Election 1944: Aviation guide also banned (8-11-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 11, 1944)


Army censors at work –
Aviation guide also banned

Roosevelt’s picture cause for action

Washington (UP) –
An edition of the Official Guide to the Army Air Forces is the latest publication to be banned from sale at post exchanges because the War Department fears it might violate the Soldier Voting Act’s prohibition against official distribution of political propaganda.

The banned edition bears a picture of President Roosevelt with the caption “Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy.” A department spokesman said it was feared the picture and the caption might be interpreted as political propaganda.

Some not affected

Other editions of the guide, which do not have the picture and caption, are not affected by the order and may be sold at post exchanges. The copyright to the guide is held by the Army Air Forces Aid Society, which receives all royalties from its sale.

War Department officials conceded that they were interpreting the Soldier Voting Act’s censorship clause in a strict sense, but said that if any change in policy is necessary, it would have to be effected by changing the law.

The clause bans Army distribution of any publication “containing political argument or political propaganda of any kind designed or calculated to affect the result of any election.”

Beard’s book banned

Under it, the War Department has banned, in addition to the Air Forces Guide, British newspapers, and various other books.

Congressional sentiment for relaxation of the ban was growing. Senator Robert A. Taft (R-OH), author of the restrictive amendment to the Soldier Voting Act, said he expected satisfactory legislation to this effect would be worked out in conferences between himself and Senator Theodore F. Green (D-RI), co-sponsor of the Voting Act.