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Wednesday, 1 October 1958

Mr DAVIDSON (Dawson) (PostmasterGeneral) (12:47 PM) . - May I crave that indulgence for which you are noted, Mr. Speaker, to make a few remarks associating the members of the Australian Country party with the expressions of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) in the concluding hours of this Parliament. I do so, Mr. Speaker, in the absence of our Leader, Mr. John McEwen, who, as every one knows, is absent overseas on important national business.

Sir, itis a privilege to be associated with the expressions of thanks and goodwill that have been voiced by the two right honorable gentlemen. I feel that it will be agreed on all sides that during the life of this Parliament we have passed through, under your guidance and that of those who serve the House with you, a period of constructive debate from which has flowed sound legislation. I am glad to associate the members of the Australian Country party with the thanks expressed to you for that impartiality and that sound knowledge of procedure and of the Standing Orders which have enabled you to conduct the debates in this House in a way which has helped towards the establishment of the high standing of this Parliament in Australia.

You have had the assistance, in performing your task, of Deputy Speakers. The chairman of committees and the temporary chairmen of committees have acted in their particular sphere. All of us owe thanks to them for the service they have given, not only to the House but to honorable members in the conduct of the debates.

Tributes have already been paid to the Clerk of the House, Mr. Tregear. I assure you, Mr. Speaker, and, through you, I assure the Clerk, that we of the Australian Country party re-echo those tributes with great sincerity, and express the desire that Mr. Tregear will continue in good health and that from time to time we shall see him again and be able to continue that pleasant association which has developed in the years during which he has served in this House. We thank also the ClerksAssistant and all those officers of the House who do so much in a quiet, unobtrusive way to help us carry out our particular duties. For example, the service which the Librarian and his staff offer to honorable members cannot properly be assessed in a few short words. I feel that a special tribute should be paid to them because of the value of the information which they place at our disposal when we are preparing to debate a particular bill or subject. The Parliamentary Draftsman plays an important part in the life of this Parliament, and he deserves special mention. The refreshment room staff also deserve our best thanks.

And last, but by no means least, as the Prime Minister said, we come to the " Hansard " staff. How often when we read " Hansard " after we have delivered a speech do we say to ourselves, " What a splendid speech I made. I did not know it was so good ". All of us have said that and, consequently, on an occasion like this we say to the " Hansard " staff, " Thank you very very much indeed ". This is a time when we do admit our debt to the members of that staff and express our thanks.

Shortly this Parliament will cease to exist and we shall go out on to the hustings. We all expect to be back again, so I shall simply say that I, personally, have enjoyed exceedingly the associations which it has been my privilege to have with all members on both sides of the House. I sincerely hope that we shall all be in a position to enjoy a continuance of that association early in the new year.

So, Sir, I say to you again, "Thank you very much indeed "; and I associate members of the Australian Country party

With these expressions of good-will and friendship at the conclusion of this Parliament.

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