Australian politics in 1912


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sashka pozzetti

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How about ET transport me to Australia instead. I'd like to go to Noosa, or the Blue mountains and I'll pay the fine too!!!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>How can we judge it now - realistically? <<

Monica, I don't think we can. The realities were very different and a penal system in the sense that we would understand was dream that was distant and alien as it was unaffordable. It was just easier to flog them, brand them, hang 'em high or deport the lot as opposed to locking them up for a set term and a lot more cost effective.

Executed criminals have a notably low racividism rate and deported criminals are somebody else's problem.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Emma, theft of livestock was always taken very seriously, though the death penalty applied only to theft of cows, sheep or horses.
Except for cases like William Kilby - sentenced to death for livestock theft - poultry. Possibly a transcription error, as you suggest, but maybe he did make off with a chook or two. I deliberately didn't include cases that included assault in those I cited (save for James Thomas, who not only got off with a hankerchief, he was also up for assault). Had I included the assault and robbery cases with values of less than five shillings, the list would have been a lot longer!

There were actually a range of pardons:

Tickets of Leave were given to convicts allowing them to live and work within a radius of the colony until their term expired or they were pardoned. They could acquire property, but had to obtain permission before moving between districts.

Conditional Pardons were given to convicts on the condition that they never returned to England or Ireland. Originals of these records were sent to England and copies retained here.

Absolute Pardons allowed the convict to return to England with their sentences totally cleared.

Certificate of Freedom - introduced in 1810, these were issued to convicts on completion of their sentence.

Some convicts did return to England or Ireland upon completion of their sentence or upon receiving an absolute pardon.

For those interested in our convict heritage and political prisoners, an exhibition, Freemantle to Freedom, is currently touring Australia. It follows the story of a group of Fenian prisinors who were among the last to be transported to the Western Australian penal settlement. They organised a prison break and escaped dramatically in American whaling vessels (most on board the Catalpa) to the USA, where they lived full, productive lives. It's currently touring WA before coming to the National Maritime Museum in August, then on to Port Arthur. Wonderful material, drawn from Australian and Irish sources (I'm looking forward to seeing the Kilmainham Gaol artefacts).

http://www.fremantleprison.com.au/gallery/gallery.cfm
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I can't check the case of William Kirby, but right underneath him in the spreadsheet is David Kilpack, again shown as receiving the death sentence for stealing a few chooks. In fact, Kilpack got 7 years for the poultry theft. He was then involved in mutiny aboard the Swift (a convict ship), apprehended, brought back into court and sentenced to death, commuted to transportation for life. There were 17 others tried alongside Kilpack for the same offence and with the same result. I haven't taken the time to check all of them, but the first few in the list all appear in the First Fleet spreadsheet, which again gives the impression that they received the death sentence for the relatively minor crimes for which they were originally tried and given shorter terms.

The original intention was to consign the mutineers to "some of His Majesty's Colonies in America for the term of your natural lives", but most if not all were diverted to Australia. I understand that something like 60,000 convicts were transported to North America and the West Indies before the War of Independence made Australia the favoured destination.

The Court Recorder gave due warning to the mutineers as follows: "It is necessary, peculiarly necessary in your cases, who have endeavoured to elude, so daringly to elude the sentence of the law, to inform you, that if you are found at large within this kingdom of Great Britain, you will shut out every expectation of receiving any more his Majesty's mercy".
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Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Thanks also, Ing, for the comprehensive details about the system of pardons. One more question comes to mind. If a man completed his sentence and was free to return to England, was he able to do so at the Crown's expense, or did he have to arrange and pay for his own passage?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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A decidely sobering article. About the only reasons I can think of for why this didn't happen more often was because convicts seldom had the skillsets to safely handle and navigate the ship. You still didn't dare turn your back on them, unless you wanted an impressive collection of knives being added to your spine.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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The moral being, Susan - never underestimate the potential of ladies in a fighting situation. Especially when you're outnumbered. And most especially when the ladies are Scots!

Haven't heard from you for a while, nice to see you're still with us.
 
May 28, 2001
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Sobering, indeed Michael. And surprising with the amount of times drink gets mentioned! Young Mr Maitland would appear to have been plied with the stuff. I think what makes this story even more titillating for the broadsheet buyers of the day was the role of the women on the Hope. I've found records here in Edinburgh of several ships like her setting sale with dozens of 'ladies' on board, bound for the colonies. It was a lucrative trade for a captain/shipowner. Mind you, I have found (and this relates to your question, Bob, about getting back from the colonies) one or two of the ladies getting back to Edinburgh. One in particular seems to have returned from Barbados. And I suspect she ...um.... worked her passage, as it were....
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I think what makes this story even more titillating for the broadsheet buyers of the day was the role of the women on the Hope.<<

I think that's because the expectation was that women simply didn't do things like that or that they weren't capable of that level of violence. A very dangerous assumption!
 
Feb 14, 2011
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One thing I noticed down under was the enormous poplularity of the Ford falcoln automobile- i lived near the Ford motor plant by Melbourne, so they were everywhere....
The Ford Falcoln , in the US was discontinued in 1970, and thier foreign markets,such as australia, continued to develop the car-

i debated with my Aussie x girlfriend on the origin of the Ford falcoln (she drove one by the way)- she insisted it was always an Australian car- No- it was after 1970, the year falcoln production ceased in the US).I think the reason the Falcon never quite flew in the US (pardon the pun) was because by American standards, it was a bit of a compact car- it was basically built on the Ford mustang frame, and Ford opted to stick with the mustang, as that was far more profitable. I tend to think of the early 1960s Ford falcolns as the kind of car little old ladies would drive-
In the 1960s americans loved the big yank-tanks. Small cars like the Falcoln did have a nitch, as did it's mercury equivalant, the Mercury Comet, but they were by and large too small by American standards. Australians really developed the car into somthing special- some of the mid 1970s Falcoln's would rival any american muscle car...
Down in Australia, I saw many 1962 ford falcoln's with mag wheels and air scoops- that seemed so out of place....
The Holden, the true aussiemobile had some great years- i think the holden is exported to the US, but under a different name.......

Sorry if i bored anyone with my car jabber, Titanic and cars are my 2 obsessions...
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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The Falcon has been in Oz for many years. Early examples were supposedly built for our conditions but they proved to be rustbuckets. The 1962 cars you saw must have survived by a miracle. The Falcon has always played second fiddle to the equivalent GMH car, which is currently called the Commodore. Both the Ford and the GMH cars were proverbial for being over-powered and under-engineered, with crude brakes and handling. Today they are much improved but if I wanted a biggish car I'd get a Toyota Aurion.

GMH exports a muscle car based on the Monaro to the USA under the Pontiac name. The first version of this wasn't very popular but the newer version is expected to do well.

The really big American cars never caught on here. I think the Ford Customline might have been the most successful. Today all large cars are less popular because of the high price of petrol.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Hi Dave
I noticed classic Ford Mustangs have a following in OZ- Plus I saw at least two 57 Chevys..

One thing that i noticed about Australian cars- which America lacks- My x used 2 types of fuel in her car, rather than 1- gasoline and ...lng?
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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G'day, Tarn!

Dual fuel cars are getting to be quite common. The government subsidises conversions to liquified petroleum gas, of which we have a great deal, (not all of it from Canberra). LPG is widely used by taxis.

It's bit confusing for Americans. When an Aussie says he filled up with gas, he means gas. Most cars use petrol.

There are a few Mustangs and other US cars about. I saw some kind of Yank tank myself this morning. It's in a sorry state, perhaps awaiting restoration. On the whole though, they are rare. One of our local treasures is a Pierce Arrow, in first class condition.

I saw in the paper today that the Toyota Corolla looks likely to overtake the GMH Commodore as the most popular model in Australia. Toyota is already the biggest selling make across the board.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Hi Dave
duel fuel cars are an amazing thing- we dont have that kind of thing in the states-

I doubt the powerful oil lobby in the US would ever tolerate cars in America being fitted to use any form of fuel other than gasoline...Are duel fuel cars unique to Austalia?

Remember the film Mad max (with Mel Gibson). What did he drive- was that a suped up Holden? I noticed at least 1 yank tank in that movie- a 1959 Chevrolet impala....

Is PM Howard driven about in a luxury Holden, a Mercedes or Cadillac?
 

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