Into The Mainstream by Tom O’Lincoln

The Rise of Australian Communism

"There's going to be a meeting in Perth about Russia," Feathers said ... "I think I'll go and hear what they have to say." He paused and ran his hand through his hair. "You never know. It might be the start of something new. We need a new start." — Judah Waten, The Unbending [1]

Australian socialism has always reflected the weaknesses of the Labor movement more than its strengths.

To be sure, the Labor Party was "socialist" ... but what did that mean? For William Lane, "we are all socialist only some of us don't know it", [2] and Cardinal Moran suggested how seriously ALP socialism might be taken when he remarked: "If men in the advancement of their political interests chose the name Socialists, I say again what's in a name ...?" [3]

For the mainstream Labor supporters, socialism meant little more than state intervention in the economy, to ensure a more rational capitalism and a society in which the unfair advantage enjoyed by the employers on the industrial battlefield would be neutralised. At the same time it was closely tied to the role of the state in promoting tariff protection and White Australia.

The only real socialists were isolated in small sects and, for a time, in the Industrial Workers of the World. While the latter were largely smashed by repression during the Great War, the former survived, but only in greater or lesser isolation from the big batallions of the working class. And even their socialism was confused ... and certainly it was only tenuously Marxist.

Marx's works were ill-digested. The young socialist Harry Holland had complained that to read Marx you needed "a hard seat, a bare table, and a head swathed in wet... ice cold towels." [4] But if the Australian socialists were backward, they were still frustrated by the even greater political backwardness of the labour movement, and tended to respond to it in a didactic and sectarian manner, dwelling on the stubborn stupidity of the masses and hoping to overcome it with lectures.

Harry Holland complained that while socialists were the sculptors of the new society, they were working on the "man with the stone head". [5] The Australian Socialist Party for its part described the horrors of capitalism and then abused its own audience, the very victims of these horrors:

Yet you have bitterly cursed those who would teach you to understand these things, and chased after every will-o'-the wisp that came from our common oppressors.

The ASP went on, however, to place its hope for converting the heathen in education: "Lose no time joining the campaign to capture your brother's brain." [6]

The first socialist organisation was the Socialist League, founded in 1887, and uniting all those interested in socialism. But differences of opinion soon arose, in particular over how to relate to the Labor Party. One point of view argued for "boring from within" the ALP, to transform it into a genuine socialist party or at least to reach militant workers inside it. In Victoria this current found its expression in the Victorian Socialist Party which achieved a short-lived mass presence under the leadership of Tom Mann. In NSW the left inside the ALP was less coherent but more influential, counting among its ranks people like Jock Garden, leader of the Trades and Labour Council.

Standing proudly outside the ALP were the socialist sects, most prominent among them the Australian Socialist Party and the Socialist Labor Party. Then as now, Sydney was the home of the sectarians. The Socialist Labor Party were the followers of Daniel De Leon and considered that De Leon had perfected the blueprint for socialism; hence by definition the SLP were the only true socialist party. The

Australian Socialist Party were less self-important, but they too refused to go anywhere near the Labor Party not only on tactical or strategic grounds but on a matter of absolute principle:

The Labor Party does not clearly and unambiguously avow Socialism, nor does it teach it; it is unlike any other working-class creation in the world in that it builds no socialist movement, issues no socialist books, debates no socialist problems. It is not international, it is not Marxian. In politics and practice it is liberalism under a new name; in utterance and ideal it is bourgeois. [7]

To create a Communist Party in Australia it would be necessary to somehow resolve this historic divide between those operating within the ALP and those opposed on principle to doing so. This was difficult indeed, and it would perhaps have been impossible without the impact both of a major upsurge in the class struggle in Australia and of a revolution in Russia.

In Australia as in so many places the latter stages of the first World War brought a dramatic escalation of the class struggle, then after about 1920 militancy declined. The strike figures tell some of die story:

Year Days Lost Year Days Lost
1914 1090 1919 4304
1915 583 1920 3587
1916 1679 1921 1286
1917 4500 1922 859
1917 581 1923 1146

Strike levels began to rise significantly in 1916, the year that a historic struggle began over Billy Hughes' unsuccessful attempts to introduce conscription. In the following year they reached spectacular proportions as workers in New South Wales waged a near-general strike over speed-up in the railways. And though the strike was crushed, within a year militancy had bounced right back in a series of economic struggles. To get an appreciation of the scale of these events, one need only multiply the statistics to bring them into line with the size of today's trade union movement whose membership is three times larger. In 1974, the high point of latter-day industrial militancy, about 6 million strike days were lost — a level of struggle high enough to help destabilize the Whitlam government. Suppose the figure had been more like 12 million!

The failure of the "Great Strike" of 1917 led to a discussion of strategy, and many gravitated toward a project of union reform: the idea of "One Big Union". This won support from many official union bodies and fired the imagination of activists, at the same time that there was a radicalisation of the left wing of the ALP.

At an All-Australian Trade Union Congress held in Melbourne in 1921, which provided "a microcosm of the ideas and influences at work in the labour movement" [8] the chairman, Holloway, called for a program which would "make the next decade the transition period from Capitalism to Socialism." [9] In order to make such a prospect possible, the Congress set up a Council of Action of labour and union leaders. Clearly Australian labour was moving rapidly leftward.

In addition to the obvious Australian factors in this radicalisation, one must also consider the impact of the Russian revolution. This took some time to make itself felt, both because of this country's geographical isolation and because local events like the conscription struggle of 1916-17 were foremost in people's minds. There was at first only a vague sympathy with the revolution; when Archbishop Mannix greeted it as "the end of an age old tyranny" [10] he clearly did not understand its significance. Then came a slow process of clarification which the young war hero turned socialist, Hugo Throssel, summarised as follows:

With the arrival in Australia of Lenin's classic, "State and Revolution", clarity was definitely stimulated. It was the first clear Marxist exposition of the role of the State ... Other works of Lenin followed in quick succession. They were augmented by eye witness accounts such as John Reed's thrilling book, "Ten Days that Shook the World"; then followed rapidly reports by Arthur Ransome, Professor Goode, Rhys Williams and Colonel Robins. They were all snapped up by workers and political activists." [11]

If clarity was stimulated it was, however, by no means rapidly achieved. The SLP claimed Lenin for its own; the ASP declared itself "communist" and published a manifesto restating its traditional politics; Jock (iarden for his part declared Bolshevism to be the basis for building the "One Big Union". However one idea of the Bolsheviks penetrated in some quarters: a belief in the immediacy of revolution. Australia had seen a massive split in the ALP over conscription, and a gigantic political struggle over the issue; this was followed by two major strike waves. Then unemployment rose sharply to 11 percent in 1921, while the Melbourne union congress called for socialism within a decade. To some Australian leftists, the Communist International's declaration that "the epoch of final decisive struggle ... has arrived"[12] seemed a reasonable proposition, and accordingly 26 people representing various radical socialist currents met in Sydney in late 1920 to found the Communist Party of Australia.

A Decade In the Wilderness

THE NEW party led a chequered existence. Among its founders were the "Trades Hall Reds" led by Jock Garden, who were active inside the ALP; the remnants of the Industrial Workers of the World who hoped to win the new party to revolutionary syndicalism; and the Australian Socialist Party, for whom both these approaches were anathema. However the ASP, which possessed the largest cadre force and a coherent political line, expected to be able to dominate the new organisation. They were to be disappointed.

Jock Garden, who made up in tactical agility what he lacked in numbers, blocked with the IWW elements to gain control of the provisional executive, then postponed elections to the permanent executive for months. The ASP, finding itself outflanked, pulled out of the united organisation to rename itself the "Communist Party" and there were two rival fragments claiming to represent the Communist International.

The usual judgement of historians is that while the ASP was the better organised and educated, the Garden group was more practical and thus in the end superior. To what extent is this really true?

Certainly the ASP were organisationally stronger and had larger paper sales. When J.B. Miles, a leader of die Queensland Communists, came down to investigate the split, he reported that the ASP sold more papers than its rivals, and that their meetings were more impressive. By contrast he found the Garden group confused and demoralised — but much worse, he indicted them for gross opportunism.

" 'Tactics' seems to have become a disease" with the Garden group, wrote Miles. Garden had published a totally uncritical account of a Labor Party conference, and had put the leader of the New Zealand Labor Party on a CPA platform (to the horror of the New Zealand (Communists). [13] Miles' impression is backed by historian Miriam Dixson who records that Garden supported a proposed "One Big Union" constitution which excluded Asians, and quotes him as advancing a gradualist conception of the road to socialism:

No one can make a revolution. It is something which is born by things developed under the capitalist system. It will come. It is coming. Everyone knows that. When the system of its own weight starts to collapse, then it is for a movement like this one to take directing authority in Parliament and everywhere else, so that the whole machinery will act at the one time.

When an AWU leader retorted that "That is purely evolution" Garden did not demur. [14]

Similarly, veteran Communist Richard Dixon later described Garden as "something of a demagogue". [5] Yet his victory was sealed by the sectarianism of his rivals.

According to the ASP's own correspondence, some of the better members of the Garden group came to the ASP's conference to beg them to unite, "in order to assist in expelling an admittedly bad element" [16] yet they spurned the approach. Such intransigence was not designed to win the favour of the Comintern, which according to the party's own representatives in Moscow at the time, would "listen to nothing but unity". [17] The Comintern demanded a unity conference on very fair terms, but the ASP refused and Garden won recognition as the official representative of the Communist movement. The bulk of the ASP rank and file now defected to the new organisation, which was known for a time as the United Communist Party of Australia.

Garden's approach thus became the dominant line in the CPA for some years, and the party sought affiliation to the ALP. In NSW this was successful for a time, a success that was of international significance given the failure of the British party to achieve the same thing. However it seems clear that the entry work was conducted on an opportunist basis consistent with Garden's previous track record. Historian Frank Farrell, who can hardly be accused of criticising the CPA from the left, records:

In (1921) Garden made overtures to the AWU — long the bete noir of the IWW ... and he came to an arrangement whereby the much vaunted One Big Union became acceptable to the AWU. Garden's flirtation with the AWU was not only significant in union affairs generally ... but was also aimed at ingratiating Communists directly into the ALP. The AWU virtually ran the ALP in Queensland, and held precarious control of it in New South Wales through the Party's State executive. This plan to enter the Labor Party aroused deep hostility among many rank and file Communists. [18]

Moreover, while the party might be united it was far from politically coherent. Farrell describes it as having been "a curious mixture of groupings" in which the Garden leadership was "closely adapted to the industrial environment and the prevailing mood of important elements of the labour movement", but recruits from the socialist sects "kept alive a sense of party identity, and a certain sectarianism and spirit of criticism of the existing labour movement." [19] In Melbourne the small and struggling CPA branch was a "congerie of groups either new to the labour movement and ignorant of its affairs, or doctrinaire and sectarian" and when the Adelaide branch collapsed "its place was taken by several organisations". [20]

Such an organisation was likely to be torn apart by outside pressures. If the party could claim a sizeable membership at first, up to 1500 according to Pravda [21] , it could not hold it together. The more militant and/or sectarian elements alienated the friends Garden was trying to make with his opportunist alliances. These friends then denounced the party or attacked it, and stole away the right wing of its rank and file.

In 1923 the more militant sections of the party, whose views found regular expression in the CPA newspaper Workers’ Weekly, antagonised the leaderships of two key unions. First, in the early part of the year, they criticised the management of a maritime strike in North Queensland and made an enemy of Tom Walsh, the Seamen's leader who had supported the party and was still a leftist. And later in the year, the Workers’ Weekly carried on a ferocious polemic against the Miners' leader A.C. Willis, who had been important in securing Communist affiliation to the ALP.

In the course of a dispute in Maitland, the CPA had called for a general strike of all miners. For this they were accused of playing into the hands of the coal owners, and Willis told the establishment press that both the coal owners and the Communists wanted a general strike. The party was able, in the course of a long and heated series of exchanges, to demolish the latter contention, [22] but not to keep Willis from moving to isolate the CPA in the union and the ALP.

By the end of the year, the Communists had been expelled from the Labor Party, and despite an impressive defence campaign among rank and file ALP supporters, the expulsion was final. A large section of the CPA membership, who had held dual memberships with the ALP, elected to stay in the Labor Party and ceased to be Communists.

The party now turned to rank and file union work, which will be discussed below, and to electoral activity. Jock Garden stood for NSW State Parliament and is said to have been bitterly disappointed at receiving only a few hundred votes. Certainly the electoral initiative must be judged a failure: all six candidates, standing in working class electorates, lost their deposits.

The result should not have been a surprise, for the party was now operating in a very difficult social environment. The CPA had been formed on the expectation of the final crisis of capitalism, but it could now be seen that it had been founded at the tail end of the post-war radicalisation. After 1920 strike levels fell. The "One Big Union" movement fell prey to bureaucratic delays, AWU obstruction, and declining interest on the part of union members. The ALP left, after the high point of 1921, became increasingly isolated.

The CPA seemed confronted with an indefinite period in which it would be confined to passive propaganda, and as this prospect was rather less inviting than the grand hopes of a few years past, defections continued. Guido Barrachi, a leading intellectual, called for liquidating the organisation into the ALP and when he was defeated, resigned and went overseas. A year later Garden himself departed, taking with him his fellow union officials on the TLC.

Those who remained pursued propaganda from 1926 to 1928 under the leadership of a Canadian immigrant named Jack Kavanagh, and fought a determined struggle to hold the party together. Kavanagh himself probably deserves more credit for sustaining the party than he is usually given. He first carried out a systematic debate with Garden in order to defeat those who sought to liquidate the party, then tried to introduce a more centralised and organised regime. In fact it was the Kavanagh leadership which first called for a "Bolshevisation" of the party. Unfortunately he was up against immense odds. After a year of supposed "Bolshevisation", Norman Jeffery complained of a "lack of co-ordination and a systematic method" as well as the "indifference of nucleus leaders". [23] With regard to his political method, Kavanagh has been called sectarian and doctrinaire, but it is not clear what options were open to the party at this time except propaganda and holding firm to what organisation it possessed; to later generations working in a more fruitful environment, this may appear sectarian in retrospect even if it was unavoidable at the time.

And Kavanagh never got an opportunity to show what he could do in changed circumstances, for he was pushed from power just as the party's fortunes began to pick up.

Around 1927 the economy began to slide toward depression and unemployment began to rise. From 1928 there began a series of major industrial confrontations, involving first the waterside workers, whose prolonged unofficial strike was broken, leaving them weakened for years and forced to work with non-unionists. This was followed by the defeat of the timber workers, a struggle which led to a lengthening of working hours not only in that industry but in many other places. Finally, in the latter half of 1929, there was a lock-out on the northern coalfields of New South Wales. Here too, the union was defeated, and rank and file bitterness founds its most spectacular expression in a riot at Rothbury.

These struggles, though defeated, marked a permanent change in the political climate, and one which was to benefit the Communists enormously. Militant workers were disillusioned with traditional trade unionism, and especially with the timidity that had been shown by many union officials. They were disillusioned too with the response of Labor Governments, which presided over the same sort of union-bashing as the conservatives. Meanwhile, unemployment was reaching astronomical proportions. Only a small minority of workers were led by these events to turn toward Communism, but that minority was enough to turn the CPA from a sect into a small mass party.

As it became clear that a new crisis was beginning, debates began within the CPA about how to respond. Kavanagh had opposed dissolving the party into the ALP, but he did not believe that the CPA had the resources to challenge Labor for the allegiance of any significant section of the working class. After the electoral fiasco of 1925, he was dubious about standing candidates against the ALP. Instead he called for a policy of critical support for Labor candidates: support for their election, but criticism of their policies combined with a call for the workers to rally to a revolutionary program. The transformation of the workers to revolutionary consciousness "is not effected through political miracles", said the CPA policy adopted at the end of 1928, "nor will we accomplish it through virtuous isolation of the C.P. from the masses, but it is a long and difficult process whose various phases we must help in speeding up." [24]

In retrospect this attitude appears as somewhat overconservative, though we must remember that the party did not know how vast the coming crisis was going to be. In reality there was soon to be a considerable radicalisation, and there were those who predicted new opportunities opening up for the CPA and called for a more aggressive and leftwing approach to meet them. They were backed increasingly by Moscow. Stalin had heralded the advent of a new "Third Period" which was to be filled with wars and revolutions. Capitalism would lace deep crisis and reforms would be impossible; hence the bourgeoisie would turn to fascism and the reformists would become mere tools of the bourgeoisie. The reformists were therefore "social fascists". The Communists must strike out boldly and independently, calling on the workers to rally around them against "social-fascism". In electoral terms this meant standing Communist candidates.

Early in 1928 Norman Jeffery and Jack Ryan brought back from Moscow the so-called "Queensland Resolution" calling on the party to stand candidates against the Queensland Labor government. This the party did, with some modest success, and a faction based primarily on Queensland called for the policy to be implemented nationally. Kavanagh resisted, but his opponents secured explicit support from the Kremlin in the form of a cable, followed by a letter which accused Kavanagh of a "grave Right deviation":

Apparently, the party regards itself as being merely a propaganda body and as a sort of adjunct to the Left Wing of the Labor Party, whereas our conception of the role and functions of the Communist Party is that it should be the leader of the working class and the driving force in its political and economic struggles. [25]

The faction, led by Lance Sharkey and J.B. Miles, was now-emboldened to take the offensive. In discussions preceding the 1929 Congress they accused the leadership of "treachery to the working class". "The independent leadership of the Communist Party is the biggest question facing communists today," they said. "The workers are given two alternatives: organise under an independent leadership and fight, or capitulate to capitalism and its reformist allies..." Kavanagh's protests that the party was too small and isolated to carry out this perspective were brushed aside: "It is a definite lie to say we can do nothing because we are only a small propaganda sect, we are a party ." [26]

With Soviet backing the faction's victory was assured, and with the help of Comintern agent Harry Wicks ("Herbert Moore") the Sharkey-Miles grouping consolidated a new leadership and began to reshape the party. This was the stalinisation of the Communist Party of Australia.

From the "Third Period" to the Popular Front

STALINISATION meant two things first of all: the disciplined implementation by the Australian party of a new international line "which takes its place everywhere" [27] and a determined attempt to organise the party along the lines demanded by the Comintern. This involved building factory cells, careful planning and reporting "upwards and downwards". It also meant authoritarian control, for which purpose a new constitution was introduced. The key ruling body on paper was the Central Committee, but in reality the Secretariat ran things because it was the transmission belt for Comintern policy, to which the whole party was subordinate.

However the tightening up was only relative, if only because it could not keep pace with the growth of the organisation. The depression, which threw nearly 30 percent of trade unionists onto the dole queues, brought a stream of recruits: in fact at one stage in Melbourne, workers were literally queuing up outside the CPA offices to join. Rapid growth also brought high turnover, especially as the party was recruiting among the unemployed. In Victoria, for instance, membership stood at 287 in 1933 but many of them were paper members; at the start of 1935 the figure stood at 683 but there was still "abnormally high fluctuation" and there were "less members in the Party now than we recruited to the Party in the past two years." [20] In the early years of Stalinism the CPA was by no means the well-oiled machine it is sometimes imagined to have been.

In immediate political terms Stalinism meant the theory of "social-fascism" with its attendant tactical stupidities. When Labor Premier Jack Lang was dismissed from office in 1932 for defying British banks, and a vast crowd of people who perceived Lang's defiance as an anti-establishment stance rallied in his support, the Communists could only denounce him as a traitor. And the ALP Socialisation Units, which managed to temporarily commit the NSW ALP to socialism, were treated as left social-fascists. In Victoria the CPA prevented the units from forming for several years, and when they tried to organise in industry in NSW, this was denounced by the party as a conspiracy against the Communist-led Minority Movement.

Yet it was also in a sense the great heroic period of the party. These were the days of free speech fights, when Noel Counihan spoke to a crowd from a steel cage atop a truck while police frantically tried to cut him out. They were the days of eviction struggles when destitute families were defended, sometimes violently, against attempts to put them out into the streets; and of clashes with the fascist New Guard. And above all they were the days of unemployed struggles, in which the party was immersed for the simple reason that its membership was largely unemployed. The CPA's jobless followers were even able to dominate the Melbourne May Day of 1932, rallying 2500 people as against 500 led by Trades Hall, and ultimately storming the official platform.

No wonder that Sharkey said of these years that despite all the sectarian errors, "there was a great deal of energy and enthusiasm, and it would not be all a bad a thing if we were able to recapture some of the energy and enthusiasm, perhaps 'fanaticism' of that period." [29]

The cohering of a Stalinist leadership and cadre at this particular time is of some interest: in most countries it was accomplished in the late twenties against the backdrop of a rightward drift in society, and a commensurate rightward trend in the CPs themselves. For most parties, the "Third Period" was a time of defeats. By contrast in Australia the new leadership established itself in the context of the left turn of the "Third Period", a turn which was associated with a dramatic growth of the party. Does this perhaps provide some hint as to the origins of the much-remarked "leftism" displayed by the Miles-Sharkey leadership in later years?

The worst excesses of the "Third Period" began to come to an end in 1934, partly because the CPA was becoming something of a force and therefore had responsibilities. Wild-eyed rhetoric and ultraleft confrontations might successfully regroup a thousand activists but as the party grew the task was to win broader layers of people, and for this a marginally more saner approach was advised. The Comintern, meanwhile, began to provide it. After Hitler's triumph in Germany, signals began to come out of Moscow that the left turn was to be reversed. Its abandonment in favour of the "United Front Against Fascism" was decided by 1934 and fully elaborated in Georgii Dimitrov's famous speech at the Seventh Congress of the Comintern in 1935.

At first glance the new strategy appeared not only sensible, but also to be a return to the united front strategy of the early twenties. The unity of all working class organisations against fascism was only logical, and even the "Popular Front" which soon replaced it made sense if it only meant a tactical alliance among all groups who opposed the common enemy. As we have seen, it soon became something more than that: the subordination of the working class to the liberal bourgeoisie. This did not become obvious in practice in Australia very quickly, for the simple

reason that the CPA did not have a mass worker base to deliver to the bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, we can see some of the same logic at work in the party's campaigns against war and fascism.

A "Movement Against War" was set up in the early thirties, and achieved some notable initial support — the secretary of the League of Nations Unions in Australia noted that within months it had won more support than had the League Unions in twelve years. [30] Peace activists had become disillusioned with moderate tactics and were prepared to be associated with radicals and Communists. The growth ceased around the end of 1934, but interest was revived by the visit of Egon Kisch, the European anti-fascist campaigner whom the government unsuccessfully tried to keep out of Australia. Later, the renamed Movement Against War and Fascism was able to build an "International Peace Campaign" which held a Congress of 4,000 in Melbourne in 1937. The movement was deeply rent by the Stalin-Hitler pact, and its demise was naturally sealed by the beginning of World War II.

The political line of the anti-war movement was determined by the CPA and consequently its political evolution gives a good indication of what Popular Front policies meant in practice. In the early days the Communist approach had been simple: war was caused by capitalism and only a fool would fight for King and Country. At the end of 1929, as the Sharkey-Miles leadership assumed control of the party, Workers’ Weekly declared that " 'The spirit of Eureka still lives' is a meaningless bleat." [31] And in 1933 Ralph Gibson told a Melbourne audience that "When we are called on to fight for King and Country we are called on to follow our enemies and shoot our friends." [32]

The new policies took the party in quite a new direction. The main enemy was now fascism, and all other questions became secondary. To be sure, there was still a struggle for peace, but the main threat to peace was fascism. Dimitrov made the implications quite clear:

In the present concrete international situation, the instigator of the approaching war is Fascism, this mailed fist of the most aggressive forces of imperialism ... It is ... completely wrong to predict all countries as aggressors at present. [33]

This opened the way for national defence. And given there was to be a multiclass alliance to boot, it paved the way for the party's turn to Australian nationalism. Thus by September 1936 the CPA had become an "Australian Party par excellence ... the real inheritor of the true Australianism of the spirit of the fathers of democracy, of the Dunmore Langs, Parkeses and Wentworths, of the heroic fighters of the Eureka stockade, of the gallant anti-conscription army." [34]

The anti-war movement soon became the "Australian League for Peace and Democracy", and its desire for respectability was reflected in the name of its journal, as the old War - What For? with its IWW associations gave way to the new World Peace.

The drift to nationalism and national defence was reflected in the refusal of Port Kembla wharfies to load pig-iron bound for Japan, a struggle strongly supported by the Communist Party, which had recently captured both the national and local leadership of the Waterside Workers.

The wharfies were implementing ACTU policy and had already placed bans in other cities, only to back off when threatened with the licensing provisions of the Transport Workers' Act. This Act allowed the government to insist that each wharfie take out a license if he wanted to work; once licensed, he had no right to strike. The Port Kembla wharfies refused to bow to this sort of intimidation, and were only forced to compromise in the end by a total lock-out of their fellow workers at the BHP steel mills.

To a great degree the wharfies were motivated by internationalist sentiments. The ACTU policy had been adopted as a protest against Japan's invasion of China, and the wharfies saw themselves as acting in solidarity with the oppressed peoples of Asia. The Indian crew of the banned ship were treated to shore outings by the strikers, and some of them spoke at public meetings in support. When the ship sailed at least nine of them remained behind rather than transport the pig iron. Chinese in Australia also rallied behind the watersiders and at one meeting the local press reported that "Black, yellow and white men and women" had joined in a show of solidarity. [35]

At the same time the intervention by BHP gave the struggle a cutting edge directed against Australian capital. But if internationalism and class politics were part of the picture, they were not all of it. In condemning the Japanese invasion of China, watersiders' leader Jim Healy went on to warn that "fascism is within striking distance of our shores" [36] and it is noteworthy that the wharfies' stand was supported, openly or covertly, by large sections of the bourgeoisie.

The Sydney Morning Herald expressed sympathy for the strikers, as did Sir Isaac Isaacs. More covert support was forthcoming from none other than Billy Hughes, then Minister for External Affairs, who not long before the outbreak of the dispute had privately urged the union to "stand solid".\ [37]

And at a mass meeting at the height of the dispute, two major resolutions were carried, one condemning Japanese imperialism in China and the other condemning the government for being remiss in maintaining Australia's defences.

So despite the many progressive sentiments, the struggle nevertheless also helped pave the way for an alliance with the Australian bourgeoisie on a nationalist basis, for national defence. This was soon to reach its fruition in the second World War. Not, however, before a strange interlude occurred which seemed to move the CPA dramatically in the opposite direction.

In 1939 the Soviet Union signed a peace pact with Nazi Germany. It came as something of a jolt to Communists who had been making anti-fascism the centre of their politics, but still the Communists could defend it after a fashion. They could point out that western governments had refused to ally themselves with the USSR, and Russia had to look to its own survival. In itself this was not a totally unreasonable argument. Tactical alliances with even the most reactionary forces had been accepted by Lenin and Trotsky when they led the Soviet state. But they had always subordinated these alliances to a basic orientation to the class struggle as the central means for defeating reaction. Stalin, by contrast, had for some time been subordinating the international class struggle to the needs of Soviet diplomacy. Now the Communist Parties in the west paid the price, as their respectable allies turned away from them and their working class supporters were bewildered. Soon the CPA was outlawed, and was not to be formally returned to legality until well into the war.

Still the party survived, and this was largely because among the more militant sections of the working class there was a great scepticism about the war. Government austerity measures in 1940 met a hostile reception in wide sections of the population, and many workers felt the fighting was both geographically remote and irrelevant to working class concerns. A survey in the coal mining centre of Cessnock, for example, showed that the local citizens felt that "the war, as a war (did) not concern them." [38]

Before looking at World War II itself, we must make two digressions. The summary of events and political trends thus far has necessarily been very sketchy, and to provide a bit more depth we shall look at two specific aspects of CPA work in more detail, tracing the party's political evolution as reflected in each. One is trade union work, the other is work among women.

Organising the "Militant Minority"

BY MID-1923 it had become clear that the Labor Party was not to be a happy hunting ground for the Communists, and so they turned their attentions toward the unions. For the small parties in the Anglo-Saxon countries, the Communist International recommended the creation of a militant rank and file movement in the unions to oppose the reformist officials — a specific application of the united front. In 1924 the CPA called rank and file conferences in NSW to launch a "Left Wing Movement". But despite a "grand meeting" which saw the "Communist Hall... crowded with militants" [39] the party was soon forced to face the fact that it lacked the resources to build an on-going movement. Nothing daunted, the CPA launched a "Militant Minority Movement" a few years later and by 1929 was able to hold another major rank and file conference. The conference was told that the MMM had no base outside Sydney apart from the mining centres, but these latter provided some strength. In Queensland the movement was "not of a very strong nature" but it had carried out a successful intervention in the Waterside strike of the previous year. [40] And while this conference did not succeed in laying the basis for a broader movement, the MMM did play an important role in the coal lock-out of 1929.

The MMM had groups in all the major mining centres, and at the 1928 convention of the Miners' Federation had been able to win support for the formation of pit committees. During the lock-out of 1929 its call for a general strike of all members won increasing support, as the struggle dragged on and discontent grew among the rank and file.

The Miles-Sharkey group later charged Kavanagh with a lack of dynamic leadership in this struggle [41] but Jack Blake has argued convincingly that the charges are unfair. [42] What is clear is that the industrial struggles of this period opened up increasing opportunities for Communists, and under the new Miles-Sharkey leadership they were able to seize on them.

In three major battles — the timber, maritime, and mining struggles — the unions were utterly defeated at the end of the twenties. This was followed in the early thirties by a general collapse of union militancy, as officials became increasingly timid and unions found their

bargaining power eroded by soaring unemployment. When in 1931 the arbitration court imposed a ten percent wage cut across industry, the ACTU Congress voted to do nothing. Into this vacuum stepped the Communists, who appealed to the minority of workers who were militant, moving to the left, and wanted to fight.

A revamped rank and file movement with the shorter title of Minority Movement was launched in 1931. By mid-year the MM was the Australian section of the Red International of Labor Unions (replacing the NSW Trades and Labor Council which was now considered "social-fascist") and had an eight-page weekly paper, the Red Leader.

The MM organised workers on relief projects — and astonishingly enough, won major wage rises for them. It won control of the Pastoral Workers' Union, a small breakaway from the AWU. It intervened from outside in areas where it had no base, such as the important textile strike in Victorian spinning mills in 1932.

And above all it built a sizeable base in the big batallions of the union movement, to the point where at the end of 1932, the RILU congratulated the MM on the "recruitment of nearly 3000 members... the building of 60 job groups and the organising of eight shop committees; the winning of affiliation from reformist union branches" and even the temporary affiliation of the Australian Railways Union. [43]

The strongest base was among the miners, where MM Secretary Bill Orr was elected General Secretary at the end of 1933. Not long after, the miners won a major victory at Wonthaggi, in a strike which was a model of rank and file organisation. The key to the strike's success was the previous year's organising by the MM, which went into the strike with a membership of 140 in Wonthaggi, and recruited another 130 in the course of the dispute.

In the same year the movement began to hold rank and file conferences among the sugar workers of North Queensland, and it was the MM's rank and file organising which laid the basis for the unofficial strikes against Weil's Disease which are chronicled in Jean Devanny's novel Sugar Heaven. Meanwhile, the Minority Movement was intensely involved in building shop committees. In fact outside the NSW railways, where the shop committee movement got its start, it was largely the MM which built it. J. J. Brown and Ted Rowe, later to be prominent CPA union leaders, got their start by organising shop committees in Victorian railway workshops.

By the end of 1933 the MM was a mass movement of sorts, and its national Congress registered delegates accredited by twenty trade union branches as well as Ballarat Trades Hall. But it was not long after this that the Communist Party's industrial policy began to change.

The "Third Period" was coming to an end, and with it the worst sectarian excesses. The ALP was no longer "social-fascist" and Communists could hope to influence its supporters more readily. Unfortunately, as in other areas of work the party moved from an ultraleft stance to an opposite extreme and began to accommodate itself to the conservatising pressures of the trade union officialdom. And ironically, the seeds of this shift were even contained within the apparently super-militant ideas of the "Third Period" itself. This was quite clear in the CPA's analysis of the problem of union bureaucracy. The problem of bureaucracy had been perceived during the "Third Period", and its sell-outs decried, but both were understood in terms of moral failings and wrong attitudes. For example, in 1932 the Red Leader offered the following definition of bureaucracy:

A bureaucracy is a group of officials who take dictatorial powers to themselves and issue commanding orders without consulting those who may be affected by those orders.

When we speak of "trade union bureaucracy" we refer to those trade union officials who have entrenched themselves behind rules and constitutions and by these means assume unlimited power without consulting the rank and file. [44]<

Here we find no grasp of the material roots of bureaucracy, but only a purely moral approach which could be easily turned around as the party began to move to the right. For if the problem is the attitudes of the officials, then cannot these attitudes be changed? If the problem is moral, then isn't it simply a matter of replacing bad officials with good ones? And in fact by 1935 the CPA had reduced the problem to just that:

The Communists must learn to be more flexible, to adopt better tactics, ... and to exert every effort to win to our side the union officials who are honest and sincere, but who, maybe (!) are still steeped in a whole series of reformist illusions, habits and customs. [45]<

This was no longer a concept of building new forms of struggle from below, but rather of reforming the existing structures from the top. And certainly all the later writings by CPA leaders on the unions see Communist trade union work as aimed at improving existing union structures. In Sharkey's later historical writings, too, the role of the MM in building the CPA's first mass industrial base is downplayed. [46]<

As the party moved back toward mainstream trade unionism, as a consequence of the turn toward the Popular Front, the MM as a national organisation across union lines was allowed to fade away. Organisation within individual industries remained, but even here it was more and more subordinated to the task of winning and holding office.

When Bill Orr had won office in the Miners' Federation in 1933, the Red Leader had emphasized the power of the rank and file organisation that put him there. By contrast, when later union offices were won, the Communist press emphasized the personal qualities which had won them support.

And the first signs of conservatism were definitely beginning to among Communist officials by the time of the pig iron struggle. Well before the Port Kembla events, Jim Healy had said privately that "to avoid the Government taking action we will have to agree to some compromises." [47]< This might have appeared as simple realism at a time when some branches of the union had appeared reluctant to take firm action over the issue. But when the Port Kembla wharfies made it clear they were ready to fight, the union leadership's attitude did not change. In early negotiations over the strike, union leaders were mainly concerned to get the Transport Workers' Act lifted, only to find that "in concentrating on the Transport Workers' Act (they) had misinterpreted the mood of the strikers". [48]< A peace settlement, argued for on 17 January by all the members of the Disputes Committee including Healy and the local CPA official Roach, was rejected by 100 votes to 30 at the mass meeting, and was only accepted two days later on the insistence of the leadership. The Communist officials were, perhaps, feeling the pressure from more conservative sections of the union in other centres. But for Communists in the past, the main thing had been to base themselves first and foremost on the militants. Now they were beginning to lag behind them.

As yet, however, this was only a tendency. A more dramatic shift to wholesale bureaucratism and class collaboration took place during the War, as we shall see.

Work Among Women

FROM THE beginning the Communist Party was far in advance of the society around it on the "woman question", and at the time of its foundation it even seems to have been in advance of the rest of the socialist left.

A layer of feminists from the peace movement had been won to socialism towards the end of the first World War, the best known being Adela Pankhurst who joined the Victorian Socialist Party. Many of these, including Pankhurst, were won to Communism in the early twenties — both of the rival CPA factions making conscious efforts to attract them. Other women came over from the Socialist Labor Party, motivated both by a rejection of SLP sectarianism and of its internal sexism — these women "often emerged within the Communist Party as champions of women's rights". [49]< In 1925 a report from the hapless Melbourne branch noted that "the only section with any fight in them is the women. They beat the men in Melbourne by miles. One of these women is worth a hundred of these arm-chair philosophers". [50]

The first successful attempt at building a separate women's organisation was in 1928, when Militant Women's Groups were established to parallel the Militant Minority Movement; the Groups published the duplicated Woman Worker<./i> in Sydney. The Woman Worker gave way in the early thirties to the Working Woman, a printed monthly newspaper, and the party turned to organising women more directly through its own structures.

In the twenties the party was motivated by a desire to build a women's movement "not based on sex antagonism, but on the class struggle". [51]< If women "show their resentment at their repression by men it will only set the clock back ... They will only bring disruption, strife, bitterness and misunderstanding by carrying their sex war into the class war." [52]<

In the "Third Period" this rather one-dimensional orientation became even more dogged. Women were just another group fighting to build the party. The Minority Movement, which believed in setting up women's groups in industry, nevertheless insisted that their task was simply to "draw the masses of the workers into the MM." [53]

On the other hand, the Communists paid much more attention to women than is commonly supposed — or at least, the central leadership devoted much ink to trying to make the membership do so. The Militant Women's Groups published a major pamphlet, Woman's Road to freedom, and in 1932 the Central Women's Department of the CPA published another: Women in Australia, From Factory, Farm and Kitchen. The Minority Movement published an ambitious eight point women's program and held a number of women's conferences. But in the MM as elsewhere there was a great shortage of women cadre:

Although it is essential that a woman comrade should take up work among women, the National Committee finds itself without any

assistance from a woman comrade. This appears to be an indication that women comrades regard the MM as purely a man's organisation. [54]

And it was a dismal fact that only about ten percent of the party membership in the deep depression years were women, reflecting perhaps the low involvement of women in the unemployed movement. The great strength of the Communist Party's work before 1935 was its class politics and militancy, and this came through in the work among women. An early issue of the Working Woman took obvious delight in reporting the actions of a woman picket engaged in "jumping on the back" of a scab and "bearing him to the ground, scratching and screaming". [55] But perhaps the spirit of the Communist women of the time is best expressed in their explanation for why they refused to publish "household hints" in their paper:

The "Working Woman" exists for the purpose of helping all working women to see the necessity to fight for the improvement of their conditions — not to help the boss to further lower their standards and increase his profits. The workers have always been forced to economise, but there is no need for them to do it voluntarily and take pride in it. [56]

To be sure, the militancy included the usual wild attacks on "social-fascism", a category which include feminists such as Muriel Heagney. This sectarianism, but alas also the fighting spirit, began to fade as the decade advanced. The Working Woman became a magazine from 1934, and showed the first signs of wishing to model itself on establishment women's publications — including the once-shunned "household hints". Then with the advent of the Popular Front after 1935, it gave way altogether to a new magazine, Woman Today. Nor was the name randomly chosen. The class politics had to be removed, for its founders were "influenced by the great need to unite all classes of women to meet the growing threat of fascism". [57]

The new magazine was supposedly "without party political ties" [58] and clearly reflected the desire of the CPA to win over the middle class. Class struggles assumed a secondary importance in the articles, and for many issues the front cover was ornamented by a sizeable advertisement, featuring "Beautiful Film Stars Who Use Mercolized Wax". [59] The same pattern emerged in actual organising work, for example in North Queensland where the "Women's Progress Club" of Townsville, whose membership consisted mostly of Communists or their wives or daughters, nevertheless declared in its constitution that "neither religion or (sic) politics shall be discussed at its meetings". [60]

It is not really clear that such measures could be justified even on the narrowest grounds of expediency, for the continual watering down of the party's politics in the latter half of the thirties did not produce a significantly higher rate of membership growth. In fact it has been suggested by one writer that the party's growth after 1935 was more the consolidation of the periphery established in the first part of the decade than any major new gain in support. [61]

The Patriotic War

ONCE RUSSIA entered World War II, so did the Communist Party of Australia. The fighting was no longer considered an imperialist conflict, but had become a democratic struggle, and workers were called on to participate in it, both on the battlefield and on the home front.

Most Australians, and many of my readers, probably feel that the party was right to do so. Was it not, after all, a war for democracy against fascism? The alternative viewpoint, represented at the time by the trotskyists, was that the war remained an imperialist war; that at any time the western powers might still line up with Hitler against Russia, and the bombs produced by western workers might rain down on Moscow; that Britain and the USA were fighting to retain imperialist possessions (within which they did not uphold democracy at all); and that Australian workers had no interest in dying for such things. They might also have added that the CPA itself had joined the war not to fight fascism (Germany had also been fascist during the Stalin-Hitler pact) but to advance the foreign policy of the USSR.

It is an argument I agree with, but as the debate posed in this fashion rests on a discussion of international questions which would take us far a field, I do not intend to pursue it further here. What matters for us is the war's impact on the postwar CPA, and in that regard a slightly different question is more relevant: even if it were correct to support the war, the test of how the war was fought by Communists remained crucial. The CPA's response was portentous for the future.

It must be stressed at the outset that the Australian party's performance was in some ways superior to that of other CPs, and certainly much more internationalist and anti-racist than any other mass force in Australian society. The party campaigned against the racism of the US army, and led strikes among Australian soldiers to win better conditions — actions which the American party considered "traitorous". A well known CPA member published a pamphlet on self-determination

for New Guinea, and it was partly to the CPA's credit that Australian troops were considered too "unreliable" for use in ferrying Dutch colonialists to Indonesia at the end of the war. These experiences helped lay the basis for Australian trade unionists' support for the Indonesian independence struggles a few years later. [62]

On the other hand, when it came to forms of national chauvinism that suited Soviet foreign policy, the Australian Communists were not so well-behaved. "Rumanians Must Pay for Crimes" thundered the Melbourne Guardian in 1944, and apparently the entire Rumanian working class were among the criminals. [63] The Germans, too, were expected to pay, though in this case Lance Sharkey was generous: "This does not mean the destruction of the German people, nor their outlawry for all time." [64] It did however mean the payment of reparations to the USSR, which is what the whole discussion was really about.

Finally, there was the use of caricatures of Japanese leaders which even the most generous interpretation must concede were racist. [65] But the worst features of the CPA's war effort were at home, where the class struggle was totally subordinated to the war time alliance with the bourgeoisie.

Craig Johnston has described the party's industrial policy as "collaborationist", by which he means the following:

endeavouring to maintain a truce between the two main classes: attacking capitalists for misusing the situation and offering advice to the state on how to solve production problems, and exhorting workers to greater efforts and yet still leading them in unavoidable disputes in order to find solutions as quickly as possible. [66]

This may be a fair summary of how the party leadership perceived the situation, but in reality class collaboration was not, and could not be so neatly balanced. After all solving "production problems" necessarily means, in Marxist terms, raising the rate of exploitation, an issue around which there can be no class alliance except at workers' expense. In fact, the CPA was working toward the increased exploitation of the working class. Moreover, the party did rather more than just "exhort" workers to toe the line, and the category of "unavoidable" disputes meant those which the CPA could not suppress.

The shop committee movement, once a means of strengthening the independent organisation of the workers, was now consciously used as an integrating mechanism. The bourgeois historian Foenander has noted that during the early years of World War II, "Australian employers were disposed to look with some favour on multi-union shop committees ... and encourage their operation in their establishments. They indulged the hope that these bodies had a contribution to offer to promotion and maintenance of industrial peace in the community." [67] We will see a bit later on what price the party was to pay for this after the war.

The attitude to strikes was generally hostile, even where demands were obviously justified, and the CPA began to get used to the experience of suppressing the rank and file.

At Austral Bronze in Sydney in 1943, management tried to introduce a speed-up scheme, and when the Ironworkers went on strike their CPA union officials led strike-breakers onto the job. Fortunately the engineers refused to work with the scabs and the strike-breaking move collapsed. [68]

Some of the most impressive industrial militancy during the war was shown by women, whose very lack of long-term union tradition made it difficult for union officials to control them. And they had plenty to fight about. In the metal trades the Women's Employment Board had mostly awarded them 90 percent of the male rate of pay, but the employers used countless legal tricks to avoid paying it. Their concern was not so much immediate profitability, which was guaranteed by war contracts, as with trying not to set a precedent for the postwar years. In other words, what was at stake was women's legal rights at the time and their right to equality for long into the future. The CPA, however, was not as farsighted as the employers.

At the Richard Hughes factory in Sydney, when management refused to pay the WEB rates, the Communist-led union spent six months going through the courts, until the women forced the issue with a strike which brought quick results. And Jessie Street described the role of the Ironworkers leadership in a Melbourne munitions factory, where women called a meeting to discuss action to get the WEB rate. The union secretary urged them to return to work "as the boys in the trenches ..." At this the women became even angrier and shouted, "We know all about our boys in the trenches ... they're our husbands and sons." A strike followed which forced the government to ensure payment. [69]

Perhaps the most striking as well as famous events were those on the Balmain docks, where trotskyists and other militants held the shop floor leadership at Mort's Dock. After a minor stoppage, the CPA officials of the Ironworkers decided to act against the well-known trotskyist Nick Origlass and seven of his fellow militants. They laid charges against him for his conduct of the dispute and rammed them through a sparsely intended branch meeting, then they imposed new job delegates on the rank and file.

They soon found themselves confronted with an unofficial strike which spread to 23 waterfront workshops and about 2,900 workers. This strike not only won the reinstatement of Origlass but it created a new, independent branch of the Ironworkers, led by trotskyists and other militants, which lasted for some time after the war. [70]

So if by the late thirties the Communist officials had found themselves lagging behind the militancy of their rank and file, they had now had numerous experiences of head-on collisions with it. The seeds of a long term contradiction in CPA practice had been sown.

Meanwhile, to be sure, the party membership was growing apace. Once the CPA had swung around to support for the war, the numbers began to rise steeply even before the party was restored to legality. At the height of the Russian offensive membership had risen to about the twenty thousand mark. But what sort of people were being recruited, and on what basis?

Up to 1943, it appears that recruitment was heavily proletarian and was the pay-off for years of competent trade union administration and anti-fascist work. From 1943, however, when the party could operate legally there was an increasing influx of middle class recruits, estimated by Davidson as about half of new members. [70] And increasingly the recruits were responding to the CPA's role as the "leading war party". Communists threw their energies into the war effort on every part of the home front, from sending comforts parcels to the armed forces to campaigning for immunization against diptheria, from rural fire brigades to mobilizing labour for fruit canning. As Diane Menghetti put it:

one would have needed to be suspicious to the point of paranoia to perceive that a sinister foreign plot was being hatched by the compulsive organisers of street stalls, dances and bazaars who contributed so substantially to the relief of distress in the community ... they were, to use the terminology of the popular front, "the useful people." [72]

Unfortunately, if one could not discern in this activity a foreign plot, neither was there much sign of revolutionary work. The danger was that in the postwar period such recruits might carry the party further to the right — or, when bitter class struggle was eventually thrust upon the Communist Party, that they might be ill-suited to it.

The CPA at the End of the War

AT THI- END of World War II, Australia had a very different Communist Party than before it. While some of the wartime recruitment melted away fairly quickly, membership was still around 16,000 at the end of the war. Another few thousand left in the following two years but even so, with 12,000 odd members in 1947 the party was still several times as large as before the war.

It was also much changed by the wartime experiences. Certainly, the advent of the cold war was to show it had not lost its capacity for militancy. But it had also gained a variety of other traditions: the acceptability of wholesale class collaboration, the pleasures of respectability, bureaucratic trade union work. Moreover, it went into the postwar years with a fantastically overoptimistic view of the future, though with some apparent excuse.

Russia was still in alliance with the USA for a time, and the United Nations was seen as offering hope for a world of peace and security. Colonies were moving toward independence, there were pro-Communist "people's governments" in Eastern Europe — without any violent revolution — and Communist ministers were entering governments in the west.

In 1947 the CPA published a pamphlet called Women In Our New World, and the "new world" was a socialist Australia. "When Socialism began to get underway," said the pamphlet, discussing the career of its imaginary heroine, "Margaret went to work." But about just how socialism was to "get underway" the pamphlet, and the party, remained studiedly vague. [73] It seemed it would somehow just come naturally.

It was of course a false dawn. Communists were about to face a much rougher world than they imagined and far from the CPA transforming that world, it was the party itself which was further transformed by the confrontation.

1. Judah Waten, The Unbending, Melbourne 1954, p.298.

2. Quoted in Humphrey McQueen, A Nezv Britannia, Melbourne 1978, p.194.

3. Quoted ibid., p.200.

4. Quoted inPJ. O'Farrel, Harry Holland, Militant Socialist, ANU, Canberra 1964, p.12.

5. Ibid.

6. "The Awakening of Labor", ASP leaflet, Sydney n.d.

7. Quoted in Communist Review, August 1937, p.56.

8. Frank Farrell, International Socialism and Australian Labour, Svdnev 1981, p.95

9. Ibid.

10. Quoted in N. Jefferey, The Labour Movement in Australia and Overseas, 1911 to the End of the First World War, Sydney n.d. p. 12.

11. Quoted in N. Jefferey, A Stormy Period in Australia, First World War to the Russian Revolution, Sydney n.d. p.ll.

12. "Manifesto of the Communist International to the Workers of the World", in Leon Trotsky, The First Five Years of the Communist International, New York 1972.

13. J.B. Miles, "Who Are the Communists?", supplement to International Communist, 24/9/21.

14. Quoted in Miriam Dixson, "The First Communist 'United Front' in Australia", Labour History, Vol.10, May 1966, p.27-28.

15. Richard Dixon, "Early Years in the Party", Australian Left Review, No.48, September 1975, p.49.

16. Letter from "The Communist Party of Australia" (ASP) to the Garden group, Sydney 4/1/22. Photocopy in possession of the author.

17. Report from P. Lamb to ASP, from Moscow n.d. Photocopy in possession of the author.

18. Frank Farrell, op. cit., p.61-2.

19. Ibid., p.59.

20. Ibid., p.60.

21. Cited in ibid., p.59.

22. Workers' Weekly, 27/7/23. ("Did the Coal Vend Want a General Strike?")

23. Workers' Weekly, 6/5/27.

24. Quoted in L.L. Sharkey, An Outline History of the Australian Communist Party, Sydney 1944, p.22.

25. Quoted in ibid.

26. Quoted in E. Campbell, History of the Australian Labour Movement, Sydney 1945, p. 132-3.

27. Quoted in ibid., p. 132.

28. Workers' Voice, 29/3/35.

29. Quoted in Peter J. Morrison, "The Communist Party of Australia, and the Australian Radical-Socialist Tradition, 1920-39". Ph.D. Adelaide 1975, p.325.

30. David Rose, "The Movement Against War and Fascism, 1933-39", LabourHistorv. No.38, May 1980, p.32.

31. Workers' Weekly, 13/12/39.

32. Workers' Voice, 29/9/33.

33. Quoted in Rose, op. cit., p.86. Original emphasis.

34. Workers'Weekly, 15/9/36.

35. Quoted in Jon White, "The Port KemblaPig Iron Strike of \938",LabourHistorv, No.37, November 1979, p.73.

36. Ibid., p.66.

37. Ibid.

38. Quoted in Craig Johnston, "The 'Leading War Party': Communists and World War 2", Labour History, No.39, November 1980, p.70.

39. Workers' Weekly, 29/2/24.

40. "Report of MMM Conference", in Plebs League Folio, Mitchell Library, Sydney.

41. L.L. Sharkey, op. cit., p.23.

42. Jack Blake, "The Australian Communist Party and the Comintern in the Early Thirties", Labour History, No.23, November 1972, p.44-45.

43. Red Leader, 4/1/33.

44. Red Leader, 27/7/32.

45. Workers' Voice, 1/11/35.

46. L.L. Sharkey, The Trade Unions, Sydney 1961; and op. cit.

47. Quoted in Jon White, op. cit., p.66.

48. Ibid.,p.ll.

49. Peter J. Morrison, op. cit., p.63.

50. Quoted in ibid., p.66.

51. Ibid., p.67.

52. Quoted in Jovce Stevens, "Work Among Women" in the Communist Party, 1920-40, duplicated paper distributed at the "Communists and the Labour Movement" conference, Melbourne 1980.

53. Red Leader, 6/7/32.

54. Red Leader, 10/3/32.

55. Working Woman, 9/30.

56. Working Woman, 4/31.

57. Our Women (Union of Australian Women, Sydney), anniversary issue 1963, p.17.

58. Ibid.

59. Woman Today, e.g. the March 1937 issue.

60. Quoted in Diane Menghetti, "North Queensland Women and the Popular Front of 1935-40", Literature in North Queensland, Vol.8, No.3, 1980, p.34.

61. Peter J. Morrison, op. cit., p.312 fn.

62. Cf. Tribune, 18/11/70 for an account of CPA work in the armed forces during World War II.

63. Guardian, 18/11/44.

64. Guardian, 22/9/44.

65. "After waging a fierce battle against European chauvinism in the 1920's and 1930's, the Communist Party produced a pamphlet entitled 'Smash Japan', in which a Japanese officer is described as having a 'physique ... in tune with his dwarfed, twisted soul. . . Ridiculously small, bow-legged, repulsive to look at, his teeth stuck out at an angle of 45 degrees through thick lips which he never stopped licking.' The pamphlet ends with plea for proletarian internationalism..." Humphrey McQueen, "Glory Without Power", in Playford and Kirsner, eds., Australian Capitalism, Melbourne 1977, p.353.

66. Craig Johnston, op. cit., p.23.

67. Quoted in Patrick George, "Power Politics — A Study of Industrial Conflict in the NSW Power Industry", BA (Hons) Sydney 1975, p.ll. George discusses the integration of power industry shop committees during the war on p. 10-11.

68. Nick Origlass, "The Second Imperialist War and the CPA", International, (Sydney) April 1971, p.3.

69. Quoted in Janey Stone, "Women in the Metal Trades", Front Line, (Melbourne) No.5, December 1976, p.15-16.

70. This story is told in Daphne Gollan, "The Balmain Ironworkers' Strike of 1945", Pans I and II, Labour History, Nos.22 and 23, May and November 1972.

71. Alistair Davidson, The Communist Party of Australia, Stanford 1969, p.83.

72. Diane Menghetti, The Red North: the Popular From in North Queensland, James Cook University of North Queensland 1981, p.165.

73. Women In Our New World, Sydney 1947, p.165.