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Wednesday, 30 June 1926

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - I am . one 'of three who disappear from this Senate to-day. My two colleagues, to whom " Good-bye " wag said on Friday last, were casualties in the last election ; but I am suffering from what may be described as a selfinflicted wound. It is, nevertheless, a serious wound, because it hurts me to sever my association with this Senate, where I have been for six of the most enjoyable years of my life. I have had the good fortune to be associated here with a number of men actuated by a desire to render public service. That same desire brought me into public life, and it now takes me out of public life. When I decided that I would not contest the last Senate election, I was practising what I had preached, both in the Senate and on the public platform - that no man should allow his personal ambitions to stand in the way of the progress of his country or the prospects of his party, when he believes that the party with which he is associated is that which ' will best serve his country. I believe that there are people in the community who think that I made that decision as the result of a bargain with the Government, and that I was to get a quid pro quo. I fake this opportunity to state that I made no bargain with the Government, or with anybody else. My action was taken voluntarily in the interests of my party and my country. If a similar set of circumstances arose again, I should act in the same manner. Although, as I have said, I am suffering from a self-inflicted wound, I go out of public life with the desire to re-enter it. It has always been my aim to render what public service I am capable of rendering. I still have that desire. I hope again to enter public life; but what form my future public service will take can only be determined in the future. The principles that have guided me in the past will, I hope, guide me in the future. Whether by following thoses principles I shall again take my seat in this Senate I do not know. I retire from public life for the time being with strong feelings of regret. I believe that I have made some slight contribution to the debates in this Senate, and to the welfare of Australia. After six years' apprenticeship I have begun to know something of Australia's requirements; but circumstances demand that I should retire. I do so without crying; but I give warning that I intend to reenter public life if the people of Australia want me. I thank Senator Pearce and the Leader of the Opposition for their references to myself, and I leave the Senate believing that I leave behind a number of personal friends.

Honorable Senators. - Hear, hear!

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I believe that the friendships 'I have made here will remain throughout the years that are to come. The associations made during the past six years are such that I shall always cherish them as among the happiest of my life.

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