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image icon Second Victory Loan appeal postcard, 1944

Second Victory Loan appeal postcard, 1944
Second Victory Loan appeal postcard, 1944
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library


This is a postal card dated 26 September 1944, reply portion attached, with a duplicated handwritten message from Prime Minister John Curtin (1885-1945) asking every Australian to contribute to the Second Victory Loan.

Educational value

This resource is useful because it:

  • This asset shows the importance John Curtin (Prime Minister of Australia 1941-45) assigned to maintaining morale on the home front and to keeping the nation firmly focused on saving for and working solidly at the task of winning the Second World War - Curtin appealed to his 'fellow Australians' and wrote: 'The magnificent performances of our troops are an inspiration. Victory will be ours, but it will be an earlier Victory and one less costly in lives of fine men if every citizen in Australia combines in a concerted effort to fill the Second Victory Loan and to Put Victory First'.
  • This asset indicates that war loans raised money directly from the Australian people to help pay for the Australian war effort in the Second World War - tax revenue and government-to-government loans proved insufficient for the purpose and war loan schemes made a large contribution; Australians were encouraged to buy war bonds, which would mature with interest after the War (certificates were expected to mature from 16 shillings to £1 in seven years); the Second Victory Loan aimed to raise £5 million a day between its opening on 25 September 1944 and its close on 31 October the same year.
  • This asset is an example of a government promotional campaign using direct marketing to make a personal appeal to the population in a time of war - the postal card is addressed 'To Every Australian' and includes a reply portion that could be returned free of charge to 'The Federal Treasurer, Second Victory Loan' to request full information about subscribing to the loan; war loan drives became a part of life in the war years, with people regularly being asked to 'dig deep' to help fund the war effort.
  • This asset suggests that the issue of war bonds was a common method of government fundraising for the War - this was the Second Victory Loan and, in all, there were 12 major government war loans (known at different times as 'austerity', 'liberty' and 'victory' loans) offered to the Australian public in the years of the Second World War; as well as supplementing the government's war budget, the loans also served to reduce inflation by soaking up money that might otherwise have been spent on scarce consumer goods.
  • This asset suggests that the writer of the postal card, John Curtin, was well respected by, and popular with, the Australian people - the Australian Government drew on Curtin's personal appeal by including a handwritten message, clearly believing that a direct plea from the Prime Minister would encourage people to support the war effort and buy war bonds.