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Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia


Immigration Restriction Act 1901

One of the first Acts to be passed by the Commonwealth Government was the Immigration Restriction Act 1901, which was primarily concerned with the regulation and restriction of non-British immigration. It made provision for the dictation test, which was introduced in 1901 and consisted of a 50-word passage of dictation in any European language. The test was given to people who were ineligible to apply for permanent residence in Australia. Certificates of exemption from the dictation test were issued to non-European, non-naturalised people who had lived in Australia for more than five years and wanted to leave temporarily. The certificates show the traveller's name, nationality, age, birth place, physical description (a photograph was usually included), and travel details.

Records relating to the Immigration Restriction Act and South Australia held by the Archives include registers, correspondence and immigration returns.

Selected series relating to dictation tests and certificates of exemption on South Australia
Canberra
Recorded by: Collector of Customs, Adelaide/Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
South Australian re-entry permits for non-Europeans, 1899–1902 A8362
Sydney
Recorded by: Collector of Customs, Adelaide/Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Certificates of exemption from the dictation test butt books, 1902–59 D5036
Immigration Restriction Act exemption certificate register, 1902–57 D2860
Immigration Act instructions, 1914 D3193
State notices ex South Australia, 1901– D4516
Sydney, Adelaide
Recorded by: Collector of Customs, Adelaide/Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Correspondence files, 'SA/S', 1948–66 D400
Adelaide
Correspondence files, 1871–1962 D596
Correspondence files, 'SB' (Shipping Branch), 1939–51 D1976
Register of Chinese immigration, 1882–1903 AP214/20
Register – Immigration Restriction Act 1901 and correspondence, 1901–13 AP214/9
Monthly immigration returns, 1919–46 D1986
Selected items relating to dictation tests and certificates of exemption in South Australia
Canberra
Correspondence – Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Government of South Australia on alien immigration restrictions, 1897–1901 A8, 1902/49 part 1
Adelaide
Wreck of SS Clan Ranald – dictation test, 1909 D596, 1909/687
Immigration Act – application for document of identity – Moaz Khan – Afghan camel driver, 1913–47 D1976, SB1947/149
Sym Choon family – certificate of exemption from dictation test, 1921–56 D400, SA1956/9039
Immigration returns, August 1923 D1986, AUGUST 1923
Immigration Act 1901–24 – European aliens, 1924 D596, 1924/10859
Eugenie Jeanne Sorlet – example of dictation test and response, 1930 D596, 1930/933
Selected series relating to deportation and restricted persons in South Australia
Sydney
Recorded by: Collector of Customs, Adelaide/Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Returns of convicted persons liable to deportation, 1936 AP214/17
Index to restricted persons arrivals, 1943–58 D1979
Immigration reports (classified), 1966–67 D402
Adelaide
Recorded by: Collector of Customs, Adelaide/Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Correspondence files, 1871–1962 D596
Selected items relating to deportation and restricted persons in South Australia
Canberra
Arrest of seven prohibited immigrants in South Australia for Department of Immigration – possibility of Italian policeman implicated in illegal entry, 1956–57 A1533, 1956/3454
Adelaide
Immigration Restriction Act 1901 regarding admission of lunatics, 1903 D596, 1903/3522
Deported aliens, 1914–46 D1918, S149
Deportation Orders – prohibited immigrants convicted under Section 7, Immigration Act 1901–12, 1919 D596, 1919/7155
Chinese members of crews of overseas vessels – convicted and sentenced for being in unlawful possession of opium – arrangements for deportation, 1937 D596, 1937/7618
Lists of names and completed questionnaires of Filipino residents in South Australia, 1942–43 D1919, SS1073

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Chapter 10
Immigration and naturalisation