286 Heyes to Burton

Memorandum CANBERRA, 29 October 1947


With reference to previous correspondence relative to the question of the admission to Australia of European aliens resident in Shanghai, the Minister has now given this matter his careful consideration.

The reports furnished by Mr. O.C.W. Fuhrman, Australian Consul- General at Shanghai, and Mr. L.A. Taylor, an officer of this Department, who recently returned from that centre, have given the Minister a full appreciation of the situation there and he realises that in present circumstances it is not to be relied upon as a source from which suitable migrants for Australia will generally be forthcoming. He notes, however, that neither of these officers wishes to convey the impression that all applicants from Shanghai are potentially undesirable.

While appreciating the necessity for exercising the fullest precautions the Minister feels that he would not be justified in closing down entirely on immigration from Shanghai, as the adoption of such a course would exclude persons with relatives in Australia, who also came from Shanghai and have proved themselves satisfactory migrants, from the opportunity of proving their worthiness to settle in this country.

The Minister has approved that the following policy be adopted in respect of immigration from Shanghai:-

(a) An interim quota of 300 displaced persons be admitted from Shanghai;

(b) That the quota under (a) be spread over a period of twelve months;

(c) That the fullest check be made of both the nominators in Australia and the nominees in Shanghai before visas are issued;

(d) That all available resources open to the Consul-General be used to check the credentials of nominees and that in this connection the Consul-General endeavour to obtain the assistance of both the British and American Security Services in Shanghai;

(e) That the immigration of Russians from Shanghai be suspended for the time being, but exceptions to this rule may be made in special cases where no security risks exist.

In view of the limited number of immigrants who will be admitted from Shanghai during the ensuing twelve months it is not intended to re-appoint an officer of this Department as Commonwealth Migration Officer, Shanghai, for the time being. It will be appreciated if, in the circumstances, you will agree to one of your officers attached to the Consulate-General carrying out these duties pending further consideration of the general position. [1]

[matter omitted]

1 Burton instructed Fuhrman accordingly.

[AA : A1068 IC47/31/15]