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Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist)

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This group should not be confused with the Australian Labor Party (Non-Communist), which was a name used by supporters of New South Wales Premier Jack Lang in the 1930s.

The Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist) (ALP-AC) was the name used by the right-wing group which split away from the Australian Labor Party in 1955.[1] It later became the Democratic Labor Party in 1957.

In April 1955, seven Victorian federal MPs and eighteen state Members of Parliament were expelled from the ALP. They formed the ALP-AC under the influence of B. A. Santamaria.[2] Only one state MP was elected at the next elections, while five Legislative Council members were not re-elected when their terms expired in 1958. The seven federal MPs were:

Frank McManus was elected to the Senate for Victoria and former ALP senator George Cole was re-elected to the Senate for Tasmania. Later Frank Scully gained the seat of Richmond in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in the May 1955 Victorian election.

The members of the ALP (Anti-Communist) were mostly Roman Catholic. There were only two non-Catholics, its federal leader, Bob Joshua, who represented Ballarat in the Australian House of Representatives, and Jack Little, who led the party in the Victoria Legislative Council between 1955 and 1958. It has been suggested that the party was mainly people of Irish background,[3] and the ALP split of 1955 was the removal of the Irish-Catholics from the ALP.[4] However, many ALP (Anti-Communist) members were not Irish. The party attracted many voters among migrants from Catholic countries in southern Europe, and among anti-Communist Eastern European refugees. In 1957, the party became the Democratic Labor Party, which closed in 1978.

References[change | change source]

  1. Robert Murray (1970), The Split. Australian Labor in the Fifties, F. W. Cheshire, Melbourne, Victoria.
  2. Paul Strangio and Brian Costar (2005), "B. A. Santamaria: Religion as Politics", in Brian Costar, Peter Love and Paul Strangio (eds.), The Great Labor Schism. A Retrospective, Scribe Publications, Melbourne.
  3. Lyle Allan (1988), "Irish Ethnicity and the Democratic Labor Party", Politics, Vol. 23 No. 2, Pages 28-34.
  4. Ernest Healy (1993), 'Ethnic ALP Branches - The Balkanisation of Labor,' in People and Place Vol.1, No.4, Page 38.