Royal Commission report day 18 page 6

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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

5420 Those two documents are now recognized by the Commission as official documents; did those documents ever come into the possession of the Police Department?— No; these are copies of them.

5421 What did you mean by “made to order”—are we to gather from your reply to that question that you must frame those reports in accordance with the wishes of the officers, or in accordance with the truth?— Not at all. I had to make a report with reference to this cave duty, so as Mr. Nicolson could put a favorable entry on my record sheet.

5422 That is not an answer to the question; are we to understand that you were to frame your reports in accordance with the truth of the facts, or in accordance with the wishes of the officers?— Well, I was under the impression that any sort of report I forwarded like that would have been forwarded.

5423 That is not an answer. There are two meanings to be gathered from your answer to that question just now, and one is, that you were to frame the reports in accordance with the wishes of the officers; and the other, that you had to frame the reports, perhaps coloring the reports?— It was to be a truthful report.

5424 Of the facts as they were?— Yes.

5425 Not to be in accordance with the wishes of the officers?— No.

5426 Your reports were not presented, and the reason was given?— No reason was given, only that they would not suit Mr. Nicolson.

5427 You say the reports were not forwarded, and the reason given was they were not in accordance with what Mr. Nicolson required?— Yes.

5428 Was that because they were untrue?— I cannot tell that.

5429 Was it because your report was untrue of what took place in the cave?— No, it could not have been that.

5430 Then what was the motive—was it because they were not in accordance with Mr. Nicolson wish of what he wanted in the cave?— It will be seen that I asked to go before Mr. Nicolson or Mr. Sadleir, and it appears what was meant was that I was to give in writing what I wanted to give verbally.

5431 In the second report you state the fact of the cave party must be known to the outlaws, but in the third sheet you make no allusion to that fact; both may be truthful, but there is a great difference between Nos. 2 and 3. No. 2 report reads— “I respectfully report for the information of the Assistant Commissioner of Police that it would be impossible to say that this secret duty has been carried out unknown to the outlaws' friends.” The third report is “relative to that duty though unsuccessful, this duty has been carried out with the utmost secrecy by the members of the force who were engaged on that duty.” Both of those may be true, but there is a wonderful difference between the two; what is the reason why you omitted to state in the third report the fact of the party being known?— Because we were asked for a report of how we carried it out ourselves.

5432 The secrecy as far as the police were concerned?— Yes.

5433 Was there a Constable Robert McHugh in the cave party?— Yes.

5434 This is his report:— “North Eastern district, Beechworth Station, 3rd April 1880 . I beg to report that I was for some time engaged on special duty, watching Mrs. Byrne's house at the Woolshed, and during that time I saw nothing to indicate that Mrs. Byrne or her family knew that the police were watching her premises,” Could you say that truthfully?— No, not Mrs, Byrne's

5435 The question was, could you send in that report truthfully, Mrs. Byrne or any of her family?— No; I could not.

5436 Here is a report from Detective Ward, telling all that occurred. He does not say anything about that he believed the cave party was known, or that he had any report from that; and he sends in the reports of all the men who are of the party, bearing the date the same day as your reports here or the day after, and he says that he sends in the reports with the exception of constables Cox and Faulkiner, who are away from here. What day did you see Detective Ward with the report that you say you believe was not forwarded, and of which you produce a copy to us?— On the 2nd of April.

5437 In the ordinary course of police duty, ought not your report to be amongst your brother constables' reports?— Yes.

5438 You have never seen these papers before?— No.

5439 Is your report amongst them?—(The witness looked through the papers.)—No, it ie not.....

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