By Donal Musgrave
BRITISH parents of all denominations are to bc asked to boycott bookshops selling pornographic publications. This is part of a new move by the London Committee Against Obscenity to stop the increasing flow of pornography into this country from America.
Up to now one of the principal aims of the inter-denominational committee, headed by Fr. T. Corhishley, S.J., has been the amendment of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act. This aim has been achieved and the amended Bill, which was passed in the House of Lords last week, will make it easier and quicker to prosecute publishers and importers of pornography.
"But the hardest task is' still ahead", Fr. Corbishley said this week. "What we have done is to make the law workable. Now we must see that it works", To make it work the committee is aiming to mobilise public opinion more actively on a national level and especially to obtain public backing for the
This will be dune through a series of public meetings and lectures to be held around the country. And also through national organisations like Youth Impact, the Catholic Teachers' Federation. and the National Board of Catholic Women.
"We also hope to persuade parents and others to boycott certain bookshops where the stuff is sold," Fr. Corbishley said.
"Tons of it Is being shipped into the country virtually as ballast. The trade in America has a turnover of between one and two billion dollars annually and these merchants of corruption are simply dumping their surplus on the British market.
"If we can deter the big men at the top then the little men will soon run short of supplies", he added. "Big men" number about 12 in Britain, and of these six are in London alone.
The London Committee is voluntary and its work is financed by donations. Among its members are: Fr. Corhishley, Superior of Farm Street; George Goyder. member of the National Assembly of the Church of England: Rev. Kenneth Greet, secretary of the Methodist department of Christian Citizenship; Rev. Raymond Apple. minister of Bayswater Synagogue; attd Mrs. C. V. DesIandes, a member of the National Executive of the N.U.T.
Fr. Corbishley told me that one of the great problems facing the campaign was lack of funds. Up to now all its work has been 'me on voluntary donations totalling £300, some of which had been given by Archbishop Heenan or Westminster.
"We need only about £500 to carry us through our national camentign", he said. "The more we get, the more effective the campaign will be."