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Tuesday, 22 August 1972
Page: 468

Mr FOX (HENTY, VICTORIA) - I ask the Minister for Immigration: Has the Government reached any decision on the question of accepting some Asians from Uganda?

Dr FORBES - The attitude of the Australian Government to the admission of Asians from Uganda for residence remains basically the same as expressed by me in answer to a question from the honourable member for McPherson last week. However, I would add, in amplification of what I said then, that Australia's existing immigration policy has allowed and will continue to allow some Asians to migrate from Uganda, in particular persons who are qualified in professions to practise in Australia and who can be absorbed readily in those professions in Australia. I remind the House that Asians and other non-Europeans already are settling in Australia at the rate of some thousands per annum under these arrangements. But the Commonwealth Government is unable to depart from its policy of accepting only those people who can integrate successfully into the Australian community. We believe that this is in the interests not only of the Australian community but also of migrants coming to Australia for settlement. However, the Government recognises that there exists a humanitarian problem of great magnitude. The Government is keeping in close touch with developments and will give sympathetic consideration, in consultation with other governments, to other ways in which we can assist in relation to this difficult problem which initially arose between Britain and Uganda.

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