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Tuesday, 1 May 1973
Page: 1471

Dr PATTERSON (Dawson) (Minister for Northern Development) - I should like to be associated with previous honourable members who have spoken about the late Sir Arthur Fadden. Sir Arthur Fadden and his family spent a very large proportion of their early days in the electorate of Dawson, particularly in the town and district of Walkerston - commonly known in that area as 'Scrubby'. It is only a few miles from where I live today. Several people have asked me, during the last few days, to express their sympathy at the passing away of this great man. When one reads the history of the Australian sugar industry in general and particularly the development of the Mackay and Pioneer Valley areas of north Queensland, one finds that the name of the Fadden family is written throughout that development. It was only last year that his brother, Charlie Fadden, retired as manager of the Racecourse Mill. As has been said before, irrespective of whether a man was a cane cutter, a local councillor, a top administrator or whatever else he might have been Artie Fadden was a friend to all.

In recent years he had a great love for calling into Mackay and spending a day or two there to walk down the main street or some of the other streets and meet some of his old friends. I can remember on one occasion meeting him in the street. Of course, he would always invite you to the nearest local, and there you stayed for some time. The famous words 'Have you heard this one?' seemed to echo from all over the precincts of that establishment. It did not matter who raised an issue, Sir Arthur always seemed to be able to add one somewhat better. His memory will always be there with the people in that area, an area which he served so well.

Mr ERICROBINSON (McPherson)I would like to join others in offering condolences on the death of Sir Arthur Fadden. He, of course, held the seat of McPherson for a lengthy period, and although the ties are lessened after IS years, there is a very real sense of loss in the electorate. Other people have spoken of his great role as a parliamentarian. Although I knew him 20 years ago, it was only in the last 10 years, in his retirement period, that I got to know him well, and there would be many thousands of Australians, particularly Queenslanders, who got to know him particularly well during that period. Whether it was along the street or at a special function or in an airport lounge I had many informal conversations with him. Although I never sought his advice, during those discussions he made plenty of observations which substantially influenced me. My best memory of him was at a Liberal Party Christmas function in Brisbane a few years ago. We always asked Sir Arthur Fadden to the Liberal functions in Brisbane because we had a tremendous regard for him. He arrived a little late. We pressed him to stay on when the appointed hour had arrived for the function to end, and he and I drifted into a corner together and for half an hour had a conversation which one could only regard as unguarded. For me the experience was unforgettable. I believe that many people, many Australians, would have had similar experiences.

He had a wonderful personality. It made an enormous impact. It was not so much that he was a former Treasurer, a former Country Party leader or even indeed a Prime Minister - distinction and great honour these positions hold - but rather the qualities of innate friendliness and a capacity for fair mindedness, simple qualities that each and every one of us admired. It was not a question of liking Sir Arthur Fadden. If you knew him well he engendered within you a feeling of real affection. Although death has claimed him, he will live on in the hearts and minds of many people for a very long period. I share the sense of loss. On behalf of the electorate of McPherson and indeed, if I may, on behalf of the entire membership of the Liberal Party organisation in Queensland, I pay a tribute, to a big man - big in the mould of Queensland, big in the mould of Australia.

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