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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 15. 1972

Cock In Tobuble As Usual

Cock In Tobuble As Usual

Cock in trouble header

On the morning of Thursday, June 29 at about 11.30am I was standing in he drive way of 97 Aro st. talking with friends when I was approached by Detective-Sergeant N.G. Cook of Wellington CIB and the man who is also in charge of the Vice Squad. He asked me if he could discuss something with me [unclear: in] private. I stated that whatever he had to say could be said right there and [unclear: then] in front of my friends. Cook walked away and returned with two other detectives also members of the Vice Squad and stated that he had a warrant [unclear: to] search the premises. This he produced for inspection and I saw that it was [unclear: signed] by a magistrate and was under certain provisions of the Crimes Act [unclear: relating] to "criminal libel".

At Cook's request we moved into my work room. At this stage the detectives' attitude was rather hostile. They made a number of remarks to the effect that I had "done something pretty nasty" to a certain Christchurch Detective-Sargeant and his wife whom they named, and was I aware of this. I played it according to the rules and said I had no comment to make [unclear: unless] my solicitor was present. Cook walked [unclear: across] to my printing press remarking that [unclear: t] was bigger than he had expected and [unclear: that] they had intended to confiscate it and [unclear: nove] it from the building down to the [unclear: Police] station as evidence but that he [unclear: suppsed] "this would put you out of business", replied that I thought the matter under [unclear: this] warrant was one of criminal libel and that as I was perfectly happy at all times to stand liable for everything I write, publish and print I couldn't quite see the point of moving the press for evidence. Cook then started talking with the other two detectives about how they could "get some men up and maybe knock the walls out or tear the floor up" to get the press out. I reiterated my earlier remarks on how this action was unnecessary and added that as far as I was concerned it was totally uncalled for harassment. At this stage Cook took me up on my earlier remarks that I was happy to admit liability for everything in my magazine and said that if I was prepared to make a statement to this effect then there would be no need to move the press. He then tried to elicit some further reaction from me regarding my supposed "criminal libel" of the Christchurch detective. I refused to be drawn out on this subject and instead pointed out that he appeared to have some misunderstanding as to the reasons for my publishing COCK and that it should not be presumed that one went to the trouble of running a one man publishing enterprise for trivial reasons. Cook then asked: "Well, why do you print a magazine like this?" I replied to the effect that in New Zealand one had freedom of speech just so long as one didn't want to say anything; that in fact all the printers able to cope with magazine production were owned by one or two large newspaper monopolies who had blacklisted magazines like COCK which were critical of the way the country was being run.

At this stage Cook and the other two detectives started shuffling through old newspaper cuttings and negative proofs of the contentious issue. After some questions as to the production of the magazine Cook then began cross-examining me as to "how I managed to make a living," did I live off COCK and "the gear you've got round here must have cost a lot of money." The question didn't seem to bear even a remote relationship to the question of criminal libel and became typical of the tendentious questions asked as the raid proceeded. My reply on this occasion was my efforts were financed by the international anarchist conspiracy that Messrs Jack, Muldoon, McCready, Allen etc are flogging to death as their current last ditch election issue, and that I received $50 for every demonstration I went to.

Cook remarked that he supposed that I thought that the reason for their raid was "political." I agreed with him. I said that as other more normal remedies were open to his supposed complainant who coincidentally enough was also a detective in the Police force there was no reason for me to think anything else than that this Police raid was just part of a general move instigated by the Government against some its more conspicuous critics.