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Tuesday, 17 November 1964

Senator McKELLAR (New South Wales) . - Mr. President, in the regrettable absence of the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Senator Wade), I should like to associate myself with the Leader of the Government (Senator Paltridge) and the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) in extending good wishes to those who have already been mentioned. Our thoughts should go out also perhaps to those in this building who undertake the very important task of fortifying the individual members of this place and serving our needs by providing us with food and refreshment. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Leader of the Government on the success that he has achieved since taking over that office. I join with the Leader of the Opposition in wishing Sandy Cuthbertson a very enjoyable trip to bonny Scotland and a safe return.

As an individual, 1. want to express my thanks for the remarks made by the Leader of the Government and the Leader of the Opposition concerning my individual part in the work of the Senate. I thank all honorable senators for the co-operation that I have received from them and for the friendship that they have extended to me. I sincerely hope that before long we shall have the Leader of the Country Party back with us to speak for the Party again.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMulIin. - I thank the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Paltridge), the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) and Senator McKellar for their kindly references to me. They are greatly appreciated. I want also personally to thank the members of the staff who have carried out the work of the Senate during the year in the manner which has resulted in the success that we have achieved. I also want to thank the Chairman of Committees, his assistants for the work that they have done during the year.

I wish to refer to the work of the Library. The Library has provided a splendid service to the Senate this year. It will provide an even better service next year. It will provide the service that the Senate demands of it. I do hope and trust that honorable senators will make demands on the facilities of the Library next year which will encourage the Library Committee and the Library staff to provide greater facilities for them. We all agree that the members of the Library staff have done a splendid job. They are always willing, active and eager to help. It is to be .hoped that we can always maintain a staff of the same high standard.

The " Hansard " staff has been very faithful in its work of reporting the proceedings of the Parliament. It is one of the departments that come under the control of Mr. Speaker and myself, and it gives me no trouble whatsoever. It is easy to work with. The members of the staff perform their duties in an industrious and workmanlike fashion. We have a very happy relationship.

The Joint House Department must not be overlooked. There are many of its officers whom you do not see around the House and whom you do not know very much about, but all of them are playing their part in keeping the Houses running. Sometimes we do not realise the number of people who are employed by that Department and the number of activities in which they are engaged. It gives one the impression of working efficiently. We do not have any hitches, we do not have any delays, and we do not have great problems. All the officers of the Joint House Department have played a very important part this year.

The attendants, the messengers and the officials at the front door who assist in the sale of the booklet on Parliament - the sales are reaching 150,000 copies - have done much in their own quiet way to draw the attention of the people to Parliament itself. All that is good. I think it is fair to pay a complete and unhesitating tribute to the work that the Press has done. To my way of thinking, it has presented the news of Parliament faithfully and well. It has been interesting to see an increase. in the coverage of the proceedings of the two Houses of Parliament. Generally speaking, in reporting the proceedings of the Parliament, the Australian Press this year has maintained a very high standard and shown a great sense of responsibility.

I want to direct attention to two particular matters. The first is that we have dealt with 130 bills this year. That is quite a large number. The second matter is that the

Senate itself has had 62 sittings days and a total of 531 hours of sitting this year. I think that is a fair record for the Senate.

I do not want to let the occasion pass without paying a very brief tribute - I know that he would not want it otherwise - to Mr. Cuthbertson. He served his country well in both World Wars, and he has served Parliament House well. He has been loyal in all his activities. He has shown a high sense of responsibility in the way in which he has carried out his functions in this House. He will be missed by all honorable senators, and by myself in particular. I thank him very much.

I extend to you all the best wishes for Christmas. It is a little early to do so, but there it is. I look forward to seeing you all back here in the autumn.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 1.15 a.m. (Wednesday) till a day and hour to be fixed by the President.

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