Show Less
Restricted access

Rethinking the Australian Dilemma

Economics and Foreign Policy, 1942-1957


Bill Apter

This book explains how and why, Australian governments shifted from their historical relationship with Britain to the beginning of a primary reliance on the United States between 1942 and 1957. It shows that, while the Curtin and Chifley ALP governments sought to maintain and strengthen Australia’s links with Britain, the Menzies administration took decisive steps towards this realignment.

There is broad acceptance that the end of British Australia only occurred in the 1960s and that the initiative for change came from Britain rather than Australia. This book rejects this consensus, which fundamentally rests on the idea of Australia remaining part of a British World until the UK attempts to join the European Community in the 1960s. Instead, it demonstrates that critical steps ending British Australia occurred in the 1950s and were initiated by Australia. These Australian actions were especially pronounced in the economic sphere, which has been largely overlooked in the current consensus. Australia’s understanding of its national self-interest outweighed its sense of Britishness. 

Show Summary Details
Restricted access



Acheson, Dean 68, 96, 190–191

AIF 93–94, 249

Alanbrooke, Viscount 122

alliance 36, 43, 144, 171, 181, 183, 246, 272

Allied Council for Japan 236

ALP (Australian Labor Party) 11–12, 117, 124, 140, 144–146, 148–149, 181–182, 267–270

anti-Americanism 91, 140, 144–147

anti-British accusations 149, 165

administrations 20, 134, 185

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.