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Thursday, 8 October 1914

Mr JOSEPH COOK (Parramatta) . - I join most cordially in the congratulations which have been offered to you, Mr. Speaker, on - shall I say? - your resumption of the high and important duties of Speaker of this House. I can but hope, as already expressed by the Leader of the Government, that you will have good health and strength to discharge the important functions of your office. You stand in a long line of succession of able men, and I do not doubt that you will worthily uphold the traditions as laid down from time immemorial. In the present House I hope it will be possible for you to discharge your duties with at least as much satisfaction to yourself as did your predecessors. I take some comfort from my recollection of your attitude on the floor of the House during the previous twelve months. I feel certain that if I or any of my colleagues should get a little ex cited sometimes you will be to our " virtues very kind," and to our " faults a little blind." You will, I am sure, endeavour to the best of your ability to discharge your high duties; and I congratulate you sincerely on your accession to this great office once more. I can promise that so far as we on this side are concerned we shall do everything we possibly can to uphold you in the discharge of your responsible duties.

Mr speaker - I desire to thank the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition for their kind expressions concerning myself on my election as Speaker. I shall be pleased if honorable members, who so desire, will accompany me to meet His Excellency the GovernorGeneral in the Library. presentation OF MR. speaker TO THE governor-general.

The House proceeded to the Library, there to present Mr. Speaker to His Excellency the Governor-General.

The House having re-assembled,

Mr speaker - I have to report that, accompanied by honorable members, I proceeded to the Library of Parliament, and presented myself to His Excellency the Governor- General as the choice of the House, and that His Excellency was kind enough to congratulate me on my election as Speaker. governor-general'S speech.

The Usher of The Black Rod, being announced, was admitted, and delivered the Message that His Excellency the GovernorGeneral desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate Chamber forthwith.

Mr. Speakerand honorable members attended accordingly, and having returned,

Sitting suspended from4.20 to 7.45 p.m.deathofthehonorable gregormcgregor.

Mr. fisher(Wide Bay- Prime Minister and Treasurer) [7.45]. - With your consent, Mr. Speaker, and that of honorable members and the Leader of the Opposition, I should like to move a motion before we proceed with our business.

Mr speaker - Is it the pleasure of the House that the honorable member have leave to move a motion?

Leave granted.

Mr FISHER - Since the dissolution of the last Parliament a distinguished member of that Parliament, the Honorable Senator Gregor McGregor, has passed away. He had been a member of the Commonwealth Parliament since its inception. He ably fulfilled all the duties imposed upon him as a representative of the people ought to fulfil them, and we would be wanting in courtesy to his memory and his bereaved widow and relatives if we did not place on record in this Chamber, as well as in the Senate, where he served the country bo well, the esteem in which we held him. I shall be glad to have the cooperation of the Leader of the Opposition in submitting this motion. Nothing that 1 can say would be a sufficient tribute to the memory of our deceased colleague. He was a firm friend; he was a stout and valiant advocate of the principles in which he believed, but he never dealt an unworthy blow; he was always genuine, genial, and honorable in all his actions towards his colleagues, and towards his opponents. We would go a long way before finding any like him. His death was to me a personal loss. I am sure that I speak for every honorable member when I say that we regret his demise. I can only hope that his widow and relatives may be consoled in this time of trial and difficulties by the recollection that the late Senator Gregor McGregor was a citizen of the Commonwealth, his adopted country, who performed high services for ' those whom he represented, and for the whole of the people of Australia. I trust that by adopting this motion that I am about to move we shall place on record our appreciation of the great services that the late senator rendered to the Commonwealth Parliament, and to the people of this country. I move -

That this House places upon record its high appreciation of the great public services of the late Honorable Senator Gregor McGregor, and tenders its sincere sympathy to the bereaved widow and relatives of tin eminent citizen, whose decease is n great loss to the Commonwealth.

Mr. JOSEPHCOOK (Parramatta) T_7.48]. - I sadly but very willingly second the motion submitted by the Prime Minister. Although not a member of this Chamber, the late Senator McGregor was nevertheless a member of one of the important parties of this Parliament. I recognise, with the Prime Minister, that the personality of Senator McGregor was a most remarkable one in many ways. Without adventitious aids of any kind he secured for himself a commanding position in the Commonwealth, and did every duty which fell to his lot. - and they were many and various and important-- in such a way as to commend him to all sides of Parliament. In paying a tribute to a fallen colleague there are no such things as parties. We all join in mourning the loss of one who, in his day and generation, served his party, and, through his party, according to the best of his lights, his 'country. I believe that in everything he did he was actuated by the sole desire to further the good of his fellow men and the advancement of this great country, which we all have so much at heart. I echo the sentiments of the Prime Minister, and greatly regret that it so frequently falls to our lot to mourn for colleagues who have fallen by the way.

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

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