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Tuesday, 30 April 1968

Mr CHANEY (Perth) - I know that it is not customary for the House to debate the adjournment motion on Tuesday nights. Normally I do not speak on adjournment motions on Wednesday or Thursday nights. I hope that the House will understand why I am speaking tonight. I wish to place on the record of this chamber the passing of a very gallant gentleman who served in this Parliament from 1949 to 1958 as the member for Indi. I refer, of course, to

William Dowling Bostock. Since he left the Parliament in 1958 a number of new members have entered it. On a rough calculation, I believe that since that time sixty-three people have entered this House. So, many honourable members would not have known Bill Bostock in his capacity as a member of this House. Quite a number of members knew him not particuarly as a member of Parliament but as a very gallant Air Force officer. He was buried in Melbourne this afternoon with full Air Force honours.

He rose to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal. His Majesty King George VI made him a Companion of the Order of the Bath, a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He served in the Australian Imperial Forces in the early part of the war in Europe in 1914 and 1915. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and served in the Royal Air Force between 1916 and 1919. During his service in the European theatre he was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre. He continued his Air Force service in Australia and became Deputy Chief of the Air Staff of the Royal Australian Air Force from 1939 to 1942, which were years of rapid extension of the RAAF. He was Chief of Staff, Allied Air Forces, South

West Pacific Area, in 1942. He was Air Officer Commanding, RAAF Command, Allied Air Forces, South West Pacific Area, in 1943. During that period he was awarded the American Medal of Freedom (Silver Palm). He was one of Australia's foremost servicemen in World War II.

I know that honourable members will join with me in expressing sympathy to his widow and family on his passing. Although I know it is quite unusual on an occasion such as this, I wish to include some colleagues who have left this place recently, who are ex-members of the RAAF and who would like to be associated with this expression of sympathy. I refer particularly to the former member for Franklin, William Falkinder. I know that we have a new system in respect of condolence motions. But I thought that the occasion should not pass without our placing on the record of this House our appreciation of the service of Air Vice-Marshal William Bostock, not particularly while he was a member of the Parliament but while Australia was engaged in one of the great wars in which he served with such very great distinction.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 11.9 p.m.

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