The department was divided into three branches - (r) the section which censored the correspondence of prisoners of war in the United Kingdom and British prisoners in enemy countries; (2) the private correspondence section which dealt with letters from members of the British Expeditionary Force, letters and parcels to and from certain foreign countries, press messages sent abroad by other means than cable, and newspapers.
In this branch more than a ton of mail matter was censored every week, exclusive of parcels; (3) the trade branch, which censored commercial correspondence with certain foreign countries, amounting to nearly four tons per week.
These complaints led to a declaration by the Foreign Office on Dec. 20 1915, that in future incoming press cablegrams would not be censored from a political point of view; the responsibility of publishing would be with the editors who knew that a prosecution against them, under the Defence of the Realm Act, might result from the publication of anything endangering the good relations between Great Britain and the Allies or the Neutrals.
These were primarily (and compulsorily) censored by military censors on the field, but they all came through the Press Bureau, which occasionally exercised a super-censorship. The methods adopted caused constant grumbling and discontent.
At other military fronts than France the system adopted was similar, but special difficulties occurred in regard to the despatches from Mesopotamia, which were censored at the Front, in India and at home.