Item 1908/0966

State Records Archive
Consignment: 255
Item: 1908/0966

Title: Ration to indigent natives Lower Murchison. Proposed reduction in rates at Cue, Nannine, Mt Magnet, Peak Hill.

Keywords: rations, Cue, Nannine, Mt Magnet, Peak Hill, police, Aboriginal protectors,

[Letter]
13/220
18th Sep 1908
To: Inspector of Police, Cue
From: The Chief Protector of Aborigines
I am directed to write to you regarding accounts for rationing Aboriginal natives by Police Constables J McDonald, Nannine, McLernon, Mt Magnet, Jas O’Connor, Peak Hill and A Brodie, Cue. J McDonald, McLernon and A Brodie how charging 9d per day for each native. 14 lbs of flour given at Mt Magnet and Cue it’s too much. Natives here frequently state they cannot get through 10 lbs in the week. The Chief Protector is of the opinion that the natives at Nannine, Mt Magnet and Cue should be rationed at 6d per day each. With reference to Peak Hill there are on the list three half-caste girls who should if possible be sent to Perth and from there forwarded to some mission. Please let me know if this can be done also report fully regarding rations at stations I have mentioned.
E. W. Pechell

[Accounts Memo]
Police Dept, Murchison District, Cue
3rd Oct 1908
Memo of accounts for Rations to Indigent Aborigines, Sept quarter 1908
A Brodie, Const, Cue
2 @ 30 days @ 9d and 4 @ 20 days @ 9d = £5/5/-
J McLernon, Const, Mt Magnet
5 @ 30 days @ 9d = £5/12/6
J O’Connor, Const, Peak Hill
19 @ 30 days @ 9d = £21/7/6
Wm Walker, Const, Wiluna
9 @ 30 days @ 9d plus half-caste child 30 days @ 6d = £14/5/-

[Letter]
9th October 1908
From: F. G. Mitchell, Police Department, Sub-Inspector’s Office, Cue
Sergt Simpson,
The Chief Protector of Aborigines considers 10 lbs flour per week sufficient for each native on ration list and that the charge should be reduced to 6d per diem. Is Const Brodie agreeable to ration natives on this scale and at price?

[Added to letter]
9/10/1903
Constable Brodie,
Are you agreeable to ration indigent natives at the scale and price and given herein?
Louis W Simpson
Sergt 51

[Added to letter]
13/10/08
Sergt Simpson
I am not agreeable to ration natives on the scale and price herein mentioned, but would be agreeable to do it at 7d per day. If the flour was reduced to 8 lbs per week, I would be willing to do it at 6d.
I may mention that the rations supplied by me to the natives is of the best quality available in Cue.
A Brodie
Const 498

[Letter]
9th October 1908
From: F. G. Mitchell, Police Department, Sub-Inspector’s Office, Cue
Const McDonald, Nannine
The Chief Protector of Aborigines considers the rations to indigent natives and cost should be reduced. He suggests 6d per diem would be sufficient and the scale 10 lbs flour weekly and I presume some tea and sugar. Meat and tobacco, no doubt he considers unnecessary. Please reply at once if you will ration at above price and state the scale you will provide.
F. G. Mitchell
Sub-Inspr

[Added to letter]
10/10/08
Sub Inspt Mitchell
The ration of 10 lbs of flour, 1 1/2 lbs of sugar and 3 ozs of tea per week without meat and tobacco would not I think be enough rations for these natives. At the present time the natives get their rations every day for if given at once they gorge themselves for a couple of days and do the best they can for the remainder of the week, besides the regular supply every day, one or two natives always turn up for their breakfast, so that they really get more than is charged for and frequently get two cakes of tobacco instead of one per week.
Frequently clothing is given them or else they would next to naked. If the Chief Protector will forward three pairs of trousers, four shirts, and three dresses for the use of the natives. I will have them delivered as I think necessary and will supply 10 lbs of flour, 1/2 lb of sugar and 3 ozs of tea per week to deserving natives at 6d per day, but if I find I cannot do it except at a loss I will forward a further report about the matter
J McDonald
Cons 266

[Letter]
9th October 1908
From: F. G. Mitchell, Police Department, Sub-Inspector’s Office, Cue
Const McLernon, Mt Magnet
The Chief Protector of Aborigines complains at the quantity of flour indigent natives receive weekly. He suggests 10 lbs per week is quite sufficient and a reduction in charge accordingly to 6d per diem. Will you do it at the above price and state the scale on which you will provide. This does not mean reduction of tea and sugar.
F. G. Mitchell
Sub Inspr

[Added to letter]
10/10/08
Sub Inspt Mitchell, Cue
I have to report for your information regarding indigent natives that as flour is 2 1/2 per lb here, a person could scarcely do this for 6d per diem for 10 lbs per week. I am aware that the 14 lbs was too much for one native per week and I would suggest that allowance of flour be reduced to 8 lbs the week each. This in addition to a bit of bush food they can gather would then be ample for them. I can give 8 lbs flour, 2 lbs sugar, and 1/4 lb tea each per week here at 6d per diem.
J McLernon
Const 346

[Letter]
9th October 1908
From: F. G. Mitchell, Police Department, Sub-Inspector’s Office, Cue
Const O’Connor, Peak Hill
The Chief Protector of Aborigines complains at the quantity of flour indigent natives receive weekly.He suggests 10 lbs per week is quite sufficient and a reduction in charge accordingly to 6d per diem. Will you do it at the above price and state the scale? Reply at once.
F. G. Mitchell
Sub Inspr

[Added to letter]
12/10/08
Sub Inspt Mitchell, Cue
I respectfully report for your information the scale of flour issued to the natives per day is 2 lbs each. I have no objection to reducing it down to 10 lbs per week but I cannot see my way clear to reduce it to 6d per diem.
Jas O’Connor
Const 787

[Memo]
To Inspector of Police, Cue
12th Oct 1908
In my memo of today concerning relief to natives in your district I forgot to mention that I have not yet received any reply to questions contained in my letter 13/220 re the three half-caste girls on the relief list at Peak Hill. Unless they are very strong reasons against it arrangements should be made to send them to Perth.
C. F. Gale
Chief Protector of Aborigines

[Letter]
13/10/1908
To Sub-Inspector Mitchell
Re: Rationing indigent natives proposed reduction from 9d to 6d per diem
Const Brodie’s minute forwarded for your information and that of the Chief Inspector of Aborigines.
Louis Simpson
Sergt 51

[Added to letter]
17/10/08
To: The Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
I cannot do better than by forwarding you the different constables reports in regard the subject matter. The constables are undertaking to do what it would be impossible to find a civilian to do; that is, supplying the natives with food with practically no remuneration for services rendered and the use of money outlayed.
I would have replied sooner but when your letter reached Cue I was away in district it was therefore laying in my office for about 14 days before it could receive any attention.
The Const at Peak Hill informs me he is unable to supply at present for information in regard to the two half caste children being sent to Perth. He however tells me it is impossible to get anyone to bring them as far as the train.
Please note two lbs bread is 5d in Cue, 7d Nannine, 10d Peak Hill. You can form an opinion as to how much is left when rations supplied are paid for.
F. G. Mitchell
Sub-Insptr

[Letter]
Peak Hill
16th Nov 1908
To: The Chief Protector of Aborigines
Dear Sir,
I have the honour to address this letter of protest to you. The native people at this district are persecuted by many both by word and deed, and I wish to call to your notice the most recent, the publication by the Murcheson Times (Cue) of a malicious report that – “tribes of natives are hanging around and menacing the police station where for half castes are awaiting transport to the coast etc”
Now I as one who for over five years have closely studied the native people, and was in a humble measure active in obtaining the order to make provision for the protection of them. Three little girls (Teresa/Daisy 8 3/4 yrs – Maninda/Lizzie 5 3/4 years – Rosie 6 yrs) and living close to the police station, visiting the children and also explaining to their native friends and relations the good fortune the girls would meet, know that those statements are shamefully false and that’s some cowardly spirit supplies numerous scandal and lies to newspapers to the hurt of the poor people so maligned. Cannot some special measure be taken to end this? I hope to get an extended report at a future date.
Faithfully Yours,
John McNaughton JP MB FRCSE