Royal Commission report day 18 page 21

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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

5834 What was their opinion about it?— That Mr. Brook Smith was not capable of taking charge.

5835 By the Commission (to Mr. Hare). —Did you act upon the receipt of this letter in consequence of the information in it?— No.

5836 That is the letter of the 16th?— No, I did not.

5837 By Mr. Sadleir (to Mr. Hare). —In supporting Constable Falkiner's claim to the reward, what was the valuable information he brought in?— I think Mr. Sadleir is under a little misapprehension in this matter. He was out of the room when Falkiner gave his evidence with regard to the interview with me. I considered the information in those letters of very little service, but I considered the information he brought in by word of mouth to me of great importance, and upon that I sent him back again, because he was not certain whether it was the Buckland or some other place clove by that those men came and got their provisions at, and I went him back upon that.

5838 By the Commission (to Mr. Hare). —Did you send any of those men out in consequence of your conversation with him?— No; I had sent him out before.

5839 Then simply Faulkiner was under a wrong impression?— Yes.

5840 By the Commission (to Mr. Sadleir). —About the reward, you have spoken of that—did not all the constables in the district more or less consider they were entitled to this reward?— No; I think there were only two who were not present, or three, who went in a claim.

5841 Faulkiner's name was sent in?— Yes, and I considered it in my report, and it was accompanied with a report by Mr. Hare that he had given very valuable information; while I have to show from my statement that his information was of no value, which Mr. Hare confirms.

Mr. Hare. — In that respect alone, but the information he subsequently gave would have been of great importance if the Kellys had not been caught the next day.

Mr. Sadleir. — It had no actual value whatever.

Mr. Hare. — No.

5842 By the Commission (to the witness). —Did you put in a claim?— Yes.

5843 Is your name down for anything?— No.

Mr. Hare. — His name was amongst the number who were put down as deserving the reward. The information was this:—That there was a storekeeper at Buckland Gap, or some other place close by, I think Harrietville, that both Falkiner and Canny could not give a decided answer about it. They said that this man and one of the outlaws used to come down from the mountains and get the provisions from this store, and that the others remained some distance back with pack-horses. They took their supplies from that store—that it was necessary they should say nothing to the police about. They looked upon them as some residents in the district. Did not know they were police. They bought some cabbage plants there, and he told me that, and I should find the exact spot, and how long ago it was that the Chinaman

5844 By Mr. Sadleir (to Mr. Hare). —Were you not aware that you had that information when you were in the district before?— I cannot say that for certain.

Mr. Sadleir . —Instead of three days, it was twelve months or more old.

5845 By the Commission (to Mr. Sadleir). —This very information?— That Chinamen, or one or two, were supplying the outlaws.

5846 Is the information, that you say was twelve months old, that they were getting provisions from Chinamen, or that they were getting them at the Buckland?— Yes, at the Buckland, and it was a twelve-month old; they had been searching about, and the Chinese detective had been employed; a Chinese handbill was issued about it.

5847 Had you reason to believe the information was accurate?— We always thought it was a most probable thing for an occasional supply.

5848 Have you positive information now that makes you believe now that they did get provisions from Chinamen, or not?— I believe they did, once in a way.

Mr Hare. — They might have continued it till a later date.

5849 By the Commission (to Mr. Sadleir). —Is that the case?— We had exactly similar information.

5850 Is it the same information?— We had exactly similar information.

5851 By Mr. Sadleir (to the witness.)— Coming to the information about the four persons reported upon by the Rutherglen police?— Yes.

5852 The impression there was that they were the four outlaws?— Yes.....

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