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The Old Whaling Days

The treasury to secretary of state

The treasury to secretary of state.

Treasury Chambers
10th May 1832

My Lord

With reference to your Lordship's Letter of the 27th September last on the subject of certain atrocities of a most sanguinary nature which had been committed at New Zealand by the Natives of one Island against Those of another at the Instigation of the Crew of a British Merchant Vessel; I am commanded by the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury to transmit to you for the Information of the Secretary, Lord Goderich, a page 413 Copy of the Report of the King's Proctor of the 5th December last together with Copy of the Opinion of the King's Advocate and of the Attorney and Solicitor General transmitted therewith, also a Copy of the Minute of this Board of the 23rd Decr last on the King's Proctor's Report and Copies of the Solicitors Letters of the 5th and 23rd April 1832, All on the subject of the above-mentioned crimes, and I am also to acquaint your Lordship that it appears to My Lords that great difficulties present themselves in bringing Stewart and Clementson, the Principal Offenders to justice in this Country, and that there is greater Probability of the Offenders and Witnesses being collected at Sydney than in England, more particularly as Stewart appears to have been held to Bail, and notwithstanding that the Crown Solicitor expressed a Doubt that there was sufficient Evidence to sustain a Prosecution, when all the crew of the Elizabeth were present, yet My Lords trust that when the Governor and the Law Authorities at Sydney are made acquainted with the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown in England, They will use every effort to obtain Evidence and will not hesitate to bring the Parties to Trial; and, even if they should fail, from want of Evidence, in obtaining a Conviction, yet the Effort of the Colonial Government to bring the Offenders to justice may have a salutary effect on the Proceedings of the Traders with the New Zealand Islands.

At the same Time Their Lordships will not abandon the prospect of prosecuting these two men in England if They should be found, and, will for that purpose instruct Their Solicitor to watch for Their Return, and for that of the Principal Witnesses, to this Country.

I am

My Lord

Your Lordship's Obedient Servant

J. Stewart

Viscount Howick
&c., &c., &c.