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Historical documents

168 Heyes to Burton

Memorandum CANBERRA, 15 March 1949


I refer to your secret memorandum of 16th February, No. 1531/1
[1], respecting the decision that in future Eurasians are not to
be admitted to Australia as Permanent residents.

The statement in your memorandum that to extend the present
restrictions to applicants eligible under the existing regulations
without changing the regulations themselves is to put an officer
in an impossible position is not understood. No regulations have
been made under the lmmigration Act prescribing the persons or
classes of persons who may be granted or refused admission to
Australia. Such action is, and always has been, governed by
Government policy as laid down from time to time. The position so
far as Eurasians are concerned is that, following on the
Minister's ruling, certain classes who were formerly allowed to
enter are no longer eligible for admission.

It is not seen why the new rule should create great administrative
difficulties as is suggested by you. In fact, it should prove much
easier for an officer to administer the new rule than the former
one under which it was necessary for an officer to determine, not
only that an applicant was predominantly European by descent, but
also in appearance and mode of living. If an officer now finds
that an applicant is not of pure European descent all that he is
required to do is to notify the person concerned that he is not
eligible for admission in accordance with existing immigration
policy and his entry has not, therefore, been authorised. This is
the practice that is already followed in thousands of cases,
British, white alien and non-European, and one that has not so far
given rise to any administrative difficulties.

However, other considerations have arisen which make it advisable
for an officer of this Department to visit Eastern countries and
investigate and report on certain aspects and, in the
circumstances, action requested in my memorandum of 20th January
[2] may be deferred pending receipt of his report.

1 Document 167
2 Document 166.

[AA:A1838, 153 1/1, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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