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Australian Prohibition by Alfred McCoy - page 3

The 1950s

The boom in sly grog trading continued for almost a decade after the war. Continuing beer shortages and 6 p.m. closing regulations perpetuated some of the conditions which had made illegal liquor operations so lucrative during the war. Finding enforcement of sly grog laws enormously unpopular and difficult, some senior… Keep Reading

World War II

During World War II all of Sydney’s established vice trades flourished. Sydney was just emerging from the decade of the Depression, markedly worse there than in other Australian cities, when it experienced the shock of unprecedented affluence during World War II. As rear-area base and chief recreation area for several… Keep Reading

The 1930s: Phil Jeffs

If SP operations grew during the 1930s, the sly grog trade remained a constant source of illicit income and standover revenues. Phil ‘The Jew’ Jeffs, the leading survivor of the 1920s, became Sydney’s most prominent sly grog trader during the 1930s. Unlike Kate Leigh, Jeffs went into temporary hiding during… Keep Reading

The 1930s: The Rise of the SP

THE END OF THE COCAINE TRADE As chemists were gradually coerced into withdrawing from the illicit cocaine trade [by the 1929 Consorting Clause], the Drug Bureau and Customs worked to break up the smuggling and criminal distribution networks. By the mid-1930s police efforts began to have an impact on the… Keep Reading

The 1920s: the Razor Wars

During the half-century since organized crime first established itself in Sydney there have been only two periods of prolonged and intense gang warfare — the razor gang wars covering the years 1927-30 and the syndicate executions of 1966-8. And of the two, the razor gang era was by far the… Keep Reading

The 1920s

Sydney is the birthplace of organized crime in Australia. It has had all the requisite elements for the formation of a professional milieu: a colonial legacy of strong anti-police sentiment, a weak port economy producing prolonged periods of insufficient employment, impoverished slum dwellers for whom crime was an economic necessity,… Keep Reading

In the Beginning

By all accounts early N.S.W. police constables were corrupt, brutal and despised. Historian Russel Ward argues that, from the colony’s founding until the 1850s, its police force was comprised of ex-convicts who ‘were not the best prisoners but the worst’. By joining the despised police, constables broke the cardinal rule… Keep Reading

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