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Wednesday, 13 December 1905

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) - It might be inferred from Senator Symon's remarks that this Bill had for its object the placing of additional obstacles and impediments in the way of desirable white immigrants to Australia.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - Hear, hear. So it has.

Senator FINDLEY - I disagree entirely with that view. In what way does the Bill differ from the existing Act in regard to the education test ? Incidentally, the honorable senator mentioned that desirable white immigrants coming to Australia from other parts of the world, and especially ladies, were subjected to much irritation and annoyance, because they were asked their age and other similar personal questions. One would think that such questions are not submitted to immigrants in any other country in the world. If Senator Symon ever visits America, he will find that he will be asked quite a number of questions.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - I have visited America, and I was asked no questions.

Senator FINDLEY - Then the honorable senator must have got into that country surreptitiously.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - No; I walked ashore erect.

Senator FINDLEY - I have here a facsimile of the form which captains of vessels carrying passengers to the United States areweobliged to fill up. For the information of Senator Symon, who got into the United States without supplying these particulars, I may tell him the questions submitted to passengers going to the United States.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - The form must be a new one.

Senator FINDLEY - No. It has been in operation in the United States for many years. First of all, a passenger is asked his age; then his sex; whether he is married or single .; his calling or occupation ; whether he is able to read or write; his nationality; his last residence; his seaport for landing in the United States ; final destination in the United States; whether he has a ticket through to such final destination; whether he has paid his own passage, or it has been paid by other persons, or by any corporation, society, municipality, or Government ; whether he is in possession of money, and, if so, whether he possess upwards of 30 dollars, and how much, if 30 dollars or less ; whether he is acting as agent or representative, and, if so, his first name and address; whether he was ever before in the United States ; whether he was ever in prison or an almshouse, or was supported by charity ; whether he is a polygamist; whether he is under contract to perform labour in the

United States; his condition of health, mental and physical ; whether he is deformed or crippled, and, if so, from what cause. The captains of vessels carrying passengers to the United States must see that these forms are filled up by their passengers. They must then take them before a United States Consul, and swear to them on oath. They are also required to make a declaration as to the health and condition of the passengers they carry to the United States. Notwithstanding all these so-called restrictions, we find that thousands of desirable people enter the United States of America every year.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - Must that form be filled up by an American citizen? I should say not.

Senator Keating - It must.

Senator FINDLEY - One of the questions to be answered is whether the immigrant has been in the United States before.

Senator Clemons - After that question is answered is anything further done?

Senator FINDLEY - If you say you are under contract you will not be permitted to enter the United States.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - If you say that you are a citizen of the United States what is done?

Senator FINDLEY - I have not been to the United' States, and do not know. In any case, the amendments upon the principal Act proposed in this Bill do not place any obstacles in the way of desirable white immigrants entering Australia. Certain persons within and without the Commonwealth have raised the cry, with a view to damaging the reputation of the Commonwealth, that the Labour Party in Australia do not desire that desirable white immigrants should be allowed to enter the Commonwealth. They have no wish whatever to stop such people from coming to Australia, but what they do desire is that those who are Australians by birth or adoption shall not be walking the streets of the cities of the Commonwealth in idleness. When employment is found for those in the Commonwealth who desire employment, and the affairs of the country are placed on a sound basis, the members of the Labour Party are, perhaps, more anxious than those who profess to be the friends of people abroad for the introduction into Australia of people of their own race. I see no reason why the amendment should be agreed to, because its effect will be to defeat the intention of the Bill.

Senator Clemons - Does the honorable senator desire that there shall be no amendment of trie Bill?

Senator FINDLEY - I desire that amendments shall be introduced, but that they shall be a decided improvement on the existing law.

Senator Clemons - That is what we think of this amendment.

Senator FINDLEY - In my opinion, it will be no improvement, because it is merely a make-believe that it is intended to subject desirable white immigrants to the dictation test, and that is certainly not intended by the Bill.

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