England and the Maori Wars
Chapter 14 — Paying For The War
Paying For The War
The Imperial claim against New Zealand for war expenditure was summarized by Sir F. Rogers on September 17, 1867, after reading the report of Major Richardson, the New Zealand Commissioner:
“The whole claim is £1,304, 963.
Capitation to December 1864 £75,547 Capitation subsequent to December 1864 £237,495 New Zealand Fencibles to December 1864 £68,029 Interest (the bulk of) £167,278 Charged by Major R. as £545,342 Leaving due £759,621
which, if allowed, would reduce the debt to £660,814.
Militia and volunteers from January 1862 £74,807 Two-thirds of cost of South Road £24,000 £98,807
Including Blockhouses and barracks for Imperial troops £43,115 Roads made for military purposes £102,878 Pay of transport corps and militia attached to commissariat £97,586 Proportion of cost of Waikato transport service £91,993 £335,572page 313 Adding £500,000 debentures paid to Imperial Government £500,000 £835,572 Smaller items £71,284 £906,856 Deducting Major R.'s first estimate of debts due to Imperial Government £759,621 Balance due to colony £147,235
and that the Imperial Government will further guarantee a loan of £3,000,000. The English of this, I suppose, is simply that they do not intend to pay us a farthing—and I am not aware that we have any means of making them do so.”
“Major Richardson's full expectations are—that the Imperial Government will allow balance due to the colony as matter of strict right £147,235 “Balance due in equity (militia and south road) £98,807 £246,042
C.B. Adderley wrote: “I have all along thought we should have to make it quits for the past and start on a new system for the future, with the new Governor. If so, better not haggle.”1
1 C.O. 209, 202.
The terms arranged were not regarded as just by the New Zealand ministers and Adderley, in a minute to the Duke of Buckingham, regretted that they did not take the settlement “as handsomely as it was meant.”3
- (1) The consolidation of the various loans of New Zealand;
- (2) The settlement of all claims between the Imperial Government and the Colonial Government;
- (3) The establishment of a mint in New Zealand;
- (4) The question of the defence of harbours and of the colony generally;
- (5) Organization of a survey of the coasts of New Zealand, under the direction of the Admiralty.4
1 In nine years ending 1867 permanent charges rose from £20,265 to £305,365. A Treasury estimate of the cost of the Maori War was £2,750,000. Cf. The Poverty Bay Massacre, thesis by Marjorie E. S. Black, Victoria University College.
2 C.O. 209, 202.
3 Ibid., 207.
4 Ibid., 203.
In a letter of November 27, 1868, Fitzherbert suggested the creation of a system of naval defence for Australia and New Zealand. He proposed the constitution of a fleet under Imperial command, capable of guarding not merely the safety of the colonial coast but the free passage round Cape Horn. “What is wanted is a special Naval Station in the South Pacific under an Imperial officer with an independent command.” Fitzherbert stated that the cost, estimated at £500,000 a year, might be borne in equal proportions between the mother-country and the colonies concerned under a federal arrangement, the mother-country providing ships and munitions of war.
1 C.O. 209, 209. Cf. the elaborate programme of annexation in the Pacific put forward in 1875 by the New South Wales Government, which, however, declined to take any financial responsibility in what was “wholly an Imperial question” (Hall, Australia and England, p. 227).
C. B. Adderley commented: “This is a most important suggestion and should be favourably received, offering to send it to all the Australian Government for general discussion. … It will lead to federation, and ultimately to the Australians having a squadron of their own, as Canada ought to have now.” The Duke of Buckingham concurred. The Earl of Granville, on coming into office, stated that it appeared that the cost of the existing squadron was only £70,000 a year and he did not think it probable that the very great increase in the naval force contemplated by Fitzherbert would be sanctioned by Parliament in time of peace, even if a contribution of £250,000 a year were made by the colonies. He would, however, send copies of the correspondence to the Governors of the Australian colonies for their information.1
In a memorandum on a letter from Fitzherbert to Lord Granville written in London on February 5, 1869, concerning the guarantee of a loan of £1,500,000, Sir F. Rogers, after summarizing the early history of the colony, wrote: “Then the colonists wrest from the Home Government first, I think, the power of the purse, then responsible government—and then, possessed of the power of the purse and the power of making laws, they make it practically impossible for the Home Government to govern and take care of the natives satisfactorily, and loudly proclaim that they will govern the natives and that the Home Government shall not do so. Coincidentally with this—being greedy of land—and some of them (at Taranaki) being furiously greedy, they induce Col. Browne, an honourable but weak man, to abandon in that district the old cautious Imperial policy in respect to land buying, and so plunge—not as they suppose themselves but the Imperial Government into an expensive war…. They wanted—and always have wanted, and always will want—to control the natives at our expense.”2
1 C.O. 209, 209.
2 Ibid., 215.
1 See above, pp. 67–8. In his book The Colonial Office: A History, published shortly before this volume went to press, H.L. Hall illustrates the views of Sir F. Rogers on several New Zealand topics. While Sir Frederic was “too blunt,” Mr. Hall's general impression “from studying several thousands of minutes” is “that the permanent officials were men of great talents and industry, with abundant good sense, possessed of a saving gift of humour, and actuated by a desire to do all they could for the benefit of the colonies.” This verdict seemed amply justified by our detailed examination of New Zealand affairs.