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Friday, 4 May 1984
Page: 1567

The PRESIDENT —I wish to inform the Senate that recently the Parliamentary Library acquired a most interesting historical item on auction from the library of the late Reverend Dr Sir Irving Benson of Melbourne. The item is a Bible given to the then member for West Sydney, William Morris Hughes, at the opening of the Commonwealth Parliament on 9 May 1901. It is signed on the title page by Hughes himself and on the pre-title page by the Duke of York. On the end papers are the signatures of the Speaker and 58 of the members of the First Parliament, including the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet. It is fortunate that this item has come into the possession of the Parliamentary Library rather than of a private collector. The Speaker and I have arranged for the Bible to be on display in the reading room of the Library until the end of this sessional period, and any interested senator is welcome to view it there. The pages will be rotated daily and a typed list of the relevant names will be provided.