Australian Anarchist History: Jack Grancharoff

Uploaded as part of the Anarchism in Australia project.

Author: Joe Toscano
Originally Published: 30 August 2000,
Retrieved from: Anarchist Age Weekly Review No. 415, as published on A-Infos.

Jack Grancharoff.
ASIO File A6.119/79 Item 976
Date range 1964-1965

Jack Grancharoff, one of Australia’s more well known anarchists has reached such a grand old age the State is willing to release a few bits of his A.S.I.O. files. Thirty years after these files were compiled the State has released sections of these files.

The file consists of 17 heavily blacked out pages. It contains the cover and contents page of Red and Black. No.2 winter 1966, a publication Jack continues to publish and the contents page of anarchy No.2, the 1965 publication of the Sydney Anarchist Group. This is followed by a page stamped SECRET at the top and bottom of the page (item No.15266) issued on the 2nd December 1966 that is very heavily blacked out. It has copies of letters and cables sent by William Dwyer to Jack. This note is signed by the Australian Attorney General (name blacked out). The next file 53/7/11 20th July ’66 is labelled the Vietnam Protest and Anti-conscription movements in Australia. Sydney anarchists and Libertarion Society at University of Sydney. This well thought out four page report by agent S.S.O. B1 gives a good overview of the philosophical nature of anarchism. This is followed by a number of pages that outline where various anarchists were living in Sydney at particular times. Jack’s wanderings through Sydney in the 1960’s are well documented in these pages. It’s interesting to note that A.S.I.O had good links with the British Secret Intelligence Agency and exchanged information with them. Terms like “suspicious character” jump out at you between the blacked out sections. In the file is also included a nice letter from Jack to an A.S.I.O agent who has subscribed to Red and Black and wants to attend anarchist meetings (hohum deja vu).

The most interesting part of the file is a 3 page report File no. 3/2/605 on the Bulgarian National Committee issued on the 31st March 1955, a memorandum issued from A.S.I.O Commonwealth headquarters to Regional Directors in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, A.C.T., Northern Territory and the territory of Papua and New Guinea. The report compiled by Senior Field Officer B1 looks at all aspects of the Bulgarian National Conference in Australia. Section 12 states, among a few blacked out lines (still blacked out nearly fifty years after they were collected) “Also in Sydney is also a small group of Bulgarian Anarchists”. The leader of the group is Kristu ENCHEVER “The group has a small private newspaper “will” circulating in Sydney. The printer is J. Grancaroff of 269 Bay street, Botany. The group is small but extremely active.”

Thanks to John Englart for providing me with Jack’s old A.S.I.O file. I wonder what type of information exists in his current file. As Jack has been extremely active I assume it would have enough information in it for a doctoral thesis. Any takers-apply to the Attorney General Darryl Williams.

Note: If anyone knows where I might obtain or view copies of “anarchy no. 2, the 1965 publication of the Sydney Anarchist Group”, I’d be eternally grateful.

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