Royal Commission report day 42 page 7
The Royal Commission evidence for 3/8/1881
(see also introduction to day 42)
Mr James Wallace giving evidence
14661 And that he had no intercourse at that time at all with Ward?— That is what I understood him to say. The negotiation was carried on through Mr. Nicolson personally.
14662 Then from that we would understand that he and Ward had quarrelled?— Yes.
14663 Did he ever make any statement to you that he would drop you a few hundred notes?— No; he made some offer with regard to money, which I declined; I think it was £50—a loan of some money, that was it. He knew I was in financial difficulties; that was the reason he made the offer, I suppose.
14664 Would you tell the circumstances under which such an offer as that was made?— No, I could not; I have only a hazy recollection of it; he said he had plenty of money, and if I were short he could lend me some.
14665 This is a long letter you wrote about Tom Burke and his application for land?— Yes.
14666 Have you still the same opinion of Tom Burke that you expressed there?— I have still.
14667 And of the other members of the family?— Ned Burke I considered certainly had tendencies in the way of sympatbizing, but not the others.
14669 You mention in this letter, “ Barry said that if he was Byrne—I interviewed Jack Barry, of Hedi, last night. Had a conversation in re the outlaws; he was rather more reticent than he usually is, and would let out nothing tangible. I am sure he knows something about them, but I think it is indirectly through Ned Burke . Barry said that if he was Byrne, he would ride into Beechworth and shoot Ward at the first opportunity. I asked him why? What reason had Byrne to dislike Ward more than another? He replied that Ward had seduced Byrne's sister Kate . I asked him how he ( Barry ) knew. He said he knew all about it, that the information had come through Byrne himself, and that he got to know it indirectly.” Was there anything of that going about with reference to the police or detectives in the district?— Only that solitary instance which I mention.
14670 And he actually made that statement to you?— Yes.
14671 You appear to have carefully reported to Mr. Nicolson all that you heard about Ward?— Yes.
14672 Was there a special kindly feeling existing between you?— No, I think not.
14673 On the 26th of November 1879 you say, “Rode down through the Woolshed,” past Aaron Sherritt 's house. “Met John Sherritt, junior, and Pat Byrne (Joe's brother). I had a long and interesting conversation with these worthies, who manifested much pleasure in meeting me. I wondered at the marked change in Jack 's manner towards me, as, on two or three previous occasions, he had carefully avoided me. I soon ascertained the reason. It appears, by their account, that the virtuous detective who is standing the season at Beechworth had stated, a day or two previously, that my name bad been added to the black list at the office; that he believed that bloody Wallace was in constant communication with the outlaws.’” What do you mean by that about the detective?— That was simply a report of what actually occurred; a conversation between Byrne, Sherritt, and myself, that Ward had spread that report in Beechworth, that I was on the black list at the office. That was meant to put Mr. Nicolson on his guard not to let Ward know that he had a bad feeling against me. These things were being frequently told me. (JJK)
14674 You simply meant by that that you and they were talking about Ward as being a man of very bad character; did you mean by that insinuation that Ward was engaged in immoral practices?— There is no insinuation; there is simply a statement of conversation.
14675 What did you mean by that?— Will you read it?
14676 “The virtuous defective who is standing the season at Beechworth”?— That is exactly what I meant. He had the reputation of acting immorally, putting it in a mild form.
14677 Have you any knowledge within your own experience of his having done so that would justify you in saying that?— No; not directly.
14678 While you were pretending to give information to the police force, you were attempting to damn the character of a public officer without positive proof of facts?— The expressions were strong, I admit.....
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