National Archives of Australia

Jessie Street appointed peace conference delegate

Page(s): 1  
Title: Jessie Street appointed peace conference delegate
Date: 11 March 1945
Content creator: Sunday Telegraph.
Keywords: caricatures, cartoons, equal opportunity, feminism, newspapers, women's rights, Australian Labor Party, feminists, San Francisco Peace Conference, United Nations, Jessie Street
Record creator: Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), Central Office
Reference: A6119, 360
Copyright notice:  Reproduced with permission from The Daily Telegraph

Jessie Street, Sunday Telegraph 11 March 1945


Transcript:

[Typed annotation]
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
11th March, 1945.

[Drawing of Jessie Street]

[Caption of drawing]
Jessie Street
Who said "dilettante"?

[Text of article]
They once stopped her climbing

Today's Sydney Office

If there was one thing Mrs. Jessie Street didn't like it was being called a dilettante.

Whoever it was said she was a "dilettante Liberal – Socialist" was ridiculous, she said.

The crack about her being a dilettante arose from Prime Minister Curtin's choice of her as one of the delegates to the San Francisco Peace Conference.

All her life Jessie Street has been a Feminist, a fighter for women's (and girls') rights—ever since one day 48 years ago when aboard an Australian-bound ship she was not allowed to climb the rigging, as some boys were doing.

She was seven years old then.

It was her first conscious experience of discrimination between the sexes. She didn't like it, thought it unjust, still thinks sex discrimination unjust.

As for her A.L.P [Australian Labor Party]. politics, she hadn't been half-hearted about that, either.

Said she: Everyone knows where I stand. Lots of people weren't pleased when I joined the Labor Party five years ago. But I have never regretted my decision.

There were protests about her San Francisco delegation appointment from Laborites.

Against these, and overwhelming them in quantity, came congratulations from both officials and rank and file members of the Labor Party and from various women's organisations—the W.C.T.U. [Woman's Christian Temperance Union], Australian Federation of Women Voters, National Council of Women.

Specially gratifying to Jessie Street was the decision of the Wentworth Electorate Council of the A.L.P., congratulating her and commending Curtin for his selection.

Jessie Street stood for Wentworth at the last Federal elections, gave Liberal Deputy-Leader Eric ("Ulysses") Harrison a run for the people's votes.

Labor higher-ups who had regarded the seat as an impregnable U.A.P. [United Australia Party] fortress were sorry when they saw how well she had done that they hadn't given her more assistance during the campaign.

It might have won her (and them) the seat.

Learning content

This newspaper article, published in The Daily Telegraph on 11 March 1945, reports the appointment of feminist Jessie Street as a delegate to the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1945 by then Prime Minister John Curtin. At the top of the news report is a black-and-white cartoon of Street with the caption 'Jessie Street / Who said "dilettante"?' The headline reads 'They once stopped her climbing'. The article begins with Street's dismissal of the label 'dilettante', mentions her appointment, describes her as a fighter for women's rights, and discusses her electoral candidacy for the Australian Labor Party.

 

Educational value

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