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Wednesday, 19 November 1941

Senator COLLINGS (QueenslandMinister for the Interior) (Minister for the Interior) - Honorable senators will have heard with deep regret of the death in Sydney yesterday of a former Prime Minister of the Commonwealth, the Honorable John Christian Watson. The late Mr. Watson had had a lengthy parliamentary career, which commenced when he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales as the member for Young in 1894. He represented that constituency until June, 1901, when he was elected to the House of Representatives for the division of Bland, New South Wales. On the abolition of that division in 1906, he became member for the Division of South Sydney. He will be well remembered as the first leader of the

Federal Labour party. He was Prime Minister and Treasurer from April to August, 1904. He retired on the expiration of the third Parliament in 1910. The late Mr. Watson was widely known and respected. He was for many years president of the National Roads and Motorists Association of New South Wales. His death severs one of the few associations with the first Commonwealth Parliament.

Mr. Watsonwas a personal friend of mine. We were contemporary in the work of the Labour movement, he in Parliament, I mostly outside of Parliament. He was our first leader in the Commonwealth Parliament. He had a charm of character which drew to him those with whom he was associated in all of his work. He earned, not only their admiration and respect, but also that close friendship so essential in any political party if harmony is to be achieved and maintained. He was 74 years of age, and of him it can be truly said that he served his country well with all those manifold gifts he had to bestow. On behalf of the Senate I extend to his widow and daughter . our deepest sympathy. I move -

That the Senate expresses its profound regret at the death of the honorable John Christian Watson, a former member of the New South Wales and Commonwealth Parliaments, and Prime Minister and Treasurer of the Commonwealth, places on record its appreciation of his distinguished public service, and tenders its sincere sympathy to his widow and daughter in their bereavement.

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