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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

How the £500 was paid

How the £500 was paid.

While Meikle's claim to be regarded as an innocent man was still doubtful, there were many, and even now there may still be some, for whom that receipt which he signed in full discharge of all his claims on the Colony raised a difficulty, Let us therefore state briefly the facts of the case. On the 14th October, 1896, the £500 was voted, but for fourteen months Meikle, though impecunious and sorely harassed, allowed wed it to remain in the Treasury. On the 2nd December, 1807, Mr. Seddon, replying in the House to the natural criticism that the sum was either utterly inadequate or £500 too much, spoke as follows:—

"Of his own motion, and for the purpose of helping himself, Meikle had brought to justice a perjurer, which action had cost him a sum of money, and the Government was asked to compensate him and to recoup his expenses in connection with that prosecution. . . . .

"The Judge still said he was satisfied that Meikle was guilty. Now a Government was not worthy of the name of a Government, or to be trusted to exercise the functions of government if, having referred a case to a Judge who had tried it, and the Judge reported upon the case, and if it was again referred and he repeated that he was still satisfied of the guilt of the man, they then said that, notwithstanding that because a Committee had reported two years ago that the man was entitled to some consideration, they would set aside and ignore the Judge's opinion."—"Hansard," Vol. 100, P. 275.