Royal Commission report Appendix 9

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The Royal Commission Appendix 9

(full text transcription)

[[../../people/peL_M/mchughRPc.html|Constable Robert Mchugh's Affidavit]]

I, Robert McHugh, constable, of Euroa, in the colony of Victoria, being duly sworn, make the following statement:—

1 That Inspector A. B. Smith was in charge of the police force in the Ovens district from February 1876 to February 1878.

2 That during some months of that time he was unable, through an injury to his leg, to inspect the District and perform his duties effectively; yet no other officer took his place or performed his duties.

3 That, contrary to paragraph 122 of the Police Regulations, he selected constables to take charge of stations who were not the “most efficient “ or “best conducted.”

4 That he was in the habit of drinking in and frequenting public houses, contrary to paragraph 166 of the Regulations.

5 That I have reason to believe, and do believe, that he was indebted to publicans, store keepers, and others, contrary to paragraphs 165 and 288 of the Regulations.

6 That, between February 1876 and February 1878, the police stations at Yackandandah, Talangatta, Stanley, Eldorado, and Beechworth, were reduced in strength, thus—

Yackandandah, reduced from two to one constable.

Talangatta, do. do.

Stanley, do. do.

Eldorado, do. do.

Beechworth, one constable taken away.

  • That the rifles, belts, and ammunition issued to the constables, as a part of their kit, were of too old a pattern to be effective when employed against any modern rifle. These rifles were of three kinds, and all muzzle loaders, viz.:—

1st. The old musket, dated, I believe, 1854.

2nd. The Wilkinson, dated 1857.

3rd. The Enfield, dated 1861.

All these have been out of date for many years, and compared with the Winchester, Sloper, or Martini-Henry rifle are practically useless. No practice in shooting was provided for, and none allowed except at the constable's own expense.

ROBT. McHUGH, Constable, 2551.

Sworn before me, at Euroa, in the colony of Victoria, this 19th day of August 1881.—R. H. GRAHAM, J.P.

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