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Thursday, 26 November 1936

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (South Australia) .- The sum of £1,000 is proposed to be voted under the item " Historical memorials of representative men ". I suppose this refers to the painted portraits of distinguished Parliamentarians whichfrom time to time are placed in the King's Hall. The principle laid down in the early days, and which has been adhered to since that time, is that persons holding particular offices should have their portraits painted, and that these should be kept as historical memorials. This is an excellent idea. Those whose portraits have been painted are the various Governors-General, the Prime Ministers, the Presidents of the Senate and the Speakers of the House of Representatives.

Senator Brown - Would it not be cheaper to provide photographs instead of paintings?

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - It would be possible for everybody, including members of this Parliament, to live in hovels, but it is desirable to make distinctions in these matters. Members of Parliament do not do their work in the poorest and least pretentious surroundings, and those who have guided the destinies of this country should be remembered in the manner chosen. We have, near the King's Hall, an admirable painting of Sir Samuel Griffith, first Chief Justice of the High Court, but otherwise the paintings have been confined to the officials whom I have mentioned. I have heard that it is not intended in the future that so many of these paintings should be made. It was suggested some months ago that portraits of Presidents of the Senate would not be painted. If there is any justification for that statement I make a strong protest.

The CHAIRMAN - I suggest to the honorable senator that, instead of discussing the matter generally, he should ask the Minister for an explanation of the position.

Senator SirGEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia - Minister for External Affairs) [10.39].- The information at my disposal does not confirm what the honorable senator has heard. The portraits of all Presidents of the Senate and Speakers of the House of Representatives up to 1928 have been painted. Commissions for the painting of the undermentioned portraits have not yet been issued -

His Excellency the Governor-General,

Lord Gowrie.

Senator the Hon.P. J. Lynch.

The Hon G. H. Mackay.

The late Sir Walter Kingsmill.

Mr. N.J.O. Makin.

Suitable photographs of each of the above gentlemen have been obtained, in order to facilitate the painting of the portraits when they are made.

Senator DUNCAN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Hughes. - I am pleased to hear that. I suggest that, instead of large paintings, small bust paintings would be most effective, would serve the desired purpose, and would make it possible to have a large collection of them.

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