University Of Tasmania
whole_WilliamsLaura1998_thesis.pdf (21.8 MB)

A sheep-run or a nation? : the evidence from Kelsall & Kemp (Tasmania) and Patons & Baldwins, Launceston

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posted on 2023-05-27, 14:18 authored by Williams, Laura
'Shall Australia be a sheep-run or a nation?', asked nationalists after the First World War. While this sentiment was not new, the war created an atmosphere in which the equation of nationhood with greater industrial self-sufficiency complemented the federal government's economic aims. Woollen manufacture proved ideally suited as a centre-piece in the campaign to promote local manufacture. Failure to develop the country's best known national export - wool - threatened to incline Australia more towards being a metaphoric sheep-run than an independent nation. Such apprehensions assisted in woollen manufacture becoming one of the sentimental icons in the push to industrialise. This work focuses primarily upon the establishment of two British woollen manufacturers, Kelsall & Kemp and Patons & Baldwins, whose foundation derived from the relationship between economic policy and Australian nationality. Concentration is upon the period between World War I and the Depression. During this period Australia's woollen industry made a successful transition from holding a minor domestic market share to being pre-eminent within the Australian market. The thesis does not attempt to provide a comprehensive study of the two companies even during the period emphasised. It rather examines how these companies' experiences relate to the broader concerns and practicalities of industrial development. It also explores how closely reality mirrored industrialisation's promises, as well as and the associated benefits and costs. Symbolic of the contradictions characterising the 1920s were attempts to achieve greater industrial self-sufficiency through the attraction of companies controlled outside Australia. The influences of external control at Kelsall & Kemp and Patons & Baldwins were evident during these companies' establishment phase. The repercussions of direct foreign investment, however, become increasingly apparent in the late twentieth century. To demonstrate the progression of ideas, values and policies within Australia, the thesis' final chapter surveys the period since 1930. For decades the hopes of the 1920s seemed on the way to fulfilment, but more recently that prospect has diminished.


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Copyright 1998 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references

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