Mounted Border Police

The Sydney Morning Herald

15 August 1842

Tumut River.

We have, in consequence of the heavy floods occasioned by the late rains, been prevented seeing your papers for the last fortnight; and as a Murrumbidgee correspondent states in one of them, "we always look to the country news to see if our neighbours are faring better than ourselves."

Whoever your Murrumbidgee correspondent may be, he gives a faithful description of the Mounted Border Police - for a more useless set of men never was saddled upon any body of people to support.

These fellows had some little work to do when assessment papers were forwarded by them to the unfortunate squatters, (which you are aware is for their own support).

But now that labour is too much for them, they are forwarded by post.

These Commissioners (or as some Commissioners would prevail upon the poor Aborigines to say, "narang governor," viz., little governor.

Heaven help the mark, conceiving they have too much duty, and require some little repose from their very arduous duties.

Two daring bushranger have been in the Murrumbidgee district since December last, making an occasional visit to Omeo, which is in the Gipps Land district, but not any means have been used for their capture by the Border Police.

It is such a man as Mr. Oliver Fry, with only one regular mounted policeman that we require here.

Are not Commissioners considered to be constantly perambulating their districts?

This is not, I believe, generally the case; they are too anxious to sit at head quarters, holding courts.

It was rather unfortunate the Governor attaches J. P. to these gentlemen's names, for as Commissioners of Crown Lands, they might have been able to attend to those duties without acting as magistrates.

It is well that one Member of Council, Mr. H. Macarthur, has taken a proper view of the Border Police, and with every respect to the Colonial Secretary, we only wish he was placed among the unfortunate squatters a while.

The object of the Government was very good when providing us with these people; but there is not yet any good result arising from them, not even in giving persons security in right of run.

We would suggest that a certain number of respectable persons be appointed in every district to arbitrate in every disputed run, one to be chosen by each party, and not leave it at the decision of one who is most probably ignorant of those matters.

We could furnish volumes relative to the Border Police, but as they are uninteresting to your readers in Sydney, we shall not say more at present.

We shall speak of head quarters in our next communication.