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Thursday, 11 September 1958
Page: 1223

Mr ROBERTON (Riverina) (Minister for Social Services) \\2midnight]. - I speak for the leader of the Australian Country party (Mr. McEwen), who, unfortunately, is absent on Government business abroad. I speak also for the deputy leader of the Australian Country party (Mr.

Davidson), who, too, has found it impossible to be. here, I speak- for every member of the Australian Country party, and if what I have to say is tinged with sadness, it is because this is the last occasion when the Treasurer (Sir Arthur Fadden) will appear in this House as the Treasurer.

Those of us who have been privileged to be closely associated with him have for him admiration and affection in greater measure perhaps than any one else. I, myself, have known the right honorable gentleman for more than a quarter of a century. Any number of people, in our country know the Treasurer, as a man who has had to face up to grave responsibilities, particularly during these last ten years, but we are inclined to forget his early political history.

In that connexion, Mr. Speaker, I crave the indulgence of the House to recall a time when1 the right honorable gentleman was a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly. The Speaker of the House, having called members from either side, as is the custom, interrupted the debate, stood in his place and, addressing the members, said, " I am going to say now what I believe has never been said before in any legislature in the British Commonwealth. The last three speeches, I believe, are the finest I have ever heard in this House. I feel so very deeply about it that I grasp this opportunity to express this opinion to the chamber about them." Then he called the next speaker. Of the three speakers to whom he was referring, if my memory serves me aright, one was a gentleman named Randolph Bedford, a most colourful character of the Queensland Parliament. The second was a gentleman called James Garfield Bayley, who was to become a member of this chamber. The third was Arthur William Fadden. So there was a time, Mr. Speaker, when the right honorable gentleman could rise to great heights of oratory, and if that time has passed, it is probably due entirely to the onerous duties he has had to bear, the difficult tasks he has had to do, and the responsibilities he has had to undertake when he led the Australian Country party in this composite Government.

I express the views of every member of the party when I say that we know our leader as a man who has played the game of life according to the rules. If he has ever found the rules irksome, he has pressed against them, but he has discharged hi9 duties as a man, as a private citizen, as a public figure and as a very distinguished servant of our country.

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