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Wednesday, 21 October 1903

Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) (Minister for External Affairs) . - I move -

That an Address be presented to His Excellency the Governor-General, in consequence of his approaching departure from the Commonwealth, in these terms : - " May it 1' 1.}CASE Your Excellency,

We, the members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled, desire to express to Your Excellency our deep sense of the services rendered by you to the people of the Commonwealth during your term of office as GovernorGeneral, and our sincere regret at your impending departure from Australia.

The high duties whose discharge you are about to relinquish carried with them many obligations especially onerous in these the early days of our national existence.

Your Excellency's position has been arduous, but large as have been its demands, you have, with the devoted assistance of Her Excellency, maintained its dignity most amply ; fulfilling all public and social responsibilities with a tact, ability, and courtesy, which have won the respect and esteem of the whole- community.

In offering to Lady Tennyson and yourself our heartfelt wishes for your health and happiness, we feel confident that we are giving expression to the universal feeling of the people of Australia."

I think we all realize how fortunate the Commonwealth has been in obtaining as its second Governor-General a gentleman of ability bearing the renowned name of the present occupant of the position. We have had, during recent years in the history of the mother country, a number of instances in which men whose reputations were won in the fields of literature, have been appointed to high offices in which they have fully proved their capacity. The present Prime Minister, the Viceroy of India, the High Commissioner for South Africa, and other occupants of the highest positions in the Empire, furnish such instances. It is therefore no surprise to the people of Australia that a man of His Excellency's training and culture proved himself so universally popular in the State of which he was first appointed Governor, and has, in a larger field of usefulness, succeeded in winning the confidence and enjoying the esteem and regard of all with whom he has been brought into relation. He has not confined himself to any class, but has joined freely in all public movements in the interests of the community. He has rendered us a signal service by showing that the view was sound which many held, that it is possible to fulfil the political and social functions devolving upon His Majesty's representative in Australia without extravagance, and without making a larger demand upon the public purse than the sum provided in the Constitution. He has, on more than one public occasion, taken the opportunity to speak from his own experience of the sufficiency of his allowance, and we are indebted to him for this, as well as for the manner in which he has discharged the high and, in many instances, extremely difficult duties which fall to his lot. Those who have been brought more immediately into association with him, have seen his grasp of mind and keen practical sense of affairs, while those who at public gatherings have heard him discuss such questions as come within his scope, must have been struck by his capacity for taking those broad and national views which appeal to the people, especially when uttered by one occupying so high a station. It is impossible to omit from the address, and from these few remarks, the name of Her Excellency, Lady Tennyson. Her unvarying and generous interest in charitable and other movements particularly for the benefit of her sex has been deeply appreciated in every State in which she has spent any of her time. I am sure that she has been in every sense an admirable helpmate to His Excellency, in the great posts which they have been called upon to fill.

Mr. SYDNEYSMITH (Macquarie).After the very able and kindly way in which the Prime Minister has referred to His Excellency the Governor-General and Lady Tennyson it is hardly necessary for- me to utter more than a few words. I think we have had every reason to congratulate ourselves upon the selection which was made by the Imperial Government when they appointed Lord Tennyson Governor-General. We can all remember the heated discussion which took place upon the question of the allowances to a former Governor-General, and the exception which was taken to the attitude of honorable members who objected to any undue extravagance in connexion with the Governor-General's establishment. It was pleasing to find that His Excellency Lord Tennyson was ready to occupy the distinguished position of Governor-General at the salary fixed by this House. We all regret his early departure. During the short period he has occupied his present position, he has discharged his high office with the utmost satisfaction to all interests, and we have felt that in him the people of the Commonwealth have had a true friend. His administration has been generally appreciated, and he has earned universal respect. I feel no hesitation in saying that we are now losing the services of a gentleman who has distinguished himself very highly in his exalted position and whose loss will be greatly felt. I have much pleasure in supporting the motion.

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