Royal Commission report day 34 page 8

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The Royal Commission evidence for 29/6/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 34)

'SConst Flood giving evidence'

12611 Is that the only reason for personal animosity?— The only reason, except having prosecuted his brother, and the continual annoyance I was to them.

12612 The continual supervision you exercised over them?— Yes.

12613 Do you think it was a wise course to reduce the police force in that district?— No, decidedly not.

12614 Do you know the constable that took your place?— I think it was Considine, and he was merely a short time when Thom went there.

12615 Do you know Thom?— Yes.

12616 Do you think all the stations that were there were required so as to be able to prevent the cattle from being stolen?— I do, and more stations.

12617 Have you any idea, in your own mind, what led up to the Kelly outbreak?— Well, my impression is that it was the removal of a number of old constables from the district who knew the district well, and the taking of men to the district that did not know the district well.

12618 And that had not got those men under supervision?— Yes.

12619 Then it is not so much a question of the stations as having the right sort of men in the district?— I think it was a question of both. I think more stations were required, and the proper sort of men. Perhaps those brought were as good as the men that were taken away; but the men taken away know the whole of the country, and had the confidence of the residents of the place. It takes a long time to gain the confidence of the residents of a place. I think Mr. Barkly had a great deal to do with the removal of men. I know he had me removed, and I was much aggrieved at the way be got me removed.

12620 What reason did he give you?— There was a charge preferred against me by a man named Brown, a squatter at Laceby, and an investigation was held by Mr. Barkly over it; and I was treated most unfairly in the matter. It was a thing I did not think I was guilty of. I was prevented from cross-examining the witness against me. Mr. Barkly very imperiously would not let me cross-examine the witness or bring a person to disprove the statements, and he recommended me to be removed from the district for this offence. I could tell you what it was.

12621 That is not necessary–we have all the papers. He charged you with going in amongst his horses and disturbing them?— Yes, but I was not allowed to go in and disprove the testimony of a women who swore an untruth.

12622 Where were you stationed in 1878, at the time the police were killed at the Wombat?— At Yandoit. I had been five years there and there was scarcely anything to do in that time.

12623 When did you next come to anywhere near the Kelly country after that date?— Within a day or so I was telegraphed to, and brought up immediately, that was the 26th October, to Benalla.

12624 From the 26th October did you keep a diary?— Not all the time.

12625 Did you at that time?— A portion of the time I was out with a party.

12626 I mean from the time you arrived at Benalla in 1878, had you a diary of what you did from day to day then?— No.

12627 Do you remember how you were engaged after first getting to Benalla?— I could not state exactly, but for a short time I was engaged in going out with small parties.

12628 Upon what information?— No particular information, only trying to find out any information we could from people; and on one occasion to find a log that was spoken of.

12629 When were you sent to discover that–what was the nature of the information you went to discover that upon?— This information was given by a prisoner in Pentridge.

12630 You do not know that of your own knowledge?— I do.

12631 How?— From correspondence I had.

12632 I want you to give us what officer gave you instructions, and what was the nature of the instructions?— I think it was either Captain Standish or Mr. Nicolson gave the first information about it.

12633 Who was the officer in charge at Benalla when you first arrived there?— I am not quite sure now.

12634 Captain Standish was not there then?— No. The information I got was before I went there.

12635 I want you to say who was the officer in charge at Benalla at the time?— I really forget.....

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