Works in the Herald 1931

My disappearance from the Cabinet means the restoration of public confidence the squaring of Budgets, and the supply of of unlimited credit. The associated banks and the general public will now have a confidence in the honesty of Mr Theodore and his associates which they never had in me. So I am truly grateful. Good-bye. - Mr Frank Anstey on his retirement from office.

There's joy in legislative halls
   When Frank's in opposition;
But gloom upon the Chamber falls
   When Frank holds high position.
His merry japes no longer flit
About the House to mellow it,
For cares of office dull his wit
   And mar his life's great mission.

* * *
Frank's mission - and a high one, too, Amongst the chiefest rating - Is to infuse come joy anew Into the dull debating. When speakers drone and lose their grip, And every member has the pip, Up rises Frank with merry quip And humor scintillating.
But as a Minister, alack, His ready wit grows clouded. For higher roles he takes the sack; For in a House enshrouded By weariness, when members sup Of dreariness the prosy cup, And word goes round that Frank is up, The benches soon are crowded.
* * *
I feel I earn a nation's thanks If I, with due humility, Suggest for such a wit as Frank's A new and fit nobility. If I'd my way, I'd have him sent Our happier moods to represent As "Minister for Merriment Without Responsibiiity."

Herald, 4 March 1931, p6

This is number 7 in Dennis's Political Personalities series.
The "Frank" referred to above is Frank Anstey who was elected to Federal Parliament in 1910, as member for Bourke, where he remained until his retirement in 1934. In 1922 he became Deputy Leader of the Federal Labor Party, and from October 1929 to March 1931 he was Minister for Health and Repatriation.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002