My thanks to John Murphy for supervising the University of Melbourne Honours thesis on which this paper is based, and to Nicholas Brown for subsequently helping me develop my ideas further. My thanks also to the two anonymous reviewers for their suggestions.
J.B. Chifley and the Indonesian Revolution, 1945–1949
Article first published online: 18 DEC 2013
© 2013 The Author. Australian Journal of Politics and History © 2013 School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Australian Journal of Politics & History
Volume 59, Issue 4, pages 517–531, December 2013
How to Cite
Fettling, D. (2013), J.B. Chifley and the Indonesian Revolution, 1945–1949. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 59: 517–531. doi: 10.1111/ajph.12030
- Issue published online: 18 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 18 DEC 2013
This article traces the role of the Prime Minister, Joseph Benedict Chifley, in Australia's response to the Dutch-Indonesian colonial conflict. It argues for Chifley's centrality to the formation of Australia's eventual policy to support Indonesian nationalist aspirations, a policy often in antithesis to the views of H.V. Evatt. This is significant because a focus on Evatt has distracted historians from ascertaining the causes of Australia's policy. Examining Chifley's attitude and role reveals that Australia's response to revolutionary Indonesia stemmed from an application to the Southeast Asian colonial question of a labourist and post-war reconstructionist ethos, an idea of sweeping reform to rectify deep economic and social grievances.