The Hunter Council Chamber

Introduction to paper I Gave on the Great War in the Hunter Council Chamber of Victoria University of Wellington:  29 November, 2013 The paper is at


Keywords: Political Economy & History;


This is the first occasion I have presented a paper in this Chamber, I would like to acknowledge its significance. Given this is a conference on the Great War it is particularly appropriate to mention its brass plates on which are listed the members of Victoria University College who served in the War. Not all of them. Some went to the College after they returned. They were so young.


I know this because Sir Bernard Ashwin is not listed on the plates despite serving in Flanders and returning to become one of the College’s most eminent graduates. He was one of the four most important men running the country during the Second World War and the founder of the modern Treasury.


Ashwin copped a bullet over there. An inch closer and it is difficult to imagine how the Treasury would have evolved. Perhaps there was another man, another potential leader of the Treasury, who did cop a fatal bullet.


Counterfactuals of history are what my paper is about.