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TUESDAY, 20 JANUARY, 1903. • 177es Commission met at the Court house, IVoliongong.]





D. RITCHIE, Esq., ComnIssioNEn.


Mr. Brace Smith, Barrister-at-Law, instructed by Mr. Wuod, Crown Solicitor's Office, appeared on behalf Wal

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of the Crown. Mr. A. A. Atkinson, Chief Inspector of Coal-mines, assisted Mr. Bruce Smith. • Mr. A. A. Lysaght, Solicitor, appeared on le-half of— (a) the representatives of deceased miners, wheelers, etc., (victims of the explosion); (b) the employees of the Mount Kembla Colliery (miners, wheelers, dec.); and (c) the Illawarra Colliery Employees' Association (the Southern Miners' Union). Teir. C. G. Wade, Barrister-at-Law, instructed by Mr. F. Curtiss, appeared on behalf of the Mount Kembla Coal and Oil Company (Proprietors of Mount Kembla Mine). pti. I. Garlick, Secretary to the Commission, was present to take shorthand notes of the evidence and proceedings.) 5219. (His Honor stated that the Secretary bad drawn his attention to the fact that in the evidence various roads io the mine were referred to by names which might lead to confusion in afterwards identifying them on the map. For instance, the road marked on the map as 5th Right rope road was sometimes referred to in the evidence as .No.5 Rieht rope road, whereas the map showed that the No. 5 Right road was in another portion of the mine at a distance from the 5th Right rope road. His Honor asked Counsel to bear in mind the fact that all the roads leading out from the No. 1 Right engine road were called 2nd Right rope road, 2nd Left rape road. 3rd Rieht rope road, 3rd Left rope road, and so on ; whereas those opening out from the main tunnel were designated as No. 2 Right, No. 2 Left, No. 3 Right, No. 3 Left, &c., &c. If this ens borne in mind, Ills Honor pointed out, confusion would be avoided.)

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Mn. JOHN SELLS was further examined as under:Cross-examination by Mr. Wade :- 5220. Q. You said last Thursday that you had been in the Police Force ? A. Yes. 5221. Q. When did you leave? A. I could not tell you. 5222. Q. How long ago ? Was it in 1896? A. It might have been. 1896? Oh, it is longer back than that, T think. 5223. Q. Was it not July; 18913 ? A. I could not tell you the date or the month. 5224. Q. How did you come to leave ? A. I left. 5225. Q. I know you left. Just answer my question. I ask you how ? A. I do not see what that has got to do with this. 5226. Q. You do not ? A. No. 5227. Q. Do you decline to answer ? A. I do not say that. I know how I left all right. 5228. Mr. Lysaght.] I will take your Honor's ruling on that. I would ask whether it is material that a witness should be asked why be left the Police Force. 5229. His Honor.] If it cones to a question of credibility, of course, a witness may be examined on his former history. It is generally better that a witness should answer. If a witness declines to answer, there are some cases in which it would be quite justifiable for counsel to press the question ; and other cases in which counsel, using a fair discretion, would not do so. It depends very much on the history of the matter as known to counsel. 5230. Witness.] It was nothing that I need be ashamed of that I left for. 5231. Mr. Wade.] Q. Were you dismissed ? A. If you put the question like that, I will say "No." 5232. Q. Were you discharged ? A. Aye ; that is right—yes. 5233. Q. Were you discharged fox bad conduct? A. What you like. 5234. Q. Yes or no? A. Principally through not divulging the name of a certain party. 5235. Q. Were you discharged for bad conduct ? A. You can call it what you like. It may be it was for a breach of the rules. 5236. Q. Were you discharged for immoral conduct with a woman whilst on duty ? Was that the charge? • A. Alleged. 5237. Q. That is the alleged ground of dismissal ? A. That is it. 5238. Q. Now, was it not in July, 1S93 ? A. Well, 1 am not prepared to tell the month. If it was, I do not see much difference. It may have been. I do not see that it has got anything to do with this that these things should be raked up here. 5239. Q. Whilst you were in the Force, a couple of years before that, were not you fined for assault ? A. I do not see why those things should be brought up to me, Your Honor, here. If I did these things, and remained in the Force for two ye:Irs afterwards, it could not be so tad. 5240. His Honor.] Retention in the service for two years after a fine for assault almost speaks for itself, as the witness says. Assuming, foe the sake of argument, that Sells was fined for assault, and was kept on in the Force for two years a fter that, then that action of the authorities pretty well does away with the discrediting effect of the fine. A fine for assault is a matter immaterial to the question of the honesty of the witness. If he likes to explain it he can, but I do not think it ought to be pressed further. 5241. Mr. Wade.] Q. Is that the only case of conviction for assault against you? A. I am not going to tell you anything more. That is all. It has nothing to do with this case at all. My antecedents have nothing at all to do with this case. 5242. .

Mt Kembla Mine Disaster Report 1903 pt2  

Royal Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Mount Kembla Colliery Disaster, New South Wales Legislative Assembly, Government Printer, Sydney,...

Mt Kembla Mine Disaster Report 1903 pt2  

Royal Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Mount Kembla Colliery Disaster, New South Wales Legislative Assembly, Government Printer, Sydney,...