UP, UP: Trans Australian Airways has taken to the air. Story further down.

AUSTRALIAN CHRONICLE 2: LABOR RETAINS POWER IN “A STEADINESS” OF POLITICAL OUTLOOK.

KEEPING TRACK OF NEWS FROM 1946 TO 1950.

FRANK MORRIS

1946

The Chifley Labor Government returned to office on September 28 with a substantial majority in both Houses and, according to the Canberra Times, the nation had “displayed a steadiness of political outlook …”

The new Liberal Party’s platform made little impact on the electorate, and the two Opposition parties were disunited.

Labor also held power in NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.

In 1946, the Commonwealth Government:

CONTINUED general demobilisation.

DEVELOPED plans to encourage immigration to build up Australia’s population.

BY a referendum obtained wider powers in regard to social services.

SET UP a Commonwealth Forestry and Timber Bureau to research the supply, production, distribution and the use of Australian timber.

INTRODUUCED a hospital benefits scheme to pay 12 shilling a day for patients in public hospitals and 8 shillings a day for other enrolled patients.

STEPPED up work on the postwar housing program, completing 25,000 homes during the year.

BOUGHT out British shares in Qantas.

TAA TAKES TO THE AIR

Trans Australian Airlines began to operate on September 9. The name was the trading name of the Australian National Airlines Commission.

The first flight was from Sydney to Melbourne in a 21-seater Douglas DC 3.

Delivery of the 44-seater Douglas Skymasters was expected later that month.

By the end of the year, TAA had services in operation in all States.

METAL STRIKE SPREADS TO ENGINEERING TRADES

A long metal-trades dispute disrupted production in Victoria. It began with an iron-makers and moulders’ dispute in two iron foundries in October and within a fortnight spread to all engineering trades.

The dispute lasted until May, 1947. As a result prescribed margins were considerably increased. Other industries obtained similar increases.

BOOST TO RESEARCH: DEDMAN PLAYED A KEY ROLE

A mayor advance in Australian education and research was the establishment of the Australian National University, created by an Act of Parliament.

The original purpose of the University was for post-graduate studies of physics, medicine, social services and Pacific matters. Its scope quickly widened. The foundation-stone of the university building was laid in October, 1949.

Mr John Dedman, the Minister for Postwar Reconstruction, played a significant part in launching the project. Dedman was to return in his sixties as the university’s oldest student.

RECORD CLIP: Fleeces were a breakthrough in history

The Australian wool clip, estimated at three million bales, brought nearly 80 million pounds at the September wool sales, the first in seven years.

It was a world record clip.

A pastoral journal described the season as “the most momentous in the history of the wool-growing industry” and predicted it would help place Australia’s economy on a sound and satisfactory basis.”

THE HOUSE IN EVERY HOME

By a Special Writer

The Minister for Immigration and Information, Mr Calwell, asked Parliament to consider a bill which would authorise the Australian Broadcasting Commission to broadcast parliamentary proceedings.

Mr Calwell said the views expounded in both Houses should be heard in the homes of most Australian families.

Mr Calwell told Parliament that New Zealand adopted the practice in 1936 and “the debates have become a popular feature of broadcasting programs in that country.

“And it’s enabled the people to become better informed.”

AIR ROUTE, JOBS SERVICE

The air service by Qantas to England had been kept up during the war by flights via Perth, Cocos Island and Ceylon. In 1946, flights resumed on the route via Singapore.

Locally, the Commonwealth Employment Service was inaugurated.

CENTRE FOR TESTING MISSILES

The Prime Minister, Mr Chifley, announced the joint venture with Britain to build a missile-testing complex at Mt Elba, in South Australia at the estimated cost of eight million pounds. The project later to be known as Woomera.

<< Australian Chronicle, 1946, by Frank Morris.

NEXT: Les Miserables – Louis Blanc’s History of ten years. Coming: Australian Chronicle from 1948.


MAEVE BINCHY:  Final. The Irish Times and long after. She loved being a columnist!

I FEEL ESPECIALLY LUCKY THAT WE MET!

GORDON SNELL          Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

SHE’S ABOUT: GORDON SNELL – “I CAN STILL FEEL HER PRESENCE. Below: MAEVE BINCHY – MY CHILDHOOD WAS IMPORTANT.

No wonder her readers were delighted with Maeve Binchy. She told it all with the eagerness and enthusiasm of someone who says, “Just wait till I tell you what happened …”; and she goes on to tell an enthralling and often hilarious tale.

She brought the same directness to her many serious reports for the paper: on the bombs in London and other cities, the capsized ferry disaster, and the savage war in Cyprus.

Maeve followed the advice she often gave to aspiring writers – to write as you speak.

Her view of the world and the people in it was the same in her writing as was in her life: she was compassionate and perceptive; she treated everyone with the same considerate interest; and her humour was uproarious but never sneering or cruel.

VERY HAPPY WE MET

Her capacity for friendship seemed limitless, and hundreds of people from all over the world, who never knew her, have written to say that they thought of her as a friend.

I can almost hear her say, ”That’s enough of that! You make me sound like some kind of saint!” Indeed as a schoolgirl, sainthood was a role she considered aiming for, but decided against – partly on the ground that it could involve martyrdom, but really because it just wasn’t her style.

We must all be glad she took on the roles she did, as teacher, writer and friend to so many; and I above all feel especially lucky that we met and spent so many happy and loving years together.

I hear her voice and feel that she is back with us again, in all the vivacious joy that she created around her. In her words, and in her many novels, short stories, plays and films, Maeve lives on – and always will.

<< Gordon Snell’s Introduction is taken from Maeve’s Times, Orion Publishing Group, London, UK.


AUSSIE POEM: I’m going to be as joyful as I can …

BERYL THOMPSON as told to Frank Morris

MY POETRY: I WAS ALWAYS IN TOUCH WITH REAL LIFE, SAYS BERYL. Below: BOND A FRIENDSHIP, LIKE I DID.

My mother stood by me through the dark times. My dear late mother Ella. She lavished me with love, devotion and with wisdom in abundance. Mum never stopped encouraging me to do the very best I could manage.

Looking back now, my endeavours were ahead me. She regarded it as her responsibility, and hers alone, to make sure I prized the value of every minute of my pursuit. The sage, Dr Samuel Johnson, once remarked, a few hundred years ago, “let not a particle of time fall useless to the ground.”

I never forgot that saying. Or was about. I wanted to be a fur buyer for a large department store. I was introduced to Mr Ken Cook at Farmer’s-Myers. He was to launch me on my career; it was job I aIways wanted.

It was Farmer’s, later Myers, where I started anew. I was literally overjoyed. And, admittedly, I had my poetry will keep in touch with ‘real’ life.

SMILE A WHILE

Life is sweet, however short;

Why don’t we live the way we ought?

Why do we fight and row all day?

Instead of showing each the way

To peace and happiness.

The gloom that overshadows life,

The suffering and endless strife

Could easily be made much lighter,

The bonds of friendship so much tighter

If the right path we but chose.

As the years go winging by,

Dearest don’t you sit and sigh;

But scatter smiles along the way

So all mankind will pause to say

You make my lot much lighter.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 14 September 18

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