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Monday, 24 May 1965

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Drake-Brockman). - I have received the following statement by the President of the Senate (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMullin) on the pending retirement of the Clerk of the Senate, Mr. R. H. C. Loof- " I regret that I am unable to be present at this time as I would have liked to have personally made the following remarks. However, as this cannot be, I have asked the Deputy President, Senator DrakeBrockman, to read this statement for me. "Before the Senate rises for the winter adjournment, I wish to inform honorable senators that the Clerk of the Senate, Mr. R. H. C. Loof, will retire on 14th August next, a date prior to the anticipated resumption of the sittings of the Parliament in August. " This may be the last occasion on which he will be present in this chamber in the capacity of Clerk of the Senate, and I cannot let the opportunity pass without recording my sincere thanks for the assistance and courtesies that Mr. Loof has extended to me during the period in which I have been a senator, and particularly since I have been President of the Senate. It has been a long and very pleasant association. " I thank Mr. Loof for his ever ready assistance and his advice which has always been sound in logic and supported by his vast knowledge and experience in parliamentary matters. "In tendering this advice, he has never relied simply on the standard authorities, such as the Standing Orders, Presidents' Rulings, precedents which have become the unwritten practice and procedure of the chamber, " May " and the many other parliamentary authorities to which a parliamentary officer refers. His inbuilt understanding of the parliamentary machine and its workings has ever been present and the functioning of our parliamentary institution has been paramount in his mind at all times. One does not have to be associated with Mr. Loof for any length of time to become aware of his real concern for the upholding of the dignity, powers and functions of the Senate, a concern which I commend to all honorable senators. " I pay tribute to his industrious work in the formative stages of the Australian Branch of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Without his untiring devotion and tremendous enthusiasm, the work of the Union would not have been so widely known in this Parliament, and I am sure that his continued interest and help have materially assisted all delegates and contributed in no small degree to the presentation of the views of the Australian Branch to the Council and Conference meetings of the Union each year. " Mr. Loof entered the Commonwealth Public Service on 1st February 1919 and now, after 46 years of splendid service rendered to the Commonwealth and the Parliament, he will retire on the eve of his 65th birthday. "I sincerely thank you, Mr. Loof, and I am sure that with my thanks go the good wishes of all members of the Senate to yourself and Mrs. Loof that you may enjoy many years of good health and happiness in your retirement."

I should like to endorse the remarks of the President and I thank you on my own behalf, Mr. Loof, for the assistance you have given me and the courtesies you have extended to me both as a senator and as Chairman of Committees. Particularly I should like to thank you for the assistance you have given me while I have been acting in the capacity of Deputy President.

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