7 March 1961

23rd Parliament · 3rd Session

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The SENATE met at 3 .p.m., pursuant to the proclamation of His Excellency the Administrator.

THE PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMillan) took the chair.

The Clerk read the proclamation.

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TRATOR entered the ‘Chamber, and, being seated, with the President on his right hand, commanded that a message be sent to the House of Representatives, intimating that he desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate chamber forthwith, who, toeing : come with their Speaker,

HIS EXCELLENCY was pleased to deliver the following .Speech: -

The Parliament has .assembled ito proceed with the nation’s. business .-and to .work to promote the best interests of the Australian people. My address to honorable senators and members to-day follows closely upon the death of the Viscount Dunrossil. I am sure we all recall ‘the genuine and universal sorrow -expressed by Australians from all walks of life at the loss to the Crown and to this ‘Commonwealth of a -man who brought to bis great ‘office a notable dignity, a persona1! charm and a quality -of mind which won lour loyalty, -our love and our deep respect.

We have just entered the tenth year of the reign of Her Majesty The Queen, a year in which we and all freedom-loving people hope that the great nations will make progress towards establishing more peaceful conditions throughout the world and towards the settlement of now unresolved differences. My Government ‘will -continue to try to promote steps towards universal disarmament under proper .safeguards and hi appropriate stages.

The Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth will meet in London this week. The dramatic movement towards independence for many people in the Commonwealth makes this meeting of the highest importance.

The policies of the new administration in the United States of America will have a profound influence throughout the democratic world, and my advisers are in close touch with the United States Government. Our Prime Minister has already had the benefit of discussions with the President, Mr. Kennedy, and with the Secretary of State, Mr. Dean Rusk.

The problems of the people of Asia continue to be of great concern to my advisers, and they will maintain their efforts through the Colombo Plan and in other ways to promote friendship and understanding with them. My Government will continue to play its part in the South-East Asia Treaty Organization and will support all efforts that promise to bring peace and stability to Laos.

My advisers will maintain the close relations now existing with several African states and in particular with the members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and will readily make a contribution towards the United Nations’ effort in Africa. They hope that during this year the United Nations will be able to take steps which eventually will lead to the building of a modern state in the Congo. The Government will co-operate with other members of the Commonwealth in a special plan to assist the economic development of Commonwealth countries in Africa. Our contribution will take the form of bilateral technical assistance, the value of which will rise to £200,000 a year.

My Government will continue to work with the South Pacific Commission in promoting the social and economic advancement of the peoples of that area.

Under the current three-year defence programme, the re-organization and re- equipping of our forces continues in accordance with my Government’s long-standing objective of having highly trained and wellequipped forces available in an emergency. Units of the Australian Navy, Army and Air Force continue to serve in the British Commonwealth Strategic Reserve - an arrangement in which the Government of the Federation of Malaya concurs.

This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy. During the year two anti-submarine frigates will be completed under the naval construction programme. My Government has approved the acquisition of six coastal minesweepers and the construction of a new specialized survey ship in Australia. It has also decided that H.M.A.S. “ Melbourne “ will be equipped as a helicopter carrier when fixed wing naval aviation ceases in mid-1963. Other aspects of the naval programme are under consideration.

The Minister for Defence has announced the selection of the Mirage III. aircraft as the future replacement of the Avon Sabre fighter aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force. My advisers propose that the airframe and engines will be manufactured to a substantial extent in Australia.

In the development of equipment to meet requirements of the Australian services we are receiving valuable co-operation from the United Kingdom and the United States. In spite of abandonment of the development of Blue Streak as a military weapon, the Long Range Weapons Establishment continues to have a heavy programme of weapon trials, and with United States aid is developing facilities for the observation of satellites and space vehicles.

In the economic sphere, it remains the firm aim of the Government to maintain soundly based national expansion, immigration and full employment.

Honorable senators and members will recall that last year the Government adopted a series of measures designed to restore a better balance between supply and demand in the economy and to give greater stability to costs and prices. My advisers believe that those measures are having their intended effect. There is evidence that the pressures of excessive demand are beginning to abate and my advisers are confident that the action they have taken will be successful in setting the economy on a course of steady growth and progress.

My advisers have the state of the economy continuously under review and will take prompt steps to correct any untoward tendencies that might become manifest.

As has already been announced, the Government examined the impact of its economic measures on the motor and allied industries and decided that the sales tax on motor vehicles should be reduced to the rates payable on 15th November, 1960. Parliament will be asked to approve amending legislation with effect from 22nd February, 1961.

In pursuance of the policy objectives announced last year, my advisers will introduce legislation to incorporate in the income tax law continuing provisions relating to the deductibility of interest as a business expense. This legislation will replace the interim measure enacted last year which applies only to the present year of income. My advisers will also inform the Parliament of the action they propose in relation to investment by life insurance companies and superannuation and provident funds in public authority securities.

The attainment of our national objective of expansion must go hand in hand with an expansion of our export trade. Positive steps are being taken to improve Australia’s external trading position.

In particular, it will be the aim of the Government during these coming months to obtain the co-operation of the States and of industry in a major effort to develop export capacity. My advisers wish to ensure that, subject to the need to continue the measures now being taken to combat inflation and to arrest the drain on our overseas reserves, important new facilities will be available to assist production for export. It is the intention that the whole programme of national development should be given a marked orientation towards the expansion of export production.

Further measures will also be taken abroad to increase export income, both from our traditional exports of primary commodities and from the sale of manufactured goods. The Government will continue to assist in trade promotion and in the negotiation of trade and commodity arrangements. It will devote attention to both new and existing markets and will strengthen the Trade Commissioner Service, not only in established overseas markets, but also in new areas, such as the Middle East and South America, where trade prospects exist. My advisers will give further encouragement and support to the tourist industry from which important exchange earnings are expected.

My advisers have also been considering taxation measures as a means of increasing exports. Legislation is to be introduced to amend the Export Payments Insurance Corporation Act to empower the corporation to give cover to certain transactions which are at present outside the scope of its authority, but which the Government may consider should be covered in the national interest.

The Government continues to follow closely the movement towards closer economic integration in Western Europe, including in particular the implications of such a move for Commonwealth trading relations. The attitude of my advisers has been-, and will continue to be; based upon Australia’s trade- and other interests.

My advisers have taken an early opportunity to arrange with the new New Zealand Administration for close and frequent consultation, in trade matters. In conformity with, its policy of developing close and friendly ties with countries in South-East Asia,, the Government has, over the past twelve months, renewed its trade understanding with Ceylon, and its trade agreement with Indonesia. The trade agreement with the Federation of Malaya is due for review later this year.

My advisers, will continue, their efforts to encourage, industry to promote greater efficiency,, and are. pleased, at the degree to which productivity groups are being formed in particular areas, and branches of industry. Australia continues to have few industrial disputes and the record during I960,, although less, satisfactory than during the. three preceding, years, was nevertheless better, than in- any other year since the critical early war years.

The development of Australia’s mineral resources is of high importance, both as an earner of foreign exchange and as a stimulus to the development of isolated areas. My advisers are continuing to encourage mineral’ development,, including in particular- the search for oil.. My Government believes that the modification of the control oven the export: of iron, ore should, promote- exploration’ and discovery of new sources and lead to increased reserves of iron ore for future use in the domestic steel, industry. It will produce a useful, addition: to.’ export income.

There is a continuing expansion in the petroleum refining industry and’ in associated plants for the production of petrochemicals. More than £100,000,000 is being invested in work in’ progress or planned for completion in the next few years.

I understand that total rural production ia- 9&f-& is expected to be a record, although’ wool- production at 1,600,000,000 lb will be a little below the record of the previous year: In response to a request from all Australian wool-growing organizations, the Government, has appointed an independent committee to inquire into our wool marketing methods. A record wheat crop of 236,000,000 bushels has been delivered and sales- of wheat overseas are highly satisfactory. However, adverse seasonal, conditions abroad are partly responsible for this and the long,term problem of wheat marketing overseas remains.

There- is an attractive market overseas for meat,, and. for. beef in particular, and. efforts are being made to stimulate production, to take advantage of the marketing opportunities. My advisers have appointed a committee of inquiry which is investigating the sugar and fruit industries and their relationship to each other.

In the Territory of Papua and New Guinea elections will take place shortly to the reconstituted and enlarged Legislative Council. Native Papuans will then for the first time choose representatives on the Council! from’ their own- people. New Departments of Labour and Trade and Industry have been established in- the Papua and New Guinea Administration demonstrating the increasing emphasis’ being given, by my Government to training for- employment and to: the encouragement of industrial development, marketing and’ trade, promotion-.

In the Northern Territory my Government will introduce a scheme to assist pastoralists and agriculturists in the development and improvement of water supplies on their properties. Also within the Northern Territory research into cattle disease and the most suitable fodders is continuing. In Nauru, particular attention is being paid to the vocational training of Nauruans.

Work on , the Snowy Mountains scheme continues to be ahead of schedule and the Upper Tumut development is close to completion. Future .activities will be directed primarily to (the .southern sector in .the Snowy-Murray development.

My advisers inform me that the construction programme lat the Atomic Energy Commission’s Research Establishment will soon fee completed and we look forward to fruitful and beneficial ‘results “from the concentration on research ‘work which will .then be possible.

As foreshadowed in the GovernorGeneral’s Speech to Parliament in March, I960, my Attorney-General has been examining the possibility of Commonwealth legislation to protect free ‘enterprise against *he development of tendencies to monopolies and restrictive practices in commerce and industry. The Attorney-General has so far progressed in his ‘investigation of this matter, and the Government has developed its thinking to ‘the stage that consultation with the ‘States will now be advantageous. Accordingly, the ‘Government has commenced discussions with the governments of the States, and will continue these discussions in an endeavour to evolve suitable legislation to operate over the whole area of trade and commerce in Australia.

My Attorney-General will re-introduce a bill to place the law relating to marriage and associated questions on a uniform basis throughout Australia. Considerable progress has been made, in co-operation with the State governments, towards drafting a model uniform companies bill. The Commonwealth and the States are discussing a possible uniform law of adoption. The report of the committee appointed by my Government to consider the law of copyright will be presented to the Parliament and will be made available for public discussion before decisions are taken about legislation.

Also, after opportunity has been given for public discussion, my Government will bring down a bill to amend the Patents Act so as to .make long-range provision as .to the time for publication of complete specifications lodged iia support of applications.

A bill to establish the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory by statute rather than by ordinance will be introduced at an early date, and the Parliament will be asked to consider a bill to amend the Electoral Act.

My Government has decided to seek an amendment to the Customs Tariff (Industries Preservation) Act to provide better safeguards against dumping of goods on the Australian market .at unfair prices.

My advisers keep the whole structure of social services under review. The revised means test for age, invalid and widows’ pensions is now in operation.

The importance of immigration in Australia’s development is recognized by my Government and it will proceed with its vigorous programme.

My Government has initiated discussions with the States about arrangements to be made when the current housing agreement with the States expires in June next. I am advised that .more than 90,000 dwellings were completed in Australia during 1959-60.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization continues to make important contributions to the solution of many national problems and a considerable part of the organization’s resources is devoted to problems associated with the development of Northern Australia. The recruitment of scientific man-power presents difficulties.

Acting on the advice of the Australian Universities Commission, my Government is proceeding with a three-year programme of Commonwealth and State aid to universities from 1961 to 1963 involving expenditure of the order of £100 million. The Universities Commission is now examining the most desirable pattern of development for tertiary education. My advisers have increased the number of new Commonwealth university scholarships offered each year from 3,000 to 4,000.

My advisers are co-operating in a review of the present state of knowledge of the life, culture and history of the Australian aborigine. A conference sponsored by the Social Sciences Research Council will meet shortly to take the first steps in this direction.

Further recognition of Australia’s standing in international aviation is given by the decision of the International Air Transport Association to hold its annual general meeting in Sydney in October next. Australia’s own international airline, Qantas, has carried an increasing share of the record air traffic to and from Australia.

The building programme in Australian shipbuilding yards is being supported by my Government’s subsidy on the construction of ships and my Government has itself contracted to purchase three lighthouse supply vessels. Within the next twelve months, the conversion to standard gauge on the Melbourne-Albury railway and the erection of a special explosives pier in Corio Bay should be completed.

Australia is co-operating with the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand in the construction of a submarine telephone cable to link Canada with Australia and New Zealand. Arrangements are in hand for the extension of national and commercial television services to thirteen provincial and country areas in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.

The Post Office is faced with a heavy and continuing demand for its services and is proceeding with a number of major projects designed to increase the efficiency of our postal, telephone and telegraph communications. The telegraph service has now been mechanized to a large extent in all States.

My Government has considered the recommendations of the committee appointed to examine the basis on which the commercial accounts of the Post Office should be prepared. A revised form of Post Office commercial accounts for the year 1959-60 will be presented to the Parliament shortly.

I spoke earlier of the need to develop quickly this country’s capacity to export. National development has always been a major objective, and indeed an achievement of my advisers. As a further contribution to national growth and the development of exports, the Government is considering some important specific development proposals, and will co-operate with the States concerned in detailed planning so that, as circumstances allow, actual construction may proceed without delay. The projects under particular and sympathetic consideration are road development in the north; improved port and loading facilities to assist the coal export trade; standardization of important railways in South Australia and Western Australia; and proposals to stimulate the search for oil and minerals generally.

I now leave you to discharge your high and important duties, in the hope that your deliberations and determinations will enjoy the guidance of Divine Providence. [His Excellency the Administrator withdrew, and members of the House of Representatives retired.]

Sitting suspended from 3.37 to 4.10 p.m.

The PRESIDENT again took the chair, and read prayers.

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– 1 have to inform the Senate that I have received a copy of the Opening Speech delivered by His Excellency the Administrator to both Houses of Parliament this day.

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Senator SPOONER:
Minister for National Development · New South WalesVicePresident of the Executive Council and Minister for National Development · LP

– by leave - I wish to inform the Senate that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) left Australia on 21st February to attend the meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London. On his way there, the Prime Minister has had discussions with President Kennedy of the United States and, as Minister for External Affairs, he has presided at a meeting in Geneva of the heads of Australian diplomatic missions in western Europe and adjacent areas. On his return journey he will lead the Australian delegation to the Seato Conference in Bangkok from 27th to 30th March.

During the Prime Minister’s absence, the Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) will act as Prime Minister, and the AttorneyGeneral (Sir Garfield Barwick) will act as Minister for External Affairs.

Consequent upon the retirement from the Ministry of Senator Sir Walter Cooper, the following changes have been made in ministerial arrangements and in ministerial representation in this chamber: Senator Wade has become Minister for Air, and Mr. Osborne has become Minister for Repatriation. I shall represent the Prime Minister, the Minister for Trade, the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Social Services.

Senator Paltridge will represent the Treasurer, the Minister for Territories, the Minister for Repatriation and the Minister for Shipping and Transport.

Senator Henty will represent the Minister for Immigration, the Minister for Health and Minister in Charge Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, the Minister for the Army and the Minister for Supply.

Senator Gorton will represent the Minister for External Affairs, the Minister for Labour and National Service and the Attorney-General.

Senator Wade will represent the PostmasterGeneral, the Minister for Primary Industry, and the Minister for the Interior and Minister for Works.

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Senator SPOONER:
New South WalesVicePresident of the Executive Council and Minister for National Development · LP

– by leave - I wish formally to advise the Senate of the death of the Right Honorable William Shepherd Morrison, Viscount Dunrossil, P.C., G.C.M.G., M.C., K.StJ., Q.C., the fourteenth Governor-General of Australia. Lord Dunrossil was born on 10th August, 1893. He was the son of the late John Morrison of Torinturk, Argyll, Scotland. He died on Friday, 3rd February, 1961, at the age of 67 years and was buried in the graveyard of the Church of St. John the Baptist, Canberra, on Tuesday, 7th February.

William Morrison had his schooling at George Watson’s College, Edinburgh. He had commenced an arts course at Edinburgh University when World War I. began. He joined the Royal Field Artillery and served in France from 1914 to 1918. He was wounded, awarded the Military Cross and mentioned three times in despatches. He attained the rank of captain and resigned his commission in 1919. He then returned to Edinburgh University where, in 1920, he became president of the Edinburgh University Union and senior president of the Students’ Representative Council. He took his master of arts degree and went to London and studied law. He entered the chambers of Sir Thomas Inskip, later Lord Caldecote, serving not only his legal apprenticeship, but also later his parliamentary apprenticeship with him. He was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1923. He took silk in 1934. He unsuccessfully contested the Western Isles division in 1923 and again in 1924, and was elected as Conservative member for the Cirencester and Tewkesbury division of Gloucestershire in 1 929. He held this seat from his election in 1929 until his retirement in 1959.

The official positions which Lord Dunrossil held during that period in Parliament included member of the Medical Research Council and Industrial Health

Research Board from 1931 to 1936; Parliamentary Private Secretary to the AttorneyGeneral from 1931 to 1935’;- Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1935 to 1936; Recorder of Walsall from 1935 to 1936; Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries from 1936 to 1939; Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1939 to 1940; Minister of Food from 1939 to 1940; PostmasterGeneral from 1940 to 1943; and Minister of Town and Country Planning from. 1943 to 1945.

As Minister of Food’ during the early part’ of World War II., it was among his tasks to.- prepare the country for food rationing. As Postmaster-General from’ 1940- to 1943, his department was responsible for maintaining its. communication services during the heaviest bombing’ of the war. As William Morrison, he became Speaker of the House of Commons in 1951 and: held that high office for almost eight years.

Her Majesty elevated- Mr. Morrison’ to the peer-age on 12tb November; 1959 - the day on. which-. Mr.. Menzies, as Prime Minister of Australia, announced to. the Parliament his appointment as the fourteenth Governor-General of. Australia. William Morrison- took the title of Viscount Dunrossil of- Vallaquie. that place being in the Isle of North Uist and the County of Inverness. Dunrossil is a green hill in the far Hebrides of Scotland, where his parents had’ owned a farm. He chose this name to remind” his- descendants whence* they came-. Lord Dunrossil arrived in Australia on 1st February, I960”, to Become- GovernorGeneral. He held that- high- office for the short term- of only a year and a- day.

Up to, this,- point I have done no. more than record the. facts.. I have done so because. I have a feeling that his widow and four sons, would like that factual statement of his. achievements to be in the. records of the. Australian Parliament. For one thing,, Mr. President,. I feel’ that no eulogy could leave so deep an impression as- can a simple statement of Lord- Dunrossil^ career.. It also seemed to me to be proper that the facts should be recorded in the “Hansard” record of the Senates proceedings, because I felt that honorable senators would agree that our late Governor-General Had all’ those qualities that make a great parliamentarian and1 which are always so evident to- those who are- aMe to judge;, bat which are always so difficult to define. He was a member of the House of Commons for 30 years and, as I have said,, was its Speaker for almost eight years.

We in this chamber pay our tribute to him because the Senate, though it is situated at such a great distance from Westminster is yet so close to it, not only in its forms and procedures, but also, we believe, in relation to that intangible atmosphere which surrounds all parliamentary institutions the existence- of which derives from the Mother of Parliaments.

I believe it is proper, Mr. President, that we should pay tribute to the record of Lord Dunrossil. In every activity upon which he embarked he did well. In his academic, military, legal and parliamentary careers he showed that sense of service which led to distinction for him. As I said earlier, he was Governor-General of Australia for only one year and one day. Yet I am sure we would alf agree that during that brief period’ he again showed’ that sense of responsibility and service which impelled him to give all that, he had to the task. He travelled widely; he worked hard; he impressed all of us by Ms quiet sincerity.

For my part I like the words of Lady Dunrossil,, spoken shortly after his. death. She said1 -

My husband quickly loved Australia and Australians so that the year he had the honour- to represent; Her Majesty among: you. was- one of the happiest, of his, life.. Our. sons, and. I feel; that it would, be in. accordance with his wishes that he should’ be buried’ Here.

I think that, those four sons would like all of us to say that not only their father but also their mother commanded our respect. As Australians we noticed with great admiration the way in which Lady Dunrossil so quietly and” efficiently stepped in and assumed tasks and responsibilities when Lord; Dunrossil’s health, did’ not permit him to- discharge them..

Mr. President; we regret the passing of the fourteenth! Governor-General of Australia.. We pay tribute to his distinguished career; and to. the: work that be did’ while he wast with US. We, extend our sympathy to- his- widow and to. his- sons. I formally move -

That the Senate records its. profound regret at the death of. His Excellency the Governor-General, the Right’ Honorable Viscount Dunrossil, P.C., G.C.M:?., M.C,. %:St.I.. Q-.C.,. and- expresses its deep sympathy with the Viscountess.- Dunrossil and family in their bereavement.

Senator McKENNA:
Leader of the Opposition · Tasmania

– I second the motion proposed by the Leader of the Government. I do so on behalf of all members of the Opposition. The tragic suddenness of the death of the Governor-General shocked all of us. The end came after a life of distinguished public service, details of which have been supplied to us by the Leader of the Government in this chamber. At the time of hrs death Lord Dunrossil was at the zenith of his powers. Honours were thick upon him. When he arrived in Australia a little more than a year ago qualities that unmistakably shone out of him were high integrity, sincerity and ability. One felt that it would be a very rich experience to be better acquainted with such an outstanding personality. He addressed himself with very great zest to the task of getting to know and to understand Australia. It is a relief to know that he passed on so peacefully in his sleep. I like to think that his body is buried in Canberra within sight and almost within sound of this Parliament House.

Two thoughts that were prompted by the circumstances of Viscount Dunrossil’s death remain in my mind. It may be salutary for me to express them. The first is that death is no respecter of persons. It is the one great certainty regardless of age or worldly status. The uncertainties associated with death are, of course, how and when. That thought, I would suggest, might be constantly with us to help us to shape our own lives. The second thought is that it is consoling to remember that death is not the end, but the door that opens the way into the new life for which man was created.

On behalf of all members of the Opposition I express to Lady Dunrossil in particular, and to all the members of her family, our deepest sympathy in the great personal loss they have suffered, and in the grievous disruption of their hopes and plans for the future. Our sense of loss is deepened by the thought that Lady Dunrossil herself will be no longer with us.

Senator WADE:
Minister for Air · Victoria · LP

– May I associate the Australian Country Party with the tributes paid to our late Governor-General whose services to this country were so unexpectedly terminated. Even though Viscount Dunrossil was with us for only twelve months, he suc ceeded in that short period in capturing the hearts of the people. Not only was he endowed with those qualities of mind which equipped him so admirably to act as the Queen’s representative in Australia, but he was a great humanitarian in his own right.

Lord Dunrossil loved Australia, and our hearts go out in gratitude and sympathy to his sorrowing family. May they draw much comfort from the knowledge that Australia is a better place because Lord Dunrossil’s journey through a distinguished career brought him to these shores. The Australian Country Party supports the resolution.

Senator COLE:
Leader of the Australian Democratic Labour Party · Tasmania

– The Australian Democratic Labour Party deeply regrets the passing of our GovernorGeneral, Lord Dunrossil, and expresses sincere sympathy to Lady Dunrossil and members of her family.

Lord Dunrossil had a very distinguished career in the course of which he served his country well, both in war and in peace. As Speaker of the British House of Commons he won the respect and affection of all parties. His acceptance of a further high responsibility - that of Governor-General of Australia - was typical of his willingness to serve the British Commonwealth and our Queen. During his term in Australia his sincerity, kindness and simple charm of manner won him friendship everywhere. He was a man of strong religious feelings and lived a truly Christian life. He will be mourned as one who served Australia well.

THE PRESIDENT. - On behalf of honorable senators I conveyed an expression of sympathy to Lady Dunrossil pending a more formal resolution of the Senate. Lady Dunrossil was pleased to reply in the following terms: -

Would you please thank the members of the Senate for their kind message and say that my sons and I are greatly sustained in our sudden sad loss by their understanding sympathy.

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

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Motion (by Senator Spooner) agreed to -

That, as a mark of respect to the memory of the late Governor-General, His Excellency the Viscount Dunrossil, the Senate do now adjourn till to-morrow at 3 p.m.

Senate adjourned at 4.34 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 7 March 1961, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.