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Thursday, 25 February 1971

Senator MULVIHILL - Can the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration elaborate on the question I asked some days ago in relation to ethnic percentages?

Senator Dame ANNABELLE RANKIN - On 18th Feburary the honourable senator asked me the following question in connection with the reduced immigration programme:

What formula has been devised to effect the reduction? Will it be based on an ethnic percentage, such as that which has been followed by the United States of America from time to time?

I promised to obtain further information for him, and I now have the following information: This reduction was not based on a formula of percentages. It resulted from adjustments made over the total assisted programme where this was possible without revoking undertakings already given to prospective migrants or causing personal hardship. The programme now proposed, namely, 120,500, varies from that on which the original estimates approved by the Parliament were based as follows: (i) marginal increases in the special passage assistance programme, refugees and Maltese; Hi) a reduction in the programme from Britain and smaller reductions in those from the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia and Turkey. The net effect of these variations is a reduction of 3,000 in the assisted migration programme. As funds will not be sought in supplementary estimates to compensate for lower than expected unassisted arrivals, the total migration programme will be approximately 170,000 this financial year.

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