Story of the KellyGang - the Royal Commission evidence
The Royal Commission Appendix 1
EVIDENCE TAKEN WITH CLOSED DOORS.
Insp William B. Montfort further examined
1 By the Commission— Do you consider that there should be a foot constable stationed at Oxley Bridge ?— I do, for the present.
2 What is your reason for that?— Because the premises of the Bank of Victoria there, unprotected, is a source of weakness, and liable to induce an outrage, which would lead to more serious results; and, in addition to that, that the bridge could be watched by the police, as being the most important crossing on the King River, and a good site for the mounted police to perform their proper duties.
3 Do you propose a station at any place?— Yes, temporarily. I have made arrangements. I believe that a station should be placed at a point about ten miles above Greta station, at Mason's, on the Fifteen-mile Creek. My reason for that suggestion is that the police at that station would command the country between the Fifteen-mile Creek and Benalla, a line running north and south from Greta to Mansfield, along which travelling stock pass; also, I am informed, stolen cattle to the Murray, and vice versa.
4 And that track also commands all the back country where the murders of the police took place?— Yes. I have been speaking to an intimate friend of mine, a squatter born and reared there, and when I told him confidentially of my intention to make this suggestion, he highly approved of it, and said that it commanded the whole of that country there.
5 Would you also recommend that additional telegraph offices be opened at various points, so that they may be made available?— I think it would be an unnecessary expense just at present. If I have four men there who know the country well, with the four men at Greta, and four at Glenrowan, I think it will be perfectly satisfactory.
6 Are the means of communication rapid enough without that?— Yes, I think so, for all practical purposes.
7 Do you propose to re-establish the station at Hedi?— No, certainly not. That is quite close to the Burke Range .
9 Do you propose to make the mounted constables patrol regularly?— I have issued a district order to that effect.
10 In order that they may know all the people in that district?— I instruct them in that order to visit the residences and converse with the inhabitants, friends and foes alike, so that, should they get information, their foes might not know where they got it.
11 Do you propose that with a view of making them personally acquainted with the people?— With the view of keeping them constantly en rapport with the people.
12 We have had it in evidence that Mr. Hare's system of patrol with large parties was utterly useless, and that Mr. Nicolson's method broke down in consequence of the dishonesty of the agents or spies. Do you think it is a better way for the police to be thoroughly acquainted with the people of the country than to use either spies or large bodies to patrol?— Undoubtedly it is.
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