1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Calmette, Gaston

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CALMETTE, GASTON (1858-1914), French journalist and writer, was born at Montpellier July 30 1858. He was educated at Nice, Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand and Mâcon, and afterwards entered journalism. In 1884 he joined the staff of the Figaro, and in 1894 became its editor. Calmette came much into public notice in 1913 and 1914 as the leader and inspirer of the bitter attacks on the policy of M. Caillaux. Almost every day the Figaro produced evidence of a damaging sort against the minister with the object of proving that he used his official position to facilitate speculation on the Bourse. The attitude of M. Caillaux in the Rochette case of 1911, in which it was alleged by the Figaro that the director of public prosecutions had been influenced by the ministry to delay the course of justice, was brought forward, and a newspaper campaign of extraordinary violence was the result. M. Caillaux was urged by some of his colleagues to take legal proceedings against his accusers, but declined. Some days later (March 17 1914) Mme. Caillaux called at the office of the Figaro and shot M. Calmette dead with a revolver. The unfortunate journalist was well known for his interest in art, and possessed a fine collection of caricatures and engravings of the First Empire.