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Thursday, 30 November 1905

Senator WALKER (New South Wales) - I sympathize very much with the remarks of Senator Best, and consider it to be both a pleasure and a duty to support the motion. The Senate ought to be unanimous in regard to the matter. It is true that there are many local memorials to her late Majesty throughout the Empire. But I take a special pleasure in voting for a motion which will connect the name of her late Majesty with a memorial significant of the whole Empire. There are enduring memorials to her in the names of some portions of the Empire. For instance, Victoria and Queensland are named after her. Cities, towns, and rivers bear her name in many parts of the British Dominion. Lake Victoria Nyanza, in the centre of Africa, recalls her to mind. But all these are merely local memorials. The time has come for this great Empire to erect an Imperial monument to celebrate for all time one of the most glorious reigns in the History of the world. Can any one name a reign of any Sovereign that is fit to bear comparison with that of Queen Victoria? London is the capital of the British Empire, and a more suitable place in which to erect a national memorial I cannot imagine. Those who have had the privilege to visit London within the last few years must Have been delighted 'to find that the great city is growing even more grand in its buildings and in its streets than it was in days gone by. It is, unfortunately, the case that the extremes of poverty and riches are to be met with there-. We must' admit and deplore that fact. But we mayhope that this very national memorial will have an effect upon the people of London, reminding them that they belong to a great Empire, and that it is their duty to look to the improvement and benefit of the people of that Empire. Twenty-five thousand pounds is, of course, a considerable sum of money ; but, divided amongst 4,000,000 of people, what does it mean? It means 3d. per head. Does any one mean to tell me that there is a person in Australia who would object to contribute 3d. towards a worthy memorial celebrating not only the late Queen but the Empire over which she reigned ? It is a mere trifle ! Nowadays, a man can get a nobbier for 3d. This national memorial will symbolize for all time the unity of the Empire to which we belong. I trust that the motion will be carried unanimously. We have our little differences from time to time, but we are all loyal men. Let us show that we can be of one mind on such an occasion as this. Our young people have a day in the year which they call Empire Day. It is a valuable celebration, as promoting the spirit of loyalty. I believe that Australia is as loyal as any part of the British Dominions. There is a beautiful system of co-operation working towards the erection of this memorial. Canada, Cape Colony, Natal, New Zealand, and Newfoundland will all contribute their share. I have no doubt that the great Indian Empire will join. Those who had the privilege of being in London at the time of the coronation of the King, can never forget the men we saw there who were representative of all portions of the British Empire, its States, Dependencies. Colonies, and subject countries. I do not wish to take up more time, but, as its sole representative here at the present moment, I think it right to say that in New South Wales, at any rate, there will be great disappointment if the Senate does not fall in with this proposal.

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