Fremantle Stuff > Early Days: Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society

Early Days, Volume 9, 1983-1988

Some of the reasons which led to a night of terror in Kalgoorlie and Boulder on Monday 29 January 1934

Jean-Marie Volet

Volet, Jean-Marie 1986, 'Some of the reasons which led to a night of terror in Kalgoorlie and Boulder on Monday 29 January 1934', Early Days, vol. 9, part 4: 108-119.


During the first few weeks of February 1934 the Kalgoorlie and Boulder Police Courts were unusually busy. By the 19th, ninety-three people 1 had been arrested in connection with the riots that put the city ablaze a fortnight before 2. Fifty-seven of the people charged were less than 26 years of age 3. The first aim of this essay, however, is to suggest that on Monday, 19 January, “derisive hoots and jeers”4 and bad behaviour were not restricted to the young larrikins who were subsequently arrested. The second aim of the essay is to examine critically the old refrain familiar: around Kalgoorlie: “it all started on the mines. 5” Thirty-seven of the people charged were described as miners 6 and their involvement in the riots has often been related; to the battle for employment in the 1930s depression years. Working conditions on the mines certainly belonged to the web of interacting factors which led to mob violence but there is little evidence to support the idea of “mass burning of homes, ... by gangs of rioting miners” as suggested recently by a journalist of The West Australian. 7 The last aim of this essay is to suggest that one cannot explain rarial, cultural or economic tension in Kalgoorlie and Boulder in 1934 by a simple dichotomy of ‘Britishers’ and ‘foreigners’. Though the word ‘Britishers’ was used as a password by the crowd, and all the victims were thought of as “foreigners", no real consensus existed on both terms 8. Above and beyond legal considerations, their various understandings were probably related to a long rooted Australian racism rather than to Kalgoorlie’s society of the 1930s itself.

Almost from the day of the riots, numerous witnesses have been keen to point out that they were only innocent bystanders. For example Casey and Mayman wrote:

‘... one of the writers of this book ... not participating in {the riots}... was able to testify to the strength of the right arm which Slom {Constable Hunter} brought a baton down on his head.’ 9 To me this statement illustrates how much the line between innocent bystanders and rioters was blurred. In many cases even the police could not differentiate between them. The extent of the involvement of the people attracted to the spot was difficult to assess at the time. It has remained subject to interpretation to the present time. For example, two days after the riots ‘so many believed a story that the police were making a house-to-house search for loot that after dark the roads were thick with the traffic of cars, and utilities scurrying off to dump plunder in the bush or down old shafts.’10 The people charged might well have represented only the tip of the iceberg. Furthermore many of those who were not directly involved with looting were in tune with the mob’s spirit and


undoubtedly guilty in intent if not in fact. A letter addressed to the Editor of the Sunday Times a few days after the riots stressed this point: ‘while no man agrees with the persecution of women and children which eventuated it must be recognised that the sympathy and feeling of the majority were with the few who actually did the damage.’11

The contradiction between the unanimous lack of support for the riots expressed by witnesses and the opinion held in the letter of the Sunday Times can be related to misleading rumors surrounding the death of Ted Jordan. The latter had been ‘one of the champion all-round firemen of the State, being the holder of the Australian record for the one man “Y” coupling events’. 12 According to a local policeman ‘he was a hell of a good fellow.’ 13 On Monday 29 January 1934, gossip spread the rumour that some twenty foreigners had chased him across the street from the Home from Home Hotel while one of them hit him on the head with something 18 inches long in his hand. 14 Misinformed of the circumstances of their friend’s death, angry people blew up the single punch that Mattaboni — a barman at the Home From Home Hotel — gave to Jordan in self defence, into a major threat to the British community by the foreign population.

The first official statement of Jordan’s death was only made available in the Kalgoorlie Miner on Tuesday morning and the good conscience of many people was shaken. No one had chased Jordan, no knife or other weapon was used. Ted Jordan had died from a fractured skull in the hospital and Mattaboni had been arrested during the early hours of the Monday on the charge of manslaughter. 15

In the same issue of the Kalgoorlie Miner, Nicholas Rizos, licensee of the Kalgoorlie Wine salon ‘informed the public that {he was} a native of Greece, ha{d} resided 25 years in Australia and {was} a naturalised British subject. {His} wife {was} Scotch and {his} daughter {was} Australian born... {he} had no connection whatsoever with any incident at the Home from Home Hotel.’ 16

One may only wonder if the publication of that information twenty-four hours earlier would have changed the course of history. The point is that on the Monday the Kalgoorlie Miner did not print a line on Jordan’s death nor on Rizos’ life story. When this information reached the newspaper’s readers, five hotels, twenty-four shops and a number of houses 17 — including Rizos' Wine Saloon — had been already wrecked or burned to ashes. It would however be misleading to attribute the cause of the riots to a simple lack of information. It is not evident that the people leading the destruction on the Monday night would have acted differently if they had known the truth. After all, the Tuesday morning’s article did not stop violence from spreading again on the same night. A mob does not follow rational plans of action. It is left to the sway of transient leaders and miners have been accused of playing an important part in leading the crowd.

Thirty-seven of the people arrested gave their occupation as miner. 18 Jordan himself was a tributer. 19 Thus, one might easily jump to the conclusion that mining was the key word to any explanation of the riots. Three miners, Rowe, Marriot and McGowan, were described by Inspector McDonald as the worst offenders despite the fact that they were found not guilty of rioting by the Court. A careful examination


of the evidence however brings some doubt in relation to the widespread association of the miners with the riots'. 20 Two articles of the Daily News dated 6 and 7 February 1934 related Court proceedings under these headlines: 'Only one a miner’, and the day after, ‘No miners in Court'. A comparison between the names of the defendants given by the newspaper and the return of arrests established by the Police show that some men categorised as miners by the police were labelled as non-miners by the newspaper. Both sources can be wrong and the data available did not allow of establishing numerically the extent of the discrepancy. However an article of the Kalgoorlie Miner states that the miners at their meeting in the Boulder Town Hall on Thursday night strongly disassociated themselves from the rioters who caused such havoc and widespread distress on Monday and Tuesday nights. Speakers stated that it was not the miners of the Golden Mile who had participated in the burning and looting of the homes of the foreigners and left women and children destitute... Thunderous applause greeted these remarks.' 22 Furthermore a comment of Constable Hunter suggests that the figure of 37 miners involved might well be unreliable and misleading. On 13 February, he wrote: I am convinced that few if any of the real miners took part.' 23 What is a 'real miner'? Police duty probably did not go as far as checking the occupation given to them by the numerous people arrested. In a community geared toward mining the first occupation that came to mind for those who were either unemployed or leading a vagrant life was probably the one of miner. For example Gustave Neatfield, listed as a miner by Police, had not been working in 1934 because of a leg injury and was working on the Great Western railway line the year before.

Similarly the fact that Jordan was a miner should not be overemphasised. One funeral notice of the Kalgoorlie Miner 24 tells us that he was a member of the Tributers Association but other notices inserted by three Fire Brigades as well as by the Kalgoorlie Railway Football Club showed other involvements which led to his popularity

On the other hand the hectic development of gold mining over fifty odd years contributed to make Kalgoorlie what it was in 1934. Mining was the main consumer of labour and many an inhabitant had an occupation related to the mines. Therefore it would be futile to affirm that no miner took part in the violence. My argument is rather to suggest that the reaction of miners, as a group, was similar to the reaction of society at large. They neither started the violence nor tried to stop it. 25 This dc facto support to the individuals who did the damage cannot be accounted for by the death of Jordan alone. The case of Sydney Hall will provide a starting point in an attempt to understand the reasons for the miners' indirect support to the riots.

Hall was aged twenty-one. During his trial for rioting 26 he made no allusion to Jordan. On the other hand he admitted that 'he did not like foreigners’. Surprisingly enough, however, he admitted that he went out to Boulder in company with a young Italian on the night of the riots. 27

This apparent contradiction illustrates a common attitude amongst miners of Anglo-Australian background. Many were not so much opposed to individual Italians or Slavs per se. They were rather prejudiced against an elusive group of people


carrying with them the evil picture of ‘scabs’. 28 Southern Europeans were originally brought into the Goldfield by mining companies to oppose the demands of Australian miners. 29 In 1904, 12 of them were made to work at the Lake View mine and by the end of 1905 there were 133 on the pay sheet. 30 In 1934, the Mirror made this cynical comment: ‘Nowadays in Kamballie,... you could hardly throw a brick without hitting a foreigner, or one of his relations.' 31

The Chamber of Mines had followed an ambiguous policy in relation to the employment of non-British labour. On one hand they consistently encouraged it but on the other hand they strongly supported the principle of ‘giving preference ioBritish labour.’32 This policy effectively divided the workers along the lines of racial criteria. It led to great work insecurity amongst all workers and was particularly hard on non-British labour who had to struggle for a livelihood, to pay ‘slingback' to get a job and to accept work on terms unacceptable to better organised British born or naturalised miners. 33 Coleman suggests that 'this race hatred business... ins fostered by officialdom' ... 34 The policy of ‘divide and rule' 35 had allowed the Chamber of Mines to maintain for surface miners a basic wage of four pounds six shillings per week between 1926 and 1934 36 in spite of the rapid recovery and [thesubstantial profits the companies were making in the years after 1932. 37 Another source of dissatisfaction amongst miners sprang from the tributing system. It was given full encouragement in Kalgoorlie around 1927 in a bid to save a dying industry. 38 Companies allowed... miners to work privately on certain underground sections... The miners did not receive wages but got the gold they won, after paying the company for materials supplied, cost of treatment and royalty on gold recovered. 39

For many disillusioned Italians or Slavs the tributing system became a unique opportunity to ‘work their guts out’.40 and get the money necessary to send for Itheir family. Some people made small fortunes by working through crib time, turning lablind eye to firing out regulations and stepping in any dangerous spot.41 However the harder a man worked, the further he moved away from wrhat made Jordan so popular, that is his involvement on a voluntary basis with different Fire Brigades, the Rovers and the Railway Football Clubs, social drinking and other local activities, lazza, an Italian miner, suggests that there was ‘lot of jealousy about... Yugoslavs and Italians... when they got their pay ... (the others would say} say: Oh you hungry bastards!’42 Beside creating jealousy, such working patterns were accused of diminishing the chances of local unemployed — specially youth— to find a job.43 Even if unsubstantiated this claim was regularly echoed in the press and lingered in the minds of many people, including Sydney Hall, when the riots broke out.

The Mirror suggested in its column that ‘there are enough good Australian workers to fill any new vacancies . . ,44 The case of James Parry is a good starting point to discuss this suggestion. He was aged twenty two and lived in an old boiler on the outskirts of Kalgoorlie. He had been cadging food for some three months as he did not work.43 He had already twelve previous convictions and stood on a charge of burning the Cornwall Hotel.46

By 1934 there were a large number of young people who had been out of regular employment since the day they had left school. Between 1929 and 1931 job


opportunities had improved considerably47 but for Parry and his peers! unemployment was mainly related to the habit of inactivity and expediency] developed before 1929, during their late teens. The tale of foreigners getting jobs! in preference to Australians became but a convenient justification for the time spent I in hotels and around billiard tables rather than underground. It became also the focal point of the hate of the parents seeing their children out of work.48 By the 1930s the climate of ‘defiance of authority by a large number of the younger people of Kalgoorlie’49 that built up during the hardship of the 1920s prevented many from' taking advantage of the new economic boom. For Parry, on the night of Monday 29 January 1934, the prospect of free booze might have played a larger part in his j motivation than any ill feeling against foreigners in relation to work he was not | interested in any way.

One might well argue that the Mirror's article was referring to ‘good Australian j workers' rather than to larrikins. This leads me to another character: George Pollock,; I thirty two years of age and standing on two charges of looting and rioting, On Monday 29 Pollock had been in Kalgoorlie for only a few days. Coming from Adelaide where he had left his wife and children, Pollock was one of the numerous j city people who made the trip to Kalgoorlie in the hope of finding work. In strong I opposition to the economic downturn that plagued all major capital cities of-Australia, the Goldfields expanded rapidly during the early days of the 1930s. Everybody heard about that. Coleman says that: ‘... people poured into Kalgoorlie; I on the Trans line. They jumped the rattler from South Australia,... from Perth,* ... so Kalgoorlie was full.’50 Thus it is not surprising that in his recollection of L the riots, Costello said: ‘a lot of the ones that I saw there weren’t goldfields blokes I at all. They were blow-ins from the Eastern states that were passing through and I looking for opportunities, you see .. .’51

On 29 January, Pollock had still not been able to secure a job but on the other hand it is hard to believe that the few days he spent in Kalgoorlie were sufficient I to justify the development of hate towards local foreigners. It is more reasonable I to suggest that Pollock — who was only very superficially acquainted with the subject of local tension — saw in the riots an unexpected opportunity to get started in his new place of residence by helping himself to some essential commodities.8

The deliberate attempt of the rioters to harm ‘foreigners’ could give rise to the assumption that Kalgoorlie and Boulder were divided into two clans, living we# apart. Nothing is further from the truth. Shifts on the mines were usually comprised of people of different origins. People were mingling in shops. The Kalgoorlie Mini1 reported in March 1934 that ‘the result of the {English} test53 this year disclosed that the foreigners were more conversant with the English language than in tidj I past. Many of the Italians in recent years were young men and keen and quick® grasp their work.’54 Sporting activities were also open to all. ‘You see any 11 lists of footballers or cricket teams and some of the best players were |taj|i Costello says.55 A letter to the Editor of the Kalgoorlie Miner, some time after t^ riots, could also be given as an example of the interrelations that existed betw^l people of different background. It reads: ‘...lam now offered £12 and buiWl material. With those assets, I have to face a liability to my creditors of £296 which


I still owe for the building and furniture which were destroyed. Those creditors lie businessmen of the Goldfields. I want to pay them, but what chance have I?.. >

On the evidence, this letter opposed the idea that ‘foreigners’ were a clannish minority cut off from the rest of society.57 Furthermore the term ‘foreigner’ as a password of the rioters, was far from being well defined. Allan Pereira, twenty-two years of age and born in Australia of Italian parents is a good example. To him, the riots were nothing but a difficult situation where he had to prove himself as an Australian, beyond and above any other considerations. During his trial for rioting, the prosecutor suggested that ‘he took part in the Home from Home disturbance in order to convince the mob that {he} was not a ‘ding’.58 There is no doubt that his peer group did not leave him many alternatives when it came to the crunch.

While the label ‘foreigner’ was a synonym for poison, the label ‘British’ was one for antidote. The magical effect of the word ‘British’ is given by Coleman when he explains the way his father saved his sister’s shop from destruction by shouting that ‘this was bloody British property’. Coleman added however ‘... I imagine the word British stuck in the old bloke’s throat, because British to him... {meant} the Empire on which the sun never set and in which exploitation never ceased.59

The strong bias in favour of those assimilated as ‘Britishers’60 against those assimilated as ‘foreigners’61 did not have its main root in the immediate years preceding the riots but rather in the whole story' of Australia. Education, the White Australia Policy, pseudo-scientific ideas of social hierarchies, all the fabric of Australian society contributed to the fact that for many people bom in Australia this bias ‘was in their blood.’62 For example Bennett, speaking of his seven years of schooling in Kalgoorlie said ‘... we learnt about the Battle of Hastings, the wars of the Roses, the Crusades and the like but did not get as far as Australian colonial days... nor did our lessons extend to the Golden Mile.’63 There is little doubt that school curricula were partly responsible, as well as the Editorials of the Kalgoorlie Miner filled with racist comments about Afghan, Japanese and other races considered as inferior. By 1934, Kalgoorlie was absolutely permeated by British values and anything related to ‘foreigners’ was considered irrelevant to an overwhelming British derivation.

Those feelings do not account only for the saving of a few buildings by Coleman’s father and others. It could also provide a reason for the reluctance of so many to intervene strongly to defend ‘foreign property’. It helps to understand svhv Lorraine Dick could write as late as 1969: ‘the most striking result of the riots was the enormous loss entailed by the mines being idle for a week’64 rather than: the most striking result of the riots was the enormous loss entailed by hundreds of Kalgoorlie and Boulder inhabitants, being made destitute in a matter of hours.

Australo-British ethnocentrism was also at the root of Premier Collier’s immediate reaction to the riots when he said: ‘I am advised that the outbreak of incendiarism and lawlessness.. had its genesis in the machinations of a few communists.. who never lose an opportunity of disseminating lawlessness and initiating incendiarism or pillagism with a view to promoting their own ends.. ’65 According to Tennant • ■ the Communist Party of Australia . . was regarded indulgently as a home for hotheads and ex I.W.W. {Industrial Workers of the World} characters with a leaning,


repugnant to politicians, for internationalism, regarding any mere Italian or Chinese) worker as the equal of a white Australian.’66 Direct attacks on the communists and their ideals of internationalism was a subtle way to put the blame on the victims! themselves. Labor politicians were claiming that 'the CPA {Communist Party of! Australia} was un-Australian and acting in the service of a foreign power.’67 However] the Party represented often the only avenue of political participation offered for non-British immigrants in the Goldfields. Mate68, who joined the party in 1930 wrote: ‘All these angry people without work they are willing to join the socialist] or communist party. They all know that unless they organise they suffer more and more.’69 Mate, like many other ‘foreigners’ felt that ‘the leadership of the AWlh {Australian Workers Union} in these times was reactionary and reformist, often working to suit themselves.’70 This was particularly clear during the riots when; according to Coleman ‘the communists were the only ones who kept a clear head,! and made a concrete advocacy of any sort.’71 While many leaders of the AWU and local politicians remained carefully in the background of the scene,72 the communists! distributed a pamphlet73 calling for the miners not to fight against each other, ta to fight the mine owners, the wealthy London shareholders.. to fight them foci a forty hour week and good wages for everybody.

The response was fast to come: a cablegram from the Chairman of Direct® of the London Board of Wiluna Gold Corporation arrived on the desk of the Premia saying... ‘if English investors once believe they are asked to play a game of heads you win, tails I lose, they will retire from unequal contest.. .74 Tennant suggests that the accusations against the communists were ‘as difficult to refute as that of witchcraft in the seventeenth century’.75 It was particularly true for the few who tried to shout their disapprobation to the face of the angry mob. If their action was unable to stop the violence it is only fair to stress that it did not precipitate it.76 Collier was wrong. The riots were not the machinations of a few communists As Bolton says it : ‘How easy it is when something uncomfortable is undo discussion, to blame the protest on agitators or larrikins or radicals; how hardtol appreciate the pressures which arouse men to complain.77

In this essay, 1 have concentrated on some of the reasons that led to the first I night of violence. In so doing I have left the field open for a study related to thel second night of riots. On cannot assume that the same set of factors directed! the upsurge of violence on 31 January 1934. Furthermore, I have been arguing tl the miners neither started the violence nor tried to stop it. 1 have been less expired as to what did bring the riots about. One thing is certain, however: the riots cannot be considered any longer as a simple blot on Western Australia History, due to tire irresponsible behaviour of some gangs of young rioting miners. A complex wed of social, economic and historical factors led to a kind of general conspiracy® non-intervention by local people of influence. It was never formally expressed W gave a de facto support to the rioters. A better understanding of the reasons8 such an attitude could develop in 1934 in Kalgoorlie and Boulder can help us to overcome peacefully some of the dangers related to recurring economic hardship and current racial tensions in Western Australia.



1. This figure was established on the basis of ‘Return of arrests and charges in connection with the riots, 19 February 1934/ Police file 700/34 (Perth: Battye Library)'

2. For a description of the riots themselves see R. Gerritsen ‘The 1934 Kalgoorlie Riots’, University Studies in History, vol 3, no 3 (1960).pp.42-56.

3, ‘Return of arrests,. ’ Police file 700/34 I Kalgoorlie Miner, 30 January 1934. p.4

5. Gerritsen, op.cit., p.57

6, ‘Return of arrests..Police file 700/34

[ 7. D,Britton, ‘Riots recalled’, The West Australian, 19 April 1986, p.31

8. For example Collier, Premier of Western Australia, received a letter related to the plight of two victims of the riots reading ‘... Mr Marich, the Jugoslav Consul, has refused to have anything to do with {M.M.Girluvich and M.Jack Ercig} owing to the fact that they are naturalised British subjects and no longer owe allegiance to the Home Government’. Letter dated 7 February 1934. Premier’s Department file 57/34. (Perth s Battye library)

9. G. Casey and T. Mayman, The Mile That Midas Touched (Adelaide; Rigbv, 1964) P-181

10. ibid., p.187

11. Sunday Times. 11 February' 1934. Premier’s Department file 57/34

12. Kalgoorlie Miner, 30 January 1934. p.4

13. T. Penn, Reminiscences of T.R. Penn, formerly a police constable stationned in Perth, Meekatharra, Kalgoorlie 1925-1928. 2617 A (Perth : Battye Library). p.24.

14. See the account of Mattaboni’s trial for manslaughter in The West Australian.

I 16 February 1934 p.20

15. Although many rumours were in circulation yesterday. Detective Triat stated definitely. .. that investigations... did not point to deceased {Jordan} being struck with anything other than a fist’. 'Kalgoorlie Miner. 30 January 1934 p.4. Mattaboni was later acquitted. Kalgoorlie Miner. 1-t March 1934 p.4.

16. Kalgoorlie Miner 30 January 193-t p.-t

17. Estimated losses through fire, damage or looting, after careful analysis by Constable Hunger, 16 February 193-t. Premier's Department file 150/34.

18. “Return of arrests. .Police file 700/34

19. For a brief explanation of the tributing system, see p.8

20. Gerritsen, op.cit.. p.55

21. “Return of arrests...” Police file 700/34

22. Kalgoorlie Miner. 3 Februarv 193-t p.-t

23. Police file 700/34

24. Kalgoorlie Miner. 30 January 1934 p.4

25. The same could be said from the Police Force who chose not to take seriously the warning rumblings afloat during Monday. Police Inspector McDonald was at the picture show when the riots started, (J.Costello, Verbatim transcript of an interview conducted by C. Jeffery in 1976. OH 427,tr (Perth: Battye Library, p.27) and ran scared when he realised that the rioters would stop at nothing.


26. He was accused of leading the mob with a call on a bugle.

27. The West Australian, 24 March, 1934 Premier’s Department file 57/34

28. Penn, op.cit., p.24 says: “No foreigners were spared and yet there were some good folk amongst them and locals were friendly with them.

29. Costello, op.cit., p.22

30. Mirror 3 February 1934. Premier’s Department file 57/34

31. ibid.

32. Kalgoorlie Miner, 2 February, 1934. Premier’s Department file 57/34

33. see Mate experience in Ch.Alach ‘I love life, so I refused to die' in L.Layman (Ed) The Workplace (Perth : Murdoch University, 1982) p.lll. ‘. although disgusted at this practice, {Mate} was finally forced to pay a £10 bribe to acquire a position in the mine. Although he did not have the money to pay the bribe, arrangements were made for the sum to be deducted in instalments from his wages, Mate felt that he had to ‘accept’ or die of starvation...’

34. J. Coleman, Verbatim transcript of an interview conducted by J. Clements in |

1976. OH 187, tr (Perth : Battye Library) p.6 j

35. Costello, op.cit.,p.23

36. Gerritsen, op.cit., p.6l

37 Gold production in Western Australia 1928-1934

1928 393.408 ounces 1.671.093 pounds

1929 377.176 1.602.142

1930 417.518 1.864.442

1931 510.572 2.998.137

1932 605.561 4.403.642

1933 637.207 4.886.254

1934 651.338 5.558.873

Statistical Register of Western Australia for the Year 1933-34 (Perth: Government Statistician’s Office, 1935) p.4

38. A. Bennett, The Glittering Years Perth : St George Books, 1984 p.120

39. ibid, p.XI

40. Mazza, Transcript of an interview conducted by B.Bunbury in 1982. OH 1000, tr (Perth : Battye Library) n.p.

41. Costello, op.cit., p.24 There was one chap there who made, I think, one hundred and forty pounds in a fortnight’ and Mazza, op.cit., n.p. ‘They used to gel £35-40, we’d get £80 or 90.’

42. Mazza, op.cit., n.p.

43. That was a common accusation made right through the depression. Furthermore Australian miners were already complaining about the fact that foreigners were getting jobs that should go to Australians during an Inquiry into Mining in 1904 Layman, L. Transcript of an interview with E. Jaggard and L. Layman conducted by B. Bun bury in 1982. OH 988, tr (Perth j Battye Library) p.4

44. Mirror, 3 February 1934 Premier's Department file 150/34

45. and according to inspector Triat he was not attempting to get any.

46. West Australian,21 March 1934 Premier’s Department file 150/34


147, Increase in employment in the W.A. Goldmining industry 1928-1934

I . 1928 — 3863 people

I 1929 — 4108 people

I 1930 — 7983 people

I. 1934 — 12000 people

I Pocket Year Book of Western Australia, Tenth to Sixteenth Issues (Perth : [•. Government Statistician 1928 — 34)

148. Coleman, op.cit., pp 6-7. Neither during the 1920s was unemployment due to the employment of a few hundred foreigners but to the drastic diminution of gold production because ‘the mines were derelict as the British companies had ripped out the gold to make big profits for their shareholders and put no money back in development..Penn, op.cit., p.23

j 49. Report to the Commissioner of Police, March 19,1934. Premier’s Department r file 150/34 - ; -

150. Coleman, op.cit., p.6

51. Costello, op.cit., p.28

52. He was accused of unlawful possession of cigarettes, tobacco, clothing and other articles and only later of rioting. He was sentenced two months jail for the first offence but was found not guilty of rioting.

[53___that was conducted amongst ‘foreigners’ in the mines as an outcome of

the riots.

[54. Kalgoorlie Miner, 21 March 1934 p.3

55. Costello, op.cit., p.24

56. Kalgoorlie Miner, 11 August 1934. Premier’s Department file 150/34

57. and that Southern Europeans were ‘cheap foreign immigrant(s) who can live on the smell of an oil rag’. K.Bailey, Public Opinion and Population Problems in F.Eggleston (ed), The Peopling of Australia : Further Studies (Melbourne : Melbourne University Press, 1933) p.80. Furthermore many of the victims during the first night of rioting were small successful business people rather than people living far below the standard of the private life of {British} people. ibid.

58. West Australian, 24 March 1934. Premier’s Department file 57/34.

59. Coleman, op.cit p.10

60. Real ties with Britain were in fact not necessary.

61. ... who could in fact be technically British like Nicholas Rizos (see p.4) |o2. M.Lalich, Transcript of an interview conducted by B. Bunbury in 1983. OH f 984, tr. (Perth : Battye Library) n.p.

«3. Bennett, op.cit., p.7.

L Dick, Kalgoorlie — A frontier town, Early Days R.W.A.H.S. Vol.VI, Part VIII (1969) p.36.

°5, Kalgoorlie Miner 31 January 1934. p.4.

1^ K.Tennant, Evatt (Angus & Robertson : Sydney, 1970) p.37. j §T A.Davidson, The Communist Party of Australia (Stanford: Hoover Institutions

I Press, 1969) p.64

l®8. • •. who arrived from Yugoslavia in 1926.

Alach, op.cit., p.110


70. Slid, p.113 '

71. Coleman, op.cit., p.12. It might well be argued that individuals who were not communists kept also a clear head such as Constable Hunter of whom CosteM said: ‘If there'd been half a dozen like Slom down there with a paddywagoq to sling the few ringleaders in and run them home there wouldn’t have been] any riot. I’m satisfied about that’ Costello, op.cit., p.28, Nontheless thd communists were the only organised group who tried to stop the riots, I

72. B.Bunbury’s Radio program on 6WN, April 20 (1986). See also Report to the] Commissioner of Police, 19 March 1934. Premier’s Department file 150/341

73. “A call for Unity” cited by J.Williams The First Furrow (Willagee: Lone Hand] Press, 1976) p.144 and by Coleman, op.cH., p.12. A copy of the pamphlet is to be found in Police file 700/34.

74. Premier’s Department file 57/34

75. Tennant, op.cit., p.44

76. Unsubstantiated attacks on the CPA were reiterated six months later wheia compensation for the victims of the riots was negotiated. While many peopl expressed their bitterness at the term of settlement offered by the government! the Premier said ‘the whole thing to me savors of a few communists butting] into something which does not concern them at all’ Daily News 15 August! 1934. Premier’s Department file 150/34. Furthermore, in a letter to the Secretary of the Chamber of Mines from the representative for the London Sharehold| one can read ‘ (The Premier} informs me that there: is on the Fields a man bjl the name of Joe Thomas who is an out an out red ragger of the very wotsj type... The Premier suggests that he should not be given employment on: any of the mines..Gerritsep, op.cit., p/75^ :

77. Bolton, A Fine Country To Starve In (Nedlands r University of Western Australia Press, 1972) p.216.



Official records

Police file 700/34: Racial Riots at Kalgoorlie 1.1.1934 (Perth: Battye Library, 193l

Premier’s Department file 57/34 : Outbreak of rioting against foreign populatiaj in Kalgoorlie (Perth : Battye Library, 1934)

Premier’s Department file 150/341 Compensation for sufferers in Goldfields fi$ (Perth : Battye Library, 1934)

Statistical Register of Western Australia for 1933*34 and Previous years (iMI : Government Statistician’s Office, 1935)

Pocket Year Book of Western Australia, Tenth to Sixteenth Issues (Perth: Governing Statistician, 1928-34)

Night of Terror in Kalgoorlie and Boulder It9

Bennett, A., The Glittering Years (Perth : St George Books, 1984)

Casey, G. and T. Mayman, The Mile That Midas Touched (Adelaide: Rigby, 1964)

Karris, C., Typescript... and rough notes, PR 1117/1-3 (Perth: Battye Library, n.d.)

Ifenn I, Reminiscences of T.R. Penn, formerly a police constable stationed in Perth, |. Meekatharra, Kalgoorlie 1925-1928. * 2617 A (Perth : Battye Library, nd.)

Oral history transcripts

poleman, J., Verbatim transcript of an interview conducted by JClements OH 187 tr (Penh • Battye Library, 1976)

postello, J., Verbatim transcript of an interview conducted by C.Jeffery, OH 427 Btr (Perth : Battye Library, 1976)

Ealich, M., Transcript of an interview conducted by B.Bunbury, OH 984 tr (Perth Battye Library, 1983)

Skyman, L., Transcript of an interview with E.Jaggard and LLaymatt conducted K)y B.Bunbury,.OH 988 tr (Perth : Battye Library, 1982) ...

|;Mazza, Transcript of an interview conducted by B.Bunbury, OH 1000 tr (Perth: Bfiattye Library, 1982)


Kalgoorlie Miner, various issues (1933-1934) me West Australian, various issues (1934 and 1986) mnday Times, February 11 (1934)

Waily News, August 14 (1934) mirror, February 3 (1934).


Bailey, K., “Public Opinion and Population Problems” in F.Eggleston (ed), The W Peopling of Australia : Further Studies (Melbourne: University Press, 1933) B|p,69403

Bolton, J., A Fine Country to Starve in (Nedlands: University of Western Australia 1 Press, 1972)

Davidson, A., The Communist Party of Australia (Stanford: Hoover Institutions Ppress, 1969)

fei^k, L. ‘‘Kalgoorlie — A Frontier Town” Early Days R.W.A.H.S. Vo. VI, Part VIII RI969) pp;26-37.

BCrritsen, R., ‘The 1934 Kalgoorlie Riots: A Western Australian Crowd', University M Studies in History, vol'3. no 3 (I960) pp.43-75 fennant^K,, Evatt (Angus & Robertson : Sydney 1970)

Williams, J., The First Furrow (Willagee | Lone Hand Press, 1976)’ ‘

Personal memoirs DRadio program

Ch I'oveUfc, so Itemisedu>M!n Lhyswm (cd). Tb, mrkptace ^ „ Th£ Mg00rlie

-. Murdoch University, 1982) pp,103-117 I * 0

riots, Radio 6WN, Perth, April 20 (1986)

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