Historical Records of New Zealand
J. Campbell And R. M. Rolfe To The Marquis Of Normanby
J. Campbell And R. M. Rolfe To The Marquis Of Normanby.
We have to acknowledge the receipt of Your Lordship’s letter of the 30th ultimo, transmitting to us the draft of a proposed new Commission to the Governor of New South Wales, and requesting us to report our opinion whether it would be lawful for Her Majesty to annex to the Colony of New South Wales any territory in New Zealand the sovereignty of which might be acquired by the British Crown, and whether the legislative authority of New South Wales could then be exercised over British subjects inhabiting that territory, and whether the draft so transmitted to us is properly framed to give effect to Your Lordship’s intentions.
We have considered this subject, and are of opinion that Her Majesty may lawfully annex to the Colony of New South Wales any territory in New Zealand the sovereignty of which may be acquired by the British Crown, and that the legislative authority of New South Wales created by 9 Geo. IV., c. 83, p. 21. may then be exercised over British subjects inhabiting that territory. The object of the statute, as appears by the 20th section, was to create a legislative authority extending to the Colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, and the dependencies thereof; and although this, if construed independently of the context, might perhaps be confined to places page 750 constituting the dependencies at the time of the passing of the Act, yet as it is clear from the 3rd section that the Courts of justice were to have jurisdiction not only over the then existing dependencies, but also over all islands and territories which might thereafter be dependent on the Government of New South Wales, we think the word dependencies, in the 20th section, must receive an extended construction so as to include future as well as then existing dependencies. It could hardly have been the intention of the Act to give a different extent of jurisdiction to the Courts of justice and the local Legislature.
We have further to add that the draft transmitted to us appears properly framed for giving effect to Your Lordship’s intention.
We have, &c.,
J. Campbell.R. M. Rolfe.To the Marquis of Normanby, &c., &c.