The Royal Commission evidence for 12/4/1881
(see also introduction to day 11)
The Hon. F. LONGMORE, M.L.A., in the Chair;
E. J. Dixon , Esq., J.P., G. R. Fincham, Esq., M.L.A.,
Wm. Anderson , Esq., M.L.A., G. W. Hall, Esq., M.L.A.,
J. H. Graves , Esq., M.L.A., J. Gibb, Esq., M.L.A.
Captain Standish. —I wish to mention that I have some business engagements that will take me away from Melbourne for twelve or fourteen days—a long-standing engagement—and I wish to ask whether the Board will require my attendance. After my return I shall be available.
The Chairman. —The Commission can arrange conveniently in regard to that; you will not need to stay.
Mr. Ncolson . —The Acting Chief Commissioner of Police received a note from the Secretary of the Commission asking, amongst other things, for the key to the anonymous names of the outlaws. This is the letter—[handing in the same.] Without wishing to appear to throw any obstacle in the way of the Commission by withholding any information they may require, I would remind you of what was stated before of the danger of the real names of the witnesses getting out.
The Chairman . —We will keep that altogether private; it will be merely for the guidance of the members of the Commission.
1980 Will you continue your statement?— At the close of my evidence last Thursday, in regard to a question asked then, I telegraphed as to the search made for the hollow log which was mentioned in the evidence, I have reports from the three constables who were in search of the log. They found it, but found no sign of provisions whatever.
1882 Can you say where they found it?— They failed to answer that.
1983 You said before the log could not be found?— Yes; I was speaking from memory then, and was mistaken in regard to that.
1984 What I asked for was the instructions given by you as to watching this particular log; do you remember whether you gave any special instructions?— I can see they got special instructions to examine this place.
1985 They examined this at the time you got the information?— Yes; the Commission's instructions were to ascertain what steps were taken by the police from the 31st October to say the 14th November in the matter of the information about the log and provisions being hid there.
1986 Yes. The question was whether you had given precise instructions, and you said you were not sure, and I think your evidence will show you made rather contradictory statements; and I want you to say whether you gave any special instructions to the police, and whether you could remember what they were of your own knowledge. Who was in charge specially of the correspondence, confidential and other, from the 28th October to the 14th November?— Whatever senior officer was on the spot during those days.
1988 Where was Mr. Nicolson between the 28th of October and the 14th of November?— I cannot tell you. I have no record.
1989 Was Mr. Nicolson made acquainted with the contents of the private information dated 30 th October, and the letter received by you, submitted to the Board Iast Thursday, dated 11th November?— I have not the slightest doubt he was. I can only give my own duties on the date you speak of from the 28th October to the 10th November 1878 .
The Chairman . —We have the tabulated statement here. Mr. Nicolson was there from the 28 th October to the 13th December in the district. Mr. Sadleir was there the whole time in charge of the district.
The Witness . —I was constantly away.
1990 Can you remember who was really in the office to know what correspondence was in the office during those dates—had you any clerk in the office who would file the correspondence?— I can only speak of my own, and there would be no record made of Mr. Nicolson's attendance at the office.
1991 Would he have all the letters coming to the office, both private information, similar to the letter read of the llth?— Yes; most decidedly. I am quite sure Mr. Nicolson knew it. I remember discussing the whole subject with him.
Mr. Nicolson . —I must have been aware of it. I recollect hearing about that information, and I remember the incident. Allow me just to say this, to ask Mr. Sadleir, with reference to that agent that gave him that information, who was alluded to on the last occasion when I first saw him. Mr. Sadleir will recollect that I first saw him on that occasion he speaks of near Mr. Sadleir's own house. Mr. Sadlier will remember that, no doubt; and it was the first time I knew he was in communication with that man, and the first time I saw him; but I admit I saw those communications. Mr. Sadleir will tell you that he was in correspondence with that agent without my knowledge until my return, when I met that agent for the first time.....
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