Royal Commission report day 12 page 5

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The Royal Commission evidence for 13/4/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 12)

[[../../people/peU_Z/wyattMag.htm|'Alfred Wyatt, P.M. giving evidence']]

2317 From your knowledge of the matter, and without referring to the guard at all, would it not be known at either of those stations almost immediately when an interruption took place?— Very immediately indeed, and the same thing applies to the Government lines.

2318 It would be with regard to the railway line, there being no station between those two?— I know, as a matter of fact, from Mr. Gorman, that he was very early made acquainted with the breakage at Euroa.

2319 With regard to the public line, the one with the four wires, would it not be known at either side very shortly after it was interrupted?— I do not think there is a Government line of any sort at Euroa; but I know, as a matter of fact, that the station-masters are always communicating with each other, and I know Mr. Gorman knew that the Government line was down as well as his own line.

2320 You mentioned yesterday that when you came to Faithfull's Creek station you went up to the station and took the depositions of the persons there —can you recollect, from memory, what time was mentioned that will fix us the hour that the Kellys had destroyed the telegraphic communication?— No, I cannot remember from that. I am not even sure that it was told me, but the depositions are preserved, and can be obtained. I took them very rapidly.

2321 You said just now that you thought the mother of Ned Kelly was severely sentenced?—

2322 Why do you come to that conclusion—what was she tried for?— She was tried for being present at a serious assault on a policeman in the exercise of his duty.

2323 What was her sentence?— I do not remember exactly, but I know it must have been at least three years, because she has been in two years, and if she was to get out at the very earliest period, she would not be out, but I cannot recollect what it was.

2324 She is out now?— I was not aware of that. It cannot have been till very recently, at any rate.

2325 You stated that Quinn came to you?— Not came to me.

2326 Spoke to you?— Not spoke to me.

2327 You received some information from Quinn?— No; a proposition from Quinn that, if the Kellys' mother was liberated, some promise or some arrangement would be made by which the Kellys, Ned and Dan, against whom there were warrants, would give themselves up. The words were, I think— “They shall be brought in if the old woman is let out.”

2328 Was she sentenced at the time this proposition was made, or only returned for trial?— That I cannot remember.

2329 Are you the police magistrate for the immediate district, Benalla being your head-quarters, and where does your district end?— At some unknown spot, probably half-way between myself and the next court of petty sessions on the North-Eastern Railway, namely, Wangaratta to the north-east, and at Mansfield to the south.

2330 Is Wangaratta in your district?— No, in Mr. Foster's.

2331 Is Glenrowan in your district?— That is a point of measurement that I cannot remember. I think it is. I can tell you in a few minutes by the railway time-table.

2332 Never mind?— It is not in my district, it is just outside. Fourteen miles from me, and ten from Wangaratta.

2333 Were not the greater portion of those outrages committed within your district?— That is also, I believe, a matter of question.

2334 Is Euroa in your district?— It was—I meant the murders of the men. The Euroa robbery was in my district.

2335 Did you hear Mr. Sadleir say yesterday, in giving his evidence, that the outlaws were traced to be continuously, or almost continuously, in the immediate districts round Benalla, Greta, and round there?— I cannot say I did.

2336 How many years have you been a police magistrate?— About nine.

2337 You are brought into connection with police offences, and deal with cases under the criminal law, and others?— Yes.

2338 And you took an interest personally in the maintenance of peace in your district, and therefore desired those men should be made amenable to justice?— A very strong interest.

2339 Did you almost daily, or continuously, speak with policemen and people connected with your own department on the subject of making them amenable to justice?— I did; yes, I discussed these matters from day to day.

2340 How long were those men at large in the district?— I cannot remember.

2341 Can you say they were for over eighteen months?— Yes. In a few moments' thought I could state more exactly. The period was from April 1878 down to June 1880.

2342 They were at large all that time?— Yes, a year and ten months.

2343 Do you consider that all was done that could have been done to make them amenable to justice during that time?— I speak with hesitation because of the difficulty I had in forming an opinion, but according to the best of my means of forming an opinion I think all was done......

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