10th Parliament · 1st Session
The Senate met at 10.30 a.m., pursuant to the proclamation of His Excellency the Governor-General.
The President (Senator the Hon. T. Givens) took the chair.
The Clerk read the proclamation.
The Deputies appointed by His Excellency the Governor-General for the opening of the Parliament, the Eight Honorable Sir Adrian Knox, P.O., K.C.M.G., Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, and the Right Honorable Isaac Alfred Isaacs, P.O., a Justice of the High Court of Australia, having been announced by the Usher of the Black Rod, entered the chamber and took their seats on the dais.
The Senior Deputy, through the Clerk, directed the Usher to desire the attendance of the members of the House of Representatives, who being come,
The SENIOR DEPUTY said-
Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives :
His Excellency the Governor-General not thinking fit to be present in person at this time, has been pleased to cause letters patent to issue under the Great Seal of the Commonwealth constituting us his Deputies to do in his name all that is necessary to. be performed in declaring this Parliament open, as will move fully appear from the letters patent which will now be read.
The letters patent having been read by the Clerk,
The SENIOR DEPUTY said-
Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives :
We have it in command from the GovernorGeneral to let you know that as soon as the members of the House of Representatives shall have been sworn, the causes of His Excellency calling this Parliament will be declared by him in person at this place; and it being necessary that a Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be first chosen, you, gentlemen of the House of Representatives, will retire to the place where you are to sit, and there proceed to the choice of some proper person to be your Speaker ; and thereafter you will present the person whom you shall so choose to His Excellency, at such time and place as he shall appoint.
Mr. Justice Isaacs will attend in the House of Representatives for the purpose of administering the oath, or affirmation, of allegiance to the honorable members of that House.
The Deputies and the members of the House of Representatives having retired,
– I have to announce that I have received a communication from His Excellency the Governor-General enclosing certificates of the choice of Mr. Josiah Thomas as a senator to fill the casual vacancy in the representationof New South Wales in the Senate caused by the death of Senator Allan McDougall, and of the choice of Mr. Percy Phipps Abbott as a senator to fill the casual vacancy in the representation of New South Wales in the Senate caused by the death of Senator Edward Davis Millen.
Certificates laid on the table and read by the Clerk.
– I have to announce that I have received a communication from His Excellency the Governor-General enclosing certificates of the choice of Mr. Burford Sampson as a senator to fill the casual vacancy in the representation of Tasmania in the Senate caused by the resignation of Senator George Matthew Foster, and of the choice of Mr. John Blyth Hayes as a senator to fill the casual vacancy in the representation of Tasmania in the Senate caused by the death of Senator Thomas Jerome Kingston Bakhap.
Certificates laid on the table and read by the Clerk.
– I have to announce that I have received a communication from His Excellency the Governor-General enclosing certificates of the choice of Mr. William Plain as a senator to fill the casual vacancy in the representation of Victoria in the Senate caused by the death of Senator Edward John Russell, and of the choice of Mr. David Andrew as a senator to fill the casual vacancy in the representation of Victoria in the Senate caused by the death of Senator Stephen Barker.
Certificates laid on the table and read by the Clerk.
– It is with very great regret that I have to announce to the Senate the death of Senator J. V. O’Loghlin, which occurred on the 4th December, 1925. On behalf of the Senate I conveyed an expression of sympathy to Mrs. O’Loghlin and family pending the more formal resolution of the Senate. I have also to inform the Senate that, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, I notified the Governor of the State of South Australia of the vacancy caused in the representation of that State in the Senate by the death of Senator O’Loghlin, and that I have received a communication from His Excellency theGovernor-General enclosing a certificate of the choice of Sir Henry Newman Barwell, K.C.M.G., as a senator to fill such vacancy.
Certificate laid on the table and read by the Clerk.
Senators Thomas, Abbott, Sampson, J. B. Hayes, Plain, Andrew, and Sir Henry Barwell made and subscribed the oath of allegiance.
Sitting suspended from 10.59 a.m. to 3 p.m.
His EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNORGENERAL entered the chamber, and, being seated, with the President on his right hand, a message was sent to the House of Representatives intimating that His Excellency desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate chamber, who, being coma with their Speaker,
His EXCELLENCY was pleased to deliver the following Speech : -
Gentlemenof the Senate, and Gentlemenof the House ofrepresentatives :
You have been called together to consider matters of importanceto the wellbeing of the nation.
The death of Her Majesty the Queen Alexandra evoked a widespread expression of national grief throughout Australia and the Empire. The loss of one whose life was devoted to good deeds will long be felt by the whole of her people.
My Ministers welcome the conclusion of the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee between the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, and Italy, which they believe will have the effect of promoting peace in Europe, strengthening the League of Nations, and rendering possible a reduction of armaments. They are giving their most earnest consideration to the manner in which the’ treaty affects the Empire as a whole.
On the conclusion of the first 25 years of Federation, it is my pleasing duty to congratulate the Parliament and people of the Commonwealth on the remarkable progress made. I feel that you can contemplate the past with satisfaction, and face the future with confidence. During this period Australia and the Empire have passed successfully through the ordeal of the great war, and have withstood the social and economic difficulties which followed. It is a source of extreme gratification that this young country has so weill discharged the responsibilities of nationhood.
The prosperous conditions which the country has enjoyed in recent years are being maintained. The financial position of the Commonwealth is sound, and reflects the general prosperity of the community. The successful flotation of the recent war loan conversion of £67,000,000 without the assistance of oversea money is a clear indication of financial strength.
My advisers realize the vital importance of providing the greatest measure of defence compatible with the man-power and financial resources of the nation, and are accordingly proceeding with their programme of naval, military, and air defence.
The election has shown that the people of Australia are determined to maintain law and order, and to protect the Commonwealth against the sinister activities of persons who pursue a policy of disturbance and unrest in order to promote revolutionary objects. To give effect to this mandate, and to ensure the safety of the Commonwealth, my Government will submit to you proposals forbidding the establishment of associations having for their object the forcible disturbance or overthrow of constitutional government, and providing for the punishment of persons promoting tha objects of such associations. To prevent the dislocation of trade and commerce, which inflicts loss and suffering on the whole community, legislation will be submitted dealing with un justifiable interference with the transport of goods and passengers.
My advisers recognize the .importance to the whole community of promoting industrial peace. To secure the settlement of industrial disputes by methods of reason, and not by methods of force, the Government will introduce legislation designed to adapt the system of industrial arbitration to the requirements of the present day. A measure will be submitted to invest the court with judicial power, to diminish the conflicts between Federal and State awards, to give members of organizations registered under the act control of their own affairs and of their officers, and generally to increase the efficiency of the machinery for the speedy and effective settlement of interstate industrial disputes.
Steps will be taken to give effect to the policy of the Government to have competent inquiry made into the important subjects of uniform conditions throughout Australia as to hours of work and child endowment.
Proposals arising out of the investigation by the royal commission into social insurance will be submitted to you .for your consideration.
Legislation will be introduced providing the necessary machinery to enable the Commonwealth Bank to make advances on extended terms to people of limited means desirous of purchasing their own homes.
My advisers consider that the health of the individual citizen is of primary and fundamental significance in all aspects of national defence and national progress. The royal commission appointed to inquire into and report upon public health and the operation of the laws of the Commonwealth and the States in regard thereto has presented its report. The proposals of the royal commission are now being considered, and an early conference with the Governments of the States will be held to decide upon the best means of securing the health of the community.
My advisers have given further consideration to the question of the establishment of the seat of government at Canberra, and have decided that, in the interest of economy and efficiency, the departments removed from Melbourne should be established at the outset on a permanent basis with a nucleus staff. After consultation with the Federal Capital Commission, arrangements have been made according to which the transfer of the seat of government will be effected in the early part of 1927.
The estimates for the current financial year, and the tariff resolutions submitted to the last Parliament, will be placed before you for consideration.
Recognizing the importance of the postal, telegraphic, and telephonic services in the advancement and development of the Commonwealth, the Government intends vigorously to pursue the improvement and extension of the activities controlled by the Postal Department. A sum of £6,000,000 has been made available provisionally for this purpose. The extension of services carried, out during the past year constitutes a record. Wireless stations have been established at Wave Hill and Camooweal, and considerable benefits have thus been conferred on the settlers in those remote areas.
In view of the problems arising out of the ‘ relations between the Commonwealth and the States, my Ministers propose to invite the States to meet the Commonwealth in conference to consider these matters. A royal commission has already considered the position of Western Australia, and an investigation will be made into the circumstances of Tasmania. For the present year, you will be asked to grant a subsidy of £450,000 to the State of Western Australia. Special consideration has been given to the effect of the Navigation Act upon the State of Tasmania, and a Bill will be introduced to deal with disabilities affecting the passenger traffic between the mainland and that State.
The States of Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia have made agreements with the Commonwealth in pursuance of the migration agreement entered into between the Governments of the United Kingdom and Australia. It is hoped that the other States will also take advantage of the benefit of the generous interest concessions on money raised for public works calculated to promote development and settlement, and to increase the absorption power of Australia. The general adoption of the agreement, which has a currency of ten years, would have a profound effect upon the future prosperity of the Commonwealth.
In continuance of the Government’s policy of more efficient and orderly marketing, measures will be introduced to extend to other industries the system of control in respect of oversea marketing which has had such beneficial results in connexion with dairy produce and dried fruits. By this means, and the expansion of the system of finance provided by the Rural Credits Branch of th 3 Commonwealth Bank, progressive advancement of oversea trade, and a steady improvement in the position of .producers will be assured.
Measures providing for the government and development of North Australia will be submitted for your consideration.
A uniform gauge for the railways of Australia is a pressing national necessity. Each year of delay is adding to the ultimate cost of a scheme which is. inevitable. The first instalment of this policy is being realized in the South Brisbane-Kyogle railway now in course of construction, and proposals will be placed before you for a line connecting Port Augusta and Adelaide on the uni- form gauge. The complete solution of this problem is, however, impossible without the active co-operation of all the States on the mainland, and this cooperation has unfortunately not yet been secured.
A bill will be submitted at an early date to ratify the agreement made between the Governments of - the Commonwealth and the State of South Australia to carry out the obligation of the Commonwealth to build a railway northward to the vicinity of Alice Springs. The Government has obtained the necessary information to determine the route, and will submit definite proposals for the construction of this line. Tenders have been called for the construction of a line in the Northern Territory between the Katherine River and Daly Waters.
Modern means of transport have revolutionized road standards and methods of road construction, and have made good roads a matter of national importance. For the purpose of establishing a national policy of road construction and maintenance, a conference has been called of representatives of the Commonwealth and States. Measures will accordingly be submitted to you providing for a contribution by the Commonwealth of an amount not exceeding £20,000,000 over a period of ten years.
For the purpose of stimulating production, my Ministers will bring down proposals to make advances to the states to an amount not exceeding £3,000,000, to enable assistance to be given by them to landholders for the provision on easy terms of wire netting and vermin-proof fencing.
Proposals, based upon the recommendations of various experts, will be submitted to you to increase the usefulness of the Institute of Science and Industry, and to extend the scope of scientific research in relation to the primary and secondary industries.
It is proposed to terminate the present system of assisting the cotton industry by a guaranteed price, and in lieu thereof ‘to stimulate the production of cotton by a bounty. The matter has .been submitted to the Tariff Board for inquiry and report with a view to legislation being introduced.
Among other matters with respect to which you will be asked to legislate are bills relating to lands acquisition ; bounty on power alcohol; prospecting for petroleum and precious metals; and encouragement to tropical agriculture in the Territories. A number of bills amending existing legislation will be introduced.
I desire, on this my first opportunity of meeting the Parliament, to express my thanks for the cordiality with which I have been received by the people of Australia. I keenly appreciate the honour of representing His Majesty in so great a Dominion, and at so important a stage of its development. I feel that Australia is on the eve of vast expansion. Its loyalty and value to the Throne and Empire are being more fully and more practically appreciated. The fast-awakening recognition of mutual interests must still further strengthen the ties which unite the Commonwealth and the Mother Country, and increase the happiness and prosperity of all our peoples. Whatever I may be able to contribute to the common task will be gladly undertaken, not .merely as a duty, but as a great and lasting honour.
In the earnest hope that Divine Providence may guide your deliberations, and further the welfare of the people of the Commonwealth, I now leave you to the discharge of your high and important duties.
His Excellency the GovernorGeneral and the members of the House of Representatives having retired,
The President (Senator the Hon. T. Givens) took the chair at 3.28 p.m., and read prayers.
– I have to announce that I have received a copy of the Speech which His Excellency the Governor-General was pleased to deliver at the opening of the Parliament. As each honorable senator will be supplied with a copy, I do not propose to read it.
That the consideration of the speech be an order of the day for the next day of sitting.
.- I move-
Thatthe following resolution be transmitted, through His Excellency the GovernorGeneral, to His Majesty the King : -
We, the members of the Senate in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, take the earliest opportunity we have had, since the lamented death of the late Queen Alexandra, to express our deep sympathy in the great sorrow which Your Majesty has sustained.
Of all the great personalities that have graced the Throne and Court of the United Kingdom, Queen’ Alexandra has in. many ways come closer than any other to the heart of the nation. Over 60 years ago she came to England as a Royal bride from a strong and kindred race, and became at once, in sympathies and interests, a true and zealous member of the nation.
It . is an historic and remarkable fact that the love of the nation, which the Queen inspired on her first coming, never waned. Though she ceased, at the death of King Edward, to appear in the role of a sovereign, she remained always, in the affections of the people, the most lovable of queens. This great affection, was not born of her Royal station. It was the moral beauty, which lay behind the beauty of face and figure, that accounted for the perpetuation of the love she inspired. Her love was reciprocal and sincere, her sympathy illimitable, and her charity boundless. She shared in all the vicissitudes and trials of her people. Though she lived through immense changes, and suffered many bereavements, her womanly qualities and great virtues never failed to inspire the nation.
The sympathy that ‘has, everywhere, been felt for the King is a testimony to the memory of one who has transmitted beneficent influences to her descendants. In a word, her life was beautiful, and no Queen in the history of the British monarchy was ever more firmly enthroned in the hearts of the British nation. She is dead, but her good deeds live after her, and her memory will be revered so long as the nation endures.
.- In seconding the motion I desire to associate myself with all that the Minister (Senator Pearce) has said. I feel that the Senate will do well to adopt the resolution, for it appropriately expresses the sympathy of the people whom we represent with His Majesty the King. It is quite true that the late Queen Mother, coming first as a beautiful princess, stepped from a foreign country almost to the Throne of England, and she stepped not only into that fierce light that beats upon a throne, but also into the very hearts of the British people. From the hearts of the people of the Empire she will never be removed. I join, on behalf of honorable senators on this side of the Chamber, in expressing the deepest sympathy with His Majesty at the death of his Royal mother, and I am sure that the motion, as framed by the Minister, expresses the feelings of the whole of the people of Australia.
Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their places.
– Honorable senators are aware that,’ since we last met, Senator J. V. O’Loghlin has passed away. I move -
That the Senate expresses its sincere regret at the death of Senator the Honorable James Vincent O’Loghlin, and places upon record its appreciation of his long and meritorious public service, and extends profound sympathy to his widow and family in their sad bereavement.
The late honorable senator died on the 4th December. His death was then the occasion of expressions of general regret throughout his State, and now we take this, the first, opportunity to record our sorrow at the loss of a colleague; and to voice our sympathy for his widow and his family of three sons and a daughter. Senator O’Loghlin was a well-informed in an, and took a great interest in all matters affecting the public welfare.
In 1888 he was elected to the Legislative Council of South Australia, and six years later sought re-election, his popularity securing for him a vote which was nearly double that polled by any previous candidate. His political experience was wide. In March, 1896, Mr. O’Loghlin became Chief Secretary and Minister for Defence in the Kingston Government, and held those offices until December, 1899. During this period he was Leader of the Legislative Council. After fourteen years as a member of Parliament he was defeated at the Legislative Council elections in 1902. His first association with the Senate was in July, 1907, when he was elected to fill an extraordinary vacancy on Senator Vardon’s election being declared void. But electoral disputation had not ceased, and his term was short. On the 20th December of the same year Mr. O’Loghlin’s election was, in turn, declared void, and as a candidate at the fresh election in February of the following year he was defeated. He was not long absent from political life. He entered the South Australian House of Assembly, and in 1913 was returned at the head of the poll, in the Labour interest, for the Senate. In the following year he was re-elected to the Senate, and completed his six years’ term, but was defeated in 1919. He entered the Senate again in July, 1923, but death cut short the term for which he had been returned.
The late senator filled many public positions. His was a life of varied interests and useful services. He was active in municipal matters, and was a member of the Gladstone Town Council. He took an active part in the “affairs of the Irish National League, and was prominently connected with the Adelaide Branch of the Australian Natives Association. The deceased gentleman also rendered useful military service. He was an officer in the Volunteer Defence Forces for many years, obtained the rank pf lieutenantcolonel, and received the Volunteer Decoration. As Minister of Defence in the Kingston Government, he organized and dispatched the first two contingents from South Australia for service in South’ Africa in 1899. Soon after the war began in 1914, the late senator, though .well past the fighting age, offered his service.-* unreservedly. In 1915 he was accepted for service abroad, and left Australia as an officer commanding reinforcements for the Australian Imperial Force in Egypt, Gallipoli, and France. Prior to his departure on transport duty, he was tendered a farewell dinner, at which I, as Minister for Defence, presided. That night he said to me, “If you cannot put me in the firing line, put me as near to it as you- can.” He continued in this work until 1917, and, upon his return to Australia, he became a member of the Federal Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, a position which he held until 1918.
In a word, the late senator had a distinguished career in South Australia as a member of Parliament, as Leader of the Legislative Council, and as a Minister of the Crown. From the Federal political sphere we lose an able and loyal colleague who rendered fine service. His whole municipal, political, and military career was an excellent example to Australians. The Senate joins, with his wide circle of friends, in deploring his loss.
By way of showing the late senator’s strong sense of duty to the Commonwealth, I may add that when the Senate was in session last winter, many of us observed he was failing in health, and I took it upon myself to sea him. and to urge him not to come to Melbourne under the rigorous climatic conditions then obtaining. On behalf of the Government I informed him that, as far as his vote in the Senate was concerned, I would see that he was provided with a live pair, and that leave of absence would be freely given him. I urged him, having regard to his health and the interests of his family, to cease making regular journeys from Adelaide to Melbourne, ‘ but, notwithstanding my entreaties, his sense of public duty was so strong that he’ continued to attend in his place here. He did so at the risk of his health, and his assiduous attention to his public duties probably hastened his decease.
– Again I rise with regret to second the motion submitted hy the Minister (Senator Pearce). By the death of the late Senator J. V. O’Loghlin, with whom I was closely associated for many years, we have lost a gentleman, who, because of his integrity and ability, commanded . our unqualified respect and esteem. He was a man of great reading and learning - a mail of distinguished parts - and, to me, personally, his loss is very great. Deep as is my sense of personal deprivation, however, it is as nothing compared with the loss which his death means to the public life of Australia, and particularly to his widow and family. To the widow and the members of the late honorable senator’s family, I wish to convey the sincere sympathy and sorrow of honorable members on this side of the Chamber. We feel that by his death Australia has lost a man who gave of the best of his ability, which was great, and devoted all his energies, which were extraordinary, to the service of his country.
– I may, perhaps, be permitted to supplement very briefly the remarks of the right honorable Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce), and the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Gardiner), in view of the fact that I was politically associated with the late respected senator during the whole time that he was a member of the Senate. I knew, him personally for many years - before either of us entered the public life of Australia - and I can endorse all that the Minister has said in regard to his probity, straightforwardness, and earnestness. His death is, indeed, a loss to the parliament and to the community. I desire to express my sympathy with the widow and family in the bereavement they have sustained, and I join with honorable senators generally in deploring the loss that South Australia has suffered by the passing of the honorable gentleman, who was universally respected in the State in which he was best known.
.- - As a colleague of the late Senator J. “V. O’Loghlin, I desire to support the motion. Senator O’Loghlin was a great man, and, although he has passed away, his characteristics will live long in the memory of all who knew him. He was a gentleman every time and’ all the time, and a man of the highest integrity. As the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Gardiner) has said, Senator O’ Loghlin ‘s death is a loss to Australia in general, and still greater to his widow and family. Like the Minister (Senator Pearce), I endeavoured to impress upon him that travelling between Adelaide and Melbourne, week after week, to attend his parliamentary duties during the winter months Vas likely to seriously impair his health, and that it would be better for him to obtain leave of absence and remain at home. Although he was’in ill health, however, he” felt that it was incumbent upon him to attend regularly the sittings of the Senate, in order to carry out the parliamentary duties that he was elected to perform, and this he conscientiously endeavoured to do. He even disregarded the instructions of his medical adviser, who told him that, having regard to his condition, he should take a rest. Notwithstanding this advice he told me that he thought it imperative that he should come over to Melbourne from week to week to assist in legislating for the people of Australia. The late honorable senator contemplated a trip to England, which he thought might benefit him. He had already arranged for his passage when his doctor advised him not to go. He seemed to be keenly disappointed, and, three weeks later, again consulted his family physician, but was informed that if he took the trip in all probability he would not reach his destination. Despite this serious warning, he continued coming to Melbourne to attend the sittings of the Senate, and this no doubt hastened his end. We deplore his death. Australia is the poorer for the passing of such a fine personality.
– I should like to add my quota to the expressions of appreciation of the good work which the late Senator J. V. O’Loghlin did for South Australia and for Australia generally. I knew the deceased gentleman for 25 years. During that time I was very often in close contact with him, and I never knew him to do anything little or mean. No greater tribute could be paid to any citizen. He was a man all the time, and was therefore worthy of the respect of all men.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon.
Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable senators standing in their places.
.- I move -
That the Senate expresses its sincere regret at the death, of the late Hon. Sir Austin Chapman, and places upon record its appreciation of his meritorious public service, and extends its profound sympathy to his widow and family in their sad bereavement.
By the death of Sir Austin Chapman the career of one of the most interesting figures in Australian parliamentary life has closed. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, for the electorate of Braidwood, at the general election in 1891 ; held that seat until his return to the House of Representatives for the constituency of EdenMonaro, at the first Federal general election held in 1901, and’ represented that constituency up to the time of .his death. He thus had a very long- career of public service, and during it he filled many important positions. He was Government
Whip from 1901 to 1903; Chairman oi the Select Committee on Old-age Pensions, in 1904, and of the Royal Commission on the same subject in 1906; Commissioner for the Australian section of the British Empire Exhibition, London, in 1923 ; member of the Board of Trade from June, 1923, to May, 1924; Minister for Defence from 24th September, 1903, to 26th April, 1904; Postmaster-General from 5th July, 1905, to 30th July, 1907- during which period he represented the Commonwealth at the ‘International Postal Convention held in Rome in 1906 - and Minister for Trade and Customs in 1908, and again from February, 1923, to May, 1924. A feature of his public life was his association with the establishment of the seat of government at Canberra, and I think it will be agreed that he was rightly termed “ The Father of Canberra.” The establishment of the Capital was a matter that lay close to his heart, and its consummation became the burning desire of his life.
Sir Austin Chapman, whilst holding strong political opinions, had such a lovable disposition that he made no enemies, but was able to count every one his friend. That friendship he gained not by unworthy -means, but by reason of his genial nature and the common touch of humanity that so strongly characterized him. Parliament is a loser by the death of such a man, and words . fail to express adequately the sympathy that we feel for his widow and family. Their loss is indeed great. Highly esteemed as he was by his fellow members, it must be obvious that to his family he was much dearer, and by them still more greatly loved.
Senator GARDINER (New South
Wales) [3.51]. - In seconding the motion, I associate myself with the sentiments that have been expressed by Senator Pearce. It was my good fortune to meet Austin Chapman first of all in the Parliament of New South Wales which met in Macquarie-street, Sydney, in 1891. Although we always belonged to different parties, from that day until the time of his death we were close personal friends. I followed his career in the public life of this country, and am convinced that his health was broken by the attention that he gave to the service of the people. The complete breakdown of his nervous system that occurred sixteen or seventeen years ago was unquestionably the result of the energy which he threw into the discharge of his parliamentary duties. That he was unbeaten in the arena of State politics, and unbeaten, although frequently challenged, in the Federal constituency that he represented from the inception of Federation until the time of his death, is ample testimony to his ability, his capacity, and his popularity. I join with Senator Pearce in conveying to his widow and the members of his family the deep sympathy that we feel in theloss of a man who gave so much to the public life of Australia.
Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable senators standing in their places. death of the hon. charles Mcdonald.
.- I move-
That the Senate expresses its sincere regret at the death of the late Hon. Charles McDonald, ex-member of the House of Representatives, and places on record its apprecia tion of his public . service, and extends its profound sympathy to his widow and family in their sad bereavement.
The late Mr. McDonald, as honorable senators are probably aware, died, during the election campaign, on 13th November last. At the time of his death, he was a candidate for the constituency of Kennedy, which he had represented since the inception of the Commonwealth. During that period he performed very useful service in the House of Representatives, and was held in high esteem by members of all parties. His political career began when he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland in May, 1893. He held a seat in that Chamber until his resignation upon election to the House of Representatives, in 1901. At every subsequent election he was returned, on several occasions being unopposed. He filled many useful offices. He was temporary Chairman of Committees from 1901 to 1904; a member of the Select Committee on Electoral Act administration in 1904; a member of the Select Committee on Ocean Shipping Services in 1905, and of the Royal Commission on the same subject in 1906; and Chairman of Committees from 1906 to 1910. He was elected to the Speakership of the House of Representatives in 1910, and again in 1914, from which date he held the position until June, 1917. Mr. McDonald led a very active politicallife, and possessed an exceedingly alert mind. I well remember visiting him on one occasion whilst he held the office of Speaker, and the astonishment with which I learnt of the extent of the research work that . he felt impelled to undertake in order to properly carry out his duties. He had in his library tabulated references to and rulings of the Speakers and presiding officers of practically every Parliament in the British Empire. He was a keen student of the Standing Orders, of not only his own House, but also every similar chamber in the Empire. In that respect he had few equals in the Commonwealth. So conscientious was he in the discharge of his duties as Speaker of the House of Representatives that he left no stone unturned to make himself the complete master of his subject and to set a very high standard in the office that he held. His loss to the public life of the Commonwealth is a great one, but it is infinitely greater to his widow and family, to whom we extend our very sincere sympathy.
– I associate myself with Senator Pearce in his references to the late Hon. Charles McDonald. He also was one of those of whom it might be said that he gave too much to the service of his country, and as a consequence he paid the penalty in the infirmities that came upon him in later years. Mr. McDonald brought to bear upon the discharge of his public duties’ unbounded energy and ability. If the records of party meetings could be made public, it would be found that healso performed there, in the interests of the general community, as noble a work as he performed outside. He was a man of indomitable energy. Senator Pearce will remember the persistence with which, in the early days of our party meetings, he insisted upon the complete recognition and carrying out of that which he considered to be right. I became personally associated with him fifteen years ago. At party meetings as in public he was dominated by the same highmindedness, the same desire to do his best, not only for his constituents, but also for the whole of the people of Australia. ‘ That was one of hia outstanding characteristics. I have lost a very warm .personal friend, and I join with Senator Pearce in expressing to the widow find family the deep regret that wo feel at Mr. McDonald’s death, and our sincere sorrow at their great loss.
Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable senators standing in their places.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) agreed to-
That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn until 3 p.m. to-morrow.
Senate adjourned at 3.59 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 13 January 1926, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1926/19260113_senate_10_112/>.