Johnson was called as a witness, and under questioning, a different story came out. Johnson agreed that his written report of the 1948 tour had said that the team had behaved "in a manner befitting worthy representatives of Australia" and that "on and off the field their conduct was exemplary". However, in a verbal report, Johnson said he had drawn the board's attention to various misdemeanours by Barnes during the 1948 tour that, in his opinion, were sufficiently serious to warrant the player's exclusion from future Australian Test sides. Johnson said that Barnes had shown a "general reluctance for anything savouring of authority". The misdeeds included taking pictures as the Australian team was presented to the royal family on the playing arena during the Second Test at Lord's, asking permission to travel alone in England—Barnes' family was living in Scotland at the time—and "abducting" twelfth man Toshack to play tennis during the match at Northamptonshire on a court "300 yards from the pavilion". Under cross-examination, Johnson said that Barnes's photography of the royal family at Lord's was the most serious incident. He admitted he had not known that Barnes had received permission to take the photos. Barnes's lawyer then established that his client had then shown the films to raise money for various charities. He further showed that Barnes had not agitated when reminded of the policy against players meeting with family members on tour. However, Johnson believed that the cumulative effect of the misdeeds "warranted omission from the team" and he saw no problem in the fact that his verbal advice to the board recommending Barnes' exclusion was at odds with the written report on the 1948 tour. Under cross-examination, Johnson admitted that "I don't always write what I think", and ended up being embarrassed by Barnes's lawyer. The case collapsed on its second day, after Barnes was issued with a public apology regarding the letter. After the libel trial, Johnson resigned from all cricket administration, while Barnes continued to be overlooked. Although the court case portrayed "an awful image of the chaos and bigotry under which Australian cricket was administered", it did little to alter the board's culture towards players.
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