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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

Third Day

Third Day.

Examination of W. P. M'Girr continued: The incoming Board of 1891 received instruction from the outgoing Board to re-open negotiations with the Catholic Times office.

At this stage argument ensued as to the relation of the two Boards, which was settled by Mr. Gully admitting that the two were a continuous body.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gully, witness said he was not on the Board when the two letters of September were sent to the Archbishop, but he knew they were sent. The members of the Association generally did not necessarily know, be: the outgoing Board would. The letters were suggested by the outgoing Board, because it was thought that the Archbishop did not know that the men in the office were sweated. The Board were anxious that the men should work under the Society rules. That might have involved the discharge of some of the boys or men that had not served their time. If men had been working there at the time they would have been permitted by all means to join the Society, as the object was to foster the interests of the men not to drive them away.-The Society fined men if they had done anything to injure their fellows. Candidate for membership were examined as in a court of justice before they were admitted to the Society.

His Honour said they were not trying trades unionism.

Argument ensued as to the question of privilegs raised by Mr. Jellicoe at an earlier stage of the case. His Honour wished to give his decision as the point then, but Mr. Jellicoe said he was not prepared to ask for it to be dealt with until his Honour had heard the evidence he would call in support of the plea.

Cross-examination continued—Did not consider the term sweating harmless in any sense whatever. It certainly carried something discreditable with it. Sweating was sub-contractting where the sub-contractor asked a man to work for less than he ought to do. If there were no Association there certainly could be sweating. No man was allowed to "farm" by the Association. When a man worked under a sub contract for less than the recognised rate of wages he was sweated by the sub-contractor. Did not know anything about bricklayers. Finucane was entitled to and had been getting £3 a week and went to work for 32s 6d. That was sweating.

Re-examined—Admitted certainly that there were degrees of sweating. If the thin end of the wedge were inserted the minimum rate of pay would go down and down.

His Honour—What do you say is your authority?—Our Association has a book of rules, and we recognise, with the employers in the city, that a journeyman belonging to our Association is worth 10s a day, or £3 a week, and any man employed as a sub-contractor—like Cooper—who pays a man less, is considered to be sweating,

His Honour—Your answer comes to this:—Tour Association has fixed a rate of wages which has been accepted by the master printers in tie city?—There have often been meetings of the master printers, and they say they would not expect a journeyman printer to work for less than 10s a day.

page 23

His Honour—It is not a matter of the fixing of wages by the employe?—No; the rate is fixed with the consent of the master printers.

Mr. Jellicoe—If there were no Printers' Association the wages would be fixed by the market rate?—Yes; it would be fixed by the employer, and if he paid the usual rate we should call him an unselfish employer.

You know that the letters were to be sent?—


Were you per sent at the meeting when the letters were decided on?—No; but it was under my instructions. I was dealing with the Catholic Times during my term of office, and I said the Archbishop was not cognisant of the sweating. We thought that if he knew he would not conu tenance it, and that if it were pointed out to him be would immediately stop it. We wrote the letter believing that he would stop it. I believed that the Archbishop would not allow the sweating unless he was kept in ignorance of it.

Robert Thomson, member of the firm of Brown, Thomson & Co., printers, &c, said his firm belonged to the Master Printers' Association. The person in charge of the composing room was called foreman or overseer, which meant one and the same thing. The man Finucane served his time with witness' firm, and his time was up about January last-He was then a journeyman, and was entitled to the usual rate of wages, £3 a week. If he worked at the Catholic Times office for 32s 6d a week, witness would say he was simply giving that office the benefit of his ex perience. Finucane was a very fair tradesman indeed. Had not thought very much about the term "sweating," but if a journeyman compositor had to work for 32s 6d, would call that sweating, as the term was usually employed. Knew that Finucane had to support a widowed mother and sisters. Was present at the meeting of the Mas ter Printers' Association when Evison joined. Believed Evison was supplied with a copy of the tariff, and left the Association a day or two after. The Master Printers were governed as far as practical by the tariff. Did not think the Catholic Times interfered with the trade to any great extent, as that office did very little jobbing. That office did undercut, because it employed so many boys, and he had heard customers say they could get their work done cheaper there. Paid Finueane £3 a week for five or six weeks.

John Rigg, printer, employed at the Govern ment Printing Office, said he had been a member of the Typographical Association for 13 years, and was a member of the Board of Management for this year. Had had no personal communication with Evison. Finucane made an application to the Board to be admitted to the Association, and lodged a complaint in reference to the Catholic Times office, the result of which was that he was admitted, or re-admitted, to the Union, and a Committee was appointed to draw up a letter to Archbishop Redwood, requesting him to grant the Board an interview. Witness was a member of that Committee, together with the President (Thornton), the Vice-President (Vaney), and the Secretary (Henrichs). Had previously seen copies of the Rationalist, but did not subscribe to it. Knew the paper was edited by a man who went by the name of "Ivo." When the Committee was set up, knew that Evison managed the Catholic Times. Had never heard "Ivo" lecture, but had seen his advertisements. In settling the form of the letters, the career of "Ivo" was discussed. The Committee had power to send the letters, but they were afterwards submitted to the Board. Personally, Evison was a perfect stranger to him, and any opinion he formed of him was formed on his knowledge of the Rationalist and Evison's previous career. The reference to sweating in the letters was baaed on Finucane's statements to the Board. The reference to the weekly sum paid to the manager or over seer referred to Cooper principally. There was a doubt as to who received the money; therefore the term manager or overseer was used, meaning one or the other. Attention was called really to the sweating system. The references to the pre cepts of his Holiness the Pope and the utterances of Cardinal Moran were put in because it was understood that both condemned the sweating system. The reference to the Archbishop being kept in wilful ignorance explained itself. The Board could not believe the Archbishop was aware of the facts, and therefore they said they were "tempted to believe" that the matter had been kept from him.

Why did you consider it a degradation to be referred to Evison?—There were two reasons: We considered the Archbishop did degrade us in a certain sense by referring us to an inferior. The other reason was that I considered it a degra dation to be referred to any man who, in my opinion, was a religious adventurer—a man who would sell his religious belief for the purpose of making money by it. It is a considerable degra dation to be referred to a man who would sell his belief to the highest bidder.

Then in referring to the Freethought journal, you were referring to the Rationalist?—Yes.

And the scurrilous stuff published in the Rationalist?—Yes.

Mr. Gully—Let him answer. Don't put it into his mouth.

Examination continued—How long have you been at the trade?—Nineteen years, I think; perhaps a little over.

What capacity did you consider, when you wrote that letter, that Cooper held in the Catholic Times office?—He was the overseer.

Why do you say that?—Because those are his duties.

Is a person performing Cooper's duties in other printing offices in town termed the overseer?—Yes.

You say amongst compositors—Mr. Gully—I say my friend should let the witness answer.

Mr. Jellicoe—Have you heard the person in charge of the composing room called anything else among compositors?—No.

What is the minimum rate of wages in town paid to compositors?—In Wellington, £3.

Supposing Finucane had served his time, was a journeyman compositor who had been in receipt of £3 a week, and was obliged to take 32s 6d a week, what would you say to that?—I would say he was being robbed of the value of his labour.

What term would you call it in the trade?—It is sweating.

What do you understand by sweating?—Gener ally, sweating means working for less than the recognised rate of wages. A man can sweat his own labour. In the next place, as we have had it stated in Court, a sub-contractor, where a man takes work at a price and employs labour to make the cost fit in with the amount received. It does not follow that be makes a profit himself; he might be content to only make a wage. If he employs men at less than the recognised rate of wages, he sweats them.

His Honour—And himself, too?—Yes, pro bably. The worst phase of sweating is where advantage is taken of the necessities of the worker. For instance, where the workman is told by the sweater either to accept what he offers or starve, the man might be compelled to yield. That is the worst phase of sweating.

Mr. Jellicoe—Suppose Finucane was out of work, and was compelled to accept what was offered or starve, and could only get 32s 6d to page 24 support his widowed mother and sisters, that would be the worst phase of sweating?—Yes.

What do you consider boys?—A boy is an ap prentice or person who has not served the recog nised term of apprenticeship.

Was there any expression of ill-will to Evison when the letters were brought up by the Secre tary?—No, certainly not.

As far as you are concerned he was a stranger to you?—Yes.

By Mr. Gully—After the letters were sent they were submitted to the Board, who adopted them. Had taken no part in previous negotiations. The charge in the letters was formulated against the office, not against Evison. Took action on Finucane's statement in connection with inquiries made with regard to the farming, from members of the past Board. Considered the two in conjunction sufficient, without seeing Evison or anybody else. Considered it a degra dation to communicate with him on the two grounds previously stated. Looked upon it as a degradation to be referred to an inferior, when the Board were desirous of having an interview with the Archbishop, who had been written to in most respectful terms.

You think it a degradation to be referred to anything less than an Archbishop?—I do not subscribe to that.

Your second reason was that you considered Evison a religious hypocrite, and that it was a degradation to communicate with him at all?—I told you that I thought he was a religious adventurer.

That is what you meant in this clause of the letter?—I say that was one reason for writing that part of the letter which appears within parentheses.

That he sold his religious principles to the highest bidder?—That was my opinion.

What right had you to jump to such a conclu sion as that?—The same right as every man has to form an opinion.

And to publish it?—To publish it if he thinks it necessary as his opinion.

You made no inquiry—you did not try to ascer tain whether Evison was prostituting his views?—I made no inquiry.

You formed your own opinion?—Yes.

You heard the Archbishop state yesterday the true position of matters between Evison and himself?—I think I heard the Archbishop say that Evison was not required to write up the dogmas of the Church.

Does that alter your opinion about Evison being a religious adventurer?—No, it does not. I hold that as editor he is responsible for what appears in the paper. If what appears in a paper is scur rilous, I hold that the editor is responsible.

You still consider that Evison is a religious adventurer, although you have been told that none of the views which really represent the dogmas of the Church come from him in any shape or form?—Let me make myself clear. I consider that a gentleman who has conducted a Freethought journal, lectured on a Freethought platform, and then conducts a religious journal, is a religious adventurer.

You say that in spite of everything?—I say that in spite of everything.

Although the publication of the Freethought journal under his reign dates back six years, that makes no difference?—None whatever.

You are a very charitable person?—I claim to be as charitable as most men.

You assume that no man has a right to modify his views during a period of six years?—A man has every right to change his views. I could give many instances where Freethinkers have changed. But when a man changes his views and takes up a position where it pays, I should judge him accordingly.

Further cross-examined, witness said he had seen several copies of the Rationalist, but hid not studied or subscribed for it. Had looked at various portions not knowing what was written. Thought it was not fit for any respectable person to read. Did not know whether any extracts had been recently printed by anybody connected with the Association. Remembered the letter of Messrs. Campbell and Gray reaching the Board, and the instructions being given to defend the action. There was no threat to publish the correspondence with the Archbishop. Information was given of such intention because it was considered to be a duty to give him notice.

Mr. Gully—You threatened to publish then letters, and would have done so if the writ had not been served upon you?

Mr. Jellicoe submitted that it was not for witness to say what was intended. After argument his Honour said the question should not be pressed.

Asked by his Honour, witness said he believed Finucane was a member of the Union before be went to work at the Catholic Times office, and was re-admitted after explanation.

Edward Thornton, one of the deferdants in the action, examined by Mr. Jellicoe, said he was a compositor in the employment of Messrs. Book & Cousins. He became President of the Wellington Branch of the Typographies; Association on 22nd August last, and was a member of the Board of Management. The evi dence given in Court in connection with Finucane's statements to the Board were perfectly true. Had been in the printing trade since he was 11 years of age. The rate of wages for journeymen compositors throughout the year had been £3 per week. If a journeyman were paid 32s 6d per week, would decidedly say that that amounted to sweating.

His Honour—It seems that in your day they did employ boys?—Yes, I was a boy.

Mr. Jellicoe—We all have to make a be ginning.

His Honour—I suppose you began as a devil?

Witness—Yes, I suppose I was a devil them.

Mr. Jellicoe—A great many members of the Bar begin by devilling.

Mr. Gully—Yes, and some men never end it

Continuing his evidence, witness said the mat in charge of the printing room was called the overseer, that was the term universally used in the trade. In consequence of Finucane's communication regarding the Catholic Times witness made inquiries from a member of the previous Board. A committee was set up, of which witness formed a member, to act in the matter. Up to that time had had no personal acquaintance with Evison. Had not the slightest ill-will towards him. Knew that be (Evison) had gone by the name of "Ivo." Had heard a good deal about his career in connection with the Rationalist and also as a lecturer. Understood that the Rationalist was a scurrilous publication. In drafting the letters, "Ivo's" previous career was discussed. Understood from what Finucane has said and from what he had heard from the previous Board that a certain amount of money was paid to the manager or overseer of the Catholic Times to bring out the paper. The reference to the overseer in the letter applied to Cooper. Did not say in, the letter that the money was paid to Cooper, because there was a doubt as to how the money eventually got to Cooper's hands. The letter asked simply for an inquiry by the Archbishop. The clause in the letter stating that they were "tempted to attribute," Ac, was put in because from what he had read page 25 as to the sentiments contained in the Pope's Encyclical, and from what he had seen in the cable message as to Cardinal Moran's utterances, he thought the Archbishop mast have been kept in ignorance of the way in which the Catholic Times office was being: conducted, so far as related to compositors. Did not mean that Evison was wilfully concealing anything from the Archbishop-nothing of the kind. Could not place any such meaning on the letter. Considered it de grading for the Society to be referred to a person who had conducted a paper of the description of the Rationalist. That was his opinion still; he was perfectly honest in that opinion. They had had no desire to get Evison out of his employ ment; the matter was simply a personal one as concerned the Association.

Cross-examined, witness said he considered it really degrading to commuicate with a man whom he believed was editing a religious paper under false colours. That had a great deal to do with him as a member of the Association, and with the Association itself. They objected to Evison's character, and wanted to avoid having anything to do with him. It might have been a matter of sentiment. The word "foreman" was used as well as "overseer" in printing offices, but the latter word was more frequently used. Had heard that there had been negotiations with the Catholic Times office previous to becoming a member of the Board in 1891.

J. W. Henrichs, the second defendant in the action, said ho was a compositor employed by Messrs. Blundell Bros., of the Evening Post. Had been Secretary to the Board since March, 1890. Accompanied McGirr when the interview with Evison took place in July. Had not the slightest idea that a shorthand writer was taking notes at that interview. The evidence of McGirr as to the interviews was substantially correct. Formed one of the Committee, ex officio, to draft the letters referred to. Had no desire to injure Evison, and had no ill-will at all. Knew him as "Ivo" before he (witness) came to Wellington, seven or eight years ago, when Evison was leotaring in Wanganui. Knew also that he had conducted the Rationalist. Had seen portions of the Rationalist ridiculing the Scriptures. "Ivo's" career was mentioned when the letters were being discussed. Witness wrote the letters. In making the statement about the degradation, relied on what was known of Evison. It was considered a degradation by the Committee. Any personal aversion witness might have would have to be swallowed if the Committee thought it advisable to communicate with Evison. Witness would have preferred to have nothing to do with him The standard rate of pay for compositors was £3 per week. The man in charge of the composing room was known either as foreman or overseer. In witness's office Mr. Blundell had the supervision, but the man under him was called the overseer, the man who gave out the copy to the compositors when Mr. Blundell was not present. Should say paying a journeyman anything under £3 would be sweating. Of course there were degrees of sweating. A man who only got £2 would be more sweated than a man who received £2 10s. Would say that Finucane, in working for 32s 6d a week, was being sweated, and that his employers were imposing on his inexperience. Finucane's inexperience arose from the fact that he had only been a few months out of his time. The reference to concealment in the letter cer tainly did not mean that Evison had improperly and diahonestly been making a profit out of the funds supplied to him. The full extent of the meaning was that a system was carried on which it was thought the Archbishop could not be cognisant of. It mattered little who was con cealing the matter—in fact the committee did not know. They had no desire to get Evison out of his employment, nor did they care whether Evison or anybody else managed the Catholic Times. What difference could it make to them? The whole extent of the concluding paragraph of the second letter was that they did not care to have anything to do with Evison for reasons of their own.

Cross-examined, witness said the Committee had no intention of damaging Evison in any way in couching the letter, but a different construc tion had been placed upon it. If there was anything discreditable to Evison in the letter, it was not intended. Witness was a paid officer of the Board. With regard to the apparent inconsis tency of the Board in holding communication with Evison the previous year and declining to do so this year, witness wished to state that the Board this year was differently constituted, and when the matter came before the new Board and it was found that he (witness) had written to Evison they disapproved of his action, and decided to have nothing to do with Evison. His (witness') letter was the only one sent to Evison this year.

R. C. Harding, master printer, said he had been employed at Lyou & Blair's. His definition of sweating was that condition of things where an employer or manager or overseer relieved himself from the responsibility of the payment of wages. Instead of undertaking direct control, such a man paid a middleman a sum of money to take control and pay what wages he thought fit. A sweating office was one where the work was sublet. Sweating did not necessarily involve the payment of less than standard wages; it was whore the work was left to the discretion of someone below the proprietor, who thus divested himself of responsibility. The results varied accord ing to the men employed and the circumstances of the case. Had been in Court throughout the trial, and had heard explained the system on which the Catholic Times was worked. Considered that that office was correctly described as an office where the sweating system was carried on. The Catholic Times office would be described in the trade as a "rat office" in addition to being a sweating office. That meant that they were sweated rats. An overseer was necessarily a practical printer, who gave out the work and had the oversight of the office. The word foreman was synonymous. The word foreman was not the term used generally by printers; the term varied with different trades. Asked to give an opinion as to his interpretation of the letters, witness said that if there were a charge made against anybody it was against the Archbishop, who was primary head of the office, and was therefore responsible. The next paragraph confirmed that view. The reference to the Encyclical and Cardinal Moran's utterances he should consider ironical. The Board had failed to get satisfaction from the Archbishop, and they practically said, "We shall publish to the world that you are, in defiance of your ecclesiastical superiors, conducting a paper on the sweating system." That was the interpretation witness put upon it. He did not see any attack, either direct or in direct, upon the manager. He knew "Ivo" as every other journalist in the colony knew him. Was in business in Napier when "Ivo" was lecturing there, but did not go to hear him. Heard of "Ivo's" connection with the Rationalist.

Mr. Jellicoe—Can you understand, any reasonable person thinking it a degradation to be referred to such a person?

Mr. Gully objected to the question being put.

His Honour thought it was one for the moral sense of the jury.

Plaintiff was recalled by the defence to give evidence with reference to what ho had stated page 26 the previous day as to his connection with the Rationalist.

Mr. Gully objected. His connection with the Rationalist bad been admitted. He objected to any further questions. It could not make the least difference whether Evison was proprietor of the paper.

His Honour said that was in his discretion. He wanted to know what Mr Jellicoe was going to ask the witness.

Mr. Jellicoe said he proposed to ask him whether he did not go (amongst others) to Mr. Stidolph to induce him to take shares in a syndi cate for the purpose of bringing out the Rationalist in Wellington.

His Honour held that the question was irrelevant.

B. J. Finucane, a journeyman compositor, said he had served his apprenticeship at Messrs. Brown and Thomson's, and afterwards received from them journeyman's wages. Was now employed at the New Zealand Times office at £ 3 a week. Had previously applied at the Catholic Times office for a job, and had received there 32s 6d a week. Was out of work before that. Circumstances at home made him go to that office for a job. His mother-was not in good health, and his being out of work used to prey upon her mind. Was glad to get the job, because it was better than walking about doing nothing. Went on as a temporary hand and worked there about four months. Cooper afterwards got him a billet in the N.Z. Times office. Would not have gone to work at the Catholic Times office if there had not been trouble at home. Wanted more money from Cooper, but he said that that was all he could pay. Went to the office of his own free will because there was nothing better offering.

Robert Vaney, compositor in the NZ Times office, examined.

You were a member of the Committee which drew up the letters addressed to the Archbishop?—I was.

Are you a member of the Roman Catholic Church?—lam.

Did you agree with the letters that were written by the Committee?—Most decidedly I did.

Mr. Jellicoe said that was all the evidence he proposed to call. He asked his Honour to deal now with the plea of privilege, and also to say whether any other meaning could be put upon the alleged libel than that charged in the innuendo. Counsel quoted the second volume of the last edition of Roscoe, page 791, where it was laid down that the plaintiff must prove the innuendoes if traversed. The result of that argument was that where words were capable of two meanings, one innocent and the other libellous, the Judge must withdraw the matter from the jury unless the plaintiff gave evidence establishing the libellous meaning. With regard to the question of privi lege, it was alleged that the defendants, as President and Secretary of an Association, had a duty to perform to the Association. It was further alleged that the Association had a duty to perform in protecting the interests and welfare of each member. Defendants alleged that they acted under a sense of duty, and if his Honour could see in the evidence reasons for the exercise of such a duty, then his Honour must rule that a prima facie case of privilege had been made out. Counsel quoted cases in point, and submitted that there was abundant evidence to show that defendants had a right in the interests of the Association to inform Archbishop Redwood of certain facts which were conceived by the Asso ciation to involve a serious evil, with a view of having the evil remedied.

His Honour said if the Association had only informed the Archbishop of facts they would not want privilege at all. Privilege was only wanted where matters stated were not facts.

Mr. Jellicoe cited cases to show that he was not so limited. He claimed that defendants per formed their duty in the interests of society, and that the occasion was a privileged one.

After further argument,

His Honour said he had no hesitation in saying that the Association did not stand in any such definite relation to the Archbishop as to make the communication a privileged one. The Association was a voluntary body upon which no duty was imposed of interfering with the relations of employer and employed in oases where, at all events, the employe was not a member of their own body, Finucane was not a member of their body, but he did not know whether that would make any difference. He was perfectly clear that it was not a privileged occasion, therefore the defendants must justify the truth of this statements. With regard to the other point, the Association had a perfect right to say with whose they would not communicate. The case of Henty, quoted by Mr. Jellicoe, made that clear. In that case the issue of instructions by a company to all its branches not to accept the paper of a certain bank was very prejudicial to the bank, but the firm was quite within its rights. Similarly though the Association's refusal to communicate with Evison might be very prejudicial to him, it had a right to take that attitude if it saw fit.

Mr. Jellicoe, addressing the jury, said they were now coming to the close of this unfortunate case, and he for one regretted that it had occupied so long; but he thought they would come to tie conclusion, notwithstanding the length of time occupied, that good work had been done, not only by the defendants, whom he represented, bringing before the Archbishop the state of things which existed in the heart of the city, but by his friend bringing before a class jury—because they knew that in the year 1891 special juries were supposed to be connected with capital more than labour—case which affected labour generally and the Typographical Association in particular, which would give them (the jury) an opportunity of showing that they at least were prepared to deal fairly by labour when labour dealt fairly with capital, as in this case, by endeavouring to [unclear: prectect] both the interests of those employed and the capitalists who employed them. The witnesses called on behalf of the defence would, he suggested, compare very favourably with those on behalf of the plaintiff. He would ask them to consider for a moment the manner in which the witnessed on the other side had given their evidence. None of the witnesses for the defendant! had attempted to conceal or veil anything. [unclear: Thorrton] and Henrichs, he thought they would say were a credit to labour when they were foal giving evidence in that Court so fairly that [unclear: is] might be said they were giving it against themselves. On the other hand, could it be said that the plaintiff's witnesses were disinterested? Mr. Evison was asking for a character which would free him from the discredit attached to his conection with the Rationalist and his public [unclear: les]turing in New Zealand. He was also [unclear: interested] in point of pocket, because naturally he did not want to lose the action. That might involve the loss of his situation—he was not sure of this however, because if the Archbishop before this action thought him a fit and proper person to conduct the Catholic Times, there was no reason why he should not continue to conduct [unclear: their] journal. Therefore the plaintiff was interested in point of character and in point of pocket. The Archbishop was also interested—he said it with the greatest possible respect for his Grace—because he was the proprietor of the Catholic Times, and could not help feeling deeply interested page 27 in the charge referred to in the letters considered to be libellous. Said hie Grace—" I considered the letters grossly libellous and impertinent. That part of the letter referring to the precepts laid down by the Pope and the utterances of Car dinal Moran would suggest that I had been violating them by allowing sweating in my office," and he further said, "I considered it indirectly ft charge against myself." When he was interested directly in We Catholic Times and the system under which it was worked, and was asked to consider and condemn it, and allowed it to continue in spite of the protests of the Typographical Association addressed to him from one year's end to another, when he refused to receive a deputa tion from that body for the purpose of considering the request—a request couched in perfectly polite and courteous language—then in fact he was condemning himself as the pro prietor of that journal. Therefore he (counsel) said the Archbisbop—with the greatest possible respect to him—was so far interested that he desired to secure at the hands of the jury a verdict in favour of Evison. And he was interested from another point of view. He was interested—and he was bound to tell them that he was interested—because he and his Church had left the conduct of a sectarian paper to the editorial conduct of such a person as the man who had been disclosed to the jury as "Ivo." Therefore he (counsel) suggested that Archbishop Redwood was an interested witness. Was Cooper disinterested in the verdict which they were asked to pronounce? How did he receive the cross-examination first addressed to him on behalf of the defendants? He disclosed himself as a hostile witness; and why hostile? Because he had no reason to desire a change in the system on which the paper was conducted, in which they saw abuse, and which he was anxious to continue to the detriment of the men employed in other offices, to the detriment of the trade, and for his own benefit. The only other witness called on behalf of the plain tiff was Mr. Blair, a candid friend whom they all respected. He (counsel) did not know what class of spectacles he saw through, but they were spectacles which no other man could understand. He could not understand how any man breathing could bring himself to see in the letters what Mr. Blair saw unless he had been led away by his own strong will or feeling. Therefore he suggested that Mr. Blair was not altogether disinterested, but was interested in the strong views he held, After all, what did it matter what Mr. Blair or anyoue else thought about the letters? The jury did not want Mr. Blair or Mr. Wriggles worth—a gentleman whom he (counsel) had called to give the same kind of evidence on behalf of the defence but did not examine—to say what they thought about the letters. It was for the jury and his Honour to say what interpretation the letters bore, and he-(counsel) was quite content to accept at the hands of a class jury in Welling ton—even from those representing capital more than labour—a fair and honest interpretation of the two letters which had been written. Evison had said that the letters contained a charge of sweating against himself. That was a statement not supported by his learned friend. The defence said that the charge of sweating could in no sense be attributed to him because he never was the authority concerned in the employment of labour in the Catholic Times office. It was the manager or overseer—the middleman, in fact—who was referred to; it was the abuse brought about by the middleman that the Association aimed at; and the charge itself, if it were anything more than a representation by the Association of something which they had heard and were anxious for the Archbishop to consider, was levelled against the office and the system adopted there. He (counsel) regretted exceedingly that hie Honour had ruled the day before in such a manner that he (counsel) was prevented from roving out of the month of the Archbishop the sweating system in operation in the office, for that ruling prevented him from proving that the complaint was directed against the office, against:he proprietor himself, perhaps, but not against Evison. He (counsel) had suggested the day before, and he now repeated it, that without sweating it was not possible to produce the Catholic Times and carry it on as a newspaper, If that paper had to be kept alive it could only be kept alive by the sweating of labour. If that were a fact—and if they went into the figures they would find it was—then in the interests of the printing trade, in the interests of capital, and in the interests of the public, that paper should cease to exist. If a paper could not be carried on by paying fair wages to those employed in its production, without undercutting the trade and bringing down the tariff of the Master printers and the wages of other compositors to the level which the proprietors of such a paper chose to recognise, he said the sooner it was swept off the face of the earth the better. Let them look at the figures for a moment. Cooper in 1891 received £14 8s for farming the paper. He paid thereout £12 10s 6d, retaining the difference for himself, and that difference, plus about £2 a week for jobbing, was, he said, the average of profits he derived as the overseer. Out of the £ 12 10s 6d he disbursed, he said he had to pay three men £2 10s a week each. The market rate for these three men in town would be £9 a week. The wages of the other employés would have brought the expenses up to £14 6s a week if a fair rate had been given to these men, but de ducting his own profit, Cooper had only £12 10s 6d with which to meet these expenses. He (counsel) said that if a paper could only afford to pay £12 10s 6d to meet legitimate expenses amounting to £14 6s, the sooner it shut up the better. If they took the previous year they would find things even worse, because there was less jobbing done, and consequently less profit to go towards payment of Cooper's salary. Deducting his own salary he would have about £ 11. If he had paid three compositors fair and honest wages he would have been left with £2 to discharge other wages amounting to £5 6s; so that during the whole of last year and six months of the present the office would have been in a state at bankruptcy if it had not sweated the labour for the purpose of carrying on the paper. The jury knew that if they desired to run a news paper they must put their hands into their pockets to subscribe the money. He therefore suggested that the reason the bargain was made with Cooper was that the paper should be carried on at the expense of labour and with a view as far as possible to avoid the necessity of his Grace the Archbishop putting his hand into his pocket to contribute towards the loss. When the jury came to consider their verdict it was necessary to regard the light in which the letters were written by the Association. The plaintiff during 1885 and 1886 had admittedly, to put it mildly, dis played offensive levity and applied indecent ex pressions to sacred persons and sacred books. His design therefore was to occasion that mischief to morality which tended to destroy it. His intention was to insult those who believed in God and to cast abuse and ridicule upon the doctrines of those who believed in God, to oast abuse upon their religion and to bring the various forms of worship into disgraceful contempt. He attacked Christianity in his writings and in his lectures. He said, "In my lectures I promul gated the same opinions which I published to the world when I conducted the Rationalist." Now, page 28 if that was so he (counsel) would he entitled to tell them that if they went back as far as Blackstone, when the laws were not so elastic as they were at present, the law recognised morality. "Morality," said Blackstone, "is weakened by irreligion and is overthrown by infidelity." He (counsel) said morality was necessary to society. Bishop Luck had thought fit to issue a pastoral warning the people of Auckland against men whom he fitly described as the scum of society, and the scum of society, according to the Bishop, included the man "Ivo," and they now knew who that man was. He (counsel) said it was a libel on what was called open Freethought, and on Free thinkers as a sect, to connect them with such a trio as the syndicate of the Rationalist. No one but the scum of society, whether in Auckland or anywhere else, could write such detestable filth as that contained in the two letters addressed to Bishop Luck, and signed "Ivo." He (counsel) was content to rely upon those two letters and no more; but if they looked at the other matter and saw how the plaintiff bad attacked other churches could they not see that a very grave abuse and a very grave evil had existed in Auckland in those days? Let them imagine young men being in duced to listen to that sort of thing—the reviling of Christianity and indecent attacks on the Scrip tures. What must have been the result? Had not Society been injured—gravely injured by that man? Yet that man now, Archbishop Redwood had said, in spite of what Bishop Luck knew to the contrary, was a fit and proper person to edit and manage the Catholic Times! Well, he might be. Judging from the papers to which he (counsel) had referred the previous day (counsel held up a copy of the Catholic Times) he might be a fit and proper person to conduct it Still, there it was; the Archbishop had accepted him as a fit and proper person, and he must be deemed a fit and proper person by the jury and in the eyes of Roman Catholics. But although the Archbishop took exception to Bishop Luck's pastoral—for it came to that—when the Bishop was warning the people of Auckland against the scum of society, the jury were entitled to ask whether there was reason or justification for that exception. Where was the reason for suggesting that Evison had changed? Had there been any evidence to sug gest that he had abandoned his own opinions? Did Archbishop Redwood say so? No! He said this, and this only, "He was only required to ad vocate two principles—Home Rule and State aid to Catholic Schools." It did not matter to them as a sect what his principles were. He might be, for all they cared then and may care now, the man "Ivo. So long as "Ivo" could bo found to advocate Home Rule and State aid to Catholic schools he was a fit and proper person to conduct their journal. "But if what the Association say is true," said the Archbishop, "I could not retain plaintiff in my service." He swore it distinctly yesterday. Why, it was all admitted to be true! Although the Archbishop had declared there that ho would not retain the man in hie service any longer if true, it was admitted and proved to be true by the publications produced—in the publications, they must bear in mind, that his Grace shrank from looking at—the publica tions, let them remember, of his own editor! He absolutely shrank from them, and appealed to his Honour for protection! He refused to degrade himself by looking at the publications of the man who edited the Catholic Times; but although he refused to permit himself to suffer this degrada tion, he said, "It is impossible for the Association to consider it a degradation to have anything to do with 'Ivo' "Well, the matter was in the jury's hands. He asked them to review the letters, and he ventured to say as reasonable men they could not place upon them the defamatory meaning which his friend sought to put upon them in consideration of a very good pecuniary sum. He ventured to think the jury would hesitate a very long time before they would say that the Typographical Association or any other body, whether connected with capital or labour, were not free to exercise their own discretion with regard to persons with whom they would communicate. One word and he was done. Driscoll, they had been told, had been taken on at 15s a weak to fill the place of one of the men discharged, who had been paid £2 5s. In 1891 Cooper had generously increased the men's wages to £2 10s, in consequence of the increase of jobbing; but he did not tell them that there was no overtime included in the extra sum. The jobbing must have involved overtime, and were they going to say that Cooper did not get a quid pro quo for what he gave them?

Mr. Gully objected to his friend telling the jury that there was nothing to show that overtime was not included. Forty-eight hours a week had been mentioned.

Mr. Jellicoe said 48 hours had been mentioned when the men were receiving £2 a week, not whet they received the additional 10s.

Mr. Gully said his friend had been careful not to ask the question.

His Honour said he had not taken all the details of the money paid.

Mr. Jellicoe then referred to the case of Finucane. The office had taken advantage of hit necessities, and was that nota fair instance of what his friend had said the previous day about grind ing the faces of the poor? Here was a man who was absolutely compelled to take what labour was offered to him, because his mother and sisters depended upon him for their bread and butter. They were facing starvation, yet advantage was taken of the necessities of this man, who ought to have been paid, if not sweated, the minimum of £3 a week. He had to accept the hard bargain of 32s 6d, and after a short time, according to Cooper, because there was not sufficient work, was sent about his business, and Driscoll was given 15s to do the work. And yet, at this time, according to both Cooper and Evison, the jobbing was on the increase. What was that but sweating? He asked the jury to decide the case free from party influence. What his clients had done had been done in the interests of society. They had been trying to bring about, as far as possible, that peace and goodwill which ought to have beet extended to them at the hands of the Catholic community.

Mr. Gully said the case had been pressed against! the plaintiff without scrup'e and without stint. Those who bad instructed counsel on the other side had thought it necessary—reckless of relevance, and he might say regardless of decency—to press the case against him with one object, that was to show that he was a person of such a degraded character—so bad that the Association could not communicate with him, and so bad that he came within the meaning of Bishop Luck's expression that he was part of the scum of the community. How did they do that? By digging up the bones of a paper six years old, bis friend playing the part of the gravedigger. On one of these papers was written, "This is all I can find," and those words seemed to him (counsel) significant. Far from being influenced by these Rationalistic writings, they had picked out the worst of them, and said he is responsible for everything that appears within the four corners. They had vilified his character in every possible way. In cross-examination his friend had flaunted these papers before the jury, he had read the worst one of the lot, and then suddenly discovered that he could not read any more without doing violence to his delicacy. That page 29 was one stage of the case to show that 'plaintiff I was a hypocrite, and they would have to consider whether the charge had been brought home. The jury must look at the surroundings which had led the Association to decline to communicate with the plaintiff. It had been suggested that all these papers had come from the pen of Evison, but in cross-examination he had told them that he was connected with the paper as editor, and was only one of a number responsible. Apart from the letter to Bishop Luck, which was a reply to an attack on the Freethinkers of Auck land, nothing else had been brought home to Evison. Counsel then referred to the case of Bradlaugh and Foote, which had been mentioned by his friend the previous day, and contended that it was a very different thing for a man to be branded as an Atheist and to be accused simply of holding Freethought views. There was a wide distinction which he would leave the jury to decide. But why should that sort of thing be dragged in? If a man had picked a pocket five years ago, or had served a term in gaol for a bankruptcy offence, or any other form of vice, would it be proper, simply because he had been doing his duty, to malign him to his employer? They had no right to do that. They might use all legitimate arguments, but they had no right to atrack a man's personal character and interfere with the relations between him and his em ployer. Was there to be no limit to the time in which a man's sins could be brought up in Court? How long was a man to live before he could live down an act of folly or misfortune, or even any thing else? They knew that a simple debt was barred after six years, and even in the case of felony committed ten years ago if they accused a man of it in writing or alleged it, although it might be perfectly true, they would be liable for damages. These were matters of common sense and common morality. Was not Archbishop Redwood right when he said that after a man had ceased the publication of a paper, or given up lecturing, he did not think it mattered much or unfitted him to occupy such a position as Evison occupied at the present time. He (counsel) did think it was a shame that all these things should be dragged up after they had been forgotten, and revived under altered conditions, for he (counsel) was prepared to believe plaintiff when he said the whole thing was an utter mistake.

Mr. Jellicoe—He said he was not ashamed.

Mr. Gully—He said he was not ashamed in this sense; that a man who gives vent to opinions which he thinks he ought to give vent to at the time, has no reason afterwards to be ashamed. He said he was ashamed of the method. Continning, counsel said it was the bringing up of these things six years old to justify an allegation that a person was not fit to communicate with that he regarded as objectionable. He asked on which side was there the greater hypocrisy—was it on the side of the man who after years had so changed his views as to take part in a sectarian journal, or on the side of men who said it was a degradation to communicate with him because six years before he had been connected with a secular paper? Who was the humbug? He did not believe for a moment that defendants had been actuated by the consideration that they believed the plaintiff to be a religious adventurer. There must be great difficulty in believing that. He suggested it was not the reason, or they would have declined to communicate with him at all. In the first place, they did not know anything about these papers, and therefore could not refuse to communicate with Evison on account of his connection with papers of which they were ignorant.

Mr. Jellicoe said McGirr and other wit-nesses said distinctly they had seen the publica tions, and considered them scandalous.

Mr. Gully said they had seen the paper once or twice. None of them professed any sort of intimacy with the paper. How was it that, if they considered him an unfit person to commu nicate with, they had communicated with him for a period of twelve months? One of the defendants was at every interview, signed every letter, and was cognisant of all the negotiations which went on, and his letters showed whether he was in such a condition of mind that he declined to com municate with him. Why, at the beginning, the correspondence was perfectly polite and full of courtesy towards him, the man whom afterwards it was such a dreadful thing to communicate with. The interview of July wound up with a vote of thanks for his courtesy.

Mr. Jellicoe did not think this was fair. They did not know that the Board of Manage ment of that year knew anything of the man's previous career.

His Honour—Henrichs said he had known him six or seven years.

Continuing, Mr. Gully asked if it was likely a man could conscientiously refuse to communicate with another after writing letters to him over a period of 12 months? That was Henriehs' position. Thornton had been on the previous Board. Did they suppose that he was not aware of the previous communications. Did they think these gentlemen were going to refuse to communicate with a proprietor on any matter because his manager held Freethought views? Mr. Rigg had said that it was a degradation to be referred to a subordinate. He considered it a degradation to be referred to anything less than an Archbishop. To his (counsel's) mind this Freethought cant made the defendant's case worse than before. Coming to the letters he asked the jury to read them together. He sug gested that they contained three stings. First, that they made a charge of sweating; secondly, they made a charge that the proprietor had been kept in wilful ignorance; and third, that it was a degradation to communicate with plaintiff, either because he was a turncoat or generally because he was disreputable person. He did not care two straws about the statement that the Catholic Times paid a fixed sum to be distributed among the men. What he complained of and put as a test was the effect this would have had if it had been put into the public newspapers.

His Honour—I do not think that a fair test, as it did not appear in the public newspapers. The effect of the publication of these two letters to persons who knew nothing of the circumstances might have been more disastrous to Evison than the publication to the Archbishop.

Mr. Gully asked the jury to consider the effect these letters would have had on their minds if they had been in the position of the Archbishop, and were told that this person was carrying on their business on the sweating system, that they were kept in wilful ignorance, and that it was a degradation for the Association to communicate with them. That was the sting. He would take the three stings, as he did not wish to dissociate any part from the rest. First as to the sweating: they had had a train of witnesses in the box who had told them that there was no sweating at all, only a harmless system of sub-contracting. Let them take the case where a sub-contract was let to a bricklayer, who parcelled out the money he received to the men working on the contract. Would they call that sweating? What sweating really meant was where there was an abuse of sub-contracting, and it was only where there was an abuse that people had any right to characterise it as sweating. What an absurdity it was other wise! These young fellows might have had ex- page 30 perience as printers, but they had had no business experience, and were going to abolish sub-contracting through their guilds. The jury must come to the conclusion that the system in the Catholic Times office was a perfectly harmless system of sub-contracting for business con venience, which did not in the least deserve to be characterised as sweating. Finucane was the person who complained to the Union, and without a word of enquiry, the latter jumped to a con clusion in a haphazard fashion.

Mr. Jellicoe—The witnesses said they did inquire.

Mr. Gully—Not at the Catholic Times office. Surely they ought to have made inquiry from men acquainted with the facts. They ought to have gone to Cooper or to Evison. In the case which had been held up to them, the young fellow was walking about doing nothing, and went to Cooper and asked for a job. Cooper did not want him as a regular hand, and offered him wages which he (Finucane) probably would not have accepted on a permanent billet. Surely Trades Unions must recognise that there should be some little latitude, some elasticity in their rules providing for a young man getting a job. Where was the tyranny in giving Finucane a job? The question could not be limited to sub contracting Defendants referred to the Ency clical of the Pope and the utterances of Cardinal Moran. These condemned sweating, but it was the sweating they had all heard of as existing in the Old Country. That was the kind of sweating referred to and condemned in these two propa ganda. Neither the Pope nor the Cardinal was probably aware of the detailed management of the Catholic Times office. It was a general con demnation of what was known as sweating, containing these three elements:—First of all, longer hours than usual among the industrial classes; secondly, starvation wages; thirdly, the abuse of sanitary conditions. The third probably did not apply out here, but the other two did, and neither was present. His friend had said that if a man could not pay Union wages he must shut up shop. That meant that all the small concerns which could not go into the Union gates should be abolished altogether. The second sting was the reference to Archbishop Redwood being kept in wilful ignorance. That was plain English and a plain charge. Something had been said as to whether Cooper or Evison was meant, but he (counsel) did not think it mattered. His friend had said it applied to both, and therefore not to either. But if it was said that A or B had committed a theft how could it be said that both were not injured?

Mr. Jellicoe—I submit that that is unfair

His Honour—You must not interrupt and say it is unfair, Mr. Jellicoe. You have had your say, and cannot interrupt because you think the counsel is straining the evidence. His arguments may seem all unfair. If the evidence is mis stated the other side may interrupt, but if he is only misusing arguments you must not interrupt.

Mr. Gully, continuing, said if A or B were accused, both had a right to complain. It was absurd therefore to throw the whole responsibility on the overseer when the manager was blamed. Evison was the person aimed at; he was the person through whose hands the money percoated; he was the person who had direct control of the office. The third sting was the degradation. Defendants had shown by their own evidence that they considered it a real degradation to communicate with Evison; by their own words they had said repeatedly that he was a person of such a shameless character that they could not communicate with him. Counsel referred to the evidence, and asked the jury to consider whether the defendants had justified themselves or not.

His friend with execrable taste had referred to the Archbishop as an interested witness rendered unfair by his connection with the paper. To his (counsel s) mind the Archbishop seemed to give his evidence with absolute courtesy and without bias. The only fault was that he showed a little more charity in looking at things than those who were attacking Evison were disposed to court Coming to the question of damages, he said the first publication took place to Archbishop Redwood, but these statements were also published to the members of the Board, whose duty it was to know what was going on, and in considering the plea of justification set up they had to con sider what had come into the light of day and become circulated throughout the length and breadth of the colony.

Mr. Jellicoe asked his Honour to take the jury's meaning as to the innuendoes.

His Honour said—Gentlemen of the Jury,—At this stage of the case you have been at so long and hard, it will not be necessary to detain you very long with my charge. Counsel in addressing you have themselves got rid of no small amount of the extraneous matter introduced on one aide and the other. Of course you will understand you are not sitting there to try the merits of trade unionism, neither are you trying the merits of the system on which the Catholic Times is conducted. You are solely and purely asked to say whether the letters are defamatory of Mr. Evison, and if in your opinion they are defamatory then it is your duty to say what damages he is entitled to. I will hand to you the original letters to begin with. First of all is the covering letter, which I pass by, because its importance is only referential. It is only by reference to the other letters that it can have anything like a defamatory meaning. As regards the principal letter, it has been referred to as consisting of three paragraphs but in point of fact you will see there are four. I have marked the divisions as A, B, and C. The first two are the same subject matter, and the whole contain what Mr. Gully calls the three stings of the alleged libel. You will also has put into your hands the statement of claim with what are called the innuendoes, which are the interpretation which the plaintiff puts upon the different portions of the alleged libel. The plaintiff has sought to prove these innuendoes, and you may think some of them proved. On the other hand, you may think they, or some of them, stretch the meaning unduly of the clauses to which they are applied. You will be justified in giving him a verdict if you think any of these innuendoes are really made out, and if you are satisfied that the letter as so explained is really defamatory. The question as to whether the matter is libellous is for you to decide. It would be my duty to withdraw the documents if I say that they could not by any possibility be libellous That is rarely done now, and it may be that they may have a defamatory meaning. You have to say. I do not say they have. I have to leave the case to you. Furthermore, independent of the innuendoes, if the natural meaning you would yourself extract from the several paragraphs of tin letter is libellous in your opinion, you will also be justified in finding a verdict for the plaintiff, even if particular innuendoes are not proved, because plaintiff under the law may recover if the writing in its natural meaning is defamatory. Even if you should reject the whole interpretation, if you think that per se it is defamatory, that is good legal ground for a verdict. I have little to say after what has been said about the paragraph Paragraph 1—I shall call it A—is an imputation that a certain sum of money is paid weekly to the manager or overseer, that the men are paid what he chooses to pay them, and that he keen the balance himself. That is termed what is [unclear: it] page 31 ordinary usage an opprobrious term, sweating, and plaintiff is, it is alleged, accused of sweating. Now the charge is, as Mr. Gully has pointed out, that the money was paid to the manager or overseer, and it is contended on the part of the defendants that Mr. Evison was neither the manager nor the overseer. Mr. Blair said he should have understood that the plaintiff was manager or overseer, but to me the most probable explanation of the term is that given by Mr. Rigg, whose state ments are entitled to authority, and the President of the Association. Mr. Rigg puts it in this way: "To whom were you referring as manager or overseer?—I considered Cooper was the overseer. There was a doubt, and we said manager or overjeer; either one or the other." As Mr. Rigg is a member of the Committee, I think that his in terpretation is probable, and that the meaning in the letter was to refer to either one of two per sons, for they did not know whether it was Evison or Cooper they desired to incriminate by making the accusation. But as Mr. Gully said and I think justly, even if put in the alternative it is defamatory. It may be said that A or B stole a pig, or did so and so. That is injurious to both A and B, and similarly any injurious or de famatory remark may be injurious to either of two persons charged. But there is a construction which has struck me throughout the trial, namely, that the imputation was not one likely to be injurious in a high degree to Evison, seeing that it was made to the Archbishop. Archbishop Bedwood actually knew the facts of the case; he knew perfectly well that if sweating was carried on in the office Evison was not responsible for it. Therefore it was not likely to hurt Evison very much to make a charge against him which the Archbishop must at once have been aware was an unfounded one. It is not a complete answer, but it would affect the amount of damages anyoue would give for what is called sweating under the first head. You have to consider under this head whether there was anything anybody could consider sweating. That would come in incidentally. I am not going to say anything about that, because it was abundantly treated by the witnesses on both sides. With regard to the charge under the head B, that the Archbishop was kept in wilful ignorance of the state of things existing in the office, or the way in which his business was carried on, I may say of that, as I said of the other, that the statement was not likely to damage Evison with the Archbishop. Although it may be defamatory, it the same time it is not likely to damage him very much, because the Archbishop know perfectly well that he was not kept in ignorance, but was perfectly well instructed as to what took place in the office, except that he did not know about the detailed expenditure of Cooper. Had the allegations been published in one of the news papers of the colony, it would have been different, but that does not apply at all. If they had been addressed to strangers who had not the means of knowing the actual truth, they were much more likely to be injurious. But I think there is a great deal in the evidence of Mr. Harding, that the whole of this passage is ironical, that the persons who wrote it had not the slightest idea that the Archbishop was kept in ignorance, but that it was a rhetorical device for throwing the Encyclical at the Archbishop's head and bringing it under his notice; that he must have known what was going on in the office, and that the system was condemned by his Holiness the Pope and Cardinal Moran. That may have been ironical. However, the plaintiff takes it liter ally, and says that it is an accusation against him of absolute concealment from the Archbishop, and inasmuch as it would be his duty as manager to reveal the state of things to the proprietor of the paper if it existed in the office, the imputation of concealment is defamatory. Now we come to what seems to me the important part of the alleged defamatory libel, the reference to the manager to which so much allusion has been made, in which the writers treat it as a degrada tion to have communication with him. They say they feel degraded at being asked to communicate with such a man. I agree with Mr. Gully that the witnesses for the defence have put their own construction on that. It seems to me the true construction, and the construction which Mr. Jellicoe adopted as well as his clients, for several times yesterday he said he treated this concluding part of the letter as an imputation upon Evison as a humbug. It is more correctly implied in the word hypocrisy. It is in fact an imputation which the plaintiff suggested, and also that, as far as I can understand, which several witnesses for the defence themselves—he might say their own friends—endorsed. Mr. Rigg was very emphatic on this. He was asked, "Why do you consider it a degradation?—For two reasons. We con sider the Archbishop degraded us by referring us to an inferior. The other reason was that it was a degradation to be referred to a religious adven turer—a man who would sell his religious belief to the highest bidder." And again, on crossexamination, the term "religious adventurer" is taken up by Mr. Gully, who asked if that is meant by the last paragraph in the letter, and the answer is that it is. Well, of course, there is no doubt that such an imputation as that is defamatory. It has been decided that an accu sation of hypocrisy is libellous. There is a distinct decision on that. Now the only thing for you to say is whether these words are capable of that meaning. It is for you to consider whether that is a fair interpretation of the terms used in the concluding paragraph, whether that para graph means that Evison was a hired advocate of religious opinions that he opposed. Now the facts stated are, as Mr. Jellicoe says, perfectly true. It is quite true that Evison at different times conducted a Freethought journal, lectured on a Freethought platform, and has accepted the management of a religious paper. That is all perfectly true; but when you read the whole sentence and find that these facts render it in the opinion of the defendants degrading to have communication with him, then you see where sting three comes in. It is not a mere assertion as to these three facts, but there is something behind involved in this assertion that it is a degradation to communicate with him. What that is it is your function to infer, and to give a verdict for plaintiff if you think the inference is a reasonable one. The facts stated do not bear out the charge of hypocrisy, because a man who has conducted a freethought journal may see the error of his ways, as Mr. Evison says, and may with the most thorough good con science not only conduct a religious newspaper in the sense that Evison conducts this paper, but may advocate religious principles. Of course I need not cite instances of great converts—I am ashamed of bringing great names into a case like this—but they are very numerous. There is the saying, "The greater the sinner, the greater the saint." There is no doubt that may be so. Men of passion when they have turned the right way have been as noted for piety as they were before notable for impiety. The greatest doctor of the Latin Church—and he belonged to all of them—St. Augustine, is an instance, and there are many others. I merely mention this to show that a mere matter of change of opinion is not uncom mon. What is it that gives the sting to this? Is it a sting? If you think there is a sting in it you may possibly think there underlies this an impu tation of a hateful character, namely, hypocrisy, and a venal advocacy of religious ideas. As I page 32 have said, the covering letter adds nothing. The force, whatever force it has, is simply this. It expresses the result at which the Association had arrived of non-communication with this gentle man, and the alleged ground of that is expressed in the three paragraphs of the letter. In this part of the letter also it has occurred to me that it is not at all unlikely that this particular topic was referred to in the correspondence with the Archbishop as likely to be specially disagreeable to him. We have nothing to do with that. No doubt it was desired by the Association to get at the Archbishop, that Evison was considered a buffer to be pushed out of the way, and that at all costs they had to get face to face with the Archbishop, so as to succeed in their object—for which a great deal may be said—to put down the cheap publication of this paper. Ofcourse, gentlemen, we have seen the witnesses for the defence, and they seem to me a remarkably intelligent set of young men. Their object in maintaining their professional position seems to me a laudable one in itself. The methods pursued may not always be so worthy of praise. But to maintain the respectable position of compositors seems to me to be a worthy object in which we are all interested, and all public men are interested in having intelligent, respectable men in that position. I should be very sorry to see them degraded, or their emoluments diminished, but we really have nothing to do with a topic like that. I think, gentlemen, I have said all 1 need say to guide you in this matter. It is not a mat ter of law, it is a case of libel, and the whole construction of these documents rests upon you. Anything I have said as to the meaning of the document is merely in the way of suggestion—it is for you to construe it, contrary to the usual rule, where documents are construed by the Court. But defamatory libel is an exception. Gentlemen, I think I have nothing to add for your guidance—you will look here at the statement of claim.

Mr. Jellicoe asked if his Honour had [unclear: let] the jury to decide whether the letters were [unclear: lib]lous per se or were capable of the innuendoes [unclear: paid] upon them. The question was involved in [unclear: the] points raited in support of a nonsuit. He [unclear: had] contended that they were not libellous [unclear: per ad] and were not capable of the construction [unclear: put] upon them.

His Honour said he had left the matter [unclear: to] the jury. If he had thought the writings [unclear: incapable] of a defamatory meaning it would have [unclear: been] unquestionably his duty to nonsuit. He did [unclear: not] reserve nonsuit questions unless he felt [unclear: any] serious doubts about points of law. With [unclear: regerd]' to the matter of the innuendoes, under [unclear: their] system they had no pleading.

The jury then rotired, and thirty-five [unclear: minutes] afterwards returned with a verdict (based on [unclear: the] whole of the letters) for plaintiff, awarding [unclear: £5] damages.

Mr. Gully asked his Honour to certify for [unclear: a] special jury.

Mr. Jellicoe said the application for [unclear: a] special jury had been opposed, and a [unclear: comman] jury could have tried the action quite as [unclear: well]. The special jury was a class jury.

His Honour said he did not think the [unclear: References] to a class jury were called for. His experience went to show that special juries [unclear: sometimes] smote employers very hard. Mr. [unclear: Jellicoe] had gone into questions of divinity, which [unclear: surely] he did not think a common jury was a fit [unclear: tribturt] to deal with.

Mr. Jellicoe said he did most truly consider [unclear: a] common jury quite capable.

After further argument the Court certified [unclear: for] a special jury, a second counsel, and two [unclear: days]' extra trial, with costs according to scale.

Mr. Jellicoe said he would move for [unclear: leave] to ask for a new trial, and execution was [unclear: stayed] until after the vacation in order that this [unclear: might] be done.


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