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Tuesday, 15 August 1972
Page: 13

Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration, who is the Attorney-General. Having in mind the arrangement which was made with the Prime Minister of Singapore on the jettisoning of security screenings of certain students entering Australia from that country, did we follow a similar procedure in regard to the entry into Australia of European student groups mentioned in Press statement 19/17? Furthermore, following the latest statement by the Attorney-General on the entry of United States criminals into Australia, are we to assume that in the past we placed undue emphasis on political activity and not sufficient emphasis on criminal activity when screening entrants into Australia?

Senator GREENWOOD - I can give some information in answer to the honourable senator's question. I can say quite definitely on advice from the Minister for

Immigration that there has been no jettisoning of security screening as the honourable senator suggested in his question. That part is without foundation.

Senator Mulvihill - In relation to the Singapore case?

Senator GREENWOOD - That is so. There has been no jettisoning of it. The Press statement to which he refers relates to the visit of a number of undergraduates who came to Australia from Great Britain and Europe on working holidays. These are short term visits which take place annually and they have no relevance to the case of the one student who was allowed, with full knowledge of his background, to come here from Singapore for study purposes. On the question directed to me with regard to persons with known criminal records or believed to be implicated in criminal activities in another country coming to Australia, the general policy which is pursued by the Department of Immigration is not to allow those persons to enter into Australia. It must be recognised that it is not always possible to check the character of every applicant for a visitor's visa as this would cause great inconvenience and embarrassment to, and be an imposition on, the vast majority of honest people who seek to come here simply as tourists.

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