Curtin's writings as a socialist
Tom Fitzgerald aimed to plot the development of Curtin’s ideas through his published writings. Curtin's early writings in papers such as the Socialist and the Timber Worker were a rich source for Fitzgerald, as were his editorials during the years he worked on the West Australian Labor paper the Westralian Worker.
Curtin in the Socialist newspaper
Fitzgerald painstakingly identified and copied all the articles by and references to John Curtin in the Socialist newspaper over the period 1906 to 1917. The photocopies and handwritten transcripts of these articles and references are often extensively annotated with Fitzgerald's analysis and thoughts for future reference. There are descriptive finding aids in ERA for this material in the research papers.
In addition, all the articles by and references to John Curtin in the Socialist, as identified by Tom Fitzgerald, have been wordprocessed by the JCPML into a separate series for access as full text in ERA.
Tom Fitzgerald also wrote his own notes exploring themes arising from the Socialist material.
Descriptive finding aid for Socialist 1906-1909
Photocopied and handwritten pages, often with annotations by Tom Fitzgerald (not digitised for ERA)
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Records of Tom Fitzgerald. Socialist 1906-1909 Originals. JCPML00653/330
Articles in the Socialist by or relating to John Curtin
All the articles by and references to John Curtin in the Socialist, are available as text files in ERA.
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Records of the Socialist Party. The Socialist articles by or relating to John Curtin. 1906 - 1917.
Extracts from Socialist 30 April 1909 p.5
At the Bijou. References To Albury. Jack Curtin Vehemently Declares for an Industrial Policy.
The Bijou Theatre held a large and enthusiastic audience on Sunday night... Mrs Wallace had organised an excellent musical programme. Little Miss Minnie Isaacs rendered, with grace and confidence. “A Whispered Vow,” and had to respond to a vociferous recall...
The lecturer of the evening was Mr Jack Curtin, on “The Overthrow of Coercion.” He was splendidly received. His speech was of a high standard, and held the audience for over an hour. He first touched upon what he termed the “callousness” of the High Court decision re Mr Justice Higgins’ award, and then went on to impeach the conspiracy of the mining companies to effect delays in operations. He spoke with bitterness, of the brutal treatment meted out to Tom Mann at Albury, and said his enemies were prepared to go to any length to injure Mann’s physique; but the shame was that a man should be jailed before his conviction...
The remainder of the address was devoted to an earnest advocacy of Industrial Unionism. Not in its meekness but in its strength was hope for the working-class. The cause and nature of industrialism were analysed. Industrial organisation impelled a unit of Socialist purpose. To be an exponent of the new order was to earn the undying enmity of the old order. The speaker said two important events would culminate within the next few years – viz., the triumph of aerial navigation and the opening of the Panama Canal. These would have big influences upon the Capitalist order. The workers had need more than ever to be watchful. In the impending struggle, all must be combatants.
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Records of the Socialist Party. At The Bijou. References To Albury. Jack Curtin Vehemently Declares For An Industrial Policy. Socialist, 30 April 1909, P 5. JCPML00819/024
Extract from Notes re Curtin as a speaker and Speakers' Class in the Socialist, 1908-1909
Curtin. As a speaker: seen as nervous
VSP [Victorian Socialist Party] Activities – Curtin biog.
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Records
of Tom Fitzgerald. Notes re Curtin as a speaker and Speakers' Class in
the Socialist, 1908-1909. JCPML00653/27/106
Other socialist writings by Curtin
Extract from: The Heritage: by Frank Anstey and John Curtin, 1930?
Written in collaboration by Frank Anstey and John Curtin to epitomise the history of a Movement which has made Australia a land of hope and opportunity.
THE LABOR MOVEMENT in its world-wide sweep is the greatest reformative and progressive agency in history. It has broadened the constitutions, liberalised the laws, modified the power of oppressors, and ameliorated the conditions of life. Its influence has permeated all the institutions of our time.
We were then reproducing in Australia a second Europe, with its poverty, its wretchedness, its long hours, its misery, and its industrial servitude.
But for the work of the Labor Movement, the sacrifices of its founders, and the incessant and undefeatable struggles of its stalwarts, Australia would have continued a preserve of privilege, and a land where would have been reproduced every sweating device and condition that has made the Old World the shame and despair of every lover of his kind.
The truth of this assertion is evidenced by the history of our country....
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Records of Tom Fitzgerald. The Heritage: by Frank Anstey and John Curtin, 1930? JCPML00653/167.
Extract from The Independent Workers' Federation with its clothes off! 1912?
By J. CURTIN,
Beneath the stole a poisoned dagger wore.”The condition of the working-class is best where the degree of industrial organisation is considerable. In all countries, and at all times, and irrespective of the form of government obtaining, the character of the industrial movement of labor is the measure of social advance. Unionism is the greatest force in civilisation; it is the motive power behind the establishment of order in the place of chaos. To the extent that society is nearer to the realisation of complete liberty and fraternity, it may be said that Unionism is the great Redeemer...
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Records of Tom Fitzgerald. Curtin, J. The Independent Workers' Federation with its clothes off! 1912? JCPML00653/101/30
Extracts from Civilisation and the crisis by John Curtin, 1933
For more than three years now the people have been in the vortex of economic cataclysm. The hopes entertained by the upholders of conventional conduct that if only the people would adapt themselves to the necessities of a short but salutary period of sacrifice the depression would cure itself, have been signally blasted by the iron facts of experience.
Things are not getting better. They are getting worse. The refusal to essay practicable measures of reform has now produced so menacing a political position that the future is black with all the portents of disaster. Sustenance rations and widespread misery and destitution may be tolerated for a while, but when the hour strikes that for millions they have all the appearance of a permanent condition, then reformers find themselves engaged in a veritable competition with revolution, in which every delay tells to the disadvantage of the reformer...
I read the thirty of the leading economists have drafted an agenda paper for the World Economic Conference to be held this year. They aver that unless action is taken the whole system of international trade will collapse. I am not surprised. But why should this document be prepared after three years of crisis, and not long ago? The reply is that even the leading economists did not realise the organic malady of the social system until quite recently. Steeped in the orthodox, they refused to suspect that there was a fundamental fault in the whole structure...
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Records of Tom Fitzgerald. Curtin, J. Civilisation and The Crisis. The New Era, Vol. 4, No. 1, 30 March 1933. JCPML00653/226/45.