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Colonial Cases

R. v. Reynolds, 1874


R. v. Reynolds

Police Court, Palmerston
Price SM, 21 August 1874
Source: Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 22 August 1874, p 3



(Before Mr. E. W. Price, S.M.)

Thomas Reynolds, sen., was called upon to the information of Joshua Jones, charged with having committed wilful and corrupt perjury in evidence given by him before the Local Court on the 6th August.

Mr. Smith appeared for the informant. Mr. Reynolds asked if it was right for the informant to appear by counsel in this case?
The Court said that counsel could not be objected to.

Mr. Smith stated that in this case the defendant made three statements during his evidence in the case of "Millner v. Gore and Others," which the informant was prepared to show were untrue, and which would amount to wilful and corrupt perjury. But some of the evidence now required was absent, and it might be necessary for the Court to remand the defendant from time to time until that evidence could be obtained. At present, however, a prima facie case could be shown, and then His Worship could remand if he thought proper for the production of the documentary evidence which was required.

Mr. M. L. Conner, was called and stated that on the day Mr. Reynolds was examined, the 6th August, he was sitting at the door of the Court and heard him say that he did not use his position as Commissioner of Crown Lands to order any Government Officer, whilst in the Northern Territory, to keep back any orders of Reynolds, Gore, &c. Co., from being presented at any place for payment. Mr. Reynolds repeatedly made this statement during his examination, and distinctly denied having given such an order as that referred to. Also heard him swear that he had no connection with the Port Darwin firm of Reynolds, Gore, & Co.; he admitted having acted for them under power of attorney; but denied ever having been a partner. Remembered, too, that Mr. Reynolds denied, that he had ever endeavoured to borrow money from Abbott or Barclay for Reynolds, Gore, and Co. He absolutely denied it. Also heard Mr. Reynolds swear that he hid never as Commissioner of Crown Lands, kept back the proclamation of a Customs Act for the purpose of benefiting the firm of Reynolds, Gore, & Co. The resolution of the Assembly for issuing that proclamation was passed on the 3rd July, 1872. On the 11th and 12th July it was complained in the House that the proclamation had not been made; was present as a member.

By Mr. Reynolds-Could not give the exact words used during the recent examination. Had never heard that defendant abused his position to serve his relatives by giving them appointments during the many years he had been in office. Heard defendant say in his evidence that all orders had been directed to be sent to Adelaide; and that no exception was to be made on any account; and that a minute to that effect was given to Mr. Hood. Could not swear that gold-fields wardens had ever kept back cheques and money-orders. Remembered that great interest was felt in Adelaide on the subject of Customs duties, and that a deputation waited on the Treasurer, who was the head of the department. Remembered that the Treasurer in the House opposed the proclamation in the same way as he (Mr. Reynolds) did.

Some further cross-examination took place, with a view to show that it was the Ministry, and not Mr. Reynolds, who decided the matter about the Customs' proclamation, and Mr. Conner, in answer to Mr. Smith, said he did not remember anything about a situation being given to Mr. Reynolds's relative, Mr. Litchfield. Understood Mr. Reynolds to swear that he had not endeavoured to borrow money for "any firm." Never heard anything about Litchfield, and did not know that defendant was returned to the House again immediately after the decision of the jury in that case. Had never heard of the matter. Was only present by mere accident the day the examination took place on the 6th of August. Did not attend with the view of having to be called now. With regard to what took place in the Assembly, heard Townsend insinuated something about keeping back the proclamation; and Mr. Reynolds said, "Out with it, whatever you mean." Certainly understood Mr. Reynolds to say on the 6th inst. that he did not endeavour to borrow for any firm.

[Remainder of evidence next week. The case was remanded for further witnesses, the defendant having to find sureties in the meantime.]


Source: Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 29 August 1874, p 3


(Before Mr. E. W. Price, S.M,)

In the case of the charge of perjury against the Hon. T. Reynolds, which was partly reported in our issue of last week, we now give the remainder of the evidence, condensing those portions of the examination which are not of particular importance.
J. A. G. Little said that as Sub-Collector of Customs he caused the proclamation which had been referred to to be put in operation on the morning of the 8th August, 1872. Reynolds, Gore, and Co. were discharging goods from the Mary King at that time. They had discharged some portion of the cargo; 23 cases of brandy were on board the morning of the 8th. Other vessels had been discharging; there were other than dutiable goods on board the Mary King. Always acted under the Treasurer, as Sub-Collector of Customs. R. E. Gardiner of the Land Office, had seen several orders on Messrs. Reynolds, Gore, and Co., as described in his previous evidence. Received some from Mr. Hood. All the orders were attached by a piece of paper which went round them. There was some writing by defendant on the piece of paper. Some of the orders were on Reynolds, Gore, & Co. The minute on the sheet of paper was in reference to gold mining leases. As far as he could remember the minute was "I suppose these amounts will have to be held over until the question of leases be decided by the Legislature."
The minute was addressed to Mr. Hood. There were four or five cheques or orders besides those on Reynolds, Gore, and Co.-Lewis's, Deacon's, and Valentine's. There was at that time no power to grant leases. Saw no other minute. The orders were not particularised in the minute, which was sent down to Adelaide. Believed the date of the minute was 6th June, 1873, and the orders were sent down by the Contest in 1874. They were not sent down in consequence of the minute. The orders were not detained because of their being drawn on Reynolds, Gore, & Co. They were payable in Palmerston. The total of the orders was £383. The orders were sent down to Adelaide under instructions from the Government Resident.
W. E. Adcock was called, and gave evidence similar to that of Mr. Conner as to defendant having denied making a minute or giving instructions for keeping back the orders, and as to the question of asking Mr. Barclay to lend money to the firm of Reynolds, Gore, & Co. Joshua Jones said he remembered seeing defendant in King William street, in company with Mr. Abbott, when defendant asked Abbott for a loan of money for the firm of Reynolds, Gore, & Co., at Port Darwin. He spoke of it as his son's business. Mr. Abbott did not lend the money or give an answer then. Remembered the three orders on Reynolds, Gore, & Co.-two for £105, and one for £70. Had to pay one of the orders of £105. The money for the three orders was in the hands of Reynolds, Gore, & Co.

After some cross-examination of this witness by Mr. Reynolds, and after the evidence of the Clerk of the Court as to the depositions in the previous case,

The Court adjourned the proceedings till November, in order that additional evidence might be obtained from Adelaide; the defendant entering into a bond of £100 as security for his appearance.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School