Royal Commission report day 42 page 2

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The Royal Commission evidence for 3/8/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 42)

Mr James Wallace giving evidence

14531 It is for you to say—we are supposed to be in private now—who were the sympathizers and from whom did they obtain the hints?— From the outlaws.

14532 Give us one?— Aaron Sherritt and Edward Burke.

14533 Aaron Sherritt was in the confidence of the police?— Just so.

14534 Then you could not treat him at that time as a sympathizer?— I did.

14535 Did you know him to be a sympathizer?— I knew him to be a sympathizer, that was my belief, that he was playing double.

14536 Did you communicate that to Mr. Nicolson— “That he was in communication with the outlaws”?— I did frequently—viva voce.

14537 By letter?— I think so, also.

14538 The next paragraph in the letter is— “I think I can persuade some one to return the chronometer to the widow”?— That was Sergeant Kennedy's watch.

14539 Who is this “some one”?— Aaron Sherritt.

14540 What influence had he with the outlaws?— He had the watch in his possession, according to his statement, and according to other information I got.

14541 Did you ever see it?— No.

14542 What led you to that belief?— His assertions to that effect, and his description of it.

14543 He was a man you would believe when he said that?— Yes.

14544 Why did not you convey to Mr. Nicolson that you believed Aaron Sherritt had the watch?— I did do so.

14545 You say here— “I can persuade some one” —these are riddles?— Those letters were written for Mr. Nicolson, and as long as he understood them, that satisfied me.

14546 Did you tell Mr. Nicolson about this time that Aaron Sherritt had the watch?— I did.

14547 He would understand that?— He did. He would have asked me if he did not understand it. No doubt you will find reference to it in other parts of the correspondence.

14548 Then the only one you had information from was Sherritt?— Oh ! no.

14549 Who?— There were many others. Some I would decline to mention under any circumstances.

14550 What were the names?— Edward Burke, of Black Range .

14551 Was he in communication with the outlaws?— He was, according to his own statement.

14552 What is he?— A selector.

14553 Is he still in that district?— He is, I believe. I have not been there for twelve months.

14554 What is the name of any other sympathizer you had an opportunity of seeing?— John Sherritt.

14555 He was in communication with the outlaws?— I believed him to be so.

14556 All through?— Well, yes, all through. At least, according to his statement, he could communicate at any time, perhaps not directly, but indirectly through their relatives; but I do not think that he was willingly a sympathizer. It was more through his friendship for Byrne, not through countenancing crime.

14557 Did you, after the murders at the Wombat, visit Mrs. Byrne's place?— Yes.

14558 Do you remember the last time you visited the Byrnes?— I was not inside; I passed the house very early one morning.

14559 Do you remember the last time you visited there?— Yes, I think so; I would not be certain.

14560 When was that?— I could not give the date; you may find it in my letters.

14561 You frequently visited there?— No; I was not on intimate terms.....

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