The two men charged are:
Paul Flesch, proprietor of the Austral Book Shoop in Collins Street.
John Rostill Petty, of Toorak Road, Toorak, newsagent.
Flesch has been summonsed over the sale of the book and Petty over its distribution.
Petty, 30, is son of the Victorian Agent-General in London (Sir Horace Petty).
Flesch and Petty have been charged under subsection 2 of section 3 of the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act. They are to appear in the City Court on June 1.
The charges were laid on the information of Sergeant S. I. Miller, chief of the police vice squad.
Sub-section (1) of section 3 of the act reads in part:
“It shall not be lawful to print or publish or cause or procure to be printed or published:
- In relation to any judicial proceedings any indecent matter or any indecent medical, surgical or physiological details being matter or details publication of which would be calculated to injure public morals.”
Sub-section (2) of section 3 of the act reads in part:
“It shall not be lawful to sell, distribute or give away or cause or procure to be sold, distributed or given away or to have in possession, sell, distribution or giving away any newspaper or document (whether printed or published in Victoria or elsewhere) containing or purporting to contain any matter or details or particulars of which would, if the newspaper or document were printed or published in Victoria, be a contravention of the provision of the section.”
The act provides for penalties, if a corporation, of not more than £1000, and if any other person, of not more than £500, or to imprisonment for not more than four months, or both.
In Sydney last night the distributor of “The Trial of Lady Chatterley” (Mr. A. Sheppard) said a meeting of the Council for Civil Liberties would be held tonight to discuss plans for defending the book.
He and the publisher, Mr. L. Fink, would go to Melbourne within the next week to co-ordinate plans with the Freedom to Read Committee.
The defence of the book would be undertaken jointly by himself and Mr. Fink, the Council for Civil Liberties and the Freedom to Read Committee.
Moves to gather a panel of expert witnesses for the defence were also under way.
“We are confident that the law under which the prosecution has been laid will be found inapplicable,” he added.
Mr. Sheppard said the first batch of the new print order of 5000 copies had arrived from the printer yesterday.