Anti-Communism

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How did the Australian Government respond to the threat of communism both within Australia and in Asia?

The Australian Government responded to the threat of communism in Asia including forward defence, the ANZUS Treaty and the SEATO Alliance. Within Australia, the responses included a referendum to ban Communist Party and the Petrov Affair.

Forward Defence was a foreign policy used by the Australian Government in response to the threat of communism. The Korean War (1950-1953) and the Vietnam War (1962-1972) were part of the forward defence tactic which was to keep aggressive communism as far from Australia as possible. Both wars were considered evidence of the domino theory. Australia joined the wars to stop communism from spreading further down south.

Australia signed the ANZUS Treaty (formed in 1951) and joined the SEATO Alliance (formed in 1954) to ensure that Australia would be aided, especially by the United States, in times when Australia was under attack of communists. The ANZUS Treaty made Australia, New Zealand and the United State with the obligation to assist each other. The SEATO Alliance (South-East Asian Treaty Organisation) included Australia, United States, France, Britain, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines and Pakistan - eight power united to fight against the aggressive communism in South East Asia.

Within Australia, government tried to introduce the Communist Party Dissolution Bill in 1950 to outlaw the Communists Party. Once someone was declared a communist, it was up to them to declare innocence. The Bill did not pass as it was unconstitutional. The Government then called a referendum to ban Community Party, but it was rejected. However, it was a government's response to communism.

The government also restricted the literature and art of the time. The censorship led to the imprisonment of Author Frank Hardy for his book “Power Without Glory”. In addition, The Government made use of the Petrov Affair to create...
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