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Friday, 10 December 1965

Mr SPEAKER (Hon Sir John McLeay (BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - First of all, I should like to thank the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) and the Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr. McEwen), for the very kindly references they have made to me. I would like to thank all members for their tolerance and understanding in putting up with me in the moods in which I sometimes arrive and depart, which are pardonable. I might also say that I feel that so far as the House is concerned it is the duty of the Presiding Officer to see that the business of the House flows. That is the most important feature, so any errors that I have made at all would have been caused by the fact that I wanted to see the business of the House flow.

I would like to thank the Clerk of the House and the whole of his staff for the tremendous support they have given to me since I have been in this office. It would be impossible to carry on without the goodwill, the integrity and the loyalty of the Clerk and the whole of the staff associated with him. For this I am very grateful. I, too, would like to pay a tribute to " Hansard " for their artistic work and a tribute to the Library staff for the part they play in the scheme of things. I also want to pay tribute to the Joint House Committee because, when all is said and done, it is very important that the inner man is looked after. Here I might say that we will be losing one member of the Joint House staff, Mr. Phillips, who is retiring. I will be meeting him at a later stage and, on behalf of all honorable members, I will convey our appreciation of the loyalty and service he has given in this capacity. I would like to say a word of praise to the Press. I think I have heard the Press described as our traditional enemies. I must say that as far as I am concerned we have got along together reasonably well.

I would also like to pay a tribute to Winton Turnbull. I heard references to him this morning. I might say that he won the cup. He defeated the Leader of the Opposition by a whisker this morning. Winton

Turnbull^ record shows that he asked 57 questions in this session but the Leader of the Opposition could only get together 55. I might say, also, that as far as the business of the House is concerned, and if my arithmetic is correct, we have done almost twice as much work this session as we did last session. Last session we handled 55 bills. This session we handled 104. Therefore, I think we are entitled to a little higher duty pay.

On behalf of those who cannot speak on this occasion for themselves I want to say " Thank you " to honorable members for the way you have treated them - for the courtesy you have always shown to those connected with the institution of Parliament. They are dedicated in the positions they occupy and they derive very great pleasure from rendering any service they can to any member when they are approached. We are grateful for this goodwill and for the feeling that exists. We hope that it will continue. Therefore, on behalf of all those who are associated with me, I should like to take the opportunity of wishing to all of you and your families a very merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous new year.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 4.8 p.m. until a date and hour to be Axed by Mr. Speaker and to be notified by him to each member by telegram or letter.

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