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Research Guides


Land of Opportunity: Australia's post-war reconstruction


Education

Until World War II the Commonwealth Government had only a limited involvement in education. Through such bodies as the Australian National Research Council, CSIR and the National Health and Medical Research Council it had indirectly provided financial assistance for research in universities and other institutions. It sponsored the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Sydney (1928), and funded the Australian Forestry School (1925) and Canberra University College (1930) in Canberra. In general, however, education was left to the state governments, churches and private organisations.

Australian Universities Commission and Office of Education

The first step in extending the Commonwealth's involvement in higher education was taken by John Dedman and the Department of War Organisation of Industry. In January 1942 Dedman and a number of officials met the vice-chancellors and agreement was reached that a quota of students would be placed in reserved faculties (such as medicine and engineering). The selected students would not be subject to workforce direction until they had completed their courses. In September 1942 the Production Executive set up an inter-departmental committee, chaired by SJ Butlin, to look at measures to deal with the shortage of newly trained doctors, dentists, engineers and other specialists, a shortage that was partly due to the cost of a university education. The committee recommended that financial assistance should be offered to students in the reserved faculties and some other students. It also recommended the establishment of a universities commission to administer the selection and financial aspects of the scheme. The Production Executive accepted the report and the Australian Universities Commission was created under national security regulations in February 1943. RC Mills, the Professor of Economics at the University of Sydney, was appointed chairman, the other members were Lloyd Ross, FP Baker and James Darling. The secretariat was provided by the Department of War Organisation of Industry. For the next seven years Dedman would have ministerial responsibility for Commonwealth educational policy.

Soon after the establishment of the Department of Post War Reconstruction, HC Coombs suggested to JB Chifley that an education commission be appointed, but he was rebuffed. In October 1943 Dedman proposed that an inter-departmental committee should review the Commonwealth's responsibilities in the field of education and propose processes to assist the government to carry out its responsibilities during and after the war. The Inter-Departmental Committee on Education, which first met on 29 October 1943, was chaired by Ronald Walker and its members included Mills, Coombs, Sir David Rivett, EP Eltham, RB Madgwick and JHL Cumpston. The committee received reports on the activities of various Commonwealth agencies and it looked at the work of overseas bodies, such as the Board of Education in Britain and the Office of Education in the United States. By the time of its final meeting, the committee was in agreement that there should be a Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Education, an Education Office and a Commonwealth–State Committee for Educational Development, the Universities Commission should be set up on a more permanent basis, and a national university should be established in Canberra. The report was presented to Dedman on 31 October 1944.

Cabinet deferred its consideration of the report on a number of occasions and it was not until 2 July 1945 that it discussed the role of the Commonwealth in the field of education. It endorsed the recommendations of the committee, with a few minor amendments. Legislation was prepared to give permanency to the Australian Universities Commission and create the Commonwealth Office of Education. The commission would organise reconstruction training in universities and similar institutions, provide financial assistance to university students and advise the Minister of Post War Reconstruction on matters concerning universities. The Office of Education, which formally came into existence on 8 November 1945, was to be essentially an advisory, coordinating and research body. The Education Act specified that the chairman of the Universities Commission would be the director and Mills held both positions until his death in 1952. He was also chairman of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education from 1945 onwards. The other members included Coombs, Allen Brown, Sir George Knowles, Kenneth Bailey and HJ Goodes.

Australian National University

The idea of a university in Canberra focusing on research and postgraduate studies had been mooted in the 1930s. CS Daley, who joined the Walker committee in 1944, was a strong advocate of a postgraduate university, while Coombs saw the need for a university undertaking research and training for the government. In its report on a national university, the Walker committee specified certain areas of research, such as government, Pacific affairs, international relations and Australian history. Meanwhile RD Wright and Alf Conlon had been pursuing the idea of a national institute of medical research. Coombs persuaded the Mills Committee to bring together these two strands and it formulated a proposal for a Canberra National University, devoted to postgraduate research and comprising institutes of medicine and social sciences. In July 1945 Cabinet accepted the recommendations, merely changing the name to 'Australian National University'. In the following months, the Department of Post War Reconstruction prepared a detailed plan, including additional institutes of Pacific affairs and possibly nuclear physics. Following consultation with panels of experts in the four fields, an Australian National University Bill was drafted and introduced in Parliament by Dedman in April 1946. It became law on 1 August 1946.

In April 1946, when he was visiting England, Coombs had met several eminent expatriate academics, including Sir Howard Florey, Keith Hancock and Mark Oliphant. They expressed enthusiasm for the new university and Coombs and his colleagues seized on the idea that they might be lured to Canberra to head the research schools. The Interim Council, chaired by Mills, invited Florey, Hancock and Oliphant to form an Academic Advisory Committee (the anthropologist Raymond Firth joined the committee in 1947). For two years the four 'maestros' met regularly, usually in Oxford, and drew up numerous memoranda on the organisation and staffing of the university. In 1948 they visited Australia and met the Interim Council and the new Vice-Chancellor, Douglas Copland. They had forceful opinions and strong sensitivities, and the relationships were often fraught. Florey was always lukewarm about returning to Australia and Hancock and Firth both resigned from the advisory committee in 1949. Oliphant alone arrived in 1950 to head the Research School of Physical Sciences. By then a number of staff appointments had been made and a library was being assembled. Buildings and students were to appear later.

Financial support for universities and students

In addition to the new university, the Commonwealth Government provided increasing financial support for the tertiary sector in the immediate post-war years. Until 1946 Commonwealth grants for research within the universities were allocated by the National Health and Medical Research Council (medical sciences), CSIR (physical and biological sciences) and the Department of Post War Reconstruction (social sciences). In November 1946 Cabinet decided that a Commonwealth Research Grants Committee should take over responsibility for the grants in the physical, biological and social sciences. At the same time, it increased the grant for 1947–48 to £82,000, compared with £39,000 in 1944–45. Two years later it was raised to £100,000. Mills chaired the Research Grants Committee and the other members were Brown, Bailey, Goodes, FH Rowe (Social Services) and AEV Richardson (CSIR). The committee worked closely with the vice-chancellors committee, which was responsible for the selection of research projects and the division of the grants among the six universities. The role of the committee, as expressed by Bailey, was to hold the balance between the social and physical sciences, and between original research and research training, and to ensure that Commonwealth funds were being used to promote new works.

From 1944 to 1950 Commonwealth assistance to university students took two forms. Through the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, more than 21,000 returned servicemen and women received free education at universities and other tertiary institutions between 1945 and 1954 (see chapter 7). In addition, Cabinet decided in April 1945 that the wartime Financial Assistance Scheme should continue for five years after the cessation of hostilities. Doubts about the constitutional validity of the scheme were removed by the passing of the social services referendum in September 1946. In 1948 more than 50 per cent of Australian university students were receiving assistance under one of these schemes. In 1947 the Universities Commission began considering the possibility of a permanent scholarships scheme for university students. In its report the commission proposed that, beginning in 1951, the Commonwealth provide 3000 scholarships each year to students undertaking first degrees and diplomas at universities and other tertiary institutions. The scholarships would cover all fees and students from lower-income families would also receive living allowances. The Mills committee made some changes to the draft scheme and it was approved by Cabinet in August 1949. The Coalition government also accepted the scheme and in March 1950 RG Menzies announced that 3000 Commonwealth scholarships would be awarded in January 1951.

Adult and secondary education

The Commonwealth Government was less inclined to become involved in other sectors of education. In 1943 the Universities Commission asked WGK Duncan of the University of Sydney to prepare a report on adult education. He made a long and exhaustive study and produced a substantial report, which was handed to Dedman in May 1945. Duncan proposed that a Division of Adult Education be created within the Office of Education to advise the states and other authorities and carry out functions such as research, publication and distribution of educational materials. Under his scheme, the Commonwealth would make general grants to state adult education authorities, as well as specific grants for premises, the recruitment and training of teachers, and research. The Walker committee, the Australian Services Educational Council, the Workers Education Association and other bodies all urged the government to support adult education. Dedman presented a non-committal submission, but in July 1945 Cabinet deferred discussion indefinitely. The Office of Education and the Mills committee also studied the problem of student wastage, with talented students failing to complete secondary school for economic reasons. In 1950 the committee produced a report recommending a system of Commonwealth bursaries but Menzies, who was already concerned about the cost of the Commonwealth scholarships, rejected it.

New Commonwealth role in education

There was a massive increase in Commonwealth financial support for education between 1943 and 1949. Whereas Commonwealth expenditure on education in 1939–40 had been a mere £675,000, it rose to £5.5 million in 1945–46, £18.1 million in 1947–48 and £15.1 million in 1948–49. There was pressure on the government to make even greater contributions. At the 1945 premiers conference, two states suggested that the Commonwealth make an annual grant of £10 million to the states for educational purposes. In 1947 numerous educational and community organisations called for £100 million of loan money to be allocated to education. The Treasury responded to such appeals with the statement that the states received £100 million from the Loan Council and £53 million from the Commonwealth as tax reimbursements and it was for them to decide how much was spent on education.

In 1950 the Commonwealth Office of Education and the Universities Commission were taken over by the Prime Minister's Department. According to Jock Weeden, the Deputy Director, Menzies was horrified to learn that the staff totalled 1500. The two bodies, with branches in every state, had by then assumed a number of responsibilities: advising Commonwealth authorities, liaising with state education departments and other bodies, administering university-type training under the CRTS, carrying out research and consultative services, coordinating UNESCO activities in Australia, overseeing migrant education, and administering the university research grants and the South-east Asian scholarships. The early research projects dealt with educational wastage at secondary schools and the educational needs of Aboriginal children. The office's publications included the Current Affairs Bulletin, Education News, Research Report and a large number of pamphlets and directories.

Cabinet
CURTIN, FORDE AND CHIFLEY MINISTRIES: CABINET MINUTES AND AGENDAS, 1941–49
Series: A2700
Legislation to continue Universities Commission, 18 January 1945 757
Legislation to continue Universities Commission, 30 April 1945 757A
Legislation to continue Universities Commission, 2 July 1945 757B
Commonwealth research grants to universities, 30 October 1945 757C
Financial assistance to university students in 1946, 20 November 1945 757D
Proposed permanent Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme for students at universities and other tertiary institutions, 19 August 1949 757M
Proposed permanent Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme for students at universities and other tertiary institutions, 26 September 1949 757N
Commonwealth responsibility in relation to education, 2 February 1945 769
Commonwealth responsibilities in relation to education, 2 July 1945 769A
Office of Education, 6 September 1945 769B
Grants to universities, 2 July 1945 880
Adult education, 2 July 1945 881
National University at Canberra, 2 July 1945 882
National University at Canberra, 18 December 1945 882A
National University at Canberra, 2 July 1946 882B
Australian National University Bill, 2 July 1946 882C
Australian National University: appointment of Vice-Chancellor, 2 March 1948 882E
Scholarships for South East Asian students, 8 December 1947 1414
South East Asian scholarships, 5 September 1949 1414A
Commonwealth committee on state universities, 25 October 1949 1653
Production Executive
VOLUMES OF PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE AGENDA PAPERS, 1941–45
Series: A2866
W2
JJ Dedman. Universities, 21 September 1942
105/1942
W2
JJ Dedman. Universities: review of proposed scale of allowances, 12 November 1942
105/1942 Supp. 2
W2
JJ Dedman. Universities, 15 June 1943
105/1943 Supp. 3
W2
JJ Dedman. Universities: selection and reservation of students, 1 October 1943
105/1943 Supp. 4
W4
JJ Dedman. Coordination of Commonwealth activities in field of education, 5–6 November 1943
107/1943
W4
JJ Dedman. Universities Commission: extension of assistance to technical college students, 2 December 1943
118/1943
W4
JJ Dedman. Assistance to university students: modification of means test, 2 December 1943
121/1943
W4
JJ Dedman. Universities Commission: extension of assistance to technical college students, 17 February 1944
20/1944
W7
JJ Dedman. Assistance to university students: modification of means test, 1 February 1945
9/1945
CHIFLEY MINISTRY: WORKING PAPERS OF CABINET SUB-COMMITTEES, 1945–49
Series: A3306
Cabinet Sub-Committee on Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme, 1949
Cabinet submission (15 August 1949) by JJ Dedman, notes of an inter-departmental meeting (8 September 1949) to discuss points raised by NE McKenna and N Lemmon (chair: LF Crisp), minutes of a meeting (22 September 1949) of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme, and a further Cabinet submission (23 September 1949) by Dedman.
6
Attorney General's Department
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1929–
Series: A432
Establishment of a university in Canberra, 1944–46
Correspondence and papers of Sir George Knowles relating to proposals for a university in Canberra, the drafting of the Australian National University Bill, meetings of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education, views on the role of the university and the proposed research schools. The correspondents include RC Mills, HC Coombs, LF Crisp, C Comans and T Owen.
1944/1464 Pts 7-8
Grants to universities, 1945–48
Minutes of meetings of the Australian Universities Commission and the Commonwealth Research Grants Committee and correspondence concerning the funding of research grants and requests by vice-chancellors for increased allocations. The correspondents include JJ Dedman, RC Mills and JDG Medley.
1945/921 Pt 1
IDC on Education: general educational and cultural activities, 1946–47
Correspondence of KH Bailey on the report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education on general educational and cultural activities of the Commonwealth.
1947/290
Australian Universities Commission
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1943–46

Files relating to the administration of the Australian Universities Commission in the three years following its establishment in February 1943, documenting its relations with universities, technical colleges, training institutions, education departments, the Australian army, and students.

Series: A1875
University of Sydney: reservation (selection) – general, 1943–45 (3 parts) 1/02/1
University of Sydney: manpower – Service releases, 1943–45 1/06/3
University of Melbourne: financial assistance, 1942–46 (3 parts) 2/04/1
Canberra University College: general, 1941–46 (2 parts) 7/01(1)
Department of Education, NSW, 1944–46 10/01
Technical colleges: South Australia, 1943–45 11/04
Inter-Departmental Committee on Education, 1943–44 25
Commonwealth Office of Education

CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1945–60

Records of the Commonwealth Office of Education from its establishment in 1945 until 1960, including files on the administration of the Office, staffing, finance, the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education, Australian Universities Commission, UNESCO and other international organisations, financial assistance to universities and students, migrant education and special education.

Series: A1361
Administration: Universities Commission Chairman, 1943–46
Correspondence concerning the re-appointment of JR Darling, L Ross and FP Baker as members of the Australian Universities Commission. The correspondents include GT Chippindall, RC Mills and WJ Weeden.
1/9/1A
IDC on Education: general, 1945
Includes notes (31 May 1945) by RC Mills of a meeting with HC Coombs and GPN Watt about the Australian Universities Commission, grants to universities, the establishment of an Education Office and the proposal of Coombs that the chairman of the Universities Commission should head the Education Office.
1/17/1 Pt 1
IDC on Education: members, 1945
Correspondence of RC Mills with members of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education concerning the report of the committee, a meeting with ministers, university buildings, grants for research, adult education and the preparation of a Cabinet paper on the Australian National University.
1/17/2 Pt 1
Administration: IDC on Education, 1944–45
Cabinet submissions on the Australian Universities Commission and the Australian National University and reports on grants to universities and adult education.
1/17/4 Pt 1
IDC on Education: adult education: Dr Duncan's report, 1944–49 (2 parts)
An address (23 August 1944) by F Alexander on adult education and the Australian community, the draft report by WGK Duncan on adult education in Australia, the report on adult education of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education (May 1945) and related correspondence.
1/17/9
Administration: establishment of Universities Commission, 1942–43
Documents of the Department of War Organisation of Industry concerning the establishment of a Universities Commission, including the report (20 October 1942) of a departmental committee on universities (chair: SJ Butlin), proposals for financial assistance to university students, and Production Executive submissions.
1/17/17 Pt 1
Secondary bursaries scheme: policy, 1944–56
Report by the Australian Universities Commission on student wastage in secondary schools and correspondence about student wastage, discussions of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education, the drafting of a report on a Commonwealth Bursaries Scheme, and the decision (November 1950) of RG Menzies to defer the scheme. The correspondents include JB Chifley, RC Mills, AS Brown, EJB Foxcroft, TL Robertson and HJ Goodes.
7/26/2
Special education: National Fitness, 1945–57 (2 parts)
Correspondence regarding the relationship between the National Fitness Campaign and Commonwealth education policy, responses from the states on physical education facilities in schools, and the proposal of RJ Heffron that the Commonwealth Office of Education take over from the Department of Health responsibility for the administration of national fitness. The correspondents include JJ Dedman, NE McKenna, RC Mills, WJ Weeden and AJ Metcalfe.
8/2/1
Commonwealth Office of Education: staffing, 1945–46 (2 parts)
Correspondence of RC Mills, HC Coombs and the Commonwealth Public Service Board about senior appointments to the Commonwealth Office of Education, including EJ Hook and CD Rowley.
34/2/1 Pts 2A-2C
Commonwealth Scholarships Scheme: policy matters, 1945–49 (2 parts)
Notes of meetings of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education and correspondence on a new scheme of financial assistance for university students, the scope of the scheme, the report of a sub-committee, and discussions with NE McKenna and a Cabinet sub-committee. The correspondents include RC Mills, EJ Hook, AS Brown, LF Crisp, EJB Foxcroft, HJ Goodes and E Amos.
41/1/2
Native education: general, 1947–50 (2 parts)
A paper by TGH Strehlow on the future of Aboriginal education and correspondence on education of Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory and transfer of responsibility from the Department of the Interior to the Commonwealth Office of Education. The correspondents include RC Mills, H Philp, JA Carrodus and WA McLaren.
45/3/1
ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OFFICE OF EDUCATION, 1945–66
Series: A7382

Annual reports of the Commonwealth Office of Education, 1945–49 and 1957–66. The 1948 and 1949 reports also covered the activities of the Australian Universities Commission.
Department of Post War Reconstruction
CORRESPONDENCE FILES OF THE ECONOMIC POLICY DIVISION, 1944–50
Series: A9790
Commonwealth Universities Research Grants Committee, 1946–49 (4 parts)
Minutes of meetings (1947–49) of the Commonwealth Universities Research Grants Committee (chair: RC Mills), minutes of conferences with the vice-chancellors committee, reports by universities on research programs, and minutes and correspondence on training of research workers, research needs of Commonwealth departments, and funding of research grants. The correspondents include JB Chifley, JJ Dedman, HC Coombs, RC Mills, AS Brown and EJB Foxcroft.
8111
Financial assistance to university students, 1945
Correspondence concerning financial assistance for university students under the National Security (Universities Commission) Regulations and the need for a change of policy in selecting students and faculties. The correspondents include HC Coombs, RC Mills and GPN Watt.
8112
Commonwealth scholarships at tertiary level: proposals, 1949–50
Reports by the Australian Universities Commission and the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education on Commonwealth tertiary scholarships, a memorandum by EJB Foxcroft, and related correspondence, including a letter (28 October 1949) from JB Chifley to the state premiers on the establishment of the Commonwealth Scholarships Scheme.
8114
Universities Commission: reports, 1945–49
Annual reports of the Australian Universities Commission and miscellaneous letters.
8115
Social science research grants, 1944–46
Notes of a conference (7–8 December 1944) between the Department of Post War Reconstruction and university liaison officers and correspondence regarding an increase in the annual grant to universities for research in the social sciences. The correspondents include JG Crawford and JDG Medley.
8116
Commonwealth Office of Education: general, 1945–50
Includes a letter (3 June 1946) from RC Mills to JJ Dedman about a proposal at the 1945 premiers conference that the Commonwealth make an annual grant of £10 million to the states for educational purposes.
8121
IDC on Education, 1946–49 (2 parts)
Minutes of meetings (1946–49) of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education (chair: RC Mills), draft reports, and correspondence (1949) concerning the proposed plan for Commonwealth bursaries at the secondary school level. The correspondents include RC Mills, EJB Foxcroft and TL Robertson.
8122
Commonwealth Office of Education: report on educational wastage, 1948
Report (November 1948) on educational wastage at the secondary school level, with recommendations for a Commonwealth bursaries scheme.
8123
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1941–50
Series: A9816
Commonwealth wartime policy in regard to universities, 1942–43
Report (20 October 1942) of an inter-departmental committee on the wartime organisation of reservation, selection and training of university students (chair: SJ Butlin), a statement by JJ Dedman at a conference of vice-chancellors (3 November 1942), and memoranda and correspondence of GG Firth, LF Giblin and RC Mills on unreserved faculties and the Australian Universities Commission.
1943/470
Adult education: general correspondence, 1943–45 (2 parts)
Reports by WGK Duncan and HS Wyndham on adult education, a Cabinet submission (28 June 1945), and correspondence concerning resolutions of conferences on post-war adult education.
1943/1072
Education: general, 1943–44
Newspaper articles and correspondence on aspects of education, including a note (7 September 1943) by WJ Weeden on wastage in secondary education.
1944/261
IDC on Education, 1944
Includes memoranda by HS Wyndham on the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education and minutes from L Ross to HC Coombs on developments in adult education and the role of the Commonwealth in education.
1944/264
Medical research, 1945–46
A paper (6 April 1945) by Sir Howard Florey on a proposed Australian Medical Research Institute and correspondence of HC Coombs on the possible placement of the institute within the Australian National University.
1945/290
Establishment of Universities Commission, 1943–45 (2 parts)
Correspondence concerning the National Security (Universities Commission) Regulations, assistance to students in unreserved faculties, legislation to establish the Universities Commission, and the appointment of RC Mills as Director of the Commonwealth Office of Education. The correspondents include HC Coombs, RC Mills, GT Chippindall and R Osborne.
1945/459
IDC on Education: minutes and agenda, 1944–46 (2 parts)
Agenda papers and minutes of meetings (January 1946 – February 1947) of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education (chair: RC Mills, HC Coombs).
1946/139
Papers on education, 1944–45 (2 parts)
Report (31 October 1944) of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education on the Commonwealth's responsibilities in relation to education (chair: ER Walker), Cabinet submissions on the Universities Commission and adult education, and related correspondence.
1946/239
Department of the Interior
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1946–
Series: A431
Commonwealth Office of Education: establishment, 1946–47
Correspondence concerning the establishment of the Commonwealth Office of Education and new proposals for educational services and scholarships in the Northern Territory. The correspondents include JA Carrodus, J Brophy and HJ Goodes.
1947/2361
Canberra university proposed establishment, 1940–54
Correspondence (1941–43) and newspaper cuttings about the research activities of Canberra University College and proposals for a national university as a post-war project. The correspondents include CS Daley, T Owen and R Wilson.
1948/1484 Pt 3
Comparative study of education throughout Commonwealth: NT schools, 1947–49
Correspondence with the Commonwealth Office of Education regarding educational services, scholarships and allowances in the Northern Territory.
1949/235
Department of War Organisation of Industry
SECRET CORRESPONDENCE (S SERIES), 1940–46
Series: CP80/1
Legislation for the continuance of the Universities Commission, 1944–45
A Cabinet submission (24 November 1944) on legislation to establish the Universities Commission on a permanent basis and related correspondence.
Bundle 20/S835
Prime Minister's Department
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1934–50
Series: A461
Education: general, 1935–50 (4 parts)
Letters from the Australian Teachers Federation, New Education Fellowship, National Union of Australian University Students and other organisations and individuals to J Curtin and JB Chifley urging Commonwealth control of education, greater financial assistance from the Commonwealth for education and other changes in Commonwealth policies.
A340/1/1
Commonwealth aid to education, 1921–49 (2 parts)
Letters from the Australian Teachers Federation and other organisations concerning conference resolutions calling for Commonwealth assistance for education.
C340/1/1
Australian universities: assistance to postgraduate studies and research, 1935–47 (2 parts)
A Cabinet submission (14 July 1941) on university research grants and correspondence about the reconstruction research grants, the social science research grants and the establishment of the University Research Grants Committee. The correspondents include J Curtin, JJ Dedman, HC Coombs, JG Crawford and RC Mills.
E340/1/1
Adult education, 1943–48
Resolutions of conferences relating to Commonwealth support for adult education and related correspondence.
AQ340/1/1
Australian universities: assistance to needy students, 1942–50 (3 parts)
Correspondence concerning financial assistance for students at universities and technical colleges, the means test and taxation questions. The correspondents include JJ Dedman, GT Chippindall and EJ Hook.
O340/1/8
Treasury
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1901–76
Series: A571
Appointment of IDC on Education, 1943–44
Interim report (6 November 1943) of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education on the need for a constitutional amendment and correspondence about Treasury representation on the committee and requests for grants for the establishment of colleges. The correspondents include JB Chifley, JJ Dedman and AC Joyce.
1943/3787
Commonwealth educational policy: applications from universities, educational authorities for assistance, 1944–47
Correspondence about requests by universities and technical colleges for assistance in establishing new faculties and projects. The correspondents include JB Chifley, JJ Dedman, HC Coombs and HJ Goodes.
1944/2948
Post-war education, 1945–53
Statements and correspondence concerning requests by premiers, parliamentarians and educational organisations for increased Commonwealth expenditure on education and the question of responsibility for primary and secondary education. [Part 1 does not exist]
1944/4140 Pts 2-3
Australian National University, 1945–50 (2 parts)
Minutes of meetings (January–June 1946) of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education (chair: RC Mills) and correspondence about the name and constitution of the university, the drafting of the Australian National University Bill, initial funding, the appointment of a vice-chancellor, and the building program. The correspondents include JB Chifley, JJ Dedman, HJ Goodes, HC Coombs, LF Crisp, DB Copland and RA Hohnen.
1945/1316
Commonwealth Office of Education: funding, 1945–46
Estimates of expenditure and correspondence with the Commonwealth Office of Education about staffing and expenses of the Office of Education and the Universities Commission.
1945/3621
Commonwealth assistance to state universities, 1948–56
Correspondence about proposals of ML Oliphant for Commonwealth support for higher education, the claims of universities for increased financial assistance and the appointment of a committee in 1949 to investigate the finances of all the universities. The correspondents include JB Chifley, JJ Dedman, RC Mills, HJ Goodes, ML Oliphant and DB Copland.
1948/3258
HC Coombs
RESEARCH MATERIAL, DRAFTS AND PAPERS OF HC COOMBS, 1922–85
Series: M448
Committee on Research in the Social Sciences, 1943–45
Minutes of a meeting (8–9 November 1944) of the Committee on Research in the Social Sciences (chair: KS Cunningham) and proposals for research by LG Melville, C Clark, RD Wright, JA Passmore, AP Elkin and others.
235
Australian National University, 1946–57
Minutes of the first meeting (13 September 1946) of the Interim Council of the Australian National University (chair: RC Mills), minutes of a meeting (28–29 March 1947) of the Academic Advisory Committee in London, a report by RD Wright of his visit to the United States (March 1947), and correspondence and memoranda on relations with the Academic Advisory Committee, their vision of the university, the establishment of the Research School of Social Sciences, the selection of the vice-chancellor, appointments, and research scholarships. The correspondents include HC Coombs, RD Wright, ML Oliphant, Sir Howard Florey, WK Hancock, RG Osborne, DB Copland and RA Hohnen.
257
Australian National University: miscellaneous correspondence, 1947–60
Includes minutes of meetings (March–October 1947) of the Interim Council of the Australian National University, minutes of meetings (7 August 1947, 21 September 1947) of the Academic Advisory Committee in London, and a letter (16 July 1947) from WK Hancock to RC Mills on staffing of the Research School of Social Sciences.
260
RC Mills
PAPERS OF RC MILLS RELATING TO THE INTER-DEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, 1943–44
Series: A2473
Inter-Departmental Committee on Commonwealth Educational Activities, 1943–44 (3 parts)
Minutes of meetings (October 1943 – August 1944), agenda papers, reports and correspondence of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Education (chair: ER Walker). They include reports on the question of a constitutional amendment (November 1943), the Army Education Service, Industrial Training Division, Universities Commission, and Australian Council for Educational Research.
NN

Further reading

Foster, SG and Varghese, Margaret M, The Making of the Australian National University, 194696, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1996.

Lewis, Milton, A national research university: the origins and early years of the Australian National University, MA thesis, Australian National University, Canberra, 1976.

Macintyre, Stuart, The Poor Relation: a history of social sciences in Australia, Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne, 2010.

Spaull, Andrew, Australian Education in the Second World War, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1982.

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

Tannock, PD, The Government of Education in Australia: the origins of federal policy, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, 1975.

Whitelock, Dereck, The Great Tradition: a history of adult education in Australia, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1974.


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