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Colonial Cases

AbDoola v. Caldwell 1874

[employment law, "Arab"]


AbDoola v. Cardwell

Local Court, Palmerston
Price SM, May 1874
Source: Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 15 May 1874, p 3




(Before Mr. Price, S.M.)

Caldwell v. Abdoola.

Claim for £10, amount of passage money paid for plaintiff on behalf of the defendant.

Mr. Smith for the plaintiff and Sir. Rudall for the defendant.

T. H. Permain, called by the plaintiff, stated that he was supercargo of the schooner Twins, on a voyage to the Islands, and was commissioned by the plaintiff to bring over a man and his wife as servants. Saw defendant and told him that he could got employment here at £3 per month, and that the cost of passage would be £5 each for himself and wife. Labor at Rotee was worth 1s. per day. He did not do any work for witness, but sold him some fowls at a higher price than they cost; £5 each person was the usual passage-money.

Ab Doolah, the defendant, said that plaintiff told him he could get £5 per month at Port Darwin, and his wife £4 per month. Also said that if defendant would buy things for him at Rotee, he would give him and his wife a free passage to Port Darwin. Bought buffaloes, horses, fowls, rice, &c., for Mr. Permain, as he could not speak the language; also bought 14 sheep and 100 cocoanuts for Mr. Permain.

Verdict for plaintiff, £9 8s.-12s. being allowed at the rate of 2s. per day for the work which defendant did at Rotee.


Price SM, 2 April 1874

Source: Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 10 April 1874, p 3




Thursday, April 2.

(Before E. W. Price, S.M.)

AbDoola v. Caldwell.-Claim for £10.

Mr. Smith for the plaintiff and Dr. Kaufmann for the defendant.

AbDoola, an Arab, stated that he was brought to Port Darwin in the Twins by Mr. Permain, on one of her voyages from Koepang. Mr. Permain told him that he should have £9 per month. Bought things for Mr. Permain, as he (plaintiff) understood the the language; and afterwards sailed with her to Port Darwin. Plaintiff's wife came too. The passage money was not to be paid by themselves but by Mr. Permain, as plaintiff worked for him. When they arrived here Mr. Permain called him into the cabin, and told him he must sign an agreement or else the police would object to his coming here. Did not know that the agreement would compel him to pay £10 for passage of self and wife. Had both worked for him six days and bought all sorts of things for him at Rotti. At present worked for Mr. Dillon Cox. Objected to pay the £10.

Mr. Cox stated that he paid the £10 to defendant for the passage of AbDoola and his wife.

Mr. Permain said that plaintiff came to him at Koepang and represented himself as an Arab merchant, which turned out to be untrue. He said he was in bad circumstances, and defendant told him that he could get service with his wife at Port Darwin at £3 per month; and that he would have to pay £10 passage-money. He consented to this and came with his wife. He only bought a few ponies and did not interpret for defendant. The agreement was signed after arriving at Port Darwin. But other servants signed their agreements before leaving Koepang.

The Court thought the agreement was a very suspicious one; it ought to have been made before AdDoola left Koepang, and should have been fully explained to him in his own language.

Verdict for the amount claimed.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School