Ideology and the Economy: Capital Issues Controls, Inflation and the Menzies Government 1950-51

Jodie Boyd & Nicola Charwat, 'Ideology and the Economy: Capital Issues Controls, Inflation and the Menzies Government, 1950–51', Australian Journal of Politics and History 2014: 60(4), 503-517. Doi.org/10.1111/ajph.12072

29 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2018 Last revised: 5 Mar 2021

See all articles by Jodie Boyd

Jodie Boyd

Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University

Nicola Charwat

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation

Date Written: December 22, 2014

Abstract

The Defence Preparations Act 1951 was conceived as a solution to an ideological as much as the constitutional dilemma the Menzies government faced as a result of the inflationary crisis of 1950-51. Drawing on Cabinet Notebooks, we argue that the government used the Act to facilitate peacetime access to capital issues controls under the defence powers, but also to reassure its supporters and the public that turning to direct economic controls was not a vindication of the “socialism” it promised on election to stand against. While the Act enabled the government to convince the High Court that imposing anti-inflationary controls was linked to defence preparations, it was also a way for it to maintain ideological coherence as it sought to breach a principal tenet of its political philosophy.

Keywords: Australian political history, Australian legal history

JEL Classification: H60, H50, H10

Suggested Citation

Boyd, Jodie and Charwat, Nicola, Ideology and the Economy: Capital Issues Controls, Inflation and the Menzies Government 1950-51 (December 22, 2014). Jodie Boyd & Nicola Charwat, 'Ideology and the Economy: Capital Issues Controls, Inflation and the Menzies Government, 1950–51', Australian Journal of Politics and History 2014: 60(4), 503-517. Doi.org/10.1111/ajph.12072, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3021554

Jodie Boyd

Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://cur.org.au/people/dr-jodie-boyd/?expert-term=

Nicola Charwat (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation ( email )

Caulfield Campus
Sir John Monash Drive
Caulfield East, Victoria 3084
Australia
99031564 (Phone)

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