Jack Lang in the Great Depression.

Essay by germanicusUniversity, Bachelor's August 2005

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In years following the wall street collapse Australia was plunged into what would become the 'Great Depression' and the social and economic effects were felt enormously throughout the nation. Unemployment had reached over 450,000 in a population of 8 million. People were not only struggling to live but starving; soup kitchens, people receiving the dole and vagrants were the norm. The nation was plunged into crisis and in the political realm there were crises of their own. Governments were struggling to meet the demands of the unemployed nation and foreign debt collectors, they were struggling to formulate solutions and appease their fellow politicians.

From this unrest came Jack Lang who's fiery passion, commitment to workers, defiance against banks and debt collectors alike won him both scorn and admiration among the people. Whether one thinks his ideas were insane or credible he still became one of the stand out characters in Australian history.

Lang as premier.

Born in 1876 he was an real estate agent, an alderman followed by mayor on the local council in Auburn. He became a Labor member for Granville (from 1927 for Auburn) in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in the 1913 general elections. Labor with Lang premier of NSW was returned to office on 30th May 1925. Lang's government introduced many social reforms including; widows pension at £1 per week, workers compensation, compulsory insurance by employers, family endowment of 5s per week for each child under fourteen. Lang restored the 44 hour week (repealed by the previous Nationalist Government) and he returned to their former seniority railway workers dismissed after the 1917 strike.

Lang plan

The birth of the Lang plan was born out of the pressures of conflicting ideals of paying Australian debts and paying for the survival of the Australian people. The government...