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Tuesday, 17 May 1960

Mr McEWEN (Murray) (Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Trade) . - It is with deep regret that I inform the House of the death of the Honorable Percy James Clarey, the member for Bendigo. I am sure that I speak for all members of the House, and indeed for the country, in expressing profound distress at the death of our colleague.

We wish it to be recorded that the late Mr. Clarey was acknowledged to be one of the great men in the trade union movement and in the political Labour Party of this country. We will always think of him as Percy Clarey. He was a man who engendered respect in all of those with whom he came into contact. Certainly he had the full respect of his colleagues in this Parliament, whatever their political points of view. I know that he was profoundly respected in union circles, and I am sure that he was equally respected in employer circles. As we know, he had a great physical disability, under which he laboured throughout his public life, but that never at any time deterred him from devoting himself with very great courage to the problems with which he associated himself.

The late Mr. Percy Clarey was a member of the Legislative Council of the Parliament of Victoria before he became a member of the Commonwealth Parliament. In the Legislative Council, he represented the Doutta Galla province from 1937 to 1949. For a period in 1943, he was Minister for Labour and Minister of Public Health in a Victorian government, and from 21st November, 1945, until 20th November, 1947, he was Minister of Labour and Employment. He was in this Parliament, as the member for Bendigo, since 1949.

He had a distinguished and enviable record of public service in the parliamentary sphere as well as in his other chosen sphere - the service of organized labour. He was a member of the Australian delegation to the International Labour Organization conference held in the United States in 1944. In 1954, he was a member of the Australian delegation to the 9 th session of the United Nations General Assembly. He had been a member of the Commonwealth Immigration Advisory Council since, I think, its inception in 1947.

To record the sentiments of the House on this sad occasion, I move -

That this House expresses its deep regret at the death of the Honorable Percy James Clarey, a member of this House for the Division of Bendigo, places on record its appreciation of his long and meritorious public service and tenders its profound sympathy to his family in its bereavement.

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