The Argus at KellyGang 19/10/1881 (5)

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Royal Commission second report, Protest

13. After the outlaw had retired into the hotel Mr Hare found, from his disabled arm that he would be compelled to return, he called on his men to cease firing, and ordered Senior-constable Kelly and Mr O'Connor to surround the building, and not allow the outlaws to escape. He then returned to the railway platform, when his wound was bound up by the reporters After this was done he again returned to the field, and remained some time, but feeling that be was becoming faint from loss of blood, he was compelled to leave the scene of action, and on arrival at the station it was found necessary, to save him from bleeding to death, to at once send him back to Benalla to obtain surgical attendance. His conduct on arrival at Benalla shows clearly that his duty to the public service received his first attention. He first got the railway guard to go and inform Mr Sadleir what had happened.

14. Then on his way to the telegraph station he called on Dr Nicholson, and asked him to follow and dress his wound. He did not stop to have it done, but proceeded to the telegraph office and telegraphed to Beechworth, Violet Town , Wangaratta, and Melbourne , informing the police what had taken place at Glenrowan, and asked for reinforcements.

15. When Dr Nicholson arrived at the telegraph station he found him in a low and fainting condition. After his wound was bound up and dressed he was conveyed to his hotel, suffering great pain.

16. He was laid up for months, his left hand maimed for life, and after he had sufficiently recovered he returned to his duty in Melbourne . He did not ask, at that time, for any special recognition for the arduous work he was called upon to perform, and the plucky and determined way in which he had acquitted himself at Glenrowan. He did not ask for any inquiry. He felt that by a fortunate circumstance the gang had come within his grasp. He took advantage of that, which resulted in the capture and destruction of the band of outlaws who for nearly two years set the authorities at defiance; and, for this, it is recommended by the commission that be should retire from force.

17. I regret that my brother commissioners should have made this recommendation, and thereby compelling me to enter this protest against their decision; but I feel that I would be doing violence to my conviction were I not to do all that lays in my power to protect a public officer and a gentleman from an act of great injustice, and the loss of a valuable servant to the public.

18. Believing also that if this portion of the report of the commission be acted on it will be attended by disastrous effects on the police force of this colony, for, in future, what officer or men in the force will run the risk of distinguishing themselves in the discharge of their duty if, by so doing, they are subject to be dismissed, or may have brought on themselves the bitter jealousy of some of their fellow officers?

19. I have no desire in making this protest to compare the conduct of Mr Hare with that of any other officer in charge of the North-Eastern district during the Kelly outlawry, they have been dealt with in the report of the commission, in my opinion, with-out any more censure than they deserve and I am therefore more at a loss to understand why Mr Hare should have met with such treatment at their hands. E J DIXON .

Oct 12


The following protest has also been signed by Mr James Gibb and Mr George Collins Levey :-

We must decline signing clauses 3 and 5. We should have preferred that the motion recommending Mr Nicolson's superannuation had not been accompanied by the statement that "the want of unanimity existing between these officers, i.e., Mr Nicolson and Mr Hare, was frequently the means of preventing concerted action on important occasions, and the interests of the colony greatly suffered thereby," inasmuch as we do not consider that the latter statement is borne out by the evidence, and a resolution to that effect was moved in the course of the deliberations on the report. Nor do we see anything in the evidence to warrant the recommendation that Mr Hare should be superannuated.



1 We, the undersigned commissioners, in submitting a reply to the statement put forward in the form of a protest by Mr Dixon, cannot refrain from expressing our surprise and regret that the document in question should be found a mere paraphrase of portions of Superintendent Hare's official report, which has been the source of so much mischief, and which we have no hesitation in declaring to be in its essential features a mere tissue of egotism and misrepresentation.

2. Your commissioners have no desire to question Mr Hare's personal courage or determination; the decision arrived at respecting this officer, we contend, has been based upon much more important considerations, namely, those of public expediency and the interest of the service.

3. Before proceeding to traverse the allegations contained in the official report, and reproduced in the protest, we feel it incumbent upon us to make some reference to Superintendent Hare's conduct in connexion with the present demoralised state of the police force of the colony.


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