10 March 1936

14th Parliament · 1st Session

The Senate, on the 6th December, 1935, adjourned till a day and hour to be fixed, and to be notified by the President to each honorable senator.

The Senate met at 3 p.m. pursuant to the notification of the President.

ThePresident (Senator theHon. P.J. Lynch) took the chair and read prayers.

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His Majesty King George V. having died on the20th January, 1936, and His Majesty King Edward VIII. having succeeded to the Throne,


– I have to inform the Senate that, on the 22nd January last, Mr. Speaker and I forwarded, on behalf of the Commonwealth Parliament, a message through His Excellency the Governor-General to His Majesty the King in reference to the death of King George V., and His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne, to which a reply has been received.

The Clerk read the Message and the reply thereto, as follows: -

To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty:

Most Gracious Sovereign,

We, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, desire on behalf of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, to convey to Your Majesty an expression of the widespread sorrow with which the news of the death of your Royal father and our much loved King has been received by the people of Australia, and of their heartfelt sympathy with Her Majesty the Queen and all the Members of the Royal Family. Australians feel that they have lost a friend who, since he opened their first Commonwealth Parliament, had always taken a warm’ interest in the progress of their country, whose example during the Great War was an inspiration to them, and whose service in the cause of peace made him also the friend of all mankind.

Australia rests assured that those high ideals which were cherished by His Late Majesty King George the Fifth will be followed byhis son and successor, Your Imperial Majesty.

Our citizens recall with pride and satisfaction that your Majesty’s visit to our country in 1920 resulted in strengthening the ties of kinship and affection which link together the free nations of the British Empire.

On behalf of the Parliament of the Commonwealth we desire to convey its unwavering loyalty to the Crown and to the Person of your Most Gracious Majesty, and we, with confidence, hope and pray that, under Divine guidance your Majesty’s reign may be a long and beneficent one, bringing happiness and prosperity to your Majesty’s subjects, and abiding peace among the nations of the world.

J. Lynch, President.

Geo. Bell, Speaker.

Parliament House, Canberra, 22nd January, 1936.

Governor-General, Sydney.

Please convey following reply from His Majesty the King to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives : - “ On behalf of Queen Mary and myself, I thank you most sincerely for your kind message of sympathy in our great loss. I have received with deep appreciation your expression of loyalty to myself on my Accession to the Throne and your prayers for the happiness of my reign. It will always be my earnest endeavour, under Divine providence, to follow the example of duty and devotion to the welfare of the Empire, which was set by my dear father.”

Wigram, Private Secretary.

Buckingham Palace, London, 25th January, 1936.

Minister for External Affairs · Western Australia · UAP

[3.4]. - by leave - I move -

That thefollowing resolution be transmitted through His Excellency the Governor-General to His Majesty the King: - “We, the members of the Senate in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, on assembling for the first sitting of the Parliament since the lamented death of our late beloved sovereign King George V., express our profound sympathy in the great loss which your Majesty, Her Majesty Queen Mary, and the other members of the Royal Family have sustained.”

It is with the deepest regret that I submit the motion. The sentiments which you, Sir, and Mr. Speaker conveyed to His Majesty the King in the message just read by the Clerk of the Senate need no amplification by me. I am sure, however, that every honorable senator endorses them.


– On behalf of the Opposition, I second the motion. I agree with the Leader of the Senate that this is not the occasion to attempt to add anything to the sentiments contained in the message which you, Mr. President, and Mr. Speaker transmitted to His Majesty.

Senator HARDY:
New South Wales

– On behalf of members of the United Country party I support the motion. The memory of our late illustrious sovereign will forever remainundimmed in the minds of his subjects in Australia.

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

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia - Minister for External Affairs) [3.7]. - by leave - Imove -

That the following resolution be transmitted through His Excellency the Governor-General to His Majesty the King: - “ We, the members of the Senate in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, offer our congratulations on Your Majesty’s Accession to the Throne, and desire to assure Your Majesty of our loyalty and allegiance, and to express our earnest hope that Your Majesty’sreign may be a long and successful one, and marked by the prosperity and progress of the countries comprising the British Empire.”

All honorable senators will, I feel sure, agree with me that the motion is not merely a formal expression of loyalty, because for many years His Majesty King Edward VIII. has impressed his personality on the peoples of the British Empire over which he is now the ruler. His interest in the life of the people and in the progress of the countries constituting the Commonwealth of Nations which we call the British Empire, is real. He comes to the throne at a time when there are dark clouds on the world’s horizon; at a time when the governments of many countries, and especially the governments of Europe, are called upon to exercise the wisest statesmanship to avoid those calamities which seem to threaten our civilization, and we pray that God may so guide him and those who advise him, that he, like his late lamented and beloved father, may use his influence to ensure the peace of the world. We believe that that will be his earnest endeavour.


– On behalf of the Opposition in this chamber, I second the motion. It is unnecessary to add to the words of the Leader of the Senate. We very sincerely endorse the hope expressed by him that His Majesty the King and his advisers will be able to steer, not only the Empire, but also the other nations involved, through the darkness which at present seems almost impenetrable. We are encouraged to believe that that may happen as a result of King Edward VIII.’s personal capacity to understand the problems of his people, and his desire which on more than one occasion before his accession to the throne he openly expressed, that the various difficulties which beset the world may be overcome. The members of the Opposition heartily support the motion.

Senator HARDY:
New South Wales

.- On behalf of the members of the United Country party in this chamber I support the motion. No spoken word of mine can express the great affection and loyalty that we have for our King.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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Motion (by Senator Sir Georg z Pearce) agreed to -

That, as a mark of respect to the memory of his late Majesty King George the Fifth, the Senate do now adjourn until 3 p.m. to-morrow.

Senate adjourned at 3.13 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 10 March 1936, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.