Neal sits in his office reading the newspaper, which shows that today is Monday, January 30, 1934. The Matron enters and asks if there is any news. Neal says no, but when the Matron pushes him about news from Kalgoorlie, he says “Oh, yeah…Three dead.”
Although three people have died, these people were likely Aboriginal men and women, and so Neal barely registers their deaths as important.
Milly and Sam approach Neal’s office. They ask if Joe can come to the funeral. Neal says no, although they point out that other Aboriginal prisoners have been let out for the death of a relative. Sam suggests calling Neville, but Neal says it is too late because the funeral is tomorrow. Sam suggests postponing the funeral, but Neal refuses. Milly is clearly getting more and more upset, and Sam steers her out the door.
Neal doesn’t care about the Millimurra-Munday family, and doesn’t care about their deep connection or that they would love Joe to come to his uncle’s funeral. Neal uses his position of official authority to enforce his personal distaste for Aboriginal sorrow.
As the couple leaves, Neal comments that this is a “classic case of emotion com[ing] in through the door and reason go[ing] out the window.” The Matron agrees, clarifying that she has seen this in Neal’s office more and more.
Neal is a bigot, and sees Milly and Sam as emotional and unreasonable. However, their family member has died, and their reaction is entirely reasonable. Neal is the one who is behaving unacceptably.