Royal Commission report day 47 page 16

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The Royal Commission evidence for 31/8/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 47)

F. C. Standish giving evidence

16238 Did you intend at any time during the time Sir George Bowen was here to station Mr. Hare out in a country district?— No. Mr. Hare was in charge of the depot all the time Sir George was here.

16239 Did you intend to remove him to any country station?— No, not the least intention.

16240 There was no intention at any time to give him charge of any other district?— No.

16241 How long has Mr. Hare remained in charge of the depot?— About ten or twelve years I think.

16242 Do you remember going up to Glenrowan after the burning of the hotel?— Yes.

16243 Were the police all paraded there before you then?— No, the next morning, at Benalla.

16244 Were the black trackers there?— They were in the barracks, but whether on parade I cannot tell.

16245 You do not remember whether they were there or not?— I do not think they were, but it is possible they were.

16246 Do you remember their being paraded before you along with the police there?— I am not positive, they may have been.

16247 Do you remember ordering them off the parade?— No. I saw that stated in the evidence, but I do not remember it, and I do not believe they were ever on parade. They may have been on the barracks. I saw that stated by some one, but it is not true.

16248 What position did you consider that the black trackers and Mr. O'Connor occupied at that time at Glenrowan—was it the position of volunteers?— No; they were temporarily attached to the police force as trackers.

16249 How could that be when they kind their instructions to go home?— Then they consented to return.

16250 Was it as black trackers, or did Mr. O’Connor return as an officer in the Victorian police, or as a volunteer?— I will explain in a few words. I got the startling information of the massacre of Aaron Sherritt , and Mr. Hare , telegraphed at once to ask me to try and secure the services of Mr. O'Connor and the black trackers, and if possible to send them back that night by special train. I at once sent out Mr. O'Connor, and saw Mr. Ramsay and Mr. Gillies, and got an order for the special train, and came back to the club, and found him arrived just as I arrived, and he consented, after a good deal of “humming” and “hawing;” and he said the black trackers were at Mr. Smith's house at Essendon, and the special train was to be sent there, which was done.

16251 Had you a long conversation with him?— No. He “hummed” and “hawed” and “pooh-poohed” a good deal, but the conversation did not last long. He was under orders to return to Queensland .

16252 Was not he, to all intents and purposes, disconnected with the police force of Victoria before he returned to that charge?— I suppose as long as he remained in Victoria he was reckoned in bit previous capacity.

I6253 Then why ask him as a favor to go up?— Because Mr. Hare sent word for him, and I submitted the matter to Mr. Ramsay, the Chief Secretary.

16254 Could you not have ordered him?— I fancy not.

16255 Would you have consulted them then as volunteers tracking for Aaron Sherritt's murderers, as members of the police force of Victoria?— I think, after obtaining: the Chief Secretary's consent, I would have, and if they consented to continue their services—they were not members of the police force, they were attached to the police force.

16256 Suppose when Mr. O'Connor and his black trackers were at Beechworth, or Benalla, prior to his leaving, would he have been compelled to go out, if you had instructed him to do so?— If he had not been ordered home by the authorities at Queensland?

16257 No; I mean if he had remained there, stationed as he was, would he have been compelled to go out if you had ordered him?— Certainly.

16258 Could you have ordered him out when he was here?— No, I could not.

16259 What was the difference?— He was under orders to return home.

16260 He was an officer of the Queensland Government at the time?— Yes.

16261 And only that?— Yes.....

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