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Wednesday, 26 September 1917


Mr FINLAYSON (Brisbane) .- Will the Prime Minister give consideration during the adjournment to the conduct of the Censor and the general management of the Censor's Department? It is becoming every day more irritating and stupid. Private telegrams and letters, and business letters and communications generally, are now being interfered with. It is no uncommon thing now for a business firm to receive letters that have obviously been opened by the Censor. A particularly stupid instance was brought under my notice this week, where communications posted in Adelaide addressed to a firm in Adelaide, and obviously dealing with purely local( matters, had been interfered with. On the face of it, if anything detrimental to the country's interests was passing or likely to pass in these communications, people living in the same city would not risk using this means of communication when they had the opportunity of seeing each other. Here is the envelope of a letter addressed to Messrs. Challender and Company, Tucker-street, Adelaide, and posted from Echunga. The envelope bears obvious marks of interference. Here is a more stupid thing still - a letter-card addressed bo the same firm, posted in Adelaide and opened, with the Censor's stamp upon it. To show how utterly foolish the whole thing is, the writing inside is " Please send me a fresh supply oi whole wheatmeal, the same quality as before." .Nothing could be more eloquent of the stupidity and foolishness of the censorship. The Prime Minister was good enough bo promise some time ago that the censorship would be administered fairly, and merely for the purpose of preventing the circulation through the post and the press of information likely to be of use to the enemy. The censorship is obviously being used now for a purpose quite foreign to the intentions of the Government", and in contravention of the promise given by . the Prime Minister. Will the right honorable gentleman promise that he will give the people of this country some protection from abuses of this kind that recall the most despotic forms of government the world has ever known, and are not at all reasonable in a country like Australia







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