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Unit 4 Outcome 2 Debating Australia’s future 1960 - 2000 Attitudes to the Vietnam War – 1965 and 1970 Jo Leech Carey BGS

Unit 4 Outcome 2 Debating Australia’s future 1960 - 2000 Attitudes to the Vietnam War – 1965 and 1970 Jo Leech Carey BGS. I was only 19 – John Schumann.

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Unit 4 Outcome 2 Debating Australia’s future 1960 - 2000 Attitudes to the Vietnam War – 1965 and 1970 Jo Leech Carey BGS

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  1. Unit 4Outcome 2 Debating Australia’s future 1960 - 2000Attitudes to the Vietnam War – 1965 and 1970Jo Leech Carey BGS

  2. I was only 19 – John Schumann • Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunyal(1t was long march from cadets).The sixth battalion was the next to tour and It was me who drew the card.We did Canungra and Shoalwater before we left. • Chorus I:And Townsville lined the footpath as we marched down to the quay.This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean.And there's me in my slouch hat with my SLR and greens.God help me, I was only nineteen. • From Vung Tau riding Chinooks to the dust at Nui Dat,I'd been in and out of choppers now for months.But we made our tents a home. V.B. and pinups on the lockers,And an Asian orange sunset through the scrub. • Chorus 2: And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?And night time's just a jungle dark and a barking M.16?And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?God help me, I was only nineteen. • A four week operation, when each step can mean your last oneOn two legs: it was a war within yourself.But you wouldn't let your mates down 'til they had you dusted off,So you closed your eyes and thought about something else. • Chorus 3:Then someone yelled out "Contact"', and the bloke behind me swore.We hooked in there for hours, then a God almighty roar.Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon.God help me, he was going home in June. • 1 can still see Frankie, drinking tinnies in the Grand HotelOn a thirty-six hour rec. leave in Vung Tau.And I can still hear Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle.'Till the morphine came and killed the bloody row • Chorus 4:And the Anzac legends didn't mention mud and blood and tears.And stories that my father told me never seemed quite realI caught some pieces In my back that I didn't even feel.God help me, I was only nineteen. • Chorus 5:And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?God help me, I was only nineteen.

  3. Key Knowledge (History VCE Study Design) • A range of attitudes at each point in time • The connection between the two significant points in time • The degree of change in attitudes between the two significant points and the reasons for any change

  4. Key Skills (History VCE Study Design) • Explain the historical issues covered in the key knowledge • Apply historical concepts related to the period (1960 – 2000) • Analyse and evaluate written and historical evidence • Synthesis material and evidence to draw conclusions • Analyse the way that the experience of the period (1960 – 2000) has been interpreted and understood over time by historians and other commentators • Express knowledge and ideas in writing, presenting material using historical conventions such as quotations, acknowledgement of sources, and a bibliography

  5. Issues and Attitudes at each point of time 1965 and 1970 • 1965 • Pro/anti war • Pro/anti conscription • Alliance with U.S. • Pro/anti communism (domino theory) • SEATO • 1970 • Pro/anti war • Pro/anti conscription • Pro/anti moratorium • Bring troops home In no specific order

  6. Two of the main issues that developed Australian attitudes to the Vietnam War, between 1965-1970, were: • the nature of the Vietnam War, and consequently whether or not Australia should be involved in that war • compulsory conscription, particularly for overseas service.

  7. Australia’s Involvement in VietnamKEY ISSUES  US support • Australia’s involvement Communism (fear of)  Govt. making decisions • Conscription Issue • Public Opinion questions decisions  expected to be heard • Reasons for Australia pulling out of Vietnam when they do; • Public opinion • TV • Government • Returned Soldiers • Vietnam Veterans treatment

  8. Why did Australia get involved? • Anti – communist – fear of domino affect (personal views and pressure spread by media and government) • Support the US • Support Australia – save Australia • Heroic • Freedom, travel (O.S.), adventure • Older generation support war – out of WWII tradition, – initially encourage sons etc.

  9. Why Australia became involved. In the 1950s Australia became part of two international defence agreements: ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand and United States, 1951), and SEATO (South-East Asia Treaty Organisation, 1954— involving Australia, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States). These treaties committed Australia to helping other member countries if they were attacked, and committed them to helping Australia if we were attacked. The closest defence problems for Australia at this time were occurring in Malaysia and Indonesia. Australia was very worried about Indonesia, which it saw as both vulnerable to communist takeover, as well as potentially hostile militarily to Australia. In 1963 Indonesia’s attempts to subvert the establishment of Malaysia led to Australia’s providing troops to fight Indonesians on Malaysia’s Borneo border with Indonesia. Australia was also concerned that the United States did not seem to share its concerns about Indonesia, and was worried that it might not support Australia in any difficulties with that country. • By 1962 the United States was heavily involved in training and supplying South Vietnam’s military forces to resist the North Vietnamese army, and those supporters of the North who lived in the South. • In this year Australia also decided to help the South, and provided some military advisers to help train South Vietnamese troops. Then, in 1965, Prime Minister Menzies made the announcement that was to commit the first one thousand of more than 50,000 Australian servicemen to Vietnam over the next seven years, with the death of 501 of them.

  10. Australia’s position in 1962 • The South Vietnamese government sought assistance from the United States and her regional ally, Australia. Both countries responded with civil and military aid. Australia’s contribution was small in comparison to America’s, but sufficient to show loyalty to the United States, Australia’s most valued ally. • Australia’s initial military contribution to South Vietnam was modest; comprising a team of 30 advisers who worked in various areas of the country under the command of Colonel F.P. ‘Ted’ Serong. Known as the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV),

  11. Political Leaders – Opposing Views 1965 • Prime Minister Menzies announces that combat troops will be sent to South Vietnam • The Australian Government is now in receipt of a request from the Government of South Vietnam for further military assistance. We have decided—and this has been after close consultation with the Government of the United States—to provide an infantry battalion for service in Vietnam… There can be no doubt of the gravity of the situation in South Vietnam. There is ample evidence to show that with the support of the North Vietnamese regime and other Communist powers, the Viet Cong has been preparing on a more substantial scale than … [before] insurgency action designed to destroy South Vietnamese Government control, and to disrupt by violence the life of the local people… The takeover of South Vietnam would be a direct military threat to Australia and all the countries of South and South-East Asia. It must be seen as part of a thrust by Communist China between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. • Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, 29 April 1965, vol 45 pages 1060–1 • Opposition leader Arthur Calwell opposes the sending of troops • [O]n behalf of all my colleagues of Her Majesty’s Opposition, I say that we oppose the Government’s decision to send 800 men to fight in Vietnam. We oppose it firmly and completely… We do not think it is a wise decision. We do not think it is a timely decision. We do not think it will help the fight against Communism. On the contrary, we believe it will harm that fight in the long term. We do not believe it will promote the welfare of the people of Vietnam. On the contrary, we believe it will prolong and deepen the suffering of that unhappy people so that Australia’s very name may become a term of reproach among them. We do not believe that it represents a wise or even intelligent response to the challenge of Chinese power. On the contrary, we believe it mistakes entirely the nature of that power, and that it materially assists China in her subversive aims. Indeed, we cannot conceive a decision by the Government more likely to promote the long term interests of China in Asia and the Pacific. • Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, 4 May 1965, vol 46 pages 1102–7

  12. ATTITUDES: - examples & sources1965 • PRO-GOVERNMENT • Gallup Poll – 69% support conscription, 56% support deployment • Santamaria likened threat to ‘that with which Hitler confronted Europe’ • ‘no choice but to respond as we have’ – The Age • IsiLeiber, Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Strong • ANTI-GOVERNMENT • ‘We oppose it firmly and completely’ – Arthur Calwell • ‘Lottery of death’ – Calwell • ‘Decision we may live to regret’ – The Australian • Anglican bishops wrote to Menzies ‘concerned that we be seen to be taking positive steps with others’ • SOS, YCAC, Rev Allen Walker, Morris West (Catholic)

  13. National Service • Australia’s national service scheme was introduced in 1964 • Opposition to the scheme, which grew increasingly widespread once national servicemen began to be sent to Vietnam, became the catalyst for broader opposition to the war. • The first national servicemen reached Vietnam in the middle of that year, several months before the official end of Confrontation on 11 August 1966. • Between 1964 and December 1972 when the Whitlam Government suspended the scheme, 804,286 twenty-year-olds registered for national service, 63,735 national servicemen served in the Army and 15,381 served in Vietnam. • Between 1966 and 1971 Australian infantry battalions were typically comprised of an even mix of regular soldiers and national servicemen. • Some 200 national servicemen lost their lives in Vietnam.

  14. National Service Scheme • Under the National Service Scheme, twenty-year-old men were required to register with the Department of Labour and National Service (DLNS), they were then subject to a ballot which, if their birth date was drawn, meant the possibility of two years of continuous full-time service in the regular army, followed by three years part-time service in the Army Reserve. As part of their duty, national servicemen on full-time duty were liable for ‘special overseas service’ including combat duties in Vietnam.

  15. Opposition to National Service • National service’s early opponents included the Parliamentary Opposition, religious groups, trade unionists, academics, and young men affected by the scheme. From within this disparate anti-conscription movement groups began to form and organise, some becoming prominent and forming branches across Australia. Among them: Youth Campaign Against Conscription (YCAC) formed in late 1964 and closely aligned to the Australian Labor Party (ALP), and Save Our Sons (SOS) founded in Sydney in 1965 shortly after the government announced an increase of troops to Vietnam.

  16. Anti-conscription • National service was introduced in 1964 as a response to "aggressive communism" and "recent Indonesian policies and actions" and a "deterioration in our strategic position". • Men aged 20 were required to serve in the army for two years, followed by three years in the reserve. • The policy sparked mass protests and was opposed by the ALP at elections in 1966, 1969 and 1972. • One of Gough Whitlam's first actions on being elected prime minister in 1972 was to abolish it.

  17. INTRODUCTION of CONSCRIPTION • Conscription had been discussed in Australia previously in 1903, 1909- 1910, 1916 -1917, 1949 – 1959 • Conscription was announced by govt. 1964 • Conscription was actively introduced in Australia in 1965 until 1972 • All 20 year old men were to register • 1966 – first conscripted soldiers sent to Vietnam

  18. Who was ANTI-CONSCRIPTION? • Uni-students • Pacifists • Resisters (Draft Resistance Movement) • Anti-war • Unemployed • SOS – Save our Sons – eg: Jean Maclean • Housewives and mothers etc. • Arthur Calwell (Labour) • YCAC – Youth Campaign Against Conscription • Conscientious Objectors – took out anger on returned soldiers

  19. REASONS AGAINST CONSCRIPTION • Anti authoritarian – first time people publicly spoke out against government decisions • People began to mistrust the government and their decisions • Influence of the media – people had seen the unjust and killings of Sth Vietnamese on TV – this had never happened before • Soldiers made their own movies/videos & took photos which were viewed back at home • By 1970 friends had been called up & people aware of the unfair system – public demonstrations were being held • The length of the war – soldiers coming home injured or not, having begin killed

  20. 1965 – PM Menzies sends troops • On the afternoon of 29 April 1965, Australians were warned that the Australian Government would ‘provide an infantry battalion for service in Vietnam.’ Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies delivered a statement to the Lower House of Parliament that evening, explaining that the decision was made in response to a request for ‘further military assistance’ by the Government of South Vietnam and in consultation with the United States Government. 'The Sun', Thursday 29 April 1965.

  21. Public Opinion - 1965 • Australian public opinion about the war in Vietnam moved through several stages over the decade-long involvement. In the beginning a largely disinterested public paid little attention to a war that involved very few Australian soldiers, especially as they were members of the regular Army engaged in a training role. • At the same time, most Australians were wary of communism’s spread through Asia and when Australia’s commitment to Vietnam increased to a regular Army battalion in 1965 there was little negative reaction. Accompanying the troops on HMAS Sydney in May 1965 was a small group of television and radio journalists and cameramen. Mayo Hunter, from ATN7 in Sydney, was with the group. [AWM DNE/65/0316/VN]. Television brought the Vietnam War into Australian living rooms and many families ate their evening meal watching news footage of the war. The Australian media as a group had really no influence on the war at all. The media as a whole, of course, but the American media, television; television dominated. Our first war on television in our living rooms every night, but American television. Not Australian television. The role of the Australian media was zilch, absolutely. Nobody gave a bugger about it. [Alan Ramsey, journalist, quoted in Michael Caulfield, The Vietnam Years, Hachette Australia, 2007, p 371.

  22. VIETNAM - MORATORIUMS • 1930 the first moratorium took place in Australia • May 1970 – Australian’s protested government policies about involvement in & conscription of armed forces (200,000 people participated) • September 1970 and June 1971 • AIM – all business brought to a halt while marches, rallies & meetings were held in towns, suburbs and major cities • The moratorium itself became an issue • People who opposed it – feared violence

  23. VIETNAM - MORATORIUMS • 1970 September Moratorium – same aims as May, but different reaction – only 40,000 – 50,000 people attended with incidents of violence • By 1970 people who had not registered for conscription had broken the law, people supporting them also broken the law • People who marched were registering their interest, in what was going on

  24. Anti- war movement increases • By 1969 those who opposed the war had increased in number and become sufficiently well organised to coordinate Australia-wide mass protests, known as the moratorium marches of 1970–71. • Involvement in anti-war activities politicised many previously disinterested Australians. Opposition to the war was a radicalising experience for some people such as the middle-class women, members of Save Our Sons, who were arrested during peaceful protests outside national service induction centres.

  25. Anti-war movement • The most active period of the anti-Vietnam movement. • A Gallup poll in August of 1969 showed 55 per cent of Australians were in favour of Australian troops coming home. • On 8-9 May 1970, over 200,000 people from all over Australia took part in the Moratorium, including 75,000 in Melbourne alone. • On 18 September 1970, about 100,000 people took part in a second Moratorium march. • On 30 June 1971, the third and final Moratorium, with about 110,000 protesters, was held.

  26. Withdrawal of Troops • After 1968 the United States began withdrawing its forces from Vietnam until, by late 1972, carriage of the war had been placed in the hands of South Vietnam which, in 1975, was defeated by the North • In Australia public opinion and public protest played a relatively small role in policy decisions about Vietnam. • Australia’s withdrawal from the war was already underway in the early 1970s when widespread protests, known as moratorium marches, took place in the country’s major cities • When the United States began removing its troops from Vietnam, Australia followed suit, irrespective of the well-attended protests of 1970 and 1971.

  27. ATTITUDES: - examples & sources1970 • PRO-GOVERNMENT • ‘Political bikies pack-raping democracy’ – Billy Snedden • ‘Miracle for there not to be a blue’ – Santamaria • Majority of Australian National University students supported the Government • Gorton called on Labor to disavow Jim Cairns for ‘anarchy’ • Gallup Poll – 55% support conscription • ANTI-GOVERNMENT • ‘It is time to end trying to save face and start trying to save lives’ – Whitlam • ‘Renewed democracy rather than raped it’ – The Age • ‘Victor was Australian democracy’ – The Sun • ‘Involvement in Vietnam is wrong and immorally based’ – Brian Ross (d.r.) • From September 1969 the majority of Australians supported withdrawal

  28. Vietnam Moratorium – did not bring about immediate change in government policy It revealed opposition to war & conscription Reflection – change taken place between 1965 and 1970 in Australia People started questioning the government and their decisions In 1965 people supported war and conscription – by 1970 they didn’t and they were more interested in the issues CONCLUSIONS..

  29. What happened between 1965 and 1970 for attitudes to change? When more was known about the Vietnam War and its causes, people began to resent the fact that Australia was involved. This feeling consequently made the Vietnam War an unpopular war. The Australian public were very much opposed to being involved in this war as many began to think that it was a civil war and Australia had no reason to be there. Opposition to the war grew in 1967 and a strong anti-Vietnam War movement began to develop in 1968. Even though most Australians were against communism, more and more people began to join the anti-war movement as it became increasingly obvious that the war was going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to win. Students from high schools and universities began to join the anti-Vietnam War campaign. Public protests saw young conscripts burn their draft notices and some refused to register at all. The media started to get involved and began to push for an end to Australian involvement in the war. The public then started showing hostility to soldiers.

  30. Compare the two dates – for eg: 1965 • Australian advisers increased to 100 • 1st American combat troops • Menzies announced 29th April compulsory national service 1970 • April – Prime Minister Gorton – reduction of Australian troops • Australia reached peak with large moratorium rallies

  31. SAC 4

  32. Australian Gallop Polls May 1965 – April 1969

  33. PRIME MINISTERS • 1949 – 1966 R.G. Menzies – Liberal • 1966 – 1967 H. Holt – Liberal • 1967 – 1968 J. McEwan – Liberal • 1968 – 1971 J. Gorton – Liberal • 1971 – 1972 W. McMahon - Liberal

  34. Jim Cairns “The first mass Vietnam War moratorium rallies occurred in 1970. Cairns called for the people of Australia to come out onto the streets and march peacefully against involvement in the war. In every capital city in Australia people turned out in the tens of thousands - young, old, rich, poor, workers and even bosses. It was a national mobilisation that shook the Australian establishment. Cairns was the inspiration, the titular head and the main spokesman for this unique movement”. T.Uren 13.10.03 • Dr Jim Cairns (former policeman and Deputy Prime Minister) at the Anti-Vietnam War Moratorium

  35. SERVICE FACTS & FIGURES • Between 1965 – 1971 : 46882 Australians served in Vietnam • 1967 : 8000 served at one time • 494 died • 2398 wounded • Many conscripts (served army for 2 years) • 11 years – 58, 000 Australians fought and 504 were lost – Ref: Vietnam Veterans

  36. SOLDIERS experiences • 12,000 helicopters used • Agent orange (90 million gallons sprayed by US – to kill jungle etc) ___________________________________ • 12 months duty – exposed to danger for 10 months • Always carried weapons • Veterans returned at different times • Came back at night – no protestors around • Told to change out of their uniforms – rejected by the army, • RSL, friends and had trouble adjusting to family life again • Not acknowledged & and a lot went “bush” • Last Australian troops were out in 1973 • Welcome home – in 1987 – Sydney – Vietnam Veterans had to organise this themselves • Government only started to support Vietnam Veterans more recently - as • suicide and divorce rate was very high for returned soldiers


  38. In the exam do not write • DO NOT • Don’t give a narrative (eg: don’t tell a story) • Don’t give a general account of participation in the period in general • Don’t use evidence that doesn’t relate • Don’t write in point form • Answer the questions being asked

  39. End of year examination Task:- • consist of a document visual or written from either one of the years 1965 and 1970 • Answer 3 questions – students already know • Identification of the attitudes reflected in the representation. Use evidence from the representation to support your comments (4 marks) • Evaluation of the degree to which the representation reflects attitudes about the issue you have studied as that particular point of time (8 marks) • Analysis of changing attitudes towards this issue. Use evidence from the other point of time that you have studied to support your comments (8 marks)

  40. In the exam show an understanding of :- Qu 3 - Changing attitudes in society between 1965 and 1970 – what’s changed during the Vietnam War Need to understand the main ideas and values of the various groups who were involved in the debates and issues of the Vietnam War – eg; pro and anti war and conscription • Need to write from an Australian perspective • Try and include quotes and visual representations which support your ideas Qu 2 & 3 - Need to understand more than just one group or one issue – what changed and why it changed between 1965 and 1970?

  41. Exam TIPS • Show an understanding of the range of attitudes • IMPACT • CHANGE – the degree • CONNECTION • Tell context; eg: dates • Use specific evidence & analyse evidence • Conclusion – relate back to the question • Analyse and COMPARE – groups, ideas, values etc. • Synthesise • KEY CONCEPTS – construction of the argument • Ideas and values of the range of attitudes • Present material – don’t give a narrative • Don’t write in point form • Refer too the sources and link to other sources

  42. Source 2005 Exam This visual is 1965 – Pro War – Pro US – Pro Conscription

  43. Question 3 – Menzies cartoon • The graphic from the Australian, June 14, 1965, is an interesting window of time and much can be gleaned from it. It showed the key attitudes that were present in 1965. However, to gain a more complete picture of the “Vietnam Era” it is necessary to look at another point in time, 1970, to see the full extent of the attitudes present during this elusive period. Thus we take a look forward to 1970 to see how they key attitudes of this document changed. • This graphic raises many key attitudes of the time in 1966. The graphic shows that it was anti-communist and pro-war. By the use of the words “a murkey shadow” it can be noted that communism was considered a threat and a shadow that had befallen on the US and was reaching “to our very shores” (Menzies). The graphic points out that considered a threat to Australia by communism, being linked to America and he further illustrated this in his speech to Parliament (1965) that “we have recognised that Aggressive communist exists…and we are going to fight side by side with our great American allies”. The graphic also highlights the “expansionist communism” fears of the time (Bottom, faithful alley) and that the Domino Theory was a reason and justification for “Australia’s intervention to the war: (Curthoys), it also shows the US-Australian alliance in 2965 and the changes of Communism, coming from Vietnam to Australia. • Though the graphic shows many key attitudes of 1965 towards the Vietnam Conflict, it fails to show the full extent of attitudes. It fails to show the minority that were against the war such as the Australian’s claim that “the Menzies government has made a reckless decision” (1965) and “the outspoken Calwell” (Bolton) who asked the Australian people not to cast a “blood vote” for “the Holt government and a conscription” (Frame 05). It also doesn’t show that despite the majority support for the Vietnam War, many such as the “Vietnam Generation” claiming that Australia should not go to war and had not political obligation. • By the 1970’s many events took place to change the views soon in the graphic and strengthen the views against war. In 1968, the Tet Offensive which was a major communist insurgency in Vietnam occurred and despite its outcome, had psychological and political effects which were devastating to the US and Australia. They Hackneyed term “light at the end of the tunnel” was used so much that Australians began to question the motives of Australians going to war. The issue of conscription in 1966 by the Menzies Government also had effects which changed the attitudes of the Australian public. Generational change was another factor which changed views, and a new generation emerged and was questioning of government motives. Curthoys argues that the “upsetting” images of ….. from media and TV served to make people more aware. By 1970 most people had turned against the war (just after the US) and attitudes had changed, an example of those being the moratoriums with Jim Cairns. • The graphic of 1965 is a valuable “window of time”. E H Carr and serves of an interest however, to gain a more complete picture the study of change and another point in time such as 1970 (Moratoriums) is needed so that the Vietnam era is shown in more complexity and detail and that we can gain a better understanding.

  44. Source 2006 Exam This written source is 1970 – Anti War – Pro Moratorium – Bring troops home

  45. Source 2007 Exam This written source is 1965 – Anti War – Anti Conscription

  46. Source 2008 Exam The Source is – 1970 – anti- war , pro moratorium and bring troops home

  47. Source 2009 Exam The Source is – 1970 – anti- war , pro moratorium and bring troops home

  48. Sample source and answer • “I subscribe to the domino theory … because I believe it is obvious …that is the Vietnam War ends with some compromise that denies South Vietnam a real and protected independence, Laos and Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia will be vulnerable …this domino theory … has formidable realities to Australians who see the boundaries of aggressive communism coming closer and closer” • Menzies 1965 • Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates

  49. Identification of the attitudes reflected in the representation. Use evidence from the representation to support your comments: (4 marks) • This source, an extract from the 1965 Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates as spoken by Liberal Prime Minister Robert Menzies, on his view of the spread of communism and the ‘domino effect’. It is evident that his attitude is one which was widely held at the time, through the support for his pledging troops to support the South Vietnamese and the subsequent introduction of compulsory national service for men aged twenty. Menzies’ reference to communism as ‘aggressive’ is another indication that the attitude reflected in the source is one of anti-communism and therefore pro-war and pro-conscription. Menzies’ is explicit when he states “I subscribe to the domino theory”.

  50. Evaluation of the degree to which the representation reflects attitudes about the issue you have studied as that particular point of time: (8 marks) • In 1965 most Australians supported conscription, and the war. Comments like the ones made by Menzies in the above source were largely accepted by the public, and emulated by most print media forms. For example The Age stated that there was “no alternative to respond as we have”, clearly a supporter of Menzies who has previously been known to say that The Age was his favourite paper. Religious groups however, were divided in their opinions, for example the Catholic B.A. Santamaria likened Australian responsibility in Vietnam to the responsibility of fighting Hitler, while the Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Strong too supported the government’s views. IsiLeiber, a Jewish man, supported Menzies’ actions as indeed did the majority of Australians in 1965. There were a number of people who disagreed for example Arthur Calwell, Labor Opposition Leader, opposed the government’s actions “firmly and completely”, while the Australian newspaper stated that Menzies had “once again shown his contempt for public opinion”. Many Anglican Archbishops wrote to Menzies in complaint of his actions, and groups such as Save Our Sons (SOS) and Youth Campaign Against Conscription (YCAC) were formed, and vocal in their opposition to ideas of Australian troops being sent to Vietnam. However, while there were many ‘smaller’ groups opposing the Prime Minister’s actions, the source itself represents the majority of Australian’s opinions at the time.

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