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ERIC Number: ED119243
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975
Pages: 45
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Obscenity in the Mails: Controls on Second-Class Privileges 1942-1957.
Robertus, Patricia
In the years 1942-1957, the Post Office Department used controls on the low mailing rate as a form of administrative censorship, designed to limit the distribution of periodicals which it could not otherwise restrict. The Classification Act of 1879 imposed four conditions for admission to the second-class rate three of which were physical requirements, and one of which considered content. Several cases of second-class permit revocation, including that of the socialist "Leader" in 1917, demonstrate how these conditions were a form of censorship. Revocations were informal, and obscenity was determined mostly by visual inspection until 1940. Much of the change in postal policy came about when Frank Walker became Postmaster in 1940. One of the magazines censored by the Post Office Department at this time was "Esquire." The "Esquire" case and several other revocation cases suggest that control over second-class privileges was a powerful and much abused weapon in the hands of the Post Office Department, employed to apply economic sanctions against publications. (TS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A