HC Deb 06 August 1857 vol 147 cc1146-7

Order for Committee read.


said, that the Bill contained some clauses which incidentally referred to the Bills that had just been read a second time, but its main object was to carry into effect certain Resolutions which had been passed by the Legislature of New Zealand, and to give greater powers to the central Government. When the constitution of New Zealand was framed, they did not understand "constitution" as well as they did at the present period. The central Government in New Zealand had not the same power at present as the central Government in Australia. It was entirely an enabling Bill, and one important privilege which it conceded was, that of making the second chamber elective, as in Australia, but which was impossible in the Government of New Zealand as at present constituted.


said, that they were giving power to the Government to traffic in the lands of the natives, which was not consistent with the honour of the country.

House in Committee.

Clause 1.


said, that from information he received from the agent employed in purchasing land from the native, he could show that the natives parted with their lands on promises of the erection of schools, hospitals, and other improvements, which promises had never been fulfilled. All the statements of the Colonial Secretary would be translated and put into the hands of the natives as soon as the ship could arrive. It was monstrous to think that we ought not to interfere to protect these helpless people. He had a letter from the land agent to show how the natives had parted with their lands, owing to promises, and that those promises had never been carried out. Large quantities of land, to the amount of 1,993,000 acres, had been parted with on the faith of these promises, while the total sum paid was only £23,940, being an average of about 3d. an acre, while the real value was 10s. an acre. He warned the House not to pledge itself to such transactions.


said, that none would differ in opinion that the promises of the country ought to be strictly performed, and that our treaty of Waitangi, with the natives, whether wise or unwise, ought to be strictly carried out. After careful inquiry, he was satisfied that these measures were regarded by those persons, both civil and ecclesiastical, who had distinguished themselves by their regard to the interest and feelings of the native tribes, as equally advantageous to the natives and the settlers. Many of the natives were vapidly acquiring money by the sale of lands, while it was of the highest importance to put an end to those difficulties as to tribal rights, which interfered with the progress of all the inhabitants of the country.

Clause agreed to; as were the remaining clauses.

House resumed. Bill reported, as amended; to be considered this day.