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Tuesday, 4 December 1973
Page: 2374

Senator DURACK (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration. Has the attention of the Minister been drawn to advertisements appearing in newspapers in Australia concerning the application of the new citizenship laws? In part, these advertisements state:

All applications for Australian citizenship in future will be treated equally . . . . Distinctions which apply to British subjects will disappear after a transitional period.

I ask: Is it not a fact that, with regard to British subjects, these advertisements are ambiguous and misleading? Why are the transitional provisions relating to British subjects not explained iu the advertisements? Is it not a fact that British subjects still retain and will retain their right to vote and be elected, irrespective of whether they apply under the new laws to become Australian citizens, or does the Government intend soon to withdraw these privileges of British subjects?

Senator Douglas McCLELLAND (NEW SOUTH WALES) During the last session of the Parliament there was a debate on immigration legislation with regard to rights of citizenship during which several matters raised by honourable senators were debated in this chamber. As I have not seen the advertisements to which the honourable senator refers, I do not know all the details involved. All I can do is undertake to refer the question to my colleague in another place and obtain a reply for the honourable senator.

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