283 Agreement with the International Refugee Organisation

21 JULY 1947



Between the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia and the Preparatory Commission of the International Refugee Organisation

The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia (hereinafter referred to as the Commonwealth) and the Preparatory Commission of the International Refugee Organisation (hereinafter referred to as PCIRO) have agreed as follows regarding immigration into Australia of Refugees and Displaced Persons within the Meaning of the Resolution adopted by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations on the 16th February, 1946.

1. NUMBER AND TYPES OF IMMIGRANTS a. The Commonwealth will from time to time submit to PCIRO (at Geneva) particulars of the numbers and qualifications of desired immigrants. The first of these lists will be submitted within 30 days after approval of the Agreement' b. The Commonwealth estimates that during the balance of 1947 the number of workers and dependents desired will approximate a total of 4000 persons.

2. SELECTION OF IMMIGRANTS a. The Commonwealth shall have the full right of selection by officers of the Department of Immigration of the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth will advise PCIRO from time to time of the names and functions of officers nominated for this purpose.

b. The Commonwealth agrees that selection of immigrants will be carried out without discrimination as to race or religion.

c. PCIRO will be responsible for instituting such preliminary selection procedure as may be required by the Commonwealth.

d. PCIRO reserves the right to allocate the recruitment of immigrants for final selection by officers of the Commonwealth to the various Occupied Zones of Germany and Austria, and to the Middle East, Italy or elsewhere.

3. RELATIVES AND DEFENDANTS a. Heads of family units selected may be accompanied by all members of their immediate family and by such other relatives as are dependent on the head of the family and who live with him.

Other cases deserving special consideration from humanitarian standpoints will be examined individually by the Commonwealth.

b. Any selected immigrant who goes to Australia unaccompanied by relatives or dependents shall, after three months residence in Australia, have the right to nominate such relatives and dependents for admission, and the Commonwealth agrees to grant such admission providing the worth of the immigrant has been satisfactorily demonstrated and provided the immigrant is in a position to receive and support the dependents after their arrival in Australia.

4. TRANSPORTATION a. All expenses incurred in moving selected immigrants to Australia shall be met by PCIRO, and PCIRO will also be responsible for providing the means of transport.

b. The Commonwealth agrees to make an ex gratia payment to PCIRO of an amount of 10 per adult towards the extra costs incurred by PCIRO in moving immigrants to Australian ports as compared with the cost of moving them to South American ports.

5. RECEPTION AND PLACEMENT The Commonwealth will advise PCIRO regarding the port(s) of disembarkation and accepts full responsibility for receiving, forwarding, and the settling or placing of immigrants in employment in Australia.

6. LEGAL STATUS a. Immigrants to Australia become subject to all laws of the Commonwealth and of the state of residence.

b. The Commonwealth guarantees to immigrants all rights and liberties granted by law to foreigners resident in Australia.

c. The Commonwealth agrees that immigrants may be granted Australian citizenship in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the Commonwealth.

7. LEGAL AND POLITICAL PROTECTION The legal and political protection of immigrants after their arrival in Australia will be assumed by PCIRO acting under the provisions of the Constitution of the International Refugee Organisation in such matters.

8. CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT a. The Commonwealth will provide regular employment for all persons coming under this Agreement. It requires that workers agree to remain for at least one year in the employment accepted.

b. Immigrants will, after their arrival in Australia, enjoy exactly the same living conditions and wages as Australian workers performing similar work and will be treated in exactly the same manner and without discrimination in the case of unemployment.

They will be allowed to join trade unions in the same manner as Australian citizens.

9. CONDITIONS OF ENTRY a. The Commonwealth agrees to issue visas and entry permits without cost to the immigrants or to PCIRO.

b. The Commonwealth agrees to admit to Australia, duty free, all the personal belongings, including tools of trade, of selected immigrants and dependents.

10. RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE The Commonwealth agrees to the appointment by PCIRO of a resident representative in Australia.

Signed at Geneva, Switzerland, this 21st day of July, 1947.

For the Preparatory Commission of the International Refugee Organisation.

(Signed) AJ. ALTMEYER Executive Secretary

For the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia.

(Signed) ARTHUR A. CALWELL Minister for Immigration