How Australia failed to destroy Communism

Drew Cottle

‘It Is True That Liberty Is So Precious That It Must Be Rationed’ (V.I. Lenin):
An Analysis of the Struggle by the Australian State to Liquidate Communism in the Cold War.

The 1951 Referendum to ban the Communist Party was a key moment in Cold War Australia. With the onset of the Cold War, the state was determined to destroy the Party which it saw as the instrument of the Soviet Union, a menace to Australia. From the end of the 1949 Coal Strike until the 1951 Referendum, the forces of the state were deployed in eradicating communism from Australia. The Party endured this onslaught although its existence hung on the results of the 1951 Referendum.

Dr Evatt
Dr Evatt
R G Menzies

From its foundation in Sydney on 30 October 1920, the Communist Party of Australia was a declared enemy of the existing bourgeois state, with its own historical and political peculiarities, contradictions and failings.[1] Australian communism, because of its commitment to socialist revolution was, from the outset, under actual or threatened state surveillance, infiltration, harassment, provocation and periodic, legalised repression.  In the three decades between the Party’s formation and the 1951 Referendum, communists in Australia had been beaten, arrested, gaoled and spied upon because of their engagement in class struggle, from labour disputes, anti-eviction occupations to demonstrations, rallies and marches.

The Party saw itself as a proletarian organisation dedicated to the eventual overthrow of Australian capitalism, however remote that possibility might have been historically or in hindsight, and maintained that objective throughout the Third Period, the Popular Front, the People’s War Against Fascism and into the Cold War.

The Party had anticipated and prepared for the onset of state repression when the Menzies-led UAP-UCP government declared it an illegal organisation under the National Security (Subversive Organisations) Regulations in June 1940. Following conclusion of the Soviet Union’s Non-Aggression Pact with Nazi Germany in August 1939 the Australian Communist Party, in solidarity with the Soviet Union, denounced the war in Europe as an inter-imperialist struggle, whereas previously it had advocated war against fascism.  The  Party had established an ‘Illegal Apparatus’, composed primarily of selected ‘secret Party members’, in anticipation of  security forces raids on Party headquarters in each state as well as the homes of prominent communists and  seizure of  Party correspondence and literature.  Party literature, under its own banner or through front organisations, continued to be published from underground locations and widely distributed throughout the eighteen month ‘illegal period’. The Party’s national leadership and their replacements went under cover. While the state security forces knew generally of the Party’s operations  and arrested fifty of its members, including Horace Ratliff and Max Thomas who were interned for impeding Australia’s war effort, the Party ‘underground’ continued not only to function but to effectively carry out its ideological mass work.[2]

From June 1940 until December 1942 when the Curtin Labor government lifted the ban, the Party had maintained its existence through the work of its front organisations without significant hindrance, despite varying levels of state repression and surveillance. The social disruption caused by war-time mobilisation seemed to hamper the capacity of the state’s agencies to exercise any intense or protracted repression of communism, especially in the aftermath of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in November, 1941.  Party membership increased substantially following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, from an estimated 4,000 before the June 1940 ban to around 25,000 by January 1945, a third of whom were in the armed forces. Most of these new Party members were ‘Red Army recruits’ who left the Party in their thousands at the war’s end before the advent of the Cold War.

The Party leadership and members readily accepted the requirement to assist the Allied war effort imposed by the Labor government as a condition of lifting the ban. Throughout the Pacific War, the Communist Party became the leading ‘War Party’, fully supporting the Allied cause by condemning strikes, urging increased war production and demanding the opening of a Second Front in Western Europe by the Allied Powers. From December 1942 the state effectively harnessed Australian communism to the war effort, for which it became a willing and leading advocate.

This agreed accommodation with the capitalist state was reflected in Party propaganda and activity in the final years of the war. When the Comintern was dissolved in 1943, American Communist Party leader Earl Browder urged liquidation of the Party on the grounds that there were no longer needless, irreconcilable opposites between capitalism and communism.  Between 1943 and 1945, ‘Browderism’ influenced the attitude of some Australian Communist leaders, notably Ernie Thornton and the aging J.B.Miles, towards the Curtin Labor government. This accommodation to capitalism, which would have meant the eventual liquidation of the Party, was replaced by the ‘Main Blow’ strategy in early 1947, after Churchill’s sweeping attack on communism and Soviet Russia in Fulton, Missouri in March 1946 formally announced the opening of the Cold War.

From the end of the Pacific War in August, 1945 Australia was gripped by a series of long and bitter strikes by Communist-led unions in different industrial sectors. These working class responses to a capitalist system seen as on the brink of economic depression led to adoption of the Party’s ‘Main Blow’ strategy before the September 1947 establishment of the Cominform, which replaced the Comintern in presenting the general theoretical line of world communism, demanding all out struggle against the capitalist regimes of the West led by the United States.[3]

At least a year before adoption of the ‘Main Blow’ strategy in March, 1946, J.D. Blake, a Victorian member of the Party’s National Executive, had been disciplined because of his opposition to what he described as the Party’s ‘class collaboration’ with the Labor Party. The Main Blow theory was later advanced by General Secretary Lance Sharkey who argued that the Party must provide leadership to the spiralling labour movement militancy, harnessing it not only to expose the Labor Party as a party of capitalism but to lead mass strike action which would usher in an undefined form of socialism as Australian capitalism descended into depression.[4] This was in fact a simplistic theoretical understanding by the Party of the state and the conundrum of revolution in post-war Australia, as the turn from war-time accommodation with the state was an idealist misreading of the numerous industrial struggles of the immediate post-war years. These strikes did not constitute a general strike,   and they did not presage revolution; rather, they represented the pent up frustrations of a working class that had endured the years of want and sacrifice of the Great Depression and World War II.

Following the 1949 Coal Strike, when the Chifley Labor government gaoled union officials, sequestered union funds and sent troops into the coalfields to break the strike, the Communist Party leadership was forced to confront its own illusions about the state and the resilience of Australian capitalism. When the coalminers returned to the pits with nothing, the Communist Party was widely blamed, not only for the strike itself but also for its contribution to the Chifley Labor government’s subsequent electoral defeat in November, 1949.  Worker militancy, even at its pinnacle in the Coal Strike, never led to the revolutionary situation envisaged by the Party, some of whose leaders   confused union mobilisation with revolutionary possibility.[5] The Main Blow had ended in the Communist Party’s political isolation and its ideological retreat.

The class struggle in post-war Australia was neither immune to nor isolated from the Cold War. As the dominant global power, economically and militarily, the United States endeavoured to shore up capitalism in war–ruined Western Europe while the Soviet Union, through military occupation and political machinations, attempted to establish buffer states in the newly created People’s Democracies of Eastern Europe, to ward off the capitalist threat from the West. The rest of the world, particularly the former colonized world, often became the theatres of war or rivalry for the proxies of either the United States or the Soviet Union, from British Malaya and Korea to Cuba and Vietnam.

As L. J. Louis has emphasised, the 1951 attempt by the Australian state to liquidate the Communist Party must be located in the context of the global Cold War as well as the continuing class war in Australia,[6] although anti-communist ideologies and organisations that had existed in Australia since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution played their part. After the 1949 Coal Strike, the Party abandoned its failed Main Blow strategy and, isolated and with a dwindling and largely proletarian membership, turned in on itself. Key unions in transport, manufacturing and mining remained under Communist leadership but Industrial Groups in the Labor Party and anti-communist organisations and employers were determined to drive communists from the workplace and White Australia more generally. Moreover the principal electoral promise of the Menzies Coalition government elected in 1949 was to eliminate communism.

As the Cold War intensified in Europe, China was ‘lost’ to communism and liberation struggles broke out in French Indochina, British Malaya and the Korean Peninsula. The settled world of empire was fracturing and communism was seen to be on the march world-wide, especially in Asia. Australia was in a region of turmoil as the European colonial powers either quit or attempted to re-assert their power. With Britain’s withdrawal from the Far East, Australia was left without the protection of a dominant power as a vexed decolonisation proceeded.  As part of the Anglo-American world’s attempts to stem the growth of communism and national independence, the Menzies Coalition government sent military forces to fight against communist insurgents in Malaya and Korea. The Communist Party followed the Soviet Union in supporting liberation struggles in both Malaya and Korea, as it had done in China before 1949; this support was seen by the Australian state as traitorous. In 1949, the Communist Party General Secretary, Lance Sharkey, was sentenced to three years gaol under Commonwealth Crimes Act provisions for stating that ‘Australian workers would welcome Soviet forces pursuing aggressors’. On appeal to the High Court, Sharkey’s sentence was reduced to thirteen months.[7] When Kevin Healy, a leading Communist Party figure in Western Australia, publicly agreed with Sharkey’s statement he was charged with sedition but was acquitted. In September 1948 Gilbert Burns, editor of Tribune, the Party paper, was charged with sedition under the Crimes Act and gaoled for six months for stating, in response to a hypothetical question, that if Australia was involved in a war between the Soviet Union and America and Britain, the Communist Party would oppose the war and would fight on the side of the Soviet Union.[8] These separate legal cases indicated the measures the state would take to criminalise the Communist Party.

On the industrial front, in April 1949 Jack McPhillips, a Communist official of the Iron Workers’ Union, was gaoled for a month for contempt of court for  stating at a shop stewards’ meeting that only industrial struggle would determine Arbitration Court decisions. Ted Roach, a Communist organiser of the Waterside Workers’ Federation, was sent to Long Bay Gaol for twelve months for ridiculing the Arbitration Court.[9] The Chifley Labor government in 1947 had empowered the Arbitration Court to impose penalties for contempt of court and to prohibit any ban or limitation on work by employees.[10] The Chifley Labor government had also imposed state–controlled ballots for union elections through the Arbitration Court, thus reducing unions to appendages of the state to the benefit of capital.[11] In March 1950 a Communist-led strike on the Brisbane waterfront ended when the Menzies government used Crimes Act provisions to force the wharf labourers back to work.

In May 1949, Ken Miller, a Communist organiser, was charged with the sexual assault of an eight year old girl in Richmond, Victoria .The case was dismissed when the child admitted in court that an unnamed woman told her ‘to say that it was that man (Miller)’.[12] Allegations of rape made against George Splayford, a Communist organiser living in Surry Hills, Sydney, were not proceeded with when it was proved that Splayford was reporting the theft of his motor vehicle at Paddington Police Station when the rape was alleged to have occurred at Bondi.[13] One August night in 1949, Thomas Dobson, a Clerks’ Union official and Industrial Grouper, crawled out of Sydney Harbour to report to Manly police that he had been thrown from a ferry by communists in an attempt to drown him. Later Dobson confessed that he had lied about the incident and was subsequently prosecuted.[14] These allegations against individual communists indicated other means by which the state and other parties sought to criminalise communism.

In Victoria in 1948 the Liberal Country Party government introduced a bill to ban the Communist Party, as well as repressive trade union laws. Trade union protests had delayed their application but allegations made by Cecil Sharpley (a defecting former Communist trade union official who sold his “story” of communist corruption and sabotage to the Melbourne Herald) led to the establishment in 1949 of the Lowe Royal Commission into communism in Victoria, which was intended to produce evidence supporting Sharpley’s claims to ban the Communist Party. Former Communists, J.N. Rawling and T.C. McGillick,  witnesses called before the Commission, claimed that the Communist Party was funded by Moscow, acted as a Soviet fifth column and had rigged the ballot in union elections. After 154 days of hearings, the Lowe Commission concluded that while the Communist Party advocated revolution it was not a pawn of the Soviet Union, nor did it commit industrial sabotage. Of the fourteen cases of Communist ballot rigging alleged, only one could be substantiated.[15]

These state actions indicate the dynamic of the emerging Cold War and the ongoing class war. During the Coal Strike a combined force of federal and state police raided and seized documents from the Communist Party headquarters in Sydney.[16] The Menzies Coalition government launched similar raids on Communist Party offices throughout Australia under the amended Crimes Act in October 1951.[17] The state’s determination to destroy the enemy within was exemplified by the creation of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) in September 1949, in response to allegations of a communist spy ring operating in Australia.  While Chifley believed that communism could be effectively contained,   Menzies was determined to entirely eradicate it. After taking office in December, 1949, the Menzies Coalition government set out to destroy the Communist Party and its fraternal organisations, confiscate Communist property and bar communists from Commonwealth employment and holding office in trade unions. The fundamental task of ASIO, under its Director Colonel Charles Spry, a former Australian military intelligence officer, was to achieve these objectives.

The Soviet Union’s successful atomic bomb tests in 1949 signalled that the US was no longer the sole nuclear power. The prospect of either a conventional or nuclear war against the Soviet Union and its allies led Menzies in August, 1950 to warn that Australia must be prepared for a world war in three years.[18] Domestically there was rising inflation, a growing demand for consumer necessities, a housing shortage, a lack of private and public investment in infrastructure, power blackouts, strikes in essential industries and continuing anxiety about the possibility of another depression.  Menzies’ plans to put Australia on a war footing would not only exacerbate many of these existing problems but also create others.

The conjuncture of Cold War and class war in Australia meant that the state under Menzies would ideologically and practically seek to destroy communism, casting the numerically small and isolated Australian Communist Party, with its limited influence in the trade union movement, as the cause of the myriad problems that beset Australia. By exaggerating communism’s influence within unions, preparing Australia for war could be both justified and accepted. The Communist Party was seen as either an alien, malevolent force or a body committed to sedition and sabotage, beholden to the dictates of Moscow.

The 1949 Coal Strike had shown the weakness of the Chifley Labor government in dealing with the Communist Party’s politicisation of the industrial dispute. Menzies, who dominated the Coalition Cabinet, was resolved that communism in Australia would be destroyed, not simply controlled, and his  government, like its Labor predecessors, used  Crimes Act provisions to prosecute individual communists, extending  Crimes Act and  Defence Act powers to imprison communists for sedition for extended periods on Phillip Island and other mainland locations. The state’s response to future strikes in the coal mines or on the waterfront was clearly signalled when, in response to union bans on ships at Williamstown and Geelong ports in May and June 1951, troops were brought in to do the work, following the example of the army engineers who worked the open cut mines during the 1949 Coal Strike.[19] Militant unionism and strike action were conflated with communism and would be punished. The class war became an instrument of the Cold War. However, the state still required the legal means to liquidate communism.

In May 1950, Menzies presented the Communist Party Dissolution Bill to Parliament and the Party prepared for eventual illegality. The Party’s new call for labour unity was largely unheeded within the broad labour movement, where the struggle between the anti-communist Industrial Groups and the communists for leadership within unions in the mining, manufacturing, stevedoring and power sectors was ongoing. Increasingly isolated, under ideological attack from the press and the state and with a declining but dedicated proletarian membership, the Party planned for its survival as an underground movement. An ‘Illegal Apparatus’ composed of selected members, ‘not prominent or not known as communists’ was established to maintain the Party’s existence underground.[20] Threatened illegality in the Cold War context was entirely different to the ‘illegal period’ during the Pacific War: in the Pacific War period it was to be made illegal; now the state planned to liquidate it entirely.  It is unlikely that ASIO lacked knowledge of either the ‘Illegal Apparatus’ or its activities; since its beginnings the Party had been penetrated by secret police agents and open to informers.  Party publications continued to be published underground and distributed by anonymous couriers. After the Communist Review reproduced a Comintern document on illegal Party work, it ceased publication for a short period. Later illegal issues of the Communist Review were circulated, printed by the ‘Henry Lawson Press’ in Eurunderee, NSW. The houses of less public communists provided sanctuary for leading communists who expected to be arrested and gaoled.[21] Party property was sold and the funds were distributed or hidden.[22] A selected new Party ‘leadership in exile’ composed of Eric Aarons, John Sendy, Keith Mc Ewan and Bruce Lindsay left Australia by ship for Europe in June 1951. They travelled overland to the People’s Republic of China, expecting that the existing Party leaders would be arrested and imprisoned.[23] These levels of preparedness indicate that the Party intended to survive in some organisational form under conditions of illegality and state repression. Whether these preparations for survival were adequate or known by the state security forces in the period between Menzies’ tabling of legislation to dissolve the Communist Party and the 1951 Referendum are unknown. The Party survived as a political entity because of other miscalculations by the state under Menzies’ stewardship, within the contradictions of the Cold War and the class war.

The Party’s mass work continued through the mechanism of non-Party organisations committed to democratic liberty. The model for this organisation was the Democratic Rights Committee, established in Melbourne in 1949 when Menzies declared his intention of outlawing communism during the Federal election campaign.[24] This form of mass Party work was an expression of the united front against state repression. These organisations, often with slightly different names, were formed in workplaces and local communities primarily in urban industrial areas, where the  Party formerly had a public presence and became mass organisations mobilised during the 1951 Referendum to rally the ‘No’ vote against  banning communism. In Melbourne a week before the Referendum on 22 September, 417 delegates from these people’s organisations representing 467,000 citizens throughout Australia unanimously condemned the Communist Party Dissolution Bill ‘as a measure which, if effect can be given to it, would convert our country into a vast concentration camp’.[25] While Dr. Evatt,  the new Labor Opposition leader following Chifley’s sudden death, carried out an exhaustive round of rallies in Sydney, Newcastle, Bundaberg, Brisbane, Griffith, Adelaide in opposition to the Anti-Red Bill Referendum, the momentum for the ‘No’ vote against  the constitutional amendment needed to ban the Communist Party was generated by  mass mobilisation of the Democratic Rights Committees. The Committees were denied expression in the press and radio although meetings were permitted in public halls, which were barred to the Communist Party. One response to the press blackout was the word ‘No’ painted by workers in large black letters on a giant metal chimney over the Pyrmont Powerhouse, visible throughout much of inner Sydney. The organisation, commitment and initiative of the Democratic Rights Committees strengthened Evatt’s campaign; in the weeks before the Referendum in Sydney the ‘No’ Committees distributed 5 million leaflets and 140,000 posters.[26]

From 27 April 1950, when Menzies tabled the Communist Party Dissolution Bill in Parliament, until the results of the September 1951 Referendum were released,   liquidation of the Communist Party seemed certain. The Bill sought to dissolve the Party and its affiliated organisations, confiscate its properties and to bar communists from employment in the Commonwealth public service and from holding office in trade unions. It seemed a straightforward task; the state would identify communists but documented membership of the Communist Party would not capture the most wanted communists. Instead, the state would declare communists on the basis of evidence held by ASIO. It was this abuse of state power to which Chifley had objected: the state could declare who was a communist and act without restraint or the rule of law.

The Bill passed easily through the Coalition-dominated House of Representatives, but the Labor majority in the Senate proved to be the first obstacle to implementation. The Bill had named fifty five trade union officials as communists; when five of those named were found not to be communists, the Bill was amended. To break the perceived power of communists in trade unions, the Bill emphasised that communists caused industrial strikes, which was akin to sabotage and sedition.  While the Industrial Groups and many leading Labor Party officials wanted communism contained or criminalised, other Labor Party members saw the Bill as a threat to the trade union movement.[27]

The Labor senators passed the significantly amended Bill on 17 October 1950, but the amendments to the Bill were unacceptable to the Menzies Coalition government. There was growing disquiet in the Labor Party and the broader labour movement over the application of the Bill and its consequences. Beyond Parliament, during the debate over the Bill, Communist-led unions spearheaded by the Waterside Workers’ Federation staged a series of rolling strikes and other actions against the Bill. The federal government invoked the Crimes Act to break the strikes, warning that such political strikes were Communist-inspired. Demonstrations against the Bill organised by the emergent democratic rights organisations occurred in different parts of Australia, including Canberra, where academics and church leaders condemned the proposed legislation.[28]

At this point, an agreement was reached between the House of Representatives and the Senate to lay the Bill aside. The situation both infuriated and frustrated the Menzies Cabinet, who sought to ban the Communist Party as a matter of urgency in light of the outbreak of the Korean War in June, 1950.  The American-led armed intervention into the Korean Civil War (in which Australian forces participated) to stop the communist forces liberating the Korean Peninsula was legitimised by the United Nations Security Council because of the Soviet absence in protest over the refusal of the Security Council to recognise the People’s Republic of China as a rightful Security Council member. In Australia, underground Communist Party publications condemned Australia’s military commitment to US aggression in Korea.[29]

Menzies was convinced that a communist victory in Korea would spark communist insurgency and expansion throughout Asia. He saw the communist insurgency in British Malaya, where  Australian troops were already involved, as ‘Australia’s primary task’.[30] Australia, allied to the United States and Britain, needed to prepare, by establishing a national security state, for a third world war against the forces of communism.  In Cold War logic, the Communist Party was the fifth column that must be destroyed. Destruction of the Communist Party was also essential in the continuing class war; the class struggle had to be contained by the state if capital were to prosper. A national security state would ensure conditions essential for investment and profitability by keeping a clamp on labour costs.[31]

When federal Parliament resumed in September, 1950, the government re-introduced the Communist Party Dissolution Bill, which had already been passed and put aside. Two Communist-led unions immediately briefed the Deputy Labor leader, Dr H.V. Evatt, to challenge the legislation in the High Court. In March, 1951, the High Court judges, four of whom were appointed by Menzies, ruled six to one that the Communist Party Dissolution Bill could not be valid under the Defence Power as the Cold War was not a war as defined under that Power. The High Court judged that Australia was still at peace, despite its military commitments to Malaya and Korea. In peace time, laws could prohibit ‘specific acts’. After the High Court judgement, in May 1951, the Prime Minister obtained the Governor-General’s agreement to a double dissolution of parliament  to hold a federal election, based on the third rejection by the Labor senators of  the government’s Bank and Arbitration legislation, rather than  the High Court’s decision on the Anti-Red Bill.

In the April 1951 election, the Labor Party campaigned on the governments’ failure to stop inflation and to cut public spending. Fighting the election on a single issue, the “Communist menace”, the Menzies Coalition won a majority in both Houses of Parliament; once in government they sought agreement from the states to grant  the federal government, under Section 51 of the Constitution, the ‘powers necessary to deal with communism.’ The states refused and the government used its majorities in both the House and the Senate to call a referendum to be held on 22 September, 1951.

On 13 June 1951, the Labor opposition leader, Chifley died suddenly and Dr. Evatt was elected as his successor. At a meeting of the Federal Executive of Labor Party it was decided that the Labor Party would oppose the referendum proposal to ban the Communist Party. Despite the ructions and discontent within the Labor Party caused by this decision, Dr Evatt campaigned strenuously for the ‘No’ case. The Industrial Groups within the Labor Party were divided about the referendum. None openly opposed Evatt’s leadership in the ‘No’ campaign, nor did they attempt either to rally the ‘No’ vote, or sabotage it. Anti-communists beyond the labour movement believed that the referendum would endorse the government’s plan to eradicate communism. Gallup polls indicated overwhelming public support for destroying the communist menace.  On the eve of the vote, Australian Public Opinion Polls predicted an overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote in all states. Throughout the “No’ campaign the mass work of democratic rights organisations attempted to rally the masses. The government intended to gaol citizens for their opinions. It was presented by the forces advocating a ‘No’ vote in the referendum that a ‘Yes’ vote would sanction both an attack on individual liberties and the move towards a police state. Evatt raised the possibility of Belsen-style camps across Australia with ‘named’ communists behind the wire.

The 22 September 1951 Referendum to amend the Constitution failed to give the federal government ‘the powers to deal with communism’. In aggregate, 50.6 per cent voted ‘No’, whereas 49.4 per cent voted ‘Yes’. Three of the six states of the Commonwealth, NSW, Victoria and South Australia, the most populous industrial states, voted ‘No’.  Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania, the less industrially advanced states, voted ‘Yes’. A double majority of states and voters was not achieved by the federal government to destroy the Communist Party through constitutional means.

Since Federation, referenda to change the constitution have achieved few successes. The failure of the Menzies Coalition government to destroy the Communist Party in the Cold War finally by constitutional means after the failure of the parliamentary process to achieve such a result, remains an irony of Australian history. The outcome of the 1951 Anti-Communist Referendum must be ranked with the rejection of the 1916 and 1917 plebiscites to impose conscription on adult Australian males for military service overseas during the Great War. Another contradiction of the state’s determination to outlaw and destroy communism is that the 1951 referendum constitutionally guaranteed the Australian Communist Party’s existence at the peak of the Cold War.

The Cold War and the class war of the late 1940s and early 1950s represented an exceptional conjuncture in the history of Australian communism. The outcome of the 1951 Referendum could have delivered to the Australian state the power to expunge communism from within its boundaries. What the state had been unable or unwilling to achieve when the nation was at war was almost accomplished in the first years of the Cold War peace.


 [1] See Alastair Davidson, The Communist Party of Australia: A Short History, (Stanford: The Hoover Institution, ,1968); W.J Brown, The Communist Movement and Australia,(Sydney: Australian Labour Movement History Publications, 1986) and Stuart Macintyre, The Reds,(Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1998).

[2] Brown, Communist Movement, 112-13.

 [3] Davidson, Communist Party, 158.

 [4] Davidson, Communist Party, 159.

 [5] Brown, Communist Movement, 176-181.

 [6] L. J. Louis, Menzies Cold War: A Reinterpretation,(Melbourne: Red Rag Publications, 2001), Chapter 5.

 [7]  Davidson, Communist Party, 108; and Harold Rich (Solicitor for L.L. Sharkey), The Story of the Sharkey Trial,(Sydney: Newsletter Printery,1949).

 [8] Davidson, Communist Party, 108-9. The Central Committee of the Communist Party announced that they did not share Burns’ view.

 [9] Edgar Ross, Of Storm and Struggle: Pages from Labour History,( Sydney:  Alternative Publishing Co-operative, 1985), 112 , 114.

 [10] J. Hutson, Penal Colony to Penal Powers, (Sydney: Union Printing, 1966), 174.

 [11] E.F. Hill, Looking Forwards, Looking Backwards, (Melbourne: Typo-Art Printing, 1965), 62-3.

 [12] Amirah Inglis, ‘Witch-Hunt: The Trial of Ken Miller and the Anti-Communist Hysteria in the 1940s’, Overland, no132 ( Spring, 1993):13-19; Brown, 168.

 [13] Bill Callan, ‘Illegal CPA Work in the Cold War’, 9th Marxist Summer School, University of Sydney, 14 January, 1986.

 [14] Philip Deery, ‘Labor, Communism and the Cold War: The Case of “Diver” Dobson’, Australian Historical Studies 28, no 128 (April 1997): 66-87; Ross, Storm and Struggle,112.

 [15] Davidson, Communist Party, 112-113.

 [16] Cited in Philip Deery (edited and introduced), Labor in Conflict: the 1949 Coal Strike,(Canberra: Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, 1978), .61.

 [17]  Louis, Menzies’ Cold War, 41.

 [18] David Lowe, ‘Menzies National Security State, 1950-1953’, Frank Cain (edited), Menzies in War and Peace,(Sydney: Allen and Unwin,1997), 41-47.

 [19] Louis, Menzies’ Cold War, 42-53 and Deery, Labor in Conflict,78-83.

 [20] Bernie Taft, Memoirs of Bernie Taft: Crossing the Party Line,(Melbourne: Scribe, 1994), 67-8.

 [21] Tom O’Lincoln, Into the Mainstream: The Decline of Australian Communism,  Sydney: Stained Wattle Press, 1985, 77.

 [22] Eric Aarons, What’s Left? (Melbourne: Penguin, 1993), 72-3; Laurie Aarons, ‘Confessions of a Failed outlaw’, in Elsa Atkin and Brett Evans,  (editors) Seeing Red: The Communist Party Dissolution Act and the Referendum 1951: Lessons for Constitutional Reform, (Sydney: The Evatt Foundation and Fast Books, 1992), 25.

 [23] Aarons,   What’s Left, 74-5.

 [24] Davidson,  111.

 [25] See ‘When Australia Said No!’ Australian Marxist Review, no.54 ( September 2011): 32.

 [26]Brown,   201.

 [27]Brown, 183-186.

 [28] A. W. Martin, Robert Menzies- A Life (Vol.2), (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2005), 145.

 [29] Brown,  187.

 [30] Cabinet Notebooks/1950 retrieved 20 July 2010 from cabinet notebooks/1950events

 [31] Louis, 37.