Royal Commission report day 17 page 19

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The Royal Commission evidence for 10/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 17)

'Constable Alfred John Faulkiner' giving evidence

5258 By the Commission. —How many days was it before you were sent back to the cave again after this Beechworth duty?— Four or five days.

5259 And after being at the cave for another nine or ten days you were relieved again as before?— Yes, and went back to do ordinary police duty.

5260 And this was continued with you from December to April 1880?— Yes, till the party broke up.

5261 You took your turn all that time?— Yes.

5262 Did you hear that the fact of your being in the cave was known to persons outside?— I did.

5263 You heard it reported amongst the men that were with you in the cave?— Well I, heard it, of course, speaking outside of the cave duty.

5264 Apart from the police altogether?— Yes.

5265 From civilians?— Yes.

5266 How do you suppose this information got out?— Well, I took it to be that there were so many mixed up in it.

5267 More besides the four that were in the cave?— I do not mean the police, but the people outside the police.

5268 How many police were there—different police—from the time you went in December till April?— I suppose about nine or ten different policemen.

5269 Were there any others besides Aaron Sherritt and those nine or ten men that knew of their own knowledge that you were watching the place?— I think on one occasion Mr. Nicolson held an enquiry as to how it had got talked about—called the police together at Beechworth.

5270 About what time?— About a couple of months before it broke up—it was spoken of in Wangaratta.

5271 About February or March?— Yes.

5272 How many police were present when he conducted the enquiry?— I think three or four of those that had been at the cave.

5273 By Mr. Nicolson. —Was not the enquiry you allude to into the fact that some of the neighboring police had attempted to pump you when you were down the country?— I understood it was that it had been talked of in Wangaratta.

5274 That some of the police had tried to pump you?— The question you asked me was had I mentioned it or seen anyone in Wangaratta that had mentioned it. I said not; but, at the same time, a person leaving the station like that, when they returned, and were asked what duty they were on, it was not for them to say what duty they were on.

5275 That is not the question what was the enquiry about. Was it not about some police attempting to find out what duty you were on?— I understood they had found out, and it was your desire to find out who it was.

5276 What made you think that?— Constable Cox was under the impression that it was. He was blamed for speaking of it, because he had been in Wangaratta.

5277 By the Commission. —What was the result of the enquiry?— I believe it was not known who spoke of it.

5278 They could not find out whom the information came from?— No.

5279 No one suspected?— I could not say that; there might have been some. Constable Cox was under the impression he was suspected. Sergeant Steele had spoken to Cox, I believe, when he was in Wangaratta. That was what made me think why Mr. Nicolson held that enquiry.

5280 Did you hear that it was known at the Melbourne depot?— I could not say.

5281 You did not hear that amongst your own comrades?— No.

5282 Did you hear that Captain Standish had written up to say it was known there?— No, not at that time, not till this enquiry took place.

5283 After your enquiry were you sent back to the cave again?— Yes.

5284 Besides the police, was there any of Sherritt's family knew you were concealed in the cave from December to April?— Yes, Sherritt's family altogether, and Mrs. Barry.....

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