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Research Guides


Land of Opportunity: Australia's post-war reconstruction


Health and social services

Within the Commonwealth Government, health and social security were somewhat peripheral areas and were largely neglected by the post-war reconstruction planners. Health policy was left to the Department of Health and its long-time Secretary, JHL Cumpston, and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which Cumpston chaired. Social services, which at the Commonwealth level took the form of cash payments, were a minor responsibility of the Treasury until the creation of the Department of Social Services in 1941. Health and Social Services shared a single minister from 1939 to 1949. The Treasury continued to be vitally concerned with health and social services, and in these areas the most influential adviser throughout this period was probably HJ Goodes, an Assistant Secretary in Treasury.

In the inter-war years, Cumpston was one of a number of Australian 'national hygienists' who put emphasis on preventative public medicine rather than curative private medicine, and who called for centralised control of public health services. They mostly worked in public health departments or universities and were prominent in the NHMRC, which was established in 1937. Their views received the fullest expression in the early years of the war. In November 1940 Cumpston persuaded Sir Frederick Stewart, the Minister for Health, that the NHMRC should plan a comprehensive national service. Cumpston, together with Sir Raphael Cilento, Harold Dew and Newman Morris, drafted a report which was approved by the NHMRC in July 1941. It stated that 'the care of personal health is a social duty and no longer entirely an individual responsibility'. In place of national health insurance, which had caused much conflict in 1938–39, it proposed a national salaried medical service that would provide general access to hospital and health facilities. It was vague about the future of private practice, but envisaged a coordinated system of hospitals and district clinics. Subsequently, Cumpston costed the proposed scheme in a report for the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Social Security. In its sixth report, the joint committee called for greater Commonwealth control over public health and the gradual introduction of a salaried service, stressing the need to win over the medical profession.

National health service

Cumpston and his colleagues hoped that a national health service could be introduced quickly and would absorb medical officers returning from the war. Rather than negotiate with the British Medical Association (BMA), they suggested an education campaign aimed directly at the doctors. However in January 1942 EJ Holloway, the new Minister for Health, promised that there would be no major change in health services during the war. In January 1943 Cabinet approved a scheme of social service benefits, including health, pharmaceutical, dental and tuberculosis benefits. The influence of the national planners, who always favoured direct health services rather than cash benefits, gradually declined. Instead, the Treasury view prevailed, focusing on the economic difficulties of individuals and families and offering cash benefits as a means of improving access to medicine and health services.

The Joint Committee on Social Security recommended a hospital benefits scheme in its seventh report. In July 1944 Curtin announced that the Commonwealth would subsidise the states six shillings a day for each occupied bed in public wards, provided that means testing was abandoned, and the same amount paid for patients in private wards, private hospitals and sanatoria. The state premiers accepted the proposals the following month. The Hospital Benefits Act was passed in October 1945 and the states passed enabling legislation in subsequent months. The scheme was strongly opposed by some doctors, essentially because it lessened the charitable status of public hospitals, but the BMA accepted it with reservations. From the outset there were complaints that the subsidy was inadequate and in December 1948 it was increased to eight shillings per day.

Pharmaceutical benefits scheme

In contrast, opposition by the medical profession to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme was intense and continued to the very last days of the Chifley government. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Act, which came into force in July 1944, set up a system for the free supply of prescribed medicines, with the chemists reimbursed by the Commonwealth. Not every medicine was covered, in order to control costs, but the government formula included more than 90 per cent of the drugs in common use. During the drafting stage, the government was caught up in the traditional rivalry between the Pharmaceutical Services Guild and the friendly societies. Opposition from the BMA was unexpected, as the scheme made very few demands on doctors. The attack was concentrated on the government formula, which allegedly infringed the right of doctors to prescribe freely any legal drug. There were other concerns: it was claimed that the government should be spending money on hospitals, clinics and preventative medicine rather than medication, there were risks of excessive use of drugs if they were free, the scheme gave excessive control to the Department of Health, and it was a step towards a national salaried service.

The Victorian branch of the BMA challenged the validity of the Act and in November 1945 the High Court held it to be unconstitutional. The decision threatened, at least in theory, the whole range of social welfare transfers, apart from old age and invalid pensions. In response, the government brought forward legislation for a referendum to give the Commonwealth power to legislate on a number of social services, including sickness and hospital benefits, and medical and dental services, provided they did not involve 'any form of civil conscription'. In September 1946 the referendum was passed by small majorities in all states (see chapter 3).

The BMA had called for a 'no' vote in the referendum and it continued to resist any overtures by the government. A new Pharmaceutical Benefits Act, similar to the original legislation, was introduced by Nicholas McKenna and became law in June 1947. Regulations issued in 1948 required doctors to use official prescription forms and imposed severe penalties for non-compliance. These measures united the doctors in opposition and only a small number used the official form. The BMA initiated another legal challenge and in October 1949, in a split decision, the High Court held that the requirement to use the official form, with penal sanctions, constituted civil conscription. Only one clause of the Act was held to be invalid, but the government took no further action. In 1950 the new Minister for Health, Earle Page, abandoned the prescription form and introduced a scheme limited to expensive and life-saving drugs. As officials had predicted, it led to an escalation of costs and abuses by pharmacists and doctors.

The larger plans for a national health service had been delayed by the failure of the 1944 referendum, the challenge to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Act and uncertainty preceding the 1946 referendum. In addition, influential planners such as Cumpston and Cilento had retired or resigned, while the NHMRC was shifting to a more conservative position. Public opinion polls showed majorities in favour of 'free medicine', but the BMA had become more belligerent and partisan than ever before. The government was always concerned about costs, especially after it made a study of the New Zealand National Health Service. Eventually McKenna introduced a National Health Service Bill, which became law in November 1948. It was a modest scheme, administered by the Department of Health, limited to general practice and with no compulsion on doctors or patients to join. There would be a fixed schedule of fees and payment would be shared equally by the patient and the government. Poor drafting meant that the Act had to be amended in 1949 and the regulations were gazetted only a few days before the general election.

Pensions and welfare benefits

Unlike health and medical benefits, the extension of social services generally received bipartisan support at the Commonwealth level. Apart from those offered to ex-servicemen, Commonwealth social services had been limited for many years to three types of cash benefits: old age pensions, invalid pensions and maternity allowances. In June 1940 Menzies warned Australians that 'for the time being we must put our dreams away – our dreams of greater social security'. In the next year, however, his government took three important initiatives in the area of social security. In January 1941 he announced that child endowment would be granted to each child after the first who were under the age of 16. His colleague Harold Holt said that child endowment was an instalment of the government's reconstruction policy and claimed that social security would be Australia's biggest problem after the war. Secondly, the government created a Department of Social Services, headed by FH Rowe, to administer child endowment and other benefits. Thirdly, following a suggestion by Curtin, the government set up the Joint Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Security. The committee was to remain active until 1946 and produced nine reports on such matters as unemployment, housing, reconstruction planning, health and hospital services, and national fitness.

The Curtin government was quick to act on one recommendation of the Standing Committee. In March 1942 the Cabinet decided to introduce widows' pensions, payable to widows in necessitous circumstances, widows with dependent children and widows aged over 50. Under certain conditions, Aboriginal women would also be eligible for widows' pensions. As a result of this legislation, 38,308 women received pensions in 1942–43 at a cost of £1.8 million. At the end of the year Chifley brought together a number of current and future income support schemes which would be paid from a National Welfare Fund totalling £30 million (or 25 per cent of income tax, whichever was the smaller amount). The National Welfare Fund Act was passed in March 1943, but new benefits took some time to materialise. In 1943 the means test was abolished for maternity allowances and funeral benefits were granted to pensioners, but unemployment and sickness benefits did not begin until 1945. In 1947 all social security measures were codified in a single law, the Social Services Consolidation Act, which increased some rates and liberalised some provisions. A major change was an increase in child endowment to 10 shillings per child.

The first tentative steps to move beyond cash payments and create a broad social welfare system were taken by the new Department of Social Services. Soon after its creation, it set up a vocational training scheme for invalid pensioners. From 1945 it administered a rehabilitation scheme for disabled ex-servicemen (see chapter 6) and, with the establishment of the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service in 1948, treatment and training were also provided to invalid pensioners and people receiving unemployment and sickness benefits. The department began employing social workers in 1944 and offices were established in regional centres to offer advice and assistance to members of the public.

Two features of Commonwealth social services became contentious issues during the Chifley years and were prominent issues in the 1949 election campaign. Child endowment did not extend to the eldest or only child in a family, on the grounds that the basic wage was calculated on the needs of a family unit of three. As time passed, the exclusion of the eldest child was widely criticised. The other point of contention was the means test that applied to old age, invalid and widows' pensions. Pensions had been subject to a means test since 1908 but, at a time when income tax rates had increased, many felt that middle-class taxpayers should no longer be deprived of the benefits of these pensions. The Chifley government refused to extend child endowment or abolish the means test, arguing that the cost increases would be enormous. In 1950 the Menzies government extended child endowment to the first or only child, but it eventually conceded that it was not feasible to eliminate the means test.

Cabinet
CURTIN, FORDE AND CHIFLEY MINISTRIES: CABINET MINUTES AND MEMORANDA, 1941–49
Series: A2700
Financial proposals associated with social services program, 15 April 1942 221
National fitness, 9 June 1942 261
Estimated cost of social services in Australia, 15 January 1943 414
Maternity allowance, 2 February 1943 440
Unemployment and sickness benefit, 5 April 1943 469
Unemployment and sickness benefit, 18 May 1943 469A
Tuberculosis, 24 January 1944 590
Increase in widows' pensions, 4 September 1945 613A
Commonwealth Hospitals Benefits Scheme: Commonwealth assistance in campaign against tuberculosis, 14 July 1944 693
Increase in invalid and old age pensions and child endowment rates, 20 March 1945 822
Consolidation of social legislation, 20 March 1945 823
Consolidation of social legislation, 4 June 1945 823A
Consolidation of social legislation, 15 April 1947 823B
Social services, 12 May 1949 823D
Pharmaceutical Benefits Act 1944, 20 November 1945 1005
Validity of Pharmaceutical Benefits Act, 18 December 1945 1005A
Pharmaceutical Benefits Act 1944–45: Amending Bill, 27 May 1947 1005B
Pharmaceutical Benefits Act, 24 September 1947 1005C
Pharmaceutical Benefits Act: prescription forms, 28 October 1947 1005D
Pharmaceutical Benefits Act, 3 August 1948 1005F
Pharmaceutical benefits, 22 February 1949 1005G
Pharmaceutical benefits, 1 March 1949 1005H
Pharmaceutical benefits, 25 October 1949 1005J
Commonwealth National Fitness Movement, 21 March 1946 1128
Financial means and pension means test, 26 June 1946 1194A
Tuberculosis Act: special allowances, 2 July 1946 1207
Tuberculosis, 12 January 1948 1207A
Tuberculosis, 16 February 1948 1207B
Tuberculosis, 3 August 1948 1207C
War widows pensions, 23 September 1947 1391
National Health Service, 5 October 1948 1519
National Health Service: Medical Benefits Scheme, 12 May 1949 1519C
Medical Benefits Scheme, 5 September 1949 1519D
Dental Service, 5 October 1948 1520
Dental Service, 25 October 1949 1520B
Invalid pensions, 3 November 1948 1522A
Department of Health
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1949–62
Series: A1658
National Dental Scheme: policy and legislation, 1947–58

Cabinet papers, correspondence, minutes and reports on the dental aspects of the National Health Scheme, negotiations with the Australian Dental Association, training of dentists, school dental services, the New Zealand Dental Scheme, and the number of qualified dentists. The correspondents include NE McKenna, AJ Metcalfe, HJ Goodes and WS Wilkinson.

671/1/3 Pt 1
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1925–49
Series: A1928
National Health and Medical Research Council: Nutrition Committee, 1938–46 (2 parts)
Minutes of meetings of the Nutrition Committee, chaired by FW Clements, and related correspondence.
690/23
National Health and Medical Research Council: program of reconstruction on public health, 1940–46 (8 parts)

Includes evidence submitted to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Social Security, the NHMRC report (1941) on the reorganisation of health services, press statements and correspondence on a salaried medical service, the 1944 constitutional referendum, meetings with the Federal Council of the BMA, the validity of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Act 1944, the Hospital Benefits Scheme, establishment of health centres, health services in other countries and related matters. The correspondents include Sir Frederick Stewart, JHL Cumpston, F McCallum, Sir Raphael Cilento, Sir Henry Newland, HJ Goodes and Sir George Knowles.

690/39
National Health and Medical Research Council: 11th session, 1941–42
Includes notes by F McCallum on the 10th and 11th sessions of the NHMRC, in particular a program of reconstruction for public health services after the war.
690/40
National Health and Medical Research Council: resolution on post-war planning, 1943
Correspondence of JHL Cumpston and others concerning a resolution of the NHMRC on post-war planning.
690/47
National Health and Medical Research Council: Committee on Housing, 1943–45
Minutes of a meeting (8 May 1944) of the Committee on Housing, chaired by Sir Raphael Cilento, and correspondence of JHL Cumpston with Cilento, HC Coombs, ES Morris and others.
690/52
National Medical Service: general, 1946–47

Newspaper cuttings, leaflets, memoranda and correspondence of NE McKenna, the Minister for Health, on the establishment of a national health service, medical and pharmaceutical benefits, the 1946 referendum on social services and related matters.

700/1 Sect. 1
Nutrition: Commonwealth inquiries into problems of nutrition, 1943–46
Includes an article by FW Clements on the organisation of nutrition activities in Australia.
726/5 Sect. 9
Nutrition: improvement of nutritional standards in rural agriculture, 1943
Correspondence of JHL Cumpston with HC Coombs concerning the Rural Reconstruction Commission and improvements in nutritional standards in agriculture.
726/10
Nutrition: food consumption survey, 1943–47 (2 parts)
Correspondence of JHL Cumpston and F McCallum with HC Coombs, FW Clements and others on the need for food consumption surveys, staffing, training of field workers, surveys carried out in 1944–45, and low figures reported in the Tasmanian survey.
726/12
Pharmacists and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, 1943–46 (3 parts)
Correspondence and minutes concerning support for and opposition to free medicine, deputations of pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Act 1944, the approved formulary, criticisms by the BMA, the position of friendly society dispensaries under the scheme, amendments to state legislation, negotiations with the Federated Pharmaceutical Service Guild of Australia, and instructions to pharmacists. The correspondents include JM Fraser, JHL Cumpston, HJ Goodes, F McCallum, AJ Metcalfe, A Southwood and G Jewkes.
781/4
National fitness: Commonwealth Office of Education, 1946–47
Includes a report on major developments in physical education in Australian schools in 1946–47.
783/25 Sect. 1
Tuberculosis: general, 1943–47
Correspondence, minutes, notes, extracts from Hansard and newspaper cuttings about the NHMRC scheme for the control of tuberculosis, meetings of Commonwealth and state health ministers, proposed Commonwealth subsidies, deputations to the minister, clinics, the funding of diagnostic facilities, a survey (September 1945) of tuberculosis in Australia by the Red Cross Society, and accommodation for tuberculosis patients. The correspondents include EJ Holloway, JM Fraser, NE McKenna, JHL Cumpston, HW Wunderly, DWR Cowan and HJ Goodes.
1105/1 Sects 3-6
Department of Post War Reconstruction
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1941–50
Series: A9816
Relations with Department of Health, 1941–45
Correspondence relating to the report (1941) of the NHMRC on social reconstruction during and after the war, the interest of the Rural Reconstruction Commission in nutritional standards (1943) and funding of medical research by the NHMRC (1945). The correspondents include HC Coombs, JHL Cumpston and F McCallum.
1943/523
Child welfare, 1943–46
Letters to JB Chifley from municipal councils, parents and citizens associations, child welfare organisations and other bodies relating to aspects of child welfare. They include letters from Mona Ravenscroft and Constance Duncan on the Care of the Child in Wartime Committee.
1943/1011
Nutrition surveys, 1943
Papers, reports and correspondence concerning food consumption and nutrition surveys. The correspondents include W Lockwood, FW Clements, JHL Cumpston and W Pawley.
1943/1118
Department of Social Services
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1951–74
Series: A884
Aborigines: eligibility for social service benefits, 1939–50 (4 parts)
Minutes and correspondence with state governments, agencies and welfare organisations on the question of extending social service benefits to Aboriginal people on government reserves and mission stations, the likely advantages of Commonwealth control of Aboriginal people, an inter-departmental conference (10 December 1947) on Aboriginal welfare and the conference (3 February 1948) of Commonwealth and state Aboriginal welfare authorities. The correspondents include HV Johnson, NE McKenna, FH Rowe, TH Pitt, JA Carrodus, T Maguire and AP Elkin.
A55
Social work and research information for the Director-General, 1947–50
Minutes by staff of the Social Work and Research Division on subjects such as the administration of social services by state governments, international conferences, training, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, social security systems in other countries, rehabilitation, and the Australian Advisory Council for the Physically Handicapped.
A57
Social Services Amending Act, 1948–49
Draft Bills, speeches, explanatory notes and correspondence between FH Rowe and the directors of social services in each state concerning the Social Services Consolidation Act 1948.
A214
Aboriginal natives of Australia: instructions to directors, 1942–48
Includes reports (1942–43) from state agencies on the payment of invalid and old age pensions and maternity allowances to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
A605
Torres Strait Islanders: eligibility for social security benefits, 1938–61
Includes an opinion (12 February 1944) by Sir George Knowles on the eligibility of Torres Strait Islanders for invalid, old age and widows' pensions, and maternity allowances, and related correspondence.
A968 Pt 1
Amending legislation: Invalid and Old Age Pensions, Maternity Allowances, Widows' Pensions Bills, 1940–43
Draft Bills, second reading speeches, explanatory notes and correspondence on the drafting of the 1943 legislation and amendments proposed by M Blackburn.
A1072
Commonwealth Employment Service, 1940–46
Correspondence relating to the Inter-Departmental Committee on the Commonwealth Employment Service, the Re-establishment and Employment Act 1945, administration of the Unemployment and Sickness Benefits Scheme, and transfer of state officers to the Commonwealth Public Service. The correspondents include JB Chifley, JM Fraser, HC Coombs and FH Rowe.
A1110
Prime Minister's Department
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1934–50
Series: A461
Social services: general, 1943–49
Correspondence of J Curtin and JB Chifley with state premiers, organisations and individuals on claims for social service benefits, unemployment benefits and the work test, funeral expenses, payment of benefits to workers who had lost jobs on account of strikes, reciprocity agreement with New Zealand and other matters.
A344/1/18 Pt 1
Child endowment: policy, 1946–47
Includes a letter (24 May 1946) from R Cosgrove, the Tasmanian premier, urging the Commonwealth to extend the child endowment scheme to every child in a family under the age of 16.
H344/1/18 Pt 3
Social services: child endowment: 'first child', 1941–50
Correspondence of J Curtin and JB Chifley with state premiers and members of the public on the possible extension of the child endowment scheme, including to the first child of widows and deserted wives.
M344/1/18
Child endowment: Aborigines, 1941–50
Includes correspondence (1943) on the supervision of payment of child endowment to Aboriginal people in Western Australia.
N344/1/18
Social services: unemployment and sickness benefits, 1943–46
Correspondence on the Unemployment and Sickness Benefits Scheme, rates, the overlapping of Commonwealth and state social services, transfer of state officers to the Commonwealth Public Service, and the relationship of sickness insurance benefits and hospital benefits. The correspondents include JB Chifley, JM Baddeley, EM Hanlon, FJS Wise and FH Rowe.
Q344/1/18 Pt 1
Means test for social services, 1944–50
Correspondence of J Curtin and JB Chifley with organisations and individuals concerning the abolition of the means test for old age pensions and other benefits, the exemption of superannuation benefits and related matters. The correspondents include NE McKenna, FH Rowe, TH Pitt and GF Wootten.
R344/1/18
National dental service, 1949–50
Correspondence of JB Chifley with J McGirr and other premiers relating to a proposed national dental service and a delegation of dentists and government officials that visited New Zealand in 1949.
AL347/1/1
Commonwealth assistance to hospitals, 1944–49 (3 parts)
Correspondence of J Curtin and JB Chifley mostly with the state premiers concerning the 1945–46 Hospital Benefits Agreements, the daily hospital benefit rate, and the costs of hospital and medical services.
N347/1/5
Tuberculosis, 1930–50 (3 parts)
Correspondence of J Curtin and JB Chifley with state premiers and organisations on the Tuberculosis Act 1945, a report by W Wunderly on tuberculosis facilities and needs, a Commonwealth–state conference (April 1948) on the tuberculosis campaign, payments to the states under the Tuberculosis Act, the care of ex-servicemen suffering from tuberculosis, and the establishment of tuberculosis hospitals and sanatoria.
G347/1/7
Pharmaceutical Benefits Act, 1944–50 (2 parts)
Correspondence of J Curtin and JB Chifley with state premiers, the BMA, friendly societies and other bodies relating to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Act 1945, the application of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to public hospitals, costing of the Commonwealth pharmaceutical formulary, the provision of benefits to Aboriginal people and others in remote areas, and the opposition of the BMA to a national health service.
Q347/1/8
National physical fitness, 1941–49 (parts 2-3)
Correspondence with state premiers and others on the funding of the National Fitness Campaign, development of community and recreational facilities, the work of the Commonwealth Council and State Councils for National Fitness, and resolutions of the NHMRC concerning national fitness.
E347/1/11
Invalid and old age pensions for Aborigines, 1936–47
Correspondence of J Curtin and JB Chifley with state premiers on the question of granting pensions to Aboriginal people living in government settlements or church missions.
N382/1/1
Treasury
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1901–76
Series: A571
Tuberculosis, 1943–49 (5 parts)
Correspondence, minutes, drafts, speeches and newspaper cuttings on the drafting of the 1944–45 and 1948 Tuberculosis Acts and regulations; the relationship between tuberculosis allowances and invalid pensions and sickness benefits; conferences of Commonwealth and state health ministers and officials; grants to states under the Tuberculosis Acts; capital expenditure; the report (November 1947) of W Wunderly on the control of tuberculosis in Australia; the national campaign against tuberculosis (1948); and proposals for compulsory x-ray examinations. The correspondents include JB Chifley, NE McKenna, JHL Cumpston, F McCallum, AJ Metcalfe, FH Rowe, HJ Goodes and W Thomas.
1943/1730
Pharmaceutical benefits, 1938–49 (5 parts)
Correspondence, minutes, papers and newspaper cuttings on the drafting of the 1944–47 Pharmaceutical Benefits Acts, regulations, negotiations with the BMA and the Federated Pharmaceutical Service Guild of Australia, the Commonwealth pharmaceutical formulary, Commonwealth prescription forms, costings, the application of the Act to public hospitals, friendly societies and dispensaries, meetings with state officials, the 1945 and 1949 High Court cases, and the element of compulsion in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The correspondents include JB Chifley, NE McKenna, HJ Goodes, JHL Cumpston, G Jewkes and AJ Metcalfe.
1943/1812
Pharmaceutical benefits in hospitals, 1943–50 (3 parts)
Correspondence and minutes concerning pharmaceutical benefits in public hospitals, discussions with the Department of Health and state officials, visits to hospitals, methods of payment, costings, regulations, and agreements with the states. The correspondents include JB Chifley, state premiers, HJ Goodes and AJ Metcalfe.
1943/2387
Commonwealth Hospitals Benefits Scheme: policy, 1944–52 (5 parts)
Correspondence, minutes and notes on proposals of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Social Security; the drafting of the 1945 and 1948 Hospital Benefits Bills; the relation between health benefits and other social services; conferences of Commonwealth and state health ministers and officials; the Commonwealth–State Hospital Benefits Agreements (1945–46); negotiations with the BMA; abolition of means tests in public hospitals; the position of honorary doctors in public hospitals; benefit rates; and reciprocity of benefits with New Zealand. The correspondents include JB Chifley, NE McKenna, HJ Goodes, JHL Cumpston, F McCallum, AJ Metcalfe and FH Rowe.
1944/2395
Commonwealth Medical Service Scheme: general, 1944–51 (4 parts)
Correspondence, memoranda, minutes, draft speeches, conference proceedings and newspaper cuttings on the National Health Scheme; meetings of Commonwealth and state health ministers and officials; drafting of the 1948 National Health Service Act; negotiations with the BMA; discussions with New Zealand health officers (September 1948); administrative procedures, costings, and remunerations for general practitioners. The correspondents include JB Chifley, JM Fraser, NE McKenna, HJ Goodes, JHL Cumpston, AJ Metcalfe and Sir Raphael Cilento.
1944/2406
Commonwealth Hospital Benefits Scheme: private hospitals, 1945–46
Correspondence, minutes, memoranda, conference proceedings and newspaper cuttings on the extension of the Hospital Benefits Scheme to private hospitals; discussions with the Department of Health; meetings with state officials; and drafting of regulations. The correspondents include JB Chifley, HJ Goodes, NE McKenna and AJ Metcalfe.
1946/243 Pt 1
Child endowment: policy, 1942–48
Correspondence, minutes, parliamentary questions and newspaper cuttings concerning child endowment orders, child endowment and income tax; methods of payment; an increase in child endowment (1948); and proposals to pay endowment on the first child. The correspondents include JB Chifley, J Brophy, HJ Goodes, PS McGovern and FH Rowe.
1963/4506 Pt 3
JB Chifley
CORRESPONDENCE OF JB CHIFLEY ON PORTFOLIO MATTERS, 1945–49
Series: M1457
Health and Social Services, 1948–49
Includes letters from NE McKenna to JB Chifley in response to representations concerning social services, medical benefits and the National Health Scheme.
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Further reading

Gillespie, James A, The Price of Health: Australian governments and medical politics 19101960, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1991.

Hunter, Thelma, 'Pharmaceutical benefits legislation 1944–50', Economic Record, vol. 41, 1965, pp. 412–25.

Hunter, Thelma, The politics of national health, PhD thesis, Australian National University, Canberra, 1969.

Kewley, TH, Australian Social Security Today: major developments from 1900 to 1978, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1980.

Kewley, TH (ed.), Australia's Welfare State: the development of social security benefits, Macmillan, Melbourne, 1969.

Lewis, Milton J, The People's Health: public health in Australia 17881950, Praeger, London, 2003.

Roe, Jill (ed.), Social Policy in Australia: some perspectives, 19011975, Cassell Australia, Sydney, 1976.

Smyth, Paul, Australian Social Policy: the Keynesian chapter, UNSW Press, Sydney, 1994.

Watts, R, The Foundations of the National Welfare State, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1987.


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