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Friday, 10 October 1902

Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) (AttorneyGeneral) . - Mr. Speaker, - It now becomes my very pleasant duty, on behalf of the members of this House, to tender to you in very brief and simple fashion an expression of our appreciation of the manner in which you have discharged the duties of your exalted position. The dignity, the equity, the complete mastery of your functions which you have displayed during the current session, have, I am sure, satisfied the whole Parliament that among all the experienced politicians of the States assembled in this House no one could have been selected who was able to fulfil more adequately the very important duties of your distinguished office. In wishing you the enjoyment of the recess which you need, as much as any other honorable member, you will, I hope, accept our assurance that we recognise how well and thoroughly it has been earned by your devotion to duty. We also appreciate the work of the Chairman of Committees, who, during this session, has probably occupied the chair for a longer period than any Chairman of Committees in any Parliament of Australia, and who, in the difficult position which he occupies has, by his devotion to duty and his determination ' to maintain the best traditions of his office, given universal satisfaction. In regard to those officers who are not elected, but by whose aid the business of this House is transacted, we admit with frankness and obligation the great assistance which they have rendered at all times to honorable members. The capable recorders of our proceedings - as, indeed, all the other officers of the House, and even its messengers - have passed through a session which has made an unparalleled demand upon their strength and ability. The first Parliament of Australia may well congratulate itself upon the fact that it has been able to gather about it so efficient and so generous a a staff. Before I resume my seat, may I express to my friends upon the opposition benches, and also to those who have done us the honour of sitting upon this side of the Chamber, the acknowledgments of the Government for the courteous treatment which we have at all times received at their hands. No one will pretend that we have not been confronted with many serious and many new difficulties. But we have managed to surmount them, and to transact business of a character never before attempted in this part of the world with an absence of those personal altercations, which sometimes cause our critics to censure the working ofrepresentative government. Taking into consideration the enormous strain to which we have been subjected by the duration of our proceedings, and the immense fruitfulness of our labours, I can sincerely congratulate the House upon having risen to the great demands made upon it, and upon having discharged its duties in a manner that will reflect lasting credit upon its members.

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