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Wednesday, 20 August 1941

Senator COLLINGS (QueenslandLeader of the Opposition) - I had the great privilege of knowing the late Honorable J. G. Drake during the whole of his public life and right up till the time of his death. Although he was not associated with the party to which I belong he was always truly democratic in his political outlook and activities, which was something rare in the days of which I speak - I refer to the 'eighties. As the Leader of the Senate (Senator McLeay) has said, the deceased gentleman was not only a member of the first Commonwealth Parliament, he was also PostmasterGeneral of the first Commonwealth Ministry. At the time of his death on the 1st of this month he was the only surviving member of that Ministry. Although 91 years of age he was practising his profession at the bar when his last illness overtook him. He was the oldest practitioner in Queensland, and I believe in the Commonwealth also. Some of us can remember his activities; they were always associated with movements for the benefit of the people. I remember well that he published a newspaper - TheBoomerang - which in those days was considered to be fairly extreme, although to-day itwouldbe regarded as quite respectable. It was Australian in its outlook, and in those days provided one of the very few outlets for the then comparatively new champions of Australia and of things Australian. It is, therefore, with feeling of great regret that I refer to his passing, although, because of his advanced age, it was not unexpected. I regard as a privilege this opportunity to refer to hig life, andI join with the Leader of the Senate in expressing sincere sympathy with those of his family who are left behind. As I have said on many previous occasions, we have an ever-increasing obligation to pay respect to the memory of the pioneers of Australia, who in this Parliament, and elsewhere, have done so much to develop this great country.

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