‘We can die just as easy out here’
Australia and British migration, 1916—1939
in Emigrants and empire
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First World War-questioners became dominant in the Australian Labor Party (ALP), which in 1916 consequently expelled from its ranks the British-born Commonwealth Prime Minister, W. M. Hughes. In Australia, Hughes imposed on the premiers his ideas of linking migration and land settlement, with the United Kingdom helping to provide capital and the Commonwealth master-minding it all. In 1916-17 he had encouraged Rider Haggard's proposals for the settlement of British ex-servicemen in the dominions. As some states'-righters alleged, Hughes may well have hoped that by linking immigration with farm settlement he could gain control over land policy, hitherto altogether a states' matter. Immigration reflected the complexities of Australian federalism. Most assisted migrants were 'nominated' by associates already in Australia who guaranteed help with accommodation and job-seeking. The establishment of the Commonwealth in 1901 signified both national unity and structured regional conflict within Australia.

Emigrants and empire

British settlement in the dominions between the wars


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