House of Representatives
29 August 1928

10th Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. Speaker (Hon. Sir Littleton Groom) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

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– During the recent Adjournment I received a return to the writ ‘which I issued on the 24th May last, for the election of a member to serve for the electoral division of Martin, in the State of New South Wales, in the place of the Hon. H. E. Pratten, deceased. According to the endorsement on the writ, Mr. Frederick Graham Pratten, Junior, has been elected.

Mr. GRAHAM PRATTEN made and subscribed the oath of allegiance.



– I announce, with deep regret, the death on the 31st July last, of the honorable member for Wide Bay, Mr. Edward Bernard Cresset Corser. On the 17th August last I issued a writ for the election of a member to serve for the electoral division of Wide Bay in the place of the deceased gentleman, and fixed the respective dates as follows: - Issue of Writ - Friday, 17th August, 1928; date of nomination - Monday, 3rd September, 192S; polling day - Saturday, 22nd September, 1928; return of writ - on or before Tuesday, 9th October, 192S.

Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs · Flinders · NAT

1 3.3]. - (By leave.) - My first duty upon the resumption of the sittings of this Parliament is indeed a painful one, because since the adjournment of the House in June last the death has occurred of the honorable member for Wide Bay, Mr. E. B. C. Corser.

The late Mr. Corser was elected to the Commonwealth Parliament in the year 1915, and represented the electoral division of Wide Bay continuously in this House from that time until his death. Before entering the Commonwealth Parliament ho was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, and served in that Parliament for a number of years. Although’ he was no longer a young man, the announcement of his death, I feel sure, caused a shock to every member of this House, and his passing has made a gap in our ranks flint it will be difficult to fill. The deceased gentleman, during the time that lie occupied a seat in this Parliament, endeared himself to every member of it. His was a charming personality, and his kindliness of manner was shown to every member, irrespective of party. Latterly, because of his advanced age, Mr. Corser had not the strength necessary to take a very active part in the debates of this House; but he was always conscientious and capable in the discharge of his parliamentary duties, and he devoted himself unreservedly to the interests of those whom he was elected to serve.

Death has taken a heavy toll of the members of this Parliament; the frequency of his visits is evidence of the fact that those who are elected to represent the people of this country in the National Parliament have imposed upon them an exceedingly heavy strain.

We desire to express to Mr. Corser’s children our deep sympathy with them in the loss of their father, and we hope that the sorrow which they are suffering may be in some measure alleviated by the knowledge that he was held in the greatest esteem and respect by all who were brought into contact with him. I therefore move -

That this House places on record its deep regret in the death of Mr. Edward Bernard Cresset Corser, member of the House of Representatives for the division of Wide Bay, and expresses its appreciation of the loyalty and ability with which lie devoted himself to his public duties, and tenders its deepest sympathy to his family in their great loss.


.- I I join with the Prime Minister in expressing regret at the sudden death of the late Mr. Corser, and endorse what the right honorable gentleman has said in regard to the deceased gentleman’s personality. Whatever our differences of opinion politically, no honorable member will disagree with the statement that as a man Mr. Corser endeared himself to every one of us. He possessed a kindly, genial disposition, and displayed the most friendly feelings towards his fellow members. I say with absolute sincerity that we who sit on your left, Mr. Speaker, shall miss him from the benches opposite. Mr. Corser discharged his duties with characteristic earnestness. Although of late he was less active than in the earlier days of his political career, he never failed to bestow the greatest care and attention upon everything that he undertook, sparing neither his energy nor his health. His death is a memento that for each of us there must be an end to our activities, an end that has come to many honorable members in recent years.

I join with the Prime Minister in offering to the family of the late Mr. Corser the deep sympathy of honorable members of this Parliament in the loss which they have sustained. I trust that it may be of some consolation to them to know that their father had earned the esteem and respect of every member with whom he came into contact in this Parliament.


– With the indulgence of honorable members, I should like to express my deep regret at the passing of the late Mr. E. B. C. Corser, with whom I have been very closely associated since his election to this honorable House on the 1.1th December, 1915.

Mr. Corser was one of the pioneers of Queensland. When he arrived at Maryborough at the age of fifteen there were

Only some 600 persons in the town, and not more than 8,000 people in the “whole district. He identified himself at once with the interests of this new land, and from that time to the hour of his death was intimately associated with every movement having for its object the progress of the district and the development of its great resources. He possessed grit, determination and perseverance, and was a man of ceaseless industry. With unbounded confidence in his country, he bent all his energies towards practical measures for its development, and he leaves behind him a fine record of useful service. In the course of his long career, by his kindly deeds, he won the affection and esteem of a large number of people, who to-day feel a very sincere sympathy with his family. May this expression of condolence on the part of honorable members be a source of consolation to his relatives in the hour of their great grief.

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

Motion (by Mr. Bruce) agreed to - That Mr. Speaker bc requested to transmit to the family of the late Mr. Corser the foregoing resolution, and a copy of the speeches delivered thereon.

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Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs · Flinders · NAT

(By leave.) - It is “with deep regret that I submit the following motion : -

That this House expresses its sincere regret at the death of Senator the Honorable Thomas Givens, and places oil record its high appreciation of his distinguished public service, and tenders its deep sympathy to his widow and family in their sad bereavement.

As honorable members are aware, the death’ of the late honorable senator occurred subsequent to the adjournment of this Parliament in June last. While it was not altogether unexpected, the state of his health having caused grave anxiety for a considerable period, his passing, nevertheless, came as a shock, and the news of his decease evoked on every hand expressions of appreciation of the long and loyal service he had rendered to the people of Queensland, by whom he was repeatedly elected to the Senate.

The late Senator Givens had a lengthy political career, which commenced when he was elected to the Queensland Parliament as the representative of Cairns. In 1903 he became a member of the Senate of the Commonwealth Parliament, and he continued to be a senator until the day of his death. He impressed all who knew him with the keenness and enthusiasm that he displayed in behalf of every cause which he advocated, and was one of “the most forceful and effective debaters who has occupied a scat in the Senate.

In 1909 the late honorable senator was a member of a select committee which investigated the subject of press cable services, and in 1913 a member of a royal commission on the pearling industry. From 1910 to 1912 he was a Temporary Chairman of Committees of the Senate. In July, 1913, he was elected for the first time to the office of President of the Senate, and his re-election to that high and distinguished office on four subsequent occasions was a tribute to the manner in which he discharged his duties and evidence of the respect and esteem in which he was held by his fellow senators. Ill health necessitated his resigning from the presidential office in June, 1926. After that date his health was such that he was unable to attend to his parliamentary duties with regularity, yet he insisted on rendering the fullest measure of service of which he was capable, and every one who knew him must have admired the spirit and fortitude with which he endeavoured to do what he conceived to be required of him. His death has removed a man who played a distinguished part in the public life of Australia, and who, it will be generally recognized, devoted himself unreservedly to the service of this, his adopted country. The sympathy of the members of this House, I am sure, goes out to the widow and family who are left to mourn him.


.- I support the motion recording our regret at the death of the late Senator Givens which has been moved by the Prime Minister. As the right honorable gentleman has .said, the late senator played many parts in the public life of Australia. His was a very vigorous personality, and he would always endeavour to secure the acceptance of his views by those who were inclined to differ from him, with a forcefulness that it was difficult to withstand. His name has been well known in the public life of Australia for many years, and for a very long term as President of the Senate he occupied the most honorable position that the members of that chamber can confer upon a fellow senator. I join with the Prime Minister in expressing, on behalf of all sitting on this side of the House, our regret at the death of Senator Givens. We desire that there may be conveyed to his widow and family our deep sympathy with them in their bereavement.

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

Motion (by Mr. Bruce) agreed to -

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

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Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs · Flinders · NAT

– As a mark of respect for the memory of the late honorable gentlemen, I move - That the House do now adjourn. Question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 3.18 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 29 August 1928, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.