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image icon Australian Labor Party pamphlet for the 1940 federal elections

Australian Labor Party pamphlet for the 1940 federal elections
Australian Labor Party pamphlet for the 1940 federal elections
Australian Labor Party pamphlet for the 1940 federal elections
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library


This is a four-page Australian Labor Party pamphlet for the federal elections of September 1940, with 'how to vote' information for Western Australia on the outer covers and an outline of Labor's defence policy on the inside pages.

Educational value

This resource is useful because it:

  • This asset shows a 'how to vote' ticket for the Senate and House of Representatives in Western Australia in 1940 - there were five House of Representatives electorates in WA at this time: Australian Labor Party (ALP) candidate John Curtin held his seat of Fremantle (1928-31, 1934-45), Country Party sitting members Henry Gregory and John Prowse won in Swan (1922-40) and Forrest (1922-43) respectively, while United Australia Party candidate Walter Nairn retained Perth (1929-43); the electorate of Kalgoorlie, held by Albert Green for Labor (1922-40), was uncontested and hence not shown on this ticket; in the Senate, none of the three ALP candidates was successful.
  • This asset is an example of ALP campaign advertising in the 1940 federal elections, held after two years of war - the pamphlet shows an Australian soldier casting his vote for Labor and puts the case for the ALP under the slogan 'Work for victory and plan for peace'; the ALP lost the election and remained in opposition until the defeat of the Fadden government in the House of Representatives put Labor in government on 7 October 1941 under Prime Minister John Curtin (1885-1945, Prime Minister 1941-45).
  • This asset suggests the key issue of concern to the Australian electorate in 1940 was the defence of Australia and the progress of the war effort - the pamphlet is wholly taken up with these matters, detailing the seven key points of Labor's defence policy as determined by the ALP conference of June 1940, and with the front cover featuring a colour image of a soldier in uniform.
  • This asset provides a summary of Labor's defence policy in 1940 - the key points were unity with the Allies, Commonwealth control of all production and finances for the prosecution of the War, full utilisation of labour and resources, maintenance of national training for defence, participation in the Empire Air Force Scheme, provision of reinforcements for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), determining the extent of European participation by the AIF as circumstances arose 'having regard to the paramount necessity of Australia's defence', recognition and respect for trade unions in the organisation of labour, and an excess-war-profits tax of 100 per cent.
  • This asset shows a photograph of the three Labor Senate candidates for Western Australia - the two men (Frank Trainer and Herbert Graham) are in suits and ties, while the woman candidate (Dorothy Tangney) is wearing a spotted dress.
  • This asset shows that Dorothy Tangney was a Senate candidate in 1940 - although unsuccessful at this time, Tangney stood again in 1943 as the fourth candidate on the ALP ticket and was elected to a short-term Senate vacancy; she became the first female Australian Senator and went on to become a veteran of the Parliament, representing Western Australia for 25 years until she retired in 1968.