Royal Commission report day 14 page 11

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The Royal Commission evidence for 3/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 14)

Inspector Montfort giving evidence

3229 Did you ascertain from the records of your office whether those criminals about there had been prosecuted constantly by Montgomery ?— No, there was no prosecution when he was there-no arresting.

3230 Was there in Hall's time?— Certainly.

3231 Constantly?— I could not say constantly, because it is a difficult matter; it may take months and months to get at them for one offence. He did it as often as the opportunity offered.

3232 Flood was sent there?— Yes, he was an active man and did good work.

3233 Do you know he had them continually under “pressure”?— Yes, he had.

3234 Do you know he was removed?— I think it was after I was away from the district. I cannot speak of that unless I saw the occurrence-book. I inspected the station while he was there some times twice a month.

3235 At whose advice was Glenrowan station put there?— Mr. Nicolson and Mr. Hare's.

3236 Do you know as a superintending clerk that the Kellys and their companions, the Lloyds, were active agents of Power and their party?— I was superintendent's clerk to Mr. Hare at that time, but I had been previously at Wangaratta up to 1867. And when there I knew they were assistants, and also I knew from the correspondence that I afterwards saw when I was Mr. Hare's clerk, and I knew it after 1870 — after Power's arrest.

3237 With the exception of that lot — Power, Quinn, and Lloyd — were the rest of the inhabitants lawless or the reverse at that time. In other words, were outrages more frequent in that district than in others?— Always. It was always a bad district; it was a focus of crime.

3238 Was it a place where criminals collected?— It was in consequence of two families of the name of Lloyd—the Kelly's uncles—settling down there.

3239 And then the criminal classes came?— They were arrested by me, and they got three years for cattle-stealingTom Lloyd and Jack Lloyd. I got acquainted with the criminals in Wangaratta, and when they came out of there they were never without criminals rallying around them; and the Quinn's, at the head of the King River , was another depot. You never went there without seeing strange faces, all of the criminal type.

3240 Is it your opinion that that is a place where there should be police protection of extra efficiency?— Most decidedly.

3241 Was not that principle violated when Glenmore was abolished and Greta?— Undoubtedly.

3242 Would it not be worse than none if an indifferent man was sent?— Yes; because they would have the name of police while absolutely there would be none.

3243 Was Montgomery long there?— Montgomery was either two or three months there. I know the moment I noticed him I reported him.

3244 Do you know of your own knowledge as to whether the magistrates and presidents of the shire and the shire councils of the district remonstrated to the Police department against indifferent men being sent to Greta?— To Greta?

3245 Yes?— I do not remember that. I know that a remonstrance was made by the President of the North Ovens Shire, Mr. Parfitt, against a refusal to form a station at Boorehman.

3246 It would lie between those portions of the Murray ?— It would lie on the Ovens between Wangaratta and the Murray. It was the track of the cattle-stealers to New South Wales .

3247 Are you aware that they used to exchange horses and bring back stolen horses?— That was not in force when I was there; the Omeo was the place they used to take them to.

3248 This station would intercept anything of that sort?— It ought to from its position.

3249 In what year were Jack and Tom Lloyd convicted for horse-stealing, and sentenced to three years' imprisonment?— Morgan was shot in 1865, and I think it was before that.

3250 Power was arrested in 1870?— Yes.

3251 Were the Lloyds convicted before that?— I think it was in 1864—I think it was before Morgan was shot.

3252 Would it be within your knowledge as to whether the sessions were held at Beechworth or Benalla?— Beechworth.....

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