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Wednesday, 8 November 1967


Mr SPEAKER -I would like to thank the Prime Minister (Mr Harold Holt), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam), the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Anthony) and the honourable member for Kingston (Miss Brownbill) for their perhaps somewhat over-generous praise of myself. I am always a modest man and I thank them sincerely. I believe that in answering the prayer of the Leader of the Opposition at least I have been able to achieve something. Without the co-operation of all members on both sides of the House, my task during the session would have been immeasurably more difficult. I say thank you to members of all parties for their tolerance, understanding and good nature, particularly in the early part of my occupancy of this position.

I was particularly pleased to hear the kindly references to members of the staff, particularly to the Clerk and Deputy Clerk, who are sitting at the table, and those who assist them. The Parliament is greatly dependent on the excellent work of the Clerks. They are fountains of knowledge. Their impartiality and courtesy are well known. I am sure that honourable members would like their gratitude extended to the Clerks. They have been a tower of strength to me, the Chairman of Committees and the deputy chairmen of committees.

As a former Whip, I realise the difficulties and problems that Whips have in understanding the different personalities and the different ambitions of members. This year I congratulate the Whips of all parties on the excellent job that they have done in this chamber. I particularly thank them for the co-operation that they have given me while I have been in the chair. This has been most beneficial and has assisted in the smooth running of the House. The honourable member for Lyne (Mr Lucock) has occupied the position of Chairman of Committees for many years now with great distinction and loyalty. His charming manner is such that when he rules against a member the member finds it difficult to take any objection to the ruling. I personally thank him. I am sure that all. honourable members extend .to him. their thanks for a joh well .done.

The members of the Hansard staff are overworked. As the Prime Minister has said, they improve some of the speeches that are made by honourable members. They work under great stress and strain. They work assiduously under conditions which, in the late hours, .are not compatible with reporting and transcribing accurately the quickly spoken words of honourable members. But each morning the Hansard report is available to all honourable members, and it is a credit to the accuracy of the members of the Hansard staff and to the devotion that they have to their work. I refer now to the members of the joint committees of the Parliament Who have worked very well this year. These committees are composed of members of all parties. At all times they have been devoted to the improvement of the lot of the members of the Parliament. I am sure that honourable members will agree that the members of these committees have devoted a great deal of time and study to their work. On behalf of all honourable members, I say thank you to them for their co-operation during the year.

I do not want to go right down the list of people in the various spheres of activity connected with this chamber. On behalf of all honourable members I extend to them our sincere thanks for their co-operation during the year. We look forward to having them back with us next year and to working in harmony with them in their many and diverse activities. Finally I wish the compliments of the season to you and yours. Like the Minister for Primary Industry, I trust that next year we will come back in good health and be prepared to work well, as we have endeavoured to do this year.







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