25 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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Senator O’SULLIVAN (QueenslandMinister for Trade and Customs. - by leave - It is with deep regret that I have to announce to the Senate the death of Her Majesty Queen Mary and I move -

That the following address be transmitted through His Excellency the Governor-General to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second: -



We, the members of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, have received with heartfelt sorrow the news of the death of your august grandmother, Her Majesty Queen Mary.

We remember with grateful affection the love which the late Queen inspired in all her peoples and we extend to your Majesty and to the other members of the Royal Family our profound and most loving sympathy in this grievous loss.

The late Queen, who was 85 years of age, lived through some of the most momentous times in our very varied history. She will always be remembered by Australians particularly because as the Duchess of Cornwall and York, she took part in the opening of the first Commonwealth Parliament in Melbourne, on the 9th May, 1901. On that day, the Duke of Cornwall and York presented the letters patent from his father, King Edward the Seventh, empowering him to open this Parliament. Queen Mary became Queen of England and Her great Dominions in 1910.

Their Majesties, King George V. and Queen Mary, were crowned at Westminster on the 22nd June, 1911. They had reigned for only a little more than three years when Europe was plunged into “World “War I. From- that time of stress, Queen Mary emerged as an heroic example to all her people on the home front. Day by day she visited the hospitals, bringing comfort and solace to her maimed and wounded heroes. During World War II., Queen Mary desired much to stay in London, but she acceded to the wishes of King George VI., in making her home at Badminton. During her long life, she saw her country assume commercial pre-eminence and survive the trials and hardships of two world wars, emerging victorious and triumphant and still maintaining its position as the moral leader of the world. She lived during the reigns of six monarchs and was shortly to have seen her beloved granddaughter crowned as Queen. Although Queen for a quarter of a century, Queen Mary never lost that common touch with her subjects. She was a happy wife and a fond mother in her home, and in her family life was an example to the nation. Until the time of her death she took an active interest in the lives of the people. She will be remembered with love and affection by the people of England and her far-flung empire.

Senator McKENNA:
Leader of tho Opposition · Tasmania

– On behalf of the Opposition, I second the motion. The late Dowager Queen Mother was a magnificent helpmate to King George V., whose memory we honoured so recently at Canberra. She was a lady upon whom the fierce searchlight of world opinion fell throughout her life. That searchlight followed her as a child, a girl and a woman; as a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; as Queen, Queen Mother and Dowager Queen Mother. It revealed a flawless character, which’ gave a shining example to the world, particularly in the troublous times of great world wars when the evil of war brought about a lowering of the standards of conduct of both individuals and nations. That made Queen Mary’s own shining example all the more necessary and all the more important. She had the blessing of a long. and useful life, and she carried with her throughout the whole of it the affection and respect of all who knew her and, indeed, of most people throughout the world who had only heard of her. The Opposition joins with members of the Government in extending to the Queen and to all members of the Royal Family our respectful and very deep sympathy at this, the second great sorrow that has come to them in recent times.

Senator COOPER:
Minister for Repatriation · Queensland · CP

– I wish to associate members of the Australian Country party with the motion that hasbeen proposed by the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator O’Sullivan) and supported by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna). We join with those honorable senators in expressing our deep regret at the death of Queen Mary. By her loving kindness the late Queen endeared herself to all. Her domestic and public life was a shining example to the nation to which she dedicated her long life. Queen Mary was’ devoted to her family and to her people. She lived through two world wars, and her steadfast courage in those years of peril to her country inspired all who shared the burden of those times with her. She lived throughout a long period of changing events, not only in the United Kingdom but also within the British Empire and, indeed, in the world as a whole. Her wisdom and understanding were a great influence for good during the reigns of King George V., King Edward VIII., King George VI., and Elizabeth the Second. Queen Mary first came to Australia at the beginning of the century with her husband, who was then Duke of Cornwall and York. She saw the inauguration of our Commonwealth Parliament, and always retained the closest interests in the welfare of this country. We mourn the loss of a great. Queen and beloved friend.

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

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Motion (by Senator O’SULLIVAN agreed to -

That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn to to-morrow, at 10 a.m.

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

. respect to the memory of Her late Majesty Queen. Mary, I move -

That the Senate do now adjourn.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 3.10 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 25 March 1953, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.