1970s >> 1978 >> no-885-may-1978

50 Years Ago: Unemployment in Australia

While Australia is being boomed abroad — by emigration touts — as a paradise for the workers, and thousands are flocking to her shores in search of work, in the capital cities the unemployed are marching the streets, registering at the Government Labour Bureaus, and sending deputations to the State Governments asking for sustenance or work.

All the old fallacies that have done service this century are being trotted out by the pen-valets, politicians and other hangers-on of the capitalist class. Free trade and protection hold pride of place although in circumstances in which either of these fiscal policies is in operation unemployment still remains a problem. According to Stead’s Review, June 1927, the figures submitted by the League of Nations demonstrate that the percentage of unemployed in Australia was greater than in any other nation associated with the League.

When the Labour Government came into power in Victoria it set out valiantly to deal with unemployment, but after six months unemployment is worse than ever. The Premier’s (Mr. Hogan’s) explanation is that the sole cause of the unemployment problem is the adverse trade balance.

From “A Letter from the Socialist Party of Australia”, published in the Socialist Standard, May, 1928.