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Thursday, 15 December 1927


Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) .- On behalf of honorable senators on your left, Mr. President, I heartily reciprocate the sentiments expressed by the right honorable the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce), and join -with him in wishing honorable senators "and their families a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. With the Minister I also extend our best wishes to the Chairman of the Committees (Senator Plain), the Clerk of the Senate (Mr. Monahan), the Clerk Assistant (Mr. U'Ren), and all the other officers of the Senate. As always, they have during this session been uniformly courteous, and have rendered valuable assistance to honorable senators in the discharge of their legislative duties. E sincerely hope that the rest which you, Mr. President, will have between now and the re-assembling of the Senate will restore you to your former good health. As for the Opposition, I can only say that my colleagues and I have done our best to assist the Government- in passing its not very voluminous legislative programme. If at times we have had sharp conflicts in debate, no ill-feeling has been engendered, and we shall enter upon the recess with the knowledge that we hav-j. discharged our duties to the best of our ability. As an Opposition, we have done what we could to place the Government on the straight path of rectitude, and to keep it there, and I hope that during the recess Ministers will profit by the good counsel which we have given them. Public life would not be worth while if we could not have our political differences in this chamber and continue as friends outside. I am glad to say that that has been my experience ever since I have been associated with this Parliament. Our thanks are due to all the officers of the Senate who, owing to the recent transfer of the Seat of Government from Melbourne to Canberra, have been working under unusual difficulties. They have carried out their duties to the entire satisfaction of all honorable senators. In closing, I join with the right honorable the Leader of the Senate in expressing the hope that all who are in any way connected with this Parliament will enjoy a merry Christmas. I trust, also, that when the new year makes its appearance on the threshold of time, it will be the harbinger of good things, and that it will mark a new era of progress, prosperity, and happiness for the people of Australia.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon.' Sir John Newlands) . - Before putting the motion, I desire to thank the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) and the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Needham) for their kind expression of good wishes for me personally. I hope that, when I come back after the recess, I shall be restored to my usual good health. I am particularly grateful to members of the Ministry, the Leader of the Opposition, and honorable senators generally for their uniform kindness to me during this, the first session of the Federal Parliament in Canberra. I am conscious that at times they have beer most forbearing, and have overlooked my shortcomings. I have not always been quite so alert as I should have been had my health been more satisfactory; but I feel that I have not failed in any material degree in the discharge of my presidential duties. I desire particularly to thank both Mr. Monahan, the Clerk of the Senate, and Mr. U'Ren. the Clerk Assistant, for their valuable assistance at all times. They have ever been ready to place at my service their undoubted ability and knowledge, and have materially assisted me in many ways. With regard to the IfHansard staff, it will he sufficient if I say that during this, as in previous sessions, they have discharged their duties to our entire satisfaction. I feel also that I should express our thanks to the messengers of the Senate. Honorable senators are aware that there has been a considerable change in the personnel of the staff since the transfer to Canberra; but all have settled down satisfactorily to their duties, and are most attentive to the requirements of honorable senators generally. The Library staff, having found their feet, as it were, in their new quarters, are rendering useful service to honorable senators as they have always done. I feel that I should pay a tribute to tha Library officials for the expedition with which they transferred the immense library from Melbourne to Canberra, and the efficiency which they have displayed in placing it at the disposal of honorable senators. We should not, in the closing hours of this session, overlook the good work done by the chef and his kitchen staff, the stewards, and the dining-room officials, who have been most assiduous in attending to our requirements. We all appreciate very highly what they have done for us during the last two or three months. I know that they have been working under difficult conditions. Tho housekeeper and the cleaning staff likewise deserve a word of praise. Those of us who were privileged to be present at the opening of this Parliament House by His Royal Highness the Duke of York were amazed at the wonderfully good work which those officials had done. Visitors from other Parliaments who come here are astonished at the efficiency of the cleaning staff, to whom now I tender my thanks on behalf of the Senate. Last, but not least, we must not forget the electricians, engineers, and other employees who attend to the lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation systems of the Parliament. They also are deserving of our highest praise for the manner in which they porform their duties. The willingness of all the staffs connected with the Senate has been most gratifying, and I tender my thanks to them all. I join with the Leader of the Senate and the Leader of the Opposition in expressing the wish that honorable senators will have a pleasant holiday, that the financial cloud which appears to be hanging over Australia, and unduly depressing many people, will soon pass away, and that prosperity will return to the Commonwealth.

Question resolved in the affirmative.







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