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How Labour Governs

By Childe, Vere Gordon

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Book Id: WPLBN0000633787
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 287.33 KB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: How Labour Governs  
Author: Childe, Vere Gordon
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Blackmask Online Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Blackmask Online


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Childe, V. G. (n.d.). How Labour Governs. Retrieved from

Introduction: The BACKGROUND The main theme of the present study will be the development of Labour organisation and policy during the current century; for it is in this period that the most characteristic phases of Australian Labour have manifested themselves. Moreover, the course of Australian economic and industrial growth down to the date of the Federation of the Colonies has been admirably and exhaustively described by Sir Timothy Coghlan and other writers. Nevertheless, in order to enable the reader to follow more readily the drama to be unfolded, it may be helpful to sketch very briefly the historical background. In the first place it must be remembered that Australia is a continent of 2,974,581 square miles in area ? slightly larger, therefore, than the U.S.A., and rather smaller than the Dominion of Canada. We often hear that this continent is empty. In fact, the total white population, as revealed by the 1921 census, is just under five and a half millions. But emptiness is not to be reckoned by the population per square mile, but by the number which the country is actually capable of supporting and, when this is taken into consideration, the disproportion between the immense acreage of Australian soil and her meagre population becomes less striking. In point of fact vast areas of Australian territory are quite unadapted for close settlement. Over huge tracts of the interior the rainfall is so exiguous and so uncertain that agriculture is out of the question. The only industry that such land could maintain is pasturage, and that only thinly at the rate of, say, one sheep to a hundred acres. No amount of settlers could increase materially the carrying capacity of these plains, since man cannot control the rainfall, and the natural configuration of the land precludes the possibility of irrigation. On the other hand, this appearance of emptiness is enhanced by the uneven distribution of the population and the immense concentration in a few bloated cities. The 900,000 inhabitants of Greater Sydney represent almost half the total population of a State covering 309,432 square miles. Outside the capital there are only five towns in the whole of N.S.W. with more than 10,000 inhabitants. South Australia is even larger.

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Table of Contents: How Labour Governs, 1


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