Australia's Response to the Threat of Communism

Topics: World War II, Cold War, United States Pages: 6 (1927 words) Published: November 19, 2012
Australia’s Response to the threat of Communism
Australia’s Response to the threat of Communism

Australia’s response to the threat of communism after WW2 was extraordinary. Australia and its politicians immediately recognised what could happen of a result of the domino theory. With the Soviet Union influencing so many countries and causing China, Vietnam, and North Korea to turn Communist it was only matter of time until it reached Australia, and all in all this was when Australia took action. At the end of WW2 in 1945 the world thought that peace was about, but that was when the lashings of communism rained upon the world. This was when Robert Menzies took advantage of Australia’s fear and hatred for communism and used to win himself many elections. Menzies who was the opposition leader in 1949 and made a speech in this year about his fight against communism that nearly 4000 people attended in Hurstville, NSW. It was quoted next day in a newspaper article with the headline, “WE WILL THRASH REDS”. “We are going to declare war on Communists; we are going to give them a thrashing.” Many speeches including lines just like these were what won the Menzies over to the majority of Australia. Australians wanted to stay a democracy they wanted someone who could lead them away from all this and respond against communism and that’s why they choose Menzies. This was one of the main reasons for Menzies becoming Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister. What also helped Menzies in his campaigning, as quoted in the newspaper article about Menzies, was that he was going to ban the Bank Nationalisation Act, which would nationalise all banks in Australia making them into the public ownership of the government. This was extremely important for Australia as if this act was allowed to keep going it would be one of the first steps to communism. Another Aspect that won over the people of Australia for Menzies and his non-communist government was the Petrov Affair. The Petrov affair helped Menzies liberal vote’s sky- rocket. This was due to the fact that with Petrov wanting to defect and seek political asylum in Australia as he was a Soviet member, Menzies used it to win over the Australian people. As the people truly hated communism and did not want it to take over Australia, Menzies took great advantage of this. Menzies went on about how the Petrov Affair proved he had been right all along and with the suggestion of Soviet spies (this is what he did with Petrov, he told the public that he was a Soviet spy and that he should be investigated), and the danger of communism, he tried to ban the communist party. He even used this to embarrass the labour party as much as he suggested that they were soft on communism and had people in their government that were for communism. Even the idea of this is what put the Australian people over the edge and convinced many to vote for Menzies. Australia responded quite differently to Asian nations to communism within themselves, as they wanted to reject the idea, as proved with Menzies election wins. But Australia’s response to communism beyond Australian borders emphasises their idea on communism.

Australia’s response within Australia was quite extensive but the response of Australia beyond its borders was even bigger. After WW2 the Soviet Union choose a different path to the United States, Britain and all of their allies. The Soviet Union under rule of Joseph Stalin became communist and had major influences among other countries in Asia. Soon after the Soviet Union became communist, Korea divided in 1945 with North being communist and South being non-communist. China followed thereafter in 1949 and in June 1951 North Korea decided it’s time for all of Korea to become communist. It was then that Australia had sent forces to fight alongside the United States in the Korean War. Australia ended up sending a squadron of the RAAF, two battalions of the Australian army, naval forces containing of an...
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