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Hard to go Bung: World War 2 Soldier Settlement in Victoria 1945-1962

$39.95
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ASP033
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Media: BOOK - paperback, 330 pages
Author: R. Smallwood
Year: 2011
ISBN: 9781921875274
Other: b&w & colour photos, maps, appendixes, index
Publisher: Australian Scholarly Publishing

Many of the servicemen returning to Australia after World War 2 dreamed of making an independent living for their families on their own small farms. But in Victoria there were painful memories of the difficulties and heartbreak of soldier settlement after World War 1, when many families were unable to meet their debts and had to walk off their farms. 

The story of Australia's most successful scheme for settling returned soldiers on their own farms. 'Hard to go Bung' includes the recollections of many of the 6000 families who gained a livelihood on farms across the state. 

Contents:
Foreword
A Reflection
Preface
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations and Conversions
1. The Nature of the Problem
 - Victoria's experience with soldier settlement after WW1
 - The Rural Reconstruction Commission's 1943 national inquiry
2. Fire in their Belly
 - The role played by the RSL
3. This Contentious Matter
 - The structure of Victoria's WW2 scheme under the War Service Land Settlement Agreement and State legislation
 - Disagreement between Commonwealth and State over WSLS valuations and sharing of excess costs
 - Interim Lease delays
 - Temporary Leases, A, B, and C costs arrangement 
4. A Cohesive Core
 - Senior administration in the Melbourne offices of the SSC and the WSLS Division
 - Subdividing settlement land
 - Bitter Labor Party split
 - In and out of the public service
5. No Bureaucratic Nonsense
 - Relations between the SSC and the State Parliament
 - Development activities and relations between staff and settlers
 - Drainage problems in the Murray-Goulburn area
6. No Marginal Frontiers
 - Acquisition of privately owned farming land
 - Reactions of property holders
7. Crown property
 - Consideration of Crown land for soldier settlement
 - Virgin Land Investigation Committee
 - Development of Heytesbury and other Crown land areas
 - Civilian land settlement
 - Review of all WSLS subdivisions
 - Freehold and Crown land acreages
8. Going it Alone
 - Settlement on single unit farms
9. Good Farmers and Good Fighters
 - Selection of settlers
 - Classification Committees, Land Boards and the points system
 - No women settlers
 - Summary of applications
 - Voluntary surrenders and forfeitures
10. Like a Palace
 - Designing and building the WSLS houses
 - Role of architects Buchan Lairds and Buchan
 - Delays and shortages
11. Just like Winning Tatts
 - The settlers' perspective
 - Wives, family life and temporary accommodation
 - Early hardships
 - Growth of local communities and reactions of long-established residents
12. Caught in the Squeeze
 - Funding cuts
 - Continuing Commonwealth-State disagreements over WSLS excess costs
 - Land price rises
 - Special advance funding by Commonwealth
 - Further Interim Lease delays
 - Increases in settlers' liabilities
13. Punch and Counter-punch
 - Commonwealth seeks reimbursement for civilian settlement land
 - Commonwealth-State row over dairying subdivisions
 - Soldier settlement problems in other States
 - Victoria's continuing success
 - Argument over reclaimed Commonwealth funds
14. Ending the Era
 - Amalgamated Rural Finance and Settlement Commission formed
 - Les Simpson retires and Ian Morton succeeds him as chairman
 - Commonwealth-State arguments continue
 - Assessment of Victoria's achievements and extent of settlers' success
Postscript
 - Value for money from Victoria's WW2 soldier settlement scheme
Appendices
Notes
Index

Review:
Rosalind Smallwood's book records this successful partnership of settler and government. It is a story of recognition by society of a duty to help those who served in the War. Equally it is a story of the continuing growth of our State and the struggle to make productive a harsh country. - John Cain Jr, Premier of Victoria, 1982-1990

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