Royal Commission report day 18 page 15

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The Royal Commission evidence for 11/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 18)

'Constable Alfred John Faulkiner' giving evidence

5650 Do you remember going on any other hill when seeing indications of stones being turned?— I think we went on two.

5651 You stated that as you were riding through Wangaratta you got some information that the Kellys had gone through that day?— Yes.

5652 Who was in charge of that party?— Sergeant Steele.

5653 Were you going on any particular duty?— Not that I am aware of.

5654 Where were you going to?— To Beechworth.

5655 Did you hear the information given to Sergeant Steele?— I could not say I heard the information given, but the information was talked of in the train.

5656 About information that the Kellys had gone through Wangaratta?— Yes.

5657 You went in the Mansfield direction also?— Yes, to Beechworth.

5658 Why did not you stop?— I think Steele would not take the responsibility at the time. I believe Inspector Smith was there at the time

5659 By the Commission. —How do you know?— I only heard.

5660 He might have been out in the ranges at the time?— He might.

5661 Then your answer to Mr. Hare is that, in your opinion, why Sergeant Steele did not act was he was under special orders to go to a certain place, and he felt it his first duty to do that?— That is my opinion.

5662 By Mr. Hare. —When you went there what did you do?— We went out and searched the ranges, and from there into Yackandandah. This was on the 3rd November, and on the 4th we searched the ranges from Beechworth into Yackandandah.

5663 Was Canny removed from the cave party before you?— He was.

5664 For how long?— I suppose he was removed for some time — for a few days — and then sent back again; for what time I could not say.

5665 Where did he go to then?— To Wangaratta.

5666 How long did he remain away?— Five or six, perhaps seven, days.

5667 What was the object?— I understood that he had been speaking of the cave, or that he was put away. That was his impression, and he was told he had been speaking of the cave party.

5668 But he was sent back again?— Yes.

5669 Did he remain there as long as you did?— Yes, till the removal of the cave party.

5670 By the Commission. —By whose orders would He be removed?— By Mr. Nicholson’s, I suppose.

5671 Through whom?— Directions coming through Ward.

5672 By Mr. Hare. —Did you get any important information from a Chinaman?— I received the information that he had been at this place of late, and also the names of the Chinamen keeping the store.

5673 By the Commission. —Before you leave, you volunteered a statement about Whorouly races. You said you doubted Aaron Sherritt?— Yes.

5674 The reason of your doubt was that he stated that he was going to ride Byrne’s racehorse, and that it was not likely they would put a thirteen-stone man on that racehorse at Whorouly?— Yes.

5675 A long time elapsed between that and the last time of your seeing Aaron Sherritt?— Yes.

5676 You had an opportunity of seeing him daily when you were in the cave party?— Yes.

5677 Did you see him after you left that cave party ever?— No, I did not.

5678 Of course it is a matter of opinion—have you formed any opinion as to whether he was acting to the Government, or was all through acting a friendly part towards the Kellys?— I believe he was acting true to the, Government.

5679 Though you did not think so at the Whorouly races?— Yes.....

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