The Argus at KellyGang 31/10/1878
The Mansfield outrages were mentioned in the Assembly again yesterday, hon. members desiring to have assurances from the Chief Secretary that everything possible is being done to apprehend the murderers who are still at large, and to rescue the unfortunate missing Sergeant Kennedy. Mr Berry mentioned that he had been in consultation with chief commissioner of police, and that it had been resolved to increase the reward offered for the arrest of the offenders from £200 to £500 per man, and also to introduce the Sydney Act, enabling the Government to proclaim such men as outlaws, who can be shot down by any person going to apprehend them. Mr Berry says that no expense and no effort will be spared for the arrest of the criminals and the stamping-out of the crime. According to the statements in the House, the panic at Mansfield has been complete.
Insecurity, it is said, prevails everywhere; and it was suggested that a detachment of the local force should be stationed in the township. Mr Billson declared that one of the Kelly gang rode last week into the important town of Benalla and in a manner took possession of it, compelling the leading publican to close his hotel at half-past 9, while he kicked in the doors of three other public-houses, and the police dared not apprehend him. Other members, however, treated these narratives as exaggerated, and expressed the belief that the populous districts in question were not likely to be intimidated by a handful of ruffians. With regard to the widow and family of Constable Lonigan, Mr Berry says that the families of constables who are killed in the discharge of their duty are entitled to a liberal compensation, and in this instance he has given directions that until other arrangements are made the constable’s pay shall be continued to the widow.
It will be observed with pleasure that the Government have acted with promptitude in taking steps to restore confidence in the Mansfield district. They passed an Outlawry Bill through all its stages in the Assembly yesterday, and happily, as the Council is sitting to-day, the measure can become law at once. Visitors from Mansfield report that such a measure, striking as it does not only at the criminals, but also at their aiders and abettors, is urgently required, and the unanimity of the Assembly will no doubt be reflected in the Council. The only objectors in the Lower House were Messrs. Dwyer and FL Smyth, who raised some legal points as to the measure being surplusage, and who were described by the Attorney-General, Dr Madden, and other authorities as labouring under a delusion, while the House listened to them with impatience. Under the bill, any man charged with felony may be called upon by a judge to surrender, and to take his trial, and if he fails to surrender in due course, any person, without challenge, “may take such outlaw alive or dead.” And any person sheltering such outlaw, or aiding him with info rmation from the police, is liable to 15 years imprisonment. An abstract of the bill is given in another column.
THE FELONS APPREHENSION BILL.
The following are the principal provisions of the Felons Apprehension Bill which was introduced m the Assembly yesterday by Sir Bryan O Loghlen, the object of which is to facilitate the apprehension of the police murderers: -
The second clause provides that after information on oath has been made be- fore a justice of the peace and a warrant thereupon issued for any capital crime, a judge of the Supreme Court may upon being satisfied that the accused will probably resist all attempts to apprehend them, order a summons to be inserted in the Gazette and newspapers requiring him to surrender him self on a day and at a place specified to abide his trial.
The three ensuing clauses then proceed: - "If the person so charged shall not sur render himself for trial pursuant to such summons, or shall not be apprehended, or being apprehended, or having surrendered, shall escape, so that he shall not be in custody on the day specified in such summons, he shall upon proof thereof by affidavit to the satisfaction of any judge of the Supreme Court, and of the due publication of the summons, be deemed outlawed, and shall and may thereupon be adjudged and declared to be an outlaw accordingly by such judge, by a declaration to that effect under his hand filed in the said court of record. And if after proclamation by the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, of the fact of such adjudication shall have been published in the Government Gazette, and in one or more Melbourne and one or more country newspapers, such outlaw shall be found at large armed, or there being reasonable ground to believe that he is armed, it shall be lawful for any of Her Majesty's subjects, whether a constable or not, and without being accountable for using of any deadly weapon in aid of such apprehension, whether its use be proceeded by a demand of surrender or not, to apprehend or take such outlaw alive or dead.
"The proclamation as published in the Government Gazette shall be evidence of the person named or described therein being and having been duly adjudged an outlaw for the purposes of this act, and the judge's sum mons, as so published, shall in like manner be evidence of the truth of the several matters stated therein.
" If after such proclamation any person shall voluntarily and knowingly harbour conceal, or receive or give any aid, shelter, or sustenance to such outlaw, or provide him with firearms or any other weapon or ammunition, or any horse, equipment, or other assistance, or directly or indirectly give or cause to be given to him or any of hiss accomplices information tending or with intent to facilitate the commis
sion by him of further crime, or to enable him to escape from justice, or shall withhold information or give false information con- cerning such outlaw from or to any officer of police or constable in quest of such outlaw, tlie person so offending aholl be guilty ot felony, and being thereof convicted shall be liable to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for such period not ex- ceedmg 15 years, as the Court shall determine, and no allelation or proof bythe party so offending that bowns at the time under compulsion shall be deemed a defence unless he shall as soon as possible afterwards have gone before a justice of the peace or some officer of the police force and then to the best of his ability given fall in- formation respeccting such outlaw and made a declaration on oath voluntarily and fally of the facts connected with auch compulsion.
Clause 6 prescribes the form of present- ment to be used under tlie preceding section.
Clause 7 provides that any justice or officer of police may search for suspected felons, md empowers entry for that purpose by day or night into any house, by violence if necessary.
Clause 8 empowers tlie police in the pursiut of an outlaw to demand, in the name of Her Majesty, and to take and use any horses not being in actual employment on the road, and also to take arms, saddles, forage, ammu- nltion, &c , required for the purposes of the pursuit. If the owner at the time does not agree to the amount of compensation offered him the amount is to be determined by the Supreme Court, in the manner provided by the Crown Remedies Statute.
Clause 9 provides that this act is to con tinue in force until the end of the next ses sion of Parliament
Clause 10 provides that no conveyance or transfer of property by any outlaw or accused person after tho issue of a warrant for his arrest shall have any effect.
The bill was passed through all its stages in the Assembly last night, and ordered to be sent to the Legislative Council.
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