'Turning tramps into taxpayers' : the Department of Labour and the casual labourer in the 1890's : thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History
[No abstract. The following taken from the Preface:] This thesis (or essay, since it is in scope and shape an exploratory essay rather than a monograph) studies an aspect of the growth of government administration in New Zealand. The thesis suggests that a major expansion of administration took place in the Liberal period, 1891-1914, and within this general context analyses the work of one government department, the Labour Department; showing hot that Department tackled the problem of unemployment in the 1890's, and how its administration tended gradually to control and to coerce recalcitrant elements among the unemployed. The Labour Department has been taken, in effect, as a 'test case'. The direction of the study might be shown more clearly by reference to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
For those not initiates, see J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Third edition (London, 1966), PP. 51 and following. Bilbo and the Dwarves, it will be recalled, made the acquaintance of a mountain which sadly contained the dreaded Goblin King and his minions; it also contained (happily for the continuance of the story) many tunnels, ranging from a Great Hall down to little appertures in the bowels of the hill. Here we may call the mountain the Liberal period, the Great Hall - which we investigate hurriedly - the Liberal bureaucracy, one of the lesser halls is the Labour Department, and then one of the tunnels off that is the unemployment business of the Department's work.