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Tuesday, 8 March 1966

Mr McEWEN (Murray) (Minister for Trade and Industry) . - I associate members of the Australian Country Party in this Parliament with the motion that is now under discussion. Senator Sir Shane Paltridge was a very distinguished member of this Parliament, a very distinguished Cabinet Minister and a distinguished leader of his party. Upon his entry to the Ministry in 1955 he immediately displayed that vigour and great enthusiasm which were characteristic of him. He applied to the portfolios that he held in succession - Minister for Shipping and Transport, Minister for Civil Aviation and Minister for Defence - the very great qualities of character, industry and intelligence and the general administrative skills which he obviously possessed in full strength. He exhibited those qualities and skills in his capacity of Leader of the Government in the Senate. It is indeed a tragedy that a man of such qualities was not spared to carry on for a longer time. He picked up a great burden at a time when defence was becoming an increasingly important issue for us, and it soon was crystal clear to all that in this highly important and highly complex portfolio he mastered the issues both in principle and in detail. The Australian Country Party joins in mourning the passing of such a distinguished member of the Parliament and of the Government, and we extend our very deep sympathy to Lady Paltridge and the family.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their places.

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