Agency Details

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Agency ID2774
TitleLand Settlement Committee
Agency TypeBoard or Committee
Start Date 27/10/1915
End Date 1/11/1932
Date NotesStart date attributed from minutes of the Queensland War Council;;End date from the abolition date of the Queensland War Council

Sub committee of the Queensland War Council established to assist in settling returned soldiers on the land

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Series IDTitleFromTo
13746Minutes of Meetings 16/7/1921 2/7/1923
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Controlling Agencies

Agency IDTitleFromTo
1674Queensland War Council 3/11/1915 1/11/1932
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Controlled Agencies

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Previous Agencies

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Finding Aids

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Publication Notes
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Information Sources

Queensland War Council, "Minute Books", Queensland State Archives: Series ID 16748
“Queensland Government Gazette” 5 November 1932, vol. CXXXIX, no. 116, p. 1505
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Establishing N/A
Abolishing N/A
Administered N/A
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The third meeting of the Queensland War Council was held on 8 October 1915, and was addressed by Mr Watson, the Honorary Organiser of the Federal Parliamentary War Committee. The intention with regard to land settlement was to purchase land suitable for farming. Returned soldiers would be able to occupy and eventually obtain their title under a bond system. They would be assisted to equip the farms through the finance committee. This meeting was adjourned until October 11th, when the Queensland War Council decided to appoint the Chairmen of sub committees, who would then nominate their own committee and submit the names to the next Council meeting. The Minister for Lands, Hon J M Hunter, was appointed Chairman of the "Settling soldiers on the land committee". The original members of the "Farms or Land Settlement Committee" were confirmed at the Council meeting on 18 October. They were Mr Gordon Graham, Under Secretary for Lands; Hon A H Whittingham, member of the Legislative Council; Mr Benson, Director of Fruit Culture; Mr Watts, Land Commissioner. As members were added to the committee, they were named in reports to the Council.

The report of the first meeting of the "Selection Committee" was presented to the Council at its meeting on 1 November 1915. The committee had arranged to meet every Wednesday evening. The meeting was probably held on the previous Wednesday, 27 October. The name "Land Settlement Committee was first used in the minutes of the War Council on 29 November. Initially the committee dealt with acquiring suitable land. Some land was donated to them, but funding was an issue, and efforts were made to ensure that the land was close to transport. The Queensland Government set aside 56,000 acres and decided to set up instructional or testing farms in the centre of each group. At the War Council meeting on 3 May 1916, it was agreed to print 1000 land settlement cards so that registration of applicants would be uniform. The Committee report to the Council meeting of 22 May 1916 noted that "Applications for blocks of land have been considered and passed for registration" and also that surveying of the blocks had commenced. A comprehensive draft regulation was presented to, and adopted by, the Council at its meeting on 11 September 1916. It covered the setting apart, making application, and alloting land; making advances for improvements; and general conditions. These regulations appear to have formed the basis for the "Discharged Soldiers' Settlement Act" which was passed by the Queensland Government in February 1917 and assented to on 15 February 1917. The accompanying report noted that suitable applicants to work on the training farm were to meet with the Committee. A further recommendation was that the Committee should be appointed a Board of Control to deal with all matters for establishing returned soldiers on the land; and that a sub committee of the Board be appointed to select approved applicants. A points system was to be used to select applicants. Points were awarded for capital, experience, age, character, marital status, number of children - their age and condition of family.

The Committee reported on 23 October 1916 that the buildings on the training farm had been erected and the first batch of returned soldiers wanting to settle on fruit lands were actively engaged on the settlement at Beerburrum. At the Meeting of the War Council on 6 November 1916, the first allotment of land had been made that morning at Beerburrum in the presence of His Excellency and Lady Goold-Adams. By 9 July 1917 the Committee was able to report that 136 men had been placed on 52,630 acres of land, and that 291,127 acres had been set aside. As land was surveyed and settlements developed, numbers increased rapidly. At 3 January 1920 the Committee was able to report that 1,592 soldiers had selected 500,497 acres; 609 soldiers had been provided with homes; 18 were undergoing a course on training farms; 1,406 soldiers in addition to those on group settlements had received financial assistance to develop or purchase lands; and that group settlements were established at Beerburrum, Mount Gravatt, Enoggera, Pikedale, Stanthorpe, Mount Hutton, Cecil Plains, Ridgelands, Burrandowan and Atherton.

As soldier settlement increased, it was the Lands Department, under various Land Acts, including the "Discharged Soldiers' Settlement Act" of 1917, that processed land transactions, and requests for assistance from soldier settlers. Reports to the War Council became fewer, and it appears that minutes of the Land Settlement Committee were not kept after 18 June 1923. The fact that the surviving minute book of the Committee from July 1921 to July 1923 was kept by the Lands Department, also suggests that Lands largely took over the functions of the Committee.

The appointments of the members of the Queensland War Council were terminated as from 1 November 1932.

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Preferred Citation

Queensland State Archives Agency ID2774, Land Settlement Committee
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Last updated 9 September 2016
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
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