Royal Commission report day 12 page 11
The Royal Commission evidence for 13/4/1881
(see also introduction to day 12)
Superintendent Sadeir giving evidence
2452 By the Commission. —Where did you leave off?— On my last examination the Commission asked me for particulars of telegrams sent on the day of the Euroa robbery from two o'clock until eight in the afternoon-that is from the time the wires were cut till we spoke to Mr. Wyatt.
2453 You said you could fix the hour then?— I said I could fix the hour; and I find there were eight telegrams despatched from the Benalla office (my office and Mr. Nicolson's) from two pm. that day, on the 10th of December, the day of the bank robbery. One of those was to the Chief Commissioner of Police. It was sent to the telegraph office at Benalla, which is not more than 150 yards from our office, at 6.45 p.m. , and it was held there until half-past nine: The other telegrams were on lines that were not interfered with.
2455 The others were away?— On the Beechworth end and other places.
2456 Were you informed that the line was interrupted?— No, we heard nothing of that. This is the telegram, showing the hour of which I speak; the substance of the telegram is of no importance, only the date. You will see that it was received at 5.45 p.m. , and despatched at 9.30 p.m.- [handing in a telegram]
2457 That is simply to show that you had no information about the wires being cut before you started?— No, and not hearing of that telegram being delayed gave us reason to believe that everything was right on the wires.
2458 This telegram shows that clearly?— Yes.
2459 Was there any understanding between the police authorities and the officers of the Telegraph Department with regard to the action to be taken on any alarm or any suspicious circumstance arising?— I think there was not then.
2460 There was afterwards?— There was afterwards.
2461 But up to that time not?— Up to that time not, so far as I know of, but I am not absolutely positive about it.
2462 At some time during the pursuit of the Kellys by the police, was there not some understanding with the Telegraph Department that if any line was interrupted you would be communicated with.?— Yes, after the experience of this, it was made an order that every interruption was to be reported to us at once.
2463 Was there not a test made at a regular time— ten o'clock or some time?— Yes, they were constantly tested by the operators—I do not know the hour. After the time spoken of in my evidence yesterday, there were many things that occurred outside of my own knowledge. Since my statement was begun before the Commission, I have made a calculation, as best I could —I am sure it is not quite complete, but nearly so —of the number of reported appearances of the Kellys from the time of the murders up to their capture at Glenrowan.
2464 Consecutively?— Yes; and I have divided them into periods on which different officers were in charge of operations. From October 26 th—that was the date of the murders—to December 12th 1878 , I find there were four reported appearances of the Kellys. From December 12th 1878 to July 3rd 1879 , when Captain Standish and Mr. Hare were the senior officers, there were 40 reported appearances. From July 3rd 1879 , when Mr. Nicolson again took charge, to June 2nd 1880 , there were 18 reported appearances; and from June 2nd, when Mr. Hare finally took charge, to June 28th 1880 , there were two reported appearances. One of these includes the final appearance at Glenrowan.
2465 And the other would be Stherritt's murder?— Yes, at Sherritt's murder. Then I have again subdivided the second division that I have given you, that is from December 12th 1878 —that is the Euroa bank robbery—to March 6th, when the trackers came from Queensland, occurred 35 of the 40 appearances I have mentioned; and from March 1879 to July 3rd of the same year there were only five reported appearances, and none of those were authentic. That shows that the Kellys ceased at once to show themselves after the trackers arrived in Victoria .
2466 As you said five were not authentic, can you tell us whether any of the 35 were authentic, from 10th December 1878 to March 1879?— Yes. Some of them were certainly authentic. The Jerilderie bank robbery occurred during that time, and there were others.
2467 Touching that-after the Jerilderie robbery, is there no authentic account of their return to Victoria after the robbery in New South Wales ?— Yes, I am sure there was. I propose, if the Commission take any interest in this, to put it all into detailed table showing the informants and places where the things were said to have taken place and the steps taken, or such references to the papers that will explain
2468 And the officers?— Yes; that will take several days.
2469 That will be most important?— Then I will do it, giving the names as mentioned in the key. Then I need not refer to those as I go along. .....
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