When Woolloongabba was Wattle Scented

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Promiscuous Use Prohibited - Why Anzac Day Isn't Made In China!

Kops Brewers, Brisbane. Honour to the living. Immortal glory to the dead. 
Trademark rejected.

Ever notice the lack of Anzac, as opposed to Australia Day merchandise disgoroging itself from the supermarket shelves. Look high, look low, the only or pruduct sporting the name  Anzac will be on a packet of biscuits, all thanks to the Protection of Word 'Anzac’ Regulations were made in 1921 under the War Precautions Act Repeal Act 1920, the War Precautions Act being the original legislation that protects the word ‘Anzac’, and any word which alludes to it, from inappropriate use. The use of the name Anzac for a biscuit is one of the few very few exceptions that protect the commercial exploitation of the name Anzac .

Sydney Morning Herald, October 21st, 1916. "Promiscuous Use Prohibited".

When enacted in 1916, all manner of businesses, fruit shops, boarding houses and pubs, even theatre-troupes were forced by the new legislation to remove any reference from there business names and commercial operations. At the same time patents and trademarks in relation to the word Anzac were expunged and future applications would be rejected, no type of merchandise or product could bare the Anzac name or an  allude to it.

Business premises around the country were forced to remove all references to ANZAC.

The Act provides for the Minister, today it is the Minister for Vet Affairs. to grant permission for the use of the word Anzac and dispute the Act being quite clear in its purpose, this didn't stop all manner of persons applying to use the name but in nearly all instances they were denied. Even Australia's celebrity aviator had his request to name one of his aircraft Anzac for the Centenary Race from England to Australia. Smith had to settle for the name Lady of the Southern Cross and subsequently withdrew from the 1934 race due to a lack of preparation.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith "... Government regrets that it is unable to see its way to accede to your request.

Similar legislation was enacted in the United Kingdom where all manner of businesses were identified as exploiting the Anzac name, one example being the ANZAC Motor Company Ltd who manufactured trucks in England that were built on a chassis imported from General Motors Corporation of U.S.A..

ANZAC Motor Co. Ltd. Made in England on a U.S.A. built chassis.

Thanks to the War Precautions Act of 1921, Anzac Day will be one public holiday where you will not be able to theme your car with a plastic novelty or lounge around in Anzac themed thongs and bikini tops. Next time you're at the supermarket make sure you buy a tin of Anzac biscuits as the Returned & Services League receives 4 per cent of the sales.

There is a complete album of material I fished from the National Archives of Australia posted on the McWhirters Project Facebook page. Look out for but try not takingf offence at    Anzac : The Board Game and The Anzac Gollywog Co., a double harbinger of inappropriateness.

To read more about the Australian Government legislation that protects the name Anzac, click here.


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