News and Views


    IN our last issue (NATURE, Sept. 13, p. 391) we referred to the measures which are being taken or are under consideration by the Commonwealth Government of Australia to ameliorate conditions among the aborigines. Of the suggestions which have been made, the most important is undoubtedly that which recommends that the aborigines as a whole should come under the control of the Commonwealth Government. It involves many difficulties and would entail numerous adjustments as between the Commonwealth and State authorities; the obstacles, however, should not be insuperable, and the advantages which would accrue are too great to be lost without determined effort. Not. the least of these would be that continuity and uniformity in policy could be secured by one authority dealing with the aboriginal question as a whole; and further, a wider and more effective public opinion would be brought into play when any question affecting policy or any specific measure was under consideration. All competent observers are agreed that in present conditions the extinction of the aborigines is a matter of only a comparatively brief period. With the lamentable example of the extinct Tasmanians to point the moral, no measure, however difficult of achievement, should be left untried to avert a similar fate from the Australian tribes, in some cases, unfortunately, already reduced to the merest fragment.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    News and Views. Nature 126, 446–450 (1930).

    Download citation


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.