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Wednesday, 29 August 1928


Mr BRUCE (Flinders) (Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs) . - (By leave.) - It is "with deep regret that I submit the following motion : -

That this House expresses its sincere regret at the death of Senator the Honorable Thomas Givens, and places oil record its high appreciation of his distinguished public service, and tenders its deep sympathy to his widow and family in their sad bereavement.

As honorable members are aware, the death' of the late honorable senator occurred subsequent to the adjournment of this Parliament in June last. While it was not altogether unexpected, the state of his health having caused grave anxiety for a considerable period, his passing, nevertheless, came as a shock, and the news of his decease evoked on every hand expressions of appreciation of the long and loyal service he had rendered to the people of Queensland, by whom he was repeatedly elected to the Senate.

The late Senator Givens had a lengthy political career, which commenced when he was elected to the Queensland Parliament as the representative of Cairns. In 1903 he became a member of the Senate of the Commonwealth Parliament, and he continued to be a senator until the day of his death. He impressed all who knew him with the keenness and enthusiasm that he displayed in behalf of every cause which he advocated, and was one of "the most forceful and effective debaters who has occupied a scat in the Senate.

In 1909 the late honorable senator was a member of a select committee which investigated the subject of press cable services, and in 1913 a member of a royal commission on the pearling industry. From 1910 to 1912 he was a Temporary Chairman of Committees of the Senate. In July, 1913, he was elected for the first time to the office of President of the Senate, and his re-election to that high and distinguished office on four subsequent occasions was a tribute to the manner in which he discharged his duties and evidence of the respect and esteem in which he was held by his fellow senators. Ill health necessitated his resigning from the presidential office in June, 1926. After that date his health was such that he was unable to attend to his parliamentary duties with regularity, yet he insisted on rendering the fullest measure of service of which he was capable, and every one who knew him must have admired the spirit and fortitude with which he endeavoured to do what he conceived to be required of him. His death has removed a man who played a distinguished part in the public life of Australia, and who, it will be generally recognized, devoted himself unreservedly to the service of this, his adopted country. The sympathy of the members of this House, I am sure, goes out to the widow and family who are left to mourn him.







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