missions

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…

[End of page 39]

…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.

[End of page 40]

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.

[End of page 41]

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.

G.C. Smith. Manunka Mission, River Murray

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0040
Title: G.C. Smith. Manunka Mission, River Murray. Application for permission that 2 missionaries be allowed to extend work in N.W. of W.A.

Keywords: Manunka Mission, missions, missionaries, George Smith

[Letter]
Manunka Mission,
Via Forster,
River Murray
To The Aborigines Protectorate, Perth
Jan 5th 09
Sir,
Could permission be granted for us to send two missionaries to the North West of your State. We would place them in the hands of the Bishop of Perth as they are members of the C of E. They are fully qualified, have been working amongst the Blacks for 18 years. They are only leaving here for [illegible] work, the one as been managing overseer for 3 years, his wife Matron for the same period. The former is a lay preacher of the Church of England. They are ready soon as you have given permission. In South [Australia] the Protector of Aborigines in Adelaide can recommend both, they are well known to the Bishop of Adelaide.
I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,
G C Smith

[Letter]
To G C Smith Esq
Manunka Mission,
Murray River
N.S.W. [sic]
12th Jan 1909
Sir,
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 5th instant, and to inform you that no special permission is required for anyone to go among the Native races.
I shall feel much obliged if you will give me some idea of the work your Mission intends doing in the North West portion of this State and I should also like to know if the expenses of such work would be supported by your Mission Society, or would you require Government Assistance and if so, what form.
I should be obliged for further information, as to the work of your Mission in your State.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
C F Gale
Chief Protector of Aborigines

[Letter]
Manunka Mission,
Via Forster,
South Australia
13-2-09
To The Chief Protector of Aborigines
Dear Sir,
Yours of Jan 12 to hand, thanks for same.
Our intentions re Aborigines
To keep many as possible on one reserve, hand out the rations on behalf of your department. Teach them to cultivate the soul and make the place self supporting. Have school for the children daily. Look after them medically. Have religious services with them.
The only Government aid would be rations, medicines and a little to put the place into shape.
Here we have the depot for rations, medicines, etc. Have school for the children. Religious service daily, Church of England service on Sundays, the Bishop of Adelaide have appointed me for same.
Men fish and work for farmers round. I personally attend to stores, medical department, school and nearly the whole of religious services. The Protector of Aborigines in Adelaide would give you full information re myself re rations, and the Bishop of Adelaide will be only pleased to give you any other information possible. Our church would take up the spiritual part of the Mission and so would be supported by them.
Mrs Smith hold 3 years reference from the Board of Aborigines of N.S.W. on the Murrumbidgee. I’ve been in the work about 18 years both here, N.S.W. and Queensland (South).
We should much like to take up work North West amongst our Dear People (the Aborigines).
Should be grateful if your Department would grant us one of your reserves to work on, you supplying the rations, etc, which is needed for the Natives.
I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,
G C Smith
PS I’m forwarding one of our reports.

[Letter]
Mr G C Smith
Manunka Mission,
Via Forster,
South Australia
Sir,
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 13th ultimo, and to inform you that the Department cannot grant you one of our reserves as we so far possess but few. If you wish for unoccupied Crown Lands to start a Mission Station you would have to apply in the usual way.
The matter of granting rations, etc, is purely for the Minister to deal with, but before this can be done a formal application will have to be made by your society, pointing out exactly what you intend to do and what you require.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
C F Gale
Chief Protector of Aborigines

Katitjin Notes:

George Smith
George Smith and his wife Jennie were working as overseer and matron at Manunka Mission in South Australia, but due to drought conditions the mission failed to become self-sufficient and the Smiths lost their jobs there. Failing in their efforts to relocate to the North-West, they went on to Singleton Mission.

Swan Native & Half Caste Mission

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0031
Title: Swan Native & Half Caste Mission

Keywords: Thomas Newell, Phoebe Newell, Swan Native and Half-Caste Mission, Alfred Burton

[Letter]
Guildford
Dec 14th, 1908
Mr Gale, Dear Sir,
In answer to yours of the 9th inst I am sorrie to inform you that I am not able to pay anything not just now has I have not any payable work just now but if they will take Phoeby I will pay what I can later on when I get good work but at present I have nothing and three other children to keep and my wife if Mr Burton will not take her then I must manage the best way I can for that is all I can at present tho she ought to be at school now. Hoping you will do your best for me in this matter and hoping to hear from you again.
I remain your, Obediently,
T Newell

[Letter]
Guildford
Jan 10 1909
Mr Gale, Dear Sir,
About my little girl Phoeby. I received your letter and I answer it telling you that could not pay now but would pay when I was able that is when I got payable work. Sir, please will let me know what they will do she ought to be at school now and hoping you will try your best for me.
I remain your obedient servant,
T Newell

[Letter]
To: Revd A Burton, Manager, Swan Native & Half-Caste Mission, Midland Junction
Dear Sir,
I have several times tried to communicate with you on the telephone, but without success. I wished to inform you that the man Newell states that he is at present unable to pay anything towards the maintenance of his children at your mission but will do so when he is able to get payable work. He finds it all that he can do to support his wife and the children who are with him now. What he wishes to know is, whether you will take in his youngest girl “Phoebe” who I spoke to you about a little time ago. The Government will pay the usual rate for the child, until the father is able to contribute towards her support.
I am, dear Sir, yours obediently,
C F Gale

[Letter]
To: Mr T Newell, Ab. Nat., Guildford, WA
17th Jan 1909
Sir,
Mr Barton consents to take your girl “Phoebe” as an inmate of the Swan Native and Halfcaste Mission. When you take her there, please give the Manager this letter.
I am Sir, yours obediently,
C F Gale

[Letter]
To: Acting Manager, Swan Native and Halfcaste Mission, Midland Junction, WA
18th Jan 1909
Sir,
I saw Mr Burton on Saturday in Perth and he has verbally consented to take as inmates of the Mission, the girl “Phoebe Newell” from Guildford, also the by Tommy from Menzies. I have instructed Mr Newell to take his daughter to you and I will communicate with you again, when to expect “Tommy.”
I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
C F Gale

[Letter]
Swan Boys Orphanage
Middle Swan
To: The Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
Dear Sir,
In reply to your 13/285 of 11th inst I have to inform you that I have arranged with Mr Pechell for the admission of the halfcaste.
Yours truly
A Burton

[Letter]
Swan Boys Orphanage
Middle Swan
To: The Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
Dear Sir,
In reply to your 13/286 of 11th inst I have to inform you that I have arranged with Mr Pechell for the admission of the girl Phoebe.
Yours truly
A Burton

Katitjin Notes:

Swan Native and Half-caste Mission
It is worth noting here that Thomas Newell saw the mission as an opportunity for his daughter Phoebe to attend school. Although all children were permitted to attend State Schools, this became increasingly difficult for Aboriginal families as the White parents pressured these schools not to allow Aboriginal children to attend. The Education Dept then excluded them because Aboriginal children were supposedly under the care of the Chief Protector. Unlike the often portrayed myth of families “abandoning” their children to mission institutions, it is clear from his letters that Thomas Newell’s primary concern was the welfare and education of his children. A full description of this mission can be found at Find & Connect.

Burton, Alfred
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.”

Application for marriage to Manilaman (Filipino) in Broome

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0010
Title: W.A. Beaumont. Marriages – Application on behalf of Margarito Maghanoy (Manilaman) to marry a half-caste girl ‘Marcilla’

Keywords:
Marcilla Marsellino, Margarito Maghanoy, marriage, Beagle Bay Mission, Jose Marsellino, George Moss, Josephine Marshall, Drysdale River Mission, Nicholas Emo, Walter Beaumont, George Moss, Josef Bischofs, Broome

Key Phrases:

[Patriarchal attitudes to marriage]
I need only say that it must be evident to you that the girl’s lot as Margharito’s wife is much more desirable than that which would otherwise be her fate, the woman of some aboriginal man and we all know what that would result in. [George Moss, pearling master in Broome]
I would like to see her well settled before her departure from my care. She being free, it will be for her a great danger to become a prostitute. [Father Nicholas D’Emo, missionary]
These mixed marriages with Manilamen or Asiatics made principally by the Fathers at Beagle Bay, were found to be a mistake[I] strongly recommends that they should not be allowed. [Edmund Pechell, secretary, Aborigines Dept]

[Letter]
Broome
19th Dec 1908
To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
Dear Sir,
I have to ask you to be kind enough to give the following matter your favorable consideration.
There is at Beagle Bay Mission, a half caste female, the offspring of a Manillaman and Aboriginal woman who were married at the mission previous to the birth of the said half caste. Now this half caste is now a girl of fifteen years of age and there is a man named Margharito, a Manillaman, who is at present sailing master of the mission schooner (such comes to Broome at times for supplies) and who wants to marry the said half caste girl; the girl herself wants to marry Margharito and the girl’s parents are willing to the marriage. The father of the girl is a man named Jose Marsellino and is a sailmaker who works for and is employed by the pearling fleet. The mission authorities know all the parties in question and they approve of the marriage taking place.
If this is a case where special permission is required from you to allow of the marriage taking place, I have to ask you to be good enough to grant the necessary permit. The Manillaman Margharito is well known to me for many years and he has always been a very quiet decent and respectable man.
I need only say that it must be evident to you that the girl’s lot as Margharito’s wife is much more desirable than that which would otherwise be her fate, the woman of some aboriginal man and we all know what that would result in.
Yours Faithfully
Gerry? Moss

[Memo]
Mr Pechell
Ask for report from Police, also Beagle Bay Mission
C F G
[Charles Gale]
11/1/09

[Letter]
To Officer in Charge, Police Dept, Broome
14/1/1909
A man named G Moss of Broome writes to me re a Manillaman Margharito who wishes to marry a half caste girl at Broome. I would feel obliged by your sending me a report re the matter and whether this marriage is advisable.

[Letter]
To Manager, Native Mission, Beagle Bay
14/1/1909
A man named G Moss has written to me re a Manillaman named Margharito who wishes to marry a half caste girl, the offspring of parents married at your mission – the father of the girl is named Jose Massellina. Please report.

[Letter]
From Drysdale River Mission
8th Dec 1908
To Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
Dear Sir,
I beg to inform you that I have at present under my care a half caste girl of about 19 years of age, named Josephine Marshall, which, when she was four years old, I found her abandoned in the bush, and I put her in my school at Broome and later on I sent her to the convent at Roebourne (now translated) where she was there for some years, she being taught in reading, writing and cooking etc by the good Sisters.
Leaving the Convent a few months ago, she is interested now to get married, and I think is the best thing for her, as I cannot keep her any more and would like to see her well settled before her departure from my care. She being free, it will be for her a great danger to become a prostitute. She would be better to be married with a Manila man. I proposed to her three to choose, which I can recommend them as a good, steady and sensible men who have been not imported, but they are residents in this country per many years. I most respectfully beg to ask your permission according to the Aborigines Act 1905 for this intended marriage, which I will carry out in every point according same. Considering the great difficulty in having here regular mail, and not knowing yet which of the three proposed me she will like, I beg of your kindness to have permission to marry her with any of them which she may choose, giving you in the earliest opportunity all the information with reference to same.
Thanking you in anticipation for this favour
I remain, dear Sir, your obedient servant,
Father Nicholas Maria D’Emo (Missionary)
PS Kindly address the answer and everything in the future to the Post Office of Derby. The Port Master have being instructed to send me here all my correspondence by the Purser of the Steamer
[Note at base of this letter]
These mixed marriages with Manilamen or Asiatics made principally by the Fathers at Beagle Bay, were found to be a mistake – Mr Pechell also strongly recommends that they should not be allowed.
E D P
[Edmund Pechell]

[Memo]
Mr Pechell
? more information re this application, where is this woman now living, if at Drysdale Mission, who gave the necessary authority to be taken away from her own country.
C F G
11/1/1909

[Letter]
14th Jan 1909
Father Nicholas Emo
Sir,
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 8th December, re the half caste girl Josephine, and would feel obliged by your informing me whether she is now living at the Drysdale Mission; if not, where is she, also please ascertain who gave the necessary authority for her being removed from her own country.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
E D P

[Letter]
26th Jan 1909
Broome Presbytery
To Aborigines Dept, Perth
Sir,
Moss & Co Broome have written to your Department, re Margarito, a Manilaman who wishes to marry a halfcast girl at the Mission. The girl in question was born before Jose Marsalino married a native woman of Beagle Bay, named Domitilla. Jose Marsalino is not supposed to be the father of the girl.
I have know the Manilaman Margarito for four years, he is not a bad chap, as good as any other Manilaman and about 38 years of age.
The girl is about 16 and one of our best girls at the Mission. Jose Marsalino would like to see the two people in question married, he thinks to make a little bargain out of it. I could not give him a good character. He drinks too much.
I could not report anything else of importance.
So far, there would be nothing against this marriage, if the Department intends to give permission for same. As far as my own opinion is concerned, I am against all marriages between halfcasts and manilamen; for this I have given more than once my reasons to the Department. But if you think to grant permission pro casu, I am ready to marry the two people in question as soon as the papers from the South are presented to me. I would not take any responsibility before the Department. The Manilamen are of my own religion and if there would be a fair possibility I would like to see them provided for. For this reason it would not be fair for the Department to write back: we would like to see you married, but Father Bishofs is against it.
If you like to grant permission, please do so, but make ready to receive another half a dozen demands very soon.
I hope you do not misunderstand me. I have no intention to press the Department over to my opinions, not in the least. If you grant permission in present case I shall feel pleased for the Manilaman. If you should refuse permission, I would certainly be pleased for the girl, because the girls are simply pressed into these marriages with coloured people and they must say yes, although like in present case, the girl herself would prefer to marry a good halfcast boy.
Surely I understand well, that this marriage question is not a simple one; my experience for the past four years compels me to say, that it is better not to marry Manilamen with our Natives. But errars humanum est and at the end I might be wrong, therefore use your own judgement in present decision.
[hand written note at the bottom of this letter]
(Rest of letter refers to the Mission in another file.)

[Letter]
Officer in Charge
Police Dept
Broome
14th Jan 1909
A man named G Moss of Broome writes to me re a Manillaman (Margharito) who wishes to marry a halfcaste girl at Broome. I would feel obliged by your sending me a report re the matter on whether this marriage is advisable.
C F Gale
Chief Protector of Aborigines

[Letter]
Police Station, Broome
9th Feby 1909
To Chief Protector of Aborigines
Sir,
I reply to yours of the 14th ult, I beg to report this marriage would be very inadvisable. Margharito is a man of nearly 50 years of age and the halfcaste girl is not 16 years. From my two years experience of the marriage of halfcastes or Aborigines to Manilamen, I would not recommend a single marriage, they all turn out bad, it simply means selling these native girls. In this case, Margharito is to give £50 to the father of the girl and I am informed that the girl don’t want to marry him.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Stewart?
Corpl of Police

[Letter]
Mar 16th, 1909
Relative to your application for my permission for a Manillaman by the name of Margharito to marry a halfcaste who has been brought up by the Beagle Bay Mission, I beg to inform you that after making due inquiries from those who are competent to speak on the subject, and from my own knowledge of the inadvisability of their mixed marriage, I cannot see my way clear to grant the necessary permission to enable this man to marry the half caste girl in question.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
Chief Protector of Aborigines

Broome
31st May 1909
To C F Gale Esq
Protector of Aborigines
Dear Sir,
Herewith I beg to make application on behalf of Margarito Maghanoy, a Manilaman residing at Beagle Bay, for permission to marry a half caste girl named Marcello, now under the care of the Beagle Bay Mission. This man has been in the country about 23 years and is now about 38 years of age. He has applied to Father Bischoff, the priest in charge of the mission, to marry him but was refused. This Father Bischoff I believe is rather averse to these marriages, and he referred him to your department and stated that if there was no objection from you he would marry him. Father Bischoff gives this man an excellent character. He is a teetotaller and is in charge of the Beagle Bay Mission vessel which makes periodical visits to Broome. He has some money and carries on the business of gardener and rears poultry, pigs, goats, etc. when he is not running the vessel. The girl whom he desires to marry is about 17 years of age, her father and mother residing in Broome. Her father is a Portuguese and her mother an aboriginal woman and are legally married. They are both members of the Roman Catholic Church. Trusting that you will grant me the favor of an early reply, whether favorable or otherwise, as the matter has been in abeyance for some time.
I remain, yours faithfully,
W A Beaumont

[Letter]
Mr W A Beaumont, Broome
June 15, 1909
Sir,
I have the honor to acknowledge yours of the 31st ultimo, making application fon behalf of Margarito Maghanoy, a Manilaman residing at Beagle Bay, for permission to marry a half caste girl named Marcille. In reply thereto I regret to have to inform you that I cannot give my consent.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant
Chief Protector of Aborigines

[Telegram]
From Broome, to Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
22 June 1909
Am Broome for few days. Kindly answer re Josephine marriage.
Father Nicholas

[Telegram]
June 24, 1909
To Father Nicholas, Broome
Do not approve of these mixed marriages. Cannot give my permission. Marry her good half caste boy.
Chief Protector of Aborigines

Katitjin Notes:

Question: Who are you to believe? It needs to be noted, however, that all of those competing voices are male figures of authority, representing the overwhelming patriarchal White hegemony: the master pearler, the priest, the missionary, the Chief Protector. Where are the voices of the young women themselves? What was their opinion, their agency, their choices?

Question: Why were all Filipinos, or all Asians for that matter, treated without any differentiation?

There are many descendants of Filipino-Aboriginal marriages who are well-known and important members of Aboriginal communities, especially in Broome, who are very proud of their joint Filipino and Aboriginal cultural heritage. For example, the country/folk/rock band Pigram Brothers, comprising of the seven Pigram brothers, descended from Thomas Puertollano; and a well-known director of the Broome Aboriginal Media Association, Kevin Puertollano. For more information on marriages between Aboriginal women and Asian men, see Regina Ganter’s book Mixed relations: Asian-Aboriginal contact in north Australia, published by UWA Press.

Extract fm The Passing of the Aborigines (1938) by Daisy Bates
The association of the Australian native with the Asiatic is definitely evil. There were four Manilamen at Beagle Bay married to native women. By tribal custom the women had all been betrothed in infancy to their rightful tribal husbands. They were therefore merely on hire by their own men to the Asiatics, and, in spite of the church marriage, remained, not only their husband’s property, but that of all his brothers, and all of the Manila husband’s brothers who paid for the accommodation. It was hard to convince the Bishop and the little abbot of this fact and of the terrible cruelty to the women and girls of such a system, and I had to show the two priests a poignant example. I had visited the Manila quarters in Broome, and in one house found a poor aboriginal woman, the “wife” of a Manilaman, with five of his “brothers” waiting to have and pay for intercourse with her. The poor soul told me that this happened daily. A few days afterwards I took the two priests to this hovel, choosing the Manila rest hour of the day for our inspection. I knew the terrible shock this would be to the little abbot and the Bishop to realize what Manila-Aboriginal marriage meant for the native woman: but with these facts the Bishop gave his direct veto on the dreadful system and in future such marriages were prohibited.

George Moss was an influential, master pearler who employed many Asians – principally Japanese, Manillamen (Philippino), Koepangers (Timorese) and Malays – on his pearling fleet in Broome.

William Alexander Beaumont was a master pearler in Broome.

Father Josef Bischofs (1878-1958) was a German missionary, who arrived in WA in 1905 as part of the Pallotine Mission, who built up the Beagle Bay Mission after the Cistercians left in 1899, and stayed until 1920. He translated the bible into Nyul-nyul and wrote extensively on Aboriginal customs. He was very outspoken in his objection to marriages between Aboriginal women and Asian men.

Father Nicholas D’Emo was a Spanish missionary of the Cistercian Order, who was the first priest at Broome and helped to establish the Beagle Bay Missionary. He arrived in 1895 and remained after the Cisterian Mission left in 1899. He was President of the Broome Filipino Association and employed an Aboriginal woman, who was married a Filipino man, as teacher in the school he established in Broome. After leaving the Cistercian Order, he ran a schooner with other Filipinos and then went on to establish the Lombadina Mission, where he died in 1915.

Fr Nicholas D'Emo with teacher and students at Broome School

Fr Nicholas D’Emo with teacher and students at Broome School

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.”

[Report]
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]

[Letter]
16.12.08
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

[Telegram]
19.12.08
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

[Report]
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

[Telegram]
5/1/09
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.

[Telegram]
8/1/09
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

[Note]
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.
E D P
[Edward Pechell]

[Telegram]
From Menzies Station
7/1/09
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.
Duncan

[Memo]
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

[Letter]
11/1/09
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

[Note]
Mr Burton consented verbally to take this child

[Memo]
To Inspector Duncan, Protector Aborigines, Police Station, Menzies
17/1/09
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

[Memo]
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.

[Memo]
23/1/09
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.

[Memo]
To Chief Protector of Aborigines
26/1/09
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.
Duncan

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

[Memo]
To Inspector Duncan, Protector Aborigines, Police Dept, Menzies
28/1/09
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.
E D P

[Telegram]
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.
Duncan

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

Media Response to the Roth Report I

Dr Walter Edmund Roth (1861-1933) Photo: John Oxley Library, State Library, Qld

Dr Walter Edmund Roth (1861-1933)
Photo: John Oxley Library, State Library, Qld

The following newspaper articles are responses to the Roth Report, recorded in The West Australian. The newspaper and date are followed by the headlines as written in the article and brief outline of what is contained in the article. Click on the date to go to a PDF version of that item.

The West Australian
30 Jan 1905
The Aborigines Question
The Investigations by Dr Roth
A Comprehensive Report
Drunkenness, Disease and Crime
Important Recommendations
This article is part one of three, and provides a lengthy summary of the Report, which does not include specific editorial comment; however, note that although the focal point of the report was a scathing indictment about the ill-treatment of Aborigines by Anglo-Australians, the headlines ignore the findings of abuse and neglect, highlighting instead negative Aboriginal behaviours that were not prevalent in the Report itself.
7,900 words

The West Australian
31 Jan 1905
The Aborigines Question
Dr Roth’s Investigations
Treatment of Aboriginal Prisoners
Charges Against the Police
This lengthy article is part two of three, focussing on issues related to sentencing and the treatment of Aboriginal offenders.
6,043 words

The West Australian
01 Feb 1905
The Aborigines Question
Dr Roth’s Investigations
The Indenture and Contract Systems
Alleged Abuses
The Mission Stations
The third and final instalment of the summary of the Roth Report focusses on the issue of working contracts and apprentice agreements made (or not made) with Aboriginal workers in the north-west. Also summarises the evidence given for the principal missions in WA: New Norcia, Beagle Bay, Swan Native Mission, Sunday Island, Broome.
6,039 words

The West Australian
31 Jan 1905
Editorial
The editorial focusses on the upcoming legislation that results from the Report. It also highlights the “problem” of Asians in the pearling industry:
“The condition of affairs…is mainly due to Asiatic aliens allowed into the State as pearling boat’s crews…mostly Malays, Manilamen, and Japanese…The contact with Aboriginal women with Eastern Asiatics can only be shocking and demoralising from every point of view…the half-caste offspring of such unions, if any there be, can have no abiding or respected place in the scale of humanity… There can be no question whatever that all practical steps should be taken, by legislation or otherwise, to prevent such moral atrocities.”
1,378 words