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Tuesday, 18 October 1960

Mr McEWEN (MURRAY, VICTORIA) (Minister for Trade) - It is with the most deep regret that I inform the House of the sudden death of Mr. Thomas Frank Timson in South Korea last Sunday, 16th October. I am sure that I speak for all members of the Parliament when I express distress and shock at the news of the untimely death of our colleague while carrying out his duties as a member of this Parliament and as leader of the Australian goodwill mission to Korea, after attending the International Parliamentary Union Conference in Tokyo during September and October. The loss of such a highly respected and popular colleague in such circumstances, so far from his native land, is indeed very distressing.

Mr. FrankTimson had a distinguished war record. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 3rd June, 1940, and was intelligence officer attached to the headquarters of the 6th Division in the Middle East from 1940 to 1942. In 1942 and 1943, he was attached to the head-quarters of the 9th Australian Division in the Middle East, and, in 1944 and 1945, to the head-quarters of the 7th Australian Infantry Brigade in the south-west Pacific area. Mr. Timson was a member of the Australian Mission to the South-East Asia Command in 1945. He was appointed major in the A.I.F. in that year and was made a member of the Order of the British Empire in 1946 for highly meritorious service in Bougainville during the previous year. He was discharged from the A.I.F. in November, 1945.

Mr. Timson,as all honorable members know, led a very active parliamentary life since his election to this House as the member for Higinbotham, Victoria, at the general election of 1949. From the time of his appointment as Temporary Chairman of Committees on 9th September, 1953, he carried out the duties of that office in a manner which commanded the respect of all honorable members of the Parliament. He was a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs from 1st March, 1956, to 1st October, 1958. Mr. Timson led the delegation representing the Commonwealth Parliament at the inauguration of the Legislative Council for Papua and New Guinea on 26th November, 1951. Yesterday, in Port Moresby, the Assistant Administrator, Dr. Gunther, in moving a vote of thanks for the gift by this Parliament of a presidential chair for the Legislative Council of Papua and New Guinea, requested the delegation from the Commonwealth Parliament to inform this Parliament of the real sense of loss felt by every member of the Papua and New Guinea Legislative Council at the sudden, untimely death of Mr. Timson. Mr. Timson was one of the two councillors who represented the Australian group at the spring meetings of the Interparliamentary Union Council and Study Committees held in Athens in April of this year.

Mr. Deputy Speaker, Mr. Timsonwas a fine Australian. He enjoyed the highest respect of all who knew him and of all who were associated with him. Not only is his death a great loss to this Commonwealth Parliament, but it is also a distinct loss to Australia, for he was a true Australian with the highest ideals of service to his country both in war and in peace.

I am sure, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that the Prime Minister himself would wish to be associated with the sentiments I am now expressing here, and I wish to be permitted, in particular, to join my own political group - the Australian Country Party - in the expressions of sympathy to Mr. Timson's relatives.

Mr. Deputy Speaker,I move

That this House expresses its deep regret at the death of Thomas Frank Timson, a member of this House for the division of Higinbotham, places on record its appreciation of his long and meritorious public service and tenders its profound sympathy to his family in its bereavement.

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