Royal Commission report day 1 page 17
The Royal Commission evidence for 23/3/1881
164 If there were regulations of that sort, they were not in accordance with your instructions as the responsible head of the department?- Certainly not.
165 At the time you took charge of the Benalla district you stated you organised search parties -We had search parties.
166 How many did those search parties generally consist of?- No fixed number, it differed.
167 From six to -?- Nine or ten.
168 In the event of those search parties being sent out, if they obtained what they believed to be reliable information, were they allowed to proceed without waiting for any orders or instructions from you ?- Certainly.
169 Those parties were not instructed to go a certain distance, and then if they had obtained no information to return at certain fixed periods?- No, they had instructions to act according to the best of their judgement generally.
170 Was there no limitation as to the time they were to return?- Then they were to return?
171 Were they under the charge of officers?- Some were, and some under sub officers.
172 There was always some recognised head to each party?- Yes.
173 In asking about the districts, I neglected one station; I recollect now-was there not an officer at Kilmore, the nearest station to Euroa, in the Bourke district?- Yes, Mr. Baber was stationed there.
174 The Chairman (to Mr. Nicolson) -Do you desire to ask any questions?- I do. The Witness. -Am I to submit to be cross examined by anyone who is called here? The Chairman (to Mr. Nicolson). -Any question you ask now must arise out of the evidence just given.
175 By Mr Nicolson. -Of course you know the difference between what is evidence, and what are mere statements?- I know what is the difference between what is speaking the truth and telling a lie.
175a. That is not my question; you are aware of the difference between the two-
176 By the Commission. -The question asked is, do you know the difference between direct evidence and hearsay evidence?- Everything I have stated is not exactly from my own knowledge, but I know it is true.
177 You stated about Mr. Wyatt?- Mr. Wyatt told me it.
178 By Mr. Nicolson -Is not a great portion of your evidence mere hearsay, and not what came within your own knowledge?- I know it is true.
179 That is not an answer to my question?- I have no other answer.
179a Is there not a considerable portion of the statements you have given just now hearsay?- Some of it, but I know it to be true.
180 You were asked about the cause of the lawlessness at Beechworth, and you spoke of the whole sale system of cattle stealing there; are you not aware that there are other causes of lawlessness in the North Eastern District?- That was the principal crime of the district.
181 Are you aware whether there was any other reason for the Kelly gang taking the field?- I believe these outrages would never have happened if it had not been for the shooting of Constable Fitzpatrick, and the consequent anger and indignation of the Kellys at their mother having received that severe sentence, and at their associates having received the sentence of six years.
182 Were you aware before this man Fitzpatrick was sent there that he was a man of bad character?- I was not; he was strongly recommended to me by Mr. CA Smyth. .
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