Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Thursday, 30 October 1930

Senator BARNES (Victoria) (Assistant Minister) . - by leave - I move -

That the Senate expresses its sincere regret at the death of the late Major-General the Honorable Sir Neville Reginald Howse, V.C., K.C.B., K.C.M.G., F.R.C.S., a former member of the House of Representatives and Minister of the Crown, and places on record its appreciation of his long and meritorious public service, and extends its profound sympathy to his widow and family in their sad bereavement.

Having been honoredwith the friendship of the late Sir Neville Howse, I am able to speak from personal experience of his kindly nature as well as his devotion to duty. It was not necessary to belong to the same party as the late honorable gentleman to be aware of and tobe able to appreciate the value of the services he rendered to his country. I greatly regret his demise, and to the widow and family who mourn his loss I extend, not only my own deepest sympathy, but also that of theSenate generally. I am sure that every honorable senator profoundly regrets the occasion for this motion.

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE (Western Australia) [3.4]. - It is with deep regret that I second the motion. The late Sir Neville Howse was a colleague of mine, and of others on this side of the chamber, and his sincere devotion to duty, as well as the great value of the services he rendered to his country in both peace and war, were known to all of us. His career was a most distinguished one. In the State of New South Wales, in which he lived, he was recognized as an eminent surgeon and physician as well as a great soldier. He served his country in both the South African and the Great War. I had the honour of being Minister for Defence when Australia made its greatest military effort in the late war, and I well remember the distinguished service that, because of his organizing capacity - which was of a very high order -Sir Neville Howse wasable to render to the Australian Imperial Force; to Australia itself, and to the cause of the allied nations. He was a man of courage, determination, and restless energy, and it was just those qualities that were needed for the successful prosecution of that grim struggle. As a matter of fact, it wasdue largely to the efforts of the late honorable gentleman that the medical services of the Australian Imperial Force compared so favorably with those of any of the other armies in the field. On his return, after years of strenuous labour at the front, he took part in the re-organization of the Citizen Forces of Australia, again directing the medical services. Later he entered public life, where, as Senator Barnes has said, he earned the goodwill, not only of his own party, but also of very many members of the then Opposition. As a political opponeut it was his practice to hit hard and straight out from the shoulder; but his kindly nature and his many acts of courtesy earned for him the esteem and goodwill of opponents as well as of those on the same political side as himself. To his duties as a Minister of the Crown he brought to bear the same sterling qualities of organizing ability, energy and determination that had made hima great soldier, and when he met with defeat at the last election, I suppose no one took defeat more coolly than he himself did. His qualities of courage and determination enabled him to bear defeat equally with success. I feel that, by, his death, Australia has lost a great citizen, and this Parliament one who had been a distinguished ornament to it. I join with the Assistant Minister (Senator Barnes) in submitting this motion to the Senate, and am sure that every honorable senator in Opposition will support it in full sincerity, because of our knowledge and appreciation of the sterling ability of the deceased gentleman. Honorable senators as a whole will join with Senator Barnes in expressing sympathy with Lady Howse and her family in the bereavement they have sustained.While the nation has lost a distinguished citizen, they have lost a husband and father who was very near and dear to them. Mere words cannot assuage their grief; but it may be some consolation to them to know that those of us who were associated with the late honorable gentleman in Parliament and in Cabinet, and knew him so intimately, grieve with them in their loss, since we, too, feel we have lost a very dear friend.

Suggest corrections