Royal Commission report day 18 page 7

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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

5440 Detective Ward says:— “I have the honor to report, for the information of the Assistant Commissioner with reference to attached memo. —Section 3. I am pleased to be able to state that the conduct of the constables named in the margin has been everything that could be desired.”—Constables Alexander, A., Hagger, Armstrong, Barry, Alexander, R., McHugh, Cox, Faulkiner, McCall and Dixon . Were those all the men?— Yes; I think that would be about the number.

5441 And your report is not there?— It is not.

5442 This is dated 3rd of April; supposing that is written on that date, and that those reports of your brother constables were in Ward’s hands, can you say of your own knowledge that if that was written on the 3rd your report would have also been in Ward's hands?— It should have.

5443 What day was it he had it in his pocket?— On the 2nd.

5444 You were asked, do you infer that you were required on that occasion, or any occasion, to write a report that would suit the officer giving the order. Now put the officer aside altogether—you are sworn. Do you believe that when you wrote those three reports and had a conversation with Detective Ward, that Ward expected you to write a letter which he thought would be pleasing to Mr. Nicolson?— A suitable report.

5445 Would not that be writing to order, making a misstatement or suppressing the truth?— It would be.

5446 Is that what you meant by giving that answer when you were asked did you believe that Detective Ward expected you to write a report to order?— That was it.

5447 Without referring to Mr. Nicolson at all, your oath is that when you were requested by Detective Ward to amend or alter the two reports that you were required to write one which he said would suit?— Yes.

5448 Was the character of that report either to mistate the facts with regard to the cave party being known or to suppress it?— It was altogether to keep out the cave party being known in it.

5449 Either to suppress it or make a misstatement about it?— I understood that to be it.

5450 You could not have written truthfully the same report as your brother constables did, that it was not known to Mrs. Byrne?— No; how possibly could I?

5451 I suppose when constables are doing such a dangerous duty as this together, they are in the habit of talking together?— Yes.

5452 I do not ask you to particularize men, but can you solemnly say as to whether the opinion you hold that the cave party was known was held by the constables doing duty with you?— Yes.

5453 Well known and spoken of?— Yes.

5454 By all of them?— I could not say all.

5455 You would be in regular conversation with all of them?— I have heard some of them express their opinion, but not all.

5456 Was it the general opinion?— It was.

5457 Do you mean to tell the Commission that you believe that evidence will be brought before them that Mullane instructed men to make that report?— No; I mean that mine is only a copy; and there are men who have got the originals, with Senior-Constable Mullane's own writing on the back.

5458 Do you mean that there are men who have made similar reports to yours that have been altered?— That have been returned; I would not say altered.

5459 Who?— Constable Daniel Barry.

5460 Here is one of the 2nd April, of Constable Barry:— “I beg to report, for the information of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, that I have been engaged on special duty from 3rd December last to 17th March last, watching Byrne's house at Sebastopol . During that time, so far as I could Judge, none of that family were aware of our being in the vicinity. The instructions received from the Assistant Comssioner of Police were strictly carried out, and the greatest possible precautions were used by the party to prevent our being discovered.” What you now voluntarily say is that you believe that there was another report sent in by this man, and returned by Mullane?— Yes.

5461 Was that your belief?— Yes.

5462 Have you, from conversation with Barry, reason to believe that he also believed as you did, that the party was known to anyone?— He did.....

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