Movements against Communism 1951–4

Assessment tasks

  1. 'Dr Evatt's victory in the High Court on the Communist Party Dissolution Bill paved the way for the split in the ALP in 1955.'
    Write an essay examining this statement in the light of the political events of the 1950s in Australia.
  2. Using the material contained in the text and extracts on pages 170–1 and the 'Additional resources', conduct a class referendum on the issue of the banning of the Communist Party. You should create posters and handbills, and prepare speeches for both sides, drawing on both the factual arguments and the emotional appeals used in 1951. Invite another class to listen to your speeches and vote on the issue.
  3. Compare and contrast the ways in which Stanley Melbourne Bruce in the 1920s and Robert Menzies in the 1950s dealt with the perceived communist threat to Australia.
  4. Prepare a class debate on the topic: 'Australia was never in any danger of a communist takeover.'

Additional resources

Further reading

  • Alexander, F 1976, Australia since Federation, chapter 6, Nelson, Melbourne.
  • Macintyre, S 1998, The Reds: The Communist Party of Australia from Origins to Illegality, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.
  • Reese, T 1964, Australia in the Twentieth Century, chapter 10, Frederick A Praeger, New York.
  • Tudball, L (ed) 1991, Australian Perspectives, chapter 4, Jacaranda, Melbourne.



Making History: Middle Secondary Units – Investigating People and Issues in Australia after World War II

Introduction | Why was communism feared? | Timeline of key events in the campaign against communism | What was the Communist Party Dissolution Bill? | What happened in the 1951 referendum? | Why did the Labor Party split? | Assessment tasks and Additional resources