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Tuesday, 16 September 1958

Mr BRYANT (Wills) .- I should like the Minister to explain exactly how he will arrive at his decision as to whether certain actions of a person fall within the provisions of clause 14 (2.) (b). It appears to me, on the surface, that where a person who is considered to be undesirable is seeking admission to Australia his application is to be referred to a commissioner to decide on his undesirability. What sort of evidence would be given to the commissioner on which to make that decision? For example, if the person were a member of the Communist party would that fact warrant his deportation if he were not already naturalized or had not the necessary qualifications provided for in this measure?

Mr Mackinnon - Why is the honorable member so solicitous for the interests of the Communists?

Mr BRYANT - Because they are the unpopular people in the community at the moment and might well come within the category of persons described in paragraph (b). If it were anybody else, such as a member of the Liberal party or of the Democratic Labour party, I would still take the same stand and speak for them in the best traditions of parliamentary government, freedom of speech and tolerance. I have raised this matter because at the moment I have before me the case of a man who claims that he is not a Communist. He has no criminal record, and his health is satisfactory. I have questioned him and I have asked an Italian whom I could trust to speak to him in his own language. He has been refused a re-entry permit to Australia, and if he were to leave Australia he could not come back. Now he has been refused his application for naturalization. I do not know what the evidence is. He may well be a member of the Communist party, although he says that he is not. He is an industrious citizen and a member of a union. What are the grounds to warrant his deportation? I want a straightforward explanation from the Minister.

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