24 March 1953

20th Parliament · 1st Session

The Deputy President (Senator George Rankin) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

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Minister for Trade and Customs · QueenslandMinister for Trade and. Customs · LP

by leave - Honorable senators will have heard with deep regret of the death of a member of this Parliament, the Honorable John Solomon Rosevear. Mr.

Rosevear died in Sydney on Saturday last. He had had a lengthy parliamentary career, which commenced in 1931 when he was elected to the House of Representatives as a member for the division of Dalley in Mew South Wales. He represented that division from 1931 until the time of his death, a period of over 21 years. Mr. Rosevear was a member of the Bankruptcy Legislation Committee of the Parliament from 1932 to 1936, and he was a Temporary Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives from November, 1934 to Juno, 1943. He was appointed Controller of Leather and Footwear in 1942, and held that position until 1945. From June, 1943, to the end of 1949, he was Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was also Chairman of the Post-war Planning Committee for Leather and Footwear Industries in 1944 and 1945. Mr. Rosevear played a very prominent part in some of the most turbulent events of our political history. He was a forceful debater, and a very interesting and pleasant companion. His colleagues of the Labour party and his friends of all parties will greatly miss him. I move -

That the Senn te expresses) its deep regret al the death of the Honorable John Solomon Rosevear, member of the House of Representatives for the division of Dalley and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, places on record ils appreciation of his lon« and meritorious public service, and tenders its sincere sympathy to his widow and members of his family in their bereavement.

Senator McKENNA:
TasmaniaLeader of the Opposition

– T second the motion. The. death of Mr. John Solomon Rosevear was not unexpected to those of us who, with anxiety, had seen the recent deterioration of his health. Nevertheless that event found us unprepared for the shock that followed his passing. We of the Australian Labour party mourn an able and very esteemed colleague. Mr. Rosevear was a truly remarkable and colourful personality. He made up his own mind on each political issue, and he then pursued his objective with courage, determination and enthusiasm. I doubt whether the Parliament has ever known a more forceful and more able debater and advocate.

Mr. Rosevear was in the front line of the combat forces of the Australian Labour, party. He had an ardent solicitude for the underprivileged and less fortunate persons in the community and was forever espousing their cause. He was a progressive soul who tirelessly and fearlessly sought better conditions for the varied groups with which from time to time he was associated. The trade union movement in particular and the members of the Parliament have great cause to be grateful to him for his activities on their behalf. Mr. Rosevear had the distinction of being Speaker of the House of Representatives for many years. He brought to that high office a new strength and a new power, and through the broadcasting of proceedings in the Parliament Australians generally became aware of his keen and incisive mind and of his strength of character and decisiveness. His was a record of great public service that has prematurely been cut short. He will not be forgotten by his constituents or by his colleagues of all parties in the Parliament, especially his colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour party. We of the Opposition in this chamber trust that he is now enjoying the full reward of a life devoted to his fellow man. We extend to his widow and family our heartfelt sympathy in their grievous loss and wo trust that they will be given strength to boar their great burdon of sorrow. Wc of the Opposition foci that a man has died.

Senator COOPER:
Minister for Repatriation · Queensland · CP

– I desire to associate the members of the Australian Country party with the motion that has been proposed by the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator O’sullivan) and supported by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator MeKenna). We join with those honorable senators in expressing our deep regret at the death of the Honorable John Solomon Rosevear. Mr. Rosevear was elected to the Parliament during a strenuous period in Australian politics and ho quickly earned a reputation as a resolute advocate on behalf of his party. He was forceful in debate and invariably spoke with lucidity. As Speaker of the House of Representatives, he performed outstanding service over a period of many years during which time he engaged in intensive research in matters relating to parliamentary procedure. On behalf of the Australian Country party, I convey our deep sympathy to his widow and the members of his family in their sad loss.

Senator ASHLEY:
New South Wales

– I desire to associate myself with the remarks that have already been made. Mr. Rosevear possessed sterling qualities. He was of a somewhat reserved disposition, but to those who knew him he was a true friend. It was my privilege ‘to know him for many years. He was a man of independent thought and seldom sought the advice of others. As a debater, he was foremost in the Parliament. Although independent in thought and outlook he displayed, during his occupancy of the Speaker’s chair, a balanced mind and -he carried out the duties of that high office with impartiality and justice and with an efficiency comparable with that of his predecessors and in keeping with the traditions of that office. He was endowed with a spirit of understanding and tolerance which it is not the good fortune of all men to possess. That spirit was displayed by him in defeat as well as in success. In his passing I have lost a mate, because he was a true mate in every sense of the word. The Parliament is also the poorer for his passing. All the members of this Parliament are indebted to the late honorable gentleman for the part that he played in providing amenities for almost every one of us. That he will be Badly missed hi the electorate of Dalley, which he served so well and for so long, was demonstrated yesterday by the fact that thousands of people assembled in Leichhardt prior to his body moving off on its final journey. I express to his wife and relatives my sincere sympathy in their sad loss. May they gain some consolation and comfort from the tributes that have been paid and tho respect for his memory displayed by this Parliament in which he laboured for many years with diligence and capacity in the interests of humanity.

Senator AMOUR:
New South Wales

– I desire to associate myself with the motion because I feel that I, too, have lost a grand friend. I knew the late Mr. Rosevear before he entered tho Parliament. I remember how he arrived here after defeating a national figure for the Dalley seat. He fulfilled his duty as the representative of that electorate with great zeal and devotion to its interests. Mr. Rosevear was a true friend to those who knew b,im intimately, his constituents esteemed him highly. He was prepared to give all his time to- even the smallest matters, and whilst he attended to the needs of his constituents he was also able to carry on his, great national work. He was a great Australian and a statesman. Mr. Rosevear was Speaker of this Parliament, and during that period his use of the word “ Order “ became known all over Australia. It is true that the Parliament has lost a grand man. He invariably readily gave advice to his fellows when they sought advice. Although he was sick, he worked untiringly to secure for his fellows things to which he considered they were entitled. I have known the Rosevear family for many years, and I can say that they are a grand family. To them I extend my deepest sympathy.

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

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Motion (by Senator O’Sullivan) agreed to - ‘ *

That, as a mark of respect to the memory of Hie deceased honorable gentleman, the Senate io now adjourn.

Senate adjourned at 3.14 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 24 March 1953, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.