Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day031.03 Last-Modified: 2000/07/25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I hear what you say. My understanding was that, when we were discussing closing speeches, what was proposed was that there should be an exchange of written speeches, written notes of what was going to be said by way of speeches or closing submissions. That date slipped and I totally understand why it slipped, but I had thought that the plan was that you would spend today, and Mr . 17 Rampton would spend tomorrow, elaborating on what you provided in writing. If you do not want to, there is no reason why you should. That is what I recall as having been the plan. Mr Rampton, am I wrong about that? MR RAMPTON: I think that was what I might call stage one. I think that and again I am doing it only from memory, my recollection was on the last hearing day, which date I forget, what in fact emerged or evolved is on written submissions each side would make a shorter, much shorter, oral submission. I have to go first as Defendant, a strange procedure it is, but there it is, that is what happens. I have to go first and I was given the first half of tomorrow and Mr Irving, I think, the second half. That is how I had read the transcript. MR IRVING: That is certainly how I understood it also, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If you understood it that way. I am rather puzzled why we have all turned up today. MR RAMPTON: I agree; we thought, like your Lordship, first, that Mr Irving might have something to say about our long written submission, but I expect he has not had time to read it. Second, and more particularly, there was going to be an oral submission about the admissibility of his file E, his global file. He now says that he has made that, in effect, in writing. I am quite content with that and probably I shall not even respond to it; Miss Rogers . 18 might write a note about the law. MR IRVING: I think the way I have done it in the closing statement is the proper way to do it, my Lord. That gives it the proper way and it avoids going through the very lengthy file of documents that we had. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just explain to me what you both thought was going to be discussed then. MR IRVING: I had thought, and I am sure Mr Rampton was of the same impression, that your Lordship was going put to us one or two questions concerning the documents that we have supplied to your Lordship over the weekend, namely the oral statements in their then existing state. MR JUSTICE GRAY: How can I put questions to you in relation to a document which I received from you this morning? MR IRVING: You have certainly received the statement from Mr Rampton and I think both of us -- this is certainly the result of conversations I had with the instructing solicitors over the weekend -- this is what we anticipated would be happening today, that your Lordship would be clarifying final matters, dotting the remaining Is and Ts before we reassembled tomorrow for the oral submissions. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I will be measured in what I say, but I had expected to get a little bit of assistance really from both sides. But if you are both saying that you stand by what you submitted to me in writing and you make your public statements tomorrow, which I do not think will . 19 help me particularly in the task that I have, well, so be it, if that is what you are both telling me. MR RAMPTON: That is my understanding of what was to happen. I had suggested to your Lordship, and I believe your Lordship agreed, that this was a peculiar case, and I do not mean that in any sinister way, but it is a case which has some peculiar public importance, legitimate public importance. Your Lordship took the view, and I believe rightly, that there should be, unusually for a case tried by judge alone, a degree of oral statement at the end of the case. My recollection is -- somebody is trying to find the transcript of day 30 -- that one of the things that was raised when we returned to court on that day, which I think was probably a Monday, was this question of how those oral submissions should be structured. I think what happened was that your Lordship said either yesterday or today there should be any submissions made, if there were any, about the long written submissions which your Lordship already has. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR RAMPTON: And that on Wednesday the day would be shared with the much shorter oral summaries. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That bit I have no problem with. I took the view that was an appropriate course to take in the unusual circumstances of this case. I am really thinking . 20 more now about what I had got the impression was going to happen, either today or, indeed, yesterday or perhaps part of tomorrow, which is perhaps some assistance, oral assistance, in relation to the issues which I have got to decide, but I, obviously, had misunderstood what you both had in mind. MR IRVING: My Lord, I make such submissions in the opening paragraphs or opening pages of my closing statement, the kind of way that I believe your Lordship should think. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let me explain why I am a bit unhappy about this. Just to take an example at random, and this is at random, Goebbels diary entry for 22nd November 1941 -- Mr Irving, this is from your submissions -- well, you make your case in two paragraphs about that. Well, that is fine if that is where you want to leave it. MR IRVING: My Lord, your Lordship will ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am just bit a surprised. MR IRVING: Your Lordship will find that on several of the issues that your Lordship included in your list I have made no submission whatever because I am confident to rest on what I stated in the witness stand. There has been enough paper generated by this case already, and I do not think your Lordship will pay overmuch attention to them. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well... MR IRVING: In that particular entry that your Lordship is referring to, I think I brought out the salient points. . 21 MR RAMPTON: So far as we are concerned, my Lord, we delivered to your Lordship, I think, I hope reasonably early yesterday morning, /10ths of what we had written. It is although bulky for somebody who has a familiarity with the case such as your Lordship, it does not actually take very long to read. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I have read it. MR RAMPTON: Good. Now there are some few additional pages. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Those I have not read because they only arrived this morning. MR RAMPTON: What we have done is to follow as faithfully as possible the written scheme which your Lordship drafted and, as also your Lordship indicated we should, we have at the beginning of each section written an introductory passage in most cases. I have no comment to make about what we have said, I hardly could since I am one of the principal authors of it. Unless it is unclear or wrong, I would not at this stage expect to have to say anything more about it. I had supposed that it was possible that either your Lordship or Mr Irving might have some questions or some objections to some part of it. If not, then I have nothing more to say about it. I have not anything at all to say about Mr Irving's submission (a) because we did not have the whole of it when it arrived, I do not know when, last night or early this morning, I do not know, and we . 22 did not have the whole of it, and (b) I have not read it in any way because I have not had time. We still have not got the whole of it, no. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, let us not waste more time. Both sides are taking the position they do not want to add anything to what they have submitted in writing and they do not want to say anything about the other side's submission. MR RAMPTON: All that I shall do tomorrow is summarize, in effect, and largely not for your Lordship, obviously, for the wider public the effect of this fat file because I do not suppose for a moment that everybody who might be interested is going to read that. MR IRVING: My Lord, I was going by past experience when I prepared this. In 1970, the action I was involved in then, Mr David Hurst made his learned submissions to the court in his closing speeches which lasted two or three hours then Mr Colin Duncan replied on my behalf. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If I may say so, that was rather different. That was a jury action, as I remember, and nobody had to make a reasoned judgment at the end of it. Well, that concludes today's business and I do apologise to the members of public who came perhaps expecting they were going to listen to something today, but that is my expectation too and we were all wrong. MR RAMPTON: We had tried to deal with that. I think, in fact, Miss Rogers explained this to your Lordship's clerk, and . 23 I am not blaming him if it did not get through at all. We had realized that today might be a non-event which, largely speaking, it has proved to be, and we knew that, as one might say, the big event was going to be tomorrow, so what we did was we actually put out a press release, not only in this country, but in America, in the hope that people would be deterred from coming today and would know that tomorrow was the right day to attend. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I remember the problem about having to revise the date when you were going to make your, as it were, public statements, if I can call them that. The message that I am afraid I certainly had not received was that today was going to be a non-event because there were not going to be any final speeches on either side for my benefit as opposed for public consumption. I am really surprised, I am bound to say, but there we are. MR RAMPTON: I would have had something, might have had something, to say about Mr Irving's written submission had I had it in time and had I read it. I do not know. It may be that when we have read it, we may have something to say. I rather doubt it. Mr Irving has had the opportunity of going through what we have written. Apparently, he has nothing to say about it at this stage. MR IRVING: I opened it here in the courtroom this morning. My Lord, can I ask one technical question? Would it assist your Lordship if I provided my closing statement on disk? . 24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I think I am very happy with it in hard copy. Thank you very much. MR IRVING: If the order of events was different, I would be quite happy to have started with my closing speech today, but the order of events is that the Defendant has the word, the penultimate word, and I do not think probably we should disturb that. MR RAMPTON: The only other thing which I can add, which might be helpful, is that Miss Rogers says, and she must be believed, that, if your Lordship has any difficulty finding any of the references, ours is, I think, now fully referenced and should not a problem, but one knows how it is. Documents do disappear, it is a fact of life. Or, more particularly perhaps, if a document is referred to in Mr Irving's closing submission, we will give every assistance to your Lordship in trying to find them during the course of today. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I do not know what you say in some of your sections, but one particular aspect which I think I did mention I thought was important and required thought, and I certainly had hoped to have some assistance in relation to it, was what I think in the end we called assessing Mr Irving as an historian. I do not what you say in that section, but I think I noticed there is not a section at all. You said nothing on that.
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