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4-371 (Text)

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addressee author,male,Kalgoorli Miner,un
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Clark, 1975
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The Ivanhoe Venture Case.
On Sunday afternoon the adjourned public meeting in connection with the Ivanhoe Venture case was held at Hopkins & Co.'s mart at the Boulder. The Mayor (Mr. J.M. Hopkins) presided.
The Chairman explained that the meeting was called for the purpose of considering the decision of the Warden in the case Daley v. the Ivanhoe Venture. He was a shareholder in the company himself, but he was broad-minded enough to say that if the gold was alluvial it should be got out, and if the company would not work the mine as alluvial they should give way to those who would. 
Mr. Paull moved, "That in the opinion of this meeting the decision given in the recent pegging case, Daley v. the Ivanhoe Venture Syndicate, is contrary to the spirit of the mining regulation and if persisted in would be injurious to the best interests of the mining industry throughout West Australia." Though acting secretary of the Workers' Association he explained that he was not speaking on behalf of that association. There was no doubt in his mind that the gold was alluvial and it was going to be a big thing for the town and the district. Alluvial gold was always the fore-runner of reefs and had been the means of making Australia what it is. It was very rarely that a dispute arose as to whether gold was alluvial or reef, but this was a case in point, and he thought it should be fought out. 
Mr. Rutter seconded the motion. The Warden's action, he said, was contrary to the Spirit of the Act. Why should the alluvial miner, who by his pluck opened up the country, be crushed out by companies? if the alluvial miner after sinking a shaft 100 ft. discovered a lode, it was to the benefit of the leaseholder and against the miner himself. At the present time there were 600 miners making a livelihood by searching for alluvial gold, and if they were crushed out by leaseholders they would be thrown on the labor market to the great detriment of the district. It was the dry-blower who traced up the Great Boulder to its source, or perhaps the company would not have sunk the shaft and developed the lease.
Mr. Macaw supported the motion. It was never intended, he said, by the Act, that leases should be supposed to be a network of lodes. Further, the Act never intended that a miner, if a manager refused to delineate his line of reef, should be forced into the position of a plaintiff. The Warden was supposed to go on to the lease, and, at the Government expense, engage an expert to assist him. Daley, as a simple miner, filled in a form as provided by the Act, and went into court without legal assistance, only to find that he was in the position of a plaintiff and taxed in costs amounting to £18.
Mr. Weiss said that he did not believe that the Warden gave his decision deliberately against the miner. Every man was human and liable to err, and a Magistrate, moreover, had to give a decision on the evidence in court. In his (the speaker's) opinion the case could not have been properly put before the Court. As Mr. Rutter had cogently put it, a manager could put his pegs in the four corners of his lease and say, "lodes run right through the lease; disprove it if you can." If a man were not allowed to sink, how could he prove or disprove it?
The motion was carried unanimously.
Mr. P. Hughes moved - "That the foregoing resolution be forwarded to the Hons the Premier, the Minister of Mines, and the members for the district, also to the Warden." Something, he said, would have to be done to assure the rights of alluvial miners. The spirit of the Act was that a man could mine to within 50 ft. of a reef, but the warden's decision was that he could not. If it were to be taken as a precedent, the alluvial miner was to be stamped out in favor of the grab-all, who came after him.
Mr. Weiss seconded the motion, which was carried.
Mr. Ryan moved - "That a committee of 12 be appointed to collect subscriptions for the purpose of employing counsel to carry on a test case or cases, as may be deemed desirable, in support of the rights and privileges of alluvial miners." Mr. Weiss had said that the Warden was influenced by the evidence given before him, but really he was actuated by the influence before him.  Daley had no solicitor, but the Ivanhoe Venture had. Mr. Daley was doing a public duty, and it was not fair that he should have to bear all the expense.
Mr. Clark seconded the motion. 
Mr. Daley, in explanation, said that he would not accept assistance from the public. The defence fund could be utilised for any future cases. (Applause.)
Mr. Macaw moved - "That in the opinion of this meeting it is desirable to form an association, to be called 'The Alluvial Rights Protection Association,' for the purpose of defending the interests of alluvial miners in West Australia." This was the second occasion in which alluvial miners were called upon to defend their rights, and it was time that an association should be formed similar to the Prospectors' Association. Dry-blowers, who were so often called away to rushes, should have a central association, and nowhere could a better place be found than at the Boulder. The association was especially necessary in view of an amended Mines Bill being soon before the House. He proposed that the fee should be 2s. 6d. a year, and that in the event of funds being found insufficient a levy should be struck.
Mr. Walsh seconded the resolution, which was carried. The Mayor and Messrs. Macaw, Mannion, Rutter, Daley, Regan Weiss, Clark, Paull, Hughes, Bourke, and Conway were appointed a committee to form a league.