THE EARL OF CARNARVON
, who had given notice to inquire of the Setary of State for the Colonies, Whether Her Majesty's Government will consent, upon any conditions to delay the departure of the 18th Regiment now in New Zealand, but under orders to sail; and to move for any correspondence on the subject, said: My Lords, it was remarked the other night, and I think with great force, that it was much to be deprecated that colonial questions should be brought before your Lordships attention over and over again, and be made the subject of party discussion without 1325 imperative necessity. Now, I feel very deeply the serious importance of the matter to which. I ask your Lordships attention; but, at the same time, I can assure the noble Earl the Secretary for the Colonies that I am acting not only with a total absence of party feeling, but with the most earnest hope that even now, at the eleventh hour, it may be in my power to induce the noble Karl and Her Majesty's Government to pause and think twice before they commit themselves and the country to what I regard as a most unfortunate policy. As I do not desire to go into past debates and recriminations, or to quote largely from blue books and Parliamentary Papers, I wish to clear the way of everything which is not absolutely essential to the consideration of the subject. In the first place, I agreed in many, if not all, the points of policy which were laid down by my predecessor in Office, Mr. Cardwell. I agreed with him in the necessity of the reduction of the troops in New Zealand; I agreed in the propriety of the Colony paying a considerable portion, at all events, of the troops which were retained there; I agreed in the vital necessity of the Crown exercising control over those troops; I urged as strongly as he did the wrong and impolicy of scattering those troops in different parts of the Colony, and I declared that, as long as they remained, they should remain as the garrisons of certain large towns: lastly, I took every precaution in my power to prevent those troops being made at any time, or under any circumstances, the agents of a colonial policy which the Imperial Government could not thoroughly approve. Moreover, I agree also in much that Mr. Cardwell thought, and that the noble Earl opposite thinks, with regard to the conduct of the colonists. I think it has been, in many respects, unfortunate and unwise. They asked some years ago, for the control and management of Native affairs. Now, I entertain a strong opinion that that management should not have been given up to them. I think we were pledged in such a way that it was wrong towards the Crown to surrender that control to the colonial Legislature. The step was, however, taken; and I admit that when it was taken the colonists failed to provide those means of internal self-defence which followed, as a natural consequence, the 1326 acceptance of the management of Native affairs. More than that—I deprecated, as did Mr. Cardwell, and, I think, also my successor, the Duke of Buckingham, the confiscation policy which the colonial Legislature thought proper to adopt, and which, though not approved by us, was carried into effect. Just before I left Office I offered to the Colony terms on which they might have kept the 18th Regiment—terms which I deemed fair and reasonable—and the answer I received was not the plain and straightforward one which any Minister of the Crown had a right to expect, but a series of what I may call "fishing" questions, in order to ascertain how much more they could obtain. Now, I say frankly, that the colonial Government of that day pursued an unfortunate course, and I do not defend them in those respects. But, as I understand it, the case is now totally altered. The colonists themselves are the first to acknowledge the error which they committed. They recognize the difficulties in which they are placed, and are ready to do all they can to extricate themselves. Whether those difficulties have been entirely due to the colonists, or whether partly to the Home Government I am not prepared to say; but I deliberately say that this country and the Government of this country are to a certain extent responsible for the course which has been pursued in New Zealand and for the state of affairs which now exists. I say further that it is not the part of England to stand entirely and indifferently by when a great Colony is involved in such disasters and dangers as those in which New Zealand is involved; and that, however wise and right your policy may be on paper, you cannot administer the affairs of a great Empire upon a mere cut-and-dried rule, worthy rather of a pedant than of a great Minister of this country. I agree, also, I may say lastly, in great measure in the course of action which has been pursued. When I succeeded to the Colonial Office, I found that certain orders for the withdrawal of troops had been rigidly laid down by Mr. Cardwell. I insisted upon those orders being carried out. That they were not completely carried out was due simply to my resignation; but had I remained in Office I should have insisted upon their being completely carried out; 1327 even the departure of the 18th Regiment. Perhaps the noble Earl (Earl Granville) may ask why, then, I urge so strongly the detention of that regiment? I do so simply on the ground that the whole set of circumstances has changed since Mr. Cardwell issued those orders, and since I left Office. Great difficulties, great dangers, great disasters have fallen on the Colony. What was the answer of the noble Earl when, in the early part of the year, he was earnestly entreated to allow that regiment to remain? He wrote a despatch, which I do not wish to criticize more than is absolutely necessary for my argument, but I have always regretted it, and still more so the tone in which it was written. It arose on this wise—On the 5th of February of last year Mr. Fitzherbert, who was appointed by the colonial Government to negotiate with Her Majesty's Government in England on New Zealand questions, wrote to the noble Earl, urging strongly that a loan might be guaranteed. On the 26th the noble Earl referred it to the Treasury; and the reference was, I must say, in a somewhat unusual form. There was no statement of the facts of the case, nor even any opinion by the noble Earl, and I ask those of your Lordships who know what public business is, whether for an application for money to be sent by the Colonial Secretary to the Treasury without one word of commendation—without even one word intimating his opinion of the fitness or unfitness of acceding to it—is either fair to the Colony or likely to produce any consideration of the matter at all? The result was that there came back as bare a refusal as there had been a reference. The noble Earl then wrote a despatch, in which he summed up, first of all, the circumstances under which the Colony had acted, and pursued the argument until he wound it up in these terms—If this statement is correct it follows that the Imperial Government have not transferred to that of the Colony any obligation whatever, except that imposed on all of us by natural justice, not to appropriate the property of others; that all the Imperial expenditure on the Colony has been for the benefit of the comonists, and a great part of it may be viewed as the price paid by this country for the territories which have been recently, and, as I think unwisely, appropriated by them; and, lastly, that no part of the colonial expenditure has been in any degree for the benefit of the mother country. So far, therefore, as there is any equitable claim remaining unsettled, it is 1328 not a claim on the part of New Zealand against Great Britain, but the reverse; a claim, a very heavy claim, if we thought proper to urge it, on the part of the mother country against the Colony.Now, I will not ask how far this is all true; but I ask your Lordships to consider what must have been the feelings of the colonists, smarting under the loss of life and under severe injury to property, seeing whole districts ravaged, seeing relatives shot down, and some murdered under the most exasperating circumstances—what must have been their feelings on reading this paragraph? It could, I am satisfied, do no good, but, on the contrary, must have created the deepest irritation. Fresh disasters ensued—disasters of the gravest character, threatening almost the existence of the Colony, and in their extremity the colonial Legislature passed an Act agreeing to send Commissioners to negotiate on any terms with Her Majesty's Government, and, if possible, to secure the detention of the 18th Regiment for some short time longer. So urgent was the case that the Governor, at the request of the Assembly, telegraphed the substance of it home. Subsequently the Act itself arrived, and the noble Earl wrote a despatch which, though it has not been laid before Parliament, must be deemed public property, inasmuch as it has appeared in all the newspapers. The first part of it was taken up with establishing a sort of contradiction between the intentions of the Colony as expressed in their Acts and debates, and as expressed in their despatches. I pass that by with the remark that I cannot see the whole force of the contradiction. It then proceeded to argue against the detention of the troops, and to censure the confiscation of land policy. This was most true as far as the local Governments had been concerned, but was hardly applicable to the present Government, which, as I believe, has honestly exerted itself to put matters on a fair footing. The noble Earl then proceeded in a very singular paragraph to speak of certain remedies which he thought might be adopted—recommendations in fact which he gave, though they were couched in a somewhat indirect form. The noble Earl said two things were indispensable—one, the abandonment of the confiscated land occupied by settlers; the other, the recognition of the Maori authorities. He wound up by a peremp- 1329 tory order for the recall of the troops, saying that under no circumstances could they be allowed to remain, and, as if pounds shillings and pence were really at the bottom of the matter, and the whole mainspring of action which guided the Government, he added that if these orders were peremptorily executed the Government would not exercise the powers vested in them by charging against the Colony the cost of the delay that had been incurred. Now, I venture to say that this sort of policy is unworthy of a great country. If you mean to recall the troops, put it at least upon some ground of Imperial necessity; but to say that you will abstain from charging the trumpery cost of a few weeks delay on the Colony, seems to me as miserable a policy as can be embodied in any Secretary of State's despatch. I am quite willing to make the noble Earl a present of all the facts which he has urged, and to admit that he was quite accurate; but I wish sometimes that he was not so accurate and logical if he would only be a little more sympathetic. The noble Earl treats the colonists to the coldest possible logic; but that is not the way to deal with these great Colonies, and any Minister who reckons upon public approval in adopting such a tone will find that he has grievously miscalculated. The noble Earl may have been right in his facts, but he was entirely wrong in one at least of his recommendations. His counsel to the Colony to recognize the Maori authority is singularly ill-advised. I am at a loss to know what the recognition of the Maori authority can mean. I have endeavoured to trace it, and as far as I can make out the first mention of it occurs in a confidential despatch of Sir George Bowen's, which, being confidential, his Ministers had never seen, and expressing therefore his own opinion alone. It winds up by suggesting three different courses, and the third is a peaceful arrangement not inconsistent with the suzerainty of the Queen with the chosen Chief of the Maories. That was acknowledged and answered by the noble Earl some time afterwards. He alludes to these views, and, in fact, accepts this view as a desirable one. He puts it in the following words, which carry it altogether a step further than Sir George Bowen's despatch:—"These proposals may be stated. … 3rd., Some general ar- 1330 rangement, having for its object the modified recognition of the Maori King." Now, I ask again, what is the meaning of "a modified recognition of the Maori King?" I am totally at a loss to imagine. Can the local Government of a Colony, or can even a Secretary of State, recognize the authority of another Sovereign? Nobody will deny that the Queen is the Sovereign of New Zealand. She by her sovereignty and by Act of Parliament ceded it no doubt, under certain conditions, to a colonial Government and Legislature; and as that was done by Act of Parliament so it is impossible to deny that no fresh cession of territory, such as is implied in these words, can occur without the same machinery by which the island was originally ceded. If in order to come to an arrangement with the Maori King it be necessary to cede territory to him, you cannot do so, I should imagine, except by Act of Parliament. The recognition of the Maori Soverign must mean either something within the limits of the Constitution Act or something beyond it. If the former, my answer is that it has been tried already and has failed. Some time since proposals were made to the Maori King by the colonial authorities; but what was his answer? Simply this—"I am ready to come to terms with you, but on one condition—that the Queen renounces her sovereignity over the district where I exercise authority." Now, I suppose you are not ready to accept that. If the recognition must be the recognition of an independent Power—and I venture to say with great submission, in the presence of noble and learned Lords, that the recognition by a colonial Legislature of an independent Power is something totally new and unheard of—what would you say if the colonial Legislature applied to some foreign Power to assist them in some time of difficulty? Would you hold that they were free to make a treaty or arrangement with some foreign Power? And yet if the Maori King be independent and you advise the colonists to negotiate with him, I cannot see on what ground you could refuse to allow the Colony to negotiate with some foreign Power also. Moreover, that policy is a most dangerous one. It is true the last accounts from New Zealand were of a much more satisfactory character; but there are other tribes besides the Maories 1331 referred to unbroken by war, and containing a large number of fighting men, who at all events will refuse to place themselves under the authority of this independent King whom you are willing to recognize. What, then, will be the consequence? Why, that every single tribe or collection of tribes in the island must each be recognized as independent. The noble Earl (Earl Granville) indeed, if I remember right, has declared in his correspondence with some of the colonists in England, that he never intended to place these tribes under the authority of the Maori King. But the reply is that there is no middle course, and that if one party is to be independent the others must be so also. Depend upon it, you open up by this entirely new policy dangers and difficulties of a very serious kind. There are further dangers to be considered. This despatch, unfortunate as I regard it, has reached the Colony. We do not know how it has been received, but it will no doubt be translated into Maori, circulated, read, and commented upon, and its recommendations greatly exaggerated. Two or three inferences will not unreasonably be drawn from it. It will be said that the Queen recognizes the independence of the Maori King, that she disapproves the colonists and their conduct, and that she urges the restitution of all the confiscated lands. Now, if these inferences are drawn—and any impartial man will certainly draw them—what will be the effect on the colonists? It is true the last advices have been satisfactory; there is great hope that the present difficulty may pass, and with a few years of peace it may be hoped that the two races may form friendly relations. If so, I should be willing to admit that the policy of the noble Earl was practically successful; but even if successful it would not justify the great risk which has to be run, and the serious danger to which you would expose yourselves and the Colony. There appeared ten days ago in The Times a very interesting letter, in which the Correspondent wrote entirely in the sense of the noble Earl's remarks and described how matters were gradually improving, so that it was hoped matters were on the point of being settled. He wound up, however, with this significant sentence—It might be supposed that, with the changed aspect of Native affairs, the peremptory orders 1332 for the immediate removal of the 18th Regiment would be viewed with comparative indifference by the Colony; but this is not the case. Those best acquainted with the Native mind believe that it is more than ever desirable at this juncture to maintain the idea that in case of rebellion the power of England, which the presence of an Imperial garrison, however small, represents, would be exerted on behalf of the colonists. … The fatal error of the late colonial Administration was the neglect to create a sufficient colonial force to replace the Imperial troops. The action of the Imperial Government in removing the 18th Regiment at this crisis will place the present Ministry in exactly the same position, against their will, as their predecessors have been censured for assuming.That states the ease as fairly as is possible in a few words. What, then, is the proposal, or rather entreaty, which I have to make? It is really a very small one. It is to consent to the detention of this one regiment, about 600 strong, for a limited time—say about two years—upon any terms and conditions that the Government may think fit to impose. Now, can anyone say that is an unreasonable request? Is it one to which the Imperial Government ought to turn a deaf ear? Is it one which the country would not heartily and gladly accept? Remember, you have had in New Zealand a change of Government. Now, I admit all that has been said in censure of previous colonial Administrations; but the present Government are honestly doing their best to re-organize their means of defence. They have also passed a most remarkable Act as an earnest of their intentions. It empowers two Commissioners to proceed to England and make any terms they please with Her Majesty's Government; it imposes no fetter or restriction upon them, but endorses by anticipation every step they may take in this country with a view to the detention of these troops. They are authorized to accept any conditions, to pay any sum; and, in order to show further how completely in earnest they, are, they appropriate at once £70,000 per annum for the next three years to the maintenance of an adequate colonial force over and above the Imperial force. It is impossible, then to say that the colonial authorities are not thoroughly in earnest in discharging their duty and obligations, and what we press on the Government is of the most trifling proportions. I am at a loss to understand what objections they can raise. If the objections are made for the good of the Colony—a view on which the noble Earl 1333 enlarges in his despatch—my answer is that arguments in such a case are thrown away. The colonists will say, and not unreasonably, that they are the best judges of what is for their good. If the objections are for the good of this country, or for Imperial interests, of which the Government are more or less trustees, I do not think they can be sustained, for this detention of the troops will in no degree interfere with the policy of the Government. It need not—for they can impose their own terms—cost them a shilling, and £20,000 or £30,000 is the very outside of the cost. While the troops remain, moreover, they will be subject to the control of the Crown—so that there is no question of divided authority or responsibility—and when they leave they will leave not by being recalled by any Minister of this country, but by virtue of this Act by which the Government are bound; thereby obviating any possible misconception or misunderstanding and any anger or irritation at the moment of leaving. Mark, on the other hand, what the point-blank refusal of such terms as these must do. It exposes the Colony to risks which are still considerable. It creates an amount of irritation which can only deepen as time goes on, and which no subsequent policy or acts of the Government will efface. Now, have we too many friends at this moment in the world to be able to throw away the attachment of New Zealand? Heavily pressed as we are in the race of international competition, are our fortunes so well assured that we can afford to throw away the affection, the loyalty, and the warm feeling of the colonists as if they were merely so much idle lumber? I do not want to characterize the course of policy which has been adopted. I will rather turn to the words of one who must be accepted as a perfectly impartial authority—I told them (the New Zealand colonists) that they might be assured of the protection of the Crown, and by the Treaty of Waitangi the Queen assumed the sovereignty of New Zealand. It was not, therefore, by chance, or without incurring obligations on the part of the Crown, that New Zealand was added to the British dominions.… A faint-hearted Government may break these pledges and depart from this policy. But from the day when they do so the decline and fall of the British Empire may be dated. … During my tenure of the Colonial Office a gentleman attached to the French Government called upon me. He asked me how much of Australia was claimed as the dominion of Great Britain. I answered the 1334 'whole,' and with that answer he went away.… The Minister who tries to weaken the attachment of our North American Provinces (read our Colonies generally) will be sure to rouse the grievous indignation of the people of England and will be punished, if not by impeachment, at all events by eternal infamy.These are not my words. I am not the person who has heaped these burning coals on the head of the noble Earl. It is no bigoted Troy—it is no political opponent who uses these words. It is a man who has grown old in Office, who has received all the honours which the State can heap on him, who has filled almost every high office in turn. It is a statesman who has been intrusted with political responsibility, and who certainly has been during the lifetime of a whole generation firmly attached to the Liberal party, and whose name will be associated with that party in history. It is from the mouth of Earl Russell that the colonial policy of Her Majesty's Government in this respect must be judged.
§ Moved, "That an humble address be presented to Her Majesty for copy of Correspondence respecting the recall of the 18th Regiment of the Line from New Zealand."—(The Earl of Carnarvon.)
§ EARL GRANVILLE
My Lords, before answering the Question which the noble Earl has not put, allow me to say one word with regard to the somewhat altered and renovated appearance of the front bench opposite me. It would be perfectly unjustifiable for me to allude to rumours which have now become historical; still less would it become me, on the present occasion to make any observation on the qualifications of the various candidates, willing or unwilling, for the Leadership of the Conservative party in this House. I am sure, however, the noble Duke (the Duke of Richmond) will not think it impertinent in me if I congratulate him on the public spirit which he has shown in undertaking duties of a very important and responsible character, on the discharge of which depends much of the future influence and authority of this House. I expect from him no quarter with regard to party matters; but I am equally certain that, in our communications with him as the representative of the party opposite, we shall always find the same courtesy, good temper, and straightforwardness which have characterized him for so many years, either when engaged in the business of your Lordships' House 1335 or in performing official duties elsewhere. I am not quite sure that he is without the danger of a rival. Lord Grenville used to say that the man would always lead the Opposition who showed the most sport. Now, the noble Earl sitting next him (the Earl of Carnarvon) is a sportsman of the keenest description in that way, and I am quite rejoiced to see how he derives invigorated strength from renewed contact with the front bench—very much as Antæus used to do from contact with his mother earth. I was glad to hear that the noble Earl thinks it undesirable to discuss these colonial questions over and over again, for I certainly had not inferred such an opinion from the noble Earl's own conduct. I remember that, three years ago, he made a most interesting speech on New Zealand, in the face of the positive protest of his late Colleague and successor at the Colonial Office (the Duke of Buckingham), who stated that it was against the public service that a discussion should take place on that subject at that time. In that speech he gave a brief and clear account of the position of New Zealand. He showed how Sir John Pakington's Act had substantially taken away the power of the Crown with regard to Native affairs, how that state of things became intolerable, how the Duke of Newcastle tried to remedy it by legislaton, and how, at last, when Sir George Grey handed over the power, nominally as well as substantially, to the colonial Government, it was sanctioned by the Duke of Newcastle, who, in a very interesting and important speech, declined to retain the responsibility without the power, and described the future policy of this country in the matter. The noble Earl then proceeded to criticize Mr. Cardwell's policy of taking away a portion of the troops, but allowing them to retain another portion—one regiment—if they agreed to contribute a certain sum towards the management of Native affairs. The noble Earl said then, as he says now, that he adopted that policy, and on that occasion he described how he was thwarted in carrying it out. He complained that he could not get the assent of the Colony as to the regiment he wished to remain, and was not able to withdraw another regiment. He was succeeded by the Duke of Buckingham, who seems to have written much less than his predecessor, but to have done more. 1336 Among other feats, he brought back the Governor whom the noble Earl could not get to obey him. [The Earl of CARNARVON: No, no!] At any rate, Sir George Grey complained bitterly of the insult put upon him by his recall. Another matter to which the noble Earl did not allude to-night was the difficulty with the Governor, which had obliged him to take the very important step, whether right or wrong, of withdrawing the troops from the authority of the civil power. The Duke of Buckingham, whoso absence I regret, as I should have expected from him considerable support, brought away the Governor, and succeeded in drawing away troops; and, having got a refusal from the Colony with regard to one regiment which the noble Earl wished to leave, he showed, as I think, very good judgment and considerable moral courage—although disturbances had already broken out, and notwithstanding protests from the two branches of the Legislature against the removal of the troops—by giving before he went out of Office additional orders for the withdrawal. Those orders he justified on two grounds—the first on the past military history of the Colony; the other on his complete confidence, seeing the enormous numerical superiority of the English settlers as compared with the number of the Natives, aided as the Europeans would be by the friendly Natives, that there could be but one issue. Such was the state of affairs when I came into Office; and my first act, thinking it would not be fair to allow I the colonists to believe that the change of Government would entail any change of policy, was to repeat the order which I the Duke of Buckingham had given. It is I for adhering to that order, identical with the Duke of Buckingham's, that I have I been subjected, under somewhat varying circumstances, to a considerable amount of attack, and to all the criticisms of the I noble Earl this evening. True, we received news of the most melancholy I character—outrages which made the blood run cold, and which excited in this country the deepest sympathy; but, horrible as those things were, we diet not think they in themselves constituted sufficient cause for a change of the policy adopted in principle by two successive Governments. I remember, last spring, that a most important deputation of persons connected with New Zealand called 1337 on me, in order to persuade me to keep the troops—some of them insisted strongly that they only wanted the troops there three or four months longer, in order to give them time to make the necessary arrangements—but I then asked them whether they could see any reason for believing that at the end of three, six, nine months—twelve months have now clapsed—some similar plea for their detention would not be found. The noble Marl has objected to certain things which I have done and to certain things which I have not done. Amongst other things he has brought up the question of the politeness of my despatches. He read a considerable portion of them; but I could not by the countenances of your Lordships ascertain which sentences were those which touched your Lordships as so particularly rude and unsympathetic, I have some doubt whether the noble Earl himself is in a position to criticize me on this point. In the first place I doubt whether he found out for himself anything objectionable in the tone of the despatch, for when he spoke last Session, after having read it, he found no fault with the tone of it; and I cannot help flunking he was in the same position as the colonists themselves were, for I have been told that when my despatch arrived they were annoyed and provoked on account of the substance of that which it conveyed, but thought nothing about the form. It was only when a fiery protest written by Sir George Grey, and signed by several other gentlemen, arrived in the Colony, and was extensively circulated there, that they awoke to a sense of the indignities heaped upon them. As to Sir George Grey, I will not say one word to disparage his long and brilliant public career—a man would be a fool to deny his great power, ability, eloquence, and activity—but that which characterizes him to a degree I have hardly seen in any other man is his power of discovering grievances, and magnifying them when so discovered. If any of your Lordships waded through lie blue books last year, you must have found that the greatest portion of them consisted of a correspondence between the noble Earl (the Earl of Carnarvon) and Sir George Grey, the despatches of the noble Earl containing instructions which seem never to have been obeyed, complaints which were unheeded, and the recapitulation of those facts and 1338 truths which are so objectionable in my mouth, but are so perfectly anodyne when sent out in a despatch by the noble Earl. Sir George Grey's despatches, on the other hand, are perfectly interminable, complaining of the noble Earl for every fault which a Secretary of State could commit—incorrectness in statements, for trying to disgrace the Governor, for encouraging calumnies against him and the Colony, and for writing despatches which it was impossible to answer except by saying that they ought not to have been written at all. They were accompanied by memoranda by Mr. Stafford and other Ministers equally violent, equally complaining of the noble Earl; and last, but not least, by addresses from the two branches of the Legislature complaining of him for his reiterated calumnies against the Government of the Colony. Now, I am not quite sure that the noble Earl was right in not showing a little more vigour and having his instructions obeyed; but I am bound to say that, as far as my-weak testimony can go, he seems to have been almost continually in the right, and Sir George Grey as often in the wrong. Still, when the noble Earl charges me with the rudeness of my correspondence, I cannot conceive one which is less overflowing with milk and honey than the correspondence which has immortalized the noble Earl's official life. I read the other day a most interesting debate from Victoria, with considerable regret and some anxiety, although it confirmed opinions which I had ventured to make public. One remarkable speech produced a sensation. Mr. Higginbotham, an able man, but of extreme opinions, seems to have delighted his audience by a description of the personal characters of some leading Members of your Lordships House. They were literary sketches, very much resembling the painted portraits in which some of your Lordships have lately been exhibited in Vanity Fair. Your Lordships may imagine, therefore, that they were an exaggerated caricature. He said Lord Carnarvon was a person who, twenty years ago, had the reputation of having a very old head upon young shoulders, but that now his shoulders had become old, while Ids head had turned out to be that of a boy. I should certainly like to have Mr. Higginbotham here to point out to him how juvenile the noble Earl's shoulders 1339 are, and how venerable internally his head still remains; but I think he might possibly rejoin by asking whether there was not something of the charming self-confidence of youth in a noble Earl whose whole official career was one long continuous epistolary wrangle with the Governor, the Government, and the Legislature of Now Zealand, thinking himself absolutely bound in the Recess to lecture me in the columns of The Times upon the amenities of polite letter-writing in the case of that very Colony. The noble Earl went on to express great indignation at what he called the remarkable suggestion of mine with regard to the recognition of the Maori authority, and he laid great stress on the word "King," as if it conveyed the notion of the European title. Now, being so well acquainted with the Colonies, he must be well aware that in Africa there are a number of subject Kings who are just as much subjects of Her Majesty as any other Chiefs under a different title. That I over recommended that a Maori King should be placed over the Native tribes I defy the noble Earl to find any proof from words used by me. Let me refer to a book just published by Sir William Denison—a man of great colonial and Indian reputation. If your Lordships will only read the chapter in that book on New Zealand I think you will see that when I felt myself bound to give a history of past transactions, in opposition to the history given to me in support of the claim or demand for Imperial assistance, my picture was not at all highly coloured. Sir William Denison is, perhaps one of the best witnesses on this matter. He was a perfectly impartial witness; he was an Australian Governor in 1857, and during three months of that year a visitor in New Zealand, and for three years after that he was in constant communication with New Zealand in connection with the military tolerations there. I will quote only passage, which I find in a letter of his written to the Governor of New Zealand upon that subject which; shocks my noble Friend so much. He savs—You have now, as a fact, the establishment of something analogous to a general Government among the Maories, a recognition on their part of the necessity of some paramount authority. This is a step in the right direction; do not ignore it; do not, on the ground that some evil may possibly 1340 arise out of it, make the Natives suspicious of your motives by opposing it, but avail yourself of the opportunity to introduce some more of the elements of good government among them; suggest to them the necessity of defining and limiting the power of the person who has been selected us Chief or King (I should not quarrel with the name), of establishing some system of legislation, simple, of course, at first, but capable of being modified and improved; but do not attempt to introduce the complicated arrangements suited to a civilized and educated people; recognize publicly and openly the Maories, not merely as individual subjects of the Queen, but as a race—a body whose interests you are bound to respect and promote, and then give to that body the means of deciding what those interests are, and of submitting them, in a proper form, for your consideration.The noble Earl says we ought not to have recommended negotiation, because Sir George Grey had tried it and failed: but that no new negotiation is ever to be opened because a previous one has failed under very different circumstances, is a species of argument to which I think your Lordships will not assent. In his celebrated letter of November last the noble Earl made two recommendations. One of them was that should send out a Commissioner to Now Zealand. I think it is Mr. Merivale who says the phrase, that "it is necessary to do something," is the formula of a well-meaning but undecided error. My noble Friend advised us to send out somebody to do something which he did not in the slightest degree define. If he meant that we should have sent out a Commissioner to collect facts, to sit side by side—like a second King of Brentford—with the representative of Her Majesty, I cannot conceive any machinery that would have been more likely to paralyze the Home Government and the colonial Government at a moment of crisis and of difficulty. If again, he mount that we should have sent out a Dictator, with or without instructions, but with power over the whole Colony, I can only say I have not seen any evidence of the slightest disposition on the part either of the colonial Government or Legislature to encourage or accept any interference with the rights given them by Sir John Pakington's Act. My Lords, I am very glad, indeed, that did not take the noble Earl's advice the next thing the noble Earl says and repeals is, that we ought to have guaranteed a loan. Last year, when a guarantee for a loan in connection with the Hudson's Bay arrangements was mentioned to me, I 1341 declined to give it, even although in that case the guarantee would have been for a clear and definite object. What, however, the noble Earl recommends is a guarantee for £1,500,000 sterling, to be spent by the Colony in any manner it pleased for military purposes. I believe that you ought not to give a guarantee if you do not know how the money which you encourage them to raise is to be disposed of; and it would be infinitely worse if you were to try to control and manage the expenditure by persons over whom you have no power. It is against the interest both of a young State and a young man that they should be encouraged to borrow, and should have facilities for doing so. What, after all, would have been the advantage of that? This Colony, withabout£4,000,000 of exports and £5,000,000 of imports, spent in war last year £500,000. The difference which the guarantee would have made would have been a difference of £30,000. Would that sum have been of any importance in comparison with the great objections to the arrangement? If I had written the letter which the noble Earl wished me to write, and the Treasury had given the guarantee, what would have boon the result? I believe lie money would have been immediately raised; and the Government then in power, which has been accused by the present Government of reckless extravagance, would have raised and spent it, and the Colony would have been permanently burdened with a debt of £1,500,000. which would have been a great disadvantage both to them and to us. Again, the effect of guaranteeing a loan for a country is to diminish that country's credit at a future time. Then, with regard to the military occupation of New Zealand, there are several ways of dealing with the matter. There is the alternative of the mother country resuming power and responsibility over the Colony. I think it is open to argument whether such a power might or might not twenty years ago have been retained; but, whether it wore a good or a bad policy, I think it is beyond the reach of argument or discussion—in fact, it is impossible—for you to take back the powers you have given to the Colony, and to re-assume the responsibility for its government. Then there is another proposal. Some three years ago my noble Friend (Lord Lyttelton) made a speech 1342 on this subject, the report of which contained only three sentences. He said he heartily rejoiced at the withdrawal of the troops; that he thought the Colony had not the slightest claim to assistance from this country for its internal defence; and he ended by saying that the best plan would be to fix a day irrevocably, beyond which it would be known to the Colony that it would be left entirely to its own resources; and that would be the only way of insuring its future welfare and prosperity. Since then my noble Friend has changed his opinion, and now wishes Imperial troops to be supplied to the Colony; but, having a very logical mind, he has changed so completely as to remain equally logical as before; he says the Imperial troops to be left in the Colony ought not only to be paid, but to be ordered and controlled, by the colonists themselves. That may be a very plausible proposition; but I own I am not at present prepared to undertake the responsibility of advising Her Majesty to commit the honour, the safety, and the discipline of Her Majesty's troops to what would necessarily be the changing representative Government of a Colony. That is not the plan of the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Carnarvon) at all; and I have some little difficulty in following some of the principles the noble Earl laid down with regard to our military connection with the Colonies. He said the other day that he thought our military organization was the principal bond between the Colonies and this country. I entirely deny that assertions on several grounds; but I will only refer to one. I wholly agree with the noble Earl near him (the Earl of Derby) in thinking that the main reliance which we and the Colonies have for our protection in war must be placed in our naval supremacy, and in our power of organizing our naval forces. The noble Earl (the Earl of Carnarvon) went on to complain of what we were doing in respect to Canada, and said it was a "shabby" policy. Our policy there is to withdraw troops that are not required for Imperial purposes, and to pay those that are kept there for Imperial purposes. That is the way in which we are dealing with a large country, possessing a great revenue. But what did my noble Friend himself do? Why, he actually boasted the 1343 other day that he had recalled all our troops from the Cape; whereas we think it necessary to retain some of them there for Imperial purposes, and to pay for them. The noble Earl did not think it I "shabby," I suppose, to recall our troops from a Colony which, I am sorry to say, is almost in a state of bankruptcy, because it could not pay troops retained for both colonial and Imperial purposes. If there are two men, A and B, in this country, and if A remains at home and pays towards the taxation of this country, and B goes to another country, where he is in a more prosperous condition, it is not reasonable that A should be called upon to pay for the defence of B. But I do not in the least degree confine my objections to the question of money, although that is an important point; but it is mixed up with all those reasons that I gave in my despatches, which the noble Earl said were all true in their facts, in their principles, and in every thing else, only he wished that I had blended a little agreeable falsehood with them, to make them more palatable to the colonists. The noble Earl wishes this regiment to remain in New Zealand, not for the purpose of taking the field, but to be stationed in the different garrison towns—doing exactly what he had previously said was the most damaging thing to discipline that could be done. He said that the men should not be engaged in any fight with the Natives, if war should unhappily arise. Now, my Lords, I cannot conceive a less enviable position for our troops. I believe if peace is consolidated, these troops will very soon find that the colonists will make use of the same language that they did a few years ago, and say—"We don't want them; we can do very well without them; they are rather in our way than otherwise; we would rather not have them." But in the more important event of war, what would be the position of a colonel or commanding officer in a town with the most frantic appeals made to him for help, and with representations that murders and outrages were being committed in the outlying districts? He would be bound to say—"I cannot move; I must keep my troops in the cities; I cannot do what you require." Now, my Lords, I believe in the physical courage of our officers and troops, but I confess I do not believe in their moral courage to do that. And if, 1344 in obedience to the representations and appeals made to them, our troops do take the field, we are responsible for what happens;—and besides there is this great disadvantage, that the colonists from the first will fall back upon us for aid in the conduct of the war, instead of cutting their coat according to their cloth. Anything more unwise than the course recommended by the noble Earl I cannot conceive. Now, I think that no man ought to enter public life who cares about being attacked—it does not much signify if a man be misrepresented if he has a fair opportunity of stating his case, whatever it may be—but I do certainly hope that your Lordships will believe that during the last twelve months I have sometimes endured great anxiety, and have been subjected to much pain, owing to the state of things in the Colony. It is not pleasant to be told that I am contributing to the dishonour of the Empire, or that my withdrawal of the troops will occasion a great national disaster, as the noble Earl wrote, and that there will be a general burning of towns and a great massacre of the white inhabitants. But, my Lords, I am encouraged by the feeling that the course I pursued was the same as that which the Duke of Buckingham had carried out, and which had more than once received the sanction of your Lordships. And, my Lords, ever since that policy was adopted—ever since it was clearly understood in the Colony what the course of Her Majesty's Government was likely to be—from that moment I have had the satisfaction of seeing affairs there gradually and continually improve without break up to the present. I have also had the great satisfaction of knowing that men like Colonel Whitmore think it advisable that the troops should be taken away. I have had the consolation, too, of hearing from the Bishop of Wellington the other day that he had received a letter from a good authority in New Zealand, stating that he has not known for ton years when the affairs of the Colony were in so good a position as they are at the present moment. There are in this country two statesmen of New Zealand, who have come over to persuade Her Majesty's Government to let the regiment be dotained in the Colony, and, secondly, to make arrangements for their I future local military organization. I cannot say how much I lamented that my 1345 first duty was to inform them that to leave the regiment was a proposition which it was impossible for Her Majesty's Government to comply with; and I hope my noble Friend will think it no want of respect to him if I say that I cannot yield to his eloquence that which I had to refuse to yield to the very forcible appeal made by the authorized representatives of the Colony. And here I wish to bear public witness to the manner in which these gentlemen opened the negotiations. They abstained from going into certain topics; they decided that they would not go back into past history, in which their knowledge of local affairs and local geography might puzzle me to a considerable degree. I believe, however, they came here animated by a disposition to do the best they could for the Colony; and I, also believe that they are fully convinced of the disposition. I feel to do everything I can to put our relations on the most satisfactory footing with that splendid possession of the Crown which they represent. With regard to honours, which may seem trifling matters, but are of considerable importance as showing the interest which Her Majesty takes in the Colony, Her Majesty has been good enough to sanction the bestowal of honours on Colonel Whitmore and on Mr. Maclean, whose services were invaluable, one in military affair's, the other in the negotiations with the Natives. It is also intended to confer honours on the friendly Native Chiefs, which I am told by those best acquainted with the Colony is likely to produce the best effect. Moreover, the Admiralty have sent out orders to make every possible demonstration with our naval forces in support of the colonists at the moment of the withdrawal of the troops. We have done all that we can; but I am not prepared to answer the question of the noble Earl in the affirmative I must add one thing which I ought to have mentioned. We have offered New Zealand any number of commissioned and non-commissioned officers for the local regiments; and if, by the offer of land, money, or other inducement, the colonists can prevail upon the whole personnel of an European regiment to take service there, the Commander-in-Chief has stated that they are at perfect liberty to do so. We are to retain the flag and the number of the regiment; but the officers 1346 and men are at liberty to take service in the Colony. I think it probable that some young officers and some steady men may be tempted to do this, and then the colonists will have the nucleus of an effective army in the field. I believe that is the very best way to aid the colonists. I beg to thank your Lordships for the attention with which you have listened to me.
My Lords, my noble Friend the Secretary for the Colonies has made a most able reply to the speech of the noble Earl—ho has acted with, great vigour on the maxim that the best way to defend yourself is to attack the enemy—but I cannot help saying that in his speech I missed the one thing which, above all others, I desired to have heard—some explanation of the grounds for that confidence he seems to feel that the measures he is pursuing will not lead to the very serious consequences that are apprehended from them. My noble Friend is as well aware as I am that one at least of the gentlemen to whom he referred entered into a full statement of his reasons for believing that most serious consequences will follow from the departure of the last regiment from the Colony. I was the more anxious to hear my noble Friend's reasons for disregarding these anticipations because it appears to me that he is taking a course which will leave in full Operation all the causes which produced the war which has lately been brought to a close. My Lords, let me remind yon what were the causes of the late war. I do not mean to go back to the past with a view to bring charges against anyone; but it is absolutely necessary to consider what mistakes have been heretofore made, in order to form a sound judgment as to the future. I think no man who has attended to these transactions can doubt that the real cause of the war was that the Maories were subject to a system of government which created in their minds great and just discontent. What was the effect of the system of government established in New Zealand? In 1852 no man, I believe, who knew anything about the affairs of the Colony doubted, that the time had then arrived for conferring upon it representative institutions, and thus carrying into effect the intentions which Parliament had entertained six years before, but which had been postponed owing to the agitated 1347 state which the Colony was then in. Unfortunately, however, that change was made in a manner which, I venture to say, the result has proved to have been injudicious. The Constitution which you established in the Colony was one which, now that it has been tried, it is impossible to deny to have been exceedingly ill-advised and ill-adapted to the state of society which then existed. In the first place, you introduced a principle altogether new in the history of English Colonies, by which the Executive authority in the separate Provinces into which New Zealand was divided was given to elected Superintendents. When a Governor can only exercise authority through delegates whom he does not appoint and cannot remove, it is evident that he can have no effectual means of enforcing obedience to his orders. Thus the whole of the Executive authority virtually passed into the hands of the Provincial Superintendents. Nor was that all. What authority was retained the general Government soon came to exercise under what has been most improperly denominated responsible government. The effect of these changes was that the Maories, who had up to the time when the took place been on the most friendly terms with their white neighbours, and who had been gradually but steadily advancing in prosperity and civilization, by degrees became alienated and discontented. And this is easily accounted for. In the exigencies of party government the friends of the Maories were made to yield all place and public employment to those who were inclined most strongly to flatter the wishes and the passions of those in whose hands political power was placed, to the exclusion of the Native population; and, unfortunately, those who were most acceptable to the whites who had votes were too often justly obnoxious to the Natives who had none. The Maories saw the men who in the newspapers had been notoriously advocating a system of policy highly unjust towards themselves—in relation especially to the land—advanced to authority. At the same time the Government was so constituted that legislation was almost paralyzed; and yet it was a moment of all others when a firm, steady, and consistent form of government towards the Natives was necessary. A great change was taking place in the state of society. The authority formerly 1348 exercised by the Native Chiefs was decaying and gradually becoming less and less recognized by the younger portion of the Native population; and it was necessary that some machinery should be provided by which order should be preserved and protection afforded to the peaceable and well-disposed in the Native districts. But if you look at the history of what has taken place in the colonial Legislature during the last fifteen years you will find that nothing in comparison of what was urgently required has been done to meet the wants of such a state of society. Instead of passing useful and well-considered laws, the time of the Assembly has been in great part taken up by a series of party struggles leading to perpetual changes in the colonial Ministers. One set of men coming in have upset all that those before them had attempted, and what legislation there has been has been inconsistent with itself, constantly varying in its policy, and changing from one thing to another. The fact that they suffered grievously from the manner in which the government was conducted the Maories gradually perceived, and discontent was the necessary consequence. If I could venture so far to trespass upon your Lordships' attention it would be easy to adduce ample evidence from the voluminous Papers on the table to show that this is the true explanation of the change that took place in the feelings of the Maories towards the colonists; but I will only refer to one or two facts which I think are highly significant. In the years 1852 and 1853—the last years that the old system of government was in force—the Reports forwarded by the Governor of New Zealand to the Secretary of State at home concurred in representing the prosperity and general progress as very great, and in stating that the most friendly relations subsisted between the colonists and the Natives; and in 1854 the Governor, in his speech to the Representative Assembly, congratulated them upon the good feeling existing between the two races. In their Address in reply the Assembly concurred in that opinion, and expressed equal satisfaction at the existing state of things. In 1855, though the reports were equally favourable, a change began to be observed, and in September Sir Thomas Browne, who had recently been appointed Governor, reported to the Secretary of 1349 State that, while the Natives were well affected towards the Government, they were not equally well affected towards the Assembly or towards the Provincial Councils, because they were suspicious of their intentions with regard to the land. In 1856 the Governor made a Report to the same effect, but couched in still stronger language. He said it was clear that the Natives were hostile to a system of popular government in which they had no share. And, my Lords, it must be remembered, that by establishing the form of Constitution I have described, you had given to the European population complete and absolute control over the administrative Government, while you totally excluded the Maories from any share in political power. Now, I believe, my Lords, it is a received maxim that representative institutions, while they are of great benefit to those who are admitted to a share in them, are not favourable to the just or good government of those who live under such institutions but who are excluded from all participation in political power. The new system of government created in New Zealand very closely resembled that which existed in Ireland previous to the Union, when the Protestant Parliament legislated for the great mass of the Roman Catholic population in a manner of which we are now all ashamed. In this manner the Natives who had been so loyal and so friendly were alienated, and became more and more hostile to the colonial Government and to the settlers. But it was long before their altered feelings were shown by any acts of violence. The crisis was brought on by a dispute with regard to land. Some land at Taranaki was purchased by the Governor under the advice of his Ministers from a chief whose right to it was disputed. This chief was murdered: two opposite factions of Natives were arrayed against each other in arms, and the colonial Government looked on in helpless inactivity. In vain the Chiefs said—"If we are British subjects, punish the murderers; if we are not, leave us to deal with them ourselves, according to the old customs of our race." But nothing was done. In the meantime the Government continued to assert its claim to this disputed piece of land, which the Natives, on their part, with equal determination, refused to admit. But they avoided for a long time any resort to 1350 force. Considering what an impulsive and warlike race they are, it is, indeed, wonderful their patience lasted so long. They contented themselves with endeavouring, by passive resistance, to prevent the British authorities from taking possession of the disputed land. In pursuance of this policy they erected upon it a Native fortification, or pah; and the first act of war that was committed, was the opening of a fire of artillery by the British troops on a party of Natives who were in quiet occupation of this pah. The war began thus in 1860, and, once began, it soon became a very savage one. As was to be expected from men in their uncivilized state, who had not yet forgot the old cruel customs of their tribes, the Maories were guilty of many barbarous outrages, and it must be admitted that the retaliation inflicted upon them was hardly less savage than the original violence. This always happens in wars between civilized and uncivilized races. The civilized races in their acts do not sufficiently discriminate between those who are really responsible for outrages committed and those who are not; and the sight of some of those barbarities natural to uncivilized races rouses a feeling among Europeans which makes them too forgetful not only of mercy but of justice. I will not weary your Lordships with a history of that miserable war which, with intervals of tranquillity more or less complete, has lasted above nine years; but there is one part of this unhappy story to which I would call your attention, because it shows how easily the Maories might have been conciliated and induced to forego hostilities, if only they had been properly dealt with at the right moment. I In 1861 the war became so serious, and the danger to the settlers was so great, that Her Majesty's Government thought it necessary, not only to make a large addition to the military and naval force already in the Colony, but to send Sir George Grey again as Governor to New Zealand from the Cape of Good Hope, in the hope that his well-earned influence with the Maories might enable him to re-establish peace. When these measures were announced in this House, I ventured to warn Her Majesty's Government that, although they were right so far as they went, they would fail to produce the desired effect unless Sir George Grey were invested with authority to 1351 effect a fair settlement of the questions in dispute with the Maories, and to make an arrangement by which just and equal government would be secured to them for the future. I expressed my conviction that if this power were not accorded to him he would be unable to close the war by a durable peace. The result proved that this opinion was well founded. At first, the mere news that Sir George Grey was expected produced a great effect upon the Maories; they evinced the most friendly disposition, expressed their confidence that he would make some just arrangement, and in the meantime they practically suspended their hostilities. But Sir George Grey no longer possessed his former authority: he could do nothing without the concurrence of his Ministers and the Legislature. At first, it appeared as if this would not prevent his success, he was well supported by the colonial Ministers; and with their concurrence he proposed to the Assemblies measures which seemed well adapted to meet the difficulties of the case, and to lay at least the foundation for that re-construction of society which was absolutely necessary in New Zealand. But, unfortunately, before those measures could be passed by the Legislature, there arose in it one of those party conflicts which have been of such frequent occurrence in New Zealand. The Ministers with whom Sir George Grey was acting were left in a minority. Much time was lost, first in determining how the new Ministry was to be formed, and then in deciding what their plans were to be. In the end they proposed measures which hardly anyone thought equal to the emergency, but which were passed because it was absolutely necessary to do something and there was no longer time to consider any others. And when the Assembly of 1862 separated without any really efficient measure having been adopted for fulfilling the expectations of the Maories, and providing for the duo performance of the most necessary functions of government in the districts they inhabited, the golden opportunity for a settlement of the Colony was lost, and it has never since returned. An important change was produced by their disappointment in the minds of the Natives. The very Chiefs who a few months before had received Sir George Grey not only with friendship but with cordiality, who had 1352 shown an earnest desire to live in peace with Europeans, and for the restoration of friendly terms with them, became disaffected and showed their feelings by a line of conduct which irritated the settlers, so that very soon bitterness prevailed on both skies. To show the suddenness of the change I may mention one fact. In 1862 a Maori had I been killed, and it was expected that this would lead to great violence on their part; but they acceded without a murmur to an inquiry into the circumstances, and when it was found that the man had been killed by a settler in self-defence they were satisfied that no punishment should be awarded. Very soon afterwards, however—at the beginning of the next year—so irritated were they, that when Sir George Grey ordered possession to be resumed of some land to which the title of the Colony had been undisputed, but from which the settlers had been driven out during the hostilities, the Natives murdered a small party of soldiers who were marching to take up their post in this territory. That occurred in 1863; and from that time till very lately this most miserable contest went on with results in strange disproportion to the amount of force employed, notwithstanding that our troops, and sailors, showed their wonted courage, while the colonial volunteers and militia also behaved as well as men could. For a time war was carried on, apparently more to the advantage of the Natives than of the Europeans. This was owing to the want of concert among those between whom authority was unwisely divided and the sad mismanagement which ensued; but in the end, in spite of mismanagement, the immense superiority of our resources triumphed, and the strength, of the hostile tribes was broken, and peace may now be said, for the present, at least, to be established. Whether that peace is likely to last is a question for your Lordships to consider. In my opinion it will not last if the policy declared by Her Majesty's Ministers is persevered in. You have at this moment a Ministry in New Zealand winch is said to be friendly to the Maories; but, judging from the past, another change will soon occur; and, looking to the inevitable working of the institutions which have been granted to that Colony, it is most likely that the next, or some other, Government may renew the offence 1353 which, when first given to the Maories, led to the misfortunes which have been prevailing since 1860 or 1861? My noble Friend (the Earl of Carnarvon) has expressed his fears that when the last British regiment in the Colony is actually withdrawn the war may at once burst out again, and certainly these fears are not groundless, but, in my judgment, the most serious danger is not that an immediate outbreak will occur, but that when you abandon all attempts to control the policy of the colonial Government—when you leave it in the hands of those chosen by the whites alone—you will have it conducted in such a manner that a hostile feeling will again be created in the Natives which will sooner or later break out into war. My noble Friend says that danger will be averted by withdrawing all the British forces and throwing the colonists on their own resources—that when they know they cannot trust to the British troops and to British support they will be compelled to adopt such a system of government towards the Natives as will prevent their being again driven into hostilities. My Lords, I am persuaded unless some impartial authority is interposed between the two parties, however anxious the colonial Government may be to avoid exciting the Maories to hostilities, and also to organize such a force as to be respected, great difficulties will occur. Great fault has been found in their despatches by different Secretaries of State with the colonial Government for not making greater efforts in raising a force for the purpose of their own defence. But in all times and in all parts of the world it has been found extremely difficult to defend the civilized inhabitants of such a country as New Zealand against barbarous and warlike neighbours. The settlers necessarily occupy scattered dwellings and farms surrounding a singularly difficult country, where mountains, forests, and rivers afford a stronghold to tribes remarkably bold and skilful in irregular warfare. A large force is necessary for that, purpose, and a still larger one to inspire such respect in the Maories as to prevent hostilities. But the means of the colonial Government for raising funds or men for an adequate military force are very restricted indeed. If, in the present state of New Zealand, taxation is pressed beyond a certain point, the effect will be to 1354 drive the colonists to some other Colony; and if an attempt is made to enforce military service on the colonists the same result will follow. It is practically beyond the power of the colonial Government, however willing they may be, to raise an adequate military force; and the government remaining in the hands of the whites alone, who are interested in acquiring the lands of the Maories, it is totally impossible they could command the confidence of the Maories in the same manner as the representatives of the Crown could do. I am, therefore, firmly persuaded that if you pursue the policy of declining to aid the Colony, and declining also to exercise any control over the policy pursued by the colonial Government, the result will be that in a very short time the war will be renewed. And what will be the character of that war? It will not be conducted according to the rules of civilized warfare. The colonists will not be strong enough to subdue the Natives in a war so conducted; but they will be strong to destroy them, and they will be driven to shoot down the unfortunate Maories like wild beasts. I do not blame them; they will be driven to it. Outrages will be committed, for the Maories are still savages. They will murder women and children; they will burn and destroy all they can lay their hands upon. Their proceedings will create bitter spirit of revenge in the minds of the colonists, and in a very short time you will find, as has been too often the case of the whites in I their conduct towards the coloured race—they will act on the principle of shooting them down like so many wolves. I believe if you adopt the policy of abstaining from all control over the colonial Government, and refusing all aid to, them, it is as certain as anything future can be that in a very few years at latest the war will break out, and, once breaking out, it can only end by the extermination of the Maories, after fearful sufferings have been inflicted on the whites. There are some, I know, who think that this is proper and desirable. They say that the inferior race must give way to the superior; that the inferior ought to be exterminated, but that those who are to succeed to their lands and possessions ought not to effect that extermination at the expense of other people. The Maories may be killed, it 1355 is contended: but not at our expense. My Lords, I abhor this as a detestable and un-Christian doctrine. I hold it to be our duty as a nation, if it be in our power, to avert such a fearful result. I deny that, in any fair sense of the word, the Maories are an inferior race. They are a race totally different from the Aborigines of Australia. They have shown that they are capable of being-advanced in civilization. It is a remarkable fact that a few years ago, before the troubles broke out, there was a larger proportion of the Native New Zealanders who could read and write their own language than of our population who could read and write English. My Lords, I maintain that the results I have described will necessarily follow from the adoption of the policy of my noble Friend (Earl Granville) in abstaining from all attempt either to assist or control the colonial Government, but what then is the course we should adopt? My noble Friend objects to allow the Queen's troops to be employed in maintaining a policy which the Queen's Government cannot direct. I quite agree with him. I admit the soundness of that objection, and I am bound to say that I think it was the weak part of the able speech of my noble Friend near me (the Earl of Carnarvon) that, while he recommended no real change of our policy he yet pressed for delay in removing the British troops. I cannot deny the force of what was said against this proposal by my noble Friend opposite. Are we then to recur to the system of giving the Governor control over measures relating to the Natives, leaving the general system of government unaltered? Clearly not. It is extraordinary how such a system of double government could ever have entered into the head of any man of the slightest political experience; and after its signal failure it would be madness to revert to it. What then remains? The only other policy which could be adopted, so far as I can see, would be that of recurring to the old system of retaining in the hands of the Crown such authority as is necessary to insure good government for the Maories, while acknowledging the claim of the settlers for aid and protection. My noble Friend at the head of the Colonial Department in his speech entirely set aside this policy as not deserving even to be considered. In the circumstances of New Zealand, 1356 I quite concur with my noble Friend in thinking that it would be wrong to attempt to force on the British settlers any alteration of the system of government under which they live; but would it not be possible to obtain their assent to modifications in their existing system of government, by which it might be rendered more advantageous to the settlers, and yet restore to the Crown so much authority and control over colonial affairs as to justify it in undertaking also to afford them protection? The changes in the present form of government required for this purpose would not be very large in form, though important in their effect. In the first place it would be necessary to repeal the law by which the Provincial Superintendents are made elective; they ought to be appointed by the Governor and to be removable by him for misconduct. It would further be necessary to establish the rule—but for this I believe no change in the law would be required—that the Governor, and not the subordinate officers of the Government should, as formerly, be held responsible for its measures. This would imply that the officers under him—such as the Attorney General, the Colonial Secretary, and others—would not hold their offices by the fluctuating will of a colonial Assembly, but in accordance with former practice during good behaviour, so that there might be some security that as soon as they were well acquainted with their work they would not be forced to resign. This would be an advantage in itself quite irrespective of the difficulties that have arisen with the Maories, for the system of "party government" miscalled "responsible government," certainly has not worked well in Now Zealand and Australia. In these small societies there is a tendency in the representative assemblies to split up into parties, not one of which is strong enough to carry on the government alone, and a combination to Upset the Government can generally be made by parties, who I having succeeded in this are not able to combine for the purpose of carrying on another. Thus it happens that we see a constant succession of feeble and ephemeral administrations, and a demoralizing conflict of parties bound together by views not of public but of personal interests. If there were no Maories in New Zealand, I believe that 1357 a change in the system of government, on the principle I have adverted to, would be greatly for the benefit of the Colony. It would gain by it the possibility of having a firm and consistent, instead of a weak and vacillating administration of its affairs, while it would give up nothing of the essentials of representative institutions. The power of legislation and the control of the finances would still remain with the Assembly, and even over the executive administration that body would exercise more influence than belongs to the House of Representatives in the Congress of the United States. At the same time it is mainly on account of the Maories that the change is required; but with that brave, though still barbarous race in the country, the necessity for a change from the present ill-judged and ineffective system of government is urgent. It would give to the Ministers of the Crown the power of securing fair and impartial government to the Maories, and such a control over the colonial policy as would justify them in asking Parliament for the means of giving efficient military support to the settlers. With this control, but not without it, such support might be safely and properly given, and what I think requires the serious consideration of my noble Friend is, whether the colonists might not be induced to accept it on this condition. If so I think my noble Friend might not only allow the Colony to retain the regiment now there, but might add another, and for a time this force might be allowed to, remain in New Zealand, without requiring any contribution towards its cost from the colonial treasury. If the colonists would consent to such a modification of their Government as I have described, I have no hesitation in saying that they are, in my opinion, fully entitled to protection from us, and that it would be both just and politic not to be niggardly in the terms on which it was granted. They have a strong claim upon us on account of the misfortunes to which they have been exposed. During nine years New Zealand has suffered all the evils of a cruel and desolating war, one of its most flourishing Provinces has been utterly laid waste, many of the settlers and their families have been murdered, the destruction of property has been frightful, and, what is worse, both the Imperial and colonial forces 1358 have sustained a heavy loss in action of most valuable lives. The Colony, too, has been spending in the war enormous sums of money, which might under happier circumstances have been applied to productive works. Contrast these results of the policy of merely looking on, of letting things take their course, and disclaiming all responsibility, with the results of a different policy. Some twenty-five years ago there was another Native war in New Zealand. At that time this new doctrine, that it is not the duty of the Crown to protect its subjects in the Colonies, and not its right to exercise any power over them, had not been heard of; and when New Zealand was in great danger, the late Lord Derby thought it right to order out additional troops and a naval force for its protection, and also to send Sir George Grey there from South Australia armed with very large powers to restore peace. What happened? Although the Maories were then more numerous and much more generally hostile than in 1860, while the colonists were much fewer and had far less resources than afterwards, while the British force employed was also smaller than in the late war; in a very short time indeed, and with a very little fighting peace was restored. The Natives submitted, and the whole loss to our troops during the entire series of operations was only twenty-eight killed and fifty-three wounded. After the first submission of the Natives there was one short and partial outbreak of fresh hostilities; but this was soon put down, and peace was established so solidly that for twelve or thirteen years afterwards no collision whatever occurred with the Natives; for seven or eight of those years the two races remained on the best possible terms, and the Colony continued to advance in civilization and prosperity. Such are the opposite effects of the two systems of policy which have been tried in New Zealand—namely, the system, on the one hand, of looking on inactively and disclaiming all responsibility or control; and, on the, other hand, the system of maintaining the just authority of the Crown, and at the same time affording protection to Her Majesty's subjects. When New Zealand has been exposed to such disasters by a change of our policy, I think that not merely generosity, but bare justice requites that this country should 1359 consent to forego claims upon the colonists which under other circumstances might be fairly enforced. Nobody can deny the extent of their misfortunes; and, although I am far from saying that the colonists are not, partly, at least, to blame for what has happened—although they have, no doubt, committed great mistakes, and it is impossible to deny that their own conduct has contributed to bring upon them these disasters—still I do affirm that no impartial man, carefully considering the history of these transactions, can assert that the blame rests exclusively or even chiefly with the colonists. The ill-advised Constitution of 1852 was not contrived by them; it was entirely the act of the British Government and Parliament. The unhappy blunders by which the clumsy machinery of this Constitution was brought into operation in a manner that took away any chance of success which it might otherwise have had were not theirs. Neither were they responsible for the gross mismanagement by which the large British force employed in the Colony in 1861 and 1803 was made almost worse than useless. I say, therefore, that the blame for the miseries and misfortunes of New Zealand lies between the British Parliament and British Government and the colonists; and, that being the case, it is not fair or just to throw the whole burden on New Zealand, and it would be only reasonable that the colonists should have upon easy terms the assistance of this country until their resources are restored, and they are bettor able to bear the burden of their defence. At the same time, if any aid is granted to them, I hold that some control on the part of this country must be admitted by them; and if that control is denied, such aid cannot reasonably be expected.
§ LORD LYTTELTON
said, he should not attempt to reply to his noble Friend who had just sat down (Earl Grey), as he was one of a very small minority in Parliament and the country who believed that the constitutional changes which had been made in New Zealand were wrong, or that they ought to be modified as seriously as he proposed. On the question whether the Colony of New Zealand had any ground of complaint against the Colonial Office in the matter of its defence, he wished to refer to a few passages in the despatches which had not hitherto been adverted to, and which 1360 had an indirect but still very important bearing on the question at issue. He must say he never should think of taking part in the complaint that had been made against the noble Earl the Secretary of State for the Colonies, to the effect that he had been at any time wanting in politeness or courtesy in his correspondence with New Zealand. It was not in the noble Earl's nature to be wanting in courtesy in anything he had to do; he never tried to be discourteous, and if, he did try he could not be so. At the same time, they all in that House knew that the noble Earl had a claw beneath the velvet, and that claw was felt whenever he had occasion to use it: and the sharpness of the claw was quite as remarkable as the smoothness of the velvet. As to the responsibility of this country with respect to New Zealand, in the despatch of the 31st of March, which had been much commented upon, his noble Friend said that the foundation of that Colony was without any encouragement from the Home Government. The transaction referred to happened so long ago that it was possible that even in the Colonial Office there wore not many who accurately remembered what occurred. The statement was inaccurate; it was replied to at the moment by an eminent person still living, who stated that he I was the only survivor of the small band of public men who were primarily responsible for the foundation of the Colony. Sir William Hutt said that when he and Sir. Buller and a few others entertained the idea of establishing a new Colony, the first thing they did was to apply to the Government of Lord Melbourne, and the Colonial Secretary (Lord Glenelg) not only commended their purpose, but offered them a Royal Charter. Surely that was substantial encouragement. It was declined for certain reasons; but shortly I afterwards another application was made to Lord Normanby; a Bill was introduced by the promoters of the design, which was withdrawn at the request of the Government, but only because they said they were prepared to legislate on I the subject in a manner which would give satisfaction to all parties. The other point open to contradiction was that of the appropriation of the confiscated lands after the conclusion of peace, and the submission of the rebels. The words I which had been put in the despatch without qualification were directly con- 1361 trary to the official language of his noble Friend's predecessors—although his noble Friend should be the last to claim exemption from being bound by that language, because at the end of the same despatch he relied on the opinions on the general question expressed by his predecessors. The condemnation of such confiscation of land was in direct contradiction to the approval expressed of it by the Duke of Newcastle. Sir George Grey having in August, 1863, laid very distinctly before the Secretary of State the proposal to give to the settlers the territories of those tribes which were then in arms against the Government, the Duke of Newcastle in his reply said lie did not disapprove the principle of the measure, because lie thought the rebels might very properly be punished by the confiscation of a part of their property. He pointed out how the measure should be guarded; but the despatch did not in any degree nullify his distinct approval of the principle. On the general question of the responsibility of this country for the war in New Zealand he (Lord Lyttelton) agreed on the whole with what had been said by Earl Grey. The present Prime Minister, an authority who would not be disavowed, had said, during the progress of the war, that he did not see how England could with justice throw the whole responsibility of that war on the Colony, as the Home Government, having approved it, were to that extent responsible for it. He (Lord Lyttelton) could only repeat that the responsibility of this country for what had been done, and the relief of the Colony from anything like the main share of that responsibility, rested on a broad ground, and was not a matter of detail, though it would be easy to show the war was conducted in many respects against the express opinions of the Legislature. What was undeniable and sufficient was, that this country had retained in its own hands the conduct of the war, and that therefore the Colony was not responsible for it. It was true that at a subsequent date the Colony very reluctantly undertook the charge of the war, but it failed, and had failed up to the present time, to satisfactorily conduct the war on its own resources; and that fact being ascertained, he maintained that this country was bound in justice to assume or resume its share of the responsibility. The present position of affairs was that the Colony 1362 had to carry on a great military operation, while it had to bear—according to a letter which was soon to be published, the author of which was a distinguished gentleman connected with the financial department in New Zealand, Mr. Fitzgerald—the utmost possible taxation, so that no fresh impost would add to the revenue. There was also the question of the guarantee, upon which he would not speak with confidence, not having such a knowledge of financial matters as would enable him to do so. But he never could perceive the danger of this country giving the aid of its credit to a Colony of great substantial resources during a time of difficulty. It had been done before in the case of New Zealand, with no bad results: and the writer whom lie had quoted stated that if a guarantee on the total debt of New Zealand had been given by this country, it would have saved to the Colony so large a sum annually, that it would have gone far towards paying the cost of the military operations. He (Lord Lyttelton) desired to see the Colonies assume the burden of self-defence, and he conceived that when a Colony paid the whole expense of the maintenance of troops, and had the administration of those troops in its own hands, it in no degree departed from the principle of self-defence. In the Middle Ages, when nations carried on war by means of mercenary troops, it never was said that such countries were not carrying on war on their own resources, although that plan might have been liable to various objections in other respects. He could not approve the plan of fixing a positive time for the withdrawal of the troops, which must depend upon circumstances. Whatever objection there might be to the employment by the Colony of troops which were not of their own population, it was for the Colony and not I for this country to judge. The circumstances of New Zealand in this question compared with other Colonies, must be looked upon as exceptional on the grounds he had stated; and in that view, he thought, in strict justice, this country might have even taken upon itself all I the expense of the maintenance of the regiment in this Colony, which, however, was not what the Colony asked.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ House adjourned at a quarter past Eight o'clock, till To-morrow, half past Ten o'clock.