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Thursday, 11 April 1957

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) - by leave - I have been asked by the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) to express his very deep regret at the fact that illness keeps him away from the chamber this morning,, because he would most certainly have liked to be present to pay his tribute to Mr. Campbell for the excellent services that thiskindly and helpful gentleman has rendered to him and to every honorable member of the Opposition, both while we have been, on this side of the House and when we sat on the other side. He has been associated with the " Hansard " staff for over 34 years, and for nine years he has been the chief of that staff. The statements made by the Acting Prime Minister (Sir Arthur. Fadden) have the full concurrence of the Leader of the Opposition and all members of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition asked me to associate the Opposition with all sentiments uttered this morning in praise of the work that Mr. Campbell has performed so unobtrusively and so generously. He has always been available when any honorable member, from the newest to the oldest hand i» Parliament, has wanted some assistance.

Honorable Members. - Hear, hear!

Mr CALWELL - He has applied theinflexible rule of syntax, that every sentence must have a noun and a verb. No matterhow honorable members have departed intothe subjunctive mood, and no matter how long they have taken in reaching that necessary verb, Mr. Campbell has always seer* to it that we have not become lost in our parentheses; that we have on all occasions and in every speech, emerged from our sentences with the necessary predicate tucked under our arm. That, sir, is aremarkable feat of reporting. Enthusiasm, tiredness and various other human emotional weaknesses, of course, sometimes have made us terminate our sentences before we really reached the end and used that verb.

Mr. Campbellis not merely a " Hansard " reporter - and that is a very high profession - but he also has engaged in a lot of other activities. He is an author in his own right, and he has rendered great service to this community, in which he came to live when the Parliament was transferred from Melbourne. He has written three brochures dealing with the lives of three of the pioneer families of Canberra, and for that contribution to our historical knowledge all the people of the Territory and Australia are indebted to him. He, of course, had some historical precedents to inspire him. I understand that Charles Dickens was once a reporter in the gallery of the House of Commons, and even Thomas Babington Macaulay was a member of the " Hansard " staff of the British Parliament. We in this Parliament have known of two Commonwealth " Hansard " reporters who have achieved great fame, and I would hold this out as an encouragement to Mr. Campbell. There was the " Hansard " reporter who moved from his post to become Professor of History in the University of Melbourne, the late Professor Ernest Scott; and one of the first " Hansard " reporters in the Parliament in Melbourne was Charles Edward Frazer, who became a member of the second Parliament itself and, later, a Minister in the Fisher Government. I do not want to encourage Mr. Campbell to become a member of Parliament, although there are some seats any one of which he could win easily at the next general election. But at any rate, he will continue his good work for his church and for the community generally. He has been president, for one term, of the Young Men's Christian Association, and has been associated with that body for quite a long period of years. He has been a good churchman, and I am not speaking flippantly when I say that he has practised what he preached. In that respect, he has given a fine example to everybody else in the community.

I join with the Acting Prime Minister in hoping that Mr. Campbell will have a long and happy life in retirement, that his wile and family will be long spared to share his company, and that health and happiness await them too, whilst their husband and father is doing good work for the community. From the point of view of his staff, there never was a more genial or kindly man. He has enjoyed and deserved remarkable popularity with all his colleagues on the " Hansard " staff over the period of 34 years that he has been here - the last man of the " Hansard " reporting staff in Melbourne to quit the staff since the National Capital took the National Parliament into its final possession.

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