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Posts tagged as “Communist Party Dissolution Act”

High Court Strikes Down Communist Party Dissolution Bill

The High Court of Australia invalidated the Menzies’ government’s Communist Party Dissolution Act on March 9, 1951.

The bill to ban the party was passed in 1950, the first full year of the Liberal-Country Party government Robert Menzies brought to office in December 1949.

The legislation was ultimately allowed through the Labor-controlled Senate, denying Menzies the opportunity to use the bill as a double dissolution trigger. However, Menzies secured a double dissolution election on April 28, 1951 due to the blocking of the Commonwealth Bank Bill. The government was returned to office with a slightly-reduced majority in the House, but it gained control of the Senate.

Communist Party Dissolution Bill – Second Reading Speech by Robert Menzies

The debate on the Communist Party Dissolution Bill began in the House of Representatives on April 27, 1950, with the Second Reading Speech given by Prime Minister Robert Menzies.

Menzies had been prime minister for just four months.

The bill would be eventually passed and invalidated by the High Court. A referendum to ban the Communist Party was defeated in 1951.

Hansard transcript of Prime Minister Robert Menzies’ Second Reading Speech on the Communist Party Dissolution Bill 1950.
Malcolm Farnsworth
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