I, Terri Broughton, declare that I am the sole author of the following work submitted as part of the assessment in AIH399. Particularly, I have not colluded with other students in the completion of this work; I have not duplicated work of my peers or from sources such as books, journal articles, or websites without adaptation and due citation; and I have not contracted a third-party to complete any component of this assessment on my behalf. I acknowledge that any of these activities would constitute Academic Misconduct as defined by Regulation 4.1(2) of Deakin University and may consequently attract penalties as defined in Schedule A: Penalties for Student Academic Misconduct.
Ialibu No. 3 1958/59 patrol report covered the Ialibu Basin and Upper Kaugel Valley areas in the Imbongu’gu Census Division. Robert A. Hoad conducted the patrol accompanied by a large patrol group consisting of six police, one native medical officer, two interpreters and twenty-nine carriers over a forty-one day period. The patrol’s main purpose was to complete a census in the Imbongu’gu Census Division and attend to other native administrative matters. The patrol report demonstrates the power relationship between the colonial authority and native people by establishing native leaders as village officials. The census further shows colonial administration by collecting personal information such as clan details, name, age and sex for population data collection.
During Australia’s colonial administration of Papua New Guinea, patrol officers patrolled areas to collect information and data on native people and the land. This essay will describe a patrol report written by Cadet Patrol Officer Robert A. Hoad. The ‘Ialibu No. 3 1958/59’ patrol report details a patrol conducted in the Imbong’gu Census Division and consists of Hoad’s daily diary entries, a summary of the patrol and correspondence between his superiors at the Southern Highlands District Office and the Department of Native Affairs. The purpose of the patrol was to complete a census of the area, attend to native administration and undergo land investigations for mission leases. The report provides an insight into the patrol officer’s perspective during the patrol and how the correspondence between his superiors highlights the shared colonial assumptions. This essay will demonstrate how Australia set up colonial power through its administration of Papua New Guinea and seek to understand Papua New Guinean behaviours in response to patrol officers and colonial administration. It will further highlight that census recording was another method of colonial administration.
Correspondence between the Southern Highlands Acting District Officer, B.K. Leen and the Department of Native Affairs Director A.A. Roberts demonstrate satisfaction with the patrol undertaken by Hoad. Leen provides a detailed summary of Hoad’s patrol report. In his letter, Leen remarks that Hoad completed the census satisfactorily, maps submitted were a ‘first-class effort’ and land investigations were also pleasing. The only issue Leen pointed out in Hoad’s patrol report was that he had made several spelling errors. In response to Leen’s correspondence, Roberts responded that he was impressed with the land investigation details Hoad had provided and that those details would be valuable records for the administration. Additionally, Roberts noted that Hoad had recorded census names with great detail and made important recommendations. Overall, Roberts was satisfied with the attitude and patterns of leadership Hoad had accounted for in his report. Roberts’ final remark was that he enjoyed reading Hoad’s patrol report. The satisfaction both Leen and Roberts display a ‘colonial common sense’ between Hoad and his supervisors. There was no conflict between what Hoad reported and the expectations of his supervisors.
Robert A. Hoad Cadet Patrol Officer wrote patrol report ‘Ialibu No. 3 1958/59’. Hoad conducted a patrol of the Southern Highlands District, particularly the Ialibu Basin and Upper Kaugel Valley areas of the Imbong’gu Census Division, over a forty-one-day duration between 12 November and 22 December 1958. The primary purpose of the patrol was to concentrate on completing the Division’s census, building on information that Cadet Patrol Officer Mr Dwyer had collected in his ‘Ialibu Patrol Report No. 1 – 1958/59’. Hoad’s report noted a considerable population was needed to be added to the census because there had been no patrol since November 1955. However, previous patrol officers had made field trips to investigate land, supervise roads and hold court appearances, which kept the administration in contact with local people. Additional reasons for Hoad to patrol the area was to attend to native administration, inspect roads, bridges, agriculture, and address any other necessary matters. Hoad used two maps to guide the patrol: Map 1 detailing a 1/125,000 area with the route and hamlets to visit, as well as the roads, rivers and other topographical features, and Map 2 delineating the patrol areas census boundaries. Hoad’s patrol group consisted of six police, one native medical officer, two interpreters and twenty-nine carriers. The range of the patrol area, the duration and the size of the patrol group indicate the enormity of Hoad’s task to update administrative records.
Bernard Cohn claimed that European rulers established their power by showing elaborate visible displays of authority to the people they ruled. The Australian colonial administration used patrol officers as a powerful display of colonial authority to local villagers. The role of the patrol officer was to serve as colonial administration officials who carried out population censuses, explored the land, reconciled disputes in villages and pacified fighting tribes, often with powers usually associated with police responsibilities. Thus, patrol officers, dominated by men, were official authorities for the colonial administration and were referred to by local people with names such as ‘kiap’, ‘government agent’, ‘big boss’ and ‘big man’. Hoad’s entering a village with an entourage of police, interpreters, carriers, and native medical officers would, therefore, establish his authority to villagers upon his arrival. Subsequently, during various discussions with villagers in Karabig’Agl and Karililpoi, Hoad reinforced colonial administration control by emphasising that government-appointed officials had specific duties and responsibilities and clarifying the role of an ‘unofficial’ headman. Likewise, in Piambil, when landowners did not show up for discussions, Hoad sent word to them that he expected them to attend the next day. The patrol report does not mention why Hoad reinforced the duties and responsibilities of government officials or the role of unofficial headman to villagers nor what consequences landowners faced if they did not attend a meeting with him the next day, which they ultimately did attend.
Hoad’s diary entries infer an unwritten assumption that the local people were not meeting the expectations of colonial administration and required further instruction. Anna Stoler posits that the ‘unwritten’ can reveal a colonial common sense within colonial writing. Hoad did not state whether he expected villagers to comply with his instructions, which may suggest his unwritten assumption that once he gave instructions, there would be no further issue from the people. The report does not indicate if there may have been plausible reasons for villagers not understanding the official duties and responsibilities or their non-attendance at a meeting. Reading against the grain and observing the requirement for native people to have the duties and responsibilities re-explained to them may suggest that they either did not understand the role of government-appointed officials or were ignoring those roles. Likewise, with the group that did not attend a meeting with Hoad, this could have been an act of resistance to the natural expectation of the colonial authority that they would follow expectations.
Cohn’s further method of asserting colonial authority was creating new class systems that would produce loyal government leaders within native groups. This establishment of new classes in Papua New Guinea is evident in Hoad’s report. He refers to the village councillors and headmen as officially appointed by the colonial administration and reports having discussions with them throughout his diary entries. He provides a detailed account of these official positions in the report. In the Imbongu’gu Division, Hoad reports there were a total of thirty-five village officials consisting of twelve village constables, with the balance being village councillors. He did note that there were numerous ‘appointed headmen – allegedly appointed by various patrol officers’. It is worth noting that Hoad recorded the word appointed within quotation marks, followed by the word ‘allegedly’. Reading with the grain, it appears Hoad’s perspective was that he doubted the claims made by several headmen that other patrol officers appointed them but had no verifiable proof that it was not correct. Noting these claims in the report allows the colonial administration to verify the accuracy of these unofficial appointments of village headmen. It does raise questions as to the nature of why these headmen would claim previous patrol officers had appointed them to this position. Maybe, some of these unappointed headmen sought an opportunity to gain colonial favour and status amongst villagers, or previous patrol officers had used them for a particular task – it is uncertain which was the case. Overall, Hoad appears to have been satisfied with the village officials’ performance. The satisfactory performance of village officials suggests that they were adhering to colonial expectations and may demonstrate an alignment with colonial common sense.
Hoad further noted that villagers did not appear to understand the distinction between the village constable and village councillors or the responsibilities each held. He clarified that village constables had legal powers, whereas village councillors were in an advisory capacity only. Again, this raises questions about how the village constables and councillors behaved without colonial supervision – were village councillors making disciplinary decisions over the villagers that the constable should have made or was village constables advising villagers on matters, not within their role? One of the difficulties Hoad noted in appointing village officials was the ambiguity of clan structures, which may explain the lack of distinction between the appointed constable and councillor officials. Depending on the clan structure, the person assigned the village councillor may have had more authority in the clan than the person appointed village constable. Hoad further added that sometimes it was difficult recognising who held the most influence within a clan. That Hoad would be observing who has the most influence in a group is evidence of Cohn’s assertion that the establishment of colonial authority was to ‘produce loyal governing elites’ within native groups. The establishment of ‘loyal governing elites’ included police accompanying patrol officers on patrols. Thus villagers came to accept police as an extension of the patrol officer and colonial administration. Colonial indoctrination of Papua New Guinean police officers led them to believe they had an integral role in civilising Papua New Guinea, which meant they came to view native people as ‘primitive’ and requiring civilisation. They would dress in police uniforms, execute patrol officers’ instructions, and instruct villagers to perform specific tasks like building rest houses before a patrol group arrived. Hoad would often send police officers with the carriers ahead of the patrol group to prepare the next village before the group’s arrival.
When Hoad arrived in villages, he would conduct a population census on the local ceremonial grounds in that area. These ceremonial grounds were significant gathering places where native clans would meet, chat, have pig-feasts and dances. Cohn’s enumerative modality of census recording was a colonial method of gathering basic information about native groups such as name, age and sex, which differentiated people by cultural groups, culture and languages. The census provided colonial administration with information to redefine cultural traditions. Hoad’s patrol report suggests that people were receptive to having their names recorded on the census because of their warm responses upon the patrol group’s arrival to their village. On two separate occasions, the numbers of people who came forward to record their names were too many for Hoad to record in one day. Therefore, Hoad separated the people into respective clans to identify who could be registered and who he should send back to their villages to await the patrol group’s later visit. There was only one incidence when the patrol group had difficulty organising a large group of people into their respective clans. However, Hoad noted this was because numerous headmen were being nuisances instead of helping to manage the group. Hoad does not indicate how these headmen were nuisances, but it may reflect the discussions Hoad held regarding the ‘unappointed’ headmen. These headmen may have felt aggrieved that Hoad questioned their official status and could have discredited their role within the clan. Therefore, acting as a nuisance may have been their way of re-asserting their perceived authority. Hoad made various recommendations after completing the census. He recorded five hundred names in the Kewabi Division, noting this group had both Imbong’gu and Kewabi speakers. From a perspective of making patrolling convenient, Hoad suggested removing these groups from the Imbongu’gu Division. Hoad made various other recommendations about reclassifying parishes situated West of the Ioro (Yogo) River and Linege Creek to the Kewabi Division. After reclassification, he further proposed dividing the region into three census patrol areas. Hoad’s recommendations could reflect the size of the patrol area he undertook. It may have been recognised by Hoad the importance of better relationships between those coming forward for census and patrol officers conducting the census.
In summary, Hoad conducted a patrol that was satisfactory to his supervisors and demonstrated he adequately understood the expectations of the colonial administration. Hoad went on patrol for forty-one days in the Ialibu Basin and Upper Kaugal River areas of the Imbongu’gu Census Division. The appointment of village officials demonstrates the establishment of colonial power within native groups. Likewise, census recording was an additional method to record basic details of people in villages. Hoad’s patrol report gave an insight into the different methods used to establish colonial authority.
Bastian, J.A., ‘Reading Colonial Records Through an Archival Lens: The Provenance of Place, Space and Creation, Archival Science, 6 (2006), 267-284, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10502-006-9019-1.
Cohn, B.S., Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: the British In India, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 3-15, https://hdl-handle-net.ezproxy-f.deakin.edu.au/2027/heb.01826.
Hoad, R.A., Ialibu Patrol No. 3 of 1958/59, 12 Nov.– 22 Dec.1958, National Archives and Public Records Services of Papua New Guinea (hereinafter National Archives of PNG), Patrol Reports, Southern Highlands District, Ialibu Station, 1958-59, Vol. 4, https://library.ucsd.edu/dc/object/bb7715190m/_1.pdf (accessed 27 Sept. 2021).
Kituai, A. I. K., My Gun, My Brother: The World of the Papua New Guinea Colonial Police, 1920-1960, (University of Hawai’i Press, 1998), 19-41, http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wr4nx.
Leen, B.K., Letter to the Director, Department of Native Affairs, 3 March 1958.
Roberts, A.A., Letter to the District Officer, Southern Highlands District, 21 April 1958.
Ryan, D.J., ‘Clan Organisation in the Mendi Valley, Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea’, Oceania, 26/2 (1955), 79-90, https://www.jstor.org/stable/40329681.
Stoler, A.L., Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), 12-26.
 B.K. Leen, Letter dated 3 March 1959.
 A.A. Roberts, Letter dated 21 April 1959
 R. A. Hoad, Ialibu Patrol No. 3 of 1958/59, 12 Nov.– 22 Dec.1958, National Archives and Public Records Services of Papua New Guinea (hereinafter National Archives of PNG), Patrol Reports, Southern Highlands District, Ialibu Station, 1958-59, Vol. 4, https://library.ucsd.edu/dc/object/bb7715190m/_1.pdf (accessed 27 Sept. 2021).
 B.S. Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: the British In India, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 3, https://hdl-handle-net.ezproxy-f.deakin.edu.au/2027/heb.01826.
 A.I.K. Kituai, My Gun, My Brother: The World of the Papua New Guinea Colonial Police, 1920-1960, (University of Hawai’i Press, 1998), 19, http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wr4nx.
 A.I.K. Kituai, My Gun, My Brother, 20.
 R. A. Hoad, Ialibu Patrol No. 3 of 1958/59, 5.
 A.L. Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), 15.
 B.S. Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms, 4.
 R. A. Hoad, Ialibu Patrol No. 3 of 1958/59, 17.
 B.S. Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms, 4.
 B.S. Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms, 4.
 A. Kituai, ‘Innovation and intrusion: Villagers and policemen in Papua New Guinea’, The Journal of Pacific History, 23/2 (1988), 156, https://doi.org/10.1080/00223348808572586.
 A. Kituai, ‘Innovation and intrusion’, 157.
 A. Kituai, ‘Innovation and intrusion’, 157, 159.
 D.J. Ryan, ‘Clan Organisation in the Mendi Valley, Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea’, Oceania, 26/2 (1955), 84, https://www.jstor.org/stable/40329681.
 B.S. Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms, 8.
 J.A. Bastian, ‘Reading Colonial Records Through an Archival Lens: The Provenance of Place, Space and Creation, Archival Science, 6 (2006), 273, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10502-006-9019-1.
 R. A. Hoad, Ialibu Patrol No. 3 of 1958/59, 6.