Quadroon and Octoroon Children to Southern States


National Archives of Australia Series A452 Item 1952/420 Canberra Office Transfer of Quadroon and Octoroon Children to Institutions in Southern States Copyright P J Mackett 2005 12th September 1934 His Honour The Acting Administrator of the Northern Territory Darwin I am forwarding herewith schedules of Quadroon and Octoroon children at present detained in the Half-Caste Institutions of the Northern territory. The removal of these children from the Northern Territory to Southern Institutions is opposed on the following grounds :- 1. If they are to be permanently removed the adoption of such a policy would introduce a further factor of depopulation into the settle- ment problems of the Territory, further reducing the white or near white population and exaggerating the percentage of colour. If on the other hand they are to be removed only during the years of school- ing they will not on their return to the Territory be such effective units in the population of the Territory as they would be if they were reared here. 2. Spasmodic efforts in this direction in the past have not been attended with the success anticipated. Where children have been removed to be placed in the care of private individuals success or failure in their upbringing has determined their retention in the South or their return to the Territory. There has been, therefore, a process of natural selection which removes the desirable citizen from the local population and augments the proportion of undesirables. An early indication of the developing financial depression in Australia was the return to the Territory of Half-Castes and Quadroons removed to Southern States years ago. These individuals, having failed to find a place as citizens in the Southern States, were returned to the Territory completely unfitted for employment here to swell the ranks of the unemployed and to become a charge upon the Administration. The policy, therefore, so far from relieving the half-caste problem, aggravates it. 3. Only in isolated instances can private persons be trusted to fulfil their responsibilites with full advantages to their wards. The Commonwealth has no machinery for enquiring inti the suitability or otherwise of prospective employers in the Southern States or into the conditions under which State children are maintained. The use of State organi- zation in this direction is not favoured as experience indicates that the officers are not sufficiently con- versant with the policy of this Department and the outlook of children of aboriginal inheritance. 4. Removal to Southern Institutions even where care is taken to select only those suitable for the purpose is but a temporary expedient inasmuch as provision must be made for the childre after discharge when the objections already enumerated must be faced afresh. 5. In my opinion the proper solution to this problem is to place these children in suitable institutions in the Territory. The Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Darwin, is an institution probably more suitable for this purpose in respect of females than any institution which could be found in the South. The cost to the Administration in respect of maintenance would probably be no greater than would be involved in the payment of fees to Southern Insti- tutions and the Administration would be saved the expense of transport. There is at the moment no institution providing for the care of males but steps are being taken by the Roman Catholic community to establish one. I have no hesitation in saying that the solution to the problem involved in the care of Half-Castes, Quadroons and Octoroons is to be found in removing the elder Half-Castes to employment in the Southern States and maintaining the Quadroon and Octoroon children in institutions in the Terri- tory. No doubt the adoption by the Administration of the policy I suggest, would materially assist in and expedite the provision of a suitable institution for males. Appended to the schedules of children referred to is a copy of a memorandum to me from the Superintendent of the Compound which I also forward for your consideration. C E Cook Chief Protector of Aboriginals Quadroons, Darwin Name Rita Darby Age 1 11/12 year Class Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother Dolly Darby (13 or 18 years). Father believed to be a European-Swede present whereabouts unknown. Remarks Institution since birth. Has blue eyes, quite light in colour. Name Margaret Gorry Age 5 years Class Medical History Clear (Malnutrition in infancy) Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Dolly Brown H/C 21 years. Father believed to be a white man British nationality, present whereabouts unknown. Remarks Institution since birth. Very light in colour, fair hair, definitely European features. Name Eunice Morris Age 4 years Class Medical History Clear, undersized Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother, Marjorie Morris H/C 26 years. Father European- Maltese, has evinced no interest in child or mother for some three years. Remarks Child has European features, lightcoloured, Mother is a light skinned H/C. Should say this child despite coloured strain in father could be classified quadroon for the purpose of this submission. Name Henry Baker Age Class Medical History Early infancy serious. Illness Camooweal Hospital. Clean sheet Darwin other than common ailments. Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother Phyllis Alexandria H/C 18 (13?) years. Father supposed white European - had made no overtures re maintaining child. Remarks Distinct European features - not so light coloured. Name Harold Quartermain Age 5 years Class Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Phyllis Alexandria H/C age 18 (13?) years. Father supposed to be a white British subject occupation Engineer - now left the Territory. Has evinced no interest in child as far as dept. is aware. Remarks A good looking child, nicely spoken, features distinctly European, very light coloured. Name Paddy Liddy Age 10 years Class Grade 2 Medical History Clear (crosseyed) Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother Daisy Liddy H/C 38 years. Father Tom Liddy, white British subject. Father made tentative proposals to maintain. Nothing definite at this date. Remarks Not so white. All very light coloured distinct European features. Name Harry Liddy Age 7 years Class Primer 1 Medical History Clear. Pneumonia 1934 2/52. Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother Daisy Liddy H/C 38 years. Father Tom Liddy, white British subject. Father made tentative proposals to maintain. Nothing definite at this date. Remarks All very light coloured distinct European features. Name John Liddy Age 4 years Class Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother Daisy Liddy H/C 38 years. Father Tom Liddy, white British subject. Father made tentative proposals to maintain. Nothing definite at this date. Remarks All very light coloured distinct European features. Name Evelyn Liddy Age 1 year Class Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother Daisy Liddy H/C 38 years. Father believed to be a white British subject, whereabouts at present unknown. Remarks All very light coloured distinct European features. Octoroons, Alice Springs Name Allen Laughton Age 7 1/2 years Class Grade 1 Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother O/C. Father unknown. Mother subsequently married H/C. Remarks Mother has taken him out of Institution sevgeral times but he has been returned as they were unable to properly care for him. Name Herbert Laughton Age 6 years Class Infants Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother O/C. Father unknown. Mother subsequently married H/C. Remarks In Institution continuously last 4 years. Mother of the two Laughton boys has signified her consent to their being adopted. Name Frank Ludgate Age 6 years Class Infants Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother O/C now left Territory. Father unknown. Adopted by H/C Ludgate. Remarks In Institution 2 years, no maintenance paid. As his mother's whereabouts are unknown, he can be considered as absolutely unattached. Quadroons, Alice Springs Name John Palmer Age 2 years Class Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother said to be a three-quarter caste girl now at Institution and father unknown white man. Remarks This boy is whiter in appearance than any other child in Institution, bright and intelligent. No difficulty about consent. Name Clem Smythe Age 13 years Class Grade IV (Lower) Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother H/C residing Alice Springs. Father unknown. Remarks Is colour of an Octoroon. Never been outside Institution Probably no difficulty regarding consent. Name Stuart Kunoth Age 11 years Class Grade II Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother H/C. Father unknown. Remarks Octoroon in colour. Never been outside Institution. Nothing has been paid for maintenance. Name Lindsay Smythe Age 7 years Class Grade II Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Full brother to Clem. Remarks Very light coloured. Never been outside Institution. Never maintained. Name Alec Lowe Age 11 years Class Grade II Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Not known Remarks Fairly light in colour. No interest evinced by parents. Name Max Strange Age 10 years Class Grade II Medical History Clear Conduct Satsifactory Parentage Mother H/C Remarks In Institution since infancy. Nothing paid towards maintenance. Light coloured for Quadroon. Name Kathleen Kieran Age 10 years Class Grade I Medical History Clear Conduct Satsifactory Parentage Mother H/C residing Alice Springs. Married white man but now living alone. Remarks Very light coloured. Mother looked after her about 1 year but not likely to be able to do so again. Name Mavis Webb Age 8 years Class Grade I Medical History Clear Conduct Satisfactory. Ocurring tonsillitis. Tonsillectomy to be done. Parentage Mother H/C in Institution Remarks Very light coloured. Always been in Institution Name Donald Turner Age 7 years Class Grade I Medical History Clear. Tonsils need operation Conduct Satisfactory Parentage Mother H/C on staff Institution. Has several other children inmates. Remarks Light coloured. In Institution 5 years. Name Alec Turner Age 11 years Class Grade III Medical History Clear Conduct Satsifactory Parentage Mother H/C on staff Institution. Has several other children inmates. Remarks Quadroon in colour. In Institution 5 years.
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