The Royal Commission evidence for 31/8/1881
(see also introduction to day 47)
F. C. Standish giving evidence
16074 Did you approve of the work done by Mr. Nicolson during that time, or find fault with it?— I am not saying I found fault with anything particular; I am only saying what I heard from the clerks.
16075 They said they were kept longer hours?— Yes, sometimes till half-past eleven.
16076 Are there any clerks that are likely to be able to give evidence on that besides Mr. Moors?— I cannot state the names of anybody.
16077 Would any of the clerks be able?— That I cannot say.
16078 Did you ever complain to Mr Nicolson that be kept work in a muddle, and kept the clerks back?— No, I do not think I did. It would have done no good.
16079 If any real cause of complaint had come before you, would it have been your duty to put a memorandum on the papers indicating your sense of the conduct of Mr. Nicolson?— There was no formal complaint ever made to me—no official complaint.
16080 Did you, as a matter of fact, see cause of complaint when you came down?— As I said, there were a very few arrears; and as I was only down for a few hours three times during the time of my banishment at Benalla, I could see nothing personally myself of the working of the office.
16081 You gave evidence here that the office was in such a state that you had to leave Benalla and come down?— There were complaints about the correspondence in various districts.
16082 How did you discover those complaints?— Well, I heard of them by private letters generally. I was urged to come down and take charge of the office.
16083 By whom?— Well, as I tell you, I do not like to give names here.
16084 But somebody must have done it. The Commission are at all events, bound to the plain statement, when you have made this statement about things being muddled in the office?— That is what I learned when I came down and what I heard before.
16085 Who was the party that reported that to you—was it Mr. Moors?— I think it would be unfair to give up the names of anybody, because it would do them harm.
16086 I respectfully submit to you how unfair it is to make a charge to the detriment of Mr. Nicolson and not give the authority for making the charge?— Generally, it was the opinion of most of the clerks in the office.
16087 If it is not desirable to give the names of witnesses, it is not desirable to make a charge. You ought to have the proof against a man?— Well, I would sooner withdraw that part of my evidence than give the names.
16088 It cannot be done. A charge is made, and the proof must be given of the correctness or otherwise of it. I think when a charge of that character is made against, an officer, the proof must be given. If you have not proof yourself, the evidence on which you acted must be given, and the authority you have for making the charge must be produced for the benefit of the Commission. Surely there would be more than one officer in the department who would know about this. Can you not indicate any other clerk in the office?— You are at liberty to call all the clerks, or any witnesses you choose.
16089 You received information from the office that you thought of sufficient importance to bring you to town?— Yes.
16090 That being so, you arrived at the office, and satisfied yourself there was just cause for bringing you down?— Yes.
16091 That being so, the Commission require the evidence on which you acted, in corroboration of that charge now made against an officer of the force. I think it must be done?— Pretty well all the clerks told me that owing to Mr. Nicolson coming late, and not staying very long, they were kept very late.
16092 Whom did you receive those statements from?— Those were verbal.
16093 But you received a written communication that led you to come down—whom did you receive that from?— I shall not say.
16094 I think you must say. I think you are bound to reply to that question?— Well, really, I do not want to say anything to contradict Mr. Moor's evidence, or to impugn his veracity. He is one of the straightest men I ever met.
16095 You see the strange position in which Mr. Nicolson is placed. A charge is made to his detriment, and we want to see justice done to all parties, and, when you have made the charge, you must abide by the circumstances and produce the evidence?— I have not the letter.
16096 Then you should say the name?— I cannot say positively the name.
16097 Can you say, on your oath, you cannot say from what officer you received the letter making the charge?— I could not positively say.....
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.