Interesting information. I hadn't considered the effect on headspace.
Seems like lubricating the chamber/cases can act as a bandaid for other problems besides excessive fouling or the use of steel cases or other substandard ammunition.
I like the ending sentence in your post. I think it sums things up nicely.
"In fact, this inexcusable method of correction was in use so long that it was becoming accepted as a satisfactory solution of a necessary nuisance."