5 July 1905

2nd Parliament · 2nd Session

The President took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.

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Attorney-General · South Australia · Free Trade

.- I have to announce that, in consequence of a vote in the House of Representatives on Friday last, the Ministry of which Mr. Reid was the head tendered certain advice to His Excellency the Governor-General, which was not accepted, and that subsequently the Ministry tendered their resignations to His Excellency, and now only hold office until their successors are appointed. I takethe opportunity of thanking allmy friends on this side for their continuous and kindly help to myself, and their constant and loyal devotion to the progress of business here. I also take the opportunity of thankingmy honorable friend, Senator McGregor, the leader of the Opposition, for his, I think I may say, unremitting courtesy, and the continual reliance I have always been able to place in him in arranging the business to be undertaken by the Senate. I think it is due to him and to myself to say that, because there have been times when in carrying out his arrangements with rae, he has not been followed - for perfectly satisfactory reasons -by the whole of his own party, and yet he has faithfully observed the compacts he has made. I have also to thank all my honorable friends on the opposition side of the Chamber. When I had the honour of first occupying this position, I intimated - what we must all have foreseen - that we were on the eve of very keen controversy ; that we were about to deal with matters involving very strong differences of opinion. I think we shall all agree that my anticipations in that respect were an accurate forecast of the business which concluded our last session. But I was also gratified that, notwithstanding this keen controversy, and these deep differences of opinion, we were able to conduct the business of the Senate in a manner worthy of its distinguished position under the Constitution, and to do so with perfect goodwill, and with one common desire, to do the best we could in the interest of the country. And I think I may say, without flattery or undue eulogy, or anything of that kind, that in the performance of my duties as leader of the Senate, I had the greatest assistance from allmy honorable friends opposite. Notwithstanding that we differed, and differed strongly, I do not believe that there is one rift in our friendly personal relations.

Several Honorable Senators. - Hear, Hear


– I presume that the honorable and learned senator intends to conclude with a motion.


– I do, sir. In relinquishing this position which I have been proud to hold, and whose duties I have been proud to discharge - I do not mean the official position of Attorney-General, but the position of leader of this great and august assembly - I part company from all my honorable friends here, certainly on my part, with what will always be a constant feeling of personal regard, and I am sure that it will be reciprocated by the goodwill of all my friends: I move -

That the Senate at its rising adjourn until Friday next at 2.30 p.m.

I ought to mention that I move this motion at the request of the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, conveyed not directly to rae, but through my honorable friend, Senator Drake, and because I understand that there is a necessity for a Supply Bill to be passed. The time of meeting is in the hands of the Senate. I think it is my duty to mention that, whilst seeking to facilitate the business in that respect, on the last occasion we followed the ordinary practice of adjourning for a week, and the President will tell honorable senators that there is no necessity for the Houses to sit at the same time for the purpose of passing a Supply Bill. But I have been requested to move that the Senate meet on Friday at half-past two o’clock, and it is for the purpose I have mentioned, I believe, that the request has been made.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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Motion (by Senator Clemons) agreed to-

That one month’s leave of absence be granted to Senator Best on account of urgent private business.

Motion (by Senator Givens) agreed to-

That two months’ leave of absence be granted to Senator Stewart on account of urgent private affairs.

Senate adjourned at 2.39 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 5 July 1905, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.