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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator McKENNA (Tasmania) (Leader of the Opposition) . - Mr. Deputy President, I am obliged to the Leader of the Government (Senator Paltridge) for his expressions of goodwill towards retiring senators on this side of the chamber. He has been very good, at this late stage of the sittings, to devote so much time to mention-' ing each of them as well as each of the other senators on his side who are retiring. For two reasons I feel excused from devoting myself at any great length to the subject of retirement. One is that Senator Paltridge had very adequately covered it. The second is that senators on this side of the chamber held a function in Canberra to farewell the retiring senators on our side. It was a memorable occasion for many reasons, but in particular for the farewell speeches that were made by the four senators who were able to attend. Senator Brown unfortunately was in hospital but he sent his usual cheery message to meet the occasion. Senator Brown has been with us for 33 years; Senator Amour for 27 years; Senator Aylett for 27 years; Senator Arnold for 24 years; Senator Cooke - with a brief interlude - for 18 years. Between them they have a total of 129 years of service and a batting average of 26 years. Of the other senators who are to retire, Senator Maher has been with us for 15i years; Senator Buttfield for 10 years; Senator Kendall for' 15i years; Senator Hannan for 9 years; and Senator Cole for 15i years. Between them they have 65i years of service, or an average of 13 years. So, the withdrawal of the 10 senators means that the Senate is to lose men and women whose parliamentary experience totals 194 years. That is a very notable contribution to public life. I regret that my colleagues, Senator Brown and Senator Cooke, are unwell. 1 convey to them on behalf of their colleagues - and I think I can speak for everybody here in this respect - our regards on the occasion of the departure of truly fine men and colourful personalities with wonderful records. I thank them for the great contributions they have made to the cause of our Party and for the personal co-operation and loyalty that I have had from them. Of honorable senators on the other side, I also speak with real feeling as they go out. I have been exceedingly friendly with them all and have particularly warm personal feelings towards them. I regret their departure. I believe some of them may well be back.

I join with the Leader of the Government in wishing all those who are retiring good health for the future and the best of luck. We hope that they will have either a thoroughly happy retirement to which they are reconciled or that they will find fresh activities, whether in politics, public life or elsewhere, that will stimulate them and interest them right until the end.

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