cover 18th National Congress

Communist Party of Australia, April 1958

18th National Congress
Draft Party Program


Source: “18th National Congress, Communist Party of Australia. Draft: – Party Program, Agrarian Program, Constitution, for discussion.”
Printed and published: by R. S. Thompson, Room 5, 288 King Street, Newtown, at 21 Ross Street, Forest Lodge, for the 18th Congress of the C.P.A., April 1958.
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.


Draft Program of the Communist Party of Australia

THE CRISIS WE FACE

The time has arrived When every Australian democrat must ponder seriously the future of our nation.

The flourishing young colony of the 19th century, with its liberal politics and small enterprise industry, in which pastoral and agrarian production played the predominant role, has passed away forever.

The small industrial enterprise has given place to the giant factory and steel mill; industrial production has outstripped agrarian production and occupies the first place in the economy.

Many tens of thousands have been forced from the small farms and the land to become wage-workers in the cities, and this process is continuous. Already the majority of Australians live in the six capital cities.

The small factory owner makes way for the monopolist, the small shopkeeper is menaced by the chain store, and big landowners and land-owning companies are gaining greater control of the land. Such is the main economic trend of our time, when a financial oligarchy dominates every phase of Australian life: we live in the era of monopoly in industry, finance and commerce.

This transformation has brought about important changes in the lives of the people. No longer is Australia a land of cheap and plentiful foodstuffs. The majority work in highly complex industries, with constant intensification of labor, under the direction of and for the profit of the few monopolists.

With the development of small scale industry into monopoly, accompanied by penetration of foreign capital, Australian capitalism became imperialist, exploiting colonies in New Guinea, Papua and various Pacific islands.

DEMOCRACY IN DANGER

With the growth of the monopolies has come an ever growing tendency towards reaction, increasing attacks on progressive thought and activities considered dangerous to the interests and domination of the wealthy few.

At the dictation of the monopolies, one repressive law after another is enacted. Working class political parties and. trade unions are threatened and attacked. Public halls are denied to progressive movements, and freedom of speech, press, assembly and travel hampered in many ways. The millionaires control the daily press, radio,, television and other means of publicity. They maintain a rigid censorship to try to ensure that only their ideas reach the people – they indulge in wholesale falsification.

Greater powers are given to the police authorities, and new secret police organisations, directed against popular movements, are formed. The hard-won democracy of the Australian people is under constant attack.

The growth of monopoly produces an ever-growing crisis – economic, political and social – and leads to more intense class and political struggle. The situation within Australia is strongly influenced also by the crisis of monopoly capital abroad, in Europe and America by the decay of capitalism in Great Britain in particular. Britain has lost its predominant position in the world and falls into ever-deepening decline which, in turn, renders more acute the position of Australia.

Our people feel the impact of the changing world on their daily lives and search for an answer to their problems.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

Within the lifetime of many of our people, there have been two world wars and the great slump of 1930-33. Today, the people know there is danger of a new world war and of a new depression. This occurs at a time when the productive forces of society have advanced a hundred-fold since our grandfathers time, when colossal scientific and technical advances have been made, when our knowledge has increased immeasurably, when the possibilities for ‘security and abundance for everybody have become ever clearer.

What is blocking the way to economic and social progress? The Communists reply: The system of profit-making, the ownership and control of industry by a few monopolists and bankers for their own gain and not for the benefit of the people.

The solution for the ills of present-day society is the Socialist ownership of the industries and national wealth of the country and production for the common good, instead of profits for the few.

Time and again, the people have rejected the Liberal Party, the representative of the biggest monopolies and financial magnates,, and its ally, the Country Party, which represents the interests of the big landowners, landholding companies and all of those who exploit the countryside, although many small farmers adhere to it in the mistaken belief that it serves their interests. After rejecting the Liberal and Country Parties the people have on a number of occasions turned to the Labor Party in the hope that great changes would be brought about and the way opened up to Socialism.

PEOPLE DISAPPOINTED

Each time the working people have been disappointed. The Hughes Labor Government was unable to meet the crisis of the First World War and split to pieces on the issue of conscription for overseas service. Its main leaders joined the party of outright reaction, of the monopolies and enemies of the people. This led to a long period of Tory reaction, for the so-called Liberal Party, which has had many names, is really a party of Tory reaction.

To meet the problem of the great depression in 1929-33, the people turned once more to the Labor Party and elected the Scullin Federal Government and Labor Governments in the majority of the State Parliaments. The Labor Party Governments could not solve the problems of the, economic crisis in the interests of the majority of toiling Australians. Instead they sponsored the program of the bankers and capitalists, known as the Premiers’ Plan, which placed the burdens of the depression on the backs of the toilers.

Consequently, the Labor Party lost its mass support, broke into warring factions, and again a number of its leaders went over to the side of the Liberals. Once more this led to a long and dreary period of Liberal Party misrule.

In the conditions of Anti-fascist War, when Australia was threatened with invasion, the people again turned to the Labor Party. The working people united around the Labor Government – fascism was defeated.

In the post-war period the people expected the Labor Party to lead the way to a new order. But the Labor Government failed to grapple with the problems – it failed to implement a peaceful policy and security for the masses. Instead the Chifley Government fell in with the plans of the giant monopolies and bankers of the, United States for war against the Soviet Union and other countries where the working people held power. The Labor leaders joined in building up the “Red bogey.”

The Labor Government engaged in strike-breaking, opposed legitimate union demands, jailed workers and prepared for war. This policy of the Labor leaders once more strengthened reaction and led to the return to power of Menzies and his bitterly anti-labor followers.

Why has the Labor Party so often disappointed the hopes of the people? Because in reality it rejects scientific Socialism – allies itself with big business and consequently bases its activities and policies on those of the ruling capitalist class.

Socialism has however been inserted in the Labor Party policy on the insistence of the rank and file – it forms a focus of discussion in the labor movement. Communists fraternaIly discuss with A.L.P. workers what is meant by socialism and point out that in their opinion so-called Democratic Socialism as propounded by the Labor leaders has nothing in common with scientific socialism and is in fact a delusion.

Communists recognise that there are sincere Socialists in the Labor Party who seek to serve the working class. To its credit also, the Labor Party has rejected the policy sought to be imposed on it by the so-called Industrial Groups – a policy completely alien to the Labor movement. The policy of the groups was under acute fire by the rank and file of the Labor Party: it threatened, to destroy the Labor Party as an effective mass party and to undermine the mass influence of the Labor Party leaders.

On many immediate questions the Labor Party program is progressive. Consequently there is a wide field for common action in 1 the Working class movement. Such action will clarify the ideas of the workers, enable them to test in practice the theories of the Labor leaders as against those of the Communists, and will ultimately lead to the formation of a single mass working class Party based on the principles of scientific socialism. Communists are devoted to healing the split in the working class movement.

But something quite different from the old type of Labor Government is needed if the problems facing the working class and all the toilers are to be solved. It is clear that a great People’s Movement, led by the working class, must be brought into being – a People’s Movement which will establish People’s Power.

FORWARD TO PEACE

To maintain peace is the central task of the present time and therefore the Communist Party devotes its main energies to fighting and organising for peace.

Australia sustained heavy losses in two World Wars. In the Second World War, Australia narrowly escaped invasion by a barbarous foe, Japanese fascist imperialism.

The post-war period has witnessed a further growth of industry – an intensification of monopoly. Side by side with that, housing, education, hospitals have been grossly neglected, necessary public works abandoned and the nation saddled with an enormous public debt.

The war preparations and rearmament program of the Federal Government aggravate all these conditions and undermine living standards, increase inflation, and place new grievous burdens on the shoulders of the people.

A new world war, waged with nuclear weapons and guided missiles would be ruinous for Australia, would cause untold destruction and suffering to all people.

The Communist Party believes that the people are strong enough, if they act in good time, to frustrate the war plans particularly of the American imperialists. The final elimination of the danger of war can only come when capitalism has been abolished.

The Communist Party brands as an infamous lie the’ statements of the reactionary press and politicians that the Soviet Union is planning to impose Communism throughout the world by means of aggression and war.

Socialism can be achieved only by the will of the people in a given country, when the conditions have become ripe for the historical changeover from capitalism to Socialism. Socialism will thus triumph in Australia as the result of the will and actions of the Australian people, and cannot be imposed from outside. Such is the teaching of Marxism-Leninism, the guiding theory of Communism everywhere.

There is not, nor can there be, “Communist imperialism,” since imperialism has its roots in exploitation, leading to a drive to invest profits and further exploit the working people. Communism is the antithesis of imperialism.

CAUSE OF WAR

Capitalism is the basic cause of war in modern times. The First World War occurred at a time when there was; no Soviet Republic nor People’s Democracies, nor a powerful international Communist movement. Capitalism controlled the entire globe and the war resulted from the struggles of the monopolies in the leading capitalist countries to redivide the world, to wrest from each other colonies and markets, cheap labor and raw material supplies.

The Second World War had similar origins in the strivings of the monopolies in Germany, Italy and Japan to expand, which led to fascist dictatorship and to their aggressive war for world domination. In preparing war they were aided by the anti-Soviet “appeasement” policy of the monopolists in Britain, U.S.A. and France.

It is capitalism which gives rise to the danger of a third world war. Today, it is the American monopolies, the, biggest the world has seen, which want to dominate the world, conquer colonies and subjugate the “backward” peoples.

American Big Business mortally fears the advance of the people’s forces throughout the world and the effects on all people of the mighty Socialist construction now proceeding in the Soviet Union, and the People’s Democracies. Capitalism fears the peaceful competition of Socialism. It hopes, by war, to set back the clock of progress.

The monopolists in Britain, France, Australia and elsewhere hate Socialism and the people’s movement and hope for a share in the profits of war as junior partners of U.S. imperialism. This leads to the loss of national independence and subordination to the dictators of U.S. imperialism.

The U.S. imperialists have ringed the world with air and naval bases and have troops stationed in many countries. They are stockpiling nuclear weapons and have embarked upon a colossal armaments program which is impoverishing the people of America and the whole capitalist world.

This aggressive policy, directed by the mammoth U.S. trusts, has destroyed the wartime unity of Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S.A. which defeated the fascist aggressors.

The American penetration of the economies of many countries, and American striving to take over huge profits wrung from the colonial peoples, lead to struggle and conflict between the capitalist states and the danger of war between them.

RENUNCIATION OF WAR

Since the end of World War II, the Soviet Union and other Socialist powers have consistently fought for peace, a peace based on national independence for all countries and a demilitarised, democratic Germany and Japan. The Soviet Union has repeatedly proposed disarmament, the outlawing of atomic weapons and the settlement of disputes by peaceful negotiation.

The Soviet Union is engaged in giant tasks of peaceful construction. It has achieved marvels in scientific advancement including the launching of the first man-made earth satellites. Its scientific achievements are devoted to the cause of peace. All this indicates the will to peace of the Soviet Government and people.

The peace policy of the Communist Party of Australia is based on the great principle of peaceful co-existence between the rival systems of capitalism and socialism. While imperialism remains there is an ever present danger of war but war itself is no longer inevitable. In present world conditions, the peace forces are capable of preventing war.

Agreement and peaceful relations with the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies can be achieved whenever the capitalist powers are prepared to negotiate with honesty and good faith. Indeed the main feature of our epoch is the development of socialism into a world system. It constitutes a tremendously powerful force for peace. It is possible for the rival systems, Socialism and capitalism, to live side by side in peace and. to determine in peaceful competition which is superior.

The aggressive war alliances with the U.S. government need to be ended. Our national independence must be upheld and a peaceful policy pursued which aims at world peace and international co-operation, independence and respect for the rights of all nations, the banning of nuclear weapons, disarmament and renunciation of war.

AUSTRALIA MUST BE INDEPENDENT

Australia’s national independence is threatened by policies and actions which subordinate our country to plans for aggressive war.

Throughout the history of Australia, from a convict colony to self-government and finally to the right to an independent domestic and foreign policy, the theme of national independence runs like a red thread. This process was continued when the Curtin Government endorsed the Statute of Westminster. Today, the independence won from British capitalism is threatened by American imperialism.

There is an ever-growing U.S. penetration of Australia in economic, political, military and cultural affairs, aiming at complete domination and converting our country into a semi-colony, a source of raw materials and manpower, and profits for U.S. imperialism.

The attempts to destroy the trade union movement, to curtail democratic liberties, to attack the Communist Party, the jailings of working class leaders are styled on a U.S. plan. The U.S.A. has already, through the Taft-Hartley Act, Smith and McCarran Acts and the Communist Party ban manacled the trade unions and political freedom. On the orders of the U.S., the Australian warmongers set out to destroy democracy in order to Prepare for war.

The Australian Government’s program of placing the country on a war footing and the enormous expenditure on armaments is largely influenced by the U.S. imperialists. The U.S. imperialists seek to use Australia as a base for their aggressive war plans – against the Asian people and for world domination.

The Australian Government, subservient to the U.S., acquiesced in the rearming of Japanese militarism, which has created a grave threat to Australia’s security and independence. Therefore, Australians must resolutely continue to fight for a demilitarised, democratic and peaceful Japanese state.

The Communist Party values the independence of Australia and rejects theories that national independence is out of date – theories which only make American penetration and domination easier. The Communist Party asserts that such independence is necessary for Australia’s growth, development and peaceful progress.

FOR COLONIAL INDEPENDENCE

Australian monopoly capitalism is itself imperialist. It already has its colonies to exploit in New Guinea and Papua and various Pacific islands. It has large investments in Malayan rubber and tin and in Fijian sugar and gold. It supports British, European and U.S. imperialism in their efforts to suppress by force the national struggles of the Asian people for independence.

These interests of the monopolies are contrary to the true interests of the people. Imperialism involves us in continuous wars which drain our economic resources and sacrifice our youth.

The so-called ANZUS and SEATO Pacts cannot be regarded as pursuing the aim of peace or defence of Australia, but are part of the world-wide aggressive plans pursued by the U.S. imperialists and of their attempts to suppress the national revolutionary movements of Asia and the Pacific.

Australia’s true interests dem and an end to the policy of intervention in Asia and instead, the cultivation of friendly and peaceful relations with our neighbours. Intervention in the Asian liberation movements, for example the presence of Australian troops in Malaya, antagonises half the human race.

We need a People’s Government which would put an end to colonial wars and to imperialism.

Australia’s geographical nearness to Asia and our economic interests demand relationships of friendship and mutual respect with all Asian nations, particularly with Indonesia, Indo-China and India, with People’s China and a democratic and peaceful Japan.

The demands of the colonial peoples in Asia and elsewhere for independence do not constitute a menace to the Australian people. The granting of their independence would open up the way to new fraternal relations, to a close association which would strengthen peace and Australia’s security.

ASSIST OPPRESSED PEOPLES

The treatment of the Australian Aborigines by Australian capitalism is a blot on the fair name of our nation and is condemned by democratic people, in Australia, and throughout the civilised world.

The peoples of New Guinea and Papua, of Fiji and other islands face, at the hands of the exploiting classes, the same danger of ruthless exploitation and extermination meted out to the Australian Aborigines. It is the duty of Australian democracy to safeguard these peoples from destruction at the hands of the imperialist “colonisers.” Their lands and economic resources must he guaranteed them and our scientific and cultural aid extended them so that they can advance rapidly and take their place in the great family of nations.

justice must be done to the Australian Aborigines. In the Northern Territory and adjacent areas tribal lands must be made secure for the surviving tribes and every aid extended them to develop their own life and culture.

It is necessary to establish full citizen rights for the Aborigines, including their right to decide their own affairs and future.

MASS MIGRATION

While welcoming those migrants from other lands who have made their homes in this country, and opposing nationalist prejudices, the Communist Party is opposed to the mass migration policy of the Commonwealth Government.

This policy of Commonwealth-aided mass migration is regarded by its sponsors as part of the plans for a new World War. It is a threat to the established living standards of this country. It takes place at a time of housing crisis and impending economic crisis.

SOCIALISM IS THE ANSWER

The way forward for Australian democracy is through the establishment of Socialism, which will open up a new and glorious future for the people.

Today, the politicians and editors who serve the millionaires attribute all the ills of the world to Communism and Socialism. The exact opposite of that is true. The modern Communist movements arose out of the struggle against the evils of capitalism. Communism has grown and developed because it provides the only answer to ever-recurring imperialist wars, to ever-lasting insecurity, depressions and slums, crime and poverty and the oppression of classes and nations that accompany the rule of the capitalists.

Communism has grown because its principles and teachings are true, because it gives a correct analysis of the fundamental reasons for the wars and miseries of our times, and because it is able to answer these pressing problems.

The solution is to end the private ownership of the means of production and replace it with social ownership and production planned to meet the people’s needs, that is, Socialism.

SOCIALISM ENDS WARS

Socialism puts an end to wars and the danger of Wars because under Socialism there are no capitalists who are interested in war profits and the conquest of new markets. and colonies. Socialist planned economy abolishes anarchy of the market and thereby puts an end to depressions and unemployment.

Social ownership ends exploitation of man by man because it is through private ownership of the factories and workshops, mills and mines, the banks and lands that the wealthy minority exploit the great mass of the people. Social ownership frees the energies of the people and productive forces for mighty economic, social and cultural advances by means of Socialist planning.

SOCIALISM AND DEMOCRACY

Socialism does not destroy democracy, as the servants of the wealthy assert but, on the contrary, enormously extends democratic liberties.

Despite the extension of liberties won by the Australian labor movement, the fact is that the great monopolies dictate policy to the governments.

By ending the political, economic and financial domination by the clique of millionaires, Socialism, for the first time, creates the conditions for the free expression of the people’s will. The dictation of policy by the wealthy few makes way for the dictation of policy by the many: the workers, farmers, middle class and the intelligentsia.

The only “liberty” which Socialism ends is the liberty of the privileged class to own industry and amass wealth at the expense of the great majority. Socialism ends all exploitation and oppression of the producers by a privileged parasitical class.

Nor does Socialism “worship the State” and aim at domination of the individual by an all-powerful State. As Socialism becomes firmly founded and grows into its higher form – Communism, the State “withers away” until full direction is in the hands of a co-operative society producing for the benefit of all. The talents and abilities of the individual receive fullest recognition, there is equal opportunity for all to rise to the highest positions in society.

HOW CAN SOCIALISM BE ACHIEVED?

How is Socialism to be achieved? What are the forces making for Socialism? How can we best go forward?

Socialism can only he achieved through working class struggle. Contrary to the theories of “Democratic Socialism,” the class struggle has not become outmoded nor has it abated.

Socialism will be achieved only by carrying on the class struggle to the establishment of Peoples Power in Australia.

Socialism involves the abolition of monopoly capitalism, socialisation of the giant monopolies and their use for the benefit of society.

Only the organised power of the people – primarily the working class in alliance with the small farmers and led by the Communist Party – can achieve this aim.

Our aim is to achieve Socialism by peaceful means, but this can only be realised by mounting an irresistible struggle of the working class in alliance with the small farmers, middle class elements and intellectuals against monopoly capitalism.

WORKERS’ MISSION

The working class has the glorious mission of leading all the toiling and democratic masses, farmers and middle classes, to freedom from the yoke of the monopolists. The workers are the advanced class who inspire, arouse and lead this democratic coalition. The trade union movement, embracing a united working class, will play a key, role; without it a People’s Government could not function.

Working-class unity, which means the building of the United Front of members and supporters of the Communist Party and Labor Party in the industries and unions, will strengthen the working class and its role in the People’s Movement.

The working people in industry and agriculture constitute the great majority of the population. The alliance of the workers and farmers constitutes the main base of the new People’s Power. With them also should he included the professional and clerical workers, scientists, technicians and teachers, small shopkeepers and business people, all of whose interests are threatened by the evergrowing encroachments of the monopolists, financiers and big landowners.

These are the classes and groups who have repeatedly elected Labor Governments, only to see their hopes bitterly disappointed. This mighty political force can also establish People’s Power and fundamentally alter society in line with its own interests – the interests of the immense majority.

The fight for People’s Power needs to be waged in opposition to the rightwing Labor leaders, and by the rank and file of the Labor Party itself in unity with all other sections of the progressive movement.

The active people’s movement which unites the majority of our people under the leadership of the working class, is essential for winning a genuine People’s Government. It will develop as a result of the experience of many struggles – large and small – which our working people will wage in defence of their interests.

This mighty organised movement of the people led by a united working class will win real people’s political power and a People’s Government. The machinery of State will be transformed and the agents of the monopolies in positions of authority in the civil service, police, judiciary and the armed forces will be replaced by determined and loyal supporters of the people’s power.

Our parliaments will be filled by true representatives of the people’s movement, who will be subject to recall at any time by a majority of their electors. The legislative and executive machinery of the country will be made continuously responsive to the democratic will of the people, and the whole of the people will be drawn into active participation in the control and administration of every sphere of national life.

The People’s Government, arising from, and based upon the People’s Movement and the People’s Parliament, will immediately proceed to replace the present dangerous policy of war with a policy of peace, and to break the power of the small clique of industrial, banking and land monopolies as the essential conditions for opening the way to the building of Socialism.

PEOPLE’S PROGRAM

The People’s Government, would:

The Communist Party at all times stands for a peaceful solution of the political, economic and social issues of our time.

However, in carrying through these decisive measures to implement the democratic will of the people, every effort of the capitalist class to defy the People’s Government and Parliament will be resisted and defeated.

The Government will rely on the strength of the organised workers to ensure that. the program decided upon by the people’s representatives in Parliament is operated in practice, and that all attempts to resist or sabotage it are defeated and the enemies of the people brought to justice.

The power of the working people, uniting all sections who recognise the need for social change and participate in carrying it through, as expressed and laid down through the. elected Parliament, is alone capable of securing peace, high wages for working people and higher net incomes for working farmers, rapid expansion of the productive forces, and of creating the conditions for the establishment of Socialism.

SOCIALIST NATIONALISATION OF THE MONOPOLIES

Socialist nationalisation is the foundation of the policy of a People’s Government. Socialist nationalisation abolishes private ownership, of industry and substitutes public, Socialist ownership. Instead of production for profit there is production for the benefit of the people.

Socialist nationalisation is fundamentally different from the form of nationalisation to be found in some Australian industries – different, for example, from the Government-owned railways from which the capitalist bondholders draw an enormous annual tribute in the form of interest. This overwhelming burden remains, although the original loans advanced for the construction of the railways have sometimes been repaid twice over. Socialist nationalisation will eliminate this burden.

Socialist nationalisation eliminates capitalist rent, interest and profit and its objective is the continuous growth of the incomes and well-being of the workers and of society as a whole. It ensures the workers and their trade unions an effective voice, at all levels, in the direction and management of industry.

THE COMMUNIST PARTY WILL PLAY ITS PART

The working class is the leading force in the people’s movement in alliance with the working farmers. The working class, in order to fulfil its historical role, can only be victorious on the basis of the invincible teachings of Marxism-Leninism. Only the Communist Party bases itself on this firm foundation and this determines the vanguard role of the Communist Party.

The Communist Party will devote all its energies and resources to the building of the united front of the working class and the broad popular coalition to win the victory of peace and people’s democracy. This program can only be realised by the united action of the working people in the struggle for peace, for improved living standards, in the defence of trade union rights and the extension of democratic liberty.

The Communist Party demonstrates its serious purpose and honesty before the people by means of criticism and self-criticism. It openly and frankly discusses its mistakes and shortcomings in order to correct them and render better service to the cause of the, toilers. The Communist Party at all times invites criticism from the toiling people which will aid in the elimination of weaknesses.

The Communist Party unites in its ranks the advanced and most active section of the working class. It inherits the splendid traditions of the Australian labor movement and the militant spirit of the Eureka fighters. History proves that without such a Party,’ the victory of Socialism cannot be realised.

The Communist Party sees the future society ultimately as one of world-wide co-operation for the common good of all peoples, based on the principles of Socialist internationalism.

This does not contradict the national independence or national cultural development of each country.

It means equality and mutual respect between all nations and a peaceful solution of all problems.

It means the widest economic, scientific and artistic co. operation between the different peoples.

It means a peaceful, free world instead of one torn by rivalries, prejudices and war.

The Communist Party has no interests other than those of the Australian working people who constitute the vast majority of Australians.

The Party will work selflessly to win, the labor movement and the rest of the toiling majority for this program, and calls upon all workers, trade unionists, small farmers, and all those progressive people who want peace, who recognise the need for social change, to join its ranks in order to help the realisation of the glorious aim of a Peaceful, free and prosperous Australia.


Draft Agrarian Program

WHY THE CRISIS?

Australia should be a land of abundance for all – workers and farmers alike.

Instead, we have the paradox of many farmers con. fronted with financial difficulties arising from excessive farm overhead, low net returns and unstable markets, while many workers and their families earn insufficient to buy all the bread, meat, eggs, butter, cheese, fruit, vegetables and clothing they need to ensure a proper standard of life.

The farmer’s problem of reducing his costs and finding a stable and profitable market for his produce is linked with the worker’s problem of gaining a higher proportion of the wealth created by his labor.

MONOPOLY DOMINATES THE LAND

Finance capital has captured Australia’s rural industries, its tentacles extend from the land to the machinery, fertiliser, chemicals and oil needed for production, to the processing, packaging and distribution of the product, the whole pattern is dominated by monopoly.

The banks and hire purchase concerns which extort high interest rates on land mortgages, machinery and equipment loans, the transport and shipping companies which charge exorbitant freight rates for the transportation of farm needs and products, the chemical and fertilizer manufacturers who extract high prices for pest disease control and soil ingredients, and all the other business agents of finance capital, have woven a web around our farm industries and farmers.

High among this group of exploiters are the monopoly owned food and other processing companies. They determine the price the farmer must accept and often the kind of crop to be produced, the animal used and the very conditions of production on the farm.

Big land companies, big pastoralists, graziers and farmers, many with overseas directorates, exert constant pressure from their highly mechanised mass producing properties upon small and middle farmers.

These monopoly capitalists dictate policy in their own interests.

BIG BUSINESS AND FARMING

Agrarian monopolies are linked, through share holdings and interlocking directorships, with the iron, steel, oil, chemical, shipping, mining, newspaper, radio and brewing monopolies.

These concerns are owned or controlled by the same people as the banking ring. They constitute the financial oligarchy which rules Australia.

Monopoly capital, interested only in ‘profits, forces down the real value of wages, thus restricting the workers’ purchasing power and limiting the market for farm products.

On the other hand, monopoly capital forces up prices of land and farm requisites and thus raises the price of farm products further beyond the reach of the working people. In this and in many other ways, monopoly exploits and impoverishes both workers and working farmers.

FARMERS, WORKERS HAVE COMMON INTEREST

The spokesmen and agents of monopoly capital, to maintain its domination, strive to keep the workers and farmers apart, to turn them against each other.

Among workers it propagates the false idea that all farmers are greedy exploiters, who wax fat and prosperous on the dear price of foodstuffs and clothing bought by the workers.

Among farmers it spreads the equally false idea that the workers are continually disrupting the nation’s economy and holding up the transport of farmers’ products to the market and that wage increases are detrimental to farmers’ incomes.

it is necessary for the workers and farmers, who. together constitute the majority of the Australian people, to come together in alliance to defend and advance their mutual interests against the growing power of monopoly capital which today is the main enemy of the people.

NEW FORMS OF LAND MONOPOLY

Monopolisation of the best land by big landowners and land companies, and concentration of production on large-scale or highly capitalised farms, is a constantly increasing feature of Australian agriculture.

Ten per cent of the total number of rural holdings produce more than 50 per cent of the wealth, while the remaining 90 per cent of landholders between them produce less than 50 per cent.

New forms of land monopoly are appearing in Australia. For instance, in the Northern Territory an American company has been granted control of a huge area of land to grow rice with wage labor.

In West Australia another American concern has purchased 1,500,000 acres which it is. subdividing to sell at high prices to farmers who will to all intents and purposes be tied to the company.

In the 90 mile desert the A.M.P. leased a large area from the South Australian Government, which it is subdividing and allocating to farmers financed by mortgage advances from the Insurance Company. It is estimated that settlers are committed to an expenditure of 50 to 60 a week to cover interest, maintenance and operating costs.

Monopoly land ownership or control under-lease by financial institutions, land companies and. landlords, means that a large portion of farm income is diverted to rent, either in a direct form or indirectly through interest payments, instead of going towards improvement of the farmers’ living standard and development of his farm.

DEVELOPMENT THROTTLED

Land monopoly increases the price of land, forces many farmers to fight a losing battle for existence in marginal areas with poor rainfall and soil conditions, or, in the better areas, with insufficient land. Many others who want to become farmers are denied the opportunity.

Land monopoly creates landlocked towns, throttling local development of agriculture and industry, and stifling social amenities,

It results in our natural resources being ruthlessly plundered without regard for the future.

Forests are destroyed, runs are overstocked, creating conditions for wind and water erosion to take their toll, with floods an increasing daily hazard.

FAMILY FARMER AND NEW TECHNIQUE

Through their capacity to more effectively utilise modern farm technique and machinery, the land monopolists are increasing their stranglehold on rural industry. As a result, increasing numbers of share and tenant farmers are an important force suffering direct forms of exploitation.

The profits extracted from rural production are largely invested elsewhere, which contributes to the backwardness of agriculture and the lack of social amenities in the countryside.

While monopoly has established almost complete domination over land and production, as a general rule it does not control the output and methods of all farmers. The majority of Australian farms still remain small-scale family holdings. However, production from these farms is highly competitive. As soon as some new form of technique is invented to improve production it has repercussions throughout the countryside.

Farmers must continually invest in these new inventions, from machines, poultry cages, seeds, shearing cradles, to the employment of the aeroplane for fertilizing and spraying.

The rapid development of scientific and. mechanical aids has hastened specialisation in farming. This otherwise progressive step in the conditions of monopoly control adds to the continued anarchy in the economy and intensifies the farmers’ difficulties in periods of crisis.

The small farmer who employs in the main only family labor cannot always profitably employ, these new

production aids; yet he cannot compete in business without them. Consequently he is forced to increase the capitalisation of the farm. This in turn increases his cost of production.

Many small farmers, unable to make a living from their land, are forced to accept a very low standard of life or to seek part-time employment as wage workers in industry.

Middle farmers in the main employ, in addition to their families, wage labor to a limited extent. They have larger investments in equipment but are unable to use these to their maximum.

Clearly, it is in the interests of all working fanners, farmers’ sons, people of landlocked country towns, share and tenant farmers, and rural workers, to come together and to link forces with the industrial workers in, a struggle to break the grip of the monopolists.

SMALL SCALE FARMERS

To cover up its own dominant position and divert attention from its reactionary role, monopoly capital cultivates the theory of identity of interests of all farmers.

This theory is false. The interests of the vast majority of farmers are not identical with the land companies, absentee landlords and banks; neither are they identical with the interests of big farmers who employ mass production methods and are linked with the market and enterprises related to production.

Commonwealth Statistics show that in all the main farming centres more than 60 per cent of farmers employed full time in their holdings run one-man farms. If we add to that family farms, run by two people, a much higher proportion is given, leaving a minority employing permanent wage workers. These are mainly situated in grazing and pastoral areas.

The classification of those engaged in rural industry in March, 1954, was as follows:

Owner, lessees and share farmers264,093
Relatives of owners not receiving wages41,344
Permanent employees101,778
Casual employees95,009

Rural employees constitute approximately 40% of all persons engaged in rural production.

Farmers who do not employ wage labor, i.e. work own holdings, constitute more than half of the farm units or holdings in Australia. If one adds relatives not receiving wages to the total rural employees it would show 48 per cent of persons engaged in the industry.

This data discloses the dominant position in rural industry occupied by monopoly capital and a minority of rich farmers, and illustrates that the overwhelming majority of the rural population have interests in common with the working class.

Rural workers, non-owners and small and middle independent farmers live in the main in houses without modern amenities.

Rural workers and farmers who work part time as wage workers need improved trade union organisation and the support of the industrial workers to advance their interests.

It is in the interests of the majority of farmers, as well as the workers, that the organisations of the working class are strengthened in the industries, towns and in the countryside.

DEBT POSITION

Australia’s rural industries are saddled with a heavy debt burden as high interest rates which weighs down the majority of farmers; the amount owing to banks is only part of the farmers’ total indebtedness.

Banking institutions in the main restrict credit to small scale farmers for equipment and developmental purposes. These farmers are forced to seek credit accommodation from hire purchase corporations that are usually subsidiaries to the banking institutions, and to borrow from private money lenders, insurance companies, trust companies, machinery companies, oil companies, traders, merchants, agents and storekeepers. Interest rates on hire purchase loans range from 8 to 25 per cent.

By means of this debt structure, finance capital not only takes a large part of the farmers’ income, but s in a position to deprive him of his independence. as a farmer at will.

The loan sharks, like land monopolies, must be curbed. and the necessary assistance given to the farmers by a central Government banking authority.

Continued attacks by monopoly and their political Parties on the Commonwealth Central Bank threaten even the existing inadequate Loans position.

DEVELOPMENTAL WORKS

Australian agriculture urgently needs cheap and abundant water and power for its further development. Water to bring new land into production and to irrigate fertile acres; electricity to run modern machines, light up homes and townships, and to make life and work easier for all.

Because monopoly capitalism is concerned only with. winning maximum profits for itself and callously disregards the best interests of the nation, our country is periodically ravaged by bushfires, droughts and floods; our forests denuded and soil erosion has reached menacing proportions. We have the knowledge and ability to overcome these calamities.

Workers and working farmers should combine to force State and Federal Governments to act against big companies and landowners who disregard existing laws that give protection against drought, water and soil erosion and fire control. New legislation should be enacted to compel big landowners to contribute heavily to control and improvement schemes.

The State and Federal Governments should be compelled to find the necessary finance for a nation-wide scheme to reverse the present process by re-afforestation, flood control, soil and water conservation, a vast national fodder conservation scheme to prevent the waste caused through drought, and bushfire control through employment of all modern aids.

FARMERS, ORGANISATIONS

To defend their interests, and. improve their economic conditions, farmers have established a wide network of organisations covering producers in the different branches of rural industries.

State and National Primary Producers’ Councils exist to co-ordinate the efforts of the different organisations on questions of common interest.

Many of these organisations have a fine, early tradition of struggle in defence of their members’ interests, but in the course of time they have in the main been brought under the influence and control of big producers and their political parties, who have close affiliation. with the monopolists who exploit the mass of farmers.

Rich farmers, having more time and money at their disposal, dominate the leading positions in most farmers’ organisations. This enables them to skilfully neglect to carry out the demands from rank and file members and to impose a policy which is in the interests of monopoly capital and against the interests of the majority of the members in the organisation.

The constitution and rules of most farmers’ organisations stress their non-party political character, but due to the constant pressure of monopoly through the big farmers many have come under the influence of reactionary political parties.

To ensure that farmers’ organisations more consistently serve the interests of farmers it is necessary to rid them of reactionary influence.

Farmers’ organisations should seek the support of the organised working class movement in their mutual struggle against monopoly.

Farmers’ wives should also, be active. Women are capable of wielding a big influence in farmers’ organisations, also through women’s organisations.

Much which is progressive has already been achieved by the country women and every assistance should be given to ensure that their voices are heard and the demands taken up by them supported.

All kinds of farm organisations should take up the economic and social problems of country youth who are denied many of the opportunities open to youth in the towns.

Women and. youth in the countryside and their organisations would benefit considerably from closer relationships and regular interchange of experience with organisations of working class women and youth in the cities.

THE CO-OPERATIVE MOVEMENT

Australia’s primary producers have a proud record in the establishment of co-operatives covering marketing, processing of farm products and supply of farm requisites. The growth of monopoly and the development of large-scale farming are dealing severe blows to the independent co-operative movement.

Every year numerous co-operatives are set up and a greater number destroyed by economic pressure.

Monopoly demands complete control over the farm industries to ensure maximum profits, through its press and agents in the Liberal and other political parties it consistently endeavours to destroy co-operatives.

Monopoly interest offers producers temporary incentives, credits, better transport services and prices to win them away from co-operatives and get them at their mercy.

Banks impose credit restrictions and demands on the small co-operatives, and private concerns often refuse supplies at full wholesale price.

Many large concerns which started as small co-operatives and are still using “Co-operative” in their trade names, have secured themselves through company law connections with large enterprises. They are run by big farmers and big business interests with hand-picked directors and no longer serve the interests of small and middle farmers.

Co-operative organisations, set up under Government enactment, such as the NSW Egg Board and the Committee of Direction of Fruit Marketing in Queensland, which market, process and distribute farmers’ produce at cost, benefit both farmer and consumer, eliminate middleman profit, and, in present conditions, are co. operatives of a high form.

To build and strengthen producer and consumer cooperatives is in the interest of all working people who should demand that State and Federal Governments enact the necessary legislation to give protection to co-operatives, provide the necessary finance and other essential measures for their success.

LIBERAL AND COUNTRY PARTIES

The Liberal Party is the open and direct representative of the interests of Australian and overseas monopoly capitalism.

It is the avowed enemy of peace, democracy. and higher living standards, of all those things so dear to the majority of the Australian people.

The Liberal Party, which represents the wealthy minority, is incapable of winning an outright majority in Parliament and can only govern in alliance with the Country Party politicians.

The Country Party was established towards the end of the First World War to represent the independent interests of primary producers, in Parliament.

When first formed the Country Party had a program of demands which aroused great hopes among farmers.

With its development, big business, realising the danger presented by an independent farmers’ party which could ally the farmers with the working class, won control of the Country Party through top leaders whose own economic interests coincided and in many cases actually linked with finance capital.

In the Federal Parliament it has formed a coalition with the Liberal Party which dominates and dictates all major points of policy, including those covering country interests and farm industries, in the interests of the big bankers and industrialists, who thrive on the exploitation of workers and farmers.

In some States the Country Party has amalgamated outright with the Liberals.

The conflict between the real interest of the majority of Country Party supporters and their top leaders’ capitulation to monopoly influences is expressed in the desire to break away from the grip of the Liberals, the standing of independent candidates and sectional breakaways from the Federal Country Party.

To advance their interests country people must take up the struggle against the Liberal Party, and those Country Party leaders who tie the Country Party to it, linking forces with the workers’ organisations in the struggle for a progressive program for Peace, National Independence and Democracy.

A policy of peace and friendly relations with all countries is essential to the stability and further expansion of the export markets.

THE LABOR PARTY

Based mainly on the working class and drawing support from a considerable section of farmers, the Labor Party has introduced under wide pressure reforms of benefit to rural workers and small farmers but has never taken a decisive stand against monopoly capitalism, the real enemy of the working class and the working farmer.

The Labor Party, like the Country Party, has many progressive points in its country program which would, if implemented, advance the interests of the majority of primary producers.

The way forward to the winning of these demands will only come through the organised struggle of workers and farmers and the election to Parliament of true representatives of the people.

THE COMMUNIST PARTY

The Communist Party is the consistent opponent of monopoly capitalism, the true representative of the interests of the working class and small and middle farmers.

The Communist Party defends the cause of peace and national independence. It fights for the preservation and further extension of democratic rights. In face of all the attempts by monopoly capitalism to keep them apart, the Communist Party works continuously to unite workers and farmers in struggle for their mutual interests against the common enemy.

The Communist Party puts forward the following program of immediate demands for farmers and farm workers and appeals to workers, particularly the great trade union organisations, to join with farmers in a united effort to achieve them.

CLOSER SETTLEMENT

Large estates to be resumed for closer settlement and to free land-locked country towns. Such land to be subdivided and made available to farmers’ sons and those able and willing to use it.

MARKETING

.Government support for organised marketing under .producer control with representatives of consumers on all Marketing Boards.

Denounce all agreements which curtail our export market, Establish normal trade relations on a basis of equality with all nations.

Municipal markets for fruit and vegetables to be established, wherein Councils buy direct from the growers or their organisations under contract, sell direct and through retail agents to consumers; Councils armed with the power to conduct such municipal trading on a non-profitmaking basis.

CO-OPERATIVES

The introduction of special legislation to provide financial assistance and establish protective laws for the strengthening and extension of Producer and Consumer Co-operatives.

All co-operatives’ Rules and Constitutions to give adequate protection against the co-operatives coming under rich farmer or monopoly domination. Each member to have one vote.

The aim of the co-operatives to be to eliminate middleman exploitation, distribute, supply and, where needed, process and manufacture goods on a non-profit basis, secure the highest possible return to the farmers and cheaper prices to consumers.

GUARANTEED PRICE

Primary producers to he adequately protected against a price collapse on the market for their products.

State and Federal Governments to co-operate to provide stabilisation schemes for each farm industry, stabilisation plans to guarantee to producers employed full time a price that will cover cost of production and a fair ‘living income for the farmer and family.

Amount produced above the guaranteed quota to be sold at net realisation.

DEBT RELIEF AND LOANS

Farmers to be relieved of excessive debt burdens. A reasonable income to have first call on the farmer’s returns. Long term debts of small and middle farmers to’ be bought in by a central banking authority, readjusted, compounded into one account and repay ments spread over a period of 30 to 40 years at a very low rate of interest.

Adequate finance for the improvement of farm property, implements and stock to be made available at a very low rate of interest.

TAXATION

Abolition of all indirect taxation on essential farm and home needs.

Direct taxation on all incomes below an adequate living wage to be abolished.

FREIGHTS

Federal Government to extend the Commonwealth line of ships to a fleet capable of transporting our exports, imports and coastal trade, to guarantee Australia’s independence and freedom from the, avaricious overseas shipping combine.

Writing off the heavy interest burden on State Railways. This would allow the railways to cheapen their rates and modernise rolling stock.

Drastic reduction in sea, road and rail freights.

Registration fees on farm vehicles carrying farmers’ produce to be reduced.

EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

Commonwealth and State co-operation to provide central area schools with free Government transport for children and extension of commercial and technical colleges with boarding hostels attached.

A full living away from home allowance to all apprentices and students.

Financial grants to be made to Universities for the training of specialists in plant culture, disease control and especially veterinary sciences.

More Government research farms for special study and control of plant and stock diseases to be established.

HOUSING

Commonwealth and State co-operation to provide:

SHARE AND TENANT FARMERS

Share and tenant farmers to be adequately protected by legislation against iniquitous contracts and agreements.

RURAL WORKERS

Rural Awards for all categories of farm work with award conditions equal to skilled workers in industry, with equal pay for women.

DEVELOPMENTAL WORKS

Full-scale development on a comprehensive works program to control floods, for soil and water conservation, irrigation, fodder conservation, electrification, soil and pasture improvements, roads, homes and other needed amenities.

WAY FORWARD

.The way forward towards higher living standards, cultural and social amenities will only be won in a struggle against monopoly capital and all its agents inside and outside the farmers’ organisations.

This struggle will bring the two great producing classes, workers and farmers, much closer together.

The history of the Country Party shows that the farmers cannot act independently as a political force – they must act in alliance with another class.

This class is not the big monopolists represented by the Liberal Party who grind the farmers down, but the industrial working class, which is showing by its ,militant and courageous battle for peace, national independence, democracy, and higher living standards, the real way forward.

The united struggle of workers and working farmers will curb and eventually end the domination of monopoly capital in Australia.

On the basis of the people’s movement, embracing workers and farmers, there will be established a People’s Government.

A People’s Government would not only carry through to completion the program of immediate demands, but would go much further in helping farmers find a lasting solution to all their problems.

A People’s Government will nationalise the banks, the big industrial monopolies, the oil, chemical, fertiliser and machinery monopolies, which prey on the farmer.

It will carry out a policy of decentralisation of industry and organs of State administration.

A People’s Government will put an end to the monopolisation of the land by the big squatters, absentee landlords and large-scale capitalist enterprises and make land available to all those who will use it.

The big landed estates, at present controlled by abstentee landlords and large capitalist concerns, will be resumed in the interests of the nation and will be made available for closer settlement.

Small and middle farmers will be secured in their occupation of the land.

The living standard of rural workers will be improved.

In the case of the bigger farmers who have more land than they can use, their excess land will be bought in at a fair price.

The resumption of big landed estates, the purchase of excess land, and the bringing into use of new lands, will ensure that farmers’ sons, share and tenant farmers and others who wish to go on the land, will receive f arms.

Full protection and security of tenure will be given to all working farmers tilling their own land. Their debts will be cancelled and they will be given adequate financial assistance to further develop their holdings.

A People’s Government will establish a system of planned production which will eliminate crises and create conditions whereby farmers will be guaranteed a stable and paying home and export market for all that they can produce.

It will establish a wide network of machine and tractor stations throughout the countryside to assist farmers in the development of agriculture.

A People’s Government will also – provide the maximum assistance in further developing producer and consumer co-operatives, under democratic control,

It will encourage the voluntary extension of cooperative methods to farm production when producers themselves are ready for this.

The State farms that will be established on some of the big landed estates that are resumed will play a big part in the further development of agricultural science, plant and animal breeding for the benefit of farmers.

They will carry out on a much wider scale what is now done on a small scale by experimental farms in helping to control plant and stock diseases.

Finally, a People’s Government will embark on a vast program for re-making nature, which will include flood control, water conservation, irrigation, reafforestation, prevention of wind and water erosion, bushfire control, and electrification to bring light and power to every homestead.


Draft Constitution of the Communist Party of Australia

RULE 1. THE COMMUNIST PARTY

The Communist Party of Australia is a working class party, having no interests separate and apart from those of the working class.

The program, policies and organisational principles of the Party are based upon Marxism-Leninism, applied to the conditions of Australia.

The aim of the Communist Party of Australia is social ism, i.e. ownership by the people of Australia’s natural resources and the means of production – the basic industries, financial institutions, transport facilities, and the’ large landed estates controlled by the monopolists and big landowners.

Monopoly capitalism, in which a handful of monopolists make huge profits by exploiting the majority of the people, is a brake on Australia’s progress, keeps down the living standards of the people and results in recurring economic crises.

Socialism will rapidly develop Australia’s natural resources and its productive capacity, continuously raise living standards, and secure peace.

Socialism is a thorough-going social transformation. It will be achieved only by the masses of the people, led by the working class.

The Party Program, “Australia’s Path to Socialism,” is the basis of Party activity. It outlines the Party’s views on the way forward to Socialism, and the conditions for its achievement.

The Communist Party works constantly to unite and lead the great majority of the people in the struggle to achieve socialism by establishing a government of People’s Democracy. This People’s Government will be a popular coalition of representatives of all exploited sections of the people, based on the alliance of the workers and small farmers. The Party takes part in all the struggles in which the working people defend their interests against capital, thus linking the Part and the masses.

All decisions of the Party must be made on the basis of the experiences and opinions of the masses. These decisions are taken back to the people through the propaganda and organisational work of the Party, winning the support of the masses.

This is a continual process, a method of leadership which arises from the understanding of the Communists that the masses play the decisive part in making history.

The Communist Party is a voluntary union of likeminded people, the most class-conscious and active members of the working class and of other sections of the people exploited by capital.

To lead the people’s struggle, the Party must be based on firm political and organisational unity. Democratic centralism is the organisational principle which ensures this. Correct development of democratic centralism ensures a vigorous democratic life within the Party, living contact between higher and lower organisations, and collective leadership combined with individual responsibility in carrying out decisions.

The Party is a united, militant organisation, in which factional and splitting activities are impermissible. All Party members must carry out Party decisions, the minority must abide by majority decisions, and lower organisations must carry out decisions of higher organisations.

Criticism and self-criticism is necessary to maintain the solidarity and unity of the Party, and helps to improve the Party’s connections with the masses.

RULE 2. MEMBERSHIP

Membership of the Communist Party of Australia is open to any person, 18 years of age or over, who normally resides in Australia. The conditions of membership are acceptance of the Party Program and Constitution, activity in a Party organisation, observance of Party decisions, and payment of dues.

RULE 3. DUTIES OF PARTY MEMBERS

It is the duty of a Party member

(a) To serve the working people and win their confidence; to work for unity in active defence of their vital interests; to explain the Party Program and policies to them; to be honest with them and the Party; to extend and consolidate the Party’s connections with them.

(b) To defend Australia’s independence; to promote the cause of world peace and friendship between peoples; to defend democratic rights; to strive to raise the people’s living and cultural standards.

(c) To join and help build the trade union, farmer or professional organisation covering his or her calling. Also to support other organisations Whose aim is the advancement of the people.

(d) To defend and strengthen Party unity. To raise the level of his or her political understanding and knowledge of Marxism-Leninism; to observe Party discipline and carry out the Party Constitution, which are equally binding on all Party members.

(e) To develop criticism and self-criticism, especially criticism from below with the aim of improving the work of the Party; to be vigilant against all attempts at provocation, terrorism and spying on the labor movement.

RULE 4. RIGHTS OF PARTY MEMBERS

It is the right of a Party member:

(a) To participate freely in Party discussions.

(b) To elect and to be elected within the Party.

(c) To criticise in Party meetings any Party organisation, officer or member.

(d) To address any proposal, statement, criticism or ap

peal to any Party body.

(3 To reserve opinions or submit them to a leading body of the Party in case of disagreement with any Party decision, which, in the meanwhile, must be carried out unconditionally.

RULE 5. ADMISSION OF NEW MEMBERS

An applicant for membership shall be nominated and seconded by Party members. The application shall be discussed and decided upon by the Party branch. If accepted the new member may attend the next meeting of the branch. New members shall pay the required entrance fee.

RULE 6. TRANSFERS

(a) A member moving from one branch to another shall arrange for a transfer from the branch of which he is a member. The branch secretary is responsible for completing the transfer in all particulars and forwarding it to the next higher committee.

(b) Branches shall not accept any member from another branch without suitable notification of transfer being received through the appropriate Party committee.

RULE 7. DUES PAYMENT

(a) Party members shall pay dues as determined by the National Congress.

(b) A member who is four months in arrears of paymen of dues ceases to be a member of the Party. A member three months in arrears shall be officially reminded of this Rule, and a personal effort must be made to bring such member back into good standing. If a former member whose membership was lapsed for these reasons, applies for readmission, within six months of the decision, such member may, on the approval of the next higher Party Committee, be permitted to pay up arrears of dues and be granted continuity of membership.

RULE 8. DISCIPLINE

(a) Party organisations at all levels may take disciplinary measures against any Party member. These include: warning; reprimand; removal from assigned work; suspension or removal from office; suspension from membership; expulsion from the Party. Any decision taken for disciplinary action by a Party organisation must be reported to the next highest Party Committee. No member shall be expelled until the proposal is ratified by a higher committee.

(b) All members charged with breaches of discipline have the right to appeal, bring witnesses and testify before the appropriate Party organisation, or a body it appoints to handle the matter. Any member against whom disciplinary action has been taken has the right of appeal to the higher committees and to the National Party Congress.

(c) Except as provided for in Rule 7 (b), all applications for readmission to the Party by former members lapsed or expelled must be submitted to the Disputes Committee, and must include a written statement of reasons for expulsion or lapsing.

(d) Disciplinary measures may he taken by a higher Party committee against an entire party organisation, including: reprimand, partial reorganisation of its leading body; dismissal of its leading body and appointment of an interim leading body; dissolution of the entire Party organisation and reorganisation of its membership.

RULE 9. ORGANISATIONAL PRINCIPLES OF THE PARTY

The Communist Party of Australia is built on the principle of democratic centralism which combines democracy with centralism to promote a vigorous democratic life in the Party and to ensure Party solidarity and unity.

The main principles of democratic centralism are: –

(a) The election of all leading party bodies.

All. leading bodies of the Party must set out to study and learn from the experiences and views of the lower party organisations and members working under their guidance, and assist in solving their problems. It is the duty of all leading Party bodies to practise self-criticism and to promote criticism from below.

(c) Leading Party bodies must submit reports at regular intervals to the Party organisations which elect them. Lower Party organisations must report to the higher Party bodies. and ask for guidance on problems arising in their work.

(d) Collective leadership is the principle of leadership of the Party. All important questions are decided collectively, while individual responsibility is fixed for carrying out decisions.

(e) Party decisions must be carried out; lower Party organisations must carry out decisions of higher bodies; decisions of the National Party Congress and the Central Committee are binding upon the whole Party.

RULE 10. NATIONAL PARTY CONGRESS

(a) The highest authority of the Communist Party of Australia is the National Party Congress. Under ordinary conditions it shall be convened every three years. Special National Congresses shall be convened by majority decision of the Central Committee or upon a request from Party organisations representing at least fifty per cent of the Party membership.

(b) The functions and powers of the National Party Congress are:

(i) To receive, discuss and make decisions on reports submitted by the Central Committee.

(ii) To determine policies of the Party.

(iii) To revise the Party Program and Constitution.

(iv) To elect the Central Committee.

(c) Delegates to the National Party Congress shall consist of members of the outgoing Central Committee, and delegates elected by State or District conferences, according to numerical strength. The basis of representation shall be determined by the Central Committee.

(d) The main resolutions and proposals coming before the Congress shall be circulated throughout the Party at least two months prior to the Congress. These shall be discussed during this period in all Party organisations, which have the right to propose resolutions or amendments to the draft resolutions and proposals submitted by the Central Committee to the Congress.

(e) The National Congress elects the Central Committee, which consists of members having at least seven years’ continuous Party membership. The number of members elected to the Central Committee shall be determined by Congress. Election shall be by secret ballot of delegates.

RULE 11. CENTRAL COMMITTEE

(a) The Central Committee shall be responsible for up holding the Rules and Constitution, securing the application of. the general policies adopted by the National Congress and giving political, leadership between Party Congresses. It shall hold at least three meetings in each year. The Central Committee may call special State or District Conferences.

(b) The Central Committee shall elect a Political Committee from among its Members, may elect such other committees or departments as it considers necessary. The Political Committee shall give leadership to the Party in between meetings of the Central Committee.

(c) The Central Committee must promote criticism and self-criticism and develop collective methods of work and leadership throughout the Party.

(d) Special levies may be struck by the Central Committee. No levy shall be struck by any Party organisation except with the permission of the Central Committee.

(e) A Disputes Committee shall be elected by the Central Committee to deal with breaches of discipline and Party unity;’ provocations against the Party; disputes between Party members or organisations; appeals by Party members against decisions of lower Party bodies; and with applications for readmission to the Party.

RULE 12. STATE, DISTRICT AND SECTION ORGANISATION

(a) State, district and section organisation’ may be established as required. Their tasks are to. give leadership to the Party organisation and the people, applying the decisions of the higher bodies and developing the mass work of the Party in the area.

(b) The leading body of the State organisation is the State Conference, which shall be held as decided by the Central Committee but not less than twice between each National Party Congress. The State Conference shall elect a State Committee, whose members must have at least four years’ continuous membership. The State Conference shall consist of members of the outgoing State Committee and delegates elected from district or section conferences. or directly from Party branches, according to numerical strength, on a basis decided by the State Committee.

Between State Conferences, the State Committee is the leading body of the Party in the State. State Committees work under the leadership and guidance of the Central Committee, and must report ‘regularly to it. State Committees may elect an executive to carry on the work between full meetings of the Committee.

(c) District organisations may be formed in cities, towns or areas of a State, as determined by a State Committee or the Central Committee.

The District Conference is the leading body of the Party in the district. It shall elect the District Committee, which is the leading body in the district between District Conferences. The District Conference is composed of the outgoing District Committee and delegates elected from Section Conferences or direct from Party branches ac. cording to numerical strength as decided by the District Committee. Members of district committees must have four years’ continuous membership. District Committees work under the guidance and leadership of the appropriate State Committee or the Central Committee, and must make regular reports to the body leading its work.

(d) Section organisation may be established by a District or State Committee, or by the Central Committee, to include Party branches in a given area. A section conference shall be held annually, consisting of the outgoing section committee together with members representing the branches, and it shall elect a section Committee to carry on the work between section conferences. Members of section committees must have 12 months continuous membership. The section committee works under the guidance of a higher Party body, and must report regularly on its work.

RULE 13. PARTY BRANCH

(a) The basic organisation of the Communist Party of Australia is the Party Branch, organised in factories and workplaces, and in local branches organised in streets, municipal wards or suburbs, in the cities, towns and in country centres.

(b) The highest governing body in the branch is the general meeting of the branch members, which shall meet at regular intervals, at least monthly. The Annual Branch, meeting elects the branch executive.

(c) A Party branch shall strive to bring about a close unity between the Party and the working people. The duties of a Party branch shall be the following:

(i) To work among the masses, organising them in struggle for their political, economic and cultural needs.

(ii) To convey the views and opinions of the masses .to the leading Party bodies.

(iii) To carry on propaganda and organisational work among the working people in order to convince them to support the Party’s Program and policy.

(iv) To draw all Party members into the mass work of the branch.

(v) To check up regularly on the carrying out of decisions and on the activities of the branch members, and to strengthen Party discipline.

(vi) To gain new members for the Party and to train them to become good and active Communists.

(vii) To organise the political education of the Party members, including attention to individual study.

(viii) To develop criticism and self-criticism.