‘A Helping White Hand’ : Assimilation, Welfare and Victoria’s Transitional Aboriginal Housing Policy

The provision of welfare for Aboriginal Australians has always been a complex and contentious issue. Since 1788, many secular and religious Aboriginal welfare programs were based on paternalistic ideals which reinforced the need for Australian society to be hierarchical. These programs were often based on racial theories, such as ‘Social Darwinism’, which deemed Aboriginal people to be inferior beings in need of State supervision and care. Consequently, many Australian states and territories passed protectionist legislation to isolate and socially control Aborigines. In the 1930s, changing ideas of race resulted in the re-evaluation of Aboriginal welfare policies and protectionism was replaced with assimilationism. In theory, assimilation placed Aborigines on equal terms with Anglo-Australians. However, years of exclusion from Anglo-Australian society meant that many Aboriginal people were unprepared for life in mainstream communities. To make this transition easier for Aborigines, many Anglo-Australians became involved in assimilationist welfare activities. Although elements of paternalism were sometimes evident in the new régime, ideas of citizenship and equality often dominated welfare programs. This new attitude towards Aboriginal affairs was evident in the provision of Aboriginal welfare at two housing estates, Rumbalara and Manatunga, in Victoria in the 1950s and 1960s. This study explores the complexities of Aboriginal welfare at these estates and Aboriginal responses to assimilationist initiatives.


In Australia the word ‘assimilation’ is predominantly associated with federal and state government policies introduced in the 1950s and 1960s which were aimed at socially re-engineering Aborigines and migrants to reflect the Anglo-Australian majority. The term often has negative connotations, as assimilation-style policies were considered by many people to be coercive and destructive, being centred around the notion that Aborigines and migrants were required to forego their traditional customs and beliefs in order to be ‘good’ Australian citizens. The adoption of European social mores was intended to produce a secure, egalitarian and homogenous Australian society.

Although many people associate assimilation with mid-twentieth century social welfare policies, it first officially emerged in the Victorian Aborigines Act 1886, a blend of segregationist and assimilationist thinking. Under this Act, protectionist ideals were applied to the treatment of ‘full-bloods’ and ‘half-castes’ over the age of 34 and their wives and children. People who belonged to these categories were eligible to be supported by government funding and were allowed to reside at Aboriginal mission stations. ‘Half-castes’ under the age of 34, except for those licensed to remain at the Aboriginal missions, were required to assimilate into the general community, with limited support from the Aborigines Protection Board.[1] This combination of protectionist and assimilationist idealism dominated Victoria’s Aboriginal welfare policies from 1886 until 1957 when new assimilationist legislation was applied to anyone with an ‘admixture’ of Aboriginal blood.[2] The 1957 Aborigines Act reflected the Aboriginal welfare policies introduced by all mainland Australian states and territories in the 1950s. In return for their rejection of traditional Aboriginal customs and practices[3] , Aborigines were to be accepted into the dominant society as equals and given the civil rights afforded to other Australians.

Most academic research concerning the treatment of Aboriginal people during this period has been critical of assimilation and its supporters. Jeremy Beckett, Tim Rowse and Colin Tatz have referred to Australia’s assimilationist policies as racist and genocidal. There is no doubt that many assimilation-style programs were inherently racist and some, particularly those which involved the removal of Aboriginal children from their families, could be considered genocidal. However not all assimilationists were intent on destroying Aboriginal people and their culture. Many supporters of assimilation considered themselves to be humanitarians who advocated equality for all Australians. A number of assimilationists were accepted by Aboriginal people as friends and accommodated into kinship systems. Some Aboriginal people such as Harold Blair, Doug Nicholls and Jack Davis advocated assimilation as a mechanism for Aboriginal people attaining civil rights. However, as Bain Attwood noted in his study of Aboriginal civil rights in Australia, most Aboriginal supporters of assimilation also rejected its absorptionist dimensions which were aimed at the annihilation of Aboriginal culture. Many Aboriginal people embraced the material and social opportunities that assimilation offered and combined them with their own cultural and spiritual beliefs. This allowed many to preserve their Aboriginality whilst living within mainstream Australian society. [4]

Most research relating to assimilation and Aboriginal Australians outlines the key elements of assimilationist doctrine, its introduction and policy formulation. A number of historians, such as Anna Haebich in Western Australia, and Heather Goodall and Jo Woolmington in New South Wales, have published case studies related to assimilation in action. However, very little has been written about Victoria, especially in relation to Aboriginal housing during the assimilation era. In Peter Read’s collection of essays on Aboriginal housing there is little mention of the transitional housing schemes which were an integral component of Aboriginal housing policies in mainland Australia throughout the 1950s and 1960s. This article contributes to current discussions by filling this void in historiography. It does not engage in a policy-based analysis, as this has been well documented by authors such as Jeremy Beckett, A.P. Elkin, Anna Haebich, Robert Manne, Andrew Markus, and Tim Rowse. Instead it focuses on the implementation of assimilation at a local level.[5]

This article examines Victoria’s assimilation-style transitional Aboriginal housing program. It reveals that the impact of Victoria’s assimilationist housing program on Aboriginal lives was often dependent on the zealousness and mindset of the individuals on the ground charged with its execution. It thus adds a new and rich dimension to most previous studies that argue at the level of policy-making and see assimilationism in wholly negative terms. The study recognises that a number of welfare workers administered assimilationism along humanitarian and integrationist lines, competing with others who were concerned with the eradication of Aboriginal culture in Australian society. Aboriginal people were also influential in determining the nature of assimilation in Victoria. Some Aboriginal people resisted and accommodated changes according to their own community-based agendas and needs.

The Demise of the Fringe Dwellers

Since the arrival of Europeans in Victoria, many Aboriginal people have lived as fringe dwellers in makeshift camps on the outskirts of white settlements. Initially, many colonists were content to allow the growth of Aboriginal fringe communities. These living arrangements resulted in a racially segregated society where the ‘primitive’, Aboriginal ‘dregs’ were kept out of ‘decent’ white townships. Aboriginal people’s close proximity to European settlements ensured that cheap labour was readily available when necessary. Many Aboriginal people believed that fringe camps were beneficial to their way of life. They often regarded the camps as a haven outside the gaze of colonists, government bureaucrats and Christian evangelicals. Fringe camps were places where like-minded people had the freedom to maintain traditional Aboriginal customs and kinship relations without the interference of white settlers. These ideals prevailed throughout Victoria’s settlement and were still strong in the mid-twentieth century.

Aborigines were not the only people to establish and inhabit fringe camps in Victoria. This form of living was particularly prevalent during the 1930s Great Depression when itinerant and impoverished workers established camps throughout rural Australia in search of work. The location of fringe camps, often on Crown land, meant that residents did not have to pay for housing. Therefore the limited amount of money which many fringe dwellers earned was spent on essential goods such as food and clothing. The houses built by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal fringe dwellers were often made out of scrap materials, such as iron, wood and hessian, gathered from rubbish tips and the local bushland. The rate of non-Aboriginal fringe dwellers declined in the 1940s as economic conditions improved. For a variety of reasons, including racism in townships and irregular employment, most Aboriginal people continued to live in fringe camps throughout the state.[6]

The humpies in which Aboriginal people lived were often kept in a clean and ordered manner. In fact, many were constructed to reflect European forms of housing with separate living areas and European-style furniture. Despite the efforts of many to maintain comfortable homes, living in the camps was often harsh, particularly for families. Even though fringe camps were located near waterways, there was often little or no access to proper sanitation and water facilities. Household chores such as washing, cooking and cleaning were hard work and made more difficult in inclement weather. The lack of services and facilities meant that the health standards of residents was often lower than other Australians.[7] Despite the substandard conditions, many Aboriginal families were content to reside at the camps. Former fringe dweller, Wayne Atkinson, stated:
It was good on The Flat [a Mooroopna fringe camp] because we stuck together … There was a sense of freedom there. You could wander around, you could visit your relations, then you could go into the bush and get a bit of bush tucker … The Flat was an amazing place.[8]

Many Aboriginal people identify community spirit amongst fringe dwellers as the main reason for such happiness. ‘Michael Wilton’ stated that in the fringe camp ‘We were all one big family’.[9] Although Victorian Aborigines had been dispossessed of their traditional lands for several decades, they continued to uphold some traditional cultural practises such as spiritual ceremonies, storytelling and the maintenance of bush skills. Fringe camps provided Aboriginal people with the ability to maintain traditional community ties and kinship obligations.

In the 1950s, many Anglo-Australians associated living conditions in fringe camps with abject poverty. Phillip Boas, a welfare officer employed by the Victorian Government in the 1960s, stated that fringe-dwelling was perceived by Anglo-Australians to be an affront to ‘decent standards’ and a possible threat to law and order.[10] Press reports commonly demonised Aboriginal fringe camps. In March 1947 the Sun newspaper, revealed the existence of racial tensions when it reported that residents in Shepparton were perturbed at the slum conditions in which the local Aborigines lived. It stated that the white community and the police considered the local natives to be a ‘menace to the town’s good name’.[11] Similarly, the Argus referred to Aboriginal fringe camps as a ‘social cancer’. The Argus claimed that the majority of local crimes committed around the Mooroopna-Shepparton area were attributed to Aboriginal fringe dwellers. It argued that white residents considered the fringe camps to be ‘wicked’ and demanded government intervention to remedy this situation.[12] Many Anglo-Australians believed that the provision of European-style houses for Aborigines would result in their assimilation into the dominant community and solve the problem of their fringe-dwelling deprivations.

In the 1950s and 1960s a large number of Aboriginal people abandoned the fringe-dwelling lifestyle. This was due to a combination of Anglo-initiatives to eradicate the camps and Aboriginal desires to attain a higher material standard of living in European communities. This aspiration was noted by Mooroopna fringe dweller, ‘Emma Mason’. She recalled that in 1956, on a cold, rainy winter’s night, she awoke to the cries of her neighbours, ‘The River’s flooded — get out!’ Fumbling around in the dark, ‘Emma’ woke her five children (all under the age of six years), dressed them in their warmest clothes and told them to grab whatever belongings they could carry. They evacuated their humpy and sought refuge on higher ground. This was not the first time that floodwaters had forced ‘Emma’ and her family to flee from their home, but as she looked into the faces of her dazed, shivering children she swore it would be the last.[13] ‘Emma’s’ decision to leave her community coincided with reforms in Victoria’s Aboriginal welfare policies. From 1957 Victorian Aboriginal welfare programs were aimed at dismantling fringe camps and providing former residents with public housing in local townships.

Housing — the Perfect Solution?

In the 1940s and 1950s, many politicians considered the provision of housing for all Australians to be a ‘solution’ to Australia’s ‘social problems’. Government authorities attempted to use housing policy as a mechanism to rebuild a post-war Australian society according to middle-class ideals. Judith Brett has argued that Robert Menzies’ 1942 speech ‘The Forgotten People’ reflected this ideology. Menzies referred to the middle class as the ‘backbone of the nation’, arguing middle-class virtues associated with thrift, education and domesticity were admirable and guaranteed Australia’s future success and progress. Menzies emphasised the central role of the home in determining Australia’s future: ‘The home is the foundation of sanity and sobriety; it is the indispensable condition of continuity; its health determines the health of society as a whole’.[14] These views were held by many Anglo-Australians who strove to gain the security and comfort often associated with middle-class living. Menzies’ election as Prime Minister in 1949 indicated that there was widespread support for his views. As Prime Minister, he continued to promote the need for all Australians to adhere to the middle-class familial ideology. He re-affirmed his commitment to the provision of housing for all Australians.

At the centre of this middle-class ideology was the suburban nuclear family, based on notions of morality and social responsibility. Anna Haebich stated that government assimilation policies expected Aboriginal people to adopt conventional practices related to housing and settled urban living. Images of Aboriginal nuclear families were often used in government assimilationist pamphlets accompanied by statements such as: ‘[Aborigines need the] help and sympathy of white Australians to overcome their social problems and help them to become settled in houses as family units’.[15 ]’Family’, of course, meant the Anglo-Australian concept of family: a husband, wife and two children. The government failed to recognise that traditional Aboriginal family structures often involved large numbers of children and extended family and kin networks. As a result, many assimilation programs were inadequate to meet the needs of Aboriginal families. The inability and reluctance of many Aboriginal people to live as nuclear family units led to much resentment between themselves and government authorities.[16]

In 1955 the Liberal and Country Party formed Victoria’s government, with Henry Bolte as its leader. From the outset, the Bolte government pursued a reform agenda which included changes to Aboriginal policy favouring assimilation. In line with Menzies’ view, the issue of housing dominated the government’s welfare reforms. In 1957 investigations into the welfare of Victoria’s 1,346 Aboriginal people led to government recognition that Aborigines lived in some of the State’s worst housing.[17] Although Aboriginal housing needs were tiny at less than one per cent of the State’s housing demand, the ‘Aboriginal problem’ became a dominant political issue, due to the power of ‘otherness’ that Aboriginal fringe camps occupied in the popular mind. Therefore providing Aboriginal people with European-style housing became a significant part of the Victorian housing solution.

In 1957, the responsibility for Aboriginal housing was transferred from the Victorian Housing Commission to the newly-formed Aborigines Welfare Board (Board). This change was due to the government’s desire to cater for Aborigines as a separate, special needs group. In order to formulate an Aboriginal housing policy, the Minister of Housing, H.R. Petty, commissioned J.H. Davey, Slum Research Officer for the Housing Commission and the nominated housing representative on the Aborigines Welfare Board, to investigate Aboriginal housing in Victoria. Over a three-month period Davey visited Aboriginal communities situated in Shepparton and Mooroopna, Barmah, Dimboola and Antwerp, Framlingham, Robinvale, Swan Hill, Lake Tyers, Orbost and the timber settlements of East Gippsland. Davey’s investigations concluded that Aboriginal people were living in sub-standard houses, often in harsh environments at fringe camps. He argued that if Anglo-Australians had been subjected to living in such conditions there would have been ‘a general outcry long ago’. He added: ‘The welfare of aborigines is probably the most urgent social problem confronting the State today and bad housing is the basis of it’.[18] Davey identified rural Aborigines as those most in need and recommended the building of new houses to accommodate these fringe dwellers. He argued that small houses, with three or more bedrooms, equipped with basic amenities, would serve to ‘uplift’ the lives of Victorian Aborigines and facilitate their assimilation.[19] The Board agreed with Davey’s viewpoint and accepted his recommendations for housing reform.

The new Aboriginal housing policy endorsed the construction of transitional housing settlements that would ‘teach’ Aborigines how to ‘behave’ like Anglo-Australians before being placed into mainstream Australian communities. The new estates were to be based on other transitional Aboriginal housing schemes which were established throughout Australia in the 1950s. In its first report to Parliament it stated: ‘The Board has decided … on a policy of providing staging houses which will serve as a transition between camp life and life in towns under fully-assimilated conditions’.[20] Heather Goodall has argued that during this period New South Wales government authorities used houses as behaviour modification tools. This was evident in the Victorian transitional housing policy as Aboriginal residents were isolated and closely supervised by Anglo-welfare officers. Residents were expected to forego their Aboriginal lifestyle and to adopt Anglo-social mores through the use of the house. Anglo-supervisors managed the settlements and reported on the residents’ conduct by regular and unannounced contact. Transitional tenants were expected to follow rules and guidelines established by government authorities. If residents adhered to these regulations they were rewarded with better housing. However, if residents ignored settlement rules, they were liable to punishment and possible eviction. This reward/punishment system reflected the manipulative nature of the transitional estates as Aboriginal people were exposed to direct State control of their lives. [21]

The Establishment of Rumbalara and Manatunga

In 1958 and 1960, the Board established two transitional housing settlements. The first estate, Rumbalara, was constructed at Mooroopna, just outside Shepparton. The second, Manatunga, was opened in Robinvale near the Victorian/New South Wales border. These locations were chosen due to the large number of Aborigines living there as fringe dwellers.[22] Even though the estates were intended to facilitate the assimilation of Aboriginal people into the local community, the locations chosen by the Board, on the outskirts of Mooroopna and Robinvale, meant that Rumbalara and Manatunga were segregated Aboriginal settlements. The Board justified their location by reiterating the transitional and educative nature of the settlements.

Anglo-Australians’ assumption that fringe dwellers needed to be ‘taught’ to live in European homes, highlighted the lack of knowledge which they had about Aboriginal people. In 1962, Board Secretary, N. Garnet wrote that Rumbalara was ‘regarded as a useful project for training aboriginal families to whom living in houses of any kind is a new experience’.[23] Residents at Rumbalara and Manatunga appeared to be unaware of the Board’s educative policy for the transitional units. Some tenants were offended by the Board’s aim to use the units as an instrument to ‘teach’ them how to function in a European setting. ‘Jen Phillips’ stated: ‘You’re joking … They would have got a poor reception if they had come in and said “Now you’ve got your sink here and this is for washing”‘.[24] Rumbalara resident, ‘Susan Porter’, denied that she and her associates had been in need of such education: ‘That’s a load of rubbish. We knew how to look after houses’.[25] Before moving to Rumbalara and Manatunga, some of the fringe dwellers had lived in houses and caravans. Rumbalara resident, ‘Jen Phillips’ stated: ‘Most of my life we lived in houses, my father had a house’.[26] At Robinvale, ‘Carole Peterson’ lived in a caravan before her relocation to the Manatunga settlement.[27] Consequently, moving into the transitional houses was not a new or alien experience for many Aboriginal people.

The Board designed the settlements to reflect suburban living. The estates consisted of pre-fabricated concrete houses, ten at Rumbalara and twelve at Manatunga. Each house contained three bedrooms, a living room, laundry and toilet facilities. The size of the houses ranged from 500–750 square feet. In comparison to other low-income housing, the transitional units were sub-standard. Major design and construction faults were noted by residents and Board authorities from the opening of the settlements. The main criticism was that the houses lacked ventilation: being boiling hot in summer and freezing cold in winter.[28] Despite these problems, many transitional tenants were content to live at Rumbalara and Manatunga for the access to modern amenities, within the context of an Aboriginal community.

Throughout Victoria in the 1950s, many Aboriginal people were eager to move from fringe camps into public housing. Aborigines who did not reside at the transitional settlements were allowed to apply to the Board for an individual house in rural or metropolitan areas. Like many other low-income groups, Aborigines were often on waiting lists for several years before being allocated a house. However, many were content to stay on the waiting list. Trying to escape from her difficult life in the fringe camp, ‘Emma Mason’ applied to the Board and was granted residency at a transitional settlement. She recalled her excitement at being told the news that her family was to move to a house in the new estate. The day that she entered her transitional home ‘Emma’s’ life changed forever. As she turned on the water faucet tears streamed down her face, no longer would she have to cart bucket loads of water from the river in order to cook, clean her children and their clothing. No longer would she have to bathe in the river during the hot summer or freezing winter. She was proud of her new home, she considered it to be a ‘step-up’, a secure place to raise her children amongst like-minded people.[29] The enthusiasm of many for a European-style house often masked their reluctance to conform to the assimilationists’ demands, because most Aboriginal people continued to practise their traditional familial and kinship customs and adhere to their Aboriginality.

After moving to the estates, many tenants were involved in fringe-dwelling activities such as outdoor storytelling sessions and drinking parties. Rumbalara resident, ‘Susan Porter’, recalled that on ‘the Flat’
we used to sit around the fire and talk to the boys, tell the boys different things about how it used to be over at Cummera and all that. At Rumba we’d still sit around the fire and have a yarn.[30]

Settlement supervisors often reported to the Board that tenants conducted drinking parties which they claimed led to disorder and violence on the estates. As neither supervisor was resident at the settlement it was difficult for them to control such gatherings. Communal activities conflicted with the individualistic philosophy of the new settlements as the Board expected Aboriginal tenants to socialise within their units in small numbers. The majority of transitional residents were not willing to submit to the Board’s demands. The fear of public criticism and adverse media publicity meant that the Board often chose not to ‘punish’ those who flouted settlement regulations. Therefore tenants were able to maintain a sense of independence and freedom whilst living at the estates.

The Provision of Anglo-Welfare Work at Rumbalara and Manatunga

Aboriginal welfare activities at Rumbalara and Manatunga were a combination of middle-class idealism, assimilationism, humanitarianism and paternalism. Some welfare workers demanded that Aboriginal people ‘prove their worth’ as welfare recipients. For example a small number of religious authorities were more concerned with the spiritual ‘salvation’ of Aborigines and their welfare was contingent upon Aborigines’ conversion to Christianity. Other welfare workers, whether intentionally or not, were more integrationist[31] in their interpretation of assimilation. They ‘helped’ Aboriginal people to attain better material standards of living, in which they were free to practise their own customs and spiritual beliefs. Whether such work had a positive or negative impact on Aborigines’ lives was often dependent on an individual’s interpretation of assimilationist doctrine. Assimilation demanded that Aboriginal people shun their traditional lifestyle and show outward signs of adopting Anglo-social mores. However, a long history of resistance against government interference in their lives, particularly at mission stations, meant that Aboriginal tenants were able to exploit the assimilationist programs to improve their lives according to their own desires and needs.

To ensure the success of its transitional housing policy, the Board appointed non-residential managers to look after the estates. For the majority of Rumbalara and Manatunga’s lifetime, two Anglo-Australian men, Charles Huggard and Raymond Hicks, acted as estate supervisors. Although these men were charged with the responsibilty of managing the Board’s assimilationist housing program, they were also given quasi-policing powers which allowed them to reprimand residents, recommend evictions and invoke police action against Aboriginal tenants and their visitors. In her study of Northern Territory cattle stations, Ann McGrath argued that this form of surveillance was typical of paternalistic management. She stated that the police were often utilised by governments to maintain law and order for the benefit of Anglo-Australians, by controlling the behaviour of Aboriginal people.[32]

The managers were looked upon very differently by residents. Hicks did not perturb many tenants at Manatunga, whereas at Rumbalara some residents resented the interference of Huggard in their lives. Many tenants disliked Huggard and accused him of spying on them. ‘Michael Wilton’ stated:
Moving to Rumba from ‘the Flats’, we were under the scrutiny of Charlie Huggard and his police force. You couldn’t do nothing … [he was the] slave driver of Rumbalara because he was a mongrel…He used to come down here a lot, just snooping around … He was the rent collector. He was the overseer of Rumbalara, the so-called boss, what he says that was it, it was law.[33]The language used by former tenants when describing Rumbalara indicated the degree to which they felt ‘watched’. Betty Lovett declared: ‘As soon as we moved to Rumbalara all the hassles began. We were treated like prisoners’.[34] Even though many aspects of the fringe-dwelling lifestyle were able to be replicated at Rumbalara, fringe dwellers were visible to Anglo-authorities and expected to adhere to strict settlement guidelines. However, the opportunities that the settlements afforded were often too valuable for many Aboriginal people to ignore. The non-residential nature of management meant that residents often circumvented estate regulations by confining prohibited activities to periods when the managers were not around. Others openly flouted estate rules when they realised that the Board was reluctant to act against tenants for fear of adverse media publicity.[35]

Whilst settlement supervisors were primarily charged with the responsibility of executing the government’s assimilationist program, a variety of community and welfare organisations were also active at the estates. The Save the Children Fund (SCF) was an important organisation involved with the provision of welfare at Rumbalara and Manatunga. The SCF was a non-profit, non-government, non-sectarian, international organisation committed to helping disadvantaged children. Before the opening of Rumbalara a SCF worker, Melba Turner, had been running a kindergarten at the nearby fringe camp. ‘Mary Connor’, a Mooroopna fringe dweller at the time recalled:
Sister Turner started the kindergarten down on ‘the Flats’ on a big tarp. Then we all moved out to Daish’s paddock and we had concerts and raised enough money to build a kindergarten out there.[36]In 1956, community fundraising efforts led to the construction of a kindergarten and welfare centre at Daish’s paddock. The centre was managed by Turner and allowed her to carry out the work ‘of teaching aboriginal pre-school children, and training the older aboriginal children in hobbies and other worthwhile projects’.[37] The SCF believed that the centre was a vital instrument in preparing local Aboriginal people for their assimilation into mainstream society.

In June 1957, Davey reported to the Board that Turner and the welfare centre were key elements in the Aboriginal community at Mooroopna. He stated that not only was Turner responsible for the care and preparation of Aboriginal children for a European-style education, she also provided meals in her own home for Aboriginal children in an endeavour to improve their physical health.[38] Two of the Aboriginal children who regularly visited her home, ‘Trevor Hamilton’ and ‘Michael Wilton’ recalled fondly the time they spent with Turner. ‘Michael Wilton’ stated:
she was brilliant … she used to have a house just down from the primary school. We used to go down there for lunch and have sandwiches, Milo and chocolate cakes.[39]The services provided by Turner and the SCF were invaluable, particularly in fringe communities, as malnutrition and a lack of adequate shelter often led to disease and sometimes death. The SCF delivered to many Aboriginal people a valuable service which had not been previously provided by the Victorian Government.

The SCF centre at Robinvale was located just outside the Manatunga Housing Settlement and was managed by Beverley Ratten. Unlike her Mooroopna counterpart Ratten was also expected to unofficially supervise the Manatunga estate during its first year of operation. In December 1959, Davey informed the Board that due to the impossibility of finding a supervisor for Manatunga, Ratten and the local police were taking on the role of temporary supervisors. Ratten was responsible for the surveillance of Aborigines’ lives. Her duties were to ascertain whether overcrowding was occurring at the settlement and to call the local police if such a situation occurred. Aboriginal tenants were to be evicted from the estates if they refused to follow the Board’s rules. In this respect, Ratten’s work at Manatunga could be considered paternalistic. Despite her adoption of a pseudo-police role, Ratten and the SCF were held in high esteem by many of the Manatunga tenants. A former resident of the Manatunga estate, ‘Fay Shaw’, praised Ratten and the SCF for providing an important community service which made the transition from camp life to town life easier. Shaw’s comment related specifically to Ratten’s work at the SCF centre which was more assimilationist in nature. Ratten’s combination of paternalism and assimilationism illustrates the duality of welfare provision at Manatunga. [40]

The Board’s control of overcrowding was intended to ‘protect’ transitional tenants from the burden of caring for extended family members and kin. The Board believed that by limiting the number of people living in each transitional house, acceptable standards of comfort and ‘cleanliness’ could be achieved. Many welfare workers supported this view and wanted Aboriginal people to experience the quality of life which they enjoyed, unfettered by large numbers of ‘guests’. This regulation was reflective of Menzies’ rhetoric about the benefits of middle-class domesticity and was intended to establish nuclear-style family units. Some Aboriginal residents supported this regulation and complained to the Board when Aboriginal visitors failed to leave the estates. However these ideals failed to recognise the importance of Aboriginal kinship obligations which often required the accommodation of relatives and friends. Welfare workers were often powerless in enforcing the overcrowding regulation, as the Board wanted to avoid possible adverse media publicity in its eviction of tenants. Consequently, some Aboriginal tenants allowed ‘guests’ to stay with them at the transitional estates. This often resulted in friction between welfare workers and transitional tenants.

Although the SCF’s responsibilities were primarily to protect and care for Aboriginal children, Turner and Ratten also acted as educators of adult Aborigines. Turner was a public advocate in support of Aboriginal ability to assimilate into mainstream society. She argued that ‘Aborigines could keep their homes clean and surroundings lovely — if they were helped’.[41] She believed that Anglo-Australians should act as teachers, to help instruct Aborigines in good housekeeping skills, child rearing techniques and the benefits of educating children to a higher secondary school level. The SCF centres offered a variety of classes for local Aboriginal people, including cooking, sewing and needlework. Many Aboriginal women visited the SCF centres to participate in these sessions and they also assisted in the preparation of meals for children who attended the kindergarten. In essence, the SCF centres provided educational programs for Aboriginal people of all ages.

Many functions of the SCF were focussed upon women and preached the virtues of following ‘the Australian Way of Life’. Aboriginal women were encouraged to adopt middle-class living standards associated with domesticity. Cooking, craft and hygiene classes often dominated the education curriculum. ‘Fay Shaw’ stated: ‘Some of the white ladies they would come in and teach things like crocheting and cooking’.[42] In her work on gender and assimilation, Francesca Bartlett argued that many Anglo-women felt that it was their duty to teach Aboriginal women how to be ‘good’ wives and mothers. She stated:
Practices of domestic training became a policy designed to engineer a single race in Australia, where the urban white woman, freed of her chores by the miracles of domestic technology and cheap labour could actively engage in acts of nation building by teaching an essential appreciation of the ritual of domestic life to Indigenous women.[43]Like many other women in Australian society during this era, Aboriginal women were being encouraged to be ‘good citizens’ by adopting a domestic role based upon their gender. Unlike their middle-class Anglo-counterparts, many Aboriginal women were unable to adopt the lifestyle espoused by these educators as they were employed in occupations outside the home. Aboriginal participation in SCF activities was often put forward as a sign of their willingness to conform to the assimilation agenda. However, they often utilised the welfare centres for their own ends.

Many Aboriginal wives and mothers used SCF classes to socialise and escape the isolation of home life. This was particularly pertinent when male partners were absent from their families, either through work commitments or sometimes desertion. Even when the male partners were at home many of the women attended the SCF sessions. Many Rumbalara and Manatunga residents fondly recalled their time spent at the centres. ‘Fay Shaw’ stated: ‘It was good because it gave people a chance to get away while the kids was at school and to get away from the husbands’.[44] In the 1950s and 1960s many Aboriginal families were quite large in number, so the SCF centres also provided temporary respite for mothers by providing childcare in a safe, local environment. The ability of Aboriginal women to utilise the centres for their personal gain meant that these community resources were a place of socialising rather than forcible assimilation. The actions of the Aboriginal women meant that the SCF centres were integrationist rather than assimilationist. The willingness of Turner and Ratten to allow Aboriginal women to use the centres in this manner illustrated the non-collusive nature of welfare programs administered by some Anglo-Australians at the estates. Opportunities for Aboriginal women to partake in Anglo-Australian courses and activities were available, but were not mandatory for SCF centre attendees.

Many local townspeople were concerned about the treatment of Aboriginal people in their communities and became involved in administering welfare programs at the transitional estates. A number of Rumbalara residents recalled the important charitable work carried out by many individuals who lived in the surrounding townships. For example Hilda Morieson, an Anglo-Australian from Numurkah, established an Aboriginal Scout Troop at Rumbalara which became an important pastime for many Aboriginal boys. The 1stMooroopna Scout Troop had been in operation on and off for over 30 years. However, no Aboriginal boys were members of the troop. Rumbalara resident, ‘Mary Connor’, believed that this was due to the racial prejudice which existed in the local area. She argued: ‘they wouldn’t mix the black with the white’.[45] In 1957 Morieson established the 2ndMooroopna Scout Troop at Rumbalara.[46]

Many Rumbalara residents welcomed the idea of an Aboriginal Scout group. ‘Michael Wilton’ was one of the first Aboriginal children from Rumbalara who joined Morieson’s troop. He recollected:
The majority of the young kids were in the Cubs and the Scouts … A lot of the stuff I learned through the Cubs and the Scouts I still put into practice now …It opened up a few doors for us and made us realise that there was a lot more in the world than what was just around here. It was good, really good.[47]Another Rumbalara resident, ‘Trevor Hamilton’, also had fond memories: ‘I remember being on a march in Mansfield as a Cub, I was proud’.[48] Some Aboriginal people were aware of the advantages of exploiting welfare relationships. This was revealed in ‘Michael Wilton’s’ statement when he indicated that by joining the Scouts Aboriginal children were able to access a variety of activities in which Anglo-children participated — ‘it opened up a few doors’.[49] However, the relationship between Morieson and the Aboriginal scouts was a reciprocal one. She wrote: ‘I remember them with grateful affection for hours of happy comradeship and mutual learning’.[50] Although assimilation-style Scouting programs often demanded that Aboriginal children forego their traditional customs and beliefs, many Aboriginal Scouts incorporated Anglo-skills into their existing lifestyle. ‘Michael Wilton’ claimed that he successfully combined his traditional Aboriginal bush skills with the survival techniques taught to him at Scout meetings.[51] This method of incorporation was empowering for some Aboriginal people as they gained the life skills which were necessary to survive in both the Aboriginal and Anglo-communities.

Although many of the welfare workers were altruistic, the positive image which the media gave to those involved in Aboriginal welfare was sometimes exploited by people in the mainstream community. This was evident in the 1958 publicity campaign surrounding a furniture appeal organised by the Guild of Furniture Manufacturers’ Ltd. and the Furnishers’ Society of Victoria to furnish the Rumbalara houses. In order to gain positive publicity, Managing Director of Trask Furniture and head of the furniture appeal, Mr L. Trask, ensured that a variety of media sources were present at the Guild’s official presentation of the donated furniture to the Rumbalara residents. In a letter to Davey, Trask wrote:
We are arranging Television and Radio coverage, and would be much obliged if you could see that a selected aboriginal couple are brought to Melbourne to give this show the correct atmosphere … The couple will be necessary to give ‘colour’ to it.[52]Trask regarded these people as mere tokens of Aboriginality. In order to secure the presence of an Aboriginal couple, Trask offered to pay for the fares and travel expenses associated with their transportation from Mooroopna. Although Trask may have exhibited altruistic notions by organising the furniture appeal, he also used his charitable work to bolster his public profile. His disregard for Aboriginal people was evident in the manner in which he spoke about Aboriginal people and the submissive role he assigned to them in the publicity campaign. Trask’s act of giving enhanced his reputation and reflected paternalists of old who also made their gift-giving a public occasion.[53]

Some of the welfare work conducted by religious groups and individuals at Rumbalara and Manatunga was coercive and conditional upon Aboriginal tenants’ conversion to Christianity, or at least their regular attendance at church. Huggard claimed that the local Minister for the Church of Christ, Roy Clydesdale, was only interested in Aborigines’ welfare when they attended his church. He wrote: ‘Mr Clydesdale states he has the Welfare of the Native people at heart, yes, at the Church only’.[54] Rumbalara resident, ‘Mary Connor’, confirmed Huggard’s claim when she stated that support from Clydesdale and his wife was reliant upon her visiting the church. Clydesdale placed great importance on the conversion of Aboriginal people to Christianity. On Sunday mornings he would often go to Rumbalara and collect Aboriginal children for religious instruction. Christian welfare workers, such as Clydesdale, believed that they were responsible for the salvation of Aboriginal people. The conditional nature of Clydesdale’s work highlighted the selfish manner of some welfare work being conducted at Rumbalara. [55]

At Manatunga, Hicks and Ratten, discouraged zealous evangelical activity at the settlement. In 1961, Mrs A. Trew, a Seventh Day Adventist and a former President of the Warburton Aborigines Advancement League for the Upper-Yarra Shire, decided to settle in Robinvale. According to her friend Pat Bryant, Mrs Trew felt that she was ‘spiritually directed to go to Robinvale’.[56] She wrote:
I felt the call for a greater work and have moved to Robinvale where I felt I could approach the aborigines and do practicle [sic] work in their homes helping them with hygiene also their moral and physical welfare.[57]Hicks and Ratten complained to Aborigines Welfare Officer, Alan West, about Trew’s activities. In a report to the Board, West reported:
Miss Ratten and Mr. Hicks feel that she is interested in the Robinvale aborigines because of her religious convictions. They believe that she is capable of going to considerable lengths in her proselytizing efforts. Mrs. Trew is acting in conflict with the policy of the Board and the SCF in that she had made ‘hand-outs’ to some of the residents.[58]The Board and the SCF wanted to follow the assimilationist doctrine of self-improvement, rather than perpetuate the ‘hand-out’ mentality of the government’s former protectionist policies. Trew’s welfare activities served to hinder the work of assimilationist welfare workers. Consequently, her work at Manatunga was discouraged and appeared to cease following the Board’s intervention.

Although some Christian welfare workers attempted to use religion to socially control Aboriginal people, many others exhibited humanitarianism through their work. Some religious welfare workers at Rumbalara and Manatunga were altruistic people who were not intent on socially re-engineering the tenants, but improving their quality of life. At Robinvale, religious groups were active in welfare programs designed to assist residents at the Manatunga estate. In a report compiled for the Board on child welfare at Manatunga, West highlighted the positive nature of infant welfare work being carried out by Mrs Welsh, a representative of the local Methodist Church Aborigines Committee. He reported that malnutrition amongst children was a problem at the estate and that Mrs Welsh had responded by instructing Aboriginal mothers on how to prepare baby food and care for their children. Unlike some of the religious welfare workers at Rumbalara, Mrs Welsh’s help was not limited to Aboriginal people who belonged to her church. [59]

Regardless of the evangelical motives of some religious welfare workers, many Rumbalara residents used church outings as a venue for socialising in a European setting. Rumbalara resident, ‘Mary Connor’, recalled:
I was a Christian up at Rumbalara for eight years. Got baptised. We used to go to church a lot from Rumbalara because they used to come along and pick us up in a bus. You see when they stopped the bus then we sort of stopped the church because we had no way of going.[60]’Mary Connor’s’ attendance at church was contingent upon the provision of transport to get her there. Another Rumbalara resident, ‘Simone Waters’, also enjoyed the church outings. She recollected:
It was pretty good when we lived there [at Rumbalara] because we all used to mix together. We’d go to church every Sunday, all of the family with their children … It was good at that time. I enjoyed it.[61]In their accounts of church-related activities, neither ‘Mary Connor’ nor ‘Simone Waters’ referred to the benefits of religious instruction and their moral ‘salvation’.

Conflict amongst welfare authorities existed in relation to the Rumbalara settlement. In 1960, Clydesdale and Turner wrote to the Board insinuating that Huggard was not fulfilling his supervisory duties. It was evident to the Board that Clydesdale and Turner were conspiring against Huggard, as the individual letters written by them were remarkably similar. Clydesdale and Turner worked together on the local SCF board and their welfare ideology seems to have conflicted with the Board’s philosophy. Turner stated: ‘The settling of these dark people in one village is apparently not the answer [to the ‘Aboriginal problem’] — and I hope the same mistake is not being made elsewhere’.[62] The Board supported Huggard and forwarded curt letters to Clydesdale and Turner which reinforced their standpoint.[63] The Board was not prepared to tolerate criticisms of its assimilationist housing policy, nor of its administration. This conflict exposed the fractured and competitive nature of Aboriginal welfare as individuals struggled to obtain high levels of power in the welfare hierarchy. The Board, in its letters to Clydesdale and Turner, reasserted its dominant position as the ruling power in Victoria’s Aboriginal welfare régime. Disputes between welfare providers often resulted from conflicting ideas about Aboriginal welfare and about methods of incorporating assimilation-style community programs. This discord was evident in the rift between the State’s secular welfare administration and the evangelical welfare approach of some church-based organisations.


In 1968 and 1969, Rumbalara and Manatunga were closed, the Board claiming that Aboriginal people were disenchanted with the transitional housing policy. Certainly, many resisted its assimilationist edge. Indeed, from the mid-1960s many Victorians campaigned for the abolition of the estates and branded assimilationism as an outdated and racist philosophy. However, policy changed as well, making transitional housing inappropriate. The federal Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs which replaced the Board in 1968, substituted ‘self-determination’ for ‘assimilation’.

The impact of assimilation on Aboriginal peoples’ lives at Rumbalara and Manatunga varied according to their level of resistance to it and the individual interpretation of the philosophy by welfare workers. Theoretically, the assimilation doctrine demanded that Aboriginal people reject their traditional lifestyle. Some welfare workers upheld this idea and only administered their support to Aboriginal people who adopted Anglo-living standards. However, other welfare workers interpreted assimilationist rhetoric in a more integrationist sense. The more tolerant welfare workers believed that government assimilation policies were designed to improve the material lives of Aborigines and to provide them with equal access to social services. The support offered by these assimilationists was not aimed at destroying Aboriginal culture, but integrating it within the dominant Australian community. This approach, which was really integrationism, was embraced by the majority of Aboriginal residents at Rumbalara and Manatunga.


*� I would like to thank the two anonymous referees for Labour History whose comments were most useful in completing my revisions to this paper.

1.� Richard Broome, Aboriginal Australians: Black Responses to White Dominance 1788–1994, 2ndedn, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1994, p. 139.

2.� Charles McLean, ‘Report upon the operation of the Aborigines Act 1928 and the Regulations and orders made thereunder’, hereafter referred to as the McLean Report, Victorian Parliamentary Papers [hereafter VPP], p. 3, Paper no. 18, 1957, vol. 2.

3.� In 1950s-Victoria, the term ‘traditional customs and practices’ primarily referred to the maintenance of Aboriginal spiritual and kinship systems. Important facets of these systems include: the provision of accommodation and food for relatives and kin, the passing down of knowledge, particularly bush skills and oral history, through storytelling sessions, parties and demonstrations. For further information see Diane Barwick, ‘A Little More than Kin: Regional Affiliation and Group Identity Among Aboriginal Migrants in Melbourne’, PhD thesis, History Program, Australian National University, 1963; Diane Barwick, ‘The Aboriginal Family in South-Eastern Australia’, in Jerzy Krupinski and Alan Stoller (eds), The Family in Australia: Social, Demographic and Psychological Aspects, 2ndedn, Pergamon Press, Sydney, 1978, pp. 195–209.

4.� Bain Attwood, Rights for Aborigines, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 2003, p. 197; Jeremy Beckett, ‘The Past in the Present; the Present in the Past: Constructing a National Aboriginality’, in Jeremy Beckett (ed.), Past and Present, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1988, pp. 191–214; Tim Rowse, White Flour, White Power: From Rations to Citizenship in Central Australia, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1998 and Colin Tatz, With Intent to Destroy: Reflecting on Genocide, Verso, London, 2003.

5.� A.P. Elkin, Citizenship for the Aborigines, Australasian Publishing Company, Sydney, 1944; Heather Goodall , ‘Assimilation Begins in the Home’: the State and Aboriginal Women’s Work as Mothers in New South Wales, 1900s to 1960s, Labour History, Issue 69, November 1995, pp. 75–101; Anna Haebich, Broken Circles: Fragmenting Indigenous Families 1800–2000, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Fremantle, 2000; Robert Manne, ‘In Denial: the Stolen Generation and the Right’, Australian Quarterly Essay, Schwarz Publishing, Melbourne, 2001; Andrew Markus, Australian Race Relations 1788–1993, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1994; Peter Read (ed.), Settlement: a History of Australian Indigenous Housing, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2000; and Jo Woolmington, ‘The Assimilation Years in a Country Town’, Aboriginal History, vol. 15, nos. 1–2, 1991, pp. 25–37.

6.� See Carolyn Landon and Daryl Tonkin, Jackson’s Track: Memoir of a Dreamtime Place, Penguin, Melbourne, 1999.

7.� See Corinne Manning, ‘The McLean Report: Legitimising Victoria’s New Assimilationism’, Aboriginal History, vol. 26, 2002, pp. 159–176.

8.� Alick Jackomos and Derek Fowell (eds), Living Aboriginal History of Victoria: Stories in the Oral Tradition, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1991, p. 182.

9.� Follow-up Interview with ‘Michael Wilton’, Mooroopna, Victoria, 23 November 2000. The interviews used in this article were collected as part of my doctoral research. They were conducted throughout Victoria between 2000–01. In order to protect their identity, pseudonyms have been allocated to former residents whose recollections are currently unpublished. Pseudonyms are indicated by the use of inverted commas around an individual’s name.

10.� P. Boas, ‘The Role of the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Victoria’, in L. Lippman (ed.), Seminars 1971, Monash University Centre for Research into Aboriginal Affairs, Melbourne, 1972, p. 52.

11.�Sun, 5 March 1947.

12.�Argus, 21 August 1954.

13.� Interview with ‘Emma Mason’, Mooroopna, 23 November 2000.

14.� Judith Brett,’ Menzies’ Forgotten People’, Meanjin, no. 2, 1984, pp. 253–256; Robert Menzies, The Forgotten People and other Studies in Democracy, Angus and Robertson , Sydney, 1943, pp. 1–3.

15.�Assimilation of Our Aborigines, Prepared under the authority of the Minister for Territories, and with the co-operation of the Ministers responsible for Aboriginal welfare in Australian States, for use by the National Aborigines’ Day Observance Committee and its Associates in connexion with the celebration of National Aborigines’ Day in Australia, 11 July 1958, p. 3.

16.� Barwick, ‘The Aboriginal Family’, pp. 18–23; Haebich, p. 486.

17.� McLean Report.

18.� J.H. Davey, Aboriginal Housing in Victoria, 26 June 1957, Files of the Housing Member of the Aborigines Welfare Board, 1951–1965, National Archives of Australia, Melbourne [hereafter NAA], Victoria:B336, 1957/1, p. 1.

19.�Ibid., pp. 3–4.

20.� ‘Report of the Aborigines Welfare Board 1958’, VPP, 1958–59, vol 2, p. 6.

21.� Heather Goodall, Invasion to Embassy: Land in Aboriginal Politics in New South Wales, 1770–1972, Allen & Unwin in association with Black Books, Sydney, 1996, p. 267; Will Sanders, ‘Aboriginal Housing’, in Chris Paris, Housing Australia, Macmillan Education Australia, Melbourne, 1993, pp. 215–216.

22.� ‘Report of the Aborigines Welfare Board 1958’, p. 6.

23.� N. Garnet to the Minister of Housing, 21 September 1962, NAA:B357/0, 1962/4.

24.� Interview with ‘Jen Phillips’, Shepparton, Victoria, 22 November 2000.

25.� Interview with ‘Susan Porter’, Mooroopna, Victoria, 23 November 2000.

26.� Interview with ‘Jen Phillips’.

27.� Interview with ‘Carole Peterson’, Robinvale, Victoria, 9 January 2001.

28.� Interviews with ‘Emma Mason’, ‘Carole Peterson and ‘Susan Porter’.

29.� Interview with ‘Emma Mason’.

30.� Interview with ‘Susan Porter’.

31.� Integrationism was a doctrine of cultural pluralism which supported the political, social and economic assimilation of Aboriginal people as a distinct cultural group. Aboriginal people were to be given equal civil rights to Anglo-Australians whilst being allowed to maintain their traditional customs and practices. For more information see Attwood, pp. 200–211.

32.� Ann McGrath, ‘Born in the Cattle’: Aborigines in Cattle Country, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1987, pp. 118–121.

33.� Interview with ‘Michael Wilton’, Mooroopna, Victoria, 21 November 2000.

34.� Jackomos and Fowell, p. 186.

35.� Corinne Manning, ‘”Humpies” to Houses: Victoria’s Transitional Aboriginal Housing Policy 1957–1969’, PhD thesis, Department of History, La Trobe University, 2001, pp. 155–160.

36.� Interview with ‘Mary Connor’, Mooroopna, Victoria, 23 November 2000.

37.�Shepparton News, 4 April 1955.

38.� Davey, Aboriginal Housing in Victoria.

39.� Interview with ‘Michael Wilton’.

40.� J.H. Davey, Robinvale – Report to the Aborigines Welfare Board, 10 December 1959, NAA:B336, 1959/9; Interview with ‘Fay Shaw’.

41.�Age, 12 April 1958.

42.� Interview with ‘Fay Shaw’.

43.� Francesca Bartlett, ‘Clean, White Girls: Assimilation and Women’s Work’, in Belinda McKay (ed.), Unmasking Whiteness: Race Relations and Reconciliation, Queensland Studies Centre, Nathan, 1999, p. 60.

44.� Interview with ‘Fay Shaw’.

45.� Interview with ‘Mary Connor’.

46.� Hilda Morieson, ‘2ndMooroopna Scouting’, in Myrtle L. Ford (ed.), Scouting: Shepparton 1922–1982, n.p., Shepparton, Victoria, 1982, p. 45.

47.� Interview with ‘Michael Wilton’.

48.� Interview with ‘Trevor Hamilton’, Mooroopna, Victoria, 21 November 2000.

49.� Interview with ‘Michael Wilton’.

50.� Morieson, p. 45.

51.� Interview with ‘Michael Wilton’.

52.� L. Trask, Letter to J.H. Davey, 19 May 1959, NAA:B336, 1959/7; J.H. Davey, Diary Note, 16 May 1958, NAA:B336, 1958/7.

53.� David Roberts, Paternalism in Early Victorian England, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, c1979, pp. 2–10.

54.� C.P. Huggard, Letter to P.E. Felton, 29 February 1960, NAA:B357, 1960/4.

55.� Interview with ‘Mary Connor’; Huggard, Letter to Felton, 29 February 1960.

56.� A. West, Report for the Aborigines Welfare Board concerning the activities of Mrs. Trew, Robinvale, 19–20 July 1961, NAA:B357, 1961/3.

57.� A. Trew, Letter to the Aborigines Welfare Board, 11 July 1961, NAA:B357, 1961/3.

58.� A. West, Child Welfare, Robinvale, 19 July 1961, NAA:B357, 1961/3.


60.� Interview with ‘Mary Connor’.

61.� Interview with ‘Simone Waters’, Robinvale, Victoria, 9 January 2001.

62.� M. Turner, Letter to Felton, 1 March 1960, NAA:B357, 1960/4.

63.� R. Clydesdale, 24 February 1960, NAA:B357, 1960/4; P.E. Felton, Rumbalara Settlement — Complaints, 7 March 1960 and Draft letter to Turner, NAA:B357, 1960/4; Turner, Letter to Felton.