NOW that "Rusty Bugles"
has finished its run at
the Independent, one may mention that Censor Baddeley's intervention last October did hot have much lasting effect on the script.
But it did have a healthy influ- ence on the box office receipts.
The "vulgarities and obscenities" deplored by the police, who insisted on slang substitutes, mostly re- appeared as the censorship uproar
Professor Stout suggested at the time that it might be impossible to ban the expletives, "because in moments of excitement the actors
will reproduce the original words."
Perhaps that is what happened. Perhaps not. Anyway, the play went over substantially as Sumner Locke
Elliott wrote it.
After all, you can't keep a police- man permanently on duty during the season just to see that an "excited" actor doesn't lapse into the Army language natural to a play about bored-stiff soldiers in a Territory
AS INDICATED, "Rusty Bugles"
got a - (pardon, "flaming") good advertisement out of the censor- ship stir. It always happens when the Law comes down on a book or play. (And the publicity experts know it.)
Let us have adult standards for the theatre, by all means. But chil-
dren should be kept out. A colleague tells me that his evening was spoilt by two little girls, who kept inter- rupting. "Mother, what is a 'sawn-off (illegitimate)' ", "What's he mean by "a (sanguinary so-and-so)' ". "What ....what.....'"
What's sauce for the goose is defi- nitely not sauce for the goslings.
Strike A Light!
THAT lively trade paper, "Store-
craft" (Melbourne), has been going into the mathematics of matches, from the retailer's point of view.
It throws light, too, on the tax- payer-consumer's angle.
Chifley's excise duty is 7/3, for a gross of matches. This is more than it costs to make them (manufac- turers' selling price, 7/1 a gross).
But that isn't the whole tax story. When the wholesaler has added his 8½d handling charge to the 14/4, sales tax (1/6½) is levied on thc 15/O½.
So a tax is charged upon a tax, and your dozen of matches (retail price 6d in 1939, including excise duty ½d, sales tax ½d, costs you 1/6.
"Storecraft" complains that the retailer is not getting his fair cut. Well, there's no doubt Chif. is getting
T.B. Fight On The Cheap?
T.B. campaigners wish Dr. Mar-
shall Andrew well in the tough job he has undertaken as Director of
Tuberculosis in N.S.W.
But they still feel that the salary offered (£1,750) was miserably parsimonious, especially as the Com- monwealth was putting up most of the funds to fight T.B. and wanted the State to get "the best man money could buy."
For £2,500 a year
N.S.W. could have obtained such an
outstanding expert as Dr. Linley Henzell, Director of Tuberculosis in W.A., whose record in this field of medical administration is pro- bably unique in Australia.
But. State Health Minister Kelly wanted to get the job done on the cheap. So he turned over the
appointment to thePublic Service Board, which was more concerned not to throw the departmental pay scales out of line than to attract the biggest man available.
Marshall Andrew knows the weak- nesses of our T.B. hospital system,
has studied T.B. treatment abroad, and has the useful knack of working
well with others.
But unless he can induce compla- cent Minister Kelly to create for him an autonomous and well-staffed de- partment free from political control, frustration and disillusion may well be his lot, too. .
Trollope In Australia ?
WAKEFIELD Press, Adelaide,
has turned out in handsome shape an admirable record, by Marcie Muir, of Anthony Trollope's visits to Australia in the 1870's. [Drawing of Trollope]
The novelist had a sheep-farming son in N.S.W., near Forbes, and descendants are living in Sydney to- day.
Trollope proved a discerning and appreciative observer of "Colonial" life and ways.
But one famous passage, in "Aus- tralia and New Zealand," was not soon forgotten or forgiven. Thus:
"I must say somewhere, and may as well say here as elsewhere, that the won- ders performed in the way of riding, driv- ing, fighting, walking, working, drink- ing, love-making, and speech-making, which men and women in Australia told me of themselves, would have been worth recording in a separate volume had they been related by any but the heroes and heroines themselves. But reaching one as they do always in the first person, these stories are soon re- ceived as works of a fine art much cultivated in the colonies, for which the colonial phrase of 'blowing' has been created. . . .
They blow a good deal in Queens- land — a good deal in South Australia. They blow even in poor Tasmania. They blow loudly in New South Wales, and very loudly in New Zealand. But the blast of the trumpet as heard in Vic- toria is louder than all the blasts - and the Melbourne blast beats all the other blowing of that proud colony. My first, my constant, my parting advice to my Australian cousins is contained in two words - 'Don't biow.' "
SYDNEYSIDERS did not so
much blow to Trollope about
Our Harbour as to ask him diffi- dently, self-consciously, "Of course you have been bothered out of your life about our harbour - but it is pretty - don't you think so?"
Pretty? "It is so inexpressibly
lovely," wrote Trollope, "that it , makes a man ask himself whether it would not be worth his while to move his household goods to the eastern coast of Australia, in order that he might look at it as long as he cari look at anything."
Well, now, wasn't that a grand blast on the Trollope trumpet?