33["Passing Notes", The Hedland Advocate (Port Hedland, WA), Saturday 13 March 1909, page 8]
We have never been advocates of native labor, and do not agree with the excessive punishment meted out to natives who kill cattle, and yes, to others who are alleged to kill cattle. We are certain that if the Supreme Court were appealed to in 9 cases out of 10 where natives are convicted they would be acquitted.
But seeing that native labor is permitted, that the Broome and Roebourne gaols are full to overflowing with native prisoners, that Broome and Roebourne (North and south of Hedland) have streets and footpaths formed and the towns made habitable by native labor, that the Government can't supply Hedland with money to build roads, that Hedland is not able to raise the money for the purpose, that the people have to contribute as much towards the keep of these numerous prisoners as Broome and Roebourne people do, and that Hedland's main exit from the goods shed has been torn up by the Works Department, we are forced to the conclusion that the town is entitled to have the surplus native prisoners from Broome and Roebourne do the street work so urgently required here.
On board the Bullarra we saw 42 strong, able-bodied natives, chained with strong, trace-sized chains in gangs of 3 to 9 each, being taken to the already over crowded gaol at Roebourne, and, we are informed, upwards of 100 more to follow. Even the most rabid socialist will agree that if natives are to be kept (some doing work and others exercise only) at Broome and Roebourne, Hedland is entitled to some of that labor.