Manifesto of the Queensland Labour Party to the People of Queensland (dated 9 September 1892)

"In the later 19th century a number of political activists began to press for the radical re-structuring of Australian society. A group of these political activists held a Convention in Queensland, Australia in 1892. A political party (the Queensland Labour Party) was set up as a result. The newly formed political party issued a Manifesto to the people of Queensland as their Statement of Aims. This Manifesto was probably the world's first clear public statement of the aims of the democratic socialist movement, that is, the attempt to achieve radical re-structuring of society entirely through the ballot-box (earlier socialist documents issued in Australia had been significantly more revolutionary in tone).

In 1893 the new Queensland Labour Party won 16 out of 72 seats in the Queensland elections on the basis of this Manifesto. In 1899 the Queensland Labour Party took office in Queensland. Although this administration lasted only seven days, it was the world's first democratically elected socialist government. The political activists who founded the Queensland Labour Party and produced this Manifesto were mostly recently arrived settlers from Britain. Their actions and aims were influenced by contemporary developments in Britain. However the success of the Queensland Labour Party (well ahead of anything in Britain) led the Australian developments in turn having a great deal of influence on developments in Britain and elsewhere in Europe over the following few decades. This Manifesto, therefore, can be seen as the foundation document of the world democratic socialist movement and, as such, it is of great significance, not in Queensland and Australia only, but throughout the world. This documentary heritage was inscribed on the International Memory of the World Register in 2009."

International Register



The Manifesto comprises handwritten sheets. It is kept in the State Library of Queensland, Australia. ~ State Library of Queensland