Royal Commission report day 18 page 5

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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' further examined

5393 Therefore, if he got them from Mullane, and did not return them to you, but spoke to you about them, he must have had them in his possession?— He had them.

5394 He must have been aware, if Senior-Constable Mullane's statement is true, that he got instructions from Senior-Constable Mullane to return them to the constables?— Yes.

5395 Did Detective Ward tell you he had the reports in his pocket?— Yes, he did.

5396 But did not give them to you?— He did not. He asked me to withdraw them.

5397 And kept them in his pocket?— Yes.

5398 You said you would not withdraw them?— Yes, said I would not; I refused.

5399 Then you have not at the order of any officer altered the true character of your reports?— No.

5400 You have stated the truth in all your reports?— I have.

5401 Constable Armstrong was in charge of the party at the cave?— At different times, and Constables Alexander and Barry.

5402 How was it that you were called upon to report?— I was not the only one. We were all called upon.

5403 Individually, to report to the report to the officer in charge above you?— Yes.

5404 Is the practice of the department under such circumstances for the constables to report to the officers next in charge?— Mostly the officer in charge reports, but in this case I suppose it was the intention to hear each person's opinion on it.

5405 What was your idea at the time, that you were to report to the officer above you, or to the department?— To the department. My reports were addressed to the Assistant Commissioner, and the first one to Superintendent Sadleir.

5406 Then those reports being returned, did it strike you that the object the department would have in requiring reports of that kind was frustrated; and did it strike you as being desirable to send them direct to the department—reports you thought so important—so that the information should be in the possession of the department?— No; I considered that was the duty of my officer in charge.

5407 Having been returned by that officer, did you consider it would be an act of insubordination for you to send it direct?— Yes, it would; because we must send through the officer.

5408 Did it not strike you that those reports being returned in that sort of way was an act that was indicative of anything but good discipline and the best interests of the service?— They were not returned. I did not withdraw them. They asked that, but I did not; and as long as I furnished them, that was all I had to do with it.

5409 Those reports were returned to you—did you retain them then?— No; I still left them in the hands of the officer.

5410 As a matter of fact, the department are in ignorance up to the present time of the existence of those reports, until yesterday you produced them?— I could not say that. I have sent in reports myself, and have had no reply; for instance, about the saddles seen near old Wilson 's place, and I did not hear any reply to that.

5411 You sent that report direct to Senior-Constable Mullane?— Yes.

5412 He wrote that memo. on the back?— Yes.

5413 You then wrote this No. 2, with this first report attached?— Yes.

5414 These were forwarded also to your superior officer at Beechworth, Senior-Constable Mullane?— Yes.

5415 Detective Ward came to you then?— Yes.

5416 And then mentioned to you he had those two reports in his pocket?— Yes.

5417 Did he show them to you?— He partly drew them out of his pocket, and said, “Whatever did you send in reports like that for? Those are not the reports Mr. Nicolson wanted; he only wanted a report from you of what you had been doing, so as to put a favorable entry on your record sheet.”

5418 You then wrote a third?— Yes.

5419 Did you post that to your superior officer at Beechworth?— I did.....

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