HC Deb 22 July 1869 vol 198 cc456-93

VISCOUNT BURY, in rising to call the attention of the House to recent events in New Zealand, and to the Correspondence relative to New Zealand affairs which has lately been laid upon the Table of the House, said, it was not without considerable hesitation and long deliberation that he had decided on bringing the matter before the House, for he feared that in doing so he might provoke the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies to commit himself to a certain course of policy which, when the country was roused, as he believed it would be roused, he would be compelled to alter. But having communicated with the right hon. Gentleman he had found in him so great a sympathy with the colonists, that he was sure the most favourable construction would be placed by the right hon. Gentleman on their demands. The state of affairs in that colony was very grave. The last mail had brought the news of fresh disasters. Settlements had been devastated, bodies of fanatics had attacked defenceless settlers, and horrors had occurred unsurpassed in atrocity in servile war or in the Indian Mutiny. We heard of infants eviscerated, and thrown palpitating and bleeding into their mother's laps; they heard of men being slain before the eyes of their wives, of their eyes being torn out and eaten; of women only reserved to pass through a period of horrible outrage, and then suffering death by torture. The colony of New Zealand had been under our rule for forty or fifty years, and the present was not a time to withdraw all protection from that country. The colonists did not ask for the assistance of our soldiers or for a gift of money, but the war which had subsisted for many long years had broken down their resources. In the Northern Island every man capable of bearing arms had been for many years past withdrawn from peaceful occupations. Settlements had been denuded of their male able-bodied population, and they now came to the Imperial Parliament, with their resources exhausted and with the number of men available for their defence seriously diminished, to request the guarantee of a loan of money, in order that they might raise troops to protect themselves. The colonists said, and their past conduct justified the utmost confidence that they would honourably and punctually re-pay all they might raise under Imperial guarantee the despatch which had been recently sent by Earl Granville, in answer to that demand, was hardly one that might have been expected from a nobleman so pre-eminently distinguished for everything which could adorn the character of a statesman and a man. Considering all the circumstances of New Zealand, he did not think that this was the time to convey to the settlers that it mattered not to this country whether they were eaten up by the savages or not, and that they wont out to the colony without any consent or sanction on the part of the British Government. The noble Earl could not have looked into the question for himself, but must have accepted the official traditions handed down by his predecessors. He said in his despatch— A number of Englishmen, without any invitation or encouragement from the English Government, took on themselves to form one or more settlements in the islands of New Zealand. The Government of the day considered itself responsible for placing the relations between these British subjects and the natives among whom they settled on a reasonable basis, and for securing order among the settlers. It therefore acquired the islands by treaty from the natives, and established a regular Government in the settlements. The Government was amenable at first to the Home Government, afterwards almost wholly to the settlers. But it was never at any time attempted to make New Zealand tributary to Great Britain, or to direct local affairs in such a way as to produce any political or pecuniary advantage to this country. The colony was governed with a view to the real or supposed advantage of the inhabitants. In one part of the colony, New Plymouth, a great and not unnatural desire existed to acquire part of the neighbouring lands from the natives. The Governor, holding as an Imperial officer the position of protector of native rights, but also anxious to gratify the desires of the colonists, took a step satisfactory to his responsible advisers, to the local Legislature, and apparently to the mass of the colonists, though blamed by some as inconsistent with those duties to the natives which were in some sense Imperial. The result of this step, taken entirely in the interests and with the approval of the colonists, was a war carried on partly at the expense of New Zealand, but principally at the expense of this country. And the result of the war is that the leading tribe of the Maories is scattered; that the power of the others is broken, and that large tracts of land to which the Government had no claim, and the settlers no access, except by friendly arrangement with the natives, are confiscated, sold, and occupied by Europeans. If this statement is correct, it follows that the Imperial Government have not transferred to that of the colony any obligation whatever, except that imposed on all of us by natural justice, not to appropriate the property of others; and that all the Imperial expenditure on the colony has been for the benefit of the colonists. As a matter of history he disputed many of those assertions, and even if they were true he maintained that it was injudicious, unwise, and unkind to use these expressions. It was often said that the colonization of New Zealand had been injurious to the natives, whom, in their intercourse with them, the colonists treated as the mere scum of the earth. It was also stated, and even in blue books, that it was owing to mismanagement and neglect on the part of the colonists that the Maories had been metamorphosed into rebels against our authority. It was, however, urged by the colonists, and he believed with, truth, that the Home Government had from the first reserved to itself the control of native affairs, and that if they had been mismanaged it was the Homo Government that was responsible. It was, he might add, the way in which the Maori lands were dealt with in the first instance that brought about the first Maori war. If that were so we had no right, when we found ourselves involved in a costly struggle, to say that, because our policy had resulted in disaster, we should hand over to the colonists the management of the native population. What, he would ask, was the history of the colonization of New Zealand? Soon after it was first discovered, runaway whalers, convicts from the neighbouring settlement of Australia, men flying from the law, settled among the natives, and married in many instances the daughters of the native chiefs. In process of time a settlement was formed at a place called Kokoraraika, in the northern part of the North Island. That settlement had gradually become developed into a perfect pandemonium, and had been described as a perfect Alsatia. Soon after missionaries were sent out from this country, who established themselves not far from Tokoraraki, and who endeavoured, not without success, to civilize the natives. They acquired a considerable degree of influence among them, purchased from them a large portion of their lands, and in process of time possessed the principal power, so far as Europeans were concerned, in New Zealand. These missionaries at the time thought of colonizing the entire country, but they desired that no other white persons should be sent out except such as were sent out under their authority. They therefore persuaded the Colonial Office to present some thirteen native chiefs with a flag, and to declare them the United Confederacy of the country, and this farce was actually gone through. As time went on the New Zealand Company was established in England, and they determined to get by fair cession from the natives land on which they might plant a settlement. They settled accordingly in the southern part of the North Island, and there established Wellington, which was now the capital. As soon as the missionaries found that there were other people settling on lands which they had reserved for themselves, they resolved that the new settlers should be got rid of, and they invented a very ingenious theory to secure that object. They said that they were the proprietors of the fee simple of the whole land of New Zealand; that no land could be acquired except by purchase from them, and that any one who purchased from a native must prove his title, which, of course, would involve the proving of the native title also. Just at that time the French desired to establish a settlement on the South Pacific, and they fixed on New Zealand for the purpose. When that intelligence reached England Captain Hobson was sent out and directed to negotiate with the thirteen New Zealand chiefs to whom he had referred, for the cession of their sovereignty, with the view to its being transferred to the Crown of this country. The result was the treaty of Waitangi, which had been described as the Magna Charter of the Maories, by which it was agreed that the Maories should be placed in full possession of all the land which they then held; that any one who settled on that land must purchase from the Maories, and that no one should be allowed to make such purchase except the Crown itself. 80,000 Maories—that was about the number on the island—were thereupon put in possession of some 80,000 acres of waste land, not one-hundredth part of which they had ever seen. In order to carry out the provisions of the treaty Commissioners were sent out and a native land court was established. The New Zealand Company had meantime acquired some 70,000 acres of land in the vicinity of Wellington, to which they had as good a title as the missionaries had to the land which they had obtained in the neighbourhood of Tokoraraki a few years before. But, owing to the suicidal policy of the missionaries in determining that they should be the only European holders of land, there was for the next few years nothing but disputes between the two European communities in the island—the missionaries and the New Zealand Society. The missionaries were supreme with the Colonial Office, and the New Zealand Company were informed that they must prove their title to the lands which they had purchased before what was called the native land court. The natives, of course, the moment they heard the land was theirs to sell, set up a number of claims. Claimants sprang up for the fee simple of every acre that had been purchased by the company, many of which had, he believed, not been settled to the present day. Such was the history of the land question in New Zealand. The difficulty had arisen from not keeping the land in the possession of the Crown, as in Canada, and establishing the principle that all purchases of land should be made from the Crown. Could any system be imagined more certain to produce land disputes. The claims of the natives were based chiefly on the fact of confiscation and conquest; and the accidental shedding of blood—even the cutting of a man's finger while on the land of another person—had been held in our own land court to be a good title against a European title by purchase. In the Southern Island, near Nelson, a chief said he owned certain land by right of conquest, and murdered the settlers who went out to survey it. In point of fact, he had never been within a hundred miles of the land, but he said his tribe had driven off another tribe, and that, therefore, the land was his; and the Governor actually decided that, although the Queen's magistrates had been slain, the Queen's writ defied, and foul mur- der committed, this chief had acted in the exercise of his just rights, and therefore must escape without punishment. This massacre was the first instance in which the natives felt that they might set the settlers at defiance, and from that time they had been petted, cosseted, and spoilt by the Home Government, and had come to believe that the settlers belonged to an inferior grade and were not true representatives of England, the missionaries taking pains to confirm them in that belief. Now the Maori theory of colonization was that the European settlers should not be numerous enough to command respect, but should remain in fear of them, should buy their slave girls, their peaches, and their pigs, and otherwise should not dare to call their souls their own; in return supplying the natives with such civilization and such arms as they wanted. The Maories never had any beneficial possession of the soil. They were not a hunting people, for the very good reason that there was not a single quadruped in New Zealand; they were not an agricultural people, for they had only to scratch the rich soil, and a crop came up sufficient to satisfy their simple wants. Living mainly upon fish and roots, it was only in time of war that they traversed the country, and to tell these people that they were lords of the soil was the first cardinal mistake made by this country in settling New Zealand. In 1853 it was determined that the settlers, who had possession of a fringe of land around the North. Island should have responsible and constitutional government; and he contended that the policy of the Imperial Government having been at the root of the land difficulty, the responsibility rested with us at home, and we had no right to withdraw from our position and throw the onus upon the settlers. What were the instructions of Governor Brown? He kept the conduct of native affairs solely in his own hands, and the two departments of Secretary for Native Affairs and Chief Commissioner for the purchase of native land were combined and retained in the hands of the Governor's Secretary. That measure acted injuriously upon the native mind, presenting the Crown to them in the light of a land jobber craving after native land, and leading them to suppose that the Governor was only there to bicker with them about their land. Of course, we must now abide by the Treaty of Waitangi, and treat the natives as the possessors of the land, but that was the origin of all our difficulties. It was said that the colonists had always had the control of native affairs. But Governor Brown wrote that the view he had always taken of the relations which ought to exist between himself and his responsible advisers was that, as these gentlemen were responsible to the Assembly, he should be guided by their advice, even when he differed from them, in all matters under the control of that body; but on matters affecting the Queen's prerogative and Imperial interests generally he should receive their advice, but when he differed from them in opinion he should submit their views to the consideration of the Home Government, adhering to his own, until he received an answer from England; and among Imperial objects he included all dealings with the native tribes, more especially in the negotiation for, and purchase of, land. The Colonial Office acquiesced in that view. Mr. Labouchere wrote that, after the best consideration he could give, he approved the principle laid down by Governor Brown; and, in 1859, Lord Carnarvon said that circumstances did not justify the Government in abdicating the responsibility which rested upon them in dealing with the Maori race. When Sir George Grey was in New Zealand he acted well in keeping arms out of the hands of the natives. But Governor Brown relaxed that wise restriction, and allowed arms to be sold to the natives. This has been described as "a momentary infatuation which admitted of no excuse," for the Custom House Returns of 1857 and 1859 showed that there had been imported into the Northern Island, since the relaxation of the restriction, 6,000 stand of aims, and between 30,000 and 40,000 pounds of gunpowder, with shot and caps in proportion, all of which munitions of war were supposed to have found their way into the hands of the natives. Therefore, in the present disturbances, the natives were armed with weapons purchased from the British. When Governor Grey left the colony for the Cape, Colonel Wynyard was charged with the temporary Governorship of New Zealand. Just before Governor Grey left, six provincial Parliaments were established on a small scale. Dur- ing his tenure of office the General Assembly was never called together at all, and these six little Parliaments did what they thought right themselves, and when Governor Brown succeeded Colonel Wynyard no concerted action could be agreed upon. Colonel Wynward allowed the idea to grow up that the Government would not interfere in the affairs of the natives. One of the chiefs sold some land to Englishmen. The Governor was informed that the chief's title would be disputed, and that the surveyors would not be allowed to mark out the ground. Colonel Wynyard said the sellers might mark it out themselves, and he would have nothing to do with the matter. The native chief sent out a party to mark the ground, and they were slain, and then the other party retaliated and made war upon the murderers. Among the Maories there were men who had acquired something like civilization, and they were desirous of living in peace with their neighbours; and as they saw that the Governors would not put the law in force in the case of tribal disputes, they determined on an assembly of natives for the purpose of appointing a King to rule over them. Such was the origin of the King movement. It was a wholesome movement, and might have been productive of much good if the Governor had turned it into the right channel, and established a native magistrate subordinate to the paramount authority of the Queen. At the same time with the King movement another movement, called the land movement, grew up. The natives were told that the land in their possession was desired by the Europeans, and they thought what was valuable for Europeans must be also valuable to themselves, and they formed a league for the purpose of preventing the sale of any more land to the Europeans. That proceeding would have been justifiable if confined to the land over which they had acquired a right by the Treaty of Waitangi; but they went beyond that, and declared not only that no man belonging to the confederacy should sell any land to the Europeans, but that no native should part with any portion of his land. These proceedings culminated in the Taranaki war of 1862. The settlers there were confined to a narrow strip of land on the sea shore. Finding the settlement too small for their energies, they wanted to purchase other land from the natives, but the sale was prohibited by the land league. Governor Brown, who kept the entire control of native affairs in his hands, went to Taranaki, and attended a meeting at which Zekera, a great chief, said he was willing to part with his land. Governor Brown said he would have the title investigated, and if it was approved of he would purchase the land. The chief then laid a map at the Governor's feet in token that he had surrendered the land; but another chief, whose English name was William King, although he admitted the title, refused to permit the sale, and left the assembly with a considerable show of discourtesy to the Governor. The Governor, having taken counsel with the Secretary for Native Affairs, came to the conclusion that the title was satisfactory, and agreed that the land should be taken possession of, and the first instalment paid down immediately. The Waitara war commenced in consequence of an attack upon a surveying party by the natives, who fell upon them and killed them. Sometimes that war languished, but it never entirely died out. Sometimes large masses of Imperial troops were dispatched against the natives, but in vain. Sometimes there was only an occasional inroad on a border settlement; but from the time when Governor Brown, in the exercise of his discretion as an Imperial officer, without consultation with his native Ministry, bought the Taranaki land, New Zealand had not been free from war, and the disastrous results of the land policy he had endeavoured to describe were felt throughout that unhappy country. On one occasion particularly, in the Wanganui district, to the south of Taranaki, the war broke out with such violence that 6,000 or 7,000 of Her Majesty's troops were despatched, under General Cameron, against the natives; £3,000,000 was raised under an Imperial guarantee; great exertions were made throughout the colony, and it was supposed there would be a dash at the rebels' stronghold, and that at last there would be peace. But then was disclosed a state of affairs truly lamentable. Governor Grey and General Cameron had got to loggerheads; every mail brought home remonstrances from the Governor against the General, and insulting despatches from the General against the Governor. Im- perial interests were entirely lost sight of. The money of the colony and the blood of our soldiers were sacrificed to a miserable quarrel between the Governor and the General. General Cameron declined to attack a pah with 5,000 or 6,000 European troops, but the Governor offered to send 200 colonial troops to take the pah. Eventually he did so, and some 200 or 300 colonial soldiers, without any assistance from the Imperial troops, captured the pah after a smart fight. To use European troops to encounter the Maories was like using an hatchet to break an egg. They were not suited to that kind of warfare. Soon after it was determined by the Colonial Office to resign all control over native affairs, and give matters entirely up to the responsible advisers of the Governor of New Zealand. Mr. Weld, formerly Prime Minister in the colony, wrote a Paper describing the state of things in 1864. When the Assembly met the Ministers resigned, after an unseemly altercation with the Governor. England naturally enough was dissatisfied with the lavish expenditure of blood and money; the natives were defeated but not subdued; the colony had neither money nor credit; its debentures were unsaleable; its accounts largely overdrawn; and the Parliament was disorganized. That state of things had arisen from the mismanagement of this country. Then were sown the first seeds of that horrible fanaticism, known as the Hau-hau fanaticism, the latest development of which was to be found in the last mail. The fanatics believed that the Virgin Mary had taken them under her special protection, and made them invulnerable and immortal. They had cannibal rites of the most horrible description, and established a system of communism, in order, as their prophet said, that their descendants might number as many men as there were sands on the sea-shore. The Government had admitted that it was not the settlers or their policy, but that of the Home Government alone, which had landed the colony in such a lamentable condition; and then, when they decided to withdraw their troops—and with them, as the Maories believed, the countenance of the Queen—from the settlers, the Home Government committed a cruel injustice. They had sown the wind and had left the colonists to reap the whirlwind. The colonists lost no time in pro- testing against the determination of the Government to abandon all control over the affairs of the colony, and against the imputation that they did not sufficiently defend themselves; and the Legislative Council in their Address to the Governor, transmitted by him to the Home Government, represented that the whole of the ablebodied male population of the Taranaki settlement, over the age of sixteen years, had been for two years and a-half in full military service, and that the taxation amounted to £5 per head per annum on the whole European population of both islands. It was, however, decided that the troops should be withdrawn, and at this moment the last British red-coat was being withdrawn from the colony. He did not believe that the House of Commons would resist the cry of a nation in its direst peril. It was hardly necessary to remind the House of recent events. Some fierce fanatics who had been deported from the shores of New Zealand to the Chatham Islands, and who were kept in safe custody there for a considerable time, seized a vessel and made their escape to New Zealand. They landed at Poverty Bay, and committed atrocities which threw the whole island into a ferment. The Volunteers were called out, and a strong appeal was made to the Home Government to allow a single regiment to remain, not to fight, but to remove the impression among the Maories that the Queen looked with displeasure upon the colonists of the Northern Island. The rebels pointed triumphantly to the withdrawal of the troops, and urged the friendly Maories to show their loyalty to Her Majesty by assisting them to drive the settlers into the sea. That was a result which the British authorities, by their policy, had been unwittingly lending themselves to. Now that the last plea of the colonists for assistance had teen rejected he feared that a general rising of the native tribes would be the result, and then, fatigued and harassed by continual war, the settlers might be unable to withstand the united rush of the natives. He knew it was difficult to reverse a policy, but he thought our colonies ought to be treated as distant parts of this country, and he deplored the spirit in which this question, had been discussed in England. If, however, the hearts of the British people were aroused—if they knew what the New Zealand colonists had done to help themselves, he did not believe that they would refuse the helping hand for which the colonists now asked. This was not a question affecting New Zealand alone, for if this country repudiated its obligations to a colony in its direst distress, the colonists would naturally look about for some other country which had sterner ideas of the duty of a parent state to a colony. New Zealand might negotiate with the Australian colonies to form a confederation for mutual protection against external and internal attack, or might claim the protection of such a nation as the United States; and, in the present state of our relations with that country, he would ask whether it would be agreeable to complicate matters by a protectorate asserted by the United States over one of our colonies. He was sure his right hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies would not be unmoved by the tale which he had unfolded. We were now threatened, he believed, with war, and he felt not only for the settlers, but for the Maories, among whom there were friendly tribes who had always shown a leaning towards this country and her civilization. But if by our policy we made it clear that nothing but a war of extermination was to be hoped for, and we announced to the settlers that they must rely on their own strong arms alone, what would be the result? Why, that sympathetic aid would be called in from the neighbouring colony of Australia, whose wild spirits would seek in the confiscation of the native lands the reward of any assistance which they might render. Hitherto we had not confiscated the lands of the native tribes we had conquered. That was a great error, for it caused them to regard us with contempt, and to cease to believe in the power of our arms. As things now stood the Maories were fast dying out. They had diminished from 80,000—which was their number in the days of Captain Cook—to something like 38,000; and if a war of annihilation were now embarked in not a single Maori would, in all probability, be left at the expiration of ten years. That would be the result of the policy which the Aborigines Protection Society had been the means of commencing. He believed, however, that many of the natives might be saved if it were only made known to them that it was the wish of our Queen that they should enter into relations of amity and friendship with the settlers. Let the friendly tribes be civilized, but if necessary, let those Hau-hau fanatics, with their weasel-like thirst for blood, be utterly stamped out, and let not all be mixed up in one indiscriminate hotch-potch. Let us adopt the maxim Divide et impera. He would simply, in conclusion, express a hope that aid would be given to the settlers—he could not believe that the British nation would refuse to listen to their prayer. He believed that when the heart of the British people was appealed to, there was but one response which they would give, or which they dared to give.


said, every one connected with New Zealand must thank the noble Viscount for the manner in which he had pleaded for the colonists. He had also to thank the right hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies for the manner in which he had attended to representations which had been made to him on behalf of the colony of New Zealand, although he had not been able to give effect to them. He (Mr. Magniac) believed the value of our trade with New Zealand and the interest which we had in the prosperity of that colony were little understood in this country. The Returns for 1867 showed that the value of the direct imports of British manufactures into it for that year was £2,750,000, while the amount of the imports from Australia was £1,500,000, the total imports into the colony for the year having been about £5,000,000. The exports, he might add, for 1868, gave a total of £4,500,000, of which £4,000,000 came direct to this country, £1,500,000 in the shape of wool, and the remainder in gold. During the last ten years the value of the British manufactures imported into the colony was no less than £17,000,000; and these facts proved, he thought, that we depended to no inconsiderable extent on our trade with it for the comfort and well-being of our manufacturing classes. The settlers whom we were asked to aid were our own blood and sinew, and he believed that the country would recognize the fact that blood was thicker than water, and would be prepared to do their duty by New Zealand, even at the expense of their pockets. Governor Bowen attached the utmost importance to the presence of European troops for their effect, not only upon the European mind, but upon the mind of the friendly natives, who had stood by us, regardless of danger to themselves and their families, and certainly deserved consideration at our hands. The effect of British troops upon them was described as something not to be believed, and he was afraid of the effect upon them when the last red-coat left New Zealand. Such a withdrawal, it was justly said, was as though it had been proposed to withdraw British troops from Scotland in 1715 and 1745, from Ireland in 1798, or from British India in 1857. It was alleged that only a certain limited number of natives were in arms against the Queen. No doubt the natives might be divided into three classes—hostile, neutral, and friendly. But the departure of the red-coats would be the signal for the neutral natives at once to throw themselves into the arms of the hostile Maories; the friendly natives would be unable to maintain their ground; and in the district of Wellington, with which he happened to be acquainted, there were already signs that natives, who had been looked upon as the most certain in their loyalty, were now wondering what they were to do. The massacres and outrages which had occurred, and the devastation of settlements, had brought the greatest distress upon many colonists, and he knew numbers of families, previously living in affluence, who were at this moment penniless. But it was said — ''Why do not the colonists depend upon themselves, there being 220,000 colonists against 38,000 natives?" But the natives were concentrated in the Northern Island, while only from 70,000 to 75,000 Europeans were there, of whom from 40,000 to 50,000 were located in the principal towns. Thus between 30,000 and 40,000 Europeans—men, women, and children— were scattered about from one end of the island to the other, some very unused to arms and unfit to fight, while among the natives the women were almost as apt as the men, assisting in the pahs, loading the guns, and even firing them on occasion, and aiming very straight. Again, it had been said that the colonists ought to get somebody to fight for them. That was exactly what they had done. In the course of the last five years this colony of 220,000 had expended no less than £2,750,000 for mi- litary purposes, their annual military expenditure being at the rate of nearly £2 per head, whereas the annual military expenditure of this country only amounted to about £1 per head. In a letter which he hold in his hand from an eminent member of the Legislative Assembly, it was stated that the colony was expending more blood and treasure than it could possibly afford. Upon the subject of the quality of the men raised, it was impossible that the colony could be blamed upon that ground, as it was a matter of extreme difficulty to get men at any price to imperil their lives in a country where the services of the common labourer were so valuable. The cost of the common soldier in the colony had been estimated at £150, and, consequently, the expenditure involved by keeping on foot a force of 1,500 was very considerable. The result of the present state of affairs in the colony was that settlers in all districts were leaving in large numbers, the Customs revenues were falling off, and the exports were being reduced. Under these circumstances it was impossible that the colony could support an enormous military expenditure without some extraneous help. If that help were not forthcoming the war would degenerate into an irregular war, to which numbers of wild spirits would be attracted in the hope of appropriating the lands of the natives whom they would exterminate, and the result would be a disgrace, not only to the colony, but to this country. It was impossible for this country to shake off the responsibility imposed by the treaty of Waitangi. Former Governments had not held the views now held by the Colonial Secretary. It had been suggested that the colony should employ friendly natives, under white officers, to fight for them; but the result of all attempts to employ native soldiers had been that no prisoners were taken, all who fell into the hands of the victorious party being massacred without mercy. Did the Goorkas or the Sikhs make any prisoners in their campaigns? It had been also suggested that the colonists should make peace with the natives, but that advice came ill from a Government which had at one time 16,000 soldiers in the colony. He complained bitterly of the Home Government offering for sale in the colony large quantities of surplus gunpowder, notwithstanding the remonstrances of the Colonial Government, who represented the danger of its falling into the hands of the natives. The noble Viscount who had brought this question before the House had stated that the colony did not ask for men, although a very modest request had been made within the last month to the Home Government that they would permit the only regiment that was still in New Zealand to remain there until the result of the present crisis of the war was known in this country. That request had, however, not been acceded to. As the noble Viscount said, a guarantee, under perfectly unexceptionable conditions, was asked for; but that request was not acceded to. Under these circumstances gentlemen who took the deepest interest in the colony made up their minds to ask for nothing more, but to leave the matter in the hands of the Government, and ultimately of this House. He trusted, however, that means would be found to give the colony some small aid. The lives of 10,000 English men, women, and children, to say nothing of the natives, were dependent on the manner in which this question was dealt with.


said, that, after the eloquent speech of the noble Viscount the Member for Berwick (Viscount Bury), he would not enter at any length into the history of the evils which had brought the colony of New Zealand into its present condition, but he might say that he had received communications which corroborated every statement of the noble Viscount. During the last few years it had been the policy to leave the colony to itself, but in that time horrors had been perpetrated in New Zealand which people in this country would hardly realize. In December last a despatch from the Governor of New Zealand warned the Government against the fatal step of withdrawing the Imperial troops, stating that a number of friendly natives had waited upon him, and complained that they were being abandoned to the Queen's enemies. He feared that if Her Majesty's Government persisted in its present policy they would desert the English cause. Letters, which he had received, stated that unless some assistance were afforded to the colonists they would be unable to cope with the evils surrounding them, and it was suggested that Go- vernment aid might be given in opening up roads throughout the country for the troops. He trusted that the general appeal which had been made to the Government would induce them to do something for a colony which afforded excellent openings for emigrants from this country.


said, he thought it would be evident to anyone who knew the difficulty of guarding a large extent of coast that it must be impossible to keep gunpowder and arms out of the hands of the native population of New Zealand, especially as many of the Maories possessed ships, and performed considerable voyages. The noble Viscount (Viscount Bury) had stated that there never had been a period of positive tranquillity in the province, but when he (Sir Charles Dilke) was there, in 1866, perfect tranquillity prevailed, and the Governor made a peaceful progress through the island, and was received by the chiefs of the now hostile tribes on the east coast. Though he dissented from the conclusions to which the noble Viscount had come, he admitted that our early dealings with the Maories were not what they might have been. The despatches of Lord Carnarvon showed that the policy of the present Government was adopted at the Colonial Office a long time ago, and the Duke of Buckingham, in a despatch last year, while deploring the fresh disturbances which had arisen, stated that the Government did not feel at liberty to assume the control of native affairs or undertake the duty of defending the colony from native disburbances. With regard to the proposal for leaving the 18th Eegiment in New Zealand, it had been refused in the most emphatic way by the colonists themselves. The hon. Member who had just spoken said it was the policy of the Imperial Government to leave the country alone. That had, in fact, always been the policy of the colony itself, which had asserted its independence in even a defiant manner. He, like other hon. Members, had received many letters from the colony on this subject; and it was rather curious to find that, although intended to tell strongly against the Colonial Office, when closely examined they told very strongly in faxour of the Colonial Office. The Colonial Government had never observed those stipulations which the Home Government had prescribed. "Whatever might be said now, it was clear that the colony had assumed an attitude of self-reliance. That had invariably been the tone of Mr. Stafford, the able Prime Minister. There had been a suggestion that the North Island of New Zealand should be abandoned; but, before such an idea was seriously entertained, it would be well to remember the present proportions of the population, as between the whites and the natives. The population of the whites had been understated that evening, while that of the hostile Maories had been overstated. According to Sir George Bowen's showing there were now in the North Island only 38,000 Maories. of whom only about 3,000 or 4,000 were absolutely hostile, and 16,000 were friendly. In 1851, there were about 58,000 whites and 56,000 Maories; but, in 1867, the number of whites was 227,000, exclusive of the diggers, who were very numerous, and he (Sir Charles Dilke) believed that, at present, the white population was not fewer than 280,000. Nothing could be more preposterous than the notion that that large body of English settlers would be willing to give up so prosperous and fertile an island to a mere handful, comparatively speaking, of hostile natives. What, then, was to be done? The colonists would not accept troops except on conditions of local control, which the Colonial Office could not possibly assent to. Purely local troops must be maintained from purely local resources. With regard to a loan, it seemed to him a very lame conclusion of all that had been said on this subject that they should be asked to guarantee a loan of £1,500,000. The credit of New Zealand had greatly improved of late years, and the colonists need not look to the mother country for financial assistance. He had been informed that in 1863 the colony issued a 6 per cent at 83, and it fell to 60, but that now she could issue one at a price between 90 and 100. This surely was not the time when England should resume the oft-condemned policy of guarantees. As respected the future he would suggest that the prohibition of settlement in disturbed districts should be strictly enforced; that honours should be conferred on leading friendly natives as a means of securing their attachment, and welding them into a homogeneous force—the practice of sending swords and badges should be continued and extended—and that the Imperial Government should give encouragement to the native-King movement. Thousands of natives, extremely friendly to the British Government, were also passionately attached to that movement. At this moment there was no sign that the native- King flag was likely to be raised against this country, and he saw no reason why it should not be recognized, to the extent of reserving a certain portion of the North Island for the natives, in which the writs of, the Colonial Government should not be allowed to run, but reserving the suzerainty of the Home Government.


said, however much hon. Members who had listened to the debate might differ on other points, there was one point on which there could be no difference of opinion, and that was that the House was greatly indebted to the noble Viscount for the exhaustive and eloquent speech in which he had brought the question forward. The noble Viscount (Viscount Bury) had attributed the present troubles of New Zealand in a great measure to the Aborigines Protection Society. Now he (Mr. Fowler) had been a member of that society for nineteen years, and he denied that the society had any such power for good or for evil as that attributed to it. To hear some people talk one would think it a powerful organization like the Anti-Corn Law League of former days. But what was it? It consisted of a number of gentlemen who took an interest in colonial questions, and who made it their business to seek the redress of the grievances of the natives when grievances wore proved to exist. Their proceedings consisted, in a great measure, of representations addressed to the Secretary of State, and to the authorities in the colonies, and their object was to do as as much good as possible to the natives. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, who had long filled the Office of Colonial Secretary with advantage to the country and with honour to himself, as to whether they had ever encouraged them to any course of factious opposition to the Government? The Maories were not the despicable race that the noble Viscount appeared to believe. The conduct of the Hau-haus had been such as must be reprobated in the strongest terms, but this must be put down to the successive wars and difficulties of New Zealand during twenty years. The progress made by the Maories in social elevation had been described in encouraging terms by Sir George Grey, Sir William Martin, and other authorities; and for this we were very much indebted to the labours of those devoted men who went forth among them as missionaries. Ten years ago Sir William Martin, Chief Justice of New Zealand, drew a picture of the natives of that colony which did honour to their race. He said they were an industrious and intelligent race, that they grew a large portion of the corn produced in the colony, bought mills and vessels, accumulated considerable sums of money by a system of co-operative labour, readily gave land for schools, and took steps of their own accord to repress drunkenness and immorality. That was their state ten years ago; but unhappy contests with regard to the land afterwards sprang up, and led the Maories into the commission of acts which could not be defended. They were, however, the original possessors of the soil; they had seen it taken away from them, and their feelings might be supposed to be those of the Gaels, as described by Sir Walter Scott— The stranger came with iron hand, And from our fathers left the land. The description which Sir George Bowen gave of his tour throughout the Northern Island was very favourable to the natives; he compared the present state of the Northern Island to that of the Highlands of Scotland 130 years ago. The same progress might be expected, and he trusted that the native race of New Zealand would one day take their place among the foremost races of the world. The affair of Taranaki, of which the noble Viscount had given an account, was very differently represented by Archdeacon Hadfield, in the pamphlet published by him. He distinctly stated that the war had nothing to do with the land league; that the natives did not kill the surveying party, but merely drove them away. In further contradiction of the noble Viscount (Viscount Bury), he declared that in the war in Taranaki the land had been bought with the sanction of the Colonial Ministry, and that Sir George Grey, on his appointment, had ordered an inquiry which resulted in the restoration of the land to William King, the chief with whom we had gone to war. With respect to Te Kooti, the present chief of the rebel Maories, it must be admitted that his conduct was utterly indefensible, and that, in fact, he was now a miscreant; but it must not be forgotten that formerly he was a loyal subject of the Queen, and that he was unjustly arrested and sent to imprisonment. It appeared that when he was serving under the British Government he went into the rebel camp for the purpose of persuading his brother, who was fighting against the British army, to come over to the loyal party. This circumstance coming to the knowledge of the authorities, he was placed under arrest, and sent to Chatham Island, from which place he subsequently made his escape. This unjust treatment was the primary cause of Te Kooti's rebellious conduct. Allusion had been made to the services of Sir George Grey. All must respect the character of that distinguished man. The services which had been rendered by Sir George Grey, when Governor of the colony, entitled him to the best thanks of this country, and he only regretted that any differences should have arisen between him and the Government of this country to prevent his continuing to hold that office. The noble Earl the present Secretary for the Colonies also deserved the approval of the public for the despatch in which he reprobated the offer of prize money for the heads of rebels taken in war. Had the debate not already occupied considerable time he should have called the attention of the Government at length to a Paper by Mr. Manning, which had been presented to the House, in which, at page 61, he laid down the importance of the action of the native land courts in promoting the civilization of New Zealand; but he should now content himself with expressing a hope that the recommendations contained in that Paper would receive due attention at the hands of the Government and of the authorities in New Zealand. The hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke) had referred to the native-King movement, and he agreed with all the remarks that had fallen from the hon. Baronet on that point. Had that movement been met by the British Government in a friendly instead of a hostile spirit, the colony might have been preserved from many of the evils which had now to be deplored. He was glad to observe that Sir George Bowen gave a somewhat qualified approval to the movement, and believed that it might be made compatible with the sovereignty of the Queen. The noble Viscount had wound up his speech by advocating what might almost be described as a policy of extermination. If such a policy were to be adopted, it would be a disgrace to our civilization and to Christianity. He rejoiced to believe that it received no support from the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and that, instead of attempting to exterminate the natives, he was anxious to bring them within the pale of civilization. Whatever might be said of other races in our colonies, he thought it must be admitted that the Maories were a race of people capable of civilization, and it would be a disgrace to this country if they were not civilized, as such a result would be entirely owing to our own mismanagement. The policy of Sir George Bowen was exactly contrary to that of the noble Viscount, being founded on the belief that the Maories could be governed upon the same principles as the natives of India were. In conclusion, he trusted that this country would always pursue a firm and reasonable, instead of an exterminating, policy towards the noble and manly race with whom the colonists in New Zealand were now at war.


said, he felt bound, at the outset of the observations which he was about to make, to express his gratitude to his noble Friend who had introduced the subject under discussion to the notice of the House, as well as to his hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Magniae) for the manner in which they had spoken of him personally. He could assure them, speaking on behalf of the Government, that he approached that subject with the deepest pain, and that he sympathized no less than his noble Friend in the sufferings of the colonists which he had so eloquently described, while he had no less anxiety to do everything to redress those sufferings which justice and policy would allow. On the other hand he was satisfied his noble Friend would admit that it would not be right in such a matter as that with which the House was dealing, to act on the impulse of feeling or under the influence which might be produced by mere panic. It was the duty of the Government fairly and fully to consider what the relations of this country were to the colonists, as well as those of both to the Maories, and decide the question accordingly. The hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke) had referred to the present condition of New Zealand, and there could be no doubt that the statements which he had made were perfectly accurate. The number of Maories now in the North Island was certainly not more than 35,000 or 36,000; and of those 10,000 wore cut off from the rest by the isthmus on which Auckland stood, and they were, and had for many years been, friendly to this country. Of the remainder, a very large proportion were friendly also, while those who were neutral were powerful and numerous. He was sure the House would listen with interest to the statements in a letter referring to the subject, which had been received by his hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General, within the last few days, from a connection of his in New Zealand. The letter was not written for the purpose of publication, nor was it dressed up in order to advocate any particular view. It was written by a man of considerable eminence, Mr. Seymour, who was for some time Superintendent of Marlborough, and who it was also right to state, possessed property to a considerable extent in Now Zealand, not only in the Southern but also in the Northern Island. Now, the statement of that gentleman, who, there could be no doubt, was a competent authority on the subject on which he wrote, would, he thought, give some relief to the mind of his noble Friend. Mr. Seymour said— There is no war of races, and I do not think it will ever turn to one. For the natives may be divided into three bodies—friendly, neutral, and hostile. I think the friendly are the most numerous, and they have been giving us great help, and, what is more, have been suffering with us too. The neutrals are also a large body, who some years back under their king retired into a comparatively small district lying on the west coast round about Kawhia harbour. These then surrounded themselves with imaginary lines termed Aukati,' past which no European was to come; if any ventured, they were warned back; if they persisted, their foolhardiness generally resulted in the loss of their clothes, &c.; but in no case was personal violence offered that I ever heard of, or their lives placed in danger. These Kingites, then, still maintain this attitude of strict neutrality. These two classes embrace most of the native population; the hostile are few in num- ber, but from the cause above are capable of doing vast mischief. I do not think masses of British troops would be of any service to us. The British soldier cannot, or rather, is not allowed to fight or even to be trained to that mode of fighting which only can be useful here. Our self-reliant policy was and is still best, and undoubtedly most likely to succeed. Our fault was the common fault of the British—that of being unprepared. Now, that was a letter which, in his opinion, was very much calculated to alter the judgment of those who took such a gloomy view of the state of affairs in New Zealand as he had heard expressed by some hon. Gentlemen that evening. The noble Lord (Viscount Bury) said that the evils existing in New Zealand had been caused by the Home Government. Now, they had been reminded in the course of the debate that successive Governments had deliberately adopted and carried out that very policy towards New Zealand which the noble Lord now Condemned, and they had likewise been reminded, with great truth, of the great importance of that colony to England. There was hardly a Gentleman in that House who had not a friend or a relative in New Zealand, and it represented the different classes of which English society was composed probably more completely than any other colony. It seemed to him therefore absurd to suppose that successive Governments should have deliberately adopted a policy hostile to the best interests of such a colony. After all, every suggestion that was made, whether for troops or for guarantees, amounted n some way or other to this—that the tax-payers of this country ought to be called on to contribute towards the internal affairs of New Zealand; but he maintained that the taxpayers of England had no more to say to the internal affairs of New Zealand than the tax-payers of New Zealand had to say to the internal affairs of England. The noble Viscount had spoken of the way in which they had governed New Zealand; but if a Government conscientiously did its best in regard to a colony, it was idle to contend that on account of possible mistakes which it might have made—for no Government was infallible —it was to be called on to pay some contribution or to acknowledge that it had contracted some debt towards the colony. In 1854, when responsible government was adopted in New Zealand, the Legislative Assembly addressed the Governor, congratulating him on the progress of the colony and on the good relations which existed between the two races inhabiting it. Native affairs had up to that time been carefully excluded from the control of the colonists; but the colonists afterwards began to seek some control over those affairs. In 1858 or 1859 a demand was made that the Native Minister should be responsible to the Governor in Council—that was to say, to the Government which had the confidence of the colony. When that demand was sent home by Governor Gore Brown, it was objected to by Lord Carnarvon, who felt that there were certain obligations on our part towards the natives which he could not be sure would be properly discharged if that concession were made to the colony. A remarkable correspondence passed between Sir George Lewis—who acted as Secretary of State for the Colonies during the Duke of Newcastle's absence in Canada — and Mr. Richmond, a distinguished colonist of New Zealand. Mr. Richmond made the demand on the Imperial Government that 5,000 troops, involving an expense of about £150,000 a year, should be maintained for the defence of the outlying settlements. Sir George Lewis replied that wise government and prudent conduct on the part of the settlers would, in his opinion, do far more than an increased military force to maintain on a satisfactory footing the relations between the Europeans and the natives; and he pointed out that the outlying settlements were in a position in which it would be utterly impossible for this country to protect them. Such were the views of the Home Government on that subject; and therefore those who went to those outlying settlements were given to understand that they went on their own responsibility; they knew the dangers to which they would be exposed, and that it was utterly impossible for any Government to shield them from such risks. Mr. "Weld himself had recognized that no amount of British troops could possibly protect the settlers in those districts. Therefore the settlers were fairly warned from the very first by the Government of this country. In 1861, when Sir George Grey returned to New Zealand, he found the colonists possessed with the idea that it was absolutely essential they should have the control over native affairs in the same way as they had over their own. Sir George Grey, indeed, found this feeling to be so strong that he took on himself the responsibility of giving effect to it without waiting for the decision of the Secretary of State, and he wrote a despatch home explaining his conduct. To that despatch the Duke of Newcastle, on May 26, 1862, replied, sanctioning the placing of the natives under the control of the Assembly, stating that he could not disguise from himself that the endeavour to keep the management of the natives under the control of the Home Government had failed, and that it could only be mischievous to retain a shadow of responsibility when the beneficial exercise of power had become impossible. He therefore acceded to the demand of the colonists. It was true that when his despatch reached New Zealand the Colonial Government declined to accept the been they had sought, for the simple reason that they wanted to have the power, but did not desire to pay the expenses to which it would render them liable. But in a subsequent despatch of great ability, dated February 24, 1863, the Duke of Newcastle explained his view of the whole of the transactions which had occurred, and refused to withdraw the gift he had made to the colonists, telling them distinctly that what they had asked for and obtained they must keep, and that with it they must bear a considerable portion, at all events, of the expenditure for their own defence, and the Legislature of New Zealand, relying upon the cordial co-operation of the Imperial Government for the future, cheerfully, by a unanimous vote, accepted the responsibility thus placed on the colonists. The Imperial Government gave its assistance with no niggardly hand; 10,000 Imperial troops with 6,000 colonial troops, took the field, aided by a fleet of steamers and gunboats, but these great forces were paralyzed by the system of double government, which, to quote Mr. Weld's words, was "the root of half the misfortunes that occurred;" and, in November, 1864, the colony was nearly prostrate. The natives, as my noble Friend has said, quoting Mr. Weld's words, "were defeated but not subdued." Taranaki had not been reconquered; escaped prisoners occupied a fortified position within sight of Auckland; the colony had neither money nor credit. Then it was that the Government of Mr. Weld was formed. The system of double government had broken down—Mr. Weld refused to take Office unless it were abandoned. The principles upon which his Government was formed are clearly laid down in a Memorandum he submitted to the Governor in November, 1864. After expressing his opinion that double government had resulted in evil to both races of Her Majesty's subjects in New Zealand, he recognized the right of the Home Government to interfere as long as the colony received the aid of British troops, but said he was prepared to accept the alternative, and would recommend the Assembly to ask for the entire withdrawal of British troops, and also to ask the Home Government to issue such instructions as would enable the Governor to be guided by the recommendations of his constitutional advisers, except only upon such matters as concerned the Imperial interests and the Prerogative of the Crown. That reservation would have been sufficient to prevent a war of extermination between the two races, because Her Majesty's Government could not be absolved from the obligations of the treaty of Waitangi, and the rights of the natives were secured under that treaty. With that limitation, however, a demand was made by Mr. Weld for absolute and entire self-government. He required that the whole of the land forces should be withdrawn from New Zealand with the least possible delay, and had since stated distinctly, having before his eyes the present lamentable state of things, that in his opinion it was due, in part at all events, to the fact that his demand had not been entirely acceded to at once — was due, therefore, not to the removal of the troops, but to the delay in their removal. Mr. Weld insisted not only upon getting rid of the Imperial troops, but upon keeping up a sufficient colonial force, and, with the assistance of Major Atkinson, succeeded to a great extent in effecting this object; but he was turned out of Office. Mr. Stafford became Prime Minister, and, unfortunately, the colony was left without sufficient defence against the inevitable results of the system of confiscation that was carried on. Mr. Weld had recommended that 1,500 colonial troops should be kept on foot, armed and trained with special reference to the nature of the services required. This policy was not adhered to by Ms successor, and there were nothing but raw and undisciplined recruits to suppress the recent rising, notwithstanding the repeated and energetic warnings against confiscation by his right hon. Friend the present Secretary for War. Confiscation was carried on, and, at the same time, the colonial military force was not kept up. Allusion had been made to the natives who escaped from the Chatham Islands. Now he believed—though his information was not official—that these prisoners were sent to the Chatham Islands for two years. They behaved well while there, but finding they were not released when the time expired they made their escape, and it must always be remembered that, with the exception of one person who lost his life in the scuffle, they inflicted no injury upon anybody. When they landed, however, it was attempted to re-capture them, and, as the House knew, the result of that attempt was lamentable. At the other side of the island—of this, again, there is no official information—in the course of the campaign under General Chute, some horses had been taken away from the Maories. They were re-taken by the natives, two of whom were seized as hostages for their return. The result was an encounter in which two or three people lost their lives, and he believed that the rising upon the east coast was precipitated by this circumstance. He thought he had clearly shown that the demand for the removal of the troops was made by the colonists themselves; that it was insisted upon by them in the strongest manner; that after Mr. Weld went out of Office they omitted to take the precautions which common sense suggested for their own protection; and that it was on account of the absence of precautions that these lamentable events had occurred. Under these circumstances was it quite reasonable that the colonists should come to this country and ask us to assist them? It was obvious that the reason why the colonists had not hitherto provided for their own defence was that, as long as British troops remained in the island, they looked to them for protection, and imagined that they would be extricated from any difficulty by the assistance of the mother country. That was the opinion of Mr. Weld., who had re-stated it in an able pam- phlet which he had written within the last few months. He therefore said deliberately that in his opinion it would be a cruel gift to the colonists to thrust them back upon the old system, which entirely broke down under their hands—and to lead them to depend upon the mother country instead of upon themselves. He hoped therefore that the House would approve of the conduct of the Government in refusing to leave the British troops in New Zealand. Then came the question raised by his noble Friend with regard to the guarantee. His noble Friend spoke of the heavy taxation which pressed upon New Zealand, but he had not taken into account the difference in the incidence of taxation in this country and in New Zealand. In his financial statement made in September, 1865, the Colonial Treasurer said— I must be allowed, while admitting the weight of the burdens laid upon the shoulders of the people of this colony, to deprecate the exaggeration with which this subject has been treated in many quarters, and which appears to me calculated to excite unnecessary discontent within the colony, as well as seriously to injure its position in the estimation of persons at a distance. The positive as well as the comparative weight of the taxation of New Zealand has been frequently over-stated. The sum per head paid for duties of Customs, which constitutes four-fifths of the public revenue, amounts, it is true, to £3 11s.; but of this sum no less than £2 1s. 8d. is paid on spirits, wine, beer, and tobacco, which are generally considered fair subjects for the operations of the tax-gatherer—Again, although the amount of taxes paid by each individual in New Zealand is considerably higher than in Great Britain, being £4 10s. (including provision for many local services) in the former, as compared to £3 0s. 1d. (including local taxation) in the latter; yet, when it is considered that the average earnings of the labouring classes in the colony are, as a rule, more than twice as large as in the mother country, it will be found that, testing the weight of taxation by the proportion which that taxation consumes of the earnings of each adult, the position of the colonist will compare favourably with that of the tax-payer in the United Kingdom. With regard to this question of taxation generally, it has, in many of the discussions on this subject which have taken place throughout the colony, been somewhat hastily assumed that heavy taxation, if not incompatible with, is at least rarely coincident with national prosperity. I think this is a very false and mischievous impression. A reference to the statistics of the principal countries of Europe will show that, so far from this opinion being true, countries like Turkey and Russia, where the taxation is 8s. 1d. and 16s. 1d. per head respectively, are those which are far from being the most prosperous or wealthy; while the State in which—with the well-known exception of the United States—taxation is the highest—namely, the kingdom of Holland, where the general taxation is £2 11s. 3d. per head, is admittedly one of the most flourishing. This showed that statements which had been made with regard to the comparative taxation of the inhabitants of the colony and the people of this country were founded in error. He would not, however, rest his objection to the claim which had been put forward solely upon that consideration. It appeared to him that the worst of all governments was that of one race over another when the dominant race was supported and assisted by a superior power behind it, because such a government led to abuse and to the undue exercise of power. Upon that ground alone it appeared to Mm that the Government would be consulting far more the interests of both the colonists and the natives of New Zealand by leaving the Colonial Government to exercise the power they already possessed without any assistance from this country. The noble Lord had stated that this country had made a rush to take possession of the colony before France could take possession of it; but if the noble Lord would refer to Lord Normanby's letter to Captain Hobson he would find that the then Government of this country, much against their inclination, were compelled to take possession of the island in consequence of the course adopted by the Now Zealand Company. He fully admitted the value of many of the suggestions that had been made in the course of the do-bate, and he would take care that they should be laid before the Colonial Government for their consideration. One suggestion had been made over and over again to the Colonial Government by the noble Earl at the head of the Colonial Office, and that was that steps should be taken to prevent settling upon the outlying districts where no protection whatever could be extended to the colonists. Warning after warning had been given on this subject by successive Secretaries of State. He was satisfied that so long as such settlements were dotted along the coast, they would be liable to such attacks as those which had occurred. In conclusion, he must express his deliberate opinion that the worst been that this country could grant to the colony would be the assistance that was now asked for on its behalf. If the Government were to yield to this application, the same vicious circle would be entered upon that led to the state of affairs that existed in 1864, when the condition of the colony was far more desperate than it was at present, and the colonists would be deprived of that spirit of self-reliance which he was happy to see animated them now. Her Majesty's Government were ready and anxious to give the colony any assistance in their power. They had instructed the commanders of Her Majesty's ships in that quarter of the globe to protect the colonists in the event of any sudden disasters occurring. They were ready to aid them to procure officers, non-commissioned officers, and trained policemen; but, on the other hand, he must state most distinctly that all such assistance must be limited by the principles which he had endeavoured to lay down in the remarks he had just addressed to the House. Her Majesty's Government fully appreciated the importance of the colony and the position it was likely to occupy in the future history of the world; and, while willing to aid it within the rules he had laid down, they must decline to give them that which would prove, in their opinion, a fatal gift—stifling their energy and bringing back the lamentable state of things from which they had only just escaped.


said, he wished to call attention to the extraordinary nature of the blue book upon this subject, part of which was merely a record of quarrels between the last Governor of New Zealand and the Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's forces in the colony. A more amusing part contained a number of despatches from the present Governor of the colony, who, with many poems and quotations from Sir Walter Scott's novels, endeavoured to establish a parallel between the wars of the Maories and those of the Highlanders. For his part, he should rather compare the Maories with the Fenians in Ireland, because their cry was—" New Zealand for the New Zealanders." The whole of the documents contained in the blue book were a record of the vicious result of colonial affairs being undertaken by the Home Government, and he trusted that no steps would be taken calculated to restore a policy so pregnant with disaster. The noble Viscount (Viscount Bury) had drawn a fearful picture, but he had offered no remedy, nor had he heard any valid one suggested in the course of the debate. The stories of the horrible massacres which had occurred in New Zealand were certainly harrowing, but still they ought calmly to consider what was the proper remedy for the existing state of things and not follow the first impulse of sympathy to do what must increase the evil. The noble Viscount seemed to imply that there had been a wretched feeling of parsimony on the part of the people of this country, which had deterred them from assisting their fellow-countrymen in New Zealand; but the truth was, that this country had, on the contrary, by its desire to act on the highest principles of humanity towards the natives, and to discharge its duty towards the colonists, been too long led into profuse and mischievous expenditure both of blood and money. It had also been implied that the course of abstinence and caution recently taken indicated a readiness to abandon New Zealand. To his mind it appeared to show a precisely opposite inclination. Within the last few months a line of policy had been for the first time fully pursued which would cement the only possible lasting relations between the colony and this country, The noble Viscount said that as the Imperial policy had been to blame in producing the wars, it was the duty of the country to undertake to settle them; but upon that point he took issue with the noble Viscount. The way in which the affairs of New Zealand and the land and the native questions had become complicated was by the mistakes of Crown policy; but that circumstance gave the inhabitants of New Zealand no claim upon the British tax-payers, for the Government of New Zealand was their Government; and, bad as it was, it was honestly conducted in the best supposed principles of the day in their interest, and not in ours. He rejoiced with the noble Viscount that the old system of government was gone. That double government, one half administered by the colonists, and the other half by the Crown for the native races was sure to be full of mischief, and early in 1861 the Duke of Newcastle found that it was impossible to go on with it. The old Downing Street government was bad enough, and when that was exploded the attempt still to reserve the native half of local government was worse. That being the case it was absolutely necessary to make all things square with a better state of things. The transition must be painful but the result would be beneficial, and to return to the old state of things, which bred the mischief, would be insane. First of all, it had been necessary to settle accounts with the old system; and the part taken by this country in wiping off old scores was most liberal and generous, though it was, unfortunately, not so taken by the colonists. The English Government were willing to forego all claims, and to let bygones be bygones, but the colonists carped at every item, set up counter-claims, and considered that all the expenses incurred for the Imperial troops sent out to fight their own battles, even to the horses and baggage lost in the service, ought to be charged to the mother country. When the new system of the policy and means of conducting it being left to the colonists was inaugurated, the colonists were told that they might retain the 18th Regiment, if they were willing to pay for it at the Australian rate of pay. Soldiers cost this country £100 a man, and they were offered at £40 a man, but the colonists would not accept them anyhow, except on the indefensible terms that the regiment was to fight for them gratuitously, and was also to be under their entire control. The Imperial troops were consequently withdrawn, as it was impossible to keep them in New Zealand serving colonial policy, and so that the Crown would have no control over them, but only have to call on our English subjects to pay for them whatever they might do. The war was renewed and it was quite clear that the colonists had not had time, or had not used it, to perfect a system of self-defence. The fact was, there were in that country, as in this, two parties in the Parliament — they were the self-relying party and the party who wished to go back to the old system. The self-relying party were strong enough to get the principle of self-defence carried by resolution, but were not able to obtain the means of carrying out the principle by the necessary measures of defence. The resolution to discard the English troops together with the absence of any substituted force was the cause of the horrible massacres which had occurred. He thought the speech of the noble Viscount rather contradictory in some parts, especially where, after arguing on the ground of colonial help- lessness, he described the taking by a few colonial troops of the pah at Taranaki "which General Cameron, at the head of the English forces, had refused to attack. That alone showed what the whole colony might do if they were left to control their own policy and meet it themselves. He fully admitted, with the noble Viscount, that the principle upon which our dealings with New Zealand was to be regulated ought to be closely watched, because we must apply the same rule to our dealings with all our other colonies. It, therefore, ought to be made clear that we had no intention of taking a retrogressive step It was an entire mistake to suppose, as had been suggested, that the colonists would be willing to look out for another country to which to attach themselves, if they were not undertaken for by their English fellow-subjects. They would find no other country so foolish to take them on such terms; but they did not wish it. They were as much bound to the mother country as the mother country was to them—an attachment founded upon affection and strengthened by commercial considerations. But they must be content to live like Englishmen if they wished to be identified with them. They must find their own means of defence. If they had no men to spare for fighting, they must hire men, they must, as had been said, look to Australia for troops; and he did not know that they could do anything better. He would only, in conclusion, express his hope that the Government would give its hearty support to the self-reliant party in the colony, for the principles that guided that party were those that it would be for the best interest of the colony and of the Empire to uphold.


said, he attributed the origin of the wars in New Zealand not to the colonists grasping at the lands of the natives, but to the readiness with which land purchased from the natives had been surrendered whenever the slightest colourable pretence of a defect in title had been shown. Cases had come within his own knowledge in which land had been paid for twice or three times, because some chief had trumped up some absurd claim to it, and the result was that when these preposterous attempts were resisted the colonists were attacked, their cattle stolen, and their wives and children murdered. So far as the land question was connected at all with the recent disturbances it was connected with them in that manner. He contended that the attempt to re-take the Chatham Island prisoners was perfectly justifiable on the part of the colonists, but that alone was not the cause of the Hau-hau rebellion, and of the subsequent atrocities. There was no doubt such atrocities would give rise to desire to exterminate the Maories, but that feeling had been repressed in the colony. He quite concurred with the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir Charles Adderley) in thinking that a self-reliant policy ought to be encouraged by us. It was wholly indefensible that the tax-payers of Great Britain should be called upon to contribute 1s. towards the expenses of our colonial governments. He agreed that the pampering policy which had been acted upon with regard to the colony was unwise; but was it judicious to inaugurate a new policy at a juncture when the colony was suffering under such deep depression? In the Northern Island production was altogether stopped, and they were overburdened with taxation. The colonists however, did not ask for either money or soldiers, but only that the credit of this country should be pledged on their behalf to the extent of £1,500,000. He regretted that the Government were indisposed to grant this. He thought there was a great inconsistency in the couduct of the Government with respect to this matter. They refused the guarantee of the country to loans for such colonies as New Zealand, yet they had no hesitation in giving guarantees to any amount of loans for Canada. He admitted the importance of the Canadas, but it was surely of equal importance that New Zealand should be protected, where the settlers were struggling for their lives. With regard to the King movement, nothing could be more unwise than to encourage it. The system of native kingship arose in this way— When the British Government took possession of the island they abrogated the Maori laws, and established the British law. But with the law they established no means to enforce it; there were neither courts of law nor police magistrates, so that the natives were compelled to elect a king of their own. But if the Maori King were recognized and an imperium in invperio established, it would lead to a conflict of races of which no man could see the end. Everything should be done to induce the two races to amalgamate, and the Maories should be encouraged to take part in the government of the country, and should be treated as the settlers. He thought the Imperial Government had not gone far enough in giving independence to the colonies. The colonies had independent Legislatures for managing their own affairs, but no representative Congress like that of the States of America to which they could send their representatives, and at which they could discuss colonial subjects. The colonies had no representatives in that House, nor could they send diplomatic representatives to this country. If the colonies had the privilege of sending to this country persons as ambassadors or chargés d'affaires to represent their views to the Government of this country, that single concession would do much to bring about a better state of things.


said, he wished to offer a few remarks on this question. He was aware that he spoke in the presence of several colonists, but he did not yield to any of them in the interest he took in the colony. When this country undertook to wield Imperial power over New Zealand the people were placed under Imperial protection. That was the rule in all colonizing countries. Greece and Rome always undertook the duty of protecting the people over whom their power was stretched. When New Zealand was established as a British colony in 1840, it was as much for the protection of the native interests as for those of the colonists. But the policy that had been pursued was not always wise; he believed the Land Act, which was passed early in the settlement, was the cause of all their present troubles. Under that Act the Government purchased land at a small cost and retailed it again at a large profit. The natives soon found that their interests suffered by that arrangement, and they asked to have ground-titles to their land. But our Government refused to treat with them except as to their tribal interest, and that was the great cause of the present disturbances. The noble Viscount who moved this Motion had stated that it was impossible the Maori race could survive, and that they were not amenable to civilization. In opposition to that he would quote the authority of Mr. Swainson, the late Attorney General of New Zealand, who declared, that they were a brave and warlike race, and in every way amenable to civilization. The proof of this was to be found in the fact that there was, at the present moment, a large native population who were devoted to Imperial interests and obedient to the law. The political condition of the native race was greatly attributable to our own neglect. For five years native feuds prevailed, and our rule existed only in name. It was only at the end of that time that they proceeded to elect a King in order to give them laws that they could obey; but it was impossible that this country could allow this dual government to go on. He hoped the House would excuse him for making these few remarks on a subject in which he took so deep an interest.


said, no one had offered any satisfactory explanation as to the cause of these chronic wars in New Zealand. He thought the Government ought to promise that there should be early next Session a full inquiry into the condition and circumstances of the settlements. The particular cause of the rebellion was not hard to discover. It was to be found in the Virgin Mary of the Hau-haus. The Hau-hau movement was, beyond doubt, inaugurated by the Jesuits, and the same cause had led to a great development of Fenianism, which he believed to be strong in New Zealand. That admitted, it would explain everything. Where Jesuit action was at work, it was only years after the disaster was accomplished that the whole conspiracy was laid bare, and sometimes it was not fully unfolded for centuries afterwards. For these reasons he hoped the House would consent to the appointment of a Committee to inquire into the origin and causes of the movement. He had had a conversation with two gentlemen who had recently returned from New Zealand, one of whom had resided there for ten years. Within the last two years a Roman Catholic chapel had been established near his residence, and ever since that time nothing but dissension and difficulty had existed. He believed that five Roman Catholic priests had been detected in communication with the rebels. In a dispatch of Sir George Grey, dated July 1846, addressed to Lord Stanley, he spoke of the proceedings of Dr. Pompalier and the Roman Catholic missionaries at the Bay of Islands but exonerated him from all blame. This very Dr. Pompalier took over thirty Jesuit priests in 1862, who were in direct communication with the rebels. He wished to point out that this French Roman Catholic Bishop had thought himself entitled to assume a position of neutrality in the rebellions of the natives; and he would ask whether there was not fair ground for inquiry as to whether that neutrality had not degenerated into secret complicity with the rebels?