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Tuesday, 1 May 1973
Page: 1469

Mr ANTHONY (Richmond) (Leader of the Australian Country Party) - I would like to join with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the very fine remarks that both of them have made about the late Sir Arthur Fadden. They have catalogued the meritorious service that he gave to the nation. We do honour to one of our beloved colleagues, the Right Honourable Sir Arthur Fadden. Death is always a sad occasion. Members of the Australian Country Party look upon Sir Arthur Fadden with intense pride and as a person who brought joy to many people's hearts. I do not think that he would want us to have this as a very solemn occasion. He was not .that sort of person. It is now 15 years since Sir Arthur Fadden left this Parliament but for those who had an association with him it seems like only yesterday. He was a personality, a character, in his own right. He will be remembered by all of us.

I was fortunate in having a lifetime of association with Sir Arthur Fadden. I suppose my strongest recollections are of the time when I was just a young schoolboy, probably 6, 7 or 8 years of age. Sir Arthur never failed to know me and my name whenever 1 was in bis presence. This was an indication that he was a thoughtful man, indeed a humble man. I always witnessed that this was his performance with all types of people during all his life; it was not unique with me. I think it was his humble upbringing in north Queensland which gave him this capacity to mix with people in all walks of life. He had the great capacity of making them feel at ease and of turning any occasion into one of happiness and merriment.

I was pleased to hear the Leader of the Opposition mention the occasion when Sir Arthur retired from this House. I remember it very clearly. Usually when honourable members retire a lot of serious, sad speeches are delivered. But Sir Arthur, as honourable members will recall, turned the occasion of his retirement into one of telling anecdotes and of referring to occasions and personalities. This place was not some hallowed legislative chamber but it became more like a club where everybody was equal and friendly. Those present could have been a group of cane cutters or sportsmen and they could have been anywhere in Australia. When Sir Arthur had finished speaking other honourable members in the chamber took advantage of the occasion to pay a tribute to him, and also tell another story. It was a unique occasion and I doubt whether it will ever ba equalled in this Parliament

Although he had a lighter side to his nature, Sir Arthur Fadden was an intensely responsible man and indeed a much more sensitive man than most of us ever realised. He took, to heart things that people or the Press said about him personally. In 1951, I think it was, he had to introduce a horror Budget which brought great wrath upon him. Indeed, the Press gave him an awful time for a long period. But the well known phrase that he used on that occasion and which I think is still remembered by people was that he could hold a meeting of all his friends in a telephone box. And I think that was true. We do tender our sympathy to his widow and his family. He was a very devoted man. He had great friends and great loyalties, and we will miss him.

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