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Thursday, 12 May 1960

Mr DOWNER - I can, in a way, understand the honorable gentleman having some doubts about this matter, but, of course, we do not, just for the fun of it, exclude the relatives of settlers from Mediterranean countries who are already here. As the honorable gentleman will realize, migrants are divided into categories because the Government, right from the start, has aimed at having a balanced immigration programme. When the Government settles the programme each year, it decides, as the honorable gentleman may appreciate, how many migrants are to come from the various countries, which form our sources of supply. Having settled the intake from the Mediterranean countries, then in the interests of achieving a truly balanced programme, it is necessary to adhere to it.

I must make it quite plain for the benefit of the honorable member for Parkes that, despite all the difficulties we have met in trying to recruit the types of migrants we desire, there is still a very great demand by many thousands of people in Italy and Greece to come here. So long as we aim, as I think we should continue to aim, at maintaining a balanced migration programme, then, as I see it, we have no alternative but to administer this policy fairly rigorously. Therefore, the adherence to categories of which the honorable gentleman complains is necessary.

Mr Haylen - Could you not widen them to include nephews?

Mr DOWNER - Well, it may be possible-

Mr Haylen - Hard-working young men!

Mr DOWNER - Not all nephews do work hard, as the honorable gentleman will realize. There is no absolute in any of these things, of course, and if as time goes on it is possible - I do not say that it will be - with the development of our economy, to expand the numbers coming here, the Government will look sympathetically at this matter.

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