31 August 1911
The Commission reported that the administration of the police in the N.E. was generally unsatisfactory; that the Chief Commissioner, Captain Standish, was wanting in tact, impartiality, temper, and judgement; that Superintendent Sadleir was guilty of errors of judgment whilst in pursuit of the gang.
The reports also set forth that the outlaws should have been captured two years before they were, but for the indolence and incompetence of certain high police officials, and that Sergeant Steele should have caught the outlaws in November 1878, when he knew that they had just passed under the One Mile Bridge at Wangaratta on horses that were tired out; and that the five constables in Aaron Sherritt's hut on the night of his murder were guilty of gross cowardice and disobedience.
So that there appears some ground for the opinion, held at least to some extent, that the outlaws were better men than their pursuers-their crimes, of course, apart.
As one elderly native of Glenrowan puts it:-
"There's not the harm in taking a sheep when you're hungry, and sheep are plenty, that there is in starving. And that's what started one of them boys (Joe Byrne) on the job." And it is not exaggerating to say that plenty of people in the Kelly country, as it is still called, are of the same opinion.
It was another old resident who conveyed to us the surprising news that Mrs Jones, the licensee of the hotel where the fighting took place, was not only still alive, but still living in the township. He pointed out the house-a neat weatherboard cottage in the new street, painted white, and looking very clean and tidy. She was very old, he said, and feeble and bedridden also. But she was still quite sensible.
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