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 A Collection by Humphrey McQueen, May 2019

 Among the several remarkable features of the 1960s struggles against the Penal Powers is that no full-length account has been published.  These folders offer a mass of secondary sources, mostly academic and legal. There are also a few primary sources. There are no archival material and none of the parliamentary debates. Even so, there is far, far more here than most activists will have time to digest. However, the folder headed ‘Clarrie - a short course’ is a good start! The collection makes it easier for everyone to access items otherwise available in a small number of libraries. Some throw backward glances into the 1950s but most from after 1960. Readers are invited to forward other items or links to enrich the site.

 Marxists provide a revolutionary approach to critically analysing the past, in part, by our recognising that the present is ‘history’. In that spirit, the importance of collecting these materials flows from the coming struggles to do more than ‘change the rules’ by changing who is cling toing the perks of office. The balance of class forces has to be moved away from dominance by global capital and its warfare states.

 The items underline that there was nothing spontaneous about the upsurge in May ’69. Success depended on years of hard slog around worksites. The C.P.A. (M.-L.) conceived a strategy while making adjustments to tactics. For instance, why did Clarrie decide to appear at the Industrial Court on 15 May?  Once there, why did he refuse to take the oath?  And why did he respond to questioning in a so polite yet unyielding manner?  The answer to all three was to hold the support that the campaigners had won. At the same time, they had to win over those workers – and their officials - who were less than certain about how they would act when push came to shove.

 The legal items document a web of illegalities way beyond the penal clauses in the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act. The Common Law offences of ‘conspiracy’ and of ‘torts’ could not be erased by parliament.  Moreover, it has to be remembered that until 1987, certain judgements of the High Court of Australia could be appealed to the Privy Council in London. Even today, British – and to a lesser extent U.S.  – precedents are invoked.  And if all that were not enough to try the patience of even the most tame-cat union official, judges are not able to agree with each other on a specific case, and still less over time.  As H.V. Evatt summed up in the title to his book on the 1834 trial of the Tolpuddle martyrs, one result is Injustice Within the Law. The proven way to redress such wrongs remains what it has always been: break bad laws.

 Every victory for our class holds back the assaults from agents of capital, whether in the state or corporations. 

Only the self-emancipation of our class will decide who rules.


ACTU History by J Hagan
Clarrie Bramble background
  Strike Force

     Other disputes
G-M JIR 65
Mt Isa JIR nov 65
Pilbara 1965 to 72

Clarrie - a short course
   The morning they gaoled Clarrie
   O'Shea canhist j
   Clarrie by Mike Williss
   Clarrie Statement 21 May 1969

Public Discussion on Clarrie
    Humphrey McQueen discusses Clarrie O'Shea 15th May 2019
    Spirit of Eureka talk on Clarrie by Shirley Winton 15 May 2019

Journal of Industrial Relations JIR surveys
     ACTU congresses
       JIR ACTU congress 65
       JIR ACTU Congress 67
       JIR ACTU Congress report 1961

     Indus Relations surveys
       JIR 1967 Woodward on 66-67
       JIR 67-8 Woodward JIR
       JIR March 69 survey
       JIR Nov 1969  HInce
       JIR NOv 68 survey
       JIR review 68 9 Woodward
       Kerr JIR 65  IR 64-5
       Kerr JIR IR for 1963

     Laws and decisions
       JIR Isaac wage case 1965
       JIR late 1966 Wage deicision  
       JIR Laws and decisions JIR 69
       JIR Laws Decesions re 1960
       JIR Laws decisions 65
       JIR mid 1966 Laws and Decisions  
       JIR Nov 64 Laws and decisions
       Wage case 1967   JIR 67

     Trade Union surveys
       JIR 1966 TUs in 65
       JIR 65  Trade Unionism 64
       JIR Trade Unionism 67
       JIR TU developments 1960
       JIR TUs review 1961

   Kerr JIR 65  IR 64-5
   Kerr JIR IR for 1963
   Kerr Work Value JIR 64

   Bliss - the wisdom of our class -before 1969 and beyond 2019
   Clarrie  asio
   Clarrie clippings
   Clarrie Mike Williss.docx
   O'Shea  Freedom's Fight
   O'Shea and 1954 Split
   o'shea canhist j
   O'Shea's pamphlet
   The morning they gaoled Clarrie

The Law
   Hutson Penal Powers
   JIR 68 note on strike law
   Kirby compulsion vs bargaining 65
   Penal Powers JIR Isaac 63
   Sykes & Conspiracy
   Sykes and Glasbeek  Enforce
   Torts JIR

Total Wage and Margins
   Hawke Total Wage
   Hutson Six Wage Concepts TOTAL
   JIR 1960 Note on Margins
   JIR Laffer state of wage system
   Kerr Work Value JIR 64
   Metals wage drif ER 65
   Total Wage reviewed 68 JIR