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Fremantle 1939 to 1945: Extraordinary Events at the Port

Tony Fletcher

Fletcher, Tony 1999, 'Fremantle 1939-1945: extraordinary events at the port', Fremantle Studies, 1: 25-29.

I intend to examine a range of events which happened at Fremantle during the Second World War; some commonplace, some tragic, some ironic, and others quite funny. My aim is to give an assessment of a variety of wartime activities in the port that go beyond just ship or cargo operations, or the people involved. The declaration of war on 3 September 1939 brought immediate changes to the rhythm of port operations. Within a few days a security blanket was placed over the normal flow of shipping information. The prime example of this was that ships could no longer send radio advice about their estimated time of arrival. Until a ship, therefore, was sighted by the signalman at Rottnest and he could read the ship's signal letter flags, there was no firm knowledge of the identity of the ship, or when it was to arrive. This posed a major problem for ships‘ agents and stevedores, because the ordering of services and stores for ships could not be confirmed until the ship was sighted and reported.

Among those waiting for a berthing time to be confirmed were the port's cargo workers. The uncertainty surrounding arrival times and subsequently the process of "picking up" waterside labour to work cargo could have become the focus of industrial disputation at Fremantle. This had long been a subject of disputation between the stevedores, employers and lumpers. Prior to 1914 the order given to the men was to "be down there as soon as the ship gets in". After the establishment of the national waterfront award in 1914, times were set for picking up labour at Fremantle from 7.45 am to 9.45 am each morning. After Award amendments and the Transport Workers Act provisions made in 1928, stevedores demanded a second pick-up each day at l pm. The Fremantle Lumpers Union objected on the grounds that a second pick-up prevented men unemployed on the day from looking for work away from the waterfront. Most of the registered lumpers refused to attend the l pm pick-up and any jobs then available were taken by the "casuals". The War, and economic circumstances, caused a change of heart for the lumpers. They agreed not only to attend an afternoon pick-up, but also extended the standing- by time for that pick-up to be from 12.45pm until 6.45pm, with a meal break from 5 to 6pm.

The Australian Steamship Owners’ Federation (ASOF) praised the Fremantle lumpers for their ready acceptance of the new conditions and reported that the lumpers had "recognised more than any other main port the necessity of keeping ships moving." Soon after the lumpers also agreed to start work on weekends if no pick-up had been held, two hours after a foreman had visited their homes to advise that a ship was in and they were required to start work. 1

I would not be so naive as to believe that the lumpers' response to these changed conditions was purely patriotic or altruistic. However, from my research, there appears to have been very little of the waterfront conflict and turmoil in Fremantle that was experienced in the main ports on the eastern Australian seaboard. In fact the daily rate of stevedoring measured in tons handled per day remained relatively constant at pre-war rates until 1943, when the rate started to decline. The reasons for this are too complex to be addressed in this paper; suffice to say they were a mix of human responses to wartime stress and the creation of a national stevedoring government agency for all ports, but principally formed to overcome the waterfront chaos experienced in the eastern states ports.

One of the reasons there was less industrial strife in Fremantle was because, during the war, the volume of overseas shipping calling at the port declined. One major factor was, of course, the number of ships sunk by enemy action. Furthermore, the convoy system and strategic requirements interrupted the normal patterns of pre-war trade. Moreover, the use of ships as floating warehouses in some theatres of war caused further shortages of shipping. 3

Fremantle, however, did see some large shipping convoys. Early in the war the convoys carrying Australian servicemen to the Middle East, Europe and in 1941 to Singapore and Malaya, called at Fremantle to take on more troops, stores, fresh water and oil fuel [map 2]. The largest of these convoys arrived at Fremantle on 10 May 1940 and consisted of Queen Mary, Aquitania, Empress of Britain, Mauretania, Empress of Japan, Andes and Empress of Canada. These ships were escorted by the cruisers HMAS Australia, HMAS Canberra and HMS Leander, the latter on secondment to the Royal New Zealand Navy. The total gross tonnage of this convoy of troop transports was 277,457. The Fremantle Harbour Trust record states that at the time it was the third troop convoy to call at Fremantle and "the finest yet seen here ... composed of some of the largest and fastest vessels in the world." 4

The draught of Queen Mary and Aquitania made it impossible for them to berth in the Inner Harbour and they remained at anchor in Gage Roads. All the other vessels and their escorts were, however, accommodated alongside Victoria Quay and North Wharf. The troops to board Queen Mary and Aquitania were ferried out to Gage Roads on the Royal Australian fleet Auxiliary (RAFA) Kurumba. This vessel was able to carry about 1,200 men on each trip. Fresh water, oil and stores were transported to the anchored ships in barges. After loading the troops, stores, bunkers and fresh water the convoy sailed on the afternoon of 12 May.5 It must have been a magnificent sight: I know one lady who as a young girl at the time was taken down to North Wharf to "see the ships".

The Customs’ records show that the last visit to Fremantle by one of these convoys of passenger ships comprised Queen Mary, Aquitania, Nieuw Amsterdam and Isle de France, which called east-bound at the port with Australian troops brought back from the Middle East in February 1943. 6


Ships anchored off North Mole, 10-11 May 1940. Hand drawn from information in Fremantle Harbour Trust Memo, 15 May 1940 in WASA Deposit FHT WAA 71 1940-42 NEM 29.

Apart from the troop convoys, the volume of shipping at Fremantle did decline and consequently work on the wharves was at a lower level than immediately before the war. However, the rhythm of cargo operations on the Fremantle waterfront intensified when the Americans arrived in Western Australia in early 1942. There were immediate complaints from the United States authorities about the delays experienced discharging their cargoes at Fremantle. 7

The problem arose because there were no fixed working shifts, and replacement labour was in short supply. The normal working shift for lumpers at Fremantle, the "custom of the port", was to start the job whenever the ship berthed and then work for the next 24 hours. They then had to take a union initiated eight-hour rest break. Some men were capable and willing to continue, but if they disobeyed the union rule they were fined, often to the extent of their extra earnings. 8

There were no replacement labourers because the government's "man-power" legislation directed men and women into vital war work. Since the stevedoring industry was only one sector of the war effort, scarce human resources had to be "rationed" to ensure equally important industries and services had their share of labour to adequately keep the national "war economy" operating. 9

To overcome the immediate problem at Fremantle and achieve operational continuity the Fremantle Lumpers Union agreed to the introduction of a shift system which enabled ships to be worked around the clock without delay. 10 Also by this time the port's employers and lumpers were part of a Commonwealth government national stevedoring industry structure called the Stevedoring Industry Commission (SIC).

In each port the SIC organisation included a Waterfront Employment Committee (WEC) made up of government representatives, waterfront employers and waterfront union officials. At Fremantle the WEC was formed in August 1942. 11 The SIC gave the WEC the task of allocating the men to be employed on each ship. Initially there was no mechanism to control which men worked where. There were complaints during 1943 and 1944 that the registered men still "chose their jobs". The dirty jobs, shovelling coal and loading grain or flour, were left to the casuals. The registered men claimed the general cargo work because of the overtime paid for extended and night shifts. Some registered men offered their services solely for night shifts and were labelled "stars", because they only came out at night! 12

In December 1944 Fremantle was the last Commonwealth port to implement compulsory rostering, known as "rotary rostering". In each port rostering was initially rejected by the rank and file. However, each time the Waterside Workers Federation General Secretary Jim Healy, through the force of his personality, and Prime Minister John Curtin, who threatened deregistration and direction into other work, forced the wharfies into reluctantly accepting the new rostering system.”

The same sequence of events happened at Fremantle in December 1944 and January 1945. The SIC ordered the striking Fremantle Lumpers Union (FIU) members to hold a secret ballot and determine how many men would accept rotary rostering. Rostering was accepted by a narrow margin of 26 votes from a total of nearly 900 members. During the lumper’s strike, troops discharged the ships at Fremantle. 14

The lumpers resumed working the ships on 10 January 1945. It was estimated they lost about £10,000 in wages. Most of the shops received their Christmas goods late in January. Once it was over and the lumpers assessed what was happening, most agreed that they were better off under the new system because the employer was finally "off their back". They were now allocated a job by the government labour bureau, not the employer. 15

Apart from the large troop ship convoys which called at Fremantle, the war had a minimal impact on Fremantle. There were, however, two events in 1941 which brought the war closer to home. The first was the sinking of HMAS Sydney by the German raider Kormoran off the Carnarvon coast in November 1941. This has been fully examined in many other forums and I do not propose to dwell on it here except to note that it must have caused a heightened awareness of the war in Fremantle.

This was followed a few weeks later by the attack on Pearl Harbour, and the Japanese thrust through East and South East Asia. The fall of Hong Kong, the Philippines, Dutch East Indies and many ports in China caused a fleet of British and Dutch registered ships, which normally traded in that region, to flee south.

A number of these vessels arrived at Fremantle in December 1941 and January 1942. They were Yochow and Yunnan on 23 December, Poyang on 2 January, Anshun and Hanyang on 3 January and, finally, Chungking on 4 January 1942. These were all small ships of less than 2,000 gross registered tons. They were owned by a British shipping company, the China Navigation Company, known as "China Nav". 16

The ships were registered in London; however, their "home port" was Hong Kong. The officers were expatriate Britons with homes and families in Hong Kong, and Chinese deck, engine room and catering ratings from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland ports. 17

The records show that when these ships reached Fremantle they had almost double the crew normally carried by ships of their size. The ship's register of crew (known as the ‘Ship's Articles’) showed that the extra men were the cargo-working staff carried by the ships when they traded around the China coast. These men were listed as compradores, stevedores and tallymen.‘8 The compradores recruited the local labourers at each port of call; the stevedores supervised the cargo work; and the tally men attended to all the cargo documentation.

When these ships hastily fled south, there was no opportunity to land these additional crew members. They may also have refused to be put ashore. It was these circumstances which accounted for them still being on board when the ships arrived in Fremantle. They were not part of the ship's sea-going operational staff since they had no work to perform and they caused overcrowding on these small ships, a potential recipe for conflict.

These six ships were at the centre of the first of three fatal shooting incidents which occurred at Fremantle during 1942. On two separate occasions, two Chinese crew members were killed and a number of Chinese crewmen were injured by armed service personnel. A third unrelated shooting was one which involved an Australian civilian who was shot and killed by an armed naval police officer. With these three incidents the international conflict can be said to have truly come to the wharves at Fremantle.

The first intimation I had that any of these incidents had occurred was the discovery in 1995, in the WA State Archives, of a Fremantle Harbour Trust (FHT) memo about the "Chungking" shooting incident.” I was very surprised because, during the time I had worked on the Fremantle waterfront some twenty years before, I heard no mention of what I will now call "the Chungking incident" or of the two later shooting occurrences.

The discovery of this lone document in the State Archives led me to follow the trail to discover supporting evidence. That trail led me to the Australian Archives in Perth and then, later, to Canberra, where I discovered the detailed record of the "Chungking incident" and found the records of the other fatal shootings. 20

On 24 January 1942 the Master of SS Chungking, Captain Alexander Naismith, accompanied by the ship's Second Officer, B. Dimitrioff, mustered the ship's Chinese crew in the officers' dining saloon and warned them that if they did not perform their duties satisfactorily, they would each be fined five shillings, which was roughly one day's pay. Captain Naismith's official log recording the incident stated: "There was an immediate uproar, matters became ugly and the crew demanded an advance of 10 pounds Australian each man, which was later increased to 20 pounds Australian." He continued: "The Master and the Second Officer were kept virtually prisoners for two hours until we signed a paper promising to pay each crew member an advance of 10 pounds or, in their words, there would have been bloodshed." 21

In the next log entry made on 28 January, Captain Naismith recorded that the Bosun, Number One Fireman and the Compradore had demanded the payment for each man of the agreed 10 pounds Australian on behalf of all the crew, and threatened that if they were not paid they would refuse to carry out their duties. The Master refused to pay them under duress, and the crew became very hostile and threatened violence. The Master continued in his log that at the time "shore cargo workers" were on board discharging cargo and "their presence had a quietening effect on the crew." 22

In response to the altercation with the crew on Chungking, the Masters of the six China Navigation ships requested action from the Australian military authorities on 28 January 1942 to put down "a mutiny".23 [map 3] The ships were all berthed at North Wharf. Chungking and Hanyang were "double-banked" at Number 6 north, with Hanyang occupying the outside berth. Anshun, Yunnan and Yochow were triple- banked at Number 10 north. The other vessel, Powang, was "double-banked" outside RAFA Kurumba at No 2 North. 24

In answer to the Masters‘ request 300 troops boarded the ships at 2.45pm on 28 January. The troops were equipped with rifles loaded with live ammunition and had bayonets fixed. One sergeant, it was recorded, was armed with a Tommy gun. The troops proceeded to move 500 unarmed Chinese crew members into 40 motor trucks. 25

The only resistance recorded to this action took place on Chungking where there was a melee in which two crewmen, Tong Youn Tong, a Quartermaster from Chungking, and Hsu Ping Sang, a Fireman from the adjacent ship Hanyang, were killed.

At the Coroner's inquest held on 19 February before Stipendiary Magistrate HJ Craig, it was recorded that Tong Youn Tong had died from a gun shot fired by a Lieutenant Albert McCracken. The other seaman, Hsu Ping Sang, died from a gun shot fired by a Lance Corporal Piggford. Both members of the Australian Military Defence Force were deemed by the Magistrate to have acted "in course of his duty". 26 The two Chinese seamen were subsequently buried in the Chinese section of Karrakatta cemetery, in plots 91 and 95.

It appears, from other records, that the altercation about pay had not arisen suddenly. The minutes of the Fremantle Branch of the Seamen’s Union of Australia (SUA) showed that a lettergram had been sent two weeks previously on 14 January 1942 to the SUA Sydney branch to be handed to the Chinese Consul in Sydney and also forwarded to the Commonwealth government. This lettergram set out the demands for pay and conditions claimed by the Chinese seamen on the refugee ships berthed at Fremantle. The SUA Sydney records show that in addition to delivery by hand to the Chinese Consul, the matter had been drawn to the attention of Prime Minister Curtin by the SUA, and Curtin had instructed the Commonwealth Director of Shipping, Sir Thomas Gordon, to attend to the matter.” This process was in train, in fact, when the Chungking incident took place. A new scale of pay, war compensation for injury, and instruction about food to be provided to Chinese crews was, tragically, issued on 29 January, one day after the shooting incident. This order originated from the Prime Minister's Department in Canberra, and was addressed to all the refugee ship Masters at Fremantle and copied to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Western Command. 28

These new pay scales were to be paid retrospectively from 1 December 1941 and to be payable for the period starting from the ship's arrival date in an Australian port of refuge. The new rates included a 15% loading to compensate for the higher cost of living while in Australian waters, plus an Australian £5 per month war risk bonus. 29

Captain Naismith and the five other ship masters clearly had no inkling that these new pay scales were "in the pipe-line", or they would not have acted as they did. Similarly, if the military authorities had had prior knowledge of the impending improvements, it can be assumed that they would not have responded to the call to put down a "mutiny". This was clearly a case of a breakdown in communications.

All the remaining Chinese crew members were taken away for a time and detained at Woodman's Point Quarantine Station. There they were interviewed to ascertain whether they would return to their ships and resume normal duties and be paid and fed under the new scales. It was reported that 50 of the most recalcitrant crewmen, which included some of Chungking's men, were later moved to the Army Detention Centre based at Fremantle. The rest soon returned to their ships.30 Yunnan and Poyang sailed for Melbourne during February. Anshun left for Melbourne in July.“ The ships Yochow and Hanyang were handed over to be operated by the US Military Sea Transport Service and left Fremantle during 1942. 32

Chungking remained at Fremantle. An attempt was made to recommission her with a Chinese crew in August 1942. However, they all refused to sign on, even though Captain Naismith had been replaced in June by a Captain Needham.33 There is no official record of the eventual fate of Chungking's Chinese crew, or of the excess crew from the other ships.

Chungking was handed over to the Australian Shipping Control Board and was converted for use by an Australian crew. The ship was then managed by State Ships. The Chungking serviced the North West Coast ports carrying military and civilian cargoes until June 1946 when it was handed back to its original owners, "China

The second shooting incident involved the Chinese crew of the Dutch registered tanker SS Saroena. 35 This ship was owned by the Shell Oil Company and operated by the British Ministry of War Transport. The ship arrived at Fremantle on 17 March 1942 from ports on the Indian coast, having been previously employed carrying oil from the Persian Gulf to India. There was again a dispute between the Master and the Chinese crew about pay. However, in this case, the ship was flying the Dutch flag and its Master, Captain Steinbuch, was a Dutch national. There also happened to be at this time a Dutch naval vessel based in Fremantle, the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNN) mine sweeper Abram Crynssen. On this occasion, the Master was refused support by the Australian military (they told him to go to the civil authorities) so he called on the Dutch Navy for protection and assistance to put down a "mutiny". Ten Dutch naval ratings, armed with rifles and fixed bayonets and led by Lt. Commander Van Miert, boarded Saroena and proceeded to round up the crew. Prior to boarding, Van Miert had authorised his men to "use force if necessary". During the operation one crewman, Teong Ah Kwei, who appeared to be lagging behind the main group, was bayoneted, and subsequently died of his wounds. On seeing Teong being bayoneted, the rest of the crew panicked and fled in all directions. This precipitous dispersal caused the naval personnel to open fire, the result of which another crew member, Ting Hoc Soon, was shot dead and a further three Chinese crew men received gunshot wounds. The deceased seamen from this incident are buried in the Chinese section of the Fremantle cemetery plots 230 and 243.

The pay dispute involving Chinese crews employed on all Allied ships controlled by the British Ministry of War Transport was already being negotiated by the British and Chinese governments. Agreement had been reached and the "British-Chinese Agreement" on pay and conditions for Chinese seamen was signed in London on 24 April 1942. The pay scales agreed were those already being paid to Chinese crews on tankers belonging to the Shell Oil Company of any nationality, and by Alfred Holt of Liverpool's Blue Funnel ships for Chinese crews on general cargo ships. 36

The third shooting incident took place on Sunday l November 1942 and involved a civilian, Walter Temby, who drove through the North Wharf checkpoint at high speed, despite being called on to stop by a guard armed with a revolver. When he failed to stop, the guard, Vincent Yovich, fired two shots at the vehicle intending to blow out the tyres. This did not stop the car. Yovich then fired a third shot at the windscreen, "with the intention of frightening him." However, Yovich hit Temby behind the right ear and killed him. When Temby's car was examined the boot contained 41 bottles of beer: evidence seemingly that Temby was a "sly-grog" merchant to the "dry" American Naval ships berthed at North Wharf. It was claimed in statements taken from eyewitnesses, some of whom had also been passengers in Temby's car, that he had been ferrying crewmen from the United States submarines based in Fremantle around various night spots in Perth, including the famous "Bernies". The documentation about this incident including reports submitted by Yovich's superior officer Deputy Superintendent J Adams, indicates it was generally agreed that "the officer carried out his duty" and no blame should be attached to him.” Temby was buried in Karrakatta cemetery, Methodist section HA, plot 320. He was 32 years of age when he died.


"Refugee" ships at Fremantle, 28 January 1942. Hand drawn from information in Fremantle Harbour Trust Memo, 29 January 1942, in WASA Deposit FHT WAA17 1940-42 NEM 37

How can we explain these incidents? Firstly, there was the heightened awareness of the war, which must have added to the tension experienced in the community. In the "Chungking incident" there were overcrowded living quarters on the ships involved. There were also the detrimental effects of summer temperatures, humidity and easterly winds on both the crew and the soldiers. The soldiers allegedly were "garrison" troops,38 and therefore not troops who had been recently combat-hardened and disciplined.

The weather records for January 1942 show that on the day of the shooting the maximum temperature was 33 degrees celsius. There had been fresh easterly winds blowing for most of the day and it was also very humid. There were many hot and humid days at Fremantle with strong easterlies blowing throughout January 1942.39 These conditions would have been distressing for the ships‘ crews in crowded quarters normally used to Northern Hemisphere winter weather in February.

Most of the officers and Chinese crew had families domiciled in Hong Kong, which they had left behind them to face a very uncertain future at the mercy of the Japanese invaders. The ratings also felt very aggrieved that to date in wartime they had not received the same pay and conditions as "white" crews, even though they had to serve in the same war zones. This last cause for complaint could have been resolved, as we have found, by better lines of communication.

These two incidents involving Chinese seamen were the only ones of this nature recorded in Western Australia. There were actually seventeen "mutinies" recorded on ships with Chinese and Indonesian crews in eastern Australian waters. No crew members, however, were shot, bayoneted or wounded on those ships. On most of the ships the crews were rounded up by US Army Military policemen and placed in the nearest Army "stockade", which was American army parlance for military prison.40

In the case of the "Saroena incident" there appeared to be a gross over-reaction by the Master and the Netherlands Navy to the circumstances which, if the advice given by the Australian authorities had been observed, would have been resolved by calling in the Mercantile Marine Office Superintendent at Fremantle and the Dutch Consul in Perth. There is no record of them being called upon to act in this case and the Royal Netherlands Navy liaison officer, Commander Berg, was on sick leave at the time.

The Temby incident also comes into the heightened war awareness category. In retrospect the car's registration number could have been taken and the matter passed to the civilian police. They would have soon arrested Temby, he would have appeared before a Magistrate and been fined or possibly imprisoned.

Enough now of tragedy. Amongst the documents I found in the State Archives were two deposits which possibly give an impression of the remoteness of Fremantle from the major war zones at the time. There was a cable from the British Ministry of War Transport in 1941 which asked if Fremantle could release any of its wharf cranes for them to be shipped to the United Kingdom to replace those which had been destroyed by the bombing of Liverpool, Glasgow and London. The FHT response to this plea for help was a succinct "no cranes to spare". 41

The other material was not at all succinct. It was a file of correspondence between the FHT and the military Western Command about the commissioning of a concrete cricket pitch for the recreation of the troops stationed on North Wharf. The FHT refused permission because stray cricket balls could damage the asbestos FHT sheds or hit lumpers working nearby. Western Command countered by claiming that US sailors already played baseball on North Wharf and the FHT had not refused them permission to play in spite of the damage they may cause. The Australian Army also claimed that although baseball could be played on any rough patch of ground their men needed a proper pitch to play cricket on. Finally the FHT reluctantly agreed to the Army's request, providing "FHT interests were protected". There are no records of the FHT or lumpers claiming compensation for damage to sheds or injuries sustained from stray cricket balls. 42

These are some of the events which took place on the Fremantle waterfront during the Second World War which illustrated the vicissitudes of War experienced at the Western Australian port.

Presented at the Fremantle Studies Day
4 May 1996, Fremantle History Museum


1 Australasian Steamship Owners‘ Federation (ASOF) Annual Report 1939-40 in ANU Archives of Business and Labour (ANU B&L) deposit E217/108

2 ASOF Central Committee minutes in ANU B&L deposits E2l7/ 17-21

3 CBA Behrens, Merchant Shipping and the Demands of War, London: HMSO, 1955 & reprint 1978, passim

E) Fremantle Harbour Trust (FHT) memo, l5 May 1940 in WA State Records Office deposit WAA7l NEM29

5 Ibid.

6 Customs‘ records of shipping Arrivals and Departures at Fremantle on microfilm in Australian Archives Perth (AAP)

7 Minutes of Conference attended by US Navy, RAN, SIC, FHT and FIU officials on 12 March

1942 in ANU B&L deposit E217/248

8 Ibid.

9 SJ Butlin & CB Schedevin, War Economy 1942-1945, Canberra:AGPS, 1977, p 445-9

10 Minutes of Conference, 12 March 1942 in ANU B&L deposit E217/248

11 National Security (Stevedoring Industry) Regulations, ll April 1942 in ANU B&L deposit N29/275. Announced for WA in West Australian, 13 June 1942, p 2

12 WA committee to Association of Employers of Waterside Labour (AEWL) Central Committee, 1942 reports in ANU B&L deposit Z430 box 2 book 7

13 Newspaper cuttings waterside workers disputes 1942-45 over new rostering systems in ANU B&L deposit E217/649

14 West Australian, ll December 1944 to 9 January 1945, p 4

15 West Australian 10 January 1945, p 4

16 Customs records of Arrivals and Departures at Fremantle on microfilm in AAP

17 The original copy of the ship's Official Log Book is deposited in the Australian Archives Perth. The condition of its pages and handwriting show signs of the stress the writer-Captain Naismith-was under at the time.

18 The Ship's Articles are with the Official Log in the Australian Archives Perth.

19 FHT files NEM37v1 & v2 in WA State Records Office deposit WAA 71 acc 3471

20 Australian Archives Canberra deposits A981 item Chin 7 & item Chin s and A432/85 item 42/947

21 SS Chungking Official Log 24/1/42

22 SS Chungking Official Log 2s/1/42

23 Sworn statement by Lt. Commander J .L. Rycroft RAN at the Inquiry held by Stipendiary Magistrate H.J.Craig at Fremantle 19 February 1942, p 5-6 (subsequently Inquiry 19/2/1942)

24 FHT memo, 29/1/42, WAA 71 NEM37

25 Ibid.

26 The full transcript of the Inquiry and copies of the Death Certificates are contained in Australian Archives Canberra deposit A981 item Chin 7

27 Seamens' Union of Australia (SUA) correspondence in ANU B&L deposit E1 83/ 17/4

28 Memo from Prime Minister's Department to GOC Western Command dated 29 January 1942 in Australian Archives Canberra deposit A981 Chin 7 Ibid.

30 Memo from the Commonwealth Department of the Army to the Commonwealth Department of External Affairs dated 29 April 1942 in Australian Archives Canberra deposit A981 item Chin 7 31 Customs Arrivals and Departures records

31 Butlin & Schedevin, 1977, p 221

33 SS Chungking Articles of Agreement 4 August 1942 in AAP

34 The Official Log Books and Articles while SS Chungking was being managed by Stateships are deposited in the AAP

35 The deposit in Australian Archives Canberra A981 Chin 8 contains comprehensive reports of the incident from the RAN's Senior Officer WA to the Naval Board Melbourne (17 April 1942) and WA State Crown Law to the Premier and Prime Minister (File no AH35 1/ 1/4 no date)

36 Inquiry into rates of pay and conditions of employment of Chinese seamen when employed in Australian waters held by Mr Justice Ferguson of the NSW Industrial Commission. Final report submitted 31 March 1943 p 18. In Australian Archives Canberra deposit A472/l item W9595 Pt1 Att1

37 Reports and statements about this incident are contained in Australian Archives Canberra deposit A432/85 item 42/947

38 Alan Sandwell, interviewed by Hal Colebatch. Interview used by Colebatch in ‘Secret harbour shoot-out sees the light’, Big Weekend, West Australian, 15 April 1995, p 2

39 I am indebted to John Rolph of the Perth Bureau of Meteorology for supplying the weather records for Perth in December 1944 and January 1945. No separate record was kept at the time for Fremantle.

40 Reports of these incidents were contained in Mr Justice Ferguson's report and further reports were found in Australian Archives Canberra deposit A816/l item 19/306/145

41 FHT file NEM v1 1940 in WA State Records Office deposit WAA71

42 FHT file NEM 37 v2 in WA State Records Office deposit WAA71

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