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CAUGHT IN THE ACT

New South Wales Government Acts of Bastardry

Against Aboriginal People 1788-2006  

Kathy Stavrou, 2006

 

Work in progress. Updated 23/02/2006

Note: This web page is part of a research blog, and will expand.

  Preamble

 

Eveleigh  Street, Redfern, 2002.

 

"The law of England so far as applicable to colonial conditions became the law of the colony and, by that law, the Crown acquired the absolute beneficial ownership of all land in the territory so that the colony became the Crown's demesne and no right or interest in any land in the territory could thereafter be possessed by any other person unless granted by the Crown."  [Mabo]

 

 

According to the Webster's Twentieth Century Dictionary, Preamble is from L. prae, before, and ambulare, to go; an introduction, especially one to a constitution, statute, etc., stating its reasons and purpose; an introductory fact, event, etc.; a preliminary explanation. The reason for the existence of this research blog is my anger, about the concealment of the truth of what really happened to  Aboriginal people at the hands of the New South Wales Government. Its purpose is to make available to the world all those official New South Wales Government documents few otherwise get to see: for example, the words of the so called "Aborigines Protection Acts" in the first seven decades of the 20th century. 

 

If you would like to navigate chronologically down this fact-stream you can next go to the Index of Acts by Year which forms the backbone of this Thesis/ web page/ work-in-progress/ research blog. The Preamble's function is to shout my opinions, in their context of only some of the examples of the startling facts available, from the rooftops: while the function of the Index is to provide a strictly chronological, cross-referenced time-line and summary of what has been done to Aboriginal people in New South Wales by the use of Statute; and also, to provide links to the full text of New South Wales Acts and Parliamentary Debate referring to Aboriginal people (some years incomplete). The Index also provides links to the (incomplete) Chapters 1-13. 

  

When complete, each Chapter, within its stated time period; (which are anyhow arbitrary and hard to divide up, since the incumbents of New South Wales Parliamentary power are each as horrible, in the words of their Debates and Acts, as the other) will comprise a document by document analysis and commentary, followed by the digitised copies of the documents of that time period; the Select Committee Reports, the words of Parliamentary Debates, and the words of the consequent Acts either referring directly to Aboriginal people or affecting them directly.

 

The central thesis of this work is that:

1. When the territory of the settled colony of New South Wales became part of the Crown's dominions, the Aboriginal inhabitants became subjects of the British Crown, in possession of the same rights to protection by the law, that were possessed by any British subject (and later, Australian citizen) of the time.

2. The policy of successive New South Wales Governments from 1805, was to use Standing Orders, Proclamations and Acts of Government to extinguish specific land ownership, subject-ship, and later, citizenship rights of Aboriginal people.

3. The words of the New South Wales Government documents published on this website are the evidence of this. Each Act referring to, or directly impacting on Aboriginal people, identifies rights in order to extinguish them for Aboriginal people, and to thereby simultaneously endorse the possession of those same rights for other, non-Aboriginal people. This enables the construction, Act by Act, of a list of specific rights denied to Aboriginal people, and extinguished by Acts of the New South Wales Parliament. 

This Thesis takes a left-wing political stance, in which the documents establish the corrupt manipulation of the democratic process by the New South Wales Government 1788-2005, in the passing of more than 60 Acts extinguishing the subject-, citizen- and land ownership rights of New South Wales Aboriginal people, to their permanent detriment.

The right-wing political perspective, alternatively, blames the victim rather than the perpetrator, the New South Wales Government. 

The documents, incomplete but still interesting

This documentary record will be complete when every New South Wales Government document, including Acts, Ordinances and Standing Orders, Military Governors' Correspondence, Sydney Gazette Reports, Sydney Morning Herald Legislative and Assembly Votes and Proceedings Reports,  Hansard  Votes and Proceedings including Select Committee Reports and relevant cabinet meeting minutes, Regulations, Yearbook information, relevant Commonwealth Acts and Proceedings, Indexes, &c., directly referring to New South Wales Aboriginal people or directly affecting their subject-, citizen-and land ownership rights between 1788 and 2006; has been located, digitised, and published on this website.

And all it takes is finding the microfiche or book document, scanning and photocopying each one, scanning and digitising, copying to a publishing program, proofreading, then posting to this website. Some of the documents are hard to find, and you chase them for months, for instance, the innocuous looking                              

An Act to further Amend the Law of Evidence, 1876.

The succession of Acts, commencing in 1836, were designed to remove rights from anyone identified as Aboriginal, in a Government orchestrated act of attempted genocide and concealment that goes on to this day. The result is a sort of reverse Bill of Rights; as each Act identifies rights in order to extinguish them for Aboriginal people, it simultaneously establishes, or re-establishes, those same rights for those who don't fall into the Act's net. This enables the construction, Act by Act, of a list of specific rights extinguished by New South Wales Acts of Parliament. You see the right by its negative shadow, like the people of Hiroshima only remaining as black charcoal shadows on the wall.

The documents reveal, in the New South Wales Government's own words, the continuing effort to conceal and disguise what must surely be one of the worst examples of covert, Government-sanctioned mass murder and violent, conscience-less land theft in the world. 

Even the name "Hansard" reflects the pathological Teutonic obsession with the orderly keeping of records, as exemplified in the holocaust records on the walls of Dachau, this many dying in the ovens today, this many ounces of gold from teeth, and the wardresses pleased with themselves and smiling. The New South Wales Government records from the beginning display an arrogant, self satisfied carelessness about the rights of others, an unbroken tradition of cruelty and selfishness specifically towards Aboriginal people, and an associated, arrant greed and stupidity towards the protection of the indigenous land, air, water and species. The list of those Members who spoke up for Aboriginal people and their rights in Parliamentary debate is a short one, and a surprising number of those Questions about the treatment by Government of Aboriginal people, get adjourned at 3 am or some other Debate graveyard hour, and nothing comes of them.

 

In quick succession, in 1836, 1838 and 1839, three pieces of legislation referring specifically to Aborigines; designed to control them because they were Aborigines, and to punish them for the same reason, were passed. (See links, following). In 1837 and again in 1839, an Ordinance supposed to protect Aboriginal women from violent abduction and rape was published in the Gazette. No reference can be found of its enforcement, or the enforcement of any other Standing Order, Ordinance or Statute referring to the legal rights of New South Wales Aborigines, although there is plenty of evidence of the opposite.

 

The first three New South Wales Acts referring specifically to Aboriginal people:  

         the Vagrancy Act (1836) An Act for the Prevention of Vagrancy and for the punishment of Idle and Disorderly Rogues and Vagabonds and incorrigible Rogues in the Colony of New South Wales (6 Geo. IV. No.6) 25 August 1836,

The first Act to refer to Aborigines declared them criminals from birth by inescapable implication, and cut them off from any white person who wanted to fight on their side.

         Supplying Liquors to Aboriginal Natives (1838), An Act for Consolidating and amending the Laws relating to the Licensing of Public-houses, and for further regulating the Sale and Consumption of Fermented and Spirituous Liquors in New South Wales, 2 Victoria, No. 18, sec. 49. [26th Sept 1838.]   

This second Act meant that Aborigines could not drink alcohol or socialise with white people in regulated premises, and were therefore likely to be exploited and to be exposed to dangerously adulterated alcohol and methylated spirits; this Act was never enforced as a preventive measure, or was unenforceable. 

The third New South Wales Act to refer to Aborigines was the

        Crown Lands Unauthorised Occupation Act 2 Vict. 27, 1839 "An Act further to restrain the unauthorized Occupation of Crown Lands and to provide the means of defraying the Expense of the Border Police [ 22nd March, 1839 .]      

which also includes an Ordinance from Queen Victoria, dated 21 May, 1839, ordering the Colonial Government and settlers, in absolute terms, to respect the legal rights of Aborigines as British subjects and as land-possessors. The Ordinance becomes a Proclamation, as the Standing Orders to the Border Police which followed the next day, and in the meantime, the Crown Lands Unauthorised Occupation Act (1839) gives only twelve words to the acknowledgement of the Imperial edict; promising punishment (loss of license) for those who "illtreated" the Aborigines. However, it's doubtful that any evidence may found of an enforcement of that.

The British Government instructions in 1787 (privately, to Philip) and 1839 (as a Proclamation and Standing Orders, to all New South Wales colonists from Gipps down, and specifically including the military police) define, as mandatory, the moral, ethical and legal parameters of New South Wales Government behaviour, in its relationship with the Aboriginal people during the period 1788-1862: during which period, New South Wales Government policy dealing with Aborigines and what had been their land, was being set in stone.

Queen Victoria's 1839 Ordinance, about the British subject status and rights of the Aborigines, is obscurely tucked away, as a footnote to the Crown Lands Act of 1839, in size 1 (tiny) print, and was found only by accident.  (4 Native Title Poems and a Colonial Document)

 

The New South Wales Government documents 1771-2006 (incomplete) that make up the Chapters posted on this website, are chosen because they make direct reference to Aborigines, or affect them directly in spite of a lack of mention. The earlier documents are harder to locate and sometimes harder to read, as some of them are handwritten and some, especially the Sydney Gazette, are badly printed and obscure. Many Reports of Votes and Proceedings in the Sydney Morning Herald are also difficult to decipher. First, they have to be identified in microfiched indexes and newspaper pages. Some Votes and Proceedings references prove impossible to find, particularly before the Sydney Morning Herald took up the use of sub-headings. 

 

Then by 1879, Parliamentary debates cease to be publicly available in the pages of the Sydney Morning Herald, to become a secret for the cognoscenti, published in the Parliamentary records as (later) called NSW Weekly Hansards, and only available to those with access to the rows and stacks of volumes bulging with the dreadful secrets about what was being done to Aboriginal people at the behest of Parliament and its running dogs, the Aborigines Protection and Welfare Boards, and all their manifestations since then. The 19th century documents are harder to locate, but they are ample, and only dwindle away as the Aboriginal people are killed off and imprisoned in the gulags provided for by the Aborigines Protection Acts and their associated Legislation of the 20th century. (See Index of Acts by Year

 

The persisting attitudes of stupidity, ignorance, cruelty and arrogance towards Aboriginal people, on the part of so many Honorable Members of Parliament, are plainly, and in fact shockingly, displayed in the words of the Parliamentary Debates. The blatant corruption of Government policy on Aboriginal peoples' legal rights is manifested in the words of the Acts of Parliament referring to, or closely affecting the rights of Aboriginal people, and are public records that are hidden away, like the purloined letter of Edgar Allen Poe, in full view. 

 

A series of New South Wales Governments have barely concealed their pathological hatred of Aboriginal people, in their well-practised strategy of muzzling debate, and shutting up the very few Members who dared to speak up on behalf of the Aboriginal people; by stacking select Parliamentary Inquiries with a majority of the participants with various degrees of pathological hatred towards variously titled natives, blacks, native blacks, aborigines, &c.; hearing witnesses they had chosen; writing a Report that absolves the Government of any blame or responsibility, tabling it in Parliament and then burying it in the archives, with the willing or nervous acquiescence of every single member of Parliament. It's in the documents.

 

I fully expect, in my pursuit of these evil documents, as tantalisingly referred to in Parliamentary debate: to find them curling up and withering away when I have them in my hands, like something out of Harry Potter. 

 

(Later note:)  microfiche found at the Mitchell Library; scanned, photocopied, digitised; for two Select Committee Reports (1857 & 1858) on how they used the Native Police to get rid of the Aboriginal Tribes in advance of the 1862 free selection Act ("Robertson Land Act"): go to: 

 

New South Wales S C Report, Native Police Force, 1857 (approx. 150 pages)

New South Wales S C Report, Murders by the Aborigines on the Dawson River, 1858 (approx. 160 pages)

 

These Reports are strange to read. These strutting chaps are proud of their exploits against the Tribal inhabitants. They are squatting on land, soon to become theirs by the 1862 Land Act, but at this time encumbered with Aboriginal Tribes. What better way, than to use their power as Hon. Members, to stack not just one Inquiry, but two, with the Members of Parliament, and those Military men and squatters they question, being the same people who would have most to gain by the slaughter of the Aboriginal Tribes by the New South Wales Native Police, (see above: links to 1857 and 1858 Select Committee proceedings), and the most to gain by the voting of more funds to deploy more Native Police.

 

The words of these documents, from 1857 and 1858, are verbatim accounts of Question and Answer sessions, and read as as if they are privileged documents, not supposed to be read by outsiders. They are readily available on microfiche in the Mitchell Library; but somehow, they have the menacing air of secret documents, in which the participants almost, but don't quite tell the truth, speaking in private military language and wherever possible, using euphemisms they all understand, and which are actually referring to the bloody destruction of the Aboriginal people either openly condoned, or directly carried out by the New South Wales Government. And in between the half-truths and boasting, the truth about how the New South Wales Native Police were issued with carbines, uniforms and horses, and paid 3 pence per day, how they  threw off their clothes to go after the tribes through the thick forest, on horseback, armed with carbines, in direct contravention of 

4 Victoria, No. 8 (1840) An Act to prohibit the Aboriginal Natives of New South Wales from having Fire Arms or Ammunition in their possession, without the permission of a Magistrate (Disallowed by Lord John Russell's Despatch, dated 11 August, 1840).

but unable to be sworn in court or give evidence about the violent deaths of the Aboriginal people, because of the

Act to allow the Aboriginal Natives of New South Wales to be received as competent witnesses in Criminal Cases (1839) (disallowed 1844)

and purposely addicted to alcohol by such military leaders as Commandant Frederick Walker, in direct contravention of the Act;

Supplying Liquors to Aboriginal Natives (1838). 

 

The New South Wales Government's core role in driving the 19th and 20th Century pillage and destruction of the indigenous environment, may be ascertained from the words of the Votes and Proceedings of the Native Flora Protection Bill, 1897 and the  Native Animals Protection Bill, 1903  (Note: these Acts, to come.)

This research project started in 1997, in assistance to someoneís North Coast Aboriginal massacres and Native Title research, and then it became a PhD research topic. Now it is an expose constructed as a brief of evidence and a research work in progress, (like or as a blog) establishing the New South Wales Governmentís guilt, in the attempted genocide of the Aboriginal Tribes; the corrupt behaviour of its Members in the seizing of Aboriginal lands for their own personal use or on behalf of their constituents; the corrupt manipulation of the electoral process to exclude potential Aboriginal voters; the corrupt use of the legislative process to permanently exclude Aboriginal people from citizen- and land-ownership rights; and the New South Wales Governmentís sole responsibility for all the harm to New South Wales Aboriginal people and their land, that was to follow.

The wonder of the Internet allows anyone to read the documents that have already been posted to this website. It is the researcherís contribution to students and researchers of this, and similar topics, anywhere. Since there can be no copyright on the truth, anyone anywhere can download, or copy and paste the documents, and judge for themselves, the behaviour of the New South Wales Government since 1788, by its own acknowledged acts and its own words, and in its own documents.

One excuse not to say sorry and therefore to have to pay proper compensation to Aboriginal people, whatever that compensation may be, seems to be that morally speaking, the behaviour was normal for the times, and that anyway it was sanctioned by British, or later, Australian law. Only the documents can tell the truth about that.

 For links to further primary source documents: see Index of Acts by Year

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Or: Go to Chapter 1