Full text: Borrowing and business in Australia

Furthermore, they are quite definitely associated with the 
completion of spasmodic expansion periods. They mark, as it 
were, the pauses between the beats in the growth rhythm of the 
country. And they are just as demonstrably associated with 
some disproportion between the two active agents in production, 
or with some circumstance which interfered with the steady 
and regular co-operation of labour and capital in the work of 
Australian development. The periods marked by the advance to 
self-government from 1820 to 1840, the activity in South Austra- 
lia associated with the Wakefield scheme, the credit inflation 
following the gold discoveries after 1851, the mining boom from 
1860 to 1873, Queensland development after 1866, the Victorian 
‘land boom’ of 1890, the buoyancy due to the high produc- 
tivity of the years following 1906, the expansion of secondary 
industries, especially after 1912, and the post-war boom and 
depression are usually accepted as well-defined business cycles 
in Australia. These periods, too, have been marked by popula- 
tion growth; and the well-marked migration phases connected 
with all of them are regarded as another usual function of the 
business cycle which is common to all countries still in the 
early stages of development. The whole movement, however, 
is incapable of interpretation in terms of the modern theory of 
the business cycle; but must be regarded rather as the usual 
accompaniment of growth—the systole and diastole of our 
economic pulse. Leaving out of the calculation for the moment 
the effect of good and bad seasons, the further the investigation 
is pursued the stronger does the conviction become that these 
phenomena are correlated results of one great dominant cause 
that has always in Australian history played the leading part 
in preparing the ground for the crop of financial and industrial 
The first fact that demands consideration in such an investiga- 
tion is the overwhelming importance of overseas trade to 
Australia. This importance is explained by the geographical 
situation of the continent, by the specialized nature of its 
production, by the characteristics of its population, by its 
political organization and especially by the nexus with Great 
Britain, and, lastly, by the character of the economic structure 
developed in the community. Even with a considerable variety 
of soil and climate, and assuming a certain measure of success 

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.