Mr N. S. Neal Quotes in No Sugar
As I mentioned, I was a little concerned to see so many dirty little noses amongst the children. I’m a great believer that if you provide the native the basic accoutrements of civilisation you’re half way to civilising him. I’d like to see each child issued with a handkerchief and instructed on its use. […] I think some practical training from yourself and Matron in its correct usage would be appropriate. If you can successfully inculcate such basic but essential details of civilised living you will have helped them along the road to taking their place in Australian society.
Mary: I don’t like the way [Mr. Neal] looks at me.
Joe: Well, you got me now, for what I’m worth.
Mary: He’s always hangin’ around where the girls are workin’; in the cookhouse, in the sewin’ room. And he’s always carryin’ that cat-o’-nine tails and he’ll use it, too.
Joe: Bastard, better not use it on you or any of my lot.
Mary: He reckoned he was gunna belt me once.
Joe: What for?
Mary: ‘Coz I said I wasn’t gunna go and work for guddeah on a farm.
Joe: Why not? Be better than this place.
Mary: No! Some of them guddeahs real bad. My friend went last Christmas and then she came back boodjarri. She reckons the boss’s sons used to belt her up and, you know, force her. Then they kicked her out. And when she had that baby them trackers choked it dead and buried it in the pine plantation.
MATRON: Apparently you told [Mary] she was going to work at the hospital and stay in the nurses’ quarters.
NEAL: Who told you that? [Yelling] Billy!
BILLY: [off] Comin’, boss.
MATRON: It seems she was terrified at the prospect of working in the hospital.
NEAL: They’re all scared of the dead.
MATRON: I think she was scared of the living.
NEAL: Just a moment… There’s another matter I’d like to discuss with you. I believe you’ve been lending books—novels—to some of the natives.
SISTER: Yes, I have.
NEAL: There’s a sort of unofficial directive on this is; it’s the sort of thing which isn’t encouraged by the Department.
SISTER: What do you mean? That you don’t encourage the natives to read?
NEAL: That’s right.
SISTER: [incredulously] But why? I’d intended to ask your permission to start a small library.
NEAL: I’m sorry, Sister, but—
SISTER: [interrupting] It won’t cost the Department a penny, I can get the books donated. Good books.
NEAL: It’s quite out of the question.
SISTER: But why?
NEAL: Look, my experience with natives in South Africa and here has taught—led me to believe that there’s a lot of wisdom in the old adage that ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’.
SISTER: It gives me great pleasure to be with you all on this very special day, when we gather together to pledge our allegiance to the King and to celebrate the birth of this wonderful young country […]. We must remember today not just our country and King, but the King of kings, the Prince of princes, and to give thanks to God for what He has provided for us […]. Even we here today, Mr Neal, Matron Neal and myself, are but His humble servants, sent by Him to serve your needs. The Lord Jesus Christ has sent His servant, Mr Neville, Chief Protector of Aborigines, to speak to us on this special day. Mr Neville is going to say a few words before leading us in a song of praise to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
[NEVILLE rises. The whites clap while the Aborigines remain silent.]