Bill Sutch was not only one of a handful of public servants who shaped economic and social policy between the 1930s and the 1960s. His thinking has continued to influence economic and social development after his death, for he was the mid-century nationbuilder who expounded the most distinctive and influential vision of New Zealand‘s economic and social development. Yet arguably, his supreme achievement may occurred offshore in the early years of the United Nations, when he was in his early forties. And, of course, he was tried and acquitted under the Official Secrets Act, just before he died, which adds an unnecessary mystery to his life.
Anomalously for someone who has been described as ‘the greatest New Zealander’ of his generation, Sutch was conceived in South Africa, and born in England, when his mother returned home because she was concerned about the local maternity conditions. Rejoining her husband, they decided that South Africa did not offer them a future. Sutch arrived in New Zealand at the age of 8 months. Ted, a builder and joiner, and Ellen, a dressmaker, were Lancastrian working class Methodists. Each was a strong determined character, and widely read in the social fields (despite only elementary schooling). His financially canny mother, whom he adored, gave him a life-long commitment to women’s causes.
Sutch was the middle of five children. The household allocated various tasks to each child, independent of gender. His Brooklyn primary school headmaster persuaded his family that he should go to secondary school, rather than an apprenticeship, changing not only Sutch’s expected life path, but no doubt the course of the trade union movement.
Following Wellington College, Sutch went part-time to Wellington Teachers College and Victoria University College studying history and economics. To fund himself, he worked as a telegraph delivery messenger, seller of newspapers, a farm labourer, a builder’s labourer and a grocery assistant, teaching at Nelson College from 1928 to 1930. He was active in his church, in 1971 recalling
[I came from a] North of England background which was one of carefulness of saving, of good behaviour, of hard work and respect for the products of man’s skills that’s hard to disentangle because the Methodists have the same views. Now at the Methodist level you have two parts to this. One was the behaviour …. Now I don’t smoke or drink or swear … but this is not just a behaviouristic sort of thing. This is respect for the human body and this is what we were taught. The human body was a temple for us to respect. So there’s more in it than these external things. Now the second aspect of the Methodist upbringing was here were we in Bible class at the age of 17, 18, 19. You were going to university and bible class was our free discussion club. The Methodists encouraged us to be sceptical, to question, for just as the Baptists began by departing from the Anglicans in years gone by here they were willing to take their logic further and examine things like the Virgin birth things like walking on the water & all those … but more than that. What was the — with man in society what was his obligation to his neighbours? We thrashed this one through — neighbour — myself. Now all this came out of the way what you might today call my teens.
Bert O’Keefe, a Catholic, recalls that ‘[a]n early common interest was attending services at most of the numerous churches in Wellington … We took in the lot.’ It was a logical step from his sunday school days.
The sunday school was where adolescents of Sutch’s generation got their ‘education’ – where they had to learn, challenge, and think. Sutch was unusual for his generation going to teachers college and university, but in 1960 he offered an implicit critique when he said
One of the curious things about New Zealand is the small impact the university makes upon the community. This is perhaps because the university is regarded as a place where one gets a journeyman’s certificate in medicine, law, science, commerce and the rest, rather than a place to broaden and deepen the mind and carry out the kind of research which is a contribution to human knowledge.
Some 35 years earlier, when Sutch was a student, the (Reichel-Tate) Royal Commission on Universities had commented that New Zealand ‘offer[ed] unrivalled facilities for gaining university degrees but … is less successful in providing university education.’
In 1931, at the age of 24 he went to the Department of Economics at Columbia, at the time the most important in the United States, where it taught the dominant economic paradigm of the times ‘institutionalism’. The neoclassical synthesis (often abbreviated to ‘neoclassical’) a combination of the macroeconomics that Keynes pioneered and the modern theory of markets (including a welfare economics which emphasises their beneficial outcomes), strongly laced with mathematical techniques only becomes important after the Second World War. Institutionalists trace their origin to Thorstein Veblin. Among the best-known are Gunnar Myrdal and John Kenneth Galbraith. Maurice Clarke, who lead interwar Columbian economics.
Yuval Yonay summarises ‘the trademarks of institutionalism [are] empirical research, suspicion towards deductive theory, emphasis on the changing nature of economic institutions, habits, and norms, special attention to the divergence of market values (prices) from social values, and the belief in the reality of informed concerted action to improve human welfare.’ The (largely valid) implication of this definition is that the neoclassical economics which followed it is less empirical and more deductive. It tends to assume that institutions, habits and norms are irrelevant (but often the implicit assumption is the norms of an idealised white middle class US males). It thinks market prices normally match social prices, and while collective actions rarely improve human welfare, but individual ones usually do.
Readers may be a little dismayed to see such disagreement between the two economic paradigms, and may not even be reassured by Paul Samuelson, the key neoclassical innovator and doyen of MIT economics which replaced Columbia’s supremacy after the war, who said in 1999 ‘I do not come today to bury institutionalism nor to dispraise it. I believe it lives on as a lively element inside today’s mainstream economics, … American institutional economics [is] a force that will endure and flower in the next century to come.’ The eclectic economist has a toolkit, in which both institutionalist and neoclassical paradigms (and others) reside. Faced with a particular problem, the economist uses the tool (or tools) which best tackles the job.
Sutch did not have much neoclassical economics in his tool kit (other than that which derives directly from Alfred Marshall, who influenced both paradigms), although he kept in touch with many developments in economic and social thinking throughout his life. (For instance, his evidence to the Royal Commission on Social Security shows he was conversant with recent developments in social economics.) His economics is often evaluated according to the neoclassical paradigm. To do so is anachronistic (as it would be to do so for Bernard Ashwin, or to assume that Karl Marx knew the neo-classical economist’s theory of markets which developed after his death). In particular, Sutch is much more sceptical of the efficacy of the market that later generations, and favoured planning and economic intervention – as did all of the mid-century nationbuilders. Sutch is criticised because he is the most vocal – the most remembered, but he was part of their mainstream. Moreover streams flow, and sometimes Sutch is condemned for views which he moved past.
American institutionalism was greatly influenced by nineteenth century German philosophy, as was Marxism. Both thought planning was an important part of economic policy, but for different reasons. Once I assumed Sutch was strongly influenced by Marx, and spent much time looking for evidence. But the only support was the cover of the second edition of The Quest for Security, with a picture of the Featherston Street riot of 1913, which could be interpreted as a class struggle. But as Nineteenth Century English socialist thought shows, those who thought about class struggle need not be Marxists. (Some attempts to nail Sutch had their humorous side. I once went through his home bookcase, and found texts by Marx in it. Some had the name of his father-in-law, David Smith, inscribed on the flyleaf. Sir David, a judge of the Supreme Court, was unlikely to be a Marxist. Rather, he was an intelligent concerned intellectual, interested in important ideas of the day.)
Lawrence Jones has argued that the preface of the first edition of The Quest for Security has ‘a deconstruction of the myth of progress, more from a Marxist than from a cultural nationalist perspective’, citing such sentiments as ‘[t]he very subject matter of the book and the demands for space bring sharply to the foreground the topics of poverty and unemployment and the struggles of those to whom economic depression and personal misfortune brought destitution.’ It would be a sad day, if Marxists were the only people to view society from the perspective of the underprivileged. Sutch also praises the American emphasis on ‘independent farm owners who with their family provided their own livelihood.’ Not a lot of Marxist sentiment there.
The preface contains the following paragraph:
History is not a procession of dates nor a description of acts of Parliament, nor does it consist in surveying press editorials or political speeches, although these may be guides to emotional attitudes. If history is to mean anything, it must deal with the causes as well as effects, it must deal with the conflicts and alliances of social and economic forces, the process of change, the underlying reasons for surface happenings, the social and legal institutions which provide a framework for these happenings. In a short book it is not possible to study the dynamics of history in any detail, but it is essential to indicate on broad lines the main forces operating to produce developments and difficulties to answer the question Why? 
Here, I thought, was the smoking gun for the passage has Marxist overtones. However, the strongest alternative hypothesis is that it might better reflect the approach of Arnold Toynbee, who also offered a forces-of-history approach from a Christian Socialist perspective. I approached Peter Munz, acknowledged as New Zealand‘s foremost historical methodologist, read him the passage without identifying its author. His immediate reaction was that it was written by a follower of Toynbee rather than of Marx.
Sutch’s writings suggest he was strongly influenced by Fabian socialism. His attitude to local government resonates with Fabianism. In the 1971 radio interview he said
[O]nce upon a time somebody asked Bernard Shaw what to do to be a good socialist. Bernard Shaw said ‘what are you’ and he said ‘I’m a carpenter’. ‘Well, be a good carpenter.’ Now I’ve never forgotten that, and whatever a socialist may be I believe one can make a very big contribution in doing what you can do well. What I can do well other people can say I sometimes think it’s only gardening but for whatever skills I have I make my contribution, I think, through them.
If one wanted a simple summary of Sutch’s philosophical foundations may be that like British Socialism, Bill Sutch was more influenced by Methodism than by Marx.
There is no evidence that Sutch was ever a member of the Communist Party. His wife, Shirley Smith, whose active membership lapsed in 1945, tells of attempting to get him to join it. Sutch explained that ‘he had never belonged to any party, that he would never be told by anyone what to think he would never follow any party line.’ His repeated the sentiment when describing the British Fabians who ‘stressed the value of independent research as a guide to any political party wishing for social and economic reform.’
Sutch was fascinated by, and a supporter of, the Soviet Union. (So were Fabians Bernard Shaw and Sydney and Beatrice Webb.) He remained so, long after many leftists had become disillusioned. But seeing the Soviet Union as a bulwark against the worst of capitalism or American imperialism does not make one a Marxist or a member of the Communist Party. It is also true that Sutch had American leftists friends among his friends, such as Leo Huberman (whom he met at Columbia) and Paul Sweezy, editors of The Monthly Review for which Sutch wrote in the 1950s. (He seems to have been trailed by the FBI when he visited Huberman in New York. In cold war parlance Huberman was a ‘communist’ and therefore Sutch was too. That does not get us far.)
Sutch saved enough of his Columbian grant to travel after completing his PhD. Describing it for a 1944 book on New Zealand-Russian relations, he wrote:
From [Columbia University ] Dr Sutch led a life of what is called in the United States a ‘hobo’. That is, he wandered around with the unemployed, going from town to town and sleeping where he could, perhaps in a prison cell, perhaps in an abandoned house, perhaps in a haystack. From the United States he went to Europe and during the latter part of 1932, travelled, still as a hobo, through France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany and England, still sleeping at unemployment camps, doss houses or in the open air. His idea was to see how the poorer people of other countries had to live and he wanted to exist with them in order to get a proper background.
From England Dr Sutch took a ship to Norway and travelled up the coast of Norway round the North Cape and landed [in] Lapland. …. Dr Sutch continued by himself with a pack on his back and some bread and cheese, through Finland to Helsingfors. Then he crossed to Leningrad, to Moscow and there through Samara (Kuibyshev) to Tashkent, then on to Samarkand, to Bokhara, to Termes, which was a garrison outpost on the Afghan border.’ [The trip only took two weeks, and was largely by train. It took place in a time when the Soviet Union was relatively favourable to tourism. A number of other New Zealanders travelled there at about the same time.]
From the borders of Afghanistan, Dr Sutch went in a Russian aeroplane over the Hindukush mountains to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan and even in the northwest of India. In India he travelled through the main towns to Calcutta and across from Calcutta to Bombay, living with the poorer Indian worker. In India Dr Sutch contracted malaria and decided to go to a better climate so he took [a] ship from Bombay to Australia, visiting the main Australian towns and finally returning to New Zealand, where the world depression was still in existence.’
His entire family was unemployed or doing a little relief work. For a short time so was he. He often recalled the hardship of those years. Forty years on he ‘wept openly when he recalled an old school friend who invited him to his home to welcome back to New Zealand. For the meal they had only bread and some butter which his friend proudly explained they had “saved up” for the occasion.’ It was not only in New Zealand.
I … saw millions of unemployed and the desperation. I’ve seen people dead from starvation. I saw them lying on the tops of the underground vents in Paris to try to get warm. I’ve seen them lying under newspapers in New York to try to get warm. Now this kind of thing, if it is the product of the economic system, obviously leads to the conclusion that [the] economic system must be changed.
He went teaching in Wanganui and Palmerston North in early 1933. Bryan Philpott, a pupil at the Boys’ High, and recalls a ‘smart film-star looking guy with a moustache and staccato-firing questions the moment he walked into the room. The first impact was you were in the hands of a new prophet …’  In August, Sutch joined the ‘brains trust’ of the then Minister of Finance, Gordon Coates. Again the events of the time are riddled in myth. There was an Easter tramping trip in the Tararuas in which he and three others took 17 days to find their way through because of injury and torrential rains so they could not cross rivers. One of his companions, O’Keefe was to write many years later ‘I learned a lot about Sutch during those 17 days. In mental equipment, fortitude and kindness I found him the best of the four on the trip. …. I don’t think I’d have survived if it had not been for Bill’s constant help and encouragement.’ There was a major search effort, and the party was widely criticised when Sutch said they were not ‘lost’, meaning they knew where they were. There is an irony here, for as O’Keefe recalls George von Zedlitz saying ‘we frustrated many people’s maudlin expectations by walking out on our own efforts … if say, three had emerged carrying one dead body, the survivors would have been intrepid national heroes.’ Shortly after, about the time Sutch was to join Coates’ staff, Dick Campbell and Coates discussed the new recruit:
Campbell said, ‘He’s a very unpopular man in the country,’ and Coates said, ‘Yes, I know that. I read the papers and as I am probably the most unpopular man in the country maybe I will get on very well with him.’
Sutch’s role as an adviser to Coates ‘brain’s trust’ is often misunderstood insofar as he (and others which formally included Campbell and (later) Horace Belshaw and, informally, Ashwin and Paul Verschaffelt, Chairman of the Public Service Commission) is said to have radicalised the Minister of Finance. Certainly the young men were radical in their own way. Sutch relates how
In February 1934 a Wellington Fabian Society was formed with the sole purpose of inviting George Bernard Shaw to give a public address. The moving spirit was R.M. Campbell (the writer assisted). Both of us were on the staff of J.G. Coates, who we told of our actions; and Peter Fraser readily cooperated.
The detail is given here because John Marshall implies there was something wrong. He overlooks that if Sutch was a Fabian, he was unlikely to be a Marxist. While it is not untypical of right-wing writing to lump all left-wing activity in the same anti-capitalist camp, without attempting to understand the distinctions, there is an enormous gulf between the revolutionary approach of Marxists, and evolutionary approach of the Fabians. Shaws’s visit was so influential that Ashwin mentions in a lecture his proposal to provide milk free and charge to the rates. 
In fact Coates had already adopted the strategy of the nation building in the 1920s, and many of the major economic decisions contributing to the depression recovery had been taken before Sutch joined Coates. Sutch and the other members of the ‘Brains Trust’ was probably more influenced by Coates,. From him Sutch may have learned about nationbuilding. No wonder Sutch worshipped his mentor.
Sutch’s story told in the Coates chapter, of the latter’s belief of doing what you thought was right, irrespective of what others thought, is another lesson which Sutch learned from him. His wilfulness was the problem the public service had with him, rather than any security risk.
Sometimes his doing what he thought right lead to the comical.
There was a minor contretemps at the Polish-Russian border [in 1937]. Dr Sutch, whose tactlessness sometimes amounted to genius, had a Nazi flag and some Nazi literature in his bag. Their bags were searched, despite Nash’s protest that is was an infringement of his diplomatic status. However, Nash induced the Russians not to search the ‘diplomatic bags’, and he succeeded in placing Sutch’s bag with these.
Sutch must have been so confident he was not a fascist, that it never occurred to him that his possession of Nazi souvenirs could be taken as anything but a joke. If there is an enigma about Sutch, it is how one so intelligent could also be so innocent.
Sutch had become private secretary to Minister of Finance, Walter Nash, following the election of the Labour Government in 1935. Thus he was closely involved in the main economic debates of the 1930s to early 1940s, including those on the Reserve Bank, guaranteed prices, and exchange and import controls. He became an active member of the Wellington cultural and intellectual community, including in the Institute of International Affairs, the Left Book Club, Progressive Publishing, and the Wellington Cooperative Book Society (Modern Books). He began regularly writing (frequently under pseudonyms) on a wide variety of contemporary economic and political issues, in such journals as Tomorrow as well as in learned journals and official publications. As de facto Wellington editor of Tomorrow he was involved with the publication of John A. Lee’s ‘Psycho-Pathology in Politics.’ No doubt his doing what he thought was right, did not endear him to Peter Fraser.
In 1941 he published Poverty and Progress in New Zealand, a history with the theme of social difficulties driving national development. In 1942 The Quest for Security in New Zealand, was published by Penguin, selling over 100,000 copies. Both were originally versions of a text commissioned for the Centennial Series as a history of the social services, but each had was rejected. It is said Sutch was advised the two manuscripts should be locked away.
Such public activities by an official closely involved in political advice led to conflict with his political masters, especially Fraser, and in 1941 he moved to the Ministry of Supply (later incorporated into the Department of Industries and Commerce). In 1943 he was a gunner, and later a gunnery instructor, in the Army. In 1944 he returned to the Ministry as an advisory economist, dealing with policy issues such as Lend-Lease, foreign trade, and price equalisation. He was the trade union nominee on the first Railways Tribunal, which fixed wages.
In 1945 Sutch moved to Sydney as deputy director of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), responsible for the South West Pacific, and then went on the following year to direct its operational analysis division for Europe, based in London (where he edited a number of surveys on European economic recovery). From 1947 to 1951 he was secretary-general of the New Zealand delegation to the United Nations in New York, where he chaired the UN Social Commission in 1948 and 1949, and the UN Children’s Fund in 1949 and 1950. There he contributed to the creation of an independent international public service, and actively discouraged race discrimination.
About this time, we do not know when, he developed a framework for organising thinking about New Zealand. Alpers recalls Sutch giving a speech to the Economic and Social Council in 1949 which you said ‘that the only true natural resource with which New Zealand was blessed was grass.’  The notion that New Zealand was essentially a ‘monoculture’ of grass for most of the late nineteenth century (preceded by the quarry), and the first three quarters of the twentieth, is one of the best ways to organise the political economy and economic history of the period. It almost certainly draws upon the ‘staples theory’ of Canadian political economist, Harold Innes, but when Sutch first met that, and saw its relevance to New Zealand, is not known. It was probably not until the late 1940s.
Sutch never wrote these ideas into a comprehensive account. The oral tradition recalls a lecture Sutch gave to a WEA Summer School in Nelson in 1962 in which he used fishing as a metaphor to describe New Zealand economic development. People who attended talked to me about the lecture over 15 years later. His notes or draft speech, if any, have not been found. I tried to reconstruct the presentation for a Listener column.
Sutch would have started with the classical (pre-contact) Maori. Fish was a major part of their diet; they conserved the fish stock; many were skilled fisherman; according to Captain Cook, they were in some ways superior to the fishermen of Europe.
That changed with the arrival of the European. As the Maori lost their population and their rangatiratanga their fishing became marginalised too. Fish stocks began to be run down. In Sutch’s terminology they were quarried rather than developed on a sustainable basis.
Initially fishing was important to the early settlers too. Fish supplemented their diet, while whaling was the foundation of much of the commercial enterprise of Wellington in the 1840s. Other east coast settlements may have been as equally dependent. Once the whales were largely exhausted, the exports of the fishing industry became negligible.
Sutch would have drawn attention to the oddity that New Zealand was surrounded by sea rich in fish. (Later we were to acquire one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world.) Yet our fishing industry was primitive in 1962. Certainly we still ate fish mainly battered with chips. But at the time, excluding crayfish which were being depleted like the whales, New Zealand imported more fish than it exported. All fish exports came to less than 1 percent of total exports.
Fishing was then a ‘stunted industry’, a term we know that Sutch would have used, because it is in a report of his Department of Industries and Commerce later that year. The official report tiptoes around Sutch’s explanation. Fishing has ‘good possibilities and it is regrettable there has been insufficient impetus and encouragement.’
He would have been franker to the WEA. Sutch both commended the enormous government contribution to the development of the pastoral industry, but also thought that the government interventions had favoured the farmers at the expense of everyone else. While post-1984 farmers may flagellate themselves over that assistance cheap loans, subsidies, infrastructure, producer boards, preferential treatment, and so on Sutch’s message was not a popular with the farmer government of the day, even though farming had built itself on this government assistance. Farming was the great success. But because had emphasised assistance to farming, other industries had suffered. Sutch described the New Zealand‘s economy as ‘over-specialised and over-sensitive’ (a euphemism of the day for ‘over-vulnerable’), calling the New Zealand economy ‘immature’.
The last part of the lecture would have been to advocate the development of fishing as ‘a major export industry’. He would have emphasised that it was not just a matter of exporting the fish, but that we should process them to as sophisticated a level as possible, including by feeding quality fish based meals to tourists. He would probably have mentioned the possibilities of exporting fishing equipment, as a result of the need to provide sophisticated technology to the fishing fleet.
The audience would have been enthused, not just by much more historical detail than can be given here, but by the way the example was used to illustrate the vision of New Zealand as a mature diversified economy.
Forty years later, he would be pleased with many of the developments in the fishing industry. But he would argue for more processing in New Zealand and the development of the associated servicing and equipment industries. He assuredly would have been disappointed that so much of the industry was foreign controlled.
The now 42 year old Sutch played the crucial role a UN decision to continue with UNICEF. The incident, like the Fraser one chairing the Trusteeship Council of the UN, is not well known in New Zealand. Benedict Alpers describes to Sutch:
By mid-1949 when you were Chairman of the Social Commission which had the future of UNICEF under consideration … Parallel with the efforts of private citizens to promote a political climate to force Truman to reverse his policy with the discontinuance of aid, was the work done by you with delegations … who were committed to making UNICEF a permanent, rather than an ‘emergency’ operation. …
Well, I won’t bore you with repeating back to you what you told me of the manoeuvres you went through to keep the US guessing as to how their ‘loyal’ supporters in Latin America and the Middle East would vote, or the special campaign you waged to get all the woman delegates on your side. The day the decisive vote was taken, you stood at the door of the … meeting room and looked into the face of each incoming delegate: to remind him to keep you on his conscience, as well as to see if you could judge how he was going to vote. …
The issue was now … before the Third Committee of the General Assembly where they were debated for three days … And then came, as the Henty books use to say, ‘Your finest hour’ or, more accurately two of them. … The hall was packed, the tensions were high, you spoke without notes, and while it would be stretching the point to say, again in the Henty tradition, that strong men wept and women fainted, it is true many were profoundly moved by your presentation. … In any case that speech of yours turned the scales. …. [D]id you ever in your wildest hopes expect to win by 40 to 0?…
‘The award to UNICEF of the Nobel [Peace] Prize in 1965 must record somewhere (however small the print) the names of W.B. Sutch and New Zealand as joint recipients.’
For a man who has generated so much popular myth, it is ironic that his greatest achievement is not a part of it.
Although Sutch could have stayed on as a career civil servant at the UN, he returned to New Zealand in 1951, as someone who had proved himself in the international arena, determined to do the same for New Zealand. Many of Sutch’s political masters were less sure.
Alpers, B. (1975) ‘David from Down Under’ in J.L. Robson & J. Shallcrass, op. cit. p. 215-234.
Anderton, J. (1999) ‘William Ball Sutch’ in Unsung Heroes, Auckland, p.51-68.
Barr J.C. (1973) ‘Interview of W.B. Sutch’, Alexander Turnbull Oral History Archive
Bollinger, T. (2000) Prophecy and Process on the New Zealand Public Service: The Administrative Career of Dr W.B. Sutch, 1958-1965, Unpublished manuscript.
Easton, B. H. (1998) Trying to Understand Dr Sutch, unpublished paper, Stout Research Centre, Wellington.
Easton, B.H. (2000) ‘Sutch, William, Ball’, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Vol.5, p.504-506.
Endres, A. (1986) ‘The Political Economy of W.B. Sutch: Towards a Critical Appreciation’ NZEP, Vol. 20, p.17-40.
McLintock, B. (1998) The Economic Ideas of Dr Sutch, unpublished paper, Carthage College, Kenosha.
O’Keefe, A.H. (1982) Sutch as I knew him 1932-1975, MS 1172, Auckland Institute and Museum Library, 28 September 1982.
Robson, J.L. & J. Shallcrass (ed.) (1975) Spirit of an Age: Essays in Honour of W.B. Sutch, Wellington.
Shallcrass, J. (1975) ‘W.B. Sutch’ in J.L. Robson & J. Shallcrass, op. cit. p.3-11.
Sutch, W.B. (1936) Recent Economic Changes in New Zealand, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1941) Poverty and Progress in New Zealand, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1942) The Quest for Security in New Zealand, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1957) Manufacturing in New Zealand: The Next Two Decades, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1959) The Economics of Television, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1960) ‘Programme for Growth’ in Background Papers: Industrial Development Conference, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1962) Selling New Zealand’s Exports, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1963) Towards Economic Maturity, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1964a) ‘The Future of Manufacturing in New Zealand’ in M. Lloyd-Pritchard (ed) The Future of New Zealand, Auckland, p.1-24.
Sutch W.B. (1964b) Local Government in New Zealand: A History of Defeat, Wellington (Reprint of a paper written in 1956).
Sutch, W.B. (1966a) Colony or Nation, Sydney.
Sutch, W.B. (1966b) The Quest for Security in New Zealand: 1840 to 1966, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1969) Poverty and Progress in New Zealand: A Re-assessment, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1971) The Responsible Society in New Zealand, Christchurch.
Sutch, W.B. (1972) Takeover New Zealand, Wellington.
Sutch, W.B. (1973a) ‘Gordon Coates: the Lonely New Zealander,’ New Zealand’s Heritage, v.6, pp.2195-2204.
Sutch, W.B. (1973b) Women with a Cause, Wellington.
The Sutch papers are in the Alexander Turnbull Library.
A full bibliography of Sutch’s writings will be found in J.L. Robson & J. Shallcrass, op. cit. p.239-258.
1. Radio interview by Hamish Keith, 1971. Tape and transcription held in Radio Archives. ‘–’ indicates where word(s) cannot be heard or easily inferred.
2. O’Keefe (1982).
3. Sutch (1960) p.21.
4. Quoted in R. Butterworth & N. Tarling (1994) A Shakeup Anyway: Government and the Universities in New Zealand in a Decade of Reform, Auckland, p.19.
5 The next few paragraphs are informed by Y. Yonay, The Struggle over the Soul of Economics: Institutionalist and Neoclassical Economics in America between the Wars, Princeton.
6. op. cit. p.52.
7. P.A. Samuelson, ‘The Golden Virtue of Eclecticism in Economics’, The American Economist, Vol.44, No.1 (Spring 2000), p.4.
8. Jones (1999) await publication details.
9. Sutch (1942) p.v.
10. Brent McLintock has drawn my attention to:
When productive forces expand and improve or change materially this means that the substructure of society is altering, and the conditions of production (social relations of production) – law, institutions etc. – no longer quite fit the changed productive forces – and so the conditions of production gradually change. Society gets out of gear. The conservatives cling to old forms. (From a WEA lecture on Trade Union History, Sutch Papers, ATL, Acc 85-185-17-01)
However the ‘gradually’ suggests Fabianism rather than Marxism.
11. Sutch (1964b). Sutch also advocated a decentralised televison system (1959). He decentralised the arts council in the 1970s.
12. The original quotation is by Morgan Phillips, and is cited in J. Callaghan, Time and Chance, London. Less alliteratively, Leslie Lipson says New Zealand was more influenced by Fabianism than Marxism. See L. Lipson (1948) The Politics of Inequality, Chicago, p.227.
13. S. Smith to Turnbull Librarian, 14 November 1989.
14. Sutch (1966b) p.338.
15. J. Weir (1996) ‘Russia Through New Zealand Eyes – to 1944,’ New Zealand Slavonic Journal, p.14-20.
16. The manuscript was never published. It is held by the daughter of its coauthor,
17. His memories of the Great Depression are recorded in T. Simpson (1974) The Sugarbag Years, Wellington, p.10-12, 92-93, 104-108, and Anderton, p.56-57.
18. Anderton, p.37.
19. Radio interview, 1971.
20. Interview of B.P. Philpott, reported in Bollinger (2000) 1/6.
21. C. MacLean, Tararua, Wellington, p.155-163.
22. O’Keefe (1982)
23. Barr (1973). Original’s emphasis.
24. Sutch, (1966b) p.338. A more detailed account by Dick Campbell (confirming Sutch’s account) is in The(Auckland) Weekly News, 29 August 1956, p.21.
25. J. Marshall (1989) Memoirs, Auckland, Vol II, p.144.
26. B.C. Ashwin The Practical Problems in Public Finance, Notes of a lecture to the Commerce Society, Victoria University College, 15 April, 1935. Copy held in MacMillan Brown collection of the University of Canterbury Library (presented by W. Rosenberg), p.11.
27. K. Sinclair (1976) Walter Nash, Auckland, p.144.
28. Alpers (1975) p.216.
29. He wrote a letter about the grass monoculture to G. A. Wood, the Government Statistician, on returning to New Zealand. Woods’ (not very enthusiastic) reply is in the Sutch Papers in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Acc-185, Box b.
30. W.B. Sutch (1962) Submissions to the Select Committee on the Fishing Industry, Wellington.
31. Revised version of B.H. Easton, ‘Fishy Tales’, Listener, Jan 18, 1997, p.60.
32. Alpers (1975) p.227-229.
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