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Wednesday, 20 December 1905

Senator HIGGS (Queensland) - I. too, wish to thank the leader of the Senate and Senator Gould for their kind appreciation of my efforts. When I entered upon my duties as Chairman of Committees I did so with fear and trembling, because I knew that scenes have occurred in other Parliaments, for which, perhaps, errors of judgment of Chairmen of Committees had been partly responsible, but which, at any rate, have not enhanced the reputation of certain men or the dignity of the Parliaments concerned. Honorable senators, however, have shown such respect to the Chair that my duties have been congenial, andI am very grateful for the manner in which I have been treated. I wish to express to you, Mr. President, to the Clerk of the Parliaments, and to the Clerk Assistant, my thanks for the generous guidance which I have received in the discharge of my. duties, and to Senator Dobson for his 'readiness to act as Deputy Chairman. I have been asked by some of those sitting round me to acknowledge the good wishes of Senator Playford, and I believe that I express the feeling of every honorable senator when I say that I hope he will enjoy to the full his contemplated holiday in Western Australia. Our support of the Government has been spoken of in some quarters as if it amounted to control, though we are not in a position to support them on every measure; but we can honestly say that we are grateful to them for the manner in which they have treated us. I think we are specially indebted to the Minister of Defence, who stands almost unique as a Minister of the Crown, owing to the candid and frank manner with which he endeavours to supply honorable senators with the fullest possible information. Senator Keating has undoubtedly enhanced his reputation since he has occupied the position of an honorary Minister. One particular measure - the Copyright Bill - will for all time stand to his credit. The fact that that measure was so speedily passed through this Chamber and another House was due to the almost perfect way in which it was presented by the honorable senator. I do not know that I can say anything further than to wish you, sir, Ministers, and the officers of the House a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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