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Tuesday, 17 March 1987
Page: 883


Mr HAWKE (Prime Minister) —I move:

That this House expresses its deep regret at the death on 13 March 1987 of the Hon. Hugh Stevenson Roberton, a former member of this House for the Division of Riverina from 1949 to 1965, a former Minister of the Crown, and a former Ambassador to Ireland, places on record its appreciation of his long and meritorious public service and tenders its profound sympathy to his family in its bereavement.

A foundation member of the Country Party of Australia, Hugh Stevenson Roberton was elected in 1949 to the House of Representatives, holding the New South Wales seat of Riverina. He held that seat during his 16 years of continuous and distinguished service to the Parliament. He was a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs from 1952 to 1955, and was a member of the delegation representing the Commonwealth Parliament at the first meeting of the Legislative Council for the Northern Territory in its new council chamber on 25 March 1955. Hugh Roberton held the portfolio of Minister for Social Services from February 1956 to January 1965, when he resigned from the Parliament to take up an appointment as Ambassador to Ireland, a position he held until 1968.

Before entering Parliament, Hugh Roberton was a farmer and grazier. He wrote on political, economic and general subjects under his own name and also the nom de plume of Peter Snodgrass. He was the author of the Roberton Wheat Stabilisation Scheme and Now Blame the Farmer. He was also the General President of the Australian Farmers and Settlers Association of New South Wales and the Australian Wheatgrowers Federation. During World War II he served with the 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment, 9th Australian Division in the Middle East and was discharged in Australia in December 1944.

Hugh Stevenson Roberton was a long-standing and well respected member of the House of Representatives who made significant contributions to his Party, the Parliament and his country. On behalf of the Government I extend to his wife, Eileen, and his daughter, Janet, our sincere sympathy in their bereavement.