Moseley Report

A O Neville’s Evidence – Pt 7

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] Continued…

15. Have you a copy of his report ? — Yes, I will supply it. One of his recommendations was that there should be an itinerant officer in the Kimberleys to be entrusted with the matter of inspecting and treating natives between Derby and Wyndham, his headquarters to be in Hall’s Creek. After Dr Cook’s visit, two or three conferences were held between…

[End of page 18]

the Ministers and the officers concerned, and it was finally agreed that leprosy should be a matter for the Medical Departnent and that I should continue to control the incidence of venereal disease amongst natives. Consequently I am not able to give much evidence regarding leprosy that will be obtainable from the Medical Department. It was suggested that native leper cases should be transferred to a leprosarium at Darwin. In company with the Minister, I visited the Federal health authorities in Melbourne with a view to getting that suggestion put into effect. It was not done then, but it was brough about more recently and lepers are supposed to be sent to Darwin. In 1925 I again pointed out that in the Kimberleys I had cone across a number of revolting cases of disease. All the district medical officers were not then administering the treatment we had adopted at our hospitals. As a result of my representations they were asked to do so in order that they might treat local cases. I also recommended that the district medical officer at Derby should be relieved of his duties for 12 months so that he could travel up and down the coast and administer the propor treatment. That was not agreed to. I further pointed out that a suitable policy to control the increase of the disease would be the gradual establishment of small native stations or depots in order that we might get in touch with the natives and eventually effect the cure of those needing attention. We had plenty of rumours regarding the incidence of the disease in different parts of the north but could not get anything tangible on which to act. On the contrary, our own stations advised that there were no general signs of disease existing in the far North, and in that statement at least one missioner concurred.

16. The district from which most of the lepers came recently was one of those traversed by Dr Cook and found by him to be comparatively clean. One road board — I think it was Broome — suggested an annual inspection of natives on the same lines as those followed in the expedition conducted by Dr Cook, but owing to the high cost, the suggestion was not given serious consideration.

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In 1927 I pointed out that it would be just as cheap to appoint a permanent travelling medical officer who would be always on the job to do the work. Since then I have repeatedly urged the appointment of inspectors, at least one of whom should be a medical man. I submit file 126/33 (Exhibit 4). I pointed out that district medical officers could not be expected to visit the interior and that as a matter of fact they did not do so unless something special transpired. Consequently they could not know or seek out the condition of the natives.

17. Natives in remote districts disguise their condition. If they know that anyone is going to visit them, ten to one they will clear out until that person has left. I contend that only an officer of the Aborigines Department — a medical man or otherwise — travelling and repeating his visits can be expected to ascertain the real condition of those people. There have been short visits by medical men and recently the medical officer at Derby has done excellent work in discovering lepers; but had my recommendation been adopted in the first place, we would not have had the condition that prevails today. We would have been very much further advanced in the matter of the treatment of venereal disease. Because those people have simply been left alone for so long and because no one has understood their condition and because the diseased ones have not been actually located, the present
rather bad state of affairs has resulted.

18. In 1928, I recommended the establishment of a native hospital just from that district outside Wyndham. We had had several medical reports from that district notifying the presence of venereal disease, and are still getting them. The reason we know so much about those things — we are not given details — is that whites are contracting venereal disease and they allege they get it from the natives. Whether that is so, I am unable to say. However, Wyndham has forwarded quite n number of complaints during the last two or three years.

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No money wag available for such hospital, and I could not go on with it. The position is the same today. I put In File 184/28 (Exhibit 5).

19. Another difficulty cropped up some years ago when lock hospitals were in existence. The difficulty was that shipping companies refused to carry veneral cases. Now and again we were able to get one on board, largely on sufferance, but in the last year or two it has been impossible to convey natives in that way. At intervals during the past ten years I have suggested that we should have a boat of our own. Then the North-West Department was in existence we tried to arrange with the Commonwealth for a vessel for the use of the Fisheries Department, the Aborigines Department and the Customs Dept, but negotiations failed. Lately I have continued to urge that we should have a boat and that that boat should be established at Munja Station. Possibly something will come of that recommendation in the near future. It is essential that we should have a boat of our own to carry natives and to transport our goods and produce to Broome. There are difficulties experienced in approaching Derby by a small boat. Vessels prefer to go to Broome. Again there is the question of transporting lepers to Darwin and about this there has been considerable difficulty. If we had our own boat it would be a simple matter to take them there. Such a vessel would have to be an auxiliary boat. Also there would be saved the cost to us of certain services. It would cost no more, probably less, than we are spending today in certain directions. Further, with regard to the question of venereal disease on the stations in Kimberley, and particularly East Kimberley, I recently arranged for a visit of the district medical officer at Wyndham to our Moola Bulla Station. Moola Bulla is probably one of the best conducted stations in the North, as indeed a Government station should be, and you would expect to find no more adverse conditions there than anywhere else. I am going to submit a copy of the doctor’s report which I received about the end of last year. It is on Page 50 of File No.120/26 (Exhibit 6). It is safe to say that the natives on the other stations are in no better condition than are those at Moola Bulla.

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A O Neville’s Evidence – Part 6

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] Continued…

[Handwritten insert] Coming to Paragraph (d) of the Commission “Disease amongst aborigines and measures for their treatment”

When I became Chief Protector, I found there was an impression, particularly in the North, that the natives were very much afflicted with venereal disease. There were hospitals on Bernier and Dorre Islands capable of treating 480 patients annually. Actually while those hospitals were in existence, for nine or 10 years, 600 patients in all were treated at an annual cost of over £70 per head, which is enormous. That did not include the cost of collection and transport. There were never more than 100 patients at a time on the islands, usually between 50 and 60. Fear of the sea was one of the causes which prevented diseased natives from being discovered, for no doubt they used to hide. There was then an officer who used to travel about collecting diseased natives. The journeys to which I am about to refer took place between 1913 and 1917. On his first trip this officer went, it was thought he would secure about 200 patients. Actually he got only 47. On another expedition, in 1915, he got only 13 patients, and on his final trip he found only 32 bad enough to be sent to the islands.

[End of page 16]

After very carefully surveying the position, I recommended that the Government should close those hospitals—they were simply wasting money—and that in their stead hospitals should be erected on the mainland and the natives encouraged to enter them. One hospital was established at Port Hedland and another at Derby. At that time there was very little talk of leprosy. Only 13 cases were discovered between 1909 and 1917. From 1920 to 1923 11 more cases were discovered, including one white, and from 1924 to 1929, 27 cases were found. I mention this specifically to show that most of the leprosy discovered has been within the last three or four years. As regards venereal disease, hospitals on the islands seemed to have cleaned up the existing cases so far as they could be found, but those cases never included patients from the country beyond the usual confines of civilisation. The department has made every effort to convey to the hospitals any native afflicted with venereal disease. Protectors have been enjoined to report every case discovered, and they have to make an annual statement of the conditions in their districts. In 1917 I sought the permission of the Commissioner of Public Health to enable certain of my officers and one or two missionaries to administer a certain form of treatment for cases of venereal disease and he agreed. Throughout the North there are now some 12 officers entitled to do that. They reside in places beyond the reach of ordinary medical aid. There has never been discovered amongst natives the amount of venereal disease alleged to exist. On many occasions we have asked medical officers to visit certain areas and the result has always been more or less the same, namely that they could not find the cases said to exist.
14. In recent years the incidence of the disease has become more apparent. In 1922 I pointed out that venereal disease was increasing and that natives were suffering from other forms of disease. I myself had been through the Kimberleys and I urged the advisableness of a medical inspection right through the North in order to ascertain the prevalence of venereal disease,

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leprosy, and other complaints. In 1923, I repeated that suggestion. We had an outbreak of hookworm in 1921, but owing to prompt measures taken by the Rockefeller survey party under Dr. Baldwin, that appears to have been eliminated, as a result of those representations. Dr Cecil Cook, a Commonwealth officer, was loaned to us in 1924. He went through the North and made a survey. He was an expert in tropical diseases. He visited practically every station in the Kimberleys and in the North-West as far south as Roebourne. He examined in all 2,432 natives and found four cases of leprosy in natives and 84 natives suffering from granuloma venereum. It in important to explain the difference between venereal diseases. There are three forms from which the natives seem to suffer. Granuloma venereum is an Asiatic disease, which was evidently introduced by Asiatics years ago. So far as I can judge, it is the most easily cured of the lot. It does not seem to afflict whites or it has not afflicted whites here, although I believe it can do so. There is also ordinary syphilis from which the natives have not suffered to any great extent, and lastly there is gonorrhoea which is the commonest form, and the form that is increasing, it being so easily conveyed from one to another. It is the early stage of venereal disease and can easily be cleaned up. We have been administering special treatment for granuloma at our own hospitals and have turned out hundreds of natives apparently cured. It is not a long treatment; the natives are in hospital as a rule for only three or four weeks. Some natives have returned re-infected and have been discharged again cured. Dr Cook made several important recommendations.

A O Neville’s Evidence – Part 5

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] Continued…

Medical attendance is provided by the department as far as possible and we pay for it where it is necessary to pay. The old system of D.M.Os. has disappeared and we now hare subsidised medical men, or independent medical men. Where a man is subsidised he is expected to attend to indigent natives, and where he is not we have to pay him for it. As for hospital accommodation, there is practically none for natives in the South. We have a hospital at the Moore River settlement which does a good deal of work for the Midlands. South of the Eastern Goldfields line there is no hospital for natives at all. There are only a few Government hospitals left, they are nearly all committee hospitals subsidised by the Medical Dept. [who] now take maternity oases. These committee hospitals are loth to accept native cases and it is, in fact, impossible to find accommodation for a maternity case.

There are in the country certain good women, matrons and nurses, who are willing to, and who do, go out into native camps and look after those oases. The native of today is not the native of 50 years ago and some of the native women suffer intensely in childbirth. They have lost all the old stamina of the black and they have considerable difficulty in bringing children into the world, possibly because of their mixed blood. Camp life as it exists is bringing them lower and lower. They hardly bother to put up any shelter nowadays, perhaps only a few branches thrown together, and they live like that year in and year out, gambling and, where possible, drinking, and doing many other things they ought not to. Immorality is growing, the old tribal laws have broken down, and there is nothing to check the young men and young women. Girls of tender years arc being seduced. These young men and girls are unemployed all day and are rapidly becoming unemployable. Unsuitable alliances are being contracted, incest is about and youthful depravity is general. It is impossible to use this material to send out to employment even when employment is offered. Only the other day I brought two young men to Perth from a camp in the South-West, but when I told them where I wanted them to go

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to be employed, they point-blank refused, saying they preferred to stay in camp. There is a certain amount of prostitution in the South-West, but not a great deal and a certain amount of drinking which is growing. There is a lot of fighting between different factions. The people are forming themselves into tribes again, families are becoming tribal, and one faction will readily attack another. I have dealt with these matters in my report for 1931-32. I have brought with me two volumes of reports and also an index which I will hand in to you directly. We are suffering now from the consequences of failure to carry out the department’s plans and recommendations of the past. Had we had a free hand, these things would not be taking place today.

Measures for amelioration include improved and increased diet, more clothing and blankets, more departmental control of individuals, provision to enable the appointment of inspectors, the establishment of further settlements and stations, and the amendment of the Aborigines Act, increasing the powers of the Chief Protector in regard to guardianship and other measures. The mover of the resolution which brought about this Commission said the department had not a policy. Actually, the department has had a very complete policy for years, but it has been impossible to carry out that policy.

12. Your reports from time to time will show the policy of the department, and, presumably, that it has not been able to carry out the policy has been referred to in those reports?—-Yes.

13. Probably you have been hampered by lack of funds?
Yes, and by lack of legislation. The matter of education is very important. Only very few coloured children are permitted to attend a State school and then probably only because that school needs those children to maintain its numbers so that it can remain in existence. There has been a lot of trouble lately about the Wagin school in particular, references to which have been published in the Press. I am going to hand in the file (Exhibit 1-2), which will give the history of that. Only about 10 per cent of the native children

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in the State are being educated at present. Recently I made inquiries in the Eastern States,to find out what was being done there. You will see a report by the Inspector and a summary on page 50 of File 231/33 (Exhibit 1-3). The conclusions I have drawn are that not nearly so many native children are being educated throughout Australia as there should be. Schools for native children are desirable, and the education of natives should be vested in the department primarily concerned for their welfare. We have a school at the Moore River settlement which has over 100 children and we have at Moola Bulla a school where there are 40 children and there are schools at the various missions. There are no other schools for natives. Many people think the natives should not be educated. Whatever may be thought about the full-blooded aboriginal, there can be no question about the necessity for educating coloured people. If you send a youngster out to work, he should be able to read sufficiently well to read letters sent to him and to read his engagement with his employer, and he should be able to reply to letters and to count his wages. If we can bring these youngsters up to the third or fourth standard, we are satisfied. I have had very little experience of white schools, but I can say there is little difference between educating one of these coloured people and a white child; some are bright and some are dull. Some at the age of 14 get the wanderlust, and it is no use g keeping them at school any longer. But education is an absolute necessity if those children are to hold their own in life at all. There is a strong objection in the South-West to native children going to school with white children. The only solution is the establishment of native schools, preferably at native settlements. The whole psychology of the native child differs from that of a white child, and only those accustomed to handling natives understand that difference. The native as a child cannot hold his own amongst a lot of white children. His inferiority complex is too self-evident and he suffers in consequence. But when he reaches 21 years of age that disappears.

[End of page 15]

A O Neville’s Evidence Pt 3

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] Continued…

7. What was the subject of the complaints that you are referring to now?    —The natives being a nuisance near the town. The first complaint was from Moora. We had the Moore River settlement open at the time, and we moved the bulk of the natives from there. But I want to show you that to move them from the towns is not always a success. In that instance a number of them did not go to the settlement, but went out 20 or 30 miles away from Moora, where we could not get at them very well. They became a complete nuisance to everyone in the district. They are there still. It is one of those places where one hardly knows what to do with them; a sort of out-of-sight out-of-mind place. Northam in 1932 made a complaint, and again we moved 80 odd natives to Moore River. Narrogin Municipality has complained, and so have the Sussex Road Board, the Busselton Citizens’ Association, the Quairading Road Board, the Quairading Hospital Committee, Wagin Municipality, the Williams Road Board, the Gnowangerup Road Board, and the Katanning Municipality. While we have moved natives from Guildford two or three times, the local bench asked us again to move them only a week ago. Finally there was a complaint from the Geraldton Municipality. The wonder to me is that in the circumstances we have not had more complaints of this nature. I consider that the townspeople have been very long-suffering, in view of the general condition surrounding native camps. We have nowhere to send these people, and so the department are

[End of page 8]

powerless to act except as regards the settlement on Moore River, to which we cannot send aborigines south of the eastern goldfields line, and which moreover as already full.

8. It is sometimes desirable that bodies of natives be moved from one district to another; say the natives on the trans-line; but we have nowhere to put them, and so cannot effect the removal. Merely to shift natives from one district to another, to continue living in similar surroundings, is only adding insult to injury from the point of view of the white residents. The remedy in this case lies in the provision of native settlements.

9. Certain districts are anticipating visits from you. Probably they have written to you on the subject. They have written to me, and I have advised them to write to you. However, I would like to say here that if you contemplate visiting any native camps to see conditions for yourself, those camps should not be advised of your coming, because otherwise they will certainly be readied up for the occasion.

10. Referring to paragraph (c), dealing with physical fitness, I am afraid I have to paint rather a gloomy picture. In the North, except where introduced diseases are in evidence, the bush natives are a healthy, virile people. Their condition varies, according to whether the seasons are good or bad.

[End of page 9]

On stations where the natives are employed the conditions are, generally speaking, good. Frequently the natives are well-fed, but not always suitably so. The relatives of those people are likewise fed by the station people and they have sufficient too. That applies to a majority of the stations. In all instances of natives in employment and dependent upon them for supplies the staple diet consists of meat, bread, tea, sugar and tobacco. At least one medical man in the North has informed me that the majority of the natives in his district, which is a very large one, are suffering from malnutrltion, and that is naturally due to the sameness of the diet. We experience great difficulty in getting natives to eat foods apart from those supplied to them. We have difficulty in inducing then to eat cooked vegetables. When in employment they do not look for native foods as they were formerly accustomed to do, except when they are on holidays. Their natural food would be no doubt a better balanced ration than that which they get now. We do not insist upon any compulsory food diet scale so long as the natives receive supplies that are good and sufficient. Many of the station owners supply the natives with cooked food. Others provide the ingredients and the natives do their own cooklng. So far I have been speaking of the conditions that apply in the North.

A O Neville’s Evidence Pt 2

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 here] Continued…

2. There are growing up in the native camps and on stations a considerable class of people who are too white to be regarded as aborigines at all, and who ought to have the benefit of white education and training, with complete separation from the natives after they reach mature years, say 21. That is to say, the department should be able to take these white children from the camps and other native surroundings, and bring them up in special institutions for their kind. We already have one small institution of this nature, and it is going along very successfully. If we do not do this, we shall simply be breeding a race of white natives. Wherever you go in the camps, you will find these white

[End of page 4]

children, particularly on stations in the North-West and on the Murchison. On many stations there are half-caste offspring of white and black bearing children again to white employees, and yet those children still live under the old conditions. There are adult quarter-castes still living in native camps and mating with the other coloured people. I think the quarter-castes should not be treated as natives at all, but should be compelled to dissociate themselves from the natives altogether; that is, after they reach adult years; and once declared not a native, such a person should be penalised for associating with natives. The Commission in the course of its peregrinations will learn how numerous these cross-breds are, particularly in the South-West and in the coastal towns of the North.

3. I want to give you a few instances of what you will find. There are half-castes married to aborigines, with their progeny. There are three-quarter blacks married to other aborigines, or half-castes, or quarter-castes, and their progeny. There is the offspring of a white woman by a half-caste father, and he is living with a half-caste woman. There is the union of a full-blooded aboriginal with a white woman, and their offspring. There is an Asiatic and Afghan and negro mixture, complicating matters generally. There are half-caste negroes living with half-caste aborigines, and their offspring. The negro and the Asiatic should be kept strictly apart if the race is destined to be absorbed in the whites, as I believe it is, and as is the natural course of events. Ethnologically the aborigines are of Caucasian derivation, and when you introduce coloured blood of a race which is negroid you perpetuate the strain of colour instead of eliminating it. In a few years’ time it will be quite impossible to say, in the South-West particularly, what the people are at all. They will simply be

[End of page 5]

coloured people if things go on as they are going now, and then there are of course hundreds of half-caste children—I mean the children of the offspring of black and white, and not included in the existing Aborigines Act unless they are living as aborigines. There are quarter-caste aborigines without any white blood in their veins at all, owing to the introduction of other racial elements. Again and again we have been prevented from taking necessary action in individual cases because, owing to the admixture of blood, many of these people are not covered by existing legislation at all. We have had to act in some cases for the good of the individuals, whether they like it or not. Legally the position is simply that we ought not to act. Still, I shall deal with that latar on. It is quite certain that a position has grown up which was never contemplated when the Act was passed.

4. Paragraph (b) deals with the proximity of native camps to towns. In order that I may deal with this paragraph, I want to show the position as it was a few years ago, compared with what it is today. Seventeen years ago, in 1916, and I take that year because it is my first complete year as Chief Protector, there were said to be just under 1,000 natives in the South-West. That is the district from Geraldton to Albany westward in a straight line between Mullewa and Ravensthorpe. By 1920 the population had grown to a little over 2,000 in the same area. Today, as I have said, it is over 3,000 within that area. This question of the proximity of native camps to town does not affect the North at all. It is a south-western problem, and to some extent a goldfields and also a trans-line problem. Within the area I have referred to there were in 1916 only 200 indigents. Today there are over 1,100. Eighteen years ago the natives mostly camped on farms, with the farmers for whom they were working, or were living in the bush

[End of page 6]

where there was plenty of vacant land and game and water supply. Today the natives are forced to seek refuge near the main centres of population, because the land is all taken up and few farmers want them. In addition, the natives have learned to enjoy certain amenities of life, and they want to be near centres of civilisation for that reason. Mostly their health has deteriorated very much. There is nowhere else for them to camp. There are over 50 places in the South-West where natives are camped at present, and small reserves have been declared adjacent to nearly every town, many of these reserves lack water supplies, and that is a constant difficulty. We are not in a position to install such supplies on acoount of the financial position. We have done our best. In some of the areas we are even carting water to camps. Sanitation is another difficulty. We have had certain structures erected, but very often the natives do not use them, and they are few and far between.

5. From the departmental point of view it is of course advisable to have the natives near a town in order to avoid cost of transport of supplies when we have to feed them, and to ensure proper oontrol by the local protector, or to enable medical attendance to be supplied if possible, to arrange for care of expectant mothers, and in fact to keep a general oversight. In additon to that we have to bury all deceased natives. That is mostly done by contract. The position is accentuated somewhat by the missionary element. Certain good people are desirous of helping the natives, and they have obtained permission to frequent native camps with the idea of teaching the people. The natives are very keen on education and they naturally follow the missionaries to a certain extent.

6. During the last four or five years, when work has

[End of page 7]

been practically negligible for these aborigines, the position has become very much accentuated indeed, and protests have been received from all over the South-West. I wish to mention some of the places from which protests have come, because we are dealing with that matter under this paragraph.

A O Neville’s Evidence Pt 1

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:

1. BY THE COMMISSIONER: You expressed a desire to give evidence at this stage of the preceedings. Will you now do so? —I have been Chief Protector of Aborigines since early in 1915. As shown in the last annual report of the department, there are 29,021 natives within this State. Of these approximately 15,134 represent full-bloods, 3,891 are of mixed colour, and a large number of the latter are half-castes. The conditions vary according to the part of the State in which the people reside. The rest of the State cannot be judged by the South-West, nor can the South-West be judged by the position in the North. The problem has many facets. A wide knowledge of the conditions is required to enable anyone to formulate a proper judgment of the situation. The conditions in the extreme North are in most respects fairly good. In the lower Kimberleys, and in the North-West the conditions are passable, but in the Gascoyne and the Murchison they are not so good. Deterioration has already set in. On the goldfields and in the South-West deterioration and demoralisation have long since set in and are becoming acute. The process of demoralisation started 100 years ago in the South-West. It has continued steadily up to the present time. It reached the North somewhere in the seventies or the early eighties. It has not taken much hold beyond the Leopold Ranges, where the people are

[End of page 1]

in practically the same wild state in which they originally existed, because there has been no white settlement to speak of in that area. These are a free and independent people, living in the wilds, and closely safeguarded by tribal inhibitions and prohibitions. A little further south we have a number of useful natives, still resticted by their tribal bounds and culture, but a number who have been born in servitude are beginning to forget their own culture to adopt that of the whites.

On the coast and further south we meet the coloured element. On reaching the South-West we find only 500 or 600 true aborigines left. There we have a nameless, unclassified outcast race, increasing in numbers but decreasing in vitality and stamina, and largely unemployable. The fathers are better men than the sons, and the grandfathers better than either. It is my firm conviction that as things are in the South so they will become in the North unless preventive measures are taken. Under present conditions the splendid virile men of the North will become like the useless coloured people in the South.

We hope as a department to tell you what we think is wrong, what remedies we suggest, and what we have dared to attempt with the means available to us. In 1905, when the Aborigines Act was proclaimed, there were with very few exceptions only aborigines and half-castes. There were not more than 900 half-castes in the State. Today there are still aborigines and half-castes but there are two or three generations of half-castes, and numerous cross-breeds, making the total coloured population, which is not purely aboriglnal, 3891, excluding numerous Asiatic crossss at Broome and along the coast, who are quite unclassifiable. In all probability there are nearer 5,000 people of colour in Western Australia.  In 1905 there were only 50 half-castes between Geraldton and Albany; today there are some 3,000. A large number of these people are not covered by existing legislation, yet they are living exactly as their forebears did. Indeed their conditions in most respects are inferior to the conditions of the pure-blooded aborigine.

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They have very little in the way of education, but some of then have just enough to enable then to become defiant and unrestrained. Our difficulties as a department are, therefore, constantly increasing. They have abandoned all the good found in the tribal culture of their ancestors, except when they choose to use it as a means to an end. In the South at all events we have reached a stage where decisions must be made concerning the future welfare of these people who are at the parting of the ways. We have to decide whether we shall make them a good, law-abiding, self-respecting people, or leave them as an outcast race, rapidly increasing in number and constituting an incubus and danger to the community. These people in the South have suffered somewhat from the sympathy and pity of the community. They have been spoilt in many ways. They have suffered the good-humoured toleration of the whites, and have been allowed to live their own lives to their own detriment. Like other crossbred races, they have a dislike for institutionalism or authority.Yet above all things they have to be protected against themselves and can not be allowed to remain as they are. The sore spot must be out out for the good of the community as well as of the patient, and probably against will of the patient.

Paragraph (a) of the Commisslon refers to the different classes that should be excluded from the native camps. There are people who advocate separate legislation for half-castes and aborigines. I do not agree with that. The half-caste is bound up with the aboriginal; he is living the life of an aboriginal and it would be impossible to separate the two at present. In our own Act a certain amount of differentiation is shown with regard to the half-caste.

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The half-caste dislikes extremely to be thought an aboriginal, though he does not mind being classed as a native. He objects to what be calls the “Dog Act”, and being placed thereunder; that is, the Aborigines Act. I do not blame him for that. Many of the half-castes should not be called aborigines. They are above that, quite. They have passed along the road to a certain extent, and they naturally object. My view is that the name of the Department should be entirely changed. It should not be the Aborigines Department at all, but the Department of Native Affairs, and the Chief Protector should be styled Commissioner or some such title. Then the whole objection of the half-caste would disappear, and it is a very considerable objection. In some cases it prevents us from handling the half-castes at all, whatever right we may have in the matter. The term “native” of course would include all coloured persons deemed by law to be such. The effect of the proposed change would be excellent. There is nothing adverse in it, and it oould not adversely affect anyone. We shall be dealing with Clause (a) again later, when we come to legislation. I do not want to say too much about it just now.