How Australia Responded to the Threat of Communism Essay

Published: 2020-02-14 01:22:56
729 words
3 pages
essay essay

Category: Communism

Type of paper: Essay

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The primary internal reason how Australia responded to the threat of communism was by Menzies and the Liberal Party attempting to ban the CPA. Menzies tried to ban the CPA two times. The first time was in 1950, when the Liberal Party introduced the Communist Party Dissolution Bill (CPDB). Menzies tried to make it a law so that the CPA would become illegal. However, this was unsuccessful as the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and many other unions opposed it as this would lead to the Liberal Party to ban any minority group they wanted including the ALP.

The second way Menzies tried to prohibit the CPA was by having a Communist Party Dissolution Referendum in 1951 which was narrowly defeated as Chifley stated his concerns to the public about how the Liberal Party would be able to ban any group they wanted. The Party in control of government, which was the Liberal Party, responded to the threat of communism by trying to ban the CPA. To be able to respond to the threat of communism, the Liberal Party had to maintain and win the elections against their main political rival, the ALP.

They did this by linking the ALP to communism, to attempt to instill fear that if they voted in the ALP, Australia would become communists. For example, in 1949, the ALP wanted to give out social welfare reforms like pensions. They also wanted to nationalise the banks, but Menzies claimed that this was the first step that Russia took to become communists. Menzies announced that if they chose him for Prime Minister, he would try to eradicate the threat of communism.

The Liberal Party was also able to win the elections by implanting fear into the Australian public about communism through mottos and slogans, E. . reds under the beds, and through the Petrov Affair in 1954, where there were alleged Soviet spies in Australia. By means of infusing the Australian public with fear of the threat of communism, the Liberal Party was able to maintain winning the elections so that they could respond the danger of communism. An external motive Australia took to respond to the threat of communism was by strengthening our alliance with the US which in those days was known as Australias big brother.

Menzies tried to do this in any way he could as he believed that Australia was too weak to defend itself against other countries. Australia joined the ANZUS alliance which was based on any threat, war or communism, and was between Australia, the US and New Zealand. In this alliance, if any of these three countries were in danger, the other two would help them. Another alliance Australia joined to unite us with the US was SEATO. This treaty was between us, the US, and many other non-communist nations which would help fight if any country was under the risk of communism.

By joining ANZUS and SEATO, Australia was responding to the threat of communism by finding a strong nation to unite with if any danger was to come to Australia. Finally, Australia responded to the threat of communism by adopting a foreign policy which aimed to protect Australia from communist takeover. This foreign policy is called Forward Defence and it was a consequence of a theory known as the Domino Theory. The Domino theory is a belief that communism would take over the world, one neighbouring country at a time, similar to dominos.

Forward defence was a policy made to prevent the Domino theory and it is where Australian troops are sent to fight over seas rather than here. Robert Menzies justified this policy during the Korean and Vietnam War. In these wars, there were two forms of government (democratic and communist) who wanted to be the main form of government. So Menzies sent over Australian troops to fight against the communists so they would not take over the country, as well as neighbouring countries, thus fulfilling the Domino theory.

By sending troops overseas as participants of Forward defence, Australia was responding externally to the threat of communism. All in all, it is clear that Australia responded to communism in many ways that were internal and external. This was through the Liberal Party attempting to ban the CPA by maintaining their role as the leaders in government; strengthening our alliance with the US as well as applying the foreign policy: Forward defence.
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