Royal Commission report day 42 page 13

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The Royal Commission evidence for 3/8/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 42)

Mr James Wallace giving evidence

14792 Did you never make any appointment with Sherritt?— Yes, but not of that nature. On one occasion I was out in the Chiltern direction, when my horses got away, and I made an appointment to go out the following Saturday if they did not come home. The rest has all been built up on that. Sherritt was to look for the horses on the Woolshed Ranges , and of course all these circumstances were reported to Mr. Nicolson .

14793 To Detective Ward — Do you desire to ask any questions of Mr. Wallace ?

14794 By Detective Ward— The only question I would ask, with your kindness, is—have you and I been on friendly terms all this time you were writing?— The reverse, I should say.

14795 Did you always speak and shake hands with me?— We have always done that certainly, but I have been told by every one that you ran me down behind my back, and so on; and said I was in the pay of the police, and a sympathizer at another time.

14796 You referred in your letters a deal as to my immoral habits—can you point out one instance of your own knowledge during the time that you knew me. On your oath, is there a man in the North-Eastern District more highly respected amongst the respectable citizens of Oxley and Beechworth than I am?—

The Commission — It is no use asking that question.

14797 By Detective Ward— Do you know anything personally about it?— I know no one in the North-Eastern District who bore a more unenviable character for immorality than you yourself.

14798 Can you give any instances?— Tampering with the pupil-teachers—the girls—in the Beechworth State school. (JJK)

14799 Give the name?— I cannot.

14800 By the Commission— Was there any stir made about that at the time?— I believe so—only from report and through others. I believe Captain Standish made an enquiry into the matter, and it was hushed up.

14801 Did you hear anything of the result of that enquiry?— I did not.

14802 By Detective Ward— Any other person?— I have heard you are the father of several illegitimate children.

14803 Will you just give one if you can. To a man like you, with such a knowledge of the world, one is nothing—give half a dozen?— It was currently reported in the North-Eastern District that you were the father of the illegitimate child of Miss Mason of Tarrawingee.

14804 Who told you that; I want an oath on that; what year was it?— I cannot give the year.

14805 Was it seven years or ten years ago?— Within two or three years ago.

14806 Are you aware where I was the last three years?—Knocking about the North-Eastern District.

14807 When did I go there?— I cannot say.

14808 Did Miss Mason tell you?— No, it was currently reported—that was all.

14809 Can you give me the name of someone?— I cannot.

Detective Ward — I have no more questions. I defy Mr. Wallace or any other person, as far as I am concerned, and another thing I most distinctly say, that I had no knowledge of this man being employed in any way till the Commission sat.

14810 By the Commission (to Detective Ward )— Did you say in the presence of anyone that he was employed?— No, I could not.

14811 By Mr. Wallace (to Detective Ward )— You did not say so in the presence of James Doig and this witness?— No.

14812 By Mr. Nicolson (to the witness)— There is one question I would ask—was it not currently reported that Joe Byrne was the scribe of the gang?— Yes.

14813 When you offered your services, was it one of your designs to volunteer to reduce this collection of writing of Byrne's into shape for him—was that not the arrangement with myself?— That I should endeavor to get hold of this diary.

14814 And get the confidence of the gang through that?— Yes, that was the point I went into the bush for, to receive this diary, and I missed them some way or other....

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