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Research Guides


Land of Opportunity: Australia's post-war reconstruction


Department of Post War Reconstruction, 1942–50

On 22 December 1942 John Curtin announced that the Treasurer, JB Chifley, had been appointed Minister of Post War Reconstruction. He considered this to be appropriate, as finance would be the basis of all post-war reconstruction plans. On 15 January 1943 the Cabinet decided that HC (Nugget) Coombs, a Treasury economist and the Director of Rationing, would be the Director-General of the new department. Chifley and Coombs had, in fact, been discussing plans for the new department since October 1942. Coombs, who had been based in Melbourne, took up his position on 26 January in Canberra. He was met by a small group of officers – Gerald Firth, LF Crisp, Arthur Tange, Philip Dorrian and Percy Judd – who made up the depleted Reconstruction Division of the Department of Labour and National Service.

Coombs always referred to his organisation as the Ministry of Post War Reconstruction. At the outset, he seems to have envisaged a small planning and research department surrounded by a number of semi-autonomous commissions dealing with particular aspects of reconstruction. Three commissions were created: the Rural Reconstruction Commission (January 1943), the Commonwealth Housing Commission (April 1943) and the Secondary Industries Commission (October 1943). Other commissions were mooted, on education, territories and public works. They were not formed, although Sir Harry Brown, the Coordinator-General of Works, was effectively a one-man commission reporting to Coombs.

In its first year the department was very small. On 29 September 1943 Chifley told Parliament that there were 22 officers (20 men), nine of whom were permanent Commonwealth public servants. The average age of the non-administrative staff was 30, with Coombs the oldest at 37. His deputy was John Crawford, an economist with the Rural Bank of New South Wales, who joined the department in February 1943. He was given the title Director of Research and for nearly four years he and Coombs made a formidable partnership. Their colleagues came from a variety of backgrounds, including several economists, three architects, a journalist and a trade unionist. Grenfell Rudduck, an outstanding architect and town planner from Melbourne, was to remain a central figure in the department until 1950. Lloyd Ross, who joined the department in September 1943, had been Secretary of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Railways Union and was one of the leading intellectuals in the Australian labour movement. Initially, he dealt mainly with housing and community facilities, but in 1944 he became Director of Public Relations, a post that he held till the end.

In 1943 and 1944 some of the staff were based in Sydney and Melbourne, providing administrative and research assistance to the three commissions and the Coordinator-General of Works. The Canberra officers, who were based in the old hospital building in Acton, were active on inter-departmental committees, drafting and discussing policies on education, migration, territories, external relations, housing, civil aviation, shipping and other matters. Coombs, in particular, was a member of numerous committees, as well as chairing Commonwealth–state meetings on town and regional planning, housing, employment, re-establishment and soldier settlement. Tange gradually emerged as the specialist on international reconstruction and from 1944 onwards was often seconded to the Department of External Affairs. Crisp dealt with migration and territories and in 1944 spent much of his time working on the 14 powers referendum campaign. Firth had a coordinating role within the department and at the same time took on some of the more challenging policy issues, such as the birth-rate problem and full employment. PWE (Pike) Curtin, who had headed the Reconstruction Division in 1941–42, dealt with re-establishment, training and demobilisation, and was mainly responsible for the planning of the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme and the 1945 Re-establishment and Employment Bill.

In 1944–45 Coombs began to organise the department into divisions. In June 1944 RF Archer took up the position of Director of the Re-establishment Division, soon to be the largest of the divisions. A few months later Crawford became the Director of the Rural and Regional Planning divisions, the former evolving later into the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. At the same time, the research staff attached to the Secondary Industries Commission became the nucleus of the Secondary Industries Division, headed by Harold Breen from the Department of Munitions. In December 1944 Allen Brown joined the department from the Rationing Commission, initially as Director of the General and Policy Division and later as Director of the Economic Policy Division. In June 1945 the War Service Land Settlement Division was created, with William McLaren as Director. Finally, towards the end of 1945, the Commonwealth Office of Education was set up, incorporating the Universities Commission. RC Mills headed the office as well as the commission and chaired numerous educational committees.

The organisation of the department was thrown into some disarray by the dissolution of the Department of War Organisation of Industry in February 1945. Some of its officers were easily slotted into Post War Reconstruction divisions, such as Trevor Swan (Economic Policy) and Walter Ives (Rural). Highly specialised units such as the Fisheries Division, the Price Stabilisation section and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) Coordination section were transferred to Post War Reconstruction, but operated in virtual isolation. Other officers were lumped into a War Organisation of Industry Directorate, which survived until the end of 1945. The housing and building officers of both departments were gradually absorbed into the new Department of Works and Housing. Another major change took place in June 1946, when Crawford and his staff moved to the Department of Commerce and Agriculture.

John Dedman succeeded Chifley as Minister of Post War Reconstruction on 2 February 1945. He arrived in time to introduce the Re-establishment and Employment Bill and the Education Bill, table the White Paper on Full Employment, announce the General Demobilisation Plan and secure agreement with the states on public housing, the Commonwealth Employment Service and the War Service Land Settlement Scheme. The planning phase of post-war reconstruction was coming to an end and some of those who had been involved in planning since 1941 began to move on. Tange, Firth, Judd, Dorrian, Curtin and Crawford all left the department in 1946.

Coombs had always seen the department as a planning body and believed that it would probably be abolished in 1946. He had discussions with the Public Service Board in late 1945 on the ultimate placement of the various divisions, urging that the Economic Policy and Regional Planning divisions be attached to the Prime Minister's Department. The department, however, had acquired major administrative functions, and Dedman in particular was unwilling to relinquish them. He opposed, for instance, the transfer of the Secondary Industries Division to a proposed Department of Supply and Development. There was agreement that the Department of Commerce and Agriculture was not equipped to take over the War Service Land Settlement Division, nor was the Department of Social Services ready to absorb the Re-establishment Division. Re-establishment and training activities would continue for several years. Consequently, the Department of Post War Reconstruction had a longer life than had been expected.

After 1945 Coombs was away from Australia for long periods, attending international trade and financial conferences, and in his absence Allen Brown usually acted as Director-General. The organisation of the department remained relatively stable. The small Economic Policy and Regional Planning divisions, both headed by Brown, were located in Canberra. The head offices of the Re-establishment and Secondary Industries divisions (the latter renamed Industrial Development in 1948) were in Melbourne, while the War Service Land Settlement and Public Relations divisions and the Office of Education were based in Sydney. Apart from Public Relations, these divisions all had branches in the other state capitals. The re-establishment Division also had an office in Port Moresby, while the Universities Commission had an office in London. The minister and Director-General provided some coordination, but the divisions operated with a good deal of autonomy. In particular, the Division of Industrial Development under Breen often acted as if it were a separate department.

In January 1949 Brown became Director-General, following the appointment of Coombs as Governor of the Commonwealth Bank. There was a widespread view that the department would be abolished after the federal election and senior staff began to look for other jobs. Several became secretaries of departments: AW Paul (Transport), Breen (Supply and Development), Charles McFadyen (Shipping and Fuel), McLaren (Interior). This pattern of former Post War Reconstruction men filling the top jobs was to continue until the 1980s. Brown himself became Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department in July 1949 and Crisp took over as the third and last Director-General. Following the defeat of the Chifley government, it came as no surprise when the new Prime Minister announced the immediate winding-up of the department. On 11 January 1950 Crisp informed Menzies that he had handed in the key of the office and resigned as Director-General.

Cabinet
CHIFLEY, FORDE AND CHIFLEY MINISTRIES: CABINET MINUTES AND AGENDAS, 1941–49
Series: A2700
Appointment of Director-General of Post War Reconstruction, 15 January 1943 415
Ministry of Post War Reconstruction: appointment of Assistant Director-General, 12 July 1943 516
Division of Industrial Development: permanent organisation, 10 August 1948 1497
Appointment of LF Crisp as Director-General of Post War Reconstruction, 5 July 1949 1618
Department of Post War Reconstruction
UNREGISTERED PAPERS, REPORTS, MINUTES OF MEETINGS AND SURVEYS RELATING TO POST-WAR DEVELOPMENT, 1944–51
Series: A688
Department of Post War Reconstruction Handbook, 1947
Includes a statement on the work of the Regional Planning Division, notes on regional resources surveys, lists of reports issued by the division and periodicals received in the library, and an index to files of the division.
29
CORRESPONDENCE FILES OF THE ECONOMIC POLICY DIVISION, 1944–50
Series: A9790
Division of Industrial Development: weekly reports, 1948–50
Reports (December 1948 – January 1950) of the work of the Division of Industrial Development of the Department of Post War Reconstruction.
332
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1941–50
Series: A9816
Relations with the States: conferences, 1941–44
Transcript of a conference (30 March 1944) of state liaison officers of the Department of Post War Reconstruction.
1943/571
Relations of Division with New South Wales, 1941–46
Notes of meetings and correspondence concerning collaboration with the New South Wales Reconstruction and Development Division and discussions about housing, public works, regional planning and transport. The correspondents include WJ McKell, HC Coombs, JG Crawford and G Gray.
1943/596
Relations with Tariff Board, 1941–45
Correspondence and notes concerning the reconstruction inquiry of the Tariff Board and relations between the Secondary Industries Commission and the Tariff Board and notes of a discussion (5 November 1943) between HC Coombs, JK Jensen, JL Knott and H Morris of the Tariff Board. The correspondents include JB Chifley, RV Keane and GG Firth.
1943/619-20
Collaboration between Department of War Organisation of Industry, CSIR and Department of Post War Reconstruction, 1943–45
Correspondence concerning collaboration between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the departments of Post War Reconstruction and War Organisation of Industry and notes of a meeting (8 June 1945), chaired by AEV Richardson, to discuss collaboration. The correspondents include HC Coombs, JG Crawford and Sir David Rivett.
1943/702
Organisation: instructions to research officers, 1941–47
Includes a memorandum (19 February 1943) on directions issued by the Director-General for research officers on the functions of the ministry, relations with other departments and specialisation of work, and arrangements during the absence overseas of HC Coombs (18 February 1947).
1943/739
Miscellaneous correspondence between departmental officers and officers attached to commissions, 1943–45
Correspondence between research officers and officers attached to the three commissions on evidence given to the commissions, supply of publications and files, information collected for the commissions and travel.
1943/847
Meetings with Department of Commerce on rural matters, 1943
Notes of meetings (April–May 1943) between research officers of the departments of Post War Reconstruction and Commerce and Agriculture.
1943/865
Weekly research reports, 1943–44 (8 parts)
Weekly reports of officers of the Department of Post War Reconstruction, mainly relating to research activities. They include senior officers such as GG Firth, AH Tange, LF Crisp, G Rudduck and PA Dorrian.
1943/1192
First meeting of Chairmen, 1943
Agenda papers and proceedings of the first meeting (29 October 1943) of the chairmen of the three commissions and the Co-ordinator-General of Works with JB Chifley, together with related minutes and correspondence.
1943/1289
Department of War Organisation of Industry, 1943–45
Correspondence and minutes on relations between the departments of Post War Reconstruction and War Organisation of Industry, the views of JJ Dedman on post-war reconstruction, and the appointment of liaison officers by the two departments. The correspondents include JJ Dedman, HC Coombs, JG Crawford, GG Firth, GT Chippindall and EJB Foxcroft.
1943/1313
Executive Officers' meetings, 1943–45 (4 parts)
Agendas, agenda papers, minutes and records of decisions of executive officers' meetings (December 1943 – March 1945). They were usually chaired by JG Crawford.
1944/2
Conference of Liaison Officers, 1944
Agenda papers and minutes of a conference (30 March 1944) of state liaison officers of the Department of Post War Reconstruction, chaired by HC Coombs.
1944/104
Department of Economic Organisation: functions and proposed Planning Office of Cabinet, 1944
Notes of a departmental conference (13 May 1944), chaired by HC Coombs, on the future of the department and the idea of a Department of Economic Organisation, and minutes by Coombs and GG Firth on the functions of such a department and its place within the Commonwealth bureaucracy.
1944/181
General meeting of Department of Post War Reconstruction, 1944
Transcripts of addresses by HC Coombs to a general meeting of staff of the Department of Post War Reconstruction, held on the weekend of 15–17 December 1944.
1944/543
Minister's report on work of Department of Post War Reconstruction, 1944–45 (2 parts)
A report (6 November 1944) of the work of the Department of Post War Reconstruction, drafts, and minutes by JL Knott, RF Archer and L Ross.
1944/546
Departmental representation on IDCs and submissions to Cabinet, 1944
A list of Cabinet submissions made by the Department of Post War Reconstruction, arranged by subject, and a list of inter-departmental committees on which the department was represented (6 November 1944).
1944/551
Conference of State Liaison Officers, 1945
Minutes of a conference (10–11 April 1945) of state liaison officers of the Department of Post War Reconstruction, chaired by HC Coombs and AS Brown.
1945/21
Liaison arrangements between DPWR and Department of Works and Housing, 1945
Correspondence on the appointment of liaison officers and summary of a meeting (7 August 1945) between officers of the departments of Post War Reconstruction and Works and Housing, chaired by Louis Loder.
1945/375
Executive Circulars, 1945–46
Copies of issues (October 1945 – February 1946) of the Executive Circular, produced for use within the department.
1945/591
Secondary Industries Division: summary of activities, 1946
A detailed summary of the formation of the Secondary Industries Division and its recent activities, produced for the Chairman of the Secondary Industries Commission, and notes by BW Hartnell on the development of secondary industries in Australia.
1946/357
National Works Secretariat, 1946
Correspondence of HC Coombs, C Hoy and GPN Watt concerning the transfer of the functions of the National Works Secretariat to the Department of Works and Housing and the Defence Division of Treasury.
1946/406
Notes for Minister on department's activities during his absence abroad, 1947–48
Summaries prepared in August 1947 and February 1948 of the work of the various divisions of the Department of Post War Reconstruction for the use of JJ Dedman on his return from the International Trade and Employment Conference.
1947/312
BINDERS OF INFORMATION CREATED BY THE MINISTRY OF POST WAR RECONSTRUCTION, 1942–49
Series: A9837
Committee of review: report on the Department of Post War Reconstruction [Pinner Report], 1945–46
Report (9 January 1946) on the Department of Post War Reconstruction by the Committee of Review on Civil Staffing of Wartime Activities, chaired by JT Pinner. The other members were AA Fitzgerald and HC Coombs.
3
Division of Economic Policy: staff, 1945–46
Correspondence and papers relating to the Pinner Report, permanent functions taken on by the Department of Post War Reconstruction, especially in economic policy, and the proposed winding up of the department and transfer of functions and staff to other authorities. The papers include a memorandum (31 October 1945) by HC Coombs to the Public Service Board on organisation for policy and research, a submission (14 November 1945) to the Pinner Committee, and a letter (22 November 1945) from JJ Dedman to JB Chifley on the future of the department.
5
Department of War Organisation of Industry: price stabilisation , 1942–43
Copies of letters, memoranda, speeches, broadcasts and other documents on price stabilisation and the establishment of the Price Stabilisation Plan in April 1943. They include the report (24 December 1942) of the Committee on Movements in Costs and Prices, chaired by DB Copland, comments (8 January 1943) by JF Nimmo on the stabilisation of prices in Australia, and the report (9 April 1943) of the Committee on Price Stabilisation to the Minister for Trade and Customs.
7
Departmental history: Price Stabilisation Section
A history of the Price Stabilisation section from its inception within the Department of War Organisation of Industry in May 1943 to its abolition in May 1947, when the Department of Post War Reconstruction withdrew from the Price Stabilisation Committee. It deals mainly with the period 1943–45.
8
Basic information, 1946
Statements (June 1946) on the functions and activities of the Office of Education, National Works Council Secretariat, Regional Planning Division, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, War Service Land Settlement Division, Re-establishment Division and Secondary Industries Division.
9
CORRESPONDENCE FILES WITH SA (STAFF AND ACCOUNTS) PREFIX, 1943–50
Series: A10315
Research Division: staffing arrangements, 1943–45
Lists of proposed staff and correspondence on the organisation and staffing of the Research Division in 1943 and the proposed establishment of the Regional Planning Division in late 1944. The correspondents include HC Coombs, JG Crawford, LG Melville and GG Firth.
SA1943/296
Division of Economic Policy: organisation and staffing, 1945–49
Correspondence of HC Coombs and AS Brown relating to the creation of the Economic Policy Division in 1946, staffing, the work of the division, and the division of work in 1948 between international and domestic. There are also two documents (1949) entitled 'Qualifications of an economist' and 'On a perfected departmental economist'.
SA1946/113
NON-CURRENT PERSONNEL FILES, 1920–54

Personnel files concerning senior staff in the Department of Post War Reconstruction, the Prime Minister's Department, the High Commissioner's office in London and a few other agencies. The files contain correspondence and other documents on appointments, promotions, leave, transfers, resignations, salaries and official travel.

There are files on the following Department of Post War Reconstruction officers: RF Archer, HC Coombs, JG Crawford, LF Crisp, PWE Curtin, RI Downing, CLS Hewitt, JF Nimmo, AW Paul, L Ross, TW Swan, AH Tange and JE Willoughby.

Series: CP268/3
CORRESPONDENCE OF THE NATIONAL WORKS COUNCIL, 1943–55
Series: CP630/1
Public works: administrative arrangements, 1946
Correspondence concerning the transfer of PA Dorrian to the Department of Labour and National Service and the winding up of the office of the National Works Council secretariat in Sydney.
Bundle 4/W44/117
Public works: administrative arrangements and publicity, 1943–51
Includes reports (1944–45) of the Public Works Section of the Department of Post War Reconstruction and a review (March 1944) of the department's activities in relation to public works.
Bundle 4/W44/231

RECORDS RELATING TO THE ORGANISATION OF THE WAR SERVICE LAND SETTLEMENT DIVISION, 1945–50

Correspondence relating to the organisation and functions of the War Service Land Settlement Division and the appointment of an assistant director, deputy directors and other senior staff. The correspondents include HC Coombs, WA McLaren, AA Cameron and F Schneider.

Series: CP878/15
FILES RELATING TO THE ORGANISATION AND STAFFING OF THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT DIVISION, 1943–49
Series: MP502/2
Re-establishment Division: organisation and staffing, 1943–49 (4 parts)
Correspondence concerning the establishment and organisation of the Re-establishment Division, senior staff appointments, promotions and salaries, the establishment of offices in the state capitals, and creation of new positions. The correspondents include HC Coombs, RF Archer, AA Cameron and AW Paul.
SA1943/528
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT DIVISION, 1944–50
Series: MP513/1
Functions of Re-establishment Division, 1946–49
Papers relating to a review of the Re-establishment Division in 1946 and the administration of re-establishment functions after the dissolution of the department at the end of 1949.
A76
Deputy Directors' conference, 1945
Notes of a conference (11–14 December 1945) of deputy directors of the Re-establishment Division, chaired by RF Archer.
A372
Re-establishment Deputy Directors' conference, 1946
Agenda papers and notes of a conference (18–22 March 1946) of deputy directors of the Re-establishment Division, chaired by RF Archer.
A373
Re-establishment: conference of senior members of staff of Department of Post War Reconstruction, 1946
Proceedings of a conference (19–23 August 1946) of senior staff of the Re-establishment Division, chaired by FW MacLean, together with reports by deputy directors and related correspondence.
A384
Department of the Interior
CORRESPONDENCE FILES (COMMONWEALTH LANDS), 1932–49
Series: A877
Canberra Hospital Building: accommodation for Commonwealth departments, 1932–49
Includes minutes (March 1943) by HC Coombs on accommodation needed by the Department of Post War Reconstruction at the old Canberra Community Hospital at Acton, plans of the offices, and minutes (1943–45) on the conversion of the building, an inspection by JB Chifley, and requests by the department for additional offices.
CL21242 Pt 1
Department of War Organisation of Industry
SECRET CORRESPONDENCE (S SERIES), 1940–46
Series: CP80/1
Liaison between Department of Post War Reconstruction and Department of War Organisation of Industry, 1944
Correspondence and minutes concerning meetings between liaison officers of the departments of War Organisation of Industry and Post War Reconstruction and reports on the Secondary Industries Commission and building, housing and regional planning policies and activities. The correspondents include EJB Foxcroft and GG Firth.
Bundle 11/S853
Prime Minister's Department
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1934–50
Series: A461
Administration: Department of Post War Reconstruction, 1942–50 (2 parts)
Prime ministerial statements and correspondence of J Curtin and JB Chifley on the establishment of the Department of Post War Reconstruction, the amalgamation of the departments of Post War Reconstruction and War Organisation of Industry, the establishment of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics within the department, and the abolition of the department in 1950.
BA6/1/1
Administration: Department of Post War Reconstruction, Division of Industrial Development, 1944–50
Prime ministerial statements and correspondence of JB Chifley about the creation of the Secondary Industries Division, functions of the division, relations with state agencies, and the change of name to the Division of Industrial Development in January 1948.
BH6/1/1
Post war reconstruction: Commonwealth–State cooperation, 1941–43
Correspondence between J Curtin and the state premiers about the Department of Post War Reconstruction and its commissions, and the respective roles of the Commonwealth and state governments in reconstruction.
E387/1/1
Post war reconstruction: staff, 1944–47
Correspondence with state governments concerning the secondment or transfer of officers to the Department of Post War Reconstruction.
Q387/1/1
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1939–47
Series: A1608
Pinner Report: Department of Post War Reconstruction, 1945–46 (2 parts)
Report (9 January 1946) by JT Pinner, AA Fitzgerald and HC Coombs on the functions and staffing of the Department of Post War Reconstruction.
AL29/1/1/31
Treasury
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1901–76
Series: A571
Regional planning, 1944–49
Includes correspondence (July–August 1948) between PW Nette and the Public Service Board on the creation of new positions in the Regional Planning Division of the Department of Post War Reconstruction.
1944/4232
Re-establishment Division: staff, 1946–48
Notes of an inter-departmental meeting (10 March 1947), chaired by JT Pinner, on re-establishment and rehabilitation functions, and correspondence concerning staffing and the future of the Re-establishment Division.
1948/372
RJ Attkins
MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS OF RJ ATTKINS, 1941–47
Series: MP257/2

Reference files concerning divisions of the Department of Post War Reconstruction maintained by RJ Attkins, the Director of Administration (1945–47). They contain copies of minutes, letters, statements, reports and publications. There is a file on each division, with the exception of the Office of Education and the Public Relations Division, as well as the Price Stabilisation section, the Experimental Building Station and the UNRRA Coordination section.
HC Coombs
RESEARCH MATERIAL, DRAFTS AND PAPERS OF HC COOMBS, 1922–85
Series: M448
Staff papers, 1942–48
Papers relating to the setting up of the Department of Post War Reconstruction, staff transfers and appointments, classification of positions and office accommodation. The correspondents include HC Coombs, GG Firth, AW Paul, HP Breen and RJ Attkins.
3
Departments of War Organisation of Industry and Post War Reconstruction: correspondence, 1942–45
Correspondence concerning the establishment of the Department of Post War Reconstruction, accommodation, the role of the Department of War Organisation of Industry in reconstruction, and the merger of the two departments. The correspondents include JB Chifley, GG Firth and PR Judd.
19
Ministerial submissions: Post War Reconstruction, 1943–48
Copies of submissions from HC Coombs to JB Chifley (1943–45) and JJ Dedman (1945–48). There are no submissions between April 1945 and February 1946 and very few for 1947–48, when Coombs spent long periods overseas. The subjects cover an extraordinary range, from the administration of the department and the three commissions to public works, housing, soil erosion, re-establishment, secondary industries, the building industry, demobilisation, community development, regional planning, soldier settlement, the Commonwealth Bank, territories, employment policy, coal production, the Snowy River diversion, universities, international economic policy and migrants.
33
Appointment as Director-General of Post War Reconstruction: congratulatory messages, 1942–43
Letters of congratulation on the appointment of HC Coombs as Director-General of Post War Reconstruction in January 1943.
34
Reconstruction: correspondence, 1942–46
Correspondence on many aspects of reconstruction, such as demobilisation, re-establishment, training, the basic wage and territories. The correspondents include HC Coombs, AS Brown, GG Firth, RF Archer and RJ Attkins. There are also estimates of expenditure of the Department of Post War Reconstruction for 1946–47.
37
Miscellaneous correspondence A–B, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and his colleagues RF Archer, HP Breen and AS Brown.
38
Miscellaneous correspondence C–D, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and JB Chifley and JJ Dedman, his colleagues JG Crawford, LF Crisp and PWE Curtin, and GT Chippindall of the Department of War Organisation of Industry.
39
Miscellaneous correspondence E–F, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and his colleagues GG Firth and EJB Foxcroft, and EP Eltham of the Department of Labour and National Service.
40
Miscellaneous correspondence J, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and JK Jensen of the Secondary Industries Commission.
43
Miscellaneous correspondence K, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and his colleague JL Knott and a letter (12 August 1943) from Lord Keynes to Coombs concerning post-war unemployment.
44
Miscellaneous correspondence M, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and his colleagues CH McFadyen, WA McLaren, LG Melville and RC Mills, and JK Murray, the Administrator of Papua and New Guinea.
46
Miscellaneous correspondence N–O, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and LPD O'Connor of the Commonwealth Housing Commission.
47
Miscellaneous correspondence P, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and the Public Service Board.
48
Miscellaneous correspondence R, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and his colleagues L Ross and G Rudduck.
49
Miscellaneous correspondence T, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and his colleague TW Swan.
50
Miscellaneous correspondence W, 1943–48
Includes correspondence between Coombs and SM Wadham of the Rural Reconstruction Commission, R Wilson of the Department of Labour and National Service, and WC Wurth of the Manpower Directorate.
52
Post War Reconstruction organisation, 1947
Department of Post War Reconstruction estimates of expenditure with explanations for the year ending 30 June 1947.
108
Department of Post War Reconstruction: establishment and administration, 1942–48
Correspondence, minutes and memoranda on the setting up of the Department of Post War Reconstruction, the creation of divisions, reorganisations, the amalgamation in 1945 with the Department of War Organisation of Industry, and the transfer of functions to other departments and authorities. The correspondents include JB Chifley, HC Coombs, GG Firth, PWE Curtin, JG Crawford, HP Breen, RF Archer, GT Chippindall and B Fitzpatrick.
109
Post War Reconstruction and Executive Committee meetings, 1943–45
Minutes and memoranda including decisions made at meetings of the department's Executive Committee, proceedings of executive officers' meetings, agenda papers and reports.
110
Division of Economic Policy, National Works Committee, Public Relations Division, 1947
Reports and minutes on the recent activities of divisions and sections of the Department of Post War Reconstruction apparently assembled pending the return of HC Coombs from overseas in October 1947.
111
Chairmen of Commonwealth Government Commissions meeting, 1943
Agenda papers and transcript of the meeting (29 October 1943) of SM Wadham, LPD O'Connor, JK Jensen and Sir Harry Brown with JB Chifley and HC Coombs.
138

Further reading

Coombs, HC, Trial Balance: issues of my working life, Macmillan, Melbourne, 1981. 

Crisp, LF, Ben Chifley, Longmans Green, Melbourne, 1961. 

Mamchak, YA, The origins and early years of the Australian Ministry of Post War Reconstruction, MA thesis, Canberra College of Advanced Education, 1980. 

Spaull, Andrew, John Dedman: a most unexpected Labor man, Hyland House, Melbourne, 1998.


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