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1927, Albert Joseph Canon - Unfit For Publication
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The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 18 Jun 1927 1

Saturday, June 18.


    Evelyn Amelia Charleswood, abduction; Norrie Kennedy, break, enter, and steal, Albert Joseph Cannon, indecency; Ernest Robert Nye, false pretences.

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Barrier Miner, Thu 23 Jun 1927 2


Sydney, Thursday.

    When Albert Joseph Cannon [aka Canon] was charged at the Darlinghurst Sessions yesterday with a serious crime, the accused declared that Henry Ivers and his wife had made the charge against him in order that the husband should get his job. He declared that it was a frame-up.

    After hearing expert evidence, the jury acquitted Cannon, who complained that he had been kept in gaol for 69 days awaiting trial.

    Later the jurymen took up a collection for Cannon.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 23 Jun 1927 3

(Before Judge Edwards.)

    Crown Prosecutor, Mr Neil McTague.


    Albert Joseph Cannon [aka Canon], 26, was acquitted on a charge of bestiality, [with a cat], at Marrickville, on April 16 and discharged

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Northern Star, Fri 24 Jun 1927 4


Sydney, Thursday.

    When Albert Joseph Cannon was charged at Darlinghurst Sessions with a certain offence he said that Henry Ivers, a presser, and his wife, Elsa Ivers, had made the charge against him in order that the husband should get his job. He said it was a “frame up.”

    After hearing expert evidence the jury acquitted Cannon, who complained that he had been kept in gaol 69 days awaiting trial. When the verdict was announced the jurymen took up a collection for Cannon.

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Singleton Argus, Sat 25 Jun 1927 5


    Insisting that he was the victim of a plot by two dangerous people, Albert Joseph Cannon, charged with an unnameable crime, was acquitted at Darlinghurst Sessions on Wednesday.

    That Henry Ivers, a presser, and his German wife, Elsa Ivers, made the charge against him, in order that the husband should get his job, was Cannon’s counter-charge and defence.

    Expert evidence negatived the vile charge against Cannon, who complained that he had been kept in gaol for 69 days awaiting trial.

    It transpired that 14 days of the term was a sentence imposed for the theft of a postcard from the Ivers.

    The jury’s verdict was not guilty.

    The foreman expressed sympathy with Cannon on account of his long detention, and suggested that recompense should be made to him.

    Judge Edwards said that no fund existed from which recompense could be made.

    The jurymen, who drew fees for three days’ service, however, were practical. The gave the acquitted man money.

    Applause followed the verdict of not guilty and a large crowd of sympathisers congratulated Cannon.

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Sunday Times, Sun 3 Jul 1927 6



     “Shush! Shush! Shush!”

     That’s the same old futile way to give Communism a chance to get into action, which enabled other fool systems to get away with the goods.

    If Communism is to be combatted, it has to be resolutely met, faced fearlessly, and overthrown.

    If the philosophy of Communism cannot be destroyed by the philosophy of an opposing system, then eventually Communism will succeed; but, if the philosophy of Communism succumbs before the reason of Capitalism, then Communism, as a system, will never—save in isolated areas, and under exceptional circumstances—emerge from the morass of theory to play Gargantua on the foot walk of life.

    Whilst opposing Communism as a system, that was sired by Iniquity from the dam Poverty, it is one the less essential that we should resolutely face the necessity for immediate reform—and work for the steady progress of the system that governs our life, for no system can be perfect, and no system can survive, unless, in every age, it is scientifically adapted to the needs of the majority of the people.


    During last week, at Darlinghurst, a man named Albert Joseph Cannon, was released as innocent, after 55 days in gaol awaiting trial. The public should know just what that means. In effect, this is what happened. The man in question was accused of a certain crime. He was put in prison. He had been a man of substance, bail would have been forthcoming; but, being a poor man, he spent the time awaiting trial in goal.
    As a man awaiting trial, he was subject to gaol discipline and food. He was locked in his cell at 5 o’clock.

     At 9 o’clock, the lights were turned out, and he was left in the dark to realise that, in Australia, it was very easy for an innocent man to spend his time under conditions that are deemed proper punishment for convicted felons.


    The world’s history shows that treatment similar to this has often turned sensitive men into brooding, malice-haunted, revenge-seeking brutes.

    Can it be wondered at? If the innocent are not safe, is there no means by which the city of Sydney can be made safe for men who have done no harm?

    Can we, as a community, dare to imprison Cannon without incurring the responsibility for our actions? Is the State to be permitted to ride rough-shod over the rights of individuals? If the answer be in the affirmative, then we have definitely established in the State the claim of the Communists that the community can do no harm—that individuals have no claim against the community.


    If any of you Sydneyites were arrested to-morrow and put into gaol, kept there for 55 fays, with hominy for breakfast and hominy for tea, and a dinner that would disgrace the hand-out from a blackfellow’s mia-mia, and at the expiration of two long months in durance vile, you were told that there was no case against you, would you demand some compensation for your very unnecessary imprisonment?


    The man in question, Albert Joseph Cannon, after spending his 55 days awaiting trial, appeared before Mr Justice Edwards on a vile charge. Expert evidence proved Cannon’s innocence, and he was released.

    The foreman of the jury asked if recompense could not be made the man, but the learned judge was ignorant of any fund that could be utilised for such a purpose, hence the jurymen had a tarpaulin muster and gave the prisoner a little bit to go on from their own meagre store.


    Such a modus operandi is as crudely unjust as any that may be imagined, and it becomes necessary that we get down to the commonplace conception of justice.

    How are we to progress as a community if we rudely ride roughshod over the rights of individuals?

    If the State does not compensate Cannon, who will dare to blame Cannon if he becomes a real life cannon, belching forth high explosives on those who treated him as criminals—without any evidence save that of a man and his wife, whom experts say made statements that could not possibly be correct. Let us face facts. The one red raw fact that we at present face is that Cannon, having been kept a lengthy term in prison, was found innocent, and told to quit prison as the only recompense to which he is entitled.

    The last straw will be the presentation of a bill for board and residence in gaol by the authorities. If Communism is to be killed, capitalism must work overtime to secure justice for the meanest in the land.


1     The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 18 Jun 1927, p. 10. Emphasis added.

2     Barrier Miner, Thu 23 Jun 1927, p. 1.

3     The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 23 Jun 1927, p. 6.

4     Northern Star, Fri 24 Jun 1927, p. 6.

5     Singleton Argus, Sat 25 Jun 1927, p. 5.

6     Sunday Times, (Sydney, NSW), Sun 3 Jul 1927, p. 5. Emphasis in original text.