Royal Commission report day 51 page 10

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The Royal Commission evidence for 8/9/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 51)

[[../../people/peN_P/nicolsonPAC.html|Ass Com Charles Hope Nicolson]] further examined

17261 You inspected Mr. Winch's district in July 1876, did you not?— I inspected his district about that time, no doubt.

17262 Is that your report upon Mr. Winch's district—[handing a paper to the witness]?— [Examining the same]—Yes, that is my report.

17263 It has been forwarded to Captain Standish, and you see it is referred to Mr. Winch?— Yes.

17264 Can you see any remarks of Mr. Winch's; has he taken the slightest notice of your report there, or made any expression whatever upon a single remark you have made upon his district?— No, there is none here.

17265 To the Commission. –Mr. Winch told me Mr. Nicolson 's report was such infernal bosh that Captain Standish told him there was no necessity to report upon it.

17266 To the witness. –Do you see any remark upon that file there that shows Mr. Winch took the slightest notice of your report?— I do not see any.

17267 Here is some correspondence attached to it?— I never saw this before.

17268 Will you read that?— My report is dated 22nd July 1876 .

17269 Read that telegram?— “ Sept. 2, 1881 —Mr. Nicolson inspected Melbourne district in 1876. Have you any papers; if not, please give reference to their return here. This is urgent.”

17270 The papers were forwarded on that, and Mr. Chomley says, “The files referred to were referred to Mr. Winch for report. May I ask why he did not report on them; and will he be so good as to say if there are in his office any other such files that should be returned to this office.” To that Mr. Winch replies: (3.9.81.) “I was directed verbally by the late Chief Commissioner ( Capt. Standish ) not to report upon the files referred to. He said he did not think it necessary. I then put the papers into my office press, and thought nothing about them since. I should certainly have returned them to the Chief Commissioner's office. I do not think there are any other such files in my office. I will have a search, and if there are will return them.” Perhaps Captain Standish can explain.

17271 By the Commission (to Mr. Hare ). –Mr. Nicolson cannot say anything about that?— I am only pointing out to you that there is no notice taken of his report, whatever, in that case.

17272 By Mr. Nicolson . –There are various ways of dealing with the reports. ( To Mr. Hare)— What does that prove?— That Mr. Winch took not the slightest notice of your report. In my case, I answered it, and made use of an expression that has been called by you a point of insubordination.

17273 By the Commission (to Mr. Hare ) . –This shows simply that Captain Standish told him not to report?— Mr. Winch was told to report, and he takes no notice of it.

17274 On this being referred to, after the lapse of a considerable time, Mr. Winch , in writing, states that he was instructed verbally by the Chief Commissioner not to do it. That is a most extraordinary proceeding, certainly, when he had instructions in writing to report, that he should permit a verbal instruction to override the other?— Well, there it is, that is the evidence of his neglect. I mention that to show that I am not singular. But you merely show a case of neglect on the part of another officer. In order to make that Statement of any value, we would require to bring Captain Standish here, to say whether he did verbally instruct Mr. Winch in that way.

Mr. Nicolson . –As to Mr. Hare 's insinuation that Captain Standish did it with contempt, he may or may not have done so. I can only say this, that I was in charge of the city police, and in charge of the whole department frequently.

Mr. Nicolson . –There is one other thing, I wish to do justice to Detective Ward to point out that he was a very hard working and very invaluable man in that district, and worked very hard during the Kelly business. Of course, if he is guilty of prevarication or falsehood that is another matter.

The witness withdrew. ....

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