From the archive: ‘Press must not be coerced’ - 8 August, 1949

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MR PHILIP Fothergill, president-elect of the Liberal Party, said yesterday that the public would welcome a positive response from the newspaper industry to the Royal Commission verdict, but there must be no coercion of the Press.

Whether or not one agreed that all the functions proposed for the Press Council were necessary or desirable, the newspaper industry was confronted with a challenge which it would be unwise to ignore. “No responsible elector would urge the Press to take action merely to appease the howling wolves of the Left,” said Mr Fothergill. “Capitulation to extreme Socialism, with its naked threat to the liberty of the Press, would be to strike a mortal blow at our free institutions. It is to the considered verdict of the Press Commission, and not to the strident demands of irresponsible agitators, that the public would welcome a positive and progressive response from the industry.”