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Friday, 25 June 1926

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - In moving -

That the Senate do now adjourn,

I feel that I am voicing the desire of honorable senators generally when I say that we should not like to carry this motion without first making reference to the fact that three honorable senators who have been with us for a considerable time will not, owing to the exigencies of political fortune, be members of the new Senate which assembles on the 1st July next. We hope that at some future time they will make their re-appearance here; but for the present we are losing them. I refer to Senators Wilson, Gardiner, and Drake-Brockman. As Senator Drake-Brockman will be with us next week, I shall postpone until then any reference to him; but Senator Wilson and Senator Gardiner have intimated that they will not attend the meeting of the Senate on Wednesday next. Speaking for honorable senators on this side of the chamber, I express regret that the exigencies of political fortune should have occasioned this severance. Both honorable senators are men of strong character and personality, who, when they hit, strike hard. Nevertheless, I feel that no bitterness has been occasioned by their utterances. On the contrary, they have earned the respect of all of us. I have worked with Senator Wilson as a colleague, and for him I have a very high regard, as indeed, we all have.

Honorable Senators. - Hear, hear!

Senator PEARCE - He has no enemy in this chamber, but many friends. We are all sorry that he is leaving us. Senator Gardiner has a strong fighting spirit, and carries a nasty punch, which he lets us feel occasionally. He is an old Rugby footballer, and in that strenuous game he learned not only to give hard knocks, but also to take them, and to continue smiling. He and I have engaged in many a combat. I do not know how the honorable senator feels towards me, but personally I regard him as a friend. I regret that he is leaving us. The Senate will feel the loss of his debating powers. Although during recent years Senator Gardiner and I have seldom agreed, I feel that in him we have had a political opponent worthy of our steel. We wish these two gentlemen well, and hope that they will continue to enjoy good health. We trust also, that their services will, in another sphere, be made available to their country.

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