§ Mr. C. Buller
rose, and said: Sir, I entirely concur in the feeling which is expressed in the petition that has just been presented to you from the New Zealand Company; for I felt that it would not be necessary for any one on behalf of the New Zealand Company to bring the question again before the House during this Session; and if I do so on the present occasion, I hope the House will do me the justice to believe that I do it solely from a feeling of a strong necessity for such a course. I may state at once that it is not my desire to trespass on the attention of the House to the same extent as on a former occasion, for the subject-matter of discussion is not such as could justify me in thus trespassing on the House. The facts to which I am about to direct attention are few, but they are of great importance; and as it is not necessary to resume my former statement, I will take up the story where I ended on the former occasion, namely, the 20th of June last, and proceed to put the House in possession of the intelligence which has arrived in this country from New Zealand since that debate, and call attention to what has since been going on in this country relative to the affairs of that Colony. The newspapers and the Papers which have been laid before the House have put Members in possession of the startling intelligence which has arrived from New Zealand since the affairs of that Colony were last discussed; and I am sure that every Gentleman on both sides of the House, who has read those accounts, must feel the deepest commiseration for the past, and the gravest apprehension for the future. Those events were inevitable in their occurrence. They were predicted by all those conversant with the condition and the affairs of New Zealand for the last three years. They are events which were predicted by my noble Friend, whose loss, a deplorable event, [the death of Earl Grey, who expired on July 17th,] which we all regret, has caused—I mean Lord Howick. That noble Lord showed to this House that the 808 circumstances which had occurred in New Zealand, and the policy which had been pursued by the Government towards that Colony, had the inevitable tendency to produce those results; but neither he nor any one in this House could have imagined that those proceedings would have taken place with such promptitude as that which had characterized their occurrence. The Under Secretary for the Colonies gave such an account of these transactions in this House as tended rather to allay the feelings of those who heard him, than to give an idea of the fact that there is a formidable insurrection in New Zealand—an insurrection founded on no new discontent, but on an established hostility to the British Government in New Zealand. That that insurrection will be successful, as far as our present intelligence goes, there can be but little doubt. It cannot be said that, in this matter, the Government has been taken by surprise. The present contest was commenced, in a manner, by themselves, at any rate they had full warning of its approach. Due notice was given that the attack, which has since taken place, was to be made. The Government thereupon sent the best means at their disposal to meet the threatened attack. What has been the result? All the available force of the Government has been completely routed. The most ancient settlement that Englishmen and Europeans had ever established in that quarter of the world, has been swept from the face of the earth. The ancient settlement of the Bay of Islands has fallen into the possession of the savages, and has been pillaged from one end to the other, and every human habitation which it contained has been destroyed and razed to the ground. It would be well if we could say that the recent news from New Zealand justifies us in anticipating that the mischief is to end here: I much fear that we shall find that the successful attack upon the Bay of Islands is but the commencement of a regular war to be henceforth carried on between the two races in New Zealand. The chief who was the leader in the late insurrection, and to whom I must do the justice to say that he has carried on the war in a spirit more approximating to chivalry than we are accustomed to meet with in the warfare of uncivilized people, has given notice that his next attack will be upon the seat of Government, and 809 that he means fixing the very day—perhaps from a delight in straightforward dealing, and perhaps from the old stratagem of Agesilaus, that you can always deceive an enemy by telling him what you really mean to do—to make Auckland the point of his next attack. From this determination there is every reason to anticipate the greatest disasters. The chief in question has managed to take advantage of the discontents excited by the policy of the Government, and he has commenced his hostile proceedings by declaring that the war upon which he has embarked is a war against the Government alone, and not against the settlers. I will here call the attention of the House to a letter recently received from New Zealand, written by a gentleman of the name of Cormack, and which contains very important information. The letter says, that the native chiefs declare that the war is with the Government and not with the settlers, and that they plundered no house until the Europeans had all evacuated them. Heki declared that it never was his intention to disturb the settlers; on the contrary, that it was his desire to protect them. In addition to this, I will call attention to what I deem a very significant fact. It was supposed that after the affair at Kororarika the natives, in the general pillage which ensued, had spared all the missionary establishments and churches. Such was stated by the hon. Gentleman opposite; but I find that he was incorrect in the universality of that remark. This letter states that the establishment of the French missionaries was the only one which was left standing. I do not wish to draw any invidious comparisons between the French missionaries and those who were known to the natives as having made the most active efforts in getting possession of land, it being the honoured distinction of the Catholic clergy in those islands that not one of their body has participated in these efforts, or taken possession of any land. Those who have done so are considered, and very naturally, as forming a part of that Government with which they seem to take an identical policy, and the effect of that policy has been to deprive them of all hold over the minds of the natives, and to induce the natives to regard them as either members of, or in some way, at least, connected with, the Government. Let us now see what is the 810 state of things at the Government settlement. How are they prepared to meet this state of things? By a letter dated the 28th of March, it appears that the state of things there, at present, is shocking to contemplate. The place is full of vagabonds, most of whom are runaway convicts from Botany Bay. The white savage is worse than the brown. The streets are full, day and night, of drunken men, soldiers, sailors, and "Parkhurst boys." This is an evil arising from a distinct breach of faith on the part of the Government towards the colonists. A pledge was given that no convicts should be sent to New Zealand. It was said that it was to be spared the character of a penal Colony. But the Government, in spite of that pledge, has sent out a number of convicts from Parkhurst, with the intention, after planting them in New Zealand, of granting them a free pardon. The Government have thus done all the mischief of introducing a convict population into the Colony. Ever since these convicts have been in New Zealand, there has been but one account of the mischief which they have occasioned, of the depredations which they have carried on, and of the pernicious influence which they have exercised over the natives. It is now owing to this conduct on the part of the Government that you have Auckland in that state of alarm which this lawless, troublesome, and immoral population has occasioned, a population which creates greater terror in the minds of the settlers than the natives themselves. There is a total absence of all magisterial authority, and it almost seemed as if orders had been given to permit this state of things to take place and continue. Such was at present, from authentic accounts, the condition of Auckland. The chief Heki is advancing with his tribe, and the horde who plundered Kororarika is now advancing upon Auckland. The amount of property which fell at the former place into the hands of the savages is stated at from thirty to forty thousand pounds. This will be held out as a strong inducement to other tribes to join in the hostile movement. The friendly tribes have been called around Auckland; but, by the last accounts, the Governor was represented as full of apprehension at the presence of these tribes, because, if they enable him to succeed in repelling Heki, they may afterwards become masters of New Zealand. Just conceive the effect 811 of the victorious chief, coming from the north, flushed with his success, and laden with booty, and telling these friendly tribes that, if they plunder Auckland, they will get similar booty for themselves. Such is the state of things now existing in the Government settlement, which is to be avowedly the next object of attack. Let us now turn to the settlements in another part of the island. In the petition which has been presented to this House from the colonists, it is stated that there are in the settlements at Cook's Straits no less than 12,000 settlers, who carried out with them no less than 2,000,000l. of capital, which they have invested in the Colony. The New Zealand Company has, besides, expended no less than 600,000l. to protect these settlers and this mass of property. What has the Government done? They have called away the greater part of the force which was stationed there to protect both settlers and property, in order to protect Auckland. The principal protection afforded to the settlement of Wellington was the ship Hazard, and a very efficient protection, too, for a naval town. That vessel has been ordered off to Auckland. The sole protection now left is about fifty soldiers, to protect a population of from 4,000 to 6,000 people, numbers of them scattered at considerable distances from each other, against the mass of the natives on the spot, amounting to no less than 8,000, and counting amongst these from 1,500 to 1,600 fighting men. This is the force which the Government, has reserved. In another settlement, containing from 2,000 to 3,000 people, there is not a single soldier or sailor. The inhabitants have to depend entirely upon themselves. The settlement, which is, perhaps, the worst off of all, is New Plymouth. This settlement contains about 1,000 people, the greater part of them being honest agriculturists and mechanics from my own part of the country—from the south-west of England, and who were taken out thither by the Company, which afterwards merged into the New Zealand Company. This settlement is the nearest to Auckland; but between the two points are to be found the most formidable tribes in New Zealand. This settlement has no fortifications. There is not a soldier, not a marine, not a sailor there to protect the settlers. Now, is this a war which these settlers have brought upon themselves? Can you say that they have 812 been the cause of the mischief? Why, the war has arisen in another part of the island. It is no quarrel of theirs. Indeed, I must say that this whole unfortunate war has arisen in the northern part of the island; and, after all, it involves no material object of any importance to the settlers, for none of the objects in respect of which the welfare of the Colony is at stake are involved in this war. It is not undertaken to give the settlers access to their lands. Were it carried on to punish such monsters as Rauperaha and Rangiheata—were it carried on to exact retribution for the murder of our countrymen, that would have been of itself a legitimate and justifiable object. But with whom has the war, in fact, originated? It was commenced with a chief who has exhibited, throughout the whole transaction, no feeling, no desire to create a war, on account of his own personal interests, whose feelings are all founded upon a rude desire of independence, and who has carried on the war in a spirit of chivalry which would have done honour to Europeans, and exhibited something of European refinement in his mode of warfare—an expression which, by the by, I must qualify—for he has exhibited a degree of refinement which, I regret to find, is not manifested in these days by every European nation. It against this chief that your hostilities are now carried on, and this too, not to enforce the possession of land, but from a wretched quarrel about a flagstaff, which he has again cut down, because, on the last occasion on which he did so, Governor Fitzroy, instead of punishing, rewarded him, by abolishing all customs' dues in that part of the island. I cannot view these matters as attributable to anything but the direct agency of the policy of the Government; and I must say, that I have seen with amazement certain assertions made by Lord Stanley, that all our difficulties in New Zealand have arisen out of the conflicting engagements entered into by the Company on the one hand, and the Treaty of Waitangi on the other. This, too, was said by the noble Lord, after the last debate upon this subject, a great part of which debate turned upon the mischiefs going on in certain parts of the island in which the Company has never set its foot, and in which it does not possess an acre of territory; in fact, in a part of the island fully 600 miles from the settlements of 813 the Company. He said this, too, after a rumour had actually reached this country of the awful catastrophe which has taken place in the Bay of Islands. Neither he nor any one else can charge this upon the New Zealand Company, who had no hand whatever in originating this great mischief. What are the opinions of persons competent to judge in respect of these outrages? Mr. Busby, who is not very favourable to the Company, says that the whole of Heki's insurrection originally arose out of the land question, and from the natives not understanding the mode in which the Government sought to deal with their land. This was stated to be the foundation of the whole mischief. In addition to this, is there no other part of the policy of the Government which has led directly to these results? What instigates Heki to the outrages committed by him? He has been instigated thereto by impunity for his previous outrages—by the reward for those outrages which he actually received. The result of the last outrage which he committed was, that the Governor went to the Bay of Islands, pretended to take a nominal revenge, and proceeded forthwith to abolish the customs. Has nothing resulted, too, from the impunity with which outrage was visited in other parts of the islands? It is notorious that many chiefs in the island held up the impunity of Rauperaha for the massacre at Wairau as an inducement for their tribes to follow the example thus set them; and asking why, if Rauperaha killed the Europeans with impunity in the south, they should not do the same in the north? Mr. George Clarke said, and he is an authority to whom the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. Inglis) will defer, that among the natives of the north there was a very strong feeling of dislike, disgust, and contempt entertained towards the Government, and that the most calamitous results might follow from this, unless measures were rapidly taken to check them. What circumstances have more particularly contributed to the danger of Auckland? Why have disputes broken out there? Was not the cause stated in the last debate upon this subject? Is anybody responsible for this state of things but the Government? Who placed Auckland in the north? Who placed it the seat of government, where there was the smallest proportion of white men to pro- 814 tect themselves? Who placed it, so circumstanced, amongst the strongest and most populous of the native tribes, and at last brought the two races into collision with each other? The Government—and the Government alone—are responsible for the present danger of Auckland. Who left it defenceless? Governor Fitzroy, to be sure, in refusing to embody the militia after the first outrages had been perpetrated. He and his Council then deliberated upon the instructions sent out by Lord Stanley as to the embodying of the militia for the defence of the place. The result of their deliberation was, that they determined to disregard and repudiate the orders in this respect of successive Secretaries of State, and refrained from embodying the militia for fear of alarming the natives. Here, then, was the result. From fear of alarming the natives, you have placed yourselves absolutely at their mercy. But I am not inclined to do injustice to Captain Fitzroy. He is recalled—I do not wish to have him made the scapegoat for the offences of others. What are the charges which he brings against the Government? He is now defenceless, but it is not his own fault only. He sent to the Government for additional forces, to meet what he conceived to be the exigency of the place. Have his despatches, which contained this request, been all laid before us? [Mr. G. W. Hope: Every one.] What has not been laid before us, then, is the defence of the Government. I allude to the despatches sent long before the collision, in which he states that, from the first, he has actually been endeavouring to impress upon the Government a sense of the necessity of protecting the settlements by an additional force, and that, up to the month of May or June, the Government never took a single step to send him this additional force. The mischiefs which have ensued are, therefore, greatly attributable to the policy of the Government, and not to Captain Fitzroy alone. Lord Stanley is, in a great measure, responsible for them all. He must not shift the responsibility from himself to the Governor, whose acts and policy he entirely approves of. [Mr. G. W. Hope dissented.] It is true that Lord Stanley disapproved of the violation on the part of the Governor of his instructions in regard to debentures; but have the Government disapproved of any other portion of his conduct? 815 In reference to the whole system of policy which engendered the fatal dissensions of which we have now to complain, have they done anything to put an end to that policy and its evil fruits? There never has been in the history of the whole Colonial Department a Governor who, generally speaking, had to such an extent the cordial approbation of the Department, as Captain Fitzroy has received from Lord Stanley. If we look at the despatches which passed from the noble Lord to his Lieutenant in New Zealand, we find that it is always "You and I," as if he and Captain Fitzroy were perfectly agreed. Of the policy which has been pursued in New Zealand, and of all its fruits, Lord Stanley must bear the full responsibility. What, let me again ask, have been its results? You have brought about the greatest and the most horrible calamity which you could possibly inflict upon the Colony—a determined and a regular war of races. Don't believe that this evil is to be evanescent. If you do send out a force now, and put the natives down by dint of your superior skill and discipline, you do not even then repress the insurrection; you do not extinguish the alienation of the natives; you do not repress the desire for revenge, which you have been so instrumental yourselves in kindling in their bosoms; you do not extirpate the animosity which you have created between the white man and the brown, the feud of blood, the war of races, which, I fear will now last as long as differences of colour enables the two races to be distingushed from each other. I am free to admit that it is frequently the custom of the Opposition to attribute events like those which have recently occurred in New Zealand, to the bad policy and imbecile administration of the Government to which they are opposed. But I ask any candid man to look at the policy which has been pursued in New Zealand, and at its necessary results, and then say whether there can be a doubt that the whole of these results might not have been averted by a display of greater wisdom and firmness on the part of the Government, and whether the disasters which have overtaken the Colony are not attributable to the ruinous and unwise policy which the Government have thought proper to pursue. But to turn from the evils which have been effected, let us now come to what is a far more important question at present—the remedy which is 816 to be applied. What hope have we that any effectual remedy will be applied, or is about to be applied by the Government? I find no satisfaction in Captain Fitzroy's being made the scape-goat—no satisfaction simply in his being recalled. What I want is, a satisfactory proof of your determination to pursue a different and a better course then hitherto. You have now punished Captain Fitzroy. What have you done though to the subordinates, by whom the whole mischief has, in fact, been in a great measure superinduced; that is to say, what has been done to those in power, who, under the Government, have been helping in their unfortunate policy? We have not heard of one single subordinate being reprimanded. Although the Colonial Secretary was obliged to disapprove of their conduct in more than one instance, not one of them has been reprimanded. The last fact which has come to light in reference to them is, that Mr. Shortland has, in reward of his services in New Zealand, been thought worthy of being made Governor of one of the West India islands. There was one circumstance which, up to a recent period, did give me hope: it was the tone assumed by the Government in the late debate upon New Zealand, and the promises then lavishly made of an altered and improved policy for the future. It is not to the particular words then used that I attach importance, but to the general tone of the speeches then delivered, and especially to that of the speech of the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel). When he came forward, as he did on that occasion, and stated his views of that policy, I did think them so en-entirely in accordance with his own good feelings and judgment, that I was bound to believe him perfectly sincere, not only in his expressions, as indicating his opinions at the time, but in his avowed intentions to give full effect to his feelings and views. I now want to ask the House what effect has been given to them? The immediate effect of the division on that occasion was very visible. I was myself at the moment severely reproached by an hon. Friend, and by others, who perfectly agreed with me upon the general question, for going to a division at all. I was told that so doing was pushing a Government, who were really willing to do right, rather too hard; that it was compromising the interests of the Colony to divide, after the Government had given all that wa 817 wanted in their liberal and numerous promises. I know, too, that there were several Gentlemen on the other side of the House whose votes were materially affected by these promises. I have seen statements from more than one, to the effect that they would then have voted with us, if they had not trusted to the assurances of the right hon. Baronet—if they had not relied on those assurances being carried into effect. We had no choice, after these, but to enter into further negotiation with the Government. It was said by some that the Company were wrong in so doing; but what would have been thought of us if, after such assurances from the head of the Government, we had refused to enter into negotiation with the Government; while it would have been held by many that we were endangering the welfare of the Colony and of all the settlers, from private pique and resentment, had we refrained from such further negotiation? Public opinion compelled us to negotiate. And what is the result? I have seen it in the Papers before the House, and it has, in fact, been communicated by Lord Stanley, in the shape of instructions given to the new Governor. What I complain of in the first instance is, that with the fate of the Colony in the scales, you do nothing to set it right and appease the alarm of the people interested in its fate; you give them, in fact, no more stable assurance than your instructions to your new Governor. What is the real worth of them? You make laws, and your Colonial Governor generally obey them, although in more instances than one, Governor Fitzroy did not even do that. The law has some force even in the Colonial Office; but it is, in too many cases, disregarded by your Governors. This is stated in the petition which has recently been presented from the Settlements, which has been printed, and is now in the hands of hon. Members. From that petition the House will excuse me if I read a few lines:—With regard to the alleged responsibility of the officers of Government in New Zealand to the Colonial Office in London, your petitioners would observe that, in the history of this Colony, nothing is more remarkable than the disregard by the local authorities of the instructions which they received from the Secretary of State. The cases of specific disobedience are numerous and important; but that which has led the colonists to despair of the efficacy of instructions from Downing-street, is abundant evidence of an habitual feeling 818 among persons in office in the Colony, that instructions coming from so great a distance may generally be evaded, or totally disregarded, with impunity. On comparing Lord John Russell's admirable body of instructions to the first Governor, dated 9th December, 1840, with the whole of His Excellency's proceedings, it becomes manifest that the advice and commands of the Secretary of State made no more impression on the authorities of the Colony than if they had never been written: that in no one instance were they observed; and that in very many the conduct of the local Government was precisely opposite to the express words and whole tenor of thes aid body of instructions. And what is yet more deserving of remark, not only was this utter contempt of instructions visited by no punishment, but the Governor, whom everybody in the Colony knew to be labouring under disease which absolved him from personal responsibility, was kept in office, and continued to enjoy the confidence of the Colonial Office until the hour of his death. In like manner his subordinates, who really carried on the government in his name, have never been even reminded of Lord John Russell's instructions. The only persons upon whom the Colonial Office has cast any blame for the calamities which the disregard of those instructions has produced, are the suffering colonists and the ruined New Zealand Company; and, although Captain Fitzroy has indeed been recalled, there is every reason to believe that the confidence of the Colonial Office would still have been ostentatiously extended to him, if he had had sense enough to evade or otherwise to disregard, without defying, Lord Stanley's instructions.In this case, what security have we for these instructions being of any effect? Observe the circumstances under which they have been issued. They have been issued to a gentleman of whom no intelligence has been had for the last five months, and who, you are not certain, is even now alive. But even if he be so, you do not yet know that Captain Grey will accept the new office, in lieu of the office of Governor of a Colony in which he has been so useful—that he will give up that office for that of Governor of New Zealand, with all its responsibility, with its wretched salary, and the fearful task of repairing the blunders of other men. I happen to know that some of Captain Grey's friends have expressed a strong opinion that it would, on his part, be highly imprudent were he to accept the government of New Zealand. These instructions, therefore, are issued to a Governor about whose acceptance of office you are not yet sure. In what state is the Colony now? Suppose 819 any miscarriage arises from this cause? You recalled Governor Fitzroy in April, and you sent out these instructions in July to Captain Grey. Suppose Captain Fitzroy resigns whenever he receives your instructions, into whose hands will the Colonial Government fall should Captain Grey not be on the spot to receive it, or should he refuse to accept the office you have proffered him? It will fall into the hands of the Colonial Secretary, of whom I can only say, that he has been a prominent participator in every one of Captain Fitzroy's blunders, in those especially for which you have recalled Captain Fitzroy—I mean Dr. Sinclair, whose speeches have certainly been the most absurd of any speeches ever delivered in that most absurd body, the Colonial Council, and whose education and qualifications are these—that until two or three years ago he never served in any other capacity than that of the surgeon of a ship. That is the gentleman into whose hands, under these circumstances, the government of the Colony will fall, to whose care will be entrusted for some time the duties of New Zealand. Suppose no miscarriage arises from any of these causes, I want to ask, are your instructions satisfactory, are they clear from ambiguity, are they sure of being made more effective than were your previous instructions? I now want to call attention particularly to an assurance which was given us in the last debate as to the government of the Colony. What is more important to us, than the settlement of our particular claims, is the giving a good government to the Colony. That must necessarily be the first object for us to study to attain, in seeking to discharge aright our responsibility to those whom we have been instrumental in sending thither. Until you have a system of government in the Colony which will guarantee them against the most absurd misgovernment, there will be no security for either property or colonists in New Zealand. On this all-important subject, nothing could be more satisfactory than was the language of the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government. He then said—With respect to the future government of the Colony, I am, for one, strongly inclined to think that a representative government is suited for the condition of the people of that Colony. There is not the objection to it whichimght apply to a penal Colony. You 820 have rescued New Zealand from the evils attendant on a penal settlement. I speak generally; but I think that the government of that Colony, in connexion with those who are immediately interested in its local prosperity, assigning to them due weight and influence in the administration of affairs, framed upon general principles, would be a form of government well calculated for New Zealand. In short, I cannot see what assignable interest you can have, except in the commercial and social prosperity of that country. The only possible ground of connexion that can exist will depend upon its being profitable. It is impossible that, at the distance at which we are, this country can seek any advantage in its connexion with New Zealand except reciprocal interests; and, above all, upon the local prosperity of the Colony.And the right hon. Baronet continued:—At the same time it is impossible to apply the principle of a representative government to an island where the different settlements in the island are at such great distances from each other. The noble Lord says that he thinks Auckland was ill selected as the seat of Government. It might be so in some local respects: but I apprehend that, so far as military and naval considerations are concerned, Auckland possesses great recommendations. But this is one of those questions which must be influenced by local rather than general considerations. It is a point which cannot be determined upon by any other consideration than what may be most advantageous to the people. It is quite clear that, seeing how the settlers are spread over the Northern Island, it would be no easy matter to apply the principle of a representative government, according to the rule observed in more thickly populated countries. I believe that by far the best plan would be the formation of a municipal government with an extensive power of local taxation for local purposes—that this form, at all events, should be established in the first instance. I think you will find that, in the opinion of Mr. Burke, the formation of the Government in North America arose from these municipal institutions. In his speech to the sheriffs of Bristol, he says, these representative governments in North America grew up he knew not how. There they were. The people left this country with those feelings of pride and attachment to liberty which were the boast of the mother country. They began with municipal institutions; and distance, and absence, and the control of local circumstances increased them, and from small beginnings, into representative communities. This was the natural growth of these institutions. Those nations which have Colonies must expect this to be the ultimate result.The right hon. Baronet says—Now I am strongly inclined to think that the germ of a representative government in a 821 Colony ought to be in these municipalities, widening their sphere by degrees, according as the land became settled and peopled. I doubt whether that would not be the safer mode, than that of establishing among so thin a population a representative government that would require the people of Auckland and of Wellington to meet together, separated as they are by such a great distance. That will be one of the subjects which will be referred to the consideration of the able man whom we have appointed to govern that Colony.This was satisfactory, and we have a right to expect that the result of this statement will be that means should be taken for the establishment of municipal institutions in the Colony—of institutions exercising not merely the power of borough institutions in this country, but which should, in each locality, supply the place of a general representative body for the general purposes of government. If there be any meaning in the language of the right hon. Baronet, that was what he meant; and the colonists of New Zealand had a right to expect municipal institutions similar to those to which Mr. Burke referred as having existed in America, and possessing all the powers necessary for supplying the wants of Government which those small communities required. If this was not the interpretation of the right hon. Baronet's language, what did he mean by the phrase, "I think that the germ of a representative government in a Colony ought to be in their municipalities, widening their sphere by degrees, as the land became settled and peopled?" What was the meaning of this? Did it mean merely that they were to appoint mayors and aldermen, with the power to make regulations for paving and lighting, in a country where no such things were needed—where, in fact, there were no regular roads? Or did it mean that the institutions about to be established were to be like the old American institutions, to supply the place of larger and more general institutions? What he understood from the right hon. Baronet was, that the great difficulty was not the fitness of New Zealand for representative institutions, but that the widely scattered and divided state of the Colony rendered it extremely inconvenient, if not impossible, to carry on the government by means of a parliament meeting in any particular settlement. But is it possible to understand from the speech of the right hon. Baronet, that there is to be no change in the government of New Zealand at all? 822 I am not unreasonable—I do not say that they should have based those new institutions upon the example of the House of Commons, or of any other legislative assembly. I should have been perfectly satisfied if they had been based on the principles of representative government, leaving the people in each locality to govern themselves, as suggested by the right hon. Baronet. This would have been sufficient to have secured a better system of government for the future; and something of this kind, from the statement of the right hon. Baronet, the people of New Zealand had a right to expect. But what did they get from the noble Secretary for the Colonies? The noble Lord, in his instructions to Governor Grey said—For these, among other reasons, I think the admission of the representative system is for the present impracticable.This was Lord Stanley's mode of carrying out the right hon. Baronet's intentions. He says:—For these, among other reasons, I think the admission of the representative system is for the present impracticable; and I would, therefore, have you direct your attention and that of the colonists to the formation of local municipal bodies, with considerable powers of taxation for local purposes, and of making the necessary by-laws.This meant, powers similar to those possessed by every borough town in England; that was, they were to have the power of making regulations for paving and lighting, and passing by-laws, "leaving," continues the noble Lord, "the more general powers of legislation vested in the Council, as at present constituted." And how is that Council constituted? It is composed of the Governor, of three officers removable at the pleasure of the Governor, and paid by the Governor, and of those persons nominated by the Governor removable at pleasure, and who are threatened with removal the moment they venture to vote against the Governor. This is the approach they are to have towards the representative system. Taken in connexion with the promises held out by the right hon. Baronet, what unmeaning language is that of the noble Lord's despatch containing those instructions to Captain Grey? What powers does it confer upon the colonists of self-government? It gives nothing but the power of paving and lighting. Is this a boon? They, the colonists, do not want it—the Nelson people 823 tell us that they do not require any such power; what they want is the fulfilment of the promises of the Government of representative government; and the way in which the Government, or rather the noble Lord (Lord Stanley) fulfils those promises, is to confer the powers of providing for paving and lighting on people who need nothing of the kind. How do the noble Lord's instructions tend to carry out the right hon. Baronet's promises? What guarantee have the colonists, that the Colony will be governed by good laws for the future—that there should be an effectual administration of justice, and the adoption of a sound policy as to the land titles in New Zealand? What security have they for the imposition of wise taxes, and the adoption of a sound and effectual fiscal system; or what guarantee have they against a repetition of the absurdities of unwise Governors—of such absurdities as have been committed by Governor Hobson, Governor Shortland, and Governor Fitzroy; and in what respect will such institutions as the noble Lord is about to establish, be the germ of representative institutions, or how will they pave the way for any representative institutions whatever? Contrast the promises of the right hon. Baronet with their fulfilment by Lord Stanley. The right hon. Baronet said New Zealand was in a fit condition for representative government; and the colonists should have it, as far as possible, under their peculiar circumstances, given to them.You cannot," said the right hon. Baronet' "have one parliament as we have in this country, but you should have several municipal institutions, which should answer the purpose of a parliament, and by which each locality should be governed.And he carried on the analogy still further, by likening those institutions to the old institutions of the States of North America, one of which institutions was that which had been given by charter to Rhode Island; and by which, until within the last five years, it had been governed, though constituting one of the States of the Union. Lord Stanley, however, says, that New Zealand was not fit for representative government; but he says he will give local bodies to the Colony with power to make by-laws; but the general power of legislation is still to vest in the Council as before. What security have we for the fulfilment of the promises of 824 the right hon. Baronet? Literally, none whatever. I will now proceed to another promise held out by the right hon. Baronet. It was admitted, on all hands, that it was most desirable that the disputes between the New Zealand Company and the Colonial Office, should be put an end to. With respect to the New Zealand Company, I must say, at once, I think it would be important to maintain that body in the full exercise of its powers, not mixing itself up in affairs of State, or exercising control, but as a great commercial company, acting on liberal principles, and lending its aid to the Government in devising means for emigration. I do not despair that that relation will be established between the Government and the New Zealand Company, and, without committing to that body any powers of administration, that it will subsist as a company for the future, acting in concert and harmony with the Government, as the great instrument for effecting emigration. Now, for the Company to be useful as an instrument for carrying on emigration, what was the first essential for the security of every colonist in New Zealand? Why, the settlement of the land claims. But on this point, they were left in the same position as before. After all their negotiations with Lord Stanley, the Company were in the same position as they were before these negotiations commenced, except in one particular, and so far as that was concerned they were rather in a worse condition. What the Company claimed was a grant of land, which they contended they were entitled to immediately on the making of the award of Mr. Pennethorn, and which they claimed under the agreement made with Lord John Russell. In 1843, the Company accepted, with much reluctance, and after having more than once refused them, the terms proposed by Lord Stanley, whereby they were to have a conditional title to their land, that title to be granted at once, without going to the Commissioners' court; but to be subject to whatever claim the natives or other persons might hereafter bring forward against them on account of such land. This, no doubt, was a much worse title than that which they had a right to look for under the agreement with Lord John Russell. It was undoubtedly less satisfactory than the title they claimed, but which they found they could not obtain. 825 It was quite clear that a title open to dispute by any one who could establish a prior right, was of less value in the market than one that was free from any such conditions. But the Company accepted that title, because circumstances induced them to place reliance on the good intentions of the Government, and because they thought that this reliance being shared in by the public, they would be enabled to effect their land sales, and proceed with the work of colonization; but, above all, because the Government complied with the condition he had named, this important one, that they would do their best to relieve the Company from the native claims, and to assist as far as they could in converting this conditional title into an absolute one. If the agreement had been fulfilled in February, 1844, the Company would have been enabled to carry on their land sales, and by the present time, the Government acting on good faith in removing the difficulties as to title, and carrying out their promise of assisting the Company in inducing the native claimants to accept compensation, the conditional title would have been converted into an absolute one. But another circumstance which made them unwilling to accept a conditional title, as proposed by Lord Stanley, instead of the one to which they were entitled under the previous agreement, was, that they had already an award from the Commissioners recognising their claims to the land, and with that award in their favour, it was hardly to be supposed that, in renewing their negotiations with the Colonial Office after the 20th of June, 1845, they would accept a nominal and conditional title for that which by the award they were entitled to without any such condition. It was quite clear if they had in 1845 accepted a mere nominal title, it would have been no fulfilment of the agreement of 1843, and that it would have been much better for the Company to have stood upon Lord Stanley's own interpretation of Lord John Russell's instructions. This matter had been fully discussed by the New Zealand Company before they entered into communication with Lord Stanley; and it was distinctly understood by the deputation who waited upon the noble Lord, that they were not at liberty to treat upon the basis of any conditional title. In the course of the interview, Lord Stanley's attention was called to the subject of the awards. 826 They urged that Lord Stanley had put in a condition which had never before been heard of in the whole course of the controversy—a condition which must destroy any advantage that might else arise; for the noble Lord insisted that not only should there be an award in favour of the Company by the Commissioners, but that that award must be accepted by the natives, and that they were to be satisfied with the compensation awarded to them; that was to say, that the decision of the judge was only to have effect when it was satisfactory to both parties. That was the effect of the instructions of Lord Stanley as to the land which had been awarded to the Company without condition a year ago. This condition, however, only attached to one-third of the Company's land. And with regard to the other two-thirds, what did Lord Stanley offer? Merely the conditional title of May, 1843. And how was that offer made? Not a word was said to the deputation about it. He looked through the minutes of the negotiations between the Directors and Lord Stanley, and could find not one word about this conditional title mentioned from beginning to end. Lord Stanley says, he shows the Directors the instructions he has given to the Governor of New Zealand as to the land titles; but in those instructions, which were those of the 7th of July, there was not one word said about the conditional title. Everything turned upon the award; they never heard one word about the conditional title until the mail had gone out—until the instructions had been forwarded, and the negotiations between the Company and the noble Lord had been put an end to; and then it was that they for the first time heard of the instructions of the 27th of June, directing Captain Grey to give only a conditional title. What was this but the old story over again—that was, of one set of instructions shown before the despatches were sent out, and another afterwards. He wished not to be understood as making any charge of bad faith against the Government, for it was clear nothing could be gained by faith in these respects, except, perhaps, to avoid an inconvenient discussion; but, nevertheless, it was a very great hardship upon the Company that instructions were sent out upon a most important point in regard to their interests, of which they had no knowledge until it was too late to make 827 any representation or remonstrance against them, and after those parties who had waited on Lord Stanley on behalf of the Company, had been told that the instructions shown to them were all that were to be sent out. The Company thought they were communicating unreservedly with Lord Stanley (for that was the phrase used by the noble Lord); they were led to believe that all the instructions were shown to them. And though I do not impute bad faith—though I am willing to believe that this arose from carelessness or mistake—that if bad faith had been intended, the Company could not have been placed in a worse position than they are, in consequence of that carelessness and mistake. And I say further, that this was a mistake which ought not to occur on the part of an important public Department twice on the same subject in two successive years. The former discussions in this House should have made Lord Stanley more cautious; and I say, that a person who repeatedly manage the business of a great public Department in so loose and careless a manner, is not fit to conduct satisfactorily the Colonial Department of the Government of this country. I must refer to another point, as showing the spirit in which the noble Lord has carried on the controversy, while the Company were indulging in the hope that both parties might now join in settling the question at issue, and put an end to the disputes which had unfortunately so long existed between the Colonial Office and the Company. In the minutes of the interview with Lord Stanley, I perceive a determination, on the part of the noble Lord, to deny the claims—the most obvious claims of the Company. In these minutes is this passage:—Reference having been made in these discussions to the additional payments required from the Company, either by the awards of the Commissioner of the Court of Claims, or by directions of the Governor, the deputation incidentally remarked, that as a matter of course, the Company would, in consideration of all such payments, be entitled to land at the rate mentioned in the agreement of November, 1840—namely, four acres for every pound sterling; and that a similar claim would arise in respect to all payments for purchases of land required to be made for the fulfilment of that agreement. Lord Stanley expressed some surprise at this claim, and intimated that he was not then prepared to admit its validity.828 Now, a more reasonable claim could not have been made. The original agreement was, that the Company should be entitled to four acres of land for every pound expended by them; that was the condition as contained in the original draft of the agreement. But the Company said, you must not limit us to what we have actually expended; for there are many expenses which we are liable to, and much more money will be expended; and the agreement was ultimately made to the effect, that, in consideration of this liability, the Company should be entitled to four acres of land for every pound they had expended on the Colony, or were liable to expend; and he could not conceive any more distinct and actual liability than the money they were called upon to pay on account of compensation to the natives. I find in a letter of the 24th of August, this question distinctly put to the Commissioner by Mr. Wakefield. He asked whether it were intended to recommend a further allotment of land to the Company, and upon the same terms of four acres for every pound expended, on account of the further compensation which they were required by the awards to pay to the native claimants? And the answer of the Commissioner was most distinct—that he did intend to recommend that a proportionate quantity of land should be awarded to the Company upon the terms stated, for the money so paid. This was in the letter of Commissioner Spain, of the 24th of August, 1842. I refer to this, not because the amount is great—I believe it would not be more than 24,000 or 25,000 acres altogether—but to show that Lord Stanley has been carrying on the controversy in the same spirit of opposition to the Company as he had all along exhibited; and in that spirit he now refused to carry out the award of his own Commissioner. But we have still better evidence of the spirit by which that noble Lord has been actuated in these matters. Since the debate in this House, the noble Lord has taken an opportunity of publicly stating his opinions on the subject. Did he, on that occasion, express any intention of fulfilling any of the promises made by his right hon. Colleague? He did not. The whole tenor of the noble Lord's speech was a declaration of obstinate adherence to the worst principles of his own policy. The view which the noble Lord took of the Treaty of Waitangi, and which he declared his intention of enforcing, was wholly incompatible with 829 the colonization of New Zealand. I can only regard the speech of the noble Lord as an answer to the speeches of the two right hon. Baronets, his Colleagues, which they made in this House. The noble Lord asserted that the whole of the misunderstanding had been caused by the misrepresentations of the New Zealand Company to Lord John Russell as to the land. Now, these remarks of the noble Lord were unbecoming; more especially after the statement had been denied, and the noble Lord had been defied over and over again to point out when and how such misrepresentations had been made. Lord Stanley had been challenged to do this at the commencement of the controversy; but he had never done so to the present hour. Another point in the speech of the noble Lord surprised me even more, and that was his declaration to adhere to the Treaty of Waitangi in its fullest integrity. The noble Lord said—We have strictly in every instruction we have issued—and the Papers upon the Table prove the fact—that we have insisted on the strict fulfilment of the spirit and the letter of the Treaty of Waitangi. Our instructions have upon that point been uniform. They were given to Captain Fitzroy; and whatever instructions may have been since despatched to his successor, they have, in this respect, remained unaltered. We have told him—our declarations to the effect have been reiterated—that while he should seek, in every possible mode, to promote the amicable settlement of the affairs of the New Zealand Company, that he should always consider it to be the paramount duty devolved upon him, specially, and scrupulously, and religiously to fulfil our solemn engagements with the natives of New Zealand.And while everybody knows the interpretation which the noble Lord puts upon the strict and religious fulfilment of those solemn engagements, viz., that the land which he declares to be the property of the natives, as much as the estate of any man in England or Scotland is his property, the noble Lord sent out instructions to the Governor to put a tax upon that land for the purpose of confiscating it. If the Government wish to preserve the engagement the noble Lord so described, let them do it strictly and honourably. If they thought the New Zealanders were competent to make Treaties with us, and were as much the proprietors of those lands as the people of Scotland and England were of their estates, respect their rights; but would not all mankind cry out against us, if, when taking possession of Martinique, 830 Guadaloupe, and Canada, and having guaranteed the inhabitants in the undisturbed possession of their lands, we had put a tax upon the land for the avowed purpose of confiscating it? The phrase thimble-rigging had been applied in reference to transactions of this kind; but there was a practice formerly prevalent in this country, which, as describing a fraud, was much more analogous—the old trick of ring-dropping:—the course being to drop a ring, and then ask some unsuspecting person whether he had dropped it; and, while pretending to share with him the good fortune, to filch from him his money. And this was the way in which the noble Lord was about to fulfil his interpretation of the engagements of the Waitangi Treaty. Having asserted that those engagements should be maintained, instructions were given to fulfil them by a wild-land tax registration. I can assure the House I have not come here to complain without having exhausted every means to obtain justice from the Government, and without a conviction, that so long as the present spirit prevails in the Colonial Department against the New Zealand Company, there is no hope either for the Company or the colonists—and in speaking of the colonists, I mean not only the settlers of the Company who form the largest portion of the European inhabitants, but of the Colony generally, the best interests of which are involved in this question. I trust the House will not leave New Zealand to the spirit which is in operation at the Colonial Department for the next six months, without any guarantee for the future, not only of law, but without any intimation on the part of the Government, and without any declaration on the part of the House, that they expect the Government to alter a policy that has been so fatally prejudicial; and I do trust, that the answer of the House to the petitions of the friends and connexions of the colonists, presented this night, will not be, that they are prepared to support Lord Stanley's instructions and speeches, in contradiction to the promises of the right hon. Baronet. The hon. and learned Member concluded by moving—That this House regards with regret and apprehension the state of affairs in New Zealand; and that those feelings are greatly aggravated by the want of any sufficient evidence of a change in the policy which has led to such disastrous results.
§ Mr. G. W. Hope
asked what was the statement made by the hon. and learned 831 Member—what was the whole gravamen of his charge against his noble Friend? It was that he had not read to the deputation certain parts of the instructions given to the Governor of New Zealand. This he (Mr. Hope) most distinctly denied. His noble Friend positively stated that the parts of the instructions referred to—those of the 27th of June, had been read to the deputation. Now it was said that his noble Friend should have adopted some means to guard himself against any such misunderstanding. Why, what course could he have adopted but that actually taken? The noble Lord met gentlemen of high honour, for confidential communication, in private: a discussion took place; it was agreed that the result of that discussion should be recorded in minutes, and the minutes were agreed to by both parties. Those minutes distinctly stated that the extracts to which the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard had referred were communicated to the deputation, and that a certain despatch was given to them in extenso; and yet in the face of that minute. an hon. Member charged the noble Lord with acting in bad faith, as having kept back the very documents which it is there recorded were produced and read. The minutes stated that Lord Stanley promised to send to the deputation, in a course of a few days, copies or extracts of his despatches to Governor Grey; and that, till they were forwarded to the deputation, the communication of their contents made that day should be considered confidential. The documents sent were then read. He (Mr. Hope) believed there was only one hon. Gentleman in the House who was a member of that deputation; and he certainly should be surprised if that hon. Gentleman contradicted the assertion he now made. He thought the House would be of opinion that he had satisfactorily disposed of the charge. But he might mention a circumstance which enabled Lord Stanley to state with more confidence that the extract to which the hon. and learned Member opposite had referred, was shown to the deputation. It would be found, on referring to the end of the extract, that it contained the following passage:—I can only repeat to you (Captain Grey) the instructions which I have already given to Captain Fitzroy, to endeavour by amicable co-operation with Colonel Wakefield, to remove obstacles arising from unsatisfied native claims, and to discourage, as far as lies in 832 your power, any exorbitant or extortionate demands on the Company on this head.Now, it so happened that the word "exorbitant" had been accidentally misprinted "exhorbitant," and when the passage was read, his noble Friend pointed out the absurdity of the blunder. The circumstance was a slight one; but it was amply sufficient to prove that the note had been duly read to the deputation. Yet upon such grounds, were charges brought against his noble Friend—upon such grounds had charges of deceit been levelled against him. [Mr. C. Buller: I did not accuse him of deceit.] So it was, at least, that he understood the hon. Gentleman; but he must be allowed to state, that whatever might be the view taken of the matter by the hon. Gentleman, his noble Friend felt that such had been the real nature of the charge urged against him. He had received a statement, accusing him of having intentionally kept the Company in the dark on this point; and it was his (Mr. Hope's) duty to show how slight were the grounds upon which such accusations were brought forward. If the noble Lord had erred at all, he considered it to have been in the confidence and frankness with which he had received and communicated with those who had made him the object of their attacks. He would now pass from this part of the subject. The hon. and learned Gentleman had dwelt upon the inconsistency of Lord Stanley's administration with respect to New Zealand. The hon. and learned Gentleman complained that the promises held out to the Company by the right hon. Baronet near him had not been fulfilled. It was not for him to attempt to defend his right hon. Friend; but he might point with confidence to the spirit of the instructions laid before that House and communicated to the Company, as evincing a real sincere bonâ fide desire on the part of the Government to meet the demands of the New Zealand Company, so far as they could do so consistently with their duty to the country, and their obligation to maintain the honour of the Crown. The hon. and learned Gentleman had not read the instructions to which he had urged objections; but he (Mr. Hope) might be allowed to read some portions of them. Let him turn to the following passage in the despatch of the noble Lord, dated the 27th of June:—In my despatch of the 13th instant, I ad- 833 verted shortly to the relations between Her Majesty's Government and the New Zealand Company. The early settlement of the pending questions respecting the Company's claims to land is of paramount importance towards the adjustment of the affairs of the Colony; and it is far more necessary to take effectual steps for bringing these discussions to a final and, if possible, a satisfactory conclusion, than to re-open questions of strict right, or carry on an unprofitable controversy.Now, he would appeal to the House whether this passage evinced any hostile or unfriendly spirit on the part of the Government towards the New Zealand Company. Notwithstanding the attacks which had been made upon Lord Stanley, in connexion with this subject, he received a deputation from the Company; he did not hesitate to produce his despatches to them, and to communicate their purport; he courted their remarks, and yet it was said that he had shown no disposition to consult them, or to carry out promises which were supposed to have been made with reference to the establishment of an improved state of public affairs in New Zealand. The hon. and learned Member for Liskeard had complained that the Company were placed in a worse position than they would otherwise have been in, because an unheard-of condition had been imposed upon them—the acceptance of the Commissioner's award by the natives. From the manner in which the hon. and learned Gentleman's statement on this point was made, he could see that it had had some effect upon the House; and he might be allowed to afford an explanation of the matter, though such an explanation would scarcely be necessary to hon. Gentlemen who had read the despatch of the 6th of July. It would be remembered that early in July, 1843, the Company applied to Lord Stanley to direct his officers to co-operate with their agents in compensating the natives of New Zealand who might have sold their lands, or who complained that they had not received sufficient compensation for land sold. Lord Stanley consented to issue such instructions, and he did issue them. Governor Fitzroy delegated to Mr. Spain, the Commissioner, the duty of conducting these negotiations between the natives and the Company's agents; and the Commissioner had consequently a double duty to perform. In the one case he had to adjudicate judicially on the question of sale or no sale; in the other, in conformity with the request of the Company, 834 it was his duty to negotiate with the natives for the arrangement of unsatisfied claims. In some cases awards of further compensation had been made by the Commissioner to natives whose claims had remained unsatisfied. But these awards were not made by the Commissioner judicially; they were made by him in the character of a mediator between the two parties; and it depended upon the natives whether or not they would accept the compensation that might be tendered to them. In a letter of the 8th of May, 1843, from the New Zealand Company, it is requested that the Governor and Council of New Zealand may be instructed—As soon as practicable, to establish some general rule for defining native titles, and settling the claims to land, and to do their best to aid the agents of the Company in effecting the necessary arrangements with the natives, either for the purchase of lands belonging to them, but unimproved, or for making, on the part of the Company, equitable compensation for the original value of land which may have been occupied by themselves or their settlers, without sufficient title, but on which they may have effected improvements.In pursuance of these directions the Commissioner acted, and he acted upon them as mediator in Wellington, and almost every other settlement. The award of the Commissioner, in a judicial capacity, might have been against the Company; but, as a mediator, his suggestions might be admitted and accepted by the natives. This measure, therefore, so far from being inconsistent with the rights of the Company, was in his opinion, the very course of all others most calculated to effect their objects, and to lead to the peaceful, the immediate, and final settlement of the questions at issue in the Colony. But he would now turn to the more general questions to which the hon. and learned Gentleman had alluded. That hon. Member had begged that Lord Stanley would not shift from himself to the Governor of New Zealand any responsibility which properly belonged to him. It was unnecessary for him to defend the noble Lord from the suspicions of any desire to commit so discreditable an act; but on the other hand he (Mr. Hope) must ask that his noble Friend should not be made responsible for consequences which could not be attributed to his proceedings. The hon. and learned Gentleman had referred at some length to the present condition of the settlement of Auckland, and had thought proper to quote the account given by Mr. Cormack, without alluding to any other 835 letters received from the Colony, or to the despatches received by Her Majesty's Government. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said that there was congregated at Auckland a mob of runaway sailors, convicts, and other persons of bad character; and he took the opportunity of stating that there were in the Colony a number of boys from the Penitentiary at Parkhurst. He thought that when the hon. and learned Gentleman attributed the present condition of New Zealand in some degree to the fact that twenty-five boys from Parkhurst had been located in the Colony, it was evident that he was anxious to seize upon every circumstance which he imagined could excite any feeling in his favour, or create alarm in the public mind as to the condition of the Colony. He (Mr. Hope) would state the real circumstances with reference to these boys. It was determined some years ago to try an experiment which had been strongly recommended—that of giving to boys who had been criminally convicted, but who had received education, and who were believed to be reformed characters, a chance of beginning a new life in a new world. In pursuance of that determination, boys whose characters were vouched for by the superintendent of Parkhurst were sent to several of the Colonies, and among others to New Zealand. He regretted that a disposition should have been shown by any hon. Member of that House to shut out the reformed convict from the only chance of retrieving his character. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said that the settlers at Auckland were in a state of great alarm: he would ask permission to read to the House two extracts from letters from Auckland which had to-day been forwarded to him by his noble Friend the Secretary for the Colonies, the one dated the 20th and the other the 25th of March. In the former it was stated that the disaffection only extended to a few tribes in the north, that those in the neighbourhood of Auckland seemed to be well disposed, although they were not to be fully trusted. The writer, however, concluded with the remark, that "we may expect all to pass over without anything serious taking place." This was the letter of the 20th. In that dated the 25th, the same writer went on to state, that, since the arrival of the North Star troop ship, bringing 200 men of the 58th regiment, the public mind had become calmed, and the news from the different tribes was sufficiently satisfactory. Now, this was the statement of one who had no 836 interest in making out a favourable case for the local authorities. It was true that the hon. Member had read a letter of the 28th; but it so happened that he (Mr. Hope) had a newspaper published at New Zealand upon the 29th, from which he would read an extract—On Sunday last there arrived here 230 of the 58th regiment, with six field pieces from Sydney, in Her Majesty's ship North Star, and the schooner Velocity. These reinforcements, with the excellent precautionary measures of putting the barracks in a complete state of defence, erecting blockhouses in various directions, and strong patroles and pickets nightly around the town, impart feelings of security to the inhabitants, at the same time intimating to the native population in the adjacent districts, that any hostile or preparatory attempts on their part on Auckland, would be met by most determined powerful resistance.Here was a statement which did not agree with the representations of Mr. Cormack. But then the hon. Gentleman stated that in defending Auckland we had withdrawn protection from Wellington. Now, so far from that being the case, the fact was, that upon the arrival of the general reinforcement from Sidney, the first step taken, was to send special reinforcements from Auckland to Wellington. Yet the hon. Gentleman had gone on to declare, that Government was guilty of culpable negligence with respect to the state of military preparations at New Zealand, and that for this negligence Lord Stanley was responsible, Captain Fitzroy having repeatedly applied to him for additional military force, but without effect. This was the statement of the hon. Member; but he had not been able to point to those despatches of Governor Fitzroy, in which this demand for military assistance was urged, although all these documents had been laid upon the Table of the House. It was somewhat hard, then, under these circumstances, to turn round and say, why have you not complied with requests, the existence of which has still to be proved? In fact, the only statement of the kind alluded to by the hon. Member was, a general statement to be found in the despatch of the 14th of April. In this document it was stated, that none of the establishments—and this referred to civil and military establishments—would admit of reduction; but that, on the contrary, they ought rather to be increased. But really that was not the species of demand which could be called a regular application for increased force; and besides, the argu- 837 ment for the increase of establishments came with very bad grace from the hon. Gentleman, who considered these very establishments as being excessive. The first explicit demand for reinforcements was received on the 29th of March or May last—at the moment he did not recollect which—and the statement of Captain Fitzroy to his Council was made on the 26th of March. But as he was upon the subject of military and naval protection to New Zealand, it might be satisfactory to the House, and to those who were interested in the Colonies, were he to state what, in respect to this matter, had been the course already taken, and that which was proposed in future to be adopted. In the first place, then, the noble Lord opposite (Lord John Russell) had decided, that 100 men was to be the total force allotted to New Zealand. A force of that amount was accordingly sent out. Remonstrances were, however, made as to its insufficiency, and the noble Lord replied that he was sorry for it, but that he had no stronger force, and that they must be content with the 100 men allotted to them. The next correspondence which took place upon the subject was one which had been printed and laid before the House; and it appeared from the documents contained in it, that from 150 to 250 men and a ship of war were all that the military authorities in the island considered to be required. A reinforcement was accordingly sent, and a vessel of war ordered to be constantly stationed near New Zealand. In addition to this, his noble Friend had directed the immediate enrolment of a militia. His intention was, however, not carried into effect, and he might state distinctly, that disregard of the instructions sent from home in this respect, was one of the reasons which had led to the dismissal of Captain Fitzroy. But what had been the course lately pursued as to the defence of the Colony? His noble Friend had directed a regiment to be sent out to New Zealand, and had caused application to be made to the admiral on the Indian station for a steamer, while measures had been adopted for relieving the vessel of war by another as efficient, if not more so than herself. They must not, however, forget, in considering this question, the amount of force in the Australian Colonies; that consideration had a very important bearing upon the question. What, then were the facts as to the force in Australia? Why, 838 there were 1,600 more men there now, than there had been in 1841. Instead of 2,400, the number then stationed there, there were now upwards of 4,000. It would be evident, therefore, that there was a large available force stationed in those Colonies, and, as the distance between Auckland and Sydney was not above ten days' sail, that force would be enabled to be employed in the defence either of the one Colony or the other. Not, however, that he entertained any great dread that a large military force would be necessary for the purposes of New Zealand. He would remark, that there existed there no confederation of natives against Europeans. Indeed, the safety of British power had always been considered to lie in the disunion of the aboriginal tribes; and there were no grounds for supposing that the natives would now unite against us, unless some act were committed which should give them what they never yet possessed—common sympathies and a common object. "But," said the hon. Gentleman, "the recent disturbances had arisen from our policy in New Zealand;" and in the same breath he contended that these disputes had not their origin in any cause connected with land. The hon. Gentleman had referred to Mr. Busby's view of the matter. Mr. Busby's view was that the dissatisfaction of the natives arose from a limitation being imposed upon them as to their power of selling their land to whomsoever they pleased. Why, there was no witness the hon. Gentleman could call, who was more completely opposed to his views, than was Mr. Busby. But, then, in the opinion of Mr. Cormack, the late riots had their origin in the natives having been cheated. Where had they been cheated? How had they been cheated? By whom had they been cheated? The hon. Member answered none of these questions. But, they were told by others, that the natives became disaffected, because, they found greater restrictions upon their proceedings in the way of selling land than they anticipated. They urged, that we undertook to buy their lands from them, but that, if we did not so buy them, they had a right to sell to somebody else. They said, "When we gave you a right of pre-emption, we did not mean to imply that you should be the only purchasers, but simply that you should have the first offer." In fact, the disturbances arose from dissatisfaction against the regular Government, from dissatis- 839 faction with the impediments placed upon the sale of lands; and also they arose, he believed, from the desire on the part of the native chief who had led them to win for himself a reputation, to gain a character for warlike achievements, and to raise himself in the estimation of his countrymen, by denying the authority of the Queen of England. But then it was said that his noble Friend had supported Captain Fitzroy almost at all hazards, that never had a Governor been so backed, that almost his every action had been ratified and approved of. Now, he would like to know on what authority such statements were made. It was very true, that his noble Friend had said, so long as the charges were but one-sided accusations, that he would not on such ex-parte statements recall the late Governor; he would wait, in the first place, for Captain Fitzroy's own statement and defence. That statement was made, and he was recalled. So far from approving of almost all Captain Fitzroy's proceedings, his noble Friend disapproved of it on almost all important points. He disapproved of his financial policy, of his proceedings as to the sale of land, of his doing away with custom-house restrictions in the Bay of Islands. He disapproved of his proceedings in regard to the militia, and of the unusually rapid, hasty, and inconsiderate course which he adopted in passing, in a Council sitting at one end of the island, without allowing sufficient time for communication with the other, laws by which the whole was to be governed. But, then, said the hon. Member, what was the course now proposed to be adopted? And here he must remark on the attack which the hon. Gentleman had seen fit to make upon Mr. Shortland. He was sorry that the hon. Gentleman had thought it necessary to do anything of the kind. Mr. Shortland had been Secretary to the Colonial Government, but his appointment was not the work of his noble Friend. He had served with credit as a lieutenant in the navy; it was true that complaints of malversation had been made against him, but the charges were not supported, and he was acquitted; and the reason of his resigning his office was in consequence of Captain Fitzroy making it manifest that he reposed no confidence in him. It was considered most unjust and cruel to condemn a man for life because an unfounded charge was brought against him. It was his noble Friend's intention, therefore, though this gentleman was not con- 840 sidered competent to preside over the government of New Zealand, to appoint him to one of the minor presidencies of a West India Island. The hon. and learned Gentleman then came to the question of the policy on which the government of New Zealand should be conducted. To this part of the subject the hon. Gentleman's Resolution was pointed in as vague a manner as possible with the view of catching the votes of those who did not agree with his views. When the hon. and learned Gentleman came to particulars, a strong ground of attack seemed with him to be, that Auckland was made the capital instead of Wellington. Now the instructions issued by the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) in April 1841, specially provided that Captain Hobson, who was sent out by him, should see that the New Zealand Company had no portion of the capital, and that it should be reserved to the Government alone. The words were—"Lands to be assigned to them, should not embrace any part of the future capital. It is indispensable to reserve to the Crown the command over all lands in the capital town, as well as any that may be embraced in the suburbs." It was, therefore, clear that Captain Hobson went out with distinct instructions from Lord John Russell not to place the capital in the lands of the Company. But he did not defend the selection on that ground alone. Every impartial person from the Colony he had spoken to, testified that Auckland was the best selection that could have been made. The hon. and learned Gentleman had next taunted his noble Friend with the promise of "municipal government," and ridiculed the idea of granting institutions which only gave the power of paving and lighting. Now, he asked the House, was this reading his noble Friend's instructions in their spirit? His noble Friend stated what he gave them as a substitute for representative government—that he included large districts to obviate the unequal pressure of taxation; and yet the hon. and learned Gentleman would give the House to understand that the powers granted by his noble Friend were restricted to the narrow limits of "paving and lighting;" limits which, according to the hon. and learned Gentleman's own statement, would be perfectly inapplicable to the state of New Zealand. But then the hon. and learned Gentleman said the instructions deceived the Company. [Mr. Buller: No, that they were misled by them.] 841 Well, taking it in that way, it was admitted the instructions were submitted to the Company, and they had an opportunity of discussing them. His noble Friend's object in showing the Company the extract from his instructions, was in order to obtain their views. And he thought when his noble Friend acted in a spirit of candour, and fairness, and invited discussion, it would have been better for the Company to suggest modifications—to point out their views at the time, and not to receive them without objection, and subsequently, when convenient to themselves, to turn round and endeavour to give a meaning to those instructions which they were not intended to bear. As to his noble Friend's declaration that he would adhere to the Treaty of Waitangi, entertaining, as his noble Friend did entertain, a decided and fixed opinion that the obligations of the Crown imposed that view upon him, he would be unworthy of his high station if he permitted any notions of temporary convenience, or any desire to conciliate a particular body of men, to induce him to swerve from that course. Moreover, so far from late events disproving the justness of his noble Friend's views, they showed demonstrably that they were founded in good policy, as well as in justice, honour, and good faith; and that to depart from them, as it would unite the whole native tribes by one common and just cause of dissatisfaction, would go further than any other course that could be suggested, to shake at once the character and power of the British Government in New Zealand. The hon. and learned Gentleman next referred to the tax on the wild lands, and he censured it strongly. Why, the hon. and learned Gentleman, in his own Report, recommended such a tax on the wild lands of Canada, and nobody found fault with that recommendation, though Canada was a conquered Colony, and French Canadians owners of wild lands. It was plain by the mode he dwelt on it, that the hon. and learned Gentleman considered this the only weak point of his noble Friend's case; but it was hard that his noble Friend should be condemned for an incidental observation approving the same view as that taken in the solemn Report of the hon. and learned Gentleman, and that his noble Friend should be called a "thimble-rigger" and "ring-dropper" for adopting the same recommendation as to New Zealand, which the hon. and learned Gentleman gave as to Canada. Besides this attack on 842 the noble Lord, he might also be allowed to refer to what he considered an unfair charge against himself. In the late debate the hon. Member for Lambeth said, that he (Mr. Hope) had voted in 1840 against the recognition of the independence of New Zealand. Be it so. But was there any inconsistency in saying it was unwise to admit the independence of New Zealand, but that, having admitted it, we were bound to adhere to a particular policy to give effect to what he might have considered in the first instance an erroneous view of the question? The Report of that Committee distinctly stated that a proper remedy could only be applied by legislation to the evils which then existed. To revert, however, to the question really before the House, after his many miscellaneous attacks, the hon. and learned Gentleman came at last to what was the gist of his Resolutions, drawn as they were to bring within their scope as much sympathy from all sides as possible. He spoke of a change of policy. These were wide words; but the meaning of them was simple—it was to obtain for the Company the land to which it was their wish to be declared entitled to be given to them, by being taken away without compensation from the natives. That was the change of policy which he stated was expected. On what ground was such a change expected? Was there not the strongest declaration of an intention to keep faith with the natives of New Zealand? They (the Opposition) might say that the recognition of their rights was a wrong course; but to that Government was pledged by the acts of the noble Member for London, and by no act of their own. He should not fatigue the House by discussing the noble Lord's instructions; but they could have proceeded on no ground but on a recognition of a title to the soil of New Zealand in the natives, and that they alone owned the waste lands which the noble Lord's Officers were instructed to purchase from them. Had there been any fresh intelligence to change these views? If the hon. and learned Gentleman looked to the Minutes of the Executive Council of New South Wales, he would find that not much encouragement was held out to change the policy which was thus rendered indispensable by the acts of the predecessors of the present Ministers. The House would recollect that in the late debate, the Report of Sir G. Gipps was frequently referred to, particularly by the Chairman of the Committee, the noble 843 Member for Sunderland. Sir G. Gipps was applied to by Captain Fitzroy for aid before the breaking out of the last disturbance, and he observed, before Lord Stanley's despatch was received—commenting on the Report of the New Zealand Company—The present application was not founded on a single act of violence, and he felt convinced that the difficulty of keeping in cheek the natives would be more extensively felt in proportion as the Report of the House of Commons' Committee of July should become more generally known throughout the Colony.He could state that that was no visionary apprehension; and that it was the opinion of every one well acquainted with the Colony, that if there was any question likely to unite the natives into a compact mass, it was the question as to their rights to land, denied by the Committee; and, in conclusion, so far from promsing a change, he must warn the House against that other line of policy pressed for by the hon and learned Member, which would, in his opinion, amount to spoliation, and which would be as inconsistent with the honour of the Crown as with the peace and good government of the Colony.
§ Mr. Roebuck
said, many of the difficulties which beset this question were to be traced to the manner in which we became entitled to New Zealand. They would be found not to result from the acts of any one Government, but from the course of policy which had been pursued with regard to the Colony. He should shortly give the history of this Colony; for on the good foundation of our title rested the solution of many of the difficulties which we had to encounter. In 1769, Captain Cook, under the authority of the Crown, discovered this territory. According to international law, to give us any right to possession of the discovery, the voyage of discovery must have been prosecuted under the authority of a Crown. This, however, was but an inchoate right, liable to be annulled by non-user or formal abandonment. We did not take possession of New Zealand by any authorized colonization. Some runaways from New South Wales, some mariners connected with the whale fishery, and some missionaries (of whom he had a word to say presently), who thought they were "labouring in the vineyard," occupied by degrees this territory. The right we gained by discovery thus remained unperfected. By a great many Acts of Parliament, Great 844 Britain solemnly disavowed its title; and' further, that the sovereignty existed in the New Zealand chiefs. It was not for him to say whether this course was wise or not; but if any foreign nation had supposed they were not precluded by our priority of discovery, and invaded the country, we should have fallen back on the declaration which we made, and said, "This is an independent country—it is so acknowledged by us—and we shall see that the rights and liberties are not endangered." A Company was next formed (and it would puzzle his hon. Friend the Attorney General to answer this position) for the purpose of conducting emigration to New Zealand. That would be an illegal act, if this was a wild territory. The Company had a right to say, "We went out to this country on the character acknowledged by yourselves—that of an independent and sovereign community; and we bought the lands from the people, you say, who possessed the sovereignty." Lord Stanley, by some powers of divination, said the intentions of the natives were not such as were supposed. The Company answered, "We paid for the land; we paid what your 'sovereign rulers' considered a fair price; and we say, you have no right to look at the contract, or to annul it by proclamation." Now, that was a nice legal question, which he should like to see submitted to the Queen's Bench; and he would wager they would not decide with the Government. When those parties went out in 1839, the intermeddling of France was dreaded. What did we? We made Captain Hobson not only Captain General of New Zealand, but we also invested him with consular power, thereby admitting the people to whom he was accredited to be an independent nation. We also gave ambassadorial powers, and authorized him to treat with the chiefs. What could be more solemn acknowledgments of sovereignty? Proceedings went on. This half Ambassador and Consul went to New Zealand; and then commenced a two-act farce, the first part of which related to the Treaty of Waitangi, and the second as to the proceedings of the chiefs of the Middle Island. Compare the document authenticated by Colonel Wakefield, as coming from the chiefs round Wellington, with that which constituted these New Zealanders an independent nation. Government said they would not pay attention to the last; it was a fraud—they would have nothing to do with it. Now, he maintained it was the second which 845 contained the fraud. It was a fraud, not on the simple natives alone, but on the civilized world. You forfeited the right of original discovery, and acknowledged the sovereignty of this people. By the Treaty of Waitangi you pretend, in the face of civilized Europe, that you are bound. Where were your faith and honour when it was made? Never was anything more disgraceful than the proceedings with the savages. One witness said, a quantity of feofment was carried out, in order that the natives might sign it. Why, they'd sign anything for some tobacco and rum! He now came to the missionaries—the parties chiefly employed in carrying this Treaty of Waitangi. He must here, at the outset, remark, that this country, it must be confessed, was very much under the influence of cant. There was nothing on which it was more susceptible than as to the fate of the "aborigines." A formidable organization having been got up for the purpose of emancipating the blacks, when the freedom of the slave was proclaimed, the power and influence of this great body of sympathizers was all abroad; and it was gravely discussed to what subject public attention should next be directed—whether it should be home or colonial. When a member adopted a hobby, the custom was to refer it to a Committee; for by that means the Government god rid of the subject for at least some months. The way that the House thus dealt with a question was mischievous, and he believed it was so in this case. The noble Member for Dorsetshire loved hobbies very much; and he constantly had questions to refer to Select Committees, and he had now two remarkably long Bills before the House. Formerly, he had a number of measures respecting labour; and he had now taken up a new subject. He must observe, with respect to these measures, that although he entertained a very great respect for the noble Lord, yet it could not escape his observation that there were persons who lived by means of such hobbies. Now, what was the effect of the hobby with respect to the aborigines in New Zealand? Lord Norman by having found a Report of a Committee of the House of Commons, in which allusion was made to the aborigines, and on reading, exclaimed, "Oh, we can never stand against this; we must do something, so that the storm blow over;"—he, therefore, thought that the best mode of proceeding was, to get back the sovereignty of New Zealand; and so, for 846 the purpose of maintaining good order, he again took possession of New Zealand. There were parties, also, who benefited by the hobby of the Waitangi Treaty. There were the missionaries, who largely profited by it. They took abroad with them a knowledge of the true faith, which they were to communicate to the aborigines of New Zealand, and they pretended to put it into the language of New Zealand. For this purpose they were obliged to coin a vast number of words; and why was this? Because the ideas of such a nation did not embody one-hundredth part of those which were to be found in the Sacred Volume. They had, therefore, translated it into a jargon, which he could read because he understood English; but he was certain there was not a native who could make anything of it. But these persons, whilst they exhibited so much piety, also took care to look to their own interests. One of the witnesses who was examined before the Committee had stated that one of the missionaries had acquired a bit of land; it occurred to him to ask the size of it, and the reply to his question was, that this bit was about 90,000 acres. There was another gentleman missionary who kindly took possession of a piece of land which had been a source of dispute between two chiefs. He interfered, and treated them as mere boys, and took possession of the object in dispute; and thus he got possession of 100,000 acres in the best part of the island. The question then arose, what was the cause of Auckland having been made the capital of the Colony? It was in consequence of missionary influence. It was this influence that unhappily governed the Colonial Office. The Colonial Minister was not the Minister of the Colonies in reality; there was a paramount authority behind which controlled him. A person holding the office of Colonial Secretary was made to believe that he was a great man by the authority he alluded to, until he attempted to govern without it, and he would do so if he were a man of large capacity and determined will; but Lord Stanley was not one of that class. He would get rid of the whole system. The truth was, that the Colonial Minister was governed by Mr. Stephens, and Mr. Stephens was governed by missionary influence. This was the case wherever they went to in the Colonies. They had a dispute with France respecting Tahiti, which nearly led to a rupture between the two countries; and this was all occasioned by 847 the missionaries. The fact was, that these missionaries did no good but to themselves. From the time they had taken possession of the island till the present time, where had the outbreaks taken place? Always within the territories where these missionaries were. These men went out to preach the gospel of peace, but wherever they appeared an outbreak of violence took place. Recently the shape of the Government had been unpalatable to the missionaries, and the result was the proceedings at the Bay of Islands. If he was asked to put his finger on any persons who had done mischief in the transactions respecting New Zealand, he should first name the persons who drew up the Act of Parliament, and then Lord Normanby for his Treaty of Waitangi. The noble Lord the Member for the city of London was obliged to give way on this point, and so it would be with Lord Stanley. He did not, however, complain of any man in particular—it was not the men but the system which he complained of. A Colony should not be merely under the authority of a Governor acting on instructions from this country, but it should be constituted under a charter, acknowledging and declaring that the government of it vested in the people. Unless they acknowledged this principle, they must expect constant disputes and turmoil wherever they attempted to colonize. If they would allow the people of Wellington to govern themselves as the people of Rhode Island did, they would have had none of these differences, and the House would not have been troubled at such length respecting these disputes. Before the first large party of emigrants left the river Thames on their voyage out, they entered into a voluntary engagement as to the adoption of a form of government which they would adopt on their arrival at their destination. They had a precedent for this, the adoption of which was regarded with as much respect in the Northern States of America, as Magna Charta was in this country. If any one named the pilgrim fathers in that part of the United States, he would be told they were the persons most worthy of the respect of mankind. When, therefore, there was such an example before them, why should the adoption of the proceeding be visited with reprobation? At the same time he blamed the Company on other grounds, as he thought then, as he had thought at the time, that it was a hasty and, therefore, unwise proceeding to send out such a large 848 body of emigrants before they had cleared their ground, and made proper preparation for their reception. Now, if the Government of the present day would calmly take up the Treaty of Waitangi, and examine it, and look into all the circumstances connected with it, and which led to its completion—he was convinced that, if they would impartially consider it, they would say that it was not worth the paper on which it was written. The Secretary of the Colonies talked of a land tax. Take any particular spot, he would defy them to tell who was the owner of it. The tribes were constantly wandering from place to place—they were here to-day, and there to-morrow, and there was, to use a legal expression, no assignable individual to be found as resident or proprietor. The tribes of Indians in America were in some respect like the savages in New Zealand; but they really occupied the land, for they hunted on it. It had been proved over and over again before the Committee that the natives of New Zealand only occupied small pieces of land, and they were only owners of it as long as they cultivated it, but no longer. The land was soon worn out by their mode of cultivation, and they then resorted to a new piece of fertile land, which they kept till the soil was exhausted, and no longer. They had no notion of boundaries, and they could not trace the land they claimed from river to river, or from mountain to mountain, in New Zealand, as this country could in India or elsewhere, or as the hon. Gentleman could trace out his patrimonial acres. It, therefore, was a monstrous piece of absurdity to talk of the land belonging to such or such a tribe. The noble Lord had said that he would respect the law of New Zealand; but did the noble Lord know what he meant by the expression? There certainly existed traditions of a certain kind amongst these natives, but there never existed any traditions respecting the ownership of land. He would challenge any one to show or prove that there was any law of the description respecting land. There might be a club, or something of that kind, which a son might inherit from his father, who had used it to knock down his enemies, but there was not a shadow of a shade of any law respecting the inheritance of land. He recollected, that a noble Lord, whose loss in that House no one could regret on the present occasion more than he did, had referred, in the last debate on this subject, to a title which a native put forward to some land, from 849 the circumstance of his having killed and eaten the native chief who formerly resided near the spot. It came out in evidence that one tribe had conquered and exterminated another tribe, and had taken possession of the land of the latter; and as this was on the sea coast, they had turned to fishing for a subsistence, and did not cultivate the soil. So it constantly happened that one tribe was driven from a particular district by another tribe; but they never heard of any of these natives who could deal with or describe land acre by acre. One person, however, who was examined before the Committee, said, that land descended from generation to generation through its respective hues; and he drew such a picture of this description of the descent of land and its appanages, until he (Mr. Roebuck) almost thought that they were getting to the history of a German barony. But it was perfect nonsense to talk of any law respecting the descent of land amongst the natives of New Zealand. They would find that the savages of New Zealand were sagacious, brave, and a stout body of men; but they were very low in the scale of civilization. [Captain Rous: Hear!] He believed that he had seen as many savages as the hon. and gallant Officer had, and that he was also as well acquainted with their character. It happened that all the arms these savages now fought with were introduced by the missionaries. The natives did not know the use of metal. All the metal which they had was derived from us, although large quantities of ore were lying at their feet, almost in its native state. They had not arrived at that state that they knew how to forge iron, which was the first indispensable requisite to civilization. ["Hear, hear!"] He knew that the Mexicans did not forge iron, but they had other things which they used as a substitute for iron. It was an undoubted fact, that all uncivilized races of savages ultimately perished wherever civilized man came. They might look on this circumstance with regret; but the latter circumstance was uniformly fatal to the savage races. If the noble Lord would look to what had occurred with respect to the North American Indians, he would find how rapidly and constantly they had perished before the progress of civilization. All that they could do would be to guard against the perpetration of acts of cruelty towards the natives, and to take care that they did not do anything towards the na- 850 tives, which would not be done towards one of the colonists or subjects of this country. Protect the natives as much as you possibly could; but still, whatever course was pursued, the same circumstance would arise as was invariable under similar circumstances—namely, that the brown men would entirely disappear. It was idle to talk of putting them in possession of the soil; but they were a class over whose welfare there might be some watch and guard. This could be done, not by the means proposed by the noble Lord, but by such a course as was adopted by the New Zealand Company, who allotted to them such portions of the country as they were able to cultivate. Something might be done in this way; but nothing could ever be done as long as the natives were treated as sovereigns of the soil, and land was purchased of them by large sums of money. He had seen something of this in North America. The House very unwisely granted 20,000l. a year to be distributed as presents among the native tribes of Indians in Canada. What was the result? They got drunk as soon as they received the money, and either continued so until they got rid of it, or in that state they were robbed of it; and the result was, that their number was gradually diminishing. So it would be in New Zealand. The House might depend upon it that acting upon the plan of the noble Lord the effect would be such as the introduction of the small-pox amongst them could only be an equivalent, and not half a dozen years would elapse before they were nearly all swept away. The noble Lord talked of the possessors of the soil, and of imposing a tax upon them. On this point he did not agree with his hon. and learned Friend as to the right of taxing savages. But how would the noble Lord set about levying this tax? He must first of all find out the owner of every particular spot, for they could not lay the tax on a tribe. They could not say that such or such a tribe should pay 1,000 dollars, but they must impose it on an individual. If this was the case, the whole thing was a mere pretence, for the natives had no means of paying the dollars. If the tax was imposed, the land would be forfeited every year. It was a paltry pretence, and, to use an expression of the noble Lord's, it was a thimble-rigging scheme. He therefore hoped that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government would not listen to such a paltry pretence. It was, 851 no doubt, the duty of the Government to consider the interests of the Maorie population. In doing so, let them look to justice being done them, but do not adopt a procedure which any individual in private life would be utterly ashamed to put forward. He trusted that the House would not be a party to such a monstrous proceeding. Difficult as the question might appear, they must be prepared to go straight forward; and, in the first place, they must consider the waste lands, as he believed they legally were, the property of the Crown, and treat them accordingly. They should provide, however, just as much land for the natives in each district as they could want for the purposes of cultivation, and take care to secure the possession of it to them. He did not suppose that the Government could persist in maintaining the strange conclusion of the noble Lord, that the possession of the waste lands should be considered to rest in the native chiefs. If the Government would at once rescind the proceedings of the noble Lord on this subject, they would relieve that House from a great deal of unnecessary trouble which must go on increasing as long as this system was persisted in.
The Attorney General
said, it was not without a feeling of regret that, after the former discussion of three nights on this subect, he found that the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard had thought proper to renew it; and, above all, that it should be by a Motion of such a vague and indefinite character, from the adoption of which it was impossible to anticipate any beneficial result. On considering this question, he could not disguise from himself, that but for the existence of the New Zealand Company, and but for the interests of that Company, it never would have been brought forward. He trusted that he should be able to satisfy the House that it was not from any regard to the general prosperity of the Colony of New Zealand, that the hon. Member had called upon it to reconsider the subject; but entirely with a view to the interests of the New Zealand Company. He felt obliged to his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bath, for having at once pointed out the policy which it was the object of the Motion to have adopted. It was, to compel the Government to abandon the Treaty of Waitangi, and to take possession of the whole of the unoccupied land in the Colony; and then, out of it, to make over a very large portion to the New Zealand Company. He agreed 852 with many of the observations of one part of the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, with respect to the establishment of the New Zealand Company. As for the original formers of this Company, he believed that many persons had joined it from the purest and the most disinterested motives. With respect to others, however, he believed that they were not insensible to the advantages which the adoption of such a scheme must produce; while others were only led to join it by the anticipation of the profit that would accrue from it as a commercial speculation. The Directors of the Company, in one of their early Reports, stated that the Colony was not established for political, but for commercial purposes; and from the large blue book it appeared that in a comparatively short time after its formation, it paid six per cent. interest on its capital. This circumstance offered a temptation to persons not influenced by disinterested motives to join it. He said this, because the Committee on the Report said that a great deal of the evil that had taken place in New Zealand had arisen from the New Zealand Company acting in defiance of the Governor. In the month of December, 1839, when the first purchase was made by Colonel Wakefield, a number of settlers had arrived, on the faith of the purchases of land having been completed. It therefore became necessary to find some place in which they might be located; they therefore made hasty and unfair purchases of the natives. As to the challenge of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bath as to the right of the natives or the New Zealand Company to the land, there could be no doubt that the independence of New Zealand had been recognised over and over again by this country. It was a question whether such recognition was politic or not, but the fact was indisputable. The hon. and learned Member for Bath said, that if New Zealand was an independent State, the New Zealand Company had a right to deal with them, and purchase land from the natives, and that such contract was valid; and he asked, how could they get out of this difficulty? His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bath was the first who suggested this ingenious argument; for the New Zealand Company had never argued that they could carry on such dealings with the natives of New Zealand without the sanction of the Government of this country. In May, 1839, an application was made by Mr. 853 Hutt to Lord Normanby, stating that a Colonization Company, as it was then called, had been formed, and was going out to New Zealand to purchase land. Why did the Company apply to Lord Normanby at all, if they were going out to New Zealand as to an independent country, to deal with an independent State? Lord Normanby's reply was, that he could not recognise them on the independent footing suggested, nor sanction the validity of any purchases they might make on that principle. The Company, on this refusal, broke up; and a day or two after this communication with the Government, the New Zealand Company issued a prospectus, dated May 2, 1839, at a time when they had not acquired one foot of land in the island—setting forth that they had made most extensive and advantageous purchases of territory, in convenient parts of the island, for the purposes of settlement. Again the Company applied to Lord Normanby, and again they were told that he would not recognise them on the footing required, nor sanction the validity of any purchases they might make. In defiance of this refusal, however, the Company sent out their officers with the settlers; and in the months of September, October, and November, of that year, Colonel Wakefield, their agent, made purchases extending over several degrees of latitude, upon deeds which, at all events, were not more intelligible to the natives than was the Treaty of Waitangi. The independence of New Zealand had for a number of years previously been recognised by the Government; but the proceedings of the New Zealand Company compelled the Government to take steps for the cession of the sovereignty of the island, for the purpose of protecting the natives. Instructions to this effect were sent out to Captain Hobson, who issued a proclamation accordingly in February, 1840. Did the Company then say that they had been treating with an independent State, that the Government had no right to interfere with their purchases, and that they protested against the proclamation, as far as they were concerned, up to that time? No. Or, did the noble Lord opposite, then in office, concur with them in the representations they now insisted upon, as to the utterly savage character of the natives? On the contrary, the noble Lord described them as tribes considerably removed from mere barbarism, as a nation with advanced ideas of cultivation, and impressed with estab- 854 lished notions as to the rights of property and the division of the soil, and whose independence had been formally recognised by the British Government. If the New Zealanders answered to this description, it could not be deemed absurd, improper, or unjust, to enter into a Treaty with them. And having made that Treaty with them, on what principle was the Government of this country to attend to the demand of hon. Gentlemen opposite, that the Treaty should be set aside, and the honour of Great Britain violated? That, indeed, would be improper and unjust; and, had Government entered upon so dishonourable a course, the violence and massacres on the part of the natives, which all must so deeply deplore, would not have been without some justification. When the Treaty of February, 1840, became known, what said the New Zealand Company? They said this:—On mature reflection, your directors know no other remedy for the evils they have set forth, than for the Government to take on itself the duty of occupying all the lands as sole possessors, making compensation to such persons as have bonâ fide acquired property therein.He had intimated, that he thought the late Government right in the policy they had pursued in this matter. What, then, was the Government to do, which, on coming into office, found the Treaty of Waitangi established? Surely, not to set aside that Treaty, to violate the pledged honour of the country, and, seizing on the wild lands, transfer them absolutely to the New Zealand Company. Nor, was the Treaty the sole guide which the new Government had to direct their course by. In November, 1840, Lord John Russell had made an agreement with the Company, having reference to all the existing circumstances of the case, in the Eleventh Article of which Agreement the Company distinctly and unequivocally—Forego and disclaim all title, or pretence of title, to any land in New Zealand, except such as may be granted to them by the Crown, preserving to the tribes and chiefs all the lands which they might individually or collectively possess.This Article the Company, indeed, afterwards attempted to assume, was conditional; but it was a perfectly clear and unequivocal surrender of any claims they might have set up to any land, but such as the Crown might thereafter grant to them. And the Company had this 855 great advantage in the matter over individual settlers, that whereas allotments to the latter were limited in quantity, the Company were to receive from Government grants commensurate in extent with the amount of their expenditure, at the very liberal ratio of four acres for every pound of money they could show, to the satisfaction of Mr. Penington, the Government Land Commissioner, they had laid out in the legitimate purposes of colonization. The letter of their own agent, dated the 24th August, 1841, and their reply to it, showed that they were sensible of the justice of this interpretation of the agreement. The Company complained that Lord Stanley had dealt harshly with them; whereas, in point of fact, he had dealt most liberally, even promising them that they should not be called upon to prove the validity of their titles, but that he would give them a primâ facie title to the full quantity of land awarded them, and put them in possession of it, unless where some prior title was established. True, the agreement was not carried out by Captain Fitzroy according to the intentions of Lord Stanley, but the noble Lord should not be assailed for this. Hon. Gentlemen opposite demanded a change of policy; he did not see how Government could pursue any other policy, than to respect the Treaty of Waitangi, and adhere, in the liberal spirit of construction it had manifested to the agreement made with the Company.
§ Mr. Labouchere
had intended to give a silent vote on this occasion; but after what had fallen from the hon. and learned Member for Bath with reference to the conduct of Lord Normanby, under whom he had the honour to act in the Colonial Office, he should consider himself as shrinking from his duty to the House, to the noble Lord, and to himself, if he were not to make some observations on what the hon. and learned Member had advanced. But first he wished to say a few words as to what had been put forward by the hon. and learned Gentleman who last addressed the House; that hon. and learned Gentleman expressed the opinion that the question before the House was merely a question between the New Zealand Company and the Colonial Office: the hon. and learned Gentleman was quite mistaken. There was a much more important question than that submitted to their decision on this occasion; a question whether the Colony of New Zealand was not in that condition in which it had become the im- 856 perative duty of that House—not for the sake of the New Zealand Company merely, but for the sake of the people of this country—for the sake of a great, and what ought to be a most flourishing Colony, and for the sake of the large numbers of our countrymen who resorted there, to interpose for the purpose of inducing the Government to withdraw from the policy it had so mischievously acted upon, and which, at present, it evinced a determination of adhering to. His opinion was, that the sentiments of Her Majesty's Government, as indicated by the documents on the Table of the House, and expressed, so far as he had heard in that House, were unsatisfactory; and that it was, therefore, the duty of the House, when they heard the opinions of large and important parties expressed with respect to the condition of affairs of that Colony, to take into consideration the policy which it was right to pursue with respect to it. The hon. and learned Member for Bath, in remarking with respect to the policy which had been adopted by Lord Normanby, seemed to think that it had been founded on an over sensitive regard to the feelings of the aborigines; but he recollected all the circumstances connected with the policy of the Marquess of Normanby towards New Zealand—he recollected the period when Captain Hobson received those instructions—and he was well aware that Lord Normanby's desire was, that the Colony of New Zealand should present an exception to what had been almost the general rule previously in our Colonial history, namely, that the inferior should not be crushed or destroyed by the superior race; and that was, he could assure the House, an important element of all the policy of that nobleman. If those instructions which Lord Normanby then gave, and the policy which he adopted, had been fairly carried out and acted upon by Her Majesty's present Ministers, that state of things which had since been presented in New Zealand would never have occurred; and it was not fair, therefore, to infer, that because Lord Normanby had given those instructions to Captain Hobson, all that had since taken place in New Zealand was the result of them, although his policy had not been carried out in that Colony. Those were his opinions; but he did not rest them upon his own view solely, for he was fully borne out in them by the opinion of the Select Committee which inquired into the subject, which was composed of many 857 individuals who usually voted with the Government, and the opinion of which could not be supposed to be swayed by prejudice. What did that Committee say on the subject of the Treaty of Waitangi? It said—and he would remark that it was not the Treaty of Waitangi, but the interpretation put by the Government upon it, which caused the evil that had been complained of—it said that the acknowledgment in the local authorities of the right of property on the part of the natives in land, after the right had been assumed by the Crown, was not essential to the Treaty of Waitangi, and was injurious in its consequences. He (Mr. Labouchere) conceived that many misfortunes had resulted from that interpretation which the Government had given to the Treaty of Waitangi; and he regretted to see, that after the publication of that opinion of the Committee, they (the Government) still adhered to the interpretation which was so condemned by the Committee, and to a course of policy founded on that interpretation. Lord Stanley continued to adopt that interpretation, and that course of policy, after the publication of the Report of the Committee, which expressed their opinion of the injurious consequences which had arisen from it. He (Mr. Labouchere) did not consider this a question between the Government and the New Zealand Company; nor did he rise as the defender of all the actions of the New Zealand Company, although it was his opinion that the New Zealand Company and the missionaries might have been rendered very useful and beneficial in the advancement of the prosperity of the Colony, by the adoption of a wise policy on the part of the Government. He did not wish to see the Government at home in subjection to either; but he wished to see a course of policy which would render both useful in assisting the carrying out of a wise and well-considered course of proceeding in that Colony. He did not agree with the hon. and learned Member for Bath in thinking that the Treaty of Waitangi was waste paper. Far from it; for although it was not entered into with a people who were in a state of civilization, yet it was agreed to by this country, and it ought to be adhered to as perfectly as if it were with France or America, or any other country. But then it ought to be on fair conditions; for it would be mere nonsense to apply to half-civilized savages, like the New Zealanders, those rules of property 858 which could only apply to a country in a condition similar to that in which England is placed. Let substantial justice be observed towards New Zealand—that only was required: if they had looked to substantial justice in the interpretation of the Treaty, the evils which had since been so much complained of would have disappeared long ere this time. Nothing could possibly be more absurd than to suppose, that a population of 100,000 natives, who were not hunters, and did not require large districts for their support, like the North American Indians—nothing could be more absurd than to suppose that this population, so constituted, had a right of property over 80,000,000 of acres, to the exclusion of the Government of this country, or of the colonists who went out to New Zealand. It was so directly opposed to sound policy, and a wise course of Government, that it would only lead to those disasters which had taken place in New Zealand. A state of things which had long continued had been going on from bad to worse, until acts of a most appalling description had at length occurred. A British settlement had been taken and ransacked; and the House had a right to hear from the Government a distinct and satisfactory account of the course which it intended to pursue. If the House looked to the assurances which they had, they would be found to be anything but satisfactory; for there was no answer to be found, except that a great body of troops would be sent to New Zealand; and he (Mr. Labouchere) would say, that if that was all, New Zealand promised to be a very unprofitable appendage to us for a few years to come. There would, if that were the only policy to be adopted, be a very great sacrifice of money and of men for a long period; and New Zealand, instead of being a valuable adjunct to the commercial greatness of this country, would only present, for many years, a scene of disaster. He agreed with the opinions of several Gentlemen at that side of the House, as to the notable expedient of the Government, namely, the imposition of a land tax for all the waste lands. They treated the aborigines as if they were the most civilized country in the world, in this particular. They recognised their rights to property in as complete a manner as it could be recognised in England in the nineteenth century, and they followed up that course by the plan of proposing a land tax—another mistake, which every one who knew an- 859 thing of such wild countries, knew was only calculated to lead to mischief and confusion. He (Mr. Labouchere) merely rose to do an act of justice to a nobleman who deserved the highest merit for his policy towards New Zealand; but before he sat down, he felt it his duty to allude to another Gentleman connected with the Colonial Office, and whom the hon. and learned Member for Bath thought fit to attack—a gentleman whose name he (Mr. Labouchere) could not pass over, if not in justice to him, in justice to his own feelings—he alluded to Mr. Stephen. He (Mr. Labouchere) brought away from that Office, as others had also done, a deep and enduring respect for the virtues, and abilities, and great services of Mr. Stephen. He knew it was too much the habit to attribute everything which was displeasing in the conduct of the business of the Colonial Office to Mr. Stephen; and so much was this the custom, that one day Mr. Stephen said to him (Mr. Labouchere), so constant was the desire to attribute everything of an evil tendency to him, that it would be better he (Mr. Stephen) left the Office altogether; but he (Mr. Labouchere) replied that it was a great advantage in that case to have him there, and he requested him not to leave, as all that the principals did would be attributed to Mr. Stephen. No mistake was greater than to suppose that Mr. Stephen was anxious to engross power at the Colonial Office; but his services and experience were so great, that he never knew any one at that Office who was not desirous of having the assistance of so acute a mind as that of Mr. Stephen; nor had he ever seen any one more desirous of putting fairly and clearly the facts and means of judgment before the eyes of his principal, leaving him to decide for himself, unbiassed by any prejudices he (Mr. Stephen) might have. He felt that that acknowledgment was due to one to whom he was under great obligation; and it would be no disparagement to any other person in that Office to say that the most distinguished for talents and services was the Gentleman whose name he had just mentioned. He should, then, give his vote in favour of the Motion of his hon. and learned Friend; for he did not think the Ministers had given any assurance to the House with which they ought to be satisfied, in the present grave and critical state of affairs in New Zealand. He was afraid that they felt ashamed of retracing their steps, which every day was leading to worse results; and he was 860 sure, that if the House, in a case like this, refused to interpose—if they were so taken up by party attachment, and party conflicts in that House, that such an appeal as was made that evening on behalf of this Colony should be neglected, it would go far to shake that confidence and respect with which he desired to see all Colonies look to that House, as their protectors against all evils that might befall them.
§ Sir R. H. Inglis
said he was anxious to recall the attention of the House to the observations which had been made to-night with reference to the missionaries in New Zealand. The animus exhibited by the New Zealand Company was anything but favourable to the missionaries. That might have been collected from the tone of the hon. and learned Member for Cockermouth (Mr. Aglionby), when on a former occasion he requested the House to observe that the late rebellion took place in a portion of the island especially under the cognizance and instruction of the missionaries. And the hon. and learned Member for Bath (Mr. Roebuck), in that part of the speech which referred to the recent unhappy disturbances told the House that this was the very quarter of the island which had for so many years enjoyed the benefits of missionary superintendence. The inference from those statements was clear, namely, that the disturbances which had occurred took place either through the direct misfeasance of the missionaries, or by their absolute neglect. In answer to that, he would ask the hon. Members to recollect the state in which New Zealand was before the missionaries arrived in that country. He would ask, could such a war as that which recently disturbed the northern part of that island, have taken place in former days without the occurrence of barbarities too dreadful for utterance in that House? He would ask, had not the chief Heki exhibited a degree of chivalry and gallantry which would have been an honour to any European nation, and, as the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard had said, would have honoured one European nation, which claims for itself to be the most civilized in the world? If the House would contrast the conduct of the New Zealand chief Heki with that of Colonel Pelissier, he would ask, whether the influence of Christianity had not been manifested, if not by the white man in Africa, at least by the dark man in New Zealand? He would ask whether, in the attack on Kororarika, a native chieftain 861 had not exhibited a courtesy and self-devotion which had not often been equalled since the days of Bayard, and which certainly had not been excelled? The hon. and learned Member for Liskeard could no longer look upon New Zealanders as children or savages; and as a further indication of the condition in which that people were, he (Sir R. Inglis) would remind the House that during the late disturbances there, a young woman and her child, who were taken by the New Zealanders—by those whom we in the self assumption of our pride call savages—was restored, unharmed, and without insult, by a flag of truce; and that two English officers, who were taken by the native chief, were sent back without having received any injury, and returned in such a manner as many other countries would not have returned them, namely, with their arms—their swords and pistols having been left with them. Let the House recollect what would have been the character of that war if it had taken place thirty years ago; and then he would ask, was not the influence of Christianity and of the exertions of the missionaries apparent? He would also refer with gratitude and satisfaction to the conduct of the Bishop of New Zealand, which had been spoken so highly of since his arrival in the Colony, but particularly during the later disturbances. Lieutenant Philpotts stated in one of his letters, that the conduct of the bishop in bringing off the women and children, and wounded, under a heavy fire, was deserving of the highest admiration; whilst his attendance on the wounded, performing the most menial offices for them, and administering both spiritual and temporal comfort to them, was equally praiseworthy. With respect to the conduct of the Government, he admitted they committed two faults—one in deputing the investigation into the state of New Zealand to a Committee of that House; and the next in appointing to the Government of that Colony an officer, who, if alive when the appointment reached him, might decline to accept it. Referring to the instructions given by Lord Stanley to Captain Grey, the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Buller) regarded them as being directly contrary to the promise alleged to have been given by the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Treasury, that there should be a representative government given to New Zealand, and, quoting the instructions sent out in pursuance, as they ought to have been, of that promise, the 862 hon. and learned Gentleman had pointed out a discrepancy between the promise and the fulfilment of it. [Mr. C. Buller; Hear.] By that cheer the hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to recognise his accuracy. But the hon. and learned Gentleman had in reading the despatch omitted one whole sentence. If the hon. Member read the whole of the despatch, he would find that there was no such discrepancy as the hon. and learned Gentleman mentioned, for it contained a statement that there were, at the time at which it was written, many objections to the plan, one of which was the condition of the natives. Did the hon. Member mean to say that he would include the natives of New Zealand in the representative Government? If so, the Europeans would be in a minority. Would he then exclude them from the plan? How, then, in that case, could they be considered as their fellow subjects under one system? The discrepancy to which the hon. Member alluded, between the conduct of Lord Stanley and the promise of his right hon. Friend at the head of the Government did not, in his opinion, exist. For his own part, he should give his confidence and support to the Government in this Motion, as he had so often given them on former similar occasions.
§ Mr. Aglionby
deeply regretted to be called on to address the House on that occasion; but it was a subject of such importance that he could not avoid addressing some observations to the House, and in the course of his remarks he hoped he should not be induced, by any feeling he might entertain as to the treatment of the colonists, to use any expression of harshness, or calculated to excite irritation. He would not follow the hon. and learned Attorney General through all the documents to which he referred in his speech, as he thought that a Committee would be the most proper tribunal before which to lay those documents. He could not allow the misconceptions, and consequently the misrepresentations of the hon. and learned Attorney General to pass unnoticed, for that hon. Gentleman had misunderstood the proceedings and conduct of the New Zealand Company. The hon. and learned Gentleman was mistaken in the assertion that the Company went out without any land whatever. They had purchased land from private individuals, and from the native chiefs, who were qualified to sell it. There was no illegality in that. What right, therefore, had the hon. and learned 863 Gentleman to say that the purchases were made unfairly? There was not a particle of correctness in what the hon. and learned Gentleman had said on the point. Nor were the purchases hastily made. In reference to this matter the public would find all the information bearing upon it in the letter of Mr. Wakefield. He detailed the manner in which the purchases had been made, and goods and money were fairly paid to the parties who sold the land. What right, then, had the Attorney General to say that the purchases were unfairly made? In no one instance had the Commissioners of Claims said that such had been the case. The Company had, he believed, paid about 7,900l. as an additional compensation, in one case, at Nelson, and all for the goodwill of the land. As to the emigrants, they went out with a full knowledge of all the facts connected with the Colony. The Company did not deceive them. Every particle of information which the Company had at its disposal was published to the world. The emigrants knew how and why they went out; nor had he yet heard any complaint made by them of the Company's proceedings. They complained of ruined hopes, of loss of property, and of the want of safety to their lives; but it was not of the Company they complained. In all its proceedings, the Company had ever preferred a pacific course, and in no one instance had it exhibited any feeling but a desire to obtain peace, at any sacrifice but that of loss of honour. They preferred taking an agreement (which was a compromise) to going to a court of law. The Company took the agreement, and were satisfied with it. Who dared to say that the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord John Russell) was misled by what were called the misrepresentations of the Company? Every document which they had at command, was then, as now, at the command of the Colonial Office. The noble Lord knew very well what he was about, and the Company were perfectly satisfied with his agreement. It was true, that when the Court of Claims was established, they did not assent. Colonel Wakefield said, that, in his belief, the agreement of the noble Lord rendered the Court of Claims inapplicable to the case. To settle the question, they had placed upwards of 7,000l. in the hands of their agent. The peace, the harmony, and the prosperity of the settlement was the main consideration with the Company. The Company certainly be- 864 lieved that they had the opportunity, in a pecuniary point of view, of receiving all that they could wish; and the body of the proprietors unanimously agreed to listen to no terms, to take no money, which might compromise the safety of the settlers. He ventured to assert that the safety of the colonists had been, was, and ever should be, the main object of the Company. Satisfy them that the colonists were safe, and they cared but little what was done with them. They besought Lord Stanley to settle other matters as he pleased, but to settle the land question at once, and in the way which we conceived to be alone the proper way. They took the agreement coupled with an express condition, that the grant should be made immediately. He would only say, that nothing had ever been concealed by the Company, and if the House wished for information nothing would be concealed. With respect to what the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford (Sir R. Inglis) said as to his (Mr. Aglionby's) saying that the missionaries had entirely under their control that portion of the island which was now the seat of disturbance, he had put it in the shape of a question to the Under Secretary, and he could not deny it. It was urged by the hon. Baronet that this showed the animus which actuated the Company in regard to the missionaries. He (Mr. Aglionby) believed that Mr. Baring's Bill in that House had been thrown out by the influence of the Church Missionary Society. That Society was managed by Mr. Dandeson Coates. That gentleman asserted, on a subsequent day, that so long as he could oppose it, New Zealand should never be colonized by the Company. His opposition to the Company still continued, and it was a strong and powerful opposition. He had, at an early period of the Session, called the attention of the House to a fact, which he would now beg leave to state again. He had received a letter, or rather circular, and a similar circular had been received by many others; and when he stated its purport, he would ask whether the opposition manifested in it, did not justify him in saying, that the difficulties of the Company were greatly to be attributed to the opposition of Mr. Dandeson Coates? The hon. and learned Gentleman then read the circular, requesting the party to whom it was addressed to present it to the Member for Cockermouth, and to desire him to use his influence in order that the Members 865 might oppose the recommendation of the Select Committee who had reported upon the state of New Zealand and the affairs of the Company. It was signed by John D. White. [Sir R. Inglis: It was not from Mr. Coates?] No. [Sir R. Inglis: Nor from the Church Missionary Society?] The hon. Baronet now wished to insinuate that he was grossly in error, and was grossly misleading the House, when he mentioned that document as a proof that Mr. Coates and the Church Missionary Society were still in opposition to the claims of the New Zealand Company? He would now ask the hon. Baronet who Mr. White was? He would ask him now—
§ Sir R. Inglis
Did the hon. and learned Gentleman wish him to interrupt him a second time? If so, he would give him an answer. If not, he would wait till the hon. and learned Gentlemen had done.
§ Mr. Aglionby
would ask, for the information of the House, who Mr. White really was? He would likewise ask, in reference to Mr. Dandeson Coates, if the circular quoted had been sent forth without his knowledge or direction? The circular was written on the part of the Church Missionary Society. Did the hon. Baronet mean to disavow Mr. White's proceeding—did he mean to deny that Mr. Coates, either directly or indirectly, sent the letter? Did he mean to deny that the Church Missionary Society did not cause it to be sent? If so, let him at once inform the House of it. It was sent with the cognizance, or by the authority of Mr. Coates, or of the Church Missionary Society. In accordance with the Church Missionary Society, its missionaries in the Colony had a direct interest in obstructing colonization by any one but themselves. The missionaries might be divided into three classes:—First, there were those who went out from the most highminded, the purest, and the most benevolent of motives, and who thought that the introduction of any European society into the Colony would introduce with it European arts and luxuries, and with them European vices, and thus obstruct the christianizing and civilizing the natives of New Zealand; such men he could respect. There was another class, not quite so high-minded, but who had not the base pecuniary interest which others had. They formed a considerable body of the missionaries, and were honest and intelligent mechanics, who went out to preach the doctrines of the Church Missionary Society. They reigned as little kings in their dif- 866 ferent districts, where their influence was paramount; and he could easily conceive the motives of their objection to colonization by any one but themselves. The third and the worst class were actuated solely by their wishes for their own selfish aggrandizement, who had set aside the instructions of the Society, and who had procured for themselves large and extensive grants of land. The Church Missionary Society were not, as a body, large holders of land, although they had about 11,000 acres. The missionaries to whom he now more immediately alluded, had obtained nearly 200,000 acres of land in New Zealand. These parties likewise had a direct personal, interest, with Mr. George Clarke at their head, and Mr. George Clarke, jun.; they had a direct personal and pecuniary interest in the northern part of the island. He would now ask the Government whether, notwithstanding these missionaries, they would or would not colonize New Zealand? It was their duty now to carry forward colonization to the advantage of all parties and classes—natives and white persons. In addition to what he had thus advanced, he felt himself obliged to rise, to trouble the House upon a matter of private and personal honour, which had been confided to his charge, and which, if he did not bring before the House, he would feel himself guilty of a grievous dereliction of his duty; and the House would pardon him for trespassing longer on their attention, when they called to mind how deep an interest he took in the Colony, and in all those connected with it. What he was now about to bring before the House, was a matter of a more delicate and painful character than any to which he had as yet alluded. He had listened to the representations of the Under Secretary with some surprise and pain. He did not think, however, that he was personally called upon, by anything which had fallen from the Under Secretary, to make any remark; but a letter had been sent to him, in consequence of these remarks on the part of the Under Secretary; and as the matter deeply affected the character and the honour of a gentleman of high character, and formerly a Member of that House, he was quite sure the House would forgive him for calling their attention to the subject, and reading the letter. It was signed by George Frederick Young, one of the members of the deputation who waited on Lord Stanley about a fortnight ago, and was as follows:— 867I have just heard, with equal surprise and pain, the unqualified denial given by Mr. Hope, on the part of Lord Stanley, of the assertion made by the Directors of the New Zealand Company, that the fact of his Lordship having given instructions to Captain Grey to grant primâ facie titles to the lands claimed by the Company, was not communicated by him to the deputation with whom the recent conferences have been held. As his Lordship is represented by Mr. Hope as declaring on his honour that he did read those instructions to the deputation, it is, of course, impossible for me to contradict such an assertion; but I owe it to my colleagues and to myself equally unequivocally to declare that, having taken an active and attentive part in the proceedings, I never heard a syllable, or saw a letter, referring in any way to a grant of conditional titles, to which, as a member of the Court of Directors, I have ever been so decidedly opposed; that, had the principle been attempted to be revived in my hearing, I should have considered it the first of duties to have rejected it, and protested against it in the strongest manner. One thing at least is certain. I waited on Mr. Wood, at the Land and Emigration Office, by desire of Lord Stanley, an hour previous to the time fixed for the last interview of the deputation, and there received from Mr. Wood a paper, which he stated to me was a copy of the instructions to Captain Grey on the subject of the Company's land claims. That paper I communicated to my colleagues, and afterwards returned to Lord Stanley at the interview. It was the instructions of the 6th of July, and contained no reference whatever to those of the 27th of June. When the latter was transmitted to the Company, in supposed conformity with the promise given by Lord Stanley, I instantly pronounced them to be totally different; and in order to clear up the question, went on Thursday last to the Colonial Office, where I saw Mr. Hope, and told him that I had an impression, amounting to absolute conviction, that they were not the same, and only hesitated positively to affirm it from an unwillingness to admit the possibility of intentional substitution. And, in order to remove all doubt, I asked to see the original document, placed in my hands on the 4th of July, and returned to Lord Stanley. On its being brought, I immediately identified it; and it is not pretended that it contained any reference to the instructions of the 27th of June. Mr. Hope then said, that these latter papers 'had been sent in a hurry by mistake,' and permitted me to take with me the instructions of July 6, without the slightest intimation that he supposed I was acquainted with the others, which again I declare, upon my honour, I was not. I write in great haste, but hope my explanation will be intelligible. It is truly mortifying to me, after the especial pains I thought I had taken to avoid any repetition of former misunderstandings, to find myself 868 placed almost in antagonism with Lord Stanley on a point of veracity. I have the most unhesitating confidence that his Lordship is utterly incapable of asserting intentionally an untruth. Those to whom I am known will, I am sure, do me equal justice; and I must, therefore, leave this unlucky discrepancy in our statements to be reconciled in any manner that Mr. Hope's declarations and this explanation may allow to be compatible with honour, which, on my part, I commit to your friendship, assured that you will not allow it to be in any quarter impeached.He regretted that he was obliged to read such a letter to the House; but he must remark, that he was sure that when hon. Gentlemen saw that so doing was necessary to clear the honour and the character of any Gentleman whose honour and character were implicated by anything which fell from any hon. Gentleman in that House, they would admit that he had done right in introducing both the subject and the letter. He would only now say that Mr. Young made the same statement to them when the papers were transmitted to them, and he now repeated his full assurance that he never heard of the other document. He had no reason to doubt the perfect accuracy, so far as his recollection served him, of the Under Secretary. The despatch of the 26th of June was confined to two or three points; one, the settlement of the Company's claims to the land, the other points referring to the government of the Colony, whereas that of the 6th of July was confined solely and wholly to the claims to land. In the letter, enclosing the despatch of the 27th of June, it was stated that the deputation had that day an interview with Lord Stanley, and that his Lordship placed in the hands of the deputation the instructions issued to Captain Grey on the subject of the Company's claim to land. Having stated this much he would now resume his seat, without offering another remark.
§ Sir R. Inglis
rose to explain, but the cries for a division were so loud and so general, that the hon. Baronet's explanation did not reach us.
§ Mr. G. W. Hope
begged to be allowed to offer a very short explanation as to what had fallen from the hon. and learned Gentleman. As the House would perceive, if they looked at the Papers, there were extracts, and there was also a complete despatch. The complete despatch was placed in the hands of the deputation, and was taken away by the deputation. That was the document which Mr. Young had had 869 in his hand. When application was made for the extracts, it was pointed out to him, in the minutes of the meeting, that his Lordship had placed in the hands of the meeting the instructions to Captain Grey. He (Mr. Hope) consequently directed the extracts only to be sent. Mr. Young alleged that they were not what he had possession of, to which he had answered that it certainly was not. There was no intention to deceive Mr. Young or anybody else.
§ Debate adjourned.