HC Deb 23 July 1845 vol 82 cc970-1023

The Order of the Day for going into Committee of Supply having been read, the Adjourned Debate upon the Amendment moved by Mr. C. Buller, on Monday, on the subject of New Zealand, was resumed.

Captain Rous

commenced by observing, that although he could not concur with the hon. and learned Gentleman in that which appeared now to be his principal ground of complaint—the absence of representative government in New Zealand, he was glad to find, from what fell from him the other night, that he had altered his sentiments as to the character of the New Zealand natives, whom in the previous discussion he had described as the greatest liars and cowards in existence. The right hon. Member for Taunton had denied that this was a mere dispute between the New Zealand Company and the Government; but he (Captain Rous) had at that moment in his hand a letter, which had emanated from the secret committee of the Company, and copies of which had been circulated amongst Members of that House, in which it was distinctly declared that the dispute was between the New Zealand Company and the Government; and he might here be excused for saying, that he believed it was quite an unusual thing to send such letters to Members under similar circumstances. He was anxious to know in what character the New Zealand Company came before them—whether as suppliants requiring assistance, or as patriots denouncing the measures and impugning the conduct of the Government? Was it the object of the Company to purchase a territory equal in extent to Great Britain; or did they come forward to obtain a loan of money wherewith to pay their debts? It was quite clear that the one position was incompatible with the other. In the first place, he thought it was necessary that the New Zealand Company, in calling upon them to take cognizance of charges against the Government, should show that they themselves come forward with clean hands. Now, he charged the Company with having sold 120,000l. worth of land in New Zealand, while really and bonâ fide they had not a single acre of land belonging to them in the Colony; and he charged them, besides, with having inveigled persons to go out to New Zealand, and not keeping faith with them when they got there. There was another question which he had before put to hon. Gentlemen opposite, but which, as it had not yet been answered, he would repeat. It appeared that there were 16,000 shares, or 40,000l. in money, which had never been properly accounted for by the New Zealand Company. What he wanted to know was, what equivalent they received for these shares — into whose pockets the money went, and what was the reason of the outlay? The only answer he had been as yet able to obtain to the question was from the hon. Member for Cockermouth (Mr. Aglionby), who told him that if he would go to the New Zealand House he would undertake to show him the accounts. This was not a plain answer to a plain question, and he hoped that those hon. Gentlemen who were connected with the Company would not, by continuing to withhold a full explanation upon this point, afford the House and the public further grounds for suspecting that something wrong had taken place. Again, when the New Zealand Company came there and declared their intention to propose a loan, he wanted to know, while the capital was 300,000l., of which 160,000l. only had been received, leaving this 40,000l. unaccounted for—he wanted to know was it a business-like way of proceeding to borrow money from the Government, there being 100,000l. of the capital not yet paid up? Under the circumstances, it appeared to him that the Company had forfeited their charter, or at least that it was in abeyance. Then he contended that it was altogether impossible that the Governor of the Colony, whoever he might be, could perform his duty satisfactorily to the Queen and the public, so long as there existed in New Zealand an imperium in imperio. With respect to the sovereignty of the country, many of the native chiefs would rather die than resign it to Her Majesty, and he could tell the House that the natives would not pay 2d. an acre for either cultivated or uncultivated land; that they would not pay customs duties; and that if the Crown of England would not purchase their lands, they would sell them to whom they pleased. A petition had been presented to the House by the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard (Mr. C. Buller), from a gentleman in New Zealand, praying that a system of local representative government might be established in the Colony, to become members of which all the permanent inhabitants should be eligible! But what was meant by "permanent inhabitants?" Did they intend to permit the natives to become members of the proposed legislature? If so, how were things to be managed—were the debates to be carried on in English or in the native tongue? The riches of the natives consisted, too, in a great measure, in the possession of slaves; and he wished to know whether hon. Gentlemen were prepared to recognise that system of slavery? He considered the proposal to establish representative government in New Zealand to be one of the most absurd and ridiculous project that could be conceived. But the day of deliberation, with regard to New Zealand had now passed, and the period for action had arrived. They were about to send to that Colony a young Governor, who, whatever might be his other merits, could not have the advantage of much experience. Now, supposing the affairs of New Zealand should assume a still more serious aspect, and that it became necessary to send out two regiments, with a brigadier-general to command them, would they put him under the orders of this young officer, who had only served as a subaltern? He would put it to hon. Members in either branch of Her Majesty's service, whether any system could work well in which a subaltern was allowed to give orders to an old general officer? If the state of affairs in New Zealand became worse, it would be necessary to act upon the recommendations of the Select Committee of that House; it would be necessary to employ native troops, to keep up a large naval and military force in the Colony, and to sow jealousy and ill-will among the natives. Since the period of the battle of Wairau, it must have been evident to every man of common sense, that a day of retribution must come, and that torrents of blood must be shed to wash out the disgrace inflicted on the British name, by the defeat of a body of Englishmen by an equal number of natives; and the recent occurrence at Russell had tended to aggravate the feeling of hatred and resentment between the colonists and the natives. He must be allowed to say that no blame attached to his gallant Friend, Captain Fitzroy, for his conduct at the time of that fatal conflict. It was his duty, as Governor of the Colony, to remain at head quarters; and, under the circumstances, it was impossible for him to leave Auckland. The bad feeling which existed between the missionaries and the British settlers had been alluded to by several hon. Members during the debates on this subject; and, though he would not say one word in disparagement of the Bishop of New Zealand, for whom he entertained the highest respect, he must say that some of the missionaries had done much to promote ill-feeling between the colonists and the natives. Some of those missionaries had spoken to the natives of the English settlers, in the Maori language, as "devils." The colonists had not been backward in their turn in explaining to the natives that these missionaries were a set of lazy, ignorant men, who, not being capable of gaining an honest livelihood at home, had been sent out to the Colony. Some of the missionaries had bought large tracts of land, and their object had been to get rid of other Europeans, in order to retain in their own hands the virtual sovereignty of the country. The House ought now to endeavour to learn wisdom from experience, and he would presume to advise the Government as to the course he thought it would be prudent in them to pursue. He would advise them to send out to New Zealand a brigadier-general, with 1,000 soldiers, in two of the ships of the line now cruising in the Channel. He would deprive the New Zealand Company of their charter, paying them what might be considered a just equivalent. He would guarantee to the British settlers the right and title to their lands, awarding them also a pecuniary compensation; and he would dispense with the protectors of natives, and have more protectors of Englishmen. If this were done, they might depend upon it, that a great improvement would speedily be apparent in the condition and prospects of the Colony.

Mr. Ward

said, that as he had not taken any part in the previous debates, he might, as Chairman of the Committee appointed in 1836, on the subject of Colonial Lands, which had given rise to most of the subsequent projects of colonization, on the self-supporting system, be permitted to state his views on this question. He must here say, that he was not in any way connected with the New Zealand Company, nor had he been since the first establishment of that Company. The hon. and gallant Officer who just sat down had made three charges against the New Zealand Company. He accused them of selling land which they did not possess, of inveigling agricultural labourers by false representations to go out to the Colony, and of giving no explanation of an item of 40,000l. in their accounts. With reference to the last charge, he (Mr. Ward) was informed, that it appeared by the published accounts of the Company, that this sum of 40,000l. was paid to a pre-existing company for land actually acquired in New Zealand, and which had since been transferred to the Government. Then as to the charge of selling land which they did not possess; if the theory of the hon. and gallant Officer was correct, that New Zealand at the time to which he referred was a perfectly independent state, over which the Government of this country had no control, the Company had a most undoubted right to sell any land they might have acquired. But they had sent out the means of giving for any land they might purchase, ten times, nay, a thousand times, the price which had been given by previous purchasers; and they had, therefore, a certainty of acquiring a sufficient quantity of land to meet the sales they might make. The hon. and gallant Member also complained that the Company had inveigled labourers to New Zealand without securing to them in the Colony the comforts and advantages of civilized life which they had enjoyed in this country. Why, those labourers went to New Zealand to escape the evils of civilized life—to avoid the pressure which prevented them from obtaining here the full reward of their exertions—to better their condition; and, until the unhappy blight occasioned by subsequent misunderstandings between the Company and the Colonial Office, they were in most happy and prosperous circumstances. He fully concurred in many of the remarks of the hon. and gallant Member for Westminster. He agreed with him that our conduct with regard to New Zealand had been marked by most unfortunate vacillation. We ought never to have acknowledged the independence of those islands. It was said that this was done in order to prevent their colonization by other nations; but had our recognition of the independence of Tahiti prevented the occupation of that island by the French? The Treaty of Waitangi had been strongly condemned, and the conduct of Captain Hobson in concluding such a Treaty had been severely censured; but it must be remembered that that gallant Officer had no choice, for when he agreed to that Treaty he had but a small force at command, and he possessed no moral or political power. He was convinced that they never could solve the difficulties of the Colony without taking that Treaty as the basis of an absolute sovereignty on the part of England. The hon. and gallant Member had said that it was impossible at present to entertain the question as to the establishment of a system of representative government in New Zealand; and in that opinion he concurred. He had heard the other night, with some pain, the observations of the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard on this subject. He was not so much dissatisfied as the hon. and learned Gentleman with the statements in Lord Stanley's letter; and he must say that he did not perceive any discrepancy between those statements and the promises held out by the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government. He believed that a system of municipal government, with powers of local taxation, suited to the wants and condition of the Colony, was all that could at present be usefully established in New Zealand; and he would be satisfied to see the principles laid down by the two right hon. Baronets opposite (Sir R. Peel and Sir J. Graham), in a former debate, fairly carried out at the earliest possible opportunity. He must confess that, if he had had the conduct of the case of the New Zealand Company on the last ocsion when this question was discussed, he should not have felt it necessary to divide the House; for he would have taken the immense admissions made by the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Treasury, and the right hon. Home Secretary, as to a certain extent satisfactory; not giving him all that he wanted, but showing that they felt the serious responsibility which rested upon them, and that they were disposed fairly to entertain the question, and to deal with it on large principles. He knew that many Members of that House regarded this as a great case against the Government; but he could not consider it in that light. He looked upon it not as a party but a national question. There was in New Zealand a numerous race of aborigines, whom we were forcing into a collision with us; and we had in that Colony 10,000 English settlers, men and women. He called upon hon. Gentlemen to remember that they were blighting the prospects of this community by the unworthy squabbles which had for some time been carried on. [Ironical cries of "Hear, hear," from the Opposition.] He did not like that cheer. When he used the term unworthy squabbles, he meant that, as practical men, and men of sense, they were bound to ask what was the cause of these disputes. Take it where they would—take New Zealand from north to south—take the disturbances at the Bay of Islands or in the valley of the Hutt—go to Auckland, or to Wellington—ask what had given rise to all these disputes, and they would find that the want of some broad intelligible principle in dealing with the land question was at the root of all the evil. The right hon. Baronet at the head of the Home Department had fully acknowledged that this was the fact in his last speech. The settlers in New Zealand had only a doubtful title to their land. Now, in this country, in the midst of civilization, a doubtful title was the worst curse which could fall upon a property; but how much were all its evils aggravated when they affected a country divided between a small white population and a nation of brave, but unenlightened barbarians. The patience of angels would not stand the state of matters in the distracted Colony in question, much less that of New Zealand and the native savages. He was sure that the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, so long as he tolerated the continuance of such a system, must feel that he was in some sort responsible for its consequences. He contended that the first duty of a Government, taking a wide and comprehensive view of all the circumstances of the case—he was sure that their first duty, as their first wish ought to be, was to put an end to the present system, and they could only do so by laying down some broad intelligible principle to guide them in dealing with the land question. The noble Lord the Member for London was the only statesman who, in his opinion, had taken a large and enlightened view of the subject. He had never seen a more gratifying scene than the reconciliation of the noble Lord with the New Zealand Company, after the first misunderstanding had been got over. But the impression which had arisen from those original differences between the Colonial Office and the Company had never been effaced in the Colony. It had been taken up by the officials there one after the other, and from the highest to the lowest—from the Governor to the polic magistrate. As the hon. and gallant Member had said, the missionaries began the work of misrepresentation by stigmatizing as a devil every Christian who had not learned his Christianity in their particular school. Mr. Shortland's first mission to Wellington, upon the arrival of the colonists sent out by the Company, was to assert, in a rude and violent manner, what he conceived to be the authority of the Crown, apparently under the belief that they were going to dispute it. Why, a more distinguished or a more loyal body never left England. Then look to the results of this system; look to the conduct of the protectors of the natives. Nothing, in fact, could be more unfortunate than the choice of all who had hitherto wielded power in New Zealand. It was distressing to think that the government of the Colony should have fallen into such hands as those of Captain Hobson and Captain Fitzroy. And what had they heard urged on the part of Government as to the present condition of the Colony? Why, they were told the other night that alarm was subsiding—that reinforcements had been sent out—and that the condition of the Colony at the date of the last accounts was not worse than it had been some time before. Why, he asked the hon. Under Secretary for the Colonies, what could be worse than that former condition? Why should the people in New Zealand be left struggling for land? There was enough and to spare for a population an hundred times more dense? But what had we done? We had attempted to settle matters by means of the subtilties of English law—we had tried to initiate the savages of New Zealand into English law, by teaching them its chicaneries and tricks—we had employed and developed all the worst points of English law in New Zealand, without any of its redeeming principles. Of what avail was it to attempt to extend to savages the legal rights of civilized Englishmen? All that was wanted was, simple common sense decisions in disputed matters. Had they sold their land? To whom had they sold it? What had they got for it? How much did they expect to have got for it? Such were the questions which ought to have been put and answered, and settled. One Commissioner acting on such principles might have settled the whole of the claims in dispute in six weeks. All they might do would be useless, did they not send to the Colonies some one familiar with such a mode of dealing with such questions—did they not send him out entrusted with the most unlimited confidence, or with the clearest instructions. All would be useless, were not the Cabinet disposed to throw over the unbecoming disputes between the Company and the Colonial Office—disputes unworthy of Lord Stanley, for it was not the duty of an English Colonial Secretary to strive for victory in a contest of correspondence with an English commercial Company; but to labour to carry out those sentiments and those views which the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government had the other day enunciated, and which, in despite of the letter he had lately addressed to the noble Lord the Member for Staffordshire (Viscount Ingestre), he trusted that he had not modified. [Sir R. Peel: Not in the least.] If we had a distinct assurance that the matter would be practically taken up during the next six months, that the Government would really devote itself to the question, then his exhortation would be, to leave the matter in the hands of the Government; but he could not say that such advice should be given when the right hon. Baronet, in his letter to the noble Lord the Member for Staffordshire, stated that his views upon the subject perfectly coincided with those of his noble Colleagues at the head of the Colonial Department. He had certainly thought there was a difference between them; but he could understand, considering how inconvenient and disagreeable it was for one Cabinet Minister to trench upon the province of another, how such difficulties might be and were got over. [Mr. Sheil whispered to the hon. Member.] Yes; nothing could be more apt with respect to the relations between the right hon. Baronet and the noble Lord, than the quotation suggested by his right hon. Friend—Nee tecum vivere possum, nec sine te. He put it to the right hon. Baronet whether this was not a question entitled to Ministerial attention? The Cabinet consisted of English Ministers, not the Ministers of a party; and he knew no man who had shown a stronger sense of his consciousness that he was the Minister of the country, and not of a party, than had the right hon. Baronet now at the head of the Government. He now, then, called upon him, as an English Minister, to take pity on the two races who were now cooped up in New Zealand. A great duty was imposed upon him; and he trusted that, in common with the noble Lord the Member for London—in common with that other noble Lord (Lord Howick) whose presence they must in future be deprived of—in common with the majority of the Committee who investigated the matter—the right hon. Baronet Could arrive at the conclusion, that the literal and obvious construction of the Treaty of Waitangi was perfectly compatible with the settlement of the claims still in dispute. He implored Government to take up the question in the spirit in which they might deal with it—to give to the settlers who had emigrated to New Zealand that protection which would restore to the English the position they had lost there. They had forfeited the benefit of the impression of moral superiority which they formerly possessed; and as to physical force, the natives were their superiors. If, then, what had occurred were not to occur again—if the best blood of the Colony were not to be again poured forth—if the best men in the Colony were not to be forced to devote themselves for its protection—the Government must take up the question with the determination to deal with it practically, promptly, and as he trusted they would deal with it—in a spirit of liberality and justice.

Mr. G. Palmer

rose to correct certain errors in the statements of the hon. and gallant Officer near him, relative to the New Zealand Company. It was with the perfect consent—nay, according to the wish of Mr. Huskisson—that the first expedition was sent out from this country. He understood that there was some impediment to Government undertaking the settlement of New Zealand at that time; some agreement, as lie was told, existing between France and England, not to extend their Colonial possessions between South America and New Holland. The expedition so often alluded to, however, sailed. Certain lands were purchased; and they were told, that if they wanted protection, a frigate would be sent out to the coast of New Zealand. It was then supposed that Russia was not so friendly a Power as he was willing to believe she was at present. The Coromandel was sent out to those islands, and came home loaded with spars. There was a sort of agreement with the Government, that the Navy would take whatever spars or hemp were furnished by the Company. Well, then, he contended, that the Company, having purchased lands under such encouragement, they had as good a title to them as any man in this country to his estate. To give a further proof that the Government sanctioned the proceedings of the Company: the parties to the expedition disagreed; and when a question was raised as to sending out troops, such a proceeding was declared to be dangerous, as the natives would resist if it was supposed the Government would interfere with the possession of lands which they had sold the Company. This showed what the feelings of the natives were before they were taught the quibbles of our courts of law. Allusion had been made in the former debate to the small consideration paid for the land; but the expenses of the expedition should be borne in mind, when estimating the amount of the purchase. If the title of the former Company was good, that of the new Company, to whom it was conveyed, was equally good. He hoped that the declaration made by the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government on a former occasion would be carried out in the sense in which it was understood by every Member of that House who heard it. If it were, he was satisfied it would have the effect of pacifying the Colony, and bringing comfort and security to the settlers. He was sure that, in the end, all just complaints would be listened to, and the grounds of them removed by the Government; and that the prosperity of the settlement would be resumed. He apprehended, however, that if the instructions to the Governor were acted on, his rule would not be satisfactory. He asked, what would be the effect of sending down a commissioner to one of our counties, to disturb the title to all land which was strictly proved? It must be borne in mind, that we were dealing with a Colony in which title-deeds were not registered; and in which very often the only proof of the transfer of land was to be found in the breast of him who bad parted with it. The settlers went from this country under a promise that they would receive protection from the Home Government. They neither received that protection, nor were they allowed to protect themselves. He lamented very much that any difference should have arisen between the Company and Lord Stanley; but he was sure that ultimately the interests of the Colony would be found to be safe in the hands of the Government.

Sir C. Napier

said, that a question affecting the safety of a British settlement containing from 10,000 to 11,000 persons, was of very great importance to the country; and the more so, seeing the rapid strides which the Colony of New Zealand had made since it was first founded, in 1839. It was lamentable to see a Colony which in 1841 had 221 ships, and 80,000l. worth of produce in its ports, reduced to the state of anarchy which the late accounts exhibited. He considered the noble Lord at the head of the Colonial Office was greatly to blame for not having taken some measures to protect the settlers in New Zealand, after he had acquired such distinct proofs of the hostility of the cannibals by whom they were surrounded. Several murders had been committed by the natives, and several attacks had been made on European settlers and voyagers of late years, by the New Zealanders, till the massacre occurred at Wairau, all of which had been permitted to pass unpunished by the Governments which had been then and since established in those parts. Such a long continued series of neglects on the part of the Government would almost seem to evince that there existed a desire on the part of the noble Lord (Stanley) that the Colony should not succeed. The impunity with which the New Zealanders were permitted to perpetrate the massacre of Wairau, had undoubtedly led to the last attack at the Bay of Islands; and the New Zealand Company had distinctly foreseen that occurrence, when they found that the death of Captain Wakefield, and the other persons killed at Wairau, was suffered to go entirely unpunished by Captain Fitzroy. That the recent attack would not have been the last that had been made upon the settlements in New Zealand, he would take upon himself to say; indeed, he had no doubt that the next accounts would bring intelligence that Auckland had been attacked. He considered that the noble Lord at the head of the Colonial Office had greatly neglected his duty in not despatching a force to New Zealand, after the accounts of the massacre had reached England. He might easily have done so, as the conclusion of the war in China had left one or two ships on that station at his disposal. He ought not to have left a British settlement at the mercy of 130,000 cannibals. He (Sir C. Napier) could not account to himself for the apathy and neglect which had characterized the proceedings of the civil, military, and naval authorities in New Zealand. When the flagstaff was cut down for the first time, why did not the military form some defences round it, so as to prevent a second outrage of that kind from being successful? It almost seemed to him as if there were something in the climate of New Zealand which enervated those who came within its influence, and which had incapacitated the Governor, the military, and above all, the naval officers, from taking prompt, vigorous, and proper measures for the defence of the settlers. The hon. and gallant Officer proceeded to read Governor Fitzroy's last despatch, containing the account of the attack at the Bay of Islands, and asked whether anything had been done to save Auckland from a similar attack? His hon. and gallant Friend opposite (Captain Rous) had expressed an opinion that two line of battle ships ought to be sent out immediately to protect the Colony; but he (Sir C. Napier) would rather recommend that two transatlantic steamers should be at once taken up, and sent out with a battalion on board, by which means they might yet arrive in time to save Auckland from a further attack. The magistrate at the Bay of Islands had, according to the despatches last received, written to Governor Fitzroy, requesting him to come immediately to that place. But Captain Fitzroy had replied that he would not quit Auckland. Had a civilian, one unaccustomed to war and its consequences, sent back such an answer, he should not have felt much surprise, as fighting was not in such a person's line; but he confessed he did feel astonishment in finding that a naval officer had refused to repair to a place which was menaced by savages, and which was protected only by a few soldiers, commanded by a mere lad, and assisted by some half-trained settlers. The Governor, if he did not choose to go himself, might at least have sent the military officer next in command, who was a lieutenant-colonel, to the assistance of the settlers at the Bay of Islands. The assistance of such an officer would have enabled the British to baffle the savages. What would have been the fate of the British settlers at the Bay of Islands, if there had not been an American frigate there, by which they had been all received on board, and conveyed to a place of safety? Too much praise could not be awarded to the American captain for his courage and kindness in first placing the settlers in safety, and then returning to the protection of the missionaries who remained at the Bay of Islands. His hon. and gallant Friend had said that Captain Fitzroy had acted rightly in not quitting his post at Auckland. That might be his hon. and gallant Friend's opinion; but if he knew his hon. and gallant Friend's disposition—and he believed he did—the very first thing he (Captain Rous) would have done would have been to go with all speed to the place of danger, and save his fellow countrymen from the savages who had attacked them. Then, in another portion of the Correspondence, he found a lieutenant speaking of the Hazard being about to be surprised by the natives. Talk of an officer of an 18-gun corvette expecting, when moored in an open roadstead, to be surprised by a parcel of native savages! Why it was most absurd. During the long war between England and France, cutting out a corvette of 18 guns, even by British sailors and British soldiers, was considered one of the most gallant exploits that could be performed. It had not often been done, and never without an enormous loss; and yet this officer expected his corvette to be surprised by a few savages. Having animadverted upon the conduct of some, it now became his pleasing duty to express his high approbation of the conduct of Acting Commander Robertson. Had every one there acted like that gentleman, or had he not fallen wounded as he did, the Bay of Islands still would have been in the possession of the British Government. In conclusion, he would express a hope, that when that officer should recover from his wounds, the Admiralty would be extremely bountiful to him for the gallant services which he had rendered.

Viscount Ingestre

would not have risen to take a part in this debate had be not been at the head of the deputation which waited upon the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government at the close of the last debate. Those in that House who were well-wishers of the Government, and yet who did not approve of the policy hitherto adopted in New Zealand, waited upon the right hon. Baronet, and explained to him the painful position in which they felt themselves. They stated that there had been ample discussion in that House; that there had been, generally speaking, an absence of all party feeling, and that after that debate, they thought it would be advisable that everything which had passed should be sunk in oblivion. They were met in the most frank and cordial spirit by the right hon. Gentleman, who at once put them into communication with the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies; and he also met them in the same spirit, evincing an anxious wish to bring matters to an amicable termination. The deputation urged upon the noble Lord five points in behalf of the New Zealand Company. The first was, an immediate grant of its lands to the Company. To that the noble Lord answered that he was anxious to do so as far as he could, but that he could not give what the Government had not the power to give. After some discussion, they would perceive from the Minutes, page 5, that "with regard to the above settlements and also to Teranaka, Manawatu, and Wanganni, Lord Stanley communicated to the deputation the precise instructions which he proposed to send to Governor Grey by the next mail of the 7th of July." As to the charge which had been made against the noble Lord relative to these instructions, he entirely acquitted the noble Lord of any blame. He attached no importance whatever to that point, as what had occurred was evidently the result of a mistake. The noble Lord proceeded to read from the Papers before referred to the remaining points to which the deputation directed Lord Stanley's attention, viz.—the objections of the Company to the Crown's right of pre-emption of land in New Zealand being waved, and purchases being permitted to be made directly from the natives; the future seat of government; and the future government of the Colony. Upon this last point he personally was disposed to give every credit to the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies. His arguments appeared to be perfectly sound and just; and he altogether agreed with the noble Lord, that from the scattered state of the settlers it would be impossible to bring them together in the first instance to act as a representative government; but that the best way was at first to give them a voice in the municipal institutions to be established in the Colony. He did not wish to enter on the general question before the House, as it had been so fully discussed already. The question, however, was a very important one, affecting the interests of the natives, of the settlers from this country, and of the Company. Charges had been made against the New Zealand Company, but he must say that he never knew a set of gentlemen who acted from purer and more disinterested motives. No lucrative results could follow from their embarking in that Company, and he did think it hard that his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Westminster, and his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford, should impute motives of a sordid nature to them. With respect to the late Governor, Captain Fitzroy, he should state, that he had known him long in the naval service. He had had the honour and pleasure of a long acquaintance with him, and he had hailed with pleasure his appointment to the important post of Governor, because he knew his honourable mind, and thought, from his having been in that country before, that he would have been likely to carry out measures which would be the most beneficial for the Colony. He could not but express his deep sorrow, that the result had been so different—a circumstance which he could attribute only to Governor Fitzroy having imbibed a one- sided view, on which he had acted, without reference to circumstances us they occurred. He regretted most deeply that Captain Fitzroy's career in that Colony had not warranted the anticipations which he and many of his friends had formed of him. With reference to the catastrophe at Wairao, and the more recent one at the Bay of Islands, he was fully convinced, that had a firm and decisive course been adopted towards the natives from the commencement, nothing of the sort would ever have occurred, and they would not have had to deplore the loss of that able and excellent man, the late Captain Wakefield. As regarded the Treaty of Waitangi, he contended that there was a degree of discrepancy and contradiction in the way in which that Treaty had been acted on. On one hand, the Government stated, that the natives had actual possession of the soil; but that statement, they negatived, in a great measure, by a proclamation declaring that no person, native or settler, should sell his land under a certain price. That appeared to him to be most extraordinary; for if a man had any right to his property, he surely might sell it for what price he pleased. In conclusion, he (Lord Ingestre) would state, that he was most anxious for a settlement of this question. He did not treat it as a party question, and he should be delighted if a fair compromise could be adjusted. He did trust that some means might be had recourse to, to rid the question from the mass of difficulties in which it appeared to be involved, and that some satisfactory arrangements might be entered into by which that great and important Colony might be fostered and preserved.

Mr. Hawes

said, that actuated by the same spirit in which the noble Lord opposite had just spoken—a spirit which had also been adopted by his hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, in which all angry and party feeling had been dispensed with, he should endeavour to speak with all candour and fairness upon this subject. That was not a time to bandy party feeling; and if the right hon. Baronet had not altered his opinion since he last spoke, and was still willing to legislate in a conciliatory spirit, he (Mr. Hawes) owned that he should like to see that debate close at once with a speech of that description from the right hon. Gentleman, for he was sure that no other than public grounds could actuate that right hon. Gentleman and his Colleagues in their proceedings; and if they were ready to bury in oblivion the disputes which had hitherto arisen on this subject, so was he with the view of bringing the question to a final and just settlement. He had always adopted the course which he then pursued, for when his hon. Friends were in power he opposed their views, being always of opinion that when the Crown once asserted its authority in New Zealand, the soil of that country ought to have vested in the Crown, which should have had the power to adjust all conflicting claims to the land, by whomsoever made. The hon. Member for Sheffield rather misunderstood what fell from the hon. Member for Liskeard in reference to Lord Stanley's instructions. All that the hon. Member for Liskeard seemed to wish was, that there should be municipal institutions, with ample powers for local self-government, and that out of those institutions there might be chosen a representative body; he did not mean such as there was in this country, but persons who would carry into the legislative council a fair amount of popular feeling. But to effect that you must have precise instructions. All that the New Zealand Company required was, that the Secretary of State should issue precise and definite instructions; and certainly those the noble Lord wrote, in reference to municipal institutions, were anything but precise. He did not rely on the noble Lord; but on the spirit of the speeches of the right hon. Baronets opposite, he (Mr. Hawes) had confidently relied. He believed there was not a member of the New Zealand Company that was not satisfied with those speeches. Immediately after their delivery, Mr. Somes, the late Governor, asked him whether it would be expedient to divide; he said that that was a question that ought to be carefully considered, and on consideration the opinion prevailed that the Company ought not to avoid going to a division, which was accordingly taken. Then came the question, had anything since occurred to justify a revival of the discussion? He did not think the news since received from New Zealand of itself sufficient; but there was another and much stronger cause for this fresh appeal to the House. The Company had had an interview with the Secretary for the Colonies, the minutes of which were on the Table of the House, and would show how many questions were not discussed and settled, but postponed; and they received a letter from the First Lord of the Treasury, addressed to Viscount Ingestre, in which he said— I regret that the directors are not satisfied by the result of the interview between Lord Stanley and the deputation: but, as my own sentiments are in concurrence with those expressed by Lord Stanley, and as I have entire confidence in the desire of Lord Stanley to promote the welfare of the Company, so far as he can do it consistently with his own sense of public duty, and with public engagements entered into with the sanction of the Crown, I must decline interfering with the discretion of Lord Stanley. That was an expressed declaration on the part of the right hon. Baronet that he supported and was prepared to abide by the policy of Lord Stanley, although the speech which he delivered a short time previously was inconsistent with that policy. If the right hon. Baronet's speech was to be understood as being in full concurrence with the policy of the Colonial Office, which the right hon. Baronet arraigned, and which he now arraigned, he could only say, that there never was a speech delivered in that House which practised upon it such a delusion. He could not believe that it had been spoken for the purpose of averting an unfortunate division. The sentiments it expressed, he took to be those then and now sincerely entertained both by the right hon. Baronet himself and the Secretary of State for the Home Department. All he contended for was, that they were not in conformity with the policy which had been pursued by the Colonial Office; and that the fact of their not being so, fully justified the New Zealand Company in again appealing to that House. The right hon. Baronet said that he wished to act in perfect harmony with the New Zealand Company; but no one, looking to what had passed, could imagine that such a desire existed upon the part of the Colonial Office. He would say, rather, that the policy of that Office had been to put down the New Zealand Company; and he was supported in this belief by a reference to the public papers, from which it appeared that Governor Fitzroy had absolutely asserted that he anticipated hearing by the next mail that that Company was in a state of bankruptcy. The Attorney General, who had no great interest in questions of colonization, and who took up the blue book on this occasion just as he would have taken up a brief, said that they never would have heard of this question if the interests of the New Zealand Company had not been involved. The Government professed itself disposed to encourage colonization, and in favour of the establishment of a proper system to carry it out; but yet it had never done half so much towards that object as the New Zealand Company had achieved. It was objected to the Company that it was a joint-stock company; but was it not that House which obliged it to be so? He, therefore, contended that there could be no greater impolicy than throwing any obstructions in the way of that Company. It was said, that if this Company had no influence amongst Members of that House, that there would be no such discussions raised about our Colonies. Now, he thought it would be much for the benefit of this country and its Colonies, if there were similar companies connected with other Colonies, to bring their interests and government frequently under the consideration of Parliament. If such was the case, the system of our Colonial policy would be better regulated, and very different from what it was. Were not the discussions upon this subject important, if for no other thing than that they had called forth the admission from the Government that it was advisable to extend the principle of municipal and representative institutions to our Colonies? And if such an acknowledgment had been called forth long ago with regard to other Colonies of Great Britain, they would have been better and more cheaply governed than they now were. He believed it had been owing to erroneous information originally conveyed by the Missionary Society, that a feeling of hostility towards the New Zealand Company had been created here, and that this feeling had, in a great degree, influenced the conduct of the Colonial Office. But he trusted a proper sense of duty would henceforward induce that Department to change its policy, and adopt a different course towards a Colony which should now be regarded as a most important one, amongst other reasons, because our Colonial Estimates would soon begin to attract attention, when it was found necessary to hold our Colonies by force of arms. And now the question came to this—what were they to do? In the instructions to which he had before referred, there was nothing precise pointed out as to the course to be pursued in settling the differences between the Company, the Go- vernment, the settlers, and the natives. For his own part, he held it that the first and most important step to be taken was to settle at once the clear right of the Crown to the waste lands of New Zealand. He thought the Under Secretary to the Colonies was in some degree liable to the charge of inconsistency with respect to the opinions he now expressed. In the year 1839 or 1840, when, in opposition to the party then in power, and with whom he always had been in the habit of acting in public life, he had felt it to be his duty to move the adoption in that House of the Report of the Select Committee on the affairs of New Zealand; there were great efforts making against the Government of the day, and nothing was deemed too small or unimportant to be omitted in swelling the aggregate of the attack on the Administration then in office. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies had, with many others, voted for the reception and adoption of that Report, which advocated the necessity of the Crown becoming the proprietor of the whole of the territory and soil of New Zealand before any proper or good system of colonization could be carried into execution. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies had voted for that Report; and in the course of the debate on the present subject he seemed to take up a different view, nor had he made any reference to the letter of Lord Stanley, written in explanation of the agreement formerly entered into between Lord John Russell and the New Zealand Company. There was one thing, however, of great importance in the proper administration of the affairs of the Colony, and that was, that whatever Governor was sent out, he should have full power to act, so as to be enabled to meet any emergencies that might arise—should be explicitly entrusted with functions enabling him to perform his duties efficiently under any circumstances that might occur. If the Government thought that they could satisfactorily administer the affairs of New Zealand by means of a Governor who would be obliged to refer constantly to the Colonial Office at home, they would, he was persuaded, find themselves greatly mistaken. He believed it was in the power of the right hon. Baronet to terminate these angry contests, and to restore to New Zealand that state of prosperity which had attended the first efforts of the Company in that Colony. He was sure that every person connected with that Company would hail with joy any announcement on the part of the right hon. Baronet that he was determined on bringing that matter to an issue; and the suggestion which he had to make to the right hon. Gentleman was, that he should send out some person invested with ample powers to bring these unhappy disputes to a conclusion. By adopting that course the right hon. Baronet would, he believed, confer great benefits, not only on this country, but on the Colony of New Zealand, and great honour on himself and on his government.

Sir R. Peel

said: Sir, before I make any observations on the particular Motion which has been brought forward by the hon. Member for Liskeard, I wish, in order that the current of those observations may not be interrupted, and that I may not omit to do justice to those whose names I am about to introduce—I wish in the first place, to make one or two remarks which have a bearing on the character and conduct of individuals. Sir, I must express my deep regret that, in the course of this debate, reflections have been made on the character of the hon. Gentleman who fills the situation of Under Secretary in the Colonial Office. That regret would be increased if it had not been for the honourable and ample testimony to his merits which was borne by a right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Labouchere), perfectly capable of appreciating those merits, from his having served in the same department with Mr. Stephen. Mr. Stephen has the honour of being closely connected by birth with two men who have left names which will long be memorable in the annals of this country. He is the son of a gentleman of great distinction, and he is the nephew of Mr. Wilberforce. It seems, however, as if that illustrious connexion operated, not as an advantage, but as a prejudice against him. Now I have had but little personal communication with Mr. Stephen, but I believe that a situation in a public office was never occupied by a man of higher integrity, of more disinterested views—of greater assiduity—of more profound knowledge—and of more distinguished acquirements than Mr. Stephen. [Mr. Roebuck: I said nothing against the acquirements or the character of Mr. Stephen.] The hon. and learned Gentleman said nothing against the private character of Mr. Stephen; but he said that the prejudices of Mr. Stephen might have influenced the proceedings of the Colonial Office. Now, I believe that the allegations respecting the prejudices of Mr. Stephen are totally unfounded. I believe him to be most willing to render every assistance in his power to his superiors in office; but I also believe that he never attempts to influence their conduct. I believe that he is wholly free from any connexion with the missionary party; and if he had any connexion with them, I have that confidence in his integrity and highmindedness which makes me perfectly certain that that circumstance would not influence him in the discharge of his duties. I believe that the people of this country know little of the real merits of Mr. Stephen; but I am persuaded that the time will come when justice will be done to his distinguished services. His labours are now unostentatious; but the time will arrive when this country will know what is the extent of the knowledge which Mr. Stephen possesses, how that knowledge has been made conducive to the public interest, and what have been the integrity and the high principles by which his conduct has been uniformly actuated. I have thought it right, having a personal knowledge of Mr. Stephen, and seeing that prejudices have occasionally risen in the public mind with respect to Mr. Stephen, and that erroneous impressions are entertained with respect to his influence—I have thought it right not to allow this debate to proceed further without doing what I could to remove those unfounded opinions. I know that Mr. Stephen feels most severely the unfounded imputations directed against him. He has expressed his willingness to re-linguish his connexion with the Colonial Office; but such is the high sense of his merits entertained, not merely by this Government, but by successive Administrations, that it is our wish, as it has been their wish, that he should on no account relinquish the position which he holds, but that he should continue to give the public the great value of his services. There is another individual who has been alluded to, and to whom I wish to do justice; I mean that gallant officer Mr. Robertson, to whom the gallant Commodore has referred. The scene on which that gallant officer performed his services is a very distant one; and the services themselves may not have cast around them that eminence and distinction which sometimes attend services not more important; but I think it is for the public interest that, although the scene was a distant one, and although the numbers engaged in the conflict were comparatively small—I think it is for the public interest that we should show in the House of Commons that the distance of the scene and the comparative unimportance of the conflict do not make us oblivious of rare merit. Sir, I must say that his conduct stands forward in honourable contrast with the conduct of others concerned on that occasion; and I rejoice to find a British officer, not thinking whether his ship was to be surprised by a parcel of savages, but leaving that ship and setting on shore that gallant example which so many officers of our navy have before set, and rallying round him, until he was wounded, the flagging spirits of the civilians. And here I wish to make it known in the House of Commons that that conduct shall not pass unrewarded. In justice to him, and as an encouragement to others, that conduct shall receive its reward by the earliest opportunity being taken to give to him that promotion to which he is so eminently entitled. And now, Sir, I come to the particular Motion which is the subject of consideration to-night. The hon. Gentleman admits that it is incumbent on those who bring forward the Motion to assign good and sufficient reasons for its introduction. Sir, I certainly do think, that in the present state of New Zealand, and after the recent discussion which has taken place upon the subject, there ought to be some good and sufficient reasons assigned for again calling the attention of the House to the question, and for incurring the risk of widening the differences that have unfortunately prevailed between the authorities of this country to whom the management of the affairs of New Zealand is committed, and probably must continue to be committed. I think that those who are interested in the welfare of New Zealand ought rather to show an anxiety to forget the differences that have prevailed, and the controversies that have taken place; and that they ought studiously to avoid—unless they have some good and sufficient reasons to assign for such a course, that they ought studiously to avoid having recourse to any proceeding which could tend to embitter those differences, and to throw difficulty in the way of an harmonious concert and co-operation on the part of the authorities to whom I am referring. The hon. Gentleman admits that the unfortunate events which have recently taken place in New Zealand, in themselves constitute no reason for this Motion. The hon. Gentleman even admits that in the present state of New Zealand the unfortunate conflict which has lately taken place, and its probable consequences, should operate as a discouragement to a renewed discussion, rather than as an incentive to it. Well, but the hon. Gentleman also says, "I will assign to you the real reason for this Motion." Now, I trust that the House will bear with me while I examine whether or not that reason is well founded. If it be not well founded, I think the hon. Gentleman who has made this Motion has incurred a great responsibility. I do not deny his perfect right to make an appeal to the House of Commons. He has a constitutional right to make that appeal, whatever may be the consequences; but I think that if the object of the hon. Gentleman be to promote the welfare of New Zealand, prudential considerations ought to have prevented him from exercising that undoubted constitutional right. Sir, the only ground that can be assigned for this Motion—and it is avowed to be the only ground—is, that language was held by me and by my right hon. Friend, in the course of the last debate, which is at variance with the course we have since pursued. I am, indeed, acquitted of the intention of endeavouring to gain a majority by holding out delusive hopes. The hon. Gentleman does not attribute that to me. He says, however, that the language which I used had that effect, and that Members were induced to vote with the Government, or at least not to vote against them, because they had relied on the declarations made by my right hon. Friend and myself. He also says that the course we have since pursued is at variance with our declarations. Now, I propose to inquire whether it is or not. I am not about to relieve the hon. Gentleman from the necessity of dividing; but I am about to vindicate and to defend myself and my right hon. Friend from accusations which I believe to be unjust. I shall, however, confine myself on this occasion to the duty of vindication; and I do not mean to enter into criminatory attacks on the New Zealand Company. I shall not revive past differences; but I shall rather bear in mind that the New Zealand Company still continues a Company, and that it is desirable for the public interest that there should be a co-operation between that Company and the Government. I retain the opinions which I expressed on a former evening; but I shall endeavour to show that those opinions are in precise conformity with the course I have since taken, and that there is not therefore a pretence for this renewed appeal to the House. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Liskeard said, that he would not refer to any particular expressions I used in the speech I formerly delivered, but that he would rather allude to the general tone and spirit in which that speech was conceived. Sir, it was purposely conceived in a conciliatory spirit, and I purposely avoided any reference to past differences between the Colonial Office and the New Zealand Company. I wished to promote by the language I held and the spirit in which I spoke—I wished to promote the prospect of an early and a satisfactory settlement of disputes which cannot be prolonged without serious prejudice to the public service. But every word of the letter which I addressed to my noble Friend (Lord Ingestre), the Chairman of the New Zealand Committee—every word of that letter I am prepared to maintain; and if the hon. Gentleman thinks that the only mode in which we can avoid a record of hostile opinions upon this question is a statement on my part of a departure from the terms of that letter, such a statement I must tell him I am not prepared to make. I adhere to that letter; I say that I will not supersede my noble Friend in the conduct of the Colonial Office, I say that in the opinions of my noble Friend I concur, and that I believe my noble Friend to be influenced by a sincere desire to promote the welfare of the New Zealand Company, as far as he can promote it consistently with his duty to the Crown, and with good faith towards others. Those are the opinions which I expressed in that letter; and those are the opinions which I still entertain. The hon. Gentleman says—"Then do you mean to imply an approbation of the whole of the past correspondence?" That is not the point at issue. The question now is, whether the correspondence which has taken place since that speech was delivered, is at variance with the declarations I then made? That is the question, and the only question I have now to discuss. We have nothing now to do with the controversies of the years 1842 and 1843. I purposely abstain from noticing them; and as the objects of the Government are to consult the interests of that Colony, to lay the foundations of peace, and to consider how the British sovereignty can be maintained there in the best and most effectual manner, I think I should be acting most unworthily by noticing past disputes, and attempting to criminate any members of the Company. I do not mean to pursue such a course; and I shall confine myself to this question—whether there be anything in the communications which have appeared between the head of the Colonial Office and the New Zealand Company which is in the slightest degree at variance with the assurance that I gave, and the declarations that I made, not on my part merely, but in full concert, and after communicating with my noble Friend. Let us look, then, to the general tone and spirit of the observations which I made; for I admit that the tone and spirit in which a Minister speaks is the best indication of the animus and the intentions of a Government. Well, I spoke in a conciliatory spirit; but has my noble Friend acted in any other? Did he show any indisposition to receive a deputation from the New Zealand Company? Immediately after the debate was closed — after the reflections that were thrown upon my noble Friend—and after the imputations so liberally dealt on his conduct, he of course not having an opportunity to reply to them—I do not mean to say that that is any reason why they should not have been made—but after he had had an opportunity of reading those imputations, without having had an opportunity of replying to them, did my noble Friend show any indisposition to enter at once, three nights after the close of that debate, into friendly communication with the chosen deputies of the New Zealand Company, who were sent to confer with him? In order that such mistakes as had before occurred might not again occur, it was suggested that there should be minutes taken of the conversation, and that these minutes should be considered as records of what took place. Now, then, with respect to the tone and spirit of my noble Friend. My noble Friend had read to the deputation portions of the despatches he had just written; and in what terms were these despatches conceived? Alluding to the New Zealand Company and to their claim for land, my noble Friend writes as follows to Captain Grey:— In my despatch of the 13th instant, I adverted to the relations between Her Majesty's Government and the New Zealand Company. An early settlement of the pending question respecting the Company's claim to certain lands is of paramount importance towards an amicable adjustment of the affairs of the Colony; and it is far more necessary to take effectual steps for bringing that question to a final, and, if possible, a satisfactory conclusion, than to discuss questions of strict right, or to carry on an unprofitable controversy. Now, what could a Minister say more? The hon. Gentleman opposite says, "I advise you to select an agent, to give him a general discretionary authority, and not to bind him down by particular instructions." What course has my noble Friend taken? He has appointed Captain Grey. But the hon. and learned Gentleman says, he thinks it would have been better to have taken a person of high rank from this country for that purpose. Now, the selection of Captain Grey was a most disinterested act. It was possible, if we had selected some person in England, and had given him a large salary, that we should have been charged with having converted this affair into a matter of patronage, and should have been reproached for not having appointed a gentleman, such as Captain Grey, who was at New South Wales, and, therefore, close at hand, and who was conversant with the interests of New Zealand, and not a stranger; and the expression would have been, "For God's sake, why not send Captain Grey?" If we are wrong in this—in thus sending Captain Grey—at least we have acted from no other motive than to settle the affairs of New Zealand in the speediest possible space of time. My noble Friend said, "Don't let us refer to the past, but let us bring the affair to a speedy and satisfactory settlement." But how does he conclude his despatch to Captain Grey? He says— I can only repeat 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 your power, any exorbitant or extortionate demands on the Company on this head. These are the general instructions which my noble Friend has given to Captain Grey, and these instructions have been communicated frankly and unreservedly to the New Zealand Company. So much, then, for the general spirit of my speech. Now, with respect to the particular facts. The hon. and learned Gentleman says, I made declarations with respect to the future Government of New Zealand which were at variance with the instructions given by my noble Friend. [Mr. C. Buller: I never said that. What I said was, that those declarations had never been carried out.] Well, which are not carried out in the instructions. This is the main point between us. The hon. Member says that I, speaking in the House of Commons, and influencing it by my declaration, gave an assurance here which my noble Friend, writing a few days afterwards, did not substantially carry out. What did I say? I said generally that I thought with regard to these distant Colonies, a representative government was on the whole the best mode of conducting them; that I thought this country could have no object in possessing these Colonies, except to see them contented and prosperous, and that on the whole the best way of ensuring contentment and prosperity, as a general rule, was to establish a form of government in accordance with the views of the inhabitants. But I said that in the present state of society in New Zealand, looking at the dispersion of its inhabitants, and the distance of its settlements from each other, I thought it would be exceedingly difficult at once to give effect to the principle of representative government, if, by representative government you mean a popular assembly with extensive powers of general legislation and taxation. But the particular declaration which I made was this:—I said, 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 representative government according to the rule observed in more thickly-peopled countries; that I believed by far the best plan would be the formation of municipal institutions, with extensive powers of local taxation for local purposes. I said that I thought these municipal institutions might be the germ of future representative government; that I hoped such would be the case, but that the Colony was not now in a condition for a representative government in the sense in which we usually apply that word; but that I thought the best foundation for a future representative government would be the formation of municipal institutions, with extensive powers of local taxation for local purposes. That is the declaration which I made. What did my noble Friend write to Captain Grey? He says— There is another subject to which your attention will probably be directed, namely, that of a representative government in New Zealand. By a representative government, I mean the constitution of a legislative assembly with general power of legislation. I should be very glad if I could think it practicable in the present condition of the Colony to adopt this course: but the objections appear to me insuperable. Here my noble Friend admits that he thinks the principle of representative government good, and regrets only that the circumstances of New Zealand prevent, for the present, its application. He says there are, above others, reasons which have reference to the distance of the settlements from each other, and the peculiar position of the native population; and, he says, "For these, among other reasons, I think the admission of the representative system for the present impracticable;" and my noble Friend then requests Captain Grey to direct his attention and that of the colonists to the formation of local municipal bodies with considerable powers of taxation for local purposes, and with the power of making the necessary by-laws, leaving the more general powers of legislation vested in the Council as at present constituted. Looking at the peculiar circumstances of New Zealand, he continues— I should not object to extend the authority of these local bodies over a considerable district of the surrounding country. He stated, and I think the House will concur with him, that he wished to see these districts so extended as to take in a portion of the native population; but not in such numbers as to enable them in their present unenlightened state, by physical force, and by the force of numbers, to overbear the intelligent portion of the inhabitants; but to accustom them to the former, and privileges of representative government, and municipal institutions, by incorporating them, as far as you can, in these institutions, and by giving them equal privileges, and making them bear equal burdens. Does the House object to that? My noble Friend also stated his opinion, that in these bodies it would be found advisable to limit, as far as possible, so much of the burden of the Government expenditure as could fairly be considered of a local character, to the particular district, thus obviating the objections which might be urged by the inhabitants of distant districts, that they were taxed for the purpose of meeting expenditure in which they had no concern, and from which they derived no benefit. What, then, were the instructions of my noble Friend? That these institutions should have all the control over local taxation and expenditure which is compatible with the due exercise of the functions of the governing body. It is impossible that they should have supreme power. You must put some limitation, because you do not wish to have separate bodies with supreme powers. You do not wish to have one system of customhouse regulations in one settlement, and another system in another. You do not wish, I presume, to have one law for the succession to property in one part of the Colony, and another law in another. You do not wish to establish the law of primogeniture in one district, and destroy it in another. You want now and for ever to have one controlling supreme body, to whom the general powers of legislation must be entrusted. You wish to have one general body to whom general taxation for the support of the Government and the charge of the State shall be committed. That, I apprehend, is inevitable; but, in the mean time, constitute municipal institutions, widen the range of their authority, and commit to them as extensive powers, both of taxation and control, as is consistent with the authority of the supreme legislative body. How are these municipal bodies now constituted? I apprehend on as liberal a basis as any one would wish. I believe every male having arrived at the age of twenty-one years is entitled to vote. [Mr. Aglionby: That is not the case yet.] But a local law has passed regulating the franchise, and conferring it on every male inhabitant of the age of twenty-one. No one wants a more liberal constitution of municipal bodies than this. But the powers of taxation were limited; they were limited within far too narrow bounds. The hon. and learned Member says, these institutions give powers which are only sufficient for paving and lighting; and he asks whether such powers are suitable for Colonies in the position of New Zealand. Most certainly not. I will not define what local purposes are; but when you constitute these municipal institutions, you ought to constitute them on a liberal basis as to the franchise, with authority over as extensive districts as you can. You ought to secure to them every power of local taxation, with all the control over local expenditure which is compatible with the functions and authority of the Supreme Government—namely, the Governor in Council, as at present constituted. Sir, I apprehend that, in speaking of the existing constitution and members of the Council, I am not to be understood as implying that for all time to come seven members, four of them holding office and three not holding office, according to the instructions of my noble Friend—I mean the instructions given by the noble Lord who formerly held my noble Friend's office — instructions no doubt perfectly well suited to the state of society as it then existed—when I say that I think these municipal institutions will form the germ of a representative government—if you say that for all time to come this Council is to remain unchanged, I admit that such is not the germ of the representative government which I desire to see. But when you have municipal institutions it will be perfectly open to consideration whether you may not give a more extended and liberal character to the Council. Such is the spirit in which my noble Friend's instructions are conceived. How you are to constitute the Council I do not say; that, of course, must be an element for your consideration; but after you have constituted these bodies on extended and liberal representative principles—after you have committed to them powers of local taxation, my belief is, that it will be necessary to reconsider the constitution of the Council, and give it a power more consentaneous with municipal institutions. But what possible object can we have in so modifying the Council as to disentitle it to the confidence of those for whom it is to legislate? I think I have given a satisfactory explanation of the intention of my noble Friend. If the New Zealand Company had any objections to urge, why did they not state them? But not a word of objection was sent; and now this Motion is made in the House of Commons, and now, for the first time, these objections are brought forward. These were the intentions of my noble Friend in sending out these instructions; and I think it utterly impossible that any man, in the present state of the Colony, could have given more precise or more positive instructions. Instructions have been given which I could not, consistently with a sense of public duty, lay on the Table of the House. I could not run the risk of their being made known in the Colony before the arrival of the Governor; but the time will come when these instructions will be laid on the Table, and the House will then have an opportunity of seeing whether the imputations cast on my noble Friend with regard to his conduct towards the New Zealand Company are well founded or not. I speak under great difficulty in this respect, because the same objections apply now, as then, with regard to the production of those Papers. There are also despatches to Captain Fitzroy; but having removed him from office, we do not think it right to present them. These despatches, however, explicitly state on the part of my noble Friend the objections entertained with regard to his conduct, and the grounds upon which he felt called upon to advise his recall. These instructions will be in the hands of Captain Grey, and will serve as an indication to him of the policy of my noble Friend. I hope I have proved to the satisfaction of the House that I did not say one word with respect to the representative government, or the formation of municipal institutions, in which the instructions of my noble Friend do not both in the spirit and in the letter concur. I hope I have shown, that far from attempting to gain a majority by delusive assurances, I said not one word which has not been literally carried into execution by the instructions of my noble Friend. With respect to Auckland, I stated that, deterred by general considerations, I was not prepared to give any assurance that the seat of government should be transferred from thence. My noble Friend has given instructions with regard to Auckland in precise conformity with my declaration. With regard to the relation between the New Zealand Company and the Government, did I give any assurance at variance with the opinions expressed by my right hon. Friend? Did I say that the Treaty of Waitangi was not to be respected? What language did I hold with respect to that? I said, distinctly, that if the House affirmed that the Treaty of Waitangi enabled the Crown to dispossess the natives of all their land without full inquiry, they would, in my opinion, lower the character of this House in the estimation of all who respect the inviolability of public engagements. I said I thought nothing could be more unjust than if the House were to pass censure, or implied censure, on the conduct of my noble Friend, because he avowed his determination to carry honourably into effect the Treaty which had been made with the natives of New Zealand at Waitangi. I believe this is the point, and almost the only point, on which we are at issue. I believe that, after all the volumes of controversy which have appeared, the question really resolves itself into this; shall the Government undertake to guarantee, in this country, within certain limits in New Zealand, a certain amount of land, withough reference to the rights to that land vesting in the natives? ["No, no!"] If you mean to say that the Crown shall do all it can to possess the Company, through the intervention of local authorities, of that quantity of land to which they were entitled by the award of Mr. Pennington—if you say that the Government should give a liberal construction to the claims of the Company—that it should not remain indifferent—that it should exert itself by all legitimate means at the earliest possible period to enable the Company to obtain by legitimate means all the land they claim—if that be your meaning, there is no difference between us. But this I tell you distinctly we will not do; and if the House entertains a different opinion, it is but right that it should give expression to it. We will not undertake, in the absence of surveys and local information as to the claims of the natives, to assign to you 1,000,000 or any other number of acres, and dispossess the natives by the sword. [Mr. Aglionby: Nobody ever asked that.] I admit that the New Zealand Company has a fair right to expect from the Crown to be put in possession of the quantity of land awarded to them at as early a period and in as satisfactory a manner as possible, with this clear reserve, that you shall not violate a compact, or infringe the rights of private property. I say this entirely differing from the policy which dictated the course pursued in 1839, which I regard as a serious error. You should have rested your claim on the ground of discovery, and not on some cession by the natives. Acting on the Report of the Aborigines' Committee, you laid down a principle which has involved you in your present difficulty; and now you are trying to make us responsible for it. The hardness of the names connected with the subject indispose people to pay attention to it; but if you will listen but for a quarter of an hour, I will show that this difficulty is all of your own creating, and that if you seek to involve my noble Friend in censure for not violating this Treaty, you will commit an act of gross injustice towards him. The construction of these Treaties depends on the circumstances of the time when they were formed, the impression entertained by the Executive Governments and the legislative assemblies, and on the language which you instructed your Representative to hold. It may be all very well to say this Treaty was an improvident one, let us get possession of the land; but I tell you there are parties in New Zealand enemies to your authority, who know what passed in 1839, and the circumstances under which the British sovereignty was then established. I ask you to beware—first, from considerations of justice, and next by considerations of policy — how you take upon yourselves the responsibility of violating the engagements into which you have entered. I agree with the hon. Member for Bath, that the title derived from cession by the natives was unwise, liable to misconstruction, and, above all, that it is extremely difficult to show a right of sovereignty in this way unless you had the unanimous consent of the natives. But you must bear in mind what passed in 1839. Lord Normanby was then at the head of the Colonial Office. He sent out a certain naval officer named Hobson, entrusted him with diplomatic and executive functions, and gave him instructions. Will you tell me what those instructions were? I will read the words which a Secretary of State, six years ago, speaking in the name of the Crown, gave to on officer sent to represent Her Majesty. The letter is dated August 14, 1839, and is notorious among the natives in New Zealand, and it states that— The natives of New Zealand are a numerous and inoffensive people, whose title to the soil and sovereignty of New Zealand is indisputable. What is meant by the soil? The Secretary of State says the title of the inhabitants to the soil of New Zealand is as perfect as their title to the sovereignty which has been solemnly recognised by the British Government. Solemly recognised! What is the meaning of this solemn recognition of the title of the natives to the soil? He says— We acknowledge New Zealand as a sovereign and independent State. The Queen disclaims for Herself and for her subjects any pretensions to seize on the islands of New Zealand, or to govern them as part of the dominions of Great Britain, unless a free and intelligent consent of the natives, expressed according to their usages, should be first obtained. You now find these usages very absurd, the title to land derived by having eaten up the last incumbent, for instance; but the Secretary of State ought to have considered that before he disclaimed the right of his Sovereign to exercise dominion in New Zealand unless the free and intelligent consent of the natives should have been first obtained. So much for sovereignty. Lord Normanby proceeds— All dealing with the aborigines for their land must be conducted upon the same principle of sincerity, of justice, and of good faith as must govern your transactions with them for the recognition of Her Majesty's sovereignty in the island. Observe, now, you did not claim the sovereignty by right of conquest or by that of discovery, but by the cession of the natives. Writing to your Representative there you say— It will be your duty to obtain, by fair and equitable contracts, the cession to the Crown of such lands as may be necessarily required for the occupation of the settlers. Now, tell me what construction you will put upon those written proofs of your sovereignty? But when you said, "Get the sovereignty by cession, according to the usages of the aborigines, and only take the lands in the same way," what, I ask you again, is the construction that you put upon these engagements? Now, observe that Lord Normanby says again— To the natives or their chiefs much of the land of the country is of no actual use, and in their hands it possesses scarcely any exchangeable value. But first he tells you to "take no land except that which is by cession fairly granted." He further tells you that "you must be cautious that you do not take any land even by fair cession, if it could be con- sidered that the taking of such land would interfere with their rights." These were the instructions which were given by the Secretary of State for the Colonies only about six years since, and in consequence of these instructions you formed a Treaty to this effect:— On account of acquiring sovereignty by cession, Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and grants to the chiefs and tribes of New Zealand, and to their respective families, the full, exclusive, undisturbed possession of their lands, forests, habitations and other property which they may collectively or individually possess, as long as they may wish or desire to retain possession of them. Now, my noble Friend had argued that the Crown, by proclamation, had claimed the right of pre-emption from the natives, as we admitted only a qualified right on their part; but we claimed the right of pre-emption because those lands were ceded to the Crown by the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty goes on to say— The native tribes and individual chiefs give to Her Majesty the exclusive right of pre-emption over such land as may be disposed of at such prices as the persons appointed on behalf of the two parties may think fair and reasonable. The argument, therefore, of my noble Friend falls to the ground in respect to this point of pre-emption. The Crown claims a right of pre-emption, because the right of pre-emption is ceded to the Crown by the Treaty of Waitangi. These are the public engagements which you have entered into. You have stipulated on the part of the Crown that, as the price and condition of your possession of sovereignty, the natives should not be called upon to relinquish their lands except by a fair cession, and for a fair equivalent. Now, my noble Friend does not contend that there necessarily is on the part of the native chiefs and tribes a claim to the whole of the waste lands in New Zealand; but after this engagement which you have deliberately entered into with them, he thinks that the rights of the natives ought to be clearly ascertained before you can enter into a consideration as to what those particular waste lands are which the Crown may lay claim to. I consider that the right of sovereignty which has been ceded by the natives gives to the Crown the perfect right of possession over all lands which the native tribes cannot lay a perfect claim to; but the tribes cannot, according to their usages, establish a right of property to certain waste lands. I admit your interest in these lands by the engagement entered into between the Crown and the natives—I admit the importance, too, of your future interests in the Colony—I admit the great advantage it would be if you could induce these natives to relinquish, by fair cession, some of these lands—I admit that to accomplish so desirable a result that every effort on our part ought to be made. But if, as I think it is, the question be, whether the Crown shall, upon its own responsibility, undertake to dispossess, by force, and against the will of the inhabitants, the natives from certain lands desired by the New Zealand Company, let us, then, have no mistake upon the point; for you shall not say that I am deceiving you. I tell you at once that we are not prepared to give you any such assurance. Sir, this is the spirit in which we shall meet the question—the same spirit that actuated us in the former discussion of this subject—and which influences me when speaking again upon it. I speak not in a spirit of hostility to the New Zealand Company, but with a sincere desire to see that Company restored to prosperity, and Her Majesty's Government acting in concert and co-operating with it. But to gain that concert and co-operation, I will not do that which I believe to be inconsistent with public faith, which I admit was unwisely pledged to the natives of New Zealand. I admit this, Sir; but, at the same time, I think that you are bound to observe it, however weak these natives be. Considerations of justice ought to induce you to respect that weakness. But you admit that the natives are possessed of great powers. Considerations, then, of mere policy must at once induce you to maintain peace with them, rather than come to the determination of dispossessing them of any grounds which they lay claim to, by an exercise of physical force. I do not say that this argument I should have greater reliance upon, than upon your desire faithfully and honourably to perform those public engagements into which you have deliberately entered with them. I do not mean this in the mere technical definition of the words. I cannot have a doubt but that you have a power to overbear any force that could be brought against you in New Zealand; but I think that you should rather regard the settlement of this question by cordial and friendly relations, than that you should trust to force and physical strength to overcome your difficulties. Depend on it that the seeds of future government in New Zealand would be very imperfectly laid, and will come to no head or satisfactory maturity, unless you do respect not only the principles of justice, but also unless you bear in mind the natural feelings of the native population. Instead, then, of taking that course which has been taken in regard to other Colonies, you should try and incorporate the natives of New Zealand with your own institutions, and, as far as possible, to amalgamate the two countries, and connect them together by deeds of reciprocal kindness. Observe the course which France has taken in Algiers. Recollect that in India you have respected the rights of native tribes to the land. You have, I apprehend, contented yourself with the sovereignty you have there obtained; I think you ought to content yourself with the sovereignty here, and with the title to all that land to which the sovereignty lays claim. But even if there be some further demands made by you, you should try to obtain them by fair cession and equitable arrangement, rather than seek to obtain them by unequitable determination. Sir, I hope I have said nothing to give dissatisfaction to the hon. and learned Gentleman. Upon this second debate, and upon this second appeal, I trust the difference between the Company and Government has not been widened. I feel that I have said nothing that can involve me in any such responsibility. I hope that I have cautiously avoided recrimination or partial proceedings, and have only contented myself with that vindication which I felt it necessary to offer against a most unjust attack that has been made upon my noble Friend. I state fairly to the House the course we are prepared to take—I state that to the House of Commons. It is, of course, for them to determine whether they shall adopt an opinion adverse to that. I also say that you shall not succeed in establishing between my noble Friend and myself any distinction, for my own opinions in respect to the future policy of New Zealand meet with my noble Friend's entire concurrence. The language which I have now uttered is language which, had he been here, he would have himself uttered, but with much greater force. His desires of fulfilling the assurances which I have given (not without having a conference with my noble Friend) are equally great as mine. I will not do that which the New Zealand Company seem to think I might do—undertake to supersede, in the discharge of his proper functions, a Minister who I believe has discharged his official duties with almost unexampled ability, and with a sincere desire to promote the interests of every Colony over which he now presides.

Mr. Roebuck

wished to say a few words to remove an unfounded impression from the mind of a gentleman who had addressed himself to him in very courteous terms. He stated that he had charged him with exercising a paramount influence in the Colonial Office, and with being himself at the bidding of the Missionary Society. What he did say was this—that from the necessity of that gentleman's position he exercised an influence in the Colonial Office — that it required very peculiar power on the part of any person coming to that office to avoid being subject to that influence — that he believed the person holding the seals of that Department at the present moment was not proof against such influence—and that therefore the responsible officer was, in reality, under an irresponsible officer. If he had imputed to the gentleman the suspicion of sorcery, it was only of that description which was implied in the power of a strong mind over a weak one. That was no imputation on the honour of the gentleman. That gentleman had stated that he had charged him with being at the bidding of the Missionary Society. Not at all. What he said was this—that having this influence he had adopted a line of policy in consequence of a certain feeling on his part that the Missionary Societies were doing great good in that part of the world. That he thought he was mistaken; he thought, therefore, his policy was wrong, but he never intended to say he was at the bidding of anybody, but merely that he obeyed the impulse of his own mind, which led him to a wrong conclusion.

Lord John Russell

Before entering on the question which is immediately before the House, I think it is due to a gentleman, whose name has been mentioned both by the hon. and learned Member for Bath, and by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and by a right hon. Friend of mine, the Member for Taunton, to give my testimony as to the conduct of that gentleman as an officer in the public service. Now, Sir, my experience of that gentleman can only be an addition to the knowledge which the House has of his powerful talents, of his various acquisitions, of his long experience in all matters of Colonial government. Those, I say, are qualifications which no one will deny to Mr. Stephen; but it is said, and the hon. and learned Gentleman declaring that he means no personal offence to Mr. Stephen, seems to repeat the charge, that he does use his powerful talents to exercise undue influence over the Principal of the Department in which he is placed, and that he himself is biassed by the Missionary Society in this country. [Mr. Roebuck: I did not say that he exercised undue influence over his principal.] I understand the hon. and learned Gentleman to interrupt me by saying that he did not use the expression, that Mr. Stephen exercised undue influence over the mind of his principal. Now, my only testimony is, that a person with such qualifications as I have mentioned, when found in office by any person who may be placed at the head of that office, must naturally be consulted by such person, if he has any fitness for the office to which he has been appointed. That the views and opinions of Mr. Stephen may have more or less of influence, must depend on the views which the Secretary of State takes. All I can say is, that I always found, while Mr. Stephen was ready to give any information as to facts—to give any information as to past regulations of former Secretaries of State, or as to laws bearing on the subject—he was always most unwilling, unless asked, to give his opinion as to what should be the general course of the Government on any subject. When asked, he would not refrain—it was his duty not to refrain from stating that opinion. Such opinion, as far as regards myself, I always endeavoured to weigh carefully, considering the source whence it came, and the arguments by which it was sure to be supported; but always with the independent resolution in my own mind, that if I thought the result to which those arguments led, was not such as would be conducive to the welfare of the Colony in question, or of the Empire, that I was bound to adopt exactly opposite conclusions, or a conclusion at variance with that of Mr. Stephen, as much as of any private individual with whom I might happen to differ. And, therefore, concluding of others as of myself, I should say that the notion generally entertained that everything is done by Mr. Stephen in the Colonial Office, is unfounded; and it arises solely from the known abilities of that gentleman, and the supposition that they must have predominant weight in the counsels of any office in which he happens to be placed. I will say further, that when he intimated to me his wish to retire from that office, and be placed in some other situation under the Crown, I immediately represented that fact to Lord Melbourne, and induced him, in agreement with me, to beg Mr. Stephen to remain in the office in which he was, on the ground that the public service would seriously suffer, if deprived of his aid. [Sir R. Peel: The same thing has lately taken place.] I understand from the right hon. Gentleman (Sir R. Peel), that the present Government take the same view of Mr. Stephen's services that Lord Melbourne and I took; and it must be a strange fascination, honourable to Mr. Stephen, if, without real and substantial merits, he can induce all those who are placed in office over him to take such a view of his merits and services. Now, Sir, I will deal with the question before the House. That question, I think, has been made in this, as in the former debate, too much of a personal matter between the Secretary of State and the New Zealand Company. I regret that that has been the main topic—I regret that the Attorney General wasted, I should say, the whole of his speech in a controversy as to the merits of these two parties. But when the right hon. Gentleman says that my hon. and learned Friend near me is responsible for bringing on the question a second time at this period of the year, I, on the contrary, rather take blame to myself, that I did not either myself take the sense of the House, or induce others, at an early period of the Session, to take the sense of the House, on the government of New Zealand, which, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, could not but end in disaster. I did hope—and that was my reason for refraining—that the New Zealand Company, being in communication with the Secretary of State, and representing a large body of settlers in that Colony, might at length induce him to take a juster view of the interests of the colonists; and that we should not be obliged, by an adverse debate, to force from the Minister adverse arguments against what I conceived the interests of the Colony. But when the matter comes to be debated here—and debated a second time—I must say, putting out of view altogether the interests of the Company—put- ting out of view any agreement they had made with me—there is this great question to be considered, upon which my hon. and learned Friend asked you to give an opinion, namely, whether or not the condition of the Colony of New Zealand does excite serious apprehension? And, in the second place, whether that apprehension is aggravated by the evidence, that there is no change in the policy which has led to those disastrous results? That, Sir, is a question which, putting aside the Company—putting aside any loss of their capital—putting aside the very question of their existence as a Company — that, I say, is a question interesting to the people of this country—interesting to the settlers who have gone out there—and interesting to those who purpose becoming emigrants to any of our Colonies in any part of the world. That is a question totally independent of the Company, upon which the House of Commons may fairly be called upon to give an opinion. It is a question upon which I think it is now desirable to ask for the opinion of this House. Let me, in the first place, ask what led to the late disasters? What has led to this, but the conduct of the Governor, who was appointed by the present Secretary of State? What has led to it, but the serious errors which he has committed? What has led to it, but his continual concessions to the natives, who attributed such concessions to fear and weakness; and who, after having by intimidation forced one concession after another from him, at length thought, by further outrage, and by further intimidation, they should entirely destroy the sovereignty of the Queen in New Zealand? Why, Sir, I have a letter here, among the Papers printed in the early part of the Session, in which this very chief, who has attacked and destroyed one of our settlements in New Zealand, is addressed as friend Heki Poki by Captain Fitzroy, the Governor, and in which he tells him that the Governor has made certain regulations; but he says these regulations would not please greedy Europeans, who wanted to get all the best lands. Now, when a Governor, who is sent out from this country with the Queen's authority—who is sent out in the name of the Queen of England—talks of greedy Europeans, and thus incites a barbarous chieftain to think he is their friend, and opposed to the Europeans—not pointing out any particular Europeans, but speaking of Europeans generally, as persons greedy of land, and wishing to act unjustly by the natives—what could be more natural than that this barbarous chief should conclude that, from some motive or other, the Governor would always act in his favour; and that he had nothing to but to apply force more and more, until he had forced the whole sovereignty away from such a timid and incapable Governor? Well, it is said, that Captain Fitzroy is recalled; that he is separated from this friend of his, for whose apprehension he was afterwards obliged to offer a reward; but that does not relieve the Government from their responsibility. He was the person whom they thought most fit to govern that Colony; and I say, if you have removed that Governor, give us a proof that you have changed the policy that led to the late disasters, by which we may think that such disasters will not occur again. Has there been anything communicated to the House to show there is that change in your policy—to show that a tone of greater firmness is to be taken—that the extravagant pretensions of the natives will meet with a due check? Has there been anything communicated to the House to show that you do mean really to assert the Queen's authority—to show that you do not mean to pamper every extravagance which the natives of such a country would be capable of forming, and that you will not yield repeatedly to those pretensions, until at last it will end in a scene of bloodshed, and not only much British blood will be shed in such a contest, but the whole Colony itself will be a scene of disaster such as is scarcely to be found in any former Colony of the British Crown? Have you done anything of this sort? The policy which you have pursued having been notoriously the cause of this disaster, having been the cause of the loss of British lives, have you said anything from which we can suppose there will be a better course of policy in future? This is not a question for the New Zealand Company to dispute with the Secretary of State; but it is a question of supreme importance to the good government of the Colony, and the welfare of the British Empire; and it behoves the House of Commons to consider it. If the House of Commons should be of opinion, that the Government have so changed their policy, that they have laid down rules for a wise policy in future, then let them put their negative upon the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend; let them decide that there are reasonable grounds for expecting, under the present Executive Government at home, a better course of policy towards New Zealand, which shall lead to the future prosperity of that Colony, and then let them acquit the Government of all blame. But has the right hon. Gentleman proved that to be the case? I think his speech to-night is less satisfactory than his former speech. I thought his former speech contained a stronger assurance as to the future government of the Colony, than his present speech; and that for a very good reason. He now tells us, that he is speaking in complete concurrence with, and with the authority of the Secretary of State for the Colonies; but, as far as I could perceive, when he was speaking on a former occasion, he was giving the result of his own reflections—of his own opinion — as to the government of that Colony; and it was a much sounder opinion than any which he is likely to form after a conference with the Secretary for the Colonies, who has been, for the last three or four years, in controversy with the New Zealand Company, and who cannot conceive anything to be right which is done in New Zealand, unless done by him, and in opposition to the Company. The question is so blended in his mind, that it is impossible he can come to a right conclusion on this subject. If it should be a conclusion tending to the prosperity of New Zealand, giving consolation and tranquillity to the relatives of all the settlers who are out there, if he believed it to be so, he might not object to it; but as it would be a conclusion in favour of the Company, he never would adopt it, he never would see matters in that light. What is it that the right hon. Gentleman tells us, after this concert, and speaking by this authority—what is it he tells with regard to the two great questions, which in an infant Colony, must be of paramount importance—first, as to the form of government; and, secondly, as to the purchase of land? These are the only topics upon which I will at this hour trouble the House. With regard to the form of government, I can hardly treat that question properly without referring to the instructions given in December, 1840, to the Governor of New Zealand; for the right hon. Gentleman speaks of municipal institutions as if it was an entirely new notion which had occurred to the present Government, that it would be a good thing to have municipal institutions applied to larger districts than the mere towns But what I ask of the Government is, what have they done from September 1841 to July 1845, to promote the prosperity of this young Colony? I have a fair right to ask, whether we have seen that Colony make such progress as we might expect—whether we have seen it increase in wealth—whether we have seen it increase in the number of its inhabitants—and whether it bears all the evidence of an increasing and improving Colony? One of the first instructions that I gave to the Governor of the Colony contained these words:— Another important rule for your guidance, is to promote, as far as possible, the establishment of municipal and district governments for the conduct of local affairs, such as drainages, by-roads, police, the erecting and repair of local prisons, court-houses, and the like. Independently of the excellent uses of such institutions, regarded in a political light, there are none more consonant with the English character and habits, and none better calculated to an efficient and frugal expenditure of public money. It is of the utmost importance to withdraw from the Governor the care of these innumerable local petty details, and to relieve the public treasury from the wasteful expenditure in which it must be involved, so long as it is burdened with the double charge of collecting local assessments, and of effecting local works. Nor is there any better mode of training the colonists to the exercise of the more important duties of a free people, and a representative government. Now, I ask, what municipal charters have been established by the present Government—what settlements are there in New Zealand governed by municipal institutions? Have there been any such formed? Has anything whatever, in fact, been done in that respect from 1841 to 1845? I believe there has not; and now that you are about to send out new instructions, I say that these instructions for 1845 fall lamentably short of what they ought to be. My opinion, perhaps, in this respect, goes beyond that of some others, as to what would give effect to the government of the Colony. I think you should not only have these district and municipal institutions in the towns where settlements now exist, but I think that there should be persons called from these towns to consult with the Legislative Council for the purpose of legislation. I think that the Council which has been formed has not proved itself sufficient for the purpose for which it was constituted, and I say it ought to be strengthened by some delegations from those municipal bodies. It would thus have greater influence, greater wisdom, and greater strength for the purposes of taxation. And, besides, it would be in accordance with the principle of the British Constitution. That, let us never forget, is the principle of the British Constitution—a principle, too, asserted in very unfavourable times by a statesman who holds no trifling place in English history; I allude to the discussion which is recorded in the Appendix to Fox's History with regard to the government of New England in 1685. It was in the latter days of the reign of Charles II., and in the Council of the King it was discussed whether the Charter of New England, having been forfeited to the Crown, they should establish an arbitrary government in the Colony, or grant it a representative constitution. On that occasion, Lord Halifax declared that it was repugnant to all the feelings of Englishmen, that there should be any authority to tax, which did not derive its authority to do so from the people, and that, therefore, he maintained that there should be no government having a power of taxing the people, which did not derive that power from the people themselves. He said— I would not bear that any man should have the power of taking money out of my pocket except I gave him authority so to do. That was the opinion of that great man. It was an opinion that did not coincide with the feelings of the majority of the Council, and it was no wonder Barillon, who combated strongly against it, should have generally prevailed. I think you ought to take the first opportunity that offered itself of showing your adherence to the great constitutional principle I have just quoted. It seems to me that this is an opportunity fitted for the purpose, and that you should take advantage of it, at least, to indicate somewhat of the force and efficacy of representative institutions; and I am confirmed in the opinion of this being the proper moment for doing so, from perceiving the weakness of the present Legislative Council, from seeing their acts, and the total want of confidence which the settlers of New Zealand, very naturally, I think, exhibit towards them. But I ask, has that anything to do with the New Zealand Company? Has it anything to do either with the mistakes or the virtues, whichever they may be, of the Company? Is it not clear that it has not, and that it is a question on which the settlers of New Zealand have a right to ask for the attention of the Executive Government? Or, I ask, is it a question on which this House should be indifferent—this House, which derives its authority from representative institutions? And, I ask, too, is my hon. and learned Friend so greatly to blame—is he a person so deeply responsible as has been alleged, because he ventures to say in the House of Commons, with regard to a British Colony—with regard to 12,000 British subjects settled there—that he thinks even in New Zealand the principles of representative government ought to be respected. These are the observations that I have to make on your decision, as far as municipal institutions in the Colony are concerned; and the opinion which I am forced to adopt is, that you have rather gone back than gone forward in your government of New Zealand, during the last four or five years. Lord Stanley has given reasons in his memorandum for not granting representative institutions. He says, that it is impossible to give the franchise to the natives; and that it would be unjust to govern them without giving the franchise to them. Now, unless we can suppose the entire native race to be annihilated in a few years, we have here an argument against any representative government for the next century. It is all very well for the Government to say, with regard to this, as to many other subjects, that the principle is highly to be recommended. Nothing is more desirable than representative government. It is a thing we all admire, and there is nothing we will not say in its favour; but, at the same time, there is nothing that we will do for it. If you ask us to pronounce a panegyric upon representative government, we are ready to do so in the most beautiful language, and most highly-coloured terms; but as to granting such a system to the settler in New Zealand, or to his son born three months ago, that is a thing that we cannot think of. I then come to the other important question, which is the question of land. The right hon. Baronet referred to what we had done in 1839, and stated that much of the mischief which has since been done, originated in the steps then taken. Now, the view which was taken in 1839, depended, in a great degree, on the view which had been adopted in 1831 and 1832. At that time, the New Zealanders were acknowledged as an independent nation. Their flag was recognised, and their independence admitted, by the Crown of this country. Now, that may have been a wise or a foolish step; but after it had been taken, I do not think we could have gone on claiming these islands, on the ground of the right of prior discovery. I think that any one succeeding Lord Ripon as Secretary of State, must have acted on the view which that nobleman had taken of the subject. A noble Friend of mine, a man of great and powerful talents, who now bears a title which will be ever memorable in English history—my noble Friend who so lately sat in this House, and who has succeeded to a name which it will be difficult worthily to bear—stated with that candour which belongs to him, that though in office at that time, he did not approve of the steps that had been then taken. But these are matters of difficulty, on which any man in subsequent years, and with increased experience, might well change his opinion. It might be open to Her Majesty's Government to set aside all former Acts, and to declare that they did not acknowledge any independent tribes in the country. But these tribes had, by the Treaty of Waitangi, acknowledged the sovereignty of the Crown of these realms, though, at the same time, they provided that they should be left in possession of all their lands, forests, and fisheries. On a former occasion, I alluded to the effect of that Treaty. It is, therefore, sufficient for me now to say that the sense which I then attached to the Treaty, I had attached to it within a month after I received the account of its being executed; and this assertion I make on the authority of Papers that have been laid on the Table of the House. I stated, at that time, that the title of the natives was to be acknowledged in all lands in their enjoyment or occupation; and that is the sense which I always continued to attach to the terms of the Treaty, and which I have since then repeated more than once. And not only was that the sense attached to the Treaty by me, being, as I then was, in immediate communication with my noble Friend the Marquess of Normanby, whose responsibility I am quite willing to share; but it was also the sense in which the Treaty was viewed by the great majority of this House—a majority not agreeing in politics with myself, but being many of them supporters of the right hon. Baronet. On the Motion of the noble Lord (Lord Francis Egerton) this House declared that they viewed the Treaty in the sense in which I now regard it; and that the other sense which was contended for was not neces- sary to its true construction. If that be the case, do not tell me, that this plain matter of fact resolves itself into the proposition put by the right hon. Gentleman, as far as we can know his opinion, from his report of the sentiments of Lord Stanley—that "here is a plain Treaty, and will the House of Commons or House of Lords ask us to violate the terms of it—to violate the solemn engagements of the Crown?" I say, that is not the question. The question to be decided is, what the sense is that is to be attached to the Treaty? What is the true interpretation to be given to it? If I wanted farther argument on that point, I would find it in what we had been told the other day by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone), that the true construction of the Treaty of Utrecht was not that which appeared on the face of it, but a totally different construction. Of this I am sure, that if you attach the construction now sought to be put upon this Treaty by Her Majesty's Government, you will be doing that which has never before been done. The noble Lord at the head of the Colonial Office may say that the greater part of these waste lands are as much private property as are the Highlands of Scotland. Is there the least resemblance between the two? Commissioner Spain said that in the Middle Island there were millions of acres available for the purposes of cultivation on which human foot had never trod. Here in this island, as large as England, inhabited by about 1,500 members of a savage tribe, was there anything resembling the Highlands of Scotland? You must take one of two courses in this case. You must say that New Zealand shall be treated as inhabited by a civilized people; and then, as at the Cape of Good Hope or any other ceded Colony, declare the vast tracts of waste land are vested in the Crown, and which it alone can dispose of; or you must treat the people of that country as Sir George Gipps did the natives in a neighbouring Colony, and must apply the principle of Vattel, who alleged that savages could only hold the land they occupied, and beyond that they should have no favour whatever. Perhaps these people rather more nearly approach to civilization, and have a little more knowledge of government than other savages; but it is too much to say that they should be regarded as civilized people. Sir G. Gipps said that they had no knowledge of what they were about in their dealings with land; and he mentions the instance of some of them who sold a vast tract of land, upwards of 20,000 acres, to Mr. Wentworth, which that gentleman purchased of them at the eighth part of a farthing an acre. What possible resemblance is there between their alleged ownership of these lands, and that of the extensive possessions of the Duke of Gordon or Duke of Argyle in the Highlands? Is there any possible analogy between them? The whole of these lands must be vested in the Crown; and in all cases where you find such instances of savages, deal with them as Sir G. Gipps did. What has passed to-night, indeed, gives a hope for the future, for the Colonial Secretary has endeavoured to establish a principle which has never been heard of by a civilized people; a principle which neither in a territory occupied by a civilized people, nor in a territory inhabited by savages, has ever hitherto been thought of by a Minister of the Crown. The noble Lord's principle was this. They owned all these lands; no settler, therefore, could obtain a grant of land fairly from the Crown. If a person proposed to go out of this country, not to Auckland or other part less disturbed, and asked a grant of land from the Crown, he would not obtain it, because he would be told nearly all of it belonged to the savage tribes. But, then, there was another way which had been pointed out; it was, that there should be a mediation—that the Commissioner, Mr. Spain, should mediate between those savage tribes and the New Zealand Company or their settlers. Now, if that was to be an award in the way in which it was usually understood—that there were arbitrators to be appointed, that the two parties asked these arbitrators to decide between them, and agreed that their award should be final, that would afford some ground for thinking that there might be a settlement of the question; that might induce some people to say, on looking over the map of the world, "I won't go and settle in Canada; I won't go and settle in South Australia or Port Louis; but I will try my fortune in New Zealand." But when they came to ask, however, what this was, they would be told that the arbitrator was to decide that a certain sum, say a sum of 300l., was to be paid to certain savage tribes for so much land; but after he had decided this, the noble Lord said, "I must be fully satisfied that these savages are content with that award!" And every- body knew how difficult it was to satisfy their minds. The House knew that after Mr. Commissioner Spain had made certain of these awards, they were not accepted by the Government. They knew that various tribes had different claims. One head of the tribe came and received a certain sum of money, and said, "I am satisfied;" but presently came another chief, and said, "That tribe had no right whatever, because I invaded that territory; I destroyed, I murdered, the father and mother, the brothers, and sisters of that chief; and, therefore, I have the preferable claim, and it is me you are to satisfy." Then there would be fresh objections again, and no settler would have the least security, or the least foundation to go upon, that any of the land would be granted to him according to that award. Well, then, with regard to that question which he had just mentioned to the House, was not the case this—that any persons in this country, instead of going either to the New Zealand Company or to the Government, or to the Emigration Commissioners, and saying, "I should like to go out, and 300 men with me, and I should take some capital with me, and here are ten or fifteen others who have considerable capital who will go with me, and we hope to form a flourishing settlement in New Zealand;" instead of saying that, would they not go to the Emigration Commissioners and say, "Can you tell us how we can get land in Canada West, or Canada East, or South Australia, or Van Diemen's Land, or Port Philip; only of all places, I will not buy land in New Zealand? There is no confidence to be placed in the Government which is there established. There is no confidence to be placed in the instructions of the Colonial Secretary." Would that or would it not be the fact for a considerable period to come? Is not this a fact worthy the consideration of the House? I can conceive Captain Grey disregarding his instructions, and, in a better spirit than was manifested at home, determine not to carry them out—although he knew that this might be attended with his recall—but in a patriotic spirit would act so as to secure the welfare of the Colony, and as his judgment would dictate to him, to arrest the mischief which threatens it. He must treat the natives with kindness; but not in a way to appear to be frightened into submission to them; he must prevent any acts of oppression towards them; he must also treat the settlers with kindness and protect their rights. For them, and for the promotion of their interests, he is bound to sacrifice his time, his reputation, and, if necessary, his life. It is certainly possible that Captain Grey, acting with great judgment, and condemning the proceeding of the Secretary of State, and acting as a friend to the islands of New Zealand, may be the instrument of saving the Colony. But this is a chance which we have no right to expect. Well, then, what is the question before the House? Is it a question solely as to New Zealand, and is the House to act at once on its own unbiassed opinion, and as persons out of doors act, quite irrespective of party considerations? If this should be the case, the House will at once say that the policy pursued towards New Zealand is monstrous, and must be abandoned. But, when we come to consider this question here, it is treated as a question of party politics; and when the right hon. Baronet says that he identifies himself with the Secretary of State, and calls upon the House to concur with him, no doubt New Zealand will be sacrificed, and party interests will be regarded. But the time will come when the right hon. Gentleman will be obliged to change his policy with respect to this Colony, as he was obliged to change it with regard to matters nearer home. I recollect that the noble Lord, whose conduct I now call in question, was instrumental in bringing in a Bill intended to affect the government of a most important part of the Empire, and which dealt with the elective franchise for that purpose; and by his plan the whole of the people were to be placed at the mercy of a small part of the landlords. This was the great measure of his policy towards that part of the Empire, and it was your policy then to support him. Did you persevere in this policy? The right hon. Gentleman, when lie came into office, said that such a measure would be most unjust, and that he would not sanction a measure of such injustice; although he had formerly supported it. As for the taunts with respect to New Zealand, the change of policy may not come so soon. The subject may be trifled with for some time, as there will not be vast multitudes assembled, such as affected your policy towards another part of the kingdom; but, depend upon it, the time will come when the right hon. Gentleman, acting on the convictions of his own mind, will determine not to sacrifice an important Colony to feelings of pique and pride; but will resolve that New Zealand must be governed according to the principles of common sense. But, in the mean time, you expose the Colony to the greatest risks; if you agree to-night, that nothing shall now be done, you will impose the task on individual Members to bring Motions forward on this subject, till the House is prepared to act in a better spirit, and then the Colony of New Zealand will expand in a way which many of its most ardent friends did not contemplate.

Mr. G. W. Hope

, in explanation, said that on the first occasion that he had addressed the House, he stated distinctly that one of the grounds of Captain Fitzroy's recall was his conduct — his want of firmness — towards the natives in the first proceedings in the Bay of Islands in September last.

The House divided on the Question, that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question:—Ayes 155; Noes 89: Majority 66.

List of the AYES.
A'Court, Capt. Collett, W. R.
Acton, Col. Corry, rt. hon. H.
Antrobus, E. Cripps, W.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Damer, hon. Col.
Arkwright, G. Darby, G.
Baillie, H. J. Denison, E. B.
Baird, W. Dickinson, F. H.
Baldwin, B. Dodd, G.
Baring, T. Douglas, Sir H.
Baring, rt. hon. W. B. Douglas, J. D. S.
Benbow, J. Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.
Bentinck, Lord G. Duncombe, hon. O.
Blackburne, J. I. East, J. B.
Boldero, H. G. Eastnor, Visct.
Borthwick, P. Egerton, W. T.
Botfield, B. Entwisle, W.
Bowles, Adm. Escott, B.
Bradshaw, J. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Bramston, T. W. Farnham, E. B.
Brisco, M. Feilden, W.
Broadley, H. Filmer, Sir E.
Broadwood, H. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Bruce, Lord E. Flower, Sir J.
Bruges, W. H. Forman, T. S.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Fremantle, rt. hn. Sir T.
Bunbury, T. Fuller, A. E.
Cardwell, E. Gardner, J. D.
Carew, W. H. P. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Chapman, A. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Chelsea, Visct. Gladstone, Capt.
Cholmondeley, hon. H. Gore, M.
Chute, W. L. W. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Clifton, J. T. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Clive, Visct. Granby, Marq. of
Clive, hon. R. H. Greene, T,
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Grimston, Visct.
Halford, Sir H. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Hamilton, C. J. B. Northland, Visct.
Hamilton, W. J. Ossulston, Lord
Hamilton, Lord C. Packe, C. W.
Harris, hon. Capt. Pakington, J. S.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Palmer, R.
Hope, hon. C. Patten, J. W.
Hope, A. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Hope, G. W. Peel, J.
Hotham, Lord Pennant, hon. Col.
Holdsworth, T. Pringle, A.
Hussey, A. Pusey, P.
Hussey, T. Rashleigh, W.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Richards, R.
Jermyn, Earl Rolleston, Col.
Jocelyn, Visct. Round, J.
Johnstone, Sir J. Rous, hon. Capt.
Jones, Capt. Sanderson, R.
Kemble, H. Sandon, Visct.
Lefroy, A. Seymour, Sir H. B.
Lennox, Lord A. Smith, A.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.
Lincoln, Earl of Smythe, Sir H.
Lockhart, W. Somerset, Lord G.
Lowther, Sir J. H. Spooner, R.
Lowther, hon. Col. Spry, Sir S. T.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Sturt, H. C.
Mackenzie, T. Taylor, E.
Mackenzie, W. F. Thesiger, Sir F.
Maclean, D. Thornhill, G.
McNeill, D. Trench, Sir F. W.
Manners, Lord C. S. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Martin, C. W. Trollope, Sir J.
Masterman, J. Vernon, G. H.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Vesey, hon. T.
Meynell, Capt. Wellesley, Lord C.
Morgan, O. Williams, T. P.
Mundy, E. M. Wood, Col. T.
Neeld, J. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Neeld, J. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Neville, R. TELLERS.
Newdegate, C. N. Young, J.
Newport, Visct. Baring, H.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Dennistoun, J.
Aldam, W. Duke, Sir J.
Anson, hon. Col. Duncan, G.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Dundas, Adm.
Barnard, E. J. Duudas, F.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Esmonde, Sir T.
Bernal, R. Fielden, J.
Blake, M. J. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Fitzroy, Lord C.
Bowes, J. Forster, M.
Bowring, Dr. Gibson, T. M.
Brotherton, J. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Byng, rt. hon. G. S. Hastie, A.
Christie, W. D. Hawes, B.
Clay, Sir W. Hill, Lord M.
Cobden, R. Hindley, C.
Colborne, hn. W. N. R. Hollond, R.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Howard, P. H.
Collett, J. Howard, Sir R.
Denison, W. J. Hume, J.
Denison, J. E. Hutt, W.
Lemon, Sir C. Russell, Lord E.
Leveson, Lord Seymour, Lord
Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
McTaggart, Sir J. Shelburne, Earl of
Mangles, R. D. Smith, J. A.
Marjoribanks, S. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Mitcalfe, H. Stewart, P. M.
Mitchell, T. A. Strickland, Sir G.
Moffatt, G. Tancred, H. W.
Morris, D. Tollemache, J.
Muntz, G. F. Tower, C.
Napier, Sir C. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Tufnell, H.
O'Connell, M. J. Turner, E.
Ogle, S. C. H. Villiers, hon. C.
Paget, Col. Wakley, T.
Paget, Lord A. Walker, R.
Palmerston, Visct. Warburton, H.
Plumridge, Capt Ward, H. G.
Ponsonby, hn. C. F. C. Wawn, J. T.
Protheroe, E. Wilde, Sir T.
Pulsford, R. Williams, W.
Roebuck, J. A. TELLERS.
Ross, D. R. Ingestre, Visct.
Russell, Lord J. Buller, C.

Main Question put and agreed to.

Order of the Day for the House to go into a Committee of Supply read, and the Committee deferred.

House adjourned at a quarter after one.