HC Deb 10 March 1865 vol 177 cc1481-516

who had given notice "to call the attention of the House to the state of affairs in New Zealand, and to move an Address to the Crown on the subject of the war in that colony," said, that at the close of last Session he had given notice that at the reassembling of Parliament, if the war in New Zealand were not concluded, he should move an Address to Her Majesty representing that as the Colonial Government had assumed the entire control of the Native policy of the colony, Her Majesty's forces ought no longer to be employed in a contest over which the Imperial Government had no control. The information last received from the colony was to the effect that a new Ministry, with a new policy, had come into power, that they intended in future to fight their own battles and pay their own bills, and that five regiments of Her Majesty's troops were now under notice of recall, and it might therefore be thought that the object he (Mr. Arthur Mills) sought by his Motion had been attained. There would certainly be less need for him to occupy the time of the House at any length. The affairs of New Zealand were at present in a sufficiently complicated state, and he did not wish to complicate them further. He would not, therefore, quote a single syllable from the blue books, but he must be permitted to say that he trusted no State papers would ever again be laid upon the table which would disclose such altercations between public functionaries as those which the New Zealand papers disclosed. He should not raise the question whether Governor Sir George Grey was in the right or not—he was not there to apologize for Sir George Grey; but if ever there was a public servant who was entitled in his absence, he would not say to exemption from the hostile criticism of Parliament, but to the careful consideration of his case, it was the Governor of a distant colony who had at once to carry on a civil war with a hostile race he had been sent to govern, and an official war with the members of his own Administration. That was the position of Sir George Grey. He did not propose to enter into the question whether Sir George Grey was right or wrong, whether he or his advisers were responsible for the escape of the Rangiriri prisoners, who were now entrenched in a position rather formidable to the colonists; nor did he intend to discuss the propriety of the change of capital from Auckland to Wellington. All he would say was this, that if there was any gentleman, whether in or out of Parliament, who was ambitious to succeed Sir George Grey, let him read the papers in the blue book before making up his mind. He would there see what were the possible indignities to which an English gentleman might be subjected as the representative of his Sovereign in a distant dependency. At all events, Sir George Grey had no easy task to perform. In common with many others he (Mr. Arthur Mills) believed we had by no means got out of our difficulties; and that the affairs of New Zealand had not ceased to challenge the consideration of Parliament. They had proposed last Session to strike off £33,000 from the Commissariat Transport Vote on the ground that the war in New Zealand would be over in five months. One month afterwards the noble Lord the Under Secretary for War asked for a Vote for precisely the same amount, on the ground that the war in New Zealand would be ended in five months. He was sure, however, that the Colonial Minister would now be very much obliged to any one who would give him a guarantee that that war would be over in five years. Some people had a rough and ready mode of settling this difficulty. "The Maori race," they said, "was destined to be exterminated, and the sooner the better." The hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) was one of those who entertained this opinion. Now, it might be true that the brown man was destined to extermination, but it was of no use to discuss the abstract question of his destiny. The question was how England was to fulfil her responsibilities, and settle how the brown and the white man were to live together, so long as the former was destined to last. The war between the two races had been going on almost ever since New Zealand was a colony, and the brown man still showed considerable evidence of vitality, nor if you searched all the annals of heroism would you find any more illustrious than those which recorded the noble resistance of a handful of these Maories against the disciplined forces of Great Britain. Meanwhile, the Imperial Parliament had only two alternatives—either to suspend the constitution of New Zealand, and revoke and annul the colonial policy of the last twenty-five years, or to go forward and accept the policy indicated by the new Colonial Government, and to leave the power and the responsibility of Government in the hands of the colonists themselves. He assumed that the House of Commons was not prepared to cancel the colonial policy of the last quarter of a century, but that, on the contrary, they were determined to go forward in the same direction. Two sets of objectors, however, started up when this was proposed. One section of the colonists said, "We cannot afford to carry out this spirited policy." But his answer to these persons was, "At your own risk, without inducement from the Government, you have chosen to settle in a colony 12,000 miles from home, and you say that we, who have been fighting your battles for so many years, should defend you for ever, although you have absolute control over your own affairs." At this moment the Parliament of New Zealand had as entire control over its own affairs, including questions of Native policy, as the English Parliament had over the affairs of this country. Under these circumstances, the time was come when the colonists should accept the responsibilities of their position, and should understand that they could not have the privileges without undertaking the burdens of freedom. Another class of objectors was to be found among the philanthropists who advocated the cause of the Maori race in this country, but feared to trust their fate to colonial administrators, and to them he would say, "You wish to rescue from ruin the remnant of a noble race, and desire that they should live peacefully and happily side by side with the Anglo Saxon colonists. Do you then believe that this object will be promoted by maintaining in New Zealand English soldiers, whose business there it is—if they have any business there—to support the colonists in any quarrels, righteous or unrighteous, that they may have with the Natives? Assuming that the colonists are as unscrupulous as their most inveterate assailants here declare, are there no motives of self-interest on which you can rely, and which would induce the colonists, when no longer backed up by English troops, to be more circumspect and more humane than they now are in their dealings with the Natives." So far from being detrimental to the Maories, it was his firm belief that the consequences of the policy now inaugurated would be to promote their enduring interests. But he was not prepared to assume that the colonists were inclined to treat the Natives with the barbarity which was sometimes attributed to them; and he held it to be nothing less than a libel on a community which we had ourselves intrusted with the privileges of self-government to insinuate that they were less disposed than we were to deal humanely with the Maories. There might be isolated instances of selfishness, where some few of the colonists, profiting largely by the commissariat expenditure, urged on the war; but he believed that the colonists generally were sound at heart, and regarded the war as far too serious a thing to warrant the sacrifice of large colonial interests for the benefit of a few adventurers. Those acts did not, he felt persuaded, fairly represent the feeling of the general body. He believed that the conduct of the inhabitants of the Middle Island throughout the struggle had proved the existence of a wise and statesmanlike spirit on their part. He had confidence in the wisdom and humanity of the colonists in the management, not only of their local affairs, but of the Native question, and from the despatches laid on the table he saw reason to hope that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cardwell) was disposed to accept the policy of allowing them to deal with this question. It would be satisfactory to him if the right hon. Gentleman would state what was now the exact position of the colony with respect to the military charges, the Loan Guarantee Bill having fallen through and become waste paper. A correspondence had taken place between the Colonial Office and some other Department of the Government, in which certain terms were set forth as the conditions on which the loan was to be guaranteed. One of these conditions was the payment by the colony of £40 or £50 from the commencement of next year for every infantry soldier above, he believed, a single battalion. However, the New Zealand Loan Bill fell through, and he presumed that all the conditions fell through also, and that now the position of this country with respect to troops in New Zealand was the same as before. It would, therefore, be satisfactory if the right hon. Gentleman would state how that matter stood. He thanked the House for the attention accorded to him while speaking on a question relating to a distant colony; and it was his earnest hope that at no distant day, instead of the colony of New Zealand being a drain on our resources and a cause of constant and serious perplexity to British statesmen and the Imperial Parliament, all classes and both races there would participate in the prosperity and happiness which the policy to which he had adverted was destined to promote.


After the distinct mode in which I have been spoken of by my hon. Friend, I hope the House will pardon me if I rise for the purpose of saying a few words upon this subject. I have no doubt that what I am going to say will give great offence to certain parties in this House, because I am about to attack and to expose a great sham. I have often found that a great sham has very ardent supporters. There is one peculiar quality which they assume to themselves, and that is a sort of exceptional right to virtue, and in addition to that, they always assume for themselves the right of abusing everybody who opposes them. Now the sham which I will endeavour to expose is this:—England for the greater part of three centuries past has been a great colonizing country, and in proportion to her colonization has she made every possible effort to extend her dominion, and power, and civilization. An outcry has already been raised by certain parties whom my hon. Friend has Called "humanitarians," accusing this country of injustice in her attempts to extend civilization. That occurred when the old men of 270 years ago went first to America. The moment they arrived there they found on the shores of that country a fierce, savage, and vindictive race. And here I would draw a distinction between conquest and colonization. Conquest signifies simply the acquiring of political dominion over a country. The political dominion passes from one hand to another; and that is called "conquest." I will illustrate that by pointing to India. But colonization means more than that—it means not only conquest but dispossession; it means taking possession of the land,. driving out the former inhabitants, and placing instead of them, the inhabitants of the colonizing country. The moment that occurs an undying feud arises between the in-comers and the aborigines, an undying conflict that you cannot get over, it must exist, and it will exist. Now, what occurred in the case of New Zealand? New Zealand was colonized not by the Government of England, but in spite of the Government of England. A certain number of people gathered together after the fashion of the old people whom sentimental historians have called the "Pilgrim Fathers." They assembled together at the mouth of the Thames, and signed a paper by which they agreed to subject themselves to a government to be instituted when they arrived in New Zealand. They threw off all subjection to England. England refused to assist them in colonizing New Zealand, and they went out in spite of England. Now I am here to vindicate the conduct of those men. I say they were right; and I say they were right upon two grounds. In the first place, it is quite clear that if they had not taken that step, France would have taken it, and New Zealand, instead of being a British colony, would have been a French colony. I say, therefore, with a view to the interests of England, that the conduct of those Englishmen was wise, just, and politic. Now I go one step further, and I say that these men were wise and right, and just and politic, because they endeavoured to extend the range of English civilization. They were about to dispossess the wild animals of New Zealand, and among those wild animals the most mischievous is the wild man. ["Oh, oh!"] I knew you would cry "oh, oh!" but of that I am quite sure. Now mark the difference. The aboriginal man lives in a constant state of warfare. That I assert. He is vindictive, faithless, and cruel. That is his character; and where one savage man lived, a thousand civilized men would live. And, therefore, to import English civilization into New Zealand, and to overwhelm the barbarity of the Natives, was doing good in the face of nature, not of men. I assert, then, that the people who went to New Zealand, although they displaced the aborigines, did rightly and justly, for I know no meaning to those words but increasing the happiness of mankind; and I say that if I could establish in New Zealand English civilization in place of original barbarity, I should increase the happiness of mankind, and increase the means of living quietly and happily. I will contrast the results of these two states. Under the aborigines what was the condition of New Zealand? And here I would remark to my hon. Friend, when he talks of the conduct of the people of the middle island, that there are no aborigines in that island; and, therefore, the conduct of the colonists of the middle island, can hardly be applied to the conduct of the people of the North, who have many aborigines to contend with. But I ask the House to contrast the two situations. The aboriginal man was in New Zealand; he wandered over the wilds of that country; he never cultivated the country; he "made it a wilderness and called it peace." That was the actual state in which the Englishmen found it. What will it be when the aboriginal race shall have disappeared? Why, there will be calm from one end of the country to the other. Where ten men lived a thousand will live, and they will live in peace and security and happiness, instead of that wild aboriginal war of which my hon. Friend seems to be so great an advocate. I ask, then, were not those Englishmen wise in their generation to go to that country? Now comes my quarrel with the Government. The Government never would see that that was the case, but they halted between two opinions. They were determined to get all the advantage of colonization, and, at the same time, to conciliate Gentlemen who talk of virtue and honesty. It was, however, only talking. Exactly the same thing was done by the East India Company. They sent out Governor after Governor with despatches, deprecating conquest. They said, "Oh, we do not want conquest; we do not think it wise, politic, or just." But those who were the greatest conquerors were the greatest favourites of the East India Company from the days of Warren Hastings and of Wellesley down to Dalhousie and Clyde. All these men were conquerors, and they were the pets of the East India Company. And so with England. She has taken advantage of every colony that was formed. She could not allow the people of New Zealand to remain quiet, as they would have been, if left to themselves. But she immediately sent out an official. As soon as the official came there was a riot. The English Government sent out a Governor, and they made that wretched farce of a treaty called the Treaty of Waitangi. What does a treaty mean? It means that two independent bodies come to an understanding to make an agreement. But I assert that there was no independent body on the part of the aborigines. We had determined to colonize the country, and, therefore, to dispossess the Natives of their lands. The moment we did that, we created an undying hostility on their part, and there was therefore no one to enter into any treaty with us. When the colonists went to New Zealand they also entered into a farce, but I am not sure it was not a politic farce. They pretended to buy from the aborigines their lands. That was very much as if a man of mature age were to go to a boy of seven years old and say, "I will give you lollypops if you will give me your estate." A savage is a child. That which distinguishes a man of thought is that he looks forward; he foregoes the present in consideration of the future. But it is the peculiarity of the savage to be governed by present impressions. If you display a musket or a dagger, or some gunpowder, or a piece of cloth, he will say, "I will give you anything for it;" but when he has destroyed the gun, or blown up the gunpowder, or carried away the dagger, or worn the cloth, he will turn round and reclaim his land. The whole thing is a farce, an imposition upon the poor unfortunate aborigine, and the Treaty of Waitangi is a union of folly and weakness. The Government ought to have said, "We come to take possession of this country; hereafter we are governors; nobody has any right to any land but that which we give; nobody has any right but that which we give and create." If the Government had said that they would have understood it. But you cheated the aborigine. You made him believe he was somebody. You had made him think that he was a power. You had led him to suppose that he was our equal and that he possessed governing authority. The Native turned round and said, When you entered into a treaty you guaranteed the possession of our lands. Thus you bamboozled the aborigines, and played the fool with your own people. What ought to be done now? Exactly what the hon. Gentleman recommended, but with a difference. You have interfered. You did not allow the colonists to govern for their own interests, but you have gone on intermeddling with their affairs. What is the consequence? There is a set of men in this country, who turn up their eyes, and put their palms together appearing to pay, and then they go and sell the aborigines percussion caps, ball, and powder; but as my gallant old Friend, who is now dead, the late Sir William Napier—who really was a great man—observed, "I want to know what manner of men it was who supplied arms and ammunition to the savages of South Africa?" I think I know the class of men who supplied the Natives of New Zealand with arms and ammunition. If you had allowed those who went there thirty or thirty-three years ago—when there were no percussion caps, no rifles, no powder—to follow their own course, they would have settled the question for themselves. But no; you had the Treaty of Waitangi, you had free trade in arms and ammunition, and these men have been supplied with arms and ammunition. This is at the bottom of the war. It is the lust of money that has led England's merchants to sell the aborigines the muskets, ball, and powder by which their own countrymen have been shot down. I dare say all I am saying is exceedingly offensive, but it is very true, and there lies its offence. The way to do is to allow colonists to govern themselves, and do as they like. We are not the protectors of the morality of mankind: if we were, I do not know that we offer a very good example. We ought at once to say to the colonists, "We have made a mistake; we have endeavoured to protect the Maories, and we find we cannot do it; a feud has been created by the fact of your becoming colonists; they will be, as they are, your enemies; we cannot prevent it, and we leave you to do now as you ought to have done thirty years ago; the more you advance civilization the better it will be for mankind." You may say to the Maories, "Take your plots of land and endeavour to become civilized men; but any attempt to oppose Imperial dominion, any endeavour to have a dominion opposed to the English power is a thing we will not permit. We will be kind to you after having dispossed you. We will be kind to you, we will give you what you want so long as you behave like civilized men, but the moment you appear in hostility we will put you down." That seems a harsh, ready, and cruel way, but depend upon it that is the right way, and in the long run it will be found the humane way.


observed, that the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down began by saying there were some persons in this country who arrogated to themselves an exceptional right to abuse everybody else. Now, he should have thought that if there was any human being, he would not say in that House, but on the face of the whole earth, who arrogated to himself the exceptional right to abuse everybody else, it was that hon. and learned Gentleman himself. The hon. and learned Member said that in entering into the Treaty of Waitangi with the Natives we acted like the man who gave lollypops to a child to induce him to give up his estate, and that the Maories were as children who could not look forward. But one of the main causes which led to that war was the deliberate and organized attempt on the part of the Natives to prevent the alienation of their lands. He thought it one of the most glorious features in the history of this country that, at any rate, for the last twenty or thirty years, instead of dealing with the aboriginal races of our colonies in the fashion advocated by the hon. and learned Gentleman, the colonists and the Government had felt the responsibility of dealing with them with the humanity and justice that were due to them. The proposal to which his hon. Friend (Mr. Arthur Mills) had called the attention of the House was that Great Britain should withdraw her troops, now amounting to about 12,000 men, from New Zealand upon the understanding that then they should no longer interfere in any way whatever with the internal affairs of that colony. And, upon the whole, though not, he confessed, without having gone through a long period of hesitation, he, for one, had come to the conclusion that this was the best solution of that most difficult pro- blem which the war in New Zealand presented. At one time he had hoped that a settlement of those difficulties would have been found attainable which would have been far more satisfactory than the one now proposed. The best thing for all parties, both for the Natives and for the settlers and for this country, would have been that we should have so far broken the power of the Natives that the whole of the lands occupied by those who had been in arms against us should have been surrendered to us by them. That then the cultivable part of those lands should have been divided into three portions, one of which should have been handed back to the Natives; not, indeed, to the Natives as a nation or as tribes, but that a plot of land amply sufficient for its maintenance should be given back to each Native family with a separate Parliamentary title to it. By that means all these ruinous, tribal rights would have been extinguished which had done so much mischief, while at the same time every Native family would in reality have been placed in a much better position than before. Then another portion of the land should have been devoted to rewarding the volunteers who were induced to go and fight for the colony by a distinct promise to that effect; and a third part might have been retained or sold by the Colonial Government to pay for the expenses of the war. That would have been the ideal settlement of this great difficulty, and he still held that if the Government could have seen their way to such a solution, they would not by any means have been justified in withdrawing our army or making any other arrangement. The plain truth, however, was that such a settlement was not attainable. Then there was another plan which appeared to have had Sir George Grey's sanction, and stood, he thought, on a strong foundation of justice and good sense. This was the proposal to give up the idea of conquering the Natives in the inland districts, especially those of Waikato, and simply to occupy a portion of territory in the neighbourhood of each of the European settlements, and establish a line of defences, partly by armed steamers on the river Waikato, and partly by military posts, so as to keep the hostile Natives beyond those borders. By that means a considerable portion of land would be taken from the Natives and given to the settlers, but of that he should not complain, because the Natives would have ample territory left them, and those who chose to keep on peaceable terms would, he presumed, be allowed to remain within the pale. But then there was a third plan, the one on which the Colonial Government had been bent, and for which they sought the aid of the mother country. The essential idea from which this scheme seemed to emanate was this—that the Natives had been guilty of a flagrant crime in taking up arms, a crime which might justly be punished by the total confiscation of their property, and even by the infliction of death, or of the other condign penalties of treason; and that no terms of peace should be entered into with them, but that they should be utterly crushed by the strong hand, and some even advocated their being completely driven out of their own territories. This idea was embodied, rather more than a year ago, in three Acts, which were passed by the Colonial Legislature. One of these Acts—he spoke deliberately in defiance of the contradictions which that assertion, made by himself and afterwards by the Secretary of State, had met with last year—one of these Acts empowered the Government to take any lands whatever in those districts which have been the theatre of war, whether they belonged to loyal Natives or to the so-called rebels, for the purpose of settling them with European colonists, with the sole restriction that those Natives who could prove that they had not in any way whatever abetted the rebellion might obtain compensation for the lands so taken from them in courts to be established by the Colonial Government. That was the first feature of the scheme. The whole of the land of all the Natives in the disturbed districts was to be placed at the absolute disposal of the Colonial Government. The next branch of the scheme was the Act called that for the Suppression of Rebellion, which authorized the Government to punish any person concerned in the rebellion with death; for which, however, penal servitude or other penalties might be substituted. The same Act suspended the right of habeas corpus. It also constituted military courts for the trial of the alleged rebels. It also authorized the detention of any suspected persons, and that without any limit of time. So that while with one hand the Colonial Legislature laid its grasp on all the land of the Natives, with the other hand it consigned all the Natives who might in any way have abetted the rebel- lion to the penalties of treason. It had been alleged that none of these powers were really intended to be used; but it did not appear to him to be the slightest justification for passing Acts of Parliament that it would be so outrageous to enforce them that no one could ever be suspected of intending it. The third branch of this plan was the Act entitled the Loan Act, according to which a loan of £3,000,000 was to be raised under a material guarantee obtained from the mother country, in order that the colony might have the means of carrying out the policy indicated in the two other Acts; but it was explained that the outlay would afterwards be recouped to the colony by the sale of the lands that would thus be seized. Not a word, however, was said of giving any share of the spoil to the mother country. Now he denied utterly, and with all his force, that the conduct of the Natives could justify measures of such sweeping severity. In the first place, it was preposterous to speak of them as traitors. No doubt the greater number of them acquiesced twenty-five years ago in the authority of the Queen under the Treaty of Waitangi; but, as he showed last year—and he would not go over that ground again—we had not kept the conditions on our side by which they were induced to enter into that treaty. It was, therefore, an outrage upon common sense to speak of the Natives as rebels against the Queen, because they might have in some measure receded from that treaty when we ourselves had virtually set it aside. Well, then, as regarded the origin of the war, he confessed that a more weltering sea of contradictions he had never met with than that in which the question was immersed how and why that war had arisen, and to whom the blame of it was most justly due. He must say, however, that a careful study of all the evidence with regard to it had led him to acquit the colonists of having provoked the war for the sake of the expenditure and spoil which it might bring. On the contrary, he thought that the Colonial Ministers were very anxious to avoid fighting, and that was the general feeling among the settlers. Nor could there be a question that Governor Browne and Governor Grey did their best to escape it. Well, then, the inference might seem to be inevitable that the Natives were guilty of a great crime in commencing it; but the more one studied the whole question the less one was inclined to throw blame on the Natives. No doubt what mainly led toward the war was the conviction that had arisen among them that their lands were no longer safe from the rapacity of the English, and that their existence as a nation, that their independence as well as their property, would slip from them unless they made an effort to preserve them in good time. He did not mean that that feeling led them to fly to arms, but it led them to place those restrictions on the sale of land by individual Natives which ultimately led to collision between them and us. Well, perhaps they ought not to have entertained this apprehension; but various acts were committed by the Government with the history of which he would not weary the House, but which, unhappily, tended powerfully to confirm the Natives in this view. Nor, could any candid man deny that the rapid tendency of events in New Zealand had actually been towards the extinction of the Natives as a nation, and the gradual alienation of their lands. Then, in intimate connection with that feeling was that singular King movement, which, though it looked like an attempt at throwing off the supremacy of the Queen, was admitted on all hands to have been in reality an attempt on the part of the Natives to put an end to the anarchy which prevailed among them, and to give themselves an organization and a head, but without any idea of treason. A number of incidents awakened great suspicion and uneasiness on each side. The Natives were in dread of the colonists, and the colonists were in dread of an attack from the Natives. Some acts of violence inflamed the irritation and anxiety of men's minds, and thus by degrees both sides drifted into war without its being possible to say that either party had wished or intended to draw the sword, or could be fairly blamed for having at length taken up arms. But he ventured to affirm that no one who had carefully studied the circumstances of the case would say that the Natives in renewing hostilities had been guilty of any serious crime. In fact, the war was not one between a Sovereign authority and rebels, but a war that had most unhappily arisen chiefly through a misunderstanding of each other between neighbours; and the Natives had a claim which could not be impugned to be treated, not as traitors who had made themselves liable to the penalty of death and the confiscation of all their property, but as ordinary belligerents. Nor, again, had they for- feited that right by conducting the war with atrocious cruelty. The attack upon the escort near Taranaki on the 4th of May, two years ago, was manifestly regarded by the Natives themselves as a fair act of war. Nor could we complain very bitterly of such an act, remembering such incidents as one which occurred at the end of 1863, when, although the Natives had made signs of submission, and the white flag was flying throughout Waikato, Captain Jackson and his men tracked a body of Natives into the bush, discovered them, not in a fortified pah, but in the forest, attacked them while engaged in Divine worship on a Sunday morning, and shot seven of them. Much had been said of the assassination of settlers, but it appeared that up to the beginning of last year only twelve settlers had been killed, and these murders seemed to have been the acts of excited Natives, which were lamented and disapproved by, at any rate a considerable number of, the other Natives and of the chiefs. Against these lamentable acts they must not in candour omit to recall that in almost every case the Natives gave the settlers time to retire from their territory, and allowed them to do so unarmed and unplundered. Archdeacon Brown was thus sent away, and when he returned long afterwards he found his property still untouched and actually protected from injury by a Native guard. Exactly the same thing happened to Mr. Gorst, who had been forced upon the Natives as Commissioner of Waikato against their will, and was driven away by them; but he, too, was allowed to return to Waikato months afterwards, and take away his property, which had been preserved. The real truth was that, notwithstanding a few distressing occurrences, the war, upon the whole, has been conducted by the Natives with humanity and self-control; nor could he say that without at the same time bearing his testimony to the humanity which had also been displayed by the colonists themselves, who had not been hurried, as they might easily have been, into acts of violence. But, as he had already pointed out, the policy which was sketched out by one Ministry, and was embodied in those Acts by another, and had not been repudiated, so far as he was aware, by that which was now in power, was not one, as he ventured to think, to which the concurrence or aid of this country ought to be given. It was based on the idea that the Natives had forfeited all their rights, both to their property and then to their life itself—a view which he was sure would not be entertained by any rational being in this country. Well, but then the question arose, what course the Government ought to pursue? Some of those who took a warm interest in the Natives of New Zealand would have us maintain our army there expressly in order to put us into such a position of authority that we could dictate the policy to be pursued towards them. He certainly had himself felt much doubt whether that would not be the wisest course. But, upon the whole, he believed that they should be best consulting the good of the Natives themselves, as well as, beyond all question, their own interests, in accepting the proposal made to them by the Colonial Government. It was impossible, in time of war, to maintain a divided authority. Now they had given to the colonists the right of self-government. They had since found it necessary to surrender to them the power of dealing with the Natives; and if they kept up an army of 10,000 or 12,000 men in New Zealand, it was inevitable that that force should be used by the Colonists as an instrument for carrying out their own policy; or else the result must be, as, indeed, they had actually seen during the last year, a disastrous dead-lock, producing the utmost perplexity and confusion on all sides. He believed that things had reached that point at which they could no longer say to the colonists, "We supply you with this force, and therefore you shall act thus and thus." The colonists repudiated any such bargain. They would not be turned from their own course, but would use us as instruments in effecting their purposes. Now, if our army retired from New Zealand, he believed that the colonists would be compelled to acquiesce in treating the Natives not only as belligerents, but in treating them, moreover, as powerful enemies whom it was absolutely necessary to conciliate, because the attempt to subjugate them by sheer force would, if not utterly hopeless, yet be too enormous in its costs. Experience had shown the extraordinary skill of the Natives in conducting their own species of warfare. It was stated last year that during three years at least £5,000,000 had been spent on the war, while only some 150 or 200 Natives had been killed. But the fact was that their Native fastnesses were almost impregnable, and nothing but the power of a country like England on the back of the colonists would enable them to carry-out any general policy of extermination or confiscation of land. What he anticipated was, that the colonists would adopt the intermediate scheme to which he referred before, of a kind of fortified border round each settlement, but that they would give up as hopeless the attempt to conquer the Native territory and keep them down by force of arms. Nor could he refrain from adding that, strongly as he disapproved the policy embodied in the three Acts of Colonial Legislature, on which he had been dwelling, still his firm conviction was that the Colonists had no desire to act with undue violence or harshness towards the Maories. A large number of them take a profound interest in the fortunes of the native race, and the strong pressure of the public opinion in this country would act as a wholesome restraint upon them. In short, looking at the question in all its bearings, he was sure that the most statesmanlike course that could be taken was that of acepting the proposal so fortunately made by the Colonial Government.


said, the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) had observed truly that a great nation like this had a tendency to spread itself over the waste parts of the earth, and that a vigorous nation coming in contact with barbarous tribes was likely to predominate; but when he went on to say that a powerful nation, which, coming in contact with barbarous tribes, sought to act with the least possible cruelty towards those tribes, and, whether successful or not, showed itself willing to make every sacrifice to enable it to live with them in peace and social progress—was enacting a farce, and those who recommended such a course were nothing better than canting hypocrites, he must altogether dissent from those virtuous principles of which he claimed a monopoly in that House. The hon. and learned Gentleman said he would rather that we should look honestly on Maories as wild animals. Wild men should be treated by us as wild beasts. That was the more virtuous view which the hon. Member proposed, but in saying so he only succeeded in the object which he proposed to himself in rising to speak, that of saying something offensive to the feelings of everybody else in the House. For his own part, he regarded the attempts made by Englishmen to enable the Maori race to live with them, as creditable to this country. And he did not think the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield was justified in saying that his speech, if it had a practical object was directed to the same end as that which the hon. Member for Taunton(Mr. A. Mills)had in bringing forward his Motion. The object of that Motion was, he believed, to induce the Colonial Secretary to put the House in full possession of the state of affairs in New Zealand, but by no means to embarrass the policy of the right hon. Gentleman, or to induce him to alter that policy, which the hon. Member for Taunton in common with himself hoped might prove successful, and might soon issue in the termination of the wars that had so long afflicted New Zealand, and of that confusion and anomaly so long existing in the relations between the Governor and the Legislature of the colony and between the colony and the mother country. One could hardly believe that thirteen years ago we had conceded self-government to New Zealand, and yet to the present moment were still involved in all the cost of blood and money so freely lavished in internal wars of that colony. The control over the Natives had, indeed, been reserved by the Imperial Government in the first constitutional grant to New Zealand in 1852. But that control over the Natives had been ceded in the amplest terms by the Duke of Newcastle two years ago, and the present Colonial Minister endorsed the policy of his predecessor, drawing, however, the distinction that as long as England maintained the internal defence of the colony, it was necessary for England to retain a voice in the native policy. The Governor, as representative of the Crown, had been carrying on a policy of his own since 1862, which had resulted in 1864 in placing him in distinct antagonism to his Executive Ministers and the Representative Assembly, to which they were responsible. Here was the great anomaly, consisting in the gift of self-government without the responsibility of self-defence, and the reserve of external defence neutralizing the gift of self-government. He hoped this would be taken as an illustration of the fact that the two things must always go together. Self-government could not continue to exist without entailing the responsibility of self-defence; and self-defence was absolutely necessary to give life and vigour to self-government. In 1862, the policy pursued by Sir George Grey of ceding one territory that had been purchased, and re-occupying another that had been relinquished, raised the Maori race in rebellion, and united their forces against the English Government. In the war which this excited, 10,000 English troops were engaged, and the colony at that time refused or held back from raising its own militia, and repudiated its own liability, saying that this country must bear the charges and responsibilities of the war begun through the acts of the Governor. The Duke of Newcastle rightly remonstrated, and urged the colonists to greater vigour in undertaking the suppression of the rebellion, and the consequence was that the local Ministry at last entertained plans for the military settlement of the disputed territory, and passed three Acts—one a Suppression Act, copied from the Irish Rebellion Act of 1788; a Confiscation Act, called "The New Zealand Settlement Act," and further made up their minds to raise a loan of £3,000,000. The right hon. Gentleman opposite withheld Her Majesty's assent to the Confiscation Act unless its terms were modified; but he passed an Act of Parliament offering the assistance of the Imperial credit to enable them to raise on more moderate terms one-third of the pro: posed loan. The war having been suppressed, the Governor quarrelled with his Ministers as to the terms on which the rebels ought to be dealt with, and the Fox Ministry accordingly resigned; their successors, according to the latest papers, appeared to have accepted the modification of the Confiscation Act demanded by the right hon. Gentleman, but declined the offer of the Imperial guarantee. They were willing, as he read their decision, to wind up the policy of the past, and to accept the policy of the future as proposed. They preferred, to their honour, self-government at the cost of self-defence. If that were so, the announcement was highly important and satisfactory; and therefore it was that he attached importance to the Motion of his hon. Friend, which sought information from the Colonial Secretary as to how far these views and speculations were to be depended upon. The offer of guarantee of the Imperial Government of the one-third of the loan had been accompanied by two conditions. The one was that the colony was to pay to the Imperial Government the debt it owed already; and the other was, that in future the colony should undertake its own defence, or if they received the assistance of troops from Eng- land beyond one battalion they should pay a certain sum per man. The question was, having given up the Imperial guarantee, did the colony hold itself bound to the terms which had been attached to the offer of the guarantee? He believed they might rely upon the colony repaying its debt to this country as soon as they could; and he also believed that in giving up the loan it meant to say it would give England no further pretext for interference, that it was willing to contribute to its own self-defence and to the payment of any troops that might be sent out to it from this country. In that event we might begin to look at last for an end of the troubles that had so long distracted the colony. It had been supposed that there might be a fresh outbreak in the neighbourhood of New Plymouth, but the colonists drew together at the point which was threatened a strong garrison of local forces and showed a determination to act with vigour. They had further removed the seat of Government from the extreme north to the central point of Wellington, by which might be understood a determination to rally the whole strength of the colony round a central point, and a repudiation of the mischievous suggestion, at one time put forward, that distinct interests existed between the northern and southern islands. If these views were not mistaken or premature the right hon. Gentleman during his tenure of office would have the satisfaction and credit of seeing a great English colony in the South, as he hoped he would soon see one also in the West, assuming at last the vigour and spirit of self-reliance—shaking off the belief that colonial connection implied dependence on the protection of England, a protection which never could be realized and which crushed the strength and growth of the colony.


was sorry to believe there was only too much truth in the statement that arms and ammunition had been supplied to the Natives by speculators with a white skin. What manner of men these might have been he was unable to say, but at all events they were very bad men. He wished the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. A. Mills) could have been induced not to bring on his Motion just at the moment when affairs in the colony were confessedly in a critical state, and when the steamers probably bringing despatches of great importance had been telegraphed. He must certainly deprecate anything like a general discussion of the question, otherwise the colonists, who were beginning to entertain considerations as to the propriety of self-defence, might think the House had acted with precipitation, if not with discourtesy. In the debate, as far as it had gone, the colonists had been spoken of in a very fair spirit; but much more frequently they were calumniated. The favourite charges against them resolved themselves into three accusations—that they wished to grasp the lands of the Natives, that the Native population were maltreated by them, and that they were anxious for their own purposes that the war should be carried on, refusing all the time to contribute or co-operate. The first of these reproaches was sufficiently displaced by the fact that when a very large tract of land was confiscated, with the approbation of the Colonial Office, the Local Government, gave back three-fourths of this land to the Natives. As to their supposed ill-treatment, the interests of the colonists lay in a directly opposite direction. Native labour was very valuable, and, moreover, the Natives were tolerably industrious and excellent customers of the storekeepers, being very extravagant. A decrease in the population had, no doubt, taken place, but not in the same proportion since the island was settled. One cause in the decrease was the introduction of fire-arms in lieu of less destructive weapons. These were originally given by the Government to a chief who visited England in 1820, and who, when he got back, made use of them to carry warfare into the country. Another cause was the change in the food of the Natives—from fern roots and fish—principally eels—to potatoes and pork. This would probably be as injurious to the Natives as the adoption of a fern root and eel dietary would be to us. Some Natives from Van Diemen's Island, who were removed to an island in Bass's Straits, died very fast, although they were regularly supplied with plenty of food. A surgeon in the navy suggested that this mortality might be explained by the fact that they were a race of hunters, who were not accustomed to eat for two or three days, when they at length got what they called a "tightener." He recommended that their rations should not be given to them so punctually—every other day, for example. His advice was followed, and the Natives got on much bet- ter. He did not believe that the commissariat expenditure had been the cause of the war. Three-fifths of the population lived in the Middle Island, and had nothing to do with the commissariat. It was ridiculous to suppose that there would be 100 people in New Zealand who would submit to a hard military life and go through this horrid war for the sake of the commissariat and contractors. Three-fifths of the population would derive no benefit at all from it. He rejoiced that this debate had taken place because it showed that there was no one, however humble, and no dependency, however distant, that could not find an advocate and defender in that House.


thought the hon. Member for Salisbury had omitted one reason for the diminution of the Natives before our settlement among them, which was, that besides the other unwholesome articles of diet mentioned by him, they ate each other. He did not agree with what had been said about the inopportuneness of this Motion. His hon. Friend had not attempted to embarrass the Government, and he believed that the colonists would be benefited by plain speaking in the House. He wished, however, to clear himself from any participation in what had been said by the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, whose sentiments he was persuaded were shared by few Members of that House. The hon. and learned Member's bark was worse than his bite; for, although he began by preaching extermination and fire and sword—[Mr. ROEBUCK: No!] Well, if he did not directly preach extermination, he had left it to be inferred that that was the best treatment to follow with regard to man in his savage state. But he finished by suggesting the more salutary and humane remedy of Native cottages and allotments. He thought that this country incurred great responsibility in dealing with the Native races in its dependencies—whether black, brown, or white. It certainly was not what the hon. and learned Member called extending the happiness of mankind to begin by exterminating a race which had, at all events, the rights of first possession. If the House adopted the theory of extermination they would be going back to the example of the Spaniards, whose method of colonizing the New World obtained the execration of mankind. The hon. and learned Member talked of the Native races of New Zealand as wild animals, and said that of all wild animals man was the worst. But what were the people of this country 1,000 years ago? What were the Highlanders of Scotland so late as even as 120 years ago? There were people to be found then who said that massacre was the only thing for the Highlanders, who were deemed incapable of civilization and a curse to their neighbours. They had all heard of the massacre of Glencoe in which that policy had been carried out. Civilization had, however, been carried into those districts, and now the Highlands were as orderly and civilized as any other part of the British dominions. The question whether certain races were capable of civilization or not was ill-fitted for discussion in that House; but it could hardly be said that an experience of thirty years was long enough to justify them in stigmatizing the Maori race as incapable of civilization. He quite agreed in the policy advocated by the hon. Member for Taunton, and adopted by the Government. He thought that the injudicious interference of the Imperial Government—and a Government 12,000 miles off could hardly help interfering injudiciously—had done a great deal of mischief. In the first place, the capital, by the mistake of a Government official, had been placed in the very worst possible place, and where it would be certain to cause, sooner or later, an outbreak among the Natives. He approved the policy now about to be carried out to a certain extent, of making the colonists fight their own battles. He believed it would incline then to a peaceable policy. He could not agree in the assumption that the colonists were not to be trusted with the Native race. We had no right to say that the people who went out from among us to settle in a distant English colony were not as humane as ourselves. Cœlum non animam mutant qui trans mare currunt. Still, when two parties of nearly equal strength lived side by side, they were more likely to keep the peace than if one possessed the vast preponderance which Imperial aid gave it. He believed that the present policy of the Government gave a better chance to the finest Native race across whose path, for good or for evil, our expansive destiny had ever carried us.


said, that the Ministry of New Zealand had been nettled by an apparent charge made against them by persons in this country, and also by Her Majesty's representative, that they were by opposing him promoting war. He repudiated, on their part, any such wish or intention. He was one of those who regarded rebellion as only a misnomer for bad Government. He thought that the whole of the evils which had arisen in the colony were owing to our ignorance of the true motives and character of the Natives. He held in his hand a pamphlet written by a rev. gentleman who had investigated this subject, and was eminently qualified to give an opinion upon it. The writer, in describing the King movement in New Zealand, related a conversation which took place amongst the Native chiefs in which William Thompson, one of the principal chiefs, urged the necessity of maintaining peace and good order among the Natives, and said, "I want order and law." The Natives thought that a King would end all these ills. The sentiments of the Natives in the beginning of the King movement were altogether favourable to peace. We had almost succeeded in crushing that movement, and when we had entirely succeeded it would be found to be the worst possible thing, both for the Natives and for the colonists themselves. Governors of colonies were too much in the habit of running their heads against anything in the shape of opposition to their wishes, and upon that point a very strong opinion had been expressed in the case of Colonel Gore Browne. The Natives said of that Governor that he wanted everything, earthly and heavenly, and they wondered why he did not command the sun to shine and the rain to fall upon him alone. He hoped it was now thoroughly understood that the policy of Mr. Weld should be the future policy of the colony. The first movement, on the part of the Natives, for preventing the sale of lands was wrong; but if we had subsidized the King, and come to an arrangement with him, that for the future he should be a party to the sale, the lands might have been handed over to the colonists without trouble. He thought it possible that something of the same kind might still be done. Of course, it was not for the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cardwell) to do more than to recommend this policy. He trusted in the interest of this country, which had paid largely for troops, in the interest of the colonists themselves, and in the interest of the Natives, who wished to live in perfect peace with their neighbours, that the policy of Mr. Weld would be the policy of the colony.


said, he did not know whether there was very much use in giving expression on this occasion to any theory of colonization. Theories were generally amusing and sometimes useful, but facts were stubborn things, and what was about to happen in New Zealand would follow, totally irrespective of any opinions which hon. Members might entertain, or of any theory which they might lay down in that House. It was quite idle, on the one hand, to talk of the policy of exterminating the Natives, though he did not understand the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Roebuck) to advocate that. He did not think that was a practicable policy, because at this moment we had not succeeded even in putting them down; and it was equally idle to talk of peace, because the Natives were in arms against us, they had the advantage of a very strong country, their blood was up, they had, on the whole, suffered less inconvenience from the war than our colonists, and, whatever our opinion might be about the origin of the war, it was quite plain that there was nothing now for it but to make it clear to both parties that the Europeans had force upon their side. He did not see any advantage now in going into the question of Maori civilization or the future progress of the race. This much he took to be certain, that long before the war they were as a race greatly diminished in number, from causes, as had been variously explained, more or less permanent in their operation, and when this war came to an end the same process would go on, and, as in similar cases, the race would disappear. That he believed had happened in every case in which civilized colonists had come into contact with savages of different races. It was not necessarily a question of violence or expulsion from lands; but the Natives could not bear the change of habits; they could not refrain from drink, which was brought within their reach. That was a temptation which they could seldom resist. Then their mode of fighting, barbarous as it was, served to keep them in the practice of manly exercises and habits; and it had been found in various parts where whatever was possible had been done for the protection of the Natives, that their old habits being put an end to, work being odious to them, and all their former organization and discipline being lost, they gradually degenerated and died out from no assignable cause. So much for the future prospects of the race. But there was one remark which he wished to make upon the cause of the war, because with regard to that the opinion commonly entertained involved a fallacy. It was said that the desire of the colonists was to compel the Natives to sell their lands, whether they would or not. Now, as far as he had been able to learn, that had not been the case. What the colonists claimed was quite different. The Natives claimed a right to prevent any member of the tribe from selling his share of the land. The colonists objected to that, for they said it amounted to a perpetual entail of the land upon the tribes, and to a perpetual exclusion of the colonists, and as no such appropriation would be allowed in Europe there was no reason why it should be allowed in New Zealand. They did not ask that any man should be expelled from his land against his will, but simply that ha should not be prevented by his own countrymen from selling if he desired to do so. That seemed a reasonable demand, and the more so because, from the circumstances of New Zealand, the Natives could have no use for the vast quantity of land which they now possessed. If they were a hunting community the case might be different, but in New Zealand not more than a three-hundredth or four-hundredth part of the land was occupied by the Native tribes, nor was the remainder put to any use. But the practical question was, what were we now to do? And upon that point it seemed that the course of events was bringing to a very nearly similar conclusion those who most entirely differed upon the merits of the case. He, for one, felt very strongly last year upon the proposal to guarantee the loan. He objected, because the form of assistance proposed appeared more inconvenient and objectionable than any other. What we had to do generally was to satisfy ourselves that all that the colonists could do in their own behalf had been done, to continue such temporary help as they needed, seeing at the same time that it was kept down to the lowest point, that it was absolutely necessary, and that it was given with the warning that similar assistance would not be repeated after the termination of those hostilities. He was of opinion that injustice had been done to the colonists in the idea which was current that there was a large party in New Zealand who, from interested motives, were desirous of the continuance of the war. No doubt there were a few persons of that description. But let a balance be struck between what was lost by the whole community and what was gained by a few, and how different would be the conclusion at which they should arrive. The belief, therefore, that there was a desire on the part of the colonists to keep up the war in order that they might profit by Imperial expenditure was not well founded. The matter was one of considerable difficulty, and one in which a great deal must be left to the discretion of the Executive. But there was one thing which he hoped would not be done, and that was to give to the Governor, whoever he might be, an authority with regard to the Natives independent of the control of his responsible advisers. It might be a good thing or a bad thing in itself that he should have it, but having to consult them upon all other matters, and therefore upon questions connected with the war, it was quite certain that any such division of duty could only lead to disputes and ill-feeling between the Governor and his advisers, and that was almost worse, if possible, than endeavouring to manage the war by supervision from this country. The principle to be adopted seemed to him to be this, "Limit your aid as much as possible, withdraw it as soon as you are able, remind the colonists that you do not hold yourselves bound to give them military assistance in future cases, but while this war lasts leave them as free as possible to deal with questions that arise, and to carry on and end the war in their own way."


thought that some remarks which had fallen from his noble Friend were calculated to give false ideas of what the Natives really complained of with respect to the land question. His noble Friend said that what the colonists felt aggrieved at was that the Native tribes would not allow individual Natives to sell their land to individual settlers. But the individual Natives had no land to sell. The land was held in common by the whole tribe, and an individual Native had no more right to sell his share without asking his tribe than an individual commoner had in England to carve his bit out of the common and sell it without consulting the rest of the freeholders. The complaint of the settlers, therefore, was wholly unjust, for they were asking that the individual Natives should have a power which the Native law did not allow them to have. His noble Friend might say that this was a bad tenure of land, and a false doctrine in political economy; but sound doctrines of political economy on this point were not put into the schedule of the Treaty of Waitanga, which pledged the honour of the Sovereign of these realms that the rights which Natives then possessed in the land should be secured to them. His hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Roebuck) regarded this treaty with contempt, apparently thinking that promises were less binding when made to the ignorant and the rude; but it was to be hoped that for his own sake his hon. and learned Friend had not often been under the necessity of interpreting his own promises to the ignorant and the rude. Certainly, there were few interpreters of public law besides his hon. and learned Friend who would measure the sacredness of England's pledge by the weakness, the ignorance, or the barbarism of the Power with which she contracted the pledge. His noble Friend, too, had justified the demands of the settlers upon grounds of expediency, entirely ignoring the obligations by which the settlers and the Government were bound, and which were quite apart from any question of expediency. As to the policy recommended by Mr. Weld to the Parliament of New Zealand, and accepted by the right hon. Gentleman, there had been a general and a fortunate concurrence of opinion. Now, he was not often given to descant on the merits of right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench, but he must say that he quite concurred in the general approval expressed of the manly and consistent policy adopted in this instance by the Colonial Secretary. He wanted to point out, however, that in this policy there lurked a danger to the Natives against which the Imperial Government were bound to guard. They had heard a good deal about self-government. Now, he should interpret self-government to mean the government of one's self, but it seemed to be interpreted as meaning the government of other people—that is to say, the government of 40,000 coloured men by 60,000 or 70,000 whites. This intepretation was now to be brought to a practical test by withdrawing our troops and by giving to the Local Government of New Zealand absolute power on questions of Native policy, and by thus placing the Natives entirely at the mercy of the colonists. He agreed that this was, on the whole, the wisest policy, because, whatever laws you passed, the colonists had it in their power to produce at any time a; breach between the Natives and the English Government, and when this was done the only difference between the policy of protection and the policy of independence was that, in the one case, the whole power of the British Empire was arrayed against the Natives, whereas, in the other, they were left to straggle against the colonists alone; Though at first, therefore, to give the colonists this power might seem like an abandonment of the Natives, it was on the whole best to leave the two races face to face to settle their differences. In doing this you were bound to leave both' parties in an equal position; but his noble Friend seemed to lean to the proposal that we should first absolutely crush the Natives, making them powerless to stand up against the colonists, and then leave them face to face. This was surely not the best way of securing the rights of the Natives. It was to be hoped that the colonists would be just and humane; but all human beings were fallible, especially those who saw others in the possession of land which they desired to have themselves. It was desirable to do something more than trust to the humanity and justice of the settlers. A more effectual influence would probably be their fear of the Native power, and their knowledge that the Maories were capable of marring the prosperity of the colony, and of producing great confusion and difficulty among the settlers themselves. The force of this influence must not, therefore, be too much diminished; the colonists must not be placed in a position in which they would be able to do as they liked with the Natives without fear of the consequences. He approved of Mr. Weld's policy, but if Her Majesty's Government intended to follow it up, they should do so without delay; they should not let the war linger on, or permit, any further than they could help, the subjugation of the Native race. The colonists should have a good and defensible frontier; but, remembering by what solemn pledges Her Majesty's Government were bound to see that the Native rights did not suffer harm, he thought it their duty, now that questions of Native policy were left to the colonists, to withdraw the power of England from the scene of conflict as rapidly as possible.


said, the observations of the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn (Lord Stanley), possessed much weight in the House and throughout the British dominions, and he thought the noble Lord might wish to reconsider the principle he had laid down before his remarks went to New Zealand with all the weight of his authority. The noble Lord was understood to say that the Colonial Government should be called on to do all that they could do in their own defence, but that so long as they received armed assistance from England, the troops should be at their disposal, and not at that of the Governor.


explained that he had not intended to lay down any general principle for the conduct of future colonial wars, but was speaking only of what was to be done in the present war. The House seemed to be generally of opinion that the colonists should not be led to expect military assistance from England in future wars of the same kind; but having been partners in getting them into this trouble, it would not be fair to desert them altogether, or wholly to withdraw our assistance for the present, and the only point was to see that that assistance was reduced to the absolute minimum of what was necessary.


said, that he was glad to receive this explanation. The principle to be laid down was that the colonists should be called upon to do what they could for their own defence; that, on the one hand, they should not be left to shift for themselves, but that when, on the other hand, we sent out troops, they were not to be entirely at the disposal of the Colonial Government. He thought the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cardwell) deserved the thanks of the House and of the country for informing the colonists that so long as English troops were employed, the Governor of the colony should have some voice in the conduct of the war. On any other principle of policy we might expect these wars to be carried on indefinitely, and it would then be impossible for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to produce a Budget on which he could rely; because the taxes of the country would practically be, to a great extent, at the disposal of those over whom this-House had no power whatever. If they gave the colonists the enormous power they had hitherto possessed, it might be depended on that they would exercise it. Had not the colonists felt that they had the immense force of British arms to rely on, they would never have put forward the demands which they made on the Natives. Since the New Ministry in New Zealand now found that they had to deal with colonial resources, they had abandoned the extreme demands made by the old Ministry on the Natives—such as that for the surrender of all their arms, even when they were in the mountains. It might be well to leave the management of the Natives in the hands of the colonists, and let them spend their own money and employ their own men. They would conduct their affairs with as great care and prudence as we should if we were in their place.


said, that he was glad that the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) had denied the sentiments which his speech appeared to many Members to convey—namely, a policy of extermination. If he had known something more of the Natives of New Zealand, and of their conduct during the war, he would have seen that they were under the influence of Christianity and civilization, and he never would have made the observations which he had given expression to. It was stated in the official despatches that the war had been conducted on the part of the Natives much more like a war of civilized people than of savages.


said, that the whole course of the debate had been such as not only to call for grateful and cordial acknowledgments on the part of the Government for the spirit in which it had been conducted, but, what was of greater importance, he could not but think that it would have great weight and influence in the colony now endeavouring to enter on a new course of policy, in inducing the colonists to rely on their own resources for great exertions. It could not but be a cause of great encouragement to such a community when they saw their affairs occupying so large a portion of the attention of the House of Commons, and being discussed in the spirit and temper which had been displayed in the discussion of that evening. It was in such a spirit as he now alluded to that the hon. Member for Taunton introduced the question, and such, he ventured to say, was the spirit of every speaker who followed, without excepting even the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield. He had had the pleasure and advantage of that hon. Member's acquaintance for twenty-five years, he knew the kindness of his heart, and he was sure that, when he denied having intended to produce an impression evidently opposed to the feelings of the House, he was speaking the genuine and natural sentiments of his heart. He could not, however, in spite of this, fail to separate himself entirely from the proposition and general principle laid down and enunciated by the hon. Member. He did not agree with the hon. Member that colonization meant dispossession. In an island which contained many millions of acres of waste land, and only about 100,000 inhabitants, divided equally between the two races, European and Maori, it appeared to him that there was ample room for the extension of civilized culture, for increased habitation and growth, and for the accumulation of property. There was ample room for everything implied in the honoured name of colonization, without any necessity for dispossession, for both races to grow up side by side. If any aboriginal race was fitted to profit by being brought in contact with a civilized population, it was the Maori race, which he trusted would be long preserved to mingle their blood with the European, and he hoped that their descendants, to the latest time, would constitute a living record of the advantages of European and English civilization. He could not believe with his hon. Friend that a treaty was to be called a farce. It might be wise or not to make a treaty, but when once a treaty was signed it ought to be observed. It was not the privilege of civilization, in the face of an inferior and uninstructed race, to break your treaties, to call it a farce, and say that that was the advantage which civilization conferred on uncivilized man. Twenty years ago in that House they had a great controversy upon the subject, and Lord Derby (who was then Colonial Secretary) maintained the principle that whether wise or not, in making the treaty it was just and necessary to observe it. To that hour that treaty had been observed. When he heard the hon. Member for Sheffield speak of the Maories as vindictive, faithless, and cruel, and the noble Lord describe them as a degenerate and dying race—


explained that he had said that that was the general tendency of barbarian races in countries partly occupied by civilized people.


maintained that such was not the case with the Maori race, and was glad to find the noble Lord did not himself assert it. When he heard the remarks of the hon. Member for Sheffield and the noble Lord, it occurred to him to ask, what was said of the Maories by the gallant British soldiers who came in collision with them. Did they call them vindictive, faithless, and cruel, or did they regard them as a degenerate and dying out race? The Governor, in his despatches, said— Colonel Greer tells me in a private letter that no thought of yielding possessed the Natives, but they fought with desperation, and when at length compelled by the bayonet to leave the trenches, in which they left more than a tenth of their number dead, it was strange to see them slowly climb up, and disdaining to run, walk away under a fire that mowed them down, some halting and firing as they retired, others, with heads bent down, stoically and proudly receiving their inevitable fate. He adds, in speaking of Rawiri, their leader, who was amongst the slain, "Poor Rawiri was a brave man, and behaved like a chivalrous gentleman towards me." This was the vindictive, faithless and cruel, degenerate, and dying race, which civilization was to extinguish in New Zealand. The Government hoped for better things. From the time of the victory at Rangiriri there seemed to be a change in the relations between the Governor and his then Ministers. During last Session he had the pleasure of seeing in this country the Colonial Secretary, and he was impressed with the feeling that that gentleman was a straightforward and honourable man. He had no intention of imputing any improper motives or intentions to the New Zealand Ministry; but the fact was, that differences sprang up between them and the Governor at the beginning of last year in respect to the proclamation requiring the surrender of arms as the condition of peace, with regard to the confiscation of lands, and the treatment of prisoners. It so happened that when these differences were arising in New Zealand that House and the Government took into their earnest consideration the affairs of that colony; and any one who was at the trouble to examine the correspondence would find that the views of the Governor were anticipated in the instructions which were sent to him from home, and it was a very fortunate circumstance that his views should have received that sanction and authority. At the moment when the subject of the treatment of the prisoners was causing a controversy between the Governor and his Ministers, the Home Government informed him in the plainest terms that the prisoners taken in a war carried on with 10,000 of the Queen's troops were to be disposed of by the Governor and the general, acting according to their discretion, and not in such a way as would tend in their opinion to perpetuate the hostility of the Native race, and lead to the continuation and extension of the war. These voluminous documents were chiefly occupied, many of them, with the details of that controversy; but into those details it was not their business then to enter. He thought it was one of the most satisfactory features of Colonial Government that when the Governor of New Zealand called the Assembly together, instead of occupying their time with a vain and idle discussion as to who was right and who was wrong in a long series of past controversies, they immediately entered in the same spirit which that House had shown that evening into the discussion of that which it was just and expedient to do for the future welfare of the colony. A new Administration had been formed upon principles described by the Governor as being in conformity with the instructions which he had received from home. That meant, no doubt, that those principles were not in antagonism to his instructions, because they went much further and made specific proposals of their own. The Resolutions passed by the Assembly were before the House, and contained in the papers now on the table. The hon. Member for Taunton had asked him to state distinctly what was the pecuniary relation between the colony and the mother country. It would be impossible to state it more distinctly than was done in the papers before the House; but he might say there was no doubt as to this, that the former arrangement which enabled the colony to command the services of a large force of the Queen's troops on paying a merely nominal contribution towards the expense incurred for that force was to be at an end. Her Majesty's Government had expressed its anticipation that in accepting the Imperial guarantee for the loan the colony would make a substantial contribution towards the military charges. The Assembly, as he understood, had not accepted the guarantee for the loan, and sufficient time had not yet elapsed to enable it to be known here what definite arrangement the Assembly had made. But the Home Government knew the arrangement it was disposed to make. It would expect that if the colony should continue to receive from this country any assistance of an Imperial kind, such a contribution as the House understood last Session would have to be provided for by the colony would in that case have to be made. That was the answer which he was able to give the hon. Member for Taunton. With regard to their policy for the future, it was certainly a most happy concurrence of public affairs which had brought to the same practical conclusion the hon. Member for Taunton, the great friend of colonial independence, and the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, the hon. Member for Maidstone, and other hon. Friends of his who had usually advocated opposite views on that question. He sincerely believed that that which had been the universal sentiment apparently in New Zealand, and certainly in this country, was recommended by the doctrines of sound sense and practical experience. The real state of the case was this:—A very small body of Natives, stated in these papers by a competent witness at not much more than 2,000 men altogether, had been in arms. He would not pledge himself to that estimate of their number, because he had no precise data on the point; but certainly in comparison with the amount of troops—20,000—who had been brought against them the Maori force had been extremely small. Nevertheless, with a large proportion of the Natives friendly towards us, we had not yet succeeded in extinguishing the rebellion. If, then, it appeared that the war was dying out, and if we withdrew 10,000 Queen's troops from the colony, and intimated our desire no longer to continue to be the instruments of perpetuating the war, we might then safely reckon that there would be no war policy pursued in New Zealand. He did not believe that if we were to exert ourselves to the utmost, and to send out more reinforcements of men and larger sums of money, it would be possible for us, looking at the extent of the forests and morasses, which constituted the great strength of the Natives in arms against us, to completely reduce them. That which he believed would be so impracticable for us he did not think the colonists would have the desire or ambition to attempt when our troops were withdrawn. He sympathized heartily with those hon. Members who said that, whatever differences the Governor might have had with his Ministers, and whatever differences might exist on questions of policy, they repudiated altogether any idea of attribut- ing to their colonial fellow- subjects any sentiments towards the Natives which they would be ashamed to have attributed to themselves. Let them give to the colonists credit for the same just and generous sentiments which distinguished Englishmen in all parts of the world. Let them believe that as it was not their interest so neither was it their desire to oppress the Native race. He quite agreed with the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn that they could not suddenly and instantly withdraw their support from the colony, and if any serious carnage followed such a sudden withdrawal of it great blame would be justly cast on the British Government. But let them withdraw their troops cautiously and gradually; let them seriously propound their policy, and not only propound it by words, but by actions, preparing to place the colony in a state of autonomy and self-government, and leaving the colonists to establish friendly and kindly and cordial relations with the Native race. Nobody could have the opportunity, as he had, of reading private letters and communications from settlers in New Zealand to their friends and relatives at home without seeing that an abundant kindliness and an overflowing generosity existed amony many persons in the colony towards the Native race. Let the House, then, accept the policy which Mr. Weld and his colleagues had so well proposed to the Colonial Assembly, which that body, with a magnanimous desire to do what was for the good of New Zealand, had unanimously approved, and which he believed to be consistent with the real interests and the right feelings of the colonists.


expressed his approval of the proposal that the British troops stationed in New Zealand for the safety of the European community should be under the control of the representative of Her Majesty's Government and not under that of a local authority.