House of Representatives
14 August 1919

7th Parliament · 2nd Session

Mr. Speaker (Hon. W. Elliot Johnson) took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.

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Acting Prime Minister and Treasurer · Balaclava · NAT

(By leave). - A little before the luncheon hour the Government received the sad (intelligence of the sudden death of the honorable member for Echuca, Mr. Albert Clayton Palmer. We, and his friends in the House and in the country, had been aware that he had fallen a victim to the prevailing epidemic and was having a very hard struggle, but we were all hopeful that the end would be otherwise. The Government desire that the House should pay its respect to the work and memory of the honorable member in the appropriate and customary way adopted by all British Parliaments.

Speaking for a moment or two in a personal vein, I may say that it was my privilege to know the honorable member for many years prior to his entrance into public life, and that it is well nigh thirty years since I first became acquainted with him. There are many of his older friends in this House and elsewhere who entertained for the deceased gentleman a feeling of high respect andesteem. He played a very prominent part in the developmental life of the districts of Victoria with which he was associated prior to his entrance into the wider field of public activity. In municipal life he was a conspicuous figure and had intimately associated himself for well nigh two score years with the interests of the producers, which he was afterwards called upon to represent in the Parliament of his country. His parliamentary career stretches from the year 1906, over thirteen years of busy, active, useful service, and he represented the important district of Northern Victoria in five Parliaments.

Mr. Palmer held his views in politics strongly, expressed them plainly, and, while he had a wide circle of friends, I regret to think that he made, as we all do, by the expression of our candid views on politics and other matters, many enemies. But we have learned in this country to know that, after all, a man who has not a few enemies has not played perhaps his most useful part in life, and that it sometimes goes to the credit of a man that his enemies have been made by the frank expression of his own mature convictions. The honorable gentleman’s wide circle of friends and acquaintances will mourn his death, with his sorrowing family. He lived a clean public and private life, and devoted himself with unmistakable success and effect to the performance ofhis public work. In the districts with which he was associated his representation of the people in this Parliament will be remembered with pride and pleasure. I think that both the public and private life of Australia are the poorer for the untimely death of the honorable member, and we hope, Mr. Speaker, that in the tribute which we tender, as colleagues who have laboured withhim in this vineyard; there will be found not only ah expression to the people of Victoria of our appreciation of his worth, but what solace comes from such an expression to his sorrowing wife and family. I move-

That this House records its sincere regret at the death of the honorable member for Echuca (Mr. Albert Clayton Palmer), and expresses its appreciation of the zeal with which he devoted himself to his public duties, and its profound sympathy with bis bereaved wife and family in their great sorrow.


.- I desire to express the sincere sympathy of honorable members of the Opposition with the relatives of the deceased gentleman.

Many of us disagreed with his views, but in a Parliament . comprising members holding many divergent views we must give the honorable member credit for the sincerity of his opinions. I feel sure that just as we believe that we are entitled to our own opinions, so we are prepared to extend the same right to others. Although we differed from the honorable member, we are none the less sincere in our expression of sympathy to those whom he has left behind.

Question unanimously resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their places.

Motion (by Mr. Watt) agreed to -

That Mr. Speaker be requested to transmit to Mrs. Palmer the foregoing resolution and a copy of the speeches delivered thereon.

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Mr. WATT (Balaclava- Acting Prime

Minister and Treasurer) [2.37]. - To emphasize our deep regret, and to mark the sad occasion of the death of thehonorable member, I move -

That the House do now adjourn.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 2.38 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 14 August 1919, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.