66["A Cattle King", The Cairns Post (Qld.), Thursday 14 November 1912, page 2]

A Cattle King.


Mr. Frank Connor, M.L.C., one of the Kimberley cattle kings, is at present on his way to the Philippines, to which country he supplies about 1200 head of fat cattle every month.

Mr. Connor is the principal of the firm of Connor, Doherty, and Durack, who hold nearly six million acres in the north-west of Australia. There are three still larger holders there--the Bovril Estates, the executors of the late W. F. Buchanan (Wave Hill Station), and Copley and Paterson (Ord River Station), each with something like seven million acres. Connor, Doherty, and Durack's property stretches from Wyndham 180 miles inland.

Mr. Connor, in course of conversation, said that in July of last year he opened up trade with the Philippines. There were two steamers regularly employed. In connection with the trade, he had recently completed the highest deal that had ever been made in this country, perhaps in any country--the selling of 23,000 head of fat cattle in one hand, with extended delivery. There were 13,000 troops in the Phillippines, independent of the navy, all fed on Australian beef. Till he opened up this trade, all the beef from Wave Hill, the Victoria River (Bovril Estates) and Lissedel stations had been sent overland to Queensland or to this State. Now it was going mainly to Manilla. About 300 head a month went to Java from West Australia. There was Singapore to be opened up. Japan and North China wanted beef. But the shipping of live cattle any further than the Philippines was a big proposition. Eight years ago he had sent 4000 heifers to South Africa, 2400 going in one vessel, which, he thought he was safe in saying, was a world's record. He wanted no more experience in conveying live cattle so far.

According to Mr. Connor, the Federal Government has canvassers in Manila who are trying to secure for the Northern Territory the trade that the Western Australians have built up. The Federal agents had promised the Manila buyers that if they would purchase their cattle through Port Darwin they would build a railway to the base of supplies and establish freezing works there. Dr. Gilruth, the Administrator, had promised to put these works up if they got 10,000 head of cattle a year guaranteed. The Bovril Estates had guaranteed 5000, and he thought there would be another 5000 guaranteed by other growers. It was very rough on the people in the north-west. Wyndham was the natural centre for freezing works. Still he would rather the works at Port Darwin than none at all, but these efforts on behalf of the Federal Government to steal the trade from another part of Australia was very reprehensible.