6a["The Sale of French Military Plans", The Argus (Melbourne), Monday 24 December 1894, page 5]




London, Dec. 22.

A great sensation was caused in France last month by the arrest of Captain Albert Dreyfus, of the 14th regiment of Artillery, and attached to the general staff, on the charge of having sold secret War Office documents to Germany.

It now appears that the case against the accused man rests on a document which was stolen from the German Embassy.

A report is current that Count Munster, the German ambassador in Paris, has threatened to leave France if the stolen document is used in the proceedings against Captain Dreyfus, and it is further stated that for this reason the trial of the accused will be conducted in private.



London, Dec. 23.

Captain Dreyfus has been sentenced to deportation and internment for life in a fortified place, and also to pay the costs of the prosecution.

[A telegram published in The Times stated that at a Cabinet council held in Paris on November 1 General Mercier, the Minister of War, announced his intention of ordering the prosecution of Captain Albert Dreyfus, of the 14th regiment of Artillery, attached to the general staff, who was charged with selling secret War Office documents to Germany. Captain Dreyfus is of Jewish Alsatian extraction. He was born in 1859 at Mullhouse, where his brothers have a large cotton-spinning factory. He had been a clerk in the first bureau of the general staff. This office contains the only really secret documents of the War Office, such as the mobilisation arrangements and the details for the despatch and concentration of troops in the event of war. Five years ago Dreyfus married the daughter of M. Hadamard, a diamond merchant, and with his wife and two children has been occupying expensive rooms in the Avenue du Trocadero.]

6b[Editorial, The Argus (Melbourne), Wednesday 23 March 1898, page 4]


The account of the Paris trial, published in our columns yesterday, was nothing but a picture of justice burlesqued, of a complaisant tribunal smirking at the leaders of a mob, and swaying easily to popular clamour. That spectacle is grave enough, but it is as nothing compared to the visions conjured up of what France, even on the threshold of the twentieth century, may be capable of in one of those fits of "red fool fury" to which the nation has yielded before.



This piece relates to the subsequent trial of Emile Zola, not of Dreyfus

6c["Dreyfus", The Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA), Thursday 03 August 1899, page 13]




It cannot have failed to strike anyone who has interested himself in the Dreyfus matter that although British opinion seems nearly unanimous as to the captain's innocence, perfectly disinterested Frenchmen, Frenchmen even in Australia who are far away from the excitement of Paris, and cannot be influenced by the passing moods of the great city, are divided, a majority of them perhaps still distrusting the ex-prisoner of the Ile du Diable most profoundly, and past few months have gone to show up believing that even if he did not commit the particular offence of which he was found guilty by the court-martial, he yet did something which justified his punishment. Belief in Dreyfus' innocence has been strengthened amongst readers here since the news of General de Gallifet's appointment as Minister for War, and the evident intention which he has manifested that the second court-martial to be held at Rennes shall be conducted free from outside influences. On account of the peculiar conflict alluded to between British and French opinion, the following from a gentleman who, in the course of service in the French army, knew both General de Gallifet and Dreyfus, will be found interesting (our informant writes).

"Ventre d'Argent " (silver stomach), a name by which General de Gallifet is known, on account of a silver plaque which closed a wound on the abdomen which the gallant soldier received at the head of the 3rd Chasseurs d'Afrique, during the disastrous war of 1870, appears to many possibly as absolutely convinced of the innocence of Dreyfus. To those who have never met the gallant soldier, and have had the honor of his acquaintance the line of conduct now attributed to him is the very one which his chivalry as Minister of War, and consequently the head of the army, might have been expected to lead him to adopt. He is just now in a difficult position, where he is forced to safeguard the honor of the army, and at the same time endeavor to see justice done to a man who a few years back was one of his own comrades. His position is all the more difficult when the unfortunate revelations of the a dreadful and guilty disorganisation of the French service. Dreyfus, guilty or innocent, is at the present moment the weaker party, and naturally, therefore, the outward sympathies of the General are with him, but it is an open question whether really from the bottom of his heart the Minister for War is looking upon Dreyfus as an absolutely innocent man. A doubt upon that point, and the cruel principle of French justice which makes a man guilty until he proves himself innocent, may in a degree be responsible for the fact that Dreyfus' trial appeared a most cruel and unjust one, but it really was only on a par with many others taking place daily in France, and of which the world knows nothing.

"Here the fact remains, Dreyfus was sentenced to the severest punishment a soldier can suffer, and that by twelve of his brother officers, who, for their own sake alone, and the honor of the army, would have been inclined to more than hesitate if any shadow of doubt of his innocence had remained in their minds. The conduct of the prisoner himself when accused by General Mercier, as well as his demeanor on the Champ de Mars, in front of the Ecole de Guerre, on that fateful morning, where, in front of 40,000 troops his sword was broken, seemed far more that of an actor with his theatrical 'Je suis innocent, vive la France,' than that of a broken hearted, innocent man, suffering the greatest punishment and injustice in the world. Though of course it has of late become known that scandals of the worst kind were disgracing the French service, the fact still remains that many gallant and honorable soldiers are still to be found, and certainly the very ones who were sufficiently unfortunate to have to sit as Dreyfus' judges are still amongst the number. It seems hard to believe that all these men deliberately swore him away, and many will no doubt agree that some serious evidence of guilt must have been placed before them outside the bordereau, before they passed the sentence they did. The fact that the handwriting on the bordereau was not that of Dreyfus in no manner alters the selling of secrets from the Ecole de Pyrotechnic at Biurges, with which Dreyfus was undoubtedly connected, and which in themselves established the fact that Dreyfus was abusing the confidence of the service, which he should have been the first to protect. Many of the crimes imputed to Dreyfus may certainly not be his, but without a doubt his conduct was such as would allow suspicion of the gravest kind to rest upon him.

"It has often been stated that his Semetic origin was the cause of this cruelty towards him. This is a point a Frenchman certainly would deny, and could further state that were it not for that origin and the millions it can command, Dreyfus would hardly be today the cynosure of the world, and the cherished martyr many wish him to appear. Time is, however, drawing near, and at Rennes, before long, the world will know his fate. If proclaimed innocent, whatever reparation is made can never compensate the injustice he will have suffered? But if guilty, it will only once more show the tremendous power of wealth in the hands of really clever men. Revolution was nearly caused by the agitation over this affair, and the verdict may yet be the cause of a catastrophe for France, where some of the community will never cease to believe that his innocence has been purchased by 'les millions des Juifs.'

"We print this as an interesting expression of opinion from a fresh source. It will be seen that it deals more with the question of whether Dreyfus be morally guilty than with the single point as to whether he wrote the bordereau. Our correspondent, as well as giving the above opinions, scouts the idea that the members of the first court-martial will be punished, an idea which he says he believes to be prevalent in this city. In connection with this, it may be noted that a re-trial of the Dreyfus case was asked for by M. Ballot de Beaupaire in his report to the Court of Cassation on the ground that new evidence had been discovered. The report said: "I do not ask you, gentlemen, to proclaim Dreyfus' innocence, but I say that a fact unknown to the judges of 1894 tends to prove it. This suffices by the terms of clause 448, and consequently there is occasion to ordain the sending of the case before a new court-martial to bring in a definite verdict with full knowledge." The new fact adduced by Mr do Beaupre is thus stated by the "Times": "Now, however, to the conflict of expert testimony we can add the incontestable new fact that Dreyfus had no paper resembling that of the bordereau, while Esterhazy habitually used such paper, and lied when he averred that he did not. From this M. Ballot Beanpaire concludes, not that Dreyfus is innocent, but that a fact unknown to the judges of 1894 tends to prove his innocence ; and that, therefore, there is occasion to ordain the sending of the case to a new court martial to bring in a definite verdict with full knowledge of the facts." It will he seen that the reversal of the sentence of the first court-martial on this new point would be no censure upon it. The first court-martial never had the point about Easterhazy's paper before it at all, and therefore cannot be blamed for having found a decision which this point may upset. In addition to all this, one now knows by cable that Dreyfus' retrial will be confined to the question, did he write the bordereau? If the court decide that he did not write the bordereau, he will presumably, as far as present in formation shows, be released without any other matters being gone into. It would seem that such a course would still leave it open to his enemies to say that he had been saved by "the millions of the Jews," for on only one point would he have been proved innocent, and there have been all sorts of charges made against him, if not in definite legal shape.--"Evening News."