They Call Him
TO-DAY quiet, bulky men
from all parts of Australia are travelling towards Canberra to meet their new boss—"Silent Charles" Spry, the army col-
onel who to-morrow takes over
as Director-General of Sec- urity.
"Silent Charles"—he earned the
nickname while adjutant of Syd- ney University Rifles in 1936—
has some claims to be the most
powerful individual in Australia —and his power will be increased immeasurably if and when the Government's anti-Communist bill becomes law.
As head of the security net- work, he will control hundreds of secret operatives all over Aus- tralia: his men are inside the Com-
munist Party, they work on the wharves, in the coal mines, in fac- tories and business houses.
Their job is to compile dossiers on individuals suspected of dis- loyalty to Australia, of espionage and crime that may injure the Commonwealth. In time of war those dossiers would be sufficient to send an apparently respectable citizen to an internment camp.
. . .
COLONEL SPRY will be
answerable only to the Prime Minister of the day.
If his job is one of almost un- limited power, those who know Colonel C. C. F. Spry, D.S.O., say there are few men in Australia better fitted to be entrusted with such responsibility. His organis- ing qualities earned him one of the fastest promotions of World War II—from captain in 1939, to Lieutenant-Colonel to Colonel at 32, in 1942.
He was made Director of Mili-
tary Intelligence in 1946—the job he relinquished on Friday. His new salary will be £3,500—plus allowances. That is quite a jump from his £1,500 as an Army colonel.—I.J.F.