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Issue #1911      April 20, 2020

FIRST COMMUNIST MLA

PATERSON WINS BOWEN

By making Alderman F W Paterson, B A, the first Australian Communist member of Parliament, the electors of Bowen (Queensland), made history last Saturday.

Alderman F W Paterson, B A, the first Australian Communist member of Parliament.

Mr Paterson’s success is a major victory in the cause of unity and a blow to reactionaries and anti-Soviet disrupters. These points are brought out in a statement issued by General Secretary J B Miles on behalf of the Central Committee of the [Communist Party of Australia], which reads:

The electors of Bowen, Queensland, have made history; they have elected the first Communist member of an Australian parliament.

Comrade Paterson’s success is a tribute to his fearless championship of the interests of the common people, the sugar workers and farmers, the coal miners, waterside workers and rail men, the professional workers and small business people of the towns.

The election of a member of the [Communist Party of Australia] to the Queensland Parliament is a result of several years’ effort to win leadership of the toiling people by the State Committee of our Party, and the Party organisations in the area.

The electors have become familiar with, and supporters of, the policy of the Communist Party, its local leaders and banner bearer, Comrade Paterson.

CPA’S CONSISTENT RECORD

By their action at the polling booths the electors have sent into the Queensland House a member of the most consistently anti-fascist Party; the Party that has persistently defended democratic liberties and the standards of the working people; the Party whose members are devoted to victory in the present war of liberation.

Comrade Paterson will utilise his position and the Privileges that go with it to carry forward the policy of the [Communist Party of Australia’s] national and international unity for victory, the strengthening of the unity and plans for victory and peace decided on at Teheran, Moscow and Cairo.

BIG AID TO LABOR UNITY

The campaign of the Communist party for unity of the labour movement, for affiliation of our Party to the Labor Party will be greatly assisted by a Communist member of Parliament.

It is a campaign to increase the influence of the labour movement in the struggle for victory and on the post-war situation, to ensure that victory will be followed by a stable peace and economic reconstruction in the interests of the people.

PATERSON AS PEOPLE’S TRIBUNE

Success in an election was to be expected in this period; it is a reflection of the greatly increased influence of our Party and its rapid organisational growth in recent years.

It is in keeping with Australian conditions that substantial influence in trade unions should find a reflection in the parliamentary sphere.

The people of Queensland, even of the whole country, will experience what a Communist MP can do as a tribune of the people, what use can be made of parliament for the immediate struggle and the Socialist objective of the Communist Party and the labour movement.

HEAVY BLOW TO REACTION

Our opponents of the capitalist class and of the Right wing of the Labor Party will also have cause to regard the 1944 Queensland elections as important for their policy and their future.

The Labor Party disrupters face the fact that a representative of labour unity, an advocate of Communist Party-Labor Party unity, is now an MP.

The anti-Soviet reactionaries of all kinds face the fact that a consistent friend of USSR, a champion of collective security and alliance between Australia and the Soviet Union, is an MP.

The monopolists face the fact that one who stands for transition to Socialism after victory is won is an MP. Having broken through, our Party can confidently look forward to future successor in parliamentary and local elections.

SHOWS HOW WE CAN WIN

Election of a colleague or two for Comrade Paterson, and success in other States and in the Federal sphere in the near future, depend mainly on the work of our members in the localities and factories, on presenting openly and clearly to the electors the policy and programme of our Party, and on the selection of suitable candidates who work in the area on behalf of the people and become known to them as Communists and their champions.

Comrade Paterson has been known to the people of Bowen as a propagandist for our Party, as an able man in his profession and a municipal councillor.

All our organisations in discussing the Bowen result must draw suitable conclusions for their own area about mass work carried out in the name of the Party, and participation regularly and over long periods in activities on behalf of the people of the electorate by prospective Party candidates.

This article originally appeared in Tribune in April, 1944.

Next article – PETROV AFFAIR GIGANTIC FRAME-UP AGAINST PEOPLE

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