§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into a Committee on the said Bill.
§ LORD LYTTELTON
said, he hoped that before this Bill was sent down to the other House fuller means would be given for coming to a conclusion on the question by the production of the Correspondence which had passed between the Colony and the Government at home upon the subject.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
confessed that the measure appeared to him of very doubtful policy, and he hoped that the noble Duke would enable them by means of the Correspondence to ascertain what specific grounds might be shown for this exceptional legislation. It was a point worthy of consideration how far advantage might be taken of the services of Natives in the proposed Council. He understood that a Bill had been sent over from the colony to this country for the purpose of carrying into effect something analogous to the present proposal, and that that Bill hid been disallowed by the Government. He thought it would be desirable that papers should be laid before Parliament showing what the colonists themselves proposed, and the reasons for which the Crown was advised to disallow the Bill he had referred to. As far as he could understand the Government of New Zealand was without any knowledge that this Bill was to be introduced. He hoped that before the Bill reached its final stage the noble Duke would give them further information as to what had taken place between the inhabitants of the colony and 1519 the Government, and as to what were the critical circumstances which rendered necessary a piece of legislation which the noble Lord himself must admit to be of a very exceptional character.
§ THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE
acknowledged that the legislation now proposed was of an exceptional character. He quite admitted that their Lordships were entitled to ask for the production of the despatches which had passed between the Governor of the Colony and the home Government; but he had abstained from laying any papers on the subject on the table, because the communications contained the names of persons and statements of a private character which it would have been inexpedient to publish. As, however, he had been requested to produce the papers by the noble Earl opposite and the noble Lord who had preceded him, he could only say that the House had a right to them, and that he would endeavour to furnish their Lordships with such papers as would acquaint them with the full reasons why this Bill had been introduced. He was confident that when their Lordships saw these papers and considered the whole circumstances of the case they would admit that this Bill, though exceptional, was justifiable. He believed that the body which was constituted by the Act would act in harmony with the Colonial Legislature; and that the colonists would appreciate the advantage of having Borne body interposed between them and the Natives which would enable them to extend the advances of civilization without exciting that antagonism and hostility which now prevailed among a considerable portion of the Natives of New Zealand. There was nothing to prevent Natives being on the Council, but he was not sure that he would encourage their appointment. Whatever might be his opinion of individual Members of the Legislature of the colony, he had nothing to say against it collectively, but at the same time there was no disguising the fact that the Natives did not repost in it the same confidence as they would do in a body appointed by the Crown. The Bill, as a whole, he believed, met with the approval of many of the most intelligent and experienced colonists. Without being too sanguine as to the result of this attempt at mediation, he felt that it was only right that the experiment should be made, and hoped their Lordships would not retard the progress of the Bill.
§ Motion agreed to. House in Committee accordingly. Bill reported without Amendment; an Amendment made, and Bill to be read 3a on Tuesday next.
§ House adjourned at Seven o'clock, to Monday next, Eleven o'clock.