(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Report of the Commission to make inquiries and report upon all matters and thing connected with or relative or incidental to the seizure on or about the 21st of April, 1920, of a car of whiskey at the City of Chatham [microform]"




ONTARIO 
DEPARTMENT OFTHE SECRETARY AND REGISTRAR 



R E I R I 



of 



C M K I S S I o i; 




iu MAKE I3S . IR] RI UPON . 


MATTERS 


AND THIiJGS CONNECTED WITH OR RELATIVE 


OR 


IUCIEEiJTAI TO THE SEIZURE Oil OR ABOUT 


IHE 21ST 


u^ 1 APRIL. 1920, 0? A CAR OP 1EISKEY A3 


: T: 


CITY OP CK^THAM, ETC., ETC., ETC. 



ED .... LEGI S] 



BY COJ 



^/TC. 



*~v^ 



. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

Ontario Council of University Libraries 



http://www.archive.org/details/16531749 



: 






To His Honour, 

Lionel Herbert Clarke ,&<jovu Lieutenant Governor of the 

Province of Ontario- 
May it please your Honour :- 

Having received your Honour's Commission issued 
pursuant to the provisions ofthe Pu"blic inquiries Act directing 
me to make inquiries and report upon all matters and things 
connected with or relative or incidental to the seizure on or 
about the 21st. of April, 1^20, of a car of whiskey at the City 
of Chatham In the County of Kent by the License Inspector ax*d 
the High Constable of the said County, the disposition of the 
liquor contained in such car, the methods employed for guarding it 
wiille under seizure and the truth or otherwise of charges of 
misconduct of the said License Inspector and tnesaid High 
Constable or any other person or persons with respect to the 
contents: and also to inquire and report upon a'i 1 matters and 
t hings relative to the seizure on or about trie 21st .day of Anril 
1920, or five large cases consigned at Montreal to one M. Gordon 
of Tilbury, the disposition of the liauor contained in such cases, 
the method employed for guarding it wriile under seizure and the 
conduct of the said License inspector or any other person with 
respect to th a seizure , guar ding and disposition of the said liauor 
or of any other liquors: and also to inquire into and report 
upon all matters relative to the seizure, care and disposition 
of several club bags and suit cases containing liquors in or about 
the month of October ,1319, by the said Higa Constable, I caused 
the following notice to be published in the Chatham Planet a 
Chatham Daily News on the 22nd. day or June, 1920 

— NOTICE — 
" By Commission issued by His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor 
of Ontario under Tno Public Inquiries Act, tne undersigned h 
been appointed to inquire into investigate a :rt u; 

matters am t . 9 connected with or relative to the seizure on 



_o_ 






or about the 23rd of Anrt 1,1920, or a car or wnlslcey at tne City 

or Chatham, in the County or Kent, "by the License Inspector and 

High Constable or the said County, the disposition or the liquor 

contained in sucn car, the methods employed for guarding It while 

under seizure and the truth or otherwise or charges or misconduct 

or the said License Inspector and the said. High Constable or any 

other person or persons with resuect to tne contents or sucn car. 

AND ALSO to inquire into and report upon ajJ matters or 

triings connected w itn or relative or incidental to the seizure 

on or about tne 20tn. or April, 1920, or 5 large cases pf whiskey 

consigned at Montreal to one ivi. Gordon of Tilbury, the disposition 

or the liquor contained in such cases, the method employed for 

guarding it while under seizure and tne conduct or License 

Inspector Erencn or any other person or persons with respect to 
the seizure, guarding or disposition oi 

„the said liquor or any part thereof or of any other liquors: 

AMD ALSO to inquire into and report upon all matters and 
things connected with or relative or incidental to the seizure, 
care and disposition or several c^ub bags and suit cases containing 
liquor, in or about the month of October ,1919, by tne said High 
Constable Peters; with power or summoning any person and requiring 
him to give evidence en oath. 

SUCH inquiry will be held in trie Council Chamber 
in Harrison Hall, in the said City or Chatham, on TUESDAY, the 
29th. day or JUNE, 1920, commencing at 9 o'clock in the rcrencon. 
Any person able to give information in collection with any of the 
matters above mentioned or wishing to prefer any charge or to 
maice any complaint toucnlng trie saiue is requested to communicate 
with the undersx gned on or berore the S8t v of June , instant , 
giving particulars of any sucn information, charge or complaint, 
together with the name of any person or persons oapaole of giving 
evidence in connection with era, or any or tne . 

Such communication may be addressed to tne undersigned at trie Court 
House, in tne City oi London, or mailed or left for nl I J. 



-3- 



Holmes, Esquire, Cleric of the County Court of the County of Kent, 
at Harrison Hall in the said City of Chatham. 
Dated this fifteenth aay of June, 1920. 

TALBOT MACBETH, 

Commissioner. M 



No information or other communication was received in 

exc°pt 
response to this advertisement' an anonymous letter which proved 

to "be of no value. 

On the 29th. day of June, 1920, I opened my inquiries at 
Harrison HaU.1 in tne City of Chatham, and the same ware continued 
on the following day, there being in attendance Mr. J. C. Elliott, 
for the Department of the Provincial Secretary, and Mr.H. d. Smith, 
County Crown, Attorney, Mr. J.M.PIKe, K.C. for License Inspector 
French and County CciiS table McGregor, avjcl Mr.R.L. Brac^lin 
for High Constable Peter s ; o^* ^ SiL^aJ- ftr £.k,J-ia&&vi* 

Seventeen witnesses were called "by Mr. Elliott and 
examined: and cross-examined; tne.r evidence was taken a own in 
shorthand by Miss Nonah i. Dobson, Court stenographer whom I 
engaged for that purpose, and such evidence has since been 
extended by her and is submitted with this report. I have also 
attached the exhibits referred to in tne evidence. 

On the 30th day of June, 1920, there being no witnesses 
thei: in attendance, I adjourned the inquiries sine die, in tne nope 
that some further evidence might be obtained, but I have since ^°en 
informed by Mr •Elliott and by tne County Crown Attorney that they 
have not been able to find any other uerscns who have or should 
nave any knowledge of the sun.iect matters of my inquiries, and as 
I nave not been myself able to leant Of any other available 
evidence, I now beg leave to make my report as follows: 

As to the first matter I find that on the 171 I of 
April, 1920, an ordinary freight car was shipped c ver tne Ca >n 

Pacific Railway from Montreal to Sam Kovinsky a jUJifc dealer in 



-4- 



S 



Chatham, in the local freight way bill wMcn is produced, the 
Brocks Metal Company is named as Consignor, the name being 
fictitious, as I am informed^ and the contents of tne car are 
described as brass skimmings; they consisted of 58 barrels, 
eacn containing about 75 bottles of whiskey packed, in cinders 
and covered with canvass sacking. The doors of this car were 

sealed in Montreal with the usual railway seals. The car arrived 
in Chatham at 10.50 A.M. In the mixed train leaving Lond-.n at 
7.50 A.M., and In accordance with the usual practice the freight 
cars ofthis train on its arrival in Chatham were left on what is 
called the Pere Marquette transfer track^or "Y", some distance East 
of the Station. On the afternoon of the same day Alex.MoDou^all, 
a C.P.R. car checker , whose duty it is to take a record of cars 
and seal numbers , examined the cars on the"Y"and found that the 
seal of the North dcor of tile car in question had been broken: 
the metal strap had been "broken on the end, and shoved back into 
the slot" so that it would not appear to be broken. Dcugali 

opened the deer and locking, saw that some of the barrels had been 
opened, saw cinders and some bottles on the floor: he closed the 



i 

'/i* 



a' 

door, resealed it and report. to Robert soott, C.P.R. agent at 



Chatham, about 4 P.M. Sylvester Pitt, Conductor of tne train in 

wni en this car was brought to Chatham, thought the seals were intact 
when the car was put on tne'-Y^but he did not make sufficient 
examination to discover the broken seal described by lCcDougall', 
and there is no thing to snow whether this seal was .broken before 
or after the car arrived in Cnatham. 

In accordance with the usual practice of the Railw 
Company, the car in quest ion, with other cars contain!] 

./cnandize to be unloaded in Chatham, was moved in the course of 
the ai ternoon unaer the direction of tne yar iter, to tne tean 
track o% track number fc at the west and of the Cnat:. d, 

tr.Scott found it there about two ours after I > >iv 

mcdou.. ail's report. He found tne seals then Intact, and ne secured 



■5- 



i 
« 



each door with a strong padlocK, of which he Keut tne Keys, and lie 
says that no person had duplicate^ Keys. Tne car was not 
disturbed during tne night of tne 22nd. Mr. Scott found his 
padlocks intact mien he visited the car about 8.30 A.M. on the 23rdj 
accompanied by Miles Glassford, shipping* foreman of the C.P.R. 
Tne* entered the car to see what was in it: they found 58 "barrels: 
of these Mr.scott says six or seven were empty, and six or seven 
uncovered and partly empty; tne others were tied up with canvass 
on top and apparently untouched at that time - This of course is 
merely Mr. Scotts estimate - Mr. Scott re-locKed the car door and 

VHtoJC 

s>eat to the office of Sam KovinsKy the apparent consignee, to tell 
him of the car. KcvinsKy was called as a witness; he said that he 
never heard of the BrocKes Metal company, nor "bought anything in 
Montreal, and had nothing whatever to do with tne car in question; 
and there is no reason to suppose that his evidence is not true. 
On the morning of April 23, Thos H. French the License Inspector 
was told oy Fred Lucas a policeman ; that, a car load of liquor on 
the C.P.R. had been broKen opened - French went to the county 
Attorney for advice and was instructed to taKe every precaution 
to guard the car: he asKed High Constable Peters to assist him 
and obtained a search warrant - Then French and Peters went in 
search of the car - Mr. Scott pointed it out to them, and opened 
one of the doors - and they went inside - French said he would 
seize the car, and Mr. Scott gave him the Keys - They did not stay 
more than about fifteen minutes - The car was locKed again, ana 
Peters and French went away agreeing to return in tne afternoon, 
and French sent off a telegram (produced, Exhibit h) to Mr. 
Fiaveiie advising of the seizure and aaKing for instruct! ons r 
About two o'clocK in the afternoon French and Peters returned 
to the car: it had not been disturbed since they left it at II A.M. 
they opened one of the doors, and proceeded to examine the contents. 
They selected one barrel which apparently had not been tampered 
with, turned out the contents and found that is contained seventy 



-6- 



five "bottles of whiskey. No further effort was maae to ascertain 
how much was tnen in the car, though they examined all of it, "but 
admittedly only for the purpose of learning how many different 
brands there were. This examination lasted for about two hours; 
it was made under the eyes of a considerable number of curious or 
interested spectators , some of WhOre were allowed to enter the car. 
French cannot say how many men were in the car that afternoon: 
he claimed credit for stopping one man wnc was carrying away 
whiskey, and taking it from him, and does not think that any was 
stolen during the afternoon. No attempt was made to count the 
full barrels or the empty barrels: or to find out how much was 
left in the barrel* which appeared to be partly emptied. Even the 
bottles of whiskey which were scattered about the floor of the 
car were not gathered up or counted. 

French admits that n 3 had positive instructions from the 
Department to ascertain correctly the quantities of liquors at 
any time seized by nim: ( See exhibits numbered 5,6 and 7. ) He 
did net make the slightest attempt to obev his instructions, and 
his disobedience is in my opinion inexcusable. 

About 4.45 French received a telegram signed J.D. Flavelle, 
(exhibit 8) directing him to send the whiskey bv express to the 
Ontario Government Dispensaries, and in the meantime to employ one 
or more trustworthy men " to guard it sure "- French then 
went to Benjamin K. Harper, the agent at Chatham for the Dominion 
Express Company: Harper engaged a taxicab an: went with French 
to look at tne car containing the whiskey: they found Peters 
in the act of locking the doer. Harper told French the whisk 
wculd hare to be transferred to an express car, and apparently 
it was then understood or arranged that this would be done, arid 
French and Harper went off, leaving Peters at the car. Peters 
told French that .be would need help, and French promised to send 
assistance. 

From this point I follow the stal * f Peters w as 



-7- 



a candid and in my judgment a truthful witness.- 
Abcut 6 P.M. while Peters at the North deer of the car was 
eating some food wnicn ne nad sent for, seine one snouted tc 
him that the South door was broken open. Peters ran round 
tne car, saw 25 men or more there, the lock broken, and the 
deer partly open; :ne drove them from tne door, and guarded it 
as best ne could. He sent a taxicab to French's house, but tne 
driver reported that there was no one there; ne then sent the i 
to teleunone for French, "but without result. Then Peters asked 
seme railway man to nave the car moved up to the express office; 
it seemed that Mr. Scott had left orders that the car was to 
moved if those in charge Fished it. In the meantime Fred. Lucas 
arrived on the scene; he says at about 7.30 P.M. This man 

was then a member of tne Chatham police Force, but he had sent in 
his resignation, and was en the point of leaving and did l^ave 
the Force within a few days. seme woman had telephoned to 

Mr. Groves, the Chief of police, that whiskey was *eing stolen 
from a car, and he sent Lucas to see what was going en. snort lv 

after the arrival of Lucas the yard engine came to move the car-, 
it was then growing dark and Peters says tne crowd was greater 
than ever: wnen tne string of cars was moved out of the 

siding, the crowd followed M on foot or in automobiles 11 , or hanging 
on to the sides of the cars. Lucas was on the top of the whiskey 
car, Peters was on the next car. The shunting took seme time: 
at one point the wnisKey car was stationary for 20 or 30 minutes, 
but at last it was placed on a siding near the water tower aocut 
60 yards East of the Dominion Express Company's office which 
adjoins the C.P.R. passenger station. Then Peters found that the 
lock on the North deer of the car had also been broken off. 
asked aii old county j. Coj stable named McOre tc help him, telli] 

Harper, tne Express Agent, tc watch tne car, went into tne Express 
Office to telephone for assistance. whil itthe t 

Harper called " Come here they win tales it all". Peters 



V 



-8- 



out, the car door was open, and a mass of people in front of it, 
reaching into the car and climbing into it. He drove thera away 
as well as he could, but he adn.it s quite candidly that quantities 
of the whiskey were stolen* Lucas was still in the vicinity 
of the car: he gave evidence "before me: his evidence was 
extremely unsatisfactory: h° says he stayed ah out the car 
until 10 P.M. but he saw nothing and did nothing. Peters was 
evidently suspicious of him ( q. 1597) and said (q. 1568 ) that 
Lucas did nothing to help him. Subsequently Peters employed 
Johnston McKinley, a railway constable, who procured two stron 
locks and secured the car doors, and Peters left McKinley and 
McGregor both armed, one at each deer, to guard tne car for tne 
night, and went to nis bed at about 11 p.m. 

McKinley and McGregor say that no further attempt was 
made upon th« car during the night, and the doers were not 
opened until the transfer of the whiskey to an'express car was 
commenced on the following morning; But I accept the evidence 
of Peters who says that when he returned to the car at 6 A.M. on 
tne 24th. he found McKinley standing by the North door wnich 
was locked. At tne other side of the car he found McGregor 
who was tipsy, the car door was wide open. and a man stood in 
the doorway. Peters said this man had been prosecuted before 
for stealing Whisfcey; he did not remember his name. The man 
jumped down and went away. Peters then remained in charge 
of the whiskey car. About half past seven o '.clock, a car of 
the Dominion ^oress Company was placed on the next siding opposite 
to the other car, and the whiskey was transferred to the "Express 
car by employees of the Express Company, by means of a ga: . iy 
placed between the cars.* while the transfer was in progress 
a number of men kept tr. ing to force their way in between the 
cars, and to get at the wniskey: they were kept back with 
difficulty by a railway constable as well as oy the policeman 



-9- 



Lucas who was again in attendance. There is no evidence that 
any whiskey was stolen during tne transnipment , though no atteir.pt 
appears to have been made to arrest any of these disorderly persons 
or drive them from the railwav premises, and none of them could 
be identified by any of the witnesses. 

Inspector French gave rather a vague account of his 
conduct on the evening of the 23rd. He says that he went home 
to tea about 5.30 P.M. arm went out again at 7-30 P.M. to icoic 
for Peters, and several witnesses say they saw him at tne station 
about that time, but Mr. French declares that he was unable to 
find Peters or the seized car so he went home to bed. H^ did 
not try to get assistance for Peters, or tafce any further steps to 
safeguard the whiskey. Under these- circumstances it is not 

surprising that Mr. French was suspected of getting drunk or. the 
afternoon of the 23rd., but this he posltive.lv denies 
and I accept his denial, as those wno saw him testify that 
he was sober. 

When Mr. French returned to the C.P.R. station n° 
found the transfer of the whiskey to the Express car was going 
on. When the transfer was completed, the express car v^as 
securely fastened, and it was attached to the train leaving 
Chatham at 11.18 A.M. Mr.Frenc/, went with it to Toronto, and 
turned it over to Mr.Dingnan. On Monday. April 24th f George 

Snlaer obtained the key of the car from tne Dominion Express 
Company and transferred the contents to the Ontario Government 
Dispensaries, where they were examined and checked. Mr. Snider 

says that he obtained from the car 68 barrels of which 16 were in 

good order and 43 in bad order, some of them empty or partly empty. 

£**£ 
The barrels in good order contained from 75 to 84 bottles of 

whiskey-and ther» were in all 2326 bottles of whiskey. There 

is no reason tc suspect that any wniskey was stolen after it was 

placed in ^xnress car. It is 'reasonable inference that each 



-10- 



of the 58 barrels snipped fron ntfeal contained at least 75 
bottles, and if Mr. Scott ■ s estimate tnat three-fourths of these 
barreis had not been broken into when Inspector French undertook 
to seize tne shipment, there must nave, been then in tne car 
about 3300 bottles in addition to mat was scattered about tne 
car cr in tne barrels which were partly emptied- and it is my 
belief tnat more tnan 1000 bottles were carried off between 
2 P.M.. on tne 23rd. and 6 A.M. on tne 24tn. 

It may be assumed tnat these who procured tne shipment 
of tne car lead of whiskey to Cnatham, intended to carry off the 
contents while the car stood in Chatham, and it is probable that 
a considerable number of men were in Chatham for tnat purpose on 
tne 23rd. and 24th. April, and that they broke into tne car and 
carried off quantities of whiskey, as described by peters. 
This may explain to some extent the singular circumstance 
tnat Peters and ether witnesses who spoke of tne crowds about 
the car declare that they could not identify a single person in 
the crowds. But it appears that some of tne looting was by 
men who were net strangers in Chatham. B.K. Harper .agent for 
the Dominion Express Company, ( wno has already been mentioned) 
says tnat on April 25th. he found in tne Express room a sack 
containing bottles of whiskey: so much he was obliged to 
admit for he carried the bottles to his home where they were 
subsequently seized, but he M could not recollect M tnat he 
saw any other whiskey in the Express room ( (J. 2140 (51): he 
could not say there was any other whiskey there ( ^.2147): he 
saw bags there, but did not know what was in them (^.2181) 
R.G. Dunlcp, an employee of the Express Company saw in tne 
Express room on the afternoon of tne 24th. a number of sacks, 

r nine, like potato ^acks about half full. He aid not 
examine them, does not knew what was in them, a t say 
when cr ^y whom tne.y were brought there or ta> i 

I an satisfied t '/per and DunlOD were ay are 



-11- 



that many bottles of the stolen whiskey h ?en concealed in 

the "fjxpress rcom. 

A clay or two afterwards Lucas, the ex-nolice i 
went to Harper at the Express office, and asked for some wnisk 
wnicn ne said was in the Express room. Harper said He had no 
whiskey for him, and Lucas then used filthy language which 
the witness repeated to me. 'hut not in the hearing of my 
stenographer. It was quite plain that Lucas claimed as 

his share of the plunder some of the stele nwhiskey which had 
been stowed away in the Express room. When the provincial 

officers went to Harper's house iri quest of stolenwfchisxey, he 
at first denied all Knowledge or any Whiskey except what had been 
shipped to Toronto, out subsequently produced nine "bottles, wnicn 
had undoubtedly been taker from the seized car. I am told that 
Harper was subsequently prosecuted and paid a fine of $500. 

On Tuesday, April 26tn. after Inspector Frer 
returned from Toronto, Harper informed hi y - by telephone that 
some parties had left sacks containing liquor in the storeroom 
oehind the express office. Trench says he told Harper to "hold 

on to it until we saw what the outcome was", "but he admits that 
he took no action whatever upon Harper's information. He did 
not then Know that Provincial officers were ccmin- T to Cha" 
to investigate, and when they arrived he did not tell them rhat 
he had heard ahcut whiskey in the Express room though he must 
nave believed that it came cut oTtfche car which he had seized. 

^eotiny; the nine "bottles taken from Harper, none of tne stolen 

iSKey has oeen recovered. 

I have now summarized the facts so far as disclosed 
by tne evidence adduced regarding the seizure of car of 

v/niskey in question, the disposition of the whiskey contains 
the car aid the methods adopted for safeguarding it while 
under seizure. The result of my enquiry is far from 



-13- 



satisfactcry, "but I do not Ihink that on these points any 
further evidence of any value could be obtained. 

No charges of misconduct were formulated in terms 
before me against Inspector French or High Constable- ^lZLvj 
but it is right that I should say what I think of their 
conduct in this unfortunate business. 

I do not wisn to speak harshly of Inspector French. 
I understand that he has "been dismissed. He is an old man, 
much tec old and quite unfitted for the position whic - held. 
It appears that he was at one time charged with helping himself 
to some of the whiskey seized. This I think is disproved, and 
there seems also to have been a suspicion that he connived to 
some extent in the plundering of the car, and to this suspicion 
some colour was lent not only by his action on April 23ra.but 
also by his emission to act on the information whicn ne received 
on the 26th. But I do not think he should be convicted of 

anything worse than fatuous imbecility and utter disregard 
of his instructions. 

High Constable Peters is Inspector for theCounty of 
Kent under the Ontario Temperance Act, having been appointed b 
th» County Council under Section 120 of that Act, but he ic> nc 
even a Peace officer for the City of Chatham. I give him ere 
for an honest desire to guard the car effectively, but he failed 
to do so, and for this failure I think he should ^e responsible. 
In my opinion he should not have undertaken the task. He is a 

in of some experience and he must have known that the serv 
which Mr. French asked of him should have been renderea by th* 3 
City Police: and he <r,aae a grave error in that he did not 
apply to Mr. Proves , the Chief ef Police, for protection when the 

r was broken open about 6 P.M. on the 23rd. April. 
was pesfliblysome friction betv Pete is I - city police, 

for Peters says that the Chief had foroidden I lers 



-13- 



tc City Policemen, "but while this may be sen? reason why Peters 
should not have undertaken police work in Chatham, it should 
not excuse him for not asking the Chief to talce charge of the car, 
as seen as it was apparent that Peters himself was unable to 
protect it. If Peters had sent a messenger to inform Mr. 

Proves of the state of affairs I do not doubt that adequate 
measures would have been taken to guard trie car, and there would 
have "been no further looting of whisKey. 

With regard to the second, matter referred to me 
for enquiry, I nave only the evidence of Mr .French , the License 
Inspector. His statement is to the following effect: 

On the 818 t. Apr 11, 1920, in consequence of information 
received from Mr. Scott, the C.P.R. station Master, Mr. French 
went to the C.P.R. Warehouse, in Chatham, and there found five 
large pacXlng cases which had been hi Ilea as "Farmers supplies" 
and consigned to one Gordon at Tilbury: all of them had beei, 
broker, open, four of them were empty, in the fifth rere fcur 
unopened cases of whiskey. It was explained tHat the Railway 
Officials finding these broken cases in a freight, car at Chathi 
transferred them to the warehouse. Mr. French caused the four cases 
of wniskey to "be carried to a room in the first floor of the 
Scane Block which ne then used as his office. I am Inform 

that the scane Block is a large office building in which tn«re are 
a number of tenants. One of these tenants, a lady who does a 
"pressing "business" occupied a room near Mr. French, and as her 
room door had a Yale locJc, Mr. French with j r per ission placed 
the four cases of wnislcey under a tahie in her room, and t 
rer d there in safety until + mi 

French, being about to proceed to rorontc with other wniskey as 
already ated, thought he would take those four case jo. 

He says ne asKed a n*ss< of the Dominion Express Co. to call 



-14- 



l 



at his office ana take them to the railway station, and he left 
them in tne nailway beside trie door of the la 's room, and 

near tne stairway leading to the street. Tne lady premised 
to Keep an eye on them, and air. French went off to the Station 
■£p? to taKe the train for Toronto. 

It is not very clear whether he then supposed that 
the four cases had "been put in the Express car or whether he 
forgot to enquire for them at the Station, hut on his return from 
Toronto he enquired at the Express office , and was told that 
on the morning; of the 24th. the Messenger went to Mr. Trench* s old 
address In Harrison Rail, lout found neither the office nor tne 
whisxey- and the lady in the scane ^iccK said that shortly after 
Mr. French's departure a man came up the stairs and carried off 
the whiskey: she s-.pposed he was the express messenger. Of 
course nothing more has been heard of the four cases. 

I do not thirifc that Mr. French's conduct in this 
matter calls for any comment, the facts sneak for themselves, 
Exhibits Nos.14 and lfi are letters from Mr. Trench tc the Beard 
of License commissioners , one of April 2lst. announcing 9 seizure 
or the four cases, tne other of April 27th. announcing their loss: 
they agree substantially with the statement made to me "by Mr. Pre. 
ar ; d I havp no evidence of any other seizure of liquor made by him. 

The third subject matter for enquiry relates to 
gh Constable Peters. It seems that in October ,1919, Peters 
learned that a number of suit cases containing liquor Had been 
put off a train at Ttiamesville, and carried away in an automobile 1 
Peters went in pursuit and after a long chase found the automobile 
in a garage in Chatham owned by J.H. lyrellj in the autciro^ile 
were 15 or 20 suit cases containing flasKs or pint bottles of 
whiskey: many of the bottles were broken. Peters thinks ea 
suit case contained about 10 unbroken pints, but this 1 Ly 

an estimate: he did not count them or Keep any sort of recc 



-15- 



showing how rcucn he seized. J.H. Tyreli was prosecuted and 
acquitted: a warrant was issued for his son Rodney Tyrell who 
fled trie country. Peters had offices in Harrison Hall consisting 
of 2 rooms, one opening out of the otner, and formerly occupied 
by the Local Master in Chancery. In the ©titer office is a 
large vault in which are many papers relating to proceedings in 
the Master's office. In this vault Peters deposited the suit 
cases and the whiskey: about a month afterwards he found that 

the whiskey had been taken from the vault, ana he cannot tell what 
became of it. He was not much surprised to find the 

wills Key gone, because he had missed other liquor from his office. 
He was aware that many persons knew the combination of the locK 
on the vault door, and many persons knew that the whiskey had 
been placed in the vault. He put it there, he says, because he 
had no other place in which to keep it. .Smith, the County 

Crown Attorney , advised Peters to have the combination of the lock 
changed: unfortunately this was not done until after the 
whiskey disappeared. After the combination was changed 

other liquor was safely kept in the vault. Peters did not 

report to the Board of License Commissioners the seizure or the 
loss of the v/hiskey, nor did he inform Kir. Trench, the License 
-o^ctcr. He says he then had no instructions either to 
report seizure of liquor or to forward seized liquor to the 
Ontario Dispensaries, and he thought it his duty to :eep 
to be used as evidence against Rodney Tyrell DH he expected to 
arrest. 

The foregoing is a summary of the evidence of peters 
who was the only witness on this branch of the em , a on 

his cw2i evidence I must find hi illty of gross np e, 

but I cannot find that he in anyway connived at the theft of 
the v. ..iskt 

I have now dealt with the different matters r^ 






-16- 



to me, sc far as I nave been at>le to do so upor. tne evidence 
adduced, and I regret to say tnat the result of ny enquiries 
is far from satisfactory, "but there does not seer to be any 
reason to suppose tnat any further enquiry would lead to any 
better result. 

I beg leave to rertain 






Your Honour's obedient servant, 




/ t~fashMA<< inju 



Investigation under Comlsal 
or enquiry at Chatnaii, 

June 2. 1920. 



REPORT or JUlge iiaCbe-