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Did Hansard record the Member for Hunter’s interjection – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 25th, 2012 · No Comments · Australiana, Democracy, History, Politics

Thompson also had the misfortune to share a two-seat bench in the house with former coalminer and colourful character Rowley James, who held the seat of Hunter (in the Newcastle area) for 30 years from his election in 1928. Rowley was a large, rotund figure, and one could observe from the press gallery Rowley’s habit of leaning on one cheek of his arse to let go a roaring fart in Thompson’s direction. Albert would lean as far as he could into the corridor alongside him to escape the noxious gas. Following one of James’s louder farts, Eddie Ward was on his feet taking a point of order: ‘Did Hansard record the Member for Hunter’s interjection?’ he asked. Rowley would take his walking stick into the chamber and was known to pound it on his desk in anger at contributions from the other side of house. Speaking in the debate on Arthur Fadden’s 1951 ‘horror’ budget, Rowley roared, ‘This is a bludger’s budget! It taxes pessaries and condoms’, emphasising his point with a whack of his stick on his desk.

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