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Wednesday, 17 September 1958


Mr CLAREY (Bendigo) .- Mr. Chairman,I raise no objection to this clause, and I commend the remarks made by the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Duthie) to the attention of the Minister for Immigration for consideration. I wish particularly to direct the Minister's attention to the conflict between the wording of this clause and clause 12 and that of clause 13. It was pointed out last evening that paragraph (a) of clause 13 appeared to make somewhat different provision in respect of persons convicted of a crime. Clause 12 provides that a person convicted in Australia of a crime and sentenced to imprisonment for one year or more may be deported. Clause 13 provides that a person convicted in Australia of an offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or more is liable to deportation. A similar matter arises again in this clause, which provides for the entry to Australia in certain circumstances of persons who ordinarily would be regarded as prohibited immigrants. Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (c) of sub-clause (1.) deals with a person described in the following terms: - a person who has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to imprisonment for one year or more;

Such a person will be a prohibited immigrant under this clause, except in certain circumstances, and the wording used here has the same meaning and result as that used in clause 12. I raise this matter because I consider that paragraph (a) of clause 13 should be given the same interpretation as the words used in clause 12 and in the sub-paragraph of this clause to which I have referred. That would mean that a person would be subject to deportation at the discretion of the Minister only if he had been convicted of a crime and sentenced to imprisonment for one year or more.

I think the Minister will see the point that I am making - that two clauses provide that a person shall be liable to deportation if he has been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for one year or more, and another clause provides that a person shall be liable to deportation if he has been convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for twelve months or more, even if the penalty imposed by the court were a sentence of less than twelve months' imprisonment. I should like to see adopted an interpretation of paragraph (a) of clause 13 under which a person would not be regarded as subject to deportation unless he had been sentenced to imprisonment for one year or more. If that interpretation were adopted, the application of these three clauses would be the same. No confusion would arise, and no one would feel that a person could be treated more unfairly under one clause than under another.







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