Excelsior 10 février 1924

The press minister

Mr. Maunoury has just sent a confidential circular to Mr. Poincaré's prefects to ask them to inform him, with great detail and precision, on the conditions in which the electoral struggle presents itself, particularly with regard to the formation of lists, the coalitions or agreements between the various political parties and groups, the means of propaganda used by potential candidates and the movements of opinion which occur in the electorate.
Nothing but very natural. The Minister of the Interior does not show any excessive or inappropriate thirst for information by requesting a report at the end of each month specially devoted to these current issues.
But here is probably a more novel curiosity. The first report of the prefects must contain an in-depth study on the action of the "local press". Obviously, this is a concern which did not exist in 1919, at the time of censorship, conveniently replaced by a newspaper strike not conducive to the clash of ideas. But know how to read the following lines:
“It will be necessary to let me know which regional newspapers are which, due to their importance, are likely to exercise a real influence on the electorate and to give me, for each of them, all useful information on their circulation, their leadership and their attitude toward government. I attach particular interest to the regular sending of these reports... which must reach me by confidential envelope under the stamp of my office. »
What does that mean? Will newspaper editors be subject to special surveillance? Or would we simply think of helping the most orthodox with Mr. Billiet's money? Prefects are used to understanding things half-heartedly. Yet this time they had to wonder what the motive was.

we prépare the elections