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Death of former Senator George Cole

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Senator The Hon. V. C. GAIR

Leader Democratic Labor Party Phones: Canberra, 705 Ext. 523 Brisbane, 310101 Ext. 436

23rd January, 1969

The death of former Senator George Cole, Federal Parliamentary Leader of the D.L.P. 1 •

from 1956 to 1965, will be received with great sadness by his friends and also by those

who, though they found occasions to differ from him politically, will mourn the passing

of a man whose qualities of character and integrity commanded their respect.

The late former Senator became the first member of the DemocraticLabor Party in

the Federal Parliament and its first Federal Parliamentary Leader.

Of quiet disposition, he was a man of great strength of character, integrity and


Finding himself in conflict with the Australian Labor Party he did not shrink from

taking action which isolated hip in Parliament, and imposed on him burdens of respon-sibilities which he discharged with the greatest fortitude and under the most difficult


In the election of 1958 Senator Cole was re-elected to the Senate as a D.L.P.'

Senator, the election which also brought Senator I,icManus into the Senate.

During the course of that campaign he led the Party with distinction, imagination

and success, and I recall that in the course of the election he addressed, in

Elelbourne, one of the largest election meetings held in Australia in our time.

I never knew Senator Cole to compromise a principle or to be timid in espousing


To his courage and determination in the early days of the emergence of the

D.L.P., the party owes a Groat deal. And as the Party has a role to play in Australian

Jolitical life, and as its existence and work are proved to benefit Australia, this nation

can be grateful to the former Senator who played such a major role in the D.L.P.'s

formative years.

He may have given the impression that he was a man insensitive to criticism or to

scorn. Such was not the case. But it was a measure of his character that he accepted a

situation which brought these things in its train. And he never flinched from the

discharge of the task as he waw it to be done.

There is a deep sense of loss among his former political associates both in and

outside Parliament, and he will be remembered by great numbers of people in his native

State of Tasmania - people who gave him, throughout his political life, the pledge of their

personal support.

He was essentially a good, straight man in every way. If he died too young in

years he achieved much.

To-his family we extend our profound sympathy.

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