Royal Commission report day 28 page 7
The Royal Commission evidence for 9/6/1881
(see also introduction to day 28)
[[../../people/peA/arthurJPC.html|Const James Arthur]] sworn and examined.
11076 By the Commission— What are you?— Mounted constable.
11078 In the time that Mr. Hare was in the North-east?— Yes, I was out with him.
11079 And with Mr. Nicolson?— Yes.
11080 You have been there all through?— Yes, I have.
11081 Did you in any of those parties believe that at any time,You came near upon catching the Kellys?— No; I cannot say that.
11082 You had no information that you had come, or were coming, close up to them at any time?— No
11083 Did you, in acting upon information you received, ever have the idea that you were getting close to them?— No.
11084 Did you form any opinion while you were in that district as to whether it was a good method to go out in large parties and scour the country, as was done under Mr. Hare?— Yes, I have; I don't think it was—going out in large parties.
11085 You do not think it was calculated to catch the men?— No; it was impossible.
11087 Did you ever get information that led you to believe you were near the Kellys' or in acting upon it that brought you anywhere near?— Well to where they had been.
11088 How long before?— A fortnight before.
11089 Do you think that information was of any value?— No, not any.
11090 Have you formed any opinion of what the best method of dealing with such a gang would be?— The only way is to send out men to watch the sympathizers by night, but not go out in large parties; say two or three to watch them night and day.
11091 Do you think it would be a good method now, before anything of the sort should occur, to have strong, active young men riding through that district, and making themselves acquainted with all the inhabitants?— Yes, it would.
11092 Do you think they would be in a better position, if an outbreak came, to catch the men at the time, than men going into the district?— Yes; they would have a better knowledge of the country and the people round.
11093 They would know all the people?— Yes.
11094 Do you think a pursuit carried on on that principle would be much more likely to drive the men out of the country or catch them?— Yes, it would.
11095 Small parties?— Small parties.
11096 Riding in different directions?— Riding in different directions.
11097 By concert meeting at different places and comparing notes?— Yes.
11099 Did you understand when you watched Byrne's that you might have been watched yourselves?— Yes.
11100 Did you think you were?— I did.
11102 Would you trust Sherritt?— No.
11103 Did he ever give any reliable information as to where the outlaws were?— No; he would say, in speaking about Byrne, not to shoot him; and as for Ned Kelly, he said that he would never be taken, not by all the police in Victoria; they would never get him. That is the way he would be talking.
11104 Did you consider at the time he was an agent of Ned Kelly?— I did.
11105 You always thought so?— I always thought so.
11106 Did his actions at any time lead you to suppose that was the case?— By his talk and the way he would go away, come and stop with us a night, and next night be away, and move out all hours of the night, and never have anything that was any account. He would be always blowing about Ned Kelly and Byrne never being taken.....
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