Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 3 July 1912

Senator CHATAWAY (Queensland) . - In the absence of Senator Millen, who has asked me to express his regret that he is not here to-day, I wish to second the motion which has been proposed in such appropriate terms by the Vice-President of the Executive Council. The late Senator W. Russell was vigorous, but always courteous, in' debate. In my experience of him for nearly six years he was a man whom one could always meet in a friendly way in the lobbies, and who did not allow the acerbities of political life to interfere with personal friendship. I think I might say here thai condolence may be extended to South Australia, which has lost no less than five representatives in this Parliament during the last six years. Four of them were connected with the other House. Senator W. Russell was a man whom we worked with, heard in debate, and met outside Parliament. From what we knew of him, we can say that he was one of the best type of citizens -in Australia. He was the architect of- his own fortune. Beginning with quite a small farm, he rose to be the proprietor of a fairly large one. For the last twenty years - first as a councillor, then as a member of the South Australian Parliament, and, later, as a member of this Parliament - he took a very active part in public affairs, lt is hard to say in what way we can extend condolence to those who have lost a husband and father, and to -.whom the Vice-President of the Executive Council has referred in such feeling terms. But it may be some consolation to them to reflect that he died in harness- died in the work of his country - for if I understand the position aright his death was almost directly traceable to his having travelled to a certain portion . of- South Australia for the purpose of advocating the principles in which he so earnestly believed. Me had almost reached the age of three score years and ten, which, according to Scriptural teaching, is man's allotted span of life. Bearing in mind the principles which he advocated, and the manner in which he advocated them, we can well be- lieve that, at- the last moment, he had in his mind the words which were spoken by Abraham Lincoln fifty years ago, " Let us have faith that might makes right, and in that faith let us do our duty as we understand it." I beg to second the motion.

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [3.12].- Hon- orable senators who had enjoyed the close friendship of Senator W. Russell, who has just passed away, recognise that in losing : him they have lost one who, whilst at _ all times determined to push his own -opinions fairly and forcibly, was ever prepared to respect the views expressed by those who differed from- him. With my honorable friend, Senator Walker, it was my privilege to visit' him occasionally .dur ing one of his recent illnesses, and thus I had an opportunity of gaining a better insight into his character than one could otherwise obtain. I found him in his own home, when .in this city, as I found him elsewhere, exactly the same courteous and considerate gentleman. It is occasions like the present which convincingly demonstrate that, notwithstanding how honorable senators may differ in political debate, there is a strong bond of sympathy and friendship and brotherhood between them. Senator W. Russell was invariably a supporter of my honorable friends opposite. He fought against members of the Opposition as strongly and consistently as he could, but in his political hostility he never betrayed the slightest personal bitterness, and I am equally sure that no such bitterness was . exhibited by this side of the Senate towards him. If a similar spirit be always manifested in this Senate - however much we may right upon the floor of the chamber - we shall' be able to meet each other as personal friends the moment we get beyond its portals. I sympathize deeply with the widow and the family in the great loss which they have sustained. I recognise that Senator W. Russell's demise is a loss, not only to the party to which he belonged, but also to the Senate. Seeing that death will come to all, it is well that the kindly, sympathetic feeling to which I have already referred should always exist.

Suggest corrections