child removal

A O Neville’s Evidence Part 16

State Records Office of Western Australia
Acc 2922/1-2
Title: Transcript of evidence 1934
Item 1 & Item 2

Aborigines Royal Commission  005-3

Tuesday, 13th March, 1934

H. D. Moseley, Esq., Commissioner.

AUBUR [sic] OCTAVIUS NEVILLE, Chief Protector of Aborigines, further examined:

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part 12] [Part 13] [Part 14] [Part 15]Continued…

Section 3 of the Act really provides which of those coloured persons is deemed to be an aboriginal, but it goes only a very little way, and so it is proposed to add after “Australia”, in paragraph (a), the words “of full blood or of not less than three-quarter blood of the aboriginal race of Australia”. You can have an octoroon aboriginal.

59. It involves quite a complex collection?—Yes, it is almost impossible. Then, by striking out paragraph (d), which refers to a half-caste child whose age apparently does not exceed 16 years, and by striking out all words after “express” in line 11.

60. That is the last paragraph of the section?—Yes. And we add instead “and includes any person of aboriginal blood in any degree deemed by the Minister to come within the meaning of this section”. The Minister can decide that any coloured person shall be deemed to be an aboriginal if he has aboriginal blood in him. That is the only provision which enables us to get over the whole of the coloured difficulty. That provision, I believe, has been made in the Northern Territory Ordinances. Section 4 is merely a consequential amendment, substituting the words “aboriginals and half-castes” for the word “aborigines”. It may be necessary to include the words “or persons subject to this Act” because I do not think the proposed words cover the coloured person entirely. Now the same applies to Section 6. Section 8 is very important. It defines who shall be wards of the Chief Protector. Under the old section every aboriginal and half-caste ohild were wards until 16 years of age. But “aboriginal” in that section, according to a ruling of the Crown
Law Dept, meant only “aboriginal” as defined in Section 2, not as defined in Section 3. It also excluded the rights of the mother of an illegitimate half-caste ohild, but did not exclude the rights of persons legally married, many of whom have no more idea of how to look after their ohildren than has the mother of an illegitimate child. Marriage, as we understand it, with the natives is

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something new. When the Act was passed there was no such thing as legal marriage amongst the natives, and so it was thought there would not be any difficulty in taking away the children of persons legally married. It is necessary that such power should be given for the sake of the children, and so this section is amended by inserting before the word “until” in line 2, the words “notwithstanding that the child has a parent or other relative living”. We also substitute the words “twenty-one” for the word “sixteen”; in other words we raise the guardianship age to 21. It is 18 in the Child Welfare Act and 21 in the Northern Territory Ordinances. It is very necessary that it should be made 21. We train our youngsters and send them out to employment, and when they have attained the age of 16, except in the matter of permits, they can snap their fingers at us … and they do. A half-caste boy or girl of 16 is certainly not competent to look after himself or herself. Constant trouble is occurring through this, and all the years of work we have spent on some of these children is thrown away because the guardianship age ceases at 16. This is a vital provision. In Section 9 the alteration is simply consistent with the previous section; the words “twenty-one” are used instead of “sixteen” in the first paragraph. At present a half-caste boy over 16, who does not live as a native, is not subject to employment under permit at all. It is very difficult to draw the line there. Section 12 of the Act gives power for the Minister to remove any aboriginal from one district to another, or to keep him within the boundaries of a reserve, etc. “District” is mentioned and so it is important that a district be defined. That refers only to the aboriginal, whereas very often it is a half-caste that requires to be removed. Under that section there is no power for the Chief Protector to remove a native suffering from disease to a hospital if he refuses to go. There has been an amendment of the Health Act authorising a medical man, if requested by the Chief Protector, to visit such a native and order him to hospital, but there is

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no power to compel that native to go. It is necessary that the department should have power to treat a native and convey him to hospital willy-nilly. So in that section we insert the words “or half-caste” after “aboriginal”. Presumably, after further consideration, it will include also the words “coloured persons generally”. Then, by inserting after “reserve”, in line 2, the words “settlement or other place, or to be removed to and kept in a hospital”. We have got over that difficulty a little by declaring the areas on which some of the hospitals are stationed to be reserves, but it is a very awkward method. Then we insert after “district” wherever it occurs in lines 3, 6 and 12, the words “or settlement or other place or hospital”. That is consequential.

61. “Settlement” is not used in the existing Act?—No, it was not thought of.

62. Then you had better tell them what “settlement” means?—Yes, it could be included under “Aboriginal institution”. It should include any institution conducted by the department or a mission. Of course it is provided that the Governor may proclaim any institution to come under the Act. Now it is proposed to insert a new section to stand as Section 13A as follows :— “The Chief Protector may appoint persons with authority to examine aborigines or half-castes suspected of being afflicted with disease, and to compel such aborigines or half-castes by such force as may be necessary to undergo examination or treatment accordingly”. There is at present no power to compel any native to submit himself or herself for examination. They frequently refuse to be examined. They run away from any person who they think is going to examine them, particularly if there is something the matter with them. A native never thinks he is sick until he has some pain. It is necessary that my officers should be in a position to examine natives when necessary. Frequently I have had to refuse to undertake examinations in various parts of the country because I had not this power.

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Those two sections give us all the authority necesaary to examine natives and put them in hospital. Once they enter hospital they find that the conditions are not as bad as they expected , and usually they respond to the treatment very well. Section 15 should be amended by inserting after the word “aboriginal” wherever it occurs the words “or half-caste”. It is essential that half-castes should be included because so many of the inmates of reserves and settlements are half-castes. A further amendment to Section 15 is the addition of a new paragraph reading —
“Harbours, transports or otherwise assists an aboriginal or half-caste in or after his removal.”
Runaways from our settlements are often picked up by itinerant lorry drivers, and taken to Perth or other places, and such runaways are sometimes harboured and fed. That adds considerably to our difficulties in recovering them. We desire power to proceed against such persons.

63. Section 17 should be amended by substituting the words “twenty-one” for the word “fourteen” to be consistent with what has already been suggested. Section 18 should be amended by inserting the words “aboriginals or half-castes” instead of the word “aborigines” in line 10, and the words “or half-caste” after the word “aboriginal” in line 13. We are seeking to include half-castes in numerous sections where they are not now mentioned. The reasons for this have already been given. Section 21 should be amended by substituting the words “twenty-one” for the word “fourteen”.

64. In Section 22, the words “twenty-one” should be substituted for “sixteen”. It would be quite inconsistent to leave the section as it is and amend the guardianship age. In Section 27, a consequential amendment is necessary, “twenty-one” being substituted for “sixteen”.

65. Section 28 refers to the powers of protectors in respect

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of demanding permits; In other words, investigating the position between employer end employee, I wish to include after “police officer” in paragraphs 1 and 2 the words “or officer appointed by the Chief Protector.” We have a number of girls in service and a number of youngsters in different forms of employment, and I may desire to employ a woman officer, possibly one attached to head office now, who could trovel around and make the necessary inspections and inquiries. At present there is no power to do that.

66. Section 33 is very important because it covers matters connected with the general care and protection of the property of aborigines and half-castes, but it is deficient in certain necessary provisions. We propose the insertion of a new paragraph 3 as follows : —
“Require a statement of all monetary transactions between the aboriginal and half-caste and any other person for the preceding three years, and such other person shall supply such statement to the Chief Protector on demand.”
Now and again I am appealed to by aborigines and half-castes to assist them in claiming the wages due to them. Their claims are not always right; in fact, they are more often wrong than right, but at present we have not sufficient power to compel an employer to disclose the transactions between the native and himself. Sometimes we find that the native has been taken down considerably, and we are perhaps able to get the matter rectified. In the event of any employer refusing to supply a statement, we have no redress. Another part of this clause presents difficulties. The proviso reads —
“Provided that the powers conferred by this section shall not be exercised without the consent of the aboriginal or half-caste, etc.”
We propose to insert after “exercised” the words “except in the case of minors”. I have known of instances of young children having been left considerable amounts of money, and the department has had no power to safeguard the money and it has simply been squandered. In some instances, sums running into thousands of pounds have been involved. If the aboriginal or half-caste…

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says he desires to look after his own affairs, we have no redress under that section, but we think we should have control in the case of minors. A further paragraph should be added as follows:-
“Any person who fails to supply a statement of account when required by the Chief Protector s0 to do and any person who wilfully makes any false statement in any such statement of account shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.”
Still another paragraph is desired —
“The Chief Protector may expend or apply any money in his possession or standing to the credit of any aboriginal or half-caste for his maintenance education advancement or benefit.”
Moneys in the way of wages and from other sources come into our possession. We hold those moneys for our charges, and expenditure is incurred in looking after them, boarding them, clothing them, etc. Though we actually do it through necessity, we have no power to withdraw money from their accounts and use it for those purposes without obtaining their consent on each occasion. To do that is not always possible because the individuals concerned may not be near us; they may be absent in the country.

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Lilly – indentured to Mrs Buckland

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0042
Title: “Lilly” indentured to Mrs Buckland

Keywords: Lilly, Sam Muggleton, Turkey, Frog Hollow, Arthur Buckland, John McCarthy, James Isdell, labour, missions, Beagle Bay Mission, Wyndham

Key Phrases:

[Unwillingness to go to the Mission]
“Re Corpl Buckland’s statement that this girl did not wish to go away, not one of the half castes will consent to leave their country. If their wishes were considered there would not be many go to the Mission Station.” [J McCarthy, policeman]

From Chief Protector of Aborigines
To Inspector of Police, Protector of Aborigines, Derby
Oct 19th, 1907
In reply to your letter of the 27th inst re half-caste girl “Lilly” at the Frog Hollow Station, I think the best thing to be done would be to send her to the Beagle Bay Mission. She will be looked after just as well there as in one of the Institutions, South. There are now 10 sisters there, who look after the girls and for that reason I wish all the children from the East and West Kimberley Districts sent there. As Mr Muggleton claims to be the guardian of “Lilly” perhaps he will pay the necessary expenses of the girl’s removal. Please let me know what can be done in the matter.
E D Pechell
For Chief Protector of Aborigines

From Chief Protector of Aborigines
To Mr S Muggleton, Frog Hollow, East Kimberley
Oct 19th, 1907
Re half caste girl Lilly. I have communicated with the Chief Protector of Aborigines regarding Lilly, he has instructed me to take charge of her and send her to the Beagle Bay Mission Station. There are 10 sisters (nuns) there to look after the girls. She would be well cared for there.
I understand that you are desirous of taking her to Wyndham yourself. If so, you could hand her over to Const Wilson who would make the necessary arrangements for her keep while she remained in Wyndham and her passage to Broome. If you cannot take her to Wyndham would you be good enough to hand her over to the Halls Creek Police when they are passing with prisoners en route to Wyndham.
Thanking you in anticipation
I am, yours respectfully,
J McCarthy
Acting Sub Insp

To Const Cahill, Halls Creek
Mr Sam Muggleton of Frog Hollow in August last requested me to do something re to a half caste girl named Lilly aged about 13 years who lives with the blacks on his station.
I have communicated with the Chief Protector and he has instructed me to have her sent to Beagle Bay Mission Station.
When the next escort leaves Halls Creek will you please instruct the Constable in charge to call on Mr Muggleton and get the girl and take her to Wyndham. Mr Muggleton may perhaps prefer to take her to Wyndham himself. In that case, he may be allowed to do so.
J McCarthy
Acting Sub Insp

To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
I have to report that there is a half caste girl named Lilly aged about 12 years at Mr S Muggleton’s Frog Hollow Station in East Kimberley. This child is near sighted.
Mr Muggleton who states he is this child’s guardian is of the opinion that she should be sent to one of the Institutions for half castes and in the event of arrangements being made would undertake to convey her to Wyndham and hand her over to a Protector until such time as she could be sent away.
I have seen this child and respectfully recommend that some arrangements be made for her removal from Frog Hollow.
J McCarthy
Acting Sub Insp

To Corpl Buckland
When in East Kimberley last year my attention was drawn to a half caste girl named Lilly who was living with the natives at Frog Hollow.
In consequence of a conversation with Mr Sam Muggleton about her removal to the Beagle Bay Mission Station and was authorised to have her sent to the mission.
I wrote to Mr Muggleton accordingly and asked him to hand her over to one of the escorts from Halls Creek en route to Wyndham. I also wrote to the OIC Police Halls Creek instructing him accordingly.
I have not heard anything further but an account was passed at Wyndham for £1-5-0 for maintenance of half caste Lilly. Is this the same girl? If so, please report her whereabouts.
J McCarthy
Acting Sub Inspector

To Act Sub Insp McCarthy
This is the same girl. She was brought to Wyndham by Mr Muggleton to be sent away, but did not want to go. Permission was granted by the Chief Protector of Aborigines for my wife to keep her and she is under indenture to her.

To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
From District Police Office, Derby
Re Half-caste girl Lilly
When travelling through East Kimberley in 1907 at a place called Frog Hollow, about 150 miles from Wyndham, my attention was directed to this child’s neglected state.
I communicated with your department giving particulars concerning her and was instructed to have her sent to the Beagle Bay Mission.
I gave instructions accordingly and for some time heard nothing further until I saw her name on an account for rations supplied her at Wyndham. I then wrote to Corpl Buckland the OIC Wyndham concerning her whereabouts and he informed me that Lilly was indentured to his wife.
I wish to bring this under your notice because having made all the arrangements I was not informed of these proceedings or referred to in any way. I think the girl should have been sent on to the Beagle Bay Mission. I know of different cases where halfcaste girls have been employed by residents in places where they can associate with natives and have not seen one educated or treated any different to a full blooded woman, and in most cases they drift back to the Aborigines camp.
Re Corpl Buckland’s statement that this girl did not wish to go away, not one of the half castes will consent to leave their country. If their wishes were considered there would not be many go to the Mission Station.
J McCarthy
Acting Sub Inspector

To Corpl Buckland, Police Dept, Wyndham
Jan 12th 1909
With reference to the girl Lily from Frog Hollow, I have received some further correspondence from Actg Sub Inspr McCarthy on the matter. The papers relating to this girl having been indentured to Mrs Buckland seem to have been mislaid, I would therefore feel obliged by your forwarding me copies of them at your earliest convenience.
C F Gale

To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
19th April, 09
In reply to your letter of 12th January last, which reached me too late to reply to by last mail.
I attach copy of agreement, signed by my wife, re indenture of halfcaste Lily.
I may state that my wife has no wish to keep this girl, who I am sorry to say has turned out to be very light fingered and besides she is always wanting to go back to her country.
I intend to see Mr Isdell on his arrival here with reference to the girl, but I would like to point out that it would be useless trying to educate her as her eyes have been bad since childhood and she is very near sighted. Dr Parer RMO has attended her here for her eyesight and is of the opinion she will go totally blind.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant
A L Buckland

[Copy of indenture agreement]
Aborigines Department
Aborigines Act 1905 (Sect 8)
To Mrs Buckland, Wyndham
As the legal guardian of the halfcaste child Lily, I am willing that she shall remain in your care for the time being and until this permit is revoked but on the following conditions:-
1) That medical attendance be supplied by you when necessary
2) That proper food and clothing and housing are supplied by you and that her education is proceeded with
3) When called upon by me that any wages deemed advisable by a local protector be given by you to the said Lily and paid to a local protector named by me
4) That this permit is revocable at my will
I am, Madam, your obediently,
C F Gale
I agree to the above mentioned conditions
A L Buckland

“Frog Hollow”
Via Turkey Creek
To The Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
[undated – received at Aborigines Dept 25th Aug 1909]
I would like to ask your advice in regards an aboriginal woman named Turkey who has been in my employment for the last fifteen years. The said woman is a native of the Northern Territory is about 40 years of age has two grown up half caste children and one [illegible] black about 6 years of age, she also has an aboriginal husband. She has horses and cattle of her own but no brand. I may be leaving these parts at any time and what I want to know is would I be allowed to take out a brand for the said woman Turkey and if so would anyone be allowed to interfere with the property of the woman Turkey.
Another matter I would like to draw your attention to is viz about 10 years ago while mustering cattle on my run I came upon a little half caste girl in the bush who was practically starving, her aboriginal mother having deserted her. I handed her over to old Turkey who reared her. About two years ago Inspector McCarthy of the Derby Police whilst on his patrol advised me to send the half caste girl known as Lilly south to a mission. I was quite willing to do so and pay any expenses incurred thereby. The Inspector informed me that immediately she arrived in Wyndham she would be handed over to a white woman who would take every care of her. When the girl arrived in Wyndham she was immediately pounced upon by the local Corporal of Police who used her as a drudge about the place for a couple of years.
I complained repeatedly about it but was put off with evasive answers. A few weeks ago whilst in Wyndham the girl who is now over sixteen years of age wanted badly to come back home to the station and I was given to understand that she was coming back. As soon as my back was turned she was immediately shipped south. The girl has been use to stock and nothing else. She has had no training whatever that would fit her for a life south and I think it only fair that the girl should be sent back an given a chance to live a comfortable life and be able to look after her own stock, she having cattle and horses of her own.
Trusting that you will give these lines your careful and early reply.
Your respectfully,
S Muggleton
What makes me ask about the stock belonging to Turkey is on account of a lubra that had stock on a neighbouring station. The local Protector of Aborigines Mr Isdell was to sell to me the stock belonging to this lubra and I having bluntly refused as I did not consider it just to do so.

To Mr S Muggleton
Frog Hollow Station
Turkey Creek
Via Wyndham
August 31, 1909
With reference to that portion of your letter dealing with the half caste girl Lily, I shall be glad to learn the number of cattle and horses she has. In asking for this information, I wish to point out that it is my earnest desire to protect in every possible way all half caste children, and to afford them security in any property they may possess.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
C F Gale
Chief Protector of Aborigines

Katitjin Notes:

What happened to Turkey’s and Lilly’s cattle and horses? It would seem that a number of Aboriginal women owned their own stock, which shows considerable enterprise and agency.

Muggleton, Samuel (1855-1910)
Sam Muggleton, born in NSW, he went to Queensland for 15 years before coming to Western Australia where he lived for 20 years as a stockman and then pastoralist at Frog Hollow, where he worked his stock with John McKenzie and Turkey, an Aboriginal woman from Borroloola in the Northern Territory. Frog Hollow had a reputation for “kindness to Aborigines” in that the workers had some degree of autonomy on the station. More about Sam Muggleton here.

Buckland, Arthur (1880-1942)
Arthur Buckland was a police officer in the Kimberley region for over twenty years. He married Amy Walker in Derby in 1905. He was officer in charge of the Wyndham Police Station during the Forrest River Massacre incident and his evidence as a witness was used in the subsequent Royal Commission.

McCarthy, John
Sub-Inspector John McCarthy had been in the Police Force since 1888. He had gone to Derby in 1905, as a promotion his role in Perth as the police prosecutor at the Perth Police Court. He was well liked by the press for his courteousness, and considered a “zealous and capable” officer. He had served in the North-West, in Marble Bar and Roebourne, between about 1895 and 1900, before returning to Perth.

The ‘disposal’ of Trilby’s children

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0007
Title: Trilbys three children. Disposal of re

Swan Native & Half-Caste Mission

Swan Native & Half-Caste Mission (Source: Find and Connect)

Key phrases:

[Trilby was sentenced to 6 months hard labour in Fremantle for theft]
“From inquiries made along the line and amongst the natives I am of the opinion that this woman did not steal any of the beer”

[Justification for taking away Trilby’s daughters, aged 8 and 5, and son, aged 9]
“Unless the children are promptly removed from their present surroundings, then the two females will be forced to a life of prostitution. It is the only means of livelihood open to the female native on the Eastern Goldfields.”
“The boy has not really committed any offence but has been living by begging from the white people of Woolgas. He is apparently a very smart child as a half caste but a thorough Aboriginal in his habits.”

[Evidence that the children were protected by the Aboriginal community]
“I have to inform you that the two girls referred to are said to have gone towards Edjudina with other natives. I am having inquiries made in that direction with a view to getting possession of the girls. Will advise you as soon as they are found.”

WA Police Dept
East Coogardie district, Boulder Station
Dec 13th 1908
Report of P E Cusack PC, relative to Aboriginal woman arrested by me at Woolgas on Sunday last the 13th inst.
I most respectfully report for your information that Aboriginal woman “Trilby” which was arrested at Woolgas on Sunday last, has three children, 2 little girls and one boy, two of them are her own and one she reared since childhood, when its mother died, their ages are about one boy 8, girl about 8 years, and the youngest little girl I think between 4 & 5 years. Those three are all half cast children, and which are now at Woolgas. The natives there promised me that they would look after these for a while.
And from inquiries made along the line and amongst the natives I am of the opinion that this woman did not steal any of the beer but certainly drunk it and was under the influence of liquor when caught be the Railway officials.
15.12.08 P E Cusack
[note on bottom of report]
Inspector Brophy
Respectfully forwarded for your information
[signature illegible]

To Commissioner of Police, Perth
Submitted. Unless the children are promptly removed from their present surroundings, then the two females will be forced to a life of prostitution. It is the only means of livelihood open to the female native on the Eastern Goldfields.
Perhaps you will be pleased to bring this matter under the notice of the Chief Protector of Aborigines
M H Brophy
Inspector of Police

To Inspector Police, Protector Aborigines, Kalgoorlie
Please arrange to send Trilby’s two girls from Coolgardie to Salvation Army, Ward Street, Kalgoorlie. Make arrangements for their reception. See Matron and say Army officials Perth communicating with her. Boy cannot be admitted. What do you recommend?
Chief Protector of Aborgines

WA Police Dept, North Coolgardie district, Menzies Station
1st Jan 1909
Report of Sgt Gordidge?
Relative to Tommy (Half caste)
I beg to report that this lad is about 9 years old and has been wandering about with Abo Natives since the arrest of his Abo Native mother Trilby and his Abo Native foster father “Magging” alias Paddy who are now each serving sentence of 6 months hard labour for stealing from 21.12.08 in Fremantle Gaol.
The boy has not really committed any offence but has been living by begging from the white people of Woolgas. He is apparently a very smart child as a half caste but a thorough Aboriginal in his habits.
I respectfully ask to be instructed what I am to do with him.
P H Gordidge?
[Note at bottom of report]
To CPA, Perth
Will you please advise re this boy who is now in the care of the Police here
P Duncan, District Police Officer

To Chief Protector of Aborigines
This boys’ two sisters are already at the Sal Army Home Kalgoorlie – the matron informed me that the boy could be taken in.
Inspector Price informed instructions would be sent in a day regards the boy.

To Inspector Duncan, Protector Aborigines, Police Station Menzies
Your wire received this morning – too late to make arrangements half-caste boy – please look after him Police Station few days – will write when arrangements complete.
Chief Protector of Aborigines

Called up Mr Burton – not in – message sent to know if he could take the boy with the Swan Mission – reply will be sent tomorrow – there will be the same difficulty at the Swan as at the Collie re mixing of the races as they have received instructions to keep them apart.
[Edward Pechell]

From Menzies Station
To Chief Protector of Aborigines Perth
Escort leaving for Fremantls tomorrow. ? can I forward half-caste boy referred to in Police report of second inst.

WA Police Dept, Inspector’s Office, Menzies
9th Jan 1909
To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
In reply to your memo of the 7th inst, I have to inform you that the two girls referred to are said to have gone towards Edjudina with other natives. I am having inquiries made in that direction with a view to getting possession of the girls. Will advise you as soon as they are found.
Duncan, District Police Officer

To Rev A Burton
Swan Native & Half-Caste Mission
Middle Swan, Perth
Dear Sir,
There is a half-caste boy named Tommy, aged 9, son of a woman named “Trilby” who has been sent to Gaol for 6 months and consequently is destitute and temporarily under charge of the Police at Menzies. I would feel obliged by your informing me whether you can receive this boy as an inmate of you mission at the usual rate paid by the Government. An early answer would oblige.
I am, dear Sir,
Yours Obediently

Mr Burton consented verbally to take this child

To Inspector Duncan, Protector Aborigines, Police Station, Menzies
The Manager of the Swan Native and Half-caste Mission consents to take the boy Tommy. Please send him down when opportunity occurs to Midland Junction. Please let me know date and time of departure so that I can make necessary arrangements to have him met.
C F Gale
Chief Protector of Aborigines
For E D Pechell

From Duncan at Police Station, Menzies
To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
22 Jan 1909
Re native boy Tommy. It may be some considerable time before an opportunity occurs to send the boy down. Can I send him by special escort? He is very uneasy here and cannot be trusted out of sight, spends most of his time in the lockup. I have got no further trace of the two girls yet.

To Inspector Duncan, Protector Aborigines, Menzies
In reply to your memo of 22nd inst re Tommy, please inform me what the special escort would cost and also what are the expenses incurred by his stay at Menzies per day.

To Chief Protector of Aborigines
The cost of an escort from Menzies to Midland Junction 2nd class return is £3.9.1. The expense incurred for the keep of the boy at Menzies is 1/6 per day. I expect to have an escort to Fremantle this week.

The two girls were received in the Girls Home at Kalgoorlie on 22/1/09

To Inspector Duncan, Protector Aborigines, Police Dept, Menzies
In reply to your memo of 26th inst re boy Tommy, please send him down by the escort expected to leave next week and give me sufficient notice to make arrangements to have him met at the Midland Junction by the mission authorities.

To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
From Menzies
Forwarding native boy Tommy tomorrow’s train. Please arrange to have him met at Midland Saturday morning.

Katitjin Notes:

Question: Suggestive as it is of “garbage disposal,” is the word “disposal” appropriate for breaking up Trilby’s family through the removal of her children?

Question: Why was Tommy sent to Swan Native & Half-Caste Mission in Midland, even though the Salvation Army Home in Kalgoorlie had agreed to take him, along with his two sisters, and thus creating a further rupture in the family?

Question: If the police considered that Trilby was innocent, why was she still imprisoned?

Question: If Trilby was imprisoned (clearly unjustly) for 6 months from 21st Dec 1908 until June 1909, why weren’t the children allowed to return to her on her release? Was she informed?

Edmund Donald Pechell was Henry Prinsep and Charles Gale’s Clerk and seemingly also, sometimes, Acting Chief Protector of Aborigines between 1905 and 1908.
From the Find and Connect website:
The role of Donald Edmund Pechell in the Department in the early part of the twentieth century gives an insight into its work and structure. In 1905, giving testimony to the Roth Royal Commission, Pechell was reported (Western Mail, 18 February 1905, p.12) as being a ‘Clerk, Accountant, Etc.,’ in the Aborigines Department. Pechell was asked about his duties and said: ‘I attend to correspondence, all the accounts of the office, distribution of blankets, and all other work, with the exception of the administration, when Mr. Prinsep [the Chief Protector of Aborigines] is in Perth. When he is absent I have to attend to everything.’ Tilbrook, in Nyungar Tradition, p.37) refers to Pechell as ‘Acting Chief Protector’ in 1908 so it is possible that Pechell’s tenure extended across both Prinsep and Gale’s administration.

Inspector Michael Brophy (1858-1923), born in New Zealand, started his police career in the Kimberley region as a trooper in 1891, before being promoted to Inspector at Kalgoorlie in 1902. He went on to Bunbury and then to Fremantle, before retiring in 1922. While in the Kimberley, Brophy led a punitive expedition which resulted in the shooting of 30 Aboriginal people. Brophy reports that, “‘In all my experience with natives I have never known them to make such plucky and determined fight as those blacks.”
Source: Chris Owen

Rev Alfred Burton was the superintendent of the Swan Native and Half-Caste Mission. He was criticised heavily in the media, as this 1907 article from the Sunday Times attests with headlines “Another Burton Bomb – The Orphanage Autocrat Reaches the Limit – The Acme of Arrogance and Heartlessness.”

Salvation Army Home, Kalgoorlie
For details on this home, visit the Find and Connect website

Swan Native and Half-Caste Mission
For details on this mission, visit the Find and Connect website