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MILE END SCANDAL. CONTRACTOR'S CONFESSION. Champagne Like Water. James Calcatt, the Mile End contractor, who is undergoing a term of imprisonment, con- tinued his remarkable story of his relations with the Mile End Board of Guardians, when ten members and ex-members of the Board appeared on Saturday at the Thames Police- court on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the ratepayers. The names of the accused are :— Alderman Rowland Hirst, ex-Mayor of Stepney. Samuel Gilder, secretary. Joseph Gilson, butcher. Alderman G. J. Warren, J.P., grocer. Walter Trott, greengrocer. Jonathan E. Loftus, tailor. Thomas Gould, feather dyer. Archibald Ridpath, licensed victualler. E. J. Stammers, hotel licensee. J. G. Kemp, builder. Caicutt's story was of a remarkable charac- ter, and it had not concluded when the Court adjourned. One point in his evidence related to a parcel which Calcutt said he received from Warren during the Local Government Board inquiry. On opening it he found 25 sovereigns. There was no note in it, nor any information of any kind. The witness went on :—" About a week after I saw Warren, and I said to him—that was when he had partly given evidence before the Local Government Board inspector :—' What made you leave that money in my ofBce ? I don't think the cigar case cost £25. You had better take the money back You know I gave you the present' -lneaning I the cigar case. He said, You had better keep it until the in- quiry is over. Questioned by Mr Bodkin, who appeared for the Treasury, as to presents, Calcutt said :— Sometimes Gould would have two boxes of cigars, a turkey and half-a-dozen bottles of whisky." What, all at once ?—Yes, and sometimes more. Ridpath would have the same. Trott had cigars, -and others who had gifts were Mr Trott and Mr Stammers. Mr Gilders, too, but he had whisky—no cigars—because he was a cigar merchant. (Laughter.) Mr Loftus had turkeys, spirits and cigars. Kemp the same. Gilson had nothing in the way of turkeys, cigars or whisky. Were these presents given each year ?—Yes. At this point Calcutt remarked to the Court generally, I want these guardians to know that T don't want them to go to prison, but I want the ratepayers to know that I did not get all the money." Big Turkeys. Questioned as to the cigars, witness said that some of them were Havanas—they were six- pennies. (Loud laughter.) Some of them "J. S. Murias," at 15s for 50. All these he got from Hirst, and paid by cheque. Did Hirst know you gave these things to the guardians ?—Yes. As to the turkeys, was anything ever said ?— Yes, Stammers used to say, "The next time you send me a turkey let me have a bigger one. The last one was very thin." (Loud laughter.) Did Knight ever have a turkey ?—Yes, sir, a big one. (Roars of laughter.) It weighed nearly 221bs. (Renewed laughter.) I had said to Hirst, What about giving Knight a tur- key ?" Hirst said, He would not take it from you. I will tell you what we will do. I will put my card on it, and he will think it comes from me. You take it down to his house, and I will see him after." I Calcutt went on to say that he made the acquaintance of Hirst through his brother, Robert Hirst, a plumber. That was about the time he was tendering for a job which was the biggest he had ever taken on. Robert Hirst introduced the witness to Rowland Hirst at The Three Crowns as This is Calcutt." Hirst said, Are you going in for the job at the Infirmary ?" Witness said, I don't think so. It is a bit too big for me." Hirst replied, I don't know. I should go for it. There is no harm in trying." Did you go in for it ?—Yes, and was sucees- fnl. Were yon the lowest tenderer ?—No. How do you know ?—Some of the guardians told me. Continuing, witness said he was a good cus- tomer at Hirst's house. Each night of the Board and committee meeting he met Hirst and other members of the Board. When did the meetings end—I mean what tiime ?—Oh, it depended, of course, but always before closing time. (Loud laughter.) Plenty of time to get more drink down than you wanted. At some of these public-house meet- ings some of the guardians would say, We have moved a job for you to-night." Wit- ness would reply, Thanks, I can do with it." Then they would have drinks and cigars. If the gnardians had been paying for a contract there would be champagne. He went on, Champagne would go down like water— dozens and dozens of bottles. (Sensation.) I have spent as much as £4 and £5 a night in the house. Stery of Houses. Witness at this point identified a receipted bill to Hirst for £380, a sum paid in respect of building two houses on the plots at Heme Bay. Were there any other payments ?—Yes, one for JE56 4s 9d, which you will find a cheque for. In all witness deposed to having paid Hirst £691 in respect of these houses. Even then to his view they were not finished. He had to send his own men down for some weeks to finish the houses up properly. At a further cost of an- other JEM or £60. (Sensation.) They cost me that, money he went on, and I could have had them done for a lot less than that. I did not say anything to Hirst about it." Why 1—I was afraid of upsetting him. I did not say a word, but I thought a lot. Witness added that he never got a list of charges from Hirst concerning the building, apd he never even saw an architect or surveyor over the work of building. Referring to a Mr Budd, who was stated to have built the house at Heme Bay, witness said Hirst observed one night in "The Three Crowns," "We had better present Budd with a gold watch." Why ? Is that a custom of the building trade ?—I don't know. I was a builder and I never got one yet. (Laughter.) Did Budd get the watch ?—Yes. Was it engraved ?—Yes. What did it say ?—" Presented by the Mayor of Stepney, to Mr Budd, from J. Calcutt, E. Lloyd, and J. Cordes." Who paid for the watch ?—I did £810s. When Budd was presented by Hirst with the watch, he said" That watch will get you a job anywhere." (Roars of laughter.) At this point the hearing was adjourned. Proceedings were resumed on Tuesday, when James Calcutt was further examined by Mr Bodkin. At the conclusion of the last sitting he had related a story of Hirst inducing him to buy -plots of ground at Heme Bay and building houses on them, and yesterday he continued the narrative and denied that at any time he-asked Hirst to build a house for him at Herne Bay, as witness's wife was in a dangerous state of health. \it,ness remembered a conversation with Hazeltine, in the presence of Hirst, at Hirst's publiohouse, The Three Crowns. Hazeltine said These new guardians are very hot, but they want too much. How do you get on with <bem ?" Witness said, They are hot." Hirst, who heard the conversation, said, I don't know what they can do for you. They cannot carry much weight." He thought Hirst also said, I should get away from them if I was you." Did Hirst describe them ?—I think the words he used were that they were blood-suckers. Having now related the story of his trans- actions with Gould, Warren, and Hirst, wit- ness proceeded to tell the Court of his dealings with Stammers, whom he said he had known for more than ten years, and ever since he took his public-house and before he became a guardian. Witness used to meet Gould, Trott, and Loftus at Stammers's public-house. Were there any such meetings at Stam- mers's public-house as those described at Hirst's ?—Not on board nights. Have you lent Stammers money ?—Yes, I lent him £20 to pay his bills with. Stammers gave him a post-dated cheque which was paid when it became due. STAMMERS AND THE RING." Witness also described a conversation with Stammers, who said to him, I want to come into the ring along with some of the heads, and if I don't come into the ring some of you will know something about it." Witness said, All right, I suppose you will be in the ring directly." Stammers asked witness to give him money, but did not mention any amount, find he gave Stammers from that time various sums of money, £5' at one time, JE10 at another and at another time, when he wanted to pay the brewer, witness gave him £20; and he had also done work for him. Just before the en- quiry Stammers asked him to send in a bill for that work, so that he could show a receipt for it. That was done. At this stage a handsome china mirror can- delabra was produced in court, and witness stated that he gave it to Stammers as a. present for his kindness to him. Stammers used to tell witness when he voted for him, and explained that on the occasions he had not voted for him it was because there was enough to carry your work through without my vote." Calcutt also related that he used to meet Stammert at Hirst's public-house, The Three Crowns. Calcutt used to spend a lot of money then, and on one occasion Stammers said, From what I can see of it Roland Hirst is having all the money. You don't spend as much money in my house as you do in his." Calcutt also said that on one occasion when he had lent Stammers JE20 Stammers said to him the day after. I just, thought after you went away yesterday afternoon when I took the money out of the bag and put it into another bag, when you are giving gold to anybody else don't you give them it to t hem in the bag that you get from the bank because that bag from the bank ia marked. They will find the same bag coming back to the bank." Witness said he would be more careful in the future. FREEMASON'S BALL. Witness was a Freemason, and had given Stammers a Masonic ball as a present. When he presented it he said to Stammers, There you are, Mr Stammers, that is for voting for me." When you destroyed your books what did Stammers say to you ?—Stammers said, It is a jolly good job for us you have." Calcutt then went on to tell of his relations with defendant Loftus, whom he said he had known for many years before he became a guardian. He used to buy his clothes from him and paid for them by cheque. Have you ever given Loftus anything in the shape of money ?—Yes he used to havejElO and JE16 at a time, generally about quarter- days. He had also bought an overcoat for Nott. How did you come to buy him an overcoat ? —I knew he could do with one, because he had only just got on the board. (Laughter.) Nott was better dressed after he got on the board than before. (Laughter.) Roughly speaking, from seventy to eighty pounds would be owing by Gilder to Calcutt. Before the enquiry came on Gilder asked for a bill for that work, which witness made out. Gilder asked him to receipt the bill, but wit- ness said he would see, and did not do so. This was for work extending over two years, during which he had rendered no account. He had also given Gilder £10 in money, but no more. Witness spoke of a conversation he had with Gilder when he was out on bail, in which Gilder said he heard that he was going to scream," but witness told him that was not so, as he had detained Mr Muir for his defence. (Laughter.) Mr Bodkin I suppose you mean retained ? (Renewed laughter.) It is sometimes the same thing. Witness further stated that Gilder told him to hold tight. Proceeding to give evidence as to his relations with Ridpath, witness stated that he did work for Ridpath, but he was usually paid for it. Ridpath, however, got some money back when the accounts were paid CALCUTT AS MAGNET. Witness also said that he went to Yarmouth to stay. Did you see much of the guardians there ?—Yes. They would have followed me to America. (Laughter.) With regard to the defendant Trott, Calcutt said he had known him for 14 or 15 years, and had given him sums of money of £5 or £10 since he joined the board. Trott said before he went on to the board that he would ask witness for money when he got on. Witness said he had known Gilder ever since he had been on the guardians. In 1904 Gilder was secretary to a loan society.. Witness had done jobbing work for Gilder connected with building. Gilder had never paid him for that unless he had paid since witness had been in prison. Witness explained the circumstances under which he sold a plot of land at Leigh worth jbl80 to Ridpath for £30. The hearing was adjourned to Saturday.







The Tragedy at Barry.






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Miners' Questions.