Bill Spooner (politician)
|The Right Honourable
Sir William Spooner
KCMG, MM, PC
|Senator for New South Wales|
22 February 1950 – 14 July 1965
|Succeeded by||Bob Cotton|
23 December 1897|
Surry Hills, New South Wales
|Died||14 July 1966
Manly, New South Wales
|Political party||Liberal Party of Australia|
|Spouse(s)||Catherine Frier Vera Bogle|
|Relations||Eric Spooner (brother)|
Early life and war service
Spooner was born in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills and was educated at Christ Church School. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at the outbreak of the First World War in June 1914, although under-age and served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. He was awarded the Military Medal in September 1917. In 1918 he joined the Australian Flying Corps and was commissioned a second lieutenant, before he completed his war service in August 1919. He established the accounting firm of Hungerford, Spooner & Co in 1922 with his brother Eric, who later became a United Australia Party Minister for War Organisation of Industry from June to October 1941. He studied for a diploma of economics at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1923. He married Catherine Frier Vera Bogle in April 1924.
Spooner helped establish the Liberal Party of Australia, after the collapse of the United Australia Party in 1944 and became the first president of its New South Wales branch. He was elected to the Australian Senate in the December 1949 election and shortly after appointed Minister for Social Services in Robert Menzies' first post-war ministry, despite not taking office as a senator until 22 February 1950. In May 1951, he became Minister for National Development and held that position until his resignation from the ministry in June 1964. His portfolio was responsible for policy towards the mining industry, especially coal, oil, uranium and iron ore. He also oversaw the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, the River Murray Commission, the Joint Coal Board and some development projects in northern Australia. From 1958 until 1964, he was Vice-President of the Executive Council. He resigned from the Senate in July 1965.
Spooner was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1963 and a privy counsellor in 1966. He died of cancer in July 1966 at Manly Hospital, survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.
|Minister for Social Services
|New title||Minister for National Development
|Vice-President of the Executive Council
|Party political offices|
|Leader of the Liberal Party in the Senate