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Tuesday, 17 September 1974
Page: 1108

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Leader of the Australian Country Party in the Senate) - I join with the Leader of the Government in the Senate and with the Leader of the Opposition in paying tribute to Mr Leslie. He was a character in this Parliament as he was in the State Parliament. Although he was a man of small stature he had a heart as big as that of a man twice his size. He certainly was full of fight right down to his finger tips. In the main, his love was his family and those people whom he represented, particularly the less fortunate people in Western Australia and in other parts of this nation. The Leader of the Government in the Senate has said that Hugh Leslie had a very fine war record. He was a South African and he joined the South African forces at the age of 16, fighting in East Africa and later in France. After the First World War he came to Western Australia where he first of all took up farming but because of the Depression he then entered the newspaper world and conducted country newspapers in the wheat belt areas of Western Australia. When World War II broke out he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces in June 1940. In the seige of Tobruk he was very severely wounded and lost a leg. He came out of the Army in 1943 and immediately contested the State seat of Parliament for his area and won it. In 1946 he was re-elected unopposed and in 1949 he decided to enter Federal Parliament for the new seat of Moore. He held the seat of Moore until 1958 when he was defeated. He was reelected in 1961 and retired from the Parliament in 1963.

Hughie Leslie had a great love of the digger. He was known as the little digger because of his fight, and his fight for these people. He represented the Western Australian branch of the Returned Services League on the State executive of that organisation for many years. He was the founder and the president for many years of the Australian Spastic Welfare Association and was responsible for conducting the Miss Australia contest in his State for many years. He was also the organising chairman of the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games held in Perth in 1962. He had a keen interest in the Returned Services League and in the Spastic Welfare Association right up until the time of his death. I was very happy to see many people representing these 2 organisations at his funeral. I feel that Western Australia will sadly miss the work and effort that this man has at all times displayed both in and out of Parliament on behalf of those people. On behalf of the Opposition, I extend to Mrs Leslie and her family the deepest sympathy.

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