Character: Rupert Lockwood
You have been subpoenaed to appear before the Royal Commission on Espionage. A subpoena is a formal written order issued by a court commanding a person to appear under penalty as a witness in a trial or an inquiry such as a Royal Commission.
All three members of the group will work closely together to prepare for the Character to appear before the Royal Commission. This will involve:
1. Preparing a speech (testimony) which outlines, from your point of view:
- who you are;
- your views on communism and the USSR (Soviet Union);
- Document J; and
- your understanding of the response of Australians to communism and the events of the Petrov Affair.
2. Preparing evidence (facts, documents etc) that supports your case.
3. You will be called when the Royal Commissioners are ready for you.
4. Be prepared to answer any questions from the Royal Commissioners especially about Soviet espionage in Australia.
In those days, in the coldest years of the Cold War, it seemed that there were some conformists who would persecute people who were left handed—they were so hostile to anything suggesting the Left. Rupert Lockwood in an interview with ABC journalist Tim Bowden, 1974.
Petrov was no quicksilver mind. He was a very slow thinker in the peasant style, and was like the peasants of Turgenev and Gogol’s Russia, drunken and shiftless. A Russian proverb says that ‘to be born an intellectual is to be born unhappy’. On that principle, Petrov should never have known a moment’s unhappiness in his whole life. Rupert Lockwood in an interview with ABC journalist Tim Bowden, 1974.
The Petrov image was soon to be blown by suggestions of seedy debauchery, of rutting expeditions at lively parties, of trafficking in duty free whisky from the embassy, and of financial standards approximating those of the General in the film Catch 22. Yet the Royal Royal Commissioners awarded him what we might call ‘The Order of the Cherry tree’. He could not tell a lie, he was a witness of truth. Rupert Lockwood, in an interview with ABC journalist Tim Bowden, 1974.
The media tried to bestow on Mrs Petrov all the innocence of the Garden of Eden in the pre-apple era. She was depicted as a woman of stainless ethical standards, a victim of the Soviet Union, rather than one who had deserted her country. Rupert Lockwood, in an interview with ABC journalist Tim Bowden, 1974.
The whole purpose of this Commission is to smear the Communist Party and the Labor Movement of Australia and to undermine friendly feeling between the people of Australia and the Soviet Union. Mr R. Dixon, President of the Communist Party of Australia, in his statement to the Royal Commission in Espionage October 1954.
The CODE NAMES for Lockwood: VORON or WARREN
Red: slang term for communist. Red was the main colour on the flags of many communist countries, symbolising the blood shed by workers in defending themselves against their oppressors.
KGB: secret police organisation in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
The Communists are the most unscrupulous opponents of religion, of civilised government, of law and order, of national security…Communism in Australia is an alien and destructive pest. If elected, we shall outlaw it. Robert Menzies’ election campaign speech 1949 (extract)
- Old Parliament House Petrov Affair website – The Royal Commisssion
- National Archives of Australia – The Petrov Affair. Go to the Royal Commission on Espionage.
- Working Lives, ‘The making of a communist journalist: Rupert Lockwood, 1908–1940’ by Rowan Cahill. A comprehensive overview of Lockwood.
- Background briefing: What is Communism? Making History Red Menace? p. 13 and p.17. Source 13: Kath Walker and the communists. Warning: large file. 811kb pdf.
- Monash University, Faculty of Arts: Conservatives, Communists and Catholics
- ABC’s Time Frame – War on Dissent
- Australians at War – Freedom of Speech. See and listen to ‘Menace or Miracle?’ How soldiers viewed the threat of communism. An Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs website.
- The Fifth Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture – ‘The Consitutional Centenary and The Counting of Blessings’, by The Hon. Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG. Go to the section ‘A Free, Confidant and Just People.’