Industrial development in Australia after World War II – Fact sheet 244

From the middle years of World War II with the creation of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction in late 1942 the Australian Government was giving consideration to how the country's economic and industrial resources could be successfully transformed from a war to a peacetime footing once hostilities had ceased.

The Division of Industrial Development

Responsibility for planning the needs for postwar industrial development lay with the Division of Industrial Development (CA 776) of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction. Originally the Secondary Industries Division, this division became a permanent body in 1948, and operated until 1956 when its functions were incorporated into the Department of Trade.

The Division of Industrial Development aimed to develop and expand secondary industry in postwar Australia in areas that included rural reconstruction, conversion of munitions and armament factories for other industrial uses, encouragement for an Australian car manufacturing industry, workforce training and employment opportunities and electricity supplies, fuel production and industrial technology. The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Secondary Industries provided direction and support to the work of the division.

Records of the Division of Industrial Development

The administrative records of the Division of Industrial Development are held by the National Archives in Melbourne. Correspondence records series of the division (including those created by agencies that subsequently fell within the functional responsibility of the division) are listed below.

Searches using series numbers and narrowed by keywords relating to key subject areas of industrial development conducted on the RecordSearch database will identify record of interest.

Administrative records

Collection references

Selected topics of interest

Use the information below to identify records about a number of selected topics dealt with by the Division of Industrial Development. Searches on RecordSearch using the item number stems shown in the table followed by an asterisk (eg ‘2/312/*’) will identify relevant files.

Postwar reparations

German scientists in Australia

Post-war car manufacture

Collection references

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesPapers relating to the British Commonwealth Scientific Conference1946–52MP252/4

Technical Industry Advisory Bureau

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesTechnical Industry Advisory Bureau reports1946–49MT105/10

Cabinet records

The records listed below are the set of Cabinet Sub-Committee on Secondary Industries papers maintained by the Division of Industrial Development. The set of agenda and decisions for this subcommittee maintained by Cabinet Office are held by the National Archives in Canberra as series A3995.

Collection references

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017