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Research Guides


Chinese Immigrants and Chinese–Australians in NSW


Correspondence and dossiers

Records in the following series consist of dossiers compiled by the Intelligence services about individuals, companies and organisations under investigation. Matters dealt with include illegal immigrants, bankrupts, internees, prisoners-of-war and fraud against the Commonwealth of Australia.

The dossiers were extensively top-numbered, with files from other series (especially series SP26/1, Dossiers on Internees) included. A large number of dossiers were apparently handed over to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) when it was established in 1949. A list of these dossiers is held in series ST2476/11, Record of files transferred from Commonwealth Investigation Service to Australian Security Intelligence Organization, described below.

Record of files transferred from Commonwealth Investigation Service to [ASIO], 1949–50
Sydney
Recorded by: Commonwealth Investigation Service, NSW (CA 912)

This series consists of transfer authorities detailing files transferred to ASIO from the CIS in 1949–50. It includes a list of files on individuals, which is ordered by the CIS dossier number.

Series: ST2476/11
Quantity: 0.09 metres
Criminal investigation files, 'n' prefix (NSW), 1914–62
Sydney
Recorded by: 1920–46 Investigation Branch, NSW (CA 904)
1946–57 Commonwealth Investigation Service, NSW (CA 912)

This series consists of case files compiled by the Investigation Branch and, from 1946, the CIS. Matters dealt with include illegal immigrants, bankrupts, internees, prisoners-of-war and fraud against the Commonwealth. Dossiers were compiled for individuals, companies and organisations. It is not known precisely when this series commenced, but it believed to have been about 1920, with material from older series top-numbered into it.

Series: SP1714/1
Quantity: 10.80 metres
Old Chinese alien registration records, 1933 SP1714/1, N35700
Six Chinese prisoners-of-war, Bougainville, 1945 SP1714/1, N48815
Correspondence re naturalisation and internees, 'N' (NSW) prefix, c1914–46
Sydney
Recorded by: 1917–19 Special Intelligence Bureau, NSW (CA 909) 1920–46
Commonwealth Investigation Branch, NSW (CA 904)
1946–57 Commonwealth Investigation Service, NSW (CA 912)

This series contains correspondence files on naturalisation and internees, and contains over 3,000 items. This series is best searched using the name of the subject.

Series: ST1233/1
Quantity: 28.62 metres
World War Two security investigation dossiers, 1938–48
Sydney
Recorded by: 1942–45 Commonwealth Security Service, NSW (CA 946)

This series contains dossiers compiled for people investigated in NSW during World War II. Dossiers, one for each person, were arranged numerically, with all papers placed in large envelopes. Most of the dossiers refer to unnaturalised aliens, particularly enemy aliens and refugees. The Military Police Intelligence Section, New South Wales State Police compiled the dossiers until 1942 when responsibility for this role was handed over to the CIS.

After World War II many dossiers were top-numbered into criminal investigation files compiled by the CIS.

Series: C123
Quantity: 78.12 metres
Wong, Hoi (Chinese), 1942–44 C123, 19800
Chan, Kan (Chinese), 1943 C123, 20994
Investigation files (persons and organisations), 1921–46
Sydney
Recorded by: 1942–45 Commonwealth Security Service, NSW (CA 946)
1945–46 Commonwealth Investigation Branch, NSW (CA 904)

This series consists of correspondence files containing information regarding suspect activities of certain people or organisations. The contents include passport applications; investigations of known or suspected enemy sympathisers during World War II; notices of departures and arrivals in Australia of people with suspected enemy sympathies; material related to the release of internees; a nominal register; indexes and photographs of members of Fascist organisations in Australia; and information about Japanese business interests.

Items in this series are arranged alphanumerically, with prefixes indicating the nationality group of the organisation or individual. For example, 'C' = Chinese, 'CIV' = Commonwealth Investigation Branch, 'F' = French, 'IC' = Indo-Chinese and so on. A number of items in this series deal with Chinese nationals and organisations, such as the Chinese Times and the Chinese Seamen's Union.

Quantity: 4.5 metres
Harry Young Ho (or 'Ho Young Hoy'), 1938–41 C320, C14
Chinese Times newspaper, 1941 C320, C8
[List of Chinese nationals registered at the Central Aliens Bureau], 1942–45 C320, C34

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Chapter 5
Aliens, Evacuees and Internees