The growth of agricultural administration 1880-1900 : the dairy industry as a test case : thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University

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Massey University
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No historical writer is likely to deny that the growth of a relatively intensive administration was an integral part of the total Liberal achievement. Nevertheless, little enough research has been done on the nature of governmental growth in this period. Gibbons and Brooking have performed some of the spadework in this field and this thesis will attempt to slightly broaden and deepen the enquiry. 1 Sea Gibbons, P.J. "'Turning Tramps into Taxpayers' – The Department of Labour and the Casual Labourer in the 1890's", unpublished M.A. thesis, Massey University, Palmerston North, 1970; and T.W.H. Brooking, "Sir John McKenzie and the Origins and Growth of the Department of Agriculture, 1391-1900", unpublished M.A. thesis, Massey University, Palmerston North, 1972. It is particularly in the explanation of Liberal administrative growth, comparable only with that experienced in the early years of the first Labour Government, that the hypothesis developed below will take a different course. Gibbons on the Labour Department, and Brooking on the Department of Agriculture, have emphasized the role of personalities, especially master bureaucrats, in their explanations of the massive quantitative and qualitative growth that the Liberal period of government (1891-1911) witnessed. The zealot Tregear, it would seem, successfully applied his peculiar bureaucratic ethic during those years of the 1890's when his idealism and effective control of the Labour Department existed in a relationship which enabled him to provide his conscious contribution to the "administrative revolution" then taking place. J.D. Rtitchie, Brooking suggests, was only able to work his unobstrusive revolution once he was under the supervision of T.Y. Duncan and R. McNab, both decidedly weaker Ministers of Agriculture than Sir John McKenzie. [From Introduction]
New Zealand History, Dairying