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Title: The Australian Government's Response To The Threat Of Communism Question: Explain How The Australian Government Responded To The Threat Of Communism After World War Ii

1257 words - 6 pages

Not long after World War II and Soviet Union's victory to Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in 1945, a new war began, the Cold War. The Soviet Unions were Communists and the United States were Capitalists. Australia was one of United State's allies therefore we also became involved in the Cold War. In 1949 when China became communists, Australia felt that we were in threat of communism. Australia's fear of communism came in two forms: the fear of communism spreading to Australia from Asia and fear of communism within Australia. The Australian government exploited the fear of communism within Australia and argues how bad communism is in order to cause Australians to fear communism and vote ...view middle of the document...

The government began to fear the internal communism within Australia. The Prime Minister of the time, Robert Menzies tried to ban this party therefore introducing the Communist Party Dissolution Bill. The Bill was passed by the House of Representatives, but the Communist Party brought the case up to the High Court, there, six out of seven judges declared that the Bill is unconstitutional. Still not giving up, Menzies held a referendum on 22nd September 1951 in order to change the Constitution so that the government had the right to make laws to ban the Communist party. Despite an attempt to do this, the referendum failed to succeed but only by a very small number.Due to communism, the Labor Party became divided in the 1950's, seeing this, Robert Menzies took advantage of the situation. During 3rd April 1954, the third secretary of the Soviet Embassy in Canberra, Vladimir Petrov decided to stay in Australia and not return to Russia. He sought political asylum from the Soviet Union, meaning he would be protected by the Australian government from the Soviet Union. However his wife, Evdokya Petrov was forcefully dragged by the Soviet guards to the plane in Sydney airport and had to return to the Soviet Union. Fortunately, when the plane stopped at Darwin to refuel, she broke into arguments with a Soviet agent and an Australian security man before she was granted political asylum and a Royal Commission was set up to investigate the espionage that was going on in Australia. This incident shocked the Australians; they witnessed what communists would do. Many Australians protested in outrage and demanded Mrs. Petrov's release. As a result, the Labor Party lost many supporters and they all turned to support the Liberal Party. This case was suspected to have been staged by the Liberal Party; Robert Menzies might have hired people to stage this act as evidence possibly proves. He played on Australians' fear of communism in order to gain supporters.The government displayed many 'Anti-communism posters' in the public to exploit Australia's fear of communism, Robert Menzies also read speeches that tried to convince Australians to support anti-communism. Many were persuaded by the posters and his speeches.The Menzies government also feared the communism spreading from overseas. As a result, Australia joined the 'Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty' (ANZUS Treaty) in September 1951. Other reasons Australia signed this Treaty was so we can have more allies and two...

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