Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, June 1929

[review of the free discussions club activities]

After a temporary dormant period the above club recommenced activities on May 30th. After the business of the general meeting was over Mr. Barwell led an) interesting and stimulating discussion on "Censorship." The speaker reviewed recent cases of the exercise of the censorship by the late Home Secretary, and gave evidence to show that it was not so much the alleged paragraph of the works that was objected to as the ideas behind them. Lord Chief Justice Cockburn's ruling, which has since been taken as a precedent in regard to obscurity, was objected to as it ruled out witnesses and reduced the matter to the personal equitas of the judges. Logically, if a work had a bad effect on him it was obscene and not otherwise. If the Act was thoroughly carried out the Bible and most classical literature would be classed as obscene. Mr. Barwell's contention was this purity campaign was staged merely to deflect public opinion from the Government's incompetence.

The censorship of economic literature was obscured. In Australia the position had become so bad that the economic faculties at the university were compelled to protect in the interests of their own studies. The censorship in New Zealand, where a book importer does not know what books are prohibited until he is before the magistrate, was roundly condemned both by the leader and numerous subsequent speakers.

Professor Hunter referred to the extensive use of censorship during the war. He deplored the existence of a Board of Censors, and considered that really harmful literature page 72 could be dealt with by the Law Courts. Mr. Miles, Dr. Sutherland, Mr. Scott and others expressed diverse views.