Possibility of suing Gerald Gable of Searchlight for Libels in a Book published by Longman's. David Irving writes to the publisher a standard Letter before Action:-
London, Friday, November 3, 1995
[4:35 PM]


Dear Sir

Luciano Cheles, et al (ed.), The Far Right in Western & Eastern Europe.

As you will be aware I am a professional speaker and a historian of repute, whose works have been published for thirty-four years in the major publishing houses of the world, with several works being published in the former Soviet Union, and of whom The Times has written: "David Irving takes his place in the first rank of historical chroniclers."

A Jewish colleague, a professor at a Canadian university, has sent me a copy of certain passages of the above work published by your firm and he has drawn my attention to its several defamatory references to myself. From the index alone it appears that my name figures in its pages over twice as often as that of Adolf Hitler, a startling statistic. Regard this letter therefore as a Letter before Action, and please consider my requirements set out below most seriously. I have as recently as late September succeeded in enforcing swift but satisfactory High Court libel action against a major British Sunday publication on very similar grounds.

I am referring principally to chapter 14, entitled, "Britain's Nazi Underground," by a Mr Gerald Gable. Should any trial of this action result from your ignoring my desiderata as set out below I shall bring it to the attention of the Court that your author Mr Gable, by feloniously breaking and entering my family's private apartment in 1963, earned a criminal record for himself and his fellow-burglars when I caught him red-handed; and that he has borne toward me since those dates a demonstrable Malice with all the connotations that that word bears under the Defamation Act. I attach one or two press clippings which will bear that point out.

I now list some, but by no means all, of the passages to which I take exception:

Page 258, chapter title: BRITAIN'S NAZI UNDERGROUND.

Page 261: "The nature of Combat 18 and those who run it. In autumn 1991 an event took place in London that was to breathe life into Combat

18. David Irving, the far-right 'historical revisionist', held a rally at Chelsea Old Town Hall, at which his guest speaker was the US revisionist Fred Leuchter, whom the Home Secretary had banned from entering Britain. It was a long time since Irving had held such a gathering in London, and in the distant past his meetings, under the name the Clarendon Club, had been guarded by thuggish elements drawn from various far right groups. This time he had come to a security arrangement with Nick Griffin, the former chairman of the NF and now the leader of the International Third Position [ITP], a small Strasserite group (i.e. one espousing a 'left' anti-capitalist form of Nazism, as did the Strasser brothers in Germany in the 1920s). Griffin, it appears, was linked to a newly formed security company, which he used to provide security for Irving's meeting. [12]

The meeting turned into a fiasco when the large body of police guarding it was informed that it was in fact protecting a man who had been banned from entering Britain. After a short delay in the proceedings, Leuchter was led away and two days later deported to the USA. As the police moved in, stewards fled in all directions, leaving the two hundred or more Nazis, anti-Semites and racists, who had come from around the world, in a state of near panic."

[Note 12 gives as your author Mr Gable's only source in fact his own publication, From Ballots to Bombs, Searchlight, London, 1989, and his chapter "The far right in Contemporary Britain" in your current editors' work Neo Fascism in Europe, (Longman, 1991.)]

Page 263: "Derek Beackon, who was elected as the BNP's first ever local councillor in Tower Hamlets in September 1993, had been the BNP's chief steward, but was clearly seen taking orders from the Sargents [identified on page 262 as the "criminal" Steven Sargent and his brothers William and Paul David who "all had a long record of violence" and allegedly directed Combat 18] on all major events that they attended together. Most of these events during 1992 and 1993 were meetings of David Irving's Clarendon Club in London and Sussex."

Page 266: "By late 1993, the BNP's association with Irving appeared to have come to an abrupt halt after Irving's failure to turn up at the BNP's annual 'Party Day' rally. (The BNP does not have annual general meetings, but instead holds a rally, at which overseas Nazis and racists join [John] Tyndall on the platform.)"

Page 269: "Anthony Hancock, the Nazi printer and publisher, has maintained his close ties with David Irving and his Clarendon Club, which appears to exist only inside Irving's head.... Despite his [Hancock's] convictions for fraud and his involvement in two cases involving drugs and counterfeit money, he appears to live a charmed life, being of use to a wide range of Nazi groups internationally."


We are all accustomed to a certain amount of rough and tumble, when we -- as writers -- are in the public eye. This time you as publishers and your author Gable have stepped over the line that separates robust criticism from publishing malicious and reckless defamations with the avowed intention of injuring, and with reckless disregard for the truth.

The unsavoury picture which emerges from Gable's untrue account is that I have invented a fictitious body called the Clarendon Club, which either meets or does not meet -- he contradicts himself; that I knowingly consort with people convicted of fraud and involved in counterfeiting and drug dealing; that I find it necessary to use thuggish elements to guard my lectures or gatherings, which he describes as "rallies", and which he also suggests are a figment of my imagination -- i.e. that I am a liar; that I breathed life into a violent and criminal Nazi underground body which he identifies as Combat 18, an organisation which terrorises old ladies and anti-Nazis, and is responsible for racist attacks in southern England; that I came to security arrangements with one Nick Griffin and with violent criminal elements including the brothers Sargent to use Combat 18 to provide such security; that police had to smash up a "rally" of the Clarendon Club at Chelsea Old Town Hall which ended as a fiasco and in panic (many members of the press and ITV were present at this lecture and can testify to the contrary); that I struck some kind of bargain with the BNP to attend as a keynote speaker at their national rally, and then failed to attend.

The facts are these: the Clarendon Club has existed informally since 1982, has published a number of lectures, and currently (October 25) has 926 people on its U.K. mailing list; it meets on an irregular basis; I have no links with people known to me as fraudsters, counterfeiters or drug dealers; I am happy to rely solely on the very capable Metropolitan Police to protect any lectures, dinners, or gatherings where there is danger of injury being done by outsiders to my invited guests, audience or speakers; I have no links or association with any body remotely like that described as Combat 18; I have never had the slightest connection with the BNP (British National Party) or any of its affiliates, nor with a Mr Griffin (although I note that a Nick Griffin figures on a mailing list having applied to buy an advance copy of my forthcoming biography of Dr Goebbels, and that a man of that name wrote to me in November 1994 with an inquiry about the air raids on Dresden; I know no more about the man); that I have never met nor had any dealings with the brothers Sargent; that no gathering of the Clarendon Club has ever ended in fiasco and panic; that the meeting in Chelsea referred to continued in an orderly manner even after the police had abducted one of its speakers at the request of the Jewish authorities in London; and that I have never undertaken to appear at a BNP rally, and consequently never failed to appear at such a rally having given an undertaking to appear; such an allegation, namely failing to show up for an agreed function, is a particularly serious libel for somebody like myself who is a professional lecturer and speaker; moreover I would never have accepted such an invitation to appear at a BNP rally had it been extended as such, which it was not.

These are all serious and seemingly deliberate libels on my name by an author who has borne a demonstrable grudge against me since his arrest and conviction in 1963 -- 4. For thirty years and more I have adopted the Christian etiquette of turning the other cheek; I have gritted my teeth at these and similar smears by Mr Gable and his consorts, and looked the other way; no more. I therefore require your firm, within seven days of receipt of this letter, to undertake in writing: --

  1. to expunge the above libellous passages from all future editions of this work;

  2. to refrain from repeating in future editions of this work or in other works these or essentially similar libels against me;

  3. to remove all current copies of this work from circulation, recalling those already issued from the libraries, distributors, warehouses, and bookshops;

  4. to inform me to the nearest hundred how many copies of the work containing these libellous passages have already been published or otherwise circulated within the jurisdiction of our courts, and how many have been published or otherwise circulated overseas;

  5. to pay an agreed sum of money in damages and in compensation for the injury wilfully or negligently inflicted on my reputation by this publication.

Failing satisfaction in each of the above five points, I shall reserve my rights to commence without further notice immediate proceedings under the Defamation Act and serve Writs against yourselves and the author(s) of these libels. I further expressly reserve the right to expand any statement of claim to include statements made in the rest of this publication about me.

Will you be so good in your reply as to indicate whether the address below is the Registered Office of your company; whether you or your solicitors will receive service of any legal documents; and whether you are authorised to accept service on behalf of your editors Luciano Cheles et al., and on behalf of your author Mr Gerald Gable as well.

Yours sincerely,

David Irving

The Managing Director,
Longman Group UK Ltd., Publishers
5 Bentinck Street
London W1



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