|NAME||George Albert MCNUFF|
|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||1255|
|UNIT||5th Field Ambulance|
|ENLISTED||Liverpool 13 February 1915|
|DISCHARGED||Sydney 1 June 1918|
The file begins in 1931. George Albert McNuff held Settlement Purchase No. 1924/4 consisting of 1009 acres. His block was located in the County of Hume, Parish of Stitt, Land District of Albury.
On 23 February 1931 he applied for a postponement of his arrears for an indefinite period. Approval for this was not given although he was granted an extension of arrears until after the 1931/32 harvest. At this date he owed £389.10.2 as well as £50 to the Bank and £150 to the storekeeper. A year later around April 1932, he again asked for an extension because of continual rain and crop failure. He was again allowed to stand over his payment of arrears until after the 1932/33 harvest.
By March 1932, his arrears continued to grow and by this date amounted to £777.15.1. On May 1932, McNuff was advised that even though he owed 1/3 of a crop lien to the Minister for Lands, he would still have 2/3 of his crop for the payment of his creditors. There continued to be disageement over the execution of the lien. McNuff stated that he believed
‘the Crown ought to have postponed the payments until the end of the term and not to request liens for this year – as we are having a struggle to make two ends meet. For the past three years, I have made nothing and with the low prices and the hight cost of production it is very hard to live . I have not made the price of what it costs me to put the crops in’.
Dissent about the lien continued with McNuff stating on 20 February 1933, that he did not want to execute one. On 24 May 1933, the Under-secretary contacted McNuff outlining his case. ‘It is noted that you do not wish to sign the undertaking forwarded with my letter of the 23 March 1933. In this connection, I desire to inform you that where arrears are heavy it is a practice to obtain security from settlers, and ordinarily a crop lien is called for, but in your case the undertaking in question was decided upon, following your objections to signing crop and wool liens’. He went on, ‘ it is not the Department’s wish to harass its settlers … it is pointed out that the remaining two-thirds of your income will be allowed to be retained by you for the payment of other creditors.
George wrote on 28 May, ‘I will not sign it as you understand my sheep are brought on the bills and they are not my property to give any lien on’. By 29 June 1833 the property was badly infested with rabbits and stinkwort. He wrote, ‘It will be sometime before I can expect returns off it and (but) if the crown puts these payments off until the end of my term I could make good ’. George contined to refuse to sign the under-taking for the one third lien and by 5 July 1933, still had not done done so.Discussion about the lien continued for at least another two years with McNuff obstinately refusing to sign it. In July 1935 the RSS Branch listed his spasmodic payments, ‘The case is unsatisfactory and McNuff is a difficult man to deal with’.
In October of that year McNuff stated, ‘I have spent every penny on this place that I have made on it and the Crown knows what a dirty block it was, and there was very little chance of making anything on it until it was put in order. And with a bad block of ground and low prices for everything produced on the land it does not give anyone a chance to get ahead of it at all. I can assure the Crown that they have not need to worry, as I give them every penny I can possible spare, it may not be much but it is the best I can produce off it’.
If it had not been for my pension, I think I would have been like many more of the other Diggers abd carried my swag off the block. I think it is very unfair for the Crown to talk of forfeiture when I have improved the block to the extent it is improved today’.
It seems by 18 October 1935, the Under-Secretary had changed his mind as he now said that ‘it was not now proposed to insist on the wool lien’.
The file ends with a letter from Allman to McNuff on 6 March 1936. McNuff at this date had arrears of £625.1.8 which included a fee of £13.4.5. for late payment. It was again noted at this date that McNuff was ‘an unsatisfactory settler’.
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers Loan files; [12/6851 No. 1123], George Albert McNuff, Application for postponement of or extension of time to pay – Interest or Instalments, 23 February 1931.
 Ibid, Memorandum from Returned Soldier Settlement Branch to the Under Secretary for Lands, 7 March 1931.
 Ibid, J.Herlihy, Under Secretary for Lands to G.A.McNuff, 14 April, 1932.
 Ibid, Memorandum from RSS Branch to the Under Secretary for Lands, 7 April 1932.
 Ibid, State of Account, Land arrears, 10 March1932.
 Ibid, J.Herlihy, Under Secretary for Lands to G.A.McNuff, 3 May 1932.
 Ibid, A.McNuff to J Herilhy, 30 May 1932.
 Ibid, Memorandum from RSS Branch to Officer in Charge, Closer Settlement Branch, 20 June 1932.
 Ibid, A. McNuff to Mr Herlihy, Under-Secretary for Lands, 28 January 1933.
 Ibid, 20 February 1933.
 Ibid, 24 May 1933.
 Ibid, 28 May 1933.
 Ibid, 29 June, 1933.
 Ibid, 5 July 1933.
 Ibid, Memorandum, RSS Branch July 1935.
 Ibid, A. McNuff to G.G. Allman, Under-Secretary for Lands, 7 October 1935.
 Ibid, G.F.Allman to G.A. McNuff, 18 October 1935.
 Ibid, Application for Postponement – 15 February 1936.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers Loan Files; [12/6851 No. 1123] George Albert McNuff.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (George Albert McNuff) online: http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=1958297