Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/73

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67
THE PERIL OF THE CENSORSHIP

followed, to the best of their several abilities, by their colleagues. The faults and failures of the censorship have their roots elsewhere.

Now to avoid, at the outset, any possibility of misunderstanding, I want to make it absolutely clear that in all the numerous criticisms that have been levelled at the censorship, objection has been taken not to the fact that news is censored, but to the methods employed and to the extent to which the suppression of news has been carried.

I believe that no single newspaper in the British Isles has objected to the censorship, as such. I am quite sure that the public would very definitely condemn any demand that the censorship should be abolished. Much as we all desire to learn the full story of the war, it is obvious that to permit the indiscriminate publication of any and every story sent over the wires, would be to make the enemy a present of much information of almost priceless value. Early and accurate information is of supreme importance in war time, and certainly no Englishman worthy of the name would desire that the slightest advantage should be offered to our country's enemies by the premature publication of news which, on every military consideration, ought to be kept secret.

This is, unquestionably, the attitude of the great daily newspapers in London and the provinces, which have been the worst sufferers by the censor's eccentricities. They realise, quite clearly, the vital and imperative necessity for the suppression of information which would be of value to the enemy, and, as a matter of fact, the editors of the principal journals exercise themselves a private censorship which is quite rigid, and far more intelligently applied than the veto of the official bureau. It would surprise a good many people to learn of the vast amount