HL Deb 10 July 1854 vol 134 cc1418-9

begged to ask the noble Duke, late the Secretary of State for the Colonies (the Duke of Newcastle), to state the reasons which had induced Her Majesty's Government to refrain from including in the Estimates of this year the annual Vote of 600l. for the salary of the Bishop of New Zealand. The right rev. Prelate stated at some length the eminent services of Dr. Selwyn, but was almost inaudible.


said, there was not one word uttered by the right rev. Prelate in praise of the Bishop of New Zealand in which he did not most heartily concur. The circumstances, however, which led to the withdrawal of the Vote were principally these—and their Lordships would perceive that, though unfortunately the Bishop himself was not apprised of the discontinuance of the Vote until a few days ago, still Her Majesty's Government had not been wanting in that courtesy, and respect so eminently his due. For many years the Parliamentary Estimates on account of the Colony were very large, caused in a great measure by the disastrous circumstances accompanying the colonisation of the island of New Zealand. In the year 1852, Sir John Pakington being then Secretary of State for the Colonial Department, an Estimate for 10,000l. on account of the island was presented, including a salary of 600l. for the Bishop. But to that Estimate was appended a note, founded upon information contained in despatches forwarded by the Colonial authorities, to the effect that in the next year the Estimates would be reduced to 5,000l.; and that in 1854 all demands on the home Government would entirely cease. In accordance, therefore, with that intimation the Vote proposed in the House of Commons last year was but for 5,000l.; and in further accomplishment of that pledge no sum whatever had been asked for in the present year. Such were the circumstances under which the Vote on account of the Bishop's salary had disappeared from the Estimates. Now, he was not at all prepared to say that if circumstances had remained in the position in which they stood twelve months ago he would have been disinclined to reconsider the minute of Sir J. Pakington, and to consider whether it would not be right to ask for a continuance of the grant of 600l. a year; but under all the circumstances the Government had not thought they should have been justified in adopting that course. If any temporary inconvenience or loss should arise to the Church in New Zealand, the Government would certainly regret it; he did not, however, apprehend that such would be the result, as he believed the Legislature of New Zealand would take upon itself this charge among others; and that if it did not, the necessary funds would be obtained from other sources. However, before sitting down, he felt he should not be doing justice to the right rev. Prelate if he did not mention a circumstance connected with the case which reflected the greatest possible credit upon him. The salary of the Bishop being composed partly of the annual Parliamentary grant of 600l. a year and partly of an annual grant of 600l. a year from the Church Missionary Society, the right rev. Prelate had voluntarily surrendered the latter 600l. a year in order to its being devoted to other missionary purposes. Now, the circumstance to which he wished to direct their Lordships' attention, as redounding so much to the Bishop of New Zealand's credit, was this—that as soon as it was intimated to him from the Colonial Office that the Parliamentary grant was to be discontinued, and he was asked whether he might not deem it advisable to reclaim the Vote of 600l. a year from the Church Missionary Society, the Bishop at once replied, that whatever might become of the Parliamentary grant, his wish was still to surrender the other 600l. a year for the benefit of the Colonial Church.

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