Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

Blogging the Bookshelf header image 2

Now THAT’S Censorship – “The Light on the Hill” – Ross McMullin

September 1st, 2011 · No Comments · Australian Labor Party, History, Journalism, Politics, The Media, War, WW2

While Curtin was overseas in 1944 Calwell was involved in a bitter censorship controversy. Senior ALP identities reacted differently to Labor’s problems with adverse press treatment. In the range of responses Evatt at one extreme tried sedulously to cultivate the proprietors, and at the other Calwell counter-attacked ferociously. Calwell claimed in 1941 that the press was ‘owned for the most part by financial crooks and… edited for the most part by mental harlots’. In 1942 he and Ward were involved in separate bitter clashes with Packer’s notorious Daily Telegraph. As differences over the administration of censorship arrangements gathered momentum early in 1944, a cool ministerial head might have avoided a major confrontation. Instead Calwell was inflammatory, referring to the Australian newspapers’ wartime role as ‘inglorious’ and describing their hostility to censorship as ‘insincere and unpatriotic’. In mid-April 1944 the smouldering dispute erupted when Calwell authorised the suspension of the Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald for censorship breaches. In the ensuring uproar four other newspapers were suspended, there were dramatic accounts and photographs of police seizing newspapers at gunpoint, and the newspapers concerned obtained a High Court injunction restraining the censors.

Tags: ······

No Comments so far ↓

Like gas stations in rural Texas after 10 pm, comments are closed.