Detroit (Mar. 25)
(Jewish Daily Bulletin)
Important admissions to the effect that Ford discussed the alleged “Jewish banking ring” with him and that the automobile manufacturer saw Sapiro’s demand for retraction of the former’s charges against him, were drawn from William J. Cameron, editor of the “Dearborn Independent” during today’s questioning of him by Gallagher, Sapiro’s counsel. The admissions were made by Cameron under a barrage of objections from the Ford counsel.
Cameron said he presented Sapiro’s demand for retraction to Ford and asked him what he should do. Ford waved his hand and told him :
“If they’re wrong, I’d take them back; if not, stick to them.”
And although the series was suspended for three months-the Sapiro forces say the interruption was ordered by Mr. Ford-the final two articles were published three months after the demand, in April, 1925.
Cameron insisted this was practically the only time he and Ford discussed the anti-Jewish articles in the “Independent.”
“I tried to get him to discuss the ‘Independent’s’ policies,” he said, “but I couldn’t.”
Yet, he admitted, they discussed in “a general way” the alleged “international Jewish banking ring” and its machinations, or rather its machinations as the Independent reported them.
At one point in the questioning Gallagher asked: “Tell us about your conversation with Mr. Ford about the ‘international Jewish banking ring'”
On the instant, Senator Reed was on his feet and Judge Hanley waved a warning to Cameron to be silent until the lawyers could fight this out. The jury was sent out of the room.
“The fact that an article appeared in the ‘Independent’ and Mr. Ford may have afterward said ‘that’s a good article,’ doesn’t even tend to prove that Mr. Ford instigated the article,” intoned Senator Reed. “To be liable he must have been a directing agency in the publication of the articles.
“Mr. Gallagher’s questions are intended to show Mr. Ford had malice toward Sapiro. You can’t show malice against the president of a corporation unless you show he instigated the attacks.”
“If I were to offer my judgment against Senator Reed’s judgment, I couldn’t expect your honor to accept mine,” Mr. Gallagher said ironically, “But I’ll offer you logic instead of judgment.”
He repeated his arguments for admission of the question, then launched new charges against Henry Ford.
“Henry Ford told Cameron : ‘Go out and get the Jews,’ and on another reported occasion E. G. Liebold, Mr. Ford’s secretary, said: ‘When we get through with the Jews there won’t be one of them left to raise his head.’
“We want the chance to show that Ford did inspire or approve these vicious attacks and that the attacks led to the specific assaults on Aaron Sapiro.”
Gallagher contended that the evidence was admissible under the ruling of the court that evidence concerning “groups” or “classes” of Jews named in the alleged libel, along with testimony relating to individual Jews mentioned in the articles, might go in.
The court ruled that, while the term “international Jew” was mentioned six or eight times in the introduction to the amended declaration of eighty-six alleged libels, there was no reference to it as forming a group.
He refused to permit testimony concerning the “international Jew.”
During the proceedings a lively altercation between Senator Reed and Sapiro took place. It happened when Sapiro’s counsel demanded some correspondence from the defense records and, as he cited it, stopped en route to the witness stand to center with Sapiro.
“Here, here,” exclaimed Stewart Hanley of Ford counsel, with a rising inflection, “show that to the witness (Mr. Cameron), not to Mr. Sapiro.”
Senator James A. Reed of Missouri, chief of Ford counsel, looked over at Sapiro and mumbled something. Sapiro hurled back a retort.
Senator Reed arose and addressed the court.
“I desire no controversy with the gentleman sitting at the table,” he said.
Sapiro instantly was on his feet.
“I’d have the Senator understand that the ‘gentleman sitting at the table’ is a member of counsel, just the same as he is,” Sapiro said to Judge Raymond. “If the Senator addresses me, I have the right to reply.”
The Judge ended the dispute by remarking, “I know of no question before the court.”
The manuscript of the first of the articles to which Sapiro objected was introduced, and it was brought out that Cameron had, in reading it, interlined it in one place to limit the remarks to apply to “financial Jews” rather than all Jews.
“What were your conceptions at that time of an international ring of Jewish financiers?” asked Gallagher, but the answer was lost when Ford counsel objected and were sustained by the court.