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Friday, 25 September 1942

Sir EARLE PAGE (Cowper) .- I welcome the privilege of associating myself with the Prime Minister (Mr. Curtin) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Fadden) in wishing the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes) many happy returns of the day, and of paying tribute to his long record of distinguished public service. The right honorable gentleman has been an Australian legislator uninterruptedly for nearly 49 years. The Prime Minister has referred to him as the father of the House. He might almost be called the grandfather of the House, for the nearest approach to his record of continuous service in Parliament is the 23-year term shared by the Minister for Munitions (Mr. Makin), the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Prowse) and myself. Other honorable members have had longer service than we, but not without interruption. I have been closely in contact with the right honorable member for a great many years, both in active opposition and in collaboration, and I am able, perhaps better than most, to speak with authority about his service to this country. The right honorable gentleman has been a notable fighter for better conditions, especially of health and work, for the people. He has also been enthusiastically devoted to the cause of constitutional reform. In the last war, as Australia's representative in the British war councils, he became not only an Empire leader but also a world figure. Australia has reason to be grateful for having had in its councils for so long a period such an enthusiastic, energetic, and far-sighted public man as the right honorable member for North Sydney.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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