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Friday, 15 December 1905

Senator O'KEEFE (Tasmania) - It is quite right that Parliament should be in a position to know if employers are bringing in a large number of contract immigrants. Some of us would also like to know whether particular employers bring in immigrants possessed of special skill for special trades, or whether hundreds of people are imported to work in the canefields of Queensland. If Senator Givens' amendment is carried, we shall have that information. I hope it will be agreed to.

Senator GIVENS(Queensland).- I have no objection to amending the amendment, as suggested by Senator Keating. I, therefore, ask leave to amend paragraph b as I have moved it, and to make it read as follows : -

(b)   The number of employers engaging such contract immigrants and the number of such contract immigrants engaged by each employer.

Paragraph b amended accordingly.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South Australia). - I do not think this amendment ought to be adopted without discussion. It appears to me that Senator Pearce's amendment, which is very carefully framed, and which the Government have accepted, gives all the information one can desire. We have already struck out paragraph a, of which paragraph b is merely consequential, and, therefore, to retain the latter would be useless. There is not much harm in supplying information as to the number of employers engaged in contract labour, but the paragraph goes on to provide that the returns shall show the number of contract immigrants engaged by each employer.

Senator Mcgregor - Surely that is useful information.

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - I differ from the honorable senator in that respect, and suggest that all that is necessary is to accept the concession of the Government.

Paragraph b, as amended, agreed to.

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