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Thursday, 2 May 1957


Mr WIGHT (Lilley) .- Honorable members will recall that some time ago the honorable member for Denison (Mr. Townley), in his capacity as Minister for Air, did me the honour of granting permission to a committee which I was forming in Brisbane to have custody of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith's famous aircraft, " Southern Cross ", so that it could be adequately enshrined at the Brisbane Airport. Because I feel that " Southern Cross " and the memory of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith and his exploits are emblems of Australian tradition and symbols of Australia's very gallant part in the pioneering history of aviation throughout the world, I think it is only right that this Parliament should be informed of whether that committee is discharging its obligations to Australia adequately. My purpose in rising to-night is to inform the House of the steps that have been taken to see that " Southern Cross " is enshrined as a memorial to Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith and those aviators in two world wars who carried on the tradition of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith.

I should like to inform the House that we have formed a committee in Brisbane and have appointed the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Alderman Groom, as its chairman. The members of the committee besides myself are the secretary to the Lord Mayor, Mr. Jim Johnson, who is acting also as honorary secretary to the committee; Sir Edwin Tooth, who is a wellknown Brisbane citizen; Mr. M. R. Hornibrook, who is well known as an engineer and a prominent citizen of Brisbane; Mr. Ted Bray, managing editor of the " Courier-Mail "; Mr. Syd Spurr, who was a close personal friend of the KingsfordSmith family; Mr. Carl Bishop, who is well known in service organizations and a prominent Brisbane citizen; Mr. Drury, manager of Australian National Airways Proprietary Limited in Brisbane; Mr. MacKenzie, manager of Trans-Australia Airlines in Brisbane; Mr. Ron Adair, chairman of directors of Queensland Airlines; and Mr. Jules Moxon, another prominent

Brisbane citizen. We had with us at our meeting on one occasion Eric KingsfordSmith, brother of Sir Charles, and we have maintained close contact with his elder brother, Wilfred Kingsford-Smith. We havealso had the privilege of the attendance at meetings of Mr. Harold Affleck, of the Department of Civil Aviation, thanks tcthe co-operation given to us by the Minister and the Director-General of Civil Aviation.

I have brought with me to-night an architectural drawing of the plan of the memorial as it will be when completed, and I ask your permission, Mr. Speaker, to table it in the Library next week so that honorable members will be able to look at it and see the manner in which " Southern Cross " will be enshrined in Brisbane.

The cost of the structure is estimated to be in the vicinity of £35,000. That is the minimum. It might cost more than that. In planning a campaign for raising funds, we have seen the Commissioner of Taxation, Mr. McGovern, who has agreed that contributions to this committee from firms and others interested will be treated as deductions for tax purposes. The reason for that is that this shrine will be a memorial to those airmen who served in two world wars, as well as to Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, and indeed it will be the Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith War Memorial.

The committee considers that we should be able to raise the sum of £25,000 from overseas firms and others associated with " Southern Cross ". Already we have had a considerable amount of co-operation from Mr. Diepen, who is commercial director of the Fokker Aircraft Company of Holland. He is acting as an agent for the committee overseas and is contacting those firms that were associated with the manufacture of the aircraft. The other day, we received a letter from the British General Electric Company of the United Kingdom, intimating that that company was most eager to be associated with us in our project. This letter was the result of a visit by Mr. Diepen. A recommendation has gone from the firm in Australia to the parent company in the United Kingdom which suggests that the contribution that we will receive from that firm will be of very generous proportions. Mr. Haymanson, of Melbourne, who is the Australian representative of Curtis Wright, which manufactured the J5 Whirlwind motors with which " Southern

Cross " was powered, has already made a considerable donation from his own resources, and has approached his company in the United States of America. We can also expect a substantial contribution from that company. The British General Electric Company, by the way, was the firm which manufactured and supplied the radio set that was used in " Southern Cross ".

We have not yet approached the oil companies, but it is our intention to do so. We intend to approach the Atlantic Oil Company, in particular, as we understand that the fuel used on the trans-Pacific flight, which was possibly the most notable of all Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith's flights, was Atlantic. Another company, the Vacuum Oil Company, also supplied fuel, and it is our intention to approach it in the hope that it will assist in the work of seeing that " Southern Cross " is adequately enshrined. We hope that if any other firm in the field of aviation which had any connexion at all with " Southern Cross " is Aware of the work we are doing, it will take the opportunity of communicating with the Lord Mayor of Brisbane and indicating that it is interested and is eager to assist.

That is as far as the committee has gone m the moment. I wanted to make sure the House was fully informed of the work that has been done. Again I ask, Mr. Speaker, that you allow me to table the architect's drawing in the Library so that those honorable members who are interested may take the opportunity of going to the Library and seeing the plan.







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