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Thursday, 11 April 1957

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) .- I desire to thank the Leader of the House (Mr. Harold Holt) for the sympathy that he has expressed to Opposition members because of the sudden and serious illness of Senator Theo Nicholls. Unfortunately, the news is not good. It is sad that, at the end of a sitting, one of the members of the Parliament should be stricken down so suddenly and grievously. I desire, too, on behalf of the Opposition, to say how much we appreciate the ready co-operation that was shown to us by Ministers, particularly by the Acting Prime Minister (Sir Arthur Fadden), the Minister for Air (Mr. Osborne), by the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator O'sullivan), and by the President of the Senate (Senator McMullin) in doing all that they possibly could to help Senator Nicholls and in making whatever arrangements they have been able to make, quickly, and with great good heart, to bring his wife and family to Canberra. I think that I would be failing in my duty if 1 did not take this opportunity of saying these things. Tragedies like this do enable us to forget what other differences we might have in politics.

Of Senator Nicholls, it can be said that he has served his country well in war and in peace. He was quite a young man when he went to World War I., and he was wounded. Since his return from the war, he has played a part in the Parliament and for a time was Chairman of Committees in the Senate.

I want to say two other things. First, 1 want to congratulate the Leader of the House on returning to the old custom of answering the observations that honorable members make on the adjournment. For a number of years, that did not happen. I think it does help to maintain the parliamentary tradition if Ministers make replies, even though they are critical and at times, to the satisfaction of the Minister, devastating, in answer to whatever has been said.

In the second place, I want to say that I have never heard the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) reflect on Mr. Justice Ligertwood. His interjection tonight was, " Why was Mr. Justice Townley of Queensland, turned down for membership of the commission " ? That was not a reflection on Mr. Justice Ligertwood, and I think the record should be put straight in that regard.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I wish to make a personal explanation.

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