House of Representatives
25 March 1953

20th Parliament · 1st Session

Mr.Speaker (Hon. Archie Cameron) took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.

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Mr.MENZIES (Kooyong- Prime Minister). - I have to announce to the House, with deep regret, the death of Her Majesty Queen Mary. I move -

That the following address toHer Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second be agreed to -

To the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty : Most Gracioussovereign :

We, the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, have received with heartfelt sorrow the news of the death of your august grandmother, Her Majesty Queen Mary.

We remember with grateful affection the love which the late Queen inspired in all her peoples and we extend to your Majesty and to the other members of the Royal Family our profound and most loving sympathy in this grievous loss.

It is not easy to speak to a motion of this kind. We have, during quite a brief period of time, been visited by news of death in the Royal Family, and every honorable member and all the people of Australia have been deeply moved. The late. Queen Mary, when she became Queen, and when she was side by side with the late King George V., instantly won our loyalty. She was our Queen. Then time went on, and in the course of war and in the course of peace she showed at all times, without any faltering or any failure, that implicit and high sense of duty which, thank God, shines in our Royal Family, and she won our deep respect. Then again in the course of years - and her years were long - everybody began to see, beyond the royal dignity in which she was always clad, her self-control, and the atmosphere of authority which at all times surrounded her, to the human being above and beyond all those things. The grand old lady became - I hesitate to use the cold and disembodied phrase - “ a national institution “, but in a very real and deep sense she did. She became an object of veneration and of pride. So we all realized, perhaps quite suddenly, but everybody realized it in his or her heart, that she had won our affection and our love. She was a great Queen, and that means much to all of us who are the Queen’s men in the great British family of nations. She was a great lady in the true sense of that somewhat hackneyed phrase. She was a great mother, and above all she was a great and lovable woman. It is safe to say that not only will all the people of the British Commonwealth mourn her death but also millions of people throughout the world will have heard the news of her death with deep personal grief. We arc indeed fortunate in our day and generation to have been the witnesses of such a splendid life and such a magnificent example.

Leader of the Opposition · Barton

– On behalf of Her Majesty’s Opposition I second the motion. It was only recently that the House celebrated the reign of the late King George V. On that occasion we recalled the very close association not only of King George V. but also of Queen Mary with this nation, which was a source of great strength to the Australian people in more ways than one. We are inclined to underestimate the influence that is exerted on national events by the British monarchy and Royal Family. We should appreciate it more greatly than we do. The thought that is uppermost in the minds of honorable members is that the late Queen Mary, as the senior member of the Royal Family, was really the head of the British Commonwealth. As the human loss will he borne by the Royal Family, whom we revere and respect, and it is therefore fitting that we should convey the message embodied in the motion to Queen Elizabeth the Second with our loving sympathy in her grievous loss.

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

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Mr. MENZIES (Kooyong - Prime

Minister). - As a mark of respect to the memory of Her late Majesty Queen Mary, 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, 25 March 1953, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.