3 December 1913

5th Parliament · 1st Session

The President took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

page 3666


Senator MILLEN:
Minister of Defence · New South Wales · LP

– I desire permission, sir, to submit a motion without notice.

Leave granted.

Senator MILLEN:

– It is only a week ago that it was my duty to submit for the consideration of the Senate a motion expressing regret at the death of one of our comrades. The same duty falls to my lot to-day, although, I repeat, it is only one week since we stood in the same position as we do on this occasion, by means of a motion expressing our regret at the untimely death of a comrade, and our sincere sympathy with those whom he has left behind. The circumstances surrounding the death of the late Mr. Roberts are such as must make a very strong - indeed, I may say a tragic - appeal to our emotions. He was not full of years, but standing in the prime of life, with every right, humanly speaking, to look forward to many years of useful public service. Without warning the summons came, with a suddenness which leaves us to-day bewildered and distressed. I had very little personal knowledge of Mr. Roberts. My knowledge of him was derived from a study of his public work performed in this Parliament; but I venture to say that, judging him in that way alone, I am entitled to express the opinion that, had he been spared, he would have exercised a potent influence upon the public affairs of Australia. Standing around his open grave we, by the motion I propose to submit, desire to express our deep regret at the untimely decease of our departed comrade, and our sincere sympathy and condolence with the wife and the children whom he has left behind. I move -

  1. That the Senate places upon record its high appreciation of the distinguished public services of the late member for Adelaide, the Hon. E. A. Roberts, and tenders its sincere sympathy to the bereaved. widow and family of an eminent citizen, whose untimely decease is a great loss to the Commonwealth.
  2. That the President be requested to convey the foregoing resolution to Mrs. Roberts.
Senator PEARCE:
Western Australia

– In the absence of Senator McGregor, and at the request of honorable senators on this side of the chamber, it is with great regret that I second the motion. Mr. Roberts was known to me as a colleague in the late Ministry, and was known to those on this side in connexion with our party, as a whole-hearted, sincere, and earnest man. He never spared himself, and he had a high sense of public duty. He had a distinguished career, not only in Parliament, where he served his country, but also on the field of battle, where he won for himself the greatest record of all, and that is the re cord of a brave man. His comrades who knew him on the field can tell of that bravery, and have told of it, though one could never hear of it from the honorable gentleman himself. Of his work for his country the parliamentary records speak, but those who were associated with him in the late Ministry know that he did his work with a singleness of purpose, a sincerity and an ability that stamped him as a man above the ruck, in his knowledge and grasp of public affairs. It is with regret that we say farewell to our comrade, and we on this side join with those on the other side in an expression of sympathy for those who have been bereft of a husband and a father.

Senator Lt.-Colonel O’LOGHLIN (South Australia) [3.5]. - In the absence of Senator McGregor, and as one of the South Australian colleagues of the deceased member for Adelaide, I desire to add my tribute of regret and sympathy in support of the motion. My acquaintance with our deceased brother extended to over a quarter of a century, and my intimate relations with him to over twenty years. I had opportunities of knowing the sterling qualities of our late brother in the State to which he devoted his services, and I know how irreparable is the loss to that State and the Commonwealth generally through his untimely death. His place in the representation of Adelaide may be filled. The Commonwealth will certainly never lack for earnest and patriotic men to carry on its public duties, but the place of Mr. Roberts in the bosom of his family, which has been left without a head, can never be filled. I particularly join in the tribute of sympathy and regret to his wife and his bereaved family in the irreparable loss they have sustained. .

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

page 3666


Senator MILLEN:
Minister of Defence · New South Wales · LP

– As a mark of respect to the memory of the late Mr. Roberts, I propose to ask the Senate to adjourn, but, before doing so, I beg to move -

That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn until 11 a.m. to-morrow.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 3.8 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 3 December 1913, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.