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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr CHARLTON (Hunter) .- On behalf of the Opposition I indorse the remarks of the Treasurer, and wish to convey to you, Mr. Speaker, our warm appreciation of the able manner in which you have presided over this Chamber. Your tact and judgment have assisted, on many occasions, to soothe feelings that, at times, were somewhat irritated. We realize that you have discharged the duties of your high office in a manner that is creditable to you and to the traditions of this Parliament. I can say, without fear of contradiction, that we have never sat under a better Speaker. In regard to the . officers of the House, I indorse all that the Treasurer has said. We regret very much that our Chairman of Committees, Mr. Bamford, has been stricken with illness. We hope, however, that he may soon recover. It may be some consolation to him to know that he left with us a sufficient number of Deputy Chairmen to see us through the work of this strenuous session, and that they discharged their duties faithfully and well. In regard to the officers, I can honestly say that I know of no men who have worked harder during the strenuous times through which we have passed. Probably they feel the strain more than we do, because they are in the chamber all the time. A better staff could not be found anywhere. As for the Hansard reporters, they also have had a difficult task during the past few weeks. Frequently I wonder how members of the Hansard staff manage to keep up. The work this session has been very trying for them. In regard to the attendants and messengers, of which you, sir, have control, I do not think there could be a better staff. They do everything they can to assist us. During the past few days they have felt the strain of the long sittings, but never once have I heard a complaint from one of them. As for the press, I can only say that, although they criticise us freely, personally I have to thank those who attend in our press galleries. They have always given me a fair deal, and that is all that a man need expect. To them I extend my very best wishes, and with the Treasurer, I hope they will enjoy their recess. As we are not likely to meet again before Christmas, I wish one and all a happy Christmas and a bright New Year.

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