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


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Williams, Laura 1998 , 'A sheep-run or a nation? : the evidence from Kelsall & Kemp (Tasmania) and Patons & Baldwins, Launceston', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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'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.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Williams, Laura
Keywords: Kelsall & Kemp (Firm), Patons & Baldwins (Firm), Textile industry
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

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).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references

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