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IMPORTANCE OF SECRECY. An explanation in regard to the strict censorship now being exercised in Australia was made last week by the Federal Minister of Defence, as follows: " War Precautions, Regulation 10, prescribes that no-person shall, without lawful authority, publish any information with respect to the movement or disposition ot any of the. forces, ships, etc., of His_Majes'ty or the Commonwealth, or any of tho Allies, etc. This is equally in force in England. The object is not to withhold information from the public, but to prevent information reaching the, enemy, which, being gathered together from many quarters, enables them to locate the whole of our naval and military forces. It is often not realised that information disclosed in Australia can bo telegraphed to Germany within a few hours, by means of apparently harmless messages, to persons in a neutral country. Secret codes for this purpose can easily be arranged that almost certainly avoid discovery. '•lt is not possible to censor all private communications without great expense, and a good deal of news is obtained verbally from persons arriving from overseas. Whaiever the source, unless the text has actually been passed by a censor, or issued as official news by the Government, it is a direct breach of the law if any newspaper or other publication contains the position of any portion of His Majesty's or tho Allies' forces, naval or military, or gives dates on which certain combinations occurred. "Letters and interviews may state what 'Private Brown, of the 105 th Regiment,' has seen, and describe incidents of the war, but names of places, dates, names of other units, or ships, or of senior commanding officers must be left blank, unless actually passed by the censor. It is no excuse to say that the incident occurred some time ago. No important information from a reliable source will bo withheld by censors without the authority of the Government, but they are justified in withholding permission from many sensational statements, emanating from tho Press of neutral countries, until further particulars come from England. An instance of this was tho statement that 150,000 Russians had become casualties in one battle, subsequently proved to be pure fabrication. " Only lately the censors experienced the greatest difficulty in preventing publication of the sailing of tho transports which conveyed tho Australian Imperial Force. Had any damage occurred to our troops it would have been directly due to the unpatriotic disclosures of some of the dailypapers. Many letters will shortly bo arriving from our soldiers and sailors oversea, and if is therefore requested thatpublic statement of the above reasons may he given, with a request that all will support the censors, a body of very hardworking citizen officers, who are doing their best in a difficult task for the mutual safetv of th.' Empire."

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Bibliographic details

HOW THE CENSOR WORKS, Evening Star, Issue 15706, 21 January 1915

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HOW THE CENSOR WORKS Evening Star, Issue 15706, 21 January 1915