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Wednesday, 23 March 1966

Mr HAROLD HOLT (Higgins) (Prime Minister) . - I regret to inform the House that Mr. William James Scully, who would have been well known to several members of this Parliament, died at Tamworth last Saturday. He will be recalled as a Minister who served governments of Australia with ability and devotion. He was a staunch supporter of the Australian Labour Party and during his 12 years in this House he proved himself a very capable administrator. Bill Scully, as we all knew him, had a most friendly disposition. His mariner radiated the earnest conscientiousness which was part of his character. His ability, particularly in relation to problems of rural industries, won him high regard among members of all parties. He was a most popular man, warm hearted .and kindly, and I should think that any of his parliamentary colleagues who have survived him would recall him as a personal friend.

He began his political career in the New South Wales State Parliament, in which he served as a member of the Legislative Assembly from 1923 until 1932. He entered the Federal Parliament in 1937 as the member for Gwydir and he held this seat until 1949. From 1942 until 1946 he was Minister for Commerce and Agriculture. He was a member of the Production Executive of Cabinet, and from 1946 to 1949 he was Vice-President of the Executive Council.

It will be seen from that outline of his parliamentary and ministerial career that he held office during the most difficult period of the war, and it was in those years that he had the task of organising commerce and agriculture in Australia under the complex conditions prevailing at that time. With his sincerity and ability he set a high standard of conduct in this House. He will be long remembered by those of us who were presonally in contact with him at that time and who enjoyed his friendship. His public life may well serve as a model for members of this Parliament who have come to this place since his departure from it.

I now move -

That this House expresses its deep regret at the death of the Honorable William James Scully, a member of this House for the Division of Gwydir from 1937 until 1949 and a former Minister of the Crown, places on record its appreciation of his long and meritorious public service, and tenders its profound sympathy to his widow and family in their bereavement.

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