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A Popular Vision: The Arts and the Left in New Zealand 1930-1950

Chapter Four: The Cooperative Book Movement

Chapter Four: The Cooperative Book Movement

1Wellington Co-operative Book Society Ltd. 'A Readers* Bookshop', 1939. H. O. Roth. Private collection
2 Tomorrow, 21 July 1937 (v.3, n.19), p.593
3J. F. Ewen, quoted in '25 Years Old. Progressive Book Society Ltd.', leaflet, [1961]. Author's collection. Several other members of the Progressive Book Society also recall the name 'Basham's Bomb Shop' having been coined by Robin Hyde. On the London 'Bomb Shop' see S. Hodges, Gollancz. The Story of a Publishing House 1928-1978. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1978, p.134
4R. Hyde, 'Jack Basham's Bookshop. Land of the Free—Since When?', New Zealand Observer, 11 June 1936, p.11
5Letterhead on letter from D. Basham to D. Lyon, 27 July 1936. C1 36/959: box 152. National Archives
6Hyde, 'Jack Basham's Bookshop'
7Progressive Books Ltd. Prospectus, 1937. Robert Lowry Papers. Ms Papers A-194: box 1, folder 4. University of Auckland Library
10'BigNewsfor Progressive Books', InPrint, 10 Feb. 1943, p.2
11H. W. Rhodes. Interview with author, 4 June 1985
12Communist Party of New Zealand (Christchurch branch). LPC minutes, 24 Apr. 1937; ms notes on bookshop, [nd]; circular, [nd] .Jack Locke Deposit: item 7. University of Canterbury Library
13CPNZ (Christchurch branch). Executive minutes, 16 Mar. 1937; ms notes on bookshop, [nd]. Locke Deposit: 12, 7
14'Organisational proposals', [1938?]. Locke Deposit: 12
15N.M.Taylor, The New Zealand People at War: The Home Front. Wellington: Historical Publications Branch, Department of Internal Affairs/Government Printer, 1986, pp.218-19
16Christchurch Co-operative Book Society Ltd. Minutes of first general meeting, 31 Oct. 1938. Christchurch Co-operative Book Society. Minute books, 1938-1970. Ace 90-259. Alexander Turnbull Library; Workers' Weekly, 25 Nov. 1938, p.4
17Clarte Book Room. Booklists, [1920s-1930s]. Roth collection; correspondence. Mark Silverstone Papers. Ms Papers 1016: page 256 box 1. Hocken Library; K. Sinclair, Walter Nash. Auckland: Auckland University Press/Oxford University Press, 1976, p.62
18B.A. Fortune. Interview with author, 7 Sept. 1985
19Fortune. Letter to author, 10 Oct. 1985
21Wellington Co-operative Book Society Ltd. Minutes of inaugural meeting, 28 Nov. 1938. Wellington Co-operative Book Society Ltd. Papers, 1938-1970. Ms Papers 1122: box 5/1. Alexander Turnbull Library
22 Workers' Weekly, 16 Nov. 1935, p.4,7 May 1937, p.-4
23 Otago Daily Times, 13 Mar. 1940, p.6; P. and W. Powell. Interview with author, 22 Oct. 1989
24 Co-operative Book News, Nov.-Dec. 1942 (v.1, n.11), p.1
25Revising Barrister to Registrar of Industrial and Provident Societies, 26 Mar. 1945; W. L. Robertson to Mrs Harris, 27 Feb. 1945. Modern Books, Dunedin. Papers, 1944-55. Ms Papers 711. Hocken Library; Co-op Books (Dunedin ed.), Apr. 1945 (v.2, n.4), p.[1]
26Dunedin Co-operative Book Society Ltd. Application for incorporation, 28 Aug. 1944. Dunedin Modern Books Papers
27New Zealand Co-operative Book Society, Ltd. 'Meeting Books on New Terms', 1938. Roth collection
28'Editorial Purposes', CB, Nov. 1943 (v.1, n.1), p.[1]
29WA. Poole, Co-operative Retailing in New Zealand [Wellington]: NZ Institute of Economic Research, 1969; 'Consumer Cooperatives in Auckland', Borer, June 1937 (v.1, n.6), p.6; 'Like a Bush-fire', Union t Record, 1 Apr. 1947 (v.7, n.9), p.8,1 May 1947 (v.7, n.10), p.6
30Rhodes. Letter to author, Oct. 1985
31W. L. Robertson, Co-operative Onekaka. A Challenge to the Labour Movement. [1941]; Final Statement. Wellington: the author, 1950. See also C. Moore, 'Paradise Ignored', Evening Post, 9 Feb. 1991, pp.27-8
32'Co-op Books and the Co-operative Movement', CB, Jan. 1944 (v.1, n.3), p.3
33W. J. Scott, 'Books and Readers', Tomorrow, 26 Apr. 1939 (v.5, n.13), pp.405-6
34A. Jackson-Thomas, quoted in F. Folster, 'Progressive Books', Craccum, 15 Mar. 1976, p.7
35O. N. Gillespie, 'NZ Authors', Tomorrow, 30 Oct. 1953 (v.2, n.1), p.20
36J. W. Winchester. Conversation with author, 12 Jan. 1987
37R.E. Reynolds. Interview with author, 20 Jan. 1987
38'Meeting Books on New Terms'
39Jackson-Thomas, 'The Wellington Cooperative Book Society', Tomorrow, 19 July 1939 (v.5, n.19), p.588
40'A Readers' Bookshop'
41Rules of the Progressive Book Society Ltd, [1937]. Roth collection
42Jackson-Thomas. Interview with author, 8 Sept. 1985; E. Coyne. Interview with author, 10 Sept. 1985
43 CBN, June 1942 (v.1, n.6), p.1
44Scott, 'Books and Readers'; Robertson, 'Co-operation and the Labour Movement', CBN, Feb. 1942 (v.1, n.3), p.8
45Chairman's report, Oct. 1941. CCBS minutes
46Rhodes interview
47'An Objection to the Bookshop', CBN, Feb. 1942 (v.1, n.3), p.3
48Chairman's report, Oct. 1941-Oct. 1942. CCBS minutes
49Minutes of first general meeting, 31 Oct. 1938
50Rhodes correspondence
51H. E. Fenton, 'Why Not Now?', CBN, Oct. 1942 (v.1, n.10o), p.1
52Fenton, 'Co-operation—for what?', CBN, June 1942 (v.1, n.6), p.2
53Robertson, 'What is the Purpose of a Cooperative Book Society?', CBN, Apr. 1942 (v.1, n.4), p.4; S. Devereux, 'The Work of Our Society', ibid., p.6
54Rhodes interview
55 CBN, Jan. 1943 (v.1, n.2), p.1
56In the absence of complete membership records, this occupational analysis is based on lists of new members printed in the society's minutes, 1938-49. Of the 240 page 257 names listed, the occupations of 116 have been determined. The categories used in this analysis are derived from the Elley and Irving socio-economic index (New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 7, Nov. 1972, pp.153-67), as used by D. Pearson in Johnsonville. Continuity and Change in a New Zealand Township. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1980. The comparative figure of 46%, being the percentage of the total male working population in manual occupations at 1936, is taken from D. Pearson and D. Thorns, Eclipse of Equality. Social Stratification in New Zealand Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1983, p.46
57Rhodes correspondence
58International Bookshop. Booklist, 18 Jan. 1937. Roth collection
59'Shop Notes', CBN, Apr. 1942 (v.1, n.4), p.5
60CCBS minutes, 24 Feb. 1949
61Fenton had resigned from the management of the Co-op Bookshop at the end of 1942 to become manager of the Progressive Publishing Society in Wellington. Co-op Books was run by A.S. (Nan) Dann (formerly shop assistant), with Eva Munz as assistant, until Walter's appointment in 1944.
62C. V. Walter. Interview with author, 1 Feb. 1987
63Rhodes correspondence
64 CBN Apr. 1942 (v.1, n.4), p.5, Oct. 1942 (v.1, n.10), p.1
65Ibid, May 1942 (v.1, n.5), pp.5, 8
67Associated Booksellers of New Zealand. Minutes of annual conference, 27 Jan. 1943. Associated Booksellers of New Zealand. Minute book, 1939-59. Ms y 1076. Alexander Turnbull Library
68 CBN, May 1942 (v.1, n.5), p.1; chairman's report, Oct. 1941
69'Big News for Progressive Books'
70Walter interview
71Walter interview; CCBS minutes, 11 Dec. 1944
72CCBS minutes, 21 May 1946
73Letterhead on letter from D. Basham to J. Ferguson, 21 Aug. 1941. WCBS Papers: 3; CBN Jan. 1942 (v.1, n.2), p.3
74Progressive Books Ltd. Prospectus, 1937
75Progressive Book Society Ltd. Open letter, 30 Sept. 1939. Roth collection
76 Union Record 15 Apr. 1940 (v.1, n.10), p.7, 20 Dec. 1944 (v.5, n.6), p.3
77Share register, 1937-1980. Progressive Book Society Ltd. Records. L. Parker. Private collection. The share register records the names of 875 shareholders; of these, the occupations of 517 are known. See above, note 56, for details of the method of analysis used.
78E. Coyne, interviewed for 'And Baby Makes Three'. New Zealand Family Planning Association for Radio New Zealand. E. Coyne. Private collection
79G. Jackson. Interview with author, 25 Nov. 1986
80S. Barton, 'Auckland Progressive Bookshop. Seven Progressive Years', CB, Feb. 1944 (v.1, n.4), p.[6]
81Ewen. Letter to author, 12 Dec. 1986
82Cashbook, 1942-9. PBS Records
83Ewen correspondence
85Bi-annual report and financial statement for the half-year ended Sept. 30th, 1946. Johnny Mitchell Papers
86Ewen correspondence
87 Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1939, E7, p.2, 1946, E7, p.1
88Ewen correspondence
89B. Read. Conversation with author, 1 Dec. 1986
90Ewen. Interview with author, 26 Nov. 1986
91'Meeting Books on New Terms'
92New Zealand Co-operative Book Society Ltd. Prospectus, [1938]. Roth collection; 'A Readers' Bookshop'
93E. J. Dyer, obituary, quoted in Rhodes, New Zealand and the Soviet Union. An Historical Account of the NZ-USSR Society. Auckland: New Zealand-USSR Society, 1979, p.70
94R. Parsons to R. F. Griffin, 8 June 1942. WCBS Papers: 4page 258
95'Meeting Books on New Terms'
96WCBSmanagementcommitteeminutes, 12, 18 July 1939. WCBS Papers: 5/1
97Fortune correspondence; interview
98Parsons. Interview with J. Colosimo, 1980
99Selection committee report. WCBS Papers: 5; library committee report. WCBS minutes, 20 Jan. 1941
100WCBS Papers: 21
101WCBS minutesof first AGM, 31 Oct. 1939
102W. P. McAra to secretary, WCBS, 13 Dec. 1943. WCBS Papers: 5
103WCBS annual report, 1945. WCBS Papers: 13
104As with the CCBS, the membership records of the WCBS are incomplete. A membership list from the early 1940s, and some lists of new members from the late 1940s, were used for this analysis. Of the 369 shareholders in the sample, the occupations of 205 were identified.
105L. Plumridge, The Necessary but not Sufficient Condition: Christchurch Labour and Working-Class Culture', New Zealand]ournal of History, Oct. 1985 (v.19, n.2), pp.130-50
106R. Shuker, Educating the Workers? A History of the Workers'Education Association in New Zealand. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press, 1984, pp.104-5, 133
107See J.C. Beaglehole, Victoria University College. An Essay Towards a History. Wellington: New Zealand University Press, 1949, pp.207-30; K. Sinclair, A History of the University of Auckland, 1883-1983. Auckland: Auckland University Press/Oxford University Press, 1983, p.150
108Beaglehole, 'From Bookshop Assistant to O. M. Eminent ex-Bookseller talks to N.Z. Jubilee Conference', Bookseller, 3418, 26 June 1971, pp.2594-7; Sinclair, A History of the University of Auckland, pp.153-7; J. Milton, Areopagitica. Christchurch: Caxton Press, 1941
109P. Macaskill (ed.), Ako Pai. A Special Issue to Celebrate the Centenary of Wellington Teachers College 1880-1980. Wellington: Price Milburn for the Centennial Committee, Wellington Teachers College, 1980, p.58
110Scott, 'Books and Readers', pp.405-6; 'A Readers' Bookshop'
112WCBS annual report, 1945
113WCBS annual report, 1947. WCBS Papers: 21
114The Leaning Tower of Babel', [C1947], Roth collection
115New Zealand Co-operative BookSociety Ltd. Prospectus, [1938]
116WCBS minutes of AGM, 5 Dec. 1950; annual report, 1948-9. WCBS Papers: 25
117P. Macaskill, chairman, WCBS to secretary, Modern Books, Dunedin, June 1946. WCBS Papers: 17
118W. A. Cowell and A. H. Young to secretary, WCBS, 4 Mar. 1946. WCBS Papers: 17
119WCBS minutes, 6 Aug. 1952
120Rules of the Dunedin Co-operative Book Society Ltd (draft). Dunedin Modern Books Papers
121H. O. Roth, 'John Harris: Biography and Bibliography', 1970. Misc. ms 1970. Hocken Library. On Harris see also C. W. Collins, 'John Harris—Valedictory', New Zealand Libraries, Dec. 1948 (v.11, n.11), pp.269-72
122DCBS annual report, 1949. Dunedin Modern Books Papers
123DCBS annual report, 1948. Dunedin Modern Books Papers
124Reynolds interview
125C. V. Walter to J. W. Winchester, 5 Mar. 1954. WCBS Papers: 29
126WCBS annual report, 1948. WCBS Papers: 24
127'Meeting Books on New Terms'
128Quoted in'25 Years Old. Progressive Book Society Ltd/
129G. H. Brown, Colin McCahon: Artist. Wellington: A.H. and A. W. Reed, 1984, pp.12-13
130R. Haese, Rebels and Precursors. The Revolutionary Years of Australian Art. Ringwood, Victoria: Allen Lane, 1985, pp.16, 25; J. Sendy, Melbourne's Radical page 259 Bookshops. History, People, Appreciation. Melbourne: International Bookshop Pty Ltd, 1983, ch.8
131'Report on Library and Second Hand Departments (Feb-April)', [1941]. WCBS Papers: 3
132Coyne interview
133Hyde, 'Jack Basham's Bookshop'
134P. Christoffel, Censored. A Short History of Censorship in New Zealand. Monograph Series, 12. Research Unit, Department of Internal Affairs. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs, 1989, pp.20-1; R. Openshaw and R. Shuker, 'Silent Movies and Comics', in M. McKinnon (ed.), The American Connection. Wellington: Allen and Unwin/Port Nicholson Press, 1988, pp.58-60; A. C. Burns, 'Some Aspects of Censorship: a survey of censorship law and practice in New Zealand from 1841-1963, mainly concerning the control of indecent publications'. MA thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, 1968
135Hyde, 'Jack Basham's Bookshop'
136List of prohibited literature, appended to 'Question of the prohibition of the importation of certain literature into NZ\ Memorandum from Comptroller of Customs to Minister of Customs, 27 Jan. 1936. C1 36/959: box 152. NA
137W. Nash, Minister of Customs to Minister in charge of Police Department, 25 May 1936. Ibid.
138Coyne, 'And Baby Makes Three'
139Ewen correspondence
140CCBS chairman's report, Oct. 1941; CB, Feb. 1944 (v.1, n.4), p.[5]
141Comptroller of Customs to Prime Minister, 8 May 1940, quoted in Taylor, The Home Front, p.997
142D. Basham to J. Ferguson, 21 Aug. 1941. WCBS Papers: 3
143Taylor, The Home Front, p.1001
144Quoted in Union Record, 15 Jan. 1941 (v.1, n.19), p.3
145Secretary, WCBS to Minister of Customs, 18 Feb. 1941. WCBS Papers: 3
146ABNZ minutes, 25 Jan. 1939
147Ibid., 30 Oct. 1939, 6 Mar. 1940, 27 Jan. 1943
148'Aspects of Censorship', Tomorrow, 1 Feb. 1939 (v.5, n.7), p.213
149D. B. Paul, The Book-Buying Public', CB, July 1944 (v.1, n.9), p.1
150'The Importation of Books', New Zealand Listener, 1 July 1949 (v.21, n.523), p.7
152Paul, 'The Book-Buying Public'
153Rhodes interview
154R.M. Burdon, The New Dominion. A Socialand Political History ofNew Zealand, 1918-39. Wellington: A.H. and A. W. Reed, 1965, pp.304-5; Shuker, Educating the Workers?
155 AJHR, 1940, E7, p.2, 1950, E7, p.3
156Parsons interview
157CCBS chairman's report, Oct. 1942
158 Co-op Books, Nov. 1943 (v.1, n.1), p.1
159WCBS. Draft letter to major creditors, [nd]. WCBS Papers: 34
160Manager's report to board, 1 June 1966; notice of AGM, 1980. PBS Records
161Progressive Book Society Ltd. Leaflet, 195?. PBS Records
162Annual report, 1968. PBS Records
163'The Right to Dissent', New Zealand Herald, 8 July 1980, p.6
164Appeal to members, [1968?]. WCBS Papers: 34