A rural army ready to invade Sydney? A separate group of fascists on the brink of storming State Parliament? Martial Law about to be declared? The police of New South Wales secretly preparing for an emergency by drilling and training in suburban parks? Secret messages from London urging the dismissal of a democratically elected government?
Far-fetched? Not according to Dr Andrew Moore who claims in this book that in the Great Depression of the 1930s many people, some occupying high and sensitive public positions, believed that the communists had 'white-anted' vital government departments, and were now preparing to take power by force.
The fear of revolution, coupled with the unorthodoxy and anti-establishment stance of Jack Lang led to the formation of several paramilitary organisations dedicated to the support of law and order. The New Guard,, led by the flamboyant Eric Campbell, is probably the best known, but there was another, equally extreme, equally dedicated - The Old Guard.
The Secret Army & the Premier, the first book to document the story of The Old Guard, provides a chilling insight into Australia's secret history. The result of eleven years' research and exclusive access to private papers, this book not only revises existing interpretations of events such as the dismissal of Premier Jack Lang, but also provides new and fascinating insights into some of the forgotten aspects of the history of New South Wales in the 1930s.
Dr Andrew Moore is a lecturer in Australian history at the Macarthur Institute of Higher Education.