Evans speech

 

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Senator Tom Evans puts Jean-Paul Turcaud's case to the Western Australian Parliament in an attempt to get a royal enquiry into certain irregularities which became apparent.

 

Questions in Parliament
Extract from The Golden Rule, Chapter 33. 

Tuesday 12th August 1975, Legislative Assembly, Parliament House, Perth [Author Note: Hansard is quoted in its uncorrected version.]

Mr T.D. Evans (Kalgoorlie) 10.54pm

I hope that if the Minister for Mines is in the building someone will draw his attention to the fact that I intend to exercise my time speaking to his portfolio.

Sir Charles Court: He is here

Mr T.D.Evans: I am aware he was present earlier this evening.

Sir Charles Court: He is in the Chamber.

Mr T.D.Evans: In the absence of the Minister for Mines previously I believe he was overseas at the time - I was not able to pick and choose the time I could speak on this subject so I contented myself with speaking rather briefly on that occasion. At least, I served notice on the Minister that at the first opportunity available for me to speak on this particular subject I would do so.

I refer to the question of the Paterson Range gold find. The subject has been ventilated spasmodically, but rather dramatically, in certain news media, and person who have to rely upon those disclosures might well be excused - they might well be applauded - for coming to the conclusion that here under the nose of the present Minister for Mines, a gigantic fraud is being perpetrated against an individual person who believes, and who has used every means at his disposal to proclaim, that he was the finder of the mineralisation in the area concerned. He believes that it was through his efforts and his disclosures to the company concerned that the company in what he believes to be a breach of trust towards him has pegged this large area. The multi-national company has pegged the area concerned and had treated him rather shabbily.

I refer to John Paul Turcaud. He is a young Frenchman who was born on the 5th April 1940, and whose educational standard on leaving school in France was approximately that of the Australian leaving standard. He served a short time in the French Army by way of conscription, and during the period 2-1/2 years rose to the rank of second lieutenant.

This young man, since coming to Australia, has equipped himself with a commercial pilot's licence and is also in the process of furthering his education. I do not wish to spend a great deal of time on any personal detail. I make the point that when I spoke on this subject during the budget debate last year it was not the first time the subject had been raised in the Chamber.

I can recall that during the Budget debate of 1973, when I was sitting on the other side of the House and the present Minister for Mines was sitting on this side, the then member for South Perth - now the Minister for Labour and Industry - raised the subject and claimed then that the Newmont mining company was sitting on a real bonanza, and that the then Minister for Minutes had wronged in granting the company certain reserves to complement the large number of mineral claims that it had pegged or the mining tenements it had; I will not say they were all mineral claims because I think there was a mixture of mineral claims and gold mining leases involved.

The member for South Perth castigated the then Minister for Mines for granting to the company the additional temporary reserves to complement the other mining tenements it had pegged.

The member for South Perth then claimed this would be an El Dorado, that it was wrong that this multi-national company should be given such preference over Australian explorers, and that there was no scope for Australian explorers to enter this large area. I am giving the history of this matter and trying to be fair and objective. It is not the first time the matter has been raised in this Chamber, and I am not motivated by politics in raising it, either, because this saga commenced in 1970 so it has spread through the terms of three governments.

In the session which lies ahead of us, a large part of our time will be concerned with debating and putting the sign of approval on a new Mining Bill. Some people claim there is no need for a new Mining Bill and that the old one has stood the test of time. Others believe a new Mining Bill is appropriate in order to simplify the large number of tenements which exist under the current legislation and to limit the number of tenements to provide greater security to the holders of tenements, which view I endorse. I believe any piece of legislation dealing with the natural resources of our great State should also concern itself with ensuring that when those resources are alienated from the Crown those who are the recipients of them acquire them not only to the letter of the law but also according to the spirit of natural justice. I believe that it is incumbent upon the present Government because it is only now the full story can be told.

I think it is fair to say that at the time the member for South Perth raised the issue in 1973, the aggrieved prospector Turcaud would not have been able to put before the then Minister for Mines a story as convincing as the one I hope time will permit me to put tonight before this Chamber, and particularly the Minister for Mines. By the way of questions I have asked the Minister for Mines to consider seriously instituting an inquiry into the manner in which the Newmont company acquired the mining tenements in the Paterson Range.

About three weeks ago we read that the gigantic BHP company had decided to enter into an agreement with Newmont for the exploitation of the Paterson Range gold find, and from all accounts the forecast made in 1973 by the member for South Perth, who is the present Minister for Labour and Industry, has in fact come true. I think it would be fair to say that when the member for south Perth made that forecast the then Minister for Mines was inclined to discount it because at that stage gold deposits, if they were known to exist, were believed to be only marginal. It appears the member for South Perth was gifted; he made a forecast and his forecast seems to have come home with full honours.

In the light o that, I believe in the interests of natural justice the Government is duty bound to consider seriously calling upon all those who are willing and competent to give evidence in this case with a view to determining whether the Newmont company did in fact acquire those mining tenements in a manner befitting a company which was acting with fairness and honesty.

By way of further background and to demonstrate the complicity of various people, I remind the Chamber of the questions I asked last year. First of all, I asked the Minister for Lands why certain names which Turcaud claims he put forward to the nomenclature committee for consideration had been rejected and why others had been accepted. It seems [in] passing strange that those which were accepted by the committee were kilometres from the interesting mineralisation area, while those which were rejected were right in the area. Turcaud was asked to justify the names he suggested and give his reasons. I have read his reasons, and I think those which justify the names in the area of mineralisation are more convincing than those given for some of the names which were accepted.

I then asked questions of the Minister for Mines in relation to the 1973 annual report of the mines Department. Some departments are notorious for submitting late reports, and the 1973 report is the latest report of the Mines Department. On page 113 of that report under a heading "Note on the Paterson Range Gold Prospects", appears the figure 45, and reference is made to the Parallel Range, which is one of the names Turcaud submitted to the Committee under the jurisdiction of the Minister for Lands.

I asked the Minister for Lands how the committee came by this name. He indicated to me that it was put forward by a person - I do not wish to mention his name because he is an employee of the Government although is name was used in answer to the question - on behalf of Mr Turcaud because he was a friend of his. He indicated in the letter he submitted on behalf of Turcaud that the Minister for Lands gave him the information. I asked the Minister for Mines where he had got hold of the name. The Minister for Mines replied that he obtained the name from Newmont Pty Ltd. I told him then and I tell him now that Newmont Pty Ltd got the name from Turcaud.

Mr Acting Speaker (Mr Crane), with your indulgence, I would like to refer to a document I have been supplied with by Turcaud, setting out in detail the time, events and sequence leading up to this matter. I suggest that members look at this document. If anyone comes to the conclusion that what Turcaud says is all fiction, perhaps there is someone around today who, in many years' time, may be regarded as the Shakespeare of 1975. This is more than fiction.

I believe it is important to refer to the early part of this narrative in some detail. I will start from October, 1970, when Mr Turcaud was prospecting, roughly in the Paterson range area. He says -

"From the 6th, prospected towards the Broadhurst Range where I found interesting small Gossans in the Eastern side ... Moved then to the Throssed [Throssell] Range but spent only two days and did not find anything of interest. Came back East to the Paterson Range and prospected North up to Christmas Pool ... 15th Found Parallel Range Gossans and Copper."

I referred to Parallel Range just a few moments ago to show the conflict between the answers given by the Minister for Lands and the Minister for Mines. The answer given by the Minister for Lands is correct, and the answer given by the Minister for Mines does not accord with the facts. Perhaps it is not quite fair to say that, but his answer was a long way from the truth. The name emanated from the company, and the company acquired it from the notes given to it by Turcaud.

Turcaud refers to prospecting in the Paterson Range, and this matter is important because it has been argued that if he found it, why did he not peg it? The company pegged it - the company was first in time, and it was bad luck Charlie for Turcaud. That appears to be the view of the company. These were the words written by Turcaud at the time - October, 1970.

"Concerning the prospection [sic] in the Paterson Range, the comment could be that the progression was slow, but it must be understood that all the prospecting was done on foot, and the car was used only as a mobile base (to save petrol and avoid damage) ... The progression was in a criss-cross pattern. When I got out of the Paterson range, I thought that I had found a very large Copper Deposit ..."

He thought he had found another Mt Isa. To continue -

"The area which I considered of interest and prospected as best as I could was bout 20 by 40 miles."

The next part is most interesting as I believe it sets the pattern for what is to follow. His report goes on -

"When I reached Marble Bar, I dispatched my samples (approx 200 lbs) by carrier to r E. Schiller and R. Berven and Associates of Sth Perth,  after a phone call to them and their assurance that they would certainly be glad to look at what  had found and that my samples would be duly appraised. At a previous meeting in Perth, they had said to me that it was better for me to deal with a company through a consultant; as my interests would be better represented because a full appraisal would have been made on my samples."

Turcaud was then in Marble Bar, and he had sent his samples off to consulting geologists in Perth. To continue -

"In the afternoon I met there by chance in front of the store Mr W. Brook Senior geologist and Representative of Newmont in Marble Bar ... I said it was a pity I had not met him sooner, because I had found something really good and he could have been interested to look at it; but I added that I was now committed to a firm of geological consultants of Perth Dr Schiller and R. Berven and Assoc. Then I added, in the event of these people not being able to handle this prospect, would his company be interested in it. He answered by the affirmative and in trust I discussed the find with him. However Mr Brook told me that his firm would not be interested in going to the Paterson Range immediately because:

1- They were on a very promising Zinc prospect in the Marble Bar Area and were very busy working on it.

2- The time was not right to go to the Paterson Range -"

Remember at the time Turcaud was in Marble Bar. He goes on "-and they would have to wait until the weather cooled down. Mr W. Brook said to me "Please contact us" "

Notice he says "us" and not "me". He goes on - "again in Perth after the summer". Turcaud says he did this. He then says he went further prospecting and continues -

"At the end of November, when I reached Perth, I called at the office of Dr E. Schiller and R. Berven and Associates, Labouchere Road, South Perth. They were very interested in the prospect, the gossans were beautiful and there was up to 1.9% Cu in them Dr Schiller asked me to report the position of the samples on the map of the Paterson Range, which I did. But he said they were to busy now."

I do not know what he means by "they". It may have been that the consultants were also peggers or purely consultants. Perhaps I had a few shares in their companies at that time, but I do not know. The report continues -

"- pegging claims around Laverton for Nickel and they could not possibly save the time to go all the way to Paterson Range. He said he knew of two companies which may be interested."

I will not continue at this point because I do not think he did any good with the two companies concerned. One was Day Dawn Minerals and the other was Academus Minerals. Day Dawn Minerals figures in the story later, but Academus seems to drop out of it. This next part of this report is important, and I feel I will now have to mention the person's name which I balked [baulked] at mentioning before. The report continues -

"At about this time I gave to Mr P. Bridge, conservator of the Government Chemical Laboratories, some little samples of the Main Gossans of the Paterson Range. Also some samples from the Lake Waukahicarly [Waukarlycarly] where subsequently some very rare mineral was found."

The file indicates that the Government Chemical Laboratories issued a receipt for these specimens. Reference also appears in the Government Gazette that the specimens were donated by Turcaud, through the conservator, to the Government Chemical Laboratories; yet some people say he has never been to the Paterson Range. He then went on to say that in December he approached a company by the name of Hawkstone Minerals, and later he was introduced to another company, Anglo-American. The latter company is important because it did in fact go to the Paterson Range and look at the prospect.

I come now to February, 1971. Mr Turcaud states -

"In this month, sometime after I had returned from the Paterson Range, with Anglo-American and the weather having cooled down, I contacted Newmont as I had been invited by Mr W. Brook. Calling by phone their office I was advised that Mr Brook was in Perth but not in at the moment. Upon being asked if it was an urgent matter, to which I answered by the affirmative, I was given Mr Brook's private number. I called Mr W. Brook and he invited me to bring all my samples, documents and maps to his house. Therefore I loaded into the car the representative samples of the Paterson Range Gossans, the documents from Dr E. Schiller and R. Berven and Associates, also the documents from the Anglo-American trip and my map of the Paterson Range showing the location of the main Gossans in the Paterson Range, (Parallel Range, Mt Crofton, Pascale Hills, Mt Balthazar)."

Those were all names he submitted to the Minister's committee, some of which were accepted and some of which were rejected. Again without drawing any conclusion, it is interesting to note that the names which were accepted were miles away from the gold prospect, and those which were rejected are in and around the area of interest. He goes on to say -

"We discussed the prospect for some time also the fact that Anglo had turned it down (which was not helping) finally Mr W. Brook said to leave everything with him. Less than a week later I called Newmont again by phone and asked for Mr Brook, he was not in again; I then phoned his home and being in, he invited me to come to see him. I came immediately and upon arrival, Mr Brook said to me "I am sorry Newmont is not interested in your Paterson range prospect!" Well! again I collected my samples, documents and map and went away."

After that a further visit was made to the Paterson Range area by Turcaud with representatives of Western Mining Corporation. I will not go into a great deal of detail here; I will merely establish that Turcaud was able to introduce two large companies on site in the Paterson Range, namely Anglo-American and Western Mining Corporation, as well as inform Mr Brook, the senior geologist for Newmont, and leave in his possession samples, maps and he geochemical appraisal made by the firm of consultants. Those things were in Newmont's possession for a week before Turcaud was advised that Newmont was not interested in his prospect.

Turcaud makes the point here - it is perhaps interesting in the light of later events - that following the return of Western Mining Corporation - which was looking for base metals in those days, but it has now turned its eyes back to gold - he was advised in April, 1975, that some of the samples collected by Western Mining Corporation were re-assayed for gold in 1972 upon the announcement of Newmont's gold find. Some samples from Pascale Hills showed p to three ounces of gold per ton.

No wonder the member for South Perth - as he was the - was able to proclaim with such confidence in September, 1973, that here was the richest gold find subsequent to the Golden Mile which has made Western Australia so famous.

I turn quickly now to August 1972. Turcaud states -

"It was during this time, that being in Wittenoom a week-end; I learned there from Mr Dick Zeelanberg [Zeelenberg] of Western Mining Co, who I had visited, that Newmont Mining was pegging the land I had previously proposed."

Having studies his samples, maps, and other information in February, 1971, and having rejected his proposal at that time, he then learnt in August, 1972, that Newmont was pegging the area that he had introduced to that company. So he came back to Perth, and he was fairly furious. He states that he called at Newmont's office at 190 hay Street, East Perth, on 29th September, 1972. He goes on to state.

"The Manager of Newmont, Western Australia, Mr David Stuart Tyrrwhitt [Tyrwhitt] was expecting me and we walked into the conference room followed by three people - Mr Hunt (Newmont Administrator), Mr Adamson (Senior geologist) and another tall person whose name I have forgotten but who was, I believe, in charge of their drilling programme.

"We sat, I was slightly taken aback as I did not expect to be facing four people. I said something to the effect that I was not happy with what was going on. Dr Tyrrwhitt told me that he had only a vague recollection of the details concerning the Paterson Range, reported to him by his senior geologist Mr W. Brook and that Newmont had got there completely independently from me."

Mr Turcaud continued -

"If you got there completely independent of me," I said "can you please tell me how you were introduced again to the area."

"By two Kalgoorlie prospectors," was the answer. "They went to the Paterson Range and discovered the show."

I make this point that nowhere else in this large documentation, either on the part of Turcaud or on the part of reported statements by Newmont personnel, or by way of letters written by Turcaud and copies of letters purported to be written by the company, is there any other reference to two Kalgoorlie prospectors, because another story unfolds from there.

The information leading to the Paterson Range find was purchased by Newmont from the Daydawn [Day Dawn] company which as I have mentioned was one of the companies with which Berven and the other geologist, Dr Schiller, were associated in their profession. The claim by the State general manager of the company that two Kalgoorlie prospectors had been responsible for the Paterson Range find seemed to have been quickly forgotten and dropped, because it does not seem to have been raised again by the company.

I will leave people to judge for themselves, but the first answer given by the State manager of Newmont was that two Kalgoorlie prospectors found the deposit and the company came by the Paterson Range find quite independently of Turcaud. Nevertheless, he "vaguely" remembered Brook drawing his attention to Turcaud's interest in the Paterson Range area.

Mr Turcaud continued -

"Mr Adamson was suspicious and was not convinced that I had ever been to the Paterson Range. After the meeting I took him to the Government Chemical Laboratories Mineral Collection and he saw the samples from Pascale Hills, Mt Balthazar and Parallel Range."

The Parallel Range is the range referred to in block 45 of this report. He continued -

"... upon being given permission by the Conservator took a sample of Copper Gossan from the Parallel Range. He asked me to describe Pascale Hills and point out the location where the Gossan was richest. I did so convincingly."

THE SPEAKER: The honourable member has five minutes remaining.

Mr T.D. Evans: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The net result of this was that the company asked Turcaud to sign an agreement; if he signed, and something big developed as the member for South Perth forecast he would be paid $60,000. But do members know what he was asked to sign? He was asked to sign a statement which declared that he had nothing to do with the Paterson Range area the company had pegged. They claimed they had obtained the information from Daydawn, but were going to pay Turcaud $60,000 to tell a lie. Yet it has been claimed that Turcaud had not been to the Paterson Range area.

Turcaud would not sign that agreement because he wanted the credit for being the first to introduce the company to the area, and the company was not prepared to set out the facts truly in an agreement. He would not sign the agreement because it did not give a truthful account of what happened, and he was not being given proper credit for what he had found. He had already given the company substantial information, and he was to be paid $60,000 if the company found something else. It had already picked the eyes out of this area, but if something good came from something else Turcaud had found, the company would pay him $60,000.

I believe that all is not well in the state of Denmark. I have a lot more evidence to support this case, but time is not available for me to present it more fully. I have had to be economical in my choice of matter, but I hope I have been sufficiently selective to indicate that all is not well and that at least there are sufficient grounds to convince the Government that it should give serious consideration to instituting an inquiry into whether these very rich mineral areas in the Paterson Range now to be developed by Newmont, in association with the great Australian company, BHP, were not fairly acquired by Newmont.

I make the point that without the exception up to the time of the discovery of nickel at Kambalda, leading back to the great gold discoveries, all such discoveries were made by the prospector, who, because he did not have access to the large moneys available to these multi-national corporations, could not develop an area on his own initiative.

If he pegged an area at all, he had to peg it in its entirety to protect his interest, because once he applied for one area and advertised it in accordance with the law, he would draw attention to the fact that he was working in the area. This applies to any prospector, Turcaud was such a prospector; he relied on the trust and goodwill of a company such as Newmont. He did not enter into an agreement with Western Mining Corporation or the Anglo-American company; he went to Newmont.

At the time they were looking for other base metals; they were not looking for gold j  1971. In fact, very few other companies were looking for old in those times, as I well know. But Turcaud entered into a gentleman's agreement with those two companies, as any prospector would do with any great company.

Mr Mensaros: But as a former Attorney-General you will know this has nothing to do with the Government.

Mr T.D. Evans: This man claims the companies have not done the right thing by him. I make the point that any great body politic such as the State of Western Australia should be concerned; when its natural resources are alienated from the Crown, it is incumbent upon the Crown and the people to take action.

Mr Mensaros: Why did you not institute an inquiry when you were Attorney-General? This has nothing to do with the government.

Mr T.D. Evans: I have already answered that question.

Mr Mensaros: This is a private matter between the people concerned.

Mr T.D. Evans: Mr Speaker my time is limited.

Mr Mensaros: I have not interjected upon you up to this point.

Mr T.D. Evans: When we were in Government the full story had not developed as it has now. It is incumbent upon the Government to hold an inquiry, otherwise it will continue to be the case that all is now well in the State of Denmark.

The Sunday Independent ran the story of Evans's speech in the next edition of its paper on 17 August 1975 with bold headlines 'Gigantic Fraud' in Gold Claim. However, it seemed that public and Liberal Government support for an inquiry into the Paterson Range discovery was not forthcoming. Bill Grayden had also been concerned about the situation in the Paterson Range in relation to the granting of Temporary Reserves to Newmont however he appeared to have lost interest in the cause once part of the new Liberal Government.

As a result of Evans' speech, Mines Minister Mensaros invited the politician to view the files pertaining to the Paterson Range discovery.

Evans reported to Parliament that:

"Subsequent to my speech in the House, the Minister wrote to me and indicated that he believed I should see the various departmental files so that I would be aware of the other side of the issue. As one who believes in natural justice and who always believes in hearing both sides of an issue, I accepted the Minister's invitation. While I am precluded by tradition from referring to what I read on those files, I am certainly not precluded from indicating that I am more convinced than ever from what I read that the right and proper course to take is to set up an inquiry." (Hansard 30/10/75)

Evans wrote to Mensaros and sought permission from Parliament to read the letter in the House, which it was on 30 October 1975:

"Further to my comments when speaking to the Supply Bill in the Legislative Assembly on August 12, 1975, and to my perusal of your Department's files on this subject, pursuant to the invitation extended in your letter of August 27 last, I am writing to request an open inquiry into matters pertaining to the finding of minerals in the Paterson Range area.

"I refer specifically to claims made by Mr Jean-Paul Turcaud against Newmont Mining Company Pty Ltd.

"Whilst I appreciate that the matter is essentially one between the company concerned and the individual, I believe there are numerous reasons why it is incumbent upon the State to institute an inquiry into Mr Turcaud's claims, in order to ascertain their validity. Should Mr Turcaud's claims be proved correct I believe you, as Minister, should mediate in discussions between the company concerned and Mr Turcaud in order that an equitable solution may be arrived at.

"It is appreciated that Mr Turcaud has no legal standing but I do not believe his claim should be dismissed simply because the alleged injustice against him is not covered by statute. It ill-becomes any government to ignore what on the face of it appears to be a gross miscarriage of moral justice. I believe that the Government is shirking its responsibility to protect the rights of individuals if it does not intervene to ensure that, when resources are alienated from the Crown, those who acquire them, do so, not only according to the letter of the law, but also according to the spirit of natural justice.

"There is precedent for government intervention into matters concerning companies and individuals, which might be considered "private". Such provisions are contained within existing consumer protection legislation.

"In this case, because the transactions involved relate to many thousands of dollars, and because documented evidence is available to show that claims made are not frivolous or vexatious, it would be remiss of the government not to intervene. It would have to be acknowledged Mr Turcaud's problem is unusual and deserves special attention.

"I am aware that your predecessor declined to intervene. However, I believe that subsequent events and further information which has come to hand now justifies government intervention. At the time that a decision was made by a former Minister for Mines in respect of Mr Turcaud's claims, Mr Turcaud had not been offered an indenture by Newmont Mining Pty Ltd.

"I am sure you will agree that the indenture offer and subsequent events places the situation in a different perspective.

"On January 17, 1973, in a letter to Jean-Paul Turcaud Newmont's solicitors said, with reference to the Paterson Range area. "Our client has instructed us that it does not and never has acknowledged your claim to any interest in the mining tenements held by our client in the area concerned, nor is it prepared to give any consideration to the matters raised in your letter of January 10th, 1973.

"On May 21, 1974, Newmont sent Turcaud an indenture which offers the following payments;

$2000 if the Minister for Mines approves certain claims made by Newmont.

$8000 if the Company still holds the tenements after 1 year.

$50,000 if the Company starts commercial mining.

"It is difficult to understand why Newmont totally rejected Turcaud's claims to any interest in certain areas and then offered hi a $60,000 indenture.

"I hope to receive an early reply to this letter.

"Yours sincerely,"

Mr Evans told Parliament:

"I will now leave the subject, but before doing so, I indicate that if an inquiry is not forthcoming, and if there happens to be a change of Government subsequent to the next election, and if I am still here, I will do my utmost to ensure that the new Labor Government holds such an inquiry."

Mr Mensaros: Would it not be more equitable to legislate if that is right? You could introduce a private member's Bill to cover this. Once you start an inquiry in a private matter, you create a precedent.

Mr T.D. Evans: I said that in my considered opinion an inquiry should be held. This is the only fair way to enable both sides to put their cases, and for a determination saying that I believe Mr Turcaud is in the right. All I am saying is that there is prime facie evidence to justify an inquiry.

Mr Coyne: This is why a solicitor would not touch it.

Mr T.D. Evans: If the honourable member had listened to me, he would know that Mr Turcaud has no legal standing, and a solicitor deals only with matters that have legal standing.

The Court Government showed no interest in an inquiry. The Telfer gold mine was becoming one of the largest in Australia and was a crucial part of the development of the North-West.

Evans was never to get a chance to raise the issue as a member of a Labor Government for the Liberal Party was firmly ensconced in power in the Western Australian Parliament and would remain there until 1983. Evans retired in 1980. 

It would be up to his colleagues to seize the opportunity to fulfil his promise to Turcaud that there would be an inquiry into the discovery of gold in the Paterson Range. It is a promise that would never be honoured.

In 2001 the author contacted Evans' daughter. Allanah Gent was very interested in the Telfer story as her father had often talked about Turcaud prior to his death. When asked if there were any of her father's documents available for research she told the author they had recently been destroyed. In 2001 Labor lost the Kalgoorlie seat in the state election and it was decided the local office would be cleaned out. Among the files discovered were boxes of Tom Evans' correspondence. Allanah Gent was contacted by the office and asked if she would like to keep her father's documents. She was excited by the prospect of seeing her father's archives however even though she was told they would be made available to her they were all destroyed.

Allanah Gent is one of many people who would have liked to have examined their contents!