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Tuesday, 10 November 1998
Page: 22

Mr BEAZLEY (5:25 PM) —I congratulate the member for Scullin and the member for Cowper on their continued presence as Deputy Speakers in this chamber. Both of them grace that office and both of them are experienced chairs of this parliament. But, of course, my heart was with the Second Deputy Speaker as opposed to the first in this instance, and he has experienced both those positions. Heart and vote go together on this occasion.

Harry Jenkins is a graceful occupant of the chair. It is in the breeding, basically, in this particular instance. I well remember his father in the chair as our first Speaker with a lengthy period of time in office. He had an interesting expression which he used to extend to both sides of the House: `You're not helping the chair.' It is a very old-fashioned reading of standing orders that the principal duty of a member of parliament when entering this chamber is to assist the chair. Whether or not honourable members help the chair, Harry Jenkins has proved himself a most effective occupant of it. He has many of the attributes that you yourself have. In fact, Mr Speaker, that wealth of parliamentary experience, that solid commitment, is there to make all the various parts of the parliamentary process work, and a deep love and affection for the forms and status of the House. He will, as he has done in the past, do remarkably well in this position.

His counterpart, who is at this stage of the game the first Deputy Speaker, will no doubt continue in exactly the shape and form that he has managed over the last little while. The best thing—not the best thing; that is a patronising and dreadful thing to say—or one of the useful things about the fact that you have taken on those responsibilities is that we will not all get bored to tears about the Antarctic. You seem to have developed another interest in life, and it is all to the good that that is the case. But we wish you well in the position.