It was late autumn in 1931 when the Australian state premiers, together with the Labor prime minister, Joseph Scullin, assembled at the Victorian houses of parliament in Melbourne.
The Wall Street Crash had happened in 1929 and the effects of the subsequent economic collapse were reverberating around the world.
The wealthy made large profits, but more and more Americans spent more than they earned, and farmers faced low prices and heavy debt.
The lingering effects of World War I (1914-1918) caused economic problems in many countries, as Europe struggled to pay war debts and reparations.
Dissatisfied with President Herbert Hoover's economic programs, the people elected Franklin D. Roosevelt was a bold experimenter and a man of action.
Early on in his administration he assembled the best minds in the country to advise him.
The Depression transformed the public and private lives of many who lived through it.
It shaped their behaviour and attitudes well into the 1940s and beyond.
The outcome of the meeting, finalised on 10 June, was to lower government expenditure, reduce pensions, reduce interest payable on government bonds and rein in government debt.
In short, this agreement – later known as the Premiers’ Plan – enacted a rapid and determined cut to government spending.