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Friday, 25 June 1926

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . -I wish to add a little to what has already been said concerning a certain film.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Newlands). - Order! Provision is made in the bill for film censorship. I ask honorable senators to confine their remarks to the item, and not to discuss generally the merits of an American' picture film, to which reference has been made.

Senator PAYNE - I understand that under the vote for the Department of Trade and Customs provision is made to meet certain expenditure incurred by the censor. A few days ago I had an opportunity to see the result of the censor's work on some of the films sent to Australia for exhibition, and one could not witness the exhibition which I attended without feeling grateful to those who in sisted upon the appointment of a Commonwealth censor. If the work is carried out as effectively in the future as it has been in the past much good will result. It is appalling that wealthy film corporations should pay large sums of money to produce pictures of a very undesirable type, and which have rightly been severely censored. While I agree with some of the remarks made by honorable senators who have preceded me concerning the film in which the activities of American soldiers are depicted, I feel inclined to support Senator Thomas's contention that a great deal of good will result if the exhibition of the film is permitted. With many others, I realize the danger that is so apparent; the younger members of our community may be allowed to forget the sacrifices made by our brave men. It is appalling to find that very little gratitude is shown to those who made such an enormous sacrifice on our behalf. Certainly some of the incidents depicted in this film are horrible; but I have been informed by some who went through the great ordeal that they are in no way exaggerated. In fairness to the producers, I may say that no attempt has been made to introduce American propaganda. They intimate before the picture is shown that the American boys responded when the call came.

Senator Guthrie - They were such a long time hearing the call.

Senator PAYNE - It was not for individuals but for the authorities' to decide when America should enter the war. When the call came, the American boys responded, as did those of other nations. The men of the French, Belgian, Italian, and other armies contributed their share, and their efforts and sacrifices should also be recognized by the rising generation. I believe that the exhibition of this film would inspire the younger section of the community with that feeling.

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