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Wednesday, 11 October 1911

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) (Minister for Defence) . - It is with considerable sorrow that I rise to move -

1.   That this Senate places upon record its high appreciation of the great public services of the late Hon. Egerton Lee Batchelor, Minister of State for External Affairs, and tenders its sincere sympathy to the bereaved wife and family of an eminent citizen whose untimely decease is. a great loss to the Commonwealth.

2.   That theP resident be requested to convey the foregoing resolution to Mrs. Batchelor.

I have never had occasion before, in the Senate, to submit a motion which has been the cause of such deep regret to me as is the present one. To all of us Mr. Batchelor was a friend, to me he was a very intimate and sincere friend. I had the pleasure and the privilege of being associated with him, not only in my own party and in the Government, but also at the recent Imperial Conference. We journeyed back from the Conference together, andthe close association we then enjoyed developed a friendship which was firm and lasting. I grew to appreciate my late colleague's many noble and manly qualities. As a public man he was respected by all parties, and he had friends on both sides of the House of which he was so distinguished a member. In his personal relations he was, indeed, a model to all public men. He held his political opinions strongly, but they did not affect his friendship for men who differed entirely from him in politics. I venture to say that he won the respect of all, although he could give expression to his opinions in forcible language, and did not hesitate to do so when he felt that he should. He was a careful and zealous administrator, and it will, I think, be admitted that he has left in the Department over which he presided a record of which we arE all proud. We know that, as a citizen, as a parent, and as a husband, he was all that a man could or should be. It is a loss, not only to this Parliament, but also to Australia, when one so young, and with a career of such bright promise, is suddenly cut off. We, who were his colleagues in the Government, feel his loss keenly, and I am sure thatit is also felt keenly by all who were associated with him in his political life. His death, in the sad circumstances surrounding it, undoubtedly calls attention to the severe strain which public life in Australia entails upon those who are called' upon to take a leading part in it. He was, apparently, in the prime of life, and his untimely end indicates that his strength had been sapped in an insidious way, probably unknown even to himself.. I am sure, sir, that I submit this motion with the entire concurrence of the Senate, and that it is no mere lip service which we tender,' but the heartfelt expression of every member of the Senate. We do sincerely condole with the widow and the family of Mr. Batchelor. We trust that, in Divine Providence, the blow which falls so hardly upon them may be tempered by the kindly thought of those who will endeavour to assuage the grief of the loved ones who are left.

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