File #3489: "ms102_04_02_01.pdf"


Lake Nash, Camooweal
Queensland, Austr a lia
April 23, 1967

Dear Home r:
I shift e d, just half awake, and was about to slip back to sleep
when the cock crowed again and I realized that he was what had awakened

It was still absolutely black outside, but I heard our host making

hims elf a spot of tea and knew that it was time to get up.

The night air

was cool enough for a jacket, the stars were still bright and the moon
almost full.

In a few minutes the e astern sky lightened and the great red

ball of a sun inched over the horizon a bit north of east, for we are just
above the Tropic of Capricorn and in mid-fall.
By s e ven we were dr e ssed and ass e mble d, our hostess, Jil
Paine, 24, had made coffee as well as t e a , arid one of the barefoot aborigines
had brought over from the unmarried men's mess the breakfast steaks and
bacon w hich, with toast and marmalade, was our very filling breakfast.
By eight we were off in the jeep station wagon to look over something I have
long wanted to see, a great Australian cattle ranch.
There are few greater ones than this, to which we flew north
and a little west from Sydney for seven hours -- about 1,100 miles.


up of w hat were once three properties, this one ranch has over five and
a half million acres.

If it is hard for you to think of that many acr e s, imagine

-2a farm two miles long (north and south} and as wide as from New York
to San Francisco -- a total of 7,600 square miles.

Actually it is roughly

rectangular, about 85 miles north and south and 140 miles wide.


paddock (pasture) is 1,000 square miles -- but no cow has to walk more
than five miles to water .
It is not only one of the largest ra~ches in the world, it is one of
the most efficiently operated.

Owned in equal halves by the King Ranch (of

Texas) and I nternational Packers (of Chicago), it is managed by Charles
Paine who has ranched this area all of his sixty-one years .

Quick, dee is ive,

knowledgeabl e, he is a hard dr ive r both of himself and his help -- and
he has consider able help.
There are three headquarters or home steads, of which this is
the main center, a l most a town in itself,

Besides Mr. Paine and his lovely

niece, Jil, an excellent horsewoman and experienced rancher, there are
three white assistants on the entire property, their wives and children, a
combination bookkeeper and storekeeper (the store handles food supplies,
canned goods, simple clothing and hardware -- and serves as a telegraph
and telephone office as well as keeping ranch records) and 145 aborigines.
In addition, because this is the only settlement for many miles, the State
of Northern Territory stations a policeman and his family he re .

There is

also a school teacher who celebrated (if visiting w ith us could be called
celebrating) her twenty-first birthday last evening.

There is a "nursing


sister" (the wife of the bookkeeper) who holds a clinic for the aborigines
every morning and tends minor ailments (a doctor comes every five
weeks -- but will fly in if called),

Also here, though only temporary, are

two linguists sent by the State to study the language of the aborigines,
Thus, in the three homesteads (Berkeley Downs, Georgina and here at
Lake Nash) there are about 35 whites (including women and children)
and about 145 aborigines, or a total of 180 people in 7, 600 square miles,
This is a vast empty land .

We had realized this when our

plane, flying down across the Indian Ocean, approached the lights of
Perth, on the west coast of Australia, just a week ago this morning, at
about 2 :00 a, m,

As we waited in the airport for immigration proceedings

and the servicing of our Qantas Airways Boeing 707, I recalled Mrs. Freeman's
observation when we had left Singapore - -


! expect that the most noticeable

change will be the lack of pressing millions which so characterizes the


Now looking down the runways to utter blackness beyond, not

just for a mile, but for 1,000 miles, I knew how right she was,


To get a better idea of the size and location of Australia (which
extends about 2, 300 miles north and south and 2, 500 miles east and west)













S\ T




R A \L


------- ------\




\,. ________ ./''-~~'








it may be helpful to reverse its north and south, so we can see how it
would be if north of the equator:




- - - - -- - - ------ - - - -A ---- - - -- - - -- -- - - --T O R


which shows us that its shape is not wholly unlike our country.
Ind ee d, they are ve r y similar as we can see if we super i mpose
the two maps:
t--------- -










u S T R A L



... .....'>..•......,



But Australia is clo ser to t h e equator:


and consequently much warmer.









you see Australia is not too unlike the United States in size and shape,
but is a bit closer to the equator, cons iderably warmer and much drier
(with an annual average of 16 . 5 i nches of rain compared to 26 inches for
North America and 53 inche s for South America) .
Sing a pore has about two and a half mi ll ion people in 224 square
miles, or something over 10, 000 people for each square mile.


has 11 ,5 00, 000 people in almost three million square miles, or less than
four peopl e to one square mile.

But this doesn't begin to tell the full s to ry,

for over half of thep)pulation are in the five State capital cities on the coast
and in Canberra, the national capital, and very few live inland in the great
interior or "outback" as it i s called .

As on this ranch, there is perhaps

less than one-tenth of one person for each square mile.
This is both an advantage and the source of constant concern.
Australia's first settlers were prisoners who were shipped here when our
Revolution prevented England shipping any more to America, but this was
so on supplemented by other immigrants, almost exclusively English, to the
point where the population is composed of almost pure Anglo-Saxon stock.
The people are more homogenous than I have ever seen, far more English in
appearance than are the people of London (with its admixture of Indians
and Caribbeans and, i ndeed, from all around the world).


Thei r natural good

Atthetimeofthe 1961 census, of the 10,500,000 Australians, 9,985,000
were ''British' ' and, of those, 8,730,000 were born in Australia.


looks (by our standards} have been made better by their love of sport
which their California-like climate has encouraged,

The people on the

principal streets of both Melbourne and Sydney are well dressed; some of
the younger men in shorts and many of the girls in mini-skirts so short
that I have had problems avoiding the traffic.
But this great emptiness also poses a threat.

The great Asian

masses, whose lands reach down to within 500 miles of Australia, want to
relieve the pressure of their overflowing populations of more than one and
a half billion by sending some of their millions to this great "uninhabited"

At the moment there is no Asiatic nation which is prepared to

accomplish this by armed force, but there is already some diplomatic
pres sure and one can anticipate efforts within the United Nations to argue
Australia into opening its borders.

Recognizing this, and the fact that the

country does need additional peopl e to develop its great natural resources,
the nation has for some time been admitting a substantial number of
immigrants, last year 150,000, this year the quota is 165,000 (a total over
2,000,000 since the end of World War II), but they are virtually all white
European (perhaps 500 to 1, 000 Americans) with preference to the English,
Greeks, Germans and Italians.
This is not a tremendous inflow, but even this volume poses
problems of assimilation,

In Caterpillar Tractor's splendid plant just

outside Melbourne, production is handicapped by the fact that there are


thirty-one nationalities among the workers, and it is necessary to conduct
daily classes in English in order that the workers can understand directions.
From the little that I have seen, I am impressed with the generally friendly
attitude which the Australians display for these newcomers whom they call
"the new Australians. " Whether this country should open its gates wider
and in more directions is not a simple question . ,:, The Australians are proud
of their homogeneity and the traditions and allegiances which are shared by
the whole population.
;~ :::::

recognize any.

They have no race problem -- or at least they do not

Under these circumstances, if they are not anxious to


When I asked Mr. Shir l ey, TIME I s Bureau Chief in Sydney, to read this
over for accuracy, he added : "It is a debatable point whether or not the
Asian hordes waht to migrate to Australia. There is no land suitable
for rice paddies and few agricultural or pastoral Asians would be able
to eke out an existence here. The sophisticated Asian knowledgeabl e
in restaurant and small store management does well, but experience
has shown that these people are not attuned for assimilation in the
industrial complex of this country. Any mass Asian immigration would
result in these people for the most part becoming laborers with little
future for at least a generation. The present Australian immigration
policy towards Asians is that they are welcome if they can contribute
in some tangible form to the country's cultural and economic advancement. Australia does not want mere laborers but skilled workers,
Once Asians are admitted, there is no racial discrimination whatsoever. For example, the Mayor of Darwin (who is also the President
of the Legislative Council) is Chinese. There are Asian professors
in the universities and topflight Asian businessmen in the capital
cities . "


There are 43, 000 full -blood aborigines who are really quite unknown
to the whit e population in the cities, some so untamed, so remote
from modern civilization as to not quite count as people. They pose
much less of a " race II problem than our much more advanced
American Indians.


take on such a problem, we should be slow to criticize unless, having
examined ourselves critically, we would conclude that, given a _ ree choice,
we would today knowingly create one for ourselves by importing millions
of different color and background.

Furthermore, before we are too quick

to criticize, we should examine those vast reaches of emptiness and ask
whether the Asiatic hordes -- or indeed any immigrant hordes -- are going
to survive there .

Immigrants, wherever they come from, are almost certain

to settle in or adjacent to the principal cities .
Life in Australian cities is very pleasant.

Except for Canberra

(which, as the national capital, was placed more as a compromise than for
any geographic or economic reason inland between Melbourne and Sydney),
all of the significant cities are on the coast, most with fine beaches, many with
excellent harbors, and all (except perhaps those on the north coast) with
splendid weather, mild winters (virtually frost free) and reasonable summers.
All of the cities describe their weather as "just like California. " Sydney's
average temperature drops to 53° in July and climbs to 72° in January .


and an average rainfall of ten to fourteen days each month keep everything
beautifully green year round.

Food is plentiful and so is drink.
vegetables and very pleasant wines .

They produce excellent

The slower pace and the active social

life cause many Americans here on business to hope their employers will
forget them and leave them here forever.


The per capita consumption of beer is 24 gallons and of spirits .4 gallons.


It is likely that more Americans will be sent here for the
great natural resources, which require capital for development plus exceptional political stability (only one change of government since 1945) and the
existence of similar institutions and practices has caused more and more
United States companies to open office s or plants her e.

Indeed, since the

late nineteen fifties, the United States has become a more important investor
than the United Kingdom.

As Caterpillar's Mr. Stranger pointed out, in 1965

the capital inflow of $3 36 million from the United States exc eeded the $280
million from the United Kingdom,
described as


The recent mineral discoveries have been

the most exciting industrial stor y of the sixties.


For eign sales

of iron, not exported at all prior to 1963, are expected to amount to more than
$220 million by 1970 and the recently discovered nickel deposits and gas reserves
are also exciting.

These are needed for the balance of payments is in a deficit

and reserves are not increasing .
The Gross National Product has almost doubled in the last
decade and is expected to move up considerably this year above the $23. 6 billion
of 1966.

Prices have risen about 2 . 5 per cent a year, but you hear little

complaint on that score, for the people are looking ahead more than they are
A1:1stralia needs foreign capital, but it would like to keep more
of the ownership in local hands .

To that end the federal government has recently

encouraged the l argerbanks to jointly create a Development Refinance Corporation to marshal domestic (and borrowed foreign) funds to use to finance the


development of natural resources in order that they may not have to be
sold to foreign corporations.

But much United States capital will continue to

flow in, particularly after our own balance of payments restrictions are

With the capital will come more Americans.
Melbourne, our first stop, did not seem like a big city at first.

The streets are broad and the principal ones are lined with old trees, quite
reminiscent of Paris, but the people live in individual homes/' most of them
definitely Victorian in style, many with white-painted gingerbread scrollwork
of iron which, long ago, was brought from England as ballast in the ships
that came here empty to return with wool and meat.

But, if one drives from

one side of Melbourne to the other, the time is so great -- de spite the breakneck speed of the cars -- that one realizes it is a city of two and a quarter
million residents.

Sydney, with its tremendous harbor that takes up so much

of the central area, seems quite a bit bigger (though it is only slightly so - about two and a half million population) and with its many splendid new office
buildings appears much more modern.
Even more than by the architecture, the American is impressed
by the English origin which is evident in its busine ss and government leaders.
The chairmen of many of the larger Australian companies are titled



Henry this 11 or "Sir Robert that " who operate with the self-confidence and
superiority of the British originals whom the y emulate and are characterized


In 1961, of 10,500,000 Australians, about 9,000,000 lived in
private houses.


by the same inability to ask a question lest they disclose a lack of knowledge
(and many have very little knowledge of the actual workings of the businesses
which they nominally head).

In contrast, most general managers have come

up through the ranks, usually without much formal education, but with considerable knowledge of their business.

Workers are much more loyal than

are their British counterparts, but not much more enthusiastic about being

I was told that Americans often fail here because of their inability

to accurately gauge the pace at which one can drive an Australian organization.
The people don't work as hard here as in the States, and I believe that this
go es for most of the manage rs as well as for the factory hands.

It is really

a part of the over-all attitude of the people, another facet of which is the amount
of reliance on the government, pervasive of all segments of life.


is much more important than in the United States and government controls
reach everywhere,

(Dictating to a public stenographer in Melbourne, who

had brought neither paper nor pencil, I received a call that she could not
be worked for over four hours without a break --


it is the law .



Organized labor is strong here, even the bank employees up
through the managers of smaller branches belong to a union, but wages are
not negotiated by the union and management.

Whenever a dispute arises the

government steps in to arbitrate and ultimately
becomes "the award rate.



awards II a wage scale which

This, however, merely serves as a base, and

most employers pay (in addition to a series of fringe benefits) a base wage
above the award rate.

There is a good deal of time off for


portal to portal 11


and for tea breaks, etc.

I visited one large factory in Melbourne and

another in Sydney, both operated by United States corporations.


excellent management in each, efficiency is definitely lower than it is in
the United States plants. of those same companies (though it is pas sible that
because of a smaller volume of production, automation may not be quite as
complete here as in the States).

On the other hand, labor rates are lower,

yet the net effect is higher costs.
As I began to wonder when I contrasted Singapore with Malaysia,
I have wondered here, does possession of great natural resources cause a
people to place less emphasis on efficiency than in a country without such
natural ass ets? I don 1t know, but a quick appraisal of Australia causes me to
fear that it may be so,
Australia does have overwhelming resources.

Everyone knows

of the great exports of lamb, wool and beef, but in another three to four years
iron ore will be the most important export.
Mount Isa with its great copper deposits.
greatest exporter of lead.

This afternoon we flew over

Next to Russia, Australia is the world1 s

The pilot told us of "miles and miles II of bright red

bauxite deposits visible further north, and the iron ore deposits of almost
inexhaustible amounts lie in mountains of very rich content (I was told over
60 per cent), freE? of overburden and ready to be pushed onto trucks.
indeed, an extraordinarily rich country and quite undeveloped.

This is,


Is it a place for young Americans to come to make their

It frequently reminds one, especially in the interior, of what

our West must have been like about 1900.

As such it has great appeal.

There are, indeed, opportunities here -- but, as in our old West, they have
to be worked for, sometimes under less than ideal circumstances, and not
under nearly as free conditions as existed on our frontier.
more government regulation than we ever dreamed of.

Here there is

Unlike the Texas

frontiersman who, after driving his cattle to the railhead, would immediately
repair to the dance hall saloon for a day's diversion, the Australian cattleman
would have to sit down and fill out government forms for the first twenty-four
Australia needs good, ambitious men -- but mostly those with
special skills and capital.

Not all skills are in short supply.

My Caterpillar

friends in Melbourne feel that civil engineers and manufacturers might have
greater opportunity in the United States.
place for mining engineers.

On the other hand, this is a great

It should also offer advantages for men with

new skills, advertising, public relations, management consulting, etc. , that
have been further developed in the United States than here.

Unless he handi-

capped himself by being too abrasive, the American would find that, if he were
willing to continue to work as hard here as he had at home, he would have a
distinct advantage over his local competitors.
The greatest opportunity is for the careful man with capital who
is willing to work in a modest role for a while in order to learn the local


attitudes and needs before he invests and manages.

Too many Americans

have been unwilling to wait and have placed their capital with men who,
de spite apparently impeccable connections, know nothing of the activities
in which they invest the American "sucker's" money.

The few businesses

about which I should know the most -- banking, Caterpillar dealerships,
and ranching - - look about as good as anything in sight, but all three require
a great deal of capital.
The banking business is modelled on the English, with only

a dozen principal banks, each with hundreds of branches. '

The rate

structure offers a reasonable spread for they pay 3-1/2 per cent on savings,
4-1 / 2 per cent on six-months' deposits, and charge their best customers
6 per cent with other rates up to 7-1/2 per cent.

Still, it is not all "gravy,


for they are required (by convention) to maintain a liquidity ratio (largely
in cash and government securities) of 18 per cent and, in addition, the
eight nationally operated banks must maintain a reserve of 8. 9 per cent of
deposits on which they receive interest at 3/4 of one per cent) .


though the gross income is great, the expense of such a widespread branch
system (even with modest salaries) is so great that, although net earnings
are good, they do not appear to be extraordinary -- or so I believe -- but,
here again, the Australians follow the British practice and report earnings


For instance, the Bank of New South Wales has 1,200 branches and


only after transfers to and from reserves so that their published reports
do not disclose true earnings.
Of course,

if a bank could come here with some funds and

attract some local corporate deposits without an expensive branch system,
it should have excellent earnings, for demand is unlimited and rates a .re
reasonably high.

I am sure that this thought has occurred to some of our

friends, for the Fir st National City Bank, Bank of America and Chase are
here, but the Reserve Bank will not welcome any more United States branches,
The government, though too extensive by our standards, is
excellently led by Harold Holt, the head of the Liberal Party which presently
operates through a coalition with the Country Party (headed by John McEwen),
The opposition Labor Party has been weakened largely by a strong Catholic
anti-communist splinter minority which has become the Democratic Labor
Party and supports the government on most is sues.

The Holt government

reflects the movement away from England which has taken place since the
end of World War II and places great reliance on the American alliance.


you know, Australia sent troops to help us in Vietnam in 1965 and there are
now 6,000 Australian troops fighting there.
brought home to Melbourne.

We saw a plane load of them

Mrs. Freeman had asked an older couple why

there were so many people waiting to me et the plane and was told by the lady,
with characteristic reserve, that they had come to meet their son but that he had
not returned,


Although devoted to their American friends, to whom they

would have to look for assistance if they were ever attacked, · the
Australians , after having observed the recent problems in Korea, Malaysia
and now Vietnam, recognize the i dentity of their interests with those of
Asia, and Prime Minister Holt is sometimes referred to as


a man of Asia.


He is devoted to forging closer ties, both diplomatic and trade, with the
Asian countries which share this great West Pacific.
As a step in this direction, the Australians have just played
host to a Pan-Pacific Conference here in Sydney, which an Asiatic friend
of mine, who was present, felt was very useful in its discussion groups but
quite ineffective in its final conclusion merely to send a small delegation to
These were the random thoughts in my confused mind as I
hurried from my last b ank appointment to pick up Mrs. Freeman and meet
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Bassingthwaighte, the Managing Director of International
Packers, Limited, the Australian subsidiary of International Packers, to
whom its Chairman, Tom Taylor, had been good enough to introduce us .
It wa s they who brought us in the King Ranch plane to this great outback

,:, ,:,
station w here we arrived just at sundown.


,:0 :,

Next week the country celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of the battle
of the Coral Sea, by w hich the Japanese threat was ended . Darwin had
been bombed and Japanese submarines operated in Sydney harbor, but,
after the Coral Sea battle, Australia was safe.
We were lucky not to be an hour later, for all non -commercial planes
must fly VFR and must set down at dark.


So back to where we started this letter, at breakfast at
the Lake Nash headquarters of this great ranch.

After we had eaten, the

Bass ingthwaighte s, the ranch manager, Charles Paine, and we set out to
"see a little of the property" and returned ten hours later -- dusty, tired,
and overwhelmed at what we had seen on a 250-mile drive around one
section of the ranch .

We drove across great downs of open grassy spaces,

maybe five or ten miles in diameter, then across a river with perhaps three
or four tree-lined channels, but completely dry, across miles of gravel
soil and stunted trees to other open areas of Mitchell grass (an excellent
form of two-foot tall bunch-grass with a seed head almost like oats) and
Flinders grass (short and red) and on to a dam which has backed up the
runoff from the summer rains for as much as half a mile .

Such sheets of

water (we saw at least a dozen) were surrounded by trees under which stood
herds of Santa Gertrudis cattle (or Santa Gertrudis crossed on Shorthorns),
In the trees were thousands of white corellas, a form of white cockatoo,
which would fly up at our approach and complain with crow - like voices until
we departed.
As we went through a succession of such varying types of
country, we would be constantly interested in the birds.
ground life.

There is very little

We saw no m i ce nor gophers nor rabbits (though I was told that

there are rabbits) .

We did come across several iguanas, two to four feet

long, and some black snakes.

There are also tiger snakes and deaf adders,

but we were most attracted by the birds ,

There were many galahs, a heavy

pigeon , grey on top and pink underneath .

We saw hundreds of budgerigars,


apple green on top and lemon green underneath, which flew in formations
in which each bird changed direction simultaneously as though the whole
group was controlled by some inaudible radio.

In the water holes were cranes

and blue herons and ibis (both white and grey) which seem to come in great
numbers during the seasons when there are grasshoppers.
dead from overeating the insects.)
unlike our Thanksgiving dish,

(Many are found

We also saw plains turkeys -- quite

The strangest were the "native companions,

which, we were told, are the largest land birds to fly.


Perhaps five or six

feet tall, on long thin legs, they walk with the help of a wing movement that
appears to be a dance.

I can well imagine that a rancher or prospector,

camped alone on these e ndless plains, might well find them diverting
co mp anions.
Driving through a wooded, grassy area, we came across a
kangaroo, a male, at least six feet tall, which was almost as interested in us
as we were in him.

He would look at us with head tilted, then, quite erect,

hop along on his hind legs, each hop perhaps six feet, with his tail moving up
and down to help him keep his balance, the tail never quite touching the ground
(as does the tail of the wallaby).

I believe the kangaroo lives on vegetation and

does not attack other animals, but , when he is attacked by a dingo, he tries to
escape by running.

With ten or twelve-foot hops, he can go thirty miles an

If cornered, he fights with his arms and with a short kick with his hind
If near water, he goes into it up to his waist and, as the dingo swims

close, holds the dingo under water till it drowns.

We were told that the wallaby


kills the dingo by grabbing it and squeezing it to death.
kangaroo's most deadly enemy is man .

Of course, the

Over 11, 000 were shot on one

section of this ranch.
As we drove by one group of cattle resting in the shade by a
dammed lake, Mr. Paine noticed one cow run a few steps and concluded
a dingo must be nearby.
a "wild dog,


We drove over and there, 100 yards away, was

taller and more erect than our coyote, with large wide-set

ears .

He retreated when he saw us, watched for a moment, and then slunk

away .

These are serious predators attacking calves and, instead of killing

them first and then eating, they merely charge the calf, take a larbe bite,
then withdraw to eat and return for another mouthful until the calf bleeds to
death .

We were distressed that Jil had not come with us, for she is an

excellent marksman and would have killed the dingo -- not for the bounty
which the State pays for its scalp, but to reduce the threat to the calves,
Calves are, of course, the business here, but not quite in the same
way they are in the United States, for here ranchers do not sell the calves for
roughing out and then corn fattening, but carry the steers (bullocks) to


which used to be four to five years.

The bulls are run with the

herd all year, only the bullocks are cut out (as they are building up their
herd and retain their heifers) and at two to three years of age, when they

1,000 to 1,100 pounds, the steers are shipped some 700 miles to

the abattoir for slaughtering.


Fed only on grass, their beef is no match for United States
corn-fattened steers (whose steaks the Australians say are "mushy"}, but
it is plentiful and cheap, about half the price of ours delivered at the packing
plant (and in a downtown Sydney market T-bone steaks sell for 69~ a pound).~~
This is why our ranchers resent importation of Australian beef, largely in the
form of corned beef and hamburger.

The Australians who import so much

in the way of manufactured goods from the United States ($700,000,000 per
year) and have had so little to export to our country (about $265,000,000)
are affronted that we have cut down the amount of their beef which can be
brought into our country.

When I asked whether they would admit United

States beef into Australia (they don't), they felt the question quite irrelevant,
as perhaps it is, though I believe the better hotels might be able to sell some
of our mare expensive, but much more tender, steaks.

Our ranchers should

be grateful that Australia has so little country fit for raising corn.

If they

fattened their beef (a very little is fattened on barley), their competition
would pose an even more serious threat, for the quality of their beef, grassfed, is excellent.


The Australian dollar, a new currency,for they used to use pounds,
shillings and pence (and still quote many prices in pounds, w}:i.ich
equal two ·of the new dollars), is worth about $1. 12 U, S. Conversely,
when we cash a $100 traveler I s check, we get only $88 Australian.


On this great ranch, the rainfall varies from area to area
and year to year but averages about 13 inches per year.

That is not very

much, less than most of Oklahoma and Texas and no more than vast semiarid areas in Arizona and New Mexico, but the cattle here are in the best
shape that I have ever seen grass-raised beef.

I think it may be due in part

to the soil but even more to the flatness of the land.
does not run off, but rather soaks in.

Here a mode st rain

A hard rain drains for miles (with a

slope of only one foot or two to the mile) into rivers which are easily dammed.
In most of our steeply mountainous southwest there is a gulley or an arroyo
every 100 yards or so and, hence, not nearly enough drainage area to collect
a substantial body of water even though the runoff is rapid.
other reasons.

There may be

It is hard for Mr. Paine, who (like me) is a Hereford man at

heart, to admit that it could be the Santa Gertrudis stock.

Many of my

rancher friends in our southwest consider the Santa Gertrudis unsatisfactory,
for, at eight months of age, when weaned and put into a feed lot, they continue
to grow bigger instead of just growing fatter.

But h ere, where cattle are kept

on grass until they are two to three years of age, that may be an advantage
instead of a liability .


Mr. Paine will only agree to wait and see.

As you know, the Santa Gertrudis breed was developed by the Ki:og Ranch
in Texas (three-eighths Brahma andfive -eighths Shorthorn) . Two hundred
bulls and five hundred cows were brought h ere in 1951; further importation has been prohibited since 1958.


It is hard to compare land prices for most of Australia's
cattle country is owned by the state governments and not sol d, but rather
leased, on long terms (35 years in some states and 5 0 in others, and
generally renewed) ,

The nearest I could get to a land price is about $100 per

animal unit (the land needed to support one cow and her calf) .

This would

compare to $300 to $500 in our northern states (where hay farming is necessary to carry the cattle through the winter) to $1,000 in Arizona and New
Mexico for flat land and $2, 000 or more in the prettier parts of those states.
Thus, friends of mine in Arizona and New Mexico hear of this Australian
ranch land at a cost of 10 per cent or less of what they have to pay and
immediately imagine the unalloyed joy of having ten times as l arge a ranch
here as the spread they can afford in the States,
This is great cattle country.
easy to work, but there are drawbacks.


It is cheap, it is flat, and it is

Mr. Bassingthwaighte mentioned

two, labor and drought.
Labor is scarce.

There is virtually no unemployment in

Australia (less than 2 per cent), and both industry and mining are looking
for men in the cities and the mining towns -- at good wages.

Who, then,

wants to work on a ranch, perhaps hundreds of miles from town, beyond
television coverage, with very few other white men -- or women -- and no
place of amusement?

There are some who come from the city, either

,:, There are about twice as many cattle here as people, 19,000, 000
(of which about 3,000,000 are dairy cows) to about 11,500,000 people.


attracted by the romance of the "cowboy" life
not make the grade in the city.


or because they could

Mr, Paine quoted another experienced ranch

manager who said that only 3 per_ cent of these turned out to be satisfactory

There are, of course, some young men who were raised in the

ranch country~*but there are not many available,

Many ranchers here, as

in the United States, lost the too-small places or were forced out by drought,
and their children do not have sufficiently pleasant memories of ranch life
to want to go back.
Then there are the aborigines,
and only partially civilized people,

These are a black-skinned

At each station we visited there were

small tin houses provided, but none was occupied, for these essentially
nomadic people prefer to live in the open - - on the ground with occasionally
a piece of tin to keep off the sun or, more commonly, they sit, eat and sleep
just in the leeward side of a bush, against which they may have placed some
extra branches to serve as a windbreak,

At Lake Nash and Berkely Downs

there are 140, including perhaps 100 children and 16
(only 25 work for the ranch),

older ones 11 on relief


These employed hands used to be paid $10 a

week plus rations, but now the gove rnment requires that they be paid $24 per


There really isn't as much romance to the cattle work here -- all done
in land rovers rather than on horseback, or in the riding on the flat land
rather than ·in mountains.


We met several such couples, handsome, gracious young people, modestly
paid in cash but living in a pleasant Wisconsin or Michigan summerresort-type frame house, with a · cook and sitter and all rations provided,
They could save much more than if they were paid five times as much in
the city.


week without rations -- actually a reduction in their compensation.


school teacher here is terribly serious about her job, as she should be.

In her one-room school she has 41 aborigines and four white children {ages
6 to 14) who, upon arrival each morning, must take a shower and put on their

Classes are conducted until ten, at which time they are inspected

by the nursing sister (the bookkeeper-storekeeper's wife) and given milk.
Unfortunately, though the State provided a cup for each child, the State locked
up the cups and the key is now lost, so all 45 must be fed from three cups.


go back out into the field to their families at noon, then back to their State built school house (about as tight as a sieve, with no heat for winter and no
insulation against the summer heat) _
for the afternoon,
teacher has taught them to march and to sing.

The 21 - year-old

Her predecessor, a man,

taught a few of them to swim, but their "three R I s" are very rudimentary.
Once through school, the great majority :revert to their earlier state,


if they were sent away to boarding school near a city, where they might be
motivated to aspire to a city job, they might want to achieve a degree of
civilization, but very few seem to here on the station.

A few of the men are

good horsemen, some of the women are capable of babysitting or washing
clothes, but none is used for cooking here at Lake Nash.

Each day, year

after year, thei~ master or mistress (no matter how kind, sensitive and
helpful) must start as on the first day and give instructions on each step of


the job,


Nothing is remembered. '

So there are some help problems,

The second difficulty is drought.

The average annual

rainfall may be 13 inches but, until the summer just ended, there had not
be en a normal year in the last three or four,
cattle, some lost their ranches ,

Many ranchers lost their

General retail and automobile sales

declined and Australian economy turned down.

But drought is always a

possibility in any ranch country (which, by economic definition,

is country

with too little regular rainfall to raise crops).
There are other conditions which Mr. Bassingthwaighte did
not mention, but which might bother some American ranchers.
alluded to) is the government.

One (already

During the two and one-half days here the

State airport inspectors came to inspect the landing strip at Georgina, where
they had to stay for two days because they had run out of fuel and whiled away
the time writing out a two-foot long list of things that had to be changed.
Yesterday they were here and made a similar list, although these are both
private strips (which are not regulated at all in the United States).

Ths phone

rang last night at midnight, again at three in the morning, agin at six and,


According to "Australia and New Zealand II of LIFE 1 s World Library,
"Thousands still live in conditions of a Stone Age culture, 11 However,
they no longer eat humans which is especially applauded by the Chinese,
who, because they lived on rice, were prized as the most tasty humans.


Just since this summer I s rains, has business turned upward to where
the problem is now becoming one of too-rapid expansion,

- 27-

indeed, every three hours day and night, year in and year out -- the
government calling to ask how the weather is here and reporting how it

is elsewhere .

The State has a linguist (actually two, for his wife is also

a professional) staying here, and yesterday was a gala day for them because
they discovered a new sound.


The policeman is being assigned to

a new post in Darwin and a new policeman with his wife and two children will
arrive here next month .

The bookkeeper - storekeeper also tends the

government-controlled telegraph and telephone .

The school teacher i s leav -

ing for a conference in Darwin, despite the fact that there have been so many
changes in this school that classes have been held only five weeks in the last
five months (but you could hardly begrudge her the trip as the nearest other
school teacher in this State is 300 miles away) .

If you want to listen to the

radio you have to have a Broadcast Listener 1 s License and to watch T. V. you
need a Television Viewer's License.

There is an excess of government.


is not all bad, of course, but the government plays a much more significant
role, even in this remote station, than would be the case at home.
Another consideration is the heat.

This twenty-third of April

is equivalent to the twenty-third of October i n the Northern Hemisphere, yet
the w eat her is like our late September Indian Summer, but much warmer - over 90 in the shade.


Melbourne, on the south coast, was too warm to permit

It pays ($900 a year) to the wife of one of the ranch employees to
take these calls .


walking fast without perspiring.
central area is even hotter.

Sydney was warmer, and this great

In the summer it is 110° or higher in the

shade for weeks on end (and through vast areas of this country there is no
shade) .

Each summer takes its toll of those whose cars break down and

wl+o die of thirst before the next traveller comes by.
Lastly, one would have to be willing to put up with more (if
smaller) flies than we have ever seen any other place in the world.


one is very active (they call swatting the fly the "Australian salute 11 ) , he
will have not two or three but a dozen on his face at any one time .
Freeman photographed my back, and the re were hundreds.


They get in

yol\r nose, your mouth, and you soon give up trying to keep them off the
food (you just pretend you are eating raisin bread).

One could wear a

mosquito net over a broad-brimmed hat, but I did not see anyone who did

More likely you would Just have to get used to them .

Mrs. Freeman

tried to convince herself that everything is so healthy in these vast reaches
tra t the flies could not possibly be carrying many germs (I am not that good
a Christian Scientist!).

To my surprise, they do not seem to bother the

cattle or the horses as much as our flies do.

I am not even sure that they

bite, but they would be a negative in the over-all equation.
To my American rancher friends who would like to come here,
I can only say that to get an economically viable property, to make the
necessary improvements, and to have the capital that would last through a


year or two of drought might take upwards of one million dollars .
is cheaper here than at home, but so are cattle.


A three-year-old steer

at 1, 100 pounds sells in a good year for about $100 compared to about
two and a half to three times that for a fat steer of the same weight in the

In short, I don't believe that it is the "promised land'' for the

discouraged American rancher with modest capital.
The King Ranch, with almost unlimited capital and a willingness to wait ten years before taking out any dividends, is doing very well.
In this particular ranch they and International Packers have a very satisfactory

When they get it up to full production (which means 80, 000 to

100,000 head), they will sell each year 20,000 steers averaging 1,100 pounds
and net an excellent return on their investment.

But t}):;y bought the property

very well and have put a great deal of thought and planning as well as money
into their bores (wells with 30-foot diameter windmills), dozens of expensive
qams, earth tanks 25 feet deep and ''steel yards 11 (the most elaborately constructed corrals used for "mustering" fround-up] that I have ever seen).
They have undertaken a program of herd improvement, and that involves
hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They have excellent management, both on

the property and in the city, and they are willing to wait for years before
taking any money out of the project.
are prepared to do the same.

Not very many individual ranchers


We leave early this afternoon for a short fl ight to Mount
Isa where we will get a four-hour commercial flight to Brisbane.


a short layover, we will have a two-hour flight to Sydney for a day in the
city before moving on to New Zealand -- which is
to o remote.



who consider that it is



terra incognita 11 to the

too socialistic, too undeveloped and

I can imagine an American saying the same about Australia,

but he would be wrong on at least two counts.
We will leave Australia with some reluctance.

Its size,

its riches, the climate of its coastal cities, its handsome people and the
opportunities in the banking business make us hope that we may someday


The pilot says he has been every place in the world except C zechos loval<.ia ,
Russia and New Zealand. Even our most travelled acquaintances have
never been there.

Capital: Can berra
Area : 2,967,909 square miles
Percent of World Area : 5 p e rcent
Population (1965) : 11,359,500
Density: 4 p er square mile
Percent of World Population: 0.3 percent
Elevation Highest Point: Mt. Kosciusko (7,3 16 feet)
Lowest Point: Lake Eyre (39 fe et below sea level}
Coast Line: 12,446 statute miles includ ing Tasmania
Northernmost Point: Cape York
Southernmost Point: Southeast Cape
Easternmost Point: Cape Byron
Westernmost Point: Dirk Hartog
Political divisions
(contine ntal Australia): 6 states, p lus 2 territories
Natio na l Ho liday: January 26, Australia Day
National Anthem: God Save The Queen



Tronspo rtotion

~ Equipme nt Aircraft



Tronsport otion
Metal Processing ..a,. Equipment Automobile s





-....... Transportation Equipment Ship

Ele ctrlcol &


lumber & Fo r~sl

Electronic Product s




T Metal Producfs



Pulp & Pop er


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Rubber Products


Food Process ing


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200 Miles



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Plantation Agriculrure


Forest wilh live st ock.


General fa rming flrrigotedl

forestry with some Farming

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General Farming
Collection of Tropical
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Seasonal Gro zlog w ith Sparse

Sea son al G ra zing with
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Cop y right b y Rand Mc Nally & C o .
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