The Argus at KellyGang 21/2/1874 (5)

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Dummies were employed to take up the choice land on the station as a rule, and not to select upon some other station. There was no evidence that the licensee of Taminick station had induced the Larkins to take up land on the Springs station; there wan no evidence to connect them with either Spicer or Cowell, beyond the fact that they had purchased the slabs of their hut from Spicer. It was not true that Spicer was afraid to go into the witness-box, but it was determined by his (his counsel's) advice that he should give his evidence in a much more satisfactory manner than could be done before a tribunal of this kind. The evidence both of Messrs Spicer and Cowell would be given on oath in the form of a statutory declaration.

Mr Graves, the principal witness, occupied the unenviable position of a mere informer-a man who, to gratify his spirit of malice or patriotism, descended to the position of a common informer. The evidence of an informer should always be received with suspicion. It was clear from Mr Harrison's evidence that in the conversation between Spicer and Graves , both were at cross purposes. Mr Spicer was very deaf. He had only offered to use his good offices with the Larkins on behalf of Graves . There was nothing properly suspicious in the fact that some of the selectors had been employed on the station, and had come to the station to pay their rates. The board ought not to be swayed by any political considerations, or by the fact that there was at present a kind of crusade against dummyism. There was not one particle of evidence against these people, nothing beyond the mere suspicions engendered by an interested and spiteful informer.

Mr Holmes desired to say, in reference to what had fallen from counsel, that the board had simply to judge of the facts and would not be influenced in any way by political considerations. They knew nothing of the parties concerned outside the court.

The cases of the selectors were then proceeded with.

Richard Barry stated that he received his notice to occupy on the 11th September, 1872 . His application was opposed by Mr Evans, the then licensee. He had made several improvements on his land, grubbed 35 acres, put up 138 chains of log and brush fence, and 72 chains of superior fencing. He had erected a house and rung 200 acres. He had paid his own survey fees.

An objection was taken to his cross-examination by Mr Smith, on the ground that he was only there to state reasons against for forfieture, but he expressed his willingness to answer any questions put by the board.

Garrett Barry and John Doyle declined to give evidence by the advice of their solicitor, but offered to state reasons against forfeiture.

A M'Donald did not appear.

The cases of the Larkins were not pressed, they not having obtained their selections.

As the Court was about to adjourn, Mr Spicer came forward and said that he desired to make a statement. He had been informed that anything that Mr Graves said against him had been heard, and he wished that his denial of any connexion with dummyism should be recorded. Mr Holmes expressed his willingness to hear any statement he had to make.

Mr Purves, who had been temporarily absent, protested against this proceeding. He had already stated that sworn declarations of Messrs Spicer and Cowell would be laid before the Minister, and he contended that the Court had adjourned.

The matter then dropped, and the board adjourned until next day, at 10 o'clock , when the decision in the several cases will be announced.  


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