Royal Commission report day 18 page 20

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The Royal Commission evidence for 11/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 18)

'Constable Alfred John Faulkiner' giving evidence

5796 By Mr. Sadleir. —Or any one else?— No.

5797 Then the information was of no value as it stood?— As it stood.

5798 Is this what you mean. In your application for the reward, did you state about giving the valuable information?— Yes.

5799 1s that the valuable information?— Yes, that and seeing the Kellys coming home frequently.

5800 Is that in your letter?— Yes; the first letter, I think. —[The letter was read and examined by the witness.]

5801 Where was that written from?— The Cotton-tree.

5802 That is some seventy miles from Greta?— Yes.

5803 And the Fifteen-mile Creek—is it not some forty or fifty miles long itself?— I cannot say.

5804 By the Commission. —Is what is called the Fifteen-mile Creek the place that is called Mason's station?— I think it is

5805 If you talk of the Fifteen-mile Creek' would it not be Mason's station, at the back of Greta?— Yes.

5806 You would understand that?— Yes.

5807 And when you wrote the letter, and mentioned Fifteen-mile Creek, did you mean forty miles up, or the Fifteen-mile Creek near the Kellys' place?— Constable Canny got the information, and he is well acquainted with the different rivers.

5808 Did you mean that they were coming from the immediate neighborhood of the Kellys' own home?— Yes.

5809 By Mr. Sadleir. —Is not the Fifteen-mile Creek forty or fifty miles long?— I could not say.

5810 Does it not run into the Ovens, near Wangaratta?— Yes.

5811 Does it not run up close to Wombat?— Yes, I believe so.

5812 Mr. Hare would be probably aware of that?— Yes.

5813 By the Commission. —Does not the Fifteen-mile Creek indicate a certain radius of country?— Yes. They must have been close to home, or also this person would not have formed the opinion they were coming home. The object of Mr. Sadleir’s question is to show that the information conveyed in that letter was not of such a character that it would be of any use to the officer.

Mr. Sadleir. — Yes.

5814 By the Commission. —The principal point, it appears to my judgment, is that the evidence as very indefinite as to the time they were getting the provisions?— He said recently.

5815 By Mr. Sadleir. —Those letters contain all the information of value conveyed to Mr. Hare, then?— Yes.

5816 What action did he take?— I said I believed that on the receipt of that information that was the reason why men were put to watch this house of Mrs. Kelly's and Hart's.

5817 Who was put to watch Mrs. Kelly's house?— Constable Cornelius Ryan, Constable Barry, and Constable Wallace, I think.

5818 When did they go there?— I have not the slightest idea. I do not think they had been above five or six hours—not days.

5819 Were they there before the 16th?— After the 16th.

5820 You are sure of that?— Yes.

5821 How long were they kept there?— To the Saturday night prior to the capture of the gang; on the Sunday night, the 25th, I think.

5822 That was the day you gave that information?— No; it was the day I gave the information about the Chinaman.

5823 You imagine that those men were sent in consequence of that information of yours?— Yes.

5824 Is there any indication of Hart's place in this?— No; that the' were seen coming home.

5825 Had they not a home at Beechworth—Joe Byrne had?— Yes.

5826 Was it in consequence of that information that the party was sent there?— I would not say that.

5827 You said all this was done because of your information?— I said I believed it was.

5828 By the Commission. —You have arrived at this from something you heard or saw?— Yes.

5829 When you wrote the letter on the 16th instant whom was it directed to?— To Mr. Hare, under a false name, according to directions — J. M. Davis, Benalla.

5830 Therefore, if it came into his hands, and he took action about it, how do you then arrive at that knowledge — from what he told you or one of the constables?— One of the constables said to me, that Mr. Hare said he expected to hear something good from us; and on our way down we passed those two parties of police. I was not aware that at any time there were parties of police watching Byrne’s and Hart's and Kelly's together.

5831 Were those the places when you wrote that letter, after conversation with Canny, were those the homes that you spoke of, that you informed them they were working to?— I meant Hart's and Kelly's.

5832 Mr. Sadleir asked you as to the appearance of a horse which you did not see, and therefore it was all hearsay?— Yes.

5833 Did you hear your brother constables discuss at that time, or about that time, of the officers bringing the men in from that duty?— Yes, I did.....

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