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'Behind Enemy Lines' Menzies, Evatt and Passports for Peking

Deery, Phillip and McLean, Craig (2003) 'Behind Enemy Lines' Menzies, Evatt and Passports for Peking. The Round Table, 92 (370). pp. 407-422. ISSN 0035-8533 (peint) 1474-029X (online)

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This article focuses primarily on Australian government responses to the 1952 Peace Conference for Asia and the Pacific Regions. Because the conference was to be held in Peking, it was the subject of immense controversy: Chinese communists were fighting Australian soldiers in Korea and Australian peace activists, most communist or 'fellow travellers', sought to travel behind the 'bamboo curtain'. In this context, the Menzies government's policies on passports were sharply silhouetted. Although this conference has been overlooked in the literature, we can infer from the trajectory of relevant Cold War historiography that Prime Minister Menzies would adopt restrictive, even draconian, policies. This article argues otherwise. It suggests that it was that consistent champion of civil liberties, former deputy prime minister, attorney-general and secretary of the General Assembly of the United Nations and now, in 1952, Leader of the Opposition, Dr Evatt, who favoured more repressive action towards prospective delegates. In contrast, Menzies and his Cabinet were more lenient and shifted towards a harsher policy belatedly and reluctantly. This episode, therefore, challenges some comfortable assumptions about how the early Cold War was fought in Australia.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

"The commonwealth journal of international affairs."

Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID6465, peace movement, war, Peace Movement, passports, Menzies, Evatt.
Subjects: Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
RFCD Classification > 430000 History and Archaeology
Depositing User: Mr Angeera Sidaya
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2019 04:35
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Citations in Scopus: 0 - View on Scopus

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