51 Commonwealth Government to Mr M. J. Savage, N.Z. Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered 10 February 1940,

Your telegram 8th February [1], greatly regret infringement of censorship by Smith's Weekly of 3rd February. Article was not submitted for censorship and Editor has been rebuked by Australian Censor.

May we take this opportunity of enquiring whether you would be agreeable to discuss variations between your censorship and ours which are very embarrassing with newspapers, for example publication of photographs of visiting British battleships and movements of all overseas merchant shipping which we prohibit but which you allow. British Admiralty specifically requested our Naval Board to allow no reference to its visiting warships.

Doubtless you will have suggestions making for uniform action.

Will forward reply to last sentence your cablegram separately. [2]

1 In series FA: A3195, 1.892. The New Zealand Govt had complained that the article made open reference to the arrival of New Zealand troops in Fremantle.

2 This concerned the alleged misbehaviour of New Zealand troops.

The Commonwealth Govt replied on 22 February 1940 that very little exception could be taken to their conduct (see FA: A3196, 0.1067).

[FA: A3196, 0.810]