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Wednesday, 21 April 1971

Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct my question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Notwithstanding a very comprehensive reply I received from the Prime Minister outlining the Commonwealth Government's interpretation of the status of Australian citizens under the new United Kingdom Immigration Bill, will the Minister now say that the recent action of Enoch Powell in having a British parliamentary committee delete the patrial clause makes much of the Prime Minister's advice null and void? Can we have a further assurance that the Australian High Commissioner in London will maintain close liaison with the United Kingdom Home Secretary and request retention of the patrial clause. In the event of refusal, will the Australian Government review its present policy of preference to Britain in regard to trade and other agreements?


The Prime Minister's . reply, which I gave previously, was based on the Bill as it was introduced in the British Parliament. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on amendments which may be proposed at the Committee stage. That would involve looking into the crystal hall. Through the High Commissioner in London the Australian Government is keeping a close watch on developments. Any further comment must await advice to us of the final form which the British law will take.

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