Ban on broadcast

Published by The Garland Collection on


Premier To Be Heard
From B Class Station


DESPITE the refusal of the Australian Broadcasting Commission to broadcast his speech through station 4QG, the Premier (Mr. Forgan Smith), who is to be the principal speaker at this morning’s communion breakfast at St. Barnabas’ Church, Ithaca, will be heard over the air.
Station 4BC yesterday readily agreed to make the broadcast.
“It appears to me,” the Premier remarked yesterday, “that whoever directs the policy of the Australian Broadcasting Commission is endeavouring to form a dictatorship of opinion similar to that which is operating in England under the British Broadcasting Commission.”
Canon Garland, Rector of St. Barnabas, said the Commission’s stand illustrated the disadvantage of bureaucratic authority being exercised in the affairs of Queensland by those who were so far away that they could not feel the pulse of public opinion.
As a result of the Commission’s decision 4QG will broadcast only the service, which will commence at 1 o’clock, but the speeches at the breakfast will not go through the national station.
Yesterday 4BC agreed to feature the speeches. The A.B.C., it is understood, does not object to the Communion speeches going on the air through a commercial station.
The broadcast by station 4BC will commence at 8.25 a.m.

Premier Astonished

“I was astonished to read this morning that my address was not to be broadcast by the Commission,” said the Premier yesterday.
“My address was to be the youth of Queensland, and con- tained nothing of dogma or denominational controversy. The address was to deal with the broad basis of religious training, particularly in relation to the building of character.
“The Commission’s decision is all the more difficult to understand when members of the Lyons Government can tie up the broadcast stations and broadcast more or less at will.”

Misuse of Power

In reply to the statement by the general manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (Mr. C. J. Moses), that Canon Garland did not realise that a State election was looming in Queensland, the Premier stated: “There is no State election looming. This is just another example of the misuse of power by Commonwealth officials. In any case, arrangements have been made to broadcast my speech through 4BC.”

A.B.C. “Out of Touch

“I predict that there will be no general election in Queensland till June of next year,” said Canon Garland, commenting on the statement by the general manager of the Commission (Mr. Moses) that a State election was “looming” in Queensland.
Incidents of this nature suggested that the A.B.C. authorities were completely out of touch with Queensland affairs.
“Difficulties of this kind would not have arisen if the Federal Government had not taken control of broadcasting out of the hands of the State Government,” said Canon Garland.
“To put it mildly, public opinion was surprised at the action of the Australian Broadcasting Commission.”

– from “The Sunday Mail”, 8 August 1937, pg2 


Image of excerpt from "The Sunday Mail", 8 August 1937, page 2

ABOVE: Fr Garland made regular broadcasts of his sermons from St Barnabas’ Church, Red Hill (in his capacity as Rector of the Ithaca Parish of the Church of England) – state-wide – on Radio 4QG throughout the years of the Great Depression, at a time when public radio was in its infancy and its impact on the public imagination enormous. Politics and the usage of the limited available (valuable) airtime clashed and Fr Garland was again in the frontline. When this report from page 2 of “The Sunday Mail” (Brisbane) ran on 8 August 1937, William (“Bill”) Forgan Smith had been the State Premier, Chief Secretary and Treasurer for some five years. Between 8 May 1926 and 15 January 1952 the electors of Ithaca were represented by the Australian Labor Party’s Edward (“Ned”) Michael Hanlon, who was at various times the State’s Premier, Home Secretary, Health and Home Affairs Secretary, or Treasurer. Hanlon was a pallbearer at Fr Garland’s funeral.