'Censorship on Canberra Times' the headline read on this day in 1961. The story told how the minister for the interior, Gordon Freeth, had launched a heavy attack on the newspaper over its reporting of sports ground rentals, of all things.
The minister seemed to have taken offence at a pretty mild-sounding editorial two days earlier pointing out community concerns with the cost of hiring sporting fields.
For reasons that are a little hard to decipher, but seem to run to his belief that the paper had misrepresented sporting groups upset with the price hikes, Mr Freeth said the editorial showed "it was quite useless to expect objective reporting from that newspaper''.
As such he felt it was "not likely that he or officers of the Department would be inclined to make available any information or comment to The Canberra Times in the future, as had been done as a matter of courtesy in the past".
Our editor was not terribly concerned at the bluster of the minister, responding with a note that began: "The Canberra Times reserves the right to believe whom it pleases".
"It is not hard to imagine that after a series of egregious blunders, the Department of the Interior would prefer not to have publicity for some of its decisions," it read.
It went on to list some of these blunders, including the closure of the tourist bureau at the height of "a record tourist season'' and a "calamitous attempt to increase local rents arbitrarily''.
The editor's note ended with this zinger: "The Canberra Times, which has outlived many Ministers for the Interior, will continue to provide information on the Department's doings."
For the record, Mr Freeth left Parliament after losing his seat in 1969 and died in 2001.