10 September 1942

16th Parliament · 1st Session

The President (Senator the Hon. J. Cunningham) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

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Minister for the Interior · QueenslandMinister for the Interior · ALP

– Once again the occasion has arisen for us to voice our regret at the death of one who was a member of the Commonwealth Parliament, in this instance a sitting member, the late Senator Edward Bertram Johnston, whose untimely death occurred last Sunday. He was 62 years of age, and it is noteworthy that, he had devoted 31 years - just half of his life-time - to the service of the public as a member of Parliament. In hiscarly manhood the late Senator Johnston, after a short period in the Public Service of Western Australia, decided to go on the land, and was engaged in farming pursuits when he first entered State politics in 1911.. With the exception of one brief interlude, he sat as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia until 1928, when he retired in order to contest the federal elections as a candidate for the Senate. During the last six years of his term of office in the Legislative Assembly in Western Australia, he was Deputy Leader of theCountry party. He also held the high office of Speaker of that House, though only for a few days.

The late senator’s term of office in the Commonwealth Parliament commenced in 1929, and it can be truly said that he died inharness. Of his service in this chamber, I may mention that for ten years he was a member of the Standing Orders Committee. He also served as a member of the Joint Committee on Rural Industries. In these days of storm and stress, when membership of this National Parliament places ever greater responsibilities upon each one ofus,I feel that it is particularly appropriate that we voice our sincere appreciation of the public service so ungrudgingly rendered by our late colleague, and declare our deep sympathy with his bereaved loved ones. I move -

That the Senate expresses its profound regret at the death of Senator Edward Bertram Johnston, a representative of the State of Western Australia and formerly a member of the Western Australian Parliament, places on record its appreciation of hismeritorious public service, and tenders its sincere sympathy to his widow and children in their bereavement.

Senator McLEAY:
Leader of the Opposition · South Australia

– I second the motion. The late Senator Johnston was a regular attendant and a diligent worker in the Senate. Hp. fought hard for the State of Western Australia and was a champion of the primary producers, whose problems and interests he had at heart. It is fitting that this motion should be carried, and I join in extending sympathy to the bereaved widow and family.

Senator COOPER:

– I desire to associate the members of the Country party in the Senate with the motion, and to express their deep regret at the tragic death of the late senator. I had the pleasure of knowing him personally from the day he became a member of this chamber on the 1st July, 1929. He was always a keen advocate of any measures which would ensure better conditions for the primary producers. During the period in which he was a member of this chamber, he travelled extensively in Australia, examining personally, amongst other matters, the many problems of the primary producers in the various States, and on many occasions he was able to give valuable guidance in the framing of measures relating to the activities of the man on the land. He was always deeply interested in matters affecting Western Australia, the State which he represented in this chamber. To his widow and family, we convey our deepest sympathy in their bereavement.

Western Australia

– I wish to associate myself with this motion of condolence on the occasion of the death of one of the representatives in the Senate of Western Aus- tralia. The latesenatorwas alwaysa great champion of the western State, and particularly of the primary producers, whom be ably represented in this chamber. I express my deepest sympathy with the. widow and children of the late senator.

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

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Motion (by SenatorCollings) agrued to-

That, as a mark, (if respect to the memory of the deceased, the Senate do now adjourn.

Senate adjourned at 3.7 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 10 September 1942, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.