4 Whitehall Place, S.W.
6th November 1888
The Under Secretary of State
The Home Office
In reply to your letter of the 5th instant, I enclose a report of the circumstances of the Mitre Square Murder so far as they have come under the notice of the Metropolitan Police, and I now give an account regarding the erasing the writing on the wall in Goulston Street which I have already partially explained to Mr. Matthews verbally.
On the 30th September on hearing of the Berner Street murder, after visiting Commercial Street Station I arrived at Leman Street Station shortly before 5 A.M. and ascertained from the Superintendant Arnold all that was known there relative to the two murders.
The most pressing question at that moment was some writing on the wall in Goulston Street evidently written with the intention of inflaming the public mind against the Jews, and which Mr. Arnold with a view to prevent serious disorder proposed to obliterate, and had sent down an Inspector with a sponge for that purpose, telling him to await his arrival.
I considered it desirable that I should decide the matter myself, as it was one involving so great a responsibility whether any action was taken or not.
I accordingly went down to Goulston Street at once before going to the scene of the murder: it was just getting light, the publica would be in the streets in a few minutes, in a neighbourhood ver ymuch crowded on Sunday mornings by Jewsih vendors and Christian purchasers from all parts of London.
There were several Police around the spot when I arrived, both Metropolitan and City.
The writing was on the jamb of the open archway or doorway visible in the street and could not be covered up without danger of the covering being torn off at once.
A discussion took place whether the writing could be left covered up or otherwise or whether any portion of it could be left for an hour until it could be photographed; but after taking into consideration the excited state of the population in London generally at the time, the strong feeling which had been excited against the Jews, and the fact that in a short time there would be a large concourse of the people in the streets, and having before me the Report that if it was left there the house was likely to be wrecked (in which from my own observation I entirely concurred) I considered it desirable to obliterate the writing at once, having taken a copy of which I enclose a duplicate.
After having been to the scene of the murder, I went on to the City Police Office and informed the Chief Superintendant of the reason why the writing had been obliterated.
I may mention that so great was the feeling with regard to the Jews that on the 13th ulto. the Acting Chief Rabbi wrote to me on the subject of the spelling of the word "Jewes" on account of a newspaper asserting that this was Jewish spelling in the Yiddish dialect. He added "in the present state of excitement it is dangerous to the safety of the poor Jews in the East [End] to allow such an assertion to remain uncontradicted. My community keenly appreciates your humane and vigilant action during this critical time."
It may be realised therefore if the safety of the Jews in Whitechapel could be considered to be jeopardised 13 days after the murder by the question of the spelling of the word Jews, what might have happened to the Jews in that quarter had that writing been left intact.
I do not hesitate myself to say that if that writing had been left there would have have been an onslaught upon the Jews, property would have been wrecked, and lives would probably have been lost; and I was much gratified with the prompitude with which Superintendent Arnold was prepared to act in the matter if I had not been there.
I have no doubt myself whatever that one of the principal objects of the Reward offered by Mr. Montagu was to shew to the world that the Jews were desirous of having the Hanbury Street Murder cleared up, and thus to divert from them the very strong feeling which was then growing up.
I am, Sir,
Your most obediant Servant,
(signed) C. Warren
Two identical copies of the "Juwes" message were enclosed with this correspondance, which read as follows: