WHY A SENSIBLE EMPLOYMENT POLICY IS UNATTAINABLE IN AUSTRALIA

Author: 

John Tomlinson

As World War II headed towards a close, Prime Minister John Curtin was concerned that returning soldiers, with memories of the 1930s Depression and the inadequacies of various “Susso” schemes, might decide to use their recently acquired lethal skills and start culling surplus politicians (Kewley 1973, Wilson, Thomson and McMahon 1996, Higgins 1982). H.C. “Nugget” Coombs and other senior public servants were given the task of ensuring full employment in Australia and ensuring that unemployed individuals were paid an unemployment benefit. The 1945 Commonwealth Government’s Full Employment in Australia (“White Paper”) emphasized the importance of finding work for returning service personnel, taking up the slack in production caused by the end of the war and adjusting the economy to peacetime conditions. View More