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Tuesday, 16 March 1965


Senator PALTRIDGE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - by leave - - Mr. President, it was with the very deepest sorrow that the world learned, on the morning of 24th January this year, of the death at the age of 90 of the former British Prime Minister and elder statesman, the Right Honorable Sir Winston Spencer Churchill. With his passing, Mr. President, there ends a chapter in world history. Remarkable though it is how much happened during his lifetime, spanning as it did from Victorian England in 1874 to modern, nuclear-age England in 1965, how much more remarkable is it that the life of this one man should have had such a bearing on events during that lengthy period. Born in 1 874 at Blenheim Palace, the elder son of Lord Randolph Churchill, and a grandson of the seventh Duke of Marlborough, Sir Winston was educated at Harrow before entering the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. Following this, there began a prolific lifetime of service as a soldier and as a member of the House of Commons, which, he first entered in the year 1900. In Parliament, he immediately made his mark, and his first office carrie in 1905 when he was appointed UnderSecretary of State for the Colonies, an office which was to be succeeded by those of President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty, before he rejoined the Army in 1915.

After active service, he again entered politics and took office, at various times, as Minister for Munitions, Secretary of State for War and Air, Secretary for the Colonies, Chancellor of the Exchequer and, once again, First Lord of the Admiralty when the Second World War began in 1939. Then war gave to him the opportunity to commence the outstanding service to his King, his country and the world, with which we are all personally familiar. As Prime Minister during those difficult war years, Sir Winston, by personal example and magnetism, and by sheer oratorical genius, lifted Britain from her plight and steered her through to victory. This was his finest hour, and it is for this that the world will always remember him - leading and inspiring the British people, servicemen and civilians alike, to heights of endurance and endeavour which saved the world from totalitarian forces.

Rejected by the people in the post-war period, he fought back again and became Prime Minister for another period from 1951-1955, after which he served again as a private member of the House of Commons until last year. Honora'ble senators will recall that, on the occasion of his final departure from the Parliament which he loved and for the rights of which he always fought, we in this chamber passed a motion recording our appreciation of his -

.   . unsurpassed and splendid contribution to parliamentary democracy, and of the inspired leadership and tenacity of purpose which be brought to the free world in its period of greatest danger.

Mr. President,one could speak at great length of the life and talents of Sir Winston Churchill. That is not my purpose today, as I merely wish to record here in our Australian Senate our regret at the death of this great man, and to place on record, in an appropriate manner, our sympathy in the loss experienced by his widow and family and, indeed, by the people of Britain.

Mr. President,I move ;

That the Senate records with regret the death of Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, a Knight of the Garter, holder of the Order of Merit, Companion of Honour, after a lifetime of distinguished service to his Sovereign and country, and to the world.

It also places on record its admiration of and gratitude for his indomitable leadership in time of war, his magnificent and successful devotion to the cause of freedom and his outstanding contribution to parliamentary democracy, shares with the people of Britain their profound loss, and tenders its deep sympathy to his widow and family.







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