Sydney Morning Herald (29)
On the Order of the Day being read-that the House go into Committee of Supply -
Mr BUCHANAN moved as an amendment,- "That, in the opinion of this House, the reward of £1000 offered by the Government for the apprehension of the Kelly gang should be immediately withdrawn." He said that the reward offered by the Government of £1000 for the apprehension - [Sir Henry Parkes: Which the Government has new offered] There might be some technical error in the statement, but he thought it was a pretty well understood thing that the Government offered a reward of £1000 in reference to the Kelly gang and that the Victorian Government offered a similar reward. The importance of this matter could not be exaggerated in any way whatever. The Government had filled in its very highest function - that of the protection of life and property - and that must lead to very serious and grave results in the community. Life had been taken and robberies perpetrated, but what was more important these criminals remained amongst them. The Government were perfectly unable to cope with the situation, although they had the resources of the whole community at their back. If the Government under stood the character of the duties they were called upon to perform, they would concentrate all their energies to stamp out this crime. Could they imagine the thing they had set up and called a Government to be in a more humiliating position. He would not consider £4000, ?? even £100,000 a very serious amount to spend in organizing bands to run down these people and bring them, by hook or by crook, to justice. But he totally dissented from what the Government had done in offering £4000 as a sort of reward to anyone - to the police for instance - for the apprehension of these murderers. This, he contend, was a most rumous procedure, and he could not imagine anything that would have a more demoralising effect upon the whole body of their police than the offering of this reward.
The police had never refused to do their duty. On the contrary they had done their duty risking their lives without any such bribe being offered to them. It seemed to him the very climax of incompetency that the Colonial Secretary could not do any more than this. The Colonial Secretary stated the other night that the gang had left our territory and gave that as an excuse that all anxiety and responsibility should be lifted off his shoulders. Yet they had the Government offering £4000 to some person in Victoria for apprehending these men. If the Government performed their duty adequately they would never rest until they had secured these scoundrels.
By offering a bribe to the police they were establishing a precedent calculated to make the police indisposed to do their duty in future unless a reward were offered. He hoped that the reward would be withdrawn.
Mr HUNGERFORD hoped the Government would not take any such action as that recommended by the hon. member for Mudgee. There was nothing new in such a course; it had been the custom for ages past to offer a reward for the apprehension of great criminals. Besides, the hon member did not propose any scheme by which these marauders should be taken; he did not even suggest that salt should be put upon the rails - which would be an inexpensive process. He wondered the hon. member did not go out and capture these men himself, it they were so helpless as he said; it would pay him very well.
The question was put, that the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question, which was carried on a division of-Aves, 39, noes, 4, the latter consisting of Messrs Fitzpatrick, Lynch, Coonan, and Buchanan
The question that the Speaker leave the chair was agreed to.
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