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Tuesday, 1 May 1973
Page: 1469


Mr KILLEN (Moreton) - Hilaire Bel loo once wrote:

From quiet homes and first beginning,

Out to the undiscovered ends,

There's nothing worth the wear of winning,

But laughter and the love of friends.

That is not, as we may at first blush suspect, a drab and unwelcome piece of cynicism. It is, on reflection, a revelation of the fact that all paths of glory do lead but to the grave and that the great things of life are indeed laughter and the love of friends. Nothing I can think of would show our late friend, Sir Arthur Fadden, to be other than a friend of all people. When I was first elected to this House he said to me: 'You will get a lot of advice here. Most of it is dubious. The only advice I give to you is this: All the good bowlers are not in the one team.' Honourable members would not need to argue with me too strenuously on that proposition. Neither the tinsel of power nor the transient grandeur of position had the slightest effect upon the remarkable man whom we recall today. He was essentially natural to every person with whom he had any dealing. I like to recall the occasion when he was taken into one of the curious establishments to which I belong - the Johnsonian Club in Brisbane - that has no other reason for its existence than companionship. He was introduced by a judge of Queensland to the captain of a visiting American ship and some of his officers as Sir Arthur Fadden, Acting Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia. At the end of an hour, the captain turned to the judge and said to him: You must take us to be a bunch of suckers if you think we believe that he is the Acting Prime Minister of Australia.' Such was his complete naturalness.

Time of course does blunt the edge of memory but I will never forget as each year went by our annual visits on Boxing Day to the Highland Gathering at Warwick. I wondered how so much exuberance and unfeigned amiability could be reposed in one man. To have known him was indeed to have experienced a whole literature of life, the quips never stopping. I recall the last political meeting - or so I regarded it - that he honoured in support of me. Half way through it I whispered to him, not quite so quietly: 'I am trying to win votes.' But he turned and replied to some interjectors with picturesque language. He won them. He then turned to the man who had given him some measure of entertainment, took him into a hotel and bought him a drink. He won that man's heart and I suspect he may have voted for me by accident.

I remember the last time, a few days before he died, that I went to see Sir Aruthur Fadden. He knew that he was stricken with a serious illness, but his humour was as indefatigable and defiant as ever. He said: 'They have taken so many pictures of me that I am going to leave them all to the national art gallery.' When I shook his hand I knew it was the last farewell. I have said that the edge of memory is blunted a little by time. We will never see his like again with our own eyes - eyes which grow a little wearier each year searching for those no longer to be seen. But this man will always be with us in the vision both of memory and of hope.







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