Labour History Events

Len Fox Talk

At the next talk of the Sydney Branch, On Tuesday, 29th November, Mr Len Fox will speak on the theme of ‘socialism, broad and narrow’ in the history of the Australian Labour Movement.

Len Fox was Victorian State Secretary of the Movement Against War and Fascism in the 1930s. Later, in Sydney, he worked as a journalist on State Labor, Communist and trade union newspapers. He is well known for his many books and pamphlets on issues of concern to the Left in Australia, most importantly, perhaps, foreign ownership and control. Len Fox’s latest book is a volume of personal glimpses of the Australian Left over the past fifty years. Needless to say, he is among the most respected of the Left’s intellectuals and researchers.

The venue for the talk will be Lecture Theatre 4, Merewether Building, Faculty of Economics, corner of City Road and But1in Avenue, Sydney University. The talk will get underway at 6.30 p.m., and light refreshments will be provided.

“All in a Day’s Work – Workers in Australia, 1788-1939”
State Library Exhibition

A comprehensive exhibition of material on the history of the Australian working people, from their workplace experience to their political militancy, is currently open to the public at the State Library of N.S.W., Macquarie St. The exhibition, which has been put to gether by Mr. Jim Andrighetti and his colleagues in the Mitchell and Dixson Libraries, is a fine statement on the traditions of the labouring men and women of Australia, and is well worth a visit.

Petrov Affair: The Second Branch Talk Session

On 20 September, the Sydney branch of the Labour History Society staged a double bill extravaganza on the subject of the Petrov espionage drama of 1954. An ABC television documentary, ‘Like a summer storm’, about the career of Doc Evatt was shown. It provided several insights into some curious aspects of that still murky affair. One matter raised in the film that calls for further examination is the precise input provided by Colonel Alex Sheppard. Since Colonel Sheppard has recently (see Australian Book Review December 1902-January 1983) recorded his links with the shadowy Alf Conlon and the Directorate of Research during World War ‘J’wo, l!:val:t’s supposed objection to ‘Shep’ seem rather less oullaudish.

The highlight of the evening, however, was the speech delivered by Mr Rupert Lockwood. Perhaps now the allegation that he was the author of Document J can finally be put to rest. Mr Lockwood was particularly erudite in situating the British spy trials amidst the backdrop to Vladimir Petrov’s sudden interest in chicken farming.

The meeting was well attended. Amongst an audience of 60 or so in the Merewether Building at Sydney University were several notable spy watchers and Petrov experts. (As far as we know ~SIO did not honour us with their presence but if they did the name of the disingenously affable chairperson is Patmore (one word) not padmore or Paddy Moore (a suitab1y Fenian name)). Again a comradely atmosphere prevai1ed. The rank and file becomes increasingly voluminous. As at 2 November, membership of the Sydney branch stands at 91. The interim executive would appreciate any ideas and advice so that we can maintain the rage and the quality of our evening entertainment sessions. Volunteer a veteran today!