12. What “Trusteeship” means, Part one

Paul Quinlivan’s Snapshots

In the Jameson Case I produced evidence that he had used several different schemes for stealing the money, all of them directed against village people and never against European or Asian producers or companies. In a lengthy judgment Monte went through the evidence in regard to each of those schemes and seemed to enjoy saying that Counsel had raised a ‘reasonable doubt’ in regard to several. He convicted Jameson of stealing £33/2/5d by means of only one scheme and sentenced him to six months gaol. He then said, “There is a further Order which all Europeans, tempted to adopt the course of action which you took, might well ponder. This is a Trust Territory, administered by Australia under the terms of a Trusteeship Agreement which Australia has signed and for the upholding of which she has pledged her good name. And, incidentally, your good name and mine. You were employed by the Production Control Board in a position of trust. A trust which you depended upon for the success of your various schemes. For that reason, alone, you are a person whose presence in this Trust Territory must be reviewed in light of what the Legislature has decreed regarding ‘Expulsion of Undesirable Persons’.

“Apart altogether from the fact that you were employed by an organ of Government, there is another reason why I will be recommending that you be deported and forbidden re-entry for as long as this remains a Trust Territory. You are a European who deliberately preyed upon the Native producers. You never attempted to use your schemes on Europeans and the only explanation I can think of is that you thought Europeans might find you out but Natives were, to your way of thinking, uneducated and therefore easy prey. In this case the fact that the Chief Accountant was unable to remain here for the duration of the trial meant that Counsel for both sides had to rely on their own resources in regard to the intricacies of the documents. Had it been otherwise we might not have seen an elderly witness, who could neither read or write, pointing to his Weightnote amongst the array on the Bar Table and then, when Counsel for the Defence mixed it in with dozens more to test him, selecting it a second time although it appeared, to untrained eyes, to be no different from the others. And that is my point. To untrained eyes they all appeared to be the same but, to one educated in what to look for, it was clearly a unique item. I am sure that, had a jury been determining this case, its members would have been greatly impressed and it is possible that, on the parts of the charge where I acquitted, that jury might not have been so kind. Be that as it may, the question of who is an uneducated person is by no means as simple as you seem to have thought. More to the point, your duty, the duty of all Europeans here, is to advance the local people so that they can become rulers of their own country and members of the Community of Nations.

“What I want to be very clear is that any European who tries to ‘take the Natives down’ undermines Australia’s sworn task. He besmirches Australia’s Good Name and he can expect to be declared an UNDESIRABLE PERSON and expelled.”


You may also like...

Leave a Reply