Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 27 February 1973
Page: 19

The PRESIDENT - Are the Party leaders agreeable to that course being followed? There being no objection, it will be followed.

Senator MURPHY - I refer first to the Honourable William James Frederick Riordan who was a Minister in the Chifley Government. Young Bill Riordan was a member of what became known affectionately as the Riordan clan, the dominant force in north Queensland politics in the first half of this century. Bill Riordan held the seat of Kennedy for 30 years from 1936 to 1966 when he retired. He had succeeded his uncle, David Riordan, who had held the seat for 7 years prior to Bill's election. It is understandable, therefore, that the electorate of Kennedy should have been known as Riordan territory. When he was elected in 1936 at the age of 28 Bill Riordan was the youngest member of the House of Representatives. His interest in defence matters was strong and from 1946 to 1949 he was Minister for the Navy in the Labor government of the day. The period when he entered this Parliament was an important one for the Labor Party and he contributed significantly to its movement along the hard road back from the difficulties of the early 1930s. He was rewarded by seeing his Party come to power under John Curtin and by being able to serve as a Minister under Ben Chifley. Along with so many of his colleagues he was disappointed and frustrated' by being in the wilderness from 1949 to 1972. However, he lived long enough to see his Party returned to power. This was a good thing.

One of his colleagues during the years of John Curtin's and Ben Chifley's leadership of the Australian Labor Party was Tom Burke. Tom Burke passed away on 17th January 1973. Unfortunately, he was one of the casualties of the Labor Party's years in opposition, but he served well as the member for Perth from 1943 to 1955. His family, another dedicated Labor family, must be proud of his 12 years of service to Western Australia and to the Parliament. His son, Terrence - one of 3 - is a member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly.

Harold Victor Campbell Thorby was a Minister in 1930. He died on New Year's Day this year aged 85. He was a dual parliamentary representative. He served in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1922, as member for Calare in the House of Rep resentatives for 9 years from 1931 to 1940 and as Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Country Party from 1937 to 1940. He was Minister in Charge of War Service Homes from 1934 to 1936, Minister for Defence from 1937 to 1938, Minister for Civil Aviation from 1938 to 1939 and Postmaster-General and Minister for Health from March 1940 to October 1940.

We were all sorry to hear that Jack Mortimer, the Labor member in the House of Representatives for the South Australian electorate of Grey from 1963 to 1969 drowned on 8th of this month. Jack Mortimer was elected at a by-election and held his seat during 2 subsequent federal elections. He served in the Australian Imperial Force during World War II, including a tour of duty in New Guinea with the Royal Australian Engineers. He returned to New Guinea as a member of the Australian parliamentary delegation to the Territory of New Guinea to attend Anzac day commemoration services in April 1964.

I am sure honourable senators will join me in conveying sympathy to the families and associates of those former members of this Parliament, each of whom contributed in his own way to the growth of democracy in this country. Two of them held very high office and contributed in their own way to the parliamentary process which we know to be taxing not only on them but also on their families. We are proud to serve in the same Parliament as those former members who have passed on and we convey our sympathy to their families.

Suggest corrections