The Brisbane Line Controversy by Paul Burns

by
June 1998, no. 201

The Brisbane Line Controversy by Paul Burns

Allen & Unwin, $29.95 pb, 254 pp

The Brisbane Line Controversy by Paul Burns

by
June 1998, no. 201

The title is not provocative: The Brisbane Line Controversy, but Paul Burns’s subtitle flags the partisanship that will mark his study. This is a case, he contends, of ‘Political Partisanship versus National Security 1942–45’. His conclusion is unobjectionable: ‘belief in a “Brisbane Line” was our barometer of fear about the vulnerability of our own continent which no Australian Army could negate’. In political demonology, the Brisbane Line signifies the intention of the Menzies–Fadden conservative governments of 1939–41 to abandon all but the south-east corner of Australia to the Japanese, should an invasion come. Burns is keen to absolve Menzies and his colleagues of blame and to find where, and with whom, the notion of the Line originated. In the process he indicts Labor front-bencher Eddie Ward, whose allegations about a Brisbane Line led to a Royal Commission in the election year of 1943.

Peter Pierce reviews 'The Brisbane Line Controversy' by Paul Burns

The Brisbane Line Controversy

by Paul Burns

Allen & Unwin, $29.95 pb, 254 pp

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