The Argus at KellyGang 10/11/1880 (2)
Mr W Gaunson next informed the meeting that Mr Berry had promised to receive a deputation from the meeting that night at the Treasury, and they would therefore proceed to that building at once.
The lorry, with its torchbearers, was then taken to the front of the Treasury. The larger portion of the crowd followed it, and from about half-past 9 o’clock until 10 o’clock, when Mr Berry arrived, there were about 1,500 persons standing in Spring-street awaiting the results of the deputation.
Mr Berry received the deputation, which consisted of three or four rough-looking men and three young women, in the Executive Council chamber.
Mr W Gaunson said the deputation were members of the men’s and women’s committee, which had been formed to endeavour to secure a reprieve for Kelly, or a reconsideration of his case. He then related what had occurred at the meeting, and said there had been 40,000 signatures obtained to the petition for the reprieve of Kelly, and he denied the statements which had been made that the signatures were not bonâ fide. If time had been allowed 500,000 signatures could have been obtained to save the man’s life. It had leaked out that several members of the Executive Council were not present when Kelly’s case was considered.
Mr Berry.―I think that is a mistake. I believe the whole of the Minister’s were present on the first occasion, and on the second not more than one, I think, was absent. That one was absent unavoidably, and it was well known that his opinion was in accord with the opinions of the other members.
Mr W Gaunson then said that Patrick Quinn, of Greta, had prepared an affidavit which he was willing to sign at once before the Chief Secretary as a justice of the peace, or he was willing to sign it on the following morning. The affidavit would throw a new light on the case. It was as follows:-
“I, Patrick Quinn, of South Hansen, Greta, in the Colony of Victoria, farmer, do solemnly and sincerely declare that about two or three days prior to the shooting of the police Senior-constable Strachan, stationed at Greta, called on me at my place, and asked me if I would show the police where Ned Kelly was. I told him ‘If you get six men who are game, and will not shoot him, I will go with you at once. There are three men along with Kelly.’ He said ‘There’s a hundred pounds reward.’ I said, ‘I want no reward; let that go to the Wangaratta Hospital.’ He said, ‘All right, but I would like to keep some of it. I’ll tell the chief commissioner of your offer. I am going to Omeo after two horses. I’ll come back again in the course of three days.’ I said, ‘I will not show you were Kelly is if you are going to shoot him.’ He said, ‘I’ll shoot him down like a dog. I’ll carry two revolvers, and one I’ll place by his side, and swear that he had it on him when I shot him.’ I said, ‘Well, I won’t show you then were to find him.’
The next thing I heard was the shooting of the police at the Wombat. Afterwards Strachan and Ward called on me. Strachan told me he did not go to Omeo, but went after the Kellys, and was near the place where the shooting took place. At Strachan’s request, I called on Mr Nicolson, who was along with Sergeant Steele.
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