02. Reporters Evidence

July 1920

Mexborough and Swinton Times July 24, 1920


The first witness called was Henry Savile Woodham, journalist who stated that he reported the defendant’s lecture. He did not take a verbatim note, only such parts of the lecture as were of local interest.

His Lordship: he did not take a verbatim note, but what I have heard described as a reporter’s note. (Laughter.)

Mr Waugh then read the transcript of the shorthand notes.

His Lordship: Was some of what you read reported in the newspapers?

Mr Waugh: There was the longest report in the “Mexborough and Swinton times.”

Cross examined by Mr Mortimer, witness said he went to the lecture in the ordinary course of his journalist duties. The speech was advertised as a lecture on “how to make a better England.” and was organised by the local branch of the Workers Education Association’s.

There were between 30 and 40 people present, and the Hall would hold about 150. The speech lasted about 50 or 60 min; and he agreed that he only took note of such portions as were oflocal interest.

Re-examined by Mr Waugh, witness said that the reference to the colliery company was reported in most of the papers in the district.

His Lordship: You are entitled to prove that reports appeared in these newspapers, but not to put it in the newspapers. The fact remains that it was a substantially correct report.

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