Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 8 December 1960

Mr MENZIES (Kooyong) (Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs) (2:24 AM) . - I move -

That the House do now adjourn.

Before we adjourn, I should like to say to all honorable members, on behalf of the Government, that we wish them a very merry Christmas and a very happy New Year. I should like to say to you, Mr. Speaker, how much we wish you well, and to express our thanks to you, to the Chairman of Committees and to the Temporary Chairmen of Committees, remembering, as we do, at this time, that we lost one of our Temporary Chairmen in the course of the session with very great regret. He was a man universally admired and liked in this House.

I should like to offer, in conjunction with my very warm Christmas and New Year greetings, my politically restrained greeting to the Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition. I know that they will be warmly reciprocated in the same sense.

I want to offer my own thanks to the Leader of the House who, though he had many other preoccupations, has undertaken with the assistance of certain other Ministers, and in conjunction with the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the task of organizing the business of the House.

As a fairly old hand at this business, I want to say that the business of the House in the course of the session could not be conducted to the satisfaction or without trying the patience of honorable members on both sides of the House unless the Leader of the House and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition were able to arrange things in a civilized way. So we are very greatly indebted to both of them.

It is no mere form of words when I offer my thanks to the Whips because I am bound to say that I think the work of the Whips has never been better in my experience. The majorities have come out right, to my intense satisfaction. But they are all our friends and when they are summoned to tell the votes we look on them as our friends. I like them. I would not have honorable members believe that I am not experienced in being on the other side of the table. I have had it both ways and I like the Whips very much, particularly when they are my way.

Then I would like, I think on behalf of all of us, to thank the officers of the House, because the truth is that we occasionally thumb over the pages of the Standing Orders in order to develop a really stunning point, and in the last resort it is the officers at the table, and the other officers of the House who manage to keep us occasionally - frequently perhaps - on the straight and narrow path. But there is no doubt about it that if a Parliament is to work it must have efficient, quiet, unobtrusive officers of Parliament and I must say that they do us extraordinarily well, as indeed do all the attendants who look after the interests of members and help us to do our work.

Then I think everybody would wish me to say a word about the " Hansard " staff. Somebody complained the other day - I think it was my distinguished friend from the Mallee - about broadcasts in foreign languages. I am sure he felt that they ought to be interpreted into English. I say about the " Hansard " reporters that they perform that task quite simply day by day, and to our great satisfaction. I should like to thank the Parliamentary Librarian who is now entering into wider fields as the result of legislation that we have passed in this session. Every member is grateful to the Librarian and the staff of the Library.

I do not know whether I ought to offer a special word of thanks to the broadcasters. They sit hidden in that corner compartment. Occasionally they do interrupt a speaker in the middle of his most pungent paragraph and say "This is the honorable member for so-and-so." But, for better or for worse, the broadcasting services have enabled our masters to judge us. Whether that is good or bad awaits the event. Then we have the gentlemen who sit aloft - the press correspondents. Sometimes I have agreed with them and sometimes my friends opposite have agreed with them; but at least we must concede that they do let the public know that we are here and arouse interest in what we are doing.

I do not think we ought to finish a session without thanking, first of all, the Government Printer whose labours are not small in the course of the session. More broadly still, our thanks are due to all our civil servants, whose services are available to Government and to Opposition alike, and for whose impartiality and integrity we have the highest regard. Then, Sir, it would be foolish, just before Christmas and at half-past two in the morning, not to offer a word of thanks to those who conduct the refreshment room services. Sometimes they may be underworked and sometimes overworked, but they are always friendly, always courteous, even to the robustious member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly). As usual - and I have had to say this quite a few times - I may have omitted various people. I apologize if I have. This has been a long and strenuous session, and it would be foolish to pretend that we have not had exchanges. There may have been difficulties. I have even known my own friend the honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) to engage in a little crossfire occasionally. But it would be foolish to pretend that we are not all rather proud of having taken part in our own fashion in the machinery of self-government in the Commonwealth of Australia - a great institution, a great source of pride for all of us who sh here, a great responsibility, and, therefore, a great matter for mutual goodwill.

Suggest corrections