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‘Cornerstone of the Commonwealth' : the Press Union and the preservation of the penny cable rate, 1941–67
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Denis Cryle
The article examines the protracted commitment of the Commonwealth Press Union (formerlythe Empire Press Union) to maintaining cheap press rates during the post-war period as a means of promoting information exchange and co-operation among commonwealth countries. In documenting the strenuous efforts of the Press Union, ultimately unsuccessful, to resist calls, from the late 1950s onwards, for increased press cable charges, the article demonstrates that the Press Union’s ongoing defence of the commonwealth press rate extended beyond its British leadership to include longstanding member countries, such as Australia, which had traditionally been disadvantaged by distance from London and exorbitant communication charges. Consequently, its protracted defence of the penny cable rate constitutes an important, if neglected, episode in understanding the changing character of commonwealth relations in the critical post-war years.