History

A Leftist in Cold War Canberra

On July 29, 1953, the Canberra Trades and Labour Council, normally a staid body, re-elected a boisterous young Labor man named Bruce Yuill as its president. The Council was the peak employee body in Canberra, which meant that Yuill, a flamboyant fellow traveller, headed the trade union movement in Australia’s national capital at a crucial time politically, with the Cold War well under way and the Australian Labor Party teetering on the brink of the historic schism of 1955. Yuill’s supremacy was short-lived. Within a few months his involvement with unionism—and with an associated round of left-wing political activities as…

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