The Edalji Case. Home Office Deliberating (George Edalji's letter)
From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
The Edalji Case. Home Office Deliberating is a collection of 7 letters published in The Daily Telegraph on 19 january 1907 including one written by George Edalji and one written by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Below is reproduced the George Edalji's letter only. The Conan Doyle's letter is here.
The Edalji Case. Home Office Deliberating
With regard to the case of Mr. Edalji, the Central News is informed that a consultation took place yesterday afternoon at the chambers of Mr. Yelverton, in the Temple, at which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Mr. Yelverton were present. A letter received in the course of the day from the Home Office was considered and regarded as being of a favourable character. The following communication was authorised by the gentlemen present to be made to the Press :
- Our case has been fully stated, and we have every reason to believe that it is receiving sympathetic consideration. We hare no desire to hustle or force the hand of the Home Office, but, of course, we cannot allow Mr. Edalji's case to be indefinitely delayed and, therefore, after a reasonable and necessarily short time, we propose to turn to the public, and ask their assistance in organising public meetings, and using such other means as may be requisite to fully ventilate the very serious national questions which are involved.
To the Editor of "The Daily Telegraph."
Sir — I should like to supplement Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's excellent letter in this morning's issue by pointing out that I did not return from Mr. Hand's by the direct route (nearly a mile from my home), but by way of Watling-street-road, Walk Mill, and Station-street. I was seen by, and spoke to, two independent witnesses on the road quite three-quarters of a mile from the spot where the winding path leaves Station-street for the field. This was at nine p.m., or just after. Hence the time at my disposal was very little indeed. It was alleged that a policeman walked from the point referred to in Station-street to the field and hack in 21 1/2 minutes, but as this was in daylight, and no allowance was made for finding and maiming the pony, this proves nothing. As, however, the theory of the crime being done before 9.40 was wholly abandoned by the prosecution, I need not further argue it. Next, for Mr. Shapley's letter. He says, "Where was Edalji between 9.40 p.m. and 6.20 a.m.? .... The happenings between this period of time require strong corroboration, and must be supported by better evidence than Sir A. Conan Doyle adduces."
Now, I ask any reasonable being to say whether, under any conceivable circumstances, I could have brought stronger evidence than I did to prove my assertion that I was in the house during the whole of this time? I laid before the Court the best and only testimony I could obtain, namely, the evidence of all the inmates of the house. Mr. Shapley is probably thinking of the unfair remark made by the prosecuting council in his reply that it was a "suspicious circumstance that I was not prepared with an independent witness to prove I did not go out after 9.40."
While leaving it to the public to decide whether this was, or was not, "suspicious," I can only suggest it would have appeared fifty times more so bad I called a witness to swear that he spent the whole of this rainy night outside my doorstep and that I never came out. — Yours truly,
G. E. T. EDALJI
London, Jan. 18.