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Thursday, 11 April 1957

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Minister for Labour and National Service) .- by leave - I wish to associate myself in my official capacity, and also the members of the Liberal party, whose spokesman I can claim to be on this occasion, with the remarks that have already been made. We join very warmly in the tributes to a distinguished, loyal and able officer of this Parliament. Reference has been made to the remarkable and unique link which Mr. Campbell has maintained with the Parliament from the time when it functioned in the City of Melbourne to the present day. He is the only member of the reporting staff, I understand, with any personal link with the Parliament when it was located in Melbourne, and he is the only one who was on duty when the new parliamentary era commenced here in Canberra.

References have already been made to the work he did in Broken Hill and Adelaide, where, from time to time, his duties called for close contact with governmental and departmental activity; and so, when he now retires, it is after almost 50 years of close association with national and State affairs. Reference properly has been made to the diversity of his activity and interest in Canberra itself. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell), has spoken of Mr. Campbell's publication of historical pamphlets, and he has referred, too, to his work as president of the Young Men's Christian Association and his activity in the church of which he is a member. Mr. Campbell also has been, I understand, president of the Rotary Club, so that although the Parliament has made heavy demands on his time, he has been able to give enthusiastic and energetic public service in these other fields as well. But it is in his capacity as our Principal Parliamentary Reporter in recent years, and as a member of the " Hansard " staff in the years before that, that most of us in this chamber have come to know him so closely and to value him so highly. He has succeeded in doing something that our mothers set out to do in our early years; he has made better men of us than we would have been had we been left to ourselves - at least, the record of " Hansard " would suggest that. Where we have dropped a grammatical stitch, he has been there to pick it up. Where there has been a break in the thread of our logic, he has been there to remove the knot and see that the line ran smoothly.

Mr Ward - You have kept him very busy!

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - I have not kept him as busy as has the honorable member for East Sydney. " Hansard " has the reputation of being a great leveller, Mr. Speaker, but so skilfully have the Principal Parliamentary Reporter and his staff done their work that, although they have presented in intelligible English what has been said here for those who care to read the record of our proceedings, they have managed to retain something of the atmosphere and the flavour of this place. The record has not been so completely sterilized that there cannot be a recognition of what goes on. There is the levelling process, but it is still possible to detect differences of style, language and quality between, say, a speech from the right honorable member for Kooyong and i speech from the honorable member. for East Sydney. And long may this process continue!

I want Mr. Campbell to know that we remember him not only for having given us a record of our proceedings and yet retained, as I say, something of the character and flavour of this place, but also for the most welcome innovation which, I am happy to say, appears now to be permanent and well established, and which is of great convenience to honorable members and the public outside as well, our daily " Hansard ". That has been a very great advance during the term of his leadership. I want him to know that there are many members of the Parliament who wished to take part personally in these expressions of goodwill and of commendation which are being made to him to-day. The members of the daily " Hansard " committee particularly, to which the honorable members for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth), Macquarie (Mr. Luchetti), Parkes (Mr. Haylen) and others made their contribution, were anxious to participate, as I know were many other members of the Parliament. We shall think of Mr. Campbell as a Principal Parliamentary Reporter who has become firmly established in our memories, not only by able service and by the warm, human qualities which he demonstrated that he possessed during his time here, but also as one who, by the innova tions brought about as a result of his own skilled, intelligent leadership, has made t» lasting contribution to the functioning of thi.Parliament. I join with, those who have assured him already that our good wishes, will accompany him in his retirement. He will go from this Parliament knowing that all of us who have come into contact with him regard him as a friend whom we would wish to retain for as long as our paths mav cross.

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