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Wednesday, 30 June 1926

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon T Givens - Before submitting the motion I desire, in common with the Leader of the Government (Senator Pearce) and the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Needham) in this chamber, to express my regret that we are, only temporarily, I hope, losing the services of Senator Drake-Brockman. The honorable senator has been a distinct acquisition to the Senate during his occupancy of a seat in this chamber, I am sure that we all regret that he thought it desirable and necessary in the interests of his country that he should suffer, as he himself put it, a self-inflicted wound. I hope that future events will enable him. to return to this chamber to renew the friendly associations which he has experienced here.

For my own part, I desire to thank the Leader of the Senate and the Leader of the Opposition for their kind expressions and good wishes regarding myself, and honorable senators generally for the way in which those expressions were received. For thirteen years it has been my privilege to occupy the high and honorable office of President of the Senate; and it is with great regret that, owing to failing health, I now find myself compelled to retire. During that time I have always appreciated the support and sympathy which I have received from the whole Senate in the discharge of my duties. Various governments have been in office during that period, and from each I have received the support and co-operation necessary to enable me to discharge the duties of my office. I have long been associated with the present Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce), to whom I am more indebted than to any of his colleagues or predecessors. The Senate has always been remarkably kind to me. Although the duties of President arc sometimes onerous, the fact that I could always rely upon the sympathy and co-operation of honorable senators has lightened the burden considerably, and has made a pleasure of what otherwise might have been a task. 1 thank honorable senators sincerely for their cordial and sympathetic co-operation so readily accorded to me on all occasions. Before finally vacating the chair, I desire to place on record my appreciation of the valuable services rendered to the Senate and to this Parliament by the various staffs under 'my control. The clerks of the Senate, members of the Hansard staff, and all under my control, and with whose work T am familiar, have rendered most loyal and efficient service to this Parliament. My successor, whoever he may be, will find on assuming office that everything will run smoothly because of the efficiency, devotion, and loyalty of the staff that will be placed at his disposal. I desire also to say that towards my successor, whoever he may be, I shall have no feeling but that of the utmost goodwill. He will have my best wishes and heartiest co-operation ; if at any time the experience I have gained during the long period that I have held office in this chamber will be of service to him in the discharge of his duties, it will be freely placed at his disposal. I conclude by thanking honorable senators for their constant support in the past, and by expressing my best wishes for their future.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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