The response to the threat of communism within Australia including:

  • referendum to ban the Communist Party
  • the Petrov Affair

Students learn to:
  • outline the key developments in Australia‚Äôs response to communism within Australia

The referendum to ban the Communist Party
Download the worksheet:

external image 220px-Petrova_taken_away.jpeg

The Petrov Affair
  • How did Robert Menzies use the Petrov Affair for political advantage?
  • What were the consequences of the Petrov Affair for the ALP?

13 April - Menzies announced Vladimir Petrov was seeking asylum, and there was Soviet espionage within Australia. A Royal Commission was to investigate.

19 April - Russian officials attempted to take Evdokia Petrov out of Australia. She was released in Darwin and given asylum.

Sydney Morning Herald, 20 April 1954

29 May - the Liberal-Country Party coalition was returned to government in the federal election with a seven seat majority.

21 October - the interim report of the Royal Commission on Espionage found some evidence of espionage in Australia, but no one was charged.

The Catholic anti-Communist "Movement" within the Australian Labor Party (ALP), led by B.A. Santamaria, and supported by Archbishop Daniel Mannix, split from the Labor Party and formed the Democratic Labor Party (DLP). The DLP preferences helped keep the ALP out of office until 1972.

Robert Menzies talks about the Petrov Affair