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August 08, 2006

The Culture Wars Down Under: Keith Windschuttle, the Aborigines, and the Left - Part Two

Posted by William D. Rubinstein

William D. Rubinstein - professor of modern history at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and the author of Men of Property: The Very Wealthy in Britain since the Industrial Revolution - continues his exploration [see The Culture Wars Down Under: Keith Windschuttle, the Aborigines, and the Left - Part One] of the fierce controversy created by, and venomous response to, the publication of Keith Windschuttle's book, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History: Volume One - Van Diemen's Land, 1803-1847.

Apart from offering cogent evidence of the very small number of Aborigines killed by whites in Tasmania, Keith Windschuttle's The Fabrication of Aboriginal History also made a number of claims of - to put it charitably - very poor research methods by established academic historians whose claims about Aboriginal deaths at the hands of white settlers were apparently unsupported by any real evidence.

Probably the most widely-discussed such claim made by Windschuttle was that concerning Professor Henry Reynolds, who is certainly among the best-known historians of Aboriginal encounters with white Australians. These claims were made previous to the publication of The Fabrication, in 2001 in The New Criterion, the American review. In his book The Other Side of the Frontier, Reynolds estimated that, between 1850 and 1900, about 10,000 Aborigines were killed by whites in the colony (now state) of Queensland. As his footnoted source for this claim, Reynolds cited a limited circulation and little-known 1978 monograph of his, Race Relations in North Queensland.

After a long search, Windschuttle managed to locate this publication. But the passage cited in Race Relations turned out not to be about Aboriginal deaths at all, but about the total number of whites killed by Aborigines.

Nowhere did it mention the figure of 10,000 Aboriginal deaths, let alone provide any evidence for this figure. It did, however, claim that Aborigines may have killed between 800 and 850 whites between 1850 and 1900. The only mention made of Aboriginal deaths at the hands of whites was in one single footnote in which Reynolds claimed that while it was impossible to do anything more than guess at the number of Aborigines killed by whites, their death rate "may have been" ten times more than that of Europeans. No evidence was provided for this claim, which was simply invented out of thin air. Even if somehow true, this does not multiply to 10,000 Aboriginal deaths, but to 8,000 - 8,500, with the extra 1500-2000 dead Aborigines being added, as it were, for good luck. Reynolds' figure quickly gained wide currency among historians of this subject, none of whom questioned the bases of his estimate.

Reynolds' claim, it should be noted, is categorically different from other well-founded estimates of deaths in demographic catastrophes, genocides, mass killings, or other slaughters of the modern world, which are firmly based in valid historical and demographical evidence. There is, for instance, not the slightest doubt that nearly 20,000 British solders died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, or that about 960,000 Jews and 100,000 others perished at the Auschwitz extermination camp, or that, chiefly because of the Famine and emigration, the population of Ireland declined from 8,175,000 in 1841 to 6,552,000 in 1851.

In contrast, Reynolds' figures are simply made up, lacking a shred of real demographic evidence or even reasoned argument to support them. With the apparently misleading footnote reference to his 1978 monograph, they also surely sail very close to the wind in terms of valid historiographical procedure. Any doctoral candidate in history who used this "evidence" in a dissertation would be asked to rewrite this passage, if not failed outright.

Shortly after the publication of Windschuttle's Fabrication, Robert Manne edited a collection of deeply hostile essays on the book, Whitewash: On Keith Windschuttle's Fabrication of Aboriginal History (Melbourne, 2003). Naturally, Reynolds contributed an essay. One might reasonably have expected Reynolds to have used this venue to refute Windschuttle's charges against his Queensland estimates, which were given wide publicity in the Australian press and which are - presumably - highly damaging to his professional reputation. What does Reynolds have to say about this matter in his essay "Terra Nullius Reborn"? Precisely nothing - not one word. Instead, the essay is an attack on Windschuttle's assertion that Tasmanian Aborigines had no notion of an attachment to the land and - in contrast to the claims of some historians - were not fighting a "guerrilla" campaign against the whites. ("Terra Nullius" is the legal doctrine, accepted in Australian law until recently, that no pre-existing Aboriginal sovereignty to Australia existed at the time of white settlement, the continent being, legally, vacant land, whose Stone Age inhabitants had no actual or legal notion of sovereignty.)

Another historian attacked by Windschuttle is Professor Lyndall Ryan formerly of the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, and now of the University of Tasmania. In her The Aboriginal Tasmanians (p. 77) Ryan claimed that:

By 1808 conflict between Aborigines and Europeans over kangaroos had so intensified that twenty Europeans and a hundred Aborigines probably lost their lives.
As with Reynolds, the references cited by Ryan simply do not show this. She cited a contemporary diary, which, on examination, mentioned only the killing of four Aborigines, two white men, and a dog.

In her essay in Whitewash, Ryan countered that the real reference was in the next paragraph of her work, to another contemporary account, which claimed, of the twenty to thirty kangaroo hunters, that:

some of them have forced the Native Women, after murdering their Protectors, to live with them and have Families.
From this, Ryan "deduced" that the figure of 100 Aboriginal deaths "is not an unreasonable estimate", although it seems like a highly unreasonable one to me. [See John Dawson, Washout: On the Academic Response to the Fabrication of Aboriginal History (Sydney, 2004) - a pro-Windschuttle work - pp. 117-118.]

Windschuttle cites claim after claim of this kind, made by well-regarded academic historians, often holding senior positions. Again and again, their claims about the killings of Aborigines in Tasmania by white settlers appear either wildly exaggerated or unsupported by evidence.

The fury of the Australian left unleashed by Windschuttle's book was spearheaded by Robert Manne, professor of politics at La Trobe University in Melbourne, who edited the anti-Windschuttle collection Whitewash and has truly acted the part of Javert to Windschuttle's Jean Valjean, engaging in a long sequence of attacks on him in the press and in well-publicised public debates. A highly intelligent and very cogent writer, and one of the most visible public intellectuals in Australia, Manne is a very strange case indeed. In 1981 he edited a collection of essays entitled The New Conservatism in Australia, and was at the time regarded as probably the leading neo-conservative thinker in Australia.

On the basis of his reputation, in 1989 he was appointed editor of Quadrant, the influential neo-conservative and literary Australian monthly. Once in place, Manne discovered that he was not a conservative after all, but actually a radical, and was forced to resign as editor in 1997 following an internal revolt at the magazine.

Since then, he has produced an endless flow of newspaper articles, essays, and books attacking, from a left-wing viewpoint, the conservative government of John Howard and all of its policies, especially in Aboriginal affairs. Manne was crucially influenced, it seems, by the publicity surrounding the so-called "Stolen Generation" claims about the forcible removal of mixed-race Aboriginal children from their families between the 1900s and 1960s, which in the 1990s became one of the central topics of public debate in Australia.

Manne had shown no interest in Aboriginal affairs before this, and had certainly done no research on Aboriginal history. Windschuttle's book - and his imposing research and intellectual framework and cogency in debate, at least a match for Manne's own - acted as a red rag to a bull for Manne, who has become the leader of the anti-Windschuttle forces on the Australian academic left. It seems to me that, having listened to their televised debate over Aboriginal history and read the exchanges between them, that there is little doubt that Windschuttle has consistently and clearly gotten the better of Manne.

As one might expect, too, the academic left has used any slur or defamation in order to defeat Windschuttle, and the charge that he is the equivalent of a "Holocaust denier" was not long in coming. It was made in Manne's collection by A. Dirk Moses, in his essay "Revisionism and Denial". Any assertion that Windschuttle can be compared to a "Holocaust denier" is, in my opinion, nonsensical and defamatory. For an historian, to reduce the number of victims of mass murder or genocide, based upon new evidence - what Windschuttle has done - is not "genocide denial", but simply an attempt to produce a more accurate interpretation of the past.

Historians actually reduce the number of victims of alleged massacres, based upon new evidence, all the time. For instance, it is now clear, based on post-Glasnost evidence, that the number of victims of Stalin was much lower than the astronomical figures cited by Robert Conquest and others in the 1970s. Critics of David Irving have also completely refuted his claims about the number of alleged German victims of the Allied air raid on Dresden in early 1945. Irving claimed - in order to drum up sympathy for the Germans - that as many as 250,000 Germans perished. Richard Evans and others have shown, with persuasive evidence, that the actual figure was about 19,000. In these cases, historians are seeking accuracy about the past, which is what historians - presumably - aim at doing. This is what Keith Windschuttle is doing.

To those not on the ideological left, Windschuttle's works have already been seen as an important and imposing, but unfortunately rare, attempt to produce a conservative account of Australian history, such as has been attempted in recent years only by a handful of historians like Geoffrey Blainey and John Hirst.

Windschuttle plainly towers above his opponents like a giant among midgets, and will be remembered when they are forgotten. A month ago, he was appointed to the Board of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), a move which - together with the recent appointment of other high-profile conservatives - has turned the Australian left apoplectic. One can only hope that they are able to clean out this particular Augean Stable. Alas, no Tory Prime Minister here has ever had the nerve or intelligence to make similar appointments to the Board of the BBC, which continues to be a free-to-air version of the Guardian.

William D. Rubinstein is professor of modern history at the University of Wales-Aberystwyth. The Social Affairs Unit is publishing a fully updated and revised edition of Prof. Rubinstein's seminal Men of Property: The Very Wealthy in Britain since the Industrial Revolution. To read William D. Rubinstein's previous essays on the Australian culture wars, see: The Culture Wars Down Under: John Wren, Frank Hardy, and Power Without Glory and The Culture Wars Down Under: Keith Windschuttle, the Aborigines, and the Left - Part One.

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A brilliant summary of the matter.

There is one thing I would like to add. The doctrine of Terra Nullius is actually an invention of Henry Reynolds's. He managed to get the phrase so much talked about amongst the commentariat that the High Court judges were actually fooled into believeing that it existed. However, there is no mention of the term prior to the 70s.

Posted by: Peter L at August 9, 2006 02:55 AM

Particularly distressing in all of this is that the legitimacy of Windschuttle's observations is independant of his politics. Debunking fake massacre stories does not undo the medical-social-cultural catastrophe of the Aborigines. Nor does that catastrophe make Aboriginal society into any sort of retroactive arcadia.

Left/Right politics are scarcely relevant, Left/Right emotionalism and pretensions are.

Posted by: John Coffin at August 17, 2006 12:42 AM

I am an Australian who is coming late to this issue. I am currently reading the refutation of Windschuttle's Fabrication of Aboriginal History which is referred to, viz Whitewash. In this 385 page book, 18 academic authors take Windschuttle's efforts to minimise killings of aborigines in Tasmania apart one by one. I would not describe the contributors as "deeply hostile" although they are deeply affronted at the lack of academic background, technique, intellectual honesty, etc of Windschuttle. I would suggest that anyone reading the above article should not pass judgment on who is right or wrong in the Australian history wars until they have read Whitewash. By the way I am not surprised that Reynolds Queensland estimates are not included in the book because they had their hands full refuting Windschuttle's many mistakes, selectivity, incompetence and virtual fabrications concerning the history of Tasmania.

Posted by: Ian K at August 21, 2006 06:21 AM

Concerning the posting by Ian K, might I point out that none of the contributors to Whitewash privide alternative figures as to the number of Aborigines killed by whites in Tasmania which would provide an alternative view to Windschuttle's - not a single contributor tries to do this. I would have thought that if Windschuttle is wrong, and his views based in misleading and inaccurate argument, it would be easy to provide an accurate estimate - based in real evidence, of course, not leftist assumptions.

Until his critics provide such an alternative estimate, backed by genuinely persuasive evidence, I would suggest that readers should look very critically at the essays in Whitewash.

Posted by: william d rubinstein at August 23, 2006 09:13 PM

In my own checking into how sources are cited in supposedly scholarly works by politically biased academics, I've found some consistent patterns of source misrepresentation. Quotes get doctored, or reproduced with the context misrepresented, or distant sentences are quoted together to imply something not intended by the original author, and so forth.

I've become pretty cynical about ever getting a true picture of racial or political controversies by a naïve reading of academic advocates. The only way to ascertain truth-telling is to go back and check the sources cited in the book or article to see whether the author is representing them accurately. Trust needs to be earned, and it isn't merited by mere credentials, unfortunately.

My own investigation of the published works of one prominent far-left political polemicist showed him to have as much respect for factual information when discussing politics, as far-right religious conservatives have when discussing biology (I've looked into that, too). Professional ethics seem to get tossed when ideology drives an argument. It's unconsionable, really, but there you are.

So, I'd take accusations concerning, "misleading and inaccurate argument" with as large a grain of salt as claims against, "technique, intellectual honesty." The test is to take a random sample of accusations of dishonesty or claims of scholarly miscreancy, go to a library, and check the sources yourself. Prepare to be shocked at the dishonesty you yourself will find. All these people are intelligent. None of the apparent sloppiness you'll find is accidental.

Don't just read "Whitewash." Check it. Look up the sources that buttress a few of the more lurid accusations. Likewise, "The Fabrication of Aboriginal History." You'll discover pretty quickly which side is closer to truth-telling.

Posted by: Pat Frank at September 3, 2006 09:14 AM

one minor quibble,

BBC, 'free to air'? If only!

Posted by: Bruce at September 11, 2006 01:09 PM

I am disturbed by the proclivitie of the modern historian to argue about the issues of the past when there is insufficent evidence to know the full story. The past is the past.

What is known is the English dislocated the Aboriginal people form their land that they had been using and travesing for thousands of years.

A portion of the invaders/settlers/colonises murdered, raped, kidnapped, imprisoned, emasculated, mutilated (to mention a few)the Aboriginal people and their culture.

It was their land and still is their land. This needs to be acknowldged by ever person that sets foot on this land. The question is where to now?

Do we wish to continually divide the community and have dissent or are we going to activiley fight for a better world?

Or would you academics just prefer to show how big your brains and ideas are and forget the real issues of what continues today?

Posted by: N at September 25, 2006 01:58 AM

It is surprising, to say the least, that Dr Rubinstein, an English Professor of modern history, will lower the standard of ethics and social science to the level of producing such a highly rhetorical and politically biased review as this. Not the least when dealing with a subject on which he clearly knows very little.

Surely it is true that Robert Manne has never produced historical research in Australian race relations history. Yet that is not at all the point. Manne only edited and commented on other peoples work. Besides Rubinstein entirely overlooks the fact that Windschuttle, has never finalised a PhD in history, and also that Windschuttle made these claims and accusations at a time when he had produced nothing what-so-ever in terms of research in Australians race relations history.

Some people claim that he has now produced something of interests in regards to Tasmania, I shall not say, as I have not had time to study his production as I am still busy in the annals of colonial Queeensland. However, it is perhaps timely to remind the readers that Tasmania is only a tiny island and Windschuttle has not yet done any research or papers in regards to affairs in colonial Queensland, which for two reasons is the most important of all Australian colonies:

1. because it had the highest pre 1788 indigenous population density. Indeed higher than any other single colony/state in Australia. This is a fact based not only on population estimates gathered by various white people (which indicate that Queensland held close to 40% of the original continental population of indigenous people), but also further confirmed by known and named tribes (the section of Aboriginal Australia now known as Queensland covers nearly 40% of the known and named indigenous tribes), and
2. because colonial Queensland and its Native Police in all historical records and by all historians of note carried the main burden of frontier conflict in colonial Australia. The main reason being no doubt closely related to the above mentioned population density which necessitated another and more confronting policy and a Native Police. But also because the main bulk of estimates presented by Reynolds was the claim that a minimum 10 000 Aborigines killed in Queensland alone, a claim which can be easily (I can assure Dr Rubinstein and others) very easily substantiated with evidence from primary sources in Queensland, it is only sad that it was not done sufficiently previously (I agree to that).

This indeed is Windschuttles weakest point, and not at all the strong point Rubinstein here claim This is also the reason why this claim has never been disputed by any Queensland historian with any level of knowledge of the records, and disregarding his or hers political bias, (indeed Queensland historians have been very silent until now). There is some good reasons for this.

There is fairly solid evidence that at least 823 whites and associates were killed on Queensland frontier between 1820 and 1900. However, as there were no public servants to record such killings many were not at all recorded. Some samples indicate missing reporting exceeding 30% in certain period and districts, in particular in the early years and also that non-white people associates with whites were in many cases never reported, they were just buried. So there is no problems in raising this figure, as Reynolds did, to about 1 000.

Then we literally have countless primary records in Queensland state archive and contemporary newspapers giving evidence to a retaliation ratio of minimum ten or more Aboriginals for every white or associate killed on the frontier. Some of them are official police reports. There are additionally a great number of contemporary reports demonstrating that Aboriginals were frequently killed for offences such as disturbing cattle or sheep or just for the ‘offence’ of trespassing on the land from which they had been dispossessed.

Whatever Windchuttle has or has not done in Tasmania consequently proves nothing, except that the Australian media driven by patriotic feelings (and little care for truth and social science) and many people seem overly eager to spin and politicise the subject without sufficient knowledge of the fact (I suspect that these people are driven by political aims that has got nothing to do with history)

Posted by: Ristinge at October 30, 2006 12:12 PM

I happen to agree with the main target and criticism in Windshuttle first publication on the Killing of history, although I found that it was by far too rhetorical and contained too many misrepresentations. However, the latest attack – in terms of Queensland at least - represents nothing more than an attempt to do exactly what he then criticised – twisting, politicising, and undermining the integrity of our trade.

You ask for evidence, well here is two reports from the state archive: in the first Sub-Inspector Frederic Charles Urquhart describes five ‘dispersals’, - acts of retribution which followed the ‘murder’ of one white, the pastoralist James White Powell, at Carlton Hill Station on 13 July 1884. The first ‘dispersal’ was on what he described as a ‘very large’ camp at Gunpowder Creek, ‘there being upwards of 150 blacks in it’. He regretted to report that only ‘thirty of the blacks were shot’ here, as his ‘detachment was not strong enough to admit to my doing more’. However, ‘four more large mobs of blacks’ was attacked between ‘the scene of the murder and the head of Wills River’. No further figures are mentioned so we are left guessing as to the death toll inflicted.
Second report included three dispersals following the ‘murder of pastoralist Edward Sydney Watson at Pine Three Station’ on 6 May 1889. Urquhart stated that many ‘escaped arrest’ during the first dispersal as ‘they were in an area full of water and timber’. There are not the slightest signs that Urquhart or any other Queensland native police officer seriously attempted to arrest natives on such expedition, so the phrase ‘escaped arrest’ should read as, ‘escaped death!’ He had much more luck a few days later when he ‘caught up with a large mob…in a dense fern scrub covering about five acres of ground which I succeeded in completely surrounding.’ No figures are mentioned, he simply stated that he and his men began shooting when ‘a body’ of the surrounded natives ‘made a rush to break out’. He then noted that ‘none of the murderers escaped from this scrub’, the logic being that any Aboriginal killed was a murderer. How many ‘a large mob’ was, we can only guess, but judging from the above, the death toll was probably not less than fifty. Urquhart’s means of establishing that they were indeed all of them murderers of Mr Watson was very simple; it was done afterwards, by letting the widow of the white pastoralist and one of her men inspect the ground. During this she allegedly confirmed that this was the right mob. However, she was very upset when noting that some had still missed out, so Urquhart went out on yet another mission and eventually caught up with, what he termed, ‘the leading lots’. Only he knew how he established that this lot were the leading ones. He did not give any indication as to the death toll in this case except to say that: ‘On no occasion was it possible to bring the blacks to listen to parleying. They resist at first with spears and when that fails, break and scatter in all directions.’ He clearly regarded it as perfectly legitimate to shoot as many as possible in such situation.
The language in these reports leaves the impression of a matter of simple routine for Urquhart as well as his superior, Inspector Murray in Cooktown. The latter congratulated his officer on the good work, noting in the files; ‘Mr Urquhart appears to have done his work completely, and I trust the blacks will be of better behaviour in the future.’
Urquhart’s was appointed Head of Police in Queensland in 1917, a few years later, in 1921, he was appointed ‘administrator’ of the Northern Territory, equivalent to Governor of that place.

Try and put a killing ratio on the figures mentioned here, and keep in mind that 1 000 whites and associates was avenged in a similar manner. Reynolds figure of estimated 10 000 Aboriginals in Queensland is exceedingly moderate, I have at least two contemporary estimates made by frontier people one mentioning hundreds and another at leas (sic!) 400 native shot ‘every year’ in Queensland. If true this would amount to a minimum of 15 to 25 000 in Queensland alone. There are literally hundreds of reports of similar ‘police work’ performed here during 19th century, most of them never counted the victims, it was not in their interest to do so. Considering his own record I think Professor Rubinstein’s should think twice before he so willingly lend his support to the denial or classification of such history as ‘black armband’ there sure is a lot of history in Germany, Turkey and Emperial Japan which will have to be classified in a similar fashion to avoid smearing the national pride of these countries. Is that a trend Rubinstein wish to support?

Posted by: Ristinge at October 31, 2006 12:34 AM

Sydney ,referred by the local Aborigines as "Warrane",has been inhabited for at least 50,000 years.50,000 year old grindstones been found in the area recently, predating any previous finds more

Posted by: acfo at May 28, 2007 08:52 PM

The idea that it is plausible with figures as low as 200 0000 Aborigines in pre-1788 Australia I don't even wish to debate. No one in their right mind takes such figures serious.

However, if we take the old estimates of minimum 315 000 Aboriginals, a figure which is now rejected as unacceptably low by most anthropologists and historians with knowledge in the field.

But if we take this figure and divide it with 385, the generally acknowledged amount of Australia-wide tribes based on division in linguistic groups (there are many sub-tribes not included in this figure) we will end up with an average tribal size of 819 individuals per tribe.

We then have reliable evidence that some coastal tribes, now classified as sub-tribes within a much larger linguistic unity were counted in about thousand or more. To make room for such observations we would end up having to deal with the existance of tribal name and identity of a distinguishable linguistic group sustained on the basis of figures in some cases below 100 individuals?

It ought to be obvious to most thinking people that this simply cannot be true.

It certainly seems in-conceivable that any group should have been able to sustain a separate language, keep the integrity of a large territory, and preserve to our time a tribal name a separate linguistic and cultural identity with ideas and items of cultural significance on the basis of such small numbers.

However, if we use the more likely continental-wide figure of 750 000, we will then land on an average tribal size of about 2 000 individuals. This seems far more plausible as it means that we will have room for the variations reflected in many contemporary accounts indicating that certain inland tribes may have been down to figures perhaps as low as 500 whereas similar observations indicate that some coastal tribes carried a population of 3 000 or more.

Certainly we must hope that Rubinstein are more careful when he wish to debate calculations of Jewish people in Europe, not the least the casualty rate caused by the nazi holocaust.

Posted by: R Ristinge at September 9, 2007 05:38 PM

As an Australian and Windschuttle supporter I wish to apologise to Professor Rubenstein for the amount of drivel from other Australians who have mounted their emotional PC driven wagons to write in and criticise the Professor on spurious grounds. Professor...there are many in Australia who have for too long lived under this cultural, black armband cringe mentality that has been kept alive through self serving academics and the majority of the union oriented school teaching community. We are glad for Windschuttle and the support that people like you offer.

Posted by: michael cosgrave at November 18, 2007 03:51 AM

For further details on frontier vioence in colonial Queensland, please see "The Secret War: A True History of Queensland's Native Police" published by University of Queensland Press, March 2008

Posted by: Jonathan Richards at April 24, 2008 08:57 AM

The ongoing problem with this debate is that is confuses two different issues. One is that Aboriginal Australians were the victims of racism and greed. There shold be no disputing that fact. The other is that acceptable to tell lies in support of a good cause (such as anti-racism). Those who support the second issue may very well support the first one. But there is no reason to claim that those who oppose the second must oppose the first. That seems to me the nastiest aspect of this whole debate. There is no reason to call people "racist" (or any other nasty term) simply because they believe in finding and telling the truth.

Posted by: steve at December 2, 2010 03:13 AM

The latest book dealing with the Australian History War deals not with Tasmania, but with the many times larger colony of Queensland.

The evidence presented here suggest that Queensland not only had the largest pre-contact population of any Australian colony, but also has the 'doubtful honour of delivering the most frequent reports of shootings and massacres of indigenous people, the three deadliest massacres on white settlers, the most disreputable frontier police force, and the highest number of white victims to frontier violence recorded in the history of any Australian state or territory.'

All populations estimates thus gives Queensland the lead, it is detailed, with no less than 38.2%, whereas another source independently sets Queensland’s share of tribes to 34.2%. This may be compared with Tasmania which significantly does not exceed 2% and New South Wales and Victoria which does not exceed 16% and 6% in the similar count.

Dr Rubinstein will equally locate in this book contemporary statements and a presentation of the latest calculations of the death toll inflicted on Aboriginal people by the Government financed so-called Native Police Force during half a century of operations.

It will be noted that these figures not only confirms the much criticised original 'guesstimated’ minimum of 20 000 nationally and 10 000 in Queensland. By all account the killing rate of this force Queensland alone will more than swallow the maligned national figure of 20 000.

It presents a number of never contested contemporary statements indicating a death toll by this force alone which exceeds 15 000 and one mathematical model computes a death toll inflicted by this Queensland force alone to no less than 24 000 Aborigines killed between 1860 and 1890.

See more in

Posted by: R Ristinge at July 9, 2013 02:29 AM
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