The Royal Commission evidence for 30/8/1881
(see also introduction to day 46)
F. C. Standish giving evidence
15804 Then you agree that the use of police in that manner, on that occasion and former ones, was unnecessary?— We thought we had a chance against the outlaws, and that was why we proceeded there; but from subsequent information received I had not the slightest doubt we were grossly misled by the man who furnished the information.
Mr. Nicolson — I do not dispute that in the least.
15805 By the Commission— I would like you to just glance over that correspondence—[handing papers to the witness, who read the same]?— I remember this correspondence well; I have looked over it.
15806 Do you still adhere to that statement—that the information came from Mr. Nicolson?— Yes, I do.
15807 After reading the document?— Yes.
15809 No. I think you will see the date at the head of Williamson's document?—[ The witness examined it]— The 15th November 1878 .
15810 What is the date upon which you returned that document to Mr. Nicolson, you will see it on the back I think?— The 28th November 1878 .
15811 Then you had that information from the 15th to the 28th in your possession according to that?— But it passed through several hands before it came through mine. I cannot tell the date it reached me.
15812 You sent it on the 28th November?— Yes, to Mr. Sadleir and Mr. Nicolson.
15813 What is the date of Mr. Nicolson's telegram in reply?— The 29th.
15814 And the desire he expressed in that telegram?— That one or two men should be sent.
15815 That is that information was given in reference to the Seymour bank, and one or two men should be sent?— Yes, which was done.
15816 Then the question is—do you still adhere to your statement that you heard from Mr. Nicolson that the Kellys were going to rob the bank?— Yes, I do, certainly.
15817 In the face of those documents?— In the face of those documents—Yes.
15818 In what way did Mr. Nicolson give you the information?— I cannot remember, positively, whether it was by private letter or by telegram. Of course you must see that a man who has been out of the department for nearly a year, and has not had access to one single document, must be completely at a disadvantage as compared with a man who has been poring over every document he can lay his hand on.
15819 I agree with that—but you still adhere to your statement?— Yes.
15820 Those documents would be still in existence?— They might, or not.
15821 How could they be destroyed —they would be official?— Private and confidential notes I used not to file; I kept them in my own possession.
15822 Would anything be private and confidential from the officer next in rank to yourself as to the movements of the outlaw gang?— Certainly; most of those were marked “Private and confidential.”
15823 Still they would be documents belonging to Government?— Those special documents relating to the Kelly business I used to keep in my own cupboard.
15824 By Mr. Nicolson— You say you believe the information that Mr. Sadleir had upon which we were out that time was correct, but we were a day or two after the fair, and it was no use carrying matters further—did you come to the conclusion then that such open search parties were no use?— I thought, unless we had very good grounds to go on, sending search parties without any definite ground to go on was a mistake.
15825 In question No. 39 you say, “The morning Mr. Nicolson reached Euroa, on the morning of Tuesday; and after some hours' delay, he started off with a party of police, and returned the next day without any result.” What grounds have you for saying I started after some delay?— I was informed so by the police.
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.