1940s >> 1946 >> no-498-february-1946

Censored News From Russia

 On November 1st the Anglo-American Correspondents’ Association in Moscow asked for the lifting of the rigid censorship on reports sent out of Russia. The Soviet Foreign Commissar, Mr. Molotov, rejected the protest, and said he found the protest “in general not solid” and he did not “find it necessary to give it consideration.”—(Times, 2nd November, 1945.)

In their letter of protest the correspondents described the working of the censorship. Here are some passages from their letter: —

      “Throughout the war foreign correspondents never objected to the censorship for purposes of military security. But  censorship in peace-time of all dispatches, relating not only to military affairs but to politics, economics, cultural affairs, and every aspect of life in the Soviet Union destroys the value of foreign correspondence in the free world, and has created general distrust abroad of all news emanating from the Soviet Union.
      “We wish to go on record against censorship in principle. We wish also to protest specifically against the operation of the Soviet censorship. It is dictatorial and arbitrary.
       “Censors frequently tamper with the wording and distort the meaning of messages. The censorship is vacillating and capricious; it varies from day to day and from censor to censor. Some of the censors are not sufficiently acquainted with the English language to understand material submitted to them. Censors are often uninformed of current events. Frequently messages are delayed so long that they lose their value; sometimes they are actually lost in the process of censorship.
       “Hesitating to make decisions censors delay messages, sometimes for days; and this destroys the tempo of news reporting. Censors extend their authority to topics that do not come within the province of the Soviet censorship; they arbitrarily censor information that comes from non-Soviet sources and deals with non-Soviet affairs.”

The Daily Worker had no report of this when it was published in all the London papers

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