JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Bookshop may be in gun again over manuals

Date

Chris Johnson

Simon Maddox in his Beyond Q Bookshop in Curtin, with some of the military doctrine   training pamphlets.

Simon Maddox in his Beyond Q Bookshop in Curtin, with some of the military doctrine training pamphlets. Photo: Graham Tidy

Canberra's Beyond Q Bookshop is bracing itself for another military police raid since taking possession of more old training manuals that the Australian Defence Force regards as classified.

In April 2011 police confiscated 21 military doctrine training pamphlets - simply called "pams" by Defence - after being alerted by an ADF employee that the shop had them on its bookshelves for sale.

One was returned the next day because it was an essay about the American Civil War, but the rest have remained with Defence even though it promised to return them if they had been declassified.

Some of the military doctrine   training pamphlets.

Some of the military doctrine training pamphlets. Photo: Graham Tidy

The booklets dated as far back as 1937, leaving Beyond Q owner Simon Maddox dumbfounded as to how they could possibly still be classified material.

News of the raid on the Curtin bookstore went global after Fairfax Media first reported it, particularly since most of the pams can be easily bought on the internet or found in the Australian War Memorial library.

Last week, a retired major-general from interstate handed the bookshop about 80 pams dating as far back as 1914.

Mr Maddox put them straight on his shelves and has already sold some.

"I don't know if this means we will be raided again, but if the military police could ring us first this time so we can have all the cameras here, that would be helpful," he said.

"The retired officer said he was outraged that the other pams were taken from us and that there was nothing in the old books that could possibly be relevant to today's military tactics."

Mr Maddox said the most offensive thing about the 2011 raid was that he had been told that the ADF employee who dobbed in the bookshop actually wanted to photocopy one of the pams at Defence headquarters instead of paying for it.

He was subsequently told the employee was prevented from photocopying the booklet.

The bookshop owner wrote twice to the ADF in 2011 asking if the confiscated booklets had been declassified and, if so, could they be returned as promised. "I expected, at least, the courtesy of a reply but we never received one," he said.

In response to questioning by Fairfax Media last week, Defence confirmed that the pams remained with the ADF almost two years after they were confiscated.

"Publications and documents voluntarily surrendered to Military Police by an ACT bookstore in April 2011 remain in Defence possession," an ADF spokeswoman said.

"In line with government and Defence policy, classified Defence material must be appropriately declassified before it can be released into the public domain.

"As the current classification status of the publications and documents remains unclear, the documents will be held by Defence until they can be appropriately declassified or until appropriate disposal action can be determined."

The pams received by Beyond Q last week include an infantry training manual from 1914, a small arms manual from 1931, and a training and war manual from 1939.

8 comments

  • The Pams were probably instruction manuals on how to treat woman in the ADF. As they were published in 1937, my guess is it's the most up-to-date policy they have, so they're still using them...

    Commenter
    Hospes
    Date and time
    January 21, 2013, 8:18AM
    • I think most officers were gentleman back then - didn't need a manual to be told how to behave. That manual would need a re-write and a 2nd edition for many of the current crop.

      Commenter
      MST
      Date and time
      January 21, 2013, 11:01AM
  • clever way to advertise your products. I'm curious, did the bookshop notify the CT of these new arrivals? I haven't seen the print version of this article, but are there any words that say this story is an advertisement?

    but congratulations, now the people who read this material know where to go to buy it.....

    Commenter
    gg
    Date and time
    January 21, 2013, 8:36AM
    • One reason why mr Maddox has not had his property returned could be that the publications are being used to develop a new syllabus for Defence Operations in the 21st century. It mightbe prudent for him to deliver his current operational collection to the nearby Defence Staff College which is conveniently collocates with the RSPCA base. What a fascinating juxtaposition.

      Dogs of war and men of hate
      With no cause, we don't discriminate
      Discovery is to be disowned
      Our currency is flesh and bone
      Hell opened up and put on sale
      Gather 'round and haggle
      For hard cash, we will lie and deceive
      Even our masters don't know the web we weave

      Commenter
      Getting Serious
      Location
      Campbell
      Date and time
      January 21, 2013, 8:44AM
      • ROFL !

        Commenter
        MST
        Date and time
        January 21, 2013, 10:59AM
    • Seems odd that the ADF can go around and steal anything they want to because it "might" be classified. Surely they need get off their asses and actually say yes or no to whether it is classified, otherwise they can go anywhere and take anything.

      Commenter
      John
      Date and time
      January 21, 2013, 11:18AM
      • Mr Serious , pls give acknowledgement to David Gilmour if your going to quote his songs...

        Commenter
        Pink
        Location
        www
        Date and time
        January 21, 2013, 11:27AM
        • Pink (Floyd?),

          You have done that for me, although I fail to understand why you have neglected to mention Anthony Moore. Do you know something that I don't?

          Anyway, let's give them a little more credit with some brilliant crystal ball gazing:

          The dogs of war don't negotiate
          the dogs of war won't capitulate
          they will take and you (Me Maddox) will give
          and you must die so that they may live

          If there is another reader out there who thought I was claiming credit for someone else's creativity then I apologise to her/him. If there is then I have given readers more credit than Ms/Mr Pink obviously has.

          Commenter
          Getting Serious
          Date and time
          January 21, 2013, 5:28PM
      Comments are now closed
      Featured advertisers

      Special offers

      Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo