Government leaks, 1916-1919

….The reference in yesterday’s letter to a “traffic in stolen goods” is still more offensive and certainly does not maintain the level of good taste which one expects in Government communications. I should hardly think your colleagues would endorse such offensiveness even to a newspaper.
[extract, letter from The Sun to the Premier, 2 August 1918]

The Sydney press took a close interest in a number of matters involving the NSW government during the period 1916-19, including issues surrounding the appointment of the Secretary to the Board of Trade. Senior officials within the government became aware that ‘inside information’ was being leaked to newspapers, and the Premier’s Office responded by initiating a string of correspondence with the Managing Director of The Sun newspaper. The letters started out with polite expressions of concern, but before long the correspondence from both sides became acrimonious, as the selected extracts clearly show.

Source: NRS 12061 Premiers Letters received – Special bundles, 1895-1976. Relations between the government and the Press, 1916-19 – selected documents: Letters from the Managing Director of The Sun to the Premier, 30 July and 2 August 1918, and copy of letter from the Premier’s Office to the Managing Director of The Sun, 1 August 1918. [2/1024]

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