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Thursday, 8 August 1901

Mr BARTON (Hunter) (Minister for External Affairs) . - The announcement you have made to the House, Mr. Speaker, will, I am sure, be received with profound grief by every honorable member. Not only is it in itself a thing more than ordinarily painful that, sosoon after this Parliamentshould have begun its work, one of its most respected members should be stricken to death.; but in the present instance there are circumstances which take the event out of the common lot of those miseries with which we all sympathizeand which we all deplore. The late member for Darling Downs was a very old parliamentarian. He was, I think, the oldest or nearly the oldest parliamentarian in Queensland,and certainly the oldest parliamentarian here. In that sense he was the father of the House, and his name will be recorded as the mover of the "first Address in Reply ever moved in this Chamber. By great applies tion and unwearied industry he made himself a master of parliamentary law and usage, and he was instructed by the fulness of his experience in not only the methods of Parliament, but also in the higher aspects of public policy. During his membership of this House, he earned the unfeigned respect of honorable members in all parts of the Chamber. I am loth to establish a precedent for a motion for adjournment on occasions like this, because, while I know that honorable members are, as a rule, quite ready to pay that mark of respect to deceased colleagues, t am equally convinced that old servants of the public, if they could be consulted in the matter, would wish that their departure should not be marked by any disturbance of public business. Therefore, it is with rather divided feelings that I shall presently propose the adjournment of the House. But, before we adjourn, I think that it is necessary to convey to the public, and to the widow and family of: the late member, an expression nf our sense of the loss which the Commonwealth has sustained by his death, and our feeling of sympathy with those who are near and dear to him. I therefore move -

That this House desires to record its profound regret at the lans which the Commonwealth suffers in the death of the senior member of the

House, the honorable W. H. Groom, and expresses its sincere condolence with his widow and the members of his family in their bereavement.

That Mr. Speaker be requested to convey the foregoing resolution to Mrs. Groom.

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