Browse Entries

Communist Party of Australia (1920 - 1991)

From
1920
To
1991
Functions
Political Party
Alternative Names
  • Communist Party
  • CPA

Details

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the establishment of a Communist International, a conference was held in 1920 to form an Australian Communist Party (which broke up into two distinct camps). By the end of that decade the Communist Party of Australia was established along the lines of the Communist International, to whose line it adhered until the 1960s. The CPA criticised the Australian Labor Party and its affiliated trade unions for their failure to adopt a socialist line. The onset of the cold-war in 1945 put communism in Australia under considerable strain. The Stalinist orthodoxy was rejected by many, with the Maoist Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) formed in 1967 and the pro-Soviet Socialist Party of Australia formed in 1971. The party became more open to the ideas of the New Left, which emerged from universities, but its abandonment of a Leninist model of organising undermined its reason for existence. Its members dissolved the party in 1991.

See Alastair Davidson, The Communist Party of Australia (1969), Stuart Macintyre, The Reds (1998).

Links to documents are available below or by decade:
1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980-1991.

Resources

Books

  • Women in our new world, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, 1947. Image PDF Details
  • Australia's way forward [extracts from the Program of the CPA, Syndey, 1964], Sydney, 1964. Image PDF Details
  • Towards Socialism in Australia: Program of the Communist Party of Australia, Australian Radical Publications, Sydney, 1979. Image PDF Details
  • What's happening in the C.P.A.? Will the Communist party split?, D. B. Young, Sydney, c1970. Image PDF Details
  • Aarons, Eric, Economics for workers, Newsletter Printery, Sydney, 1958. Image PDF Details
  • Aarons, Laurie, The people against Menzies and monopoly : Communist Party policy speech (abridged), delivered at Trades Hall Sydney, November 3rd, Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1961. Image PDF Details
  • Dixon, Richard, Defend your freedom, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, 1950, 20 pp. Image PDF Details
  • Dyson, Ambrose., Ambrose Dyson, Ambrose Dyson Memorial Committee. [This scan courtesy of the University of the Melbourne Library], 1953. images PDF Details
  • New Theatre Melbourne, 50 Years of New Theatre. Melbourne N.T. 1936-86, Melbourne, 1986, 54 pp. PDF Details
  • O'Lincoln, Tom, Into the mainstream: the decline of Australian Communism, Stained Wattle Press, Sydney, 1985. Image PDF Details
  • Orr, W and Nelson, C, Coal; the struggle of the mineworkers, Central Council Miners' Federation, 1930s?. Image PDF Details
  • Sharkey, Lance, The trade unions; communist theory and practice of trade unionism, Australian Communist Party, Sydney, September 1942. Image PDF Details

Book Sections

  • 'Political Resolutions', in The Way Forward. Resolutions of the 15th Congress of the Communist Party of Australia, 1948. Image PDF Details
  • 'On the work of CPA locality branches; Political Program for Queensland;; Committees; Party Organisers', in CPA: The Party of Australian Democratic Socialism (Queensland State Conference November 1980), Brisbane, November 1980. Image PDF Details
  • Gibson, R, 'Marxist study classes', in My years in the Communist Party, International Bookshop, Melbourne, 1966. PDF Details
  • Gibson, Ralph, 'My approach to Communism', in My years in the Communist Party, International Bookshop, Melbourne, 1966. Image PDF Details
  • Gibson, Ralph, 'The challenge of Trotskyism', in My years in the Communist Party, International Bookshop, Melbourne, 1966. Image PDF Details
  • Gibson, Ralph, 'Victory over the Hill group', in My years in the Communist Party, International Bookshop, Melbourne, 1966. Image PDF Details
  • Gibson, Ralph, 'The 20th Congress and Hungary', in My years in the Communist Party, International Bookshop, Melbourne, 1966. Image PDF Details
  • Gibson, Ralph, 'Struggle against war and fascism', in My years in the Communist Party, International Bookshop, Melbourne, 1966. Image PDF Details
  • Gould, L.H. [Llewellyn Henry] and W.A. Wood, 'Trotskyism--"the left claw of the fascist pincer"', in How Russia smashed its fifth column, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, c1943. Image PDF Details
  • Lindsay, Jack, 'Breakthrough', in Fanfrolico and after, 1962 edn, The Bodley Head, London, pp. 246-68. Details
  • Milner, Andrew, 'Radical Intellectuals: an unacknowledged legislature?', in Verity Burgmann and Jenny Lee (eds), Constructing a culture: a people's history of Australia since 1788, McPhee Gribble/ Penguin Books, Melbourne, 1988, pp. 259-84. PDF Details
  • Smith, Bernard, 'Years of hope', in Noel Counihan: artsist and revolutionary, 1993 edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne & New York, pp. 198-225. Details
  • Smith, Bernard, 'Epilogue', in Bernard Smith (ed.), Noel Counihan: artsist and revolutionary, 1993 edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne & New York, pp. 539-46. Details
  • Smith, Bernard, 'The realisms of war', in Noel Counihan: artist and revolutionary, 1993 edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne & New York, pp. 180-97. Details

Cartoons

  • Counihan, Noel?, 'Meet my big brother', Guardian; offical organ Victorian State Committee Australian Communist Party (Melbourne), 20 February 1948. Image PDF Details
  • Dyson, Ambrose, 'Peace', Guardian, 2 December 1949. Image PDF Details
  • McClintock, Herbert, 'Welcome back Bob, I've certainly missed you', Tribune (Sydney), no. 487 (new series), 22 January 1949. Image PDF Details
  • McClintock, Herbert, 'Truth of socialist achievement', Tribune (Sydney), no. 513 (new series), 27 April 1949. Image PDF Details

Constitutions

  • Constitution of the Communist Party of Australia 1943, 1943. Image PDF Details

Fliers

  • Not wanted, United to defeat Menzies, 1954?. Image PDF Details
  • Peace and trade with Asia, Vote Communist 1, 1954?. Details

Journals

  • Australian New Writing, no. 1, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, 1943, 4-80 pp. PDF Details
  • Baracchi, Guido (ed.), Proletarian Review, 1920-1922. Image PDF Details

Journal Articles

  • 'Condemn no communist unheard - and that includes Hill', International - organ of the Australian Section of the Fourth International (Sydney), no. 23, 15 March 1962. Image PDF Details
  • 'Why there cannot be unity with modern revisionists', The Australian Communist; a journal of Marxist-Leninism, no. 20, May 1966. Image PDF Details
  • Blake, J.D. [under psudonym F.Kelso], 'Ideological political struggle', Review; organ of theory and practice of the A.C.P., no. 3, Febuary 1951. Image PDF Details
  • Gillett, Judy, 'Is there room for us all under the umbrella', Join hands; a journal of women, liberation and socialism, August 1972. Image PDF Details
  • Henry, J.C., 'All for the fighting fund (a report to the Central Committee meeting, 18-20, 1949)', Communist Review, April 1949. Image PDF Details
  • Hill, E.F., 'The Party as the inheritor of socialist trends in the Victorian Labor Movement', Communist Review, August 1945. Image PDF Details
  • Hill, E.F., 'Democratic centralism and revisionism', Australian Communist, c1963. Image PDF Details
  • Miles, J.B, 'Art for the people', Communist Review, August, Central Committee Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1948, pp. 260-1. Image PDF Details
  • O'Connor, Vic, 'A criticism of Adelaide's "Angry Penguins"', Communist Review, August, Central Committee Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1944, pp. 302-3. Image PDF Details

Newsletters

  • Workers' voice; bulletin of the industrial committee of the Communist Party, vol. 1, September 1979. Image PDF Details

Newspaper Articles

  • 'At last! A step forward. Militants form a left wing movement', Toiler (Brisbane), 1 December 1924. Image PDF Details
  • 'How Labour Government persecute unemployed', Toiler (Brisbane), 25 October 1924. Image PDF Details
  • 'Why the toiler', Toiler (Brisbane), 25 October 1924. Image PDF Details
  • 'Aboriginals: ruthlessly exploited', Workers' Weekly, Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 16 May 1930. Transcript HTML Transcript PDF Details
  • 'New South Wales State Conference of Unemployed Workers' Movement', Workers' Weekly (Sydney), 31 July 1931. Image PDF Details
  • 'Aborigines. Darwin U.W.M. Will Fight for Justice', Workers' Weekly, Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 6 November 1931. Transcript HTML Transcript PDF Details
  • 'March 8 is International Women's Day', Worker's Weekly, Community Party of Australia, Sydney, 6 March 1931. Image PDF Details
  • 'Communist Party's Rights for Aborigines Draft Program of Struggle against Slavery', Workers' Weekly, Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 24 September 1931. Transcript HTML Transcript PDF Details
  • 'Women's Employment Board rates demanded at mass meeting', North Queensland Guardian, 16 July 1943. Image PDF Details
  • 'Legality won for the Communist Party', North Queensland Guardian, 8 January 1943. PDF Details
  • 'Brisbane May Day celebrations great demonstration for unity', North Queensland Guardian, 7 May 1943. Image PDF Details
  • 'Unity Vital for Labour Victory in Federal Elections', North Queensland Guardian, vol. 1, no. 19, 14 May 1943. Image PDF Details
  • 'Land armies must join air forces to smash Axis Powers in Europe', North Queensland Guardian, 11 June 1943. Image PDF Details
  • 'Big increase in communist vote', Guardian (Offical organ Victorian State Committee Communist Party of Australia) (Melbourne), 16 June 1943. Image PDF Details
  • 'Labor unity spells victory; why Communist Party seeks ALP affiliation', Guardian; offical organ Victorian State Committee Australian Communist Party (Melbourne), no. 127, 4 February 1944. Image PDF Details
  • 'First Communist MLA: Paterson wins Bowen', Tribune (Sydney), no. 47 (New series), 20 April 1944. Image PDF Details
  • 'Why we seek unity with Labor Party', Guardian; offical organ Victorian State Committee Australian Communist Party (Melbourne), no. 1944, 28 January 1944. Image PDF Details
  • 'Communist-Labor affiliation; will guarantee promise of Teheran Pact', Guardian; offical organ Victorian State Committee Australian Communist Party (Melbourne), no. 133, 17 March 1944. Image PDF Details
  • 'Allies mass 2 million to link with Red Army', Tribune (Sydney), 8 March 1945. Image PDF Details
  • 'World's leading intellectuals appeal to Australians: "Unite for Peace"', Guardian, 20 May 1949. Image PDF Details
  • 'Program for peace, plenty, independence of Australia: communist Senate manifesto', Guardian (Offical organ Victorian State Committee Communist Party of Australia) (Melbourne), 11 November 1949. Image PDF Details
  • 'U.S. Launched Invasion of Korea; Press Blacks Out Truth, To Drag Us In', Guardian, 20 May 1949. Image PDF Details
  • 'KMT's downfall - New Chinese Gvt. this year', Tribune (Sydney), no. 487 (new series), 22 January 1949. Image PDF Details
  • 'Housewives' Rally in Stirring Peace Call', Tribune, 8 June 1949. Image PDF Details
  • 'Aboriginal strikers in WA seized at revolver point, put in chains', Tribune, 1949. Transcript HTML Transcript PDF Details
  • 'Australian Peace Congress Greeted by Famous World Figures', Tribune, 29 March 1950. Image PDF Details
  • 'Peace Movement Broadened by Students, Ex-Servicemen', Tribune, 1 Febuary 1950. Image PDF Details
  • 'Peace movement gathers way; plans for congress on April 16', 15 March 1950. Image PDF Details
  • 'Stop War against Korea End 'Blood Loan' Plot', Tribune, 12 August 1950. PDF Details
  • 'Brisbane people take action on Maralinga bomb tests', Brisbane Guardian, Frank Marriot at Coronation Print, Brisbane, 27 September 1957. Image PDF Details
  • Carey, Kit, 'Aborigines and democracy', Communist Review, February 1945. Transcript HTML Transcript PDF Details
  • Gould, L.H., 'Intellectuals and the party', Communist Review, October 1944. Image PDF Details
  • H.J.M., 'Slave Labor - imagined and real', Workers' Weekly, Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 11 September 1931. Transcript HTML Transcript PDF Details
  • James, Hannah, 'The problem of the Aborigines', Communist Review, April 1945, pp. 234-235. Transcript HTML Transcript PDF Details
  • Wright, T, 'Fight for the Aborigines (Report to Central Committee meeting, 14-16 February, 1947)', Communist Review, April 1947. Transcript HTML Transcript PDF Details

Pamphlets

  • Communist election manifesto, R. Shayler, Gray and Frew, Melbourne, 1931. Image PDF Details
  • A great day for the Australian Labor Movement, 1942. Image PDF Details
  • Stick together, Central Brisbane District Committee Communist Party, Brisbane, 1943. Image PDF Details
  • The present and the future demand more child care facilities, Women's Committee Australian Communist Party (Qld), Brisbane, February 1944. Image PDF Details
  • What future?, Jobs, home, peace, H.B. Chandler, Coronation Print, Brisbane, 1946. Image PDF Details
  • Police thuggery in Brisbane, Central Rail Disputes Committee, Brisbane, 1948. Image PDF Details
  • The truth about Korea, A. Robinson at Coronation Print, Brisbane, 4 July 1950. Image PDF Details
  • Australian Peace Congress Programme, 1950. Image PDF Details
  • You can be shot on suspicion if the High Court upholds Anti-Communist Act, Demand the repeal of the anti-democratic Communist Party Dissolution Act, Newsletter Printery, Forest Lodge, 1950. Image PDF Details
  • Politicians--NOT a court---can decide that---YOU are a communist, if the referendum on September 22 is passed, 1950. Image PDF Details
  • This Menzies Bill can put you in jail!, 1950. Image PDF Details
  • Say no to Menzies' power grab, Coronation Print, Sydney, 1951. Image PDF Details
  • Why not a referendum on prices?, Worker Print, Brisbane, 1951. Image PDF Details
  • March for peace, Coronation Press, Brisbane, 1952. Image PDF Details
  • Menzies Concocted Spy Plot, A Bobinson at Coronation Printery, Brisbane, 1954. Image PDF Details
  • Strengthen the fight against Menzies' men - all brands, Communist Party State Program, W.H. Tregear, Melbourne, 1955. Image PDF Details
  • Appeal fo women electors, Industrial Print, Melbourne, 1958. Image PDF Details
  • Demand summit talks now, E.A. Bacon at Coronation Print, Brisbane, 14 July 1958. Image PDF Details
  • 10,000,000 loan now, For Brisbane's sewerage, W. Bowden at Coronation Print, Brisbane, 1961. Image PDF Details
  • For peace, jobs, homes, democracy, Fight monpoly, defeat the Menzies Government, D.B. Young, Sydney, 1961. Image PDF Details
  • Defend world peace, Act now against US threat to humanity, E.A. Bacon at Coronation Print, Brisbane, 25 October 1962. Image PDF Details
  • What are they doing to Queensland? A record of a guilty government., Brisbane, 1962. Image PDF Details
  • Peace forces precent Cuba invasion, Defend world peace, E.A. Bacon at Coronation Print, Brisbane, 6 November 1962. Image PDF Details
  • March with your mates on May Day, Newsletter Printery, Sydney, 1963. Image PDF Details
  • Differences in the communist movement: views of the Communist Party of Australia, Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1963. Image PDF Details
  • Vote for communist candidates, 1966. Image PDF Details
  • Full Human Rights for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders; a prorgam adopted by the 21st Congress of the Communist Party of Australia, June 1967, D.B. Young, Sydney, 1967. Image PDF Details
  • Communist Film Group, 1972. Image PDF Details
  • Equal Wages Equal Power, 1972-5(?). Image PDF Details
  • 1920 / 1980 Sixty Years of Struggle for Socialism, Communists and the Labour Movement, National Conference, Melbourne, August 22-24, 1980. Image PDF Details
  • Communist Party of Australia, Melbourne, 1982. Image PDF Details
  • Statement from a general meeting of Victorian members of the Communist Party of Australia, Melbourne, 1984?. Image PDF Details
  • Issued for the workers at the Brisbane Abattoir, Brisbane, c1946. Image PDF Details
  • For a socialist democracy, c1976. Image PDF Details
  • Housewives - A Meaty Problem, R.D. Gentle, Brisbane, n.d. Image PDF Details
  • Blake, J.D., The great coal strike of 1949, Newsletter Printery, Sydney, August 1949. Image PDF Details
  • Communist Party of Australia Goulburn Branch, Eureka, Editorial, 1971. Image PDF Details
  • Henry, J. C., 25 years of the Australian Communist Party, Central Committee Australian Communist Party, Sydney, October 1945. Image PDF Details
  • Hill, E.F., Defeat Menzies' Fascist Bill, A communist publication, R.Brett, Melbourne, 1950. Image PDF Details
  • Hill, E.F., The Petrov Conspiracy, 1954. Image PDF Details
  • Lovegrove, D, Communists and the War, Labor Call Print, 1942. Image PDF Details
  • Miles, J.B. (Jack), Work among women, How to organise series no. 6, Marx House, Sydney, 20 November 1943. Image PDF Details
  • Sharkey, Lawrence, Australian Communist and Soviet Russia, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, 1947. Image PDF Details
  • Thomas, Pete, Petrov stunt backfires, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, 1954. Image PDF Details
  • Watson, G.R., Issued for the workers at the Brisbane abattoir, Brisbane, c1950. Image PDF Details
  • Wood, W. A., The Life Story of L. L. Sharkey: Fighter for Freedom, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, 1950. Image PDF Details

Policy Statements

  • Join Hands, A Journal of Women, Liberation and Socialism, The Left Challenge for the 'Seventies, a policy statement adopted for the 23rd congress of the Communist Party of Australia, April 1972, 1972. Image PDF Details

Posters

  • All over the world people march for May Day, Newsletter Printery, Sydney, 1962. Image PDF Details
  • There's a place for YOU in Australia's 75th anniversary May Day march, Newsletter Printery, Sydney, 1966. Image PDF Details
  • Counihan, Noel, Sack Bolte Instead, G. Bird, Melbourne, 1961. Image PDF Details

Short Stories

  • Prichard, Katherine Susannah, 'Communists are always young', in N’Goola and other stories, 1959 edn, Australasian Book Society, Melbourne, pp. 125-9. Details

Online Resources

  • Cahill, Rowan, Rupert Lockwood (1908-1997): Journalist, Communist, Intellectual, School of History and Politics, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, 460 pp, http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3942/. Details

See also

  • The Realist Writers' Group and the Arts Council of Australia invite all teachers and students all lovers of Australian literature to leading Australian novelists Katharine Susannah Prichard and Flora Eldershaw, Melbourne. PDF Details
  • 'Foreword', Australian new writing, vol. 1, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, March 1943, pp. 4-6. PDF Details
  • 'Foreword', Australian new writing, vol. 2, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, March 1944. PDF Details
  • 'Marx School Lecture', Guardian, The Guardian, Melbourne, 15 August 1947. PDF Details
  • 'What's on', Guardian, The Guardian, Melbourne, 15 August 1947. PDF Details
  • 'Book review: 'Coast to coast'', Guardian, The Guardian, Melbourne, August 29 1947, p. 5. PDF Details
  • 'New Willis play at New Theatre', Guardian, The Guardian, Melbourne, August 15 1947. PDF Details
  • 'Clifford Odets play for New Theatre', Guardian, February 27, The Guardian, Melbourne, 1948. Image PDF Details
  • 'Another festival of Soviet films', Guardian, February 20, The Guardian, Melbourne, 1948, p. 1. Image PDF Details
  • 'Junior Eureka Youth League', Guardian, The Guardian, Melbourne, 6 December 1949, p. 1. PDF Details
  • 'Latest book news', Guardian, The Guardian, Melbourne, 24 March 1950. PDF Details
  • 'Audrey Blake to address colonial youth rally', Guardian, The Guardian, Melbourne, 17 February 1950. PDF Details
  • 'Marx School library', Guardian, The Guardian, Melbourne, nd. PDF Details
  • Brown, Max, 'Summary of the "New Masses" controversy on "What shall we ask of writers?"', Communist Review, October, Central Committee Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1946, pp. 315-7. Transcript HTML Transcript PDF Details
  • Clarke, W.J., 'Under the Southern Cross. A letter from Australia.', Socialist Standard, vol. 27, no. 319, Socialist Party of Great Britain, United Kingdom, March 1931. Image PDF Details
  • Committee to reconstruct the Communist Party, Today is May Day - international worker's day!, 1986. Image PDF Details
  • Davidson, Alastair, 'Antonio Gramsci: the man [part two]', Australian Left Review, no. 2, April-May 1968, pp. 59-70. Details
  • Davidson, Alastair, 'Gramsci: on the Party', Australian Left Review, October-November 1968, pp. 55-60. Details
  • Davidson, Alastair, 'Antonio Gramsci: the man', Australian Left Review, no. 1, February-March 1968, pp. 51-63. Details
  • Diamond, D, 'Art and the struggle', Communist Review, November, Central Committee Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1943, pp. 151-3. Image PDF Details
  • Editorial Board, 'Down at the old bull and bush', Realist Writer (Melbourne), no. 10, 1962, pp. 3-5. PDF Details
  • 'H.M', 'A further reply to John Reed's views', Communist Review, July, Central Committee Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1944, pp. 285-6. PDF Details
  • Harper, Ken, 'The useful theatre: the New Theatre movement in Sydney and Melbourne 1935-1983', Meanjin, vol. 43, no. 1, University of Melbourne, Parkville, March 1984, pp. 56-71. PDF Details
  • Marshall, Alan, 'Factory', Communist Review, February, 1938, pp. 17-21. PDF Details
  • Morrison, John, 'What shall we do about the Australian tradition', The Realist (Melbourne), no. 15, 1964, pp. 24-26. PDF Details
  • Mortimer, Paul, 'Artists and the class struggle', Communist Review, February, Central Committee Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1948, pp. 59-60. Image PDF Details
  • Moston, S, 'Marx House, the first anniversary of our communist unversity', Communist Review, March, Central Committee Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1944, pp. 222-3. Image PDF Details
  • O'Connor V.G, 'Art and Fascism', Australian new writing, vol. 2, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, March 1944, pp. 47-52. PDF Details
  • Prichard, Katharine Susannah, 'Anti-Capitalist core of Australian literature', Communist Review, August, 1943, pp. 106-7. Transcript HTML Transcript PDF Details
  • Prichard, Katharine Susannah, 'Hoax renders service to literature', Communist Review, March, 1945, pp. 457-7. Image PDF Details
  • Prichard, Katharine Susannah, 'Some thoughts on Australian Literature', The Realist, no. 15, 1964, p. 11. PDF Details
  • Reed, John, 'Signs of an "infantile disorder" on the cultural front', Communist Review, July, Central Committee Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1944, pp. 284-5. Image PDF Details
  • Reed, John, 'Take the people to art', Australian new writing, vol. 2, Current Book Distributors, Sydney, March 1944, pp. 43-6. PDF Details
  • Shaw, R. M, 'The artist in our society', Communist Review, August, Central Committee Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1948, pp. 258-9. Image PDF Details
  • Smith, Bernard, 'The studio of realist art', in The critic as advocate: selected essays 1941-1988, Oxford University Press Australia, Melbourne, 1989, pp. 42-3. Details
  • Waten, Judah, 'Australian literature in 1962', Realist Writer (Melbourne), no. 12, 1963, pp. 26-8. PDF Details
  • Watson, Kathleen, 'Art and the individual', Communist Review, March, Central Committee Communist Party of Australia, Sydney, 1944, p. 223. Image PDF Details