HC Deb 02 May 1845 vol 80 cc97-9
Sir R. Inglis

, observing that the Resolution which was on the Paper respecting New Zealand had been postponed, wished to know if that postponement was the result of some communication alleged to have taken place between certain parties connected with New Zealand and Her Majesty's Government? Seeing his hon. Friend the Under Secretary for the Colonies in his place, he wished to ask him in public what he had already asked in private, whether it was consistent with a sense of public duty to state then to the House, whether or not such communication had taken place on the part of the New Zealand Company, or any other body, to alter the relations in which the Church Missionary Society on the one hand, and the natives and the New Zealand Company on the other, stood as regards each other, and what was now the actual nature of the position of these three parties in respect to each other.

Mr. G. W. Hope

said, that before his hon. Friend had given him notice of the question, he had intimated to the hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. C. Buller), that he (Mr. Hope) had some explanations to give of what had passed last night. He had given the hon. and learned Member notice that he should request him to state the terms of his Motion for Tuesday night. The hon. Member, on coming down to the House, stated that he meant to postpone his Motion; and also, that he had had some communication with the noble Lord under whom he (Mr. Hope) served, upon the subject. Not having had an opportunity of since seeing the noble Lord, he (Mr. Hope) did not then know what had passed between them. The hon. and learned Member having postponed his Motion, and given his reasons for so doing, he (Mr. Hope) had nothing to say as to the terms used; but he had explanations to give which he now proceeded to lay before the House. In the first place, the withdrawal of the notice was unsolicited on the part of the Government, and unwished for by them. They were perfectly prepared to maintain and defend the conduct which they had pursued as regards the New Zealand Company. In the next place, perhaps, on account of the manner in which it had reached the public press, it would appear that the matter was more fully before the Government than was the case. The facts of the case were these: the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies had received an intimation from gentlemen connected with the Company, that it was possible that an arrangement on a totally different basis might be submitted to him for his consideration. In answer to that, the noble Lord stated, that whenever such a proposal should be made in a proper official manner, he would be ready to give it a candid and dispassionate consideration. As yet the noble Lord had not received that proposal in an official shape, and he was at perfect liberty to accept or to reject the proposal when made to him. No alteration had, in the meantime, been decided on relative to New Zealand. He wished it to be fully understood that such was the state of the case, that on the withdrawal of the Motion no compromise had been made on the part of the Government in order to avoid discussion.

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