The Royal Commission evidence for 30/8/1881
(see also introduction to day 46)
F. C. Standish giving evidence
15784 Inspected the district in 1877. Have you, since you gave your evidence, seen my reports about Greta and other places in that district with reference to the Kelly gang and the outrages, the horse stealing and cattle stealing, and my suggestions?— That was a good many years ago. I have not had access to any official communications for nearly a year now.
15785 Do you not recollect my report, for instance, of Greta being under-manned, and my suggesting the removal of Constable Thom?— I have no positive recollection of that. Of course you have access to all the papers, and have been living on them for some months, but I cannot charge my memory with them.
15786 Do you recollect, after my return to Melbourne, that it was the custom that I had an interview with you in your private room, about the districts I had just inspected and reported on?— I remember I used to receive your reports and forward them to the officer in charge of the district.
15787 In addition to that, do you remember private interviews?— Yes, and you were always singularly reticent about the business.
15788 Do you recollect my saying to you once about the district, that I thought you should send me back again?— No, I have no recollection of that.
15789 I pointed out to you the tone of the people, speaking about the cases of horse stealing, that they were utterly beyond the constable, being carried on by the Greta people—horses carried into New South Wales, which they could not make anything of, and that I should be sent back to see how the arrangement made with Mr. Singleton in New South Wales was acting?— I have no recollection of that.
15790 After seeing the evidence about the Seymour bank, do you still persist in stating that I sent no information that that attack was premeditated on the banks, in the North-Eastern district?— Yes, I stated that in my evidence.
15791 Having seen the correspondence and letters from Williamson, in Pentridge, to you, and what was sent up to me about the bank in Seymour, do you still persist in that statement; because your memory may have failed you in that?— My memory is better than yours, at all events. I may point out that events that happened four years ago, and I having had no access to official documents since then, cannot have made the impression on my mind that they have on yours.
15792 You made these statements against me at the beginning of this enquiry?— I stated you had information that the banks were to be stuck up.
15793 In the North-Eastern district?— Yes.
15794 Now the correspondence has been unearthed, showing that it was only the Seymour bank, and I ask you if you still say the same thing in the face of the correspondence?— You informed that one of the banks in the North-Eastern district was to be stuck up. I took all the necessary precautions about Seymour .
15795 That is not the question, I admit that; but do you still persist in saying that I sent you information about the banks in the North-Eastern district?— Yes.
15796 I am not imputing anything, but are not you confounding the one bank with all the banks in the district?— I adhere to my former statement.
15797 When you spoke, in the last instance, about the original cases and the difficulty in the North-Eastern district, you said it was the lawlessness of the district?— There is no doubt it has been a most lawless district for years.
15798 What was that caused by?— By the class of people who inhabited that district.
15799 Was not there the means of preventing that—was not the cause the want of police?— I think not.
15800 That is not the original cause, and if there was a mode of dealing with that, you think not?— I think not.
15801 You say in your evidence, with reference to the party at Sebastopol, that we were a day or two late after the fair; so, after consulting with Mr. Sadleir and Mr. Nicolson, we decided it was no use carrying on further, and returned to Beechworth?— Yes.
15802 What did you mean—it was no use carrying matters further?— The information we procured there showed we had been misinformed about the outlaws, and what was reported to us had happened two or three days before.
15803 What about further search in that country?— It would have been simply madness. Of course when a large body of police moved, even at an early portion of the day, the news would spread all over the district.....
This document gives you the text of the report about the KellyGang for this day. The text has been retyped from a microfiche copy of the original. We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged. We also apologise for any typographical errors. This document is subject to coypright.