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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

A Sorry Sneer

A Sorry Sneer.

Of Mr. Atkinson's argument on these lines before the Commission (C. 274-7) the report says:—" Counsel for the claim endeavoured to persuade us that the claimant's natural modesty induced him to swear falsely in these matters"—cheap, paltry, undignified, unjudicial, unmanly sneer, to which page 11 their Honours are surely by this time ashamed of having put their names. That men are not pigs, that men otherwise truthful are led by the instinct in question to abandon their usual candour in these matters, and that the public sense of fair-play strongly resents the introduction of such questions into the investigation of a criminal charge of an entirely alien character are patent facts which the Commissioners' sneers have no power to alter. That Mr. Meikle successfully faced the ordeal of a searching cross-examination on everything relating to the alleged crime, and that the Commissioners do not support their adverse finding on the irrelevant matter by a single unfavourable comment on his attitude to the real subject of the enquiry—these are two other patent facts of which the significance will not be lost upon the public.