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Friday, 6 December 1935

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia:) (Minister for External Affairs) [5.28].- I move-

That the Senate do now adjourn.

I take this opportunity to wish you, Mr. President, the Chairman of Committees, fellow senators, and officers and members of the staff of the Senate a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. On behalf of the Government and on my own behalf I express appreciation of the courtesy which we have received from you, Mr. President, from the Chairman of Committees, the Leader of the Opposition, the Leader of the Country party, and honorable senators generally. All have acted considerately towards the Government and Ministers appreciate very, much the way in which we have been treated. The amount of business transacted this session is very creditable to the Senate. This session the Government made an endeavour to avoid tha't rush of small bills which is generally experienced towards the end of a session. On this occasion we had a number of small bills dealt with in the early part of the session, and it is not the fault of Ministers in the Senate that a greater number was not dealt with before the concluding days. However, the number of such bills this session has shown a decrease and honorable senators who, on other occasions, addressed homilies to the Government on this point, may take the flattering unction to their souls that they were responsible for this improvement. I thank the members of the Hansard staff who have, indeed, done remarkably good work, and also the officers of the Senate for the assiduity and courtesy with which they discharged their duties, and the assistance that they have rendered to Ministers. I specially mention here an officer who I and other Ministers realize has an extraordinary amount of work placed upon his shoulders, particularly towards the end of the session; I refer to the officer who acts as secretary to Ministers in the Senate. I do not know of any other officer who is called upon to cope with so great a volume of work under equally trying conditions. Repeatedly various honorable senators have expressed to me appreciation of the assistance he has given to them in the drafting of amendments. In conclusion, I trust that the holidays that are before us will be enjoyable and beneficial to all honorable senators.

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