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More People Imperative: Immigration to Australia, 1901–39

3. Immigration Encouragement Policy

Image 15: An example of the type of information published by the Million Farms Campaign Committee.

Image 15: An example of the type of information published by the Million Farms Campaign Committee.
NAA: A457, 1400/5 Part 2
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The development of policies for the encouragement of immigration to Australia were slow to emerge after Federation in 1901 owing to the aftermath of the 1890s depression and prolonged unemployment. This was despite a widespread concern at the time over the decline in the birth rate common to all Western nations, and the slow growth of the Australian population, a concern which resulted in a NSW Royal Commission in 1904.

Alfred Deakin, three times Prime Minister in the first decade of the twentieth century, did much to stimulate interest in immigration. As economic conditions improved, the Australian state governments gradually reintroduced assistance schemes: New South Wales in 1906, Victoria in 1907, South Australia in 1911, and Tasmania in 1912. These schemes offered not only reduced fares but also grants of land and other concessions. (Western Australia and Queensland had not discontinued assistance during the depression years of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries although the numbers of immigrants taking up the opportunity were low.) A High Commissioner was appointed in 1909; his role was partly to advertise Australia abroad. The immediate pre-World War I years witnessed comparatively high immigration levels with the active involvement of governments and voluntary organisations.

The advertising associated with assistance schemes to bring out British farmers, young rural labourers and domestic servants (the 'preferred' immigrants) inevitably encouraged others. State departments and 'intelligence bureaux' were set up in the capital cities to receive and advise new settlers. Assisted immigrants made up about half the total arrivals in the pre-war years, some selected by state governments and non-government organisations, some nominated by relatives and friends already in Australia.

Not all experienced the prosperity they had hoped for. Several disillusioned land settlers who came out under organised schemes claimed compensation from governments in later years. Many of the unassisted who settled in urban areas found jobs difficult to obtain. The outbreak of war in 1914 led to many joining up, some for the higher wages this alternative offered them. While the first years of the war witnessed the arrival of a limited number of immigrants whose passages were already booked, there was no further encouragement of immigration in general until after the soldier settlement schemes of the post-war years. Nevertheless, the war provided an opportunity for a reassessment of past policies, although this led to little change in direction, and resulted in a heightened commitment to Britain and the needs of the Empire.

The immediate post-war period was notable for schemes initially to resettle ex-soldiers (both Australian and British) on the land in Australia, and subsequently to redistribute the population of the Empire from overcrowded Britain to the more spacious Dominions. While these schemes were designed to benefit the Empire as a whole, the British government, and Australian Federal and state governments, all acted largely in their own interests. On the surface there was co-operation; beneath there was considerable conflict, especially over the types of immigrants Britain wished to send and those Australia (and the other Dominions) were anxious to receive. Britain was concerned to alleviate the problem of high urban unemployment; Australia wanted to settle her sparsely populated rural areas with young, able farmers with capital, just those people whom Britain wished to retain. As before the war, many of those who did come under assistance schemes in the 1920s were disappointed; often they were unsuitable and inexperienced and much of the land allocated them was marginal farming country. State governments, in particular Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales later paid the price for over-ambitious and ill-prepared plans in an era often referred to as 'Australia Unlimited'.

At the same time as British immigrants were being encouraged and assisted to settle Australia's 'empty spaces', non-British Europeans were arriving in increasing numbers, especially between 1925 and 1928. The statutory measures adopted to control a perceived 'influx' of Southern and Eastern Europeans and to preserve the British predominance are explained in Chapter 4 on 'White Alien' Immigration Policy.

The encouragement of all immigration declined as Australia began to feel the effects of another depression in the late 1920s. All government assistance virtually ceased in 1930, except for special cases of close dependent relatives and children for the Fairbridge Farm School in Western Australia. Limited assistance was reintroduced in 1936 and in a more positive way in 1938, although little was achieved before the outbreak of war in September 1939. Again the depression years saw a protracted population debate in academic journals and the press; negative net migration combined with a declining birth rate rang alarm bells for many in the community.

Over these four decades, immigration debates focused on who to allow in, who to encourage and assist, and what the balance between the various nationalities should be. The records in the National Archives contain important information concerning these broad policy areas, focusing largely on the introduction, consequences and cessation of assistance schemes; where finance was involved, so was accountability.

The majority of Commonwealth government policy records are held in the Archives in Canberra but some are also located in the Archives' Melbourne office, since policy matters were decided in Melbourne until the Commonwealth Parliament was transferred to Canberra in 1927 and the major Public Service Departments moved their headquarters to Canberra in the 1950s.

Examples of Series and Items

Series descriptions throughout the Guide appear in upper case and in bold type. Note that descriptions of items within particular series are a selection only of what is held in the National Archives. All record descriptions are organised by series; items within series are listed in chronological order of the starting date they cover.

Colonial Secretary's Office, '1901 – Immigration and Emigration at all ports of Western Australia' [1.5 cm, 1901]
These are monthly lists of immigrants arriving at and leaving all ports in Western Australia for 1901, divided into Europeans and Chinese, adults and children, male and female, and showing the excess of arrivals over departures. There are similar files for 1902 (PP131/1, 1902/45), 1903 (PP131/1, 1903/59), 1904 (PP131/1, 1904/41), and 1905 (PP131/1, 1905/48). In 1904, the sub-headings European and Chinese disappeared, replaced simply by Arrivals and Departures.
Series: PP131/1
Quantity: 12.6 metres
Recorded by: 1899–1956: Colonial Secretary's Office: from 1926, Chief Secretary's Office (CA 1256)
This series covers a wide range of subjects dealt with by the Prime Minister. The registry practice is at first haphazard but becomes increasingly formalised. A number of files were converted after 1917 into the first and thereafter into the second Secret and Confidential series of the Prime Minister's Department.
Series: A2
Quantity: 20.32 metres
Prime Minister's Department, File of Papers, 'Re Agents-General advising as to the best means of encouraging desirable immigration to Australia' [146 pages, 1905]
This file contains a parliamentary paper entitled 'Immigration (Correspondence in regard to Communications between the Commonwealth and the Agents-General for the States on the subject of Immigration); and letter from Prime Minister to the Chairman of the Agents-General, September 1905'. Correspondence between the Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin, the Agents-General and the Premiers, relate to 'the best and most economical means of encouraging desirable immigration'. A series of letters from Premier Carruthers, NSW, to Deakin, however, reveals his resentment over the Commonwealth moving into an area which had been traditionally under State control. Under the Constitution (Sub-section 27 of Section 51) the Commonwealth had the powers to make laws relating to immigration and emigration but selection of immigrants, land settlement and employment were State concerns. Other related 1905 parliamentary papers and an Argus cutting on Immigration to NSW are also included.
A2, 1906/4977
Prime Minister's Department, 'Premier – Western Australia – re Immigration' [32 pages, 1906]
This concerns the views of C H Rason, the Western Australian Premier, on immigration and the role of the Commonwealth Government in 1906. Rason was unable to attend a forthcoming conference of Premiers on the subject but expressed his views in writing to Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. Deakin's letter inviting him to do so and giving his own ideas on immigration encouragement and the division of responsibilities between the Commonwealth and the States, is enclosed.
A2, 1906/1220
Prime Minister's Department, File of Papers, 'Immigration' [21 pages, 1912–15]
This file contains various press cuttings on immigration to Australia between 1912 and 1914, on government expenditure, shipping and other difficulties, the division of powers between Commonwealth and State, settling the North, and comparisons with other immigrant destinations. There is also correspondence on the role of the Commonwealth government in immigration and a copy of resolutions on the subject agreed to at the Interstate Conference of 1914 and the Premiers' Conference in Sydney in 1915. The war interrupted further plans for immigration.
A2, 1914/466/2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Conference Immigration Officers' [20 pages, 1920]
This file relates to a conference in December 1920 between H S Gullett, Superintendent of Immigration in Australia, and the State Officer-in-Charge of Immigration in each state to discuss means of securing the most efficient cooperation between State and Commonwealth staffs in all stages of the work of immigration.
A2, 1920/3893
This series consists of correspondence files covering a wide range of subjects which were submitted to the Prime Minister.
Series: A457
Quantity: 18.27 metres
Recorded by: 1915–23: Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement, bonus system', 1920–5 [60 pages, 1919–23]
This contains a report of the Oversea Settlement Committee, 1919, with a resolution on the proposed abolition of bonus payments (sometimes as much as £3–5 per head) to third parties [agents] in connection with the recruitment of immigrants. This did not include the payment by shipping companies of commissions to local agents for the booking of passages. Correspondence deals with inter-governmental and interdepartmental responses.
A457, B400/2
Image 16: This cablegram from Prime Minister Hughes in London led to the convening of a conference between the Commonwealth and State governments in January 1919 to discuss his immigration proposals.

Image 16: This cablegram from Prime Minister Hughes in London led to the convening of a conference between the Commonwealth and State governments in January 1919 to discuss his immigration proposals.
NAA: A3934, SC23 1
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Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Information. Consul-General for France' [2 pages, 1920–21]
This contains a request for information on immigration from the French Resident General in Morocco through the French Consul-General in Sydney in December 1920 and the replies.
A457, C400/8/19
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Conference convened by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne' [15 pages, 1921]
This file relates to a conference to stimulate interest in immigration convened by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne and held at the Town Hall, March 1921, and attended by the Prime Minister and other interested parties. It contains the agenda, resolutions and press cuttings.
A457, D400/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Western Australian pastoral Development Scheme' [26 pages, 1921]
This concerns a North Australian Railway and Development League proposal to form a company to develop the northern pastoral areas of Western Australia. The scheme was to operate on the same system as the Australian Farms Limited, whereby land was subdivided and sold to settlers who would work under the supervision of the company's managers for three years. Maps were exhibited in Sydney by Sir Joseph Carruthers and used in connection with an address entitled 'A Great National Objective' which he believed might become the programme for a Progressive Australia Party. Press cuttings and a report of the League for 1920, are included.
A457, H400/8/27
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Gullett's visit to Tasmania' [2 pages, 1921]
This includes only two short telegrams relating to the visit of H S Gullett, Commonwealth Superintendent of Immigration, to Hobart and the reply from the Tasmanian Premier.
A457, H400/9
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Information. Enquiry by Empire Development Parliamentary Committee' [17 pages, 1921–22]
A committee in the House of Commons, called the Empire Development Parliamentary Committee, consisting of 208 members, formed to further the interests of the Empire, acted in 1921 on a recommendation of the previous Imperial Conference to move in the direction of overseas settlement of the Dominions. A letter to the Premier of NSW in January 1922 (forwarded through the Prime Minister to the Commonwealth Immigration Office) suggested legislation on land settlement, ex-soldier settlement, immigration and the formulation of definite plans for development schemes, land grants and assistance. The reply explained the agreements so far reached between the Commonwealth and States and the proposed role of the British government.
A457, C400/8/3
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. New Settlers League. Requirements for Conferences' [20 pages,1921–23]
This relates to the deliberations on the organisation of New Settlers' League conferences, for example, the printing of reports, expenses, hiring of shorthand writers, etc.
A457, E400/4
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity. Immigration. Co-operation of States' [45 pages plus a magazine, 1921–23]
This refers to a publicity campaign by the Commonwealth Government in relation to immigration and plans in 1921 to inaugurate a weekly news service. The Prime Minister requested from the states 'appropriate news items' of 'satisfactory reception and employment of large numbers of immigrants'. A number of new pamphlets were to be prepared and the States were asked to supply information and also to forward copies of all relevant state publications. Replies from State Premiers are included.
A457, A532/3
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Accommodation Requirements etc. for NSW. Immigration Office' [51 pages, 1921–23]
This deals with the provision of office accommodation in Sydney in connection with the appointment of Brigadier General Herring as Commonwealth Immigration Officer for New South Wales.
A457, D400/9
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration. New Settlers League Queensland Branch' [7 pages, 1921–23]
Correspondence concerns the formation of the New Settlers' League in Queensland in 1921 and its annual conferences in 1922 and 1923.
A457, G400/4
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Information. Enquiries from Java and Straits Settlement' [38 pages,1921–23]
This file relates to an enquiry in 1921 from the Department of Commerce in Batavia, Java, to the Governor-General, in regard to the immigration of skilled artisans and factory employees and their rates of pay. The reply outlines the arrangements between the Commonwealth and states and the policy on immigration encouragement for land settlers, farm labourers, lads for farm work and domestic servants and explains that no encouragement was being given to skilled workers. The file includes further inquiries in 1921 (from L N Guillemard, Governor of the Straits Settlements, Singapore, re Joseph Carruthers' scheme for the settlement of white men in Australia, and from an accountant in Singapore inquiring about the immigration of European land settlers with capital). The replies contain information on Australian policy and conditions.
A457, C400/8/2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Migrants from Cornwall and Devon' [49 pages, 1921–23]
This contains correspondence between the Western Australian Cornish Association, immigration officials and members of parliament relating to cooperation on immigration matters. There are also notes by a Colonel S F Newcombe who visited Australia in 1923 on an immigration mission based on county organisation in Great Britain.
A457, E400/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Government Schemes. Napier Broome Bay Land Settlement Scheme Sydney' [6 pages, 1921–23]
This includes a proposal to settle the land in and around Napier Broome Bay in Western Australia with 500 married British ex-soldiers. The men would come first to clear the land, build fences and houses, and the families would follow. After 14 months the farms would be subject to ballot and after five years the farmers would begin to repay the money advanced by the Western Australian government at a rate of £50 per annum. An extract from a report on the North Kimberley District of Western Australia by William R Easton is included.
A457, R400/10
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Hepburn Geo. Horan AA.' [10 pages, 1922]
This file consists of correspondence between individuals interested in immigration schemes and government departments. One concerned a Commonwealth appointment in connection with immigration, another asked about possible financial assistance for land settlers moving from one state to another.
A457, C400/8/42
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Policies – Consultative Committee [15 pages, 1922]
This file relates to a proposal in 1922 for the constitution of a Consultative Committee between the High Commissioner and the Agents-General in London with regard to immigration. The file contains varied responses from the Prime Minister, the State Premiers and immigration officials revealing Commonwealth-State rivalries. The question was left for discussion at the next Premiers' Conference.
A457, L400/2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Armlets for Officers engaged in the Reception of Immigrants' [2 pages, 1922]
This relates to the suggestion and approval of the purchase of armbands for identification purposes for use by Immigration Officers and officials of the New Settlers' League whilst boarding ships arriving in Australia to receive and welcome immigrants.
A457, K400/1/60
Prime Minister's Department, Immigration Encouragement. The Imperial Merchant Service Guild' [20 pages, 1922]
This relates to an announcement by the Prime Minister in 1922 that the Commonwealth would welcome 2 000 retired army officers from India, and his request from the States for full particulars of available land. The Imperial Merchant Service Guild, Liverpool, in a letter of June 1922, sought similar assurances in relation to unemployed Masters and Navigating Officers who were without pensions or retired allowances. A positive reply was sent from the Commonwealth Immigration Office indicating that Australia was anxious to settle ex-servicemen of all types. Correspondence from state Premiers on the subject is included, the Tasmanian Premier pointing out that the ex-officers from India would have retiring allowances and pensions enabling them to undertake probationary work without pay for a period, whereas this would not be the case with the Mercantile Marine Officers who would neither be able to undertake training nor purchase properties. No special encouragement was given by the States; the Commonwealth government advised that the Secretary of the Guild contact Australia House where suitable persons were being recruited for land development schemes.
A457, Y400/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity. Immigration Publicity campaign through the Religious press of the United Kingdom' [10 pages, 1922]
This contains a letter from Mrs Annie R Osborn, 1922, a writer for the Women's Column in the Melbourne Age, offering her services to conduct a publicity campaign in the religious journals of England and Scotland in order to attract immigrants to Australia. The proposal was forwarded to the Director of Migration and Settlement in London but was not taken up.
A457, M532/3
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity. Pamphlets etc. Irrigation and Immigration' [16 pages, 1922]
This contains a letter to the Prime Minister from Ambrose Pratt, in 1922, concerning a publication called 'Irrigation and Immigration' by the Industrial Australian and Mining Standard, which especially related to the Murray River waters. Pratt asked for Commonwealth cooperation in its production and requested orders. The response was favourable but the proprietors did not proceed.
A457, J532/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity. Immigration. H J Rumsey book. “Pommies”' [5 pages, 1922–23]
This contains a letter to E K Bowden, MP, from Herbert J Rumsey, 1922, on his book, 'The Pommies' or New Chums in Australia, written to give intending immigrants in Great Britain a knowledge of Australian conditions, and suggesting that the Commonwealth government publish it as immigration propaganda. The reply from the Commonwealth Immigration Office is included; the suggestion was not taken up.
A457, N532/3
Prime Minister's Department, ' Immigration Encouragement Information. Danish Consul General [26 pages, 1922–23]
This contains a request from the Danish Consul-General in 1922 for information regarding the agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the government of NSW on land development and settlement and the emigration of persons of British race. Copies of the agreement, dated 14 November 1922, are included although the agreement at that stage had not been ratified by the British Government.
A457, C400/8/62
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Information – British Consul-General Batavia' [21 pages, 1922–23]
This contains a request to the Australian authorities for information from A W Robertson, British Vice-Consul, Sourabaya, through the Consul General, Batavia, as to whether the government of Australia assisted colonists with farmland and finance, to what extent and under what conditions. The file consists of the accompanying letter from the Consul General, Batavia, requesting copies of the latest immigration regulations and the replies from Australia, giving information on the admission and restriction of certain nationalities, particularly Dutchmen and Russians. Further requests for pamphlets and the addresses of official Immigration Bureaux from the same source, and the replies, are included.
A457, C400/8/54
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Nominated and Assisted Passages. Restrictions on non-British migrants. Returns' [26 pages, 1922–23]
This relates to nominated passages for non-British immigrants and how the system operated in 1922, and queries from the Prime Minister as to the numbers (both assisted and unassisted) of various European nationalities arriving under the Commonwealth Immigration Scheme.
A457, P400/1
Prime Minister's Department. 'Immigration Encouragement. Maintenance Pending Repatriation' [5 pages, 1922–23]
This file concerns the temporary maintenance of assisted immigrants whose repatriation was in question, owing to their being unable to secure agricultural employment as a result of being physically unfit, generally because of war wounds.
A457, R400/6
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Arrangements on behalf of Immigrants. Fremantle Immigrants Home' [26 pages, 1922–23]
This contains correspondence between H P Colebatch, Acting Premier of Western Australia, and James Mitchell, Premier, and the Prime Minister in relation to temporary extensions made to the Fremantle Immigrants Home by the Commonwealth during the period of its use as a hospital. Colebatch argued that the additional buildings should be retained and handed to the state free of charge for immigration work. Some of the buildings were handed over gratis, other buildings and plant were sold, most at 'break up value'. The file also contains correspondence with other parties interested in the buildings, for example, the Ugly Men's Association, a subsidiary of which was the New Settlers' League of Western Australia.
A457, L400/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Reply Paid Cables' [32 pages, 1922–23]
This relates to the financial adjustment between offices of pre-paid cables for the period from February 1922 to July 1923.
A457, Q400/6
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Financial. State Advanced passage System' [6 pages, 1922–23]
This file concerns the recovery of the Commonwealth contribution to the passages of persons booked to Western Australia under the State Advanced Passage Scheme. The usual £12 Commonwealth contribution for adults was inadvertently credited to such persons when it was intended to cover cases which fell outside the scope of the assisted passage scheme, and was especially intended for the repatriation of previous residents of Australia.
A457, U400/6
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Unofficial Suggestions' [86 pages, 1922–28]
This file contains suggestions for immigration and settlement schemes from various individuals and associations, for example the Cooktown and District Progress Association, various divisions of the New Settlers' League, the British Service Association and the Mappin Mass Migration League, together with the replies. Also mentioned in the correspondence are the work and ideas of W E Vincent, journalist with Austral Press and Advertising Ltd., in connection with possible future Commonwealth advertising.
A457, D400/8
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Information. Consul-General for Peru' [2 pages, 1923]
This contains a request in 1923 for information on recent Australian immigration laws from the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Lima, and the reply.
A457, C400/8/99
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity. Immigration. 'Letters from Daisy' ' [5 pages, 1923]
This file contains a letter from Thomas Sidney, May 1922, regarding the suggested purchase by the Commonwealth government for immigration propaganda purposes, of his manuscript, 'Letters from Daisy'. The replies reveal that the government did not take any action in the matter. This indicates, as with other such offers, that the Commonwealth preferred to use its own publications.
A457, R532/3
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity. Immigration. Photographic Accounts for Immigration Dept.' [11 pages, 1923]
This refers to charges for work done for the War Museum by the Photographic Branch of the Commonwealth Immigration Office.
A457, T532/3
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Information. Government of Ceylon' [3 pages, 1922–23]
This contains a request in 1922 for information on the latest Australian immigration regulations from the Officer Administering the Government, Colombo, and the reply.
A457, C400/8/69
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Information. Jewish Correspondence Bureau' [7 pages, 1922–23]
This contains a request in 1922 from the Director of the Jewish Correspondence Bureau for statistics on immigration and emigration for the previous year and to be included on the mailing list for any publications or press releases produced by the Commonwealth Immigration Office. Correspondence from the Official Secretary to the Commissioner of Australia in New York raises the question of the official attitude towards the immigration of Jewish farmers from Southern European countries. Replies to each are included.
A457, C400/8/64
Prime Minister's Department. 'Immigration Encouragement. Government Schemes. Western District (of Victoria) Group Settlement Scheme' [35 pages plus an envelope of news cuttings, 1923]
This refers to a group settlement of 20 ex-British Officers of the India Army at Kongbool, Balmoral, initiated by Australian Farms Ltd, in conjunction with the Victorian government. Letters to Major Currie contain generally favourable impressions of the scheme from settlers, indicating that stock was placed on the land before they arrived and farms were paying their way within one year though no profits were expected for three. A similar group settlement scheme for oversea and local men by the Australian Farms Ltd is detailed under which 90 ex-India Army Officers and others were settled in the Camperdown and Hamilton Districts in Victoria. Other estates are referred to. An outline of the Scheme in Victoria as a whole is included. An invitation was extended to the Commonwealth government in 1923 to nominate a representative to the Board of Directors of the company but was declined on the grounds that land settlement was a state function.
A457, P400/10
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Particular Classes. Inmates of Workhouses' [27 pages, 1923]
This contains advice from the Deputy Director, Migration and Settlement Office, to the Superintendent, Commonwealth Immigration Bureau in 1923 that it had been decided to accept certain cases of immigrants submitted by the Poor Law Guardians. Correspondence relates mainly to financial arrangements. The decision led to expressions of concern from the states, in parliament and in the press about 'pauper migration' and denials by the Commonwealth Immigration Representative, London, that inmates of poor houses were being accepted. He argued that the cases submitted were similar in every respect to other migrants accepted by the Migration Authorities except in relation to the fare, part of which was covered by the Poor Law Guardians (from a fund established by the workhouse authorities to assist cases of distress owing to unemployment in the United Kingdom) rather than by the Commonwealth, and that additional safeguards for such migrants were now in place.
A457, AH400/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Group Settlement – NSW' [3 pages, 1923]
This contains a letter from Premier George Fuller of New South Wales, to the Prime Minister in August 1923, referring to a proposed meeting of church bodies and other organisations at which the Minister for Labor and Industry would explain the scope of a New South Wales scheme to increase the population by actively encouraging nominations of British families by such groups. This resulted from a resolution at the Premiers' Conference of May–June 1923, extracts from which are included.
A457, O400/10
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Loans – Irrecoverable on account of Migrants who have Defaulted in Repayments' [10 pages, 1923]
This file concerns loans made to assisted immigrants, domestic servants and Dreadnought Boys under the Assisted Immigration Deferred Payments Scheme and the question of writing off those thought irrecoverable. The file is of particular interest in relation to the individual case information.
A457, Z400/6
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Financial. London Budget Extracts – Migrants not Proceeding' [5 pages, 1923]
This file deals with the recovery by the Commonwealth government of loans to would-be assisted immigrants who cancelled their applications. It leads to intriguing questions as to why they did not proceed.
A457, W400/6
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration' [5 pages, 1923]
This contains a statement for use in a speech by the Prime Minister by M Farrands, for the Deputy Director of Immigration, July 1923, on the progress made since 1921 with the policy of State aided Empire Settlement and plans for the future, especially regarding selection and training of intending settlers before migration, and their reception, training and distribution on arrival.
A457, H400/2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity. Immigration. "Times of India", Advertising in' [7 pages, 1923]
This contains a letter to Sir George Fuller from W T Coulton in June 1923, on the subject of retiring Anglo-Indians, who had been emigrating to Tasmania and Western Australia since 1910. He suggested that New South Wales should advertise in The Times of India. The letter was forwarded to the Commonwealth Immigration Office, where it was felt that the pamphlet 'Australia, its Opportunities and Attractions' met existing requirements.
A457, U532/3
Prime Minister's Department. 'Immigration Publicity. Pamphlets. ABC Book for British Children' [4 pages, 1923]
This concerns an advertising proposition in 1923 by a printing firm for the use of an ABC children's booklet either at the British Empire Exhibition or as supplementary material to the ordinary immigration propaganda. The response was that the booklets were unsuitable.
A457, Q532/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Information. Consul-General for Belgium' [8 pages, 1923]
This contains an inquiry from the Minister of Foreign Affairs at Brussels about the various measures adopted by the Commonwealth Government to promote the immigration of settlers. The information was required for the Belgian Congo to serve as a direction for the settlement of agricultural colonists. The reply outlined the operations under the Joint Commonwealth and State Scheme.
A457, C400/8/92
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity. Immigration pamphlets. J Gavan Riley's Scheme' [9 pages, 1923]
This contains a suggestion to the Prime Minister by J Gavan Reilly for advertising Australia in Great Britain by the issue of 1 000 000 medallions. The responses, largely negative, are included.
A457, R532/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Resolutions by the RSSILA re Immigration Publicity' [8 pages, 1923–24]
This contains two resolutions passed by the RSSILA in 1923, the first advocating the use throughout the United Kingdom of exhibits from the British Empire Exhibition in order to increase immigration; the second criticising films used for propaganda purposes which showed bush life as romantic. Replies are included.
A457, 547/1/147
This series precedes series A461 (described earlier in this research guide) and contains general correspondence files covering the range of subjects that came to the Prime Minister's attention in this period.
Series: A458
Quantity: 49.77 metres
Recorded by: 1923–34: Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration encouragement. Main Policy File, 1919–24, Part 1' [4 cm, 1919–24]
This is a large and important file on the evolution of policy for the encouragement of immigration after World War I. It contains various booklets, reports, information, press cuttings, Hansard extracts, policy papers, notes and resolutions from successive Premiers' conferences, cables and memoranda on immigration encouragement for the period from 1919 to 1924. It covers the conference of Commonwealth and State Ministers in July 1920 when it was agreed that the Commonwealth would assume financial responsibility for the recruitment and transport of immigrants to Australia and the inauguration of the Joint Commonwealth and States Scheme the following year, the appointment of key personnel, the move to create a favourable public opinion, the early battles over the division of power and control, the provisions of theEmpire Settlement Act 1922, early proposals under the Act from Western Australia, NSW and Victoria and schemes for the emigration of Fairbridge children and ex-army officers from India. Various viewpoints on the strengths and problems of the policies are included.
A458, G154/7 PART 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration. Immigration Encouragement. Immigrants. Educational Facilities for' [60 pages,1920–24]
A number of letters were received in the early 1920s drawing attention to the lack of educational facilities on board ship and calling for lectures on Australia, books, outings at ports of call and ways to meet the social needs of immigrants during their long voyage to Australia. Action was taken in this regard: arrangements were made with newspaper proprietors and with state governments for the supply to the major Shipping companies of various publications, including Year Books, Statistical registers, souvenir books, state handbooks, Chamber of Commerce Reports, agricultural journals, various pamphlets and reference books and copies of Australia UnlimitedAustralia, its Opportunities and AttractionsAustralia for the Tourist, and Something About Australia
A458, B154/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Commonwealth Immigration Office. Main File' [1 cm, 1920–25] (See also Photographic Branch A458, B154/19)
This relates to office accommodation for Commonwealth immigration staff in Australia temporarily on the 8th floor of Collins House, Melbourne, and from 1922 in Brook's Buildings, 65 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. The Melbourne Office was known as the Commonwealth Immigration Office, while the London Office was called the Commonwealth Migration and Settlement Office. Correspondence relates to upkeep, fittings and lease arrangements. The Photographic Branch was located at 501 Swanston Street, Melbourne. In 1925 the Commonwealth Immigration Office moved once again to the Victorian Cricket Association's building on the corner of Flinders Street and Collins Place, Melbourne.
A458, A154/19
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Publicity. Photographs' [60 pages, 1920–31]
This relates to photographs desired for exhibitions and publicity work in Great Britain and elsewhere in relation to immigration.
A458, F392/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Director Immigration Branch Movements' [3 pages, 1921]
This refers to the visit by H S Gullett, Superintendent of Immigration, to Sydney in March 1921 to interview applicants for the position of Commonwealth Immigration Officer and to take initial steps for the launching of the New South Wales Branch of the New Settlers' League.
A458, G154/19
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Advice of Sailings. Cables prior to 1924' [2 cm, 1921–23]
This contains advices regarding the numbers and classes of assisted immigrants to each state in Australia from the High Commissioner's Office, where the Commonwealth Director of Immigration had his headquarters, to the State Immigration Offices and to the Prime Minister's Office between 1921 and 1924.
A458, A154/2 PART 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. NEI Photographic Branch' [82 pages, 1921–24]
This refers to the acquisition, costs and setting up of premises in Melbourne for the Cinematographic and Photographic Branch of the Commonwealth Immigration Office.
A458, B154/19
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Financial. Immigration Accounts System' [34 pages, 1921–24]
This has to do with the accounting system for the various governments and departments concerned with immigration from 1921 to 1924. The moneys, apart from administrative expenses, were classified under various categories: passage money; immigrants' moneys deposited with the High Commissioner for payment in Australia to or on behalf of immigrants; landing money; moneys deposited in Australia for payment in England on behalf of immigrants; deposits lodged in England to cover reply-paid cablegrams on account of immigrants; medical fees and other miscellaneous items.
A458, F154/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. New Settlers League Policy' [2 cm, 1921–25]
This file contains press cuttings from 1921 on the New Settlers' League (NSL) and Australia's need of population. A letter from H S Gullett, Superintendent of Immigration, to the Premiers in January 1921, explains the Joint Commonwealth and States Scheme and proposes the setting up of an Honorary Auxiliary Immigration Organisation to supplement the work of governments. Its role would be to promote a public opinion favourable to immigration and to assist in the nomination, reception, care and placing in employment, of immigrants. A permanent paid executive was suggested, a conference of all interested organisations and individuals and the formation of committees with clearly defined responsibilities. Correspondence deals with responses from the States: the Acting Premier of New South Wales was unwilling to engage in propaganda to encourage immigrants owing to the current unemployment; Premier H N Barwell of South Australia and James Mitchell, Premier of Western Australia, argued that the committees be left in the hands of the state governments. Barwell, and his Minister in Charge of Immigration, Mr Laffer, opposed the appointment of a Federal Immigration Officer in Adelaide as 'an unwarrantable intrusion upon State rights'. Branches of the NSL were formed in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia (the latter affiliated with the Ugly Men's Association). Other correspondence deals with the first interstate conference of the League in Melbourne in October 1921, its aims and the resolutions adopted, notes from deputations to the Prime Minister, financial support from the Commonwealth and details of later conferences and the motions carried.
A458, A154/18
Image 17: From a brochure published by the New Settlers League urging an increase in immigration.

Image 17: From a brochure published by the New Settlers League urging an increase in immigration.
NAA: A458, P156/1 Part 2
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Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity, Immigration. Photographic Branch' [1.5 cm, 1921–28]
This contains cables, job orders, requisitions, and information on publicity, premises, the accounting system, and other matters relevant to the Photographic Branch.
A458, H392/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity – Immigration. Lantern Slides' [30 pages, 1921–29]
This contains correspondence and quotations relating to lantern slides and their containers for the Commonwealth Immigration Department. Lantern lectures formed an important part of the work of the Publicity Branch of the Department.
A458, E392/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration. Information – Miscellaneous' [42 pages plus booklets, 1922–32]
This contains copies of the Australian Passage Agreement 1925, between the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Commonwealth Government made for the Federal Capital Commission, several miscellaneous items on migration, for example, letters of enquiry on immigrants and immigration regulations and practices, press extracts from British Columbian newspapers and from the Daily Mail, and transactions of the Commonwealth Club of California, which were referred to the Prime Minister's Department for information.
A458, H154/19 PART 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Information. British Consul General at Manila' [10 pages, 1922–24]
This contains a letter from the British Consul-General in Manila in 1922 to the Governor-General which was forwarded to the Commonwealth Immigration Office. It concerned applications from American soldiers stationed in the Philippines about to retire from the United States army, for visas to go to Australia in search of employment. He asked what advice should be given to the men. The reply explained that only farmers, farm workers and domestics from the United Kingdom were beingencouraged; that married men with families and without experience would have difficulties; and that there were few employment possibilities in the cities. A supply of pamphlets was sent to help in answering queries. A further letter in 1924 asked for more copies.
A458, H154/19 PART 2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Nominated and Assisted Passengers' [36 pages, 1922–29]
This contains a circular from the Prime Minister in 1922 suggesting a modification of the system of nomination. The changes suggested were that nominations received through the local branches of the New Settlers' League, need not include names and addresses of nominees and that the legal undertaking to provide maintenance on arrival could be replaced by a moral one. The suggestions were not favourably received by most of the State Premiers who wished to maintain tight control of assisted immigration. George Fuller, Premier of New South Wales, suggested that the former system of selection be reintroduced, especially for rural workers, as soon as the rural basic wage question was resolved. The file consists of subsequent correspondence.
A458, A154/6
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Films. Part 1. Later Papers in Action' [1.5 cm, 1922–28
This concerns various cinematograph films on Australian life, some of which were used for propaganda purposes in Great Britain. In the House of Representatives in May 1924, Frank Anstey criticised one film on the Western Australian Group Settlement Scheme for describing the climate as 'as mild as a mother's kiss' and the soil 'as kindly as God's love' (a variation on comments made by P O'Loghlen, MLA, in 1921). Criticism of film propaganda was also made by F W Teesdale, MLA, in 1928 and was published in the press. Other correspondence relates to the cinema industry in Australia, 1922–28, expenditure and distribution.
A458, B392/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Monaro Scheme' [23 pages plus booklets, 1923–24]
This concerns representations by residents of Eden in New South Wales to the Minister for Trade and Customs in 1923 for the opening up to immigrants of the Monaro Tableland. In reply, the system of state requisitions under the Empire Settlement Scheme was outlined. The New South Wales government then submitted a proposal for the development and settlement of the area, but with the requirement that settlers possess sufficient capital as state assistance to establish settlers on their holdings would not be given. Correspondence relates to this proposal.
A458, J154/16
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Agents Abroad. Misleading Statements' [26 pages, 1923–24] Part 2
This principally concerns a question in the House of Representatives by Frank Anstey on 27 July 1923 regarding an advertisement for group settlement in Western Australia placed in The Stamford Mercury by a shipping agent. The advertisement stated that the land and a house were provided free. Correspondence in the file deals with investigations into the accuracy of the statements and the origin of the information. There are other letters reporting damaging or misleading statements on migration and some press cuttings.
A458, F154/17 PART 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Land Available for Settlement in the Various States' [21 pages,1923–25]
This contains a request to the States from the Migration and Settlement Office, London, 1923, for regular information on land availability for settlement and the replies from the state Premiers. James Mitchell pointed out that the Western Australian officials at Australia House had up-to-date knowledge of the information required and that land for group settlement was fixed in the Immigration Agreement. The file includes a further request from the Oversea Settlement Committee in 1925 for publications issued by the Departments of Agriculture and Lands in the various states in order to keep in touch with developments in connection with the settlement of migrants on farms in Australia.
A458, B154/16
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Shipping Accounts' [53 pages, 1924–25]
This consists of shipping statements relative to migrants shipped to Australia for the period 1924–25. They include the name of the ship, the date of sailing, the state and the amount involved.
A458, D154/2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Financial. Collection by States'. Transmission Moneys' [27 pages,1924–25]
This consists of monthly statements of total transmission moneys received and paid, particulars of Savings Bank Deposits, and Landing Money Accounts and Loans by state, from the Official Secretary, Australia House, to the Prime Minister's Department for the period 1924–25.
A458, C154/4
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity. Immigration. Financial' [11 pages, 1924–25]
This concerns the printing of a series of pamphlets for the Director of Migration and Settlement in 1924–25. The emphases in the publicity programme can be gauged from the titles: Wheat and Sheep Farming, Dairying, Tropical Agriculture, Pastoral, Fruit Growing, Minor Agricultural Industries, Farm Boy, Domestic Girl, Farm Labourer, Best of all countries, Resources and Production, Australia as a Home, Something about Australia (album), Letters from Successful Settlers, and Industrial Conditions. Further editions were also printed of Australia, its Opportunities and Attractions and Australia for the Tourist. Another pamphlet entitled Hints to New Settlers Coming to Australia was also reprinted.
A458, D392/1
Prime Minister's Department, Publicity. Immigration. The 'Our Colonies' Film-Travel Coy, Ltd' [14 pages, 1924]
This relates to the 'Our Colonies' Film Company which was undertaking an expedition to the overseas Dominions in 1924 in order to make a complete film and colour record to show in the United Kingdom. Certain concessions were requested from the Australian government but no decision was made until further information on the release and circulation of the film was supplied. No further action was taken.
A458, I392/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Advices of Booking' [84 pages, 1924–26]
These are advices of bookings relating to migrants shipped to Australia between March 1924 and April 1926.
A458, B154/2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Advice of Sailings' [1.5 cm, 1924–27]
This contains cablegrams and other correspondence between the High Commissioner's Office and the Prime Minister's Department on the numbers of assisted immigrants (together with their occupations, amount of capital and in some cases, other information such as age and experience) to each state on each ship for the period 1924–27.
A458, A154/2 PART 2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Publicity. Immigration. Sydney Mail Annual' [5 pages, 1926]
This refers to a publication by the Sydney Mail in October 1926, devoted to illustrating the pastoral, rural and other activities of Australia. Parts of this publicity material were offered to the Commonwealth for migration purposes but the offer was not taken up.
A458, S392/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration. Mornington Peninsula – Suggested Community Settlement' [11 pages, 1927]
This contains a letter to the Prime Minister from F M Linley in 1927 concerning the suggested establishment of a community on the Mornington Peninsula for military, naval and civil pensioners from Great Britain. The reply explained that it was open to the State government to submit such a plan.
A458, M154/16
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Report on Immigration with Regard to Racial Health' [47 pages, 1927]
This contains a Report on Immigration (as affecting Racial Values and Public Health in New South Wales) and a Report of the Advisory Board of the Racial Hygiene Centre of New South Wales, forwarded to the Prime Minister by the Centre in 1927. The reply from the Director General of Health is included. There is also a letter to Sir Neville Howse, Department of Health, from L E Goodisson on the same subject and urging that an Australian woman doctor be appointed to examine women immigrants.
A458, S154/17
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Requisitions from States. General' [25 pages, 1927–29]
This has to do with difficulties caused by irregularities in requisitions for migrants from the states, especially farm workers from Victoria. Cables emphasised the need for ample notice. The problem of placement of migrants for New South Wales as unemployment worsened in 1929, is also raised.
A458, V154/13
Prime Minister 's Department, 'Immigration. Publicity. Greater Australia' [8 pages, 1928]
This relates to a publication called Greater Australia edited by Wallace Nelson produced for use by a Scottish Delegation which sailed for Melbourne in April 1928 and of which Nelson was a member. Letters in the file are presumably a response to approaches to the Development and Migration Commission to purchase copies of the publication. Since the Commission had made available to the delegation several pamphlets and a booklet prepared especially for them entitled 'Migration Facts', H W Gepp considered that the expense could not be justified.
A458, U392/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration – Cables', [2 cm, 1928–32]
This contains decodes of cablegrams sent from the Prime Minister's Department to the High Commissioner's Office, the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of the Interior, and various British Consuls between 1928 and 1932 on various immigration matters.
A458, 1000/6
Prime Minister's Department, 'Release of Immigration Films' [1.5 cm, 1928–30
This file contains correspondence between the Development and Migration Commission and British Dominions Films Ltd in 1928 regarding the release in Australia and elsewhere of a series of moving pictures produced by the Commonwealth Government, entitled Know Your Own Country. British Dominions Films Ltd disputed the awarding of the contract to the all-American Company, Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer. Further correspondence deals with other films, for example, Australia Day by Day, Ministry of Labour training farm films, Sons of the Surf andSanctuary of the Untamed. The file contains a report on the Distribution of Motion Pictures in Great Britain and the Continent, and an evaluation of the various films being circulated by H C Smart. With the abolition of the Development and Migration Commission, the function of the administration of Commonwealth cinematograph films was taken over by the Department of Markets.
A458, V392/1
This series consists of general correspondence files which cover the wide range of subjects that came to the Prime Minister's attention. Many earlier papers from the previous general correspondence of the Department have been top-numbered into this series. The series also contains constitutional material dating back to 1901.
Series: A461
Quantity: 143.82 metres
Recorded by: 1934–50: Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Correspondence with States. Western Australia' [91 pages,1920–22]
This file concerns the early operation of the Joint Commonwealth and States Scheme, 1920–22, and the interests of Western Australia in particular. In response to Commonwealth proposals regarding immigration in 1920, the Premier, James Mitchell put forward particular conditions: that his state, through the Agent-General, had the right to approve immigrants in conjunction with the Commonwealth representative, and to conduct propaganda work; that someone, such as Mr Taylor, Western Australia's immigration officer in London, who had an intimate knowledge of the state, be appointed to the London office; and that where the cost of shipping immigrants was not a charge against the Commonwealth under the Oversea Settlement Scheme, the Agent-General should control policy. The reply and other correspondence outlined the division of responsibilities and arrangements under the Joint Scheme; subsequently there was some modification of Mitchell's requests. Matters such as the financial contributions of the various governments, the issue of loans to immigrants, the use of the Quarantine Station at Albany for immigrant accommodation, proposals for a scheme of immigration to Western Australia under the Joint Scheme, on the basis of group land settlements, 1921, and the appointment of a Commonwealth Immigration Officer to Western Australia, are also dealt with.
A461, T349/1/5
Image 18: An extract from Prime Minister Hughes' policy speech delivered prior to the 1922 General Election.

Image 18: An extract from Prime Minister Hughes' policy speech delivered prior to the 1922 General Election.
NAA: A461, D349/1/5
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Image 19: An extract from Prime Minister Hughes' policy speech delivered prior to the 1922 General Election.

Image 19: An extract from Prime Minister Hughes' policy speech delivered prior to the 1922 General Election.
NAA: A461, D349/1/5
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Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration. State Schemes Prior to £34 000 000 Agreement. Correspondence with NSW Government' [57 pages, 1920–22]
This file includes correspondence between the Commonwealth and State governments on the division of powers over, and arrangements for, immigration. The Prime Minister invited the states to supply information on the numbers of ex-soldiers and assisted immigrants they were prepared to take, their intentions regarding nominated immigration, arrangements for reception, particulars of land available, and training farms, if any. Proceedings of a Conference between the Commonwealth Superintendent of Immigration and the State Immigration officers in December 1920, and a letter to the State Premiers asking their views on the resolutions are included. Letters from the Commonwealth deals with fares, government subsidies for the various categories of immigrants, loans, conditions, selection policy, landing money and administration. Replies from New South Wales are included, indicating some friction over the division of expenditure in the initial stages. A Cabinet committee to deal with proposals for land settlement and development was set up in New South Wales and a press statement was issued by the Premier in 1922.
A461, E349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement – Early Schemes. Correspondence with States – Queensland' [52 pages, 1920–22]
This contains notification to the State Premiers by the Prime Minister in October 1920 of the appointment of Percy Hunter as Commonwealth Director of Immigration and the steps taken by the Commonwealth to give effect to decisions regarding migration made at the conference of Commonwealth and State Ministers in July 1920. The response of the Premier of Queensland, E G Theodore, is included. Correspondence deals with the division of responsibilities between Commonwealth and State, procedures to be adopted and a request for the numbers of assisted immigrants the state could absorb. Notes of the Premiers' Conference of November 1920, and Queensland's proposal for the closer settlement of the Upper Burnett, Callide Valley and Prairie Lands, involving a loan of £2 million by the Commonwealth, 1921, are included. By 1922, no financial assistance had been received, the Prime Minister claiming that this was because the proposal did not give the particulars required on exactly how the money would be spent. There are also 3 pages related to a request from the Home and Territories Department re employment for unemployed settlers from the Argentine.
A461, N349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Early Schemes – Correspondence with States – Tasmania' [56 pages, 1920–23]
This contains correspondence from the Commonwealth government to the State Premiers in late 1920 on the appointment of Percy Hunter as Director of Immigration and requesting cooperation in relation to the Joint Commonwealth and States Scheme. Information regarding the division of responsibilities was also supplied. A letter from W L Lee, Premier of Tasmania, in early 1921 pointed out that assistance was limited to nominated immigrants and highlighted the difficulties of Tasmania, with its small population, in relation to housing and employment. Other correspondence relates to the numbers of immigrants, particularly domestic servants which could be absorbed by Tasmania. Lee objected to the fact that, since ships did not always call at Tasmania, the cost of their temporary accommodation in Melbourne and their transfer to Launceston had to be borne by Tasmania. In July 1921, the Commonwealth agreed to bear this extra cost, especially since numbers were comparatively small. Tasmania was asked to provide free rail travel for immigrants to their first place of employment. In February 1923, the Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Immigration Office requested that Tasmania submit a definite immigration scheme.
A461, Y349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Correspondence with States. South Australia. Settlement 6 000 Boys' [63 pages, 1920–25]
This contains a letter from the Prime Minister in October 1920 to all State Premiers outlining the Joint Commonwealth and States Scheme, the division of government powers and administrative duties and the information he required from the States. The reply from the Premier of South Australia, H N Barwell, outlined the classes of immigrants for nomination and selection and the conditions under which they would be accepted. Other correspondence relates to the early operation of the Joint Scheme as it affected South Australia, especially the rates and arrangements for nominated and assisted passages. South Australia was slow to supply the Commonwealth with the information required and to make requisitions. Brief details only of the boy migration scheme are included here. (See also A461, P349/1/5 in Chapter 7 on Juvenile Migration.)
A461, Q349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration British Ex-Servicemen' [1 cm, 1920–49]
This file relates to the reception and employment in Australia of ex-servicemen on their return to or arrival in Australia. The first items are communications in 1920 re ex-servicemen who were musicians. The Musicians' Union of Australia claimed that there were no openings for them. Correspondence in 1920 from Captain E J Radford, Secretary, Imperial Service Men's Association, Sydney, and Arthur Rickard concerns a number of destitute ex-servicemen in New South Wales. This prompted H S Gullett, Superintendent of Immigration, to offer the New South Wales government a pound for pound scheme of relief for the sake of the future of the immigration movement and requested that the New South Wales Agent-General be requested not to send ex-servicemen who were in poor health or for whom work was unavailable. Investigations revealed that many had not come under government schemes thus the state would not take responsibility. The position was aggravated by abnormal economic conditions. Captain Radford again pressed for financial assistance in 1921. Aid was provided by the Red Cross Society and the Church Social Campaign and a relief committee was formed. Concern over ex-servicemen with tuberculosis was also expressed. Records from 1922–26 cover the settling of ex-servicemen on the land and the repatriation of some who had, for health reasons, proved unsuitable. The question of using the clauses of the Immigration Act for the purposes of deportation was raised. This particularly concerned those who, within three years of their arrival, became inmates of a charitable institution or who suffered from a specified prohibitory disease or disability at the time of their arrival. The question of capitalising war pensions payable to ex-servicemen for the purpose of paying their passage money to Australia was taken up in 1929–30 by the Australian Legion of Ex-Service Clubs. The last items in the file relating to the pre-1939 period concern a 1935 RSSILA resolution, viz. 'that in the event of the re-introduction of immigration, due preference be given to Imperial ex-servicemen'.
A461, A349/1/6
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Financial. Claims for Reimbursement of Expenditure Prior to 1 March 1921 by NSW and Victoria' [30 pages, 1921]
This relates to a request by the New South Wales and Victorian governments in 1921 that the Commonwealth become financially responsible for the contributions of their states towards the assisted passages of immigrants for some time prior to the Commonwealth taking over recruiting and shipping. Superintendent H S Gullett at first recommended that in the case of those two states the request be granted since they were amenable to, and had facilitated, the hand-over of recruiting machinery to the Commonwealth. Since Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia had obstructed the transfer, he recommended that the concessions not be extended to those states. (Tasmania had not actively engaged in migration work.) Senator Millen, Minister for Repatriation, was not wholly in accord with Gullet's views, and the Premiers were informed that there were no funds to meet the expenditure involved. Further representations resulted but the Commonwealth refused to assume liability.
A461, G349/1/4
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement – early Government Schemes – Upper Burnett and Callide Railway Proposal – Queensland' [2 cm, 1921–14]
This contains a copy of the resolutions passed at the Premiers' Conference of May 1920 and correspondence relating to a scheme by the Queensland government for a Commonwealth loan of £2 million for the opening up of the Northern Burnett and Callide Valley districts by railway and road construction for the settlement of migrants (A parliamentary paper on the proposed loan for the scheme, May 1921, is included). Much of the file deals with the visit of the Superintendent of Immigration, H S Gullett, to inspect the areas in early 1921. Gullett's report on the scheme and his recommendations, which are relatively favourable, are included. The Commonwealth was not at the time able to comply with the request owing to the size of the project, the lack of details on employment and subsequent settlement on farms of immigrants introduced and the unavailability of funds. Premier Theodore replied that as soon as money was available work would begin. Correspondence reflects some public criticism of the scheme (particularly from J S P Bourne, ex-Land Commissioner of Queensland), opposition to the new railway lines which it was said did not serve the whole community, and rival land settlement policies for local and overseas settlers. There are also press reports and Hansard extracts on the scheme. A request was made by Captain E J Radford, Secretary of the Imperial Service Men's Association, Sydney, to visit the Burnett country to view the facilities offered for the settlement of ex-servicemen. Edmund Jowett, representative of the Royal Colonial Institute, was also interested in the development of the Upper Burnett and Dawson River Crown lands for the settlement of British and Australian soldiers, through a loan from the British government to the Queensland government. The file also contains resolutions carried at the first interstate conference of the New Settlers' League, notes of a deputation of the League to the Prime Minister (both in October 1921), and the objectives of the 'Million Farms for a Million Farmers' scheme. A revised scheme was submitted to the British government in 1924.
A461, M349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Early Schemes – Tasmania. Policy' [47 pages plus leaflets,1921–25]
This contains two letters from the Prime Minister in late 1921 to the Premier of Tasmania reminding him of the terms of the Joint Commonwealth and States Scheme and asking for information regarding what scheme Tasmania proposed, the numbers of immigrants to be absorbed, and the land to be made available. In late 1923, a committee was set up in Hobart to consider development schemes with a view to increasing immigration. A conference was convened on 7 December 1923 on the question of promoting land settlement and increasing production. Letters from Premier Joseph Lyons in 1924 outline the Forest Plantation Homes Scheme for Tasmania which involved the employment of boy migrants between the ages of 10 and 18. There is further correspondence relating to a visit to Hobart by Senator R V Wilson to discuss the details of the scheme. A proposal for flax growing and manufacturing was also put forward. Some press cuttings are included. The situation of domestic servants to the state was also discussed; Tasmania's requisition for domestics was cancelled in 1924 owing to competition with the mainland states.
A461, X349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration – Encouragement Scheme by Western Australia 1923 – Agreement' [3 cm, 1921–26]
This contains a letter to the Prime Minister from the Premier of Western Australia, James Mitchell, in June 1921, in relation to Western Australia's entry into the Joint Commonwealth and State Scheme. Only men for rural settlement and labour were required. Correspondence relates to the details of the Western Australian government's plans for group land settlements, with maps, conditions and forms included, and the responses from the Commonwealth. The scheme aimed to settle 75 000 migrants, of whom 6 000 would be provided with farms over five years involving a cost of £6 million. A report by Senator P J Lynch and the Hon. H Gregory, March 1922, on the possibilities for settling immigrants on Western Australia lands is included. (See also A461, U349/1/5.) Cables between the various governments indicate considerable conflict before an agreement under the Empire Settlement Act 1922 (a copy of which is included) was signed by the Imperial, Commonwealth and Western Australian governments. The first land to be settled was in the South-West between Pemberton and Denmark. A letter from the Agent-General of Western Australia to the Prime Minister in January 1923 claimed that the New South Wales and Victorian agreements were more favourable to those States than that of Western Australia and further exchanges deal with the question of bringing them all into line. A new Migration Agreement was drafted in 1924. Correspondence also concerns ex-servicemen trained in farm work, and their families who were included in the requisitions for the group settlements. The issue of consultation with Western Australia was a delicate one. A proposed scheme of public works, to provide employment for migrants under the Migration Agreement in 1926, superseded the earlier scheme of land settlement.
A461, S349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. State Settlement Schemes – 1923 Agreement – NSW' [4.5 cm,1921–28] (See also the Monaro Scheme, A458, J154/16)
This is a very large file on the New South Wales land settlement schemes under the Empire Settlement Act 1922. It contains papers and reports on Land Development and Settlement, New South Wales, a schedule of land available for applicants and lands already taken up in the Yanco and Mirrool districts of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, letters to the Premiers from Prime Minister W M Hughes requesting their proposals for land settlement, 1921, press statements and cuttings from early 1922, and Hansard extracts. Proposals were drawn up for the Murrumbidgee, Murray, Burrinjuck and Clarence Rivers, and the Northern Tablelands and Coast, and an Advisory Board was set up for their implementation. Overall plans included the settlement of ex-Imperial Indian Army officers and boy migration. In the correspondence between the Premier's Department and the Prime Minister's Department, the provision of railways and the unification of gauges, improved telephone and telegraph facilities, aid in breaking up large estates, the conditions for loans and financial arrangements between governments were discussed. The Western Australian Agreement was held up as an example for New South Wales. Drafts and the Final Agreement of 1922 between the Commonwealth and New South Wales are included. The 1923 correspondence, cables and press cuttings deal mainly with the Agreement of June that year which incorporated the British government (copies included), and its provisions to settle 6 000 immigrants on farms in the state, their training, the responsibilities of each signatory, subsequent requisitions, recruitment and advances to settlers. After August 1925, NSW cancelled its requisitions of farm settlers and farm workers under the 1923 Agreement and for youth under the Juvenile Migrants' Apprentice Scheme and approved only Dreadnought boys, Little Brothers, domestic servants and nominations. A report on the working of the Scheme of Land Settlement from its inception to 30 June 1927 is the last addition to the file.
A461, D349/1/5 PART 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. State Government Scheme. Victoria' [3 cm, 1921–28]
This contains a copy of a letter to the Premiers from the Prime Minister inviting them to present definite schemes under the Joint Commonwealth and State Scheme. In June 1922, the Victorian Government submitted a plan for the settlement of 2 000 farms, and ultimately 10 000, involving the resumption of land for settlement. The file consists of exchanges between the Commonwealth and State governments in relation to the plan, the extent of Commonwealth assistance, and various drafts of the terms of Agreements between Victoria and the Commonwealth (September 1922), and the Commonwealth and the British Governments (November 1923), under the Empire Settlement Act. Also included are press cuttings and a booklet on the Victorian Mallee. Other correspondence deals with requisitions under the scheme from May 1923, the selection of settlers, and the question of the possession of capital. New agreements were signed under the £34 million Agreement in 1925, and in 1926 the first agreement of September 1922 was cancelled. To this point only 214 migrants had been allotted farms. The Development and Migration Commission set out the position of Victoria and its 'absorption responsibilities' under the 'Old' and 'New' Agreements in 1928.
A461, I349/1/5 PART 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Policy. Empire Settlement Scheme' [88 pages plus booklets,1921–35]
This contains a Summary of Proceedings and Documents from the Conference of Prime Ministers and Representatives of the UK, the Dominions and India 1921. Correspondence concerns a notification from Lord Milner of the extension of one year of the Government scheme for free passages for ex-servicemen up to 31 December 1922, the Imperial Government's proposal to cooperate with the Dominions on large scale policy of State-aided immigration within the Empire, and a conference at the Colonial Office, London, on the subject in January–February 1922. The minutes, Record of Proceedings and resolutions of the conference, and a Report of the Oversea Settlement Committee, 1921, are included. The file then jumps to 1927 with letters and cables referring to a House of Commons debate on a motion relating to the Empire Settlement Amendment Act and statements by Colonel Amery that the Commonwealth was arranging developmental programmes in the states under the £34 million Agreement within the next few months. A memorandum on Migration and Oversea Settlement by Brigadier M L Hornby, Sir Henry Croft's speech to the Council and Parliamentary Committee of the Empire Industries Association, a speech by the Earl of Mansfield on Imperial and Colonial Development in the House of Commons, all of 1935, are other contents of the file.
A461, A349/1/3 PART 3
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement – Inspection of Murray and Murrumbidgee Lands' [1 cm, 1922–23]
This file relates to an investigation conducted jointly by the New South Wales and Victorian governments, of the suitability for the settlement of immigrants of certain dry farming areas of the Murray River hinterland as well as irrigation areas on the Murray and Murrumbidgee. A training farm on dry farming methods was proposed; there was already one on irrigation methods at Yanco. Press cuttings on the development of the Riverina are included as well as Hansard extracts, inter-governmental correspondence on various aspects of the investigation, and the report on the Murray Lands Inspection, 1922. The services of Professor Elwood Mead of the University of California were sought in relation to the Murrumbidgee and similar lands, and his report of 1923 is also in the file. (See also A461, I349/1/5 Part 2 'Immigration – State government schemes prior to £34 million Agreement, Victoria.)
A461, F349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Overseas Settlement Delegation' [2 cm plus reports, 1922–24]
This file contains a report of the Oversea Settlement Committee for the year ended 31 December 1923, and correspondence relating to a 1923 migration delegation to Australia of representatives of the Oversea Settlement Committee. The delegation included Sir William Windham in charge, Miss Gladys Pott, who dealt with female immigration, J Wignall MP, Captain E B (and Mrs) Somervell, and Professor F B Smith, an agricultural expert. The purpose of the visit was to gain first-hand knowledge of conditions under which immigrants who arrived under the Agreement with the British government were received and settled. The terms of reference, arrangements, costs and itinerary are included, as well as the published report of the delegation.
A461, D349/1/3
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Loans for States' [1.5 cm, 1922–25]
This contains a request by the Prime Minister in October 1922 for estimates of the amounts required by Victoria and Western Australia under the Immigration Agreement in order to present a Bill to authorise the raising of the loans. In subsequent years, similar estimates were required by these and other states, such as New South Wales which had entered into such Agreements. Correspondence in the file relates to the loan arrangements with the states for immigration, conditions of payment and reimbursement, interest payable, and replies and returns from the states.
A461, A349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. WA lands. Senators' report: Lynch and Gregory' [74 pages,1922–28]
The file contains a report by Senator P J Lynch and the Hon. H Gregory, March 1922, on the possibilities for settling immigrants on certain lands in Western Australia as submitted by Sir James Mitchell in his immigration scheme. Correspondence concerns the arrangements made for the inspection of the lands, an account of time spent, payment, and the printing and dissemination of the report itself.
A461, U349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration. Agreements under the Empire Settlement Act 1922, Part 1' [3 cm, 1922–31]
This contains copies of agreements under the Empire Settlement scheme of 1922 and some correspondence relating to their distribution from 1927 to 1931.
A461, B349/1/3 PART 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Correspondence with States. Victoria' [86 pages, 1922–27]
This contains a notification by the Prime Minister in October 1920 to the Premier of Victoria, of the appointment of Percy Hunter as Commonwealth Director of Immigration and the steps taken by the Commonwealth government to give effect to the agreements made at the Premiers' Conferences in July 1920 and December 1920 with regard to migration. The Prime Minister also requested that the Premier acquaint his Agent-General with the details of the Joint Commonwealth and States Scheme and assist Senator Millen in the establishment of the Commonwealth organisation in London. A series of letters on aspects of the Joint Scheme are included, for example, Commonwealth contributions, rates for assisted and nominated immigrants, loans, landing money and other financial responsibilities, and issues of concern to the Victorian Premier (travelling concessions, employment guarantees and reception). The States were requested to put forward definite schemes for land settlement and immigration and the details of the Western Australian Scheme were sent to the Premier of Victoria in 1922. Correspondence in the file then jumps to 1926 and concerns disappointment expressed by immigrants to Victoria, aspects of the Elcho Training Farm, difficulties with regard to settlement, capital requirements, delays under the State Migration Agreement and requisitions.
A461, J349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Oversea Settlement. Pt 1' [1 cm, 1923]
This contains extracts from the Record of Proceedings and Documents from the Imperial Economic Conference of 1923, particularly from the Report of the Committee on Oversea Settlement.
A461, A349/1/3 PART 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Oversea Settlement. Returns from States' [1.5 cm, 1923–30]
The Oversea Settlement Committee (OSC) in December 1923 requested that Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales supply returns which the Land Settlement Agreements prescribed, as well as estimates of anticipated expenditure for the following year, in order to prepare its own financial estimates. The OSC suggested that the States prepare quarterly lists with particulars of all settlers from the United Kingdom approved for state schemes. The file contains correspondence and returns relating to these requests.
A461, B349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. State Settlement Schemes 1923 Agreement NSW Part 2' [1.5 cm plus booklet, 1924–34]
Correspondence concerns the bringing of the New South Wales scheme of migrant land settlement, arranged under the 1923 Agreement of the British and Commonwealth governments, under the terms of the £34 million Agreement of 1925. Copies of the Agreements are included. A report of the Development and Migration Commission on the circumstances of migrant settlers under the old scheme indicated that their financial position was unsatisfactory. The liquidation of the old scheme necessitated the determination of liabilities of the various governments. The file deals with the claim made by New South Wales against the Commonwealth and British governments for the repayment of a portion of the interest on the expenditure incurred in carrying out the 1923 Agreement. In connection with the claim, inspections of the Ben Lomond Estate were made and settlers interviewed; reports are included. There is also a booklet on Policy of Land Development and Settlement, New South Wales.
A461, D349/1/5 PART 2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Films Part II. Earlier Papers in Action' [60 pages, 1928–35]
This file follows 'Immigration Films. Part I. Later Papers in Action', A458, B392/1. It concerns the increasing use of film for the purposes of advertising Australia. With the advent of the 16 millimetre film and its wider possibilities, the question of the reduction of the Commonwealth films Australia Day By Day and Know Your Own Country to 16 millimetre size was raised. Correspondence relating to the purchase of particular equipment by the Cinema and Photographic Branch of the Commonwealth Government, approaches by film companies, and the use of 'talking films' by 1936 is also included.
A461, L301/1/3 PART 2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration . Policy. Part 1' [1 cm, 1933–35] (See also General Representations,B349/1/2; Nomination of Migrants – Policy, E349/1/2; and Nomination of Migrants, General Representations, F349/1/2)
This is one of four files on immigration policy with the same item number. It covers the years 1933–35 and indicates that, as in the past, periods of cessation of, low or negative migration often lead to the re-examination of immigration policy in general. This file contains a press cutting on Empire Settlement from 1933 and correspondence on a motion on oversea settlement in the House of Commons in 1934 in relation to 'a scheme for voluntary redistribution of the white people of the Empire and the stimulation of shipping and trading under the Flag'. A report to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Migration Policy, 1934, is included, the main points of which are as follows: migration should only be encouraged by the United Kingdom when economic conditions are favourable and the Dominions anxious to receive additional population; while the majority of migrants would pay their own way, a system of reduced passages and nominations was envisaged; the cost of land settlement schemes in comparison with the numbers dealt with was excessive; special arrangements were needed for families, single women, children, juveniles and single men; the establishment of farm schools along the lines of Fairbridge was favoured; too much government intervention induced the wrong mentality in migrants which militated against success, thus more use should be made of voluntary organisations; the cost should be shared by the two countries involved. Much of the file deals with responses to the Report, discussions, departmental observations and further recommendations over the following year. Hansard extracts and press cuttings from 1935 on the resumption of migration are included.
A461, A349/1/2 PART 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration . Policy. Part 2' [2 cm, 1936–37]
This file contains letters from the Prime Minister to state Premiers in September 1936 asking whether they would favour a resumption of assisted migration. The replies from most state governments were cautious. There is a House of Commons extract, December 1935, on a motion relating to the redistribution of the population of the Empire, Hansard extracts especially from late 1936, press cuttings, and a cable dated February 1936, giving notice that the Oversea Settlement Board was being reconstituted. A paper for submission to Cabinet on the 'Redistribution of Empire Population' by Senator A J McLachlan, January 1936, a memorandum prepared by the Prime Minister's Department on 'Development and Migration', and other information papers are included. The Premier of New South Wales submitted a plan for Australian Development to the Oversea Settlement Board in July 1936. The New Settlers' League in October 1936 welcomed the resumption of the immigration of lads and the continuation of the nomination system. The operation of the Empire Settlement Act was extended for 15 years from 1937.
A461, A349/1/2 PART 2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Policy. Part 3 [2 cm, 1937–38]
Some of the early 1937 material from A461, A349/1/2, Part 2 is duplicated here, but the bulk of the file covers material on the resumption of assisted migration in 1938. It contains a policy speech entitled 'More People Imperative' by Prime Minister Joseph Lyons in September, 1937. South Australia in January 1938 was willing to accept domestic servants and the Premier recommended that preliminary selection be made by the Girl Guides Association and the Victoria League. New South Wales was prepared to resume assisted migration in a limited way for approved juveniles, farm lads, domestics and individual nominations involving family reunion. Some replies from other states are included. Also in the file are copies of a Department of the Interior memorandum for Cabinet on 'Assisted Migration', February 1938, communications to the states setting out the categories to be assisted, and a public statement by the Prime Minister entitled 'To Restore British Migration', of March 1938. Statements were also circulated to Cabinet on 'Assisted Migration from the United Kingdom', 'Maltese Migration', and 'White Alien Immigration'. In the same month, Cabinet approved the resumption of assistance for persons resident in the United Kingdom nominated by individuals or approved organisations; migrants specially requisitioned by any state; married men with £300 capital, or a pension or other income of over £100 per annum; and single men with not less than £50 capital. The Minister of the Interior then reviewed migration questions generally, especially in relation to closer 'alien' supervision, Jewish groups, British groups sponsored by Fairbridge, Barnardo and Roman Catholic organisations, and the eligibility of those from the Irish Free State. Requisitions from some of the states and the Salvation Army followed. There are several Hansard extracts and other correspondence relating to the categories of assisted migrants and the financial assistance available, especially from South Australia in mid to late 1938.
A461, A349/1/2 PART 3
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration . Policy. Part 4' [2 cm, 1938–44]
As a result of the outbreak of war in September 1939, the United Kingdom and Commonwealth governments terminated financial assistance to immigrants, except for exceptionally hard cases of family reunion. Some maintenance grants for children in Farm Schools and the subsidy to the British Settlers' Welfare Committee were continued. Most of this file is outside the chronological boundaries of this Guide.
A461, A349/1/2 PART 4
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Schemes. Australian Development and Defence League' [12 pages, 1936]
This file contains letters to the Prime Minister from the Australian Development and Defence League, 1936, in response to a Sydney Morning Herald article, 20 June 1936, (extract enclosed). The letters drew attention to the 'Greater Australia Plan' of the League, a plan for Empire development and settlement (a detailed outline of which is included), particularly in the Port Stephens area, and requested an interview. The Prime Minister declined since the plan involved a drastic readjustment of the monetary system and a Royal Commission on the Monetary and Banking system was then in progress. It was pointed out by the Secretary, Department of the Interior, that schemes involving the settlement of migrants from the United Kingdom on land in Australia had not been a success and that it would be more appropriate if the plan were forwarded to the New South Wales government.
A461, T349/1/2
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration. Capacity of Australia to Absorb Migrants' [25 pages, 1936]
This contains certain observations and suggestions regarding Australia's capacity to absorb migrants about which an investigation was conducted at the instigation of the Prime Minister in 1936. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and in particular, Sir David Rivett, and Professor Macdonald Holmes of the University of Sydney, were involved in this.
A461, O349/1/2
The series comprises files relating to the investigation of all criminal offences committed against the Commonwealth, the contravention of Commonwealth Acts or of State Acts committed on Commonwealth property; the pursuit of recalcitrant debtors to the Commonwealth; and inquiry into the whereabouts of persons requested to be traced by government departments, organisations such as the Red Cross, International Tracing Service, Australia House, private persons or by diplomatic or consular representation. Investigations carried out at the request of government departments include areas such as impersonation, ships' deserters, enemy 'aliens' in wartime, prohibited immigrants and naturalisation, among others. In most cases a separate file was raised for each particular case requested to be investigated.
Series: B741
Quantity: 29.88 metres
Recorded by: 1927–46: Investigation Branch, Victoria (CA 907); 1946–60: Commonwealth Investigation Service (CA 916); 1960-62: Commonwealth Police Force (CA 955)
Attorney-General's Department, 'Photographic Branch of Commonwealth Immigration Office' [3 pages, 1924]
This contains a circular from the Prime Minister's Department advising that the Photographic Branch of the Commonwealth Immigration Office had run at a loss for the financial year 1923–24. As a consequence, charges were revised and an amended price list attached.
B741, V/762
This series consists of folders of general correspondence, decisions and policy relating to organisations interested in the migration of British subjects, nominations, training schemes, housing difficulties, statistical aspects of the future population, and individual case files. It represents one of seven classes of correspondence files maintained by the Department of Immigration and its predecessors during the years 1939–50 or for a portion of those years. The seven classes are as follows:
  1. General, passports;
  2. Restricted immigration;
  3. European migrants;
  4. Naturalisation;
  5. British migrants;
  6. Aliens Registration;
  7. General administration.

Series: A436
Quantity: 5.04 metres
Recorded by: 1945–45: Department of the Interior, Central Office (CA 31)
Department of the Interior, 'Immigration Policy' [3 cm, 1920–21]
This contains the recommendations adopted at the Conference of Premiers and State Ministers of May 1920 and the proposals relating to immigration, the steps taken by the Commonwealth, the work and staff necessary, and appointments made in relation to the Joint Commonwealth and States Scheme. Correspondence between the Prime Minister and State Premiers and between the Australian and British ends of the immigration operations for the period 1920 to 1921 make up most of the file. Notes from the subsequent conferences in July and November 1920 are included. Issues discussed are particulars of possible land to be made available and immigrants to be absorbed by the States, shipping arrangements, Commonwealth contributions to passage rates for various classes of assisted immigrants, loans for immigrants, the recruiting organisation in London, relations between the Commonwealth and States in relation to the hand-over of control, the division of responsibilities, incentives and concessions offered by the states, reception, and aftercare. There are statements for Cabinet on immigration, Minutes of the Conference held in London between Commonwealth and State representatives concerned with immigration in January 1921, and a pamphlet on Oversea Settlement within the Empire.
A436, 1946/5/17
This series was the main correspondence file system of the agencies shown above. The subject matter includes administrative and personal matters as well as the following functions administered by the agencies from time to time: immigration and emigration, 'aliens' registration, naturalisation, passports (except 1916–18), influx of criminals, indentured coloured labour, people of races for whom special laws were thought necessary, external affairs (1903–16), Pacific islands (1903–16) as well as other matters not relevant to this Guide.
Series: A1
Quantity: 184.92 metres
Recorded by: 1903–16: Department of External Affairs, Melbourne (CA 7); 1916–28: Department of Home and Territories (CA 15); 1928–32: Department of Home and Territories (CA 24); 1932–38: Department of the Interior (CA 27)
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Financial Arrangements with States' [1 cm, 1921–30]
This file predominantly relates to the period from 1921–23, with only one page dated 1930. It refers to the financial arrangements under the Joint Commonwealth and States Immigration Scheme. While the Commonwealth booked all nominated and assisted passages, deposits from persons applying to bring in relatives and friends under the nomination system had to be lodged with State Immigration Officers. Loans to certain classes of assisted and nominated passengers, and their repayment, were also dealt with through the state offices. Deposits of all landing money and loans to assisted immigrants were taken care of in London, the landing money refunded on arrival in Australia and later reimbursed by the Commonwealth through monthly claims by the States. Correspondence relates to the carrying out of these arrangements, the method of financial adjustment between governments, and the system of accounting.
A1, 1932/7768
Department of the Interior, File of Papers, 'Canadian Immigration' [1 cm, 1929–32]
This file consists largely of press extracts, letters and reports on Canadian immigration, probably kept by the Department of the Interior for information and comparative purposes.
A1, 1932/7386
This series consists of the main correspondence file series of the Attorney-General's Department. The series commenced in 1929, replacing the existing systems and contains material top-numbered from those series, including papers back to 1901.
Series: A432
Quantity: 2329.2 metres
Recorded by: 1929–58: Attorney General's Department (CA 5)
Attorney-Generals Department, 'Encouragement of Immigration to Australia' [10 pages, 1921–24]
This contains a request for advice in May 1921, to the Attorney-General's Department from Superintendent, H S Gullett, relating to a draft form for Nominated Passages in connection with the Joint Commonwealth and States Immigration Scheme. The new form was being introduced to bring about uniformity between the States which had previously utilised a variety of forms of application. Conditions of nomination and the liability of the various governments are discussed in the correspondence. Further letters, dated 1924, relate to the absconding of a juvenile immigrant from his employer and the action to be taken.
A432, 1929/4140
This series comprises the agency's first main correspondence file series which operated from 1923 to 1950. It consists of correspondence files dealing principally with organisation and establishment matters relating to Commonwealth government departments and agencies in Western Australia.
Series: K1184
Quantity: 18.36 metres
Recorded by: 1923–50: Public Service Inspector, Western Australia (CA 872)
Public Service Commission, 'Immigration – Loans due to Commonwealth by Migrants' [16 pages, 1932–33]
This file refers to the recovery of outstanding loans owed to the Commonwealth by assisted migrants in Western Australia. Collections of interest on loans from group settlers were taken over by the State Agricultural Bank in 1927. Issues discussed in the correspondence are the Commonwealth/State responsibility, where the files should be housed, the determination of future policy, and the capacity of the migrants, especially group settlers, to pay. The view of the Public Service Inspector was that the recovery of money was ‘an almost hopeless proposition’ and the employment of an officer to visit migrants would cost more than the amounts recovered. A memorandum to the Secretary, Public Service Board, Canberra, enclosed a press cutting from The West Australian, 28 September 1932, dealing with a discussion at the Soldier Settlers’ Conference on the report of the Royal Commission into Dairying in the South-West, which had an important bearing on the ability of group settlers to repay government loans in 1932–33.
K1184, 330/1
This series is a subject index to immigration matters in series A1 for the period 1911–38 and to all the immigration file series in the years 1939–56.
Series: A71
Quantity: 12.6 metres
Recorded by: 1911–16 Department of External Affairs, Melbourne (Ca 7); 1916–28 Department of Home and Territories (CA 15); 1928–32 Department of Home Affairs (CA 24); 1932–39 Department of the Interior (CA 27); 1939–45 Department of the Interior (CA 31); 1945–56 Department of Immigration, Central Office (CA 51)
1 Volume
Series: A1823
Quantity: 3cm
Recorded by: 1912–16: Department of External Affairs, Melbourne (CA 7); 1916–28: Department of Home and Territories, Central Office (CA 15); 1928–32: Department of Home Affairs, Central Office (CA 24); 1932–33: Department of the Interior, Central Administration (CA 27)
1 Volume
Series: A1824
Quantity: 9cm
Recorded by: 1913–16: Department of External Affairs (CA 7); 1916–28: Department of Home and Territories, Central Office (CA 15)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 'B' [General, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria] SERIES, 1925
This relates to staff and general matters concerning the Lands and Survey branch and surveys and property transactions concerning Commonwealth lands in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.
Series: A569
Quantity: 3cm
Recorded by: 1925: Lands and Survey Branch (CA 737)

Individual Cases

A number of individual cases occur in the files described in this chapter. Some are the subjects of complaints by others. They also involve individual queries addressed to government departments. Several relate to assisted immigrants who made up a large proportion of net immigration for this period and on whom considerable funds were expended by governments. The case records are freely available for research use and shed light on the operation and application of immigration regulations at this time.

As mentioned in the Introduction, individual cases themselves are not dealt with in this guide. For details of where to find records dealing with individual cases see Finding Families: The Guide to the National Archives of Australia for Genealogists.