§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
The EARL of DESART
said, he rose to move the Second Reading of one of the important measures which Her Majesty's Government had considered it to be its duty to bring forward in this anomalous Session of Parliament; and he could assure their Lordships that there were few Bills of greater importance than that which he then submitted to their approbation. It concerned not only the destiny of one of our most rising colonies, but also the interest of many individuals, who, though separated from us by long distance, were still anxious for the general prosperity of the great Empire of which they formed a component part. He was sorry that a Bill of such vast importance should have been intrusted to a person comparatively of such small experience as himself, who was scarcely competent to undertake a task of such magnitude; but he had this consolation to support him—that this Bill was no party measure. He, therefore trusted that the same forbearance which had influenced hon. Gentlemen in the other House of Parliament would also induce their Lordships to consider this measure favourably, and to realise the wishes of their fellow-countrymen for the future good government of this colony. He did not know whether it was necessary for him, as their Lordships were all of them well acquainted with this subject, to enter into a history of the fortunes of this colony; but still it might be expected that he should give a slight but free sketch of them. The number of European inhabitants in New Zealand amounted to 26,000 souls, scattered over nine different 1134 settlements. One of those settlements contained a population of 9,000 persons, while a population was scattered over the other eight not exceeding 17,000 persons. There was no communication between these different settlements except on horseback, and they were divided from each other by mountains and rivers over which there were no bridges. The constitution which had been given to the colony in 1847 had been suspended for five years, and the approaching expiration of that term rendered it necessary to frame an Act capable of surmounting the difficulties attendant on all past legislation for this important colony. There was, however, one circumstance which gave the Legislature considerable facilities in this task. The native inhabitants of New Zealand were far superior to all those with whom our attempts at colonisation had hitherto made us acquainted They understood agriculture, they made good sailors, they were anxious for the advantages of civilisation, they understood its power, and they were ambitious to obtain for themselves a higher scale among the nations of the earth than they could ever hope to obtain in a state of barbarism. With these facilities he hoped that we should be able to incorporate these aborigines with our European colonists, and to merge them gradually with our own people into one great, useful, and intelligent community. It was proposed by this Bill to make a beginning of such a good work by establishing six provincial councils, embracing all the nine different settlements of New Zealand. The legislative functions of these councils were distinctly defined; and the first change which he had to mention in the scheme formerly framed for the constitution of the colony was, that the superintendent officer of these councils, instead of being nominated by the Crown should be an elective officer, and that he should be elected by the same machinery as that which returned the elective council. He confessed that at first he had entertained doubts as to the policy of such a regulation; but on mature deliberation he thought that the advantages to be derived from it, outweighed the possible evil that might result. Having said thus much regarding the provincial councils, he had next to state that it was proposed that there should be a Central General Assembly within the colony, consisting of the Governor, a Legislative Council, and a House of Representatives. The members of the Legislative Council would hold their 1135 appointments for life, and would be 10 in number; while the Members of the House of Representatives would be elected by the same machinery as that used in the election of the provincial councillors, and would hold their seats for five years, unless the General Assembly was sooner dissolved. He did not think that it was necessary for him to go further into the details of the measure then before their Lordships, except to allude to one important provision. The waste lands of New Zealand were placed under the control of the General Assembly, but under certain provisions clearly defined. The Crown reserved to itself the power of regulating and controlling all transactions between the aborigines and the colonists relative to the sale of such lands. No one could be more averse than himself to yield at once to the unreasonable claims of the colonists to obtain the entire management of the waste lands, wherever they were settled. The concession would be dangerous to the colonists themselves, when they could neither alienate nor improve them. His objections to such a concession did not apply so strongly to the colony of New Zealand as to our other colonies, for the aborigines of New Zealand, as he had before stated, were anxious to associate themselves with Europeans, and as many of them had funds under English protection—one of the chiefs to the amount of 500l., and others to the amount of 300l. and 200l.—we had a right to expect that before long there would be a general fusion between them and the English colonists; and if such should be the case, we should accomplish a greater benefit for the colony than any which could be derived from any other measures. These were the principal features of the Bill. Suggestions would be made, no doubt, which would receive due consideration. But the question was not a party one, and he hoped that the Bill, as regarded its general principles, would be adopted without alteration. He was not one of those that desired to plant constitutions upon the English model in every colony, however fitted or unfitted for their growth; but there was always a time when it was for the interest of the parent country as much as for that of the colonies that all restrictions should be withdrawn and free institutions granted. The question then was, whether New Zealand was in that condition, and he thought it was. He dared not speak with certainty; the whole thing was an experiment; but it was 1136 one in which he saw some future prospect of civilisation for that country. Moreover, England was now fulfilling that high mission which Providence had confided to her, and there was every reason to hope she would be successful in propagating along with political liberty those blessings and advantages to the people which Christianity alone could afford.
§ Moved—"That the Bill be read 2a."
§ LORD LYTTELTON
My Lords, being connected with one of the settlements in New Zealand, and having much interest in that colony generally, I venture to address the House this evening. I would first acknowledge, and I believe I might do so in the name of almost all the colonists of New Zealand, the good-will towards that colony which moved Her Majesty's Government to introduce this Bill, and in circumstances of considerable difficulty to carry it through to the present stage. My Lords, I rejoice to believe that the Bill is now beyond the reach of serious harm. If it were not so, or if I were a person of that weight in this House that any remarks which I could make could have any effect in obstructing the progress of a measure like this, I should certainly abstain from making any attempt to criticise this Bill; believing, as I do, that with all its defects it will be a most acceptable boon to the colony, and that it is the largest instalment of right legislation on these subjects that has been made for more than a hundred years. But as it is, I shall venture freely to point out what seem to me the main defects in this Bill—defects which are not connected with the particular colony of New Zealand, but depend on general principles of colonial policy. I would measure those defects by a reference to what I conceive to be the great standard of right principle on this subject—the constitutions given to our early North American colonies; and as a specimen of those constitutions, I will take the charter given to the colony of Maryland, as in many respects one of the best. A proprietary colony it was, and I would not be understood as advocating that particular form of tenure and of local government. But in a question of political rights and franchises, as between the colony and the mother country, this point may be of no great importance. Nor would it make any difference if I were to take one of the charters of the New England States instead—Connecticut or Rhodes Island for example, as the provisions are mainly the same in the two cases. Now, the leading features 1137 of those constitutions, as I apprehend, were these. In the first place, the colonists were given unlimited freedom of legislation as to their internal affairs. In the next place, they were given the complete control of the land of their settlement. In the next place, they were given the appointment and the payment of every officer of their establishment, from the Governor downwards. In the next place, they were given an unfettered trade. In the first place, they were charged with the entire care of their own defence. In the next place, they were given the uncontrolled right of self-taxation. And in the last place, the whole cost of their maintenance, without an exception, was thrown upon them. On some of these points, which have been recently conceded to the colonies, or which are now for the first time conceded by this Bill, I shall say very little. It is to the honour of Her Majesty's present Government, and of this Bill, that it for the first time gives to the colonists to whom it relates the control of their own land. Complete liberty of trade has also been given to our colonies, though only very recently, to the disgrace of this country, and of its state of advancement in political science. Nothing could be more inconsistent with the principles of our early colonisation in this respect than the system of colonial trade regulation, known by the name of the colonial system, which grew up too soon after the time of those early settlements, and which was so fixed in the mind of the people of this country, that even Mr. Burke, far in advance as he was of his contemporaries, in liberality of feeling on colonial subjects generally, could speak without scruple or disguise of that system as one quite distinct from the rest of our colonial legislation; and as one which was contrived solely for the supposed benefit of this country exclusively, without the least regard for the colonies. This system is now done away with. Liberty of self-taxation is almost entirely now conceded to the colonies. The command of the land fund, indeed, is given for the first time by this Bill; and there still remains some shadow of that great absurdity called the colonial civil lists. But it is hardly more than a shadow, because of the power allowed to the colonial legislatures to deal with those civil lists when established, though their establishment is still provided in the Acts. With regard to the appointment of their officers, I admit that I do not attach the importance which some do to the election of the Governors 1138 by the colonial communities, though I do not object to it. But I think the present system, by which the Governors are named by the Crown, is a good one, and might work very well, if the Government would but put an end to that mischievous modern innovation, according to which a colonial Governor is understood, by a sort of arrangement between him and the Government at home, to hold his office for a fixed term of years, five, six, or seven; an arrangement which prevents his identifying himself with the colony over which he presides, makes him always feel himself a stranger there, and very much prevents the public opinion of the colony from acting upon him. A colonial Governor should be appointed, like any one else, capable, of course, of promotion, like another servant of the Crown, but without any definite arrangement for his removal at a certain time. In the remaining and perhaps more important points, I conceive that this country has still much to do. I say that the early colonies had an uncontrolled power of legislation in their own affairs. They had not an uncontolled power of legislation. Their power was controlled in their charters in two ways—in one by express enactment, in the other by implication and inference from the whole spirit and object of the instrument. As to the latter, they were restrained from legislating in derogation of their allegiance to the Crown of England, or of imperial policy and interests. As to the former, they were restrained by those remarkable words, which occur in all these charters, requiring that their laws shall not be "repugnant to the laws of England." With regard to these words, it is known that they have had a very vague and uncertain operation. It has been investigated with much ability by a distinguished writer, lately a Colleague of the noble Lord behind me (Mr. Cornewall Lewis). He has shown that those words have been held by the Courts to mean, that the laws in question shall not be repugnant to English law, in so far as it is applicable to the circumstances of the colonies. Of course such a provision could not but have rather a vague effect. But, nevertheless, I do not object to these words, which I see I are repeated in the present Bill. I am not aware that they have ever had an injurious effect, and they have probably had some good tendency in keeping colonial legislation in harmony with the principles of English law. But the great point, with respect to both the subjects last mentioned, 1139 is, that if any question arose under these charters, with regard to the proper limits of the colonial legislation, it would have to he decided according to the legal construction of a public written instrument, and in an open Court of Law. No colonist could object to that. It is essentially different from the modern system which has grown up since, by which every particle of the colonial legislation on all subjects, great and small, is sent home for allowance or disallowance by what is in fact a secret tribunal—the Colonial Office. In those early days the Colonial Office did not and could not exist. The first trace of the modern system is to be found, not in the first charters, but in a later one—in the second charter given to the province of Massachusetts in the time of William III. It is there provided that all colonial Acts shall be sent home for the consideration of the King; a provision that does not appear to have been generally acted on, that gave great dissatisfaction to the colonists when passed, and that stands out in singular contrast to the general spirit of the previous enactments in the matter. The only answer which the noble Earl (Earl Grey) has ever given to the obvious arguments against this general power of disallowance, is one the inadequateness of which is so manifest, that it is astonishing how a man of his great ability and acuteness of mind should fail to perceive it. It is, that, as it happens, he, in the plentitude of his liberality on these subjects, and perhaps some of his predecessors, have not, in fact, exercised this veto more than in a very few cases, two or three per cent, and in which its propriety was indisputable. How is this a satisfactory reply to colonists at the Antipodes? How do they know what Secretary of State is in office? How do they know which measures these two or three per cent will be, which he considers open to his objections? But this point has been so much argued of late, that I shall not detain the House further upon it. With regard to self-defence, the words of this charter are most explicit, in giving to the colonists both the right and the responsibility of defending themselves against all enemies whatsoever. And so as to their own support, there is no reservation whatever; but the whole cost of their establishments is thrown upon themselves. No doubt, in neither of these last cases is it meant that there was never to be exceptions, in which the mother country might give aid to her dependencies; but the ques- 1140 tion is as to their normal state. It was then indisputably one of self-support; whereas now, at least as to military defence, the case is distinctly reversed, and we regularly undertake for the protection of our colonies in all parts of the world. Such, my Lords, as I conceive, is an outline of our early colonial system. As far as it went, that New South Wales petition, lately presented in this House, coincided with that system; and we are told that it is inconsistent with the principle of a colonial empire. I ask, was it so found? For this system was not a mere paper one, but was in actual life and operation for the better part of a century, up to within a certain number of years before the American revolution. And I say that during that time these colonies were the pride and the glory of this country, and that they were a colonial empire in the sense in which we ought to wish to have one. For I would wish, again and again, to impress upon those who take an interest in those subjects, that we ought not to desire to have colonies for the sake of any supposed gain to ourselves, or of any selfish object, but in order, as is often recited in these ancient charters, to propagate through the world the religious and civil institutions of England, and to rear up races of manly, and generous, and self-relying men; and I say that such these colonies were. Try it in reference to some of the more importants points I have mentioned. I say those colonies did support themselves; and that their people could not even have conceived such things as we have seen in modern days, when South Australia was not ashamed to receive 150,000l. in a Parliamentary grant; and, still worse, when Prince Edward's Island, Western Australia, and, as will be remembered hereafter as the disgrace of the early history of this great colony, New Zealand, have not scrupled to subsist for years for the supply of their daily wants on the reluctant alms of the mother country. Those colonies did defend themselves against all difficulties and dangers. Some time ago evidence was given by a most excellent and valuable servant of the Crown, Mr. Elliot, of the Colonial Office, before a Committee of this House on emigration, in which he made some comparisons between our early colonies and some of the modern ones, especially the Australasian colonies, as to their advance in material prosperity; and he said that Virginia had been destroyed four times over before it, as it were, got under weigh, whereas the 1141 Australasian colonies had made the rapid progress which we know. The instance was not a happy one, inasmuch as the early charters of Viginia were very much move restrictive than those of the later colonies, and gave much more power, partly to the Crown and partly to a company at home. But it may freely he admitted that some of our modern colonies have arrived at a much higher pitch of merely material success than those ancient ones did. I must again press on your Lordships that that is not the point, hut what sort of men they were, and what were their characters? For example, could any one conceive it for a moment to he possible that any of those early colonists should have done what we saw the other day in a memorial from some of the border colonists at the Cape, which I read with the greatest shame and indignation, setting forth in distinct terms their own unwarlikeness of disposition? Aye, these unhappy creatures actually were not ashamed to address the Crown and the Governor, stating, as if they were so many-women and children, that they were incapable of self-defence, and begging that something like men might be sent out from home to take care of them. Assuredly such was not the spirit in which those ancient colonists went forth. They went forth, well knowing that they were to encounter difficulties and dangers of all sorts; and in that spirit they coped successfully, year after year, with savages much more warlike and ferocious than those whom our colonists have met at the Cape and in New Zealand, and the fear of whom has so discouraged colonisation to those countries; in that spirit they repeatedly, by their own voluntary offer, took a part, to their own great burden and risk, in the general wars of the Empire; and in that spirit, too, when, as has been said—Like a large and patient sea,Once roused by cruel weather,when, at length goaded beyond endurance by the folly and oppression of England, they rose against it, and at a blow dashed from them that misused and pernicious—pernicious only because misused—domination. But not till it was so misused. For I would ask your Lordships, in the third place, how stands the comparison with regard to the local feelings of our colonies? I do not deny that there is a strong feeling of loyalty at present in our colonies. But this I know, that whenever any petty grievance is felt in North America or in Australia, we hear talk and ru- 1142 mours of separation from this country. No doubt this is partly owing to change of times and circumstances; but still there the feeling is, and it is most widely different from the feeling which prevailed in those old colonies. Nothing in history is more remarkable than the ineradicable and inextinguishable loyalty of those men. Who (as I suppose) is the best witness of the state of feeling in America previous to the Revolution? Franklin; his memoirs and correspondence. And long after the time when Mr. Crenville, the Duke of Grafton, Lord North, and the rest of the most infatuated statesmen (so called) of those days, had not only begun, but carried on their system of contempt and oppression towards the colonies, yes, up to the veryeve of the outbreak of the war, up to 1774 or 1775, he could not even conceive the possibility, much less entertain the desire, of a separation of the Colonies from England. My Lords, I will only add on this general question, that I believe we are returning to that earlier system; that the modern one has been gradually undermined for a long time, and that if—as I hope and believe we shall—if we do keep our colonies, some of us will live to see our ancient principles restored in their essential features. Adverting now briefly to the provisions of this Bill, it is plain that it is to be looked at in two aspects—as it relates to the general government of New Zealand, and as it relates to its provincial constitution. There seems to me to be more that is good in the latter than in the former. In the former, as I suppose, what is good is first, that the general legislature has the control of the land; secondly, that the constitution of the assembly has avoided that mischievous device of modern times, the intermixture in the same council of the members elected by the people with the temporary nominees of the Crown; and, thirdly, that the members of the Legislative Council are nominated for life. For I am unable to go so far as many persons who desire to see both the chambers wholly elective. I certainly think that some persons of much authority on these subjects go too far in their admiration of the United States as our model in such questions. I do not wish in all points to copy them as they have been since the American war, but rather to copy them as they were when they were our colonies, long before that war. And I am disposed to hope that the important provision which I have referred to, by which the members are no- 1143 minated for life, may be found to be in this respect a sufficient improvement. But the most valuable part of this Bill, as I consider, is that which relates to the provinces into which it divides the colony. Her Majesty's Government have brought in a much better Bill than they are at all aware of, or than they had any intention of bringing in. The right hon. Gentleman who, with so much credit to himself, fills the office of Secretary for the Colonies, has frequently said that he looks on these six provinces merely as little municipalities, petty boroughs, like those which are to be found in this country, and which therefore may well be allowed to elect their own officers, as mayors are elected, and so on. My noble Friend (Lord Grey) took a much juster view when he said in that despatch of his, which accompanied the draft of his Bill, that these provinces could not be looked on as mere municipalities, but were really colonies; and therefore, according to what he has, unfortunately, always maintained, he retained for them what is too well known as the home veto on their enactments. Happily the present Government, looking on them as I have said, have destroyed that veto, and given it to the Governor of New Zealand, thereby doing away with very much of the objection to it in respect of delay; and also, though I should have preferred its being left with the superintendents of the several provinces, giving it to one who may be hoped to be more influenced by the public opinion of the colony, and to take a more considerate view of the subjects referred to him than has sometimes been the case at home. The provinces have also the advantage of purely elective councils, and that in their individual case at least there is no reservation at all of a civil list, and they have a real control of their own revenue. The only point in the Bill which seems to me bad enough to deserve notice, but which I cannot wonder at, with the opinions the Government entertain as to the relative position of the central Government in the colony and the provincial bodies, is the concurrent power of legislation given to them. I cannot but sincerely wish that some delimitation of subjects had been provided between those powers. My Lords, I remember the slight, but I fear well-deserved, sneer of the noble Earl at the head of the Government, in his speech at the opening of this Session, at the degree of interest and of knowledge concerning New Zealand possessed by Members of this 1144 House. Nevertheless, I am assured that no one who has attended to the question will deny its importance, or that the consideration which had been bestowed in the present Bill has been well bestowed. Of course, if I had any hope that amendments such as I have indicated could be passed, I should feel it my duty to press them upon the House; but, as that is not the case, I will only add, that I shall be well content if this Bill should pass without any material alteration.
said, he thought that those who had paid any attention to the framework of this Bill would readily acknowledge that, in a theoretical point of view, many objections might be made to it. It was certainly not a perfect model of a constitution, neither did it contain any leading principles of government whatsoever. In addition to this want, he thought that there was a most disproportionate amount of government provided for so small a community; and it was moreover very probable that considerable difficulties would ensue from the existence of six different codes of law, passed by the six local legislatures, a seventh code enacted by the General Assembly, and the continued existence of remnants of native usages in some parts of the Colony. The proposed Government would consist of six provincial legislatures, a general Legislative Assembly, a Governor in chief, and six provincial governors—and all this for a population not numbering 20,000 Europeans. In such a state of things there could not fail to be an absence of that harmonious working which was necessary to the success of the new constitution. He believed that the colonists would look rather to the powers conferred upon each legislature than to the particular form in which that legislature might be cast. He thought that a mistake had been fallen into by preceding speakers in supposing that these provincial legislatures would remain separate. The example of the early States of Greece and of Italy in the Middle Ages was not applicable to the case of New Zealand in the present day. The application of steam power, and the increased facilities of communication would completely alter the position of these islands, and render a central and united legislature practicable. Neither did he think the example of the United States at the present day was at all analogous. The extent of territory of the United States rendered a comparison of that country with 1145 New Zealand fallacious. Although he fully concurred in the propriety of giving the management of the waste lands to the local legislatures of New Zealand, he could not help thinking that such a course would excite the jealousy of the older and more densely populated colony of New South Wales, to which a corresponding privilege was at present denied. As he had no doubt that the separation of the local legislatures would be but of a temporary character, he approved of the plan of making the superintendents elective by the colonists themselves rather than subject to the appointment of the Governor or Crown at home. The course adopted was gratifying to the colonists, and would be productive of no material injury to the colony itself. Another important concession made to the colonists by this measure regarded the veto reserved to the Imperial Government, and the power of disallowing Bills by the Governor. These were wise concessions, and made at the proper time. The present was an exceedingly critical time for our colonies. This country now possessed vast colonies growing up, he might say, to manhood; and if we profited by the lessons of the last century, and treated these colonies in a generous and liberal spirit, and avoided any vexatious interference with their purely local affairs, he felt convinced that they would cheerfully submit to every necessary control in matters of imperial interest, in return for the protection afforded them by the Imperial Government. The Colonies would by such means become knit to the mother country by the bond of one common language, of one common commercial interest, by identity of political institutions, and would he animated with one common respect for the parent country.
§ The DUKE of NEWCASTLE
said, that he would not attempt to follow his noble Friend (Lord Lyttelton) into the wide field of discussion on the principles of colonisation and colonial government upon which the noble Lord had entered with so much ability; for he could not but perceive that within the last few days they had arrived at that period of the Session—a Session too that was to terminate a Parliament—when it was vain to expect to secure a full discussion upon the second reading of a Bill, or even to rivet their Lordships' attention to any brief details upon a subject such as that now before the House. It appeared, indeed, that the same spirit which pervaded a House of Commons which had been termed "moribund," 1146 prevailed equally in that House, which was of a more perpetual and enduring character. There were, however, a few topics to which, notwithstanding the circumstances he had referred to, and the dry details to which his remarks would have reference, he hoped for a short time to he able to secure their Lordships' attention. Without expressing any opinion whether Her Majesty's Government, in proposing the present measure, had adopted it upon a full consideration of its consequences, or, as some persons seemed to think, had been led by a misapprehension of the two Bills which they found in the Colonial Office upon this subject, and from which they admitted the present measure had been form-ed, to afford greater concessions to the colony than they had anticipated, or intended, he was prepared, for one, to express his general approval of the Bill then before their Lordships. He considered it undoubtedly to involve a much larger measure of colonial freedom than had been conceded by any previous scheme which had been brought before the Legislature since these discussions had occupied their attention. In noticing the more important details of the Bill, there was one which though occurring in the latter clauses of the measure, he could not avoid putting prominently forward—he meant the power of revision of the whole of these present enactments, afforded to the local Legislatures, subject to certain proper restrictions. He considered this to be a most wise provision, because it was impossible for any man in this country, however well versed in matters of the kind, to legislate for all those conflicting points, and complicated details, which even the local Legislature itself would find great difficulty in dealing with. He believed three plans had been suggested for establishing a constitution for New Zealand. The first was, the establishment of a central Government; the second, a subdivision of the colony into two Provinces; and the third, the proposal now before the House, for giving separate local Legislatures to each of the six settlements, to be controlled and overruled by a General Legislature. With respect to the proposal of one central and six local Legislatures, he thought upon the whole it was the best that could have been adopted for the colon}'. He could not think that those who had advocated but one central Legislature for the whole island, had sufficiently reflected upon the difficulty involved in such a course. How could they propose 1147 to have a central Government, when in reality there was no natural centre of the country? Moreover, apart from all the geographical difficulties of communication presented by the island, there would always remain the difficulty of selecting a place for the seat of the Government; and whatever might be the selection made, it could not fail to excite jealousy on the part of other districts which might consider themselves to have superior claims. The proposal to divide the island into two Provinces, though preferable to the establishment of one central Government, would be liable to the same objection, though in a mitigated form, and could not be carried out without producing the greatest embarrassment and difficulty, whilst it lost the advantage of the first plan—unity of action. He was thus led to the conclusion he had already expressed, that on the whole, notwithstanding the objections which might be raised as to the numerous codes of laws that would be enacted, and the conflicting interests which might arise among the separate districts, the proposal for establishing six local Legislatures with one controlling central Legislature, was the best that had been made. It did not appear to him that the amount of the population in any one of the respective provinces was necessarily an essential element of a local system of self government; and although a considerable amount of ridicule had been thrown upon the small-ness of the population which was to elect these local Legislatures, he did not think that it possessed much real weight. He confessed, however, that he had some doubts as to one part of the measure—he alluded to the concurrent power of legislation given to the six local Legislatures and to the central Legislature, which, he confessed, he should have been glad to have seen omitted from the Bill. He thought that one of two evils would arise from this arrangement—either that the central Government would swallow up the six minor Legislatures, or that the six minor Legislatures would eventually render useless and cause the abolition of the Central Legislature. This provision would prevent the system from being either central or local, and certainly it prevented it from being either federal, or, in the strict sense of that word, municipal; and he could not see either the justification or necessity for introducing it. With regard to this and some other portions of the Bill, it appeared to him that notwith- 1148 standing the general provisions of the Bill were good, there was a general want of unity of principle in them which would entail considerable difficulty in carrying them out, and he feared this want of unity had arisen from the hasty adoption, without adaptation, of the clauses in the two different measures which the new Government had found in the Colonial Office. He thought, however, that Her Majesty's Government had acted wisely in excluding nominees from the local Legislatures; and he believed that by so doing they would avoid much of that collision which had been found to exist in other colonies between the nominated and elected Members of the Legislatures. A specimen of this collision was shown to their Lordships a few days since, when a noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) presented a petition from the Legislature of New South Wales; and it was stated as a fact that upon a division as to the adoption of the petition—which was not in its language, perhaps, very conciliatory or very moderate—the nominee members all voted one way, and the elected the other. He rejoiced that the Government had avoided in the present measure this element of discord. With respect to the Superintendents, he thought also that Her Majesty's Government had acted wisely in conceding to the colonists the election and appointment of these officers, rather than reserving to the Crown or the Governor their nomination. The provision also that the parties so elected should not receive any salary, or payment of any sort, would, he believed, lead to the election of a better class of men to that position; hut he confessed that he thought in making that concession to the representations made in the course of debate in the other House, the Government had hardly considered its general effect and bearing on the remainder of that portion of the Bill which related to the Superintendents. When they came to make the Superintendents the elective heads of the local Legislatures, instead of the nominees of the Crown, as at first proposed, the powers confided to these officers ought to have been framed on a different principle—they ought in some degree to have been diminished and remodelled. He entertained doubts whether the separate appointment of a Speaker of these local Legislatures would now be found necessary- He hoped that, with regard to the public expenditure of the colony, the comparatively petty interests 1149 of each provincial Legislature would not be allowed to interfere with those great measures of improvement which were essential to the general prosperity of the whole colony, such as the establishment of regular communication between the different districts. He hoped that this important object was sufficiently secured, and that the undivided control of the land fund, and the principle of a pro ratâ return of the surplus funds to the local Legislatures, would obviate all jealousies or future quarrels on this point. Then there was another point in regard to the veto, and the power of suspending the measures of the Central Legislature until the opinion of the Home Government could be obtained. The veto, in all that concerns the provincial Legislatures, was confined to the Governor alone—he meant by that that there was no veto in the Colonial Office as it regarded the provincial Legislatures—and he thought that provision was a very important alteration in the principle at present established to which he had always objected, and which had always been a grievous cause of complaint in every colony. The old prescribed time for the exercise of the veto was two years, but that was now reduced, so far as the Governor is concerned, to the period of three months; and he could not understand why three months should be assigned as the time within which the veto might be exercised as regarded the Governor, while they retained the most preposterous period of two years after the receipt of the Act, as regarded the Colonial Office at home, under which regulation a measure might be in suspense for a period of three years between the time at which it was passed by the local Legislature and the time when it was confirmed by the Home Government With reference to the points to which he had made allusion, he had stated that in a great measure he approved of the principles of the Bill, although he would suggest some alterations which he hoped the noble Earl at the head of the Government would take into consideration when the House went into Committee. he now came to a portion of the Bill to which he was sorry to say he could not offer his meed of approbation—he referred to the principle on which the Upper Chamber of the Legislature was constituted, and in which, there had been a complete departure from both the draft Bills on which this measure was founded. He believed that the Bill of his noble Friend (Earl Grey) adopt- 1150 ed the principle of an elective Upper Chamber. The present Government had introduced an alteration in this respect; and he could not help thinking that the noble Earl at the head of the Government should, for many of the reasons which induced him to omit the nominee representatives from the local assemblies, Lave also omitted them from the Upper Chamber. The result of that nominee system had often brought legislation to a dead lock in the Colonies; and, to use a term which obtained great currency some twenty-one or twenty-two years ago, the Upper Chamber had been frequently, as the only remedy, "swamped" by the Governor. Could any one, he would ask, maintain for a moment that that was not a danger which ought to be avoided? The result of that system invariably led to remonstrances from the Colonies to the Government at home, and eventually brought the Colonial Secretary into this most objectionable position—that he had to act as the arbitrator between the Governor and hostile parties in one or both Chambers. He submitted that they would never get a body of nominees to pay that attention to the public business which was required from a House of Assembly. The Governor was forced to appoint as such nominees a body of men probably in some distant part of the colony, who had business of their own to attend to, and who would not come to the central place of legislation to attend to their legislative duties with the promptitude and punctuality which might fairly be expected in an elective body. The theory of a nominee Upper House of Assembly arose from the old notion of Imperial Government, and from an idea that it was necessary to bind the Colonies and the mother country together by some means other than those of mutual interest; that, while it might be desirable to give the colonists a representative body to attend to their interests, they must, at the same time, appoint a nominated body to attend to the interests of the mother country. Now, it appeared to him that in following this old-fashioned notion, the Government wore in this instance and in others since their accession to power, pursuing the shadow instead of the substance of a conservative principle. They were pursuing the shadow of a conservative principle in appointing a nominee chamber of an Imperial character, while they were dropping the substance of the really conservative measure of making the body elective, and thereby 1151 introducing into it men who had an interest in the colony and in the preservation of all that concerned its welfare, which a nominee body seldom had, and which he believed they never could possess. But then they were told they must endeavour to assimilate the Upper Chamber to the House of Lords in this country. Talk of a House of Lords being made in the Colonies out of the nominee elements of the Crown!—why it was really laughable to maintain for one instant that there would be any similarity between such a body and the House of Lords in the mother country. Their Lordships must, deal with those matters as they found them. They found no element in the Colonies to correspond with the House of Lords; and although perhaps, in appearance, the appointment by the Crown of representatives of the Crown might look rather more like a House of Lords than a body elected by the people, yet, if their Lordships came practically to examine that appearance, they would see how shadowy and unreal the whole theory was. Was it not received as an axiom that many of the European nations had failed in their attempts to imitate our House of Lords in their political constitutions, by forgetting that that institution was the growth of centuries, and not the work of yesterday? Did any one suppose, if that Assembly which he was now addressing were at once swept away, and a nominee Chamber appointed in its stead, that that nominee Chamber would possess the moral influence which their Lordships possessed, and which he trusted they would long retain? The thing was practically impossible; and if their Lordships came to look at this nominee Chamber, as merely a means of giving this country, through the Governor appointed by the Crown, a check on the acts of the Legislature, then he said such a body was altogether superflous; because, as they gave to the Governor the power of veto as against the local Legislature, it was absolutely useless to give him another power of veto through the instrumentality of nominees, entailing, too, as it does, the additional power of "swamping" his own House of Assembly. Let them in any way provide for the superior influence of the members of an elective Upper Chamber. Let them insist upon a higher qualification either of elected or electors; let them give them a longer tenure of their seats, or make the areas of representation more extensive; let them 1152 make the local Legislatures themselves the electors of the Central Upper Chamber; let them adopt the model of the United States; let them do any or all of these things; but let them not engraft upon this measure of freedom and contentment to the Colony, a scheme which must end in disappointment, and be the cause of future quarrel. He now turned to a feature in the Bill, a consideration of which induced him to press on the Government the postponement of this portion of the measure for the present Session—he meant the provision with reference to the appropriation of a certain amount, he believed one-fourth, of all the land sales to the New Zealand Company. He begged to say, at once, that he had no feeling of hostility against the New Zealand Company. He looked at this simply as a matter of very serious importance as regarded the honour of the Legislature of this country, as regarded the colony itself—he looked at it, in short, as a matter involving a great public principle. He was not about to bring any bill of indictment against the New Zealand Company, nor to give any opinion for or against the charges which had been brought against them. All that he wished to do was to press upon their Lordships, that while charges of so serious a nature as those to which he had referred were before the country, and were unrefuted, it was most important that their Lordships should not come to any hasty decision on the subject. He begged to say, that what he particularly objected to was, that the Bill would improve the position of the New Zealand Company—an advantage to which he considered they had no just claim; all that the Company was entitled to was, that they should not be placed by this measure in a worse position than they were at present—however the Government, in their generosity, had acted towards them—and most generously the Government had acted—he did not wish to take from the Company one iota of what they had got; but what he said was, that nothing should be done by this Bill, and until the charges against the Company were cleared up, to add to the generosity of the Government. By the Act of 1847 the Government lent 236,000l. to the New Zealand Company without interest; and there was a charge of 268,000l. in addition made upon the land of the Colony for the benefit of the Company, making a contribution from the funds of the colony, or of the mother country, as the case might be, of upwards 1153 of half a million. And how was the 268,000l. charged? By the Act of 1847 it was provided that the sum of 268,000l., with interest at the rate of 3½ per cent, was "to be charged upon and paid to them out of the proceeds of all sales of land in New Zealand, after deducting the outlay for surveys, and the proportion of such proceeds which is appropriated to the purposes of emigration;" at the same time, in the event of the Company breaking up, in which case the loan of 236,000l. was to become a gift, their lands were to revert to the Crown, "upon condition of the Crown satisfying any liabilities to which the Company may then be liable under their existing engagements, with reference to the settlement at Nelson." It was, however, extremely doubtful whether after these deductions had been made, there was any surplus whatever due to the Company; and, moreover, the law officers of the Crown, whose opinion had been asked, stated in effect that there was no restriction whatever to the whole surplus after payment of surveys being allotted to the purposes of emigration. He might be told that the New Zealand Company had a moral, if they had not a legal, claim to compensation; but, in the first place, he could not admit the moral claim; and, in the second, he did not think that they could deal with moral claims in that House when the mode of discharging them was to be not at their own expense, but at that of the Colony. Their Lordships must deal with the law as they found it; and he thought the Company had no right to expect that House to step in and place them in a better position than that in which the law placed them, merely because they considered that law had not been so favourable to them as they expected. He came now to the charges brought against the New Zealand Company as to the mode in which they had dealt with the Government of the day. Few of their Lordships were unaware of those charges. That which he thought was perhaps the most palpable was the fact that, before consenting to the arrangement made in 1847, and confirmed by the Act which passed in that year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer appeared to be most solicitous not to admit any undue burden on the public purse, and to see, moreover, what were the whole liabilities to which he was committing the country. At that time (1847) there was a question of liability pending between the Company 1154 and their own province of Nelson. That was a claim made by the settlers of that province—whether it was a just claim or not he did not say—in reference to which the New Zealand Company had thought it advisable to take the opinion of counsel. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer would seem not for one moment to have been made aware that such a question of liability was pending; for in one of his answers he expressly said he understood there was no claim on the part of the colonists on the New Zealand Company except that claim which the inhabitants of every colony had a right to prefer—namely, a claim for good government. The Company took the opinion as to that question of liability of their own standing counsel, who was a large shareholder in the concern; and the opinion of that gentleman turned out to be most unfavourable to the Company, and most favourable, on the other hand, to the claims of the Nelson settlers. Another opinion was there-upon taken from another gentleman unconnected with the Company; but neither to the Chancellor of the Exchequer nor to the settlers was any communication made as to the prior unfavourable opinion. That opinion was entirely suppressed; but the opinion which was immediately afterwards! obtained was not only circulated among the settlers, but sent to the noble Earl then at the head of the Colonial Office, and sent in such a way as to give the noble Earl to understand that it was the opinion for which they had been waiting; and they informed the settlers that it had been taken on their behalf as well as their own, and that by that opinion they would be governed. If the first opinion had not been suppressed, he doubted whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have consented to the introduction of the words into the Act of 1847 which were now found in it, and by which this country became liable for any indemnification against the New Zealand Company to which the Nelson settlers should be found to be entitled. The New Zealand Company had not only consented to, but demanded, inquiry. He thought they were bound to institute that inquiry; and in the meantime he should be very sorry to express any opinion as to the result of it. In the event of the Nelson settlers succeeding in substantiating their claims, there would be an obligation under the liability which the New Zealand Company contracted to indemnify those settlers; and this indemnification is to be the appropriation of land. The 1155 difficulty was very serious, and out of which there was no practical mode of escaping except by postponing the whole question of land until the next Session of Parliament. He should be quite content to let the land question remain over for future consideratain, leaving this provision out of the Bill altogether, highly as he approved of the principle of handing over to the Colony the management of the sales of land; because he felt the full force of the practical absurdity, not to say dishonesty of the Crown now making over the whole of the lands to the Colony, whilst it was under an obligation to indemnify other parties by portions of this very land. After the best consideration he had been able to give the subject, he could come to no other conclusion than he had announced; and he would press upon their Lordships whether it would not be wise and just, and lead eventually to a more satisfactory settlement of the question, if the clauses by which a permanent and heavy debt is saddled upon this young Colony without its consent, and contrary to the remonstrances of its friends in this country, were omitted from the Bill. If, however, the alteration he had previously suggested were not made, he should still vote for the measure, with a sincere hope that it would eventually be improved—as it might be under the provisions of the Act by the Colonial Legislature—and that it would become a useful measure, and lead to the happiness and prosperity of that most important and truly interesting colony.
§ EARL GREY
said, that before adverting to the important political questions arising out of the Bill now under their Lordships' consideration, he thought it right to notice what had fallen from the noble Duke on the clauses having reference to the claims of the New Zealand Company. He certainly regretted that it was necessary to lay upon this rising colony a charge such as that which was proposed by this Bill; but at the same time it was right that Parliament should do justice to the parties by whose exertions and personal sacrifices the colony had been created—without whom, in fact, there would have been no colony of New Zealand at all. Persons now found great fault with the New Zealand Company, and though he had never been a great admirer of that body, he must say that he thought the run now made against that Company was not less unjust and unmerited than the exaggerated credit which had been given them 1156 in the first instance. He had no doubt that the Company had been actuated throughout by the best motives; and, as evidence of their good intentions, he would remind their Lordships that the directors had sacrificed large sums of their own money in the establishment of the colony, for the repayment of which they had only the remote and distant prospect that was afforded by the arrangement proposed by this Bill. The fault to be found With the New Zealand Company was not that they had committed any of the offences which the noble Duke imputed to them—
§ EARL GREY
The noble Duke disclaimed the intention of imputing any offence to them, but the statement of the noble Duke implied it. Their real fault was, that they had shown themselves deficient in worldly wisdom and prudence in too readily adopting for their guide a very clever projector, whose talents could not be denied, but whose cleverness Was not accompanied by other qualities quite as necessary to make him a safe and trustworthy guide. They did not display that judgment that might have been expected from them in conducting the great enterprise into which they had somewhat rashly entered. Perhaps that was the necessary consequence of the constitution of such a body; for, unless some person took the lead, and became manager, he believed a Company of which the affairs were conducted by a Board of Directors without check or control was not likely to deal satisfactorily with matters of this kind. That the New Zealand Company had not succeeded was not very much to be wondered at, because the necessary expenses of founding new colonies in distant parts of the world were so great that measures of this kind would never answer as a pecuniary speculation. Schemes of this kind had always been exceedingly attractive; but from the enterprises of the early adventurers who founded some of the present United States, down to the present time, the result had invariably been the same, and however successful some of their attempts had been in creating flourishing colonies, they had uniformly proved ruinous as pecuniary speculations to the projectors. He was told that the Company with which his noble Friend (Lord Lyttelton) near him was connected (the Canterbury Settlement), had within the last few days undergone the common lot of those schemes, and was obliged to acknowledge itself insolvent. Those who had 1157 attended to such matters must be well aware that it was not one of the smallest difficulties of the Colonial Department to deal with the many proposals for the formation of new colonies. Sanguine projectors were continually putting forward schemes by which they confidently asserted that without risk or expense to the public, valuable colonies might be established. Unfortunately the performance of such promises could not be insured. Though projectors could found colonies, it was beyond their power to prevent their becoming a burden upon the country. In these days if a body of Englishmen sent out to a distant land were exposed to the danger of starvation or destruction by savages, no Government or Parliament could allow such calamities to happen, or leave the settlers to their fate because they had been sent out under an assurance that the Colony would be self-supporting. Neither could the Government allow that a band of persons should place themselves on any piece of ground they selected, and, without mercy, shoot out of their way any of the native inhabitants that might oppose them. Hence it was absolutely necessary that the Government should exercise some control over the formation of new settlements, though there were many obvious reasons why this control should not be carried further than was absolutely required. He could best explain what he thought the proper course to be taken in such cases, by stating what had been done while he had the honour of holding the office of Secretary of State. When the establishment of the Canterbury Settlement was projected, he was told that a large sum of money would be provided by the projectors, and that they were ready to undertake the scheme at their own risk; and it was urged that the mere sanction of the Government, which was all that was asked, ought not to be withheld. He agreed that it ought not to be so. He did not fail very strongly to express his opinion to the projectors: he stated, that although the plan might possibly lead ultimately to the formation of a flourishing community, the result would greatly disappoint their expectations in a pecuniary point of view; that it was quite impossible that such a measure should go on with the large price they proposed to ask for land, making promises to the purchasers which they could not perform, and that they would involve themselves in losses, liabilities, and difficulties without end. But he also stated at 1158 the same time to the projectors, that, provided nothing was done which could in any way delude the public as to the real state of the case—if proper precautions were taken, and regulations were adopted to ensure the safety of the colonists, and guard against abuse—if he were satisfied that adequate securities were provided upon these points, and against any expense being brought upon the public; he should not consider it his duty on the part of the Government to make any objection to the scheme being undertaken at their own risk by that Company. This had appeared to him the proper course to be adopted, because though he felt convinced the scheme would disappoint the expectations of the founders, and that great individual losses might be sustained, still he had no doubt that a settlement would be formed which in the end would become a great and flourishing community, destined to spread the British name and the British language through a large extent of valuable territory; and he considered it no part of the duty of the Government, if these public advantages were to be obtained, to enforce on the projectors greater prudence in regard to their own individual interests. The result, it now seemed, had been precisely what he anticipated: a settlement which would, no doubt, become a very flourishing one had been founded, but great loss had, he understood, been sustained by the projectors; but no claim on the Government, by the Canterbury Association, was likely to arise from the failure of that project, for the relations between the Association and the Government were clearly defined in the first instance: they had not been allowed to enter upon the undertaking at all until they had satisfied the Government that the public interests at stake had been provided for; and care had been taken that when they were allowed to proceed, no difficulty should be thrown in their way, so that they had not any grounds for saying that their failure—if failure it be—was in any way attributable to the conduct of Government or of Parliament, and therefore were entitled to ask for no pecuniary relief. If the same course had been taken with respect to the New Zealand Company, and it were in the same position, the same remark would be applicable to them; but the circumstances were different, because in the first instance that Company had been permitted to enter upon its undertaking without the sanction of the Government, and without proper securities having been provided, and be- 1159 cause afterwards having been permitted to send out the first settlers in a very irregular manner, their operations had been thwarted by the Government. Partly by measures adopted by the local authorities, partly by measures adopted by the Government at home, the Company was prevented from having such a chance of success as they otherwise would have had—a fact that was clearly shown by the investigation of the Committee to whom the question had been referred. These circumstances were held to give a claim to the New Zealand Company, and though the project might have failed if they had never occurred, they undoubtedly left the projectors without the chance of success to which they were entitled, and it clearly appeared to him that it was the duty of Government and of Parliament to place them in the situation they would have been in if they had no such grounds of complaint. The noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Derby), when Secretary of State for the Colonies, felt these claims so much, that before he left office he had made arrangements for in some degree assisting the New Zealand Company by means of a loan of money. When he (Earl Grey) came into office, he found the Company complaining that what had been done for them was very far from making up for the injury they had sustained by previous measures, and by the great delay they experienced in getting possession of the land. He felt that there was force in that complaint; that they were entitled to some further compensation, and that something more should be done to enable them to try fairly the scheme to carry out which they were originally formed. Accordingly, the Government having settled what was the largest amount of money that Parliament should be recommended to advance, the matter was placed in the hands of his lamented friend the late Mr. Charles Buller, to consider what was the best arrangement, under existing circumstances, to enable the Company, with such assistance, fairly and fully to try whether their scheme was one capable of being successfully worked. A plan was accordingly prepared with great care by Mr. Buller, to whom, in concert with the New Zealand Company, it was entirely left to make what in his judgment was the best arrangement, subject only to two conditions, on which he (Earl Grey) specially guarded himself, namely, that the pecuniary assistance should not exceed a certain sum, and that 1160 the arrangement was to be a conclusive measure, and a discharge in full of all possible claims on the part of the New Zealand Company, whether it should succeed or fail. After much consideration, Mr. Charles Buller prepared the drafts of letters between the Colonial Office and the Directors of the Company, in which were embodied the terms of the arrangement he proposed. These terms were assented to by the Government and the Company: the letters on both sides were written from Mr. Buller's drafts. The Bill of 1847 was prepared to carry into effect the arrangement, and ultimately it received the assent of Parliament. Such had been the circumstances under which the grant of additional aid, and of very large powers to the New Zealand Company, had been recommended by the late Government, and sanctioned by Parliament. With regard to the manner in which the arrangement thus sanctioned had been carried into effect, it had appeared to him that there was one clear rule to be followed, namely, that the Company should receive every possible support from the Government in working out the plan; and, it being part of the arrangement that a Commissioner should be appointed by the Government to watch over the proceedings of the Company, his (Earl Grey's) instructions to that Commissioner were not to interfere further than was necessary for the strict protection of the public interests, and for the purpose of seeing that the British Treasury and the colony were not involved in larger or heavier liabilities than intended when the Act passed. The Commissioner was directed by no means to exercise the power he possessed of putting a veto on any act of the Company, in every case in which their measures might appear to him injudicious; the principle of the Act of Parliament was to invest the Company with the power and the responsibility of conducting a great experiment in colonisation; and the only way in which this experiment could be fairly tried was to leave them free and unfettered to act upon their own judgment except in cases in which interference was clearly necessary for the protection of the public interest. At the end of the period named by the Company as that in which the experiment might be fairly tried, they found that, notwithstanding the large pecuniary assistance they had received, they could not go on; and they claimed, under the terms agreed on, to be relieved from the debt due to the Government, and they 1161 claimed also a certain sum to be obtained from the sale of lands in New Zealand. He was astonished to hear the noble Duke draw a distinction between the legal and moral right of the New Zealand Company to the ultimate payment of the money due to them and charged on the land fund, and deny their moral claim to more than they could obtain under a strict technical construction of the Act of Parliament. It seemed to him that whatever might be the strict construction of the Act of Parliament, the Government and Parliament, in dealing with the Company, were bound to act in the same manner as one honourable man would deal with another in a transaction in private affairs, and ought to carry fairly into effect the obvious intention of the agreement. Looking at the subject in this light, he thought it was impossible to say that the New Zealand Company had no claim whatever. Their Lordships should recollect that the whole capital of the New Zealand Company had been applied in creating this colony, and giving value to those lands the sale of which was to produce the fund which they calculated upon for the ultimate repayment of those advances; and he repeated that that was a claim which they could not honourably decline to recognise. It was true that the Act of Parliament pointed out no specific portion of the lands that was to be applied for the support of emigration, and therefore under the letter of the law the Crown might no doubt apply so large a proportion of the fund to emigration that the claim of the Company would be practically defeated; but this would be inconsistent with good faith; the proportion of the proceeds of the land sales applied to emigration had been left undetermined, and it was considered that it was the interest both of the Company and of the colony, if the debt was ultimately to be paid, so to divide the whole receipts between the promotion of emigration and the payment of the Company as to leave as large a sum as possible for the former without neglecting the latter object, because by that means the demand for land would be increased, and the debt of the Company would be thereby extinguished. The Act of Parliament contemplated, obviously, the ultimate payment of the debt; and it was the interest of the Company and of Parliament that it should be discharged as speedily as possible, by the best possible administration of the lands. The noble Duke said the Company asked for inquiry, and that, pending that inquiry, 1162 Parliament ought not to deal with the subject. If by passing the Bill now before the House without the clauses relating to the Company, their position would be unaltered, he should concur in the opinion that Parliament had better not at present deal with this part of the question; but as it was clear that to pass this Bill, omitting the clauses, would alter the position of the Company greatly to their injury, he thought the clauses ought to be retained, though he entirely agreed that inquiry into this matter was right and proper, and he trusted that in another Session the House of Commons would institute a searching investigation respecting it. It was his desire that the inquiry should be conducted on the strictest principles—that every letter, public and private, in connexion with the case, should be laid before the Committee, so that the subject should be fairly investigated and reported on by a competent and impartial tribunal. Although he was far from being prepared to defend all the proceedings of the Company, for he would admit that they had frequently acted with imprudence, still he was happy to be able to state that, having investigated the entire case, he had come to the conclusion at which he anticipated the Committee also would arrive—that there had been throughout all these complicated transactions nothing to reflect on the honour, the probity, or the good faith of the gentlemen who had conducted the affairs of the Company. If there were to be an inquiry, it would be inexpedient to enter prematurely into a review of the entire question, in order to convince their Lordships that there was no ground for the charges that had been brought against the Company. Indeed it would be impossible to do so without having the papers before them which were not yet on their Lordships' table. But without going into the whole case, there were two charges brought against the Company of so serious a nature, and which had been stated with so much confidence, that he must make some observations upon them, especially as an endeavour was made to implicate him in them. These charges related first to an alleged misappropriation of the public funds; and, secondly, to the sending out of certain legal opinions. Now, he must say with regard to the first that no misapplication of public money could possibly have taken place without the sanction of one or other of the gentlemen who had in succession held the office of the Crown Commissioner; and he had such perfect confidence in both 1163 those gentlemen that he was no less convinced that no money could have been misapplied from the sums appropriated with their sanction, than he should have been had he been personally cognisant of the manner in which every shilling had been expended. The First Commissioner had become involved in disputes with the Company, which ended in his removal; and it was absurd to suppose that he could have allowed them to misappropriate the public money. He was succeeded by a gentleman in whose honour he (Earl Grey) felt no less confidence than in that of Mr. Cowell; while he had greater reliance on his judgment, his discretion, and his temper. The instructions he had given to these gentlemen were, that they should not interfere in the application of public money except in cases of abuse; and that he believed to have been the right and proper mode of carrying into effect the arrangement sanctioned by Parliament, for the reason he had already explained. The second charge was, that the New Zealand Company having in a question between themselves and a body of their settlers, obtained two opinions from eminent counsel, one adverse and the other in favour of their own view of the subject, had transmitted the latter, as if it were the only one, to the Colony, and had thus unfairly obtained the assent of the settlers to an arrangement unfavourable to them. Now it would be manifestly absurd were he to enter into the entire history of the complicated transactions to which those opinions related; but he would merely say that in 1849 papers were laid before Parliament, were given to the world, and were sent to the Colonies, in which there was a despatch mentioning the fact that an opinion adverse to the Company had been given by an eminent counsel. It was therefore evident that the circumstance of an opinion of that sort having been given had been known to all the world for three years, and yet during that time no attempt had been made to unsettle the arrangement made, and now insinuated to have been unduly influenced by the withholding of that opinion. The question raised was, whether the settlement between the New Zealand Company and the Nelson settlers was a fair one, and he believed it was a most advantageous conclusion of affairs for the settlers; and as the existence of the opinion had been publicly known for three years, he said, Let the investigation take place by all means; let it 1164 be conducted on the most rigorous principles, but in the meantime let the bargain be adhered to, and in justice to the Company let the arrangements suggested by Her Majesty's Government be sanctioned by their Lordships. He would ask what had rendered the land of New Zealand more valuable than the land in New Guinea or other countries uninhabited by civilised men. It was because the Government, Parliament, and the New Zealand Company, had expended large sums in establishing settlers in the former—it was this, and this only, which had given value to the land there; and therefore it was not unreasonable to say that the Company, having received no return for its expenditure during many years (and it was probable it would receive nothing for many more), should have a claim on the land of which the value had been thus enhanced by their means. He thought, however, that a clause should be inserted in the Bill, that any future claims under the Act of 1847 should be defrayed out of the colonial funds by the Government of New Zealand, and that none should be in future paid by the Imperial Government. These claims should no longer be on the British Treasury and nation. He was sorry that he had to trespass thus far on their Lordships on this preliminary portion of the subject; but, feeling that not merely the pecuniary but higher interests of individuals were at stake, and having been cognisant of all the complicated transactions connected with the case, he had felt it was proper to make the statement he had made to their Lordships. And having entered so fully into this part of the subject, he would now address himself to the larger and the more important question. His noble Friend who spoke second in the debate (Lord Lyttelton) had entered into questions so extensive that to discuss them properly would require a volume rather than a speech. He would not attempt to follow his noble Friend through his speech, but he must say he thought his noble Friend had not read history very correctly. His noble Friend had said that the old British Colonies in America, now the United States, had an unreserved power over their land, legislation, war, and trade. [Lord LYTTELTON: By their charter.] A nice distinction! but had the noble Lord considered what he meant when he said they had unrestricted trade? Why, he would remind his noble Friend that there were enactments similar in their nature to the navigation laws before the time of Oliver 1165 Cromwell; and that was a subject of constant dispute with the colonists. Instead of their having unrestricted trade, the whole notion of European politicians was that plantations were to be established for the sole purpose of carrying on with them a restricted and exclusive trade. That was the notion of France, it was the notion of England, and it was shared by all the nations of Europe. And so with respect to the land. Had his noble Friend not seen the accounts of those disputes which arose in the early days of the New England colonists, and in the course of which one of the complaints made was, that colonial land was held to be so strictly Crown land, that the colonists were not able to cut a single tree in their boundless forests, because the trees were to be kept for the British Navy? The noble Lord had said that the colonists in early days had the power of making war. He doubted whether it was intended in those times that they should have any such power; but undoubtedly they exercised the power of making war on the natives, and, if he was not mistaken, sometimes against each other. Matters in those days were carried on in a very haphazard way, and events which, if they now took place, would fill the columns of public newspapers for a month—no, he would not say for a month, but for five years—were then passed over unnoticed. With respect to colonial legislation, it was quite true that there was no Secretary for the Colonies in those days, but there was a certain Board of Trade and Plantations; and at a very early period indeed it was found necessary to invest that Board with power to disallow the acts of colonial legislatures. From the time of Charles II. downwards, that power had been exercised. With regard to the Bill before them, it was of course impossible that he should do otherwise than approve of it, since it was in general accordance with the heads of the measure which had been prepared under his own superintendence before he retired from office, and which was founded chiefly on the recommendations of the Governor; but there were three or four provisions of the Bill on which he felt it right to offer some observations. He objected to the alteration in the constitution of the provincial council as described by the noble Earl opposite (Earl Desart); but he thought there was no ground for the fault which had been found with the distribution of the legislative power between these bodies and the 1166 general Legislature on the ground of the complexity of the arrangement. Complex it undoubtedly was, but this seemed to him inevitable. It was impracticable, and must for many years continue to be so, for any general Legislature to meet all the wants of so many separate settlements at a great distance from each other; hence it seemed absolutely necessary to constitute provincial Legislatures on which a great portion of the public business must devolve; but still he was of opinion that though it would be impossible that the general Legislature should assemble often enough to meet the wants of the community, it was absolutely necessary that provisions should be made for its assembling when emergency required it should do so. There were some subjects on which extreme inconvenience must arise if uniformity of legislation among the several provinces were not insured, which could only be accomplished by creating a general Legislature. For instance, with respect to the customs duties, if a general tariff did not exist, but different rates of duty were levied in different provinces, and it became necessary in consequence to have internal lines of custom-house officers, how much the prosperity of all would be injured! This inconvenience was felt, and there was a disposition to engage in an absurd war of tariffs in the Australian Colonies. The danger which had been alleged of a conflict of authority would not arise because the Government had followed the course he had proposed to take by giving to the general Legislature an overriding authority. It was incorrect to speak of the authority of the two kinds of legislatures as concurrent; it was not concurrent. The general Legislature could, when it chose, exercise a supreme authority over the provincial Legislatures. He greatly regretted that the power of the Crown to disallow acts of the Provincial Legislatures had been abandoned. He had no doubt that it was a power of which the exercise would very rarely have been required; but still he thought these bodies were by no means so completely of a municipal character that the power ought to have been abandoned; and, besides, he must point out to the noble Lord, that though it was true the Crown possessed no power of disallowing by-laws of the City of London, the power of the City to make such laws was very restricted; and in the reformed municipalities constituted in other towns under the Act of 1835, the Crown was in- 1167 vested with the power of disallowing their I by-laws. But the great objection to this part of the Bill was, that it abandoned a very important principle. With respect to the veto of the Crown, his notion always had been, that, for the sake of the Colonies themselves, the Crown ought to preserve that power which from the days of Charles it had been found necessary to assert—he meant the power of the Crown, if it disapproved an Act of the Colonial Government, to disallow that colonial law. The ablest Governor might commit mistakes. Acts might be passed which very seriously affected the interests and honour of the Empire; and if the attempt were made to define beforehand, with the strict accuracy necessary in an Act of Parliament, what were the questions on which the Crown should possess those powers, and what were the questions on which it should not, there was danger of giving rise to a conflict of jurisdiction; whereas if the Crown possessed the power in all cases, and exercised it with discretion, it would easily avoid causing it to be felt as any practical hardship or grievance; but by limiting the power of the Crown they would create a serious risk of a conflict of authorities. A conflict of authorities, it was known, might occur in the United States; but there a well-contrived machinery existed for the purpose of bringing those points to a speedy conclusion by means of the Supreme Court. There was no analogous court in this country; and, from the distance of the Colonies, it would be impossible to work such a tribunal. So long as the Crown retained the general power of disallowing colonial laws, a remedy was provided for the case of a law being passed by one colony unjustly affecting another (by no means an impossible event), since the injured colony had the power of petitioning Her Majesty in Council, and if proper grounds for doing so were shown, the law could be disallowed. But while there were these reasons for retaining it, what, he asked, was the practical inconvenience arising from the power of disallowing colonial acts on the part of the Crown? It was so well known that the Imperial Government would not interfere without good cause, that there could be no want of confidence in the discretion with which that power would, be exercised. It ought also to be observed that in the rare cases where disallowance took place, the disallowance vitiated no acts clone under the measures disallowed previously to its notification. An objection 1168 had been stated to a period of two years for disallowance; but cases had often occurred in which defects had been found in Colonial Acts, and amendments had been suggested from home, which the Colonial Legislatures were glad to have the opportunity of adopting before the Acts were finally confirmed. Now, in the case of so distant a colony as New Zealand, there would be no opportunity for any communications of this kind with respect to a doubtful Act, if the time within which the decision of the Crown must necessarily be pronounced were much shorter than that to which the noble Duke (the Duke of Newcastle) had objected as unnecessarily long, namely, two years; and the noble Duke ought also to recollect, that, although in such peculiar cases the Crown might take two years to signify its decision on a Colonial Act, yet, in the very great majority of cases—at least in ninety-nine out of a hundred—that decision was intimated to the Colonial Legislatures in a much shorter time; and if their Acts did not meet with the sanction of the Home Government, nothing done under those Acts, as he had already observed, was vitiated by subsequent disallowance. He considered that to make the office of Superintendent elective, was a great mistake. Those officers would exercise an authority analogous to that exercised by sheriffs in this country, who, in the days of the Norman Kings, were endowed with great powers. So far as he was aware, it had hitherto been the invariable rule under the British Constitution that executive authority must emanate from the Crown, and that all high offices giving such authority should be held by persons appointed directly or indirectly by the Crown; and he held it to be of vital importance that the Governor of the colony, as the representative of the Crown, should exercise a substantial control over the chief local authorities in the several Provinces; but if the superintendents were to be elective, he did not see what practical means the Governor would possess of exercising any real authority in the provinces. At present, it must be remembered, that in all colonies the Governor had the authority to suspend, till Her Majesty's pleasure was known, any of the officers acting under him who failed in due obedience to his orders; and in a distant colony, without this authority, a Governor would be practically powerless; but when the superintendents became elective, they must, of course, cease to be removable, or 1169 capable of being suspended; and the Governor's control over them must therefore, he feared, be weakened, if not destroyed. He came next to the question of the constitution of the general Legislative Council, and he concurred a good deal hi the opinion expressed on that side of the House with regard to it. He was prepared to say, from the experience of more than twenty years during which he had closely attended to the affairs of the Colonies, both in and out of office, that by far the most defective part of the colonial constitution in the North American Colonies was the Legislative Council. By the old form of colonial constitutions which had prevailed up to 1791, the Legislative Council was put not upon the footing of a second and independent chamber of the Legislature: it was the same body which advised the Governor, consisting of a very small number of persons for the most part holding high offices in the Colonial Government. To this day, in Jamaica, the Council was styled Her Majesty's Privy Council for Jamaica, and claimed no power of originating measures of legislation: not merely Money Bills, but Bills of any kind, it was beyond its power to originate. It merely had the power of amending or rejecting Bills sent from the Assembly; and was clearly in the first instance merely intended to assist the Governor, and relieve him from a too onerous responsibility in deciding without assistance on Bills sent up by the Assembly. The tenure of their office by Legislative Councillors was always formerly during the pleasure of the Crown; but by the Act of 1791, the Legislative Councillors in Canada were appointed for life. The noble Duke had most justly remarked on the perfect absurdity of talking of an elective Legislative Council as an imitation of that House. It had not the most distant or the most faint resemblance to the House of Lords. The House of Lords was an institution altogether peculiar to this country, that Parliament could no more create than it could create a full-grown oak. It had grown up as part of our institutions from the earliest times, and was like no other body in any country in the world, and no imitation of which had ever been in the slightest degree successful. But it was intended by the Canada Act of 1791 to create a body like their Lordships' House, because there were the clauses making provision for creating hereditary honours in Canada. That Bill was brought 1170 in, not with the intention of creating a small council of nominees sitting for life—a body of oligarchs independent of Crown or people, though possessing no substantial weight or authority of their own in the country—but with the intention of forming an exact copy of their Lordships' House, namely, a body of persons holding seats by hereditary succession—a real and bonâ fide aristocracy. But the nature of things was too strong for Mr. Pitt; and the Act of 1791, and the clauses which Mr. Pitt introduced, remained from that day to this a dead letter. No hereditary honours had been granted in Canada, and the Legislative Council was a body of mere nominees. That system, as far as his opinion went, was not satisfactory, because he thought if the Legislative Councils were to play a more important part than was contemplated by the old Colonial constitutions, in order to be really useful they ought to possess a degree of weight and authority, and a command of public opinion, which they had had never yet succeeded in acquiring. The Legislative Councils had formerly been known chiefly from the opposition they I had offered to the popular branch of the Legislature and to public opinion; and it had been necessary more than once in different colonies to alter the feeling and temper of those bodies by a large addition of members. It appeared to him, besides, that this kind of Legislative Council was, as he had said before, a sort of oligarchy, and consisted of persons not possessing sufficient weight to justify Parliament in giving them the power of interfering to stop legislation. How would this Bill have worked if it had been passed in I the shape in which it was originally pro-posed? It was first proposed that the General Legislative Council should be no-initiated for life, and limited to fifteen; the effect of which would have been that if there had been any mistake in the first nomination, so small a number as eight individuals agreeing among themselves might stop any legislation, however useful or however necessary, and upon which both the representatives of the Crown and the representatives of the people were agreed. That I vexatious and mischievous consequence was now to a certain degree mitigated by the power of the Crown to increase the number by nominating additional members to the Legislative Council. He thought, besides, that there was danger of great inconvenience in withdrawing men who were useful in the 1171 Assembly, in order to give weight, which they could not succeed in giving, to the Legislative Council; and he must say that he altogether differed from the noble Lord who spoke early in the debate (Lord Lyttelton), that if there were to be nominees, they had better sit singly than mixed with the elected body; he thought, on the contrary, that a certain number of nominees might very usefully sit in a Legislative Council constituted like that of New South Wales; but that, sitting as a separate body, they would not have the weight they ought to have. He therefore conceived that the Government had made a great mistake in excluding nominees from the Provincial Legislatures, which would thus consist of a single and entirely elective body; and in retaining the principle of nomination in the General Legislature, which was to be divided into two chambers, and in which, therefore, this counterpoise to the democratic element was less necessary. He greatly regretted that the plan of making the second Chamber in the General Legislature consist of members elected by the Provincial Legislatures had been abandoned. There was only one more point to which it was necessary to advert—the appropriation of the land fund made by this Bill, as to which it had been suggested that the same change ought to be made in other colonies. He had more than once expressed his opinion that Parliament, as a general rule, should keep to itself the duty of laying down great general rules to be observed in disposing of the waste lands of the Crown in the more important colonies. The noble Lord talked of its being a novelty to allow the colony to deal with the waste lands; but it was really no novelty at all. Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick had been allowed to regulate this matter by means of the Colonial Legislatures; and in the West India Colonies the same rule prevailed. He thought that in New Zealand there were strong reasons why the power of regulating the disposal of waste lands should be exercised by the Colonial Legislature; because, from the complicated system created by the New Zealand Company in the several settlements, and from the law officers of the Crown having declared that what were called the terms of purchase issued by the New Zealand Company were contracts binding on the Crown, and depriving it of the power of altering the arrangements for the future sale of 1172 land thus agreed upon, it was almost indispensably necessary that some legislative authority should exist on the spot capable of remedying the inconvenience which might otherwise exist, from the impossibility of varying arrangements of this description. But it seemed to him desirable that this power should rest with the individual Provinces rather than with the General Legislature. This great hard-ship might otherwise arise to a particular province; Cauterbury might wish to reduce the price of lands in that settlement from 3l. an acre to the price in the other and the other settlements might object, thinking by keeping up the price of land in Canterbury to 3l, an acre, to secure a monopoly of the sales of land, and calculating that the wealthy settlers would prefer going to where land was to be purchased at 1l. an acre, rather than where it could only be purchased at 3l. an acre. He thought it was of still greater importance that the produce of the waste lands should be appropriated, by local authority, in each province in which it accrued, instead of by the General Legislature. The principle on which he urged this had been recognised as sound by the Governor of New Zealand, who had lately passed a provincial ordinance, by which a portion of the produce of the sale of land was to be applied to local purposes; and he had thereby adopted a suggestion made by himself (Earl Grey), or rather by the Committee of Privy Council on the Constitution of the Australian Colonies, that a moiety of the proceeds of the sale of the Crown lands should be applied by the local municipalities to local purposes. The Governor of New Zealand stated that such a system was calculated to work well, as it would give the inhabitants of the district a strong interest to uphold the rights of the Crown. It was embodied in an ordinance which was sent home. Unfortunately that ordinance clashed with the statutory rights of the New Zealand Company, secured by the Act of 1847; and although he (Earl Grey) entirely approved of that Act, and felt the principle to be quite right and most advantageous, he was most reluctantly compelled to advise Her Majesty to disallow it, By this Bill the proceeds of the sale of lands was placed at the disposal, not of the municipalities or Provincial Legislatures, but of the General Legislature: and that was a system which, in 1173 his opinion, was likely to load to much jobbing and much abuse. Money derived from the sale of land was necessarily paid by the settlers farthest from the capital, who purchased lands in the more remote districts, whore alone, in general, much remained at the disposal of the Crown. The price of such lands ought, in justice to be laid out principally with a view to the interest of the purchasers. But in the General Legislature they would always be comparatively without influence; and there was great danger that their fair claims would be disregarded in the appropriation of the fund if left to that body. This was not mere speculation; there had lately been a striking instance of the tendency to abuse of this sort in South Australia, where a proposed application by the Lieutenant Governor of a part of the territorial revenue to the improvement of a harbour, and the establishment of a communication between this harbour and the river Murray by a railway, had received the determined resistance of the Legislative Council. The proposed improvement was one of the most important kind: the river Murray, as their Lordships were aware, had no natural communication with the sea; but by having a communication of this kind, the colony would give the advantage of many hundred miles of internal navigation, in which steam was intended to be used; and the produce of an immense extent of territory would thus be given the means of reaching a market. There could be no doubt that the outlay for this object from the land revenue would be repaid many times over by the increased value given to the lands thus opened out to enterprise; yet the expenditure was opposed (without success, as the fund from which it was to be met was not at the disposal of the Legislature) entirely from a feeling of petty jealousy, on the part of the inhabitants of Adelaide, of the establishment of a rival port. He mentioned that circumstance as affording the clearest proofs in support of his argument that the appropriation of the land fund ought to be given, not to the General Legislature, but to the municipalities; and if the municipalities were not created, or until they were created, then to the Provincial Legislatures, or to the Crown. He was quite aware that his had been a most tedious speech; but he would only conclude by saying that he most entirely concurred in those observations which fell 1174 from his noble Friend (Lord Wodehouse) behind him at the close of his very able speech. He, like his noble Friend, regarded this as a most important crisis in our colonial empire, and agreed that much depended on the course we were now pursuing. He concurred with him, that our Colonies were now many of them growing up to manhood, and it became necessary to pursue a different policy towards them from that which was right and advisable in the earlier stages of their social progress. In this he cordially concurred with his noble Friend; hut he differed from him as to the manner in which these views ought to be acted on. It was not, in his opinion, necessary in order to give to the colonies which had arrived at such a stage in their progress as to require it, the largest power of managing their own affairs, to depart from the old established system of the country, or to surrender any of the constitutional powers hitherto held by the Crown. All that the colonies could properly ask, and all that was required in order to give them the fullest enjoyment of the same constitutional freedom as ourselves, could be secured to them by a judicious and careful exercise of those powers which the Crown possessed. From the best reflection he had been able to give to this subject, he was convinced that those powers and their limits had gradually been determined and defined by usage in the course of a long series of years, and that a system had thus grown up well suited to the position of our Colonies, to their circumstances, and to the nature of the people: it was a system which, judiciously and discreetly worked, enabled the Colonies to enjoy all that was really substantial and useful to them, in what was called self-government, though it retained on the part of the Crown an authority seldom and cautiously exerted, but undisputed and capable of being called into play when imperial interests demanded it. He was happy to think that experience had proved that this theory of colonial government was not altogether mistaken or fallacious. He would, for example, direct their Lordships' attention to the present state of the North American Colonies. Let them look at the large population they now passessed, at the system of government they now enjoyed, at the content which prevailed, and at the satisfactory working of that system of government which had been arrived at. It would always be to him a subject of re- 1175 joicing, and he might say of some degree of pride, that on quitting office those great possessions of the British Empire were left in the position which they now occupied. In 1846 a very different state of things prevailed, and difficulties of no ordinary character had to be surmounted. Up to 1846 in no one of those colonies had that system of government which was now established been brought into successful and harmonious operation. In every one of them, up to that period, there were great points in dispute; there were great difficulties perpetually arising, even with the ablest Governors. He might mention that even in Canada, the most important of these Colonies, the two races of inhabitants were divided; there was no general concurrence or agreement as to the principles of government to be established; and even that most able, that most excellent, and, he might say, that great man, the late Lord Metcalfe—as the noble Earl well knew, by a confidential correspondence which he could not have forgotten—even that great man experienced the greatest doubt and the greatest apprehension as to the future working of the system of government which had been established. In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward's Island, that system of government could hardly be said at that time to have been brought into operation at all. It had now been brought into most complete and satisfactory operation, and that, too, in spite of commercial changes which in the first instance necessarily excited great alarm, and by previous mistakes of this country produced extensive private distress and ruin; and he need not tell their Lordships individual distress always produced political discontent and political excitement. Notwithstanding all those circumstances, and notwithstanding that encouragement was given on this side of the water to those of the colonists who were from time to time discontented with the measures of the local Government they had now in Canada, the spectacle of a united people, French and English, acting harmoniously together, the great principles of constitutional government fully recognised, the Government of the mother country looked up to with affection and with esteem; and so much so that the cry of annexation which a short time ago existed, had absolutely disappeared, and no longer was there a trace of it to be found. They saw Canada making a more rapid progress in wealth, population, and all the elements 1176 of greatness than any of its neighbouring States, whilst the system of its government safely challenged comparison, as being, in his opinion, infinitely more favourable to real freedom, real happiness, and real social advancement, than that of any of the adjacent States. He could not help recommending their Lordships to read a very interesting work which had recently been published by a friend of his, Mr. Tremenheere, and which contained some valuable information as to the present state of Canada. To show the improvement which had taken place in the credit of the Colony, he might mention that in 1846, at the commencement of Lord John Russell's Administration, one of the officers of the Executive Council of Canada found it impossible to dispose of the Six per Cent Canadian Bonds in this country, except at a heavy discount; whereas he was informed that by the last accounts the same bonds were now at a premium of more than fifteen per cent. This one fact was an indication of the improvement of the credit of the colony. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick a similar state of things existed, and in those colonies this change had been effected, without, as he believed, any undue pressure upon individuals—all fair claims of persons who had accepted offices in the expectation that they would be permanent, having been provided for. Now, he might remind those noble Lords, and those Members of the other House, who were advocates of what was called colonial reform, that so far as the legal powers of the Crown were concerned, the Crown possessed in Canada and in North America all that authority which they conceived to be so objectionable and oppressive. It followed, that he had not been wrong in saying, that in order to place the government of the Colonies on a satisfactory footing, there was no occasion to alter a system which had been 200 years in force—to remove the established landmarks which defined the limits of the various powers of the State—or to surrender any part of the constitutional authority which the Crown for that length of time had possessed; but that all that was requisite was to exercise with judgment and discretion the authority which he believed it was necessary for the safety and permanence of our Empire that the Crown should maintain. He would not offer any opposition to the Bill. Indeed, he believed that upon the whole it would have a very beneficial effect, and that its 1177 postponement for another year would be very disadvantageous to New Zealand.
§ LORD LYTTELTON
, in explanation, hoped that the distinction would be carefully preserved between the Canterbury Colony and the Canterbury Association. That the latter at home had from some miscalculations been placed in circumstances of difficulty, they were not concerned to deny; but it was not true that it was likely to be bankrupt or permanently insolvent. With regard to the Canterbury Colony, it was not fair to say that it would in time be a flourishing settlement, for it was already a flourishing settlement, and it had arrived at a pitch of prosperity that no other colony had done in the same time. He trusted, too, that the Association would not be confounded with similar companies, for its members had no pecuniary interest in it whatever; and it was not true that they had been involved in any manner, or that their expectations had been disappointed. The affairs of the Association were a very long and complicated matter to understand; but if the investigation which had been spoken of should take place next Session, the Association would be extremely glad to submit to the inquiry.
§ The DUKE of NEWCASTLE
explained. The noble Earl had misrepresented what he had stated in several points. It was only worth while to correct him upon two. He had made no attack upon the New Zealand Company; and as to setting aside the moral claims of that Company, he was only answering what had been said out of that House. The Bill did not place the New Zealand Company in a more advantageous position than they stood at the present moment. They stood in the same position as they stood in 1847. Neither did he maintain that the New Zealand Company ought to be deprived of the power which it possessed on account of charges brought against them. He said exactly the reverse.
said, that the conduct of a friend of his, Mr. Powell, had been impugned by implication. That gentleman stood high in the estimation of all who knew him as a man of great ability and of high character.
§ On Question, Resolved in the Affirmative; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Friday next.
§ House adjourned till To-morrow.