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Sunday [Aug. 10th, 2008|01:28 pm]
Bob Bain
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My LiveJournal entry 8th August 2008 reminded me of the Enough Rope (Andrew Denton) Episode 35 featuring the late Don Chipp.

From the Courier-Mail news item dated 1933.

CANBERRA, November 15

A book containing reproductions of the works of Picasso has not been banned, as had been reported, stated the Minister for Customs (Mr. T. W. White) in the House of Representatives to-day. He added that the work had been stopped by a Customs official at the post office, and had been referred to the censorship committee for decision. Mr. White announced that because the publicity given to a banned book had a definite sales value, it was not proposed to make public the titles of banned books.

The Courier-Mail is a daily newspaper published in Brisbane, Australia. Owned by News Corporation, it is published daily from Monday to Saturday in tabloid format. Its editorial offices are located at Bowen Hills, in Brisbane's inner northern suburbs, and it is printed at Murarrie, in Brisbane's eastern suburbs.

From Enough Rope (ABC) 29th. March 2004

Andrew Denton: When you were Minister for Customs and Excise you were in charge of censorship in this country and at that time, late 60s early 70s, you've described Australia as censorship crazy, in what way?

Don Chipp: When I actually first became Minister the list of banned books was banned. They weren't published.

Andrew Denton: The list was banned?

Don Chipp: The list was banned, you didn't know what was banned and what wasn't. I'd been told, so I know when I published the list, cause I published the reasons why it was banned.

Andrew Denton: Were there some stupid bannings, I mean were these all sexual books or...

Don Chipp: No, well Noddy was banned once.

Andrew Denton: Noddy?

Don Chipp: Enid Blyton, because there was a page on 84 which said, "and Noddy walked down a country lane and felt a little queer".

Andrew Denton: And that was banned?

Don Chipp: Mm.

Andrew Denton: In this country? What did you keep in your office, was it books, was it magazines?

Don Chipp: No, no, no, what I did was I, I allowed all the members of parliament and the press to take the banned books, these were banned books of literary merit home, but I didn't let them take the porn home for obvious reasons. So I said, if you want to see the pornography that we banned, come to my office and see my hapless secretary Trevor who will show it to you. So Trevor had regular visits from 12 members, mostly members of Liberal and, all members of the Liberal, and they used to turn this over and say Trevor isn't this dreadful, look. Trevor that's dreadful? And Trevor said well what are you looking at it for. Oh we've got a duty to our constituents. And they were the blokes, they were the blokes who were criticising me in public for being, for allowing the pornography and to pay the A&R.

Andrew Denton: So they knew what was good for people better than people themselves?

Don Chipp: They reckoned they did yeah. I think censorship is evil Andrew, because it's the beginning of the beginning of the big brother state, and if you start censoring matter from facts from people then it's an easy step to censor all sorts of things, and then they don't know what's going on. We've got the Tampa incident, the children overboard incident, there was censorship. They were lies in my view.

Video of Donn Chipp as Minister for Customs (1972) under the Liberal government of William McMahon can be found in the following YouTube clip which contains mostly historical footage from that era. Don Chipp later left the Liberal Party and founded the Australian Democrats under the banner of "Keep the Bastards Honest".

.. but sadly he didn't keep them honest given that most politicians in Australia continue to speak a form of the Australian language that some may recognise as gibberish.