Banned Books in Australia A Special Collections-Art in the Library Exhibition

Ross’s Magazine of Protest, Personality and Progress

From its first issue in December 1915, Ross’s Magazine of Protest, Personality and Progress ran up against the ban on sending blasphemous articles through the mail. The Postmaster-General declared the magazine ‘prohibited matter’ and sued its editor, R. S. Ross, only to lose the case on a technicality.

In 1919 Ross was in court again, this time for a satirical article about a supposed Bolshevik revolution in heaven. While the case was still pending, he plastered the magazine’s cover with ‘A Question for God: Father, what did you do in the great war?’ Ross was briefly jailed but appealed and found a sympathetic judge who allowed him to resume his anti-Christian crusade. Having failed to suppress the irrepressible Ross, Australian government agencies gave up trying to prosecute publishers for blasphemy.

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