Royal Commission report day 12 page 21

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The Royal Commission evidence for 13/4/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 12)

Superintendent Sadeir giving evidence

2705 “Send Constable Armstrong back to his station”—where was his station?— Beechworth then.

2706 Where was he to be sent from—where was he at the date of this?— Out watching at Mrs. Byrne's.

2707 Did Mr. Nicolson communicate to Mr. Hare in your presence, or were you aware that it was Mr. Nicolson's intention the day he gave up duty there to order Senior-constable Armstrong from that place. Was that amongst the particulars he gave Mr. Hare? I do not think that was mentioned at all to Mr. Hare.

2708 Had you any knowledge from what you heard Mr. Nicolson say to Mr. Hare, or from conversation with Mr. Nicolson, that it was Mr. Nicolson's intention to issue this order after he had given up the charge of the district to Mr. Hare to that effect?— I knew nothing at all of Mr. Nicolson's intentions of that kind.

2709 You have been in a great number of stations in the colony?— Yes.

2710 And have taken up charge from officers in the usual way?— Yes.

2711 Is it usual for officers to give an order over men they have been in charge of, after they have left charge?— No, it is not usual for a man to forget anything, but I can quite understand that being done— there is nothing irregular in that.

2712 Would it not be usual that if a man did forget he would write to his successor, telling about it?— Yes, it would be more courteous.

2713 Not courteous but more official?— More in accordance with strict official courtesy.

2714 Then it says, “Withdraw the watch party”—was that under Armstrong?— Yes.

2715 Had you any knowledge that that was going to be done on that day at all?— No; I do not know that I had knowledge it was there at the time. I knew that Mr. Nicolson contemplated sending a party into that part of the country then, and I had spoken to him about it.

2716 “Send Constable Armstrong back to his station, withdraw the watch party, and send them to duty”—that would mean duty at their own stations?— Yes.

2717 “Any further orders from Superintendents Hare and Sadleir”—that would be that Mullane, to whom this was directed, was to receive further orders from Mr. Hare and Mr. Sadleir?— Certainly.

2718 Then the next paragraph, “Detective Ward already instructed that no further authority for money or supplies to Tommy or his friend”—did you know prior to Mr. Hare's telling you, on the morning after Mr. Nicolson left, that Ward had been instructed that there was no further money or supplies to be paid to those agents?— I knew nothing at all about this.

2719 Did you hear Mr. Nicolson tell anything to that purport to Mr. Hare when he was giving up charge of the place?— Mr. Nicolson gave Mr. Hare to understand that any future special services must be upon his authority, and not on Mr. Nicolson's; that was, as a matter of course, that Mr. Hare could please himself; and not be bound by Mr. Nicolson's authority; that Mr. Nicolson was relieved from all further authority after giving over charge.

2720 Do sou know whether Detective Ward, in consequence of some instructions, saw Mr. Hare?— I think Mr. Hare sent for him.

2721 To come to where?— Benalla.

2722 Did you see Ward?— No. Probably I did see him, yet I do not remember.

2723 Did Mr. Hare tell you he had conversation with him?— Mr. Hare told me that Mr. Nicolson had discharged his agents the evening before, and asked me if I could not tell him anything about it. I knew nothing about it.

2724 By Mr. Nicolson. —Is there anything about discharging agents?— Something about supplies. I may explain then it was left to Mr. Hare's discretion whether he would keep up the supplies still to; those people.

2725 What was the impression conveyed to you the following morning by Mr. Hare?— That all the people should be discharged.

2726 Was he annoyed?— Yes, he was puzzled, and so was I, but the telegram does, not bear that out.

2727 If it did hear that out you would be surprised?— Yes.

2728 Had Mr. Hare the means of finding out who the agents were?— He knew all about them, but there were some of them that it was agreed I should see and ask whether they were willing to assist Mr. Hare as they had been assisting Mr. Nicolson.

2729 “Tommy” and his friends were well known to Mr. Hare?— Yes. “Tommy” was chiefly his friend. “Tommy” was selected by Detective Ward.....

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