Censorship of posters

I was just after saying to someone the other day that I was quite surprised there wasn’t more material on the Spanish Civil War in the NUWT Collection when I came across this poster and associated correspondence.

IPC poster, UWT/D/249/24 ©Institute of Education Archive

Sorry for the poor quality photo from my phone. Here’s what the main body of text says:
Fascist victory in Spain would mean:
German airplane bases on France’s southern frontier
Italian submarine bases on the Spanish coast and islands
Loss of Gibraltar, closing of Mediterranean in time of war
Menace to alternative route via the Cape

This poster was in a box of correspondence between the NUWT and the International Peace Campaign (IPC).  The letter that this poster was attached to, dated 03/03/1939, explains that this is a draft of a poster which they submitted to the British Poster Advertising Association for approval.  They replied that “they would not be able to recommend members of the Association to exhibit posters of a similar nature to the draft submitted to them”.  At that time the British Poster Advertising Association controlled 90% of UK bill posting companies this pretty much amounted to a countrywide ban on these posters.  The IPC felt this was basically censorship of their right to disagree with the Government policy of non-intervention and they urged all supporting organisations to display this poster wherever they could.  They would supply as many copies as needed free of charge and asked the NUWT to distribute it as much as they could.  Unfortunately there is no reply so I don’t know how the NUWT responded to this or if they requested more posters.

The more I read about the British policy of non-intervention in Spain the more incredulous and angry I get about the whole thing.  Maybe there will be more Spanish Civil War material to come in the NUWT Collection, I hope so!


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