ITS PLACE AMONGST WORLD LEADERS
In 1942, Australia's
emerging sense of its own identity as separate from that of the British
Empire was re-inforced by Curtin's insistence that Churchill allow
Australian troops to return home rather than use them to defend Burma.
By 1944, Australia's important contribution to the war in the Pacific
was recognised when the Curtins travelled to America, Canada and Britain.
In all of these countries Curtin was honoured as an important leader.
In Britain, he was awarded the Order of the City of London in recognition
of Australia's war effort.
A TRAITOR TO HIS OWN CAUSE?
decision to conscript Australian men into the army during World War
II was seen by many as going against the Labor Party's traditional
platform and his own political principles. After all, he had been
prepared to go to prison during World War I for the anti-conscription
cause. Certainly this is the view that is captured in Norman Lindsay's
cartoon in which Curtin is shown as not having the strength to stand
up to the Allies' request that Australia introduce conscription.
What do you
Prime Ministerial Library, Records of Australian Consolidated Press,
John and Elsie Curtin leaving by ship for USA, 1944, JCPML 00410/14.
(Original held by Australian Consolidated Press).
"Long distance thinking", Daily Telegraph, 1942.
John Curtin Prime
Ministerial Library, Records of the Curtin family, Dominion Prime Ministers
Conference, London 1944, JCPML 00004/31.
'The conscientious objector' Charcoal and wash Collection, Art Gallery
of Western Australia Presented by the Proprietors of the Bulletin, Sydney
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