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Tuesday, 27 November 1973
Page: 2101

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral and Minister for Customs and Excise) (Attorney-General) - I move:

That the Senate expresses its deep regret at the death on 22 November of this year of the honourable John Johnstone Dedman, a member of the House of Representatives for the Division of Corio from 1940 to 1949, and a Minister of the Crown from 1941 to 1949, 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.

John Dedman died last Thursday, aged 77. He was elected to the House of Representatives for the Division of Corio in the by-election in 1940 and he became Minister for War Organisation of Industry in 1941, Minister for Post-war Reconstruction in 1945 and Minister for Defence in 1946. He was defeated in the general swing against the Government in the 1 949 general election. He was a great figure in the Australian Labor Party, best known for his able leadership, his great endeavours to bring Australia out of the difficulties of the Second World War into an area of prosperity and to overcome the social difficulties which had arisen to allow the young men who had had their lives disrupted to find their way back into society and to make it easier for families to be founded, and for society to reestablish itself in Australia after that terrible war.

John Dedman lived in Canberra and was a regular visitor to this Parliament House. I think it is correct to say that everyone here knew him and everyone loved him. He was a great father figure. He often had lunch with us and came to chat about the various views he had on what was happening in politics, what was happening in society and especially about what was happening in the Australian National University. Often, I think, he came to lobby those of us who were representatives on the Council of the University which he loved so well. He completed a degree of Bachelor of Arts at that university in 1966 at the age of 70 years and had an honorary Doctorate of Laws conferred on him by the ANU in 1965. He is survived by his widow, a son and 2 daughters.

Mr President,we may say that here is a man who lived life well. He served the Australian

Labor Party. He served the Government. He served the Australian National University. He served this country well. His life was one of service which he enjoyed. If ever a man lived life to the full, enjoyed what he was doing, gave of his best, kept his interest in life, in education, in learning and contributing right to the end of his life it was John Johnstone Dedman. I ask the Senate to join with me in supporting this motion.

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