Among the Pearlers and Squatters
The Meat Kings-And Their Holdings-Preference to Cheap
Not satisfied with the big privilege it already enjoys in the matter of in- dented labor for the pearling industry, Broome continues to clamor for the cheap Jap and Maiay in the house- holds. The cry comes mostly from the women-folk, who not only are the tiredest lot of feminines in the world, but have arrived at the conclusion, from observing the languid, do-no- thing females of Singapore, that work -even domestic work- is beneath them and only fit for the black and tan ser- vants- they want to bring into the country. Broome white women are invariably complaining of feeling un- well, though they look strong and lusty enough, but their indisposition is due to the fact that they take no exercise. You find them at all hours of the day lounging about on the ve- randah, consuming the latest things in fiction, if inclined to reading ; if
not, they simply sleep the time away. A binghi or his gin is employed to do general cleaning- up, another gin nurses the baby and totes it along in the family perambulator for its after- noon airing, and yet another runs er- rands for her weary mistress. Never
were women so pampered, and now with the querulousness of persons too well considered they are urging their doting- husbands to procure them in- dented Asiatics for home use. Let us hope for the sake of white domestics in search of toil, and of race parity as well, that the Federal Government will boot any deputation off the premises that comes from Broome in further- ance of the project.
Although indented labor at Broome was for the pearling industry only, it is easy to find abuses of the business.
On the foreshore of the town there
has lain high .and dry for over twelve months, a schooner owned by a canny Irish person known as Captain Percy who learnedl a lot of his astutenes while in the West Australian police force, from which he ultimately retired to run a pub and a few pearling boats. Percy should be out at sea with his vessel, but prefers to make a domicile of it ashore, and. gets all his domestic work done by his crew of in- dented Japs. Considering that a number of men are awaiting an op portunity of going directly into pearl- ing, and are only held back because all the permits allowed by the Govern- ment are absorbed it would be but fair that Percy's illegally employed
Asiatics should be taken from him and
given to those people, Percy's hood winking bf the authorities so long is certainly a, tribute to his diplomacy
Some ultra-sensitive blowhards of Broome are much concerned because Hunter, of Cygnet Bay, recently con- victed for cohabiting with native wo men, was described in the charge as a pearler. Originally Hunter ran his own pearling boats, employing white divers, in whose utility he still has unlimited confidence despite tbe con stant proclamation of deeply interes- ted Broome persons that only the Jap and the Malay can work under water. As a matter of fact, the Asiatic divers are popular because they toil for low wages and submit with comparative tameness to treatment aboard the lug gers which the blustering, lazy pearler would never dare to visit on white men. Afterwards Hunter took charge of an aboriginal station about Cyg net Bay, and supplied Government ra tions to any natives, foregathering there. His life among the aboriginals was of easy morality-others in the Nor'-West live similarly, but manage to avoid being found out-but no others, whether Asiatic or white, were allowed to intrude, so the isolated station was kept clean and healthy lt was certainly, a long way ahead of
the frowsy Yoshiwarra, known, as She ba Alley, which flourishes under the pa tronage of the lordly whites. The po
lice, led by Inspector Sellenger, sud denly came upon him, and subse
quenty got Resident Magistrate Adams of Derby, to impose a fine of £50, or six months' gaol. Since when the coloured community at Cygnet Bay has dispersed, and Hunter lives a lonely hermit, with only the memories of his polygamic days to cheer him.
: Since Bishop Trower came, full o!
. dignity, to take ecclesiastical contrb - ot the Nor'-West, he has had soms
rebuffs and not a few indignities t'o '._ include in his letters home.. So largt I' a clerical institution-as a. bishop- h
really a burden to the Nor'-Westers, most of whom have forgotten al] about ïhe reverence they once conce '? dod to thc respectable silk-ápron and ; gaiters of the church. Ko it is not
surprising that thry scatter to the winds when the portentous form o! his lordship looms into .view, or, in- stead of 'foiling their headgear, gaze with do-pf-raUi preoccupation any - where but in his direction when thc
*- bishop c'jzs by. Arriving- at .-Darby
tlie oilier day by tba Bullarra h? loo!;?.! around in vain for the wel- come a bishop should get. Tfrere were no leading citizens assembled to greet bira., although this was Iiis first visit to the northern port; even.tba gríta- le okin s wh ari; tig cr had no. t ime for nnything but the berthing of the sterur.M-. "Where is tba R.M. ?" at length demanded th« distinguished visitor. "Is he not he-ah ?" A long, scorching scrutiny of t-hs landscape re- vealing nobody in particular, his lord- ship pot gloomily aboard the horse tram and ; went with tb:» crowd iivto town. lien; ¡^gaiu thero wns nc ac- claiming concourse of right-minded Christians, but eventually a bevy of amiable old. ladies took po-*s>çssion of the forlorn cleric aird re-g-Jed him plea- santly with afternoon tea.
# * ~.*
Darby record.«, with bated breath how ' Bishop Trower grimly called upon th:;
He.-ident Magisti-ctn, and was horrifiei to bo told t«y that unfeeling- function ary thai hi- was busy, "but if you want to .«:>. me prc:es«ic*£ally I can spare tims for «n audience." lt was too m".:'h. -I'.ishop Trower sadly re joaied the tea party. Personally the bHii.-p is thc orthodox, conservative, "oki-r-suntry cleric, steeped to the finger
tips in th? traditions of "Hom-?" ; a heavy, pot:Serous, commonplace man, with iii.u.nlani'r« of* .selfishness stowe:! away bi neath his «-opious waistcoat. Tn thc; passage back from Derby all his s-vn: pat ky was for thc bullock? *>tow.*d ¿uv-ir in thc Vi-ssil's hold, and' n, « rr xi word did hf deign to a pallid man v.-ho l-v- cn. d-ccU ut death's door fron«, malf-riâ. In < or> variation, it
^?!;--«.n.-:i that' Bishop Trowr-r is expec t «-'I ar?rn "nisi, r ihr« northern diocese
tn the* int rr rt a:-cruin;r annually
fro^« £1 .»..»'''.- which, whfti you com"
to t'Ak et V' - isn't alcuinte-a to rr.ak.. ?on» 1 r.. - " .-V-,".: tho
Pr-h-1"'- '"? -marV.r.'-H' in un
i;.."">;0:.-.,v(.,-t jr- ii:-. Ad-.?:5i-=. fi. Ti.'J. ' -! t>> a'«.r¡v-.«. Rightly or V 1 ?- i1.:- ?. ?v: v!«.":-;-nt has e-'-trib H-'.T. d t-v- t><-¡', from mnrivra o? .coaou.v, <-I i«iaUi:)g the doct.-,r-> cf
northern towns also the ministers o'
justiee. utialy i^noriuj their legal fit- ness. In soir.e places ii works \v.--ll ; in Derby it n-orfcs admirably, for ilia "reason that 1)». Atiansas has a magai
iicetu sense of justice and. gives every- body hk úeserts, whether ha be vho ¡ squatter holding sway over millions
of acres, or the battling dc-j.d-beat I wiihout a friend. A!though iheblood ! sucking fcquiitti-L- d'.sluics him because
he docs not worship with tba crowd
j the owner ol millions ot-empty, mono j poiised acres, .-till there is a whols j socne lear of the ü.M. that pan* ont j wei! for the common community. And ¡ ail lus eaemies proclaim him a eorapc j tent mediciné man. 'Above all, be is . a stickler fer thc dignity of his posi j tion as leading man: ot the towny and j a quaint story is told of bim that be I declincd.even when everybody knew of i the death of King Edward," to hoist I the flags of Derby lialf-mast until he
had been ofliciaily informed bf the
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While touching on affairs at Derby brief mention, may be made of the enormous tracts of country held by various squatters, and particularly Forrest, Emanuel and Co., or the Obagooma Cattle Co. Altogether this firm exercises authority over 8,500,000 acres, and monopolises a frontage to the Fitzroy River and its tributaries of 240 miles. Gogo, the largest run among, the holdings, comprises 2,000,000 acres, and stocks, as near as can be estimated, 35,000 cattle. The manager in charge of this, and super- visor of other stations belonging to the company, receives the munificent salary of £600 a year, the largest re- muneration paid td any ranch-boss north of Geraldton. The total stock pasturing on the combined squattages
is computed at about 80,000 cattle and 250,000 sheep. Improvements amount to little or nothing, as there seems to be plenty: of surface water, and fences are scarcely necessary on such an extensive patch oi territory as 8,500,000 aeres. It would be hardly possible for sheep or cattle to stray off it. What Forrest, Emanuel and Co. make annually- it would be difficult to say, but there must be tremendous profits in view of the fact that not
thirty white men are employed, and ¡ that the firm has the thief control of ! the State's cattle-market. One of the j Emanuels drew £80,000 as his portion j of profits made during And' all \ the country receives for this hug-r» con-j cession is the modest sum of from 5s. ¡ to 10s. per 1000 acres. j
* ? * * * * .' j .J. A. Game, an English tea mer-! .chant, residing in'London, ownsYeda' "station, aggregating one million acres , and pasturing 34,000 cattle Game also has 1,500,000 acres on the eas-
tern side of the Leopold -Hanges, feed-1 ing about 7000 head. Employs .not1 more than a dozen white men, but, ? like Forrest, Emanuel and Co., uses1 aboriginal labor, as much as can be got of it. ; !
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Kimberley Downs, on the Leonard .J
River, about 60 miles from Derby, is
the stronghold of M. C. Davis, who j grips SOO.'OCO acres' nñd " owns about 30,000 sheep. Napier Downs, 900,000 acres, is also the projicrty of Davis, stocking 9000 fattie. Davis, Hke the preceding squatters, has his shearing done mostly by niggers, although four pens are kept for white men. Eight white men receive Permanent employ- ment, and Davis lives calmly among the comforts or Perth on an income of probably £10,000 a year.
* * * * * .
These are thc big squatters, but a few small men are in evidence, who, however, Uve hard, kangarooing and otherwise, because Forrest, Emanuel and Co., and Game, and ether favor- ed persons hold control of the mar- ket. Salés of stock by the miniature squatter dopend ahnest wholly on whether the big monopolist is willing to buy or wants a lot to make up a shipment. In consequence, of the tac- tics of these bloodsucking firms and big men, there is no genuine prospe- rity ih West Kimberley, for the little
man who would »be the backbone of the country if given equal, opportu- nity in the market , finds ".his enter-
prise cramped, and othsrs cannot come in because the land is locked Up by Forrest, Emanuel and Co. As -the State Exchequer gets very little from these large holdings, an iucreasistí land tax is the only means of dealing with ilte wealthy absentees. The imposition . of, say, sixpence or a shilling an acre,
hot 5s. or l''*s. per thousand, acres, as they are nov.- paying, would make a great difference to revenue, and, better still, would te the means of turning to account good pastoral' country now being held merely to 'Iwp others from coming in and "competing with the meat' rings of the _ior'"-Wcst.
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' A prominent Xcr'-WîEtw, sizing up the .squatter generally, could scarcely conceal his scorn of the f rut-i sal ^results of tba lïoyal Conimission appointed to inquire into the aSairs of the meat ring a few ye--.rs ago. "ü.íc-a who cou'id have given faithful and telHn^ tesliaHwry, proving beyond doubt that the ri^ existed, and was making enormous profits, were afraid to do so, as thvy would have been ruined by the wealthy monopolists," sai'? . thc Xor' - Wester. Putting things in a nutshell, the squatter gets his stock to the metropolitan, marget at tass than £4 a head. .Havine, prac- tically control ci shipping space, transport doesn't cost £.» a head (let Forrest, Emantvl and Co. sho~ their books, if they dare;, ai>d as breeding runs into a mere tri Île consider in.? the unimproved condition of tho runs. droving-, wharfage and incidental charge-1 are easily covered by the re- maining two pounds. Knowing then what meat is bringing in the butchers' ! shops of I-Vri!:, the value oi a. (¡0;» or j 700i*?. bulIo-.-k, taking a moderate j average of the trias--; ot catii,- sent to
markt-t from the stations of the Nor'- west, the prc-iiis . juatb.TS arr» makin*
I may ? be easily re .-honed. Thnt liovid j Commission nev.-r £o<. anywhere nj¿a i the facti-."' »¡id the .Xor'-Westar, who
went on fo s.iy that the fre-?:'.ing ! works at Wyn.'ihara v.c-uhL be mostly j for the bc:¡*-'ii of Forrest, Ennmuel jana Co., ar.d Connor. Dc-h.-rty and j Durack. "'Th.- ïv.U-r. -te ci the -mali I squatter wo tdd bc het'wr conserved by
the establishment of the e-jut.'niplateJ
' meet works at Derby. Dut although ' the Government i de-îrityiug the v. hole
of the <-osl 'vc t~ - ent.'-rpi ¡se at Wynd 1 hilra-ri ¡¿-ht al lia* 'df»e;r.-- ot C:ic bi?
.".quailing-Jiru.s meiuioni.ti, who can v.i.i! iiiToi-'i to up tin- free/inrr v.-ork-. vi;heut any Stau* jis.-i.--la«*--; the ':;ir;¡-u:i y.. . ' ?'. !>? :'-'y a iv* :\sk,..i t'> i>..:*.:. ;i Inly.- poi lion ol th- CO-Í of t "r-i- :.->..-;?: nr..! ci::t--.-p:--iiiiy th; r-' i- little ri*j:trn-e ..'f ihr if ,--v.-r cont' iupr lo .-;!iyi:-i'::..*-.''
Th.- .\nr'-V- vi.
1 h'- pr-.-iu-ll! ill \\:
r- i:r:i'.f summary of
; Ki rn i - ri.y v, .is in fv/inie>ns oi c'.'ery :t.--;-.-jr-\v.":i. :>:H lt\l