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Issue #1906      March 9, 2020


The Sydney Dally Telegraph printers, who refused to publish a dirty “Stalin Dead – Hurrah!” poster, magnificently upheld the honour of the Australian working class.

In fact, they upheld the honour of all Australians, few of whom would have lacked a deep sense of shame if even a single copy of this poster had reached the streets.

The poster was sent down to the composing room on Friday, and the staff were discussing their attitude when the proprietor, Frank Packer, wafted in and demanded that it be printed.

The workers told Packer to leave their meeting and also instructed him to withdraw the poster. When he refused, the workers walked out.


The Newcastle Trades Hall Council sent a wire of congratulations to the Daily Telegraph Chapel.

Mr Alec Dowling, who is secretary of the Council and also of the Newcastle PIEU sub-branch, said that the Father of the Newcastle Sun Chapel told him that the Chapel was indignant at Packer’s move and were advising Mr Dowling officially that if any attempts were made to produce similar material, the printers would refuse to handle it.

So great was the volume of protests against Saturday’s Daily Telegraph front page treatment of Stalin’s death that all day Sunday – from 7:30 am – a Telegraph reporter had to be assigned to the phone to handle them.

The bitter anger of workers at Mort’s Dock foundry and engineering shops was crystallised in a petition signed by over ninety per cent of the labour force.

Twenty passers-by in the streets outside the Dock also signed the petition, which protested against an unsigned cartoon in Friday’s Telegraph. Sent to Telegraph owner Frank Packer, the petition demanded an apology for an insult to the Russian people, the British people whose Prime Minister was depicted as hoping that Stalin would die, and to the Australian people at whom it was directed.

Cockatoo Dock workers told Tribune that, although no official protest had been made, almost without exception men at the dock were disgusted with the Telegraph’s attitude.


One angry reader phoned Packer at his Bellevue Hill mansion and asked him if he had any feelings of human decency. “No. Not about this man,” was the reply.

Tribune, March 1953

Next article – Politics in the Pub Perth – The Religious Freedom Bill

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