Royal Commission report day 29 page 1
The Royal Commission evidence for 14/6/1881
(see also introduction to day 29)
[[../../people/peN_P/oconnorPinsp.html|Insp Stanhope O'Connor]] 'giving evidence'
The Hon. F. LONGMORE, M.L.A., in the Chair;
E. J. Dixon, Esq., J.P., W. Anderson , Esq., M.L.A.,
J. H. Graves, Esq., M.L.A. G. R. Fincham, Esq., M.L.A.
11432 By the Commission— The Commission desire to know., the position you held under the Queensland Government before you came here?— I joined as a sub-inspector of the native police of Queensland on the 1st January 1873; my salary was, before I came here, £180 fixed pay. I emphasize that because the fixed pay is the only pay that is counted in Queensland for our retiring allowance—it is different to this service altogether. The fixed pay of all the officers in Queensland is very low, and the allowance is very hight. My travelling allowance as a sub-inspector was £20 a year, and ration allowance £100 a year, with free quarters and a servant or an orderly allowed.
11433 Do you have the engagement of the servant?— He is one of our men.
11434 Are you supposed, as in the army and other services, to pay the orderly anything?— No, nothing. We do, but we are not supposed to do so.
11435 You joined as sub-inspector and remained as sub-inspector?— Up to the present time.
11436 You were never a sergeant?— No; I joined as an officer. After fifteen years, we can retire upon a medical certificate, upon half-pay.
11437 That is if your health is injured?— Yes. After twenty years service, we can retire upon two-thirds; twenty-five years, three-fourths; and after thirty years, upon full pay. All those are with a certificate; but if an officer is sixty years of age, has served fifteen years, he can retire without any certificate. The officers in the Queensland force are sub-inspectors, inspectors, travelling inspectors, and commissioner.
11438 Is sub-inspector the title of the lowest officer?— Yes, the lowest commissioned officer.
11439 Is there promotion from the ranks?— Promotion in the white police can be from the ranks.
11440 Is that provided by the regulations?— Yes; but a great many officers, all the native police officers, are appointed independent of the police altogether. An officer; upon being appointed sub-inspector of native police, is sent to the senior officer of native police, and there he remains for six months, generally, and if he is found to be adapted for the service, he is given a detachment. If not, very often they are drafted into the white police as officers. Any native police officer is eligible to be transferred to the white police, and I might say nearly all the inspectors are native police officers, because our duties consist of both white police and native police duties. I may state that, a few months ago, when I was in Queensland , I saw the Acting Commissioner, who informed me that, if I remained in the service, I would be due for my inspectorship in a very short time, that I was on the top of the list.
11441 Would that be inspectorship in the black police or the other?— An inspector in the Queensland police is over both branches. He is equal to the rank of superintendent here.
11442 But does he change as he gets promotion from one to the other?— He goes to head-quarters, and is in charge at head-quarters of all the native police in that district and all the white police.
11443 You had an opportunity of still joining that again after your connection with this force?— Yes.
11444 You came here at the request of the Victorian Government originally?— Yes; I was doing duty in Cooktown at the time. I had been sent for. Two men had been murdered, and I came down 120 miles, and just after returning from this duty a telegram was handed me from the Commissioner of Police, Brisbane.
11445 There was no promise at any period given to fix you in the same relative position here that you had occupied in the force in Queensland at the time, or subsequent to your engagement?— I understood from Captain Standish I was an officer here.
11446 You had no authority in writing?— No; none. This telegram from the Queensland Commissioner of Police stated that the Government of Victoria required a detachment of native police, with an officer who was capable of commanding them, and that he had chosen me for the duty, and wished to know if I was agreeable to go. I received it about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and I accepted it before 5, and sent an answer. The telegram I have not got, because it came to the inspector of the district and was only submitted to me to peruse. I had to wait a day for the boat to leave, when I proceeded to Brisbane and Sydney; thence by train to Albury. There I met Captain Standish and placed myself under his command.
11447 Before you left did you ascertain exactly what your pay would be?— No; I understood I was to get double pay.
11448 Did you understand that?— Yes, double pay; I was informed that by the Commissioner of Police in Brisbane .....
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