1950-1959
     
  • Naked and The Dead by Norman Mailer, Excerpts from My Diary by Leon Trotsky, Wise Parenthood by Marie Stopes, The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, Droll Stories by Honore de Balzac, and A Book of the 1000 Nights and A Night by Sir Richard Burton. Banned by Canada Customs in 1950. [Mind War: Book Censorship in English Canada, p. 10]
  • In 1950, amendments to the Criminal Code were directed against comic books due to their violence.  Forbidden titles included: Captain America, Weird Tales, Penalty Comics, Super Mysteries, Gunsmoke, Gun Fighters, Western Outlaws, Saddle Justice, Two-Gun Kid, Spy and Counterspy, Western Bandit Trails, Moon Girl, All-True Crime, Amazing Mysteries, Crime Fighters, Crime Reporter, Crime Does Not Pay, Crime and Punishment, Crimes by Women, Crime Patrol, Casey, Crime Photographer, Detective Comics, Gang Busters, Guilty, Suspense, Justice, Lawbreakers, Mr. District Attorney, Headline Comics, True Crime Comics, True Police Comics, Wanted, War Against Crime, Women Outlaws, Western True Crime. [Censors Ban Eleven More Comic Books, Daily Colonist 21 January 1950, p. 18]
  • The Amboy Dukes (author unknown).  In 1953, the Canadian Federation of Home and School and Parent Teacher Councils charged that this pocket book was causing Vancouver youths to mimic the characters depicted by joining gangs, fighting with knives and razors, and copying their "sex behavior."  They wanted to ban from newsstands pocket books with illustrated covers.  A distributor of this book had been acquitted in the past because he claimed that it was a sociological book intended for students.  [Delinquents Got Idea in Thrill Book, The Vancouver Sun 11 February 1953, p. 2]
  • Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell.  In 1953 this book was removed from Victoria and Vancouver newsstands.  It was removed from Vancouver stands on the advice of the City Prosecutor.  The police had recently closed the play based on the novel, and had charged eight actors and other members of the Everyman Theatre with indecency. [Mind War: Censorship in English Canada, p. 12; Tobacco Road, The Vancouver Sun 23 January 1953, p. 3]
  • In 1954, Victoria Mayor Claude Harrison advocated the burning of subversive books, especially those thought to be communist.  "Any books or literature which are of a seditious or subversive nature will go out of the library as far as I'm concerned... And any member of the library staff who belongs to a Communist organization will go out behind the book ... It's time that many libraries throughout Canada are cleaned up."  He stated that tax dollars should not support seditious works, and offered the use of his own fireplace to destroy the offending material.  MLA Lydia Arsons agreed with the mayor saying, "These books should be destroyed.  If we remove all books about Communism and by Communists we are not denying any citizens freedom."  [Harrison Wants to Burn Books From Library Held 'Subversive', The Daily Colonist 27 January 1954, p. 1,5]
  • In 1954, the Junior Chamber of Commerce wanted to use the Victoria Public Library as a depot for crime comics; ten comics could be traded for one hardcover book.  The members wanted to get the comics out of circulation and were planning to publicly burn the comics they received.  The library refused to participate in their plan.  [The Vancouver Sun 27 November 1954]
  • The Atom Spy Hoax by William Reuben.  In 1955, sixty-four copies were sent to Canada from the U.S. but were detained at Customs.  The author then travelled to Canada, bringing three cartons of the books, but was denied entry into the country at the Vancouver airport. This book was not on the list of prohibited books at that time; Customs sent a copy to officials in Ottawa for a decision. [Mind War: Book Censorship in English Canada, p. 14; Book Ban Denied at Ottawa, Daily Colonist 14 April 1955, p. 15]
  • In September 1955, an objection to a book on Father Divine was received at Vancouver Public Library.  Objectors felt that the book "does not reflect credit on Father Divine." [Book-Banners Leave Our Library Alone, The Vancouver Sun 30 September 1955, p. 36; Mind War: Book Censorship in English Canada, p. 14]
  • Peyton Place by Grace Metalious.  Banned by Customs in 1956; the Deputy Minister of National Revenue felt that it was "shocking, coarse, and vulgar."  The publisher appealed the decision and, in April 1958, the Canadian Tariff Board removed the ban and allowed the book to be imported into Canada. [Mind War: Book Censorship in English Canada, p. 16; Freedom to Read Week Kit 1996 A Chronology of Freedom of Expression in Canada, Book and Periodical Council, p. 3]
  • Lolita by Vladimir Vladimivovich Nabokov.  In the Fall of 1958 this title was placed on Canada Customs list of banned books.  A shipment from the U.S. was seized at the border, but was later cleared for import. [Mind War: Book Censorship in English Canada, p. 16]
  • Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller.  Banned from Canada in 1958. [RCMP Swoops on Banned Sex Novel, The Vancouver Sun 14 October 1961, p. 1,2]
  • Canada: The Foundations of its History by Stephen Leacock.  In 1959, distribution of this book was prevented in the province by the BC Liquor Act, which prohibited the advertisement of liquor.  The book had been published eighteen years previously.  It was sponsored by the House of Seagrams, a liquor company, whose sponsorship was indicated prominently on the book cover; thus, authorities felt that the book  was acting as a liquor advertisement.  [The Vancouver Sun 11 March 1959; Leacock's Literary Life, Halifax Daily News, 5 March 2000, p. 36] 
  • Women of Rome Alberto Moravia.  On the 1959 list of books banned from entering Canada. [The Vancouver Sun 9 May 1959]
[top]

s
Last Updated July 2003