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Tuesday, 1 May 1973
Page: 1470

Mr MCVEIGH (Darling Downs) - I, too, join honourable members who have spoken so sincerely to this motion of condolence to a great Queenslander and a great Australian. Like the Leader of my Party, the right honourable member for Richmond, I can claim a long personal association with Sir Arthur Fadden. I recall rather vividly his successful attempt to win the seat of Darling Downs in 1936 in a by-election. As a small boy, in company with my late father, Sir Arthur Fadden, accompanied by the shire chairman, met us, shook me by the hand and said: 'Young McVeigh, you do not have a vote as yet. It will be a long time before you do but when you have one for heaven's sake vote for Artie'.

Unfortunately, prior to my having the vote there was a redistribution of electorates and Artie Fadden had the choice of contesting the new seat of McPherson, which included part of his original territory of Darling Downs, or the seat of Darling Downs centred on Toowoomba. He chose, as history records, the seat of McPherson. It is true to say that, in the case of Sir Arthur Fadden, someone's loss was someone else's gain. The history of Queensland politics details how his defeat was manoeuvred in the 1935 State elections and it would be foreign to that man's character for me to relate those particular circumstances.

However, as a small boy during that term of 40 days and 40 nights - as spoken of by the Prime Minister - on behalf of the assembled school children in the small town of Allora I had the great privilege of extending to him, as Prime Minister, a few words of welcome. Other honourable members have expressed far more eloquently than I could do his great attributes. Suffice it to say that he brought to his everyday life the uninhibited freshness of youth and to the affairs of State the disciplined vision of the master. He displayed dogged determination to rise from billy boy in the canefields of north Queensland and amateur minstrel boy to Prime Minister. In all things he displayed an honesty of purpose and sincerity of outlook. Not for him the cheap political trick of the demagogue nor the self-seeking honours of the showman. He served his country nobly and well and on behalf of his former constituents in the seat of Darling Downs I extend the sympathy of all to his widow and the other members of his family.

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