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Thursday, 7 December 1905

Senator HIGGS (QUEENSLAND) - I beg to ask the Minister representing the Minister for External Affairs the following questions, without notice -

1.   Has the Minister's attention been drawn to the following paragraph, appearing in the press on or about the 17th December, 1903 : - " Perth, Thursday. " The Minister for Lands has arranged with the Salvation Army regardingimmigration on the following lines : - The Army authorities in England to nominate immigrants at the office of the AgentGeneral, the immigrants to pay half the boat passage, and the Government the other half; if the immigrant remains in the State, or resides for six months on the land selected for him by the Crown, the passage money to be refunded by the Government; the commission to be paid to the Army or persons nominating such immigrants at any time, after the passage money is refunded, will be : Single men, £2 per head; married men, £3 per head, with three children, £5. The Minister is willing to negotiate similarly with other religious bodies."

2.   Will the Minister make inquiries -

(a)   Whether this arrangement was ever carried out by the Western Australian Government ;

(b)   How many immigrants arrived in Western Australia in accordance with the terms of the arrangement?

Senator PLAYFORD - The honorable senator gave notice of ' these questions, for the 4th October, but at that time we were not in a position to furnish replies, and we promised to make inquiries. As the result of the inquiries. I am able to furnish the following answers: -

1.   A reply has been received from the Premier of Western Australia intimating that on 7th November, 1903, the then Minister of Lands made a proposal practically on the lines indicated which was approved by the Cabinet of the day.

2.   The proposal was never given effect to.

The proposal, I understand, was forwarded to the Salvation Army officially, but they have not yet taken advantage of it.

Senator HIGGS - Then the late proposal looked like a huge advertisement?

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