Royal Commission report day 13 page 14

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The Royal Commission evidence for 14/4/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 13)

Superintendent Sadeir giving evidence

2960 Have the police been unable to obtain any reliable information since the capture at Glenrowan of the places where they had been in hiding singe the bank robbery at Jerilderie?— Of course we have a little more certainty about it than before. Their manner of life I could tell you, I think, for the last few months before the outrage.

2961 You are going to send down a report, and can show whether steps have been taken by the police to ascertain all the information it is possible to obtain, so that in the event of another outbreak of a similar character in that district they would have a reliable idea of the places where the outlaws secreted themselves?— We have learned very very little; my hands are a good deal tied. That sort of information you have to pay money for, and the Government have a great objection to paying anything except for salaries and wages.

2962 You think that information could be obtained if money was available?— Yes. If I had the handing of perhaps a very few pounds, and send an agent in amongst them and get the talk and gossip, it would only be of use to me as information coming through gossip. I should be able to get all the information I have not been able to get, and information in the past that I would like.

2963 Supposing you were told the hiding places of those men, Greta, and so on, are there not hundreds of places equally secure?— Each party of outlaws would be guided by their connections and their nearness to a basis of supply. Probably if people in the Black Range broke out, they would make that their place; if people in Beechworth were to take to the bush, they would make that their principal centre.

2964 Has the strength of the police been reduced singe the capture?— We have a few men, perhaps eight or ten, extra.

2965 At the time, I think you said 50 was the strength of the district?— No, 100 was the strength of the district—perhaps about 95 or 96—before the Kelly affair. I gave it in my evidence the other day, that the proper strength of the district, on the 1st of April 1879 , was 100 men, mounted and foot

2966 That is the united district— Mansfield, Benalla, and part of Kilmore, now known as the North-Eastern?— Yes.

2967 Has the district been quiet lately?— There has been a great deal of horse-stealing lately, and I shall be glad to speak on that; as to the future prospects of the district—I think the prospects are very serious, and we may any day hear of some serious outbreaks.

2968 Do you know Kelly's surviving brother, James?— No.

2969 Do you know he has been in gaol?— I know he has just come out of gaol in New South Wales —the end of last year.

2970 Has the younger Tom Lloyd, who went about with Kelly, been in gaol?— Yes.

2971 Where is the Quinn who was arrested as a sympathizer?— There were two.

2972 The one that was in gaol?— Jim Quinn?

2973 Yes?— He is at his sister's place—the Farrells—constantly.

2974 Are you aware that most of those men have been arrested and tried for serious offences, over I and over again?— I do not think Tom Lloyd has.

2975 His father?— He is dead.

2276 His uncle?— He has been in Pentridge for something—cattle-stealing, I think.

2977 Did you know, of your own knowledge, that the constable in charge at Greta was attacked by a member of this family?— That was a mistake.

2978 By Hall?— He is married to an aunt, but he is no relation.

2979 What character do the Harts bear in the district—the brother of Steve?— Dick Hart is an unconscionable young scoundrel.

2980 Has he been in gaol?— I think not. Those young men are doing no work—not one of them —they live by roguery.

2981 Do you know the Wright?— Yes, very well.

2982 Do you know they have moved from Mansfield ?— Yes, to Lake Rowan , towards the Murray .

2983 How do those men generally get their diving?— Part of the year they shear, probably taking somebody's horse with them to New South Wales . Then they make a little money, and I really think that is all the work they do for the rest of the year......

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