16th Parliament · 1st Session
The House met at 10.30 a.m., pursuant to the proclamation of His Excellency the Governor-General.
The Clerk read the proclamation.
The Usher of the Black Rod, being announced, was admitted, and delivered the message that the Deputies of the Governor-General for the Opening of the Parliament desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate chamber forthwith.
Honorable members attended accordingly, and having returned,
The Deputy authorized by the Governor-General to administer the oath entered the chamber.
The Clerk read the commission, under the Great Seal of the Commonwealth, authorizing ‘the Honorable Edward Aloysius McTiernan, a Justice of the High’ Court of Australia, to administer the oath, or affirmation, of allegiance to the King required by the Constitution to be taken or made by members of the House of Representatives.
The Clerk announced that he had received from the Military and Official Secretary to the Governor-General returns to74 writs for the election of members of the House of Representatives, and the return of the writ for the election of a member for the Northern Territory, held on the 21st September, 1940.
The following honorable members made and subscribed the oath or affirmation of allegiance: -
Abbott, Joseph Palmer, M.C., New England, New South Wales.
Anthony, Hon. Hubert Lawrence, Richmond, New South Wales.
Badman, Albert Oliver, Grey, South Australia.
Baker, Francis Patrick, Maranoa, Queensland.
Barnard, Herbert Claude, Bass, Tasmania.
Beasley, Hon. John Albert, West Sydney, New South Wales.
Beck, Arthur James, Denison, Tasmania.
Boll, George John, C.M.G., D.S.O., V.D., Darwin, Tasmania.
Blackburn, Maurice McCrae, Bourke, Victoria.
Breen, John Patrick, Calare, New South Wales.
Brennan, Hon. Frank, Batman, Victoria.
Calwell, Arthur Augustus, Melbourne, Victoria.
Chifley, Hon. Joseph Benedict, Macquarie, New South Wales.
Clark, Joseph James, Darling, New South Wales.
Coles, Arthur William, Henty, Victoria.
Collins, Hon. Thomas Joseph, Hume, New South Wales.
Conelan, William Patrick, Griffith, Queensland.
Corser, Bernard Henry, Wide Bay, Queensland.
Curtin, J ohn, Fremantle, Western Australia.
Dedman, John Johnstone, Corio, Victoria.
Drakeford, Arthur Samuel, Maribyrnong, Victoria.
Duncan-Hughes, John Grant, M.V.O., M.C., Wakefield, South Australia.
Evatt, Herbert Vere, K.C., Barton, New South Wales.
Fadden, Hon. Arthur William, Darling Downs, Queensland.
Falstein, Sydney Max, Watson, New South Wales.
Forde, Hon. Francis Michael, Capricornia, Queensland.
Francis, Hon. Josiah, Moreton, Queensland.
Frost, Charles William, Franklin, Tasmania.
Guy, Hon. James Allan, Wilmot, Tasmania.
Harrison, Hon. Eric John, Wentworth, New South Wales.
Holloway, Hon. Edward James, Melbourne Ports, Victoria.
Holt, Hon. Harold Edward, Fawkner, Victoria.
Hughes, Rt. Hon. William Morris, K.C., North Sydney, New South Wales.
Hutchinson, William Joseph, Deakin, Victoria.
James, Rowland, Hunter, New South Wales.
Jolly, William Alfred-, C.M.G., Lilley, Queensland.
Langtry, Joseph Ignatius, Riverina, New South Wales.
Lawson, George, Brisbane, Queensland.
Lazzarini, Hubert Peter, Werriwa, New South Wales.
Makin, Norman John Oswald, Hindmarsh, South Australia.
Marr, Hon, Sir Charles William Clanan, K.C.V.O., D.S.O., M.C., V.D., Parkes. New South Wales-
Martens, George William, Herbert, Queensland.
McDonald, Allan McKenzie, Corangamite, Victoria.
McEwen, Hon. John, Indi, Victoria.
McLeod, Donald, Wannon, Victoria.
Menzies, Rt. Hon. Robert Gordon, K.C., Kooyong, Victoria.
Morgan, Charles Albert Aaron, Reid, New South Wales.
Mulcahy, Daniel, Lang, New South Wales.
Nairn, Walter Maxwell, Perth, Western Australia.
Page, Rt. Hon. Sir Earle Christmas Grafton, G.C.M.G., Cowper, New South Wales.
Paterson, Hon. Thomas, Gippsland, Victoria.
Perkins, Hon. John Arthur, EdenMonaro, Now South Wales.
Pollard, Hon. Reginald Thomas, Ballaarat, Victoria.
Price, John Lloyd, Boothby, South
Prowse. John Henry, Forrest, Western
Rankin, George James, D.S.O., V.D.,
Riordan, William James Frederick,
Rosevear, John Solomon, Dalley, New
Ryan, Rupert Sumner, C.M.G., D.S.O.,
Scullin, Rt. Hon. Ja nies Henry,
Scully, William James, Gwydir^ New
Sheehan, Thomas, Cook, New” South
Spender, Hon. Percy Claude, K.C., Warringah, New South Wales.
Spooner, Hon. Eric Sydney, Robertson. New South Wales.
Stacey, Fred Hurtle, Adelaide, South Australia.
Stewart, Hon. Sir Frederick Harold, Parramatta, New tj( uth Wales.
Ward, Edward John, East Sydney, New South Wales.
Watkins, David Oliver, Newcastle, New South Wales.
White, Hon. Thomas Walter, D.F.C., V.D., Balaclava, Victoria.
Wilson, Alexander, Wimmera, Victoria.
The Deputy retired.
– I - I move -
That the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Nairn) do take thu chair of this House as Shaker.
– I second the motion.
Question resolved in the affirmative;
Members’ of the House then calling Mr. Nairn to the chair, he was taken out of his place by Sir Charles Marr and Mr. White and, conducted to the chair.
Mr. SPEAKER ELECT, standing on the upper step, said - I am deeply sensible of the honour which has been conferred upon me by selecting me to be the Speaker of this House. I shall endeavour to -carry out the duties of the office, according to the high standards which have been set by previous Speakers.
Just how far I shall succeed in doing so, and in preserving good order in the House, will depend largely upon the co-operation which I receive from honorable members; but from my acquaintance with honorable gentlemen I am hopeful, and, indeed, confident, that I shall receive their generous support.
Mr. Speaker Elect having seated himself “in the chair,
– On behalf of the Government and, I am sure, of the Home I offer to you, Mr. Speaker, our congratulations upon your election. The office of Speaker is one of great dignity and importance. It is of great importance to every member of the House, and, if I may say so,’ to none more so than to members of the Opposition. To the Speaker is -entrusted, in large measure, the maintenance of the dignity and high traditions of the House and he may, by his knowledge and skill, lend clearness and order to its debates. We are confident, that in all these ways you will fulfil the duties of your high office with distinction to yourself and great satisfaction to us as honorable members. One thing that can be said with complete certainty is that you enter upon the duties of your office confident in the knowledge that all honorable members believe that you will be completely impartial in your administration of the duties of the Chair. Your character, abilities, and experience .are such that we are thoroughly satisfied that you will perform your duties with success. I can say no more than this, that we feel that you will maintain the high standards that have already been set by previous occupants of the Chair and by no one more conspicuously than of the honorable member for Darwin (Mr. Bell), who presided over the last Parliament with, I think, universal satisfaction. I have no doubt that you will carry on the same tradition and that when your- time comes to lay down the duties of this office you will have the reward of knowing that you have given complete satisfaction to all honorable members of the House.
– I join with the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) in extending our congratulations to yon, Mr. Speaker. The Opposition knows that it will receive at your hands the treatment which it deserves. I say “ the treatment which it deserves because I am sure that from one of such a judicial disposition as yourself that is what we may expect. I am quite confident that when you asked the House to co-operate with you so that the dignity of tins chamber might be maintained and the very high and responsible duties that you have to discharge may be the more easily performed, you are making a request which no section of the Parliament heard with greater acceptability than that which sits behind me. After all, the standard of Parliament is largely determined by the Opposition. It can make life very unhappy, not only for the Government, to which it appears to be necessary to act in such a way at times, but also for the Speaker. To act so, however, would, I believe, be a retrogression, having regard to the proud -history of parliamentary government throughout the British dominions’, and particularly in our own country. A long line of distinguished nien has preceded you in the Chair of this House since the establishment of federation. Those men brought to their task the .same high conception of public duty which has, I am sure, animated you during the years that you have been a member of the House, and which you will continue to exemplify, being the unanimous choice of the Parliament for this office at this time, and for whatever period of time is left for you. (Some ono has said to one, though I am quite sure it must have been without justification, that you would have a tenuous hold upon, the office, that the duration of it would synchronize only with, that of the life of the Government itself. Such would be a very unhappy arrangement having regard to the obligations of the country and the Parliament to demonstrate the workability of democracy in this very terrible time through which we are passing. I may not be able to assure you, if the remark to me be correct, that you will have a protracted tenure of office; but having regard to the circumstances of to-day, I say to you : The Opposition welcomes you to the very high office of Speaker of this House,, an office of great authority, and, from the point of view of representative government, of the utmost significance. We welcome you to it as one who will carry out the duties of Speaker of the House in a way which we believe will not only win the respect and admiration of those of us who sit here and have to deal with you, but will also, I am quite sure, be a source of great satisfaction to the country. May I say, as a “Western Australian, that, in your capital city of . Perth, this election will be received with enthusiasm by many of your fellowcitizens. They will see in it a compliment, not only to you, but also to the capital city of Western Australia, and I venture to say, in their humorous way, they will regard it as evidence of the increasing facility with which the disabilities of Western Australia disappear. We shall give you the utmost support and co-operation. We shall observe your call to order, and in every way assist you to maintain the dignity of this chamber. We wish you good health and happiness throughout the term of your occupancy of your high office.
– May I, on behalf of myself and my colleagues, tender our congratulations to you, Mr. Speaker, on your election. Those of us who have been members of the Parliament for a number of years have watched your keen and active interest in the deliberations of the many important problems with which we have had to deal. We all agree,. I am sure, that your earnestness in playing your part in the decisions arrived at here has always been appreciated, irrespective of whether or not we have agreed entirely with your point of view.. In recent years you have occupied on occasions the important positions of Temporary Chairman of Committees and Acting Speaker of this House, and I can recall no occasion upon which you failed to carry out the duties of those offices with fairness and impartiality. In view of that, we can approach your term of office with a feeling that you will continue to bring to the high office to which you have now been appointed those high attributes which marked your service in a “temporary capacity in the past. It is true that the .Standing Orders lay down the procedure whereby the work of Parliament is carried on, but the proper discharge of the duties of your office calls for something more than a rigid adherence to the letter of the Standing Orders. In his interpretation of the Standing Orders a Speaker is required to’ introduce a measure of flexibility to meet special circumstances as they arise and to a great, degree that flexibility depends upon his temperament. I feel confident, Mr. Speaker, that you are fully qualified to exercise wisely the powers conferred upon you. If you bring to your new appointment the high regard for the duties of your office which you displayed when Acting Speaker in the past, then I feel sure that when your term of office expires we shall be able to add your name to the names of other public men who, as Speakers of this House, have left behind them an honorable record of service in the cause of democracy.
– The “ heads “ having spoken I think it is not unbecoming that a word or two should be said on behalf of the rank and file. .1 have no other excuse for congratulating you than that 1 have served under many Speakers and have been disorderly under all of them. But I have been treated with magnanimity and, at all events, with generosity. When I came here to be sworn as a member of this Parliament I had no idea that you were to be elected to the honorable position of Speaker. I did not hear your name mentioned in that connexion.
– Another Old Rowley!
– As the honorable gentleman suggests, surprises do occur in connexion with great events. However, my ignorance is not to be taken as in any sense a measure of your capacity. Sir, I do express the hope - it is probably the last opportunity that I shall have to express it because I know how indulgent the Speaker is when he has been only five minutes in the chair - that in your conscientious endeavour to live up to the traditions that have come down to you from a long line of eminent Speakers, you will bear in mind that this is a popular chamber end not a court of law where we expect judicial prcciseness and exact decorum. This is. a place where men of widely different temperament and outlook and, in the academic sense, scholarship, come together from all parts of Australia to express themselves, a3 representatives of the people who send them here, fearlessly we may hope, sometimes even passionately, within limits. See to it, sir, that they arc not suddenly called to order upon some purely technical ground. Try, sir, if I may make the suggestion at this early stage, not to study the Standing Orders too much. I have known Speakers who knew them only too well, and were constantly able to quote section A, subsection ii, in support of some ruling which was calculated to embarrass an honorable member expressing in his own’ way his own thoughts and the emotions of the people from whom he came. Sir, I have no doubt, whatever of your capacity to fill this office, or of your willingness to fill it well and effectively. I have no doubt that, while I was ignorant, you were not only wishful’ but prepared; that you have equipped yourself by study, as far as that is possible, for the high office which you now hold - study as to the general principles - but I have no doubt that you have specialized in the implications, in particular, of the casting vote.
– I sincerely thank the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin), the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley), and the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) for their congratulations to me upon attaining this high and honorable office. I shall bear in mind the kindly advice of the honorable member for Batman, and endeavour to apply it when, and as, opportunity arises. I also thank those who have spoken for the kind references which they made to me personally.
– I have ascertained that it will be the pleasure of His Excellency the Governor-General to receive you, Mr. Speaker, in the Library of the Parliament at 2.45 p.m. this day.
– Prior to my presentation to His Excellency theGovernorGeneral the bells will be rung for five minutes so that those honorable members who so desire may accompany me to the Library, and there be presented to His Excellency.
Sitting suspended from 11.28 a.m. to 2.45 p.m.
The House proceeded to the Library, there to present Mr. Speaker to His Excellency the Governor-General.
The House having re-assembled,
– I have to report that, accompanied by honorable members, I proceeded to the Library of Parliament and presented myself to His Excellency the Governor-General as the choice of the House, and that His Excellency was kind enough to congratulate me on my election as Speaker.
The Usher of the Black Rod, being announced, was admitted, and delivered the message that His Excellency tie Governor-General desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate chamber forthwith.
Mr. Speaker and honorable members attended accordingly, and having returned,
– I have received from His Excellency the Governor-General a commission authorizing me to administer the oath, or affirmation, of allegiance to members of the House. I now lay the commission on the table.
Mr. McCall made and subscribed the
Oath of Allegiance as member for the Electoral Division of Martin.
Mr. MENZIES (Kooyong- Prime
I desire formally to announce to the House that on the 28th October, 1940, the Ministry was reconstructed and is now constituted as follows : -
Minister, Minister for Defence Co-ordination and Minister for Information.
The Honorable ArthurWilliam Fadden - Treasurer.
The Right Honorable William Morris Hughes, K.C. - AttorneyGeneral, and Minister for the Navy.
The Honorable Percy Claude Spender, K.C. - Minister for the Army.
Senator the Honorable George McLeay Postmaster General, Minister for Repatriation, and Vice President of the Executive Council.
The Honorable John McEwen - Minister for Air, and Minister for Civil Aviation.
Senator the Honorable Hattil Spencer Foil Minister for the Interior.
The Honorable Harold Edward Holt - Minister for Labour and National Service, and. Minister in Charge of Scientific and Industrial Research.
Senator the Honorable Herbert Brayley Collett, C.M.G., D.S.O., Minister administering War Service Homes, and Minister assisting the Minister for Repatriation.
The Honorable Thomas Joseph Collins - Minister assisting the Prime Minister, Minister dealing with External Territories, and Minister assisting the Minister for the Interior.
The Honorable Hubert Lawrence Anthony - Minister assisting the Treasurer, and Minister assisting the Minister for Commerce.
The Postmaster-General will be represented in this House by Mr. Fadden, the Minister for the Interior by Mr. Collins, the Minister for Supply and Development and Minister for Munitions by Mr . Spender, and the Minister for Repatriation by Mr. Holt.
Mr. MENZIES (Kooyong- Prime
Minister). - Consequent upon the reconstruction of the Cabinet, the War Cabinet was reconstituted as follows: - Mr. Menzies, Mr. Fadden, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Spender, Mr.McEwen and Senator Poll.
– His Excellency the GovernorGeneral referred in his Speech to the setting up of an Australian Advisory War Council. The members of this council are : -
From the Government. - Mr. Menzies, Mr. Fadden, Mr. Hughes and Mr. Spender.
From the Opposition. - Mr. Curtin, Mr. Beasley, Mr. Forde and Mr. Makin.
– I desire to inform you, Mr. Speaker, and the House, that I have been appointed Leader, and the honorable member for Capricornia (Mr. Forde) Deputy Leader, of the Opposition.
– I wish to announce that I have been chosen as the Leader of the party that I repre sent in this Parliament, that the honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Rosevear) has been appointed its Deputy Leader, and that the honorable member for Cook (Mr. Sheehan) has been appointed its Whip.
– I desire to inform you, Mr. Speaker; and the House, that I have been appointed Deputy Leader of the Country party, and that I have been asked to act as its Leader.
– Is that a permanent acting arrangement ?
– That is a domestic matter.
Motion (by Mr. Menzies) agreed to -
Thathe have leave to bring in a bill for an act to amend the Officers’Rights Declaration Act 1928-33.
Bill brought up, and read a first time.
– I have to report that the House this day attended His Excellency the GovernorGeneral in the Senate chamber, where His Excellency was pleased to make a Speech to both Houses of the Parliament, of which, for greater accuracy, I have obtained a copy (vide page 6). As honorable members have copies of the Speech in their hands, I presume that they do not desire me formally to read it.
Motion (by Mr. Menzies) agreed to -
That a committee consisting of Mr. Beck, Mr. Abbott, and the mover, be appointed to prepare an Address-in-Reply to the Speech delivered by His Excellency the GovernorGeneral to both Houses of the Parliament, and that the committee do report at the next sitting.
Motion (by Mr. Menzies) agreed to -
That the House, at its rising, adjourn until 2.30 p.m. to-morrow.
– Since this House last met various men of distinction, not only in the history of this country, but also, in one case in particular, all over the British, world, have died, and it is, therefore, my duty to submit to this House certain resolutions of condolence. The first is a motion in regard to the life and service of ‘ the late Right Honorable Neville Chamberlain, for three years, until May of this year; Prime Minister of Great Britain. -The main features of the life of Neville. Chamberlain are well known_ to all honorable members, and well known to English-speaking people the world over. He entered Parliament relatively late. He went into the House of Commons in” his -fiftieth year in 1918, but took with him into that House and into- the parliamentary life of the British people a name that was a very great and a very honoured name, and in no place more honoured than in Australia, where the work done by Joseph Chamberlain had been an inspiration to many people and had made, the name of Chamberlain a household word all over the British world’. Neville Chamberlain . was the third-member of the Chamberlain family to enter the -parliamentary life of Great Britain. He entered it, as I have said, in 1918. His abilities were very great and soon brought him under prominent notice. The result was that before the end of 1923 he had become Chancellor, of the- Exchequer, a greatoffice, which he held subsequently under the Prime- Ministership of Mr. Ramsay MacDonald and Mr.. Bald win. I ‘had the great privilege of . hearing Neville. Chamberlain ‘deliver two budget speeches. I shall always . remember them. They gave -me- an impression of the man that I had never had before, an impression that here was a man . df very great clearness of mind ‘and remarkable lucidity of expression, a man with a wide grasp of affairs and a signal capacity for making even the dry bones of a- budget live. I realized then, as I realized on many, occasions thereafter,. that this man, who had sometimes -been represented almost as if he were a disembodied spirit, was a man of great virility and- reality- As such he made “his mark in the parliamentary history qf Great -Britain and our race, which is a great, thing to say about any one; because one of - ‘the ‘ things at “issue, in- this war is” the parliamentary- institu- tion and we do well, on an occasion like this, to remember with gratitude and with honour those men who, even in our own time, help to establish that tradition and help to make parliament something so living in its reality as a method of selfgovernment that all the powers of darkness shall not prevail against it.
Mr. Chamberlain became Prime Minister in May, 1937, and remained Prime Minister for three years. They were - three years of intense strain, years in which there were many very dramatic changes of fortune for the British people. It was said ‘by the ancient historian Tacitus that there were some men who were universally judged to be fit for the highest office only until they had attained it. Exactly the opposite, I believe, can be said about Neville Chamberlain Many of his greatest qualities were relatively undiscerned by most people until he found himself occupying the highest office. He had great qualities of imagination. I say imagination, because, though he had been regarded as an unimaginative and mathematical man, some of the things he did while Prime Minister displayed most extraordinary imagination.’ I very well remember, and, perhaps, we do well to remember, that, when it was announced by him that he was going to travel to Germany in 1938 and that he was going to discuss the problem of European peace with Hitler on the spot, few people had imagined that such a step might be taken. What he did has since been debated - debated very hotly and it will continue to be debated; but I believe that, however long it is debated, it will be conclusively proved that this man had a wide sweep of imagination and was prepared to do - unusual things in unusual emergencies.
As. Prime Minister, he displayed a patriotic fire that entirely belied the suggestion of coldness that had been made about him before he became Prime Minister. I do not suppose that any honorable member of this House will readily forget the broadcast made -by Neville Chamberlain when he. announced to a listening i world that Great Britain was at war with Germany.. He spoke with great emotion and power, -and, I believe, the way in which he took the British people into this war had a great deal to do with the calmness with which they have faced its problems. In addition to that, he did much more than people think. He had what has been ‘called the common touch, a thing not to be confused with the mere arts of a demagogue, but something which is based upon a real understanding of humanity and human problems; “We remember him for all those things. We remember him as a. great contributor to the tradition of public service. Argument still goes on, of course, about his policy in relation to Germany. I remind myself that on that morning of September, 1938, when we heard that he had been to Munich and that we had. come back from the- very edge of the precipice, few voices were to be heard raised in criticism. On the contrary, all over tho world there was a feeling of profound relief and immense gratitude and. it would be a pity if later acquired wisdom of ours induced us to underestimate the service that was at that time rendered by that great man to every one of us. I believe that, whatever the future historian may say - and I do not undertake to prophesy what he shall say - about the alleged defects of Neville Chamberlain’s temperament with regard to war-time leadership, that same historian will tell us that Chamberlain made a great contribution to the winning of this war before it had begun; because he got for us and, in particular for the people of Great Britain, twelve months of peace in which preparation could be made and in which steps could’ be taken, the force of which has since been demonstrated day after day and night after night in the repelling of all attacks- upon Great Britain.
I know that it is the pleasure of some people to take up the point of view that Mr. Chamberlain was in 193S simply deceived by the dictators. I ha.ve the. honour to speak with some knowledge of the late Neville Chamberlain, some knowledge of his character and characteristics, and I say to honorable members that, in the homely phrase, he was “nobody’s fool “. He was not a man likely to be easily deceived. On the contrary, he was a man of great shrewdness of mind and coolness of judgment, and I believe myself that he knew just as clearly as we now know that he was purchasing a measure of security, purchasing a breathing space for the world. Again speaking with some knowledge of the. state of affairs in Great Britain in. July of 193S, I say: “Thank God that we had that breathing time purchased for us “. In conclusion I simply say this, that to all his gifts of ability and analysis, his business-like approach to complex problems, Neville Chamberlain added a simple manliness of heart, an unaffected and unostentatious way of life, a cool judgment and a steadfast honour, which we believe, and I think rightly so, are the hallmarks of the true English character.
It may be a matter of interest to some honorable members to know that his widow is not without some association with our own country. Mrs. Neville Chamberlain derives from the family of O’Hara Burke, the great explorer of the Burke- and Wills expedition, and she has always maintained the liveliest interest in this country. It was a very happy circumstance that brought together for a great piece of life-work a man whose name- is imperishably associated with the economic binding- together of the British Empire, and a lady who derives from a family whose name stands high in the history of the exploration of this country. They formed a great partnership and I know that I do well to ask honorable members to- authorize me to convey to> Mrs. Chamberlain an expression of personal loss that millions of people in Australia feel they have sustained by the death of her husband. I should like to convey that message of sympathy to her because, while to us the loss is, in the largest sense, a national loss, it is to her an intimate loss in which she will be consoled by the knowledge that we British people, wherever we may be in the world, are prepared to do honour to a great man to whom honour is due. I move -
That this House records its sincere regret at the death’ of the Right Honorable Neville Chamberlain, a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, places on record its appreciation of his devoted service to the British Commonwealth of Nations and to the cause of peace in the world, and tenders its deep’ sympathy to the widow and family in their bereavement.
– I second the motion.. It , would be a very great presumption on my part- if I attempted to examine the personality and character of Neville Chamberlain, - but I feel” no diffidence whatever in paying the fullest tribute within my capacity’ to his devoted service in endeavouring to preserve our civilization from the barbarism of another world war. When he- became’ Prime Minister of the United 4 Kingdom”, Neville Chamberlain was confronted with a situation not of his own making, the causes of which it would be futile to state to-day. He- was “faced with a wave of aggression. I- think it can be quite freely said that he knew’ that the -capacity to “resist that aggression of the “great Em-‘ pire which he represented was not sostrong as it could have been, and was “not so- strong as it would have been but for the firm conviction of those who had preceded him in his high ‘ office that civilization had reached a stage at which’ it was practicable to ‘resolve international difficulties ‘ on the basis of negotiation,’ discussion and agreement, and that recourse to force, with all its terrors, its horrors and its hideousness, would not be lightly entered upon even by those who felt that they laboured under substantial injustices: He’ set himself to compose international differences by endeavouring to deal with what, his reason must have suggested ‘ to him” as being points of view which Great ‘ Britain did not entertain but which none the less, the British people would realize were reasonable “views for pother countries to entertain. “ In” hrs Prime Ministership he tried to satisfy what is to those who sit on’ this side of’ the House the great hope’ of an” ordered mankind– that we shall’ agree to live ‘together’ and promote .one another’s’ welfare’ to “the utmost of our joint abilities and that such differences of opinion as -‘may exist’ between ‘us shall be examined.” and determined in the lightof reason so that force shall have” no place: in -the ‘world ; because,- whatever’ be the results of force,” “ultimately the harvest isbut Dead. Sea fruit.- He was a man who sought- by appeasement, if you like, by negotiation^ by discussion, by examination; arid ‘ even5 by compromise, ‘ if the critics’ will have it that way, to save this generation, from all that is now happening.. The name of Neville Chamberlain will for all time be associated, with that noble effort. He could not be described as a- peace-maker, because fate wa3 against him; but he could be properly described as a peace-promoter, a man who endeavoured to avert war. As the world knows, he failed ; but it was not complete failure, because he emphasized before the world the readiness of . his Government and the Empire for which he spoke to determine international problems without employing force “ and to use discussion and argument as a means of opening up a reasonable basis for resolving such difficulties.- As the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) has said, “in that year after the Munich Conference when Mr. Neville Chamberlain was “ nobody’s fool “, and in the light of the realization that” it gave to him that he was dealing with men and with philosophies to which his whole outlook and the outlook of his own country were alien, steps were taken to safeguard democracy. If he failed in the highest purpose, he at least essayed it and attempted to achieve peace.
We should not judge men only on their achievements, for the achievements of any man, or any number of men, must always fall far short of their endeavours. If we judge Mr. Neville Chamberlain by- his effort to avert war we must agree that no higher purpose can animate a statesman than that of endeavouring to avert war. If Mr. Chamberlain failed to avert war, we may say of him very definitely that he then proceeded, in such time as was given to him, to prepare his country to resist war. No statesman can serve his country more honorably than in an attempt to defend its liberties. Therefore, I pay tribute to this- nian. T am no great admir’er of the Imperial background of the Chamberlain family. There are reasons upon which I might differ from those who would see in that a panoply of greatness: But that does not” alter the fact that in- the light of all that has happened in recent years, I regard Mr. Neville Chamberlain as one of the greatest -of the great men who have held the highest office this race can confer upon a man.
– It is desirable that the message of sympathy which we wish to convey to the widow and family of the late Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mr. Neville Chamberlain, should be in such a form as to enable the whole House to agree entirely with it. The historical outline which the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) has just put before us of the circumstances surrounding the later years of the life of Mr. Neville Chamberlain brought to our minds many considerations that had relation to the period prior to the war and to the months that have since passed. I suppose that no man in British history was subjected to more criticism than Mr. Neville Chamberlain. It has been truly said that many of us grow wiser after events are passed. As we see the picture before us to-day, some of us are doubtless better and more fully informed as to the general conditions that prevailed in Great Britain during the Munich discussions than we were at that time, and we now have a better understanding of the course of action which Mr. Chamberlain took On that occasion. If Mr. Chamberlain did not succeed in preserving peace for the world,, it is at any rate beyond all question that his work at that time enabled Great Britain to prepare itself for the future with a rauch sounder guarantee than could possibly otherwise have been the case. Therefore, we pay tribute to the work which Mr. Chamberlain accomplished. It is true and quite proper that arguments can be advanced to show that the judgment of any man or a government on’ a given issue is at fault, and the history of Great Britain’s preparedness in this regard now shows how justified that criticism was based. From time to time, however, we subject our public men to criticism, and, as I have already stated, this criticism is good. Our system of government lends itself to the exercise of the critical faculty. By this means various views are ventilated which undoubtedly lead to the welfare and stabilization of our country. Whatever criticism may have been levelled against Mr. Chamberlain, was doubtless intended to serve the best interests of our country; But those who level criticism at men who have to undertake great tasks, are not always as fully conversant with all the circumstances of the case or as accurately informed of the prevailing conditions as the men who have the responsibilities to carry. It is well that we should appreciate these factors more fully than we probably do.
Mr. Neville Chamberlain has passed to the Great Beyond, and it is fitting that we should express our appreciation of his services. We hope that it may be some consolation to his widow and family to know that the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia appreciates the services of Mr. Chamberlain and. that we as members are big enough to express that appreciation. In this way I add my simple tribute to the memory of this great man and voice the hope that the foundation upon which he worked in order to ensure the security of his country and ours, will,, before very many months are over, have built upon it- the structure of a real and lasting peace which will reign throughout the world for all time. Question .resolved in the affirmative,, honorable members standing in their places.
Dr. W. R. N. Maloney, Col. P. P. Abbott, Hon. A. E. Green, Hon. Frank Anstey, Hon. J. H. Keating, Hon. J. H. Fowler and Hon. H. GREGORY
– A very familiar and yet original personality is missing from our midst to-day. I refer to Dr. William Robert Nuttall Maloney, who died in Melbourne on the 29th August last.
Dr. Maloney enjoyed a. wide popularity in many circles, and there were many,, particularly among the poor, who could testify to his simplicity and kindness of heart. He lost no opportunity in this House and elsewhere of raising his voice on behalf of all movements designed to benefit the poor and needy and to promote the health and well-being of his fellow creatures.
His services as a parliamentarian covered a period remarkable for its length. Elected to the Legislative Assembly, Victoria, for West Melbourne in March, 1SS9, he served in the Victorian Parliament until November, 1903 during which period, he was President of the Royal Commission on the Melbourne
Tramway and Omnibus Company’s Employees’ Grievances. He was first elected to the House of Representatives for the Melbourne Division on the 30th March, 1904, and was re-elected at every subsequent general election during his lifetime. He acted as Temporary Chairman of Committees from 1910 to 1917; was a member of the Royal Commission on the Pearling Industry in 1913, of the Royal Commission on Electoral -Laws in 1914, of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts from 1914 to 1917, and of the Federal Parliamentary Recruiting Committee from 1917 to 1918. Dr. Maloney visited England in 1911 as a member of the Parliamentary Party on the occasion of the Coronation of King George V. and again in 1937 on the occasion of the Coronation of King George VI. He was also a member of the Commonwealth Delegation of the Empire Parliamentary Association which visited South Africa in 1924.
In recognition of his outstanding pubHe and social services, the late Dr. Maloney, was ‘accorded a State funeral. To his relatives we extend our deepest sympathy. I move - .
Mint this House ‘ records its sincere regret at the death of Mr. William- Robert .Nuttall Maloney, a former member of the House of Representatives for the Division of Melbourne, places on .record its appreciation of his meritorious public and social service, and tenders its deep sympathy to’ his relatives in their bereavement.’
It is with deep regret that I refer to the passing of yet another former member of this- Parliament, LieutenantColonel Percy Phipps Abbott, C.M.G.,- V.D., who died at Tamworth, New South Wales, on- the 9th September last.
The late Colonel Abbott represented the Division of New England in the House of Representatives from 1913 to 1919 and was a member’ of the Senate from 1925 to 1928. He was a member of the Royal Commission on the Commonwealth Constitution which sat from 1927 to 1929.
The late Colonel Abbott had a distinguished military career both in peace and war. During the Great War he served with distinction in the campaigns on Gallipoli and later in- France. He maintained his active- interest in the welfare of returned soldiers in the Glen Innes and Tamworth districts, where for many years his energies had found outlet in the management of civic affairs.
His widow and family will find consolation in the knowledge that he rendered fine service to his country and earned the highest respect of his fellow mcn. I move -
That this House records its sincere regret at the death of Mr. Percy Phipps Abbott, a. former member of the House of .Representatives for the Division of Kew England and a senator for New South Wales, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service, and tenders- its deep sympathy to his widow and family in their bereavement.
It is my sad duty to record the death of our old friend and fellow member of this House, the Honorable Albert Ernest Green, who passed away at Kalgoorlie on the 2nd October last.
In recognition of his public services as a Minister of the Crown the late member was accorded a State funeral.
Mr. Green served his political apprenticeship in the State Parliament of Western Australia, having been elected to the Legislative Assembly, for Kalgoorlie, in November, 1911, and having held that seat till March, 3921. He was elected to the House of Representatives ‘ for Kalgoorlie at the general elections in 1922, and continued to represent that electorate until his death. He served as a member of the Select Committee on the Effect of the Operation of the Navigation Act on Trade in 1923, was a member of the Royal Commission on National Insurance -in 1923-7, a member of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts from February to September, 1929, Minister for Defence from the 22nd October, 1929, to the 4th February, 1931, and Postmas ster-General and Minister for Works and Railways from that date to the 6th January, 1932.
The late honorable gentleman was an indefatigable worker on behalf of his constituents in the largest electorate in the Commonwealth, and he will be greatly missed by a large body of friends not only in Western Australia but also, in the eastern States. He served his party and his country faithfully and well. Such was his personality that he was regarded with friendliness even by those to whom he was vigorously opposed politically.
I desire, on behalf of the Government and of the Parliament, to extend our very deep sympathy to the widow and family of the late Mr. Green in their bereavement I move -
That this House records its sincere regret at the dentil of the Honorable Albert Ernest Green, a member of the House of Representatives foi- the Division of Kalgoorlie, and former Commonwealth. Minister, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service, mid tenders its heartfelt sympathy to the widow and members of his family in their bereavement.
It is with very deep regret that I refer to the death of the Honorable Frank Anstey, a former member of this chamber and a Minister for the Crown-, who passed awa.y at his residence at West Brunswick, Victoria, on the 31st October last.
Mr. Anstey commenced his long parliamentary career as the member for East Bourke Boroughs in the Legislative Assembly, Victoria, in October; 1902, sitting till June, 1904, when he was returned for Brunswick. He held that seat till February; 1910. Elected to the House of Representatives for Bourke, Victoria, at the general elections in 1910; he held his seat continuously until his retirement on the expiration of the thirteenth Parliament in 193’4. Mr. Anstey was Assistant Leader of the Labour party in- the House’ of Representatives from July, 1922, to March, 1927, a member of the Royal Commission on the Effect of the Operation of the Navigation Act upon Australian Trade and Industry in 1923, a member of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts from February to September, 1929, and Minister for Health and Minister for Repatriation from the 22nd October, 1929, to the 3rd March, 1931.
I did not have the honour of knowing Mr Anstey, but I know, as all honorable members know, that he rendered conspicuous service to the Labour movement and his fellow men. In him were combined a genial and kindly nature with a spirit independent and aggressive. These attributes, aided by a gift of brilliant and direct speech, caused him to become a picturesque figure in the political life of Australia.
I desire, on behalf of the Government and of the Parliament to extend our very deep sympathy to the members of the family of the late Mr. Anstey in their bereavement. I move -
That this House records its sincere regret at the death of the Honorable Frank Anstey, a former member of the House of Representat ives for the Division of Bourke, and Commonwealth Minister, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service, mid tenders its heartfelt sympathy, to the members of his family in their bereavement.
It is with deep regret that I inform honorable members of the death of the Honorable John Henry Keating, a former Senator and a Minister of the Crown, who passed- away at Melbourne on the 31st October last.
This sad event has removed yet another figure from the small number remaining of those gentlemen who had the distinction of being members of the first Commonwealth Parliament. Mr. Keating was elected to the Senate for Tasmania at the general elections in 1901 and again- at subsequent genera! elections up till 1917. He held ministerial office as an Honorary Minister from July, 1905, tq October, 1906; as Vice-President of the Executive Council, October, 1906- to January; 1907, and as Minister for Home Affairs from January, 1907, to November, 190S. He also served either as chairman or- member of a number of select committees. In 1916 ho visited England at the invitation of the Imperial’ Parliamentary Association.
Following his retirement from politics in 1922 the late Mr. Keating devoted himself to his legal practice in Melbourne. He was appointed by the CommonwealthGovernment as counsel assisting the Royal Commission on Performing Rights which presented its report in 1933.
As one of the young members of the Commonwealth Parliament in its infant years, Mr. Keating brought to the counsels of the Senate, and of the various ministries of which he was a. member, aa enthusiasm guided by wide scholarship and balanced judgment, and expressed by a notable eloquence. Throughout his long public service he maintained an independent spirit and served Australia with distinction and devotion.
I desire, on behalf of the Government and of the Parliament, to extend our very deep sympathy to the members of the family of the late Mr. Keating in their bereavement. I move -
That this House records its sincere regret at the death of . the Honorable John Henry Keating, a former Senator for the State of Tasmania, a member of ,the first Commonwealth Parliament ami a. Minister of the Crown, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service, and tenders its deep sympathy to the members of his family in their bereavement.
The death- of the Honorable James Mackinnon Fowler at his home at East Malvern, Victoria,, on the 3rd November, compels us to record in sadness the passing -within a period of one week of three former members of the Commonwealth Parliament.
Mr. Fowler also had the distinction of being a member of the first Commonwealth Parliament.’ He was elected to the House of Representatives for Perth, Western Australia, at the general ‘ elections in 1901, and was re-elected at all subsequent, general elections until 1922. He was Temporary Chairman pf Committees in 1906-12 and Chairman of Committees from the 7th August, 1913, till the dissolution- of the Parliament in 1914. He was a member of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts in 1914-17 and acted as chairman of the committee in 1920. He was also a member of the Select Committees on Decimal Coinage in 1901 and on Electoral Act Administration in 1904.
The late Mr. Fowler had an interesting and varied career, having been a member of the great Scottish Regiment, the Black Watch, and a prospector on the Western Australian gold-fields before entering the political arena. He was noted for his strict adhesion to his beliefs and for his unswerving loyalty to .the interests of his particular State. He was a keen student of politics and made many very valuable contributions to financial debates in the House.
After his retirement from Parliament Mr. Fowler contributed a number of essays and reviews which appeared in Australian and English newspapers and magazines, and in later years was engaged on a piece of historical research which it was hoped would throw fresh light on many of the problems of British history.
I desire on behalf of the Government and of the Parliament to extend our very deep sympathy’ to the widow and family of the late Mr. Fowler in their bereavement. I move -
That this House records ils sincere regret at the death of the Honorable James Mackinnon Fowler, a former member of the House of Representatives for the Division of Perth and a member of the First Commonwealth Pailiament, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service, and tenders its deep sympathy to his widow and family in their bereavement.
Within a few days of the date fixed for the meeting of this Parliament a further loss by death has occurred. I refer to the death of the Honorable Henry Gregory who died at Melbourne on the ]5th November. The late honorable gentleman was a veteran member of Parliament, having served for a period of fourteen years in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia before entering the federal political arena. During his State service, he held the position of Minister for Mines and Railways ‘ almost continuously from May, 1901, till September, 1911. He was also acting Premier and Treasurer in 1910-11. Elected to the House of Representatives for the division of Dampier, Western Australia, at the general elections in 1913, he transferred to the division of Swan in 1922 and held this seat continuously until his death. He was a member .of a number of royal commissions and of a select committee, and rendered notable service as a member and, later, as chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Works from 1914 till 1926, and again as a member of the committee from February, 1929 to November, 1931. Mr. Gregory visited England in 1935 as a member of the Commonwealth delegation of the Empire Parliamentary Association, a matter which I personally recall with pleasure, because I was associated with him on that delegation. The late Mr. Gregory will be particularly remembered for his untiring efforts to improve the lot of the primary producers in Australia, and particularly in his own State of Western Australia. In spite of physical ailments and advancing years, he maintained to the end his spirited advocacy on behalf of the man on the land. In so doing he dis- played a rare example of courage and fortitude for which his memory will be long revered in this House.
In recognition of his outstanding public service the late honorable member was accorded a State funeral.
I desire, on behalf of the Government and of Parliament, to extend our very, deep sympathy to the widow and family of the late Mr. Gregory in their bereavement. I move -
That this House records its sincere regret at the death of the honorable Henry Gregory, a member of the House of Representatives for the division of Swan, and a former State Minister, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service, and tenders its heartfelt sympathy to the widow and members of his family in their bereavement.
– Not only was Dr. Maloney well known in this capital city, but his name was also practically a household word all over Australia. For 50 years he participated in the public life of the Commonwealth. He was a pioneer in the organization of the Labour movement, and was prominently associated in the launching of many proposals which have benefited the health and general welfare of the people. Dr. Maloney was a humanist. He had an impelling urge to come to the aid of those who were sick or in distress. If he was not himself able physically to heal all those who were ill, he never spared himself in his attempts to ensure that steps were taken to heal them. He was, in many respects, a miracle worker. He endeavoured to go about doing good. His long association with the party which I lead will always be for us a very precious memory. I do not remember the time when Dr. Maloney was not a conspicuous figure in Labour activities; indeed, the Labour movement would not have seemed the same were he not associated with it. He was affectionately known as the “ Little Doctor “. He was a truly noblehearted and self-sacrificing man, possessing ideals of service which were an example to all of us. No one was sufficiently unimportant for Dr. Maloney not to be ready to give him or her the greatest amount of personal attention that he could. He was notable in this also : It. is on record that in the Parliament of Victoria he once moved a motion to enable legislation to be introduced to enfranchise women, and he could not find a seconder for his motion ; yet he lived to see the day when there was not one adult woman in Australia who was not enfranchised. Many other things also for which lit struggled in his early political life he lived to see achieved. I desire to pay an earnest tribute to his work, and I am thankful for the service he rendered to Australia and for what he did for the Labour movement.
Colonel Abbott served in both Houses of this Parliament, and he also had a distinguished military career. He was an authority on financial problems, and was appointed by the Government of the day to be a. member of the Royal Commission on the Constitution. He understood the problems of the man on the land in a very special way, having given to them a great deal of research and study. I was not in this Parliament while Colonel Abbott was a member of the House of Representatives, and I had not the pleasure of knowing him personally, but I understand that he was highly respected and very much admired. I offer to his family my sympathy, and that of my associates, in their bereavement, and pay a tribute to his public service.
Mr. Albert Ernest Green was one of the great personalities of Western Australia. He was also widely known throughout Australia. There were many sad hearts in Western Australia at the passing of “Texas” Green. He was, as the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) said, affectionately regarded even by his most determined political opponents. At the recent election he had the unique compliment paid to him of being the only member of the House-of Representatives to bc returned unopposed. It can be said of hia service in the Parliament of Western Australia as of his service in this Parliament that he was the unflagging servant of the public. He carried on an immense correspondence. I know that during the recent election campaign, when he was laid aside by illness, although he was not obliged to conduct a campaign on his own behalf, he yet felt called upon to do what he could to assist his colleagues of the Labour party. He dictated a great number of letters, many of them to people living in such remote places as Broome, Eucla, and Meekatharra on the Murchison, outposts of a constituency which is by far the largest in Australia. I am given to understand that, so wide was his acquaintance with the people living in such remote areas, that he was able to address over 300 of them by their Christian names as personal friends. He was widely known, and greatly admired. The respect entertained for him was universal. We who sit here will miss him very much. His experience in the party ! that I lead was long, and it enabled him to bring much wisdom to the examination of our problems. I express to his widow and family not only my personal sympathy, but also the sympathy of the whole of my party; and I’ know that they realize that they have the sympathy of the greater number of the people of Western Australia.
I find it very difficult to speak about Frank Anstey. He was a remarkable figure. Very humbly I make the statement that, of all the men who have in?fluenced me, he influenced me the most. He introduced me to the Labour movement. He set my mind going in the direction in which he wished it to go, and in quite a humble way I sought to play the role of a supporter, an aider, an abettor of the cause to which he had introduced me believing it to be the greatest cause in the world. The longer I have lived, the more truth have I discovered in the urgings that he gave to me. He was a man in whom Mother Nature had, so to. speak, planted the infinite variety of her riches. He was volcanic, but he was also capable of a placid philosophy. He could storm and rage, yet he could, too, woo and win. He had an enormous knowledge - I have used the word “ enormous “ ; probably profound would be- a better word - of human conduct. He studied man; he studied political systems; and he sought to make, the Labour movement a conquering movement, so that it might be a movement which would .reconstruct the social and economic order. He wanted that done, not for the mere pleasure of tearing., things down, but in order that justicemight prevail among his fellow citizens, and that the poor might be less poor. That was the goal which ever animated him. The Labour movement owes Frank Anstey very much. He was a great fighting orator. He was, indeed, what may be’ described as a Labour warrior. He fought; he struggled. He was the type of speaker who could carry the war into the enemy’s camp. He was no mere apologist for the cause that he espoused… Rather was he, as I have described him,, a man who fought for it, and, in fighting, gave all that he had in him to give. He spent himself in almost every speech that he delivered. Members of this Parliament will be able to recall many more of his speeches which fascinated them than I could ever think of. In paying tributeto his memory, I feel that I can but saythat the whole of the Labour movement of Australia is grateful to him for the work that he did on its behalf. I believe that the people of Australia, too, owe him a great deal, and that in the years to come, when the history of this Parliament is to be written, he will be regarded as much more than a- picturesque figure ; . he will be numbered among its inspiring figures.-
The late Senator Keating I.was. privileged to know, although I did not sit in this Parliament with him. I knewenough, about him to describe him as a scholar, as a constitutional authority, and as a man who applied his undoubted talents to the moulding and the development, of a democratic constitution. Hewas not a member of the Labour party. He was described as a Liberal, which - designation,. I think,, fitted, the late 1 honorable senator admirably. He wasa man of liberal mind and disposition. He was broadminded. He bad, too, a sense of service to the people of Australia. In the Parliament, he played a. very notable part in the development of our parliamentary system. The early federal records bear witness to the great influence that he exerted and the immense activity that he displayed. I pay tribute, to his memory. He was one of the original band, that historic band,- and I feel ‘ sure that we who have succeeded themembers of it are all- the better for. realizing the quality of .the men who left, their mark, on the Parliament in which, the late Senator Keating was far from being the least important personality.
I also had the privilege of knowing. James Mackinnon Fowler. He was a member of the first Commonwealth Parliament, .and sat in the- House of Representatives as the representative of the electoral division of Perth for a period of 22 years. The Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) has described him as a tenacious, thoughtful man, who gave considerable aid to the Parliament in the unravelling of its financial problems. He was widely respected throughout Western Australia. . He .was re-elected not only as a member of the Labour party, but also, when he left that party, as a member of the opposing party. It must, I think, be realized that the ease with which he secured re-election regardless of the change of his political affiliations was in large measure duc to the great respect and regard that were entertained for him - as a representative of the people. He was a man of independent mind and resolute purpose and was no slavish follower of the party with, which he happened to be identified. He was very uncomfortable, perhaps, when in the Labour party; and I- do not think that he was any more . happy when he left that party. His was that type of spirited mind which wanted to be able to think for itself absolutely. That was one of the principal characteristics of James Mackinnon Fowler. I sincerely hope that efforts will be made to complete the historical researches, to which the Prime Minister has referred as having occupied Mr. Fowler’s more recent years. 1 offer a tribute to his memory, and an expression of sympathy to his family.
May I say with respect to the late honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory^, that I knew him intimately. He too, came from Western Australia. He was a doughty politician, whose adherence to his principles was inflexible. He, too, could be critical of even his own associates. He was a man of strong principles and firm political convictions. He hum-, bugged neither his opponents nor himself. We knew almost exactly the stand that the. late honorable member would take on any public question, for he never concealed his attitude but always made plain, his general outlook upon political and national questions. He served in the Parliament of Western Australia for fourteen years and then served continuously for 27 years in this Parliament. That U a long political career. In the course of that long record of service it would be extraordinarily difficult to find one man .who had anything but the highest regard for Henry Gregory. He was a Minister of State in Western Australia and, no doubt, he had to do things which hurt people. He was Minister for Mines in the period that has been described as “ the roaring days “ and yet hi3 acts were just and his decisions firm, and nobody questioned their bona fides. For that long political record, there has never been a suspicion entertained against the high honour of Henry Gregory. I. speak as one who endeavoured to have him defeated time and time again. We did not succeed. The people chose him. For his political- principles we felt a good- deal of aversion, but for the man - we had the greatest admiration and regard. I pay tribute for his public service and to his widow we express sympathy.
– This formidable list of deceased members must necessarily have a depressing effect. The hand of death has touched a number of members who were known to us very closely. It is a great consolation to their relatives and friends to feel that they’ have given, in each instance, long and useful service to their country. In most cases, the men who are the subjects of these motions reached a grand old age, and, as both the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) have said, in their long lives they rendered great service. It is perfectly natural thatwe should have deeper feelings about the men with whom we were closely associated. I was associated in this Parliament with Dr. Maloney, “ Texas “ Green, Frank Anstey and Mr. Gregory. I have deep regret at their passing. They played a great part in the development of this country and each in his own way helped the advance towards reform and better conditions for the people, as well as the further progress of the country as a whole. As previous speakers have covered in detail all the high tributes that can be paid to each of the deceased, it is not my purpose to dwell further upon the subject, and. I close by saying that we feel that we have lost close personal friends to whose sorrowing relatives and friends I join on behalf of .my colleagues in conveying expressions of deepest sympathy.
– I desire to associate myself and the Country party , with the sentiment of the reverent expressions conveyed in these motions to those left tomourn the loss of seven former members of this Parliament. I was not privileged to know many of them, but I did have the opportunity to’ be associated with Dr. Maloney, Mr. “ Texas “ Green, and Mr. Gregory, and I was always impressed with the deep-seated convictions held by them.
Dr. Maloney had a. desire to alleviate the lot of the poorer classes of the community and he fought for that right to the last. He gave to Australia a most creditable period of public service.
Mr. Green had deepseated convictions, and I always saw in those convictions a desire to assist to the utmost Western Australia- and the gold-mining industry. He was a staunch Labour man and I am sure that his loss will be felt by those who were associated with him for so long a period- in the Labour movement.
Mr. Gregory was better known to me than either of the other two men. He was a man who impressed me. I looked upon him as a friend and I’ feel his loss very sincerely both as a friend and as a member of the Country party. He was an ardent sup-‘ porter of the British Empire and the Empire has lost a very faithful and loyal eon. He was an ardent advocate for Western Australia. He was an. uncompromising free-trader. He was a pioneer of the Country party and was unrelenting in his efforts to improve the lot of the primary producer. He was a forthright man, conscientious, and what he believed he said. He was kindly, with it all. Henry Gregory was a man to whom you could go for advice and you could always get the benefit of his years of experience - years of experience which have been to the advantage of Australia generally. Any man who has given 40 years of public service to this country must leave behind an example which every young man could follow with credit to himself and profit to his country.
I associate myself and the Country party, therefore, with the sentiments expressed. We convey to those left to mourn the loss of the members to whom the Prime Minister has referred the deepest sympathy, but they can be consoled with the fact that those who have gone gave conscientious and faithful service to Australia.
– Death has been1 very busy amongst us. But I feel that we are failing in our duty and honour to those who have passed in grouping them in one series of motions, thus disposing of the lot in ‘one discussion, because I have no doubt that individual members would have wished to speak about individuals.
I should have liked to say something of my dear bench-fellow William Maloney and something of the great work which he did for those who need assistance, women and children, particularly illegitimate children. For what he did in that way this country is tremendously in his debt.
I should have liked to speak about my well-beloved friend Albert Ernest Green. He was a friend of mine for 30 years.
The successor to Dr. Maloney will speak about him, and I, therefore, shall confine myself to the man whose successor I am in this House, Frank Anstey. I remember him as I first saw him in 1901 or early in 1902. I was- a young man then. I saw him at a meeting of a. debating society in Melbourne called the Free Discussion Society and I heard him speak on the now well-known subject of the Abolition of State Parliaments. I shall always remember him. He was not then -in Parliament. He had stood for East BourkeBoroughs in 1900, but he had yet to begin that illustrious political career of his. I shall never forget him. Any one who had “felt the wand of the enchanter could never forget the enchanter. I came not into such close contact with him as. did my leader, but I remember the impression that he made on. every body who was near him. He was an. inspiration to the Labour movement, an inspiration to the people of Victoria and an inspiration to Australia generally. He was a man who had tremendous courage. When he thought a thing was right he did not hesitate to differ even from his nearest friends and closest associates. He differed from his own party. The Attorney-General (Mr. Hughes) will remember the classic instance in 1915 when Anstey courted the indignation not only of his parliamentary colleagues, but also of the rank and file of his own party outside, by urging that it was unnecessary to proceed with the proposed Constitution alterations, because in time of war the Commonwealth Parliament possessed all the powers that the Constitution alterations were designed to give to it. Although that opinion was scouted by every body at that time, and was ridiculed by none more than by the lawyers, it was only a year later that the High Court actually laid it down formally that the opinion he expressed was correct. That indicated the clear-mindedness of the man and his determination to fight alone, if necessary, for what he believed to be right. Although I owe my entrance to this Parliament to his retirement from active participation in political life, I regretted that retirement as much as anybody. I did my best to encourage him to continue his parliamentary career. It -was not until I saw in his own writing a declaration of his determination not to seek re-election in the Bourke constituency that I became a candidate for selection for that electorate. The people of Bourke will always cherish his memory. He was associated with them for 32 years, but it was not an association, as one might imagine, with a man who took his duties easily. No man lived a more ‘intense, difficult and strenuous life than did Prank Anstey. He terminated his political career with a feeling of disappointment that what he had done for the people was not appreciated by them. But the people knew that Anstey made a mistake in that. He was just as dear to the people of Bourke when he left this Parliament as he was in the heyday of his vigour and popularity. Had he sought to continue to represent them, he could have been the member for Bourke to the day of his death.
– I shall not say one half of what 1 should like to say on this occasion. I have been a member of this Parliament during the active attendance in it of all of the men whose names are now before the House, and I could say something of all of them. But there is near and dear to my heart the memory of Harry Gregory, an old friend with whom I sat in this chamber for 21 yea i*3. I wish to bear testimony to his loyalty, sincerity of purpose, and intense adherence and fidelity to public duty. I feel the loss of Harry (Gregory very greatly indeed. There is no question that his attention to public service at his great age was as exhaustive as that of the youngest member of this chamber. He gave scrupulous attention to every task. As a member of the Parliament of Western Australia he accomplished many valuable things and .it has been trulysaid that the mining laws which he was instrumental in placing on the statutebook of that State are the finest in the world. He himself was a miner and a prospector, and in making those laws he used a great knowledge which was the fruit of personal experience. That legislation is a permanent part of the legal structure of Western Australia, and it has been copied by the United States of America and other countries. This country lost a very great man by the death of Harry Gregory.
I could pay tributes to the late Dr. Maloney and the late “ Texas “ Green also, but without the same intimate knowledge of their characters. These were fine men who served the Commonwealth loyally and represented faithfully and well the people -who sent them into this Parliament. I join with the proposer and the seconder- of this motion in expressing sympathy with the families of those men. This list of the names of men who served their country so well is evidence to us that we must all pass on to that bourne from which no traveller returns.
– I add my humble tribute to the memory of my predecessor and my expression of profound sympathy with his relatives to those already uttered by other honorable members. Dr. Maloney was, as the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) said on the occasion of his death, a most colourful and picturesque personality. In his lifetime he witnessed great changes of a constitutional and economic character. He was born in West Melbourne in a street within sight of the River Yarra up which John Batman had sailed for the first time but 19 years before. So there was compressed into that one man’s lifetime practically the whole of the story of the foundation and development of :the great city of Melbourne. A few years1 before he was born, Melbourne was a village populated by 4,000 people, bat when he died it was a city with more than 1,000,000 inhabitants.
Dr. Maloney was born within eight months of the historic battle of the Eureka Stockade, the S6th anniversary of which will occur on the 3rd December next. At Eureka, Australia’s only battlefield fortunately, great changes were wrought in the outlook of the people of the colony of Victoria. Eureka was one of those strange paradoxes of history, a triumphant failure, a glorious defeat, and the men who led it had the unique satisfaction of being vindicated in their own lifetimes. Out of Eureka came responsible government; from responsible government, at least, in the State of Victoria,, came manhood suffrage, the secret ballot and other changes that were destined to benefit the people of the whole of Australia. Having been born at that time, it was only natural that Dr. Maloney should be greatly influenced by the developments that occurred following upon tho arrival of free men who came here, many of them as political emigres, in order to seek a better land than the land they knew. Dr. Maloney, as a young man, was associated with those mcn. The changes of a constitutional and economic form that took place were ones in which- he participated when he entered public life in 1SS9. He was a member of this House and of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria continuously for 51 years. That record in the history of the parliamentary institutions of the British Commonwealth of Nations will probably stand for many years. The nearest approach to it that I have been able to discover was the long period of continuous service rendered in the- House of Commons by the late Mr. T. P. O’Connor, who was for more than 40 years member for the Scottish division of Liverpool. It is true, of course, that Mr. David Lloyd George has served for a very long period also, but I doubt whether either of those men saw such changes in their lifetimes as did Dr. Maloney. As the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Blackburn) and other speakers have said, the work to which Dr. Maloney dedicated his life, the service of the women and children of the community, was a great and noble work. His funeral was a most remarkable one in that those who lined the whole seven: miles of the route from State Parliament House to the Fawkner cemetery to pay tribute to him were, for the most part,, women and children, not of the privileged classes, but drawn from the ranks of the very humble, the sustenance workers, the invalid and old-age pensioners, and many others who had cause to remember him during his lifetime, not merely because he was a good friend, but also because he was a devoted servant to all of them.
Although I should like to say more of the honorable gentleman who has just passed on, and though on occasions like this one is inclined to become reminiscent, I shall -be content to put on record some interesting figures relating to Dr. Maloney’s- political life. When he was first elected as the member for Melbourne West in 1SS9, 2,841 persons were entitled to vote - those were the days before adult suffrage - and he was elected with 810 votes. The mau whom he defeated, Mr. J. W. Peirce, received 588 votes, Mr. W. T. C. Kelly received 485 votes, Mr. R. C. Barrett received 127 votes, and Mr. J. Anderson received 111 votes. There is the remarkable record : although he was first elected to Parliament as the representative of 2,S00 voters, when he- died he represented 61,000 voters, the adult population of an electorate’ which is one of the wealthiest constituencies in Australia, and at the same ‘ time contains some of the poorest sections of the community if one is to judge hytheir social and economic conditions.
I remember Dr. Maloney first in 1904, when I was a mere boy and was taken to a meeting in the campaign, in which Dr.Maloney defeated the first ‘member for Melbourne, Sir Malcolm McEacharn, then Lord Mayor of Melbourne. That was an inspiring contest and memories of it. still live in the electorate of Melbourne, which, I remind honorable members, was then the Seat of the Commonwealth Government, as it remained for the next 23 years. I believe that of all the men whom we mourn to-day, Dr. Maloney’s name is destined to live longest in’ the minds and memories of this and the next generation. I do not suggest that the other men to whose memory we are paying tribute today did not do great work - possibly in many respects some of them did more substantial and lasting- work - “but Dr. Maloney’s personality was one that- engendered respect and admiration, and I Have no hesitation in saying that his passing was not merely a loss to this Parliament and to his constituency, ‘but also a direct and real personal loss to . practically all of the constituents whom he had faithfully served for so long.
– The Country party has requested me to pay a tribute to two pioneer members of this party, the Honorable Henry Gregory and Colonel Abbott. Before doing so, however, I should like to associate myself with the utterances of respect that have been paid to all the other gentlemen whose departure we unfortunately have to deal with to-day, and with the expressions of sympathy with their families. I have been in Parliament only for 21 years, but during that period, 1 had the privilege of serving with each one of those gentlemen. No matter what their political opinions may have been, > they al] proved themselves groat public servants of Australia. I shall not deal individually with .various men- such as Mr. Anstey, “ Texas “ Green, ex-Senator Abbott, Mr. Fowler and ex-Senator Keating, but, on behalf of the party which I represent, I should like to say a few words about- Dr. Maloney.
I knew- Dr. Maloney for 21 years and, during that time. I was in constant contact with him. With him T ‘ enjoyed that freemasonry or friendship that always exists between doctors, and, as all others who knew him well were perfectly aware, the cardinal feature of his life’ and ‘outlook was his complete and absolute love- of humanity. He’ will be missed in many places because of the way in which he was- able to express that love.
In particular, I should .like to pay a tribute to the Honorable Henry Gregory, who for some time was Deputy. Leader of. the Country, party.- He was a member . of the Country party, .when it. first came into this House ; he had been a Liberal, and he, joined up with the Country party as soon as it was formed. - To his wife and family I desire to make a sincere expression of sympathy on behalf of his old colleagues.
Mr. ; Gregory was a man of great mental and moral courage. Eighteen years ago he was practically physically disabled by an extraordinary major operation, yet he carried out his public duties with such vigour, and energy that any one who did not know him intimately never suspected his condition. He was a man of unique political experience. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) has mentioned the extraordinary State public service that Mr. Gregory gave. He had an immense know-, ledge of Australia; he lived -for quite a. considerable time in three of the great States of Australia and because of his business, political and ministerial contacts, knew something about every industry in all those States. However, he was particularly interested . in mining and agriculture, and because of his pertinacity, his consistent advocacy over many years, and his ability in presenting a case, he was able to secure very substantial assistance for both of those great industries. In the earlier years of this . Parliament, when I was but a raw leader of a new party, he placed his great political -wisdom and capacity at my disposal, and managed to save me from falling into many pitfalls’ that I might otherwise have fallen into. He was keenly -interested in defence, especially in the conditions of our soldiers and returned soldiers. He worked so hard and’ unceasingly for their benefit that. he was ‘ honoured ‘ by ‘ the returned soldiers association’ of Perth by the presentation of ‘a certificate of merit. That certificate he greatly prized, and at the conference of returned soldiers which la being held at the present time, he has been spoken of- very eloquently for his action on that occasion. He had a dogged tenacity of
The late Colonel Abbott was one of the pioneers and founders of the Australian Country party. He was the member for New England when the lastwar broke out, and he enlisted for service overseas. He came back to find his practice had been smashed to pieces and he was forced to leave politics for four or five years. When he returned to this Parliament he served in the Senate. He was one of the founders of the Smaller States Movement, and was for many years president of that body. He was intimately acquainted with the conditions of life in rural districts, and was one of the stoutest fighters for the improvement of country life. His name was a household word throughout New SouthWales, especially in northern New SouthWales, where a great many of the men who were associated with him have borne testimony to his gallantry as a soldier and his wisdom as a politician.
On behalf of the Australian Country party, and more especially of the older members of it, I pay tribute to the great work of these two men in particular, and
I associate the Country partywith the remarks that have been made in appreciation of the public service of all those whose loss we mourn to-day.
– I was privileged to know the late ex-Senator Keating for very many years, and I desire to associate myself with the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and. the Leader of. the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) in relation to his public service. Mr. Seating was a man of brilliant attainments. He had a remarkably successful scholastic career, and was regarded as one of Tasmania’s most notable sons. He was blessedwith an abundance of human kindness, being full of understanding and sympathy. He observed in both precept and practice the golden rule “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to. you, do ye even so to them “. Because of his outstanding ability he made an indelible
I pay tribute also to the memory of other former members of this Parliament whose demise is the subject of our remarks to-day.
Questions resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their places.
Mr. MENZIES . (Kooyong-Prime
Minister). - As a mark of respect to the memory of those referred to in the motions just agreed to I move -
That the House do now adjourn.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
House adjourned at 5.4 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 20 November 1940, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1940/19401120_reps_16_165/>.