McLeod Discusses Pastoralists' Reluctance to Award Rates
14 May 52
Since the Committee of Inquiry left I have had quite a number of enquiries from various stations directed to the various people asking if there is any chance of securing native workers for mustering.
I have in each case passed these messages on but almost always the reply is that the manager should come up and discuss the position with me.
I can imagine how reluctant most managers would be to do this but there is some virtue in the idea.
Since in almost all cases the management indication that they would be prepared to pay award rates it could be possible that a workmans inspector could be elected by the natives to work in conjunction with the Dept in much the same way as a workmans inspector of mines is appointed.
I myself would much prefer that some one other then myself might be selected for my reputation is such that there would be small chance of accord if it was necessary for owners & managers to deal through me.
However if one of the more able of the natives themselves at this stage particularly one of the half-caste people of our group were to have the opportunity to act particularly if they had the assistance of the Inspector from the Dept if required a workable arrangement might develop.
I believe in this way a rather thorny problem might [be] overcome and in any case I would like to put the suggestion before the Committee for what it is worth.
D. W. McLeod.
Don McLeod to S.M. Hosking, 14 May 1952, SROWA, 1952/0830v1/78.