HC Deb 26 April 1864 vol 174 cc1625-59

said, he rose to call the attention of the House to the War now going on in New Zealand, and to move an Address to the Crown praying that all Correspondence that had taken place between Governor Sir George Grey and the Colonial Office relating to the policy of confiscation which had been adopted by the New Zealand Legislature, might be laid before Parliament. The subject was one of the greatest importance, even if only regarded in its bearings on Imperial finance, for although there was a comfortable feeling out of doors that the war would not cost more than £300,000 or £400,000, there was good reason to believe that the expenses during the present year to be borne by the British taxpayer towards the maintenance of the war could not be less than £1,000,000. It was not, however, on the ground of finance that he brought the subject forward, as the matter had become far more important than any mere question of finance. The Local Legislature had sent home acts of such a character that they must have a tendency to prolong the war indefinitely, and, therefore, he thought the time had come when the intervention of Parliament was imperatively called for. He would not ask the House to wade through that sea of unpronounceable names and unintelligible distinctions which lay between the discussion and the solution of all problems affecting the colony of New Zealand. He did not ask them to express an opinion whether the Treaty of Waitangi, or any other treaty between civilized and barbarous nations, was wise or foolish. He did not mean to criticize the policy of the successive Governors, he knew that the difficulties which those Governors had to contend against were enormous, and fairly exempted them in their absence from the hostile criticism of Parliament. Nor did he propose to enter on the comparative merits of the administration of Sir George Grey and Governor Browne. The simple issue which he ventured to lay before the House was what, under the circumstances, was the duty of Imperial England. It appeared to him to be quite unnecessary to enter into a review at any length of the past policy of this country towards the colony. We had held New Zealand for rather more than a quarter of a century, which period divided itself into two parts—the time before and the period after the concession to the colony of representative institutions in 1852. The former period might be described as one of incessant Native war and wrangling between land companies, missionaries, officials, and Natives, whose conflicting views had been sufficiently represented before Committees of that House. Those wranglings ended in the grant of representative institutions to the colony, which was parcelled out into provinces, while the Natives were practically excluded from any repre- sentation in the Local Parliament. Two years after the passing of the Constitution Act, "responsible Government" was engrafted on the new institutions, which were found to involve the blessings of a perpetual scramble for patronage and the privilege of worrying the representatives of the Crown. Since 1852 their time had been employed in wrangling of a very different character. In the intervals of the Native war, disputes had arisen between the representatives of the Crown and the colony, which had ended at last in the absolute concession of the entire control over Native affairs to the Local Administration. The last news from the colony showed that the Local Legislature had freely exercised the powers committed to them by the Imperial Government. They had passed two Acts, the first of which had been well described as an Act for the confiscation of 5,000,000 acres of Native land on suspicion of treason, giving to innocent persons a right to compensation on establishing their innocence. The other of those Acts empowered the Governor to suspend altogether the operation of the ordinary Courts of Law, and to detain in prison or otherwise punish all those who had committed treason, or who were suspected of that offence, and to authorize their trial by regular or militia officers. The powers conferred by the Act were of the most arbitrary character, and, as he believed, almost unprecedented in the annals of legislation. He understood that both these Acts were at that moment in operation in New Zealand, and he believed, therefore, that the House would concur with him in the opinion that the question should be considered without delay. It might be said that, in dealing with Now Zealand, England was beset with a peculiar difficulty in having to send troops at the present moment to vindicate a policy over which she really had no control. He knew that there were some who were in the habit of disposing of all questions of this kind in a very summary manner. In their opinion, the Maori race was already doomed, and they held that the sooner they were exterminated the better it would be, both for themselves and mankind generally, and that every contrivance to prolong their existence would only add to their misery. He trusted, however, that in that House such views would not be entertained. There might be those who believed that the extermination of Native races, either by force or fraud, had been, and would be, the inevitable result of Anglo-Saxon civilization, but he trusted that there were none in that House who would be willing by any act of theirs to bring about this result. What was the offence of the Natives? It was said, not only that they were murderers, but that they had established a treasonable form of Government, and that they must now be punished as traitors. That was what might be called the colonial view of the question. Now, he was not appearing as the advocate of the Natives; he wished only to present to the House a fair and impartial view of the case, though the Maories seemed now to be unfashionable, and to be forsaken alike by bishops, missionaries, and all their former patrons. The main charge against them was their origination of what was called the "King movement." Now, during the twenty-five years Great Britain had held New Zealand, though the Colonial Legislature had been very careful to facilitate the acquisition of Native land by the settlers, there had been a by no means commensurate desire to establish law and order throughout the Native districts. On that point he might quote Governor Gore Browne, who said— Some of the most populous districts, such as Hokianga and Kaipara, have no magistrates resident among them; and many others, such as Taupo, the Ngatiruanui, Taranaki, and others, and the country round the East Cape, have never been visited by an officer of Government. The residents in these districts have never felt that they are the subjects of the Queen of England, and have little reason to think that the Government of the colony cares about their welfare. His (Mr. Mills's) case was this, that having been neglected by the Government, who ought to have established law and order in their districts, the Natives had been tempted, whether wisely or foolishly he did not say, to extemporize a rough system of government which might be construed into treason, but which was never intended as treason by the Maories themselves. If he quoted, in support of this opinion, high authorities in New Zealand, such as Bishop Selwyn or Sir W. Martin, it would perhaps be said, that he was appealing to the testimony of partisans; but it so happened, that the important witnesses to whom he alluded were corroborated in their evidence on this question by one of our ablest colonial governors wholly unconnected with New Zealand. Sir W. Denison, in a document to be found among the Parliamentary papers, expressed the decided opinion that the King movement was in the right direction. Sir W. Denison said, on this point— You have now, as a fact, the establishment of something analogous to a general government among the Maories—a recognition, on their part, of the necessity of some paramount authority. This is a step in the right direction; do not ignore it. Do not, on the ground that some evil may possibly spring from it, make the Natives suspicious of your motive by opposing it, but avail yourself of the opportunity to introduce some more of the elements of good government among them. Suggest to them the necessity of defining and limiting the power of the person who has been elected as the Chief or King (I should not quarrel with the name), of establishing some system of legislation, simple, of course, at first, but capable of being modified and improved; but do not attempt to introduce the complicated arrangements suited to a civilized and educated people; recognize publicly and openly the Maories, not merely as individual subjects of the Queen, but as a race—a body whose interests you are bound to respect and promote; and then give to that body the means of deciding what their interests are, and of submitting them, in a proper form, for your consideration. Chief Justice Martin and other distinguished men in the colony had given expression to a like opinion. There was one other point which offered, at least, some extenuation of the conduct of that unhappy race. On their behalf it might be said that they had witnessed, on the part of those sent to govern them, acts of a conflicting character, and that might have caused an inference in their minds that we were wrong and they were right. For instance, with regard to the purchase of land. He would not go into the old question of the Waitara Block, and say whether Sir George Grey or Governor Browne was right; but within three short years the Natives witnessed conflicting acts, done in the name of the Queen and Government of England, which must inevitably have induced a belief in the Native mind, with regard to the Government, of imbecility and vacillation. On the 5th of March, 1860, forcible possession was taken of the Waitara block of land, under the orders of Governor Gore Browne. On the other hand, on the 11th of June, 1863, Sir George Grey issued the following proclamation:— Whereas an engagement for the purchase of a certain tract of land at the Waitara, commonly known as Teira's block, was entered into by the Government of New Zealand in the year 1859, but the said purchase has never been completed; and whereas circumstances connected with the said purchase, unknown to the Government at the time of the sale of the land, have lately transpired, which make it advisable that the said purchase should not be proceeded with; now, therefore, the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, doth hereby declare that the purchase of the said block of land is abandoned, and all claim to the same on the part of the Government is henceforth renounced. Thus, in three years, a policy which was solemnly adopted was with equal solemnity cancelled. He would not discuss the question which of these acts was right and which was wrong; but at any rate he thought it would be a monstrous thing to treat as waste paper a treaty solemnly entered into twenty-five years ago with the Natives on the ground that they were guilty of treason, when they had probably been urged into acts of insubordination by vacillation of that kind. Perhaps such vacillation was no absolute justification of their conduct; but, looking at the conflicting course taken respecting them, they might fairly suppose that they were only enforcing just claims, and had done nothing worthy of martial law, confiscation, and extermination. The Queen of England had guaranteed to the Natives the full, exclusive, and undisturbed possession of their lands, so long as they accepted allegiance to her Crown; and he believed that no unprovoked act of the Maories had put them out of the pale of that treaty. When the rights and obligations involved in the treaty were formally considered in 1842 by a Committee of that House, a Resolution was moved by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, now Secretary of State for the Colonies, to the effect that the Treaty of Waitangi is binding in conscience and in policy on the British Government, that it was impossible to limit the construction of the treaty to the ground actually cultivated by the Natives; and that any attempt to carry out such a construction of the treaty must alienate the Natives and lead to conflicts of a sanguinary character. He had no wish to anticipate any change of policy or of opinion on the part of the Secretary of State. He only referred to the Resolution to show that the right hon. Gentleman was not one of those who entertained the view that the extermination of Native races was a necessary condition of civilization, or that bargains which they had made with us at our own solicitations were to be treated by us as null and void whenever it might suit our convenience to repudiate them. He knew very well that it was in vain for him to appeal to those whose fortunes were to be built upon the ruins of the Maori race, on any antiquated grounds of right and wrong. It would, indeed, be over sanguine to expect that the merchants of Auckland, who were now receiving from £1,000 to £1,500 a day out of the commissariat expenditure, would look with much respect upon the Treaty of Waitangi, or consider it binding on their part. He would venture nevertheless to appeal to them on the very lowest ground—that of self-interest—and would read a short extract from the speech of Dr. Pollen, a Member of the New Zealand Legislature, when the Confiscation Acts were discussed, in order to show the views entertained by some of the most experienced and intelligent men in the colony— Successful settlement meant peaceful settlement, but not many furrows would be turned in Waikato, if the ploughman must take his life in his hand into the field, and work with his rifle and cross-belts slung upon his shoulders. If any attempt at such wholesale confiscation as appears to be contemplated were made, the effect would be to increase the exasperation already existing in the Native mind, and it would need for its success the extermination of the race. The soundness of the financial policy of confiscation may be tested by a very simple calculation, the elements of which are at hand. We could determine, approximately at least, the cost of the work of extermination; we may be said to have been at war for three years; we have spent, including the Imperial charges, perhaps £5,000,000 during that period; we have killed 150 or 200 Natives. How much, at that rate, will it cost to kill 10,000? This policy of confiscation is immoral, and cannot be made profitable financially; unfortunately, it is a popular policy; but in that Council, when hon. Gentlemen were safe from the storms of the hustings, calm and dispassionate consideration might at least be expected to be given to such a subject as this. He had, however, ceased to hope for that at present, and when he remembered how, upon a recent occasion, when a question affecting the life, the liberty, and the property of the people was under consideration, the expression of honest indignation had been met, he could not expect that anything he could then say would arrest or alter the downward current of events. He (Dr. Pollen) had hopes, however, that the statesmen of England would stand between them and the Natives, and, if need be, prevent the wrong which might be inflicted under the powers which this Bill proposes to give. He had hopes, also, that the administration of the law would be better than the law itself; and that, in carrying it out, the gentlemen who were charged with a trust so important would forget that a particular course was popular, and would be guided only by the dictates of justice, good faith, and public honour. He assured the House that his object was not to make an ex parte statement. He believed that there was an unhappy but very small section of the Maories disaffected towards this country; but out of 50,000 of a Native population it would be an exaggeration to say that one- tenth were mixed up with those Acts which those local Bills were intended to punish. He put it to the House that it would be very cruel as well as impolitic to sanction a war of extermination. He put that to them not only on the higher ground of right and wrong or of treaty rights, but on the lowest ground—that of self-interest. It might be said, perhaps, that the lands to which the confiscation would apply were held in common, and that it would be impossible to adopt any measure of that character without punishing the innocent as well as the guilty. That was true, but by a wholesale confiscation they would punish even those who had used all their influence to prevent the acts of which we complained. The question which he raised was this: whether the aggravation to which the Natives had been exposed—whether our inconsistent policy had not been such as to afford some extenuation, and lead Parliament to pause before it sanctioned such an awful expenditure of blood and money as would take place if the war of extermination was carried à l'outrance, and the Natives were driven to fight for their hearths and homes, which certainly they would do to the last man and the last cartridge. He believed that there were at present 12,000 Imperial troops in New Zealand, a naval brigade was on land there, and we had three or four ships of war in the harbours; and he contended that, if the colonists wanted a policy of extermination to be indefinitely carried on against the Natives, that ought not to be done at the expense of the British taxpayer. We ought not to be deceived by rose-tinted despatches, telling us constantly that the war was coming to an end. In his opinion, the consequence of such a policy as that which we were asked to adopt would be not only ruinous to the colony, but highly injurious to Imperial interests. He submitted that there were only two courses open to the Government—either to disallow those Acts altogether, or to throw upon the Local Legislature the entire responsibility of the course it was taking. He did not, however, wish to dictate what course the Government ought to take, feeling confident that the honour of England and the interests of the Colonial Empire would be safe in their hands if they adopted a temperate, firm, and decided policy. If they adopted such a policy he believed they would not only meet with the support of the House of Commons, but the general approval of the country. In conclusion, he begged to move an Address for all Correspondence that had taken place between Governor Sir George Grey and the Colonial Office relating to the policy of confiscation which had been adopted by the New Zealand Legislature.


said, he rose to second the Motion. No one who had paid attention to the subject would think that his hon. Friend had exaggerated its importance. It was a matter of life and death to the great Maori race in New Zealand, and it was also one of great moment in a financial point. If the policy of confiscation was proceeded with, he thought his hon. Friend had under-estimated the pecuniary cost to this country. That cost would be at least £1,000,000 a year, and perhaps more. It was essential to keep in view the very words of the Treaty of Waitangi, which was the sole title by which we could lay claim to sovereignty over the Natives of New Zealand. The terms of the treaty were these— The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes of New Zealand, and to the respective families and individuals thereof, the full, extensive, and undisturbed possession of their lands, estates, forests, fisheries, and other properties which they may collectively and individually possess, so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession. And Dr. Pollen informed the Legislative Council that he had been present when the treaty was proposed, and had himself heard Her Majesty's representative pledge the faith of the Queen and of the British people to the due observance of this treaty, giving, upon the honour of an English gentleman, the broadest interpretation of the words in which that treaty was couched. And let no one fancy that that was a matter of trifling import. The Natives clung to their possession of the land with intense tenacity. Our own feeling of ownership over land was not stronger than theirs. In fact, our greatest difficulties in New Zealand had arisen from the complicated tenures under which they held their land, and the tight grasp they kept upon it. The Act to which his hon. Friend had called attention had been greatly misrepresented. It had been spoken of as an Act for enabling the Government to obtain land for military posts with a view to the defence of Auckland. There was not a word in the preamble or clauses referring to military posts. The Act was entitled "an Act to enable the Governor to establish settlements for colonization." It said nothing at all about military posts. Its title, its preamble, and its clauses related solely to the introduction of settlers and the creation of settlements. Again, the Act had been misrepresented on a more important point. It had been spoken of as one for seizing the land of the Natives who had rebelled against the Queen. It was no such thing. What it proposed was to seize not the land of those Natives who had taken up arms, but the whole land occupied by any Natives whatever in the whole Northern Island of New Zealand. An exception, indeed, was made in those few cases where Crown certificates of title and grants had been previously given. All the land of all the Natives was to be seized. The only difference was that those Natives who had not in any kind of way had anything to do with the war were to be allowed compensation for the land taken from them, if they could get it, in courts established by the colonial authorities. From the statement made in the Colonial Treasurer's speech, on the second reading of the Loan Bill, they learnt that the total area of land, the Native title to which it was thus proposed to extinguish thus summarily, amounted to eight millions and a half of acres, one-half of which was available for settlement. One merit certainly could not be denied to the Act. A more straightforward scheme never was known. It was always well, if possible, to put one's self in the place of those whose conduct was being canvassed, so as to see the thing from their point of view; and nothing could be more easy than to do so in this case. The case was simply this: —A observed that Z possessed a valuable property. A had reason to believe that a third party M would, at his own expense, take that property from Z, and give it to A. What could be more natural than that A should think this was the most just, right, expedient, and politic thing that could possibly be done? On the one hand, there were the settlers, hungering and thirsting for land, and on the other side there were millions of acres of land owned by those of whom it had unhappily become usual to speak of as "damned niggers;" and a third party appeared on the scene in the shape of the mother country, who probably could be cajoled and blinded into laying out a few millions of money, and risking the lives of a few thousands of soldiers, in order to effect—let them not call it a robbery, but a transfer of the property. That was a plain but as he believed a true account of the feeling from which the proposal had sprung. The appetite of settlers for land amounted to nothing less than a passion. As Governor Browne wrote to the Duke of Newcastle in 1857, "The Europeans covet these lands, and are determined to enter in and possess them, rectè si possint, si non, quocunque modo." And that hunger after land had become inflamed beyond all self-control by the furious hatred of the Natives, engendered by the war that had of late been raging. His only surprise was that so many gentlemen should have had the moral courage and humanity to protest against the passage of that Bill through the Legislative Council. He was strongly confirmed, however, in the view that his hon. Friend (Mr. Mills) and himself took of that matter, from finding that, even amid all the excitement of the time, men like the Hon. Mr. Swainson, the Hon. Dr. Pollen, Mr. Stokes, and others, stood out so manfully against that scheme, and that it was condemned by one so profoundly versed in New Zealand affairs as the late commissioner of the Waikato district, Mr. Gorst. Well, now, let them examine candidly what amount of justification could be alleged for that measure. It must be remembered that our position as regards the Natives of New Zealand was of a most peculiar kind. He was not one of those who thought very highly of rights conferred by conquest, but we had never conquered them. We had never, and we did not now, put forward any claim whatever to dominion derived from conquest. We had dealt with them as an independent people, who, of their own accord, upon certain stipulations, had entered into an agreement to accept the Queen of England as their sovereign. We had no right whatever over them, except that which that Treaty of Waitangi conferred. But what, after all, was the nature of that agreement, and how was it obtained? We had to obtain the consent of the chiefs of the different tribes. Now, in the first place, it appears that they had not the least idea that, in agreeing to place New Zealand under the sceptre of the Queen, they were sacrificing or endangering their own national rights or independence. Then, too, the ridiculous way in which they were got to acquiesce in our proposals showed how absurd it would be to affect to regard the breach of the agreement on their side as being a flagrant crime, an act of treason, an act which could only be punished worthily by the confiscation of their land, and the consequent extermination of their race. Moreover, the treaty was entered into twenty-five years ago, between the first Governor of New Zealand and the chiefs of a certain tribe. It was then hawked about the country, and any chief who could be got to sign it was rewarded by the British Government with a blanket. The only treaty which that resembled was that made between a recruiting sergeant and a drunken recruit. Just as the sergeant gave him a shilling and made him a soldier, so we gave these poor chiefs a blanket each, and then we turned round upon the whole Native race, and said that they were bound, then, to submit with absolute obedience to our rule, and that if they resisted it, then they might be punished for that terrible breach of faith, for that crime of treason, by being driven from the lands which they and their fathers had kept for ages. That, however, vastly understated the case. He was willing to admit that in receiving those blankets and signing the treaty, the chiefs did involve the tribes over which they had authority, in a responsibility surrounded with such tremendous pains and penalties. But the tribes which occupied the greater part of the rich plains of Waikato, which it was proposed to confiscate, had never got them. They never signed the treaty. It was true that six old men in Waikato did take their blankets, and did sign the agreement. But the two principal chiefs of Waikato refused to sign, and the son of one of them, William Thomson, who took a very leading part in this war, put forward what Mr. Gorst justly calls this unanswerable argument—namely, that neither his father nor himself nor any of his people ever agreed to this cession to the Queen. In reality, we had no claim of any sort or kind upon which, with the faintest show of legality, we could accuse them of treason. There are two parties to a bargain. But what were the stipulations by which we bound ourselves in order to induce them to accept that treaty? That Treaty of Waitangi pledged the Queen's faith and the Queen's honour to the Natives of New Zealand, that all the rights and privileges of British subjects should be imparted to them. Again, it declared that they should be secured in the enjoyment of peace and good order, and that a settled form of civil Government should be established among them. He (Mr. Buxton) stood there to assert that our part of that treaty had been left utterly unfulfilled. We had not imparted to the Natives the rights and privileges of British subjects. We had not secured to them the enjoyment of peace and good order. We had not established among them a settled form of civil Government. The plain matter of fact was that the European authorities in New Zealand had refrained from any interference with the Natives at all. That might have been wise, he was inclined to think it was wise. It might have been wrong. Men of a thousand times higher authority on that point than his assured them that it had been wrong; but, whether right or wrong, we had acted upon the principle of minding our own business and leaving the Natives to mind theirs; and if they had possessed any political or social organization, then, without any question, this would have been fair towards them and politic as regarded ourselves; but unhappily, there was no such political organization, and the consequence was they had been living in a state of anarchy. Internecine warfare had been chronic among them, filling the country with ruin and bloodshed. Plunder, murder, and slaughter had gone on, and still we had not ventured to interfere. So far from establishing any kind of civil government among them, as we had undertaken to do, we did scarcely anything for them at all beyond at intervals passing excellent minutes which never were carried out, and a scheme was at one time arranged for giving them municipal institutions; but nothing was done. A scheme was arranged for training English functionaries for obtaining authority among them; but nothing was done. A scheme was arranged for appointing magistrates among them, and at last a few Natives were appointed, under the name of assessors, to carry out a kind of rude justice among them. But a more ridiculous caricature of justice was probably never heard of than that which resulted from this seemingly beneficent plan. There was much talk of appointing inspectors of the schools sot on foot by the missionaries. The whole scheme was beautifully arranged, only nothing was done. The Natives finding that they were being demoralized and. ruined by the sale of spirits among them, proposed a plan to the Government for the suppression of that traffic. An admirable minute was drawn up for carrying out the wishes of the Natives; only nothing was done. And while there was that absolute paralysis of all civil government among them, we refused what the Bishop and other leading Europeans earnestly advocated—namely, that we should treat the Maories as fellow subjects of the settlers, and let them be represented in some way in the House of Assembly. He (Mr. Buxton) said, then, that in the first place the treaty was in its nature so invalid as scarcely to confer even a shadow of sovereignty upon us. But, secondly, had it been ever so valid in itself, we had so utterly neglected to perform our part of the bargain, that it would be outrageous for us to inflict tremendous penalties upon them if they at length refused to perform their part. With regard to the origin of that so-called rebellion, they would find that the Natives had not, in fact, been seeking to shake off the sovereignty of the Queen, or to drive the English out of the island. They would remember that what originally kindled the strife was that Colonel Browne sent soldiers to enforce the sale of the land at Waitara. Well, three years after that most unfortunate transaction, it was discovered that Wiremu Kingi had a real right to forbid this land to be sold, and Sir George Grey had actually to acknowledge in a proclamation that we had been wrong, and to annul the sale; but, unhappily, the mischief had been done, and our conduct on that and other occasions naturally created great alarm in the Native mind with regard to the possession of their land. But, undoubtedly, what led to the rupture was that which was generally called in New Zealand the "King movement," the determination on the part of the Natives to set up a king for themselves. He said a part of the Natives, for they must not forget that a very large portion of them deprecated the scheme, and either stood aloof or were driven into supporting it much against their will. Now, of course, to English ears, the proposal on the part of the Natives to set up a king of their own sounded like flat treason. But the plain truth was that all those most versed in the affairs of New Zealand, such men as Sir William Martin, Sir George Grey, the Duke of Newcastle, Sir William Denison, and others, assured them that the King movement was not in the least degree intended by the Natives as a rebellion against our rule, or as an attempt to drive us out of their island. They were assured by the highest authorities that what led the Natives to set up a king of their own was the profound feeling they had that we were threatening their possession of their land, and also that they were being ruined by the anarchy and chronic war prevailing among them, owing to our abnegation of the functions of government. It was somewhat touching to see what Wiremu Tamihama wrote to Colonel Browne with regard to the King movement. He describes the effort he and others had made to put a stop to the chronic state of warfare between the tribes. He went on to state that his efforts had failed, "for" said he— The river of blood has not yet stopped. The missionaries behaved bravely, and so did I; but the flow of blood did not cease. I, therefore, sought for some plan to make it cease. I considered how this blood might be made to diminish in the island. And he went on to say that he consulted the Bible on the subject, and that various texts in the Pentateuch and Samuel, as he thought, and as he had persuaded his brethren, pointed out that the true remedy would be that they should set up a king over them. And he told Colonel Browne that on that king being set up the shedding of blood at once ceased. "What I say is," he added, "the blood of the Maories has ceased." Nothing, then, could be more absurd as well as cruel than for us to pretend that the mere use of the word king, with such a wholly different intention from that which in Europe it Would have had, constituted the uprising of the Natives into an act of treason against the Queen. He affirmed, then, that there was nothing in the origin of that war that could justify them in dealing with the Natives as with traitors and rebels to the Crown. Nor could it, with the least fairness, be said that their mode of conducting the war had been such as to put them beyond the pale of law, justice, and humanity. It would be easy to imagine a war levied by semi-savages against their masters, which might have been made so bloody, so terrible, with massacre and conflagration, that scarcely any vengeance could be too heavy to inflict. Had that been so in that case? On the contrary, he did not hesitate to affirm that, upon the whole, the conduct of this war on the part of the Maories had been distinguished for humanity and self-control which they displayed. No doubt, one of the acts which last year led to the renewal of the war at Waikato was the massacre of an English escort by the Natives. That was a shocking event; but it would be mere folly to regard it as a cold-blooded murder. The Waikatos had distinctly warned us that they would not allow the military road to be pushed on into their territory, into which we had no right to carry it. They said that they quite appreciated the value, in other respects, of such a road, but that they knew that the object of making the road was in order that what they called "that strange cart, the cart of terror,"— that was to say, the gun-carriage—might be brought against them. They fully warned us that they should regard its continuation as an act of war, and when the Governor persisted, they regarded it as a fair act of war to attack the soldiers who were employed in carrying it on. It would be mere folly to confuse this with an ordinary massacre. The Natives had not an idea that it could be regarded otherwise than as a legitimate act of war. Afterwards, two settlers, a man and a boy, were murdered, and a few others had also, he lamented to say, fallen victims; but, in spite of those incidents, the work apparently of a few excited individuals, he ventured to maintain that the Natives had acted upon the whole with remarkable humanity and good faith. Mr. Gorst, who was at that time a commissioner of the disturbed district, told them, in his most interesting book, which had just come out, that although the presence of an official among them was extremely distasteful, still, he said, even when they broke into open insurrection, not only were all Europeans living among them spared, but he said— Not a cow, nor a pig, nor a horse, nor any kind of property, was taken from us; our houses, our furniture, and all goods which could not be removed, four months after the war had begun, were still remaining as we left them, untouched and unharmed. The Natives took up arms under what they conceived to be great provocation. They looked upon it as a defensive war, and he denied that they had conducted it with such cruelty as to justify us in inflicting upon them a tremendous penalty. And now as to the policy of that proposal. Let him again remind the House of what was stated last November in the Legislative Council, and which had been already quoted by the hon. Gentleman—namely, that the present war had cost £5,000,000, and only from 150 to 200 Natives had been killed. And yet England was coolly asked to drive all the Natives of North New Zealand off their lands, and plant settlers there instead, whom of course we must protect. Why, that plain of Waikato, which was the great prize in view, was surrounded by mountains with boundless forests and swamps and thickets of grass and fern, affording one of the best positions in the world for a defensive guerilla war. A few days' labour was enough to supply the Natives with potatoes and maize enough for a whole year, pumpkins and melons were in abundance, pigs abounded everywhere; in short, there was no reason whatever why Native bands should not keep up for 100 years an incessant warfare against those who had seized their property, and fill the land with murder and ruin. Such were the solemn warnings uttered by those who had themselves lived in Waikato, and of those warnings he trusted that they would take heed. In short, it was open to them to take the one or the other of two courses. They might treat the Maori as "damned" niggers— to use the common phrase—who were to be plundered and killed off as soon as might be; or they might endeavour to win them by good faith and justice; they might treat them with scrupulous regard for their rights, with respect for their feelings, with a sense of their high qualities. He felt no doubt that the right hon, Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies would be an advocate, as the Duke of Newcastle had been, of that wiser course; and he felt sure that not merely every statesman but every Gentleman in that House would give him cordial support in carrying out that policy.

Motion made and Question proposed, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty for 'Copy of all Correspondence that has taken place between Governor Sir George Grey and the Colonial Office relating to the policy of confiscation which has been adopted by the New Zealand Legislature.'"—(Mr. Arthur Mills.)


, who was indistinctly heard, said—I have, of course, no objection to the Motion of my hon. Friend, which is one for papers on a subject of great interest and importance, on which I entirely agree with him that it is most desirable for the interest of the Natives of New Zealand that the British Parliament should be fully informed. My hon. Friend has done me the honour to refer to the part I took twenty years ago with regard to the Treaty of Waitangi, which is the origin of our possession of New Zealand and the rights of sovereignty which we exercise in the colony. I have not the least desire to alter or modify any opinions I expressed at that time, or to adopt any policy that is indifferent to Native interests or regardless of their welfare, or which did not at I that time appear consistent with reason or humanity. This question refers entirely to the Northern Island of New Zealand, not to that island colonized by a large body of English settlers, but to an island consisting of many millions of acres of land, most of it wild and desert, and containing a population of only 100,000, equally divided between the European and Native races. My hon. Friend said this may justly he described as a question of great difficulty in regard to the mode in which it should be dealt with. The people with whom we have to deal are the most remarkable people with whom our colonial enterprise has ever brought us into contact. Originally cannibals, in a short time they became Christians, and manifested a greater aptitude to receive the blessings of Christian truth and religion than any other race. They are a highly poetical people. At the time of concluding the Treaty of Waitangi, a chief made use of this memorable expression, "I understand it; the shadow goes to Queen Victoria, the substance remains with us." Again, in the blue-book which has been laid on the table, Sir George Grey reports language used by Wirimu Kingi as no less remarkable. I will venture to read it to the House. Speaking of that block of land which was the foundation of the former war, he said— At Mokau is the boundary of the land for our own selves. These are the lands which will not be given up by us to the hands of you and the Governor, lest we become like the birds of the sea which are resting on a rock. When the tide flows, that rock is covered by the sea. The birds fly away, because there is no resting place for them. This language is highly characteristic of the people. In some respects they resemble children rather than men, and I entirely accede to the proposition laid down, that if they therefore require greater measures of control to reduce them to good order and obedience, they also deserve to be treated with the greatest consideration and forbearance. On the other hand, Parliament has thought proper to establish not only in the Southern Island, but also in the Northern Island, free institutions, to be exercised by the European race; and only two years ago, when my noble Friend applied to Parliament for greater power intended for the institution of a Native Council and the protection of the Native race, those powers were not granted, and finally the whole power and management of the Natives were given to the Colonial Government of New Zealand. I do not refer to that for the purpose of expressing any regret, because I am bound to say that in my judgment, when you have an European race equal in numbers to the Native race—when you have the European race constantly increasing and every tendency at work to diminish the number of the Native race, it is as certain as that the tide will rise and fall that the energy and power of the European will acquire pre-eminence and superiority. It is for you to moderate and direct the dominant spirit, but in vain will you deny to the Englishman that which is the natural prerogative of his race. Well, but you have established that Government, and when my noble Friend endeavoured to obtain additional powers for the protection of the Native race, it was the indisposition of this House to entertain that subject which disappointed and frustrated his efforts. I was disappointed to hear the hon. Gentleman describe local government as a scramble for patronage. Local government, I acknowledge, has its faults; but we have established local government, and that is one question with which we have to deal. You have a highly imaginative people, peculiarly sensitive on the question of land, and you have a local Legislature in which they have no voice, and to which the Imperial Parliament has given very large and comprehensive powers.

Reference has been made to the origin of the present war, and the names of Governor Browne and Sir George Grey have been introduced. I may say I have the honour of Governor Browne's personal acquaintance. I believe a more upright and honourable man never served the public. I happened, before he left this country, to have some conversation with him on the subject of the Treaty of Waitangi. I know he went to New Zealand animated by the most earnest desire by every means in his power to protect the Native race and promote their interests; and the very words which my hon. Friend has quoted from Governor Bowne—rem si possis rectè, si non quocunque modo, rem, as applied by him to the European settlers, are the strongest proof of his determination to resist their usurpation of the Natives' lands. My hon. Friend who seconded the Motion has referred to Sir George Grey in terms of honour, which I thoroughly believe he justly deserves. Well, what is the history of Governor Grey's connection with New Zealand? He went there when the Taranaki war broke out; he went there, not by way of promotion, but at great inconvenience and sacrifice to himself to rescue New Zealand a second time from difficulty. He went there because he knew the people, and because the Government at home considered he was singularly able to rescue the colony from the difficulties in which it was involved. Did he go there to provoke a conflict with the Natives on the subject of land? He went there in a spirit of conciliation. He made a long journey, of which an interesting account is given in the blue-book, into the very heart of the country inhabited by the Natives who were in rebellion against us. Those Natives said to him, "Welcome, our old friend; welcome, our father; welcome, parent of the people; if you had been here this war never would have taken place." He then commenced that policy of conciliation which is sometimes known as the policy of 1861, and sometimes as Sir George Grey's policy. I mention this to show that this war which we now regret, and with the difficulties arising from which we have now to deal, did not originate in any determination on the part of the Government of New Zealand to force a conflict upon the Natives for the purpose of obtaining their lands for the use of the settlers. It is upon record that Governor Browne desired to avoid that mischief, and upon the admission of the hon. Member opposite Sir G. Grey had the same object. Let me assure my hon. Friend that neither is the war to be attributed to the King movement. Sir George Grey told the Natives at the interview I have mentioned, that the King movement by itself should never be a cause of war. It has not been a cause of war; it has not been the cause of the present war, and no war would have been entered upon by Sir George Grey solely on account of the King movement. Not only was it no part of Sir George Grey's policy to renew the war for the Waitara purchase, but having received new and unexpected information upon the original merits of that purchase, he resolved at once to abandon the European claim, and that renunciation he had to carry into effect under very difficult circumstances. But in the meantime there occurred that lamentable outbreak which has been palliated tonight. We must, indeed, remember the position of the Natives, but something is also due to the victims of the slaughter, in which two officers and several men were shot down, and, in the words of Sir George Grey, "at a single volley all of them but one or two were killed or mortally wounded, and the wounded were brutally out about the head with tomahawks." From that dates the origin of the present war, because it appears that that was not a solitary outrage, but was the result of a combination which had taken place between some of the leaders of those tribes for the purpose of levying a general war against the European race. That determination is described by Sir George Grey in these words— A very serious state of things has arisen in the Northern Island of New Zealand, and there is great reason to apprehend that a general rising of the Native population may shortly take place, for the purpose of making a simultaneous attack upon the several centres of European population, with a view to the total expulsion of the white race from this island. I am quite satisfied that such a plot has been formed by a large number of influential Natives, as also that they are now busily engaged in trying to carry it into effect. I still hope that they will fail in conducting it on such a large scale as they propose, but I believe the danger to be of a very serious and alarming kind, which may lead to a vast destruction of life and property. Then it was that Sir George Grey wrote to the Home Government for an addition to his forces of 3,000 men, which was immediately complied with. With the circumstances of the war I need not trouble the House, but I will refer to the language of the Governor, who had exhausted every measure of conciliation, and to whom my lion. Friend has referred as a Governor whom we ought to support because of his regard for the interests of the Natives and his tenderness for their feelings. On July 4, the Governor wrote— It has now been clearly proved that some of the chiefs of Waikato ordered the recent murders at Taranaki, and that, being thus responsible for them, they have determined to support the people who carried out the orders which they issued. For this purpose they are quite prepared to attack this populous district, and even to commit similar murders here. I have, however, arranged with the lieutenant general a plan of operations which will, I trust, not only effectually protect the Auckland district and its inhabitants from the dangers which threaten at this moment, but will also have the effect of placing this part of New Zealand in a state of permanent security. He afterwards says— The colony is in great danger, and no permanent peace can now be hoped for until the Waikato and the Taranaki tribes are completely subdued. This war has since gone on until now. As has been truly stated, there are more than 10,000 of the Queen's troops in the colony, whilst there are also in arms against the Natives nearly 10,000 colonial militia and volunteers. The war has justly been described as a war which is very costly to the people of this country, but that evil, great as it is, seems to be one of the least evils attaching to a sanguinary and protracted contest. It is, then, our duty to consider by what methods we are most likely to be able to effect a permanent pacification of New Zealand. Sir George Grey has made these suggestions. He says that in order to put an end to this war, and to prevent the necessity in future of calling upon the army and navy of Great Britain to take part in other contests in New Zealand— I can devise no other plan by which both of these ends can be obtained than—1st, by providing for the permanent peace of the country by locating large bodies of European settlers, strong enough to defend themselves, in those natural positions in this province which will give us the entire command of it; and 2ndly, by taking the land on which this European population is to be settled from those tribes who have been guilty of those outrages detailed in my various despatches. A punishment of this nature will deter other tribes from committing similar acts, while their own countrymen will generally admit that the punishment is a fair and just one, which the Waikato chiefs have well deserved. I have stated to the House exactly what were the original proposals of Sir George Grey. Those proposals were received by my noble Friend, and were adopted upon terms of great caution and reserve, and with many suggestions of the difficulties that might arise if they were not very carefully carried into effect. In October last, Sir George Grey assembled the New Zealand Parliament, in order to give effect to this policy, and the speech which he addressed to them upon opening the Session will be found in the blue-book. That Parliament passed the Acts to which reference has been made, and which I am not going to defend. Neither am I going to say that those Acts ought to be left to pass into operation unrestrained, nor will I say that the language of those Acts is not open to the objections which have been taken to it. I am not going to contend that the language is such as to make the necessary distinction between the innocent and the guilty, or between the more guilty and the less guilty. On the contrary, the language of the particular Act most objected to is wide and sweeping, and would enable the Gover- nor in Council to extend his confiscating powers over all the lands of the Natives. I believe, indeed, that it would extend not only to all loyal and disloyal Natives, but there are cases in which it would extend to Europeans themselves. If that be the case, the question is, what course ought the Government to pursue on receiving these Acts? Should we disallow them? There are many serious objections to that course. You have not only given to the colonists the right to govern the Native population of New Zealand, but you have imposed upon them as a duty the carrying out of that power. Are you now prepared to turn round on the first occasion when that power has been exercised, and to say, in the name of this great model of popular institutions, "We intended you to govern the country, but only according to limitations and rules which we should lay down?" There is another and more serious objection, however, to the adoption of this course. This law has not been reserved by the Governor for the signification of the Queen's pleasure upon it, and it is, therefore, at this moment, in actual operation. The 4,000 settlers who, on Sir George Grey's advice and suggestion, had been invited to take part in the military operations in New Zealand, may at this moment be enjoying the reward of their services under this Act. It is quite probable that at this moment, by the success of our arras, peace may have been restored. Who can foresee the consequences which may arise if the intelligence of the disallowance of this Act were to reach New Zealand under the present circumstances? Who can insure us from the anarchy which may possibly be the result, an anarchy far more mischievous to the Natives and Europeans than the worst form of Government would be? I do not think, then, under such circumstances, it is wise or politic to disallow the Act. What is the next course that is open to us? It is in the power of the British Government, by instructions to their Governor, to restrain and prescribe the operation of this statute within the limits dictated by justice and equity. That course we have already pursued. We have put the Governor in possession of our views, and what we believe to be the views of Parliament, with respect to the crisis now taking place in New Zealand—a crisis which, I trust, may through the skill of our general, the courage of our troops, and the wisdom of our Governor, result in the perfect restoration of peace. These instructions have been dictated by the Government in the desire to promote the interest of the Native as well as the European population, to vindicate the Sovereignty of the Queen, and to enable the authorities in New Zealand to extend as far as possible to all classes the protection which results from strict order and established government. We also wish to assert the right of the mother country, which has sent out 10,000 men for the protection of the colonists in New Zealand, and which has given them a most distinguished general and a most able governor, to make her voice heard above all others in this crisis of affairs. We desire to sustain the personal authority of a governor who is distinguished for the vigour of his administration. We have accepted the principles upon which he has acted, the chastisement of the guilty Natives, the exaction of a reasonable indemnity for the expenses incurred by the war, and a moderate security for the settlement and future protection of the colony. We have also insisted that the punishment shall not be too severe, and that a distinction shall be drawn not only between the guilty and the innocent, but also between those who are the real contrivers and authors of the war and those who from less culpable motives may have been drawn into it after its commencement. Our desire is not to inflict such a punishment as shall drive the guilty to despair, while it must at the same time be severe enough to confirm the loyalty of those of the Native race who have remained true to us, and to assure to them safety and security. To effect this we propose that a cession of territory be one of the terms of pacification when the Queen's clemency is extended to those who have been in arms. Some maintain that the Natives should be treated as rebellious subjects, and others as belligerents, but it appears to me that the principles of justice and equity must rise above these legal distinctions, and that we cannot treat them entirely as rebellious subjects, but must extend to them greater lenity. We have also prescribed that no confiscation shall take place without the personal concurrence of the Governor, Sir George Grey; that there shall be an open commission for the purpose of investigating into cases in which it is intended to confiscate; and that where, owing to the misfortune which arises in cases of tribal tenure, where the majority of the tribe go to war, and where it would be impossible to do strict justice, compensation should be provided for every person who unjustly suffers; and finally, we have directed that when just chastisement has been inflicted, a measure should be brought before the Legislature of New Zealand for the purpose of abolishing the powers conferred by this Act, so that the loyal may know that they have nothing to fear, and the guilty may feel that no further punishment will be inflicted on them. When this is accomplished we have instructed the Governor to pro claim a general amnesty, excepting only those who have been guilty of heinous crimes, such as the slaughter of unoffending persons in cold blood; crimes which in times of peace would draw upon the offender the utmost rigour of the law, and which cannot be palliated by any circumstances which arise during war. That these offences may not be capriciously multiplied, or any trap laid for the entanglement of innocent persons, we have desired that at the time of the amnesty the charges may be distinctly specified and made known. Reference has been made by my hon. Friend to the vast expense incurred by this country in conducting the war. Hitherto the arrangement between this country and New Zealand has been that only nominal contribution has been made by the colonists towards the support of the forces employed for their defence; but hereafter, when the policy of the New Zealanders chances to entail a war, and when she applies for assistance to the mother country, substantial and not nominal contributions will be exacted from the colonial resources. A proposal has been made in one of these Bills to contract a large loan for the service of New Zealand. It is probably known to the House that the proposal was to obtain the loan upon the guarantee of the British Parliament, but we have conveyed to the Governor our opinion that that guarantee would, in all probability, not be granted. It will, however, be my duty at some future time, within narrower limits, to make some such proposal to the House, in accordance with the known pledge of last year, and the subject will, of course, then come on for consideration. In conclusion, I think that, while we are considerate of the feelings of the Natives, we ought at the same time to entertain some consideration for those who, of the same race as ourselves and settled in that distant part of the world, live in apprehension for the safety of their families and themselves, and in constant fear of massacres and the destruction of their property. I have had the advantage of conferring with one of the New Zealand Ministry at present in this country, and his language to me—and I am sure it is the genuine expression of his mind—is the language of a man who is sincerely desirous of the pacification of the country upon just and equitable terms, and who will not be a party to any attempt at forcing Sir George Grey into any policy of inequitable and wholesale confiscation.


said, he would wish to describe in no other language than that used by the right hon. Gentleman his estimate of the measures, passed by the New Zealand Legislature. That language was highly creditable to the right hon. Gentleman, but he confessed he should have listened with much greater satisfaction to the right hon. Gentleman if he had stated that the atrocious Bill passed by that Legislature was to be disallowed by the Crown. As to the plan proposed, he feared it was cumbrous and might fail to attain the object desired. There were two objections to it. One of the great evils of confiscating all the land of the Natives, the innocent as well as the guilty, was that the difficulty of pacification was increased a hundredfold by reinforcing the enemy with tribes which were then, perhaps, doubtful or wavering in their allegiance. As he understood, there was no intention of proclaiming that this Act should be limited.


I stated that we have desired that a Bill should be immediately introduced into the Assembly of New Zealand for putting an end within a limited time to the whole powers of the Act.


said, he had understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that the Bill would be introduced as soon as the war was terminated.


I am speaking upon a certain hypothesis which may not turn out true—namely, that the war is at an end before this time. The last accounts lead us to believe that the war in all probability is concluded by this time.


But suppose the war to continue, and the Natives to know that the Act had been sanctioned by the Queen, and that they had no further security for the possession of their land, they would have reason to say that the Treaty of Waitangi had been violated, and they might come to the conclusion that it was safer to plunge into rebellion, and take their last chance of throwing off the stranger who was trying to rob them of their land. There ought to be some pledge that the provisions which the Bill contained for depriving the innocent of their land would never be practically carried out. There was still another danger. He concurred in the eulogies which the right hon. Gentleman had passed upon the tact, the temper, and the ability of Sir George Grey; but if the war went on and Sir George Grey ceased to be governor, his successor, who would possess under the Act all the powers lodged in Sir George; Grey, might be a man open to popular pressure in the colony. They knew from Sir George Grey how heavy the pressure was upon him to obtain the Native land for the settlers. It was something like weakness on the part of Governor Browne which had brought on the horrible war that was then raging. And they ought not to trust to the expectation that every Governor of New Zealand would act with the wisdom and justice which Sir George Grey had shown. His fear, therefore, was that when the present Governor left the colony, and while the Act was still in operation, they would hear that his successor had yielded to popular pressure, that land belonging to some powerful tribe had been seized without a show of justice, and that the colony was plunged anew into the horrors of war. Some protection should be afforded against that. Otherwise, he thought the speech of the right hon. Gentleman had been exceedingly satisfactory; and though some might have desired that measures of a stronger character should have been adopted, the New Zealand Assembly would probably accept the rebuke which was implied in the observations of the right hon. Gentleman, and would understand that England would not endure that the name of English Sovereigns should be dishonoured, and that treaties solemnly entered into should be set aside by an inferior Legislature. The right hon. Gentleman talked of procuring the introduction of a Bill into the Assembly. But what security had he that it would pass? At present he had such a security, because he might threaten to withdraw the soldiers if it did not pass. But he would lose that security after the war was over, and might then find that, though he could prevent new legislation, the Bill which had been passed would not be withdrawn. These were objections which occurred to him at the moment. He had confidence in the purity of the intentions of the right hon. Gentleman and in the zeal with which he was administering his office; and it was to be hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would take every security in his power for the adoption of the measures he had sketched out that evening.


said, that the state of New Zealand might well cause anxiety, for, in his opinion, if we were at war with the United States, the first thing the American Government would do would be to send a force to New Zealand and raise a rebellion there. He did not think the way in which Governor Browne had been spoken of that night was altogether just. The seizure of the Waitara block had been defended at the time by the Government, though now Governor Browne's policy had been rescinded. But Governor Browne had been entirely whitewashed by the Government, and he could not, therefore, absolve the Government from responsibility for the bloodshed and the expenditure which had taken place in New Zealand. As to the suggested guarantee, he considered that a solemn and serious matter. He had protested against that which was granted for £500,000, and in the Committee which had sat upon the subject several Members were completely deceived by the plausible statements which were then offered in evidence by persons who had come from New Zealand to obtain the guarantee. A Return for which he had moved on the subject would show that clearly, and he would now ask the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Henley) how he came to be so easily led into inducing the House to give a guarantee upon evidence which turned out to be untrue.


said, he was much gratified to hear the assurance which the right hon. Gentleman had given with respect to the future government of New Zealand. He had no doubt that if the line of policy enunciated by the right hon. Gentleman should be carried out under the able administration of Sir George Grey, it would conduce very much to the consolidation and strengthening of the Imperial Government in that country. It was difficult to come at the origin of the "King movement," but it was, he believed, to be partly attributed to the desire of the Natives for the establishment of law and order amongst themselves. They had no means of bringing to justice those who committed crime; and they wished to have the means of punishing criminals in imitation of the system adopted for the purpose by Europeans. It was natural that the colonists, seeing the land of the Natives running to wreck and ruin, should desire to possess and cultivate it, and he believed that when the Natives were satisfied that a fair price would be paid to them, their natural desire for gain would induce them to clear the land from rough timber and sell it to the Europeans. The Government got the land from the Natives at half- a-crown an acre, and it was immediately put up at 10s. an acre. Now, the Natives were what the Americans call 'cute, and they did not understand how land sold for 2s. 6d. an acre should be immediately sold for 10s. an acre. The Government, however, had made surveys, and had been at some expense in bringing emigrants, who wanted more land. He rejoiced to hear that the law for the confiscation of land was not to be carried out in its integrity; but, even if the war were to end to-morrow, it was absolutely necessary that a considerable number of soldiers should remain in the country to prevent any outbreak that might subsequently arise. He denied that there was any general desire on the part of the colonists to exterminate the Natives. As an instance of the friendliness of the colonists to the Natives he might mention, that last year one of the most distinguished Members of the Legislature of New Zealand proposed that Native members should sit side by side with European members in that assembly, and that that proposal very nearly succeeded. He was glad to hear the policy enunciated by the right hon. Gentleman.


observed, that he wished to add a few words to what had been stated by his right hon. Friend. It had been his lot to follow very closely the disturbances in New Zealand, and, notwithstanding what had been said by the hon. Baronet (Sir John Trelawny) that evening, he still adhered to the views which, on more than one occasion, he had stated to the House. At the same time he deplored as much as any man could the unfortunate transactions to which the hon. Baronet had alluded, and admitted that great misfortunes had followed from them; but Governor Browne was a man of the greatest humanity, and certainly was not intentionally harsh or unjust towards the Native race. The measures he had taken against an obstinate chief, of the name of William King, were in themselves justifiable. That chief not only put himself in opposition to the Government of this country, but affected to dictate to other Natives what line of conduct they should pursue in the selling of their own lands, and had attempted to raise himself to the position of dictator over those whom he had no right to control. He believed, therefore, that there was nothing unjust in Governor Browne's conduct towards that person or towards the Natives generally, though it might have been deficient in policy. With respect to the present war, it was satisfactory to know that the turbulent and hostile tribes, however gallant an enemy they might be, were a decided minority of the Native tribes. He could assure the House that some of the ideas on the subject of the hostilities in New Zealand put forward by able pens through the press, and which had found moderate expression in that House, were totally opposed to the facts. He thought, however, that there were hardly two opinions with respect to the justice and necessity of the present war. It was well known that, from the time he arrived in New Zealand, Sir George Grey devoted all his energies to avert the necessity of the renewal of war, and to pacify the Natives. He had done his best to introduce into Native districts those simple forms of government, and provisions for law and order, which it was alleged formed one great cause of their discontent, and had led to their futile attempt at establishing a Government of their own. Sir George Grey, after noble efforts, carried on for many months, had at last been driven to the conclusion that nothing was left but to vindicate, by means of the forces placed at his disposal by this country, the authority of the law and the sovereignty of the Queen, and to bring the misguided Natives to a sense of their position in defying the power of this country. With respect to the Act of the Colonial Legislature, about which so much alarm had been expressed, and of which the noble Lord opposite (Lord R. Cecil) had expressed a fear that the evil consequences would not be averted by the instructions which went out by mail that night to New Zealand, however violent that Act might be, much might be said in extenuation and in excuse of the Legislature of the colony. They were not sitting calmly like the House of Commons discussing matters of distant interest. They formed almost the only able-bodied men in the northern part of the North Island, who were engaged in peaceful pursuits at a time when the whole population were in arms against a formidable and sanguinary insurrection. The noble Lord, if he would look a little closer into the matter, would probably see that the instructions described by his right hon. Friend would prove adequate to the occasion. The noble Lord complained of the Natives being treated like foreign enemies. They were treated so for their own good, as they were in fact regarded not as rebels but as enemies, entitled to all the rights of belligerents. When taken prisoners they were treated with the utmost kindness and humanity, and no more life was taken than was absolutely necessary to take in the field. But although for the sake of humanity we had treated the Natives as foreign enemies, and not as revolted subjects, yet they were legally British subjects. If we had chosen to treat them wholly as foreign enemies, on their subjugation it would have been easy for the Governor and General-in-Chief to deprive them of a large portion of their territory, but, as we were treating them as British subjects, legislation was necessary in order to deal with them satisfactorily. He had seen nothing in the language of the New Zealand Ministers or Members of Parliament, which led him to suspect that they intended to make a tyrannical use of the powers of this Act. It would be an insult, too, to Sir George Grey—always a warm friend of the Native —to suppose that in the strong position in which he found himself, and armed with the instructions he was about to receive, he would not control every step to be taken under the Act, and take care that its operation was not carried to any unjust length. The effect of the instructions would be, that when the tribes in arms should submit, and when the Governor and General commanding came to dictate terms to them on their submission, the Governor would announce to them that as part of these terms the surrender of a certain portion of their lands for the purposes described would be required from them. The Natives would be informed at once that a certain portion of their lands would be taken from them, and afterwards they would be restored to all the privileges which they obtained under the Treaty of Waitangi. With regard to a part of the Act which had been greatly blamed—that which gave power to take lands from those Natives even who were not implicated in the war—it must be borne in mind that the tenure of land in New Zealand was so complicated that not an acre of land could be taken if the assent of every single joint owner were required. The joint owners of the lands not implicated in the rebellion would receive fair compensation for their interest in the land by the verdict of a court appointed by the Governor himself. He believed that these terms of peace would be the only means of really punishing the guilty and preventing them from rushing to arms again. Under the instructions which Sir George Grey would receive, there was reason to hope that he would be able to prevent future wars, and enable the two races to live side by side in peace and prosperity.


said, he could not allow the discussion to close without expressing his satisfaction, both to the Colonial Secretary, for his clear and able statement, and to his hon. Friend (Mr. A. Mills), for having raised the Question. The recent events in New Zealand were the firstfruits of the change of policy by which the Local Legislature had been enabled to deal with the affairs of the Natives. In the Constitution Act of New Zealand, Native affairs were reserved for the Home Government; and it was impossible not to feel some anxiety as to the transference of those affairs to the colony, when they found that it had led to the passing of Acts of so doubtful a character as those they were now discussing. He was rather disposed to agree with his noble Friend (Lord R. Cecil), who expressed his regret that Her Majesty's Government did not propose to disallow these acts, though he was bound to admit that the fact of the Governor not having reserved them for consideration had much increased the difficulty of taking that course. The whole state of affairs in New Zealand was embarrassing and difficult, and if these acts of confiscation were to be carried out to their full extent, the difficulties of the Government would be greatly increased. He had, however, every reason to trust in the wisdom and moderation of Sir George Grey, and hoped that the agreeable prospects held out by the right hon. Gentleman opposite would be realized.


said, that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies was so temperate and so satisfactory that he would not have said a single word but for the speech of the hon. Under Secretary, which he feared would in some respect mar the effect of the observations of his superior. What he found fault with was, that the hon. Gentleman stated that he adhered to the statements made by him in this House in 1861, although those statements had since been proved to be mistaken, and had been repudiated by Governor Sir George Grey and by the responsible advisers of the Governor. He believed— and subsequent events had shown—that if the recommendations made in 1861 by the Church Missionary Society, and urged by himself, had been adopted, the recent war in New Zealand might have been prevented. He felt satisfied that there was no real antagonism between the Natives and the colonists. The prosperity of one race was intimately connected with that of the other. They might occupy New Zealand with their troops, and make it another Algeria, but that would not be for the benefit either of the colonists or the Natives, and still less of the mother country. He believed the Natives never had a better friend than Governor Browne. No one in dealing with the Natives ever laid down wiser or better rules of conduct. Unfortunately for the colonists, and for this country, the wise counsels of Governor Browne were overruled by the rapacity of certain persons, who were determined to possess particular portions of land. When the question was last before the House, the friends of New Zealand had two difficulties to contend against, both of which were now removed. The first was the indifference of the Legislature and the country. Considering the expenditure of blood and treasure which had taken place in New Zealand, and considering that the question of calling out the Yeomanry of England depended, according to the noble Lord at the head of the Government, on the result of the war in New Zealand, the indifference with which the question was formerly regarded might now be considered at an end. The second difficulty, which they encountered at every stage of their proceedings, was some disputed question of fact. The last time the question was before the House, he had to meet many of the statements of the Under Secretary of the Colonies with a simple denial. He did not expect that the House would receive the assertion of an independent Member of that House in preference to that of a Minister of the Crown; but let the House now refer to that debate, and to the subsequent despatches of Governor Sir George Grey, and say which was right, and whether the right hon. Gentleman was justified in saying that he adhered to every statement which he then made. He would let bygones be bygones, but he concurred with those who recommended that a treaty which had been deliberately entered into on behalf of Her Majesty, and which had been acted upon by the people of New Zealand when they were strong and the colonists were weak, should be still observed. For a period of twenty years the New Zealanders could have swept the whole military of the country and the colonists into the sea, and they were only restrained from doing so by the representations of the missionaries and others that the faith of England was inviolable. It was not by mistake on either side that the treaty was entered into. On the 13th of June, 1845, when the Earl of Derby was Secretary for the Colonies, he felt it necessary to repudiate with the utmost possible earnestness the doctrine maintained by some, that the treaty which they had entered into was to be considered a mere blind to amuse and deceive a set of ignorant savages; and in the name of the Queen he utterly denied that any treaty could have been conceived in a spirit so disingenuous or for purposes so unworthy. The terms of that treaty were drawn up with a kind of prescience of what was to follow, for it was stipulated that not only their individual, but their collective possessions were to be guaranteed to the Natives by Her Majesty as long as it was their wish and desire to hold the same. He would recommend, therefore, as the Church Missionary Society had done, that we should repeat the declaration made in 1845 by the Earl of Derby. Circumstances made that declaration more necessary now than it was then; and when, in 1861, he (Mr. Selwyn) urged the expediency and necessity of repeating it, the Under Secretary for the Colonies said, "I did not mean to decline that." But he would ask the hon. Gentleman and Government if they had ever in fact complied with that suggestion, or repeated the Earl of Derby's declaration? If they had done so, the present war would not have broken out. The war had been brought on partly by an accident and partly by the course pursued by the Government. Sir George Grey, with great generosity, had taken upon himself the blame of not issuing the proclamation sooner, but he had scarcely done justice to himself. It was the difficulty imposed by Her Majesty's Government in persisting in the error which had been clearly demonstrated, which fortified the position of the colonial advisers of Sir George Grey, and made it no easy matter for him to issue the proclamation. But had it been issued a few days sooner the outbreak would never have taken place. He should have thought, when a proposition was referred to in that House, and when a Member of Her Majesty's Government got up and said, "We do not decline that;" he would have meant, "We intend to do it." He had no desire to revive former discussions, to impute blame, or to boast of empty triumphs if Her Majesty's Government would do what was right now. He quite accepted the policy indicated in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State, and if sincerely carried into effect it would go far to put an end to this unfortunate war. There never had been a difference of opinion among Englishmen upon the point that the Queen's supremacy must be before all things maintained; and there never was any difference of opinion on the point amongst Englishmen, that every armed insurrection against that supremacy must be put down. But let it not be said that when they entered into a treaty, and the Natives were the stronger, they obeyed it; but when England was the stronger she broke it. In conclusion, he would observe that in former times in the colony they had been rapacious and hasty; at home they had been indifferent and careless. Let them now be wise, and amend; and as they had been unjust before let them be merciful now.


briefly replied, stating he had by no means altered his opinion as to the value of local self-government of the colonies, and that he did not cast any imputations on the governors, the peculiar difficulties in which they were placed being the excuse for the errors which they might have committed.

Motion agreed, to.

Address for Copy of all Correspondence that has taken place between Governor Sir George Grey and the Colonial Office relating to the policy of Confiscation which has been adopted by the New Zealand Legislature,"—(Mr. Arthur Mills.)