John Curtin

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John Curtin

John Joseph Curtin (8 January 18855 July 1945), Australian politician and 14th Prime Minister of Australia, led Australia when the Australian mainland came under direct military threat during the Japanese advance in World War II. He is widely regarded as one of the country's greatest Prime Ministers.


  • The Labour Party has no objection whatever to the Germans practicing nazi-ism in Germany; that is their concern. We do not engage in any philisophic discussions with them about that system so long as they make no endeavour to foist it by force upon people outside their country. We stand for self-government. In the same way, we offer no opinions regarding the justification or non-justification of bolshevism in Russia; that is the concern of the Russian people. Their form of government is their own affair, just as our form of government is our affair. The Labour party believes in the right of peoples to govern themselves, and to enjoy a way of life which they themselves decide upon. We concede that right to Russia. We concede that right to Germany, and it is because we are claiming it for ourselves, and Germany denies it to us, that we are at war with Germany. (Speech to the Commonwealth House of Represenatives, 24 June 1941 (Hansard, page 286))

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