Saturday, January 30, 2010

The "Stolen Generations" myth is just another Leftist fraud -- entirely at variance with the facts

Summary below by Keith Windschuttle, Australia's most painstaking historian. He looks at ALL the evidence

In his 2008 parliamentary apology, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd endorsed the estimate by Peter Read, the university historian who first advanced the concept of the Stolen Generations, that 50,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly removed in the 20th century. Read had written that governments removed children as young as possible and reared them in institutions isolated from any contact with Aboriginal culture. "Welfare officers, removing children solely because they were Aboriginal," he said, "intended and arranged that they should lose their Aboriginality, and that they never return home."

The majority were allegedly babies and infants. The SBS television series First Australians claimed most of the 50,000 were aged under five. Henry Reynolds explained the rationale: "The younger the child the better, before habits were formed, attachments made, language learned, traditions absorbed."

It is not difficult to prove these assertions are untrue. When you look at the surviving individual case records in NSW, as I did for the period 1907 to 1932, they reveal that 66 per cent of the 800 children then removed were teenagers aged 13 to 19 years. Some 23 per cent were aged six to 12, and only 10 per cent were babies to five-year-olds. Most of them came from Aboriginal welfare stations and reserves. Two-thirds of the teenagers went not to institutions but into the workforce as apprentices.

For white children in welfare institutions, apprenticeship was then the standard destination too. At the time, for both white and black children, apprenticeship meant leaving home for four years and living with an employer. The principal occupations targeted by these job placement schemes, agriculture for boys and domestic service for girls, were the same for both black and white apprentices.

In Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory in the first half of the 20th century, laws and policies forbade the removal of full-blood children. The policy for segregated reserves across all of central and northern Australia, where full-blood populations still predominated, had been defined in Queensland in 1897. One of its principal aims was to preserve the ethnic integrity of the full-blood population by prohibiting sexual relations with Europeans and Asians. For J. W. Bleakley, the Queensland chief protector who also wrote the commonwealth policy that prevailed in the 1920s and 1930s, this was a matter of great principle. "We have no right to attempt to destroy their national life. Like ourselves, they are entitled to retain their racial entity and racial pride."

Only half-caste children could be removed. However, in WA, half-castes could not be removed under the age of six. In the post-war Northern Territory, 80 per cent of children in the Retta Dixon Home in Darwin and almost all those at the St Mary's hostel in Alice Springs (the Territory's sole institutions for part-Aboriginal children) were of school age, between five and 15. This was not surprising since the main reason for these homes' existence was to provide board for children sent by their parents to go to school.

The idea that most children were removed permanently is also untrue. In NSW, 80 per cent of those sent to one of the three Aboriginal child welfare institutions stayed there less than five years. Those aged 12 to 15 typically remained for months rather than years. Long-term residents were limited to those who had no parents willing or able to care for them. Rather than attempting to destroy Aboriginal culture, institutions for these children performed a temporary care function for disadvantaged and dysfunctional families, the same as welfare institutions for white children.

Those made apprentices were away from home for four years but could return for annual holidays. Their case files show that once their apprenticeships were complete, a majority returned home.

Another falsehood is that parents were not allowed to visit children in institutions. In NSW, the Aborigines Protection Board not only permitted this but from 1919 onwards it gave parents the money for the rail fare plus "a sustenance allowance" to do so. There is plenty of evidence of Aboriginal parents visiting their institutionalised children in NSW, SA and WA. As one inmate of the Cootamundra Girls' Home said, "my father, he always used to come over on pension day, and me birthday". At the Retta Dixon Home in Darwin, up to one quarter of those accommodated were working women, several of them single mothers with their children.

The notorious Moore River Settlement in WA was an institution for destitute Aborigines of all ages. Indeed, most children went there with their parents. Only a minority of children at Moore River, a total of 252 from 1915 to 1940, or 10 a year, were removed from their families. This was out of a state population of 29,000 Aboriginal people.

What support there was for the Stolen Generations thesis came from quotations taken out of context by politically motivated historians. Read claimed the files of individuals removed by the Aborigines Protection Board revealed the motives of those in charge. "The racial intention was obvious enough for all prepared to see, and some managers cut a long story short when they came to that part of the committal notice, `reason for board taking control of the child'. They simply wrote `for being Aboriginal'."

My examination of the 800 files in the same archive found only one official ever wrote a phrase like that. His actual words were "being an Aboriginal". But even this sole example did not confirm Read's thesis. The girl concerned was not a baby but 15 years old. Nor was she sent to an institution. She was placed in employment as a domestic servant in Moree, the closest town to the Euraba Aboriginal Station she came from. Three years later, in 1929, she married an Aboriginal man in Moree. In short, she was not removed as young as possible, she was not removed permanently, and she retained enough contact with the local Aboriginal community to marry into it. The idea that she was the victim of some vast conspiracy to destroy Aboriginality is fanciful.

Rather than acting for racist or genocidal reasons, government officers and missionaries wanted to rescue children and teenagers from welfare settlements and makeshift camps riddled with alcoholism, domestic violence and sexual abuse. In NSW, WA and the Territory, public servants, doctors, teachers and missionaries were appalled to find Aboriginal girls between five and eight years of age suffering from sexual abuse and venereal disease. On the Kimberley coast from the 1900s to the 1920s they were dismayed to find girls of nine and 10 years old hired out by their own parents as prostitutes to Asian pearling crews. That was why the great majority of children removed by authorities were female.

The fringe camps where this occurred were early versions of today's remote communities of central and northern Australia. Indeed, there is a direct line of descent from one to the other: the culture of these camps has been reproducing itself across rural Australia for more than 100 years.

Government officials had a duty to rescue children from such settings, as much then as they do now. Indeed, the major problem was that state treasuries would not give the relevant departments and boards sufficient funds to accommodate all the neglected and abused Aboriginal children who should have been removed.

The other great myth about the Stolen Generations is that children were removed to "breed out the colour". It is certainly true that two public servants responsible for Aborigines in the 1930s -- Cecil Cook in the Northern Territory and A.O. Neville in WA -- subscribed to a proposal for radical assimilation. Cook said in 1933 that he was endeavouring "to breed out the colour by elevating female half-castes to white standard with a view to their absorption into the white population". Neville said in 1937 that if such a scheme were put into practice we could "eventually forget that there were any Aborigines in Australia".

There are two problems with this case. For a start, the proposal was, as its name said, about "breeding", not the removal of children. It was a plan to oversee the marriage of half-caste women to white men. In practice, it was a failure. Part-Aboriginal women preferred men of their own background and few wanted to marry white men. By 1937, Cook confessed he had overseen fewer than 50 such marriages in his time in office.

Second, those who proposed it were never given the legal authority by their ministers or parliaments to institute such a scheme. Nor were they given enough funding to do so. Neville constantly complained about the tiny budget he received, half that of NSW for an Aboriginal population three times as great. He was never funded to undertake a program of inter-marriage and assimilation. Indeed, the Native Administration Act of 1936, now demonised by historians, inhibited his ability to breed out the colour by defining half-caste people as "natives" and forbidding their marriage to white people or those of lesser descent.

An earlier generation of historians support my interpretation. In his 1972 book Not Slaves, Not Citizens, Peter Biskup declared Neville's program "an unequivocal failure" that was "quietly dropped". Biskup said of the 1936 act: "Instead of being bred out, colour was being bred in." In Shades of Darkness, his history of Aboriginal affairs from 1925 to 1965, Paul Hasluck said the proposal was too unpopular with white voters and their elected representatives to ever have been implemented.

Yet recent historians and commentators have persisted in describing this proposal as "a massive exercise of social engineering" and an instrument of genocide. Robert Manne, professor of politics at La Trobe University, described it as commonwealth policy: "The officials in Canberra and the minister, J. A. Perkins, gave support to Cook's proposal for an extension of the Territory policy to Australia as a whole."

This is false. The truth is that Perkins, minister for the interior in the Joseph Lyons government, in a carefully worded statement to the House of Representatives on August 2, 1934, denounced the proposal. He said: "It can be stated definitely, that it is and always has been, contrary to policy to force half-caste women to marry anyone. The half-caste must be a perfectly free agent in the matter."

From 1932 to 1934, Cook had tried several times to get approval for his proposal from the Lyons cabinet. None of the letters and reports that circulated between Darwin and Canberra on this issue ever mentioned that it had anything to do with removing children. The whole discussion was about arranged marriages.

Once Lyons and his ministers learned about Cook's plan, and especially after being subjected to the embarrassing publicity it generated in both the Australian and English press, they wanted nothing to do with it. On September 19, 1933, cabinet sent the proposal back to the department unapproved. Bleakley's alternative recommendation for segregated reserves that retained the Aborigines' "racial entity and racial pride" remained commonwealth policy for the duration of both Cook's and Neville's tenures in office.

None of the historians of the Stolen Generations have ever reproduced Perkins's statement. Nor have they reported any of the other critical reactions made by Lyons to the press. On June 23, 1933, the Darwin newspaper, the Northern Standard, quoted Lyons government sources saying: "It is all a lot of rot." But you won't find that quoted in any of the academic literature on this topic.

Manne is not the only offender here but, as a professor of politics, he had the greater public duty to tell the full story. However, he stopped short of revealing that the events concluded with cabinet throwing out the proposal and the minister denouncing it in parliament. To have told it all would have publicly disproved his case about the Stolen Generations and the allegedly racist and genocidal objectives of government policies in the 1930s.


Traditional educational methods get results

WHEN you are already learning Sanskrit, Latin, Spanish and putting on a Shakespearean production each year, the national literacy and numeracy tests might seem like a cinch to children at John Colet School.

Gilbert Mane, the headmaster of the independent school in Belrose, which came sixth overall in a ranking of NSW primary schools based on results from NAPLAN tests, said the students also studied philosophy and meditation.

While other schools have abandoned traditional grammar, John Colet has maintained a strict approach. Its students also learn their times tables the old-fashioned way, by rote.

"Most of our parents are more interested in character building, spiritual values, our enriched curriculum and the overall care we take to build on every individual child's strengths and abilities," Mr Mane said.

"All our children, regardless of ability, study classical languages, philosophy and perform annually in a Shakespeare play. This raises the academic level naturally without the need to hothouse the children or 'teach to the test'."

Mr Mane said the 150 students shared a love of learning and were taught by a committed and passionate teaching staff. He was pleased with the results but warned parents against using them as the only measure of success.


Christmas Is detainees 'have nothing to complain about'

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has stirred up controversy during an inspection of Christmas Island, saying that protesting asylum seekers have nothing to complain about.

Mr Morrison has been visiting the island's detention centre with Independent Senator Steve Fielding to speak with detainees and inspect the facilities.

His description of the island as a 'visa factory' and Mr Fielding's comment that the island's facilities are too attractive have drawn the ire of Labor MP Michael Danby, who nicknamed the pair "Laurel and Hardy" and accused them of fear mongering.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans says he has been told 130 Sri Lankans are staging a peaceful protest, including a hunger strike. But Mr Morrison says the facilities are first class and the protest is a cry for attention. "I think Australians can rest easy about the treatment of asylum seekers on Christmas Island," he said.

"I think this is more of a cry for attention rather at this stage rather than anything of any great seriousness, and frankly they have nothing to complain about in terms of the facilities or the services, or the treatment that they're receiving on this island. "I think we have a lot to be proud of in the way that people are being looked after here. I thought the standard of facilities at least met that standard, if not better in some cases."

Activist groups say more than 350 detainees are staging a peaceful protest and hunger strikes against the time it is taking to process their claims. Earlier, Senator Evans said the protest would do little to help the detainees' cause. "I want to make it very clear to them and to the community ... we're not going to be responding to this," he said. "What we are going to do is ensure proper process is followed - that is people have to have had their health, identity and security checks and then they have to have been successful in their application for protection."



Three current articles below

Save the planet! Stink out the homes and spread the gastro

The extremists who now infest local government would rather give you the trots if that’s what it takes to turn you green:
Residents in Penrith are furious after their council cut rubbish collections to once a fortnight. And to make matters worse they have cut the size of their bins at the same time.

Mothers with babies have been forced to store 14 days worth of dirty nappies, while residents have found maggots and some have complained to the local health service…

Penrith took action after the NSW Department of Environment began supporting the cut from weekly to fortnightly services two years ago in a bid to force more people to recycle. So far four councils across NSW have reduced collections and others are set to follow.

But a leading public health expert said thousands of residents were at risk of salmonella and gastro.

Why are our green fuhrers so happy to hurt humans to “save” an inanimate planet? Or is it just the power to bully that gives them their kicks? Cutting the sizes of people’s bins is just the kind of vindictiveness that appeals to the inner totalitarian.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Climate sceptic warmly received during debate

LORD Christopher Monckton, imperious and articulate, won yesterday's climate change debate in straight sets. Forget facts and fictions, numbers and statistics, this British high priest of climate change sceptics is a polished performer, even against the most committed of scientists.

Aided by Adelaide's Professor Ian Plimer, Lord Monckton cruised to victory before a partisan crowd of suits and ties, movers and shakers. Hundreds of them were there for the sell-out, $130-a-head Brisbane Institute lunch – and scepticism was applauded.

Climate change scientist Professor Barry Brook and teammate Graham Readfearn, The Courier-Mail's environment blogger, were stoic in argument (even if Mr Readfearn may have foot-faulted once or twice and had to be pulled into line by moderator Ray Weeks).

But Lord Monckton is a seasoned campaigner, if not a scientist, reviled and ridiculed as he is in some quarters for his view that many are too alarmist about global warming. "As every risk manager knows, you can't just evaluate the risk of whatever it is you're frightened of, you also have to evaluate the risks inherent in the precautions you take to prevent whatever you're frightened of," Lord Monckton said.

Professor Brook argued that even if projected rates of climate change were wrong, the issue would force the world to take a big step towards a more sustainable future. "We know that the climate is changing but we don't know how much . . . If the rates are wrong we will foreshorten the period society has to go through from an old, Victorian, model of industrialisation to a more modern model," he said. Mr Readfearn urged caution in buying climate change science from non-scientists.

SOURCE (Video at link)

Australian green scheme 'close to collapse'

ONE of the Rudd Government's key climate change initiatives is close to collapse amid claims of widespread rorting [fraud] and mismanagement. Just six months after its launch, the $70 million Green Loans scheme to get Australians to install energy-efficient products will be lucky to survive past March without millions more in taxpayer funding.

Similarities are already being drawn between Green Loans and the Government's bungled $3.2 billion home insulation subsidy scheme. A Senate inquiry into the insulation rebate scheme is probing accusations of malpractice, rorting and mismanagement.

The much-vaunted Green Loans program was supposed to run for three years but is being bled dry by a flurry of unregistered operators. So far, there have been just 1000 subsidised loans approved for solar power and water-saving and energy-efficient products. Now thousands of people who paid $3000 each to become Green Loans assessors will be thrown on the unemployment scrapheap if the scheme collapses.

Instead of using only registered training organisations, unregistered groups were allowed to conduct audit training courses, with one earning $300,000 in one weekend by packing 200 people in a class at $1500 a head.

The Opposition's environment spokesman, Greg Hunt, yesterday called for a "full-scale investigation", claiming the program had been a fiasco. But the Federal Government yesterday defended the scheme, with a spokesman for Environment Minister Peter Garrett saying it had "stimulated significant growth in the market for household sustainability assessors". He said the scheme's future would be considered "in the context of Budget deliberations".

Brisbane's Gillian Steele said she thought the project had "a lot of merit" when she paid $3000 for herself and her daughter to be trained as Green Loans assessors. "I'm frustrated and disappointed," she said yesterday.


No comments: