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THE HALF-CASTE PROBLEM.
ADDRESS BY THE REV. J. C. JENNI SON.
At a meeting of the Libral Women's Educational Association at the Liberal Club hall last night, the unhappy. plight of the half-caste was the subject of an
address by the ltev. J. <L". .|<'iiiiiwn (pre tiiicut oi' the Aurtraiiau Al>origiiief' Mtt sioDl. Re slid he had been <ioscl} asso oiiit?d v>itli aborigine* and lialf-casteh tor niaiiv y.itiK, iv n>iin?tiou with his minii- t?rial duties, ftartituLirlj- iv Victoria, the Xortiuaji T?iMjiy, anfl in Western Aitt- tralia. The native had not had a fair deal, but tlie haif-uifite tras belireen the de\il ;.uil the deep sea, and was denied oven the scant pri\-ileges of the lull-blooded native. Iv every country wlicro native and v.-hitc races live ?tde by side, there was a. halt-caste firoblem, and to prove that it ?as a real one here. Mr. Jenni^on said oili.'ial figures showed there were 1,167 half-canter in South AustraJij, freo tlioagh many f.f the half-casce babiee were killed at birth. From a vide knowledge of the subject, he estimated the kalf-csste population in Australia, at nearly KI.OOIi. Ouring hie ?Ur in tlie Xorthern Terri tory he had become greatly attached U> ihe t'liincKP, Japanese, Malay, and abori ?line iiali-cafjtes in the notorious compound at Darwin, alrliougk there were keart br<akiug situations to deal with. The oiilj" way to do anytuing for these people was by training, education, and continuous oversight; bill the Government** oi twnth Australia had lieeu ovtremclv parr>inionious in their dealing* \ritU them. Although valuable nalivc j^eservd* had been losunied, the Ciovernmeut were annually out of l>ock*-t to the extent of only £9,1800. It should not be eour.idei*d that the only niturc for half-taste irirls was domestic wrvice: efforts should be made to tn-or-ije them with uj>|toriunities for making Ivmies oi tiieir own. Too much of this expense of dealing; with tiie half-ca^te ?4uld was thnnvn ii|H>n the <Jovernment on at^ount of the si ate of ihe law under which, iv the Xoitheru Tetritoi-y, it v.-as iir.n<?ii-r?l!y iiupni^blo to leail legal jnoot of naicrnivy a?ainst a wliite man. \Vhiu> father.; t-ii.r.iM be made res|iousn>le for the main tenance of their haK-cjste children. In tliii- regard, it nunid ncHiatni be he!pf?l if it Ik- mad.- compulsory lor a!f births to lie registered. Slove cai-n <fnM b<* to ;he children if ihev were I>ia?e<l in hoinw. and altlioiQch in s<-ueral he Ktronply diupproved of takiuff < ]ii!<3i-en fioin iJieii1 blaok j)are?i.-. in many nutback plm-pi U would cive half-taste children a chani-e in life it iliey Wdo taken away from tlie i.->m|i>. Hie best way io deal with the problem, however, nas by l?"evention, and much could Ije done in this rcgarf if !and ownors iv pastoral areas were inquired to employ a. certain proportion ot married men, i?r whom they would liave U> build house*. Conditions nliould al?? be im jtruved ]"<!!? Tj]jit<? women, and ?>mp r,t the disabilities of oudjat-k people removed by lirovidius oheaper fares on the railways. There was no <loubt that aeroplane tom inunicaliou and wirejess would remove sonietiiinx of thp lonelinees that prevented while women from going outiiaiU. and made it iinposstl>le for a younj; man to nud a suitable mate.