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The People's Champion: Fred Paterson - Australia's Only Cpa Mp

Author: Ross Fitzgerald


This title is currently unavailable for purchase.

This is the first biography of F.W. (Fred) Paterson, radical barrister and Communist Party MLA for Bowen from 1944 to 1950. In Australian history, he remains the only Communist Party representative to be elected to any state or federal parliament. At the time it was said of Paterson that only one man was less likely ever to become Premier of Queensland, Johannes Bjelke-Petersen. A Rhodes Scholar and divinity student who became a prominent communist activist, Paterson was also a staunch defender of the rights of Australian immigrants, working for Italian cane-cutters in North Queensland. As part of the so-called 'popular front', he helped lessen the influence of fascist ideas among the immigrant community while advancing their social and economic conditions. On St Patrick's Day 1948, during a demonstration in Brisbane against repressive state industrial laws, Paterson was savagely bashed by a plain-clothes policeman and sustained serious head injuries. Then, in 1950, his Bowen electorate was gerrymandered out of existence by the ruling Labor Party.
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