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Wednesday, 30 September 1936

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [8.1]. - by leave - It is with very great regret, that I have to announce the death of the former Senator Thomas Glassey, who died at New Farm, Queensland, on Monday, the 28th inst., at the ripe age of 92 years. With his death, another member of the first Parliament of the Commonwealth has passed away. The deceased gentleman was elected to the Senate for Queensland at the first general election in 1901, and remained a member of this chamber until 1903. Prior to entering the Federal Parliament, he had been a member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland on various occasions, commencing with his election for Bundamba in May, 1888. He was elected as member for Burke in the Legislative Assembly at a by-election in 1894, and at the general election in the same year, was elected for Bundaberg, which seat he retained until 1900. He had the distinction of being a memberof the Federal Council of Australasia in 1899. It is 33 years since the late gentleman was a member of this chamber,but I well remember him as a sturdy champion of the rights of the people, and an enthusiastic supporter of what is known as the White Australia principle. Having a sound knowledge of Queensland industries, he realized the effect on those industries of the employment of coloured labour, and I recall a most informative speech which he delivered in the Senate on the second reading of the bill introduced for the purpose of deporting Pacific island labourers who, for some years had been recruited for work in the cane-fields. His speech on that occasion was packed with valuable information, and strong arguments in favour of the bill, which was being very fiercely debated. Many people in these days are apt to think that the legislation implementing the White Australia principle was placed on the statute-book of the Commonwealth without serious opposition. That is not the case. The bill to which I allude was very strongly opposed, and Senator Glassey, as a supporter of the Barton Government, played an important part in its passage. To me even in those days, he seemed to be an old, but withal a very vigorous man, and possessing such a wealth of experience, he was a most useful member of this chamber. He was one of the first Labour members to be elected to the Queensland Parliament, and although he did not retain his association with Labour as a political entity, he was always a strong believer in the principles upon which he was first elected. We, who were associated with him in the first Common wealth Parliament, will always rememberhim as a breezy and forceful personality, who imparted much interest into the debates. He lived a long and useful life, and made his mark in both the State and Federal Parliaments. Until recent years, he took an active interest not only in political affairs, butalso in business matters. As one who had the privilege of personal association with the late esteemed gentleman, I am in a position to appraise at their true worth the services which he rendered to the Commonwealth. I move -

That this Senate expresses its deep regret at the death of theHonorable ThomasGlassey, a former member of the Commonwealth and Queensland Parliaments and the Federal Council of Australasia, places on recordis appreciation of his meritorious public services,and tenders to the members of his family its profound sympathy in their bereavement.

SenatorCOLLINGS (Queensland) [3.6]. - I second the motion, and support the remarks of the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce). I knew the deceased gentleman quite well during the whole of his political career. I had the pleasure of working for him, with him, and against him, so I can speak with certain knowledge regarding the value of the services which he rendered to this country. Although because of his great age, his death did not come as a shock to those who knew him, it is right that we should extend our sympathy to the members of his family. Being acquainted with all of thorn, 1 know what he meant to them, and how much they will miss him. The late honorable gentleman was possessed of remarkable vitality. As recently as two or three years ago he was present at the opening of the Queensland Parliament, and was still in possession of all his intellectual faculties. His cheerful personality and his snow white hair - he had an ample supply of it to the last - made him a striking figure. I second the motion and associate my comrades of the Opposition with the sentiments expressed by the Leader of the Senate.

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