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Tuesday, 10 November 1959

(15)   As far as can be ascertained, the first direct announcement of the congress in Australia was made in the " Guardian ", the Communist newspaper in Victoria, of 18th September, 1958, which reported the return of the Australian delegates from Stockholm. An article in the Bulletin of the World Peace Council, November, 1958, states: -

The Way Forward - Where do we go from here?

When representatives of the New South Wales Assembly for Peace met Australian delegates returning from the Stockholm and Tokyo Conferences at the Mascot Aerodrome, and talked with us about the future cooperation of the peace forces in Australia, the success of a tremendous leap forward in the peace work in Australia was assured. The Secretary of the New Zealand Peace Committee, Flora Gould, was with the Australian delegation and it was practically decided there and then, that an Australian and New Zealand Congress should be held in Melbourne in the latter half of 1959 to carry forward the work of Stockholm and Tokyo. [Both convened by the World Peace Council.]

A further reference is in an article published in the World Peace Council Bulletin dated November, 1958, and written by the Rev. F. J. Hartley. The article dealt with the Stockholm Congress and then went on to deal with " Exciting Plans for the Future". These plans included the holding of this present Australian and New Zealand Congress and Festival of Arts. Mention was made of assistance from two well-known members of the Communist Party. A sponsoring committee to promote the Melbourne Congress was formed, of which the Rev. A. M. Dickie became chairman, the Rev. F. J. Hartley treasurer, and Mr. Samuel Goldbloom, organizing secretary. In the prelininary circular concerning the congress reference was made to a number of well known citizens as being among the 100 distinguished persons sponsoring the congress, but no mention was made of any link with the World Peace Council or the Australian Peace Council. In a pamphlet later circulated by the secretariat of the Melbourne congress headed " Congress Aim is Charter of Hope ", occurs the following passage: -

The idea for the congress arose from the post-war history of the struggle for peace and, in particular, from the Stockholm Conference for Disarmament and International Co-operation last year.

At the end of this Conference Australasian delegates and the Victorian Sponsoring Committee which sent these delegates to Stockholm met and decided to hold a congress in Melbourne, where all who desired peace could work out a programme for international cooperation and disarmament.

(16)   It is noteworthy that all the persons listed in the preliminary announcement of the Melbourne congress as persons to whom bulk orders for badges should be sent and inquiries should be addressed in relation to the congress were people who had had close connections with Communistinspired peace movements. The address of the sponsoring committee in Melbourne initially given was that of Mr. John Rodgers, and the telephone number of his office appeared on the early letterheads of the sponsoring committee correspondence. After statements had been issued by the Minister for External Affairs and the Dean of Melbourne (Dr. Babbage) had withdrawn as a sponsor, the addresses in Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand, to which correspondence should be sent were changed. Mr. G. Anderson, who has a long history of association with the Communist Peace Movement in New South Wales, and Mrs. Flora Gould, who is publicly known as a member of the Communist Party of New Zealand, were withdrawn as congress representatives in those areas. Of the people who in a secretarial capacity have assisted the organizing secretary of the sponsoring committee (Mr. Samuel Goldbloom) at least three are members of the Communist Party of Australia.

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