RDP 2000-04: Keynes and Australia Foreword

This paper concerns itself with the various interactions between John Maynard Keynes and Australia. An unlikely topic perhaps, but the result is a gem – a paper that provides a fascinating insight into that period of huge economic and social turmoil from the end of World War I to just after World War II, when Keynes died.

There is a broad sweep of topics here – from Keynes's dealings with the Australian Prime Minister, William Morris Hughes, over demands for reparations against Germany after World War I, to Keynes's opinions and influence on the handling of the Depression in Australia, to the early impact of Keynesian ideas in Australia, to Australia's approach to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, of which Keynes was co-founder.

The paper was presented at a seminar at the Reserve Bank fifteen years ago. It is being released now as a Research Discussion Paper, after a rather longer delay than usual, to make it available to a wide readership.

Happy reading.

David Gruen
Head of Economic Research Department
May 2000

I am grateful to the Economic Research Department for their recovery of this paper, and for allowing it to see the light of day. Fifteen years on, it would be written in a different style – but I would not wish to alter any of its conclusions.

Donald J Markwell
May 2000