Petrov Affair Case Study

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1. Explain the Petrov Affair During the 1950’s leader of the Liberal party, Robert Menzies, used the threat of communism to his political advantage, and the best example of this came just a few weeks before the federal election of 1954. On April 13 1954, Menzies told parliament that an official of the Soviet Russian Embassy in Canberra, Vladimir Petrov, had asked for political asylum in Australia. He also announced that Petrov had provided details of a Soviet spy ring operating in Australia and that there would be a Royal Commission into Petrov’s claims. While carrying out his spying duties, Petrov soon came to the attention of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Australia’s recently formed intelligence service which was primarily started because of concerns about leaked information from the Australian Department of External Affairs to the Soviet Union.…show more content…
Explain the Significance of the Petrov Affair for Australia in the Post-war period. The Petrov affair had a significant impact on Australia during the post war period. It created a lot of political controversy and signified the true threat that communism posed to the Australian way. The greatest internal dispute cause by the Petrov Affair was the Labor Party Split, which had immediate consequences for the Labor Party in the Australian political landscape. Dr. H.V. Evatt’s position on the Petrov Affair continued existing divisions within the Labor Party. The anti-Communist Right of the Party bitterly opposed the conspiracy theory that Evatt mounted at the Petrov Royal Commission. They believed his conspiracy theory amounted to a defence of Communism. On October 6 1954 Evatt instigated a claim that the Catholic group, The Movement, led by B.A. Santamaria, was part of the conspiracy against him. Evatt believed The Movement was directing a small group within the ALP to subvert the Party. As a result of Evatt’s charge the ALP Federal Executive called for a review of Labor’s Victorian
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