15 February 1954

20th Parliament · 3rd Session

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The Senate met at 2.30 p.m., pursuant to the proclamation of His Excellency the Governor-General.

The President (Senator the Hon. A. M. McMullin) took the chair.

The Clerk read the proclamation.

The Usher of the Black Rod announced the arrival of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second and His Royal Highness theDuke of Edinburgh.

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HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh entered the chamber, and. being seated with the President on their right, Her Majesty commanded that a message be sent to the House of Representatives intimating that Her Majesty desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate chamber forthwith. Honorable members thereupon attended with their Speaker.

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HER MAJESTY was pleased to deliver the following speech: -

Members of the Senate and Members of the House of Representatives :

The first section of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia provides that the legislative power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in “ a Federal Parliament, which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate, and a House of Representatives “.

It is therefore a joy for me, to-day, to address you not as a Queen from far away, but as your Queen and a part of your Parliament. In a real sense, you are here as my colleagues, friends, and advisers.

When I add to this consideration the fact that I am the first ruling Sovereign to visit Australia, it is clear that the events of to-day make a piece of history which fills me with deep pride and the most heartfelt pleasure, and which I am confident will serve to strengthen in your own hearts and minds a feeling of comradeship with th& Crown and that sense of duty shared which we must all have as we confront our common tasks.

I am proud also, speaking as the granddaughter of King. George V. and the daughter, of King George VI., to recall two earlier events in the history, the short history, of the Commonwealth of Australia. The first was the opening of the First Parliament of the new Commonwealth of Australia in. 1901 by my grandfather, then the Duke of Cornwall and York. The second was the opening of this building in 1927 by my father, then the Duke of York. Thus the history of Australia as a nation has a special family significance for me.

It is, I think; fitting that I should, speaking to you to-day; recall to mind those elements of unity which combine in the fabric of the British Commonwealth. The great institutions of parliamentary sovereignty, a democratically controlled executive, the just and. impartial admin- ‘ istration of the law; these exist and flourish in each of the great realms, which call me Queen. They have, in this century, survived great trials of war and economic hardship. And they have done so, I am proud to say, because of the great qualities of my peoples, qualities which have shown themselves through labours manfully performed, duties courageously clone by men and women, sorrows sustained, and happiness earned.

In the result, as I acknowledge the wonderful welcome of my Australian people, I do so in a country whose growth and progress are manifest,, a country of freedom, eloquent of that true democracy which dignifies and expresses the individual human being.

Already, in my journeys through the Commonwealth, I have been made even more vividly conscious of the true brother hood of my peoples, even prouder of their services to civilization, and more richly confident of their future destiny.

I would like also to take this opportunity to say to my Australian people, through you ladies and gentlemen of the Australian Parliament, how grateful I was, and am, for their loyal support and encouragement on the occasion of my Coronation. My husband and I can never forget your affection on that great day, an affection which you have expressed with such marvellous warmth in your own land since our arrival.

Moved by these feelings, it is my resolve that, under God, I shall not only rule, but serve. This is not only the tradition of my family; it describes, I believe, the modern character of the British Crown.

In this uneasy world of conflicts open or hidden, my peoples in Australia and throughout the British Commonwealth want peace in its fullest and richest sense ; that peace, based upon freedom and justice, which must some day be the unquestioned inheritance of all mankind.

To play their part in the achievement and preservation of peace, my Australian Ministers will continue the closest cooperation with my Governments in the other Commonwealth nations. Only last month my Finance Ministers conferred in .Sydney with the frankness and friendliness which always mark discussions between the Commonwealth countries. This was one of a long and continuing series of such conferences.. Their immediate objective is to strengthen the British Commonwealth; but their ultimate benefit will flow to other nations and to the great world community of people everywhere.

Pursuant to the terms of the Constitution, a general election for the House of Representatives must be held at the end of this Session of Parliament. My

Ministers will submit to Parliament the financial and other measures which must precede that election.

Mr. President, and Members of the Senate.

Mr. Speaker, and Members of the House of Representatives.

In the earnest hope that Divine Providence may guide your deliberations and further the welfare of the people of the Commonwealth of Australia, I now leave you to the discharge of your high and important duties.

Her Majesty the Queen, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, and members of the House of Representatives having retired,

Sitting suspended from 2.53 to 5 p.m.

The President took the chair again and read prayers.

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Acknowledgment by Her Majesty the Queen.


– The following message was received from His Excellency the Governor-General after the close of lastsitting relevant to the AddressinReply presented during last session.

Mr. President,

I desire to acquaint you that the substance of the Address-in-Replywhich you presented to me on the 26th November,1953, has been communicated to Her Majesty The Queen.

It is The Queen’s wish that I convey to you and to Honourable Senators Her Majesty’s sincere thanks for the loyal message towhich your Address gives expression.

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Reservation of assent notified..

Royal Assent.


– I have received from the Governor-General a message informing the Senate that the proposed law intituled Flags Bill 1953, which was reserved for the Queen’s pleasure, was laid before Her Majesty, and that, on the fourteenth day of February, 1954, the Queen was graciously pleased to assent to the said law.

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Assent to the following bills reported : -

Commonwealth Electoral Bill 1953.

Customs Tariff 1953.

Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1953.

Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Bill 1953.

Estate Duty Convention (United States of America ) Bill 1953.

Excise Tariff 1953.

Gift Duty Convention (United States of America) Bill 1953.

Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Bill (No. 3) 1953.

Income Tax (International Agreements) Bill 1953.

Life Insurance Bill 1953.

National Health Bill 1953.

Nationality and Citizenship Bill 1953.

NavigationBill 1953.

New Guinea Timber Agreement Bill 1953.

Northern Territory (Administration) Bill 1953.

Papua and NewGuinea (Validation of Appointments) Bill 1953.

Public Works Committee Bill 1953.

Re-establishment and Employment Bill 1953.

Royal Australian Air Force Veterans’ Residences Bill 1953.

Royal Powers Bill 1953.

Sales Tax Assessment Bill (No. 5) 1953.

States Grants (Universities) Bill 1953.

Tariff Board Bill 1953.

Therapeutic Substances Bill 1953.

Wheat IndustryStabilization (Refund of Charge) Bill 1953.

Wool Stores Bill 1953.

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– I informthe Senate that I have received from the widow and family of the late Mr. T. J. Treloar, M.P., an expression of thanks for the resolution of sympathy passed by the Senate on the occasion of the late member’s death.

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Reports on Items.


– I lay on the table reports of the Tariff Board on the following subjects: -


Camera filters.


Gear box, differential, and rearaxle assemblies, and parts therefor.

Paper and paper products.

Cotton sheetings, sheets and pillow cases.

Flooring and walltiles.

At present, copies of the three firstmentioned reports only are available for circulation to honorable senators. The Government does not propose, at this stage, to adopt the findings of the Tariff Board in connexion with flooring and wall tiles, as far as altering the specific rates of duty is concerned, because in most instances the ad valorem rates, being the higher, would continue to apply. However, this does not mean that the report has been rejected. As has been reported by the board, the industry is passing through an unsettled period. It is difficult to assess the precise degree of assistance that is needed, and to determine whether the very minor variations of duty proposed would confer any benefit on the industry. The matter will be kept under constant observation.

Ordered to be printed.

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– I desire to inform the Senate that I have received a copy of the Opening Speech delivered by Her Majesty the Queen to both Houses of the Parliament this day.

Minister for Trade and Customs · Queensland · LP

– I move -

That the following Address-in-Reply be ug reed to: -

To ITer Most Excellent Majesty Elisabeth the Second -

Most Gracious Sovereign:

We Your Majesty’s loyal subjects, the members of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, desire to thank Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which you have been pleased to address lf> the Parliament on this, your first visit to our country.

The presence in Australia of Your Majesty and of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has brought unbounded pleasure to the Australian people. We, their representatives in the Senate, invoke God’s choicest blessing upon your life and reign, and are grateful for this opportunity to re-affirm our loyalty and devotion to the Crown and Person of Your Majesty.

After the historic and inspiring spectacle in which we were privileged to participate to-day, it is fitting that the first business of the Senate, other than formalities, should be an address of loyalty and gratitude to our Queen. This occasion will retain a warm and an abiding place in the hearts and memory of us all.

With profound respect, enriched with affection and pride, we remember that it was Her Majesty’s great grandmother who signed the Charter of our Australian nationhood; that it was her illustrious grandfather who opened our first National Parliament in 1901; and that it was her own beloved father, accompanied by her gracious mother, who opened this very Parliament House and its first sittings in May, 1927. Now, to-day, we have had the unique experience and extraordinary privilege, for the first time in our history, of our Queen, in person, opening our Parliament. With every justification, therefore, we feel that Her Majesty, quite apart from being our Queen, who with the Senate and the House of Representatives constitutes our Parliament in terms of our Constitution, ha3 herself a very close personal and family association with the Australian Parliament and the people whom it serves. We who flourish under and cherish a democratic, Christian, mon.arabia 1 form of government, appreciate it, but it must be a paradox to other peoples that the more representative our device of government becomes and the more the Crown vacates active participation in the sphere of day-to-day government, the firmer and stronger grows the bond between sovereign and subject. Without criticising or comparing other forms of government but simply stating an historical fact, to us the Crown is no mere symbol of absolute and irresponsible authority, no archaic relic of times and customs that belong to a dead past. It is a living and vital focus of our social and national life. It is the inspiration which enables us to surmount all considerations that emerge- from differences of race, religion and politics, and to realize and appreciate that under it we are all one people.

The subjects of the Queen throughout her world-wide realms can justly claim, not in a spirit of idle and boastful vainglory, but with a deep sense of pride and with humble gratitude to God that in a day and age when people of our own generation have witnessed thrones topple over and totalitarian forms’ of government si rise, the bond between sovereign and people has never been firmer or more affectionate throughout the centuries of history than it is to-day. This is not the result of mere chance or luck. It is because we have to-day as our Queen a young and radiant lady who, even before her accession, manifested outstanding qualities as daughter, wife and mother and who, since her coronation, has shown a jealous pride in the inspiring tradition passed on to her by her illustrious father and grandfather. On a recent occasion His Holiness Pope Pius XII. said, in reference to Her Majesty -

The Lord of all, in His wise providence, has plural the weight of Empire on her youthful shoulders and she has accepted the hurden with a courageous simplicity and unselfish spirit of devotion that has at once won the admiration and affection of her peoples throughout the British Commonwealth of Nations.

An inspiring feature of the Queen’s life since her accession to the throne of her ancestors has been that complete dedication of her life, under God’s guidance, to the service of her people.

It was my privilege to attend Her Majesty’s coronation. The form of the attendant rites can be traced right back to the time of St. Dunstan, a space of almost 1,000 years. The most striking feature is the insistence upon the sacred character

Df the royal office, on the dependence of royal power on divine grace, on the reciprocity of rights and duties, and on pie ministerial function of the sovereign Us the dispenser of justice. On such an occasion the orb is set under the cross in public acknowledgement that temporal power and authority, even though royal, ire derived from the Creator and Redeemer of mankind.

Right from the time of her accession >ur Queen constantly has expressed her faith in and her dependence upon Almighty God. In her Christmas broad.cast before her coronation, she said -

I want to ask you all, whatever your religions may be, to pray for me on that day, ;o pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making and that I may faithfully lei re Him and you all the days of my life. [t is fitting, then, while expressing our loyalty to her throne and person, and our gratitude for her sojourn with us, that we should invoke the blessing of God upon her life and reign. “We pray that she will long be spared to reign over us and that we will long be edified by her simple but profound faith and her shining personal qualities. Lastly, we pray that her own personal life may be tranquil and happy aud that under her, with God’s grace, all her peoples shall enjoy a life of prosperity, peace and contentment.

Senator McKENNA:
Leader of the Opposition · Tasmania

, - I second the motion on behalf of every member of Her Majesty’s Opposition in this chamber. The motion invokes God’s blessing upon the life and reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. It re-affirms our loyalty to the Crown, our devotion to and affection for the person of Her Majesty, and thanks her for opening this third session of the Twentieth Commonwealth Parliament with a speech that has been delivered by her in person. It has the enthusiastic and unqualified approval of all of us. Membership of this Senate is a great privilege at any time, but on- this historic and unforgettable occasion, it is also a matter of the highest pride and joy. This day has given honorable senators a fragrant memory that will abide with them always. On this day our Queen has taken part with us in the functioning of this Parliament.

The Queen, beautiful, youthful, gracious, noble and good, appears to a generation that has known mass slaughter and all the horror, brutality and sorrows of war. The very existence of Her Majesty restores our faith and strengthens our hope for . civilization and the world. It refreshes and satisfies our longing for beauty, goodness and truth. The Queen lias come to the throne with the acclaim of all her people in Australia regardless of distinctions in status, religion and politics. The unprecedented warmth and enthusiasm of Her Majesty’s reception by the Australian people can leave no doubt in any mind of the loyalty of Australians to the Crown and their deep affection for the Queen. That is true also of the peoples of other countries who were visited earlier in the Royal tour by the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. “We of the Opposition assure Her Majesty that we shall continue to make the most generous contribution of which we are capable to the deep measure of respect and affection that has been and will be offered to her throne and person. This offering springs from an appreciation of the personal qualities of Her Majesty. I do not presume to enumerate them, but they are obvious to all her people.

The Queen has vast responsibilities. More than any other individual, she will set and maintain standards of behaviour in private and public for her people and, maybe, for the world. The eyes of the world are focused to-day upon our Queen and her husband. May their power of producing unity among their people spread beyond the bounds of the British Commonwealth of Nations and be a potent influence for peace throughout the world. The Queen has already shown that high sense of duty and awareness of her responsibilities that distinguishedher illustrious father, King George VI, and this has justified fully our belief that she will nobly fulfil the high destiny to which she has been called and to which she has already solemnly dedicated herself. In many utterances, the Queen has shown that she has continually before her the example of the one Life that was perfectly lived on earth and its impact upon the world. She has given ample earnest of her will that the best may flow from the example of her own life. We can further her high Christian purpose only by determining that our own lives shall be well lived. We, of the Opposition, pray that she will be given the strength to discharge her vast responsibilities, and that she will grow in grace and wisdom. We shall watch her reign with sympathetic and loving interest. We feel inspired and stimulated by her presence to-day to a determination that we shall try to be worthy of her example and leadership.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Presentation of Address-in-Reply.

Motion (by Senator O’Sullivan) agreed to -

That the Address-in-Reply be presented to Her Majesty the Queen by the President and such senators as are chosen to accompany him.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. A. M. McMullin). - I desire to inform the Senate that I have been advised that Her

Majesty will be pleased to receive the Address-in-Reply at Government House to-morrow at 5 p.m.

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Motion (by Senator O’Sullivan) - by leave - agreed to -

That leave of absence be granted to every member of the Senate from the termination of the sitting this day to the date on which the Senate next meets.

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Motion (by Senator O’Sullivan) agreed to -

That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn to a date and hour to be fixed by the President, which time of meeting shall be notified to each senator by telegram or letter.

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The following papers were presented : -

Aluminium Industry Act - Australian Aluminium Production Commission - Annual Report (Eighth) for year 1952-53.

Banking Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1953, No. 104.

Commonwealth Bank Act -

Appointment - R. Makim.

Regulations - Statutory Rules 1953, Nos. 103, 105.

Conciliation and Arbitration Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, Nos. 2,6.

Customs Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1953, No. 102.

Customs Act and Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 1.

Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act - Fifth Annual Report, for year 1952-53.

Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 4.

Defence Transition (Residual Provisions) Act - National Security (Industrial Property ) Regulations - Orders - Inventions and designs (15).

Explosives Act - Regulations - Orders -

Berthing of a Vessel.

Transport of Nitro-cellulose Cannon Powder.

Lands Acquisition Act -

Land, &c, acquired for -

Defence purposes -

Albion, Victoria.

Murray Bridge, South Australia.

Department of Civil Aviation purposes -

Broken Hill, New South Wales.

Cobar, New South Wales.

Hay, New South Wales.

Mentone, Victoria.

Mount Canobolas, New South Wales.

Narrabri, New South Wales.

Walgett, New South Wales.

Department of Immigration purposes -

Scheyville; New South Wales.

Postal purposes -

Ararat, Victoria.

Bega, New South Wales.

Buronga, New South Wales.

Burrawang, New South Wales.

Camberwell North, Victoria.

Garangula, New South Wales.

Kunama, New South Wales.

Longford, Tasmania.

Mount Moriac, Victoria.

Mount White, New South Wales.

Quorrobolong, New South Wales.

Ralphs Bay, Tasmania.

St. Kilda South, Victoria.

Trentham Cliffs, New South Wales.

Upper Burringbar, New South Wales.

Stirling North to Leigh Creek North Coal-field Railway purposes - Port

Augusta, South Australia.

Land disposed of under Section 63 - Returns ( 3 ) showing manner of disposal.

National Health Service Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1033, No. 106.

Norfolk Island - Report for 1951-52.

Northern Territory (Administration) Act -

Crown Lands Ordinance - Reasons for resumption of reserve land at Tennant Creek.

Ordinances - 1 953 -

No. 20 - Associations Incorporation.

No. 21 - Jury.

Regulations - 1953 -

No. 10 (Darwin Administration Ordinance).

No. 11 (Supply of Services Ordinance).

No. 12 (Prisons Ordinance).

No. 13 (Licensed Surveyors).

Papua and New Guinea Act - Ordinances - 1953-

No. 3 - Copra 1952.

No. 4 - Animals Trespass 1952.

No. 6 - Criminal Code Amendment (Papua) (No. 2) 1952.

No. 10 - Customs Tariff Surcharge 1952.

No. 11- Pure Food (No. 2) 1952.

No. 17 - Native Apprenticeship 1952.

No. 18 - Superannuation (Papua and New Guinea). 1952.

No. 19 - Public Service 1952.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1053, No. 100.

Post and Telegraph Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 5.

Public Service Act -

Appointments - Department -

Army - J. A. Harris.

Civil Aviation - T. B. Curlewis, E. W. Eberbach, L. B. Irving, W. Jackson, W. F. Parr, R. M. Reilly, C. C. H. Thompson, J. C. Thorpe, J. E. Waters.

Defence - J. B. Firth.

Defence Production - A. T. Duff, A. S. Gaskin.

Health - J. A. Donnison, R. E. Jones.

Labour and National Service -

A. F. H. A. Dresler.

National Development - R. J. Davidson, J. A. Haycraft, J. W. Morgan.

Parliamentary Library - G. M. Carroll.

Repatriation - L. A. Ede, I. C. Heinz, J. F. Hughes.

Social Services - N. W. Ree.

Supply - R. D. Barlow, A. A. Keeler, W. G. Ratcliffe, D. S. Robertson, W. V. Wiseman.

Territories - B. J. Lee.

Trade and Customs - P. A. Whiting:

Works- P. B. Burns, E. J. Jones, R. S. McCulloch, J. J. O’Donnell, G. E.

Price, S. N. Thorne.

Twenty-ninth Report on the Commonwealth Public Service by the Public Service Board, for year 1952-53.

Public Service Arbitration Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator, &c. -


No. 81 - Commonwealth Public Service Board and Others.

No. 82 - Federated Ironworkers’ Association of Australia and Others.

No. 83 - Australian Broadcasting Com- mission Senior Officers’ Association.

No. 84 - Commonwealth Public Service Artisans’ Association and Others.

No. 85 - Musicians’ Union of Australia.

No. 86 - Transport Workers’ Union of Australia.

No. 87 - Australian Third Division Telegraphists and Postal Clerks’ Union.

No. 88 - Federated Public Service Assistants’ Association.

No. 89 - Federated Storemen and Packers’ Union.

No. 90 - Postal Telecommunications Technicians Association.

No. 91 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association.

No. 92 - Commonwealth Telegraph Traffic and Supervisory Officers’ Association.

No. 93 - Vehicle Builders Employees’ Federation of Australia.

No. 94 - Peace Officer Guard Association.

No. 95 - Australian Workers’ Union.

No. 96 - Commonwealth Telephone and Phonogram Officers’ Association and Australian Third Division Telegraphists and Postal Clerks’ Union.

No. 97 - Association of Professional Engineers, Australia.

No. 98 - Commonwealth Public Service Board.

No. 99 - Amalgamated Engineering Union.

No. 100 - Professional Radio Employees’ Institute of Australasia.


No. 1 - Musicians’ Union of Australia.

No. 2 - Federated Clerks’ Union of Australia.

No. 3 - Australian Broadcasting Commission Senior Officers’ Association.

No. 4 - Australian Journalists’ Association.

Quarantine Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 3.

River Murray Waters Act - River Murray Commission - Report for year 1952-53.

Seat of Government Acceptance Act and Scat of Government (Administration)


Australian Capital Territory Soil Conservation Council - Sixth Annual Report, for year 1952-53, together with summary of activities for period 1947-53.

Ordinances -


No. 14 - Court of Petty Sessions.

No. 15 - Associations Incorporation. 1954-

No. 1 - Marriage 1953.

No. 2 - Administration and Probate (No. 2) 1953.

No. 3 - Scaffolding and Lifts (No. 2) 1953.

No. 4 - Royal Visit Holiday.

No. 5 - Police.

Regulations -


No. 15 (Court of Petty Sessions Ordinance) .

No. 16 (Canberra Community Hospital Ordinance).


No. 1 (Building and Services Ordinance).

Scat of Government (Administration) Act - Statement of Receipts and Expenditure of the Australian Capital Territory for year 1952-53.

Social Services Consolidation Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 8.

Supply and Development Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 7.

Senate adjourned at 5.27 p.m. to a date and hour to be fixed by the President.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 15 February 1954, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.