REX versus LEESE
"Not for Us the Silence of Suppression." H.M. the King, speaking at the opening of the New House of Commons, 26th October, 1950.)
WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT
This is an almost verbatim report of the trial at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) on 12th December, 1950, known as
in which a deliberate attempt to silence Arnold Leese's anti-Jewish efforts was defeated, although it had the full force of His Majesty's Government behind it. It is an outstanding victory for the patriotic anti‑Jewish minority against the Jewish control of Democracy, and its importance can best be measured by the Loudness of the silence with which the Jew-controlled Press of London received the news of it. THE PEOPLE MUST NOT KNOW OF IT! To ensure that at least some people shall know of it, this pamphlet is now produced.
The prosecuting counsel was a half‑alien Buddhist, a fitting representative of the Britain of today; the defendant conducted his own defence.
IN THE CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT
(Old Bailey, London.)
12th December, 1950.
REX v. LEESE
(Adjourned from 5th December, when the Accused pleaded
Before Mr. Justice Dodson, Recorder of London.
Mr. Christmas Humphreys, K.C., for the Director of Public Prosecutions: May it please your Lordship I am instructed to prove that the accused is charged with what is thought to be criminal libel. When a citizen is guilty of libel on a high officer, such as the Commissioner of Police, concerning the way in which he carries out his public duties, it is obviously wrong for that individual to bring a civil action against the person concerned, or the persons concerned, and the right way to deal with the matter in order to stop a repetition of the offence is as a case of criminal proceedings.
In these particular proceedings the accused man has been summarily committed to trial and he now stands before you. As to the nature of his offence, it is for you, gentlemen of the jury, to say when you have heard the evidence, whether he is guilty of this charge, whether this is a malicious attack, and whether the sense of the words is designed to defame a public officer. That he published this document is admitted: you may find that he maliciously published this document. You have to say whether the words set out in the indictment constitute defamatory libel.
Therefore all that I have to prove to you is that the accused published a periodical called Gothic Ripples which includes the alleged defamatory libel. The accused in due course will tell you that you will not consider the words defamatory and you will say whether or not they are. Once therefore I can prove publication before you, my task is done. But let me just say this. The accused man has shown by the publication which he published that he is a fanatical anti‑Jew, and the whole purpose of these publications it would seem to me, is an everlasting attack upon all Jews, because they are Jews. Let me read to you merely one paragraph out of this publication. The first of the two instances you will find on page 2 and the third and fourth paragraph. I take up this, gentlemen of the jury, merely to show his whole attitude of mind and his belief in relation to these matters so that against that background you may fairly interpret what he says in the latter part of the same document which is the part in this indictment.
Having talked at some length about other masters he says: "It illustrates, in a way that even the Mug‑in‑the‑Street can appreciate, the folly of the doctrine of race equality and the necessity of protecting the higher forms of civilisation from such people as Jews and Negroes by passing discriminating laws. Insurance Companies should protect themselves by racial discrimination when issuing policies. The Government should protect the Aryan and other white people of Britain by expelling the Jews. Insurance premiums would then be drastically reduced in harmony with racial realities." Because Jews are in Insurance Companies, therefore Insurance Companies should issue their policies accordingly.
I merely mention that as the type of 'bee in the bonnet', if I may use that phrase, which the accused person has in relation to Jews. We are all entitled to have our ideas, but when the expression of a particular belief reaches the point where it is making grave allegations against a public officer in relation to carrying out his duties, of such gravity that were they true he ought to be dismissed from his office, then you may think that the authorities are right in saying that this has got to be stopped. That is all they want. This is not a punitive prosecution in a desire to stop this man's views, but he must not be allowed to express them to the point of criminal libel.
Now to the facts of this particular case. Copies of two issues, that of 15th July and that of 14th August, in particular are before you. In fact, copies of all of these curious publications were bought by these officers for you to look at them: but these two in particular are before you. Gothic Ripples, Price 2d., Subscription Rates, etc. The aim is described as "An occasional report on the Jewish Question issued for the Jew‑wise by Arnold Leese's Anti-Jewish Information Bureau, 20, Pewley Hill, Guildford, Surrey". So now we know exactly where we are, and in the issue of 15th July there was this particular sentence in addition to that which I have already read. He gives a list of Jews or alleged Jews in particular positions, and says: "The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Harold R. Scott, is an obvious Jew". He then goes on "The Secretary‑General of the De Gaullist Party in France . . .", so on and so on. He thinks it of importance even to list that some person is a Jew and elected to some office of some organisation. The importance of that phrase is that the Commissioner of Police is a Jew.
In the issue of 14th August we have all the material, page after page; until we come to this item headed "The Soap Box". "Police in the East End of London appear to be instructed by their Jewish chief . . ." Now you see why I read the earlier part because he said Sir Harold Scott was a Jew . . . "to knock off . . ."—which you may agree is a strong term—"any street corner orator who dares to mention the word Jew in any derogatory sense. I take a hard view of Police Officers who, to earn pay, carry out such vile orders. It is all very well to talk about wives, children and pensions, but the functions of those ties were never to make an Englishman a traitor to his country and race, nor to make him an ally of the 43 Group".
The prosecution are suggesting to you what those words mean in their ordinary sense, in what is the usual sense of the words, that the Commissioner of Police being himself a Jew has instructed police officers in the East End of London to make preferential distinction between Jews and other citizens. We have, in all that I have put to you, seen that it inevitably means that the Commissioner, because he is a Jew, has instructed his officers in the East End of London to protect Jews, and if anybody gets up to say a word against the Jews he is going to be knocked off. If that were so, if the Commissioner so discriminates between race and race, or party and party, or shows any other discrimination between any parties of citizens in the East End of London, do you not agree that he should be dismissed from his office, because the very function of the police is to preserve peace without the distinction of race and race, party and party, or politics, but to preserve the peace? Members of the jury that is all I have to say.
The police in due course, having reported those particular issues to the authorities, were instructed, after careful thought, to apply for process and in due course, on 26th October Chief Inspector Hughes saw the accused man at his home at Guildford, told him who he was and asked: "Are you the producer and publisher of a document called Gothic Ripples?" The answer was: "Yes, I am." Then the officer went on: "I am told that the paragraph in the issue of 15th July and l 4th August will be considered as a libel against the Commissioner of Police and that proceedings will be taken against you." He pointed out the paragraphs to him and he only said: "I have nothing to say. I remember what I said and I take full responsibility for it." He added: "I only know I have been doing this work for 26 years and I have never intentionally libelled any individual. If I am prosecuted the Court will have to decide." The comment on that is that whether he intentionally libelled is outside the point. He publishes something which we define to mean defamatory libel. Then subject to any special defence l will call before you the only evidence I need call, the officer who bought these copies, Inspector Williams, and Chief Inspector Hughes who saw him. I will call on Inspector Williams. (Witness sworn.)
Mr. Humphreys: On the 20th July you went to the office of the Britons Publishing Society, 40, Great Ormond Street, W.C.1.?
Inspector Williams: Yes.
Mr. Humphreys: Did you there purchase copies of Gothic Ripples and do you produce one of these copies as exhibit 1, dated July 15th?
Inspector Williams: Yes.
Mr. Humphreys: Do you draw attention to the line on page 3 of it: "The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Harold R. Scott is an obvious Jew"?
Inspector Williams: Yes.
Mr. Humphreys: On the 24th August did you buy copies of No. 67 dated 14th August?
Inspector Williams: Yes.
Mr. Humphreys: Do you produce one of these as exhibit 2?
Inspector Williams: Yes.
Mr. Humphreys: Do you draw attention to the second page, paragraph beginning: "Police in the East End of London . . ."?
Inspector Williams: Yes.
Mr. Humphreys: Did you convey these two exhibits to Inspector Hughes on the 26th October?
Inspector Williams: Yes.
Mr. Humphreys: I will call on Inspector Hughes.
Mr. Humphreys: Did you receive exhibits 1 and 2 from the last witness on the 26th October?
Inspector Hughes: Yes.
Mr. Humphreys: Did you the same day see the accused?
Inspector Hughes: Yes.
Mr. Humphreys: What did you say to him?
Inspector Hughes: I told him I was a police officer. I said "Are you the producer and publisher of the document Gothic Ripples"? And he said: "Yes, I am".
Mr. Humphreys: What did you then say?
Inspector Hughes: I then told him that the paragraph in the issue of 15th July, and paragraph in the issue of 14th August were believed to be defamatory libel on the Commissioner of Police, Sir Harold Scott, and that proceedings would be taken against him for publishing what he said. I gave him copies and he said: "I remember what I said and I take full responsibility for it. I only know I have been doing this for 26 years and I have never intentionally libelled any individual. I do my work as a duty and if I am to be prosecuted the court must decide."
Mr. Humphreys: You served a summons on him on the 6th November?
Inspector Hughes: Yes.
Mr. Humphreys: What did he say?
Inspector Hughes: he said: "I'll be there."
Judge: Have you any questions?
Mr. Leese: No questions.
Judge: Who brought this matter to your attention? Is this publication in circulation? Is it a weekly or monthly?
Inspector Hughes: Roughly monthly—irregularly.
Judge: Who publishes it?
Inspector Hughes: Mr. Leese, sir.
Judge: Who writes it?
Inspector Hughes: I think he roneos [sic] it himself.
Judge: It is a couple of pages, two sides printed on both sides?
Inspector Hughes: Yes.
Judge: It sells where?
Inspector Hughes: It is mostly distributed by post. When it is sold it is usually from the offices of the Britons Publishing Society, in the name of the Anti‑Jewish Information Bureau.
Judge: I am told this was brought to the attention of Sir Harold Scott. What has he got to say? Do you know what his reaction to it was, whether he just laughed or what he said?
Inspector Hughes: I don't know.
Judge: How then can it be said to be calculated to be a breach of the peace?
Inspector Hughes: Quite frankly, I don't think it can.
Mr. Humphreys: There is a question to go to the jury. The point at issue is whether this particular libel should be criminal libel or civil libel. The libel is to be proved to the satisfaction of the jury and that it is a libel on a person's reputation. Here of course it will be on the jury to say whether allegations like these are going too far. That is the ground for bringing criminal as distinct from civil libel. This is a libel not so much to Sir Harold Scott as about him. The presentation is brought, as the witness has said, for the sake of the reputation of the police.
Judge: A case of this sort usually involves some likelihood of a breach of peace, or an attempt, and criminal libel is confined then to such cases. However, Mr. Leese you can say what you like to the jury, as to whether it is libel or not.
Mr. Leese: I wish to make a brief statement on oath. (Sworn.) I am a veterinary surgeon, 72 years old, and retired in 1928. After which time I made a study of public affairs and as a result, rightly or wrongly, I became anti‑Jewish. For the last 23 years I have worked with others of my opinion, on the question of the Jews—without monetary reward, without malice, and from a sense of duty to my own race. The object of Gothic Ripples, which was started in 1944 and has now reached 70 issues, is as stated on the front of each issue.
Judge: Started in 1944?
Mr. Leese: Yes, sir. . . front of each issue: "An occasional report on the Jewish question issued for the Jew‑wise by Arnold Leese's Anti‑Jewish Information Bureau". By Jew‑wise is meant people who regard Jews and their descendants as aliens no matter what their legal status may be. In other words they are people who wish by lawful means to have the whole matter revised and make it impossible for Jews to be naturalised. It is intended to keep Jew‑wise people up to date and to impress upon them the extent of Jewish inter‑breeding. It is not intended primarily for the man in the street who would have difficulty in understanding much of it. The special object of the article called "The Soap Box" in No. 67 is to free Anti‑Jewish workers at street meetings in London from what I allege to be an unfair constraint forced upon them by the practical working of section 5 of the Public Order Act—by which practice greater strictness is enforced when Jews are present in the audience than when they are not.
Gentlemen of the jury, one thing I wish to say, that I have been called a fanatic. I have been, in my past life as a Veterinary Surgeon, employed for many years in many countries on field scientific investigation of the diseases and proper management of the camel. My book on this subject is still considered the authoritative treatise in the English language. A copy of it was accepted by his late Majesty King George V.
Mr. Humphries: Would not the witness be better advised to keep to the point of the charge?
Mr. Leese: I am just coming to that. My investigations on the Jewish problem have been conducted in exactly the same scientific spirit as my investigations on the diseases and management of camels. There is no malice in my heart over the question of the Jews. What I am striving for all the time is to prevent my own race from going down under an influence which is in my opinion evil. I have just two things to add, sir, which are not really relevant to malice or anything else. But I wish to prevent possible prejudice. Just this, sir. I have never had anything to do with Sir Oswald Mosley, never, and since I have become Jew‑wise I have never voted at parliamentary elections as I considered it a waste of time.
Mr. Humphreys (Cross‑examining): I want to ask you to turn to exhibit 2. Would you look at the top of page 2 at the paragraph which appears in the indictment. Would it be fair to say that these first four or five lines mean that the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, being a Jew, resulted in his giving orders for preferential treatment against others?
Mr. Leese: No, sir, it would not mean that. I was not charging Sir Harold Scott with doing anything dishonourable. It would simply mean that I was charging him, as a Jew, with having Jewish prejudices and bias.
Mr. Humphreys: Thank you.
(Mr. Leese returned to the Dock and commenced his Defence Speech.)
Mr. Leese: My defence is that there is no defamatory libel in this case because there are no words which would subject Sir Harold Scott either to hatred or contempt, or ridicule. And really I have no case to answer. Defamatory libel appears to me to have two ingredients, none of which are present in this case. The first ingredient has already been mentioned in the court. From a decision of Lord Justice Coleridge in 1888 I would like to read—although it is perfectly well known to the lawyers here it is not well known to the jury.
Judge: What is the name of the case?
Mr. Leese: Wood against Cox, 1888. I want to read it to the jury. This is what the Lord Chief Justice said on criminal proceedings against people who are alleged to have libelled others. He said: "Criminal prosecution ought not to be instituted unless the offence be such as can be reasonably considered as calculated to disturb the peace of the community." He then goes on to say: "Private character should be vindicated by action; and indictment for libel is only justified if the facts published can be deemed as an attempt to disturb the public peace."
I have direct proof out of the mouths of the witnesses for the prosecution that no one, from the Home Secretary downwards had the slightest anxiety that my words were going to cause reasonable belief that there might be a breach of peace as a result of them. This proof consists in the two dates given by the witnesses. You have just recently heard Inspector Williams, Police Officer who bought the copy of Gothic Ripples on 24th August, 1950. Proceedings were taken against me for the first time when Mr. Hughes visited me and warned me that the case was coming up against me, on the 26th October. Now these people who were sitting on this for two months are the very people who are responsible for public peace, the Home Secretary, the Public Prosecutor, Sir Harold Scott himself: Not one of them had any anxiety whatever. I think this is brass bound proof that there was none, that there is something phoney in this case. This case has not been brought because there is any danger to public peace.
Really, I quite realise, my Lord, that this should be addressed to you rather than the jury, but I do wish the jury to understand this, because it really seems to me that if this case goes on in this court it will be necessary in future to alter the law books to fit the case of the Crown versus Leese. I am prejudiced, no doubt, but that is how I see it.
I would also like to point out a third paragraph of the article which has not been read out in this court. In the same article—I won't inflict the whole thing on you—but I decry street meetings on the Anti‑Jewish question as being inefficient and very little use compared with the risks to the men who conduct them. So that if my words mean anything to anybody they will result in less street meetings of this kind, and I am sure the police officers would only be too glad if there were less because there would be less and not more chance of a breach of the peace occurring.
Now we come to the second point. I said there were two ingredients in a defamatory libel which can be dealt with in this court. I have dealt with one of them, and it is absent, or I claim it is absent, for there is no reasonable chance of breach of peace. Then what are we doing here? The other ingredient is defamation, and there is nothing in my words which would bring Sir Harold Scott into hatred, ridicule or contempt. I will read them. These are the words complained of in my paper: "Police in the East End of London appear to be instructed by their Jewish chief to knock off any street‑corner orator who dares to mention the word Jew in any derogatory sense. I take a hard view of Police Officers who, to earn pay, carry out such vile orders." I think I am within my right in interpreting those words in the way I wish them to be understood?
Mr. Leese: First I ask you to notice the words "appear to" which makes this a conjecture. In other words the police in the East End of London appear to be. It is not a statement of fact or news, it is conjecture. And the second sentence, "I take a hard view of Police . . ."—that is an expression of opinion, and again not a statement of fact.
I want to say something about "vile". To say that Sir Harold Scott has given vile orders, that is not to say he is vile. A man who gives a vile order is not necessarily a villain, but far more often misguided, prejudiced, biased, insensitive to the opinion of other people. I would like to give you one example:—Everybody I think has seen described as vile, atrocious, abominable, the bombing by atom bomb of Japan at the end of the last war. I do not think anybody will want to see that sort of thing done again. But the people who did it are not regarded as villains, they are regarded as misguided, prejudiced, short‑sighted, anything you like, incredibly prejudiced against the enemy; but the men responsible, the men in the United States and elsewhere are not considered villains. Thus the word "vile" is one which is used as a personal opinion. I consider it vile when British people are prevented from ventilating a subject which should be ventilated in this country. That is why it is vile to me. I do not for one second impugn the character of Sir Harold Scott. I do not know anything about him. I take very little interest in him, except as a Jew; then it is different, because he is prejudiced or biased. By prejudice or bias I mean that a man can be prejudiced or biased and as soon as he gets to know he is prejudiced or biased he ceases to be prejudiced or biased.
Now then, I want just to read to you the Public Prosecuting mind's version of what I said. You have heard what I said. This is what the Public Prosecutor makes of my sentence: "meaning thereby that the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police being a Jew has instructed Police Officers in the East End of London to make preferential distinction between Jews and other citizens." There you have the publicly prosecuting mind. Now I want to give you the version of it which I had in mind when I wrote it. The public prosecutor appears to think that I have made some Implication of wickedness or even of corruption against Sir Harold Scott in this case. That is not so. I have not even mentioned the man by name. I certainly meant him, don't make any mistake about that. But so little was I thinking of his personality that I did not mention his name, merely his office. My words imply no wickedness to Sir Harold Scott. They do imply racial prejudice and bias and I hand that to the learned gentleman down there. My version of these words is that the Commissioner of Police being a Jew suffers from the prejudices and bias of his race, and that it naturally follows that Jews in the East End get preferential distinction. If that is defamatory libel, well, you know what to do. Jews are particularly sensitive to criticism, nearly everybody knows that. I suppose this is due to the fact that they have been born and brought up to imagine themselves to be the chosen people and the result of that is that they resent anybody like myself who, so to speak, considers he has found them out. I am considered by them to be almost immoral in pointing out what I have found out. If I showed up Pontecorvo—the Atom Scientist who escaped to Russia with our top secrets, to be a Jew, I should be called by Jews "an anti-Semite" and they would try to stop me speaking.
I will not try to inflict my views on you, but I have been told I have "bees in the bonnet". With reference to these bees I should like to say that a man who thinks that British homes should be lived in by British people and not by Jews or Negroes, well, has he got bees in his bonnet? Is he not doing his duty to his own race in pointing it out? It follows from this that to accuse a man of prejudice and bias is not an attack upon his character. It cannot be, it is prejudice and bias. There is nothing defamatory in doing so, it is criticism, journalistic criticism, which any man has the right to indulge. See where you will be getting to if you believe the argument of the learned gentleman down there:—This is where you would be getting to. If you were in danger of war with Israel you would not be able to point out that the Minister of Defence (Shinwell) is a Jew. You would not be allowed to do it. So you see where you may be going in this case?
I have a point here, my Lord, which is really secondary, but I suppose I had better deal with it. It is this: that it cannot be defamatory libel to suggest that a man is guilty of preferential treatment between Jews and other people in the East End of London when it is already practised there. The police practice it. What I mean is simply this, that police officers in the East End of London have a terribly responsible and difficult job to do in working Section 5 of The Public Order Act. They act apparently, as far as I can see, on two factors. One is the language used by the speaker, the other the presence or not of Jews in the audience. If you wish to see, my Lord, newspaper reports of a case of this kind appearing in the magistrates court, I can produce two here, in which Inspectors remark whether there were or were not Jews in the audience. Now I have never heard that the police when they are policing a Conservative meeting in the East End of London look to see whether there are any in the audience who have not washed behind their ears, to find out communists and tell the Conservative speakers that they must not go on, saying this that and the other because of Communists in the audience.
Also on this same matter I have here for production a copy of The Jewish Chronicle, in which David Cohen, one of the Jewish Board of Deputies, reported at the meeting of the Anglo‑Jewish Association that a deputation had gone up from the Jewish Board of Deputies, to the Home Office some time before February, 1950, and that the result was satisfactory because they were now taking more strict measures than they were before. That surely is another case where Jews have had preferential treatment. So much for that.
I suppose it would be out of order, or rather irrelevant, to point out that the Jews themselves claim special treatment all over the world. They claim that they are one people. What are they doing here if they are claiming that they are one people, and they have British nationality and are British citizens. Where in all this is any defamatory libel on Sir Harold Scott, or anything appearing to bring him into contempt. I have shown that there appear to be two ingredients in a defamatory libel case in a court like this; one, reasonable cause to believe that there might be a breach of the peace as a result of the words used. That is absent. The other is defamation. I claim that is absent, too.
I have only one other thing to say. On 26th October, the very day that the Police came to see me to warn me that the case was pending; on that very day His Majesty the King was opening the new House of Commons, and he was proclaiming, with pride, the freedom that is in this country. He was speaking of freedom of expression and this is what he said: "Not for us the silence of suppression". Not for us the silence of suppression. Us means you, me . . . and Rex!
THE SUMMING UP
The Judge, summing up, said: What the prosecution have got to prove to your satisfaction and beyond doubt is that the accused man did publish the words, said of Sir Harold Scott, Commissioner of Police, which were defamatory, and which in the opinion of the jury is language which can be taken either to provoke any person to wrath, which is not so in this case, or to expose to public hatred, contempt or public ridicule and damage his reputation. The offence of libel is different from most criminal offences in this respect—that it is about the only criminal offence when criminal intention has not got to exist—it is special in that sense. The whole object of providing process for such things as libel is the injury which may be done to the person who is subjected to the words, and therefore the important function of the jury lies in the duty which is yours, yours alone, to decide whether or not the words complained of are defamatory: in other words, whether they are libel or not. Now that has been the singular privilege of the jury for many years; it was not always so, many judges have wished otherwise, but now it lies with the jury to decide whether a libel has been perpetrated or not. And it comes down to a very simple question, whether or not these words do hold up Sir Harold Scott to hatred, contempt and public ridicule, and would damage his reputation. It is perfectly true to say, as the accused has contended, that where a jury is confronted with something which is utterly true, one may think that no measure should have been taken at all, no steps should be taken to stop publication. But the law can punish anyone who publishes words which hold another up to hatred, contempt and public ridicule unless it can be shown that publication was in the public interest and without malice. The poison pen writer is known to you. The question you have to decide is not whether Sir Harold Scott is a Jew or whether somebody passes on his orders or they are biased or whether even he may go to the length of discrimination. That may or may not be true. It does not matter. You have to decide whether or not the words complained of may have the result of disturbing the peace so as to call for police action. The law is that things like that make libel criminal, where it is published and we are satisfied that it was calculated to cause a breach of the peace, whereas here you have got a publication which is broadcast for anybody who likes to spend his money on it.
In this case, then, the sole question is whether the words used about that person are defamatory and in that case the prosecution have to prove that the matter was calculated to harm the person against whom the words were used. All that is well established in a test case in which judgment was given by a learned Judge, Mr. Justice du Parcq, who afterwards became a Lord of Appeal. I refer to the interpretation which came out in 1936 in the case of The King versus Wicks. So much for the law so far as there is any.
Now it is said by the accused that although the paper was published and broadcast to anybody who managed to buy the paper nevertheless these words are not defamatory. Look at them, you can have a copy of this if you like. Paragraph beginning: "Police in the East End of London appear to be instructed by their Jewish Chief to knock off any street‑corner orator who dares to mention the word Jew in any derogatory sense. I take a hard view of Police Officers who, to earn pay, carry out such vile orders.'' When he comes to the witness box and is asked what he means by them he said: "I mean that Sir Harold Scott is biased in discharging his duties." He then goes on to say, perhaps on reflection you may think it a little contradictory, that is no reflection on his character. But if the Chief of Police is that biased person who only discharges his duties as chief of police by granting one party preferential treatment, you may perhaps say that it is a reflection on him, and therefore I suppose to anyone reading them those words might tend to make that person say: "Well, think of that. That's a nice sort of man to have at the head of the police". If there are any other interpretations that can be put upon it you may be able to discover them. The accused has talked at some length and I listened to what he said. You may have apprehended from his words what is the alternative to the contention of the prosecution, that this important public servant discharges his duties with a bias—a bias in favour of one section of the community against another, bias in favour of the Jew against others who are not Jew. Yet it does not much matter whether it is the Jew he is favouring or the Gentile, his duty naturally will be to be absolutely unbiased in the course of the discharging of his duties. It may well be he has to discriminate against one section of the community or against another. He may be influenced by public policy, by principles of national necessity, to take action against one section of the community or against another, to prevent one section to parade about if they want to parade about, whether the Life Guards are allowed to ride their horses down the Mall. But the question is whether those duties are administered, discharged, in such a way as to prevent anybody regarding the Chief Commissioner of Police as bringing influence to bear. If it can be said of him that he is biased it is for you to say whether that article should be serious enough to bring him in contempt and so on, and whether in fact it is calculated to do that by using such language.
The accused is not claiming any question of privilege, any kind of common interest. What he says is that what I have done I have done in the public interest and he claims no privilege, nothing of that kind.
There is your function, sirs, members of the jury. Do you in fact consider it serious enough to hold Sir Harold Scott up to hatred, contempt and ridicule in the eyes of anybody to whose attention those words are brought. On any reasonable doubt on the matter he will be acquitted. We are trying to discover if there is a likelihood of a breach of peace. He says there is not a question of it. He regarded it as a service to his country to air and ventilate these matters—"these matters" being stern criticism of Jews, whatever they do, good Jews, bad Jews, whatever sort of Jews they are. He believes that what he has done was for the good of his country and it is conceivable he was not trying to create a breach of the peace at all, and in the light of what he has said he has done something not wrong in the eyes of the laws which are holding in this country. If there is any reason to doubt you can discuss the question here by front row turning to back or you can retire to your room. If you like to take this or if you would like to take a copy of the periodical paper already referred to, by all means do so.
The Jury were absent for nine minutes and returned a Verdict of NOT GUILTY and Mr. Leese was discharged.