Royal Commission report day 13 page 12

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The Royal Commission evidence for 14/4/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 13)

Superintendent Sadeir giving evidence

2916 Did you disagree with his method?— Well, I did not like the turn things had taken. I looked upon it that Mr. Hare was pushing himself forward into the position unfairly towards another officer. Mr. Hare denied it. I should tell you he denied always that he was doing anything of the sort, but at the time I had those feelings I was moved to act in that way. I said, “I am not going to take the trouble with you that I did before; I will attend to my own and you must attend to your own business,” but nothing personal between us. We had been always good friends, perfectly free and open.

2917 How many years brother officers?— I have known him twenty-five years.

2918 How did you join?— As a cadet.

2919 And he as lieutenant?— Yes. He has always been senior to me.

2920 We have Mr. Nicolson's telegram of the 29th November 1878 before us now; I will read it?— I was speaking of another telegram.

2921 You stated that in May 1880, when you heard that Mr. Hare was likely to supersede Mr. Nicolson, you wrote to Mr. Hare remonstrating with him—may I ask you your reasons for so doing?— I think I explained that yesterday. I was satisfied Mr. Nicolson was doing the best that could be done, and I did not expect any improvement by a change.

2922 Did you know at that time that Mr. Hare was likely to be appointed in Mr. Nicolson's place against his own desire?— Not until Mr. Hare wrote and told me. His answer to that was he could not help himself.

2923 Are you aware he had written to Mr. Nicolson on the same subject?— I did not know he had as early as that. I knew he had written about that time.

2924 As far as you were concerned, when Mr. Hare arrived at Benalla, on the 2nd June, you were aware Mr. Hare was there not of his own seeking?— Yes, he had repeatedly told me so.

2925 This telegram is with reference to the bank robbery. There have been statements made that Mr. Nicolson was informed, and that telegram of tire 29th November was spoken of, but we have not got it now. It is— “Re confidential communication of yesterday. —The temporary stationing of one or two foot-constables at Seymour recommended. No men can be spared from this district. —C. H. NICOLSON.”

You would not say that that telegram proves that Mr. Nicolson was aware that the banks were to be protected all through the district?— No; but that confidential communication ought to be read in connection with it, wherever it is—it all turns upon that.

2926 This is the statement:— “If they do leave the ranges, they are certain to stick-up and make a haul. They would likely try the Seymour bank, as Ned Kelly had it in view for a long time to stick it up. They would keep the bush until they got to Seymour , and returned the same way. Mrs. Skillian would probably get the haul. The Kellys have a track from Greta to Barnawartha; they pass under the railway bridge.” That is dated 15/l1/78. There is an endorsement on the back of it by Captain Standish, dated 28/11/78 , as follows:— “Confidential. —Forwarded for the information of Mr. Nicolson and Mr. Sadleir. I address this to the latter, being uncertain whether Mr. Nicolson is still in Benalla. At all events this information, which is important, should be communicated to him as soon as possible. The signals which Mrs. Skillian makes from her place clearly bring her within the reach of the new Act. It would be very desirable to convict her if possible, or at any rate to prosecute her.” It was forwarded with his endorsement to Mr. Sadleir on the 28th?— Are my initials to it?

2927 No, Captain Standish has sent that, and Mr. Nicolson, being in the district, has replied to it. You and he were working together at the time?— Yes. I had no recollection of it, and I was sure I had never seen about the banks in the district.

2928 This is about the bank at Seymour ?— Yes; I imagine now I must have seen that. I was at Benalla when it would arrive.

2929 Where are the ranges there referred to?— Probably the Tallaroop Ranges , a continuation of the Black Ranges .

2930 Is not Tallaroop below Seymour ?— Yes; but, as to the ranges, it depends upon which side of the river you speak of.

2931 “The Kellys are certain to keep on the ranges in the neighborhood; they get supplied with rations from Mrs. Skillian, which she will plant for them.” Now, first of all, there is Greta, where Mrs. Skillian lives; and what are the first ranges; suppose they were going to rob a bank at Seymour, and keep the bush, which way would they go?— If they kept the ranges—I thought it was the bush.

2932 “Certain to keep on the ranges”—would that not mean the Strathbogie Ranges?— It would mean that of course, but it would be very rough riding, but the shortest way as the vow would fly.

2933 Would it not mean at the back of Euroa, Strathbogie, and towards Seymour ?— They would probably take the ranges by Dall's, cross to Doon , over the Puzzle Range .

2934 On by Broken River to Doon ?— By Dall's, that is the only easy way of doing it.

2935 When they came to Dall's, how would they get to Doon ?— There is a made road before going to Mansfield......

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