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Pacific portrays radio sketches of men and women whose lives illustrate times and places south of the equator. In the Pacific. White man and black man. That you spoke with in their name lives the future. Will. Her uber humorous programming in a series of specific portraits produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in collaboration with the National Association of educational broadcasters now speaking to you from Auckland New Zealand.
Here is the planner and writer of the series Professor John Reed. How do we see the administrator. A man in an office perhaps behind a desk cabinet with documents bound in red tape. A dull dog buried in a routine from which all color and excitement have been great but in the Pacific yesterday and today the reality is otherwise. In this program we pay tribute to the Pacific administrators in the Person of the greatest of them all say he would marry the words you would hear him speak. Have been taken from his own writing. After Greenland the largest island of the world. Half as big again as Britain. New Guinea a huge bird hub ring over the continent of Australia. In this black island of Oceania beats the very
heart Melanie for the. Land of mountain swamps and dense jungle Land of snakes alligators an exquisite orchid land a repellent gloom and heart piercing beauty domain of headhunters and cannibals. I thought of it all day Saavedra reading in my call it keeps going in search of the lockers. Landed on those rugged shores in the year of our bloated Lord. Fifteen twenty nine in every creek we tested were traces of gleaming yellow metal. I named the land Delora the island of Gaul. After de Saavedra came Louis Taurus forging through the strait that bears his name. The natives of East LA Delora are naked squat fierce savages armed with spears and arrows as we landed for food and water. They resisted us on the beaches and stood their ground valiantly before our hell birds but we slew them and took a dozen prisoners to show to his most Catholic Majesty.
Philip the Second despite Taurus glowing account of the fertility of the island of gold Spain would have none of this jungle shrouded in cannibal infested territory after Taurus other venturers nibbled at its coastline. Dampier Bampton out. And as the nineteenth century dawned the Dutch spinning their web of trade through the Pacific claimed the western half of the island. A decade later Lieutenant you will annex the eastern part for Britain. But in Parliament we must repudiate you as impetuous an extension of this month's truce tropical island. It will be nothing but an embarrassment. But we can't afford to expend energy and money on a land with no economic prospects. In 1873 the Explorer Captain Morris B proclaims the territory British again the government repudiated the claim. But 10 years later Britain's hand was forced the Australian government has certain information that Germany intends to seize northern New Guinea if the Germans take full possession they could dominate Australia. Britain must act at once.
Fear had done what in treaty could not. A few days after Germany planted her iron heel in New Guinea Britain declared Southern New Guinea a protectorate under the name of papa. Twelve years later the new Australian Commonwealth took under her own wing the problem country. The grim featured land nobody wanted. It seemed a stern place indeed to its first administrator so William McGregor as he landed in 1895. What tribes of people are various of the scenery pygmies Tallman Polynesians Melanesians. Some are cannibals. Some head hunters. Some. Gentle kindly people. They have got two things in common. They're all stone age man and they are all ruled by sorcery and superstition. Through anarchical boring villages over mountain and across river and swamp
where you McGregor tirelessly pursued knowledge of the land and its savage peoples. But now the protection against Germany was secured. Australia saw papa as a tiresome burden. So the country languished until the coming of the forty year old Hubert Murray's lawyer and veteran of the Boer War. I was acting administrator when Hubert Murray was appointed judicial officer in 1900 and for I had already much about his ability. He had a good Oxford degree and the command of languages he was known as an able lawyer and a rather unorthodox Crown Prosecutor in his young days. He had been addicted to drink but had abruptly become and remained an absolute abstainer. When I first set eyes on his ramrod figure his square shoulders and his serious face with clipped military mustache. I knew that a vital new chapter of Pop was history had begun. Murray attacked the strange environment with zest in its simplest terms. The problem of Popper was to him a problem of people white men and black
men. Now it does pop up and in there harmony lies the future. He soon realized that during twenty years of British occupation little had been done to lift the natives from ignorance or to modify their superstitions. But his first task was justice to translate the codes creeds and precedents of the white man's law books into puppetland terms the native founded hard to see any real reason why the laws men lived by should apply to them. For instance they popcorns have a basic courtesy which may provoke what in our eyes is a heinous crime. So men charged before me with murder had been asked by a sick man to carry him across the river. He was too heavy to carry. But they could not be so or rude as to refuse so they killed him as the best way out of the difficulty. The large audience of natives in court when the case was dried all agreed that the conduct of the prisoners had been perfectly correct except in one very important particular. The sick man had been
murdered on a government road and this was inexcusable. The government had some queer objection to murder. Enjoy it was bad taste to kill a man on a government road. They should have taken the sick native into the bush and murdered him there. Stalking endlessly across country in a land where distances were measured by days and trying cases from village to village judge Marie plunged deeper and deeper into the depths of native psychology. Two villages went to war because one insisted on wearing a certain ornament. A man was convicted of killing another as a relief to his feelings when his own wife nagged him. And everywhere he found evidence of a deeper primitiveness. She focused. Have you ever eaten.
Of course I have. What do you think I am. Am I a small boy or woman. Am I out. Nor can't you be my of course I have beaten man. But you don't do it. No I don't believe man is good. Why don't you. No TV no TV. There were other ancient practices among the tribes which Murray met with fairness a sheriff's head hunting in the south is associated with the naming of children. They took any warrior. Before he kicks the head finds out the name of his victim and the name becomes his property. The whole social life are there to getit is directed toward success in his herd the children are brought up on stories by their elders of their exploits how they look among the trees watching for their prey and how they stalk him and seize him and decapitate him with their bamboo knife. These children look forward to nothing else but the time when they too will return laden with hoods and richly
furnished with names. Thanks to Mary. All this was soon to be changed. Hunting is dying as government influence advances. The pig's head which has been substituted for a man's probably accords with normal evolution though I hardly think it would be possible to get up as much enthusiasm over the head of a pig as over the head of a tribal enemy. Mary was slowly coming to learn the contours. And the variety of native customs often Murray's white hand rested a moment and a black one. And he began to realize that for all his primitiveness the pop one was a human be his brother. For others it seemed black enemies. Animals parading as men vile cannibals. Mary looked beneath the mask. There is a widespread idea that the need to visit China and must be treated as a joke. The truth of course. Is that the native is a man. He has a man's passion. And a man's
part to hate and love. But he is a very ignorant man whose ways of thought are strange to us. If we must use an analogy. We should argue. Not from the Chinaman but from the president. Mary felt that the current administration had failed to grapple with the problem of native backwardness peaceful penetration not intimidation became his guiding principle. The native could not be pushed across the cultural gulf by white man's coercion. He must be led to build his own bridge. But first in this land there was moral Deadwood to hack out. For instance when a murder or an attack by natives a taken place armed whites sallied out to shoot a tribe and burned villages punitive expeditions ignore the individual and make war on the tribe.
Returning with victory after killing the offenders and beating you second cousin stealing his grandmother's pig. He abolished the primitive vengeance of the punitive expedition but to make the proper ones understand the very notion of law. Mary found was like walking through glue decided to extend the needy of the constabulary system developed by William McGregor. With improved status they became my most valuable interns. Not as detectors of crime but as policeman in their own districts where they share the people's language and customs. They had advantages no white man could aquire a new uniform consists of a blue serge jumper and a native skillet with a red band. Now heirloom almost too loyal. They weep bitterly when the patrol goes out and they are left behind. Judge Murray's police were living proof that the chasm could be bridged although they never numbered more than 2000. They kept in order thousands of natives in one thousand three thousand square miles of trackless papa.
The last quake man Putin the territory was a government officer in 116. The natives at once fled to the Bush and the rest was regarded as almost hopeless. Yet in two weeks the 21 men had been fitted out by the new police without the firing of a shop or the shutting of a drop of blood. I've never. Heard of any of that that I don't know that I've got a better idea. Law and some order had come to papa. But New Guinea was still groping in the Stone Age. It seemed an impossible task to enlighten the natives to develop the country to coordinate the settlers aspirations. The New Guinea settlers sought like this never before in history had a civilized power and had taken the guidance of a people so deeply sunk in barbarism. The gap between the whites and the natives in Papua is immeasurable in terms of time. Britain at the time of the Roman invasion Gaul at the same period. Egypt 4000 years before Christ were more advanced in every way than the Papuans of the early twentieth
century. Belief in sorcery is universal here. All deaths other than those by violence I believe caused by some witch or wizard. The natives live in constant. Look the reason. Every rustle in the trees every noise in the bush every figure that passes in the night is evidence of the Sorcerer readies deadly work. To fit the savage mentality. I had often to use odd methods. One of my constables fell under the anger of a sorcerer who told the constable he would sing him to death. The constable fell ill so I sent for the sorcerer who came painted in oil on the verandah of Government House after he gorged himself with food and smoked my tobacco. I approached the subject. Already. He is my friend. Those who harm him are my
enemies. Therefore I say to you. That you must cease waving the spillers which wakes him. That policeman is my friend. You have eaten my food yet you would kill my friend. So you are not my friend but my enemy. If that policeman dies you shall suffer more than he. All the rest of your life you shall suffer and you shall die alone without a friend to help you. He left quickly despite his defiance but in the evening he was back and hands clasped to his stomach his face contorted in pain and fear. Imagination his chief ally in sorcery was working upon him. It didn't enter his mind that his own gluttony might be the cause. I gave him a dose of corrective medicine and one him that if the sickness recurred so would his own. When he learned of Koufax pain he began to recover at once that sorcerer caused me no more trouble.
A white man's magic was driving out the serpent's of superstition substituting hypodermics and laxatives for snakes tongues and incantations as it had substituted pigs heads for human heads and Mary carried the route of justice and human understanding deep into matted forests and along rapid strewn rivers with panting subordinates he waded creeks splashed in his clothes through the stinking mangrove swamps and up the difficult hills. Always he was the first to enter strange villages and risk panics but arrows the chief village of sweltered in the penetrating tropical heat get excited savages shouted and danced first in a frenzy of apprehension vociferous welcome everywhere was mud and decay.
Primitive huts built on long stilts thrust into the mud but accessible only by crazy platforms refuse lay everywhere and floated on the melancholy streams Skolem's another human bones were hung on posts and walls. The people themselves were almost animal in appearance and movement. Yet Murray often found the primitive headhunters among whom he moved with iron calm less difficult than some of the white man many settlers feel no duty to the natives. They ridicule attempts to educate them is humanitarian rubbish. The negative measures they frequently oppose the government with genuine horror. The investors realize that negative evidence might now be believed in court that a native might get a verdict against his employer and that a white man might even be sent to prison on native evidence. But Murray had the tough courage of a reformer. For him the government's duty towards the natives was paramount. And his relations with the Australian Government was often prickly.
New Guinea was remote. It was something of an embarrassment. The settlers felt Mary cared more for naked natives than for their commercial interests. Yet he had come to love this ugly sweltering land. And it wasn't his destiny into it. White men and black men that were his spartan life put the governor above suspicion. I was astonished at the austerity in which Mary lived. His home in Port Moresby was devoid of convenience or comfort uncarpeted elastically severe. His work began the day he liked and continued until late afternoon. Then he would ride over rough country steep rugged boulders through big tropical sun. After dusk he returned for a lonely dinner and worked right into the night. He never leaned back in a chair but always sat bolt upright and under yielding figure the very picture of stern integrity. Murray was a lonely man cut off from almost all that for most men makes life worth
living. His wife found popular intolerable and went to live in England. He saw her only on his brief far spaced leaves. His only recreation was reading good to Milton and the Greek books sent to him by his brother Gilbert Mary fame professor of Greek at Oxford in the companion Les knights. Hubert merry drew his consolation from the repartee. Not with glory but with peace. May the long summers find me cry. For gentleness. Very sound is magic. And her usage is all wholesome. But the fiercely great hath little music on his road and falling when the hand of God should move most deep and desolate. Form the First World War burst into the Pacific and with it Australian annexation of German New
Guinea which continued under a separate unless humanitarian administration the Murrays is fight against irresponsible white exploitation and against party politics continued unabated until in one thousand twenty one. Some of the settlers sent a telegram direct to the king persistent persecution by Governor Murray has caused unrest amongst white population appeals to Australian Commonwealth have been fruitless. Entreat your Majesty to intervene and remove Mr British Empire. The absurdity of this telegram led to a swing in Murray's favor. From then onwards Nobody could doubt that he was the one man with only populous interests at heart who had exiled himself for the sake of the people the government neglected and the traitors despised or tried to exploit. Who else but Marie has edges planed smooth by long experience of men and their ways could better deal with the odd characters the Drifters adventurers miners self-seekers have surged into pop or seeking the elusive golden copper and rubber one Greek trader for instance was refused a license in the midst of a heavy rainstorm he went to Moray for an
explanation. I have come sir to ask why my application for a recruiter's license has been refused. The reason sir is that you are a man of very bad character. All you want a drunkard a thief and a libertine and you are quite unfit to hold a license for anything or that is the reason. Oh of course that is all right all right yes yes yes I thought it was because I was a Greek and I came here to tell you that it was the Greeks who civilised Europe. My dear sir I am fully aware that the Greeks civilised not only Europe of the whole world. I have the greatest admiration for them. In fact I have a brother who is a famous professor of Greek. But you happen to be a man of infamous character and I shall not give you a license. It is quite all right. I understand perfectly. He shook hands and parted friends. I have always kept a sneaking admiration for the blaggard who put the reputation of his country so far above his own.
Ignorance. At last Murray's tireless struggle for humane is but development of the territory won him the united affection and respect of the settlers especially as he resisted the roughshod exploitation which developed in newly annexed New Guinea. He grappled with other basic problems among them that have a common language to replace the multiplicity of native tongues he favored English as much as he despised pigeon English pidgin is a vile jibberish. Perhaps the stupidest linguistic device ever invented. Natives could learn real English as readily. Why should it be easier for a native to say one fellow boy than one boy does all the time he cried too much if I had a long box really convey the idea of a lady singing and playing the piano.
The success of Marie's system had made him one of the leading administrators of the British Empire. This was recognised by a knighthood one thousand twenty five. He was now 64 but as active as ever. Recently I went on a journey into the interior with the lieutenant governor. We did nine miles in the first afternoon just to break a scene. The next day we covered 23 miles and on the third another 20 miles. Heavy rain fell that night. It was still raining the next morning when at 6 a.m. The governor called Are You Ready. Although I was 20 years his junior he wore me out. But Murray's Sands had almost run out in 1938 at 76 years of age. He had ruled popular for 33 years an unparalleled feat of colonial administration and his fading eyes surveyed a proud achievement. Trade exceeded over a million pounds. Control was established over the whole area. The entire white population including the men who had sent a telegram to the King 17 years before
signed a tribute to his support of achievement and two cultures lived in peace together like men and black men. Let his pipe work and in their harmony lies the future. Mary's last years were crossed by anxiety as he watched the tide of war left at the shores of New Guinea weary and racked with pain and anxiety he stuck to his post. Early in 1940 he decided to go on a tour of inspection of his beloved territory. The effort was too great. And on February 27 the completely worn out so he bit married died in the land to which he had selflessly given his whole adult life for 40 days and nights. The watch fires burned in the MOTU villages. The soft trappings of native drums sounded incessantly as the populations mourned the white father of the dead.
The great governor. We people remember him kindly we shall think of him always he governs us well who is like him and that is none. He was the best of men. Our children and their children will talk of him. He promised us I will not I will die in his words with the words of a man on his body lines in ground shake. Shake. Thank. You.
And now here is Professor Reid to say a few closing words. The great Mary erect came to an end in the midst of the Second World War in 1900 to the Japanese invaded New Guinea and Popplewell. American under Australian troops expelled the intruders and the territories were combined under a single Australian administration. In 1949. A new positive policy has led to steady developments in Native Welfare economic progress and settlement. But what has been done and is being done rests finally upon the achievement of so he would marry. It was he who saw beyond the brute facts of trade and exploitation to an idea of human brotherhood in which the more advanced races would lift the savage ones to their own level. The vision of the early discoverers was echoed in the work
of this dedicated man the lonely I'm swiveling architect of a new and more humane Pacific. Pacific portrait sketches of men and women whose lives illustrate times and places south of the equator in the Pacific Ocean. These programs are produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center.
Professor John C. REED of Auckland University Auckland New Zealand is the writer and planner of the series production by Carla Schmidt. Music by Don vaguely. These programs are distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the national educational radio network.
Pacific portraits
Sir Hubert Murray
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Problems of administration of the native peoples in the area.
Series Description
This series explores various aspects of the Pacific region through dramatization, narration, commentary and music.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
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Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Production Manager: Schmidt, Karl
Speaker: Rains, Claude, 1889-1967
Writer: Reid, J. C. (John Cowie), 1916-1972
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 58-41-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:15
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Chicago: “Pacific portraits; Sir Hubert Murray,” 1965-05-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 19, 2024,
MLA: “Pacific portraits; Sir Hubert Murray.” 1965-05-04. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 19, 2024. <>.
APA: Pacific portraits; Sir Hubert Murray. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from