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KEW ASYLUM INQUIRY. A Breeze Between Counsel.
Dr. Ellery's Cross-Examina-
MELBOURNE, Xpvembcr 17.
Heated exchanges which passed be- tween counsel to-day delayed consider- ably the inquiry by Mr. A. A. Kelley, P.M.; into allegations of maladministra- tion at the Kew Asylum, and cruelty io patients, which had been made by at- tendants against the junior medical offi- cer, Dr. R. S. Ellery.
Replying to Mr. Brennan (who ap- peared for the Mental Hospital Em- ployees' Association), Dr. Ellery said:1 Certain statements made by the nurses against me are misguided and valueless. I am at a loss to know why Nurse Burke should have given evidence against mo. Omissions from her evidence have dam- aged my reputation.
Mr. Brennan: You said in your report that this matter was a "frame up," and the camouflage of a conspiracy.
Witness: By that I meant that on the surface the charges sounded terrible. They are only the window-dressing in a conspiracy to rid mc of my position.
Referring to a demonstration with an instrument on a woman patient, Mr. Brennan said that there had been a de- liberate suppression of the evidence.
Mr. R. G. Menzies (for Dr. Ellery): That is a lie, and a suggestion that I have been in conspiracy with Dr., Ellery.
Mr. Brennan: Should you not have seen that all the nurses who wished to see these demonstrations were present, so that you would not have had to operate on more than one patient?
Witness: I thought that the nurse had brought them all together.
Mr. R. G. Menzies complained that Mr. Brennan was causing unnecessary delay and expense. "Oh, let us finish before Christmas," he exclaimed.
Mr. Brennan: Your anxiety has only manifested itself since Dr; Ellery be- gan his. evidence. Nothing you can do will hustle him out of that chair.
Mr. R. G. Menzies: That is a typical larrikin speech.
Mr. Brennan: The quicker you learn to behave yourself the better. To wit- ness: Do you consider it wise to per- form an operation at night in the pre- sence of only one nurse?
Witness: Looking back after this in- quiry it was indiscreet, although I did not realise it at the time. - s
Mr. Brennan: A doctor docs always avoid any suggestion of impropriety.
Mr. R. G. Menzies (hotly): With his tongue in his cheek Mr. Brennan earlier this morning said that there was no sug- gestion of impropriety between Nurse Burke and Dr. Ellery; now, by a mere twist of the tongue, he throws out the suggestion again. This is a campaign of mud-slinging.
, Continuing his cross-examination, Mr. Brennan asked Dr. Ellery ii he did not think that there wan a tincture of im- propriety in taking Nurse Burke into a dormitory alone at night time and per- forming such an operation upon a male patient? <i
Witness: There may have been a tinc-
ture of indiscretion.
Mr. Brennan: Was there not another reason why you should have been par- ticularly careful?
Witness: I am unaware of what you are alluding to.
Mr. Brennan: You arc not the editor of a magazine which was recalled from circulation and suppressed because of its indecency?
Witness: I was the editor of a maga- zine that was recalled, but nothing was said about indecency.
Mr. Menzies: Ah! Mr. Brennan means the "Speculum," the University medical students' magazine.
Mr. Brennan: One issue of the "Specu-
lum" was recalled?
Mr. Brennan: Were you required by the professional board immediately to resign as the result of thb issue?
Witness: I was not. '
Mr. Menzies: In the face of this/cross examination isf Mr. Brennan manrénough to admit that when he previously said that he withdrew any suggestion of im- propriety, he lied?
Mr. Brennan: I understand my friend's irritability, and condone a lot of it.
Mr. Menzies: I have never heard of more disgraceful behaviour from any- one professing to be a professional man. It is a cowardly throwing of mud. I cannot help feeling indignation at hav- ing to appear against a larrikin like
Mr. Brennan: No man, either private- ly or professionally, ventures to call me a larrikin and goes unchallenged. Jf Mr. Menzies does not withdraw, I shall deal with him in another way.
Mr. Menzies: I do not intend to with- draw. ,.