Australian citizenship are sufficient to bring that person within the scope ot the law for deportation.

4.   The reasons for the refusal or deferment of applications for naturalization are made known to applicants only if they .are unable to satisfy the language requirements of the Nationality and Citizenship Act. In all other circumstances, applicants are not informed of the reasons for refusal or deferment of citizenship. However, in cases where rejection or deferment is on grounds other than the language requirement, care is taken to ensure that the reports on which such decisions are based are objective, fair and accurate, and periodic assessments are made and considered by me most carefully in such cases.

International Finance.

Mr Menzies s. - On 28th August, the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Bury) asked the right honorable the Treasurer a question without notice seeking information about a reported announcement that the United States Government intended to propose at the annual meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank that increased financial resources should be made available to those two institutions. The announcement took the form of publishing of letters exchanged between the United States Secretary to the Treasury and the United States President. The full text of these letters is given below -

Mr Menzies s. - On 21st August, the honorable member for Darling (Mr. Clark), asked the Treasurer the following question: -

Is it a fact that the increase in interest rates on the financing of the sale of wool, approved by the Government in October last year, was respon sible for the fall in wool prices? Is it also a fact that the United Kingdom Government has now reduced from 7 per cent, to 4¼ per cent interest rates on finance for wool purchases, and that the British banking instrumentalities have refused to reduce their interest rates in the same proportion?

For background on this question, I refer the honorable member to the full information given by the right honorable the Treasurer, on 26th November, 1957, in reply to a question asked by the right honorable the Leader of the Opposition. The replies to the specific points now raised are: -

(a)   There is no reason to believe that the rate of interest charged by the trading banks on postshipment wool advances was responsible for the fall in wool prices. In fact, only a small proportion of our wool exports was involved.

(b)   I am unable to say exactly at what rate overseas buyers of Australian wool can obtain finance in the United Kingdom. However, I understand that British banks have reduced their interest charges in accord with the reductions in the U.K. bank rate to 4½ per cent. p.a. and in support of this I compare recently quoted rates of the London Clearing Banks with those quoted in September, 1957, when the bank rate was 7 per cent. p.a.

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