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Wednesday, 17 September 1958

Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES (Chisholm) . - I want to say what I think all honorable members feel, and that is a word of congratulation to the Minister for Immigration (Mr. Downer) on the way that he has handled what is his first big bill - and it is a very big bill. No doubt he would say that much of the preparation was done by his predecessor, but he brought it to the final stages. He gave much time to the bill and circulated it very widely amongst various associations. Not only political associations, but others interested in immigration were able to place their objections and proposed amendments before their members or directly before the Minister. The way in which this bill has been handled sets a pattern, and I should like to see many of the larger bills handled in the same way. Very often, too many bills come in with a rush and no time is allowed for outsiders who are vitally interested in the legislation to make proper representations to their members or to the Minister.

I am sure that the honorable member for Bendigo (Mr. Clarey) will agree that we should all offer our congratulations to the Minister. Although there may still be certain provisions of the bill with which some honorable members may not agree, we would like to thank the Minister on the way that he has handled the measure.

Mr Clarey - I concur.

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