AUSTRALIAN HISTORY - Capital in 1913

Capital in 1913

(Catalogue for National Museum Exhibition for Canberra Centenary, pp. 57-67, endnotes, pp. 212-4. The segment on Accounting has been added.)

The businessmen who promoted federating the Australian colonies looked forward to a continent for a market and a market for a continent. Internal free-trade and external protection would help them to expand within Imperial networks and renew access to the London money market. Influences from the United States as one of the rival imperia reached beyond King O’Malley’s acceptance of the Griffin-Mahony design for the national capital into merchandising and manufacturing, mining and monopolising.

The editor of the Building and Engineering Journal had spelt out that ‘[w]hat the capitalist wants is freedom of action, assurance of support, and protection against strikes.’[1] Before the naming of Canberra in 1913, the owners of productive property were complaining that the federal compact had limited their chances, provided too little support and encouraged industrial disputes. For instance, no reduction had been attempted in the non-tariff barriers to inter-State trade such as differential rates for rail freights. The tariff schedules were often little more than revenue raisers. Deprived of their hoped-for benefits, employers saw themselves afflicted with Labor governments, a regime of compulsory arbitration, a basic wage and a revival of the industrial militancy that had been rampant when their political agents drafted the constitution in the early 1890s.

According to another Federation-era editor, consumer choice and monopolising added to the burdens borne by ‘the legitimate trader’:

Old methods must be discarded in favour of new. No longer will your customer suit his wants to your stocks … These are the days of huge monopolies … [capital] in its ability to commandeer, in various ways, the commerce of the world, makes the struggle harder each year ...[2]

Firms sought relief by meeting fire with fire. By fixing prices and colluding in tenders, their trade associations consigned consumer sovereignty and individual enterprise to the realm of after-dinner speeches.

Notwithstanding these contradictory pressures, 1913 came at the close of a far more prosperous decade than the 1890s. One example is that, after losses during the 1895-1902 drought, Australian Mercantile Land and Finance increased its dividend from 2½ percent in 1903 to 12½ percent between 1906 and 1912 then to 15 percent in 1913.[3] So ‘dangerous’ was the ‘boom’ that the Sydney Morning Herald feared a new bust,[4] with the deficit in the balance of payments leaping from £3m. in 1909-10 to £23.5m in 1913, and the capital for public bodies raised in London to its largest volume (£15m.) to that point.[5] To pay for extra imports, the banks withdrew funds from Australia, which presaged a credit squeeze.[6] The mechanism was cemented because Australia operated on a gold standard under which its paper currency could be exchanged for a set amount of gold. One Australian pound also could be exchanged at parity for sterling. This double linkage meant that local interest rates were determined within the range set by the Bank of England to maintain the gold standard of sterling.[7] One consequence was on the cost, and hence volume of funds raised in London for public works which local businesses then contracted to carry out, although they had to battle against union pressure for labour hired by governments.

1. Class Conflict

Since capital without labour is dead, it is not possible to make sense of the one without its antagonistic partner. Despite that connection, this essay concentrates on capital, with Frank Bongiorno taking up the labour side, a division less misleading than the lop-sidedness of proceeding as if the needs of capital did not exist. The relationship of classes is regulated through the state, which attempts to achieve for capital what managers cannot do through their companies. Hence, the constitution, the courts and the police play as large a part in the expansion of capital as does parliament.

Despite recent free-trade propaganda about a settlement between capital and labour in the early years of the Commonwealth over tariffs and wages, the struggles became more intense from 1904 as strikes and lockouts rolled through every segment of the economy, with the most protracted in mining and transport. Lock-outs were rare because employers could move in secret to provoke strikes. No one was more determined to spurn any settlement than the owner of Sunshine Harvester, H.V. McKay (rhymes with ‘day’), who extended his class’s resistance to compulsory arbitration by contesting Ballarat at the 1913 elections. The resistance to a ‘settlement’ appeared at the parliamentary level upon the 1913 return of non-Labor with a bare majority in the House of Representatives and a minority in the Senate; that stand-off led the Liberals to introduce a Bill to remove preference for unionists in Commonwealth employment as a trigger for a double dissolution.[8] At the same time, employers funded a Mr Packer to organise an Independent Workers Federation, which they promoted in their journal Liberty and Progress, and set up their own Labour Exchange to black-ban militants.[9]

            The year 1913 saw no industrial dispute of the dimensions of the 1912 general strike in Brisbane. Two developments from that time have conditioned the expansion of capital ever since. First, in the Australian Builders’ Labourers’ Federation (ABLF) case, the High Court confirmed a broad interpretation of ‘beyond the limits of any one State’ (section 51(xxxv)) in the industrial relations power of the Constitution.[10] The Master Builders spent £6,506 11s 5d appealing to the Privy Council and in 1916 tried to bankrupt the ABLF with a lock-out in Hobart.[11]

In the second matter, the President of the Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, Justice Higgins, affirmed that ‘the working time of the labourer is time purchased by the employer, who has the exclusive right to it.’[12] In order to profit, capitalists need more than ownership of labour-time; hence, managers imposed time-and-motion studies (Taylorism) on top of speed-ups and piece-rates to maximise the extraction of value. The Australasian Engineering and Machinery in April 1913 championed a device consisting of

a chronometer and a motion-picture camera. This invention is the most powerful tool ever for the measurement of efficiency, suggesting the whip of owners or taskmasters in earlier times.[13]

Such micro-management of labour-time in the NSW Railways sparked the 1917 general strike.

2. Tariffs

These conflicts underline why capital and labour could never reach a settlement to trade-off tariffs for a minimum wage – the ‘New Protection’.[14] Anyway, that policy promised advantages to but a fraction of employers and harm to many more. Even if the 1906 Australian Industries Preservation Act had survived on appeal through the courts, not all the firms in secondary production would have benefitted since many enjoyed natural or non-tariff protection even from makers in nearby towns or adjoining suburbs. Moreover, they all lost out when tariffs pushed up the cost of their raw materials and equipment. Rural capital also resisted tariffs as an impost on primary exports. The tariff divided urban capitalists between those in commerce and those in manufacturing. In addition, property owners within each industry were split according to the scale of their operations.

3. Price-fixing

For most capitalists, tariff protection took second place to price-fixing, which undermined the basic wage by driving up the cost of living. The enforcement of agreed prices ranged from bakers in a country-town[15] to the largest confectioners, Hoadley and MacRobertson, who were part of an international glucose cartel.[16] The Southern Grocer reminded storekeepers in 1912 that ‘price-protection is, and must always, remain the very first and foremost plank in any fighting platform worthy of the name, and hang the public!’[17] Accordingly, patent-medicine firms had formed a Propriety Articles Trade Association in 1903 to maintain set prices for pharmacy lines, before covering other branded goods; in 1909, its Queensland branch gained the support of four of the largest manufacturers to supply its members at or below cost in order to undercut and thus drive out interlopers.[18] Of immediate interest to many male workers was the creation of a price ring in 1903 by six Melbourne breweries which combined in 1907 as Carlton and United to supply half of Victoria’s beer;[19] they bought up the pubs. After a 1911 NSW Royal Commission reported on collusive tendering for public works, the Master Builders’ Association protested that illegal commissions ‘should be openly recognised’ as ‘universal and worldwide.’[20]

Having conspired to fix prices, businesses had to conceal the fact. Melbourne barrister and later High Court judge, H.E. Starke, advised the Master Printers not to sue for defamation by a victim of their collusion because legal action would further expose their price-fixing.[21] The Swan Brewery managers in Perth used twenty-four code words to inform their Melbourne directors of discounts and other anti-competitive devices, safe from the eyes of the authorities.[22] Under investigation, coastal shippers destroyed all records of the combine they had set up in 1902, which they codenamed ‘Collins’ as if their ‘pool’ were an individual customer.[23] A Melbourne cartel marketed wool.[24]

4. Merchandising

If price-fixing protected small shop-keepers, larger outlets relied on their turnovers to secure lower-cost supplies and thus maintain gross profit. In Sydney, Anthony Hordens led the way in 1906 with an Emporium selling everything from ‘a needle to an anchor’, often made in its own factories.[25]

David Jones went public in 1906, having appointed a son as advertising manager – a further Yankee influence. Mark Foy’s Paris-style emporium opened in 1908 before going public the next year to raise £600,000. During 1913, Sidney Myer ran a free bus to a temporary location while building his Bourke Street emporium, which opened next year with a factory to make house-label clothes. He had got his ideas from a trip to the US of A, as did G.J. Coles who in April 1914 started the equivalent of a nickel-and-dime store with all commodities at 3d, 6d or a shilling on Smith Street, Collingwood.

Although city emporia delivered, they could not compete on convenience or allow housewives to put necessities ‘on tick’. Households remained partly outside the cash economy. Women around Burnie (Tas.) exchanged blackberries for haberdashery, and ‘Ginger Meggs’s’ mother traded eggs at her corner grocer. Labourers did repairs around home to shoes and grew vegetables.[26]

Big businesses found ways to draw lower-income households into the cash economy through rudimentary forms of consumer credit that allowed time-payment for Singer sewing machines and pianos. One innovation was the weekly door-to-door collection of life and funeral insurance installments. By 1913, the number of these new style (Industrial) policies equaled the half-yearly lump-sum payments though the value of the former was only a tenth, a measure of household inequalities.[27]

5. The Trust Movement

Price-fixing was one face of the concentration of capitals, then known as the Trust Movement. Both forms of oligopolising underpinned the expansion of capital from the 1880s when the corporation was novel and of dubious legality.[28] The Melbourne engineer H.L. Wilkinson spent 1913 documenting the expanse of monopolising for The Trust Movement in Australia (1914), which examined sugar (CSR), tobacco, coal, shipping, food, beef, bricks, printing and grocers. He missed the 1913 combine of every major distributor and exhibitor of motion pictures into Union Theatres, thereby strangling local film production.[29] In like vein, E.T. Fisk, representing the Marconi company, settled a dispute with a rival by merging into Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) (AWA) in July.[30]

Fear of combines and Trusts had led the drafters of the Constitution to provide the Commonwealth with power to make laws with respect to ‘Foreign corporations, and trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth.’ (Section 51 (xx) ) Introducing the 1906 Australian Industries Preservation Act, the Minister for Trade and Customs, Sir William Lyne, feared that the ‘giant trusts’ that had been formed in ‘protectionist America … will be created in protectionist Australia if action is not taken to prevent it. This Bill aims at preventing monopolies.’[31] By June 1909, the High Court had nullified the Corporations Power thereby striking down the anti-monopoly component of New Protection.[32] In calling for protection of his agricultural equipment factories, McKay attacked International Harvester as the ‘American Octopus Trust’.[33] Another foreign but covert force was the German metal Trio which used long-term contracts to tie-up the burgeoning Collins House Group (CHG) that was taking charge of all Broken Hill ores.[34] Labour complained that the monopoly sugar producer, CSR, engorged its shareholders under protection by handing out £4m. in bonus stock between 1907 and 1915.[35]

Whereas free traders had deplored protection as the seedbed of trusts, they joined the property-owning protectionists in opposing government action to break up the monopolies, a point of agreement which eased the fusion of their parliamentary representatives in 1909. That alliance demonstrated that the struggle between classes was more decisive than the commercial rivalries that disrupted their trade associations.[36]

Twice, Federal Labor sought to amend the Constitution to nationalise monopolies but was defeated in 1911 and again at the elections on 31 May 1913.[37] To buttress its anti-monopolising, the government that year established the Inter-State Commission as a ‘fourth arm of government’ to regulate ‘trade and commerce’. (Section 101) Commissioners documented that in the printing industry, ‘men of high standing in the business world’ had ‘developed a power for mischief … not easily to be over-stated.’ The Master Printers adopted the U.S. system of a price-fixing known as Typothetae, colluding with the paper merchants, ink-makers and engravers to boycott any firm quoting below an agreed schedule of fees.[38] Photo-engravers also fixed ‘a minimum price’.[39] No sooner had the Commission exposed this ring, than the High Court stripped it of its quasi-judicial powers to protect consumers, whether producers or householders. The Commission lapsed in 1920.

6. The money power

All firms had uneasy relations with their sources of finance, whether banks or the stock exchange. Many businesses expanded either from their own accumulated profits or by loans from banks or insurance companies.

Stock markets: Each State capital had a stock exchange as did towns based on mining, from Launceston to Charters Towers. Despite the blows to Melbourne’s reputation and resources from the 1893 crash, its exchange retained the lead. Because of the tardy return of British investors, share prices between 1900 and 1913 showed but a steady increase before an £18m. rush of company launches during 1912 to underwrite new technologies such as elevators, power supplies and motion pictures.[40]

Following frauds across the Westralian goldfields,[41] the Exchanges again had to defend themselves from charges that they were no different from John Wren’s illegal betting shops. A Victorian politician explained: ‘When a man enters into a speculation in a business way he is on a higher plane than a man who merely bets’.[42] Governments left control over new issues to the exchanges which examined a prospectus before listing. An interstate conference of Exchanges in July 1913 imposed rules to protect the public from shonky directors.[43] Sydney forbade touting in the newspapers and also set up a fund to cover members’ liabilities to the Exchange, but not to the investors.[44]

Banks: Banking capital was still dispersed. Several institutions were based in London and the biggest in terms of capitalisation (£8m.) was a Parisian house in the wool trade. By 1913, twenty-two local banks held assets of some £170m. The largest and oldest local was the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac) with paid-up capital of £3m. out of a local total of £20m.; eight others were around £1.5m. each, while twelve more were under £500,000, of which eight confined their operations to a single State. Instead of amalgamating, they arranged rates through the Associated Banks, which had started in Victoria from the 1850s to preserve each other against runs, but was strengthened after their exchange-rate agreement broke down in 1904.[45]    

U.K. investors held two-thirds of the £300m. in government debts, attracting interest payments of around £9m.[46] From the early 1890s, the London broker Robert Nivison marshaled the raising of those funds through the London and Westminster Bank. In July 1903, he refused further loans to force retrenchments and in 1908 blocked South Australia from dealing with Lloyds Bank.[47]

The opponents of monopolising targeted the ‘money power’, partly because banks owned or held mortgages over so much land. All sections of capital became alarmed after 1910 when Federal Labor held clear majorities in both houses with a mandate to hobble financiers. Fisher’s bank proved a flimsy affair. The commercial houses lost note issue to the Treasury but otherwise escaped direction from a central bank, which did not appear until the 1920s and remained weak until 1945.[48] The Commonwealth Bank set up sub-branches in Post Offices from July 1912, before opening for general business in January 1913. Its sole director came from the Bank of New South Wales which handled the newcomers’ inter-bank settlements.[49]

Insurance firms were a third pillar of capital formation, equaling the deposits in the banks and with a higher degree of concentration. National Mutual Life, AMP and MLC wrote 85 percent of the amounts assured as Ordinary policies; indeed, AMP alone held half their value. Between 1907 and 1910, three companies had joined together as the Mutual Life and Citizens with £37m., or 17 percent, of the total sum assured. Most were mutual societies of the policy-holders and therefore had no shareholders; their directors, however, were drawn from the boards of other large firms. Their principal business was in government bonds and mortgages for policy-holders.[50]

7. Mining

During 1913, BHP Ltd raised over a million pounds to fund a steel works on the Hunter estuary. Under the command of the implacably anti-union Philadelphia engineer David Baker, steel rolled early in 1915 to rival Gallipoli as the birth of the nation. Had the Commonwealth employed Baker to oversee its Federal Territory, parliament might well have opened there at the same time.[51]

BHP’s move into steel typified a five-part redirection of the minerals sector across the world: from precious to base metals; separation of ore bodies; smelting; manufactured goods; and financing to integrate the previous four.

Base metals included tin, with a flow of capital to Thailand and Malaya from the apple and jam king Henry Jones in Tasmania.[52] Far more significant were the lead and zinc miners at Broken Hill who gave rise to the Collins House Group (CHG); its interlocking capital ownership became the epicenter of economic and political influence,[53] with the Zinc Corporation as the cornerstone of Rio Tinto. The CHG devised a three-pronged strategy to limit the uncertainty of the bull-bear stock-markets in order to control materials and profits from mine wall to end-user. The Group got its chance to rejig the global industry when war ended its subordination to the German cartels, though only after the Commonwealth compelled them to cease trading with the King’s enemies.[54]

Nonetheless, gold remained a source of capital for all strands of the mining and metallurgy, as it did for speculative launches and the re-organisation of syndicates; this racketeering was blatant in April 1913 when the Collins House cabal bought 350,000 overvalued Mt Morgan shares at one million pounds after the mine’s manager lied about returns.[55]

8. No accounting for capital

That the Collins House group could be dudded indicates the poor standards of accountancy and auditing.[56] In the wash-up of the 1893 crash, Victoria had amended its Companies Act to require audited annual balance sheets. The Legislative Council ‘opposed bitterly’ all interference. It secured exemption for mining companies from the disclosure rules. It also invented the ‘proprietary company’ as a device by which publically listed companies could use as wholly-owned subsidiaries to escape scrutiny. From 1910, New South Wales miners had to prepare annual balance sheets, but did not have to have them audited.

Despite loopholes, these Acts were ‘the first signposts through the dark forest of corporate non-disclosure and obscuritant accounting.’[57]

Section 51 (xx) allowed the Commonwealth to make laws to control ‘Foreign corporations, and trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth.’ By 1909, the High Court had twisted these words to deny the Commonwealth power to establish uniform Company law, which both party leaders endorsed at the 1913 elections.[58] Federal parliament did not pass a Bankruptcy Act until 1924, twelve years after it had been promised.[59]

The gravest weakness in the State laws was in leaving ‘the problem of measurement in the hands of the accounting profession.’ The difficulty was more than technical since the practitioners did not constitute a profession. Anyone could set up with no qualification. In 1913, 500 people in NSW represented themselves as accountants, which was the same number as for England and Wales in 1880.[60] The qualified cohort advocated examinations and years of experience before a bookkeeper could advance from licentiate to associate and to fellow.[61] To make matters worse, competing organisations claimed to represent all-comers. Institutes in each State squabbled for priority and for Royal Charters.[62] The muddle was greatest in Sydney with six local bodies, four of which had been formed since 1907.

The confusion extended into the services that even the best qualified and most reputable offices provided. Auditors, for instance, declined to certify more than the arithmetic in company records.[63] Disputes simmered over how to report the capital position of a company. The so-called ‘Australasian’ method opened the way to reporting Uncalled Capital as if it were an asset. Critics saw the prospect of misleading the public about ‘the financial strength of the company.’[64] The one area where exactness was being intensified was to cost-accounting for units of labour-time, as noted above in regard to time-and-motion studies.[65] The introduction of personal income tax to finance the war brought some regularity to accounts and to the behaviour of those paid to regularise them.

War drove, distorted or disrupted every aspect of the political economy. After an initial slump in activity, the equipping of Imperial troops with boots, jams and tinned rabbit boosted some manufacturers. Share prices stayed constant because few investors wanted to risk loses so that brokers lost income and the capital value of their seats on the Exchanges. Twice as many working-age males emigrated to the battlefronts as immigration had added to that segment of the population since 1890, a blow to value-adding. Despite some labour shortages, real wages fell behind a galloping inflation which enflamed protests as ‘Profiteering’ took over from price-fixing.[66]

Defence Powers under section 51 (vi and xxxii) gave the Commonwealth the authority to overwhelm the States, mostly through regulations under the War Precautions Act. The war suspended the Federal compact, which never returned to its pre-1914 balance. The expansion of capital required ever-widening powers for the central government over States Rights in the still tortuous path towards a continental market.[67]

[1] Building and Engineering Journal, 9 February 1895, p. 41.

[2] Australasian Hardware and Machinery, January 1902, p. 3.

[3] J.D. Bailey, A Hundred Years of Pastoral Banking, A History of the Australian Mercantile Land and Finance Company, OUP, London, 1966, p. 198.

[4] Editorial note, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), 10 November 1913, p. 11.

[5] G.L. Wood, Borrowing and business in Australia: a study of the correlation between imports of capital and changes in national prosperity, OUP, London, 1930, pp. 115 and 162; Bernard Attard, New Estimates of Australian Public Borrowing and Capital Raised in London, 1849-1914’, Australian Economic History Review (AEHR), 47 (2), July 2007, p. 164.

[6] D. B. Copland, ‘The Banking System of Australia’, H.P. Willis and B.H. Beckhart (eds), Foreign Banking Systems, Henry Holt, New York, 1930, p. 81.

[7] Report of the Royal Commission Appointed to Enquire into the Monetary and Banking Systems in Australia, Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra, 1937, pp. 38-45. This connection was exemplified by the production during 1913 of more than ten million sovereigns.

[8] Geoffrey Sawer, Australian Federal Politics and Law 1901-1929, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1956, pp. 121-5.

[9] Argus, 17 March 1911, p. 7; 12 June 1911, p. 6; 15 June 1911, p. 9; 9 February 1912, p. 8; 12 June 1912, p. 11 and 25 October 1913, p. 21; SMH, 10 March 1913, p. 7. These organisations were also known as the Society of Free Workers and the Employers and Employees Defence Association. Branches operated from Perth (Argus, 17 February 1912, p. 20) to Mackay (Argus, 24 July 1911, p. 8).


[10] The 1920 Engineers’ Case which extended the write of Commonwealth arbitration to employees in State government instrumentalities. 28 Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR), (1920) 129

[11] 7 Commonwealth Arbitration Reports (CAR) (1913) 210; 18 CLR (1914) 224; Argus Law Reports, XXIII, 1917, pp. 387-8; W.R.H. Keast, Building Victoria, A History of the Master Builders’ Association of Victoria, MBAV, Melbourne, 1994, p. 38: see my ‘As Tasmanian as Apple Pie: The 1916 Lockout of Builder’s Labourers’, Tasmanian Historical Studies, 15, 2010, pp. 71-99; David Plowman and Graham F. Smith, ‘Moulding Federal Arbitration: The Employers and the High Court 1903-1935’, Australian Journal of Management, 11 (2), December 1986, pp. 203-229.

[12] 7 CAR (1913) 210 at 232

[13] Supplement, Australasian Hardware and Machinery, vol. 3, no. 4, 1 April 1939, p. 39.

[14] Paul Kelly, The End of Certainty, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, 1994, pp. 1-16; for my rebuttal of Kelly’s free-market propaganda and of his academic epigones see

[15] Australasian Bakers’ and Confectioners’ Journal, July 1904, p. 7.

[16] SMH, 2 September 1907, p. 7c.

[17] Southern Grocer, 20 April 1912, p. 623; see also 20 May 1911, p. 5.

[18] Western Trader, March 1924, pp. 16-17; Chemist and Druggist of Australasia, November 1909, p. 330.

[19] H.L. Wilkinson, The Trust Movement in Australia, Critchley Parker, Melbourne, 1914, pp. 90-91.

[20] NSW Parliamentary Papers, 1911, vol. 1, pp. 681-926; NSW MBA Annual Report, 1911, no pagination.

[21] 24 February 1915, MUA, 101/55/3.

[22] Suzanne Welborn, Swan, The History of a Brewery, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, 1987, p. 115.

[23] N.L. McKellar, From Derby round to Burketown, UQP, St Lucia, 1977, pp. 220-7 passim; although exposed in 1905, the combine was not sued by its customers, notably, the members of the Coal Vend who were doing the same, F.R.E. Mauldon, The Economics of Australian Coal, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1929, pp. 76-79; for a spirited defence of the Vend, M.H. Ellis, A Saga of Coal, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1969, pp. 169-72; cf. James Reveley, ‘Reciprocity, associability and cartelisation: Organisational Development of the New Zealand Shipowners’ Federation, 1906-1960s’, Business History, 54 (7), December 2012, pp. 1077-98.

[24] David Merrett et al., Industry associations as facilitators of social capital: The Establishment and early operations of the Melbourne Woolbrokers Association’, Business History, 50 (6), November 2008, pp. 781-94; David Merrett and Simon Ville, ‘Industry associations and non-competitive behaviour in Australian wool marketing: Evidence from the Melbourne Woolbrokers’ Association, 1890-1939’, Business History, 54 (4), July 2012, pp. 510-28. These articles avoid the reality of monopolising capitals with waffle about ‘social capital’, which is far from Marx’s use of that category, see my ‘Capital re-defined’,

[25] Master Tailors protested that department stores were engaged in a form of price-cutting by paying the machinists in house-label factories less than the craftsmen, Tailor, October 1913, p. 22-23, November 1913, pp. 24-25, December 1913, p. 10, and February 1914, p. 18.

[26] Transcript of ABLF 1913 Award, National Archives of Australia, B1958 (B1958/1), 9/1912, p. 458; 7 CAR (1913) 210 at 229

[27] A.C. Gray, Life Insurance in Australia, An Historical and Descriptive Account, McCarron Bird, Melbourne, 1977, chapter 7.

[28] See my The Essence of Capitalism, Sceptre, Sydney, 2001, chapters 2 and 6.

[29] Diane Collins, Hollywood Down Under, Australians at the Movies 1896 to the Present Day, Angus & Robertson, North Ryde, 1987, pp. 11-13.

[30] Ross Curnow, ‘The Origins of Australian Broadcasting, 1900-1923’, Initiative and Organisation, Sydney Studies in Politics, 3, Cheshire, Melbourne, 1963, pp. 59-66.

[31] Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates (CPD). v. 31, 14 June 1906, p. 243.

[32] 8 Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR) (1909) 330, until overturned 124 CLR (1971) 468

[33] quoted John Lack, ‘The legend of H.V. McKay’, Victorian historical journal, 61 (2&3), August 1990, p. 141; Andrew Hopkins, ‘Anti-Trust and the Bourgeoisie, 1906 and 1965’, Essays in the Political Economy of Australian Capitalism, volume two, E.L. Wheelwright and Ken Buckley (eds), ANZ, Sydney, 1978, pp. 87-97; I.W. McLean, ‘Anglo-American Engineering Competition, 1870-1914: Some Third-Market Evidence’, Economic History Review (EHR), 29 (3), August 1976, pp. 452-64; Kerrie Round et al., ‘Anti-Cartel or Anti-Foreign? Australian Attitudes to Anti-Competitive Behaviour before the First World War’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 56 (4), 2010, pp. 540-59.

[34] Frank Carrigan, ‘The Imperial Struggle for Control of the Broken Hill Base-Metal industry, 1914-1915’, Essays in the Political Economy of Australian Capitalism, volume five, E.L. Wheelwright and Ken Buckley (eds), ANZ, Sydney, 1978, p. 165.

[35] CPD, vol. 51, 25 March 1920, pp. 827-42 and 945-64.

[36] The employers envied the solidarity of unions, Southern Grocer, 25 May 1911, p. 4; South Australian Storekeepers’ and Grocers’ Journal, September 1917, p. 12; G.A.J. Simpson-Lee, ‘The New South Wales Traders’ Association, 1923-44’, Economic Record, vol. 29, November 1953, pp. 231-44.

[37] Conrad Joyner, The Commonwealth and Monopolies, Sydney Studies in Politics: 4, Cheshire, Melbourne, 1963.

[38] see Report of the Inter-State Commission, Commonwealth of Australia, Parliamentary Papers, 1914, volume 2, pp. 249-57; Victorian Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Council, Session 1913-14, volume 135, pp. 3345-53 and 3877-87; Wilkinson, The Trust Movement, pp. 110-13; for the creation of the ring, see Printing and Allied Trades Employers’ Association of Victoria, Minutes, Melbourne University Archives (MUA), 101/55/3.

[39] Max Farley, Graphic Arts Services Association of Australia, Sydney, 1993, pp. 7 & 25.

[40]  SMH, 10 November 1913, p. 11.

[41] R.Y. Appleyard and Mel Davies, ‘Financiers of Western Australia’s Goldfields’, R.T. Appelyard and C.B. Schedvin (eds), Australian Financiers, Biographical Essays, Macmillan, South Melbourne, 1988, pp. 160-189.

[42] VPD, Leg. Co., v. 114, 27 September 1906, p. 1759.

[43] The House of Were, 1939-1954, McCarron Bird, Melbourne, 1954, p. 160; this anonymous account cautioned recipients ‘that no reference should be made to the publication in the Press.’ For one instance of the doings that the firm might not have wanted publicised see P.R. Hart, ‘Lyons: Labor Minister – Leader of the U.A.P.’, Labour History, 17, 1970, pp. 43-45.

[44] Stephen Salsbury and Kay Sweeney, The Bull, the Bear and the Kangaroo, The History of the Sydney Stock Exchange, Allen & Unwin, North Sydney, 1988, pp. 212-21; Graeme Adamson, A Century of Change: the first 100 years of the Stock Exchange of Melbourne, Currey O’Neil, South Yarra, 1984, pp. 49-52.

[45] R.F. Holder, Bank of New South Wales, vol. II, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1970, pp. 559-60; Report of the Royal Commission, 1937, recommendation 386; A.L.G. Mackay, The Australian Banking and Credit System, P.S. King & Co., London, 1931, p. 10; H.W. Arndt, The Australian Trading Banks, F.W. Cheshire, Melbourne, 1957, pp. 8-9.

[46] Total UK capital in government and business had remained constant since the late 1890s at around £300m. while local investment had more than doubled to £293m., R.L. Nash, The Australasian Joint Stock Companies’ Year Book, 1913-14, pp. xxx-xxxi; Robert Vicat Turrell and Jean Jacques Van-Helten,’The investment group: the missing link in British overseas expansion before 1914?’, EHR, 2nd Series, XL (2), 1987, pp. 267-74.

[47] A.R. Hall, The London Capital Market and Australia 1870-1914, Australian National University, Canberra, 1963; R.P.T. Davenport-Hines, ‘Lord Glendyne’, Australian Financiers, pp. 190-205. Andrew Dilley, ‘ ”The rules of the game”, London finance, Australia, and Canada, c.1900-1914’, EHR, 63 (4), 2010, pp. 1003-31; David Pope, ‘Australia’s payment adjustment and capital flows under the international gold standard, 1870-1913’, M.D. Bordo and F. Capie (eds), Monetary Regimes in Transition, CUP, Cambridge, 1994, pp. 201-37; R.S. Gilbert, ‘London Financial Intermediaries and Australian Overseas Borrowing, 1900-1929’, AEHR, 11 (1), March 1971, pp. 39-47.

[48] L.F. Giblin, The Growth of a Central Bank, The Development of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, 1924-1945, MUP, Carlton, 1951.

[49] I.R. Harper and C.B. Schedvin, ‘Sir Denison Miller’, Australian Financiers, pp. 206-25; Gollan, The Commonwealth Bank, pp. 109-27; A.R. Hoyle, King O’Malley, ‘The American Bounder’, Macmillan, South Melbourne, 1981, pp. 123-35.

[50]  Gray, Life Insurance in Australia, 7 to 9; Geoffrey Blainey, History of the AMP 1848-1998, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, 1999, pp. 154-62; H. Mayfield, Servant of a Century, 100 years of Mercantile Mutual, 1978, pp. 62-63; Ken Buckley, QBE A Century of Insurance, unpaginated; A century of Life, The first one hundred years of the National Mutual Life, NML, Melbourne, 1969, pp. 48-60.

[51] Helen Hughes, The Australian Iron and Steel Industry 1848-1962, MUP, Carlton, 1964, pp. 55-76; BHP monopolised steel-making in the mid-1930s when it absorbed Australian Iron and Steel at Port Kembla.

[52] Stuart Rosewarne,’Capital Accumulation in Australia and Export of Mining Capital Before World War II’, Essays in the Political Economy of Australian Capitalism, volume five, E.L. Wheelwright and Ken Buckley (eds), ANZ, Sydney, 1978, pp. 187-93.

[53] Peter Robinson, ‘The Origins and Development of the Collins House Group, 1915-1951’, AEHR, 17 (1), March 1987, pp. 3-29; Peter Yule, William Lawrence Baillieu, Hardie Grant Books, Melbourne, 2012, chapters 10 to 17, from 1913, W.B. Griffin supervised additions to the Collins House building, p. 160.

[54] Carrigan, ‘The Imperial Struggle etc’, 1978, pp. 164-86; Yule, Baillieu, chapter 18.

[55] Peter Richardson, ‘Collins House Financiers W.L. Baillieu, Lionel Robinson and Francis Govett’, Australian Financiers, pp. 226-53, pp. 244-5.

[56] Glenn Vent and Ronald A. Milne, ‘Cost accounting practices at precious metal mines: a comparative study, 1869-1905’, Accounting History, 2 (2a), November 1997, pp. 77-104.

[57] R.D. Morris, ‘Corporate Disclosure in a Substantially unregulated Environment’, Abacus, 20, 1984, p. 62. No State had even half-way effective requirements until the 1930s see R.W. Gibson, ‘Development of Corporate Accounting in Australia’, Accounting Historians Journal, VI, Fall 1979, p. 25.

[58] L. Zines, The High Court and the Constitution, Butterworths, Sydney, 1987, chapter 5. Uniform Company Law was not achieved until 1963.

[59] Sawer, Australian Federal Politics and Law, pp. 84, 128-9, 205 and 228.

[60] The Accountant (UK), XLIX (2026), 4 October 1913, p. 434.

[61] Membership numbers for each mainland State Institute were reported in The Accountant (UK), XLIX, 1913, pp. 256, 257, 358, 692-3 and 728.

[62] Public Accountant, XII, 1913, p. 220; XIII, 1914, p. 220; Chris Poullaos, ‘Making Profession and State, 1907 to 1914: The ACPA’s First Charter Attempt’, Abacus, 28 (2), 1993, pp. 196-228; Chris Poullaos, Making the Australian chartered accountant, Garland Publishing, New York, 1994, pp. 145-56.

[63] Public Accountant, XIII, 1914, pp. 130ff.

[64] Letter from Hobart, The Accountant (UK), XLVIII (2006), 17 May 1913, pp. 761-2; L.J.S. Welch, ‘Differential Treatment of Capital Accounts’, The Accountant (UK), XLIV (2026), pp. 447-51; Rod Johnson and Brad Potter, ‘The Australasian method for recording share issues: origins, adoption and institutionalisation’, Accounting History, 2 (1), May 1997, pp. 81-105.

[65] Peter Foreman and Thomas N. Tyson, ‘Accounting, accountability and cost efficiency at the Commonwealth of Australia Clothing Factory, 1911-18’, Accounting History, 3 (2), November 1998, pp. 7-36; Peter Foreman, ‘The transfer of accounting technology: a study of the Commonwealth of Australia government factories, 1910-1916’, Accounting History, 6 (1), 2001, pp. 31-59; Jill J. Hooks and Ross E. Stewart, ‘The Geography and Ideology of Accounting: A Case Study of Domination and Accounting in a Sugar Refinery In Australasia, 1900-1920’, Accounting Historians Journal, 34 (2), December 2007, pp. 143-68.

[66] see my ‘Shoot the Bolshevik! Hang the Profiteer! Reconstructing Australian Capitalism, 1918-21’. Essays in the Political Economy of Australian Capitalism, volume two, E.L. Wheelwright and Ken Buckley (eds), ANZ, Sydney, 1978, pp. 185-206.

[67] D.I. Wright, Shadow of Dispute, Aspects of Commonwealth-State Relations 1901-1910, ANU Press, Canberra, 1970; Helen Hughes, ‘Federalism and Industrial Development in Australia’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 10 (3), December 1964, pp. 323-340; and my ‘States Rights as Class Interests’, Gallipoli to Petrov, George Allen & Unwin Australia, North Sydney, 1984, pp. 262-70.

See also: Capital