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Aspects of farm life in south west New South Wales between the two world wars

Dyer, Stephen William

Description

This thesis investigates aspects of Australian rural society in the period 1920-1939. It concentrates on a wheatgrowing region of New South Wales which lies between Hillston, Griffith, Temora, and Lake Cargelligo - the South West of the State. Evidence for this study came from published government documents, the local press, and unpublished governmental, institutional, and private records of the period. Details of these, and methodological problems associated with their use are...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorDyer, Stephen William
dc.date.accessioned2017-09-29T01:58:13Z
dc.date.available2017-09-29T01:58:13Z
dc.date.copyright1979-80
dc.date.created1979-80
dc.identifier.otherb1274594
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/128789
dc.description.abstractThis thesis investigates aspects of Australian rural society in the period 1920-1939. It concentrates on a wheatgrowing region of New South Wales which lies between Hillston, Griffith, Temora, and Lake Cargelligo - the South West of the State. Evidence for this study came from published government documents, the local press, and unpublished governmental, institutional, and private records of the period. Details of these, and methodological problems associated with their use are discussed in the introduction and in appendices. The first section begins with an analysis of the origins and experience of ex-soldiers and civilians who took up farms in the region in the early and mid-1920s. Their 34° parochial outlook was reinforced by their farm work, their recreation, and by the local press. These forces also combined to create a belief in rural independence which co-existed with a contradictory expectation of government aid as a matter of course. Although the local society accepted a need for consensus in community relations which contributed to the maintenance of social cohesion, its celebration in the rural press did not reflect reality. The second part deals with the economic, social, and political impact of the collapse of wheat prices in 1930/1. This crisis for the wheat industry was accompanied by "restriction of credit by both private and government agencies. Farmers attempted to reduce their production costs and expenditures, and to increase their income by diversifying their farms economy . Farmers families were also required to do more to help the farm survive by doing more farm work, and by helping to produce an income. The consequent 'making do ' reduced, but did not destroy, local social life. However, the stresses imposed by the crisis found expression in community groups, new as well as old. The farmers' impatience with governments, particularly that of J . T . Lang, was demonstrated in the Riverina Movement, but the Movement's unsuccessful drive for secession did not still farmers ' demands for more government aid . In the third section the evolution and impact of Federal and State government relief measures is traced. Although few farmers made use of the State's legislation, it appears to have assisted them to remain in production: population and bankruptcy data reveal no large scale dispossession by creditors. The turning point in the farmers' battle with seasonal vagaries and the burden of debt appears to have been in the mid 1930s. Federal funds for debt adjustment made the reduction of debt more likely, and a poor season appears to have led farmers to accept that there would be no immediate economic recovery. In the latter half of the 1930s renewed local agitation and political pressure eventually brought a government response. Farmers were encouraged to leave the land, there'by making the farms of those who remained economically more viable .
dc.format.extent2 v.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshNew South Wales Rural conditions Case studies
dc.titleAspects of farm life in south west New South Wales between the two world wars
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorHazlehurst, G. C. L.
dcterms.valid1980
local.description.notesThesis (Ph.D.)--Australian National University, 1979-80. This thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1980
local.contributor.affiliationThe Australian National University
dc.date.updated2017-09-08T02:29:38Z
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