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Friday, 2 August 1946

Mr MAKIN (Hindmarsh) (Minister for the Navy, Minister for Munitions and Minister for Aircraft Production) . - I am deeply moved by the tributes, that honorable gentlemen have paid to me on this, my last appearance, at least for a time, in the Parliament of the Commonwealth. Nearly 27 years have passed since I first took my place in this chamber, and the long period that has intervened has been rich in experience. I hope that in some measure I have been able to render public service worthy of the splendid opportunities that have come my way. I have shared richly in the gifts that Australia can make to one of its sons. Not only have I had the privileges of representing wonderful people in the constituency of Hindmarsh, but also I was entrusted with the high and honorable office of Speaker of this House, and 1 remember with satisfaction my pleasure when that honour was conferred upon me. Some years later, when Australia was in dire peril and an enemy threatened its security, T was called to be one of the trusted Ministers of the late Prime Minister, Mr. Curtin, and to render to him assistance and advice in those dark days. My appointment as Minister for the Navy and Minister for Munitions at that critical period was one of the greatest honours that could be bestowed upon any tuan, because it afforded to me the opportunity to serve my country in its dire need. Later I represented Australia at the first meeting of the United Nations, and I had the' honour of being elected first president of the Security Council. Now, I have been further honoured ; the Government has appointed me as its first Ambassador to the United States of America. Undoubtedly such experiences deeply enrich one's life, and I am profoundly grateful for all those manifestations of great goodness.

The tributes that honorable members on both sides of the chamber. have paid to me personally and to my public service hav"e touched me deeply. Few men are praised during their lifetime for their public service. Generally, those tributes are paid after death, I have been more fortunate because generous expressions of goodwill have been uttered this afternoon by those with whom I have been associated for many years. Their confidence in my ability will indeed strengthen me in my occupation df the high and honorable office of Ambassador to the United States of Amenca. I trust that I shall continue to justify the confidence that has been reposed in me in the- past. One of my objects will be to cement even more firmly the friendship between these two great countries, the Commonwealth of Australia and the' United States of America, although already that bond is very real and strong, forged in the blood and sacrifice of brave men in the cause of freedom. I go as an Ambassador of friendliness to the people of a great coun try who love freedom and who place great value upon the liberty and dignity of. the individual. It is my earnest hope that wo shall be able to continue to develop that wonderful relationship between the two countries, and thus set an example of better international understanding to other nations.

I should like to pay sincere tribute to ' my leader, the Right Honorable J. B. Chifley, who has at all' times shown deep friendship and wonderful consideration to- me. In my public life. I have been extremely fortunate to serve under leaders of high integrity and great personal worth. To my honoured and revered friend, the right honorable mem- ' ber for Yarra (Mr. Scullin), who was the Leader of the Parliamentary Labour party for many years', I offer my special thanks. To all honorable members who have bestowed their friendship so richly upon me, and to those who have shared with me the many difficulties and anxieties inseparable from public life, I extend my deepest appreciation. In the years to come, it will be a source of deep satisfaction to mo to know- that, my own life has been such as to earn- the enduring goodwill, high respect and friendship, of my fellow men. I leave this House with the feeling of assurance that my friends in Australia are supporting me in the important task I am about to undertake. I hope that as the days pass,.. Australia will continue its chosen way of life that democracy and free public institutions make possible for the people.

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