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Monday, 9 May 1927

Senator NEEDHAM ("Western Australia) . - As Leader of the Opposition, I cordially endorse the sentiments expressed by the right honorable the Leader of the Senate, and contained in the Address which, upon the adoption of this motion, will be presented to His Royal Highness the Duke of York. Together with all my colleagues of the Labour party, I join in the enthusiastic welcome that has been extended to their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of York. Their visit to our shores, and the part they have played in to-day's historic ceremony, will long be cherished in the memories of His Majesty's subjects in this part of His far-flung realm. It seems but yesterday that His Gracious Majesty the King, as Duke of Cornwall and York, performed the ceremony of opening the firstParliament of- .the Commonwealth. Twenty-six years, however, have elapsed. In the intervening period much history has been made. To-day, we have reached the portals of that nationhood along the path to which we then took the first step. The Commonwealth was at that time but a political babe in swaddling clothes. To-day it is in the full possession of a lusty vigour.

During these 26 years Australia has been tried and tested, not only in the walks and arts of peace, but also in the dread crucible of war. The ceremony today marks an epoch in our history: the beginning of a new era for the Commonwealth. We have established for all time the nation's Parliament in the nation's own territory. From now on, the laws of the Commonwealth will be made, its destinies guided, and the welfare of its people guarded, by the Federal Parliament established in Federal territory. I earnestly hope that we in this Parliament, in common with all other Parliaments of the British Commonwealth of Nations, will ever strive to preserve the peace of the world and direct our efforts to the promotion of the progress and best interests of our people. I trust that Their Royal Highnesses will return to their native land in full possession, of health and vigour, and that they Will convey from us to our kinsfolk overseas a message of good-will, love, and loyalty. I have much pleasure in seconding the motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable senators rising in their places.

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