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After an internal backlash within the Nationalist Party forced the retirement of Hughes in 1923, Stanley M. Bruce became prime minister. The Country Party, founded in 1920 as a patriotic, conservative movement to protect the interests of farmers and graziers, joined the Nationalist coalition, although it kept its own identity. The chief opponent of the coalition was Labor, which had to redefine its social policies. To maintain wartime levels of production and expansion the government sought to build up the basic industries, but the depression of 1929 cut deeply into the health of the Australian economy, increasing public and private debts at a time of massive unemployment.