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Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist)


Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist)

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

In April 1955, seven Victorian federal MPs and eighteen state MPs were expelled from the ALP, and they formed the party under the influence of B. A. Santamaria.[2] All but one of the twelve MPs in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, the one MP facing re-election in the Victorian Legislative Council, and all seven federal MPs were defeated at elections held in 1955. Five MPs remained in the Legislative Council until the expiry of their terms in 1958, and all who recontested their seats were defeated. The federal MPs were:

However, the party did elect Frank Scully gained the seat of Richmond in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in the May 1955 Victorian election.

The parliamentary membership of the ALP (Anti-Communist) was almost entirely Roman Catholic. The only two non-Catholics were 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 substantially a party of Irish-ethnics,[3] a result of the ALP split of 1955 being a 'de-ethnicisation', a forcible removal of the Irish-Catholic element within the ALP.[4] However, many ALP (Anti-Communist) members were not of Irish descent. 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 became defunct in 1978.


  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.

Further reading

  • Lyle Allan (1988), "Irish Ethnicity and the Democratic Labor Party," Politics, Vol. 23 No.2, Pages 28–34
  • Niall Brennan (1964), Dr Mannix, Adelaide, South Australia, Rigby.
  • Ken Buckley, Barbara Dale and Wayne Reynolds (1994), Doc Evatt, Melbourne, Victoria, Longman Cheshire. ISBN 0-582-87498-X
  • A.A.Calwell (1972), Be Just and Fear Not, Hawthorn, Victoria, Lloyd O'Neil. ISBN 0-85550-352-1
  • Bob Corcoran (2001), "The Manifold Causes of the Labor Split", in Peter Love and Paul Strangio (eds.), Arguing the Cold War, Carlton North, Victoria, Red Rag Publications. ISBN 0-9577352-6-X
  • Brian Costar, Peter Love and Paul Strangio (eds.)(2005), The Great Labor Schism. A Retrospective, Melbourne, Victoria, Scribe Publications. ISBN 1-920769-42-0
  • Peter Crockett (1993), Evatt. A Life, South Melbourne, Victoria, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-553558-8
  • Allan Dalziel (1967), Evatt. The Enigma, Melbourne, Victoria, Lansdowne Press.
  • Gavan Duffy (2002), Demons and Democrats. 1950s Labor at the Crossroads, North Melbourne, Victoria, Freedom Publishing. ISBN 0-9578682-2-7
  • Gil Duthie (1984), I had 50,000 bosses. Memoirs of a Labor Backbencher 1946-1975, Sydney, NSW, Angus and Robertson. ISBN 0-207-14916-X
  • John Faulkner and Stuart Macintyre (eds.)(2001), True Believers. The Story of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, Crows Nest, NSW, Allen and Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-527-8
  • Ross Fitzgerald, Adam James Carr and William J. Dealy, (2003), The Pope's Battalions. Santamaria, Catholicism and the Labor Split, St Lucia, Queensland, University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0-7022-3389-7
  • Colm Kiernan (1978), Calwell. A Personal and Political Biography, West Melbourne, Thomas Nelson. ISBN 0-17-005185-4
  • Michael Lyons (2008), "Defence, the Family and the Battler: The Democratic Labor Party and its Legacy," Australian Journal of Political Science, September, 43-3, Pages 425-442.
  • Frank McManus (1977), The Tumult and the Shouting, Adelaide, South Australia, Rigby. ISBN 0-7270-0219-8
  • Patrick Morgan (ed.)(2007), B. A. Santamaria. Your Most Obedient Servant. Selected Letters: 1918-1996, Carlton, Victoria, Miegunyah Press. ISBN 0-522-85274-2
  • Patrick Morgan (ed.)(2008), Running the Show. Selected Documents: 1939-1996, Carlton, Victoria, Miegunyah Press. ISBN 978-0-522-85497-8
  • Robert Murray (1970), The Split. Australian Labor in the fifties, Melbourne, Victoria, F.W. Cheshire. ISBN 0-7015-0504-4
  • Paul Ormonde (1972), The Movement, Melbourne, Victoria, Thomas Nelson. ISBN 0-17-001968-3
  • Paul Ormonde (2000), "The Movement - Politics by Remote Control," in Paul Ormonde (ed.) Santamaria. The Politics of Fear, Richmond, Victoria, Spectrum Publications. ISBN 0-86786-294-7
  • P.L Reynolds (1974), The Democratic Labor Party, Milton, Queensland, Jacaranda. ISBN 0-7016-0703-3
  • B.A. Santamaria (1964), The Price of Freedom. The Movement - After Ten Years, Melbourne, Victoria, Campion Press.
  • Kylie Tennant (1970), Evatt. Politics and Justice, Cremorne, NSW, Angus and Robertson. ISBN 0-207-12533-3
  • Tom Truman (1960), Catholic Action and Politics, London, England, The Merlin Press.
  • Kate White (1982), John Cain and Victorian Labor 1917-1957, Sydney, NSW, Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 0-86806-026-7
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