House of Representatives
8 September 1953

20th Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. Speaker (Hon. Archie Cameron) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

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Death of the Honorable Allan McKenzie McDonald, M.P., and Mb. Daniel Mulcahy, M.P. - Returns to Writs: Mb. A. E. Greenup, Mb. f. E. Stewabt and Mb. E. D. Mackinnon, Sworn.


– I have to announce that I have received the return to the writ which I issued on the 2nd April for the election of a member to serve for the electoral division of Dalley, in the State’ of New South Wales, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the Honorable John Solomon Rosevear, and that, by the endorsement thereon, it is certified that Arthur Edward Greenup has been elected in pursuance of the said writ.

I have to announce with deep regret the death, on the 10th June, of the Honorable Allan McKenzie McDonald, member for Corangamite, and on the 13th July, of Mr. Daniel Mulcahy, member for Lang. On the 29th July last, I issued writs for the election of members to serve in the places of the deceased members. I have received returns to the writs, and by the endorsements thereon, it is certified that. Ewen Daniel Mackinnon has been elected to serve for the electoral division of Corangamite, in the State of Victoria, and that Francis Eugene Stewart has been elected to serve for the electoral division of Lang, in the State of New South Wales.

Mr. Greenup, Mr. Stewart and Mr. Mackinnon made and subscribed the oath of allegiance. death of the honorable allan Mckenzie Mcdonald, m.p.

Prime Minister · Kooyong · LP

– It is always a very sad thing when colleagues who have sat with us for years, and whose companionship we have enjoyed, are suddenly removed by death. Contrary to impressions which arise occasionally outside this place, through strenuous parliamentary debate, there is a wealth of good personal fellowship in this Parliament. This fellowship sweetens public life, and I have no doubt that it will provide for the majority of us most of our happy memories when our political days are over.

On this occasion, we are thinking of two old colleagues. The first of them is our late friend, Allan McKenzie McDonald, who was the honorable member for Corangamite. He had long experience in local government, State government, and Federal government, and rendered very great service to the people of Australia in Avar, and in peace in public life. Allan McDonald, who certainly would need no introduction to members of this chamber who sat with him, was the honorable member for Corangamite in this Parliament from 1940 to the time of his death. Before that, he had represented the electorate of Polwarth in the Victorian Parliament for seven years. Earlier, he had played a prominent part in local affairs. As honorable members are aware, he was a distinguished member of the first Australian Imperial Force in World War I. and was wounded in Europe in the course of that conflict.

For some time before his death, he had been in very poor health. We all noticed that condition with infinite regret, but it can be said quite truly that the courage and integrity which marked him were well understood and widely appreciated in this chamber. Australia owes a great debt to men who enter its service and spend, as he did, and as did the late Mr. Mulcahy, to whom I shall refer in a few moments, their vigour and maturity in the service of this country for many years.

Mr. McDonald was the Minister for External Territories and Minister assisting the Minister for the Interior from June to October, 1941. He was the Opposition Whip in this House from 1946 to 1949, and he served on various parliamentary committees. Last year, he was a delegate to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in Ottawa. He had a wide and varied experience, and he was immensely popular in his own electorate. He was a man who knew men, and was known by them. It can be said quite truly that everybody in this place, when he heard the news of Allan McDonald’s death, felt that he had lost a friend. I should like to convey to those whom he has left behind a verysincere expression of the feeling whichexists in this place, and of our gratitude- for the fine work that he performed. I move -

That this House expresses its deep regret at the death of the Honorable Allan McKenzieMcDonald, a member of this House for thedivision of Corangamite and a former Minister of the Crown, places on record itsappreciation of his meritorious public service,, and tenders its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement.

Leader of the Opposition · Barton

– I second the motion and’ endorse the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) in relation to the late Allan McDonald. I think that every member of this House, after coming to know Mr. McDonald, regarded1 him as a friend. We saw his suffering during long months and sympathized with him, and it is an honour for usto have an opportunity to record to-day,, in the few words contained in the motion proposed by the Prime Minister, ourappreciation of what he did for Victoria and for Australia. He did a great deal. He was a member of the Parliament of Victoria and later a member of theCommonwealth Parliament. He was a Minister of the Crown both in Victoria and in the Commonwealth sphere. Hehad a distinguished war record. He wasactive and vigorous in his expression of” opinion here and in all his activities,, but I think, perhaps, some of the best work that he did was rendered to this House in its committees. I have in mind particularly a committee on which he served during World War II., which dealt with repatriation problems, war gratuity and the like. That committeeconsisted entirely of ex-servicemen and was presided over by the honorablemember for Lalor (Mr. Pollard). Mr. McDonald was greatly esteemed - nay, he was loved - throughout his electorate,, and the Parliament is the poorer for his death. On behalf of the Opposition, I join with the Prime Minister in expressing our deepest sympathy with therelatives of the late Mr. McDonald.,

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


Mr. MENZIES (Kooyong - Prime Minister). - Mr. . Daniel Mulcahy, the 1 late member for Lang, died on the 13th ) July last at the age of 71 years. He was an Irishman, horn in County Kerry, and he came to this country as a very young man. He, too, had a long experience of public life. He first showed his interest in public affairs in the field of “local government. He was an alderman of the Waterloo Council for eight years and was mayor of the municipality for a number of years. Ho was an alderman of the Sydney City Council from 1930 to 1935. He entered this House as the member for Lang in 1934, and that constituency continued to return him to this Parliament for the nineteen years which elapsed thereafter until his death. He was, during his parliamentary career, a member of the War Expenditure Committee, a very important committee that engaged in a great deal of close and detailed work, from July, 1941, to July, 1943. He was a member of the Public Works Committee from February, 1945, to August, 1946. He was a Temporary Chairman of Committees for six years from October, 1943, to October, 194)9. Our late friend is survived by a daughter. We all on these sad occasions, too many of which have fallen to our lot of late, feel the break that is involved in losing the company of a man with whom we have been closely associated. For nineteen years Mr. Mulcahy commanded the warm and continuing support of a great electorate. Like our other late friend, Allan McDonald, he .was,, during the latter portion of his- service in this House, precluded by his health from being as active in debate as he would have liked to be. It would indeed have been unwise for him, as for Allan McDonald, to engage too heavily at that time in the nervous strain of parliamentary conflict. But during the whole of that period Mr. Mulcahy maintained a close communion with his electorate. I have heard from manypeople how closely . he considered the affair of. his electors during that time. I am also in a position to know that his personal charities and kindnesses to many people who needed kindness, because they had fallen on poor days, were, although never advertised, most extensive. I have no doubt that they earned for him a- particular place in the hearts of the people whom he served for a long time. I move -

That this House expresses its deep regret at the death of Daniel Mulcahy, a member of this House for the division of Lang, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service and tenders its profound sympathy to his daughter in her bereavement.

Dr. EVATT (Barton- Leader of the Opposition). - I second the motion proposed by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies). We on this side of the House feel a deep sense of loss as a result of the death of Dan Mulcahy. As the Prime Minister has pointed out, he did not, especially in his later years, take a very active part in debate, but he always performed his duties in the House mostassiduously; No one worked harder than he did for the people whom he represented for the long period of nineteen years. In his electorate, especially in the’ bitter years of the depression, he was very closely associated with charitable movements. He was associated also with the claims of the under-privileged and the pensioners. He was associated most of all, perhaps, with the returned servicemen’s organizations in his electorate, for which he worked very hard. A perusal of the questions that he asked in this House over the years will show where his interests lay and what he felt his duty to be. They will explain the deep affection for him which was evident throughout that long period of years.

To-day, in paying tribute “ to . Allan McDonald and Dan Mulcahy, we are paying tribute to representatives of elements that are very important in the life of Australia. We have a European tradition, but a British heritage. In that heritage, not only the English element and the Welsh element are important.. The Scotch element, represented by Allan McDonald, and the Irish element, represented by Dan Mulcahy, are also important. We should think of that matter a little when we feel the poignancy of our separation from these two men, whom we liked so well and who endeared themselves to us so much.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their place’s.

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Prime Minister · Kooyong · LP

– As a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased honorable members, I move -

That the House do now adjourn.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 3.20 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 8 September 1953, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.