William Scully (Australian politician)

The Honourable
William Scully
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Gwydir
In office
8 May 1937  10 December 1949
Preceded by Aubrey Abbott
Succeeded by Thomas Treloar
Personal details
Born (1883-02-01)1 February 1883
Died 19 March 1966(1966-03-19) (aged 83)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Grace Myrtle Kilbride
Children Jim Scully and two other sons
Occupation Contractor

William James "Bill" Scully (1 February 1883 – 19 March 1966) was an Australian politician and farmer. Born in Sydney to Thomas James Scully and his wife Sarah Lucy Rutherford, he was educated at a small school near Tamworth. He and his brothers worked as contract labourers, and by the age of 21 Scully was a contractor. In 1912 he became a justice of the peace. He was also involved with the Tamworth Progress Association and the Primary Producers' Union of New South Wales.[1]

In 1903, Scully joined the Tamworth Political Labor League and soon rose to become president. After three unsuccessful attempts to enter the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, in succeeded his brother Patrick in the electorate of Namoi in 1923. At Tamworth in 1925 he married Grace Myrtle Kilbride. Although he agreed with many of the views of New South Wales Premier Jack Lang, Scully remained loyal to the Prime Minister, James Scullin, and to the Australian Labor Party. He lost Namoi in 1932.[1]

Political career

Having bred horses for five years, Scully stood in a 1937 by-election for the federal seat of Gwydir, which he won. When Labor won government in 1941, the Prime Minister, John Curtin, appointed him Minister for Commerce, to which was added Agriculture in 1942. He held this position under Curtin, Frank Forde and Ben Chifley, and chaired the Australian Food Council. "The Scully Plan", which aimed to guarantee wheat farmers a minimum price of four shillings per bushel, was introduced in 1942.[1]

Scully was appointed Vice-President of the Executive Council in 1946, a post he held until 1949, when he was defeated at the elections. He retired to Tamworth, where he grew lucerne and served on Tamworth City Council. He was also involved with the New England University College, the Tamworth and District Workmen's Club, and the Tamworth Cricket Association. Renowned for his integrity, sincerity and directness, Scully died on 19 March 1966 and was given a state funeral.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Boyle, Janice (2002). "Scully, William James (1883–1966)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
Political offices
Preceded by
Earle Page
Minister for Commerce (and Agriculture)
Succeeded by
Reginald Pollard
Preceded by
Joe Collings
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Succeeded by
Enid Lyons
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Aubrey Abbott
Member for Gwydir
Succeeded by
Thomas Treloar
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