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Reference code

AU WA S3841




  • 1947-04-10 - 1949-10-14 (Creation)
  • 1947-04-10 - 1949-10-14 (Accumulation)

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Context area

Name of creator

AU WA A1493 - HON. SIR ROBERT ROSS MCDONALD, KC, LLB., MLA (1947-04-10 - 1949-10-14)

Administrative history

The Hon. Sir Robert Ross McDonald MLA was the Attorney General and held the portfolios of Police and Native Affairs in the McLarty Government between 1947 and 1949.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This series consists of files from the office of the Hon. Sir Robert Ross McDonald MLA in his capacity as Minister for Native Affairs in the 1940's.

The State Records Office has received three files covering the Hon. Minister's term of office as Minister for Native Affairs. The files contain correspondence to and from the Minister, press releases, notes for conferences and memos to the Premier and other heads of department. The files also contain various exchanges in the form of letters, memos and reports between the Commissioner for Native Affairs and the Minister. The subjects dealt with include:

File 1)
(i) Matters relating to various missions and Native institutions (also located throughout the remaining files)
(ii) Asiatic divers at Broome - relations with Aborigines (February/March 1948);
(iii) Instructions to the Reverend Keith Coaldrake on his assumption of office as Priest - Superintendant at Forrest River Mission - issued by the Australian Board of Missions, (19/02/1948);
(iv) Notes on the activities of D. McLeod (02/04/1947; 09/04/1947; 17/03/1949; 28/03/1949 - see also items xix, xx, xxi, xxiii, xxv and xxviii in File 3);
(v) Native Welfare at Northam (06/08/1947);
(vi) Proposed Aboriginal settlement at Northampton (29/07/1949);
(vii) Minutes of proceedings of a conference held 15/02/1939 of the Brookton Road Board at which Wagin Native Camp improvements were discussed;
(viii) Commonwealth contribution to aid State with Native Welfare.

File 2)
(ix) Medical care of Aborigines and report by Dr Leigh Cook (21/06/1948; 19/09/1947; 03/10/1947; 03/03/1949);
(x) Pages from "Digest of World Reading", 01/04/1947, giving an article entitled "Young Men DON'T Go North-West - a Depressing Report on the Kimberley Division, Australia's No. 1 Disgrace" by Stanley Brogden;
(xi) Circular instructions to field officers of the Department of Native Affairs (November 1948);
(xii) Notes prepared for Premier's conference;
(xiii) Comments by Department of Native Affairs Commissioner on authenticity of several scripts on Aborigines written by Mollie Skinner for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (25/11/1948 and 06/01/1949 in File 3).

File 3)
(xiv) Proposal for tuberculosis survey of the Northern areas of the State (14/01/1949);
(xv) Notes on a conference between the Minister and the Commissioner for Western Australia (07/01/1949);
(xvi) Report of a conference between representatives of the Pastoral Association and the Commissioner for Native Affairs (07/02/1949);
(xvii) Notes on policy of the Department, sent to the Premier (04/03/1949);
(xviii) Report on Native Affairs, 11pp (1949);
(xix) Port Hedland-Marble Bar incident, May 1949, where Aboriginal employees were forced off stations by alleged intimidatory methods. There are many letters on this matter within the file with explanatory replies from the Minister; also statements by the Commissioner for Native Affairs and the Minister;
(xx) Press clipping dated 10/07/1948 re: 600 Aboriginal strikers having formed a cooperative;
(xxi) Press clipping from "Workers Star" 13/05/1949 quoting McLeod as saying the Department of Native Affairs attempt to set up Native institution at White Springs Station is an attempt to smash three year old Aboriginal strike;
(xxii) Various correspondence with A.O. Neville on Native Affairs and different papers written by Neville;
(xxiii) Press clipping from "Workers Star" dated 14/04/1949, quoting McLeod. Another press clipping from "Workers Star" dated 27/05/1949 quoting letter from McLeod;
(xxiv) Report from Minister for Native Affairs covering various aspects of Native Affairs during his term as Minister;
(xxv) Warning against circular put out by McLeod asking for donations to help Moolyella Aborigines (16/06/1949);
(xxvi) Housing for Aborigines;
(xxvii) Memos to the Minister's successor (H.S.W. Parker) (October 1949);
(xxviii) Confidential report on the activities of Donald McLeod by the Hon. Sir Ross McDonald and F.E. Bateman.


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Dates of relationship

1947-04-10 - 1949-10-14

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