Royal Commission report day 46 page 5

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The Royal Commission evidence for 30/8/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 46)

F. C. Standish giving evidence

15849 In question 71 it says, “You gave evidence of what occurred on the 25th and 26th of March, before the outlaws were captured, and you see Mr. Nicolson was in charge on the 25th of May, but Mr. Hare succeeded him early in June, therefore it is most important that you should fix the dates, because you see Mr. Hare succeeded him a couple of days after?— About a week before Mr. Nicolson was removed from Benalla, Mrs.—got up early to look for cows, and when passing an unoccupied house, about six or seven miles from Beechworth, she saw Joe Byrne getting on his horse. She said, ‘What are you doing here, Joe ?’ and his reply was, ‘Looking for Aaron , to shoot him.’ She had some further conversation with him and he rode away, and Mrs.—made her way into Beechworth and informed Detective Ward, who telegraphed the fact to Benalla. The result was that that night Mr. Nicolson, Mr. Sadleir, and Mr. O'Connor went to Beechworth without the trackers, saw Mrs. —, who stated what she had seen, and decided it was no use going after him, and they returned to Benalla next day.” You recollect the telegram from Benalla, which you brought down to the railway station, Spencer street , to me?— Yes.

15850 That was on the 26th of May. Are you not aware that was on the Saturday following, two or three days after that, I saw this Mrs.—alluded to, that it was immediately after my leaving the district. Mr. Hare superseded me the following Saturday?— Yes, that telegram I handed to you at the railway station was nearly a month before you left Benalla.

15851 No, it was just immediately before?— No, I beg your pardon, it was when you came down to remonstrate. The telegram I alluded to is the one that came before you at the detective office, and it was brought up to me.

15852 That was just a few days prior to Mr. Hare superseding me?— He did not supersede you for nearly a month after the Chief Secretary decided it. When you were in Mr. Ramsay 's presence with me, you asked to be allowed to remain there another month, and he acceded to your request.

15853 Did you state to Mr. Hare, about the year 1863, that, in all probability, if you left the force, he would succeed you?— Not in 1863, I think; it must be long after that.

15854 Did you make that statement at any time about ten years back?— Mr. Hare was offered a superintendentship in New South Wales, by Mr. Fosbery, and he consulted me, and I said I thought he had better stay here; that he might some day be Chief Commissioner of Police.

15855 Do you recollect on your return from New Zealand some years ago that I spoke to you of the prospect I had of entering the constabulary there, and you made some complimentary remark that you would object to my doing so?— I do not recollect.

15856 Do you recollect stating to me that some time I might probably succeed you, if you left?— I never made any such statement.

15857 When you were in charge of the district with Mr. Hare, did you complain that you were short of men or found you were short of men that time?— No.

15858 You had a large reinforcement, I mean after I left?— Most of the men were sent whilst you were there.

15859 There was a reinforcement of about thirty or forty men and military?— The military were sent, but that was in opposition to my wishes; the Government decided to do it.

15860 Did you keep a sentry in front of your office, at the Benalla barracks?— No.

15861 Not for any time?— No.

15862 Are you quite sure of that?— Quite.

15863 Was there any sentry?— There were men in barracks all round.

15864 Was there not a man told specially off for your office?— No.

15865 With reference to that appearance of Aaron Sherritt at Sebastopol , whom did you say you saw with this man?— You were talking to him the first time I saw him.

15866 Are you sure of that?— Quite sure of that. I asked some of the men, “Who is that man that Mr. Nicolson is talking to?” and they did not know.

15867 Are you sure it was not Mr. Sadleir that brought him to you?— No; you took me to him.

15868 You remember the cottage?— Yes, perfectly well. Supposing our men were just here, you were out about there—[indicating the position]—in the bush, talking to Aaron Sherritt when I first saw you. I could see you talking to him from where I was standing.

15869 I was standing near you?— You took me to him.....

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