Opinion Number. 1404

Subject

CUSTOMS PROHIBITED IMPORTS: WHETHER PAMPHLETS ARE SEDITIOUS

Key Legislation

CUSTOMS PROCLAMATION No 37 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE 23 June 1921 p 989

Date
Client
The Comptroller-General, Department of Trade and Customs

With reference to your memorandum of the 8th October, 1926, forwarding certain publications for advice as to whether they infringe the Proclamation of the 16th June, 1926, I have to inform you that I agree with the views expressed in the Chief Clerk’s memorandum dated the 6th October, 1926, that the pamphlets entitled—

The Meaning of the General Strike and

The Communist Party on Trial (3),

are prohibited imports within the terms of the Proclamation of 16th June, 1921.

I also agree that the pamphlet entitled 10 Days that shook the World is not a prohibited import within the meaning of the Proclamation.

As regards the pamphlets entitled—

Lenin as a Marxist, by N. Bukharin, and

Russia’s Path to Communism, by G. Zinoviev,

I think that they are prohibited imports within the meaning of the Proclamation. Both pamphlets definitely advocate the ‘world revolution’ and the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’. Those phrases, in Communist literature, have a precise meaning—namely, armed revolution and the seizure by force of supreme power. Proof of this is afforded by Lenin’s introduction to the pamphlet 10 Days that shook the World. If further evidence is needed, it may be found passim in such works as Bucharin’s Communist Program of the World Revolution, and his A.B.C. of Communism.

[Vol. 22, p. 836]