§ Mr. G. W. Hope
explained that he ought not to have stated, last night, his opinion of the natives on the authority of Dr. Evans. He had received his information from several other persons; and also with respect to the land, Dr. Evans's information did not agree with his, though the despatches of Mr. Wakefield, of the 8th of October, 1844, and 1st of December, to the Company, bore him out.
§ Captain Rous
begged to remind the House, that if the Colony of New Zealand was in the deplorable state described last night, it was not his fault that the subject was not discussed some weeks ago. No personal interests, no ill-will to a living man, induced him now to take an active part in this discussion; but a most irresistible desire to make a straightforward, clear statement—to put the British public and the House in possession of the real facts of the case—and to give the Directors of the New Zealand Company a full opportunity of defending and explaining the charges circulated against them. He then proceeded to observe upon the gallant manner in which the hon. Member for Liskeard had come forward to attack the Colonial Office, representing, as he did, a body of gentlemen of the purest philanthropy, who had bought New Zealand shares, not for their own private emolument, but solely for the benefit of mankind. That hon. Member had represented the New Zealanders as barbarous cannibals and notorious liars; and no doubt the object of the Company had been to bring them to the highest state of refinement and civilization. In 1827, while in command of one of Her Majesty's frigates, he had an opportunity of making what the hon. Member had been pleased to call "hurry-scurry" observations upon the state of the inhabitants of New Zealand. He sailed through Cook's Strait, touched at the east coast of the North Island, and stayed some days at the Bay of Islands. Eighteen years having elapsed, the natives 762 had made great and rapid advances in civilization; but in a country larger than Great Britain and Ireland, there must be a striking difference between the natives who associated with the Europeans and those belonging to distant tribes; he was speaking of the natives of the Bay of Islands. In those days, many seamen were employed in whale ships and in trading vessels to Sydney; they had built schooners and brigs under the direction of English architects, and a trade was carried on between Sydney and the Bay of Islands. Flax, pork, and potatoes were exchanged for gunpowder and muskets, at a benefit of 1,000 per cent. to the Englishman, and large tracts of land had been purchased from the natives by Sydney merchants and by some of the missionaries; but at this period the natives never experienced any inconvenience in giving up territorial claims. The land was generally conquered from weaker tribes; and it never was contemplated that the purchase included the pahs or fortified villages, the tabooed, the burial, or the cultivated grounds. It was considered an advantage to have an English resident, by whom they got European goods on better terms. Hence a New Zealand chief said, at the Treaty of Waitangi, "Queen Victoria buys the shadow of the land, but we retain the substance." To show the chivalrous courage of the people, he would state that he had visited a chief, whom the hon. Member for Liskeard had mentioned last night; that chief was then dying, having been mortally wounded, and he expired three weeks afterwards. The celebrated Shongee, who conquered all the northern part of the island to the River Thames, went, in order to put an end to the war, accompanied by only one friend, into the heart of the enemy's country, and proposed his terms; and when they were refused, this most dreaded chieftain was allowed to return safe, to renew a war of extermination. But the New Zealand native had been termed a natural liar. He could answer to the contrary from experience, as far as the Bay of Islands' men were concerned. Mr. Brown, a member of Council, just arrived from Auckland, had told him (Captain Rous) that a newspaper was weekly published in the native language, in which he saw an estate advertised by a tribe of natives, and two columns of names were given to designate the various lots of land; that in the Auckland country, every acre of land had a name and an owner; 763 and that he saw last year 400 acres of wheat cultivated by one tribe, and sold for less than 2s. per bushel. In truth, they were an intelligent people; and it was wonderful that Sir George Gipps, and the Select Committee of the House of Commons, should have assimilated these men to the natives of New Holland, and made no distinction between tribes of natives, some of whom lived 700 miles apart: this was the rock on which they had founded their error. The truth was, that the hon. Gentleman, or his friends, knew little or nothing of the real state of the country of which they spoke. They received their letters from Wellington, 400 miles distant from Auckland; and he made the same mistake as a Roman historian in the time of Cæsar would have done, if, in describing Britain, he had made no distinction between the Picts and East Anglians. From 1787 to 1820, New Zealand was considered a dependency of New South Wales; and from 1814 to 1820, Governor Macquarie appointed resident magistrates for facilitating the capture of runaway convicts. In 1825, a New Zealand Company was formed, under the patronage of the late Lord Durham, without the sanction of the British Government. They purchased two islands in the Thames, from which they were frightened away by the natives, and two small settlements at Hokianga and Herd's Point, both of which failed; and Mr. Bell described the property as wholly unfit for the seat of a considerable Colony. In 1832, Lord Goderich directed the Governor of New South Wales to appoint a resident at the Bay of Islands; and Mr. Busby was selected as Consul. In 1834, Captain Lambert, of Her Majesty's ship Alligator, presented the chiefs of the northern part of that island with a national flag from His late Majesty. It was received with due solemnity, under a royal salute from the frigate; and it was not a "sham," nor an idle compliment, for our Government sent out orders to the Admiral Commander-in-Chief in the East Indies to recognise it as a national flag; and thereby admitted New Zealand built ships into our harbours and into those of our allies on the most favoured terms, from which they were previously excluded. In 1835, when New Zealand was threatened with invasion by a mixed force of adventurers, under the Baron de Thierry, the chiefs of the Northern island assembled and sent a letter to His late Majesty, to thank him for the acknowledgment of their national flag, 764 and to entreat that, in return for the protection and friendship they had shown to British subjects, he would continue to be the parent of their infant State, and their protector against all attempts on its independence; to which His Majesty, by the advice of his Ministers, returned a most gracious and favourable answer. In 1836, owing to an investigation by a Select Committee of the House of Commons, to ascertain the best mode of disposing of lands in Australia and in our other Colonies, the cupidity of certain hon. Gentlemen in this House was excited by the speculation of a Mr. Wakefield, who recommended New Zealand as a most highly favoured country, extremely eligible for colonization. A Society was formed, pamphlets were published, puffs appeared in the newspapers; and this Society proposed to the Government that they should be invested with power to facilitate colonization in New Zealand. This was the manifesto:—A recent change of opinion in this country on the subject of the rights of uncivilized nations, now forbids the invasion and confiscation of a territory which is as truly the property of its native inhabitants as the soil of England belongs to her landlords; and though it were as easy now to pursue the old course of substituting might for right, yet this would defeat a main object of the present undertaking. With our views, it would be a folly as well as a crime, to do violence to any inclination of the natives; and it follows that, in all our proceedings, the national independence of the New Zealanders, already acknowledged by the British Government in the appointment of a Resident and the recognition of a New Zealand flag, must be carefully respected; and especially, that we should not attempt to convert any part of their country into British territory without their full, free, and perfect understanding, consent, and approval.This Company brought forward their proposal before a Committee of the House of Lords. Lord Glenelg opposed it; and it was rejected. A Bill was introduced into this House by Mr. Baring in 1838; it met the same fate. But, in defiance of the united authority of the Crown, Lords, and Commons, in 1839, they incorporated themselves as the British New Zealand Company, and their first act was to transfer 1,600 shares, or 40,000l., to the members of the societies of 1825 and 1837, though the property at that time which the society of 1825 was supposed to possess in New Zealand would not have fetched 100l. in the Sydney market. A proclamation was issued, that the object of 765 the Company was not political, but purely commercial; they proposed purchasing and reselling lands in New Zealand for the purpose of emigration; and in a few days near 100,000l. worth of unconvertible debentures in the shape of land orders were sold by the Company, who did not possess one acre of land on a bonâ fide tenure, and ought to have been prosecuted for obtaining money under illegal pretences. In May, 1839, Lord Normanby having refused a charter of incorporation to this Company, an expedition sailed under the orders of Colonel Wakefield; and the Directors, without waiting for advices, sent out twelve ships, containing 216 cabin passengers, and 909 labourers and mechanics, who found themselves without shelter or protection in a wild, barren country, and exposed to the mercies of what hon. Members opposite designated barbarous thieves, liars, and cannibals. Fifty-three ships arrived between January, 1840, and March, 1843, carrying 8,280 persons; and their settlements were formed at Wellington and New Plymouth in the North Island, and at Nelson in the South or Middle Island. On Colonel Wakefield's arrival in New Zealand, ignorant of the language, character, and disposition of the natives, he had the good fortune to pick up an English whaler, Mr. Barrett, who had been leading a vagrant life with the natives; and, with this man's advice and assistance, and with an assortment of goods estimated at a very few hundred pounds, a territory was purchased from the 38th to the 43rd degree of latitude On the Western coast, and from the 41st to the 43rd on the Eastern coast, comprising an area of 20,000,000 of acres, from men who did not understand the meaning of latitude or longtitude. This raised New Zealand shares to 2l. premium. Mr. Carrington, the Company's surveyor at New Plymouth, stated that this district was never purchased from the natives, and that 14,000l. worth of goods, supposed to be paid to the natives, was purely imaginary; that Colonel Wakefield wrote to the Directors, informing them of the purchase of 20,000,000 of acres: and wrote nineteen days after to Mr. Barrett to say he could not expect the chiefs, who lived 150 miles apart, to meet under a month to discuss the question; that no reserved lands were retained for the natives, who had lost all confidence in the professions and promises of the Company's agents. It would appear by Colonel Wakefield's state- 766 ment that a territory as large as Ireland was purchased by a curious stock of articles; 12 pair of shoes, 12 hats, 12 umbrellas, 6lb. of beads, 100 yards of riband, 36 razors, 36 shaving boxes, but only 12 shaving brushes, 12 sticks of sealing wax, 24 combs, and 144 Jews' harps, to be scrambled for. The Directors were profuse in this valuable item, under the impression that music would "soothe the savage breast" and "soften rocks;" but fearing the natives might lose caste and become too effeminate, they threw in 200 muskets and 360 tomahawks, some of which were fatally used against our own countrymen. "If you are Christians and love peace," said a New Zealand savage to a civilized Englishman, "why do you bring us gunpowder and muskets?" The two principal islands were computed at about 56,000,000 acres, of which at this period
|Mr. Busby claimed||50,000|
|Mr. Weller and Co.||3,557,000|
|Mr. Catlin and Co.||7,000,000|
|Mr. Jones and Co.||1,930,000|
|Mr. Peacock and Co.||1,450,000|
|Mr. Green and Co.||1,377,000|
|Mr. Guard and Co.||1,200,000|
and the New Zealand Company 20,000,000 acres; so that, in the whole, 56,654,000 acres were claimed by only nine purchasers, leaving the natives 654,000 acres less than nothing. I mention these circumstances to show the House that these sales of land from the natives were fictitious, and that a court of land-claims to decide disputed purchases was indispensably necessary. Lord Normanby appointed Captain Hobson, first as Consul, afterwards as Lieutenant-Governor, and gave him these instructions, dated 14th August, 1839:—
The Ministers of the Crown have been restrained by sttll higher motives from engaging in such an enterprise; they concur with the Committee of the House of Commons that the increase of national wealth and honour promised by the acquisition of New Zealand would be a most inadequate compensation for the injury inflicted upon her by embarking in a measure essentially unjust, and but too certainly fraught with calamity to a numerous and inoffensive people, whose title to the soil and to the sovereignty of the islands is indisputable, and has been solemnly recognised by the British Government. We retain these opinions in unimpaired force; and, though circumstances entirely beyond our control have at length compelled us to alter our course, I do not scruple to avow that we depart from it with great reluctance. To mitigate, and, if
possible, to rescue the emigrants themselves from the evils of a lawless state of society, it has been resolved to adopt the most effective measures for establishing amongst them a settled form of government. This is the object of your mission. All dealings with the aborigines for their lands must be conducted on the principles of sincerity, justice, and good faith. You will not purchase from the natives any territory, the retention of which to them would be essential, or highly conducive to their own comfort, safety, or subsistence.
Instead of doing so, that noble Lord ought, in mercy to the New Zealanders, to have laid an embargo on all the ships of the Company; unfortunately, he permitted the emigrants to proceed to their destination, yet he must have known at the time that he was wrong. Video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor. Captain Hobson arrived at the Bay of Islands on the 29th of January, 1840, and selected, first Russell, and afterwards Auckland, as the capital of the seat of Government; he also established a board of land-claims, and agreed to the Treaty of Waitangi. By the first, he destroyed the rising prospects of the Company's settlements; and this was his excuse to the Colonial Minister, Lord John Russell:—
The industry with which the New Zealand Company have circulated throughout the United Kingdom, by means of the press, most exaggerated descriptions of the land at Port Nicholson, and very incorrect statements of the extent of country at their disposal, has had the effect of deluding the people of England into a belief that the nature of the soil and the facilities for cultivation throughout that district present advantages which are nowhere else to be found; that their title to the land is undisputed, and that the port is the finest in the Colony; all which reports are, in my opinion, unsupported by facts.
Captain Hobson also established a board of land-claims, and all purchases from the natives after that date were to be null and void. This was the second death-blow to the Company. The next important measure was the Treaty of Waitangi, guaranteeing to the chiefs and tribes, the full, exclusive, and undisturbed possession of their lands, estates, forests, fisheries, and other properties possessed by them, and extending to them all the rights and privileges of British subjects; notwithstanding which the Governor was purchasing land from the natives at 5s. per acre, and transferring it to the Englishman for 20s. per acre, thus robbing the native of 75 per cent. of his property, and making the
Englishman pay 75 per cent. more than the native market price. It was easy to say to the New Zealander, "We have raised your land in value; it is for your benefit;" but who invited you there? What right had you to invade them? And, again, what says the English settler, perhaps a younger brother of good family determined to make his fortune in a new world? Why do you rob him of three-fourths of his capital? In England we are heavily taxed, but we enjoy an equivalent in the security of our persons and property; but in New Zealand you attempt to enforce an outrageous claim upon Englishmen, whose property you have no power to protect, and upon natives whom you have no power to coerce. Verily, the Treaty of Waitangi was little better than a legal fiction. In February, 1841, the noble Lord the Member for London was persuaded to give a charter to the New Zealand Company; and an agreement took place between the Colonial Office and the Company, that the Company was to wave all claims to land in New Zealand on the ground of purchases from the natives, and was to receive from the Crown a free grant of four times as many acres of land as it could prove it had expended pounds sterling for the purposes of colonization. This occasioned the celebrated dispute. The Government said, "Show us your million of acres, and we will confirm the grant." But if they had never purchased any land, how could the Government guarantee and make over to them that which they did not possess? They had either bought the land, or they had not; and if they had expended their money upon castles in the air, it was not the fault of the Government, and few men could read these articles of agreement without arriving at the same conclusion. In 1841, Captain Hobson, a very good and amiable man, worn out with cares and vexations, died; and Captain Fitzroy was subsequently appointed. He (Captain Rous) had the honour of his acquaintance, and believed him to be a very amiable and honourable man. The hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Milnes) informed us last night that the Romans had a different view of the value of land, and that naval officers were bad governors, as they were not accustomed to command. The first assertion was indisputable; but the second appeared strange, because naval officers are accustomed to command men from the age of thirteen. In all infant Colonies they selected a naval
man to cut through the jungles; when the Colony prospered, a military man superseded the naval man; and, finally, when the revenue improved, and macadamized roads were formed, the civilian displaced the soldier. He believed there was no man in the House who comprehended all the difficulties of an infant Colony, and especially those of New Zealand. When Captain Fitzroy arrived at Auckland in 1843, and found everything in confusion—no accounts kept, no records, he wrote to Lord Stanley—
That his Government was the object of reproach by injured Europeans, and viewed with distrust and disaffection by the natives, who considered themselves overreached and betrayed by its proceedings.
The settlers and the natives were on bad terms; they had met on a field of battle, and the Englishmen had run away. This multiplied the difficulties of the Governor, as the supremacy of British courage was thereby extinguished. He had no troops, no money, no credit. The Colonial Government 24,000l. in debt, and 9,000l. owing to Government officers; public works at a stand-still, labourers unemployed and starving. He was forbidden to draw upon the British Treasury; he could not borrow money from the Colonial Bank, which was on the point of declaring itself insolvent. It was a case of urgent, imperious necessity, which admitted of no alternative but to issue Government paper at 5l. per cent. interest, which by the last accounts was at par. Was he wrong? Let any hon. Gentleman propose a better plan. The next charge against him was, that he abolished harbour and custom-house duties. The harbour dues had driven away all the whalers which periodically refitted in New Zealand; and they now go to the Feejee and Society Islands, to the great detriment of the natives; and no country gave so many facilities for smuggling, owing to the numerous creeks and the dispositions both of the natives and settlers. The Government had no power to prevent natives from going on board foreign ships, and purchasing any goods they pleased. Did the House know, that with the duty on tobacco, and the 4s. or 5s. a gallon on spirits, it was impossible to calculate upon any certain amount of revenue; and that the duties upon both these articles of consumption were extracted from the pockets of the working man? Was it not reasonable, then, to do away with them altogether, and substitute a property tax,
which must be borne by those who were best able to contribute to the revenue? Whoever might succeed his gallant Friend, would find it impossible to collect these customs' duties. But the most serious charge against Captain Fitzroy was, that he protected the natives who murdered our countrymen at Wairoa, six months before his arrival. A Company's surveyor attempted to survey the plains of Wairoa, in defiance of the Colonial regulations, in the absence of the Protector. The chief burnt his reed huts, but took especial care to remove, and not to damage his property. The surveyor returned, accompanied by the police magistrate and an armed party, to take him on a charge of arson. Upwards of forty Englishmen armed to take Rauperaha in custody. They discover the chiefs on the opposite side of a creek. Seven of the party cross over, and the remainder are instructed to follow. A parley ensues. The natives inquired why our countrymen came there to molest them, and said they did not want to have anything to do with them. The chief constable then seized one of the native chiefs, and attempted to handcuff him; sixteen of the natives attempted to rescue him—a shot was fired, the battle commenced; the Englishmen ran away, and seven gentlemen, partially armed, were left at the mercy of the excited savages. Their lives hung on a single thread; at this moment, Rangihaeta's wife is brought in, shot dead by an Englishman. This decides their fate; but if a foul, horrible deed was thus committed, who will justify the aggressive party? But, supposing the Englishmen had been successful—what a solemn mockery of English law would have been acted! What a criminal farce! What outrages! For when was fear, armed with power, ever scrupulous in the exercise of it? Captain Fitzroy arrived there six months afterwards, and, looking at the matter in its proper light, did not interfere. He did, in fact, what any man, unless he were a member of the New Zealand Company, would have done. He did not try the natives; the time had long gone by: and he certainly, by the course which he adopted, virtually acquitted them. He could not have pursued any other course. A fair and impartial statement of this event had never been given to the public; but attempts had been made to prejudice the public mind against Captain Fitzroy, not only in this country, but in the Colony. Captain Fitzroy took the only course which true policy and wisdom dictated to fulfil the solid ends
of justice. Captain Fitzroy had fallen by the fiat of a respected and admired nobleman; but he (Captain Rous) hoped to see him, in his own profession, win golden opinions, and on some future day receive the thanks of the House of Commons. Now, he made two distinct charges against the New Zealand Company; first, that they had illegally sold land orders to the amount of 126,000l., when they had not one acre of land bonâ fide belonging to them, before they had received a charter; secondly, of decoying men into their service, and inducing labourers to quit their homes, on the promise that they should be provided for, and then leaving them destitute. The Company received from May, 1839, to May, 1840, for land orders, 196,890l.; and after deducting 40,000l., or 1,600 shares, unaccountably given away, only 160,000l. had been actually subscribed out of a capital of 300,000l., when they shared dividends to the amount of 44,314l. Many unhappy labourers were decoyed from home under false pretences. This was one of the regulations:—
On the arrival of the emigrants in the Colony they will be received by an officer, who will supply their immediate wants, assist them in reaching the place of their destination, be ready to advise with them in cases of difficulty, and at all times to give them employment in the service of the Company, if from any cause they should be unable to obtain it elsewhere.
That was the strongest inducement which could be held out to young, able-bodied men to leave their country; but the treatment which such persons had received did not accord with the promises which had been held out to them. In August, 1843, Mr. Wicksteed, the agent at New Plymouth, wrote to Colonel Wakefield:—
Mr. Nairn, who acted as superintendent on the roads, with a salary of 3l. per week, has been discharged. I was enabled to effect this reduction by the success of an experiment, which has released the Company from the greatest part of the cost of employing the labouring emigrants, finding that I could not get rid of them, even by sending them twenty-two miles inland, where there was little or no shelter; but that the men returned at the end of the week, many sick, and all miserable and discontented, I offered to the landowners to pay 6s. per week to the married, and 2s. per week to the unmarried, provided they would pay the amounts wanting to make up the Company's wages. This proposal was acceded to.
Mr. Wicksteed again wrote—
You are aware that the emigrants in this settlement hold what they call embarkation orders, in which it is distinctly stated that the Company will at all times give them employment in their service, if from any cause they should be unable to obtain it elsewhere. Being unable to give any other interpretation to this promise than the words quoted seemed to imply, and yet bearing in mind that the Court of Directors view their engagements in a different light, I endeavoured to evade it, by sending the applicants for employment a long distance from home, making no allowance for time spent in the journeys, or for time lost in bad weather.
And he distinctly stated afterwards, to his employers, that stronger measures would have been enforced, but that they were afraid of an insurrection, and the storehouses were full of valuable goods. These were his charges against the New Zealand Company. If they could be explained away, no one would be more happy than himself to hear such explanation. If the statements which he had made, and the documents which he had read, were not strictly true, he would gladly make every apology in his power. As to the Report of the Committee, it was framed on the basis that a civilized power had a right of preemption to the soil, and that the natives of savage tribes had no valid title to their own land. Sir George Gipps quoted several legal authorities to convince his auditors; and he was sorry to say that he had convinced the Committee of the House of Commons, who ought to have known better, that by the old law of England they were entitled to the land in New Zealand. He had also quoted some of the most celebrated lawyers of the United States—Chief-Justice Marshall, Judge Story, and Chancellor Kent—as they gave him some information as to what had taken place with reference to the Americans and the aborigines of that country, the Indians. But Sir George Gipps and the Select Committee forgot that not one precedent, argument, or opinion so carefully collected, embraced the subject under discussion; these cases all related to American Indians, or to New Holland natives, whose independence we had never recognised, who had no national flag, who never enjoyed the rights and privileges of British subjects; and whose lands, fisheries, and forests were never guaranteed to them by a British Sovereign. Do not argue that the New Zealander is inferior to the American Indian;—that is not the question; it is whether we, as honourable men, should maintain the Treaty of Waitangi, which
was not made for the benefit of the natives, but in order to assume the sovereignty of the island for the Queen of Great Britain, without which she could have no power to control her own subjects. Supposing the Treaty with the New Zealanders had been confirmed and ratified by two civilized Powers, was there any man who would doubt but that it was good and binding? And because they had entered into a Treaty with the natives of New Zealand, which they might now find to be inconvenient, were they to treat it as little better than a legal fiction? If they valued the name of British Gentlemen, they were bound in justice to maintain their engagements. The Report said, that it was the interest of all parties that harmony should be reestablished by mutual forbearance and moderation. They then went on to recommend the Government to seize all the waste lands as soon as they had a strong naval and military force; to form native troops under European officers; to arm the militia. What next? Jealousy and distrust amongst the natives would render them harmless; and this was the way in which harmony was to be restored by mutual forbearance! But the most extraordinary proposal on record was made by the Secret Committee of the New Zealand Company to Lord Stanley. He hated Secret Committees. They proposed, notwithstanding the miserable state of their finances, their apparent insolvency, to purchase a territory nearly as large as England and Scotland. They intimated to Lord Stanley that he should guarantee civil rights to the colonists. ["Hear, hear."] "Hear, hear," indeed; the rights of men whom they had ruined! and to confirm the privileges of the natives, whom they would not allow the legal possession of the very land on which they stood. Truth indeed is more strange than fiction. No body of men, however powerful they might be in rank and political power, would, he hoped, have influence enough to induce that House to do that which was not right and just. He hoped there would be but one opinion amongst them. He appealed to those Gentlemen who would not allow the rights of the Crown to tread upon the people, or the people to trespass on the privileges of the Crown; he hoped they would all join with him in a determination not to permit a powerful political body, like the New Zealand Company, to tyrannize over those unfortunate beings who were under their control; but
that they would, if necessary, address Her Majesty to deprive them of their Charter; and the sooner they were extinct the better it would be for New Zealand, for the country, and the world.
§ Mr. Aglionby
confessed, that he felt the difficulty of his position in rising to address the House upon this subject. Being a Director of the Company, and having a pecuniary interest in it, though but a small one, he was one of the parties whose conduct was under discussion. He, therefore, would rather have abstained from offering any remarks to the House upon the present occasion; but there were some points upon which he believed he might be permitted to touch. He had become connected with the Company advisedly; he had done so because it was an undertaking which he considered to have been commenced with the highest motives, and carried on with the best intentions. After three or four years' connexion with the Company, he had not regretted it down to that moment; and to the day of his death it would be a source of pride to him that he had been thus associated with gentlemen so high in character for benevolence and soundness of principle, as that Board of Directors of which he was a Member. The gallant officer the Member for Westminster, in his usual straightforward and honourable manner, had stated his opinions with regard to the Company, and said that their conduct demanded explanation. But the opinions he had expressed were founded upon representations which, though the gallant Officer might believe them, should be received with caution, for they were not entirely to be relied upon. He should abstain as much as possible from going into the details of the Company's wrongs; for this was a question of far wider importance than the interests of an individual, or of a company of individuals. It was a question of public interest; and he hoped it would be taken up, upon broad and statesmanlike views of policy, by those who had not the bias of personal feeling which it might be supposed he had. All the points to which the gallant Officer had alluded had been already investigated before a competent tribunal, a Select Committee appointed by that House; a tribunal where alone they could be fully and fairly searched into. He regretted that the hon. and gallant Gentleman did not cause 775 those points to be brought before that Committee; for, had he done so, he (Mr. Aglionby) would have met every point, and if the House would consent to go into Committee upon the subject now, he would meet the gallant Officer with substantial answers to every one of his statements, and satisfy the public, if not the gallant Officer. It must be obvious that it was not convenient to discuss such matters in a debate in that House, and he should allude to one circumstance only. The gallant Officer had mentioned the complaints made by a surveyor of the name of Carrington, who had returned from New Zealand, and who had, as he supposed, communicated a great deal of the information to the hon. and gallant Officer which he seemed to possess. He did not wish to express to the House his opinion as to the conduct of that individual; but would merely say, that if Mr. Carrington had any grievance, the courts of law were open to him to seek redress. Indeed, he was anxious that full justice should be done to that person. That House was the place of ultimate appeal for aggrieved parties; but he apprehended, that when a surveyor made an extortionate demand for remuneration for services he might have rendered, and which he undertook to perform under a written agreement, the question was one which should be settled elsewhere, and not in that House upon the ex-parte statements of any hon. Member. He thought he could satisfy the gallant Officer, that the information he had received upon the subject was totally without foundation. Mr. Carrington was examined before the Committee, and the answers given by him, to the questions then put, must be sufficient to satisfy any one who candidly and thoroughly considered them, that there was no ground for his statements; but, unfortunately, that gentleman persisted in his statements, and went to the gallant Officer, or other hon. Members, telling his own story, and accusing Colonel Wakefield of having made false representations. The fact, however, was, that the Commissioner of Land Claims had reported that in New Plymouth (the place in question) the land, namely, 60,000 acres, was fairly bought and fully paid for to the right people. Would not that shake the gallant Officer's opinion of the statement of Mr. Carrington? He (Mr. Aglionby) had applied in vain to the Colonial Office for 776 the Papers; he wanted to get a copy of the award, but he could not, nor any of the official documents. The Land Commissioner awarded in favour of the Company. The Governor, however, wished to put his veto upon it, though he did not think the Governor possessed the power of doing so; he would not confirm the award because certain other natives, a third set of claimants, required to be paid for the land; and the Governor declared that a third payment should be made to that third body of claimants. The gallant Officer had made a broad assertion that the Company had swindled the people out of their lands and the money too, and alleged that only 160,000l. had been subscribed towards a professed capital of 300,000l. If the House would go into Committee on the subject, he would prove by documents that the hon. and gallant Gentleman was entirely misled. The Company had paid 200,000l., and was pledged to more than two-thirds of the remaining 100,000l. With regard to another charge, of the Company having received a dividend of 10 per cent. one year, he contended that, considering the manner in which the capital of the Company was sunk in the undertaking, the dividend of which the hon. and gallant Member complained, was certainly not more than the proprietors had an undoubted right to expect. It would, perhaps, have been better if the Directors had told the Company they would only give them a dividend of 5 per cent., and that they would recommend the application of the remainder to the establishment of a sinking fund. That was the course which he, for one, would have preferred; but still it should not be forgotten that, calculating the dividend from the beginning, the Company in reality received only about 5 per cent. He believed the hon. and gallant Officer would be surprised to learn what very little ground existed for charging the Company with secrecy. He did not think the Company had any secrets whatever. When Lord John Russell appointed an accountant to investigate the affairs of the Company, he was allowed free access to every document belonging to the Company; and if the hon. and gallant Gentleman would favour him with his company to their Board Room, he would procure for him access to every information he might require. It would be too much to expect 777 that the House should devote its time to the examination of matter of detail; but if the Committee for which his hon. Friend contended were granted, it would have all the documents and facts before it. The Select Committee of 1844 had the entire case fully before it; and yet, with the exception of their first Resolution, they did not express one word of disapprobation in their Report of the conduct and acts of the Company. On the contrary, every allusion to the Company which the Report contained was highly laudatory and flattering. They expressed themselves perfectly satisfied with the provisions made by the Company for securing reserves of land for the natives, and also for providing schools and academies, and in every respect attending to the wants and comforts of the settlers. The hon. and gallant Member for Westminster alluded to the Company having sent out persons to colonize New Zealand, without the necessary steps having been taken to provide for their support. As this was a subject which interested a considerable number of persons in this country, whose friends had emigrated to that Colony, he might be permitted to read to the House the evidence of Lieutenant Lean, who had been employed under the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners to superintend the emigration to the Colony. Lieutenant Lean was examined by him (Mr. Aglionby), and in consequence of his connexion with the Company, he expressly avoided putting any of what were called leading questions to him. The evidence wes as follows:—Have you been employed for a considerable time under the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners, to superintend the emigration from this country?—I have. Have the proceedings of the New Zealand Company, in regard to their conduct of emigration, been submitted to you as the authority at the Colonial Land and Emigration Commission?—I received instructions from the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners to superintend the acts of the New Zealand Company. How long have you done that?—To the best of my recollection I should say it was three years ago. Will you state your opinion to the Committee, as to the manner in which the Company, during that time, had provided for the safety, health, and comfort of the labouring emigrants?—I cannot speak too highly of the mode in which the ships have been fitted, and I have been perfectly satisfied with the provisions supplied to them, and with their 778 conduct and arrangements in every respect; I do not think that it could be surpassed in any way. Has the diet, which has been furnished to them, the medical attendance, and the general arrangements, been such as to give you entire satisfaction?—Yes; and I have been happy to express myself so. Have the Company at all times listened to any suggestion of yours, and shown an anxiety to provide for the comfort of the emigrants?—I have great pleasure in stating that on all occasions they have attended to every suggestion I have offered; and I have been very happy to co-operate with them in the way I have done.That was the evidence of a gentleman of the highest character, and of the most straightforward and conscientious principles. As to the other charge of the hon. and gallant Officer, he would only meet it with a general assertion. The hon. and gallant Member had stated, that those who first went over were exposed to insult and annoyances from the natives, without any provision having been made for their protection and welfare. He could state, that having some most respectable friends of the very highest character among the early settlers, he was anxious to learn all the particulars of their situation in the Colony, and he had received letters from some of the ladies of the family, written about twelve months after their arrival at Wellington, describing in the most glowing terms the country which they had selected to be their future home; praising strongly the excellence of the climate and soil; and, above all, stating that they lived on terms of the strictest harmony with the natives, who were in the habit of visiting them in their houses, which were always open for their reception. That state of things continued until Captain Hobson's arrival in the Colony. He trusted the Resolutions of that House in Committee would assist in restoring the Colony again to the same position, and that the emigrants would be enabled once again to live as brothers of the same family with the native inhabitants. That desirable result could only be effected by entirely repudiating the principles on which the Colony had been latterly governed; but he trusted it was not too late, even now, to correct the evil which had been done. He had again to apologize to the House for trespassing on its attention so much longer than he had intended. He would implore the House and the Government to take a fair and statesmanlike view of the question, and 779 to consider that the interests of 10,000 or 12,000 of their countrymen now in the Colony, were involved in the decision to which they would come. They should not, as he feared had been already done, rely too much on accounts given by any one party, but investigate the matter fairly, by hearing the statements of both sides. He might refer, as an instance of the manner in which the Colonial Office had been influenced, to the letter which had been sent from that Department to Dr. Evans. That gentleman had brought over a Memorial from the colonists, stating their wrongs, and the effect which the proclamation of the Governor on the subject of the price of land, called the "Penny-an-acre Proclamation," would have on them as well as on the natives. Some time after presenting the Memorial, he applied at the Colonial Office for information as to the course about being taken for affording redress; and the answer which he received from Lord Stanley was, that he had determined to appoint a new Governor, to whom he would give instructions as to the course which should be taken. Was that, he would ask, a conciliatory or satisfactory answer to return to those who had embarked their fortunes in the Colony? Would it be too much to expect that some information might be given them on a subject which so vitally concerned their interests? In conclusion, he would implore the Government and the Home Secretary to receive the statement of parties who were able to afford information on both sides of the question; and thus, if possible, to endeavour to arrive at the truth, instead of placing implicit confidence in the allegations of one side alone, as he feared, from the course taken by the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies, on the preceding evening, they had been heretofore in the habit of doing. With these remarks, he would leave the question in the hands of the House, hoping that they would come to such a decision as would best conduce to the interests of the Colony of New Zealand.
§ Mr. Barkly
Sir, I am anxious to explain to the House the reasons which will compel me, however reluctantly, to support the Motion of the hon. Member for Liskeard, for going into Committee to consider the state of New Zealand. I was in hopes that I should have been spared the necessity of troubling the House 780 on this occasion, by some avowal on the part of the Government of their future intentions with regard to this important Colony, or, at any rate, by the proposal of some counter-resolutions, in substitution for those to be submitted by the hon. Member; but the direct negative with which the Motion has been met, coupled with the speech delivered last night by the Under Secretary for the Colonies, appears to me to be tantamount not only to a refusal of all inquiry, but to a declaration on the part of the Colonial Office, that they have been right ab initio in their proceedings with regard to New Zealand, and that there shall be no change whatever in their future policy towards it. I, for one, cannot subscribe to this doctrine of official infallibility; I believe in my conscience that whatever faults the Company may have committed in the outset, were mainly attributable to the conduct of the Colonial Department, and that the authorities appointed by the Crown have since been guilty of far greater; and so believing, I cannot aid in stifling all inquiry. Before I go further I may as well state to the House that I have no connexion whatever with New Zealand, and that I do not possess the least interest in the Company by which the colonization of that country was undertaken. My sole motive in wading through the voluminous correspondence and details which have been laid upon the Table of this House, has been from the conviction of the importance of colonies and colonization to a country situated like Great Britain. I am aware, Sir, that it is the fashion with a certain party in this House, not only to undervalue the importance of our Colonial possessions, but to represent them as a source of expense and a burden to this country. It might be proved without much difficulty that this doctrine is based on erroneous assumptions; but I must at present content myself with declaring my deliberate opinion, that in every case where a voluntarily established Colony has become burdensome to the mother country, it has been from actual misgovernment on the part of that mother country, exhibited either in ignorant intermeddling with its social condition, or in impolitic restrictions upon its trade. I am not one of those who consider that there is any necessary connexion between the Colonial and the Protective systems of trade; on the contrary, I believe that but for the misgovernment 781 to which I have averted, the Colonies of Great Britain would have been ready to pass to a system of absolute free trade, quite as rapidly as the mother country herself. I have dwelt thus much upon the Colonial question generally, because it is on general grounds that I would chiefly justify my vote to-night, and because I attribute most of the errors and evils which have arisen in the case of New Zealand to this disposition to undervalue our Colonial possessions; and to appreciate, therefore, too lightly, if not totally to disparage, the advantages of that systematic colonization which it was the main object of the New Zealand Company to carry out, under the auspices of the Crown. Sir, I would have it distinctly understood, that in any comments I may feel it my duty to offer to the House, upon the result of the experiment just made, I undertake to pronounce no definitive judgment upon the details of the controversy, which has, unhappily, been carried on between the Company and the Colonial Office; still less is it my intention to make anything like a personal attack upon that Department of the Government as at present constituted. On the contrary, having had more opportunities than most Members of this House of becoming acquainted with its routine, I feel bound to acknowledge the uniform urbanity and unremitting attention to business displayed by the noble Lord who presides over the Colonial Office, and by my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, by whom it is represented in this House. Sir, if any panegyric of mine could avail that hon. Member in the slightest degree, I should feel bound to expatiate upon his ability in devising the details of any arrangement which may be decided upon in that Office, and his untiring energy in carrying them into effect. But whilst I thus admit the present Colonial Administration to be more efficient than most of its predecessors, as a mere executive department of Government, I am not precluded from declaring it to be as totally destitute as any of those predecessors of a comprehensive system of Colonial policy. For, Sir, I hardly like to be so uncharitable as to describe as a system that course of policy, which a dispassionate consideration of the conduct of that Office for years past would, nevertheless, fully justify me in imputing to it—a system based entirely on the state of parties in this House, now yielding to the 782 fears and prejudices of the agricultural interest, now swayed by the pressure of the free traders, now attempting to carry out the views of what is vulgarly termed the saint party, now deigning to listen to the remonstrances of those interested in the Colonies;—one year encouraging the importation of corn and flour from Canada, another rigidly upholding the restrictions which affect the admission of those articles from Australia and other British Colonies. Sir, there are, moreover, peculiar reasons why this House—the grand inquest of the nation—should not be disregardful of the voice of complaint from any of the Colonies, when it does make its way to their ears. Though subject to your legislation, and entrusted to the charge of a Minister who practically holds office at your pleasure, the Colonies send no Representatives to this assembly; if, therefore, this House neglect to listen to their grievances, they have, contrary to the spirit of the British Constitution, no remedy whatever against irresponsible, and frequently therefore despotic authority, especially where, as in the case of New Zealand, they are governed directly by the Crown, without the intervention of any Representative Assembly. It cannot, Sir, be fairly argued, that because it so happens that several of the Directors of the New Zealand Company chance to be Members of this House, that this Colony forms an exception to the general rule of Colonial non-representation. This would be to repeat one of the most fatal errors which has pervaded the whole controversy—that of confounding the Colonists with the Company. I, for one, should never have thought of troubling myself to defend the interests of any Company, particularly of one so well able to take its own part, as the correspondence and the speech of the hon. Member for Liskeard, and that delivered just now by the hon. Member for Cockermouth proves them to be. It certainly strikes me that as there can be no pleasure in making unnecessary complaints, there must be some peculiar hardship under which that Company labours, in respect to the award of lands agreed to be made it by the Government. I wish them, of course, to obtain justice from the Government or from the nation; but if they have made an unlucky pecuniary speculation—if they over-estimated the value or accessibility of their lands—if it can even be fairly proved that they took 783 conveyances from parties not competent to give them — however patriotic their motives for originating the undertaking, however disinterested their subsequent conduct—they must be content to abide the failure of their adventure, like any other trading association. Sir, it is in the name and for the sake of the thousands of our fellow countrymen who have settled in New Zealand, on the faith of its being made, in deed as in name, a dependency of the British Crown, that I presume to-night to call upon the House to discard all considerations of party, and to judge the New Zealand question solely on its own merits. I should regret very much to see this considered a Government question on this side of the House; I should regret it not for my own sake so much as that it might give room to say of those who supported the Motion of the hon. Member for Liskeard, that they manifested, by so doing, a want of confidence in the Government. I confess I do not view it in this light, even as regards the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies, far less as regards the Government generally. I conceive it to be possible to differ in opinion on any particular point from an individual, without being open to an accusation of want of confidence either in his honour, his integrity, or even his judgment as regards all other questions. If I stood alone in my opinion on this side of the House or in the country, I might feel bound to wave that opinion for the good of my party; but when I find myself, as I verily believe on the present occasion, supported by the almost unanimous concurrence of men of all political parties, and engaged in all branches of commerce in the city of London, of which the petition presented to this House a short time back by its senior Member, affords but a faint idea; I cannot conscientiously consent to sacrifice my convictions on a point of so much importance to the safety and well-being of so many thousands of my fellow creatures. I cannot give a vote which would commit me to an approval of the principles regarding the treatment of the natives, and the land claims attempted to be laid down before the Select Committee appointed last Session by this House to investigate the subject, by the hon. Under Secretary for the Colonies (Mr. G. W. Hope), and the hon. Member for Clithero, (Mr. Cardwell), and by that Committee, appointed indifferently from both sides of 784 the House, very properly, as I think, rejected. Sir, I do not in the least question the fact that serious obstacles opposed themselves from the very first to the colonization of New Zealand. Difficulties must always be experienced in the foundation of settlements in remote and uncultivated regions, especially where there exists an aboriginal population in a state approaching to barbarism. These difficulties constitute, after all, the glory and utility of the enterprise. Neither, Sir, do I wish to deny that every allowance should be made for the difficulties with which the present Colonial Secretary had to contend on coming into office, on account especially of the doubtful construction of the Treaty of Waitangi. What I complain of is this — that these difficulties, instead of having been gradually obviated from the hour at which it was determined, right or wrong, for better or for worse, to declare New Zealand a British Colony, have been, on the contrary, so aggravated, that no news is now too horrible to be expected on the arrival of every vessel from that quarter: and that, instead of announcing a change in your measures, an alteration of the policy which, if it has not produced, has certainly not prevented, this state of things, you are merely going to make a change in your Governor. Now, Sir, I certainly am not going to advocate the cause of Captain Fitzroy; I believe nothing can be more inexplicably imprudent than most of his official acts; but I must say that I think the emergencies which called forth those acts on his part might have been easily foreseen, and ought to have been provided for by distinct instructions from home. Sir, I have no disposition to exaggerate the condition of the Colony. The hon. Member for Southampton seemed to think it had been exaggerated; I fear exaggeration is well nigh impossible. I would refer that hon. Gentleman to Governor Fitzroy's latest despatches, written before the renewal of outrages by the natives was known to him; I would refer him to the letter of Mr. Commissioner Spain, describing, on what he declares the best authority, the effect of your ill-timed clemency, after the massacre of Wairau, upon the minds of the natives; and I would ask, under what circumstances will Captain Grey assume his functions? Will he not find an exhausted treasury, bolstered up by inconvertible paper—all the machinery for collecting 785 revenue on equitable principles abolished—no militia organized, and yet a war of races on the eve of breaking out between the European settlers, alarmed at outrages committed with impunity, and exasperated probably by murders yet unpunished — and the native population, taught to despise your apparent pusillanimity, and excited by the belief instilled into them that they have been defrauded of the price of those lands which, but for European skill and capital, would have been valueless? Shall it be said, under these circumstances, that this House is to be satisfied with learning that the new Governor is to be left, like his predecessor unfettered by instructions? — that this House is not to inquire how the finances of the Colony are to be restored, or whether the penny-an-acre regulations of Captain Fitzroy, which strike at the root of all systematic colonization, are to be continued?—that it is, in short, to know what the future policy of the British Government is to be in New Zealand? Sir, I feel I am approaching the most difficult part of the subject, in discussing what the nature of that policy ought to be. The hon. Member for Liskeard is about to ask the House, if they go into Committee, to adopt as the standard of that policy (with a single exception) the Resolutions appended to their Report by the Select Committee of last Session. I quite comprehend the reasons of the hon. Member for taking such a course; but I should have myself liked something more practical, something more suited to the present emergency. Some of the Resolutions of that Select Committee, as the hon. Member himself admitted, are hardly applicable to the present state of things—others refer to matters which I think would now be better buried in oblivion; and with regard to some, especially the 5th, I think there is great force in the objection made last night by the Under Secretary of State, that taken separately from the Report by which the Committee accompanied them, they have a wider scope and a more active signification than was intended. I must confess, therefore, I should have preferred finding in the Resolutions to be submitted in Committee the germ of some such arrangement as that recently submitted by the New Zealand Company, which, to whatever objections it may be liable, was, I think there can be no doubt, proposed with a view of conciliating all parties concerned, 786 and of disregarding the past for the purpose of providing for the future. Still, on the whole, I see no other course open to me than to give my vote with the hon. Member for Liskeard, provided no more suitable Resolutions are proposed in Committee, or no avowal of a policy such as I could approve is made on behalf of Her Majesty's Government before the conclusion of the debate. I will take the liberty of briefly sketching what I conceive that policy ought to be. I suppose no one in this House will be so bold as to counsel the abandonment of the undertaking! If any Member doubts the value of the Colony, let me refer him to the despatches of Captain Fitzroy last laid on our Table, and let me ask him if it is to be imagined that such a Colony to which so many of our countrymen have emigrated, is to be abandoned because difficulties have arisen with regard to it. If any one either in or out of the House still entertain any doubt on the subject, let me remind him in the words of one whose opinions will ever stand as axioms with all reflecting men—I mean Lord Bacon—That it is the sinfullest thing in the world to forsake or destitute a plantation once in forwardness; for besides the dishonour, it is the guiltiness of blood of many commiserable persons.You cannot, you dare not recede! The only question that remains is, therefore, what is to be done? It appears to me that there are four classes connected with New Zealand, whose interests are to be as far as compatible reconciled—whose prejudices are to be, if possible, conciliated: the European settlers, the natives, the missionaries, and the Company. I will take the settlers first, at the risk of exciting the indignation of the hon. and gallant Member for Westminster—for I am not one of those philanthropists—whose boundless mindsGlow with the common love of all mankindto such a degree as to prefer the tatooed Maori to my own countrymen. To the settlers—I would say—give a speedy, cheap, and secure title to their lands, without any of those delays and formalities which have hitherto disgusted them; let them also have something more resembling an Englishman's ideas of representative institutions than the council of land jobbers which has hitherto served but to register the Governor's arbitrary decrees. I am 787 glad to hear that even at the eleventh hour you are about to provide a sufficient force to protect the settlers; but I would still counsel you to allow them to organize themselves together with the friendly natives into a militia. Next, with regard to the natives; deal with them firmly, yet kindly and considerately, as with children who have been spoilt by your injudicious though well-meant indulgence. Maintain the honour of this country as pledged, right or wrong, to them in the Treaty of Waitangi; but do not carry further than existing engagements compel you to do, a construction of that Treaty as to wild lands, adverse to the rights of the Crown, and detrimental to the real interest of the natives. Do not attempt, at any rate, to extend the operation of that Treaty to the Middle and Southern islands, where it is on all hands admitted it could have had originally no force. Now, Sir, as to the missionaries! I am one of those who believe to the fullest extent that the glory of God in the conversion of the Heathen ought to be one of the main objects in colonization; but some experience of the nature of missionary operations in our Colonies leads me to conclude that Episcopal superintendence is never so necessary as when savages in distant lands have been subjected to the influence of imperfectly educated men, like most of these missionaries; and that where such superintendence does not exist, too much dependence is not to be placed on the disinterestedness or enlightenment of that influence. I would say, therefore, Sir, give the missionaries in New Zealand the honour due to them as ministers of the gospel, and pioneers of civilization in the wilderness, but at the same time repress their love of interfering with secular affairs, and check, as far as in you lies, that disposition to worldly aggrandizement which is so painfully evidenced in the return of the grants of land made to them. Finally, with respect to the Company; either make up your mind at once to buy out their interest on liberal terms, giving them due security for the welfare of those who hold land under them; or, as I think would be far preferable, banish from henceforth all distrust of their motives, increase their powers, and make them your instrument in advancing New Zealand towards that height and importance among the civilized nations of the earth, which I believe her, under God's Providence, to be destined to 788 enjoy during future ages, when perhaps the history, the institutions, and the language of this now mighty Empire of Great Britain may be indebted for preservation to the gratitude and the veneration of her descendants, planted by their efforts in what now strikes some of us as a few unimportant isles at our antipodes. Sir, before I sit down, let me thank the House for the indulgence with which has listened to me—an indulgence which, I think I may safely promise it, shall not be abused. There are few subjects on which I should have deemed it expedient so long to trespass on their time, but I certainly felt reluctant to vote against a Government of whose foreign and domestic policy I almost invariably approve, without offering an explanation of the motives which weighed with me in so doing.
§ Mr. G. W. Hope
, in explanation said, the hon. Member for Leominster could not have heard accurately what he (Mr. Hope) had said as to the instructions given to Captain Grey. Considering the distance of the scene of operations, and the time that must necessarily elapse before he could arrive on the spot, the Government had not given him express instructions, but had intimated to him its decided opinion on the different subjects that would be brought under his attention. He (Mr. Hope) had stated, with respect to Captain Fitzroy, that the disapproval by the Government of his financial measures was one of the causes of his recall; that Lord Stanley also disapproved of his late proceedings with respect to the lands, as inconsistent with the instructions given him; that another cause of his recall was his conduct with regard to the Militia Bill, and his not having shown sufficient firmness in his proceedings with the natives. He had stated these to be the views of the Government; and he had stated that Captain Grey would not go out bound by any express orders to reimpose the customs duties abolished by Captain Fitzroy; that he was not bound by express instructions on other subjects, but that he had the directions of the Government to do what he considered advisable. He thought he had made this clear to the House, as the only course that should be adopted.
§ Sir R. Inglis
said, that although he was not one of those who were entitled to compliment a new Member, yet he could not, in justice even to himself, rise to follow the 789 hon. Member for Leominster without congratulating not him only, but the House, on the accession which it had received in the talent displayed in the speech of the hon. Member. It was marked by good feeling and eloquence which justified him in thus referring to it. He could not, however, concur with the hon. Member's conclusions, although he admired the manner in which he arrived at them; on the contrary, it would be his duty, in the course of the observations which he should have to make, to state how much he differed from him, from the hon. and learned Member for Cockermouth, and still more from his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. C. Buller) to whose speech he had listened with profound attention yesterday evening. The fundamental error in the speech of his hon. and learned Friend, that upon which the fallacy of his conclusions mainly depended, was the assumption that in dealing with the New Zealanders, we were dealing with a people with whom it was not fitting that the people of England should place themselves in the condition or position of equality. The hon. and learned Member had almost exhausted the vocabulary of the language in describing them as savages, as cannibals; exhibiting, according to him, "almost the only well-authenticated instance of cannibalism now existing," and being, generally, in such a degraded state of ignorance and barbarity as to be utterly incapable of appreciating the value of property, and therefore incapable of making any kind of bargain, and with whom — though the inference was not very clear—an agreement, instead of being respected and observed, might be treated with indifference and contempt. If he admitted the first proposition of the hon. and learned Member, that the New Zealanders were so ignorant of the rights connected with the land as to be incapable of maintaining a legal possession, he might then perhaps agree with him that the Treaty of Waitangi was a solemn farce, and say, with the hon. and learned Member, "Away with all this foolery!" But he believed the people of New Zealand did possess a knowledge of the nature of property, which entitled them to exercise a dominion over it; and, above all, England having recognised their right to the possession of property, and their power to deal with it, he was not prepared to come to the conclusion to which the hon. and learned Member seemed to wish to lead the House, namely, that every acre into which the 790 natives had not actually carried the spade and plough, and subjected to their immediate use, was as much the property of the New Zealand Company, or any first comer, as if it were a country purely and absolutely uninhabited.. He (Sir R. Inglis) contended that, having, whether right or wrong, recognised the independence of the Government of New Zealand, the fact of the more or less of power possessed by it did not affect the question. After that recognition of the country as an independent State, they had no more right to found Colonies there than on any part of the Continent of Europe which might not for the moment have a sufficient number of inhabitants. Several years ago, when the question was first brought forward, in 1838, he was one of those who contended that you had no more right to profess to colonize New Zealand, than you had to profess to colonize the kingdom of France—an illustration which he made in good faith, indeed, but without any anticipation that any one would seriously take the illustration and adopt it as his own, as his hon. and learned Friend had done last night. The hon. Member had contended that if, by any visitation of Providence, the southern provinces of France were suddenly to be deprived of their inhabitants, the whole of that country would be as open to him and the New Zealand Company as to any other portion of the human race. To do him justice, the hon. Member did not attempt to defend the position by any argument. He threw down his assertion as a bold proposition, and left it where he laid it; for he must have well known, that the Law of Nations did not recognise the right of the individual of one country to occupy any portion, however small or distant, of the possession of another country, without direct communication with its Government. If you wished to carry out emigrants to any country, you must refer to the power which you had previously recognised as the supreme controlling power, without whose consent you could not even land there. He admitted that the first discovery had, according to the international law of Europe, a right of pre-occupancy against all other nations; but never had it been contended that the first discovery not only gave the right of dominion, but the right of property, as against the inhabitants of the soil. Captain Cook's raising a flagstaff, and burying a bottle of coins, would give his country a right as against any other nation capable of conveying its 791 subjects to New Zealand; but as against the native inhabitants he gained no claim of property whatever. The utmost right any jurist would allow to Captain Cook, would be that, as against France or Holland, the planting of the flag had insured the right of pre-occupancy to England. How different was this from the doctrine which the hon. and learned Member had laid down at so much length last night! He said that the New Zealanders had no idea of the right of property; and yet, rather inconsistently, he proceeded to detail the system of the New Zealand Company as to purchases from those who had no property in the sense in which we considered property. He apprehended that this cut two ways. If, in respect to all the property of which the New Zealanders had not denuded themselves, it was convenient to declare that they possessed no knowledge of property, it must equally be true in respect of the property of which the New Zealand Company had become possessed by compact with those who, knowing nothing of what they were giving, had, from that very ignorance, as it is now alleged, no right to give it. It appeared that the Company, for the sum of 7,000l.—he begged pardon, he would give them the benefit of every fraction—for the sum of 7,388l. 7s. 7d., including presents to natives and incidental expenses, had bought an extent of land, which was measured by degrees of latitude and longitude, amounting to 15,000,000 of acres. To make a complaint against the Government for not giving them sufficient encouragement was hardly fair, when from persons so ignorant they had obtained so large an extent of property for so small a sum. It appeared, too, that the land which they had thus purchased for 7,388l. 7s. 7d., they had sold for 128,136l. These were the protectors of the natives of New Zealand! These were the men who complained of the missionaries on the one hand, for instigating the natives against them, and of Captain Fitzroy on the other, for taking the part of the natives. They would say, however, that it was their own blessed arrival which had raised the value of land; that although it was only worth 7,000l. when they came there, yet as they could bring their 10,000 Englishmen, they were fairly entitled to ask an increased price. Then they said, that they had carefully provided for the interests of the natives, by securing portions of the land so raised in value for their use. How far the system 792 of native reserves had been carried into effect elsewhere, he was not prepared to state; but he had that knowledge which entitled him to ask whether, in Wellington at least, the system had been carried to the extent which his hon. and learned Friend would have desired the House to believe? He agreed with the hon. and learned Member for Cockermouth (Mr. Aglionby), that this House was not the tribunal before which the claims of a surveyor of the Company as against that Company, ought to be brought; but, believing this, he was therefore proportionably surprised, when the hon. and learned Member himself proceeded to make a long statement against those claims, naming the gentleman to whom he referred. Into that subject he would not follow him, except to say that the case, so far as he knew it, was a hard one. With respect to the allegations made against the missionaries, he was willing that they should be made in that assembly, because he believed that they might be met as easily as they could be made. It had been stated by the hon. Member who last spoke, that these missionaries had endeavoured to discharge the highest duty of a civilized man to a barbarous nation, that of promoting the glory of God by their conversion—a truth which appeared, by the cheers, to be recognised by the great body of that House. He would ask any one to compare the condition of New Zealand in 1814, with what it was at the present time; and he would ask them to what, under God, was that difference to be attributed but to the missionaries? In 1814, such was the dread of the shores of New Zealand, that it was with difficulty a ship could be chartered at Sydney to proceed there; and such was the character of its inhabitants, that a man could not land, or at least could not walk, alone there without danger to his life. Now, however, through the labours of the missionaries, the state of things was so altered, that the present Bishop of New Zealand, who was not unworthy to be called a successor of the Apostles, had walked 300 miles in visiting his diocese, in places where he could obtain no conveyance whatever, and yet had been everywhere received in a manner that would have done honour to the most civilized country. Moreover, of this nation of savages and cannibals, as the hon. Member for Liskeard had described them, 33,000, or one-third of the population, were, according to returns which had been furnished 793 to him (Sir R. Inglis), Christians in general profession, 14,000 attended schools, and not less than 2,200 were communicants with the Church of England. But it had been said, the Church missionaries took the lead in speculative purchases of land; and they had been further described as false friends, and their conduct contrasted with the Roman Catholic and Wesleyan missionaries. As to the former, their residence in the islands was comparatively recent; and, it must always be recollected, that after no length of time could they have to provide for families. But with respect to the Wesleyan missionaries, there was this great distinction, that, according to the regulations of their Society, they were removable from station to station; whereas the Church missionaries, when they went to New Zealand, generally went to pass their lives on the island. Moreover, a provision for their wives and children became important, when it was considered that, as agents for a voluntary society, those only were paid who actually did the work of the mission. It was true, a small sum was allowed them for the education of their children; but this was not enough; and in order to make it enough, they were allowed to invest a certain portion of their salaries in land purchases. They had heard a great clamour at the extent to which the missionaries were said to have availed themselves of this permission, and it was said they had possessed themselves of more than 196,000 acres. If, however, they deducted the lands claimed by Mr. Fairburn—who, by the by, was never, as he (Sir R. Inglis) believed, one of the body of missionaries, and whose connexion with the Church Missionary Society had for some years ceased—and also the lands claimed by the Rev. Mr. Taylor, he believed it would be found that the proportion possessed by the missionaries was less by one-half than that which the Government allowed to those who occupied corresponding stations in New South Wales. It should also be remembered, that a great portion of the land claimed by Mr. Taylor had been described as covered with moving sand hills; it was at the North Cape of the island. It might be added, in reference to the large area claimed by others also, that New Zealand appears to contain a smaller proportion of cultivable land than any other known island; one authority stating it at 20 per cent., another at 10 per cent., while another, a medical man, who travelled 300 794 miles in search of a settlement for himself, stated that the proportion was not more than 5 per cent. He thought that he had now met the charge against the missionaries, so far as it was founded on the apparent value of the lands which they had claimed. He maintained, therefore, that the missionaries were entitled to favourable acceptance—first, from the motives which induced them to go to New Zealand; next, for the manner in which, during their residence, they had endeavoured to raise the native character; and next, because, as he had shown, no charge could be proved against them, with respect to these purchases, of any irregularity. Indeed, Mr. Fairburn, one of the parties who had been specifically alluded to, professed his readiness to transfer it to those for whose benefit alone he declared that he had made the purchase; and actually did transfer, long before this question was raised by the New Zealand Company, one-third of his purchase to the aborigines, and another third to the Church Missionary Society, for the benefit of the mission. As to the case of Mr. Kendall, who was said to have purchased forty square miles of land for forty axes, for the Baron Thierry, all he could say was that the Baron had made no claim whatever to the land; and with respect to the appointment of Mr. George Clark, he was prepared to maintain that, in making that appointment, no preferable person had been passed over. His chief fault appeared to be that he was a young man. It was also said that he was not competent to his duty, because he was not acquainted with the native languages. If Mr. Clark misinterpreted one word, that was a very common case with even the sworn translators at home; and unless it was charged against him that he had wilfully misrepresented, the charge was scarcely worth refuting. The New Zealand Company were well represented in that House, but the natives were not. Therefore, he urged the House comparatively to disregard the claims of the Company as represented by those Directors who were Members of that House, and rather to consider the interests of the natives, when assailed by large and wealthy bodies of white men—that they should rather remember the higher duty imposed on them of taking charge of the interests of those who were otherwise undefended. He would not enter into the intentions of the New Zealand Company; but he held that their first announcement was very different 795 from the description given of them by the hon. Member for Pontefract last evening, when he said that in their enterprise was revived the old spirit of English colonization—such was not the fact. In his (Sir R. Inglis's) opinion they were a purely commercial Company; and if they had secured 5 per cent. for their money on an average during the last five years, though they might claim credit for sagacity, he could not see that the enterprise was chivalrous or philanthropic. He was willing to admit that there could not be found in this country a commercial body, consisting of twenty-four gentlemen, who possessed names of higher character or more entitled to respect. He admitted also that they were not jobbers in the market—that they were not gambling, jobbing speculators; and that they themselves believed that the Company which they had formed was one likely to realise a fair and honourable profit to themselves, while at the same time it secured great advantages to their fellow subjects. This admission he was quite ready to make. He thought it was only consistent with truth and fairness. With regard to the question of re-opening the inquiry, he believed the House was already in a position to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion without the appointment of another Committee, and the addition of an enormous blue book to the unreadable volume presented last Session. For one moment, he would revert to the subject to which, at the beginning, he had called the attention of the House. It was altogether a mistaken notion to suppose that the lands of New Zealand were unclaimed as well as unoccupied by the natives; that they had no idea as to the value of that description of property, or that they did not regard it as property. As an illustration of the contrary, he might state that a native, going through the country with a settler, who had related the fact to him (Sir R. Inglis), pointed out to his own son, one of the party, different tracts of land, and mountains; observing, "This belonged to your mother's people"—"that to my father's"—"this was your ancestors' long ago"—exactly in the spirit in which the forfeited estates of his family were pointed out, in Ireland, to young Phelan, as told by Bishop Jebb. So little was it correct to say, that the people of New Zealand had no knowledge of any property in land, except the very soil which they cultivate. The hon. Baronet concluded by expressing his opinion that the speech of his hon. Friend the Under Secretary of 796 State for the Colonies last night—a speech which had left no point untouched—had not been answered either by the hon. Member for Cockermouth or the hon. Member for Leominster; and he felt called upon to oppose the Resolutions under consideration.
§ Mr. Hawes
quite agreed in one observation made by the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford, that the tactics of the hon. Member for Westminster were above all praise, if it were his intention to divert the attention of the House from the real object and purpose of the Motion before them, and to draw them into a discussion upon the affairs of the New Zealand Company, and the conduct of that Company towards the missionaries. But such tactics would fail. The real object of the discussion was one of far higher importance, and a far different purpose was entertained by those who introduced it. The object was to bring before the House the conduct of a great public department of the Colonial Office in the government of the Colony of New Zealand—to protect the interest of the settlers in that Colony — to develop the great national interests also which were at stake, and perilled by the policy of that department. It was not often that Colonial questions came under the consideration of the House, and when they did, they were too frequently discussed under the influence of party considerations, and sometimes for party purposes. But this debate—the whole course of it proved it—was not tainted and weakened by any such influence. The question raised by the hon. Member for Liskeard was not alone the conduct of the Government, but the principles of Colonial policy involved in that conduct. The House was called upon, and he rejoiced at the circumstance, to review the broad principles of our Colonial policy—to show, it might be, the narrow and mischievous action of the Colonial Office; but still, to keep the higher considerations in view, how was a great and most important Colony to be governed in future. The discussion had been conducted without party spirit, and would, he felt sure, be conducted without party spirit; for the interests of this country in New Zealand were so dear, and of so national a character, that their advocates could rely upon them alone to sustain them in debate, and throughout the country. For a long time he had taken a deep interest in the affairs of the Colony—not a pecuniary 797 or personal interest, but one entirely of a public nature. He had joined with several gentlemen when first it was proposed to colonize these islands, in order to promote the enterprise and recommend it to public favour. He had sat on more than one Committee upon the affairs of New Zealand; and he now felt that he might fairly lay claim to an impartial consideration of the question before the House, inasmuch as he had, at the time to which he referred, differed as much from the political friends he was associated with, as he now did with Her Majesty's Ministers in the government of New Zealand. He did not agree with the policy they had adopted; and he now differed, but still more widely, from the policy of the Government. Before he went into the question itself, he desired to advert to one or two points raised in the speech of the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford. He complained of its unfairness—not intentional unfairness—but, nevertheless, he did complain of that speech as being calculated to convey a most erroneous impression and create a most unfounded prejudice against the conduct of the Company. The hon. Baronet had referred to the account of the Receipts and Expenditure of the Company published in the Eighteenth Report. He there found, it appears, in page 30, that for the purchase of land, a sum of 7,000l. was paid, and he contrasted this with the amount charged in the same account for the sale of land at Wellington, and received in England, or 128,000l. Hence, the hon. Baronet inferred, if any inference was to be drawn from this statement, only that the Company had gained 121,000l. by this transaction, and of course at the expense of the natives. Now, the hon. Baronet had the account in his hand. He selected these two items from a mass of others, which he omitted to notice, and which, if he had noticed, would have altogether negatived the inference implied in his statement. True it was that 7,000l. was laid out in the purchase of land; and equally true that 128,000l. had been received for land, and in England. But the New Zealand Company never considered the 7,000l. in the light of a price, or an equivalent for land. Land was of no value there. Before land became of value it required the outlay of vast capital; and the only account quoted contained the nature of the amount of that outlay. Consider a few of the items given in the account:— 798
These and many others to a large amount were to be found in the account; and yet all those were suppressed, which in candour the hon. Baronet ought to have noticed when he began to examine the account. He was justified in saying, that the statement of the hon. Baronet was not a fair statement, and that it was calculated to convey a most erroneous view of the conduct of the Company. The outlay upon land, to give it a European value in a European market, was a very different thing from the mere purchase of a barren right from the natives. The account quoted, if examined, would indeed bear the most honourable testimony to the spirit, enterprise, and great public utility of this Company. The mere sum paid for land had really little to do with the question. Again, the hon. Baronet had most erroneously stated one portion of the argument of the hon. Member for Liskeard. He said, that he had spoken of the rights of the New Zealand Company as if no other rights existed—as if they adsorbed in his view all other rights. He hoped the hon. Baronet would permit him to remark that the well-understood rights, as claimed for, and as claimed alone by the New Zealand Company, involved the rights of the natives, even the rights of the missionaries, and of the country at large. They claimed nothing to which they were not fairly entitled—and which, if conceded, would lead to good government—to just treatment of the natives — to economical management of the Colony — to better English and Colonial enterprise and prosperity. The New Zealand Company was a powerful instrument of good Colonial government in the hands of a wise Government at home; its rights were identical with those of every class in the Colony. He came now to the really important question before them. He thought, in this debate, all minor details should be avoided, because they tended to divert attention from the great interests at stake. The Colonial Office had made a great Colonial blunder. He imputed no improper motives to anyone in that department; but the miserable and narrow policy that had been pursued had led to that state of affairs which the Papers before the House disclosed. A great and serious error had been committed, and it called for and deserved 799 the anxious attention of the House. To the Report of the Committee of last year, he still in the main subscribed. It was framed in the then existing state of the knowledge of the Committee. The Resolutions might now require some modification; and the hon. Member for Liskeard fully admitted this. But in the general principles and policy adopted in that Report he fully concurred. True it was, that subsequently the circumstances of the Colony had much and sadly altered. They had become more complicated by the conduct of the late Governor; and distress, suffering, and danger had extended and increased. In such a state of things, he had anticipated a very different speech from the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies. He had expected a very different line of argument. He had thought that great evils being visible to every one, great confusion, great danger, great anxiety, both in the Colony and at home, that he would frankly have pointed to the source of these evils which now afflicted and threatened to ruin the Colony; and that he would have addressed himself to the causes creating them, and told the House the remedy he intended to apply. But, on the contrary, his whole mind seemed absorbed in his defence of the Colonial Office. To show its wisdom, to maintain its consistency, to found its policy upon that of his predecessors, was the staple of his speech. He could not deny the distress prevailing; he disclosed no remedy; in fact, he left the case as it stood before. One argument, indeed, of the hon. Member for Liskeard he entirely misunderstood. He thought it necessary to defend the natives of New Zealand against the supposed injustice done them by his hon. Friend. He complained that they had been described as a degraded race, and proceeded to show that they had a great capacity for civilization; that many had become traders, shipowners, and had even entered into some professions. But the argument of his hon. Friend was exactly the reverse of what the hon. Gentleman had imagined it to be. All that his hon. Friend had said was, that they were not that haughty warlike and unsocial race which had been found in North America, but that they could be conciliated and incorporated with civilized races, and that hence the policy of the Government which had led to their alienation from us was most indefensible. The only defence of the natives by the hon. Gentleman was a condemnation of the policy of his office.
Surveys £29,000 Public Works 7,000 Land presented to the Church, and subscriptions to the Church 4,000
800 Why had the natives, who once were friendly, and in friendly co-operation with our settlers, become suddenly our enemies? Why had all the good qualities and capabilities of these savages been wasted; been turned to evil instead of good? Because the course pursued by the Colonial Office was one of vacillation and weakness, which had endangered, if not ruined, all interests. The hon. Gentleman had admitted the capacity of the natives for civilization, and it was well known that they had lived in friendly feelings with the settlers, and regarded them as even their protectors. Then their alienation now ought to occasion deep regret—a regret which was increased when they reflected on the friendly feeling with which they formerly regarded Europeans. But a short time back the Colony was thriving, its affairs improving, its trade increasing. At present, according to the last despatches of Captain Fitzroy, the picture was fearfully reversed. In his despatch of October, 1844, the state of the island presented a striking contrast to that which existed at an earlier date. He says:—Owing principally to the causes above mentioned, there was a great stagnation in the Colony. After the first two years of excitement had passed, the public Revenue diminished rapidly; trade diminished, because there were neither exports nor funds; the people lived on the remains of whatever capital or property they had not expended; no titles to land were issued; Government payments became tardy and uncertain; salaries were allowed to be several months in arrear, the local Government having neither money nor credit; and to this unhappy condition was the Colony reduced, notwithstanding its extraordinary natural resources, at the termination of the year 1843.Surely such a description demanded investigation — demanded inquiry—in order to apply a remedy. But not one word of the speech of the Under Secretary was calculated to explain the causes of this disastrous state of affairs, or to suggest a remedy—his whole mind was absorbed in his defence of the Colonial Office. It was the poorest defence of the poorest cause he had ever heard in that House. But as the hon. Gentleman had not adverted to the origin of these calamities to both settlers and to the mother country, perhaps the House would permit him to make the attempt. Undoubtedly, the government of the Colony demanded vigour; but vigour not quite of the character of the hon. and gallant Member for Westminster. His 801 plan for the prevention of these evils was this:—When he saw capital embarked, and emigrants ready to depart, and ships freighted to convey them, he simply recommended the laying of an embargo upon the expedition, and stopping, in the outset, all colonization. Even if this vigorous determination could have been exercised, would it have prevented the colonization of New Zealand? Certainly not. Previously to the first Company being formed in this country for the colonization of New Zealand, English settlers were increasing in these islands; and settlers from all parts of the world, and especially from New South Wales, of the most objectionable character, resorted there. The number increased. Disorders were reported to the Governor of New South Wales; and British interference became inevitable, not only for the protection of the lives and properties of British subjects, but for the protection of native life and property also. We were, in fact, forced to send out first a Resident, without any power to sustain his authority, which was merely nominal, and wholly ineffectual. Mr. Busby, who filled this office, reported that further interference was necessary, not again alone for the sake of British interests, but for the protection of the native tribes against each other. He described, in a despatch, the anarchy which prevailed; the internal and desolating native wars, which, he said, were fast depopulating the country. At that time it was said that the missionaries had acquired great power in the country. Now, without speaking with any disrespect of the missionaries, he must be allowed to say that Mr. Busby's account of the Island clearly showed this—that they had done little or nothing to infuse into the native mind a love of peace. In spite of all their exertions, desolating, depopulating, and cruel wars prevailed. Little had been done to teach the professors of Christianity one of the great characteristics of our religion—a love of peace. Mr. Busby then proposed his plan for the Government of New Zealand. He proposed to bring about a confederation of the chiefs; and he was, through the influence of British authority, to govern this confederation. It was admitted that the power of the natives would be nominal, and it was intended that the power of the Resident should be real. It found favour with no one; and he (Mr. Hawes) thought that a more impracticable scheme was never suggested. Under the pretence of maintaining 802 a nominal native power, British authority was to be asserted and upheld. The scheme was scarcely an honest one, and must have failed. At length, further measures became inevitable. The number of settlers increased. Land-sharking, as it is called, began to prevail in these islands; and some further interference of British authority, for the sake of all parties—natives and settlers—became again forced upon us. Then a British Consul was appointed, backed by a naval force. All parties concurred in this. The state of the islands compelled it; it was no longer to be avoided. English interests, both domestic and Colonial, became of importance. The position of the islands—their capacity for trade—their value as a naval station—the climate — the soil, had attracted the attention of capitalists at home. They had the power and the will to force upon the Government the value of these islands. And, without justifying everything the New Zealand Company may have done—and it would be still more difficult to justify everything done by the Government in reference to New Zealand, or by the missionaries—yet this must be conceded, that to the energy of the New Zealand Company we owe the possession of these important islands, the Southern England of future ages. The errors of the Government began here. New Zealand had been proclaimed a dependency of the British Crown—jurisdiction had been exercised—a British Resident had been sent out, by the simple act of the British Government. If New Zealand were then independent, where is the justification of this act? If independent, why was a British magistrate—a justice of the peace—appointed? And yet, whilst these islands were then spoken of and treated as dependencies, we were now called upon to treat these savage tribes as an independent Power. We proclaim their dependence—we create a jurisdiction over them, in the commissions of Governors of New South Wales—we appoint a justice of the peace—and then proceed to treat with the natives as an independent Power. On the grounds of the dependency of New Zealand, the New Zealand Company exercised the right of every British subject of settling and colonizing there; and the vigorous measure recommended by the gallant Member for Westminster was really indefensible either on grounds of policy, law, or the previous proceedings of this country. But who mainly, and in the 803 first instance, opposed the noble scheme of this Company for colonizing New Zealand? The Church missionaries resident there; and afterwards their superiors at home. This was unquestionable. The letter of the Church Missionary Society was published, and moved for by the hon. Member for the University of Oxford. In that letter they said they had always been opposed to the colonization of these islands. Why? That question was best answered by a reference to the recent Returns upon the Table of the House. The missionaries had become speculators in land. They had—at least, some of them—become, more or less, traders also. The systematic colonization of the islands necessarily interfered with their monopoly of power, and their possession of land. The Company called public attention to what was passing in the islands. English public opinion was brought to bear upon the transactions of all parties there. This Company necessarily paved the way for the establishment of British sovereignty; and British sovereignty, and the power of the missionaries over the 100,000 natives roaming over a space equal to the United Kingdom, could not co-exist together. Hence the opposition of the Church Missionary Society. Besides, British sovereignty, under whatever conditions asserted, involved the question of the proprietorship of waste lands. New Zealand was equal in extent to Great Britain. There were seventy or eighty millions of acres. Who were the possessors? If the natives, would you allow them to be the prey of the land-sharks of Sydney? If you regulate the sale of land, or restrain it, what becomes of the doctrine of native sovereignty? But sound policy required, that from the moment you determined upon actively asserting—which you could not avoid — British authority over New Zealand, that, according to all analogy, the waste or unoccupied land should vest in the Crown. The New Zealand Company treated with the natives, and purchased land as others did. But, when it became a Colony of the Crown, for the sake of the obvious advantages of settled authority and law, the New Zealand Company willingly waved its right by purchase; and, on the promise of a grant of land under the Crown, gave up the 20,000,000 of acres it possessed, and agreed to receive but 1,000,000. The hon. the Under Secretary appeared to think that the waste land did not vest in the Crown. [Mr. Hope 804 dissented.] Why, then, if he admitted that it did, where was the difficulty of settling the claims of the Company? But the hon. Gentleman, he understood, defended the native right to all waste lands. He could understand his argument in no other sense. The hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford took the same view, and lauded the hon. Gentleman's "able" and comprehensive speech, he presumed, in consequence. He (Mr. Hawes) certainly entertained a very different opinion of that speech. But, if he had misunderstood it, he certainly had not misunderstood the Report of the Committee of 1840, which the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary had supported by his vote. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary had served with him on that Committee, and had voted with him in favour of the opinion he was now maintaining; and though then in a minority, he had the satisfaction of being in that minority along with Mr. F. Baring, Mr. G. W. Hope, and Mr. Gladstone. What did that Report state?—Your Committee, after much consideration, have arrived at the conclusion, that irreparable evils will ensue unless the Crown shall become the sole proprietor of the whole of the soil of New Zealand; and they are of opinion that a good system of colonization cannot be carried into execution by any other means.Again—That the soil of New Zealand, or any parts thereof, over which the sovereignty of the Crown shall have been established, should be vested solely in the Crown.These were the general principles laid down and subscribed to by the hon. Gentleman. And the same Report not only fully recognised the "possessory rights" of the natives, but declared that the Crown, and the Crown only, should become proprietor of lands which they at any time were willing to alienate. These were wise and just provisions; but which now were forgotten, and altogether set at nought, by the Colonial Office and their Governor, Captain Fitzroy. These principles, indeed, were the basis of the agreements with the Company in November, 1840, and May, 1843; agreements now practically disregarded by the Government, not only to the ruin of the Colony, but the ruin of an Association which really acquired the islands for the Crown, but which had capital, and the will to colonize them for its benefit. Now, what had created the difficulties in which the Colony and the Company 805 were involved? The Government really could have but one object. He did not mean to impute personal and sinister motives. Nevertheless, why had the Government left their agreement unfulfilled? He believed the main cause was to be found in the system pursued by, and the constitution of, the Colonial Office. In the first place, it had too much to do. There was a proneness to listen to Home interests, and Home views of policy, rather than to Colonial interests and Colonial views of policy. Forty or fifty Colonies at a vast distance had to be governed from home. Here were stationed powerful interests. Parties here, in fact, governed. The Colonial Office was open to them, provided they were powerful, and their views coincided with those of Colonial Ministers. Ignorant of local peculiarities, wants, and usages, such influence and such parties would and did govern, not in accordance with the interests of the Colony, but with their own. The result was natural enough. It was visible in New Zealand; it produced discontent, insubordination, and confusion. The Government, as it appeared to him, had always manifested an unfounded jealousy of the New Zealand Company. It was apparently objected to as a joint-stock company, a speculating body. But who forced this character upon the Company? The Government itself. He had been one of the original Association. They then sought a charter, in order to gain powers simply of superintendence, of subordinate government. An objection was taken to the Association having no direct interest in the Colony, and a charter was refused on this ground. And now, when the Company had become a joint-stock Company, it was objected that its objects were merely gain, and therefore to be watched, thwarted, and obstructed, as though their objects were purely and only mercenary. The whole proceedings of this Company furnished an answer to this charge. The Company was, in fact, an invaluable instrument of Colonial government. Let the House look to the origin of all the great Colonies springing from this country. The old Colonies of America were Charter Colonies; they had great and independent powers—powers of taxation, of making all appointments; in fact, they were constituted self-governing Colonies. Look at the results; they were founded on freedom, and only lost when that freedom was interfered with. Look at India. There, again, large powers were 806 delegated to the East India Company. The results again proved the wisdom of the policy pursued; it cost the mother country nothing; but, on the contrary, contributed to its wealth and importance. Even in this case, India was only in peril when the policy of the Imperial Government interfered with the Colonial management. Then, again, look to Canada and the West Indies, where Crown and Colonial Office management prevailed. We had but recently, in the case of Canada, a rebellion; and in the case of the West Indies, constant troubles and constant expense. Surely, this mere allusion to our Colonial history was full of matter for reflection, and strictly applicable to the case under consideration. The future history of New Zealand would either resemble that of Canada, or, in prosperity, that of the American Colonies, just as we governed upon the principles of the Colonial Office, with its constant interference and meddling; or entrusted the powers of Government to local authority, to be guided by local and not party interests at home. Then he came to the remedy to be applied; that might be compressed into a few sentences—Municipal Institutions and Representative Government. Her Majesty's Ministers, they learned, were about to appoint a new Governor. He was to be appointed with large and discretionary powers, and not to be fettered with instructions, and more—he was to have a sufficient force at command. This was to make him a dictator. He did not object to this in the present state of the Colony. He would be at least free from the "laborious trifling" of the Colonial Office—from its unstatesmanlike views and instructions. So far it was well; and it would have been better if one—though he was far from intending in any way to disparage Captain Grey—of higher standing, of known reputation, of higher rank, had been appointed. Do what they would, however, they must emancipate the Colony from the Colonial Office; they must lay the foundations of local government, and which, when left as free as possible, would, like other Colonies to which he had alluded, soon display the original energy of the parent stock, and re-establish the settlers in their former prosperous state. This debate he regarded as far more important than in its bearing even upon the welfare of New Zealand. It distinctly raised the principles of Colonial government, which had too long been neglected. They must soon, in this Colony as in 807 others, determine upon one of two courses—either begin to lay the foundation of a system of local government, or the Colonies must be represented in this House. It had been suggested that a Board of Council should be established here to consider and report upon Colonial measures. This was recommended in that very able work of Mr. Lewis, on Colonial Dependencies. But whatever course was to be taken in the future government of our Colonies, this was clear, that a reform must take place in our Colonial Office. A mere Board to collect statistics—to report upon measures—to digest laws—to hold communication with parties in this country, whose fortunes were embarked in Colonial enterprise, or whose connexions were settled in our Colonies, would be a far superior instrument of government than the Colonial Office, overloaded as it was with business at present. Individual complaints were now often superciliously treated or neglected; especially when they interfered with the schemes and plans of the Colonial Office. But a spirit was springing up in the Colonies, likely now to be more strongly backed by powerful interests at home, which would force upon this Office a different system. The very struggles of the New Zealand Company were favourable to Colonial liberty and energy. And all that he contended for was this, that nothing could so speedily and so surely accelerate the prosperity of the Colonies, as their emancipation from the hands of the Colonial authorities at home, and then being left as free agents to govern themselves, with as little interference from home as the political relations of the mother country would permit.
§ Sir Howard Douglas
I have read these bulky volumes with deep interest and profound attention, and approach this discussion with some knowledge of the facts of the case, and not without entertaining great dread of what may ensue. With some experience of Colonial affairs, I know as a professional man, the serious difficulties and the sad consequences of desultory warfare in a remote quarter of the world, with numerous tribes of people, in an extensive country, with a very insufficient force; and I speak with peculiar interest on this subject, inasmuch as that very small force consists of a detachment belonging to the regiment I have the honor to command. No Member of this House—no subject of this realm — attaches more importance to the extension 808 of the Empire by a sound and well conducted system of colonization than I do; and it rejoices me greatly to find by these discussions that hon. Members opposite, even the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland, who repudiate the vital principle of the Colonial system, have not yet altogether abandoned the subject of practical colonization, and still appear to cling to a policy which I began to fear was getting out of date and considered to be old-fashioned. ["Hear, hear."] I mark that derisive cheer — be it so—my opinions are as old as the days in which the foundations of this great Empire were laid in those well-known Colonial establishments by which these little islands have become the centre of a mighty Empire, and those opinions are as firm as that Empire is, I trust, enduring. It is because I do attach that importance to colonization conducted upon sound and approved principles, and in a judicious manner; it is because I do most fully admit the vast capacities and capabilities of the New Zealand Islands, as rich and extensive fields for British colonization, that I condemn and deplore that precipitate, unauthorized, lawless scheme which has blighted those prospects, and which has been the main cause of all the difficulties and disasters that have occurred, and may yet happen, from collisions with the natives. In support of my assertion, that the recent attempts at colonization have not been consistent with experience — that they were illegal, unauthorized, and have been the main cause of the difficulties which have ensued—I quote the Report of the Select Committee of the last Session, drawn up by the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland. That Report states—That in the measures which have been taken for establishing a British Colony in these Islands, those rules as to the mode in which colonization ought to be conducted, which have been drawn from reason and from experience, have not been sufficiently attended to.That neither individuals, nor bodies of men belonging to any nation, can form Colonies, except with the consent and under the direction and control of their own Government; and that from any settlement which they may form without the consent of their Government, they may be ousted. This is simply to say, as far as Englishmen are concerned, that Colonies cannot be formed without the consent of the Crown.That this attempt led at once to a violation of the law, by the first settlers entering 809 into a voluntary agreement for the establishment of an authority, by which they hoped, in the absence of any legitimate power, to maintain order amongst themselves. The illegality of this arrangement was pointed out to the Company by the then Secretary of State.That it is to be regretted that more decisive measures were not adopted for preventing the sailing of the expedition under these circumstances; since it appears important, with reference to the future, to observe, that such unauthorized attempts at colonization cannot be permitted without leading to the most serious inconvenience.That the irregular and precipitate mode of sending out the first settlers had the unfortunate effect of placing these settlers and the agents of the New Zealand Company, from the very outset, on unfriendly terms with the officer, whom Her Majesty's Government found it necessary immediately to dispatch from England, for the purpose of establishing the authority of the Crown in the Islands of New Zealand, has been one of the main causes of the difficulties with which it has had to contend.And the first Resolution of the Committee, which appears to have been unanimous, embodies these opinions in the following terms:—That the conduct of the New Zealand Company in sending out settlers to New Zealand, not only without the sanction, but in direct defiance of the authority of the Crown, was highly irregular and improper.With this I entirely concur. That attempt to colonize a State acknowledged to be free and independent, was, as I have asserted, illegal, unjustifiable, and unauthorized; it was, moreover, conducted with fatal precipitation. The first Colony was despatched, before any arrangement could have been made by the agents previously sent out to prepare for its reception, and before British authority was established in New Zealand. That expedition ought to have been stopped. An embargo ought to have been laid on their proceedings, until British authority and British law had been established in New Zealand; and Lord Normanby, instead of indulging in strong writing against the unauthorized undertaking—extracts from which have been read by several hon. Members—by my hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, in his very able speech, and others—should have resorted to strong measures. He (Lord Normanby) should have stopped the expedition by proclamation; but this not being so, it does appear to me, that the British Consular, or Residential, or Diplomatic 810 Agent who had been sent out there to treat with the native tribes, should have prevented that expedition from entering on their undertaking until British authority and law should have been established in New Zealand; and for myself, I would add, that if acting in that capacity, I would have sent that Colony to the neighbouring British Colony of New South Wales, there to wait. [Lord John Russell: Which would have been against the law.] It would not have been illegal; it would have prevented an illegal transaction. The time would come when all would have to deplore that the Government of the day did not interfere in some way to prevent that expedition from proceeding to, or entering on their lawless undertaking. Persisting, however, in this audacious and lawless enterprise, in defiance of the authority of the Crown, the New Zealand Company forced the Government to resort to the only effectual way by which that act could be covered—that of acquiring the Sovereignty of the New Zealand Islands—and now insist upon what would amount to a violation of the Treaty with the chiefs and natives of New Zealand, which the Queen of England was advised by the noble Lord the Member for London to ratify. Much has been said to ridicule what is called the farce of making treaties or compacts with natives in an uncivilized state, for the sovereignty and soil of the countries in their occupancy. How stands our title to the Eastern Settlement of the Cape of Good Hope? By compacts with the Caffres. How stands it with respect to Sierra Leone? By compacts with the natives likewise? How have our titles to the soil in that vast region which has been settled in Canada since its conquest, been acquired, but by purchase from the natives, whose right to the soil we never disputed? Lord Normanby, in his despatch of 14th August, 1839, to Captain Hobson, states that we acknowledge New Zealand as a sovereign and independent State, so far as it was possible to make that acknowledgment in favour of the people composed of numerous dispersed and petty tribes. Adverting to the Colony which had recently sailed from this country, and the necessity of establishing amongst them some settled form of civil government, his Lordship says—The spirit of adventure having thus been effectually roused, it can no longer be doubted that an extensive settlement of British subjects 811 will be rapidly established in New Zealand; and that, unless protected and restrained by necessary laws and institutions, they will repeat, unchecked, in that quarter of the globe the same process of war and spoliation, under which uncivilized tribes have almost invariably disappeared as often as they have been brought into the immediate vicinity of emigrants from the nations of Christendom. To mitigate, and, if possible, to avert these disasters, and to rescue the emigrants themselves from the evils of a lawless state of society, it has been resolved to adopt the most effective measures for establishing amongst them a settled form of Civil Government. To accomplish this design is the principal object of your mission.This means the acquisition of the Sovereignty by treaty with the chiefs of the tribes. Lord John Russell, in his despatch of the 9th of December, 1840, to Captain Hobson, adverting to the formal recognition of New Zealand as an Independent State in 1835, to the condition of the people (viz., the New Zealanders), and to their competency to cede the Sovereignty on behalf of the people at large to Great Britain, writes thus:—Amongst the many barbarous tribes with which our extended Colonial Empire brings us into contact in different parts of the globe, there are none whose claims on the protection of the British Crown rests on grounds stronger than those of the New Zealanders. They are not mere wanderers over an extended surface, in search of a precarious subsistence; nor tribes of hunters, or of herdsmen; but a people among whom the arts of government have made some progress—who have established by their own customs a division and appropriation of the soil—who are not without some measure of agricultural skill, and a certain subordination of ranks, with usages having the character and authority of law. In addition to this, they have been formally recognised by Great Britain as an Independent State; and even in assuming the dominion of the country, this principle was acknowledged, for it is on the deliberate act and cession of the chiefs, on behalf of the people at large, that our title rests. Nor should it ever be forgotten, that large bodies of the New Zealanders have been instructed by the zeal of our missionaries in the Christian Faith. It is, however, impossible to cast the eye over the map of the globe, and to discover so much as a single spot where civilized men brought into contact with tribes differing from themselves widely in physical structure, and greatly inferior to themselves in military prowess and social arts, have abstained from oppressions and other evil practices. In many the process of extermination has proceeded with appalling rapidity. Even in the absence of positive injustice, the mere contiguity and intercourse of the two races would appear to induce many moral and physical 812 evils, fatal to the health and life of the feebler party. And it must be confessed, that after every explanation which can be found of the rapid disappearance of the aboriginal tribes in the neighbourhood of European settlements, there remains much which is obscure, and of which no well-ascertained facts afford the complete solution. Be the causes, however, of this so frequent calamity what they may, it is our duty to leave no rational experiment for the prevention of it unattempted. Indeed, the dread of exposing any part of the human race to a danger so formidable, has been shown by the Marquess of Normanby, in his original instructions to you, to have been the motive which dissuaded the occupation of New Zealand by the British Government, until the irresistible course of events had rendered the establishment of a legitimate authority there indispensable.This is an ample vindication of the Treaty of Waitangi; the competency of the native chiefs to make such compact; and the obligation it imposes. The hon. and learned Member for Liskeard had spoken of the Treaty with great levity. Perhaps the New Zealanders as a body, may not exactly have known what a Treaty meant, or understood any thing of international law upon which it proceeded; but their chiefs did. Right or wrong, the Treaty was made, it exists, and its provisions and stipulations are now well understood by the New Zealand people. It established in New Zealand the sovereign power of England. The natives know well the rights it secured to them—the august name of the Sovereign of these realms and the character of this country, are pledged to that people, that the Treaty will be faithfully observed. No measure—no course of proceeding—no policy that does not observe the utmost good faith in respect to that Treaty, can be pursued without the most serious consequences. The least infraction of that Treaty—the least indiscretion committed now, with reference to native titles and rights, would unquestionably lead to the most serious and deplorable results. The military force at present in New Zealand is inadequate to any emergency; the interior circumstances and features of the country are, in a military sense, formidable; and the habits and character of the natives, are such as require, if once roused, very considerable increase of force, and of other descriptions than infantry, to suppress any thing like a general insurrection, and desultory movements; and I know not why I should not now state the fact, that there is not a field gun, nor one single artillery soldier in the whole 813 of the South Australian Colonies. I have said, that the foundations of the British Colonial Empire were laid in Colonial establishments very different from that which has been attempted, with such fatal effects, in New Zealand. These were of three descriptions: Proprietary governments, Charter governments, Provincial establishments. Proprietary governments are grants by the Crown to individuals, in the nature of feudatory principalities, with all the inferior legalities and subordinate powers of legislation which formerly belonged to the owners of Counties Palatine. Of the former, there does now exist but one, that of Hudson's Bay. Charter governments are of the nature of civil corporations, with the powers of making by-laws for their own interior regulation. Provincial establishments, are formed by commissions issued by the Crown, which give power, with royal instructions to carry it out, to make local ordinances, establish courts of law, municipal institutions, and constitute provincial legislative assemblies. In all these, the rights of the aborigines to the soil, are distinctly admitted; and such atrocities as those committed in early days, severely condemned as a breach of natural justice. But a new fundamental principle of Colonial law has, it seems, been discovered as announced by the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland, in the Report of the Select Committee, drawn up by that noble Lord, and which is said never to have been controverted. It is this:—That the uncivilized inhabitants of any country have but a qualified dominion over it, or a right of occupancy only; and that, until they establish amongst themselves a settled form of government, and subjugate the ground to their own uses, by the cultivation of it, they cannot grant to individuals not of their own tribe any portion of it, for the simple reason, that they have not themselves any individual property in it.I should like to ask where this principle of Colonial law is to be found? I find it not in Vattel, nor in Vaughan's Reports, nor in Stokes, nor in Blackstone. It is totally inconsistent with a strict observance of the stipulations of the Treaty of Waitangi. If carried out, it would violate the native rights which we have recognised and pledged to the New Zealand people. It would warrant a repetition of the worst atrocities of former times, which the noble Lord the Member for London so forcibly condemns. I suspect I know the 814 origin of this new fundamental principle of Colonial law. It comes, I think, from the land in which the black man is a slave, and the red men of the forest have been driven and hunted from their lands, as the Seminole and other Indians have been, according to the prescription or adjudication that Indians have no other property to the soil of their respective territories than that of mere occupancy, and that the complete title to their lands vests in the Government of the United States! Diametrically different from this have been the policy and practice of Great Britain in her adjoining possessions—the Canadas. There the soil had been obtained by compact with the Indians. Every part of the vast region now settled has been obtained by regular conveyances and compacts from the native tribes. I have been a party to such compacts as a Commissioner to treat with numerous and extensive tribes in what were then remote unsettled parts. Every possible care is now bestowed to treat the aborigines with justice and kindness. Large reserves of land have been set apart for them, which they cannot alienate. No person can hold a title to land procured or purchased from them. With respect to what ought to be done, that is a difficult and important question. I admit that it is impossible to allow New Zealand to remain in its present condition; and that it is equally impossible either to abandon it, or to relinquish the colonization already commenced, consistently with what is due to the British colonists, and to the natives. I admit that the Colony should be placed on a comprehensive system of administration for the benefit of all parties. But I do not think this could be effected by erecting the New Zealand Company into feudatory Princes of New Zealand, by granting them a Proprietary Charter. I have the greatest possible personal respect for the gentlemen composing that incorporation. I am far from meaning them any disrespect, or expressing anything that can be offensive to them. I object to such a grant being made to them, or to any other set of gentlemen. I think my noble Friend the Secretary of the Colonies did right in declining the proposition recently made by the New Zealand Company to have a Proprietary Charter conferred upon them. I object to the Charter of 1840, as to any other measure which necessarily complicates the great difficulty of administering and regulating the government of a distant and extensive 815 Colony, by creating authorities and powers which take the management more or less out of the Queen's authority and functions, and out of the hands of her responsible advisers. I think the failure of the attempt made by the New Zealand Company to colonize New Zealand, has been so signal, that it appears to me utterly impossible for them to proceed with credit to themselves and advantage to the country under the existing Act of Incorporation. I think, therefore, they should surrender their charter, and that the Government should extend to New Zealand at a convenient time, and the sooner the better, that higher order of Colonial Government termed Provincial Establishments, which gives the power, as I have already stated, by Royal Commission and Royal Instructions to make local ordinances, to establish Courts of Law, Municipal Institutions, and ultimately to constitute Provincial Assemblies, and which form altogether the Representative Constitution of the British Colonies. I feel convinced that it will be impossible to organize and establish order in New Zealand, to rescue it from the serious evils with which that Colony is menaced, remote as it is, but by sending out a Governor with full powers, to bring it forward in this manner; and in the meantime, until British authority and British law shall have been established, and every preparation made for the location of emigrants, the country surveyed, roads opened, bridges constructed, town sites established, and many other preparatory works, upon all of which the natives as well as the settlers might be employed, no considerable number of settlers should be sent out; and then, in proportion as these preparations are made, those important islands may be filled with successions of colonists to a very considerable extent, to their own advantage and that of the country. I shall vote against the Motion of the hon. and learned Member.
§ Viscount Howick
concurred so much in a part of the concluding recommendations of the honourable and gallant Officer, and so entirely agreed with him in thinking that to extend to New Zealand the principles of self-government at the earliest possible moment was the remedy most likely to lead to a better state of affairs in that Colony, that he would not follow the hon. and gallant Officer through the earlier part of his speech. He was the more inclined to abstain from so doing, because a large portion of the hon. and gallant Officer's speech was taken up with finding 816 great fault with the acts of the New Zealand Company. On that point he entirely concurred in the opinion expressed by the hon. Member for Leominster (Mr. Barkly), who had that night, for the first time, taken part in their debates, in a manner which must have imparted to the whole House, as well as to himself, an earnest desire frequently again to hear the hon. Member, as he had shown himself so well calculated to assist and take a share in the debates of that House. He entirely concurred in the observation of that hon. Member, that the interest of the New Zealand Company in this matter was altogether a minor consideration and a comparatively unimportant part of this debate. It was very natural that his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Liskeard (Mr. C. Buller), connected as he was with the New Zealand Company, should have brought the case of the Company prominently before the House. He thought that the hon. and learned Member had done so with great effect; but, after all, it seemed to him that their interest was really as nothing compared to the great national interests which were at stake—the interests of this country—the interests of those settlers who were now in the Colony, in a situation of so much difficulty and danger—and the interests of the natives, who he thought were on the whole the greatest sufferers from the mismanagement which had taken place. In the observations which he meant to address to the House, he would, therefore, altogether pass by all dispute between the New Zealand Company and Her Majesty's Government. He was the more inclined to do so because, after all that they had heard, he thought that the purport of the agreement was so plain and simple that it was impossible to misunderstand its real meaning; that, notwithstanding all the special pleading resorted to in order to refute his propositions, what had been asserted by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Liskeard, remained still untouched by any observations which had been made in opposition to him. Passing, therefore, altogether by the question of the particular interest of the New Zealand Company, he thought that the real question for consideration was, whether the policy which had been adopted towards New Zealand had been calculated to promote the welfare either of England, of the settlers, or of the natives. He conceived that the substantial effect of the vote which they were about to give, 817 would be to imply something faulty in that policy. They did not, by agreeing to go into Committee of the whole House, pledge themselves to the Resolutions as they stood. A great part of these Resolutions he himself had written last year; but still he thought that in the present state of affairs, they could not be adopted by the House without qualification. The substantial effect, as he regarded it, of the vote they were called upon to give, was simply this—that the policy pursued towards New Zealand had been faulty, and required to be amended. As to the mode of amending it, the different Resolutions would afterwards come under consideration, and the various questions which would arise might then be discussed in detail. The Under Secretary for the Colonies, in his speech last night, complained that undue blame had been thrown, in this matter, upon the present Secretary of State. The hon. Gentleman said that Lord Stanley was made answerable for the faults committed by his predecessors, and for many acts over which he had no control. He meant not to be guilty of imputing any such exclusive blame to the noble Lord. He concurred entirely in the opinion expressed in the Report of the Committee of last year by a Resolution drawn by his noble Friend the Member for Lancashire (Lord Francis Egerton), that the Treaty of Waitangi was only part of a series of injudicious proceedings, which were commenced several years anterior to the assumption of office by the present Government. That Resolution he believed to be strictly in accordance with the facts of the case, and to express the simple truth. Looking back at all past proceedings, with the benefit of their present knowledge, it was impossible to say that any of the successive Secretaries of State who had held office since the peace, had, in their administrations of affairs, been free from mistakes. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State had more particularly referred to the recognition of the independence of New Zealand in 1831 or 1832, which took place when he held the situation in the Colonial Office now filled by the hon. Gentleman, as the first step which had been adopted in the course of policy now so much objected to. This was true; and he was perfectly prepared to say that that measure, looking back at it now, with the advantages of the information which they at present possessed on the subject, was, in his opinion, a mistake. He was not, it is true, strictly speaking, re- 818 sponsible for the measure, since he held only a subordinate situation in the Colonial Office at the time, and of course the Secretary of State, not the Under Secretary, is answerable for what is done; but still, in the situation which he then held, he had the opportunity of expressing his opinion upon it; and he would not now attempt to conceal that, with the information then before them (and they were but imperfectly informed at that time) as to the real state of affairs, he then firmly believed that measure to be the best which could be adopted, and it was so with his full and entire concurrence. He said this in order to prove that far from wishing to throw on the present Government the exclusive blame of all that had been done amiss with reference to New Zealand, he was willing to take his own share of that blame; be believed that no Government could claim to have been entirely exempt from error. He thought, however, that on the whole, the Administration which was the nearest to being free from error in this respect was that of his noble Friend the Member for London (Lord John Russell). He thought that if there had been faults on the part of his noble Friend, they had been principally faults of omission, in not giving sufficiently full and precise instructions to those whom he employed, in leaving somewhat his views and intentions to be misunderstood by his subordinates, and, perhaps, also, there had been the mistake of an unfortunate selection of the agents to be employed. No one could read the despatches of his noble Friend without seeing there traces of larger and more statesmanlike views, with reference to New Zealand, than in the despatches either of those who preceded or of those who followed him. With respect to Lord Stanley, it would, he repeated, be unjust to blame him for all the errors that had been committed. Many of the difficulties which had since been experienced, had already begun when he assumed the control of the Colonial Department; and in particular, that mistake which had had the most serious effect of all the mistakes which had been committed in reference to the Colonies, namely, the injudicious selection of those to whom the powers of the Government in the Colony were entrusted, rested with preceding Secretaries of State, except as regarded the case of Captain Fitzroy; an exception, undoubtedly a considerable one, for which Lord Stanley had to answer. Having thus, he hoped, sufficiently disclaimed any intention of un- 819 fairly blaming the present Secretary of State for what had been done by his predecessors in office, he would not embarrass himself any more with the miserable personal question of how far the blame was to be divided between this man and that man—how far it was to be divided between the local authorities and the successive Secretaries of State. They should take a larger and higher view of the subject. He wished them to consider, not whether Lord Stanley or his noble Friend was to blame, but whether the policy pursued towards the Colony of New Zealand had been wise, or the reverse; and if the reverse, he wished them to express their opinion to that effect, in order that that policy might be changed. This the national interest required, and to that they were bound to address themselves. He thought that the policy pursued towards New Zealand might be fairly judged of by its fruits. It seemed to him that that was, after all, the test by which every scheme of Government must be judged. He now wished to ask the House what were the effects of the policy pursued towards New Zealand? He would not take up their time, at that late hour of the night, by describing the present condition of affairs in that Colony. It was the less necessary that he should do so, as the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Hawes) had already read a most striking passage from a despatch written by Governor Fitzroy himself, painting in stronger language than he (Lord Howick) could use, the really disastrous condition of affairs. The hon. Gentleman (the Under Secretary) did not, in fact, deny the difficulties and dangers of the settlers at the present moment. The question, then, was, how had that state of affairs been produced? The hon. Gentleman and the hon. and gallant Officer (Sir Howard Douglas) said, that it was entirely owing to the faulty conduct of the New Zealand Company. The whole blame of this state of things was, it seemed, to be thrown upon them. Now he did not think himself called upon to become the advocate of the New Zealand Company. If the House were to go into Committee, and if any one were to move the Resolution which had been agreed to by the Select Committee, of which he had had the honour of being chairman, expressing their opinion of the irregularity and impropriety of the earlier proceedings of the Company, he would be prepared to concur in that Resolution. He thought that colonization by British subjects should 820 not be carried on, except under the sanction and the authority of the Crown. But, while he made this admission, he could not also but feel, with his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. C. Buller), that, after all, they were a good deal indebted, in some respects, to the Company. They must all greatly rejoice that the magnificent Islands in question had been saved to the British Crown. But for the interference of the New Zealand Company, it was perfectly clear that they would have been lost. They were greatly indebted to the Company from that consideration; and he felt bound to say, that he thought that their scheme of colonization was a greatly conceived and a wisely formed project; and that, in the execution of that project, they had shown no common share, no common amount of zeal, of ability, and of perseverance. It might be a question whether the sailing of the expedition might not have been properly prevented; and as to this he was, perhaps, inclined to agree in part with the hon. and gallant Officer (Sir H. Douglas), although he could not go the length of that hon. and gallant Gentleman, who had certainly recommended a course which came strangely from one who denounced the Company as rash and lawless. He could not but think that the shipping off of the whole of the New Zealand Company, with all their agents and settlers, to New South Wales, would have been, at least, as rash and lawless a proceeding as any of which the said Company had been guilty. But when the expedition had sailed, the right way in which to deal with it was that which had been adopted by his noble Friend (Lord John Russell), namely, to endeavour to come to a cordial and friendly understanding with the Directors of the Company, and to take measures necessary for the welfare of the settlers, and for carrying into successful effect the Company's scheme of colonization. That was the policy which had, in his opinion, been most properly adopted by his noble Friend. Unfortunately, that policy had not been equally adopted by those to whom the powers of the Government in New Zealand were entrusted; nor was it adopted by his noble Friend's successor in office. It seemed to him that when they said that the disasters of New Zealand were entirely to be attributed to the rashness of the Company, they overlooked two material facts. In the first place, he found, that in the outset of affairs the settlements, even at Cook's Strait, went on, on the whole, very satisfactorily; that 821 great progress was made, and that while the colonists received no assistance whatever from the Government—on the contrary, while they were compelled to pay large sums of money to maintain the Government from which they derived no assistance whatever, and of which the seat was established at a great distance from their settlements; still, until the officers of the Government banefully interfered to thwart and impede their operations, for several months affairs went on very satisfactorily at Cook's Strait. He found that this was the statement even of the officers of the Government themselves. It was said that the settlers and the natives were then on the best possible terms with each other, and that everything there wore a prosperous and a thriving appearance, until, by the unhappy policy pursued, the difficulties thrown by them in the way of the occupation of land had given rise to the confusion which had since ensued. He thought that no man could attentively read the Papers in which such statements were made, without seeing that the whole spirit in which the officers of the Government acted was that of vexatiously interfering with and thwarting the settlers on Cook's Strait, although, in spite of these efforts, it was not until two years after the settlement had been founded that the difficulties became really serious. This was his impression from reading the correspondence; but if he were mistaken in that impression, and admitting it to be otherwise, what were they to say as to the northern parts of the island? The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State had not answered the argument of his hon. and learned Friend near him—if all that had happened was owing to the misconduct of the Company, how happened it that affairs were worse in the northern than in the southern parts of the island? In the northern parts of the island the Company had not interfered. There the Government had it all their own way. Whatever was wrong there, the Government was responsible for it, and it must be solely attributed to their mismanagement. The northern parts of the island, it had been truly stated by his hon. and learned Friend, had been irregularly colonized for a considerable number of years. In the early portion of that time great outrages and horrible crimes had been committed, and there had been fearful scenes of anarchy and confusion; but still all the information they had received proved that matters had considerably improved, 822 that considerable changes for the better had taken place, and were still in progress, up to the year 1840; that missionaries on one side, and whalers on the other, had availed themselves of the great natural resources of the country, had formed settlements, and had established friendly relations with the natives, and that something like a civilized state of society had thus begun to be created. No doubt the absence of regular law had been felt to a considerable degree, and they ought by no means to be surprised to hear that offences had been committed; but still upon the whole a considerable progress was made—trade, not to a very small amount, was carried on—person and property were very tolerably secured; in short, the real and essential objects of Government were, to a great extent, answered. It was also clear that, if left to themselves, the settlers and natives would, by degrees, have been enabled more perfectly to provide for the wants of a society rapidly becoming more numerous, and requiring a more regular organization. If they compared the state of things in 1840, and in 1832, it was impossible to doubt that great progress must, in this respect, have been made. An hon. Friend near him reminded him that in 1832 the barbarities committed in New Zealand were so monstrous, that it was actually found necessary to prohibit introducing into this country, as matters of curiosity, the heads of New Zealanders, which were preserved by a peculiar process of their own. They had distinct evidence, as he remembered when he was in the Colonial Office, that in New Zealand men were actually killed, for the purpose of preserving their heads by this peculiar process, in order that those heads might be sold as articles of curiosity for the museums of Europe. In 1840, great progress had been made. Cannibalism in the northern parts of the island had almost disappeared; the outrages formerly so common were no longer heard of; and the undoubted fact, that trade and industry were rapidly increasing, proved that, however rude the means by which this was accomplished, order and security were very tolerably preserved. But it so happened that from 1840—from the moment the authority of the British Crown was established—from the moment they had taken that step for preserving order and securing the progress of civilization—from the moment that they had thus, as they hoped provided against the evils of anarchy and 823 for the due security of property—from that very moment, instead of things improving, they became far worse than they had been before, and the evils of anarchy were greater than at any former period. He asked them how they accounted for this? It was impossible for them to account for it otherwise than by admitting that there must have been some great error in their policy. The Government of the country must, he said, have been ill conducted, or such serious evils could not have followed. If there had been a wise policy—if there had been a vigorous policy — it was not possible but that good must have followed, and not evil, from the introduction of British laws. Looking to the results of the policy which had been adopted, and to the undeniable facts he had mentioned, it seemed therefore clear that there must have been some great fault in their policy, and there would, he thought, be no difficulty in tracing that fault to its source, nor in showing how had been produced that state of things which now existed. The fault of their policy was that adverted to in the Report of last Session; it was that an entirely erroneous system had been adopted in determining the ownership of land and in granting titles to it, and also that there had been a total want of proper firmness in making their authority obeyed and respected by the native tribes. As to the evils which had arisen from the unsettled state of the land-claims, he was saved from the necessity of offering any proof by the admissions that had been made by the Under Secretary of State, by Captain Fitzroy, by Lord Stanley, and by every Gentleman who had spoken on the subject. He believed it to be a fact disputed by none, that the uncertainty which had existed so long with reference to the claims to land had been the main source of all the difficulties which had been experienced. The question then arose, how had it happened that the land-claims had been allowed to continue so long unsettled? The Committee of last year came to the conclusion that this had been occasioned by the mistaken policy adopted by the local authorities, and supported by the present Secretary of State, and the erroneous construction put upon the Treaty of Waitangi. On the other hand, the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hope) had gone at great length into an argument, of which the object was to disprove this conclusion, and to show that the Report of the Committee of last year did not put the true construction upon the 824 Treaty of Waitangi—that, on the contrary, the Treaty had been correctly understood by Lord Stanley; if time permitted him, he would have no difficulty in meeting that argument. He firmly believed that the correct construction had been put upon the Treaty by his noble Friend the Member for London, in the Charter of the Colony bearing the great seal, and his instructions to the Governor under the Sign Manual. He admitted, indeed, that there were expressions used by Lord Normanby that were not altogether consistent with this interpretation—he admitted that some expressions could be quoted from Lord Normanby's despatches which it could not fairly be denied gave considerable support to the argument urged by the hon. Gentleman on this point. Notwithstanding this, however, he still felt no doubt that the interpretation put upon the Treaty by the Committee might be shown to be the true one; but he would not detain the House by then attempting to support this conclusion, because it seemed to him altogether unnecessary to do so, since, even admitting the hon. Gentleman's construction of the Treaty to be the right one—admitting it to be so, for the sake of argument—still he said that this did not in the slightest degree meet the allegation that the difficulties which had arisen with respect to the titles to land were the natural result of the impolitic measures that had been adopted. He contended that, from their own account of these transactions, from what appeared on the face of these Papers, it was plain that Her Majesty's Government, and the authorities under them, had acted most injudiciously with reference to the land. His complaint was, that neither those entrusted with authority in the island, nor Her Majesty's Government at home, had, since the period that the noble Lord the Member for London had quitted office, understood the paramount importance of maintaining for the Crown the complete administration of the waste lands. If they had been aware of that; if they had felt the extreme importance of maintaining the power of the Crown over all unoccupied and unused land, he said, that understanding the terms of the Treaty as they understood it, there could have been no difficulty in obtaining that complete control. Adopting their own interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi, it was admitted that it gave to the Crown an unlimited right of pre-emption in respect to all land held by the natives of New Zealand; 825 and maintaining this right, and allowing no sale of lands but to the Crown, would have been quite sufficient to have attained the object in view, that of establishing the right of the Crown to all waste lands. Had the vital importance of this been understood, by simply maintaining the right of pre-emption, for a very small consideration the Government might have practically obtained from the natives a control over all lands not used by them; and that course, he said, would have been really advantageous to the natives, advantageous to the settlers, and advantageous to all parties concerned. His hon. and learned Friend had very clearly shown, on the previous day, that with respect to such unused land, the real interest of the natives was not that they should be permitted themselves to sell the land, for money or goods, which they were sure improvidently to waste, but to have it sold by the constituted authorities in such a manner as to ensure its regular occupation, and to have the price obtained for it so applied as to encourage the investment of capital and settlement. Captain Fitzroy himself, in common with every other person, had admitted that a large portion of the land was utterly valueless until a value was given to it by European settlement; no claim, on the score of justice, to be largely paid for permission to occupy it, could therefore be set up on behalf of the natives; and his hon. Friend had also shown that to compel the settlers to give a large price for the land to the natives was, for their welfare, a most imprudent course. This, indeed, was distinctly admitted even by the Protector, Mr. Clark, who had taken so active a part in maintaining what he considered the rights of the natives, as in one of his Reports he pointed out that the sudden affluence to which they had been raised had been injurious to their moral improvement. The hon. and gallant Officer opposite said that what was most wanted was, opening roads and building bridges throughout the country: this was most true; but if the Government threw away the money obtained for land (which ought to afford the means of meeting these wants of an infant settlement) by giving large sums to the natives, they must come upon the settlers for contributions to open those communications throughout the country which had been suggested. The principle of the New Zealand Company was the proper one: it was to sell the land (by which they ensured 826 its being distributed to those who meant to use it, since none others would pay for it a considerable price), and then employ the price given in emigration to the country, and on public works; thus returning to those who bought the land, the money in the best manner and the most useful to them. Every shilling which, instead of being thus employed, was wasted by giving it to the natives for what to them was of no value, was a shilling withdrawn from objects that might be beneficial to the native and the settler. It was then in order that the waste land might be thus made use of, that it was so desirable that the title of the Crown to all such land should be established; and he contended that, even granting it to have been right to put the hon. Gentleman's (Mr. Hope's) construction upon the Treaty, the local authorities, if they understood the importance of this principle, would have obtained from the native tribes their acquiescence in the plan of the land being disposed of to the Crown; above all they would, as they were clearly entitled to do, have put a stop to all dealings between the natives and private settlers for land, which, of all practices, was the most injurious that could have been allowed to go on. When the news went out that his noble Friend had concluded a bargain with the Company, it was the duty of the officers not to have found fault with the alleged sales of land by the natives to the Company, not with an inquisitorial and pettifogging jealousy to seek out for flaws in the title by which lands were held by them. It was their duty, on the contrary, if they found the supposed purchases by the Company disputed by the natives, to adopt the most effectual and speedy means in their power to cure this defect in the Company's title, and with that view should have endeavoured, on the part of the Crown, and at the least possible cost, to purchase the lands from the natives, and then dispose of them to the Company. If that had been done, no one could doubt that none of the evils that had since happened could have occurred. If the natives had known that they could sell to nobody else but the Crown, there could have been no doubt of the Crown being able easily to gain possession. If this policy had been followed from the beginning, there would have been no difficulty in obtaining the acquiescence of the natives, and in satisfying even them that it was the course most for their benefit. Instead of this, the local authorities 827 proceeded to investigate the titles of the Company to the lands in the most hostile spirit. The course actually adopted was to assume that the natives had a complete knowledge of the nature of landed property, and that it was the duty of the Protectors on their behalf to extort the highest possible price for unoccupied land. This was the principle adopted in the proceedings of the Court of Claims—every claim to land was thus investigated—the bonâ fide nature of the sale was required to be established, whether a proper price had been paid for the land, and whether the native title to the land had been a good one; these were things to be judged of by a gentleman going out from this country, who was altogether unacquainted with the native language and native customs, and who had but imperfect means of communicating with the parties. It had been justly remarked by his hon. and learned Friend, that it was in the nature of uncivilized men to show very little respect for truth, and that having the hope of immediate gain, they were not likely to be scrupulous in their assertions; that having consumed the articles which had been given for the land, when encouraged to hope that they might again get paid for it, they would naturally be ready to deny past transactions. But the Court, in determining on claims to land, had not only to decide on the validity of the alleged sales, but also on the right of the natives themselves to the land which they had sold. Conceive the difficulty of such an inquiry. It was doubted whether the natives understood at all, until they acquired the notion from the settlers, what was meant by having a right of property, according to our ideas, in unoccupied land; if they had such an idea at all, it was of a right depending on their own barbarous customs. He remembered what had happened in Committee on this subject, though, being incidentally mentioned, it did not appear on the face of their proceedings. A witness was brought forward by the Under Secretary of State to show that the natives had very correct notions on the subject of property in land. This witness said, in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Milnes), that one chieftain maintained that he had the best title to a particular district because he had eaten the former owner. Let it be understood by the House that they had sent out a gentleman full of notions of the law of real property as it existed in this and other civilized 828 countries, to decide as to the title to lands held under these barbarous native customs. Could it be said that Englishmen, who had gone out to colonize a country like New Zealand, and to cultivate land lying in a state of nature and utterly useless, should be prevented from doing so, in deference to the title of its present possessors, which depended upon such customs as these? Millions of acres of land which might, if these difficulties of title were removed, he brought into cultivation and made productive, were now lying waste. The interest of all parties, natives as well as settlers, was that the land should be divided and brought into use as soon as possible; but the effect of the course which had been pursued by the Government was to declare that nobody should use it, but that it should be shut up and excluded from all human use and human enjoyment, until all these complicated and conflicting claims of title—claims arising out of such transactions as he had alluded to, were decided. It would be as reasonable to bring one of these New Zealand chiefs, and dress him up in a wig and gown, and place him in the Court of Chancery here, to decide questions of title according to the laws and customs of this country, as to leave it to a Court of Claims composed of Englishmen to decide upon claims arising out of these barbarous New Zealand customs. If it had not led to such serious results, he would have said that a more ludicrous farce had never been enacted. And when it was known that such mischievous follies had been committed in the Colony, what was the course taken by the Government administering the affairs of this country, to protect those of its subjects who had been induced to embark in the colonization of New Zealand? When the despatch from the Governor, acquainting them with these proceedings, came to their hands, instead of putting an end to the difficulty at once in a single despatch which could not be misunderstood, they went into all manner of questions as to the construction and meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the terms of the contract between the New Zealand Company and the Government. The complicated nature of the New Zealand Company's claims, if the mode of proceeding which had been commenced was to be continued, ought to have been understood, and some means ought to have been taken by the Government to get over the difficulty. He would show that, from the moment of Governor 829 Hobson's arrival, the subject was brought under the consideration of the Government, and the importance of a speedy settlement of the land-claims pointed out. Governor Hobson, in a despatch to the Colonial Office, dated 20th February, 1840, observed upon the evils of the land jobbing, the mania for which, he says, had taken possession of both Europeans and natives; and added that the policy of stopping that mania must be obvious to all who had any notion of the principles of colonization. Again, Captain Hobson says—I fear conflicting claims will be brought under the consideration of the Commissioners, the effect of which will be to create a violent ferment. Many large tracts of land were sold some years ago, at a price which bears no proportion to the present value; and this fact exasperates the natives, who imagine they were overreached by the purchasers. And another germ of discord is the conflicting claims of the natives, claims suggested, in many instances, by interested Europeans.The first thing that ought to have been done was, as directed by Lord Normanby and the noble Lord the late Colonial Secretary, Lord John Russell, to put an end to all claims of a title to land in virtue of sales by natives; but not withstanding those instructions, claims to land founded on such sales were allowed to be received. It was said it could not have been intended to reject such claims, for the New Zealand Company held lands the title to which rested on purchases from the natives; but the answer was, the New Zealand Company most unwillingly rested their title on these sales, only when the British Government refused to maintain its authority in the Islands—when it regarded the chiefs as civilized people, understanding civilized rights, possessing them, and able to exercise them; then it was, and then only, that, the New Zealand Company felt themselves obliged to avail themselves of the only authority that was admitted. Then it was that they were willing to gain land by sales, and to sell that land again before they had intimation of those sales being recognised. But the fact was, the sales were considered null the moment the authority of the Government was established, and from that time the New Zealand Company rested their claim, not on their alleged purchases, but on the grant of the Crown. That this was so was shown by the fact, that only a small part of the land alleged to have been bought from the natives had been assigned to the Company; 830 and the land so assigned had been assigned, not on account of the payments made, but on account of the expenses incurred upon it. Now if the original sales were good at all, if they were to be considered as valid transactions, they must give, not a partial claim, but a claim to the whole of what was supposed to have been bought. The Government did not regard the supposed purchases, whether by the New Zealand Company or by individuals, in this light: they were pronounced altogether null and void; but to meet the equitable claims of those who had commenced the settlement and occupation of the land, it was provided that, not by virtue of any right or claim, but on considerations of policy, a certain quantity of land, in proportion to the expenditure incurred, was not to be adjudged, but to be granted by the Crown to the parties by whom that expenditure had been incurred. This, it is clear from the Papers, was the original intention of the Government, particularly of my noble Friend the Member for London, while he held the office of Secretary of State; and the fatal error that was committed was, that this intention was not carried into effect, but these claims were submitted to the adjudication of a Commissioner who endeavoured to decide upon them according to the inapplicable principles of English law, and not according to natural equity and the peculiar circumstances of an uncivilized country. The Papers before the House showed what had been the working of this mode of proceeding. In one case, the Governor wrote to say that he hoped to prevail on a certain chief (Te Whero-Whero) to accept a composition of 250l. for the claim he made for land admitted to have been fairly bought by Colonel Wakefield from the occupants at the time, but for which this new claim was afterwards made. This claim the Government and the Commissioner recognised, and made themselves the instruments of obtaining from the Agent of the Company, as a compromise, a further payment of 250l. And what did the House suppose was the nature of this claim? The Governor, in a subsequent despatch stated, that—The Waikato tribe, under the chief Te Whero-Whero, conquered and drove away the Ngati-awas from Taranaki in 1834, leaving only a small remnant, who found refuge in the mountains of Cape Egmont; and, having pretty well laid waste the country, and carried off a number of slaves, they retired to 831 their own district, on the banks of the Waikato.That was in 1834, and they never came near the district again till 1839. But, then, Colonel Wakefield having bought the land from those who were actually in occupation, the claim of these conquerors, claims founded in open and unblushing violence, were recognised and enforced by the Governor, and a Treaty for the purchase of the land was made with these conquerors, who had not returned to it for five years, and never would have returned if the whites had not settled upon it. These claims were evidently made with no other object than to extort money from the white settlers, to the great injury of the natives themselves, as he had shown, yet they were acknowledged by the Government, and 250l. promised to be paid in discharge of them. But, as might have been expected, the moment that promise was made the demand increased, the terms were raised, and new difficulties were interposed in the way of securing the purchasers in their title to the land: and, as if to show more completely the absurdity of such a course of proceeding, the slaves who had been carried away by these conquerors came afterwards, and put forward their claims as the original possessors. And Governor Fitzroy at once overturned Mr. Spain's judgment in an elaborate paper, which showed the degree of absurdity to which the matter was carried, drawn up with all the subtlety of an English lawyer, and in which it was declared that men did not lose their title to the land by being carried away as slaves. These subsequent claims were held good by Governor Fitzroy, and payment to the conquerors was held to be insufficient, and a further payment was said to be due to the conquered. Was there, he asked the House, even common sense in such a policy? Mr. Commissioner Spain went out with an impression imbibed from our own notions of law, that titles to land were not lightly to be dealt with; but it seemed from the last Papers laid before the House that experience had opened his eyes to the folly of such arrangements as those for which Governor Fitzroy contended. On the 2nd of July last Mr. Spain gave this opinion:—One fact, however, that has every day forced itself upon my observation, I think applicable to my present argument. I have travelled over a country where I found millions of acres of first-rate available land, upon 832 which the human foot had scarcely ever trod, showing the capability of this country for maintaining a very large population; and it does appear truly lamentable that the present few inhabitants should be differing on the subject of land, where there is so much more of that commodity available for every purpose than can be requred for centuries to come. I am clearly of opinion that, at the Hutt, Wanganui, Taranaki, and other places, the natives, attracted by European settlements, and feeling the advantages of bartering with the settlers, have come and cultivated land in the immediate neighbourhood of those places, which they would not otherwise have thought of taking possession of. Again, at Taranaki I found the natives little disposed to abide by my award, and offering various obstructions to the settlers, not because they wanted the land themselves, but merely to prevent the Europeans from making use of it.All these obstacles had arisen from the natives having been taught that, by obstructing as much as possible the settlement of the land titles, they might extort more from the Europeans. And to this process there was no end; for every new claim was admitted, no matter how many had been previously settled. There was actually a proclamation that no waste or unoccupied land was to be taken and brought into cultivation, even though wanted for the purpose of raising food, to which any native should put forward a claim; and that without any inquiry whether such claim were well founded or not. Again, he asked, was there common sense in such a policy? He contended that this policy was the main cause of all the difficulties that had occurred in New Zealand. And let him observe, the case he had stated was by no means an isolated one, for in his despatch the Governor went on to say:—I have mentioned this case as the type of one hundred others, merely to show your Lordship how difficult it is, unsupported by power, to conclude any real bargain with the natives; for it is evident that in this case Te Whero-Whero has presumed on his imposing position, and my evident weakness, and that I am compelled to assume an independence which I certainly cannot maintain.This was the Governor's statement, and he told them of the avowed and undisguised extortion to which he was compelled to submit. They saw what had resulted from this policy; but what might have been expected had the Government acted on different principles? If they had said to the natives, "The right of pre-emption you have given to the British Government; 833 we will give you for the land what it is worth to you when we find you in actual occupation, and for the purposes of settlement it is necessary you should remove from it, but you shall not be required to remove from it without your consent; but for the land which you do not occupy, which you make no use of, and which is of no value to you, you are entitled to, and must expect, no remuneration whatever. The advantage you are to look for is, that by giving it to us we shall employ it more to your benefit than you could yourselves; we shall improve the land, make roads and bridges, and open communications through the country; we will bring settlers who will be advantageous customers to you; and at the same time there will be the reserves for your benefit." He had no doubt that if this language had been held with proper firmness, the acquiescence of the natives would have been at once obtained. Some little difficulty might have been experienced at first; but the facility which they had shown in alienating the land, and selling it to other parties, convinced him that if it had been made clear to them that they could thus, and thus only, obtain the advantages they required—of trade with the Europeans—the Crown would have become possessed of all the land in New Zealand, and the settlers would have been in quiet possession of their land; there would have been none of these unfortunate disputes, but industry would have made progress, capital would have been invested, a regular demand for native labour would have sprung up, and the means of maintaining the chiefs in their relative positions to their fellow countrymen have been found; the amalgamation of races would have gone on, and the noblest scheme of colonization attempted for two hundred years would have proved completely successful. It was unnecessary to go farther in proving that a most erroneous policy had been adopted with reference to the titles to land; he would next endeavour to show from the Papers on the Table that the present anarchy which prevailed in the Colony had been the result of the want of ordinary firmness in those to whom the powers of Government had been entrusted; that European authority had in the first instance been greatly respected by the natives, but had, from not being exerted, step by step decayed and dwindled away. He would show how gradual this backward 834 progress had been, and how different had been the state of things when the British rule was first established. It appears that there was in the Bay of Islands, on the 15th of June, 1840, rather a serious disturbance between the natives and some sailors, but at that time, by the mere interference of the authorities, it was put down without the least difficulty. About the same time, on the 20th of June, Mr. Shortland went to Port Nicholson, and, though he certainly was by no means disposed to take a favourable view of the state of affairs, yet he tells the Governor—I was again assured of the loyalty of the settlers, and that they were actuated in their proceedings solely by a view to preserve the peace, and protect their property. I have great pleasure in informing your Excellency that Her Majesty's Government is fully established, and that both the European and native population are in a very satisfactory state.(This was a year after Colonel Wakefield, and near half a year after the Cuba arrived.) The authority of Government was at this time, as it appears, fully established, and obeyed both by the settlers and by the natives. A remarkable proof of this was afforded by an occurrence that took place during this first visit of Mr. Shortland to Port Nicholson. A difference had arisen with respect to some land occupied by the natives, of which the settlers wished to take possession; from this difference a slight affray ensued; but Mr. Shortland, as representing the Governor, being appealed to, the disturbance ceased. Both Colonel Wakefield and the natives acquiesced in his decision, and the matter was amicably adjusted. This was in 1840. He would proceed now to 1841. In October, 1841, Governor Hobson wrote to say—On the 11th instant I returned to Auckland, having completed my proposed tour, the result of which has been most satisfactory, both to the European and native population.In the same despatch, towards the end, he observes—The native chiefs of the district called on me, and expressed the greatest confidence in Her Majesty's Government, and their willingness to comply with every order I might give them, but they all demanded protection from the encroachments of the Company, who, they asserted, had most unscrupulously appropriated their lands.The natives having obstructed the road 835 between Wellington and Wanganui, by tabooing the river, the Governor says—I informed the principal chief, Hiko, that the right of constructing roads through the Colony belonged to the Queen, and that whilst I faithfully supported the natives in their just rights, I would as firmly maintain those of Her Majesty, and that I trusted I should hear no more of the obstructing of such measures as were intended alike for the benefit of the native and European population. He received this hint with perfect good feeling, and promised that in future no interruption should be offered.At that time, then, nearly two years after Colonel Wakefield's arrival, a very general respect for authority and submission to the Government still prevailed. He was speaking of the end of 1841, but the policy of the local Government, though it had not yet seriously impaired its authority, was then beginning to produce its natural results. He found that about this time Mr. Halswell reports to the Colonial Secretary, that—A party of natives had gone over and settled on the land on the Hutt which Mr. Mason had begun to cultivate, a considerable distance up the country through a rough and thickly-wooded country, some miles from any other settlement, and at present inaccessible by water. That he had visited the place and settled the matter, inducing the natives to go to their own reserves for cultivation.This Report proves that up to this period the settlers, even in isolated situations, were secure, and that any little interruption they met with from the natives was easily put an end to, by a very slight interference on the part of the officers of the Government. Now, let them mark the policy of the Colonial Government in this instance, and how naturally it led to the subsequent disorders. Could there have been anything more judicious than Mr. Halswell's interference, and his use of the native reserves? Yet on the 16th of December, 1841, Mr. Shortland, the Colonial Secretary, in answering the letter communicating to him these occurrences, says—The Governor cannot sanction such a mode of satisfying the native claims by the Company;"—and then he goes on to direct Mr. Halswell to inquire whether the natives had not a good title to the land in question. The natives were prepared to go from the land, and to allow its cultivation by the settlers; but the Government officer was instructed to suggest to them a doubt, as to whether 836 they had not a good claim to the land. Such was the policy which had been acted upon in New Zealand, and which it was the object of the Resolutions before the House to condemn. So late as December, 1841, they found Mr. Clark, a Protector of the aborigines, setting forth the peaceable state of the native population, but remarking upon the apprehension entertained as to the results of the disputes about land. Up to this time, however, they had the natives respecting their authority, willing to acquiesce in what was done for their benefit—having a great opinion of English power and of English friendly feeling, and all parties unanimous in opinion as to the absolute necessity for the settlement of the disputed land-claims. Under these circumstances, could any one conceive the madness of those who—holding authority—did not avail themselves of so favourable a position of affairs for the final settlement of the land-claims? At this time, to show how great the authority of Government still was, he need only refer to the murder of Mrs. Roberts and her children. Upon that occasion the Governor was already showing that timidity and pusillanimity so unworthy of those entrusted with the authority of the Crown. He appeared then to shrink from taking the measures so necessary in such a case. The settlers, however, did not share the Governor's timid hesitation, and owing to their active endeavours, the murderer, though he was connected with one of the most powerful chiefs of the island, was arrested, brought to trial, and the last sentence of the law carried into effect upon him without resistance and without difficulty. But symptoms of turbulence and insubordination were fast beginning to appear. Three months after the execution of the murderer of Mrs. Roberts, the Governor, who, at the end of 1841, had only to say the word to put down the practice of taboo, wrote, stating the regret with which he heard of new outrages taking place, the acts of the natives being provoked by a supposed desecration of tabooed ground. He went on to lament that he had not sufficient power to demand and enforce the abolition of the practice of taboo, and he stated that he lamented this the more, as it generally happened that the violence of the natives was directed, not against those who had violated the taboo, but against all white settlers in general. He owned that he was astonished that a British Governor could write that he must allow outrage and violence to be 837 perpetrated against every unprotected white settler, and that he had no power to bring against that barbarous practice of taboo. Why, if the very first time such outrages were committed, they had been dealt with as they ought to have been—if the offender had been seized and confined for a week in prison, at Wellington or Auckland—there would have been no repetition of the offence. The authority of the Govenment was most ample; but the Government looked quietly on, and allowed its authority to be trampled on, and consequently, as might naturally be expected, it came to be utterly despised and set at nought. So early as November, 1841, he found that a letter had been addressed by the hon. Member for Dartmouth (Mr. Somes) to the Colonial Secretary, stating that he had received information that the natives had been permitted with impunity to enforce by violence against the settlers the observance of the barbarous system of taboo. Would it be believed that, in the Papers upon the Table, there could be found no despatch from the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies, in consequence of the representations of the hon. Member for Dartmouth, ordering the local authorities at once to interfere, and declaring that the practice of taboo could not and would not be permitted. Surely, such would have been the instructions at once sent out by a Secretary of State alive to the extreme importance, more especially in dealing with an uncivilized people, of repressing the first symptoms of insubordination. Nothing of the kind was done; the disorders were suffered to proceed, and so naturally became more and more serious. In 1842, Mr. Swainson, who had been injured by various outrages and encroachments on his land, wrote to Mr. Halswell; but that gentleman, having had what was commonly called a rap over the knuckles for his former interference, declined again to meddle in the matter; and for several months a correspondence went on, in which Government Officers, Police Magistrates, and Commissioners of Land Claims were cognizant of the facts, that a settler's residence had been endangered, that property had been destroyed, that wanton outrages had been committed; but the unfortunate applicant for protection from lawless violence was bandied about from one to another, and told that he must have recourse to a civil action against a native of New Zealand. That was a fact stated, not by the servants of the Company, but by those holding 838 office under the Crown in New Zealand. The aggressions on the Hutt recommenced in February, 1842. Mr. Swainson, the party aggrieved, wrote to the Protector, Mr. Halswell, and several letters at intervals to the Police Magistrate; but no redress was given, although Commissioner Spain himself confirmed all the facts, as to the alleged open violence of the natives on Mr. Swainson's land; and then went on to say—Mr. Swainson having now made a formal complaint to the civil power, His Excellency will no doubt be put in possession of all the circumstances of the case by the proper authorities here; and I have only stated thus much, as coming under my own particular observation upon the two occasions when I felt it necessary to be present in order to assist, if possible, in restoring harmony between the parties; and I felt more especially called upon to do so in a case where the natives upon Mr. Swainson's land claimed no title to the land; and I, therefore, got Mr. Clark to tell them that I was sent there to do them justice as well as the white people, and that it was wrong in them to interfere with the latter while I was investigating the case. Other natives," he adds, "were very angry with the aggressor, and offered to put him off by force, a proceeding which we discouraged.The correspondence ended by a letter from the Colonial Secretary to Mr. Swainson, saying, that as the case appears to be one of breach of agreement, and purely of a legal nature—The Government can only interfere so far as to enforce the decision of a court of justice, with the exception of authorizing the mediation of the Protector of Aborigines, who has already been instructed to render every assistance to the settlers in arranging disputes between them and the natives. His Excellency had no doubt that misunderstandings of the nature of that now under consideration will cease, as soon as the land question shall have been adjusted, and the property of each party clearly defined; meantime, he can only earnestly recommend a continuance of that forbearance which has been shown by the settlers, as the best means of ensuring success in the great undertaking in which all are alike engaged, viz., the colonization of these beautiful islands by moral influence instead of physical force.He did not know whether this was written in mockery. It was certainly a most extraordinary course to refer men whose property was burnt before their eyes to a civil action, and say that these things would cease when the land-claims were adjusted, at the very time when the noble Lord (Lord Stanley) was taking a course which must 839 postpone the settlement of these claims for months, if not for years. Was this the mode in which our subjects were to be protected? What was the object of Government, if not to protect those subject to it from taking the law into their own hands? Even if the natives had had a claim to the lands in question, they ought not for a moment to have been allowed to take possession of them by force. For what did civil government exist at all, except to see that parties should not be deprived of their property by force, but be ousted only by the operation of law from that which they might turn out to hold illegally? But here they found the natives allowed violently to seize property to which they did not even pretend a right. It seemed the policy of the civil officers of the Colony to enforce the law only against the whites. The Government presumed on the respect which, under all the attacks and provocations, those settlers have invariably shown to those bearing the commission of the Queen, and which prevented them from defending themselves. The natives, however, had power to commit with impunity every violence and aggression. Did they think this was acting as real friends of the natives? Did they suppose such conduct tended really to the welfare of that race of people? Instead of promoting the welfare of the natives, this policy was in every way most injurious to them; it created an anarchy from which in the end they must be the greatest sufferers, and it rendered valueless the reserves which, under a wiser management, would have been an ample provision for their benefit. In the beginning of June, 1842, Mr. Halswell, Commissioner of Native Reserves, and Protector, writing to Colonel Wakefield, complains of want of any funds from the mode in which he is ordered to manage the reserves, and in the course of his letter says—Generally speaking, they (the natives) and the settlers have been upon pretty fair terms; nevertheless there are continually some trifling misunderstandings between them, but which by prompt attention have hitherto been quietly adjusted; and I have usually found both parties satisfied. Latterly, however, the natives from all parts have been almost hourly calling upon me for assistance and advice. I am obliged to keep a constant watch over both parties to prevent a collision, which would be attended with very serious conseqneuces. This bad feeling on the part of the natives, I am sorry to say, is rather encouraged than otherwise by some interested white men. I may here mention a recent instance. Rangihaiata, 840 the chief of the island of Mana, accompanied by about fifty natives, armed with muskets, took violent possession and utterly destroyed four tenements and preparations for saw-mills, which had been built by a Mr. Toms and others on the Porerua Road, about twelve miles in the bush from Port Nicholson.Occurrences of the same kind took place at New Plymouth; and all these violations of British law were allowed to be committed with impunity, as if on purpose to teach the natives how safely the authority of the British Government might be treated with contempt. Did they think this occurrence had no connexion with the more tragical event of a year later, in 1843? Did they think that if they had then properly maintained their authority, and punished such a breach of the peace in June, 1842, the fatal event of June, 1843, in which this chief bore a prominent part, would have occurred? They would not, since none of the causes which led to that most unfortunate event would have existed; if the Government had not abdicated its functions, and abstained from protecting the settlers, the latter would not have been driven to attempt protecting themselves. And if this barbarous chief, the prime actor in all the worst scenes of atrocity, had not been allowed thus with impunity to trample on the laws, and set the white men at defiance, he never would have conceived that overweening notion of his own power, and of the weakness of the Government, which encouraged him to resist the warrant which Captain Wakefield was attempting to execute when the catastrophe occurred. Hence it was impossible not to regard as the direct consequence of the impolicy of the Government authorities the tragedy of June, 1843, when the lives of British officers of the highest character, of gentlemen and other persons against whose general conduct not a word could be said, of men of the very highest standing in society, and in the respect of all about them, were sacrificed in a manner beyond measure painful to contemplate. It was his deliberate but most decided opinion, that that dreadful calamity was directly traceable to the impolicy with which the affairs of New Zealand had been administered; and the blood of these men cried out to that House, to adopt means for the more efficient protection of British subjects in that Colony. From the date of that calamity the ill progress of affairs was rapid. The authority of the Governor became more and more despised, outrage succeeded 841 outrage, until at last there was no attempt at the maintenance of order. In corroboration of this statement, the noble Lord read the following address from the inhabitants of Auckland to Governor Fitzroy:It is with sorrow that for some time past, we have observed discontent and dissatisfaction widely spreading among the natives. The first establishment of the Queen's authority here was hailed by them with joy, and more extended intercourse tended for some time to increase their respect for us; but of late many events have occurred to diminish this, until it is now all but destroyed. It is well known that the natives regard us now neither with respect nor fear. Our physical power has been brought into contempt; but what is still more to be regretted, the moral influence which had been acquired over them has also been lost.He would not now go into a detail of the means which the Governor resorted to in order to restore that moral power which was lost; but no man who read the Papers through would think that they were well calculated to effect the object. He knew that it had been alleged in vindication, or rather in extenuation, of the want of firmness which had been shown by the Colonial Government, that it never had the command of a sufficient military power to enforce obedience to its authority. Captain Hobson, Mr. Shortland, and Captain Fitzroy had all in succession complained of the want of troops, and expressed most exaggerated apprehensions of the numbers and warlike character of the New Zealanders. He believed it was not force, but resolution and firmness in using the force of which they had the power of availing themselves, that were wanting to these successive Governors. If they had made a proper use of that power which organization always gives the civilized man over savages; if they had used it firmly and temperately, not to oppress the natives and rob them of their possessions, but to maintain discipline, and teach them the blessings of peace and order; if that policy had been followed from the first, no man could believe that there would have been resistance to British authority; or that, if offered, it would not have been speedily suppressed. Really, the apprehension of the power of the New Zealanders seemed to him absolutely ludicrous. Had it not been found that the superior intelligence and the powers of concert and combination of civilized men invariably made them too strong to be resisted by barbarous tribes, 842 however great the disparity of numbers? Could they for a moment compare the dangers to which the white inhabitants of New Zealand were exposed from the natives, with those of the early settlers in New England from the hostility of the Indians? The North American Indians were far more numerous than the New Zealanders, well skilled in their peculiar mode of warfare, which was suited to the nature of the country they inhabited, and capable of understanding the advantages of combining together against their European enemies, as witness the well-known confederacy of the Six Nations; yet against such formidable enemies as the North American Indians, the superior intelligence of civilized settlers enable them to maintain their ground unaided by any regular military or naval force. The New Zealanders were comparatively few in number, though personally brave, utterly unacquainted with even the rudiments of the art of war, and so divided by mutual animosities and jealousies that it would hardly be possible to get two tribes to act together in concert against Europeans: to dread, therefore, their power, or to doubt that, with proper firmness from the first, the authority of the Government might not easily have been maintained, was altogether unreasonable. He would not, however, lay the whole blame of this want of firmness on the local authorities. He concurred in the opinion which had been already expressed, that Captain Fitzroy had great reason to complain of the absence of any proper instructions on this most important point from the Home Government. In the despatch of Lord Stanley, dated the 18th of April, 1844, he found, to his great surprise, not one word respecting this state of anarchy, and not one syllable of instructions to the Governor as to the means to be adopted to correct that state of things. Now, he wanted to know what was the object of civil government? Was it not to prevent breaches of the peace, and to teach men to refer their disputes to the decision of competent authority? The natives had been taught to despise them, and he was afraid that they would not unlearn that lesson except by the employment of means which were fearful. When at length Captain Fitzroy was driven to find that peace was not to be obtained by concession, and that yielding to uncivilized and barbarous men all that they asked only provoked fresh demands—when he found out that, and resorted to force, he (Lord 843 Howick) expected that Captain Fitzroy, like other weak men who were at last driven to make a stand, would display as little moderation and prudence in the use of force, as he had exhibited wisdom in abstaining from it so long. The policy pursued in New Zealand had been attended with the most baneful effects. Large numbers of their fellow countrymen who had gone out there had appealed to them, and it was for that House to say whether that appeal should be in vain. If he had made out his case, that these calamities and this fearful state of things were the result of bad policy and misgovernment, it was then the absolute duly of the House to acquiesce in the Motion of the hon. Member for Liskeard, Mr. Charles Buller. It was clear to him that there was no hope of a real improvement in the policy of the Government, until they pronounced an opinion on their past policy. He said this with more confidence, because it appeared from the speech of the hon. Member for Southampton (Mr. G. W. Hope) that the Government still clung to all the main features of that policy. Therefore, it was time for the House to interfere; and let them do so by carrying the vote for going into Committee; and in the Committee, he thought the Resolutions should be mainly confined to condemning what was past. He did not think that at the present time, and at this distance from the scene of action, they were in a condition to pronounce any confident opinion as to particular measures to be adopted. All they could do was to tell the Government to choose the ablest man for Governor, one that would carry the greatest authority. Let them offer such a man any advantage to induce him to go to that Colony; tell him that what was past was wrong, but leave him at entire liberty to act as he should find expedient when he arrived at the Colony; fetter him by no instructions—give him the largest and most unreserved powers, and let him act as he should find that the state of affairs might require. They were told that the present Governor of South Australia was to be sent to New Zealand. He had heard this with some regret—not that he did not entertain a high opinion of Captain Grey; on the contrary, he thought his administration in South Australia did him the greatest credit. But having there gained the confidence of the Colony, which was flourishing under his rule, he considered it a pity to disturb it. He thought, too from his rank in the service to which he 844 belonged, his age and station, he could hardly have that weight and authority necessary to enable a Governor to do all that was required by the state of New Zealand. His task would be no easy one. He took it for granted the absurd ordinances which had been passed by Captain Fitzroy, sanctioning the purchase of land from the natives, would not be allowed to stand good; at the same time, claims would have accrued under them which it would be difficult to adjust, and they ought to send some one whose name would have weight and authority sufficient to put down those that were frivolous and unfounded. If he were Captain Grey, he should have some doubt about accepting the commission with which the Government proposed to entrust him. He could not consider the selection made by the Government as altogether a wise one, and he infinitely preferred the suggestion of his hon. and learned Friend. It was a strong reason in favour of such an appointment, that if it were intended that the affairs of New Zealand should go on well, one most essential thing in the new Governor would be, that he should have very little scruple in dismissing the highly paid and incapable servants of the Government, by whose misconduct the present state of things had been produced. It was the abject weakness and pusillanimity (he feared in some cases faults still more unpardonable) of the Police Magistrates and Commissioners and Protectors; which had brought on these evils and he feared, till a large proportion of them were removed, they would not be remedied. The duties of Government required in an infant settlement might be discharged by the Colonists themselves, who had a stake in its welfare, either gratuitously, for the honour such functions conferred, or at all events for a small remuneration. The new Governor would require large and unlimited powers to restore order and the dominion of law in the Colony. When that was accomplished he hoped they would revert to the ancient and wise policy of their ancestors, and allow the colonists to govern themselves. No doubt they would commit some mistakes, perhaps serious ones; but all experience was in favour of self-government. When he looked at what their ancestors accomplished two centuries ago under this system, and contrasted it with the results of attempting to govern from Downing Street a settlement at the antipodes, he must say experience was decidedly in 845 favour of allowing a Colony to govern itself. Admitting, as he had already done, that serious mistakes might still very probably be committed, those mistakes would be likely to be promptly corrected, when the power of applying a remedy was in the hands of those who suffered by them. Unfortunately, under the present system, there was no exemption from error, and far greater difficulty in correcting it. We had now before us a melancholy proof of the height to which misgovernment might be carried in Downing Street, before an effective remedy could be applied. From some experience of the Colonial Office, he was persuaded that it was utterly impossible for any man, be his talents and industry what they might, adequately to administer such complicated affairs as those of the British Colonies, scattered all over the world. It was totally impossible to remedy this deficiency, as suggested by the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Hawes), by the constitution of a Board. His experience of the administration of Boards was anything but satisfactory; a Board was, in his opinion, the most clumsy and ineffective contrivance of Government ever invented. [Mr. Sidney Herbert: Hear.] The right hon. Secretary at War cheered: no doubt the right hon. Gentleman was suffering as he had suffered before him in the same Department, from the difficulty of dealing with that pest of the British Army, the Board of Ordnance. For a Colony, he believed self-government was the best. The hon. Under Secretary for the Colonies said, that there would then be no security for the natives; it would have been well for the natives of New Zealand if the Colony had been self-governed. Nothing could be worse for them than the state of anarchy that had been produced. Were that got rid of, nothing would be easier than to give them proper security, especially if the policy of the New Zealand Company was followed—that of amalgamating the two races. He concluded by again repeating that the question really before the House was the approval or disapproval of the policy hitherto pursued in New Zealand, and the consideration of the first step towards a new and improved system of administration. If the House entertained a regard for the just claims of their fellow subjects in the Colony of New Zealand, men whose courage and perseverance in pursuing the great design they had undertaken was worthy of the highest commendation, if the 846 House would do justice to these individuals, and if they would do justice to the natives themselves, who of all others had been injured by the system pursued, they could not refuse the Motion of his hon. and learned Friend.
§ Debate again adjourned.
§ House adjourned at a quarter past one o'clock.