…so argues Keith Windschuttle in the Quadrant and his latest book: The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Volume Three, The Stolen Generations 1881–2008. By the strength of his Quadrant article, it seems the intellectual climate on the issue will begin to turn. Some observations made by KW.
- Not one Federal Court ruling has upheld the idea of a generation of Aboriginal children having been forcibly removed from their parents for the purpose of destroying the Aboriginal race,
- The High Court ruled in 1997 that there was no Aboriginal genocide,
- The figure of 50,000 children having been ‘stolen’, as argued by the PM and others, is a work of fiction. Archival evidence shows that just over 8,000 children were removed from their parents between 1910 to 1970 – some voluntarly – for a range of legitimate child welfare reasons, or reasons that were also given for removing white children from their parent(s) at the time.
- Very few infants were ever removed from their parents, the majority being teenagers who later returned to their parents after education and workplace training, while full blooded Aboriginals were mostly left alone by government officials,
Most children affected had been orphaned, abandoned, destitute, neglected or subject to various forms of domestic violence, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
- In other cases parents regularly accompanied their children to Aboriginal settlements or children were placed with Aboriginal foster parents,
- During the period of the so-called ‘genocide’ the Aboriginal population actually increased 68 per cent,
- The Joseph Lyons Commonwealth government in 1933 rejected proposals to regulate the marriage of Aboriginal half-castes,
- There is no evidence that Aboriginal activists thought there was an Aboriginal genocide during the 1960s and ’70s and…
A greater mystery is that some of the best-known of an earlier generation of Aboriginal activists had been in an even better position to see what was going on. In the 1940s and 1950s, William Ferguson, Walter Page and Pearl Gibbs actually served as directors of the Aborigines Welfare Board of New South Wales, one of the very organisations then committing the purported genocide. Yet they never realised what was happening. Of all people, they were the ones who should have identified it first. How could they possibly have missed it? If the Stolen Generations story was true, then at that very time, right across Australia, in all states and territories, scores of white welfare officials, backed by parliamentarians and senior public servants, were forcibly removing Aboriginal children to put an end to Aboriginality. How did these hundreds of white people, for a period of more than sixty years, maintain the discipline needed to keep the whole thing so quiet that Aboriginal activists like Ferguson, Page and Gibbs were oblivious to its existence? Why did no one leak the truth? A conspiracy on this scale must have been the best-kept secret in Australian history. On these grounds alone, the inherent implausibility of Read’s thesis should always have been self-evident.