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Friday, 21 September 1928

Mr BRUCE (Flinders) (Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs) . - I move-

That the House do now adjourn.

I am sure that it is the desire of honorable members that I should convey to you, Mr. Speaker, our appreciation of the manner in which you have discharged' the duties of your high and honorable office. As presiding officer you have won the esteem of honorable members, and maintained the dignity of this Parliament. To the Chairman of Committees and the Temporary Chairmen also, I express our thanks. The duties of the Chairman of Committees are most arduous, involving long periods of vigilance and attention to the business under discussion, and 1 would like him and the Temporary Chairman to know that their conduct of the proceedings in committee has met' with the appreciation of all of us.

We owe particular thanks to the clerks at the table. In the conduct of parliamentary business the intricacies of procedure have to be carefully watched, and honorable members generally, but especially Ministers who have had to pilot bills through the House, are indebted to the clerks for the assistance they have on all occasions given to us. One of the few pleasures associated with the termination of a Parliament, and possibly one of the greatest, is the opportunity we have of expressing our gratitude to the members of the Hansard staff for their efficiency in the discharge of very difficult duties. All honorable members recognize that the task of the Hansard staff is one of the hardest in connexion with the Parliament, and I express on behalf of the House our admiration of the expertness with which these gentlemen have served us.

To all who are in attendance upon the House honorable members are grateful for the unvarying courtesy and help they have rendered on all occasions ; they have our respect as well as our thanks.

The tenth Parliament of the Commonwealth which is about to end may come to be regarded as one of the most notable in the history of federated Australia, because in its time the Seat of Government was transferred from Melbourne to the National Capital, an occasion made memorable by the visit of His Royal Highness the Duke of York, who, with his duchess, came to Canberra to unlock the doors of its new House. We who were privileged to be associated with that important event will always retain the pleasantest recollections of it.

During the sittings of this, as of all, Parliaments, differences between its members have occurred, but these are inevitable in assemblies of this character, and although at times feeling has run high, it has not destroyed our personal goodwill. As Leader of the House it has been my responsibility to try to uphold the prestige of the Parliament, and I sincerely thank, for myself and my colleagues, my fellow members for their help in that endeavour.

Many friendships have been made which are unaffected by political differences. It is too much to anticipate that every member of the present House will be in his place in this chamber when the new Parliament meets after the elections. But, though some of us may be missing, I trust that the friendships which have been born of our political association may continue throughout our lives.

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