The 1948 case – Alexander versus Jokl, Cluver, Clarke – became known as the “South African Libel Case”.
It was a cause célèbre at the time with newspapers reporting daily on the court proceedings, partly because a number of famous witnesses testified. In addition it was important for the reputation of the Alexander Technique; and it was a leading case in legal circles.
The issue before the court was whether an editorial in Manpower, a South African government journal, criticising Alexander and his technique, was libellous or fair comment.
This Mouritz edition of the South African Libel Case is copied from the original eleven volumes of 2,232 pages of double-spaced, typewritten pages, dated 24 September 1948. These volumes covered the libellous article in Manpower (“Quackery versus Physical Education”), a transcript of the court proceedings, letters on legal proceedings, the judgment, the transcript of the evidence taken on commission in London, and various letters and other documents added as evidence.
The transcript includes the examination of the following witnesses. For the Plaintiff (Alexander): Evidence of Dr Wilfred Barlow, Dr Dorothy Drew, Norwood Coaker, P. Jack, H. H. Paine, Irene Tasker, Dr Duncan Whittaker, Dr Peter Macdonald, The Earl of Lytton, Sir Stafford Cripps, J. E. R. McDonagh, Dr Andrew Rugg-Gunn. For the Defendants: Professor W. E. Underwood, Dr E. H. Cluver, Dr E. Jokl, Professor Samson Wright, Sir Alfred Webb-Johnson, Sir Henry Dale, Professor E. D. Adrian, Dr Wood, Dr Himmelweit, Brig. Thomas H. Wand-Tetley, Lt.-Col. Sidney J. Parker, Mr Clark-Turner.
This 4-volume Mouritz edition – 1418 pages in total – reproduces the entire contents of the 1948 transcripts in their original sequence. Each item has been numbered and dated to guide the reader as to the chronological order. The appendix contains more material on and summaries of the case. It is sold as a set (but single volumes are available at €30 each).