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Friday, 30 October 1970

Mr SINCLAIR (New England) (Minister for Shipping and Transport4.50) - Very briefly I should like to be associated with the good wishes which have already been expressed, and in particular to say a few words in support of the statements of the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) the honourable member for Grayndler (Mr Daly) and the Deputy Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Anthony). We think of the right honourable member for Murray (Mr McEwen) in 3 ways: Firstly as the Leader of the Australian Country Party, secondly as a statesman and thirdly as a man. As the third Leader of the Australian Country Party he has distinguished himself to the point where as the Deputy Leader of the Australian Country Party has said, the Party is now at its strongest numerical strength in both Houses of the Parliament. But this is not the only way in which John McEwen has led the Party. He has led it in strength and calibre and in the formation and formulation of policies of government. It is not only as a parliamentarian that he has distinguished himself. In other countries he is possibly the best known of all Australians.

The other thing that I particularly wanted to say is that those of us who think of John McEwen think of him as a man. He is a bonny fighter, as the honourable member for Grayndler has said, but he is a man of conviction and a man of compassion. Behind every man there is a woman. John McEwen came into this place as a dairy farmer, a soldier settler from Stanhope. He leaves here with much honour and distinction having contributed a great deal to the Parliament and to Australia. He leaves here with the woman who has been with him for many years, for a good part of his parliamentary life. John I should like to join all those others in wishing you well.

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