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Monday, 26 November 1973
Page: 3794


Mr BURY (Wentworth) - I join the Prime Minister and support his tribute. As an official, I knew John Dedman. I worked for him for several years, and I got to know him intimately in that capacity. He was a tremendously hard worker. As the Prime Minister pointed out, he gathered around him a very dedicated, loyal and devoted staff. Although I knew him as an official, it was only after I became a politician that I appreciated, the full measure of what he did. Whenever he was conviced that logic was right and that he had the right policy, he would press it and carry it despite what everyone else might say. He was of tremendous help and assistance to the Prime Ministers of his day. He supported , them loyally in Cabinet and in Caucus. As has been pointed out by the honourable member for Corio (Mr Scholes), he was never deflected by any personal favour or any of the temptations which normally come to a political person.

I know now that the amount of ridicule to which he was subjected and the pillorying over many years by the mass media, which would have deterred many a lesser politician, were withstood by him in a very solid and brave fashion. I know now that very few political folk on either side today would have the stomach to take anything like the amount of attack which fell to the lot of John Dedman over the years.

This fact about him should be remembered: He acted as the focus for many ideas which have borne fruit in various ways and which political parties over the years have followed. He remains a wonderful model for people to follow. He worked very hard indeed. He applied the ideas of which he was convinced as to their soundness over a wide field and gave his authority to a large number of projects which have been mentioned already, one of his favourites being the Australian

National University. I pay my tribute and express my sympathy to Mrs Dedman and the family.

Br JENKINS (Scullin) - I should like briefly to pay my tribute to the late John Dedman. I pay a tribute not because of the concrete structures that can be seen and are monuments to his efforts. I pay it on behalf of a number of those human beings who now play a very important part in today's community. When we talk in the field of education, particularly that of tertiary education, we mention John Dedman's involvement with the Australian National University. So many have forgotten that John Dedman, as part of his duties with the war organisation of industry, had much to do with manpower and the use of materials. I started at Melbourne University as a part time science student in 1942. In 1943 the Australian Government instituted a scheme for university students by which students in protected faculties had their fees paid, and were given a book and equipment allowance and a means tested living allowance. One condition of this assistance was that they signed a 3-year bond to serve the Commonwealth after graduation. John Dedman was the author of this scheme. Many hundreds, even thousands, of university graduates of that period owe to John Dedman the fact that they were able to complete their courses.

I knew John Dedman for a number of years after he had left the Parliament. It was always a source of great pride to him that some of us remembered this assistance. In fact, he used to refer to me as one of his boys because I was able to graduate from university under this scheme. I think one can see how this particular project led later on to Commonwealth university scholarships and today to free tertiary education in the community. While we think of the very massive projects that John Dedman originated perhaps we should remember his concern for human beings. This is one illustration of it. One illustration of his far-sightedness is that the concept of this scheme was not only for wartime but also to provide Australia with its professional and trained persons for the future. I valued John Dedman as a friend, as so many members in this House did. I pay my tribute to him as a statesman with so many interests in so many facets of the com munity. I offer my condolences to his wife and family.







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