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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Glass House Occupants Should not Throw Stones

Glass House Occupants Should not Throw Stones.

Sir,—Although the election is over and past, yet the canaille of Mr Seymour's committee must, jackal-like, try to gnaw the bones of the unsuccessful candidate, and slander his supporters. To be sure, Mr Seymour set them the example at the last former election. Yet it is laughable to find these low-bred suckling Seymourites prating about "Statesmanship and political economy," concerning which their effusion signed "Marina" exhibits them to know as much about such as the average Maori does about astronomy If they must expend their energies, they should do so in a way that would bring them in cash to pay the hotelkeepers for their brandy, &c., instead of by the exchequer of the Insolvent Court. The £500 reward for burning the Government Buildings is still obtainable, and no doubt a still larger sum may be earned by discovering to the Bank of New Zealand who stole the £3,700. The scapegoat Murdoch has been acquitted. The jury's solemn verdict declared he was not guilty. The prizes are within their reach. Dare they try to earn them.—I am, &c.,


It would have been open to the defendant to have pleaded the letter to which this was a reply, in mitigation of damages, but he had not taken that course. Several courses lay open to the defendant, he might have pleaded provocation for acts or writings on the part of the plaintiff towards himself. He might have pleaded that the charges were true. He had not done so, and it was not therefore open to him to prove that Mr Griffiths was guilty of the facts alleged. The only plea was a denial of all the allegations. The most material allegation was: Did these words apply to Mr Griffiths? He could not understand how the defendant proposed to disprove it. The only course open to him was to call other persons, who would say they did not understand that it did mean that. The action was not brought with a view of making money, but he hoped if the facts were established to their satisfaction it would be marked by substantial damages, as a lesson to those who conducted newspapers not to assail private characters, unless they are able to come into court and contend that what had been said was true, and to establish it. If Mr Griffiths had not taken this course what would have been said of him in the future.

Christopher James Whitney Griffiths deposed: I am an Auctioneer and Commission Agent residing at Blenheim, and the plaintiff in this action. I have resided here about 16 years. I was before that time in the Bank of New Zealand at Picton. I gave up that appointment about 1864. I was in the Bank three years. There was a person named Murdoch in the Bank. I was teller, and had charge of a quantity of cash; on leaving the Bank I handed it over to Murdoch, and afterwards learned that a large sum was missing. Murdoch was arrested, committed for trial, and tried in the Supreme Court at Nelson. I was the principal witness against him. Murdoch was acquitted. My evidence was that I had handed the money over to him. The amount missing was L3,700. For some years I held the office of Clerk to the Berch at Blenheim. I was clerk at the time of the lire on November 1st, 1876. I occuped at that time a room in the building as clerk. An inquest on the fire was held, I was present, and gave evidence. The result of the inquest was that the origin of the fire was not known, but one witness stated that it originated in my offices. There were a good many rumorsabout as to the origin of the fire. I was a considerable loser by the fire. I remember at ward being offered in January 1879 for the discovery of the incendiary. L500 were offered by Government, and a large sum besides by the insurance office. A detective was here several weeks at the same time or a little later. I have taken some interest in politics. I was a member of Mr Seymour's committee in the last election, but did not take such an active part as in times past. Mr Seymour was elected. I saw the Express of September 24th, and the letter the subject matter if the libel. I saw the letter "Marina" in the "Times" of September 16th to which it refers. I had nothing to do with the authership of that letter.

Mr Conolly was about to ask Mr Grffiths what he understood by the letter, when Mr Travers submitted that it would be necessary first to show what circumstances at he trial would justify him in believing that he was meant as the scapegoat of Murdoch.

Examination continued:—I handed to Murdoch several thousands of pounds, and one particular parcel of L3, 700—money that technically was not in the cash. It consisted of banknotes issued by other branches of the Bank of New Zealand than Picton. It was the practice in those days for most of the branches to issue their own notes, and every Monday to debit by amount each particular page 4 branch, with all the notes issued by that branch It was that parcel that was missing and that Murdoch was accused of stealing, and the whole point of the defence was whether I had actually handed over that money. A month after I had left the Bank. (August 9th) I was written to by the Manager at Picton, who informed me that several branches of the Bank of New Zealand had written to Picon stating that the amount of certain notes with which they had been debited, and which they properly should have received had not come to hand, and he asked me to come through to Picton and explain it, as I had been the party who had debuted it. This debit was the first debited for some months past. When I received this letter from Picton I at once went through to see what was the matter. For I could not understand it. I found that on a certain date L3.700 had been debitted to certain branches, and I also found that not one of the branches to whom these amounts bad been debited had acknowledged the receipt of the money which should have been transmitted about September 1. I then remembered the fact that, I had handed over to Murdoch when I left the Bank all these notes, to the amount of L3,700. Mr Murdoch had been some time in the employ of the. Bank, and was acquainted with this practice. I recollected particularly that the money had been banded over to him on account of it being a very large bundle, and unusually large in amount, and entirely different in appearance from any other bundles of notes that we had in the Bank at the time. I also remembered writing the ticket with the figures on the top. When I handed (he bundle to Murdoch he counted them all, and in the presence of another clerk. On finding that none of this money had been received, and remembering I had handed it over to Murdoch, and the fact that Murdoch had quarrelled with the manager and got himself dismissed, an action that was entirely unexplained, I went to the manager and told him that Murdoch had stolen the money Murdoch remained in the Bank till after September I, he was then suspended and resided at Picton. I gave this evidence at the trial. I remember the report of the trial in the Nelson papers it was accurate and pretty full. The point raised was whether I had not myself taken it. The defence denied Murdoch had received it, and that I had taken the money and committed perjury to screen myself. It would be impossible that anyone but Murdoch or myself should have been guilty. The Judge in summing up made some remark about a witness named Blundell: the Counsel for the defence immediately denied casting any imputation upon him. but did not deny casting any imputation upon me.

Mr Travers said the facts shown by Mr Griffiths were that he was teller to the Bank, and on August 9th he voluntarily left the Bank. As teller he had the cash and a certain parcel of branch notes amounting to £3,700, with which each particular branch had been properly debited before hanging them over to Mr Griffiths. Mr Murdoch would naturally have seen to the correctness of these entries, and so when Mr Griffiths left the Bank he must have left it under circumstances that would have relieved him from any after imputation in connection with this transaction that could have been cast on him He submitted that a scapegoat in the sense his friend imposed it, was a person on whom the sin was cast by the guilty person. There was not a tittle of evidence to justify the smallest suspicion that Mr Griffiths himself was the guilty person, and therefore he could not be considered to be using Murdoch as a scapegoat. He submitted Mr Griffiths could not, without showing some suitable guilt attaching to him, give such a definition of the word "scapegoat."

Mr Conolly said that it was Mr Griffiths who started the prosecution.

His Honor said the question put by Mr Conolly was: "What was the opinion the witness formed upon reading the letter?"

Mr Travers read the case of Danes and Hartley, (Law Journal, volume 18, Exchequer 81) and said that the evidence must not be of mere conjecture, or suspicion, but of circumstances which would justify the sense imputed. He submitted that there was nothing to justify the connection of Mr Griffiths with the word scapegoat. In the Judge's summing-up he referred to Mr Griffiths' evidence, which, he said was given in "a clear, open, and ready manner, and in its more material points had received ample confirmation from other witnesses."

Mr Conolly then put the question to Mr Griffiths, who said: "I understood I was meant by the word "scapegoat."

Mr Conolly: Did the Judge say: "If Mr Griffiths was not a felon and a perjurer, then Murdoch was undoubtedly guilty?"

Mr Griffiths: He used those words.

Mr Conolly: In another part occur these words: "The Judge, in summing-up the case to the jury said everything which could have been done for the prisoner had been done by his counsel, and the question for the jury now to determine was, 'Did the prisoner receive the notes, as sworn to by Griffiths, and to some extent corroborated by other witnesses, or did he not?' Either the witness Griffiths had perjured himself, and was himself the thief, or the prisoner was page 5 guilty." Is that a fair report of what His Honor said?

Mr Griffiths: It is.

Mr Conolly: "In another part the counsel for the defence had said-"Not for one moment have I ever dreamt of directing suspicion towards Blundell."

Mr Griffiths: When I left the Bank I took a receipt from the Bank, and Murdoch took it with the notes. Mr T. Warren was Manager at Picton at the time. I was the originator of the trial, but I do not know who laid the information. At the inquest on the fire I was told by several persons that I was suspected. When the detective was here I heard the same report again, and, further, that I was going to he arrested on the charge of burning the buildings. Looking at the fact I regard the reference to the tire in the letter, "Glass House Occupants" as [unclear: to] me.

Cross-examined by Mr Travers: Mr [unclear: doch] was in the Bank on September 3rd, Murdoch being teller on that date, and succeeded by Mr Blandell. The practice with the branch notes was resumed for the first time on the occasion on which they were debited. Murdoch was about a day or two in the Bank at Picton before I left. He was agent just previously at Wakamarina. There was no necessity for him to see the debit of the £3,700. The account of each branch was debitted with the amount of its notes. The notes were transmitted at the end of the month, but there would be no entry showing that, excepting it be in the letter-book. If the debits existed at the date I handed over the notes, I do know that it would have been a proper precaution for Murdoch to ascertain whether the debits were correct, as represented by the notes. I do not think it was his duty to receive more than what I gave him. At the end of the month, when it became his duty to transmit notes to the branches, he would have been able to see whether the notes were there. Murdoch [unclear: transmit] the notes for the remaining portio of the month, but omitted to transmit the £3,700. The various branches wrote, because the notes sent them did not represent the amount for which they had been debited. I came to the conclusion that Murdoch had stolen them, because I had handed the notes over to Murdoch, and he had not given them to the accountant. When I told the manager he said it was very awkward for me, but he did not accuse me of taking the notes. No one suggested to me at the time the expediency of charging Murdoch with the felony. I never had the smallest doubt that Murdoch was guilty. I felt that, as the matter lay between myself and him, if he was not convicted I knew suspicion would attach to me. Detective Brown conferred with me about the fire several times when he was here. I acted with him to a certain extent, and gave him all the information I was in possession of. His general conduct when he first came led me to suppose that he was impressed with the rumor he had heard that I was the author of the fire. He told me before he went away that it was ridiculous. I did not mention the rumor to him in a jocular way. I had offered a reward on the part of the insurance offices. When Mr Brown came to me I gave him all the information I could, but I never went to him. The reward was offered by me as Secretary to the Insurance Association. I signed [unclear: reward]. In my capacity as Secretary I was acting in concert with Detective Brown. I have known the defendant and he and have I been on terms of acquaintanceship. I was a loser by the fire. I may have been indebted to he plaintiff at the time of the lire. I do not remember his excusing an account of some £20 or £30 I owed him at the time. I am not conscious of any such obligation. I won't contradict Mr Johnson. I do not recollect Mr Johnson or anybody else making me a present at that time. Since the lire J had a clerk named Scaife. I can remember sending him to copy out the items of an account. I never knew till this moment thai Mr Johnson excused me on account of my loss. I believe that in the account referred to there was a dispute. I think it was there and then settled. I used to read both papers during the election. I never wrote to Mr Johnson to ask for any explanation or apology or the name of the writer, before issuing the writ for this action. I was not on sufficiently good terms to be able to do so. I think he knew I was going to serve him with a writ, because he settled all his property on his wife the day before.

[An adjournment of half-an-hour then took place.]

On the Court resuming at 2 o'clock, Mr Griffiths's cross-examination was continued. He said: There were two newspapers published in Blenheim at the time of the election, I read the issue of October 3rd of the "Times" containing remarks upon this action. The day of the declaration was the third. I have no knowledge when the writ was served on the defendant. The "Times" supported the party I have been working with, I have taken no proceedings against the editor or proprietor of the "Times" for publishing this, nor have I asked for an apology. I do not know how it appeared in that paper.

Mr Travers submitted that the fact was an important one inasmuch as it showed that on the very day the writ was served, another paper containing the alleged libellous matter, and purporting to give the inuendoes and the meaning of the defendant, had been published page 6 in Blenheim, and that no steps whatever had been taken against that paper by the defendant.

Mr Conolly objected to the article being put in as evidence.

His Honor then requested to see the article referred to, and after perusing it, said that there could be no doubt that the information was obtained from the plaintiff or his solicitor.

Mr Conolly withdrew his objection and the article which was as follows was handed in:

"A libel action has been commenced by Mr C. J. W. Griffiths, of Blenheim, against Mr Samuel Johnson, the printer and publisher, of the Marlborough "Express." The subject matter of the action is a letter which appeared in the columns of that journal on September 24th, under the heading "Glass House Occupants should not throw stones," and signed "Disgusted'" The inuendoes on which the plaintiff relies are that the following construction may be put upon the letter:—(1) That the plaintiff had caused the lire by which the Government Buildings were burned; (2) That the sum of £3,700, stolen from the Bank of New Zealand in 1864, is still the subject matter of a reward—and that D. H. Murdoch, accused of stealing the same, was a scape [unclear: the] plaintiff; (3) That the [unclear: plaintiff] £3,700, and (4) That sufficient evidence to convict the plaintiff of both offences is known to exist and is obtainable. Mr lingers is solicitor for the plaintiff, and, we understand, that Mr E. T. Conolly has already been retained on his behalf. The matter being sub judice, we feel compelled to abstain from comment, and thus leave the matter at this stage. The writ was served this afternoon and the damages claimed are £1000."

Mr Travers said that the publication of such a matter was very strange. It gave the matter, which the plaintiff alleged to be libellous, for general circulation.

Cross-examination continued: (Mr Johnson's ledger was here produced.) I have no recollection of making the marks against my debits in the book. The debits begin February 24th, but there is no date, but probably it would be February 24th, 1877. The preceding entry is December 9th, 1876. Presuming the entries to be correct it would show a balance of about £70 as being owing from me to Mr Johnson on December 7th, 1876. I cannot say without referring to my books how that amount was discharged. I had acted as musical critique for Mr Johnson on several occasions. I claimed something for services. I never heard that Mr Johnson struck off any money I owed him on the ground of my loss by the lire. As far as that goes it would be still an open account. I have receipts given me by Mr Johnson. When I heard of the loss of the bank notes I had no sense of guilt in my inner consciousness.

Re-examined by Mr Conolly: When I handed the notes to Murdoch, I took a receipt. I left it in the Bank and it was missing. The want of that receipt was the weak point in the evidence against Murdoch. There was no responsibility on the part of Murdoch when he took charge for the amounts debited, but only for the notes. A fortnight after I left I heard Murdoch had quarrelled with the manager and left. It was another fortnight before the loss of the notes was discovered. When the notes were missed, I believe Murdoch was then in Sydney. He came back of his own accord and was arrested when he landed. I had nothing to do with bringing Detective Brown over. The Government reward was issued I think before Brown came and the Insurance Companies' reward shortly after. This reward was offered in consequence of a communication from the police to the effect that if the reward was received someone would give evidence. Brown came to me nearly a week after he had come, he was brought to me by Inspector Emerson in consequence of my remarking it was strange he had not come to me. Brown appeared to avoid me, I have no idea how he came over so long after the affair. I have heard several rumours as to how it was done. At the time of the fire I and Mr Johnson were political friends. We became on different sides about the time when the "Times" newspaper started. Mr Johnson was then on a rail for some time, and afterwards he went over. There was a considerable amount of coolness between us even before Brown came over, and coincident with that the rumors of my having set tire to the buildings were revived. Nothing ever came of those rewards. I do not think there was any evidence obtained. I lost everything relating to my business in the office in the tire. I was carrying on business as an Auctioneer and Commission Agent at the time. I therefore possess no papers showing the state of my account with Mr Johnson at the time of the fire. I should have refused any such settlement on the ground of my loss. Unples [unclear: allusions] to myself used frequently to appear in the Express. The subject of the libel was greatly talked of when it appeared. I heard of Mr Johnson's need of settlement on his family immediately after and before the serving of the writ. The writ was pushed on, on that account.

Arthur Penrose Seymour deposed: I reside in Picton and am M.H.R. for this district. I have been resident in Picton since 1864, and own a run in neighbourhood of Blenheim page 7 and have been three times Superintendent of Marlborough. I was Superintendent at the latter part of 1864. I remember Murdoch's trial. I remember reading the account of the trial in a newspaper. I cannot recall whether I knew the plaintiff at that time. I remember the fire at the Government Building, and the reward of £500 offered by the Government. I recollect Detective Brown's coming I have read the letter, the subject matter of this action. I am acquainted with the fact of Murdoch's trial. I have reasons for thinking that these words apply to some person. I should say the summing-up of the Judge, as I read it, necessarily to a lay-man like himself, implicated one other person as, the thief, if Murdoch was not. The letter then went on to say: "The jury's solemn verdict declared that he was not guilty." I have no other reasons for saying who was the other person, looking at the summing-up of the Judge, as a whole excepting to the plaintiff. The passage relating to the fire related to the same person. It was currently reported at the time of the fire that Mr Griffiths set the Government Buildings on fire. At the inquest I understood Mr Griffiths was severely cross-examined.

Cross-examined by Mr Travers: I never heard of any rumors about any other person as the originator of the fire than Mr Griffiths, and it was because of that rumor I connect the two. I put the two together, though they might be separable.

[Mr Travers here read the Judge's summing-up at Murdoch's trial, as reported in the Nelson "Examiner."]

Cross-examination continued: The Judge, in my opinion, distinctly threw out that Mr Griffiths was in no way responsible.

William Douglas Hall Baillie deposed: I reside at Para, and am a member of the Legislative Council. In 1864 I resided at Picton, and was Commissioner of Police for the Province. I knew Mr Griffiths at the time and Murdoch. I remember the robbery at the Bank and Murdoch's trial. I am acquainted with the newspaper reports of the trial, and Mr Bridges, one of the bank officials, consulted me. The letter signed by "Disgusted" in the Express, I have seen since it was published. I attributed the allusion to the Bank robbery to Mr Griffiths, from the fact that the judge only pointed to one person other than Murdoch, namely, Griffiths. I remember the fire at the Government Buildings. I remember the £500 reward offered by the Government. Rumors were current after the fire, implicating [unclear: the] plaintiff was one of [unclear: those].

Cross-examined by Mr Travers: My construction of the Judge's language was that if Murdoch was not guilty the plaintiff was. I looked upon the Judge's summing up as a clear affirmation of Murdoch's guilt.

Thomas Williams deposed: I am a brewer residing in Picton. I remember the Bank robbery. I knew Mr Griffiths at that time. I think I read the account of the trial. I saw a letter signed "Disgusted" in the Marlborough Express in September last. In my opinion it alluded to someone. I was under the impression that as the jury had acquitted Mr Murdoch, the only person who could have taken the money was Mr Griffiths, and the letter led me to that conclusion.

Cross-examined by Mr Travers: Mr Blundell and Mr Warren were in the Bank at Picton at the time of the robbery. I knew Mr Griffiths' character, and had no suspicion of him. I have no doubt of Murdoch's guilt. At the time of the fire many persons were pointed at. I cannot form an opinion as to whom the allusion to the fire referred.

Francis Henry Pickering deposed: I am a merchant residing in Blenheim. Formerly I resided in Nelson, and was there at the time of Murdoch's trial. I suppose the word "scapegoat" in the letter signed "Disgusted" refers to someone. The letter refers to Murdoch. I was in court at the latter part of the Judge's summing up, and remember the concluding remarks of the Judge, and so far as I can remember what the Judge said it vas to the effect that if Murdoch was acquitted, then the witness Griffiths must be guilty.

Thomas Horton deposed: I am a merchant residing in Blenheim, formerly I was in the Bank of New South Wales. I was in Hokitika at the time of the Bank robbery of 1864. I read the reports of the trial in the Nelson papers. I was here at the time the buildings were burned down. I was here when the letter signed "Disgusted" appeared. The expressions contained in it pointed to are particular person, namely, Mr Griffiths. As the prize for discovering the Bank robber referred to Griffiths, I take it the other does to, more especially as some time after the fin it was reported that Mr Griffiths was the autlor of the fire. Those rumors were more wife at the time the detective was here.

Cross-examined by Mr Travers: I have only known Mr Griffiths three years. I have been taking no interest in this case. I may have spoken to other people about it. I am giving this account for the first time.

Mr Travers: Will you please to read the commencement of the letter signed "Disgusted"

Mr Horton: "Although the election is over [unclear: and] Mr Seymour's Committee

Mr Travers: Who were the canaille?

Mr Horton: I don't know; there were none on the Committee,

Mr Travers: Yon were on the Committee? (Laughter.)

Mr Horton: Yes.

Mr Travers: And Mr Griffiths too? (Laughter.)

Mr Horton: Yes.

Witness: The word canaille included the whole Committee, I suppose. I am satisfied Mr Griffiths is not guilty of the robbery. Immediately after the tire one or two people were suspected, but by the time the L500 were offered those rumors had died away; but suddenly a rumor arose that Mr Griffiths was about to be arrested. I do not believe Mr Griffiths set fire to the Government Buildings. At the time of the publication of the letter I was on the same side as Mr Griffiths. There was a good deal of heat about that election, and a good deal of chaff and badinage. I had some conversation with the last witness, and reported part of what he had said to Mr Rogers.

Albert Pitt deposed: I am a barrister and solicitor, resident at Nelson. I was junior counsel on the prosecution of Murdoch. I have recently looked at a report of the Judge's summing up. I remember the Judge summing up Knowing the whole of the facts at that trial, the letter applied to Mr Griffiths.

Cross-examined by Mr Travers: I have no opinion that Mr Griffiths was guilty of the robbery. The Judge's summing up left in my mind an assurance of Mr Griffiths' innocence.

Joseph Ward deposed: I am a sheep farmer, residing in the Wairau, and have known Mr Griffiths many years. I remember the robbery at Picton. I have seen the letter signed "Disgusted" in the Express. The allusions to the scapegoat pointed to Mr Griffiths in my opinion.

Cross-examined by Mr Travers: I believe Mr Griffiths to be perfectly innocent. I pitched upon Mr Griffiths as being pointed at by the letter, because I knew some other people had doubts as to Mr Griffiths' innocence.

Cyrus Goulter deposed: I am a sheep farmer residing in the district. I read the report of the trial in the Nelson "Examiner." I have seen the letter signed "Disgusted" in the Express. The allusions in it allude to Mr Griffiths. At the time of the tire he heard several persons pointed out as the originators of the fire. When the detective came over he was more particularly pointed at.

Cross-examined by Mr Travers: I am satisfied that Mr Griffiths is innocent. I believe Murdoch was guilty.

William Douslin deposed: I am an architect residing at Blenheim. I remember the trial of Murdoch at Nelson. The allusions in the letter signed "Disgusted" pointed to Mr Griffiths. During the visit of Detective Brown to Blenheim it was currently reported that Mr Griffiths was about to be apprehended.

Cross-examined by Mr Travers: I did not believe that Mr Griffiths was guilty.

Hubert Patrick Macklin deposed: I am the Head Master of the Blenheim High School. I have resided here 4 years and 9 months. I know the defendant; I remember being in his office a month or two before the letter signed "Disgusted" was published. I used to be in the Express office two or three times every day. On one particular occasion there was a conversation about Murdoch's trial; he showed me a printed slip of it. That was before the letter appeared. It was put into my hand by Mr Johnson, and I read it; it contained what purported to be a report of Murdoch's trial. Mr Johnson told me about other parties publishing or circulating it. It was nothing Mr Johnson had anything to do with. Mr Johnson did not say why it was being circulated. I understood it was to damage Mr Griffiths. I advised Mr Johnson as a friend to have nothing to do with it. I remember the fire by which the Government Buildings were burnt down; several persons were pointed to by rumor; I remember Detective Brown coming over and a reward being offered; it was currently reported that Mr Griffiths was going to be arrested. I saw Mr Johnson on the same day as the letter "Disgusted" appeared, and I expostulated with him. I said How can you expect people to take your part and support you if you publish letters of this sort in the paper." I said "Supposing Griffiths had been in gaol 14 years ago it would not have been right to rake it up now." Mr Johnson made some remark about the way Mr Griffiths had been treating him. He did not explain what his grievance with Mr Griffiths was. On a previous occasion Mr Johnson told me that he believed Mr Griffiths to be the author of some attacks upon him in the other paper. Mr Johnson did not deny that the letter referred to Griffiths. I do not think I can give evidence on the conversations we had after that.

Cross-examined by Mr McNab: You appear in the last gazetted list of teachers as a Bl, I believe?

I do.

The letters M.A. also appear after B 1?


Are you a Master of Aits?

I am not called upon to say if I am.

Are you a graduate of any university?

I am not called upon to say.

Now, Mr Macklin, did you not, when applying to the Education Board for the appointment in the Borough Schools that you page 9 now hold, represent yourself to be a B.A.?

I did not.

Have you not told anyone you were an M.A. of Durham?

I have not.

At the time of the conversation that you state took place between you and Mr Johnson, were you not in the position of assistant-editor of the Express?

I was not.

Did you not write articles for the Express then?

I am not prepared to say.

Now, Mr Macklin, answer my question—Were you not in the habit of writing articles for the Express at that time?

I am not called upon to answer that.

His Honor: I think, Mr Macklin, you had better answer that question.

I have written articles for that paper.

Were you not in that confidence which exists between the proprietor of a newspaper and his staff?

I was not.

Have you not stated that you were once sub-editor of the Melbourne Age?

I have. I was sub-editor of the Melbourne Age about 14 years ago for about ten months.

Who was editor of that paper then?

Mr Levy was the proprietor. There was no regular editor.

Did you not then learn what was the etiquette between the proprietor of a paper and the staff?

Certainly I did.

Do you mean to say that any copy in the Express office was not open to you by your asking for it?

It was not.

Did you not go to Mr Rogers, or did he come to you?


When did you give the information that has enabled the plaintiff to examine you as he has?

I have told the story a hundred times.

Have you ever advised Mr Johnson about the action?

I may have. My opinion was that the letter was not a libel.

Did you not advise Mr Johnson to apologise?

I did at one time, but not afterwards. I was doing my best to settle the case for about three months, with both sides.

Were you making those efforts for two months after the letter signed "Disgusted" appeared?

I was. I advised both sides.

Now, Mr Macklin, did you write the following letter to Mr Johnson?—

page 8
"High School,

Dear Johnson,—

I have some recollection of telling you to make no apology to Griffiths Do you remember my saying so?—Your obedient servant,

H. P. Macklin."

That is my hand writing.

Did you not also write to Mr Johnson about November 12th, 1879, as follows:—"I do not believe that there is a libel, nor ground of action, so far as Griffiths is concerned." . . . "Remember my own opinion is that there is no libel, and that if there were the settlement protects everything, and further, I do not believe Griffiths means to rake the affair up in Court."?

I may have.

You said that on reading the letter signed "Disgusted" you at once went and remonstrated with Mr Johnson?

I went at once, but he was not there. I saw him later.

Was Miss Johnson there when you went?

I did not see her.

I believe you used to haunt the Express office at that time?

Yes, if you wish to call my visits there by that name.

As a matter of fact when the letter appeared did you not advise Mr Griffiths to bring an action?

I don't remember, I am not certain. In trying to settle the case I got very angry with both sides.

Did you not offer Mr Griffiths financial assistance as against Mr Johnson or the writer of the letter?

I have no memory of it. I remember saying I would pay a certain amount to have the case settled out of the lodge.

Will you swear you did not offer Mr Griffiths financial assistance?

I will not swear I did not.

Did you not offer to give Mr Johnson £10 or an I.O.U. for that amount? (Laughter.)

I don't remember.

Will you swear you did not?

I will not swear I did not.

By Mr Conolly: I am the Master of the Masonic Lodge here. The plaintiff and defendant are both members. I was trying to settle the case without going to law.

Mr Travers: By subsidising both parties to the amount of L5 each. (Laughter.)

This concluded the case for the plaintiff, and the Court adjourned till the following morning.

The Court sat at 10 o'clock.

Mr Travers opened the case for the defence. He asked His Honor if there was a case to go to the jury. The evidence adduced in support of the plaintiff was not rational; that is to say, whereas Mr Griffiths must have been guilty of the bank robbery in order to be able to I make a scapegoat of Murdoch for his sin, no page 10 one could possibly see that the Glass House letter applied to Griffiths, because he was absolutely innocent. The real criminal was not known or named, excepting as a thief, and everyone concurred in saying Mr Griffiths was not a thief. He submitted that in the absence of anything more cogent than the suggestion that a perfectly innocent man was the thief, that his client was entitled to a nonsuit.

Mr Travers cited in support of his contention the case Danes v. Hartley.

His Honor: The question is by no means simple, but after considering the matter I am inclined to think that there is a case to go to the jury. I will reserve the point nevertheless. Of course, even if the defendant was the writer of the article, or knew of it, if the language will not bear the construction put upon it by the plaintiff, then the jury will have to return a verdict for the defendant. It is, however, for the plaintiff to prove that the defendant did point to the plaintiff.

Mr Travers said he did not propose to enter into a lengthy defence. He alluded to His Honor's remark that even if the defendant was the writer of the article or knew of it, if the language would not bear the construction put upon it by the plaintiff, then they would have to return a verdict in favor of the defendant. It was immaterial what the letter intended to convey, if it did not convey the meaning put upon it by the plaintiff. There was something, it was true, in this direction, in the evidence given by Mr Macklin. Mr Macklin was the nicest Irishman he had ever seen. The only thing he seemed to think to be his duty was to find funds for both sides.—(Laughter,)—He wanted a scrimmage, there was no doubt of that, and to prove the desire he had offered money first one side and then to the other. A capital plan, no doubt, to attain his object. It reminded him of the Kilkenny cats. Mr Macklin reached out one hand and collared one party by the tail, and reached out the other and caught the other party by the tail. Then he drew their tails together, knotted them, and chucked the two infuriated animals across a rail, where he left them to fight until nothing remained but the tails and a bunch of hair.—(Laughter.)—Such men as Mr Macklin were the greatest possible boon to gentlemen like himself (Mr Travers) and his friend Mr Conolly.—(Laughter.)— Mr Johnson, when placed in the witness-box would state the circumstances of the interview with Mr Macklin. If a man published defamatory matter concerning another, it was his duty to say so and apologise, but if he does not conceive that the meaning alleged to have been conveyed, is at all to be supported, he would naturally say, "I am not going to apologise, for I cannot see that it points to Mr Griffiths." Mr Johnson had not been given an opportunity to apologise, but the writ was slapped at him, and hardly had it been served before a paper, containing the meanings deduced by the plaintiff, appeared, so that everyone might say, "Oh! Is that it?" "I see it now!" So far, in fact, was Mr Johnson from thinking that Mr Griffiths was guilty of burning the Government Buildings, that he had written many articles and paragraphs, all tending to exonerate him from such suspicion.

Samuel Johnson deposed: I am defendant in this action, and was the proprietor and publisher of the Marlborough Express at the time of the publication of Disgusted's letter. I was served with a writ on October 3rd at 4 p.m. I glanced over the writ and took it to my solicitor, and was returning from the interview whet I found a copy of the "Times" of that evening's date, and my attention was attracted to the article remarking upon the action. I received no communication from the plaintiff or his solicitor prior to the service of the writ. I do not consider that the letter could have been printed after service of the writ. Mr Macklin had been associated with me for some time previously. He contributed to the Express and was frequently in my office. I remember his seeing me on October 3rd. He came into my office and said "That's a bad letter." I said "Where, show me?" He pointed to the letter and I said, reading it, "there's nothing in that." It was the first time I read that letter. He said "it applies to Griffiths," and I said "it alludes to no one; it is simply a reply to Marina about the brandy." I did not consider it related to Mr Griffiths, nor have I ever done so. Mr Griffiths had been a contributor to the paper. We had no account between us for the non gratuitous contributions. At the interview with Macklin, I never had a slip relating to Mr Griffiths in my possession. I had a slip in the month of June. A friend of mine told me he had heard something of that, sort, and I asked him to lend it to me. He lent it to me in the strictest confidence, and I showed it to Macklin in the strictest confidence also. It had nothing [unclear: to] with this action. Griffiths advertised with me, and there was an account between us. About the time of the fire there was L69 in my books owing me by Mr Griffiths. I repeatedly applied for the money, and had an interview with Mr Griffiths after the fire, and was then asking for money. He asked me what I thought was a fair thing for his services as a contributor. He did not despute any account against him. He had lost his notes in the fire. I estimated [unclear: his] at about L20, but never stated so [unclear: to]. A prior conversation took place after the fire in my own office, we were page 11 on quite friendly terms. He stated how short of money he was owing to losses at the fire, and intimated he had lost money there, by cheques that had come back again which had been supposed to be burnt in the fire. At last interview, I said I would strike off everything prior to the fire. Griffiths said "Oh, that's too much," and I said "Never mind, my word is passed, so it's over." Our relations were perfectly friendly, and he continued to be a customer of mine up to the time of the commencement of the "Times." when he became a supporter of that paper. I remember the fire and heard rumors affecting Mr Griffiths, but never attached any credit or importance to that. I wrote on the subject. I never saw any reason to associate Mr Griffiths with the Bank robbery. Part of my family have gone to England. I was trying to sever my connection with the paper in order to go to England all last year, and nine months before the action was endeavoring to get Mr Griffiths to sell the paper for me. I did dispose of it ultimately, and intended to fellow my wife, but could not get away on account of this action commenced in October last year. I knew nothing of Detective Brown's coming here, and had nothing to do with his coming. I attributed the fire to a different cause than incendiarism.

Cross-examined by Mr Conolly: I opposed an application to have the trial come off at Wellington. It was impossible for me to meet him there, and I objected decidedly. I parted with all my interests in the paper immediately after the letter, but before the writ was served. The report of Murdoch's trial that Mr Macklin read in my office was to all appearance the same as was read in Court yesterday. I am inclined to think it war from the "Colonist." I was never thoroughly acquainted with the details of the trial until three weeks ago. The slip was lent to me by a friend. I was going off to Wellington by steamer, and I asked him for something to read, and he handed me the slip. I do not know how it came into the gentleman's possession. It had nothing to do with this case. I cannot say whether it was a slip or a supplement. It was not a proof sheet; it might have been an extra. I cannot say if it was a reprint. I remember now that there was a leading article on the page, commenting on the case. I had no record of the Murdoch trial in my possession. I took the slip over to Wellington in my pocket, and read it on the way. It must have been after my return that I showed it to Mr Macklin, if I did at all. Mr Macklin, when he came to me, after the publication of the libel, told me that there had been a row in the Club about it, and he considered it applied to Griffiths. I replied that I regarded it as an answer to the letter signed "Marina."

This letter ran as follows:—

Statesman? not He!

Sir,—In this part of the Wairau many of our men have been induced to vote for Mr Henderson because he was said by his touters (that's what we used to call such men as Dodson and Sinclair) to be a better speaker and a better statesman than Mr Seymour. Now that the election is over, I hope they will ask themselves whether that last statement is really true. The better statesman should beat the worse; Mr Seymour should therefore have been beaten by Mr Henderson—but he wasn't. A statesman—especially a "better" statesman—should know what is under his power to control, and what is not. Now I see in your paper that Mr Henderson proposed in the Education Board not to pay any accounts until they were passed at the monthly meeting of the Board. All accounts were included in this—teachers' salaries and all. The Board has no power to pass, or to refuse to pass, the monthly payment of teachers' salaries. The Board almost at first made it a rule that all teachers' salaries should be paid monthly, and then this grand statesman Henderson brings forward a resolution contradicting a regulation printed and issued by the Board. And then he'll say, "But Mr Seymour agreed to it." If he said that to me in the nomination hall, I should say it was a "mean thing" to try and foist off his mistakes on Mr Seymour. The "better statesman" ought to have known better. Statesman? Not he!

And then what a grand statesman he must to to try and gain the teetotallers' votes by taking round with him as chief supporters a man whose coat of arms must be a beer cask rampant, and another, whose only qualifications as a canvasser are these: 1st. That he can drink without danger more brandy than anyone else to be found; 2nd. That he can issue more false smiles than anyone else to be found; 3rd. That his only motto is "Hennessy." Statesman? Not he!

When he gets to be statesman he is going to make all pay taxes alike, according to justice. When asked in connection with this subject whether payment of legacy duty did not tend to equalize this matter, he said something to this effect—"The person to whom the money us left does not pay it." He meant that if I had L1000 left me, and the legacy duty was at 2 per cent, that I should receive L980, but that I should not lose the L20 because I never had it Here's logic! here's a Miilite! here's a statesman! Does the dead man pay it? No; dead men pay no bills. But somebody must pay what somebody receives. Government receives it, page 12 therefore they receive it from the rich people who bequeath it and receive it. And then he says to all the Blenheim men "Did you near me at the nomination?" Statesman? Not he!

And then his ideas about the people whom he seeks to help to rule are very wild and Uninformed. He talks about runholders in a very ignorant way. Doesn't he know that Mr Seymour's run supports a great many men besides Mr Seymour? What does Mr Seymour do with all the money he gets on his wool? Who pays all the taxes on the tea and sugar used on Mr Seymour's runs? I suppose the time has been when Mr Henderson has boasted of the millions of pounds of wool clipped here every year—the time has been when he has bemoaned the fall in the price of wool as a national calamity—the time has been when he has rejoiced at the rise in the price of wool as national prosperity, and now—he tries to turn you against runholders—the men who are, and have been, the mainstay of the country.

I say that by his speeches he is neither logician nor stateman. Statesman? Not he!

But of all other things which, to my mind, show that he is no statesman, this is the chief. The Seymour party brought from all parts men who had a right to vote for the member for the Wairau. Had a right. Supposing that Mr H. H. Stafford came. I think his stake in the Wairau Electoral District requires representing as much as yours or mine. Mr Henderson's organ, the Express, condemns this kind of thing on page 4 of the issue of the 10th September in a foggy sentence ending in "absence of really good organisation," and also on page 6, in his account of the election. And yet both Henderson and the organ advocate as much suffrage as even you can get, but with this limitation—if you are absent at the time of the election, and won't vote on their side, your suffrage is forfeited. And they didn't want to "swamp the electorate," as they call it, with Brother Tom and Mr Rishworth, who haven't any stake in the place. Oh, Mr Henderson! what a fine statesman you are to argue thus. Grey is the Mahomet whom they follow; and on page 5 of the same issue, column 4, near the top, we are told that Grey's central committee will do the same thing Mr Seymour's committee did, viz, get him all the votes they can, either by steamer or special train. They had better devote their next leader to condemning their leader.

Now is Mr Henderson a statesman? Not he. Yours, etc.—


There was a reference to someone who could drink more brandy than anyone else. That did not refer to me. I understood the allusion to the person who paid for his brandy through the exchequer of the Insolvent Court. I could not understand to whom the phrase commencing "the capegoat Murdoch" applied. I do not know to whom it applied. I think that the Judge's summing up was a reductio ad absurdum. The person alluded to as paying for his brandy through the Exchequer of the Bankruptcy Court is not named in the report of Murdoch's trial, and I don't think could have been the person named as Murdoch's scapegoat, nor did any suspicion of the fire point at him. The account between me and Mr Griffiths had been running on some time without a balance being struck. He used to contribute in one way or another from 1870. His contributions were voluntary and non-gratuitous. He used to send critiques of concerts, but he never sent me in any account. I remember Mr Scaife coming to copy the whole account of items I erased. It was at my own instance. We were then on the best of terms, and I am not aware we had one ill word between us since the "Times" was started.

Charles Redwood deposed: I am a sheep-farmer residing in the district for over 17 years. I read the trial of Mr Murdoch at the time, and remember the fire and the rumors. I read the letter signed "Disgusted" at the time it appeared. In reading it the allusions in that letter pointed to one person in particular. It conveyed to my mind Mr Griffiths.

Caleb Davis deposed: I am a builder residing in Blenheim. I remember Murdoch's trial and the Blenheim fire. There were rumours about different people at the time. I remember the letter signed "Disgusted" and do not know if it brings any particular person to my mind.

By Mr Conolly: I saw the account of Murdoch's trial for the first time yesterday, and the impression left on my mind was that Mr Griffiths was innocent. I do not recollect reading Mr Kingdon's speech. At the time of the trial it was mentioned as unpleasant for Mr Griffiths that Mnrdoch had been acquitted. When I read the letter "Disgusted" I thought nothing of it. I cannot say who the scapegoat might have been. At the time of the Blenheim fire several names including Mr Griffiths' were mentioned. When Brown was here I heard a rumor that Mr Griffiths was about to be arrested.

Mr Travers addressing the jury stated that he did not propose to call any more witnesses. The question for them to consider was whether the alleged construction of the libel had been made out or not. He would refer to the construction as set forth in the declaration, because unless that construction page 13 bad been made out to their satisfaction there was no case for the plaintiff. The first thing they must be satisfied of is that the plaintiff is the person and the only one alluded to in the letter. It must not mean that he was one of the several persons alluded to, but the plaintiff only, and secondly that the letter pointed to the plaintiff in the manner alleged in the declaration. The cause that had produced the letter signed "Disgusted" appeared to be a letter signed "Manna" that had appeared in a rival newspaper. It suggested in its commencement that some of them if not all might set to and replenish their respective exchequers and pay for their brandy by looking out for and discovering a guilty person. The letter then went on to say "The L500 reward for burning the Government Buildings is still obtainable." The plaintiff alleged that this said he [unclear: had] the fire, and that the L500 reward could he obtained by his conviction. That was one specific charge alleged to have been made against the plaintiff. It was a remarkable thing, however, that the reward was not for the discovery of the incendiary but for burning the Government Buildings. What was there in that language to say that the plaintiff had caused the fire, and how was it possible to put any such construction on the words used by "Disgusted." It would be putting a meaning en the English language that to say the least would not be rational. He submitted that the words could not bear any such construction. It appeared that at the inquest on the fire it was shown that the tire originated in Mr Griffiths office, and the "Man in the Street" said that Griffiths did it, but no rational man would come to the conclusion that the words in the letter meant Mr Griffiths. His friend contended that that and the subsequent allusion to the Bank robbery put together pointed to Mr Griffiths, but he (Mr Travers) considered that it pointed to the prizes more than anything else. No rational man who read the report of the trial could say that Mr Griffith was accused of robbery. If anyone was looking for the reward would they find it through Mr Griffiths? Judge Johnson, in his charge to the jury at Murdoch's trial, had exonerated him from all blame. The reward was offered, but it was for the guilty man, and no one had ever ventured to suppose that Mr Griffiths was guilty. Mr Macklin, the funny Irishman (laughter) said that Mr Johnson knew full well that it was intended to mean Mr Griffiths. Mr Macklin appeared to have played a very funny part throughout the transaction. He was equally in the confidence of both parties, and was urging both on, and said it was only his "benevolence," (loud laughter) benevolence, indeed! He was so benevolent, in fact, that he would sooner pay one side £5 not to give in, but go on, and then give the other side an I.O.U. for L10 (loud laughter) to go on with the matter also. His (Macklin's) view of settling the affair was to learn as much on one side as he could, and then to go and tell it to the other (laughter). He was at the bottom of the whole affair, without doubt, exciting the one and inciting the other. He was a class of man that had a mistake in his name. The first letter of his name should have been C, and his name, instead of being "Macklin," should have been "Cacklin" (loud laughter, in which Judge, jury, and everyone in Court participated). In the matter of the service of the writ, it was not courteous to have issued it [unclear: once] as was done, it was usual to write a letter first and ask for an apology. The position was a remarkable one altogether. There was the benevolent Macklin urging on the fight the lawyers issuing writs, and poor Mr John son, just as he gets the writ in his hands finds the whole of the inuendoes published in extenso in the rival newspaper. The inuendoes, in fact, which could only have been known to the plaintiff, his solicitor, or his clerk, and must have been supplied to the rival parties by one or other of them. But he asked was it worthy, was it right, that a man who had been in business in the place for years, who desired to leave the place [unclear: and] the employment of a journalist, should be detained from October 3rd, 1879 till the present time, by a legal procedure threatening L1,000 damages. There was no [unclear: evidence] despatch on the part of the plaintiff in pushing the case on. The whole of the issues wen finally determined by December, and then had been nothing to hinder the case being settled months and months ago if the plaintiff had not deferred to ask for a change of venue. To that proposition the defendant objected, and there was nothing for it but to [unclear: let] stand over. To the plaintiff the delay could matter little, there was the writ, and it rested with him to withdraw it or let the action [unclear: on], and he had kept this sword of Damocles hanging over the defendant's head for more than a year. Was that consistent, he asked, with the conduct they would expect from a man really desirous of ridding himself of an imputation that he alleged had been cast upon him. With regard to damages, he would say a few words, though he could not possibly think that the case was one for damages. It had not, in the first place, been shown that the plaintiff had sustained any loss by the alleged libel either in his business or in his social position. The defendant had not attempted to justify the alleged libel in any way. No special damage was alleged, and in the event of their finding a verdict for page 14 the plaintiff, the smallest coin would be sufficient. If the grievance had been a substantial one, that would not have been enough, the plaintiff, it had been shown, had not suffered either in hotly or mind, and the most nominal damages would be ample.

Mr Conolly then rose, and in his address to the jury said: He would ask the jurymen to imagine themselves in Mr Griffiths's place, and indirect charges were made against them in a newspaper that they had committed a bank robbery or were guilty of arson. Could they venture to treat it with contempt? If the defendant had treated those charges against him with contempt, it might happen when he was an old man, and the witnesses that had appeared in Court during the trial were dead and gone, someone might revive the charge in a more distinct manner and people would naturally reason "Was not a similar charge brought against you 30 years ago, and did you take proceedings then?" On the subject of damages, his friend Mr Travers had suggested that the smallest coin in the realm would be sufficient. He begged to differ from that. He had already told them that the action was not brought to make money. He did not want vindictive damages, [unclear: but] asked them not to give damages [unclear: be] an insult to his client. [unclear: He] in which the defendant had conducted his case very much to his credit. He accepted Mr Johnson's evidence with regard to the publication of the libel. He was guilty of negligence, but it had not been done by himself. Under these circumstances he would not be justified in asking for such damages as would amount to the ruin of the defendant. A complaint made on behalf of the plaintiff was that the action had been pushed on so hurriedly. The alleged libel appeared on September 24th 1879, and the writ was issued 9 days afterwards, but though the writ was served there was nothing to have prevented Mr Johnson apologising afterwards. Mr Johnson immediately after it was said that the action was going to be commenced, made everything he had over to his wife, and it was, therefore necessary to push on the writ as much as possible. If the libel pointed to Griffiths and other persons as well, they should find for the defendant, but if it pointed to Mr Griffiths and Mr Griffiths solely, then they should find for the plaintiff. Mr Johnson had stated that the letter was a supposed retaliation for a letter signed "Marina" that had previously appeared in the Marlborough "Times." It was a remarkable fact that the defendant could tell to whom the allusions in that letter alluded, and could also tell to whom the first portion of the letter signed "Disgusted" alluded, but he could not see whom the other allusions pointed at. The letter mentions that Murdoch was merely the scapegoat for another person guilty, and that his acquittal was quite proper. A man that said that Murdoch was a scapegoat must mean that Griffiths was the guilty person. The question for them to decide was what the writer wanted to insinuate. There was no question of Griffiths guilt or innocence. There was positive evidence on the part of Macklin that Johnson was aware that the allusions referred to Griffiths. It suited his friend's purpose to indicate Mr Macklin as if he had been a mischief-maker and guilty of a gross breach of confidence, but his evidence was clear and distinct that Mr Johnson at the time of the publication of the libel admitted that it applied to Griffiths. Shortly before that date Mr Johnson had an opportunity of becoming fully acquainted with the circumstances of Murdoch's trial. In Mr Macklin's position as Master of the Masonic Lodge for the district he was in a way a father, and was naturally desirous of preventing the parties throwing dust at one another publicly, and he hardly deserved to be treated as one of those pests of society who try [unclear: to] on people to lawsuits. Mr Conolly proceeded to analyse the letter and concluded his address by pointing out, and explaining the several issues.

His Houor in addressing the Jury said that the subject was one that rested more particularly than any other class of case with the Jury. It frequently happened that persons endeavoured to clothe a libel in such a way as to have all the desired effect, and yet be such that it would be difficult at first to say that it applied to any particular person. If the letter, the subject matter of the libel, simply said that a reward was still open, and no doubt the Bank of New Zealand would give a larger one, there would have been no case to go to the Jury. There was something now in the case, however, and the question was whether the language was applicable to the defendant or not. Was the language such, that if read by the light of a previous acquaintance with the facts of the bank robbery and the burning of the Government Buildings, they would say that it meant to charge the plaintiff with those offences. It was quite immaterial whether the person reading the letter believed in the plaintiff complete innocence. The case for the plaintiff depended entirely upon this. The concluding part of the letter said—"and no doubt a still larger sum may be earned by discovering to the Bank of New Zealand who stole the L3,700. The scapegoat Murdoch has been acquitted. The jury's solemn verdict declared he was not guilty. The prizes are within their reach." This was page 15 said to be the key to the letter. There was indisputably some years ago a robbery at the Picton branch of the Bank of New Zealand, when a person named Murdoch was charged and acquitted of the robbery, and it appeared that the whole point of the case had been whether the prisoner had received the notes from Griffiths or not. It was for them to say whether those facts and the language of the letter, in their judgment, was calculated to impress the minds of persons as an imputation of robbery against Mr Griffiths. Mr Macklin said that he had gone to see Mr Johnson immediately after the publication of the libel and had expostulated about it, and that Mr Johnson acknowleged that Mr Griffiths was the person alluded to, but seemed to excuse or justify himself for the letter by saying that Mr Griffiths had behaved badly to him. If it had only been said that a reward was offered, although it would cause the idea of Mr Griffiths to appear, that could not be said to be a charge against him. They should satisfy themselves, not merely that the reading of the letter would have the effect of raising in people's minds the picture of Mr Griffiths, but they should satisfy themselves that the letter contained a direct charge against him.

After a few more words from His Honor on the question of damages, the jury retired to consider their verdict.

They returned into Court three hours afterwards, viz, at 6.15 p.m., when the foreman (Mr Thomas Redwood) stated that they were unable to agree, and were desirous of obtaining advice as to the amount of time they would require to be locked up, and whether they would be allowed refreshments.

His Honor: You have already been locked up for three hours. Three fourths of your number can now agree upon a verdict.

Foreman: I regret, your Honor we cannot agree.

His Honor: Is there no probability of your agreeing?

Foreman: There is a possibility.

His Honor: I regret there is no alternative but for you to go back again.

Immediately after the jury had left the Court Mr Travers stated that now that there was no probability of the jury agreeing, he would like to make a proposition to his friend. He was authorised by the defendant to say that if the jury were discharged he would be willing to offer an expression of regret for the publication of the letter.

Mr Conolly: Mr Redwood stated that there was a possibility of the jury agreeing, and I certainly cannot consent to any such proposition.

The jury again returned into Court at 9.30 p.m.

The Foreman said that the jury wished to make a statement. It was that there was no possibility of their agreeing on a verdict, even if kept locked up for an indefinite time. He desired to express the opinion as emphatically as possible that he could see no possibility at all of an agreement being come to.

His Honor: I am not in a position to discharge you at present. You have only been locked up six hours. I fear you must go back again.

At 11.30 p.m., His Honor called the jury into Court and asked the Foreman if they bad agreed upon a verdict.

The Foreman said there was no probability of an agreement amongst the jurors.

His Honor then said he would take them as having Sat twelve hours, and permit of their discharge.

The jury were then formally discharged and paid, and the case was at end.

Re-printed from the "Marlborough Express", by Messrs Furness & Boundy, proprietors'