21 August 1923

9th Parliament · 2nd Session

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. T. Givens) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

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Senator PEARCE:
Minister for Home and Territories · Western Australia · NAT

– I moye -

That the Senate expresses ite sincere regret at the death of Senator Thomas Jerome Kingston Bakhap, and places upon record its appreciation of hie meritorious public service, and extends its profound sympathy to his widow and family in their sad bereavement.

The late senator waa a man of striking personality, and by his death the Senate, and the community ‘ generally, suffer a real loss. He was a widely-read man, and had great experience in public affairs. He was an ardent Australian. The many speeches that he. made in the Senate on Imperial and Australian affairs, at all times displayed a wide outlook, and sounded a very serious note which showed the love he had for his country, and his deep, concern for its welfare. I suppose that most of us are really too busy to study properly many of these questions of wider concern. It is, perhaps, our fault that we are too greatly taken up with . matters that lie closer at hand.- Whether it was that, the late senator was more industrious than most of us, or that he had a wider outlook, certain it is that he seldom spoke in the Senate without bringing before his fellow senators serious questions of widespread importance and of great moment to this Commonwealth of Australia. In every one of his speeches he revealed a depth of thought and a breadth of vision that were remarkable. Those of us who were associated with him will regret his decease from a national as well as a personal point of view, because by his death there has been removed from’ this Chamber a man who occupied in it a unique place, and who gave close consideration to questions which the majority of honorable senators, from lack of inclination or possibly from lack of time, do not study in a serious way. Senator Bakhap had a distinguished career in the service of his

State and of the Commonwealth, and he so acquitted himself that he leaves behind him an honoured memory. I feel sure that the motion will be supported with deep sincerity by every honorable senator. Honorable senators, quite irrespective of party, had the highest appreciation of the late honorable senator’s services, of his sincerity of purpose, of the breadth of his outlook and vision. They realized to the full his deep love of Australia, his unshakable belief in the Empire of which Australia is a part, and the patriotism which he exhibited in relation, to all public questions. To his family his loss must be a great one, because he had a lovable side to his nature, and a charming personality. We can. do little to assuage their grief, but it may be some consolation to them to know that the work which he did in the public life of Australia is appreciated by those who were most closely associated with him in that work, and that they recognised his sterling worth.

New South Wales

– It is my sad duty to associate myself with the motion that has been so ably moved by the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Pearce). I deeply and sincerely regret the death of Senator Bakhap. As Senator Pearce has so excellently put it, Senator Bakhap was a man of sterling’ parts, who possessed a wide vision and, had read widely and deeply. He always held strongly to his views, but rarely did he fail, when speaking in the Senate, to lift the debates to the highest level. With all his strength of character, his unfailing kindness and courtesy to his opponents marked him out as a man who commanded, not only respect, but admiration and love. To his widow and family, naturally, his passing will! be a greater loss than it is to us who, relatively, knew him only casually; but in View of the number of years during which we were associated with him in the Senate, I feel confident that I am not overstating the case in saying that his place in the public life of Australia will not easily be filled. His life has been laid down in its prime. He is another of the many who have passed away from amongst us during the last few years. I join with Senator Pearce in conveying to Ais widow and family the deep sym pathy we all feel for them in the loss .of one who was so able, who possessed such a striking personality, ana who had in him so much that was good that wherever he went he disseminated it amongst hisfellows. The State of Tasmania has lost an able representative, the Commonwealth has lost a statesman, his familyhave lost a husband and a father who undoubtedly, was well beloved.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. T. Givens) [8.8].- On my own behalf, and I am sure on behalf of every honorable senator, I desire to say how deeply we regret the death of our late colleague. He was one of the finest and most.manly types of sturdy Australians that it is possible to imagine. To those who had ‘ the privilege of association with him in the Senate, he always appealed as a man of the widest and most statesmanlike outlook. He had a thorough grasp of, not only Australian, . but- also Imperial and international affairs. In some of the most eloquent speeches that have ever been delivered in the Senate, he gave full expression to his wide observation, and to hia knowledge of questions of Imperial and international concern. It is, I feel sure, a pleasure to all to remember those splendid speeches with which he favoured the Senate. They were, udtdoubtedly, a source of keen enjoyment to honorable senators who were privileged to hear him, and were greatly appreciated. It is a pathetic circumstance that only yesterday morning. I received from the late senator a letter, written the day before his death, in which he said that, in all probability, I should receive the news of his death before bis letter reached me. In that letter he expressed the desire to once again renew his pleasant associations in the Senate; and he concluded by saying that, if he had to go, go he would, uncomplainingly and without repining. Personally, I mourn the loss of a dear friend - a man with whom it was always a pleasure to associate, and with whom I had the most pleasant relations, in both a private and’ an official capacity. To his widow and sorrowing family I - and I am sure I am supported by every honorable senator - extend, the fullest possible sympathy. I hope that the assurance which they must have of the very highest esteem .in which the deceased gentleman was held by not only his colleagues in the Senate, but all who know him and were acquainted with his work, together with the full knowledge that he laid down his life at the close of a most useful career of public service well and faithfully carried out, will be some consolation to them in their’ bereavement. To-day, we take leave finally of our old colleague and comrade, and, with full hearts and Bad feelings, extend our most profound sympathy to his widow and sorrowing children. I shall take early steps to have this resolution properly conveyed to Mrs. Bakhap and the children of the late honorable senator.

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

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Motion (by Senator Pearce) agreed to -

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

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Senator PEARCE:
Minister for Home and Territories · Western Australia · NAT

– As a mark of respect to the late Senator Bakhap, I move-

That the Senate do now adjourn.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 3.13 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 21 August 1923, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.