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British Editor Who Incited Attacks on Jews Acquitted on Charges of Seditious Libel

November 18, 1947
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James Caunt, editor of the Morcambo and Heysham Visitor, was today acquitted in a Liverpool court of charges of having published seditious and libelous material concerning Jews.

At the height of last summer’s wave of anti-Jewish riots in Britain, Caunt published an editorial accusing the Jews of being responsible for black markets and advocated strong action against them.

In summing up the case, the presiding judge, Justice M. Birkett, told the jury that if the evidence proved that Caunt called on his non-Jewish readers to attack Jews, he should be convicted. On the other hand, Birkett said, if the jury only thought that it was Caunt’s intention to state that he took a “strong view” of Jewish activities and thought that “it was time they were stopped,” then the jury should acquit him. The verdict was delivered fourteen minutes later.

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