8th Parliament · 2nd Session
The House met at 3 p.m., pursuant to the proclamation of His Excellency the Governor-General.
The Clerk read the proclamation.
Mr. Speaker took the chair, and read prayers.
The Usher of the Blackrod, being announced, was admitted, and delivered the message that His Excellency the Governor-General desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate chamber.
Mr. Speaker and honorable members attended accordingly, and having returned :
– During the recess I received a return to thewrit which I had issued on the 14th November for the election of a member to serve for the electoral division of Parramatta, in the place of theRight Hon. Sir Joseph Cook, resigned; and by the indorsement thereon it appears that Herbert Edward Pratten has been elected. I have also to announce with deep regret and a sense of sincere and heartfelt personal loss, the death on 10th January last of the Honorable Frank Gwynne Tudor, and to inform the House that, on the 20th January last, I issued a writ for the election of a member to serve for the electoral division of Yarra in the place of the deceased gentleman; that the writ has been returned to me, and that by the indorsement thereon it appears that James Henry Scullin has been elected.
Mr. Pratten and Mr. Scullin made and subscribed the oath of allegiance.
– I desire to announce that, consequent upon the resignation of the Treasurer (theRight Honorable Sir Joseph Cook, P.C., G.C.M.G.), the Ministry has been reconstructed as follows: -
The Eight Honorable William Morris Hughes, P.C., K.C., to be Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs.
Senator the Right Honorable George Foster Pearce, P.C., to be Minister for Home and Territories.
Senator the Honorable Edward Davis Millen to be Minister for Repatriation.
The Honorable Littleton Ernest Groom to be Attorney-General.
The Honorable Walter Massy Greene to be Minister for Defence and Health.
The Honorable Alexander Poynton, O.B.E., to be Postmaster-General.
The Honorable Arthur Stanislaus Rodgers to be Minister for Trade and Customs.
The Honorable Stanley Melbourne Bruce, M.C., to be Treasurer.
The Honorable Richard Witty Foster to be Minister for’ Works and Railways.
The Honorable Sir Granville de Laune Ryrie, K.C.M.G., C.B., V.D., to be Honorary Minister.
Senator the Honorable John Earle to be Vice-President of the Executive Council.
The Honorable Hector Lamond to be Honorary Minister.
The honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Marks) has been appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary for External Affairs.
.- I desire to announce that I have been appointed Leader of the Opposition, and that the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) has been appointed Assistant Leader of the Opposition, in the House of Representatives.
Honorable Members. - Hear, hear!
– I offer my congratulations .
– I also offer my congratulations.
Motion (by Mr. Hughes) agreed to -
That leave be given to bring in a Bill for an Act to amend the Statutory Declarations Act 1911.
Bill presented by Mr. Hughes, and read a first time.
– I have to inform the House that, at the summons of His Excellency the Governor-General, I attended in the Senate Chamber, where His Excellency was pleased to deliver his opening Speech, of which, for greater accuracy, I have obtained a copy. I presume that it will not be necessary for me to read it (vide page 5).
Motion (by Mr. Hughes) agreed to-
Thata Committee, consisting of Mr. Jackson, Mr. Foley, and the mover, be appointed to prepare an Address-in-Reply to the Speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor-General to both Houses of the Parliament, and that the Committee do report to-morrow.
Motion (by Mr. Hughes) agreed to -
That the House, at its rising, adjourn until to-morrow at 2.30 p.m.
[3.42]. - I move -
That this House records its sincere regret at the death of the honorable member for Yarra (the Honorable Frank Gwynne Tudor), who was a member of the House since the inauguration of the Parliament, and for many years held the position of a Minister of -State for the Commonwealth, and this House expresses its appreciation of the energy and ability with which he devoted himself to his public duties, and tenders its profound sympathy to his bereaved wife and family in their great sorrow.
Since this Parliament rose, two of its members have been removed by death. Upon my honorable colleague in the Senate falls the sad duty of proposing an expression of regret at the tragic death of Senator John Adamson.
The resolution I have the honour to move stirs us all very deeply. The late Mr. Tudor, as the motion sets out, was a member of this House from the inception of the Parliament. He was my friend, and our friendship was close and unbroken for a period of over twenty years. He was my fellow-member in the Labour party for over sixteen years, and our friendship survived, and was unaffected by the political cataclysm which rent the party asunder. He was my colleague in three Administrations. He was a man well known to every member of the House, to the people of this State of Victoria, and, indeed, to the public of the whole of the Commonwealth. No man ever served his country more zealously, no man’s life was more free from just cause of reproach. And now our colleague and old friend has left vis: we shall see him amongst us no more. It has fallen to my lot too” frequently of late to stand in this place and propose- motions of this kind. We might well say here what was said in the Mother of Parliaments years ago by John Bright : “ The Angel of Death has been so near us of late that we can almost hear the beating of his wings.” When we look around and see the faces of men who now fill the seats of those who were my colleagues and friends, when we remember the circumstances under which those old friends have been taken from us, we cannot but reflect sadly upon the uncertainty of human life and the inscrutable purposes of Divine Providence. Per haps in no Parliament have so many men been stricken in so short a time. In the last few years we have seen men in the very prime of life removed from us with tragic swiftness. On the bench behind me - I remember it well - I saw stricken down the distinguished man who first occupied the high position which you, Mr. Speaker, now so ably fill. On that occasion, a scene in which party feeling ran high was stilled in a moment by the cold and icy hand of death, and all men went about fearful and grief -stricken. I remember, too, on the. benches towards which I now look, five men who are with us no more. Tacitus said of Agricola that “He was happy in the occasion of his death.” It may be that he to whom death comes most swiftly suffers least, and is to be considered the most fortunate. That cannot ‘be said of our friend whose death we’ now mourn. The tide of his life ebbed and flowed, now flowing with strength and vigour, and filling the hearts of his family and friends with hope, and now receding, until at last - alas! - it flowed no more, but went out for ever, leaving him stranded upon the dark and rugged rocks of death. Frank Tudor is dead ! He has gone to join those others who are in the shades - whose ranks are ever increasing at our expense, and who soon will constitute, if they are not now, the majority of those who had the honour to be elected to the first Parliament of the Commonwealth. How many are gone, and how few remain of that first Parliament in which Frank Gwynne Tudor-and I first met! I remember my old friends Mr. Batchelor, Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Frazer, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Page, and, but the other day, Mr. Ryan. These were men of whom it might be said that their tale of years could not be counted; they seemed as though destined to live beyond the allotted span of human life. But they have gone, and we shall see them no more. One there was who, passing out of this chamber, fell at the very base of the statue in Queen’s Hall, and it was such a death as he would have chosen. My friend, Mr.. Batchelor fell in his prime, died whilst yet, apparently,- the prospect of life stretched out unendingly before him. Mr. Frazer,’ my colleague and friend, was taken from us, as it were, in a moment; and that mighty man, Mr.
James Page, whose voice filled this chamber, and whose personality seemed to be part of the warp and woof of anr legislative body, followed him. In the night he was taken from us - in the morning he was not. And almost ere we had dried our eyes Mr. Ryan, late member for West Sydney, -was stricken down. And now we mourn the loss of one, the last of the long series whose names I have mentioned, who had, perhaps, wound his personality around our hearts more intimately and closely than any of them who went before him. Frank Tudor was a man without guile ; simple and honorable in all his dealings. I have said that he gave his life to the service of his country. It seems but ‘yesterday that, in the Queen’s Hall - that place that- has become to me, and to many of us, one over which sad memories hover - we stood around the casket in which his mortal remains were laid, and followed it to its last resting place. We heard the hard earth fall on the coffin of a man who had all his life served the cause of the people, and sought to uplift and help them. As became a tribune of the people he had died in harness ; and sadly we left him there and turned back to the task that is ever before the living, of fighting on. each in his own way. But though he is dead, his memory lives in our minds. Without . respect to party, all of us felt that we left in that grave something we could ill-afford to lose. The motion before us sets out formally and in words which poorly and inadequately express them, our feelings of sympathy and regret. What we wish to say - and what, indeed, those of lis who attended his funeral then said, is our tribute to his memory, “ Here lies our dear friend and colleague whoso death we all deeply mourn.” He was a. man faithful and just, who devoted his life to the service of his country. He fought valiantly to improve the conditions of the people, and died, as became their servant, m harness. The record of his life is his epitaph, and will not soon fade from the memories of those for whom he so zealously laboured. Peace be to his ashes.
.- It is with a feeling of profound regret that I rise to second the motion. The passing of our beloved Leader was a severe loss to the Opposition and the
Labour movement generally. The late Mr. Tudor was a member of this House from the inception of Federation ; during that leng service he contested very many elections, and on each occasion was returned by a very large majority. No greater tribute than that could be paid to any mau. During his membership of this House he occupied the position of Minister for Trade and Customs on three different occasions, and it will be generally admitted, I think, that his administration gave general satisfaction. I first met the deceased gentleman in 1902, when we were delegates to a Trade Union Congress in Sydney. The friendship then begun ripened as the years went by. After I became a member of this House, and was more closely associated with him, I was better able to recognise his sterling worth and character. He was a man of high ideals, and fought strenuously to give effect to the principles in which he believed. He was energetic, sincere, and conscientious, and, although a strong party man, was always courteous to those whose opinions differed from his own. As the Prime Minister has stated, the hand of death has been laid heavily upon the members of this House during recent years, and the Labour party has suffered, more than any other, for within the last year we have lost three of our leading members. The bereaved family of our late Leader have the satisfaction of knowing that his life was devoted wholeheartedly to public duty, and probably that was partly responsible for impairing his health, and taking him from us at a comparatively early age. He has left to his loved ones the priceless heritage of an honoured name, and a record of deeds well done. May it be a> consolation to them in their hour of trouble to know that their beloved father and husband enjoyed the respect and confidence of all <who had the honour of his acquaintance.
.- - On behalf of the Country party and myself, I desire to be associated with the motion which was so eloquently moved by the Prime Minister and seconded- by the Leader of the Opposition. We express our condolence, not merely with the Labour party, which has suffered so many losses within the last two years, including its Whip, Deputy Leader, and Leader, and whose tale of woe has now, we hope, been fully told, but also with his family, who have lost a devoted husband and father. It may be truly said that the late
Mr. Tudor sacrificed himself to the service of his country. The physical condition which was the immediate cause of his death could, I think, be attributed mainly to the continuous and exacting work he performed in this House, and elsewhere, for the public benefit. Had he taken his duties more lightly, he might have been spared for many years of service to his country and friends. All Australia mourns the loss of such a loyal, unassuming, straightforward, and genuinely Christian gentleman.
.- Although far from well, I desire to say a few words in reference to my late beloved friend and comrade, Frank Tudor. I had known him for over thirty years, and one of hia first acts that I remember waa his sending to the Senate of the United States of America of a copy of a Bill for the establishment of the Initiative and Referendum which, had been introduced into this Chamber by me. The American Senate honoured his action by embalming that Bill in a special volume of its records. The name of Frank Tudor will be honoured in Australia as long as -Labour has a voice and a memory as a man who was honest and true. Great ability and genius, and alao those opposite qualities which sometimes win great success, may be highly esteemed by the people for a time, but one quality in man, woman, or politician that rises higher and grander than all others is that cf honesty. Frank Tudor was an honest politician and statesman to his finger tips. Any one who has ever seen him in charge, of a Bill or criticising a Bill from the Opposition side will agree that’ few were his peers, and none were his superiors in knowledge of the proposals with which he was dealing. In my thirty-three years’ recollection of public life, I can recall only two others who were equally persistent and consistent in their duty in following Bills”, and they were the late Sir George Turner and the Honorable George Prendergast. That those near and dear to our late Leader will miss his kindly voice as his friends will miss his kindly hand-clasp is true, and the only consolation I can send to the bereaved ones is the belief I have held for a long tame, and which has given me solace when I have lost beloved ones, that all wham we have ever loved and lost in this life will but add to the number of those who will welcome us when our turn comes to pass through the shadows. I care little for the dogmas uttered from a thousand pulpits by those who place a limit to God’s power of forgiveness; if He can forgive iu this world, surely He can forgive in the next. Eloquent tributes to the worth of our late friend have been paid by the Leader of the House, by the Leader of the Opposition, and by the Leader of the youngest party in this House. I indorse them all. The name of Tudor is embedded in the history of England in association with positions high and great, but those who bore that name owed their pre-eminence mostly to the chance.of birth. The late Frank Tudor rose from the status of a humble worker to high place and honour, and probably no act of his will be remembered longer by the Labour party - and I hope of the Democracy of Australia - than the fact that, when misfortune arose, and he had occasion to differ from his leader, not one single day did he remain in office; he relinquished the great portfolio of Minister for -Trade and Customs. I would like to say a good deal more, but language fails me. I can only say one thing of him who, a few months ago was amongst the greatest of Australians and whose body crumbles to-day in a house the form of which none but the medically, trained can imagine. I believe that every human soul” is but a minute portion of the Creator, and that when the time comes we shall all be joined to one harmonious whole. When that time arrives, I hope to meet again my beloved friend and comrade, as I met him so many times in the past.
.- The late Honorable Frank Tudor was a personal friend of mine for many years. One thing that stood out in his character was the fact that never once in the whole of his public career was his private or public honesty in doubt. Much as I appreciate the honour conferred upon me of being elected to this Chamber for the Electoral Division that the Honorable Frank Tudor had so faithfully represented since the inauguration of Federation, I would gladly forgo it a thousand times if, thereby, I could see my old friend and comrade sitting in the place where he sat for so many years. I support the motion, and join with others in extending my heartfelt sympathy and condolence to the dear ones left behind.
Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their places.
Motion (by Mr. Hughes) agreed to -
That Mr. Speaker be requested to transmit to Mrs. Tudor the foregoing resolution and a copy of the speeches delivered thereon.
Motion (by Mr. Hughes) agreed to -
That as a mark of respect to the memory of the late Honorable Frank Gwynne Tudor the House do now adjourn.
House adjourned at 4.11 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 28 June 1922, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1922/19220628_reps_8_99/>.