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Tuesday, 21 August 1973
Page: 11

Mr SNEDDEN (Bruce) (Leader of the Opposition) Mr Speaker,I support the motion moved by the Prime Minister. On behalf of the Liberal Party I would like to extend my sympathy to the widow of Sir Walter Jackson Cooper. Sir Walter was one of the most distinguished of all who have served in the Senate. He was, as the Prime Minister said, Leader of the Australian Country Party in the Senate and at one time was in an Opposition of three. His period of service was long and valuable. It extended for 37 years. When he retired from the Senate in 1968 he had been a senator for a significantly longer period than half the life of the Senate. During that time he had seen Australia grow as a nation. He had witnessed enormous development of Australia and its people. He had played a major part in that development. His life inside and outside the Parliament marked him as one who made a great contribution to Australia.

He arrived in Australia from England at the age of 19. Within three or four years, as a young man in his early twenties, he joined the Australian Imperial Forces. He saw action at Gallipoli, in Egypt and in France. At the age of 25 he lost his right leg. The determination he displayed in overcoming that disability is a fine example of his courage. Sir Walter entered the Parliament in 1928 and maintained throughout a deep commitment and dedication to the needs of ex-servicemen. He was Minister for Repatriation for a record term of 1 1 years, as has been said, and in that post he made a singular contribution. I have recalled Senator Sir Walter Cooper's outstanding achievements. He was often referred to as the father of the Senate. We are grateful for the service he so tirelessly and assiduously gave. We extend to his wife our deepest sympathy on the loss she has suffered.

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