Australian League of Rights Collection

What is the League of Rights Collection?

The League of Rights Collection is a special collection of the Library which preserves source materials on the activities of the Australian League of Rights. The League a social and political movement based on the theory of Social Credit as espoused by the English engineer and economic theorist C H Douglas (1879–1952).

What does the League of Rights believe?

Douglas developed an elaborate set of social theories based on a radical rejection of capitalist economics. He believed that governments could manage demand by issuing credit to consumers or producers. According to Douglas, the effective use of Social Credit would led to a utopian society in which all individuals would enjoy freedom, leisure and dignity. The failure of his ideas to gain sufficient support led Douglas into ever more elaborate conspiracy theories. Eventually, he concluded that the main obstacle to the success of Social Credit was a world-wide Jewish conspiracy, in which Freemasons, International Finance, Communists and Nazis colluded to destroy Christian civilisation.

Douglas's ideas enjoyed some vogue during the first part of the twentieth century in Commonwealth countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and Australia. He was actually employed as an official advisor to the government of the Canadian province of Alberta in 1935–1936. There is still an active Social Credit Party in Canada.

The Australian League of Rights (ALR) was founded in 1960s by the late Eric Butler (1916–2006). The ALR represented an amalgamation of a number of state-based Social Credit leagues. Once seen by its supporters as a third force in Australian politics, the League is arguably in decline. Despite its waning fortunes, the ALR is still one of the more influential far right wing movements in Australia. It maintains an active following in some rural areas including the New England region and Southern Queensland.

History of the Collection

In 1981, Dr Keith Richmond donated the Australian League of Rights Collection to the University Library. Since then, the Library has continued to acquire League of Rights materials, adding to a unique collection of magazines, pamphlets, books, audio cassettes, videos and other League publications.

Access to the Collection

The collection is located in the Karl Schmude Special Collections Room on Level 1 of Dixson Library.

For information on access to the Collection, see the Policy on Special Collections Access.