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It was late autumn in 1931 when the Australian state premiers, together with the Labor prime minister, Joseph Scullin, assembled at the Victorian houses of parliament in Melbourne.
It was the worst economic disaster in American history.
Farm prices fell so drastically that many farmers lost their homes and land. Faced with this disaster, families split up or migrated from their homes in search of work.
Dissatisfied with President Herbert Hoover's economic programs, the people elected Franklin D. Roosevelt was a bold experimenter and a man of action.
Early on in his administration he assembled the best minds in the country to advise him.
The new relationship forged in the New Deal was one of closeness between the government and the people: a closeness which had never existed to such a degree before.
Although Roosevelt and the New Deal were criticized by many both in and out of government, and seriously challenged by the U. Supreme Court, they received the overwhelming support of the people.
In 1931 “Charlie B.” was living in a small shelter made of kerosene tins and discarded industrial material just outside the industrial town of Port Kembla on the south coast of New South Wales.
Out of work since 1929, he had managed to survive with the occasional odd job and whatever he could find around him.
The Premiers’ Plan dominated the political landscape, deepening the economic crisis and shaping the lives of those like Charlie B.
The Depression was triggered by a massive and sudden drop in stock prices on the US stock exchange in October 1929.