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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3094


Mr MARTIN (Banks) -Mr Speaker,in rising on this occasion I should like to pass a few remarks about the unsung heroes of this Parliament. They are the attendants around the Parliament. They are at our beck and call if that is the right phrase to use. They mother us; they look after us. They are respectful to us. Quite frankly, I think there are many times when we are not deserving of that respect. My appreciation must go to the Clerks and the whole of the Parliamentary staff, without whose help this place could not function as an efficient institution. I have heard it said- I do not believe it to be completely truethat the Parliament is a charade. If I thought that were true, I would not waste my time fighting to come back here.

I wish to pay my respects to the retiring members. I will lead off with the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth). I think he is dedicated. He is dedicated to his own cause. I do not agree with him most of the time- nearly aU the time- but I do not deny him the right to fight for the cause in which he believes in the manner in which he does it Quite frankly, on the Opposition side of the Parliament we do the same thing. We believe in a cause. We fight for that cause in the manner in which we feel it can best be served.

I pay a tribute also to the honourable member for Fremantle (Mr Beazley). Honestly, when I compare him with some of the past leaders of the Australian Labor Party, I think he should have been leader. I think that had he been leader we would have got into government much earner than 1972. 1 mean that certainly as no reflection on my present leader- none at aU. In my view, the honourable member for Fremantle has the ability and the clearness of mind to portray the real issues which are resolved in this Parliament. In addition, he is a highly moral man. He fought for the cause of Moral Rearmament. He even made me drink apple cider at various dinners to which he invited me. I must admit that on those occasions I enjoyed the apple cider, even though I probably would rather have had a pale ale.

I class the honourable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr Crean) as my mentor. We both served in a very worthy institution, the Taxation Office. The people who serve there are not beloved by everybody. The honourable member for Melbourne Ports left the Taxation Office in 1945. When I came into this Parliament in 1969 he took me under his wing. I say to him that I ap- preciate it The thing I admire about Frank Crean is his humility. He is a true Christian. He is an elder of the Presbyterian Church and I am a practising Catholic. There was no difference of opinion between us on true Christian principles. He played a leading part in an organisation about which very Utile is known outside this Parliament- the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship. He was a fine example to many people in this Parliament, with his attitude of true Christianity.

When I speak of his humility I do not have to go back so very long ago to find an example. Frank Crean had served in very high office. He was Deputy Prime Minister of this country. He was Treasurer, and in my view the best Treasurer we had between 1972 and 1975. He did not consider it a lowering of his prestige to serve as a member of the Public Accounts Committee of this Parliament when he was asked to do so. The Public Accounts Committee is one of the lesser recognised but most able bodies that do the work within the Parliament. Frank Crean was most assiduous and most capable, and, to my knowledge, he never missed a meeting and was always on time.

To you, Frank, on behalf of aU those members of the earlier Public Accounts Committees I say thank you. I note that the honourable member for North Sydney (Mr Graham) is sitting in the chamber. He served as a chairman of those PubUc Accounts Committees with you. On behalf of the present Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, the honourable member for Bradfield (Mr Connolly) I convey our thanks to you for the work you have done not only on that Committee but also on the Standing Committee on Expenditure. I think Frank has had only one disappointment in his parliamentary career. I know that he would have loved to have his son

Simon follow him here, but that was not to be. However, I have no doubt that in the not too distant future there Will be another Crean in this Parliament doing just as good a job as his father did.


Mr SPEAKER - I thank aU honourable members for tributes paid to the Clerk and the Clerk 's Assistants, to all those people in the Joint House Department who assist us, to the people in the dining room, to the people who service the Library, to the people who make us read better than we sound, to the attendants who look after us, and to the police who guard us. I thank aU honourable members for their expressions of appreciation.

I should like to pay my own tribute to my Deputy, the honourable member for Lyne, Mr Philip Lucock, who has been an outstanding Chairman of Committees. He has served me immensely well. I take this opportunity to pay a public tribute to him and to all the other deputiesMr Armitage, Mr Bonnett, Mr Drummond, Mr Giles, Mr Jarman, Dr Jenkins, Mr Martin and Mr Ian Robinson. I pay a tribute to the Leader of the House, for I have occupied that position and know something of its difficulties. I ay a tribute to him for the manner in which he as performed his duties. I pay a tribute to the Manager of Opposition Business without whose co-operation the Leader of the House could not have discharged his duties.

I often hear complaints that on occasions the Parliament makes noises which people wished they did not hear. I can only say that members are elected here who hold beliefs passionately and when the occasion occurs they express them passionately. This is the place for them to express those beliefs- in the national forum, the fulcrum of parliamentary democracy. If they cannot be expressed here, they will be expressed elsewhere. This is the place for debate, not the streets.

I hear complaints that we ought to behave better. I have seen parliaments in which everybody behaves perfectly, but it is not a parliamentary democracy. Because people are elected here to speak fearlessly, without nope of favour, without threat, we must expect the Parliament to be what it is- a live organism, an institution of which we can be proud, but which nevertheless needs some institutional reform, as the honourable member for Melbourne Ports said.

I have had occasions in the House when I have wondered just what would happen next. Literacy on all occasions I found that honourable members have understood their position in the Parliament and the dignity which they must lend to it. So any tribute paid to me is really only a tribute paid collectively to all of you. I thank you for the privilege I have had to serve you. That is what a Speaker is for- to serve the members of the Parliament Question resolved in the affirmative.







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