labour

Report on employment of Aborigines

State Records Archive
Consignment: 129
Item: 1468/1884
Title: Sgt. Troy report on employment of aborigines by settlers – Derby.

Keywords: Yeeda Station, Lulingui Station, Liveringa Station, Kimberley Pastoral Company, Patrick Troy, Edward Lemon, John Pollard McLarty, William McLarty, Francis Gregory, Augustus Gregory, Robert Fairbairn, George Rose, Munbine, employment

[Memo]
21.07.1884
To Sergt Troy
In the report sent in by PC Lemon of his trip up the Fitzroy, no mention is made of the natives employed by the whites. I should like to know how many natives (male and female) of the district are on each station and how they are employed and also whether he saw and conversed with any of the natives on the stations.
R Fairbairn, Govt Resident

[Letter]
21.07.1884
To R Fairbairn Esq, Govt Resident
Sir,
In reply to your memo re the employment of natives by settlers, I beg to state that owing to your not giving any special instructions, the police are not in a position at present to give all the information you required. I am supplying all I can, and what is wanting can be obtained the next time the police visit the Fitzroy.
I may state that hitherto the police have carefully observed how the natives were being treated by their employers, and when they saw anything that ought to be noticed have not failed (to my knowledge) to note and report it.
P Troy, Sergt

[Memo]
21.07.1884
To P C Lemon
You will be good enough to supply as fully as possible the information required by the Govt Resident.
P Troy, Sergt

[Memo]
21.07.1884
To Sergt Troy
In addition to my journal of this day I have to state that there are about 20 natives employed on the Yeeda River Station and about 10 at Lulingui. These natives are employed as shepherds and general servants. There are no women employed by the managers of either of these stations, but the shepherds have their women with them, and these assist their husbands in looking after the sheep.
I saw two natives on the branch of the Fitzroy who were signed to Mr W McLarty and I believe there are a great many more natives signed by Messrs J P and W McLarty who live entirely in the bush. I saw natives on the above-mentioned stations and conversed with them, they appeared to be well fed and perfectly contented and made no complaints against anyone whatever. Messrs Gregory Brothers employ no natives as yet. I did not visit Messrs Daly Brothers – they having shifted, I followed their track a few miles and as they were going in the direction of Yeeda Station, I summised they were going to that station to shear and dip and therefore I did not follow them any further. I found however on my arrival at the Yeeda that they had not arrived there but had come down within a few miles of it. They however employ one native who has two women.
Edward A Lemon P.C.

[Report]
21.07.1884
Kimberley District, Derby Station
I have to report the following journal for the information of the Superintendent of Police:-
July 9th, 1884
PCs Lemon, McAtter and native assistant Charlie left station at 8.30am for the purpose of visiting settlers on the Fitzroy River and of making enquiries into the alleged cattle-killing by natives near the Fitzroy River a few months ago. Police horses Sentinel, Senator, Soldier and Jarvis.
Arrived at Nobby’s Well at 1.30pm. Left Nobby’s Well at the Yeda River Station at 6pm. Distance 22 miles – no complaints of natives at this station. Mr G Rose, Manager.
July 10th
Left Yeeda River Station at 7.30am, camped on the Fitzroy River for dinner. Left Fitzroy at 2pm and arrived at the Kimberley Pastoral Company Station at 4.30pm. Distance 15 miles. No complaints of natives at this station. Mr J P McLarty, Manager.
July 11th
Left K P Company’s station at 7am – met a traveller – Mr J Gregory proceeding to Derby – camped at 11am. Left camp at 2pm and arrived at the station of Messrs Gregory Bros at 6.30pm. Distance 25 miles. No complaints of natives at this station. Messrs Gregory Bros, Managers
July 12th
Left camp at 7.30am. Arrived at an outstation of the Kimberley Pastoral Company at 11am – distance 12 miles. No complaints of natives. Messrs Logue and Lamb at this camp.
July 13th
Sunday – remained at camp
July 14th
Left camp at 7am for a branch of the Fitzroy River for the purpose of obtaining further particulars relative to the alleged killing of cattle by natives a few months ago. Crossed the Fitzroy at 8am and struck the branch about 9am – about 4 miles from its junction with the Fitzroy. Camped at 11am. Left camp at 2pm and followed river until 6pm and camped. Distance 25 miles. Can hear natives shouting on the other side of the river. Will visit them for tomorrow morning. This branch has been running for the last 8 miles.
July 15th
Left camp at 6am to visit native camp. Found a small party of natives. These natives state that they do not know of any cattle killed. A native named Munbine alias George says he has seen the cattle further on up the river very recently. Followed on the river with the native George. Struck old cattle tracks at 11am. Went on until 2pm – could not see any more natives or any indications of cattle having been killed. There are very recent tracks at this waterhole – probably not more than a week old. These cattle are, I believe, the ones that were supposed to be killed. As I have followed this river for about 40 miles and the tracks here being recent, I do not think it necessary to go on any further. Left camp at 4pm on return track. Camped at 6pm. Distance 22 miles.
July 16th
Left camp at 7am and camped at 11am for dinner. Left camp at 2pm and arrived at the Fitzroy at 5.30pm. Distance 25 miles
July 17th
Left camp at 7am for Liberinga [sic]. Arrived at Liberinga at 1pm. Found that Messrs Daly Bros had shifted. Distance 18 miles.
July 18th
Horses strayed a long way, causing a late start. Left camp at 9am – camped for dinner at 12 noon. Left camp at 2pm and arrived at Lulingui (K P Camp) at 5pm. Distance 15 miles.
July 19th
Left Lulingui at 7am and arrived at the Yeeda River Station at 1pm. Distance 15 miles. The country around this station is in flames, caused by natives.
July 20th
Left Yeeda River Station at 9.30am (horses having strayed as all feed is burnt). Arrived at 4.30pm. Distance 22 miles.
Backs of horses sound
Edward A Lemon PC

21.07. 1884
I also have to state that shearing is going on at the Yeeda River Station and the Kimberley Pastoral Company Station. The scab on both these stations are very bad. The sheep are dipped as they are shorn and removed to clean country. The sheep of Messrs Gregory Bros are clean as also are the sheep belonging to the Kimberley Pastoral Co in charge of Messrs Logue and Lamb. A great many scabby sheep have been lost by shepherds in the employ of Yeeda River Company and if their sheep should eventually find their way among clean sheep, they (clean sheep) would no doubt be again infected. The condition of the sheep that are clean is good. The scabby sheep are more or less in bad condition. The cattle and horses all appear in good condition. The branch of the Fitzroy River which I followed up was through principally pindan country. There was also open country slightly wooded. The pindan country appeared to be very good. The natives state that there are large plains about two days journey further on. About 30 miles up the river there is a deep permanent pool about 5 miles long, evidently supplied by springs as it causes the river to flow for a distance of 15 miles. Further up the river, I saw other pools, some fresh and some very brackish – but they were not permanent. There is a great deal of salt left on places where the water has dried up.
Mr McLarty of the Kimberley Pastoral Company Stn reports the following articles having been stolen from the home station during the latter part of last month. One fleam[??], one gold wedding ring and a portion of a silver watch chain – William Parker suspected. These article were extracted from a box, the property of Mr J P McLarty – Parker, who was cook at the station, left the district in Mary Smith on the 1st inst. Mr J P McLarty had missed the articles prior to this and suspected Parker; in fact, Mr McLarty was at Derby prior to and at the time the Mary Smith sailed and yet failed or neglected to give any information until after the man had left the district.
Edward A Lemon

A O Neville’s Evidence Part 16

State Records Office of Western Australia
Microfilm
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…

007-3
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

[End of page 57]

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.

[End of page 59]

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…

[End of page 61]

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.

[End of page 62]

A O Neville’s Evidence Part 12

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

Aborigines Royal Commission  005-3

Monday, 12th March, 1934

H. D. Moseley, Esq., Commissioner.

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

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

We have 173 of these accounts in operation carrying a balance of over £2,300, and I have invested on behalf of those youngsters something like £2,400. They are quite capable of saying their money and knowing what to do with it, provided there is someone to guide then in their earlier years. That is just the nucleus of what I hope will be done as time goes on.

33. Before lunch, you asked for Dr. Cook’s report.
I have not the original but I have a copy which the Commonwealth authorities sent to us. It begins on page 235 of Medical and Public Health file 1765/23 (Exhibit 13).

34. That brings us to G, the question of missions.
In every annual report issued by me there is a statement showing the number of missions, something of what they are doing, and where they are situated. Altogether there are 11 places where missionaries work. There are six organised missions in the North, five of which are subsidised. There are four in the South, not subsidised but two of which are used at ration stations by the dept. In years gone by there used to be terrific confusion in regard to the subsidies of missions, and for years my predecessor tried to find a settlement of the difficulty. However he did not succeed and when I came I found that some missions were receiving inordinate amounts, while others, carrying out practically the same work, were receiving very little. So I sought to get the thing on a proper basis. We did that in time by first of all deciding the amount it took to keep an inmate in a mission. That amount is based on the accepted standard in the North which is £10 and in the South £14. But that implied that the mission, being a philanthropic institution, would assist upon keeping those people. Moreover, some missions were settled on very large native reserves and were run as cattle stations, in addition to their other activities. It was considered that those missions were in a better position to help themselves than others which had no land. So it was arranged that the subsidy which the State…

[End of page 37]

…should pay to a mission which had a large area of land granted by the State should be £5 per head per annum, the mission to pay the other £5; and in respeot of those missions which had no land to speak of the amount was fixed at £7. That is the existing system. In order to get at this, it was necessary that every mission should be inspected, so that the dept should be satisfied that the inmates and children at the mission were proper subjects for Govt relief. Those missions as far as possible were inspected and it was quite evident that a number of the inmates should not be receiving Govt relief at all; in other words, they were able-bodied and quite capable of getting work. Inspections were made and the inmates were all listed, and each mission was provided with a subsidy on the monetary basis I have mentioned, in accordance with the inmates it was looking after who otherwise would be the care of the Govt. Naturally, that created considerable divergence in respect of the grants being made; it amounted to this, that the greatest pleaders got the most. However they have not been able to do that since the system was altered. I put in a return which shows what the missions have had from the State since 1898. It begins in Mr. Princep’s time and comes down to 1933 (Exhibit 14). In that time the protestant missions, numerically stronger than the Roman Catholic, have received £29,986 or 53.98 per cent of the money, while the Roman Catholic missions have received £25,569, or 46.02 of the money. I mention that because I have been accused of partiality, a defect I have studiously avoided. The figures speak for themselves.

[End of page 38]

As in other matters, we are awaiting amendments to the Act in order to frame regulations designed to assist us in respect to the work of the missions. There are no such regulations at present. While the Chief Protector considers Inmates of missions to be subject to his care, as are natives elsewhere, he has no authority to demand to be supplied with information or to insist upon reforms and alterations. Missions should be subject to departmental supervision. They should submit annual reports. The Minister should have power to issue a permit or permits to persons desiring to embark on missionary work, either individually or as institutions. Trouble arises from the fact that missionaries are unsuitable and entirely ignorant of the natives or of what they may expect to find in the mission field, and consequently they fail. In the event of a mission not doing good work, the only remedy is for the department to take it over, if it is willing, or to cancel the reserve on whicb it operates. Neither of these courses has so far been adopted, though we have temporarily managed missions at the request of the authorities.

36. I consider that Government stations and settlements are preferable to missions because, and mainly because, Government authority is recognised above all things by the natives. I have no objection whatever to missionary effort at settlements and stations under departmental regulations. The mission authorities are so hampered by their efforts to get money and do the practical work that there in not much time left for the spiritual side. Still, in view of our own ineptitude, I do not wish to cast stones at the missions. The department has so far been unable to afford a fitting example of what a settlement should be as a guide to the missions.

37. I do not agree with all that the missions do, such as curtailing the liberty of the subject, interfering with tribal customs, marrying against tbs wishes of the people, or consummating unsuitable marriages. Some of those matters we propose…

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…to regulate by law. At the same time, it cannot be denied that the missions are doing splendid work of a charitable kind, much of which the State should have been doing. Much improvement is needed from the medical point of view. Personally I do not oppose the teaching of the ethics of Christianity. I consider that youngsters who are to go out to work amongst us — we profess to be a Christian nation — should also be taught something of the same Christianity in which we profess to believe in order that there may be some sort of similarity between their ideas and ours, quite apart from the moral side, which is very important.

38. The multiplicity of denominations confuses the religious issue in the mind of the native. There are seven or eight denominations doing missionary work here and the position might be improved by adopting a standard method of imparting the tenets of the Christian faith as approved by the State, and using that standard throughout. I believe that some of the religious instruction might be definitely harmful, because it is misunderstood. I understand that the missionaries in India and elsewhere are coming to the same conclusion. The mere making of grants to missions is useless. Some missions are doing good work in full harmony with the department and the department’s wishes. Others adopt the attitude that the less the department knows about their doings, the better. I only wish to add that in my opinion missionary workers should be married people and that husband and wife should be living happily together. The psychology of the native mind demands this. We have discovered it on our own stations and all our managers, and generally those second in charge, are married men living with their wives. I submit File 52/29, Regulations for the control of Missions, pages 29 – 31 (Exhibit 15).

39. Sub-paragraph (h) “Trial of aboriginal offenders” will be dealt with when the subject of legislation is considered.

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40. Speaking generally on paragraph 1, I have mentioned the necessity for a medical inspector. Years ago, before my time, there were two inspectors in the department who were constantly visiting the stations to ensure that the native people were being looked after properly and were not abused in any way. Those inspectors were dispensed with and for years we had no one at all until I succeeded in getting one man appointed. He was with us for a year or two and then his services had to be dispensed with because there was no money with which to pay him. Obviously, the Chief Protector cannot be traversing the State all the time. He can make only a few journeys in the year, and it is quite impossible for him personally to know what is going on on the hundreds of stations and in the many places where natives are employed. His protectors are mostly in the towns and do not supply him with the information he most needs. The only way to overcome the difficulty is to have travelling Inspectors always going around. In addition to the medical man for whom I have asked, there should be another man in the North, and a man for the north-western districts and, if necessary, the goldfields. The south I can manage myself. At considerable expense of time and effort I have traversed the State from Wyndham to Eucla more than once. While I am away, things happen at head office that one is not in a position to rectify. Too much time is occupied in travelling. Some people have argued that the Chief Protector should live in the North. The absurdity of that contention is demonstrated by the distribution of the natives. There are 9,000 odd in the Kimberleys, nearly 4,000 in the North-West and Murchison, and over 5,500 on the goldfields snd in the South-West, so they are fairly evenly distributed. The ideal would be to have a deputy in the north — the Act makes provision for deputies — or adopt my plan to alter the name of the department and the Chief Protector, and have district commissioners and, under them, assistant district commissioners, and so on, as they have in other British colonies and dependencies.

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A O Neville’s Evidence Part 11

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

Aborigines Royal Commission  005-3

Monday, 12th March, 1934

H. D. Moseley, Esq., Commissioner.

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

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] Continued…

30, Will you next deal with Paragraph (f) of the terms of reference, which refers to the employment of aborigines and persons of aboriginal origin? — Every aboriginal who is a full-blooded aboriginal or who is a half-caste deemed to be an aboriginal under the Act, is required to be employed under permit or under permit and agreement. There are at present 4,054 natives so employed and the number of permits is 552. The figures are less by nearly 2,000 than is customary, this being mainly because of unemployment in the southern portions of the state. There are still a large number employed in the North but not quite so many as in normal times, mainly owing to the condition of the cattle industry. Employers on cattle and sheep stations secure the services of quite a number of natives who are usually engaged under what is known as a general permit, which stipulates that the individual holding the permit may employ so many natives, the number being fixed by the protector.

31. Without limit? — Yes, to the number he may require. Some protectors insist upon the names of the natives being supplied as well, but that is not compulsory. A permit may contain conditions at the discretion of a protector. Likewise the protector may refuse a permit if he does not think the prospective employer is a suitable person. Some difficulty is experienced regarding permits owing to the fact that there are so many unclassified natives in the country areas at present. We have half-castes in blood who claim that they do not come under the Act, yet they consort with natives. They run with the hare and hunt with the hounds as they please.
No one can stop them. Then we have the young lads who are beyond guardianship age who snap their fingers at the department in the same way. Natives who are not employed under permits — in using the term “natives”, I include all under that heading — very often get into trouble and when that happens we are called upon to get them out of their difficulty. Had they been engaged legally under permit they would probably have been all right. Pending his complete emancipation and absorption into the community on equal terms, the native, whether he likes it or not, needs some agency to guide him,

[End of page 32]

safeguard his interests and encourage him to be thrifty. From time to time the question of payment of wages crops up. In practice no monetary wages are paid in some districts, mainly in the far North, but natives receive wages in kind, food, clothes, medical attendance, and so on. Further south in the North, some of the men get good wages and when we get to the south-west of the State no native there will work unless he gets some sort of a wage, whatever it nay he. Some are working on contract. The whole position as it stands is unsatisfactory from the wages standpoint. You nay have a native on one station receiving £4 a week. That may be a rather exaggerated instance, although I know of that being done. I will put it at £3 a week and point out that the native on the next station who may he doing exactly the same work gets £1 a week. Similarly on a station still further away a native may he getting 10s. a week for similar work. As a result of that system, the highest bidder gets the best native. I am sometimes appealed to in order to prevent one individual from persuading the natives employed by his neighbour to work for him. Of course it is an offence under the act to entice a native from his legal employment. We have been awaiting the amendment of the Act for some time to enable us to adopt a satisfactory method that will stabilise the position. Again I favour the Queensland system. In that State the authorities have had more experience than we have had in these matters. Although I think their system could be improved upon in some respects, the basis of it is sound. Briefly, it is this: There is an Arbitration award for natives providing a minimum wage. I think it is 10s. a week. There are certain conditions laid down regarding housing, food and so on. naturally all employers have to pay the wage specified. Whether that wage is too high, I do not know; that is not the point. It is contended that the wages demanded for natives in Queensland are too high and consequently there are more out of employment in that State than there are in Western Australia on a proportionate basis. Certainly it is a fact that in Western Australia there are proportionately more…

[End of page 33]

natives employed than are employed in Queensland. More are at work and fewer are in receipt of charity than in normal times. It is not merely a system of arbitration wages; there are certain principles laid down. Arrangements are made through local protectors and the native is obliged by law to bank his money, and to have a small percentage debited up against his account and paid into a fund from which large sums are drawn to subsidise various activities of the department. Under that system, the natives themselves, whether they like it or not, are helping those who are not in as satisfactory a position as they are. In Queensland they call it a provident fund. The natives in Queensland have over £250,000 to their credit in the savings bank at the present time, and the amount that has been paid into Government funds on
account of the natives has been, so I judge, something of an embarrassment. I do not know definitely but I believe that is so. It may mean that the natives do not require all the wages paid to them and the chances are that they could have done with less. At the same time, the department in Queensland is in a position to finance the requirements of the natives with their own money in a manner more satisfactory than is possible in this State. Queensland spends three times as much as we do on our natives and at the same time has not to spend so much State money because the money already available is making money all the time. Many of the natives in Queensland are engaged in private enterprise. For instance, they go in for pearling and some own their own boats. There is a lot of co-operative work in that respect. I submit a copy of the latest report of the department in Queensland (Exhibit No. 11), which speaks for itself. It shows that the balance standing to the credit of natives in Queensland at the end of 1932 was £258,000, in round figures; the amount to the credit of the provident fund was £10,000 odd. That money is apart from that included in what is known as the Aborigines Property Protection Account, to which estates of deceased natives are credited, grants made and so on, and that account represented…

[End of page 34]

…£17,000 odd. I am quite sure that we should adopt some such system in this state, but before that can be done the Act must be amended to enable us to proceed along those lines. I introduced this subject years ago, and I submit to you File No. 451/1933 of the Aborigines Department (Exhibit No. 12) in support of my statement. On Page 11 you will find the first minute I submitted in which I suggested that we should go in for some such system.

[End of page 35]

It is imperative that we should have a system, whether this or something else, because it is highly unsatisfactory at present.

I am not advocating the payment of wages to natives throughout the State because in some districts it would be a mistake; they are quite happy, provided they have enough of the ordinary material things of life; still, as we come south in the State they must become accustomed to money and the use of money. Any such system naturally throws a good deal of work on the local protectors, who as they exist are not in a position to do this work. During the last 10 years or so the whole matter of the natives has become an individual one. Instead of dealing with them in bulk as we used to do, we are dealing with individuals, and they are continually appealing to us for this or that. Also the question of a native receiving or not receiving what is due to him is continually cropping up and we are asked to interfere. I have certain powers under Section 33 of the Act which assist me to deal justly between the employer and the native. Trouble comes about through ignorance on the part of the native who very often cannot read or write, and who doesn’t know that he is being taken down. I have known five 10s. notes being handed to a native in payment for a £10 contract. We should have in the Act a section making it compulsory for any financial dealing between a native and anybody else to be subject to review by or witnessed by a protector.

38. Perhaps you will bring that up again in Paragraph 2?— Yes. At head office we have a number of trust accounts most of which have been opened in comparatively recent times. We encourage natives to save, and we bank part of their savings for them. This applies particularly to those youngsters we send out from our own settlement or stations. We act as custodians of their funds and when they want anything they write or come to the office and get orders on various firms for what they want, and generally we prevent them from wasting their money, although we do not restrict any legitimate desire.

[End of page 36]

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]

[Letter]
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

[Letter]
[Letter]
From Chief Protector of Aborigines
To Mr S Muggleton, Frog Hollow, East Kimberley
Oct 19th, 1907
Sir,
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

[Letter]
To Const Cahill, Halls Creek
20.11.07
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

[Letter]
To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
[Undated]
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

[Memo]
To Corpl Buckland
8.9.08
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

[Memo]
To Act Sub Insp McCarthy
22/10/08
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.
Buckland

[Letter]
To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
From District Police Office, Derby
12.12.08
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

[Letter]
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

[Letter]
To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
19th April, 09
Sir,
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
Madam
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
1-8-08
I agree to the above mentioned conditions
A L Buckland

“Frog Hollow”
Via Turkey Creek
Wyndham
To The Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
[undated – received at Aborigines Dept 25th Aug 1909]
Sir,
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
PS
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.

[Letter]
To Mr S Muggleton
Frog Hollow Station
Turkey Creek
Via Wyndham
August 31, 1909
Sir,
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:

Question:
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.

Deporting Newry Jack

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0036
Title: Paddy alias ‘Neery Jack’ – re sending him from Wyndham to Port Darwin

Keywords: Paddy, Newry Jack, Wyndham, Port Darwin, Argyle Downs Station, pastoral stations, labour

Key phrase:
[The real reason for the proposed deportation of Newry Jack?]
“…apart from being an individual source of annoyance to the settlers he is also educating & by his council poisoning the minds of other natives against the White man.” (Constable Ryan, policeman)

[Report]
East Kimberley District, Halls Creek Station
Sept 14th 1908
Report of Const J J Ryan, relative to aboriginal native Paddy’s return to his country Port Darwin.
I beg to report that on the 27th August 08 in company with Carol Taylor, I arrested aboriginal native Paddy alias Newry Jack vide complaint of Robert McRoberts (see Occurrence 16th August 08) carrier, Hall’s Creek, whilst a 2nd charge of goat killing was also preferred. On the latter charge Paddy was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment while the original charge was withdrawn.
Paddy who is a native of Port Darwin is anxious to return to his country. He is about 40 yrs of age and arrived in Kimberley some 10 yrs ago with a man named Thomas McKell then manager of the Victoria Station on the Territory with cattle. McKell after disposing of his cattle at Wyndham returned to his station, while Paddy entered into employment with Messrs Connor, Doherty & Durack and for them worked at Wyndham Argyle Station and Kalgoorlie. Leaving Kalgoorlie Paddy returned to Broome some years back and since then has worked for various employers including the Police. Though thoroughly civilised he is a menace to the residents of the district in being a confirmed thief and bully. So assertive and bounceful* has he latterly become that he cannot now obtain employment.
Personally I think it would be very wise to have arrangements if possible made to have this native sent back to his country per one of the Port Darwin boats calling at Wyndham as apart from being an individual source of annoyance to the settlers he is also educating & by his council poisoning the minds of other natives against the White man.
His sentence does not expire until Feb 27th 09 but the R. M. when sentencing stipulated that should arrangements be completed in the meantime before the expiration of his sentence for deporting the native! The sentence to terminate on the date of his embarkation.
I am sending the native to Wyndham to comply with the sentence but may mention that the R. M. as Aboriginal Protector if required will give every assistance to have Paddy deported should the provisions stipulated in the sentence prove to be ultra vires.
Stipulations provided for in Warrant of Commitment.
J J Ryan
[*”bounceful” is a Cockney slang word, from the late 19th century, meaning arrogant and domineering]

[Memo]
To the Commissioner of Police
This native Paddy alias Newry Jack has a very bad character – would the Aborigines Dept pay his fare from Wyndham to Port Darwin.
J McCarthy,
Acting Sub Inspector
29.10.08

[Memo]
To: The Chief Protector of Aborigines
Submitted for your consideration. The native’s sentence expires at Wyndham on 27th Feb 1909
Commissioner of Police

[Memo]
To Commissioner of Police
I don’t suppose there is any chance of finding this man McKell who brought the native from Pt Darwin and making him pay for the boys passage back to his home. If not I am prepared to pay deck passage from Wyndham to Pt Darwin as I think it may be the cheapest thing to do in the long run.
C F Gale
23.1.9

[Memo]
Sergt Buckland
Have abo nat Paddy @ Newry Jack sent to Port Darwin first boat. Have inquiry made for McKell with the view of tracing his present whereabouts.
Please state the cost of the fare to Pt Darwin
J McCarthy
acting Sub Inspr
20.2.09

[Memo]
Acting Sub Inspr McCarthy, Derby
Native Paddy @ Newry Jack was sent to Port Darwin and left here on 24th ult. The R. M. having received instructions from Comptroller of Prisons to send him the cost of fare was £2 and was charged to Gaol Dept.
Paddy informed me he was only a small boy when he came here first and as he appears at least 40 years of age now he must have been here a number of years.
I have made enquiries here for McKell but no one here knows anything about him, perhaps Mr Frank Connor or some of the Duracks Perth could supply the information.
Sgt Buckland
6/5/09

[Memo]
The Commissioner of Police
Forwarded for your information
J McCarthy
Acting Sub Inspr
13.5.09

[Memo]
Forwarded to Chief Protector of Aborigines

[Invoice]
Dr to A B Robinson, Derby
Apr 5 to May 31, 1909
Maintenance of native Paddy 47 days @ 9d
Total £1-15-3
Signed by claimant Arthur R Adams R. M.

[Letter]
Sergeant Buckland, Wyndham
I have received an account from the Treasury Paymaster, Derby, in favour of Mr A B Robinson, for the maintenance of the native Paddy, from the 15th April to the 31st May last. On the 6th May last you wrote to the Acting Sub-Inspector, Derby, stating that the native Paddy had been sent to Port Darwin, “and left here on the 24th ultimo,” which would be the 24th April, and yet the claim above mentioned covers his maintenance to the 31st May. Will you please let me have further information relative to this matter.
Chief Protector of Aborigines
June 22, 1909

[Letter]
Wyndham
31st July 09
To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
The native Paddy otherwise known as Newry Jack was sent away from here on 24th Feby 09 on S S Nelson.
The A B Robinson is a Constable I believe in West Kimberley and the a/c form refer to must be for another native named Paddy.
Sgt Buckland

Katitjin Notes:

“Newry”
Newry Station is a cattle station on the border of WA and Northern Territory. It was established in 1886 by Connor and Doherty on the banks of the Keep River and was later purchased by Patsy (Patrick) Durack and remained in the Durack family until 1950.

Employment of people requiring natives

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0033
Title: Aborigines – Employment of people requiring natives

Keywords: William Pickering, John Atkinson, Jeremiah McClune, Kaloorup, Southern Cross, Mount Jackson Station, Mogumber, New Norcia, Canterbury, labour

Key phrases:

“I have heard indirectly that labor of this description is to be obtained and that if properly treated also good results. If you can supply you might be able to advise as to the best way to handle these boys as I understand the wilder they are the better.” [William Pickering, farmer]

“They [will] be well treated while in our possession” [John Atkinson, pastoralist]

[Letter]
From: W Geo Pickering, Kaloorup, via Busselton
To: Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
18th Dec 1908
Sir,
I have the honor to request that you will be kind enough to advise me as :-
1. Will your Department supply labor in the shape of two young aboriginal boys from the North?
2. If so, upon what terms and conditions.
I have heard indirectly that labor of this description is to be obtained and that if properly treated also good results. If you can supply you might be able to advise as to the best way to handle these boys as I understand the wilder they are the better.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
W Geo Pickering

[Letter]
South Fremantle
To Director, Aborigines Department, Perth
21 Dec 08
Dear Sir,
We being in need of 2 natives for station work, at and around Mount Jackson, Southern Cross, and being willing to pay all expenses in connection with the obtaining same then deck passage down the coast, also to guarantee that they be well treated while in our possession, further that when no longer required by us to put them onto that portion of the Colony from whence they came – beg that you will give us any necessary permission in order that our friends in the North from whom we expect to obtain the natives may know that the requirements of your Department have been complied with.
Yours faithfully,
John Atkinson
[Memo at base of letter]
Acknowledged – informed none at present in Perth – would write again when one turned up

[Letter]
Canterbury
New Norcia
To Mr Gale, Chief Protector of Aborigines
18th Jan 09
Sir,
I will feel very much obliged if you can procure me two Aboriginals for shepherding. I will give good wages also usual supply rations free and will pay their fare up to Mogumber. I prefer married men as they are more content to tend their flocks. Please reply at your earliest disposal as I want them at once. By doing so you will greatly oblige me.
Thanking you in anticipation.
I am, Sir, yours respectfully,
J McClune

[Memo]
Subject: Aborigines – employment of – people requiring Natives
1) Pickering (file 33/09) Kaloorup via Busselton
2) Atkinson (file 34/09) Mount Jackson, Southern Cross
3) McClune, Canterbury, New Norcia

Katitjin Notes:

Question: What made the colonisers specifically request aboriginal workers from the North? What made them believe that the Chief Protector would “be able to advise as to the best way to handle these boys” and that “the wilder they are the better”?

Question: Who were the “friends friends in the North from whom we expect to obtain the natives”?

Note: The choice of the term “possession,” rather than “employment” – “They [will] be well treated while in our possession” [John Atkinson, pastoralist] – is indicative of slavery.

William George Pickering (1869-1953)
Born in England, William Pickering was an architect who tried his hand at farming near Busselton between 1905 and 1918, before giving up and returning to his profession. He designed many hotels and buildings in the southern wheatbelt region. Pickering was the Country member for Vasse in WA Legislative Assembly 1917-1924.

Thomas Byass and wife and Migebung – recognisance entered between

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0005
Title: Thomas Byass and wife and Migebung – recognisance entered between – for return Marble Bar
Keywords: Migebung, Rosie, Thomas Byass, labour

[Proforma government form]
The Aborigines Act, 1905 (Section 9)
Recognisance
Know all men by these presents that I, Thomas Byass, of Marble Bar, hereby bind myself to the Chief Protector of Aborigines for the payment to him of the sum of twenty pounds.
Sealed with my seal this 14th day of December, 1908
Whereas the above-named Thomas Byass has applied to the Chief Protector of Aborigines for authority to remove Migebung alias Rosie, an aboriginal, from Marble Bar to Perth.
Now the above written obligation is conditioned to be void in case the above bounden Thomas Byass on or before the 30th day of June 1909 returns the said Migebung alias Rosie to the place from which she is to be removed, and defrays the expense of such return, or else to stand in full force and virtue.
Signed T R Byass
Witnessed Percy C Riches, Acting Resident Magistrate

[Telegram]
To Resident Magistrate Marble Bar
4/1/09
Subject: Thomas Byass and Ab Nat Migebung
Why was recognisance entered with Thomas Byass and Native woman Migebung. Is Byass married and does Migebung accompany his wife?
Chief Protector of Aborigines

[Telegram]
To Chief Protector of Aborigines
Yes, Byass is married and Mijebung [sic] has gone to Perth with Mrs Byass
P C Riches

Katitjin Notes:

Aborigines Act 1905, Section 9:
Any person who, without the authority, in writing, of a protector, removes or causes to be removed any aboriginal, or a male half-caste under the age of sixteen years, or a female half-caste from one district to another, or to any place beyond the State, shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.
Before such authority is given the person desiring such removal shall enter into a recognisance with a surety or sureties, at the discretion to defray the expense of the return of such aboriginal or half-caste to the place from which such aboriginal or half-caste is to be removed…
A recognisance may be renewed from time to time at the discretion of the Chief Protector.
The protector may, in his discretion, dispense with such recognisance in any particular case.

Thomas Robert Byass (1865 – 1928) was a Yorkshireman who emigrated in 1888 with his brother. The two men founded the Bamboo Creek gold mine in the Marble Bar area in 1892. Byass also operated stores and hotels in the region, ran racehorses and became a JP. He married Emma Cavanagh in 1895 in Roebourne and raised a family of six children in Marble Bar.

Requests for Aboriginal labourers

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0033
Title: Aborigines – Employment of people requiring natives

Keywords: William Pickering, John Atkinson, Jeremiah McClune, labour

Key phrases:

“I have heard indirectly that labor of this description is to be obtained and that if properly treated also good results. If you can supply you might be able to advise as to the best way to handle these boys as I understand the wilder they are the better.” [William Pickering, farmer]

“They [will] be well treated while in our possession” [John Atkinson, pastoralist]

[Letter]
From: W Geo Pickering, Kaloorup, via Busselton
To: Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
18th Dec 1908
Sir,
I have the honor to request that you will be kind enough to advise me as :-
1. Will your Department supply labor in the shape of two young aboriginal boys from the North?
2. If so, upon what terms and conditions.
I have heard indirectly that labor of this description is to be obtained and that if properly treated also good results. If you can supply you might be able to advise as to the best way to handle these boys as I understand the wilder they are the better.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
W Geo Pickering

[Letter]
South Fremantle
To Director, Aborigines Department, Perth
21 Dec 08
Dear Sir,
We being in need of 2 natives for station work, at and around Mount Jackson, Southern Cross, and being willing to pay all expenses in connection with the obtaining same then deck passage down the coast, also to guarantee that they be well treated while in our possession, further that when no longer required by us to put them onto that portion of the Colony from whence they came – beg that you will give us any necessary permission in order that our friends in the North from whom we expect to obtain the natives may know that the requirements of your Department have been complied with.
Yours faithfully,
John Atkinson
[Memo at base of letter]
Acknowledged – informed none at present in Perth – would write again when one turned up

[Letter]
Canterbury
New Norcia
To Mr Gale, Chief Protector of Aborigines
18th Jan 09
Sir,
I will feel very much obliged if you can procure me two Aboriginals for shepherding. I will give good wages also usual supply rations free and will pay their fare up to Mogumber. I prefer married men as they are more content to tend their flocks. Please reply at your earliest disposal as I want them at once. By doing so you will greatly oblige me.
Thanking you in anticipation.
I am, Sir, yours respectfully,
J McClune

[Memo]
Subject: Aborigines – employment of – people requiring Natives
1) Pickering (file 33/09) Kaloorup via Busselton
2) Atkinson (file 34/09) Mount Jackson, Southern Cross
3) McClune, Canterbury, New Norcia

 

Katitjin Notes:

Question: What made the colonisers specifically request aboriginal workers from the North? What made them believe that the Chief Protector would “be able to advise as to the best way to handle these boys” and that “the wilder they are the better”?

Question: Who were the “friends friends in the North from whom we expect to obtain the natives”?

Question: Why were farmers at Southern Cross and New Norcia seeking the employment only of aboriginal workers from the North? Why not local labour?

Note: The choice of the term “possession,” rather than “employment” – “They [will] be well treated while in our possession” [John Atkinson, pastoralist] – is indicative of slavery.

William George Pickering (1869-1953)
Born in England, William Pickering was an architect who tried his hand at farming near Busselton between 1905 and 1918, before giving up and returning to his profession. He designed many hotels and buildings in the southern wheatbelt region. Pickering was the Country member for Vasse in WA Legislative Assembly 1917-1924.

 

William Cusack renewal of work permit for Johnny & Carrie Ong

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0028
Title: N.H. Cusack. Benmore. Renewal permit to employ 2 native women

Keywords: William Cusack, Inthanoona Station, Tambrey Station, Johnny Ong, Carrie Ong

[Letter]
Benmore,
Midland Junction
To: Chief Protector of Aborigines
Dec 24, 1908
Dear Sir,
Mrs Cusack’s permit to employ two abor. native women expires at the end of the current year. Please instruct me where to apply for a renewal. I have allready applyed to the court house Midland Junction and they referred me to you.
With the complyments of the season,
I am, yours faithfully,
W H Cusack

[Letter]
To: W H Cusack, Benmore, Midland Junction
15th Jan 1909
Sir,
Will you please forward me the names of the two domestic native servants Mrs Cusack wishes a permit for. I am prepared to renew the permit, under the condition that you pay to each of the girls the sum of six shillings per week, two shillings of which is to be paid to each girl, and the balance to be forwarded to me, to be placed to their credit to a trust account, at the Government Savings Bank.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
Chief Protector of Aborigines

[Letter]
Benmore,
Midland Junction
To: Chief Protector of Aborigines
Jan 22, 1909
Dear Sir,
Yours 13/312 to hand. The names of the two girls are Johnny Ong, alias Mary, and Carrie Ong, alias Eva. I note you will renew permit on condition the girls are paid 6/- a week each. Might I suggest that 4/- of this be paid to each girl and 2/- placed to their credit. These girls already spend about £1 per month each and only allowing them 2/- a week will probably annoy them. I would like you to make this slight alteration if possible, also I would ask if a monthly payment to you will be satisfactory and how you are to be satisfied that the natives have received their wages here. These women ultimately wish to return to the North, will their passages be paid from their accumulated savings, as up to now I have considered myself responsible for this. I would like you to send someone up from the office if possible to arrange this and see the natives. I could arrange to meet whoever you send as we live three miles from Midland Junction.
Yours faithfully,
W H Cusack

Katitjin Notes:

William Henry Cusack (1865-1915)
Born in Ireland, by the early 1890s, William Henry Cusack was a jackaroo and blacksmith on Inthanoona Station, 190 kms south of Roebourne. Inthanoona was amalgamated with Tambrey Station in 1892, at which time William became the Station manager, and in 1902 he became joint lease-holder with Henry Meares. William was married to Catherine MacKay, who had previously lived at Mundabullangana sheep station, on the Yule River, about 100 kms south of Port Hedland, with her brothers until her marriage in 1893. When he died in 1915, Tambrey station was taken over by his son Thomas.