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Wednesday, 11 March 1931

Senator BARNES (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - by leave - I move -

That the Senate expresses its profound regret at the destruction of life and property consequent upon the serious earthquake in the Hawkes Bay district of New Zealand on Tuesday, the 3rd February last, and tenders its heartfelt sympathy to the Government of New Zealand, and to the relatives of the victims of the disaster.

Throughout the world the news of the recent calamitous happening in the Hawkes Bay district of New Zealand was received with deep regret. The earthquake was a tragic termination to the lives of many and must have been a fearful experience for those who survived it. News of happenings of this nature travels fast, and soon after the disaster wireless waves conveyed the sad intelligence to the rest of the. world. Throughout Australia, indeed, as in all other countries, it caused a feeling of profound sorrow. This week we have read in our newspapers of a similar tragedy in another part of the world, where also fearful havoc has been done to human life and property. Unfortunately, tragic happenings are generally associated with convulsions of this nature. I feel sure that the Senate will agree to the motion in a spirit of genuine sympathy with the people of a sister dominion in their hour of sorrow.

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE (Western Australia) [3.25]. - In seconding the motion, I desire to associate myself, as well as other honorable senators on this side, with this expression of sympathy with the citizens of our sister dominion in the terrible disaster that has befallen them. The New Zealand earthquake was one of those occasions which prove that blood is thicker than water, and that there is something real in the ties of kinship. The thrill of sympathy that passed throughout Australia when news of the tragedy was received was undoubtedly genuine and heartfelt. I feel sure that the people of New Zealand will appreciate the deep sympathy we offer them in the great trouble that has befallen them.

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