Stories relating to the W.A. Royal Commission which examined the prevalence of gold stealing in the eastern goldfields. It began with a 1906 report on gold theft by an English journalist called Scantlebury, and ended up leading to some changes, aimed at trapping the fences who bought stolen gold. The hero was 33-year-old Detective Sergeant Peter Kavanagh who got the evidence, but died in Sydney in 1908.
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Scantlebury started it
A hint that a Royal Commission was imminent.
The course for a Royal Commission is set.
Grudgingly, The Times concedes that a Royal Commission is necessary, but mainly to clear the names of those whose good names have been dragged through the mud. Scantlebury is denounced.
A notice of motion is announced by Mr. Bath, leader of the opposition.
A Royal Commission to be held.
Some debate on who should be the Commissioner.
Everybody agrees that a Royal Commission is needed, but who will take the hot seat? An undercurrent in the Parliamentary debate seems to be calling for Scantlebury to be proven wrong.
Barker to be asked
An attack on Scantlebury
Roe declines the Commissionership, Barker accepts
Roe and the Supreme Court judges had all declined. It's on page 17.
Kavanagh anecdote showing his nature.
More on the debate
The enquiry starts, and the main players are mostly named.
The layout of the hearing room: who sits where, and details of testimony on the first day.
An account of the first day.
Further evidence, including a witness accusing Kavanagh of stealing gold from a mine and then withdrawing the accusation, more or less.
The Kalgoorlie Chamber of Mines responds to accusations of "blameable silence" and provides a possible figure for the annual extent of theft: some £440,000, based on a discrepancy between recorded yields from legitimate mines and total recorded sales. This would have been a lower-end estimate, since it excludes gold carried, shipped or smuggled out of the colony.
The response of the Kalgoorlie Chamber of Mines, covered in the previous item. This one is not completely corrected.
Brief account of the evidence. Includes a statement on the Royal Commission from Scantlebury, by then in Bendigo, where he said there was theft as well. Quoted a view that in WA, theft was seen as a way of keeping some of the profits in Australia.
The rules of the game for witnesses at a Royal Commission.
A brief account of the evidence on September 4, and Moore found guilty by Warden Finnerty of a misrepresentation (making a false statement in the gold dealers' book of a bank. This is code for the act of passing off stolen gold (origin unknown) as the produce of a worthless mine.
Evidence from the second (and short) day of the hearings.
More evidence, the method of searching miners coming off-shift.
Witnesses charged for non-appearance.
Further hearings, September 4, most probably, described in the report as the second day, followed by the fourth day. The chronology is quite unclear at times.
Good detail of Parnell's evidence and his reactions. This is probably September 6.
Hearings on September 7.
The arrest of Hugh Mackay on a Tuesday, and his appearance in court on a Wednesday. September 4 & 5. or 11 & 12? Note the date of the paper.
Meaty evidence and the on-going saga of the elusive and telegraphic Mr. Albert.
The total amount of gold sold by those named (by implication, all of dubious reputation) totalled £120,000.
A statement from Mr. Schloo, mining registrar.
The number of questions asked and answered: 4700.
Albert and the bribe offer at the races
Bibby said to have dealt in stolen gold, and this was shown to have been represented as coming from another source. Mr. Albert was still absent. The claim of Bibby to have garnered large amounts of gold from "scake" was severely bruised.
The findings, as reported in Sydney.
An account of the findings.
£50 honorarium to Kavanagh.
Honorarium of £50 to Kavanagh
Kavanagh's early life
Peter Dennis Kavanagh is in the east and suffering from a fever.
Scantlebury reported to be still in Sydney.
Kavanagh anecdote. not long before he died: confrontation with a magistrate.
A Rolf Boldrewood connection to a mine robbery
Kavanagh anecdote: how he used blue-metal to lay out two criminal and mark a third so that he could be identified.
A Kavanagh anecdote which may have some truth in it, but it must surely be largely fictional. It dates from the time when Kavanagh sailed to the east, seeking medical assistance, not long before he died.