The Argus at KellyGang 17/10/1881

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Sir,-Since writing my letter, published in The Argus of Thursday, I have carefully gone over the proceedings of the Police Commission . The public have no adequate idea of the wrong-headed and hostile bearing of the commission towards the unfortunate officers who have fallen into their hands. You have already noticed the exclusion of the officers while the principal evidence was being taken against them, on the plea that the police witnesses would not speak the truth, and how during the interval a considerable number of persons unconnected with the police force were examined. You did not, however, remark on the character of the questions put to these witnesses. Many of them were entirely improper and unfair, and would not have been permitted in any well-conducted inquiry whatever.

It is a matter of notoriety, too that several respectable persons, who had no purpose to serve but to speak the truth, offered to give evidence, but they were not called, or were only partly examined, while adverse witnesses, no matter what their character was, appeared always welcome. It was Lord Nelson, I think, who, when he did not wish to see any-thing disagreeable to him, put the telescope to his blind eye. Apart, however, from all this, I think the commissioners are going quite beyond their powers, which, in the terms of their appointment, are limited to the taking of evidence and reporting the opinions founded thereon. By dictating the kind and degree of the punishment, if any, to be inflicted, they are encroaching on the rights of the executive,

Oct. 15.

-Yours, &c,


An inquiry by members of the Coranderrk Board will be held at the aboriginal station, Coranderrk, to-day. Affairs are in a slightly complicated state. The first meetings took place on the 29th and 30th ult, when four out of the seven members thon constituting the board attended, viz., Mr Cameron, MLA., chairman, Mr Be Pury, Mr Armstrong, and Mr Kerr. Two of the remaining members desired that a postponement should be allowed, on the ground that they had received insufficient notice, and it was also understood at the time that another member would be appointed in the course of a few days. Mr Dow, MLA, was gazetted an additional member on the 30th September. Mr Cameron, however, having made arrangements which could not be recalled, decided to proceed with the inquiry, and the board devoted two days to taking evidence at Coranderrk. The members absent on the first occasion have been instrumentai in convening the meeting which is to be held to-day, and the whole of the members have been invited to attend. It was the chair- man's intention, as soon as he received printed copies of the evidence, to have called the board together in Melbourne to decide what further steps should be taken.. The members absent from the former sitting were Mrs Bon, Dr Enabling, and Mr M'Nab, and to their number may be added Mr Dow, who has since been appointed. Complaints have been made against the present management, but the really important question at issue is whether it is not advisable (as recommended by the board for the protection of the aborigines) that Coranderrk should be broken up, and the blacks distributed amongst the other stations.

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