Royal Commission report day 46 page 7
The Royal Commission evidence for 30/8/1881
(see also introduction to day 46)
F. C. Standish giving evidence
15891 By the Commission— I might state that we have a report of yours here about the sticking-up of the Euroa bank, dated Benalla, 10th December 1878 , in which you say at the beginning, “I have the honor to report that I proceeded from Melbourne to Euroa, on the morning of the 12th instant. I there met Mr. Nicolson, and at once saw that he was utterly prostrated by bodily fatigue and mental anxiety, and that he was entirely unfitted for the duties he was engaged in, and at once telegraphed to Superintendent Hare, directing him to proceed at once to meet me at Euroa. He arrived in the course of the evening.” Then at the end you say what appears to be important, taken in connection with the questions that have been asked:— “With reference to the remarks I have made which may be prejudicial to Mr. Nicolson's judgment, I may here report that there is not a more zealous, intelligent, and efficient officer in the force, nor one in whom I have more thorough confidence”?— I always had that opinion, but there is no doubt he was very jaded and poorly, and his eyes were bad.
15892 That is he was injured by hard work, going through the country?— Yes.
15893 The time you spoke of his want of energy is June 1879?— Yes.
15894 By Mr. Nicolson— Do you remember that letter signed “Connor” being shown to you by
Mr. Graves —[inserted above]?— Yes, I recollect his handing it to me.
15895 Do you recollect my stating I believed it was written by Wallace?— I remember your saying so.
15896 Do you recollect mentioning that to Mr. Graves, and Mr. Graves stating he had not seen Wallace for several months?— No. He told me it was not Wallace .
15897 Did Mr. Graves say he had not seen Wallace for several months?— I believe he did. I will not be quite certain.
15898 It is in your letter written at the time—do you recollect Mr. Graves denying that he had seen Wallace?— I think he told me he had not seen him for some time.
15900 You remember that telegram?— I do.
15901 Will you read the next paragraph?—[ The witness did so, as follows:—] “I was then holding the rank of an inspector of police in Melbourne, and I consulted with Captain Standish, and told him that I felt inclined to accept the appointment, as it was better than the one I held. He said to me, ‘I do not want to stand in your way, but I think you are foolish to leave this colony after the services you have rendered. The Government have a good opinion of you, and I feel sure that if anything happens to me you will get my appointment.”’
15902 Is that correct?— It is correct.
15903 You remember that?— I do, perfectly.
15904 There is no promise of the appointment thereto me?— No. How could I promise the appointment?
15905 I want to ask if you recollect my being sent up—selected to go after Power?— Yes.
15906 Will you state to the Commission the circumstances under which you ordered me up there?— Mr. Hare superintendent of police at the depot, and certain negotiations were carried on between myself and gentlemen in the North-Eastern district, which resulted in a certain person, who is now no more, promising to put away Power. For that purpose I selected Mr. Hare and Mr. Nicolson to accompany him, and Mr. Montfort, who was then sergeant of police at Wangaratta, and they started under the guidance of the informer, who led them to the place where Power was supposed to be camped out; but he was afraid of the consequences, and he left, and the search party had to forage about near Quin's house. They were in a swamp the greater part of the night.
15907 I want to know who was in charge of that party?— Well, Mr. Nicolson was the senior.
15908 Who had the organization of that party?— You had.
15909 Did I ask you to allow me to take Mr. Nicolson with me—did you leave the organization of the party with me?— I think so—yes.
15910 Do you remember saying that Sir James McCulloch had directed you to send me up there?— Yes, he did. I had a long talk with him.
15911 Do you remember saying, “I leave you to make your own arrangements, and take with you whoever you please?— Yes.
15912 Whom did I select?— Mr. Nicolson.....
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