Jessie Street took an interest in the issue of the legality of Western Australia’s repeal of Section 70 of its Constitution, changing her flight plans from New York to Australia at the end of 1958 in hope of locating relevant archival documents in London. Fred Irvine of the Society of Friends had been asked by the Anti-Slavery Society to look into the matter. Jack Davis was an archivist who was also a member of the Society of Friends.
Jessie Street and the Repeal of Section 70
Jessie Street to Fred Irvine, 15 December 1958, Jessie Street Papers, National Library of Australia, MS 2683/10/518
Enclosed letter from [Thomas] Fox Pitt dated December 12th
Dear Mr Irvine
I have decided to return to London to see Mr Davis and discuss with him the prospect of the Australian Aborigines or their friends acting for them gaining the 1 % of the revenue to which they are entitled. Please send me Mr Davis’ full name and address.
Would you be good enough to post the copy of my ‘Report on the Aborigines’ directly to him — by airmail if that is not presuming too much — but it is getting near Christmas. Would you also send him a covering letter telling him of my interest in this matter and that I am returning to London to discuss with him the prospects of success, and the most practical approach to make.
I am writing today to Don McLeod, the white man who raised this whole question, asking him to write me the latest details and send them to me at the White House, Albany St, London N.W.1 which is my London address.
I feel it is providential that I should have heard of Mr. Davis’ interest & maybe something may come of it if we act wisely.
P.S. I have this moment received the enclosed. Please let me know what you advise and return the enclosed to me at the above address.
Jessie Street to Don McLeod, 18 December 1958, Don McLeod Papers, State Library of Western Australia, MS 1568a/8, and Jessie Street to Fred Irvine, 15 December 1958, Jessie Street Papers, National Library of Australia, MS 2683/10/518.