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CHAPTER XI

 

THE CENSORSHIP

THE Censorship, says the British official memorandum, is one of several instruments all designed with the threefold object of preventing information of military value from reaching the enemy, of acquiring similar information for our own purposes, and of checking the dissemination of information likely to be of use to the enemy or prejudicial to the Allies. So far as is consistent with the attainment of the above object, there is as little interference as possible with the trans-mission of correspondence or the publication of news, and every endeavour is made to safeguard the legitimate interests, private and commercial, of British subjects and neutrals.

In the course of the present war it has become apparent that in the censorship there lay ready to hand a weapon the full value of which was perhaps not anticipated prior to the war, and which can be used to restrict commercial and financial transactions intended for the benefit of enemy governments or persons residing in enemy countries.

The censorship falls naturally into two main departments: (1) The censorship of private and commercial communications, conducted directly under the Army Council; and (2) the Press censorship, exercised—in England—through the official Press Bureau. If confusion is to be avoided, it is essential to remember that the above departments are, for the purposes of actual censor-ship, distinct and separate organizations, administered by different departments and controlled by different directors.

The censorship of private and commercial communications is organized in two sections: (1) the cable censorship 238


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