H C (Nugget) Coombs.
Dr H C (Nugget) Coombs, discussing migrants being technologically illiterate.
21 June 2002
Multicultural Studies, Wollongong University, 1982
DR H C (NUGGET) COOMBS
Formerly of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction
I don't think it was a conscious choice to go for labour intensive methods because capital was short. It's true though that a fair proportion of the migrants were going to be technologically illiterate, you know, and that therefore if they were going to use them, they had to adapt their techniques. They met this very largely, of course, by a policy which was on the whole welcomed by Australian trade unions of discriminating in favour of resident Australians in the better kind of jobs, the ones which did call for a bit more understanding and somewhat more technological experience and the migrants were used on the others.
CONTINUATION OF INTERVIEW AS TEXT
The industrialists probably planned to use the sort of technology with which they were familiar at that point, of which they were aware. Certainly they were interested in technological change taking place overseas, but it wasn't easy to access. They chose a comparatively low level of technology, probably more labour intensive than existed overseas, not as a response to capital shortage but as a continuation of what they knew.
Interview with the Centre for Multicultural Studies, Wollongong University, 1982.