How the comintern was stalinised

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Lenin School.

On returning to Australia, Tripp immediately came into conflict with Harry Wicks, the Comintern representative from the CPUSA, who used the party name Herbert Moore.

Wicks said he thought Tripp had mixed in bad company in Moscow and he would have to check with the Soviet authorities about him.

Tripp began a national speaking tour describing what he had seen in the Soviet Union and became a leading propagandist and educator for the CPA, taking classes for CPA and Young Communist League members in the major cities, addressing meetings and speaking in support of CPA candidates.

Meanwhile, Wicks was moving to exclude Tripp from the CPA leadership, and even tried to have him suspended from membership, but the charge was withdrawn when Tripp confronted Wicks at a political bureau meeting.

Wicks had already excluded former CPA general secretary Jack Kavanagh and was about to expel Bert Moxon, the then general secretary.

Tripp survived the 1931 CPA congress, at which he became the first central leader to criticise Comintern policy in Germany, although he had not at that time read Trotskys writings on Germany, which didnt begin to reach Australia until a few weeks later.

In 1932 Tripp was assigned to the Friends of the Soviet Union and became its national secretary. Under his leadership the FOSU grew to about 7500 members and had a widely circulated magazine, Soviets Today. He continued travelling the country, addressing meetings on the Soviet Union and socialism.

Tripp was removed from his position in the FOSU in 1933 and expelled from the CPA in 1934. Before his expulsion he had been in contact with the Trotskyist organisation, formed two years earlier.

After joining the Trotskyists in the Workers Party, Tripp became one of its leaders, mainly involved in education and propaganda, and around 1937-38, publisher of the Workers Party newspaper, The Militant.

He became a regular Trotskyist speaker at Sydneys Domain, and spent much time trying to win over members of the CPA.

A few years later he left the Workers Party, and subsequently began to publish another Trotskyist magazine, Proletarian Review, based among Trotskyists at Sydney University.

During World War II he moved to Melbourne, became inactive in the Trotskyist movement, but was a militant shop steward in the Federated Ironworkers Association.

From 1945 Tripp was associated with the Victorian Labor College and was its secretary from about 1958 to 1978. The Labor College was founded in 1917 by Guido Baracchi, a founder of the CPA and later an editor of the Cominterns English-language Inprecor. For a time, Baracchi was sympathetic to the Trotskyist movement.

In 1978, at the age of 78, Ted Tripp joined the Socialist Workers Party.