Historical information

A search of the Dictionary of Biography returned the names of thirty-two individuals with a connection to Kew, who were claimed to be supporters, members or opponents of the Communist Party of Australia. Some were only linked to communism by reputation. The historian, Geoffrey Serle, in the entry on Vance Palmer (1885-1959) wrote that: ‘From 1942 he was a member of the Commonwealth Literary Fund's advisory committee and from 1947 to 1953 chairman; he suffered despicable allegations that he was a communist’ (Serle, 1988). Serle also noted that Palmer, a liberal socialist of the broad left, was defended by R.G. Menzies. Others were linked through marriage. Gwendolyn Kent Hughes (1889-1965), the third daughter of Wilfred Kent Hughes, was married to Victor Reginald Lloyd (1895-1964) in 1930 in Holy Trinity Church. Lloyd ‘... had strong ties to the trade union movement and belonged to the Communist Party of Australia’ (Barbara Falk, 2000).

Physical description

Single page flyer used in a City of Kew election for Studley Ward protesting about Rate Increases in the Ward. The Society has only one item of this communist legacy in its files. It is an undated electoral tract, appropriately printed on red paper, advising electors in a local government election to vote against rate rises in Studley Ward.