§ MR. BAILLIE
rose to put a question to the noble Lord the Member for London, with regard to the New Zealand Company. It would be remembered that a Bill had passed last Session, giving a constitution to the colony of New Zealand, which contained a clause confirming a large grant of money to the New Zealand Company, which was to be paid out of the land sales of the colony. Against that claim the right hon. Baronet the present First Commissioner of Works protested, on the ground that the claim of the New Zealand Company was founded on fraud, which he would be able to prove if papers, for which he moved, were laid on the table. A few days ago he (Mr. Baillie) asked the right hon. Baronet if he was prepared to prove the charge of fraud he had made against the New Zealand Company last Session, and to which he replied that there was no necessity for proceeding with the charge, because the papers on the table proved the fraud beyond the possibility of doubt. That answer being made by a Member of the Cabinet, must be supposed to be the answer of the Government, and they must be of 504 opinion that the charge of fraud must be substantiated. The question he wished to ask was, whether the Government intended to leave the New Zealand Company under the imputation of that fraud, or whether they meant to take any step to deprive them of the sum to which they become entitled under the Act?
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, that in the course of last Session, when the measure relating to New Zealand was under discussion, his right hon. Friend (Sir W. Molesworth) stated his opinion that a fraud had been committed, and moved for papers from which he would be enabled to make out a case of fraud, and urged the necessity for the production of those papers as a reason for delaying the Bill. The House however, did not concur in what was requested by his right hon. Friend, and the Bill passed. He might add that the statement which was made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington) on that occasion was a very fair one, and that the arrangement made by the Bill of last Session was a very proper one for all the parties concerned. His right hon. Friend (Sir W. Molesworth), the other day, in answer to a question of the hon. Gentleman, stated the papers on the table proved the case he wished to make out; but, as Parliament had decided the question, and the Government saw no reason for disturbing that decision, he was not disposed to take any step in the matter.