Peace loan 1919 subscriber


Museum of Australian Democracy collection

This badge is one of a large collection of badges acquired by the Hussey family of Healesville, Victoria, during and after the First World War. It is believed that the collection was begun by William Hussey, who enlisted in 1917 and was killed in action in 1918. The collection was later added to by other members of the family.

During the First World War the Australian government instigated a series of loans to meet the ongoing costs of the war. The public loaned the government money in return for interest, raising a total of £193,689,974 by the end of June 1919. In August the same year the government floated a peace loan in order to recoup the expenses of war and facilitate the repatriation of returned service personnel. The announcement of the first of three such peace loans, by Acting Treasurer Alexander Poynton, appealed to a sense of nationalism and responsibility as well as gratitude:

The loan will be offered to the public for voluntary subscription, and the Government is hopeful that the patriotism of the people and their resources will prove to be sufficient for the purpose … The Government believes feelings of relief, induced by a victorious peace and sense of gratitude to the men who bore the heat and burden of the day, will lead to a full subscription of £25,000,000 … I appeal to all Australians to again show that the interests of the country are vital to themselves as individuals and to once more find the money necessary to meet the expenses of the Great War, now happily ended.