Conclusion: The Petrovs and the 1954 general election
In his speech, Menzies simply illustrated what he been had saying for years about the dangers of communism.
RONALD W. LAIDLAW
Adapted by Frank Morris
Minister Robert Menzies picked the judges he wanted for his royal
commission, and the hearing dragged on for months. Meanwhile, the 1954
general election campaign was up and running.
The Petrov Affair
seemed to demonstrate what Menzies had been saying for years about the
dangers of communism, and it undoubtedly won him votes.
like Evatt, believed that he had stage-managed the whole scheme to help
him win the election. If Menzies did, he was extremely cunning.
formally reminded Liberal candidates that the matter was sub judice
and, as such, should not be discussed in the campaign.
some candidates remarked on the familiar theme of Labour’s soft attitude
towards communism; and Arthur Fadden harped on it, regularly. Of course, the events surrounding Petrov’s defection had been widely publicised.
Menzies won the election by 64 seats to 57 in the House of Representatives. Labour picked up five new seats.
And what happened to the Royal Commission?
Petrov Royal Commission published its report in August 1955. It did not
identify one individual who could be prosecuted for an illegal act.
However, Petrov did give ASIO and allied security organisations valuable information about the Soviet espionage apparatus.
During the Petrov affair, Evatt blundered as both lawyer and politician.
members of his secretariat were named as possible sources of
information contained in one of the documents handed over, and he
represented both men before the commission.
Menzies attacked Evatt
Evatt believed that the inquiry and witnesses lacked integrity, and that the whole affair had been engineered to destroyed him.
behaviour exhausted the judges’ patience. They believed he was
confusing his legal and political roles, and they cancelled leave for
him to appear before them. This gave Menzies another lawyer, the
opportunity to attack Evatt as being reckless and irresponsible.
Later, in the parliamentary debate on the commission’s report, Evatt
announced that he had been in touch with the Soviet foreign minister,
wanted to check the authenticity of letters produced before the
commission, as Molotov had told him the letters were fabrications.
This statement was met with derisive laughter. It marked the end of Evatt’s credibility as a prospective prime minister.
[Mastering Australian History; Ronald W. Laidlaw; 1988.]
The Pinball Game: A game lost in antiquity
Political cartoon depicts President Abraham Lincoln playing a bagatelle game, generally considered the basic concept for pinball.
HERBERT B. JONES
Adapted by Frank Morris
The origin in of pinball is lost in antiquity. The earliest known reference to a similar
device is in Chapter 14 of Pickwick Papers, published by Charles
Dickens in 1836. The narrator describes the Peacock Tavern, where
members of the Pickwick
“(They) beguiled their
time chiefly with such amusement as the Peacock afforded, which were
limited to a bagatelle-board on the first floor.”
The game probably resembled the board, illustrated, which is generally regarded as the ancestor of pinball.
In early 1929, John J. Sloan, an advertising solicitor for Billboard – a magazine which caters for vendors, circuses, carnival and coin-operated machines – observed an adaptation of bagatelle in the basement of his apartment.
The device had been built by the janitor for the amusement of his friends.
Drifting into Depression
unknown, the unsung inventor of modern pinball utilised the traditional
scoring objective of bagatelle – holes or cups in a plain surface with
the score-value of each hole prominently displayed.
The basement bagatelle was not coin-operated.
on developing a new source of advertising revenue he put his new
discovery into a company to market several coin-operated bagatelle or
Probably it was because the games were too large
for the average location, and too expensive, he was part of an economy
already drifting into the depression.
companies were not successful and soon vanished from the amusement
scene. But not before other entrepreneurs shrewdly appraised the
enormous potential of coin-operated bagatelle.
“On a gloomy day
in October of depression-clouded 1931,” writes a veteran coin-machine
historian, “a young businessman, Raymond T. Maloney, persuaded his
senior partners to join him in a bold venture. This was, admittedly,
after hours of stubborn argument.
A nickel’s worth of cheer
result of their decision, a simple but fascinating, colour-splashed
pinball game was introduced in America in 193l. By the time 1932 had
dawned, under clouds of creaking, dark depression, the rain-bow bright
game Ballyhoo was a national sensation.
“Just on 50,000 Ballyhoo were sold in seven months.”
historian continues: “In 1932, the lexicon of locations did not include
taverns, but barber shops, restaurants, gasoline stations and other
miscellaneous stores and – ‘wherever people congregate’, said the Ballyhoo advertisements – it gave brightness to the otherwise sombre scenes.
“It gave Americans a penny’s worth of escape from worry, a nickel’s worth of cheer in a grim world.”
slot-machine operators constituted the first market for Ballyhoo. But
they were joined by throngs of other citizens on the unemployed list who
risked their small savings to invest in Ballyhoo. They decided to
embark on a new career of self-employment.
Anyone who could scrape together US$16 or US$160 for a10-game Ballyhoo could be in the market.
Indeed, the slot-machine boom was a mild event compared to the pinball boom a quarter of a century later.
[Coin-Operated Amusement by Herbert B. Jones. Published by Bally Manufacturing Corp., Chicago, USA.]
Elizabeth II: 60 Glorious Years – Celebrating The Queen’s Diamond
Jubilee; Elvis Presley – The legend lives on; Razzle Dazzle Olympics –
NZ’s Peter Snell won two gold medals; Australia At War – The book censor
is coming!; Great Kiwi Firsts -- Magazines hit the screen.
Some Pressing Matters: Century-long history can’t hide NZ’s Truth
years after his stint at this ramshackle, rambunctious weekly, Redmer
Yska has now written about it – Truth: The rise and fall of the people’s
paper. As a scandal sheet Truth sank into liquidation last year. Yska
has devoted nearly three years to researching and writing the book,
which traces Truth history from 1905, when the first rough copies rolled
off the new
presses in downtown Wellington, to 2009 when just 12,000 copies were
selling a week. The paper in its prime was read by a million people, and
the paper’s reach extended everywhere.
Yska’s book also touches on London-based reporter Eric Baume. He
writes: “Known for dictating copy to staff as he strolled in evening
dress through the corridors of the partly bombed Savoy. Baume became
[Ezra] Norton’s most celebrated correspondent. But the glittering social
round at the Savoy meant the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour caught him
off-guard. After the war ended, Norton summarily recalled Baume to
Sydney. He reportedly sees a photograph of Baume wearing spats.” The
grandfather of Truth’s brash approach to telling the news was John
Norton, the Australian proprietor behind Sydney’s own Truth and father
of Ezra. The beast Norton created was already an institution by the time
he died in 1916 after an eight-day coma, “having turned a murky yellow
colour” – the same shade as his journalism. Adapted by Frank Morris.
[Ezra Norton founded the Daily Mirror, Sydney. He also published Truth