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Wednesday, 19 April 1939

Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Railways- October, 1923, to March, 1924

Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Mines - March, 1924, to August, 1927

Premier and Treasurer - August, 1927, to June, 1928

The portfolios and other offices of distinction held by Mr. Lyons in the Commonwealth Parliament were as follows : -

Postmaster-General and Minister for Works and Railways - 22nd October, 1929, to 4th February, 1931

Acting Treasurer - 25th August, 1930, to 10th January, 1931

Prime Minister - 6th January, 1932, to 7 th April, 1939.

Treasurer - 6th January, 1932, to 3rd October, 1935

Minister for Commerce - 3rd to 13th October, 1932

Minister for Health - 8th November, 1935, to 26th February, 1936

Minister for Repatriation - 8th November, 1935, to 6th February, 1936

Vice-President of the Executive Council 8th November, 1935, to 29th November, 1937.

Minister for Defence - 20th to 30th November, 1937

Mr. Lyonswas Leader of the Opposition from the 7th May, 1931, to the expiration of the Twelfth Parliament.

At the invitation of the British Government, Mr. Lyons attended His Majesty's Jubilee Celebrations in 1935, and in that year he was the leader of a ministerial trade delegation to England. In 1937, he was the leader of the ministerial delegation which went to London to represent the Commonwealth at the coronation of King George VI. and to attend the Imperial Conference. He was a member of the Empire Coronation Commission, 1936-37.

That is the formal outline of his unique service. We mourn to-day a great Empire patriot and a great Christian gentleman. To me, he was also a loyal friend and an able colleague.

The sympathy of the whole nation and, indeed, of the whole Empire, is with Dame Enid and her family. The extraordinary tributes of affection which have come from such a wide circle may be some solace to her in her grief for a wonderful husband, whose sacrifices she shared in the high interpretation of their common ideal of public service.

The parliamentary and political achievements of Joseph Aloysius Lyons will stand for all time as an historical record. But this generation will always remember as personalities the marvellous pair who spent themselves unsparingly during so many years, and especially during these last seven years, in serving their country. They made an appeal to the fundamentals of human society and contacts. They had the common touch, and understood the needs, wishes and aspirations of the poorest and simplest of their fellows. No matter in what exalted circles they were called upon to move, their affection and understanding of the ordinary man and woman remained lively and unchanged. They spoke to the hearts as much as to the heads of the people, and at a time when immense sacrifices and extraordinary individual effort were necessary on the part of the people of Australia to meet the crisis of the depression.

Their unfailing courage, their cheerfulness in all circumstances, their constant endeavour to ameliorate the conditions of the women and children of the sick and the poor, their aptness in expressing the mind of the common man, their loyalties to the ideals of service, assure for them a special place in the hearts and memories of the people. They could not have interpreted better than they have the Divine injunction : " Let your light shine before men ". It is my hope and prayer that many of us will pattern thought and action upon their example.

We in this House have lost a colleague and a guide; this place will know Joseph Lyons no more. But we will not think of him as having gone from us; rather should we remember that he lived - that he was the man he was - and thank God for " every remembrance " of him.

As the poet Lowell said -

His magic was not far to seek,

He was so human! Whether strong or weak,

Far from his kind he neither sank nor soared,

But sate an equal guest at every board:

No beggar ever felt him condescend,

Mo prince presume; for still himself he bare

At manhood's simple level, and where'er

He met a stranger, there he left a friend.

I" move -

That this House expresses its deep regret at the death of the Right Honorable Joseph Aloysius Lyons, Companion of Honour, for more than seven years Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, places on record its appreciation of his distinguished public service, and tenders to his wife, Dame Enid Lyons, her family, and all relatives, its profound sympathy in their sad bereavement.

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