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Book review: Stanley Melbourne Bruce : Australian Internationalist
journal contributionposted on 2011-03-01, 00:00 authored by Christopher WatersChristopher Waters
Stanley Melbourne Bruce was at the centre of Imperial politics for more than two decades from the early 1920s until the end of the Second World War. This new biography presents Bruce as a consistent internationalist. Educated in Melbourne and Cambridge, Bruce, as a businessman, was alive to the importance of international commerce, and particularly Anglo-Australian trade. This lay at the core of his internationalism, which took the form in the 1920s of encouraging the political and economic integration of the British Empire. Bruce's punitive treatment of militant Australian trade unionists and his upholding of constitutionalism and law and order in the 1920s was part of an effort to defend one form of internationalism, commitment to the British Empire, against the competing international ideology of communism. While continuing to support a unified British Empire acting as a progressive force in world affairs, Bruce championed stronger international collaboration through the League of Nations and the United Nations and through cooperation between the Empire and the United States.