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Friday, 10 October 1902

Mr THOMSON (North Sydney) - Sir, itwould not be right if the Opposition did not join in the well-deserved appreciation of yourself and .the officers of the House, to whom allusion has been made by the Acting Prime Minister. I feel that I am expressing the views of honorable members upon this side of the Chamber, when I say that we felt from the beginning - and experience has confirmed our original impression - that in your hands, not only the interests of the Opposition, but those of all members, and the honor of the House itself, were safe. I heartily join in the encomiums which have been passed upon all the other officers of Parliament. With the Government and their supporters, we have, of course, had many disputations and some battles. We do not regret them, but we are pleased that they were conducted in a good humour and an honorable manner upon both sides. On behalf of the Opposition, I thank honorable members opposite for many courtesies, and I would especially thank those who were good enough to occasionally cross to this side of the Chamber, and thus assist us to achieve some of what I regard as very well deserved victories. I shall content myself with adding that though we have had our differences, on the other hand we have had much pleasant intercourse, and have learned to appreciate some, who, at the beginning of the session, were strangers to us. I sympathize with those representatives of the different States who have been so long absent from their homes, and I hope that they may now enjoy a lengthy sojourn there - if they are able to find them after this long interval. I trust that the good spirit which has distinguished the first session of the first Parliament of the Commonwealth will be present to a still larger degree in its future sessions.

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