Royal Commission report day 12 page 18
The Royal Commission evidence for 13/4/1881
(see also introduction to day 12)
Superintendent Sadeir giving evidence
2627 We have heard that there was a special lot of letters in the envelope?— Yes.
2628 Do you know that man's writing—[handing a letter to the witness]?— That is disguised writing.
2629 You know the agent?— I think so.
2630 Can you say, now, of your own knowledge, that amongst the papers in one of those drawers where Mr. Nicolson had the letters, that there were letters from this person?— All I can say about this letter is that after the Glenrowan business, and when Mr. Nicolson wrote to me for this man's letters, I found this.
2631 Is that the letter you refer to, written in November, asking for this special letter?— Yes; and that was one I sent down.
2632 Where did you find that?— In the right-hand drawer.
2634 Had you any reason to remove it, after giving over the papers to Mr. Hare, and your finally sending it down?— No; I knew it was in one of two drawers at the time Mr. Hare took over.
2635 Who kept the key after Mr. Nicolson took charge?— Mr. Hare.
2636 Therefore if Mr. Nicolson gave that letter over to Mr. Hare, and you found it there finally, it must have been there in Mr. Hare's room at the time, and under his control?— Yes; that stands to reason.
2637 And he had the key of it?— Yes.
2640 Did Mr. Nicolson convey to Mr. Hare, at that interview, the value of those five persons and their evidence, or of their information, rather?— He gave him the substance of all information.
2641 Did he say, “I have so many agents now supplying me with information, and I attach such and such importance to this man and that man”?— I cannot remember that particularly.
2642 Would Mr. Hare be able to judge only from letters he found in the drawers, as to the value of the agents?— I think Mr. Hare knew all of them.
2643 But Mr. Nicolson had been in charge?— Mr. Hare had all the recent information sent in by this man.
2644 In the drawer?— He had them from the drawer and by word of mouth from Mr. Nicolson.
2645 He gave it all by word of mouth in ten minutes?— There was more than that.
2646 Mr. Hare says ten minutes?— Ten minutes would have told all that was to be told.
2647 Did Mr. Nicolson tell that these were the persons he had engaged, and he would have now to make arrangements because supplies were stopped?— I do not think anything was said about supplies being stopped. When an officer gives over the charge of business like this, he would name his agents and say, “If you continue, you must make your own agreement.”
2648 Would an officer going out communicate the fact to the agents that, as far as he had done, he had finished with them?— He ought to, to protect himself—most assuredly.
2649 At the time Mr. Nicolson relieved Mr. Hare on the previous occasion do you remember what steps were taken by Mr. Hare?— There were no agents I remember then—we had no systematic agents except the one man, Sherritt.
2651 It would be his duty?— No, it would be simply for his own protection, or else he might be held answerable for expenses incurred by these agents.
2652 By Mr. Hare. —Do you think that Mr. Nicolson, having been there eleven months, could, in ten or fifteen minutes, give all the information respecting the pursuit of the outlaws?— No, it has taken me three days to tell that to the Commission.
2653 Exactly. Then do you think that Mr. Nicolson could have given me all the information that was necessary in ten minutes respecting the agents, how he could trust them, and whether they would be useful, and so on?— Yes, I think he could.
2654 In fifteen minutes?— Yes; those questions would naturally have occurred to you.
2655 Do you remember going over some accounts with me about the agents?— Yes, I do.
2656 With reference to those agents being paid up to date, and that one was over-paid?— Yes.
2657 How long did it take going over those accounts?— I think that would take a very small part of the time, because I think he gave you a statement of them in writing....
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