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Wednesday, 28 May 1930

Senator MCLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - A uniform fee of £3?

Senator DALY - Yes. Great Britain charges a fee of £10 for naturalization; New Zealand, £2 ; Canada, five dollars ; and the United States of America, twenty dollars. The inquiries and reports necessary to determine whether an applicant is entitled to the privileges given by naturalization involve the Commonwealth in considerable expense, and there is, further, a contingent liability, as naturalized persons are eligible for old-age and invalid pensions. Naturalization gives those material advantages, together with the privilege of Australian citizenship. That aliens residing in Australia are, to a greater degree, seeking to be naturalized, is evident from the fact that last year 1,732 naturalization certificates were issued, and only 909 in 1925. I understand that the right honorable the Leader of the Opposition regards the bill as a non-contentious measure.

Senator SirGEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) [11.17]. - My only comment on the hill is that I am astonished at the moderation of the Government in regard to the proposed fee for naturalization, which, I am of opinion, might very well have been made higher. This is a step that should have been taken long ago. I am heartily in accord with the object of the bill.

Senator SirHAL COLEBATCH (Western ' Australia) [11.18]. - I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate why the amount of the fee is not stated in the bill. Why is it " to be prescribed " ? It is conceivable that some future government might take advantage of this provision to prescribe a prohibitive fee as an obstacle to naturalization.

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