our Report of the 29th ultimo, you will not be much surprised to learn that our representations to the Colonial Department therein mentioned, have been entirely without effect. The Secretary of State has rejected all the proposals, which we submitted to his Lordship in the hope that he would afford us the means of continuing to pursue the objects of your incorporation. We have not been favoured with any explanation of the grounds of that refusal. Lord Stanley merely tells us, that he "declines the discussion of any further propositions" for the present. You will find the whole correspondence on the subject in Appendix A. to this
That correspondence will explain to you how it
happened, that at your adjourned meeting on the 29th ultimo, we laid before you in our Eleventh Report, a suggestion which was made to us by the Colonial Department, and which, if we had adopted it, would
have assumed the form of a new proposal from the Company to the Government. Our reasons for declining that suggestion are fully stated in your Governor's letter
to Lord Stanley of the 2nd instant.
In examining the correspondence in question, you will not fail to remark a singular contrast of matter and tone between our representations and Lord Stanley's answer to them. We described without asperity or inculpation the ruinous state of your affairs, and the
deplorable condition of the once prosperous Settlements which you founded; we pleaded, not too earnestly we still hope, but at all events in terms of proper respect towards the organ of the Government, for a favourable construction of our views and motives, and for such present assistance and future good will from his Lordship's Department, as we deemed essential to the welfare of both races in New Zealand, and to the restoration of your powers of usefulness as a colonizing body. The
only answer we receive is severe personal reproach. Excepting as relates to the amount of dividends paid to you, and the Establishments maintained by us, we are not blamed for any misconduct in the direction of your affairs; and the exception itself forms a personal imputation. For the rest, Lord Stanley's censure is not bestowed upon the Company for any abuse of powers or neglect of duties; it does not belong to any of the matters of a public nature to which we had called his Lordship's attention; it has no tendency to save the colonies and natives of New Zealand from the disasters which threaten them. Our temperate appeal to his Lordship's justice, humanity, and sense of public policy, is only met by reproach, so merely personal as to be confined to charges of indiscretion and bad faith in our conduct of the negociation. Disapprobation of the hand-writing of our letters would not have been more entirely personal, though, of course, far less offensive. When you shall have further observed, by your Governor's letter to
Lord Stanley of the 18th instant, how utterly groundless those personal imputations are, we think you will agree with us in abandoning for the present all hope of placing the Company on a better footing of relations with the Colonial Office.
It would be wrong, however, to conceal from you that
an impression prevails amongst us, that Lord Stanley himself does not participate in the constant ill-will of the Colonial Office and its officers in New Zealand towards this Company, which the correspondence in the Appendices discloses. When you shall have seen all the proofs of their jealous hostility, you will understand the practical importance of the distinction here drawn between the Secretary of State and his subordinates.
We have received with much satisfaction, from a considerable number of the proprietors, holding a large amount of stock, a written assurance of their approbation of our conduct in declining to accept a temporary loan of 40,000l
. from the Government, secured on the whole property of the Company. In addition to the objections to such a proceeding, which are set forth in your Governor's letter to Lord Stanley, Mr. Hope's
letter of the 4th instant satisfies us, that if we had
adopted the proposal, you would have gained nothing but a very brief respite from pecuniary pressure, and would have been thereby precluded from acquainting the public with the true condition of your affairs as respects the relations of the Company with the Colonial Office. This has been too long concealed, by our unwillingness to believe in its existence, and by our fears lest any public complaint from us should only make bad worse. In our whole management of your affairs, there is nothing with which we can reproach ourselves, save too long a silent endurance of blow after blow to your interests and those of the settlers in Cook's Strait, from quarters where your incorporation by Her Majesty led us to expect sympathy and friendly co-operation; and we assure you that, painful as are the circumstances which now oblige us to tell you the worst, they afford us relief from a less tolerable burden of responsibility and anxiety.
The correspondence in Appendix B. contains the Agreement made with Lord Stanley, in the month of May, 1843, and alluded to in your Governor's letter to his
Lordship of the 29th February last, together with his Lordship's instructions to Governor Fitzroy, on the
26th of June, 1843. We request your particular attention to these documents.
Your Governor's letter of the 8th of May, 1843, specifies, in the form of a proposal from the Company to the Government, the terms and conditions of an agreement which had resulted from much private negociation between the Colonial Department and ourselves at the close of a long and very hostile controversy. You must keep in mind, that the substance and very words of the proposal were determined at interviews between the parties, and by a private correspondence; and that the public correspondence which followed was a mere execution of the previously settled contract. The formal and unqualified acceptance of the proposal by Lord Stanley was conveyed to us by Mr. Hope's letter of the
12th May, 1843. The agreement between the parties was, as it were, finally executed on that day.
The only person who could carry that agreement into effect on behalf of the Government, was Captain Fitzroy, just then appointed to succeed the deceased Captain Hobson as Governor of New Zealand. It appears that the two letters which form the Agreement, were very properly placed in Captain Fitzroy's hands without comment from Lord Stanley as to the meaning of their words. Doubts, however, seem to have been
expressed to Governor Fitzroy by somebody as to the meaning of very important parts of the Agreement; and he accordingly wrote to Lord Stanley, on the 15th of June, 1843, requesting an interpretation by his Lordship of the passages whose ambiguity had
occurred to somebody. On the 26th of the same month,
Lord Stanley answers the questions put to him. We beg of you to examine his Lordship's despatch. In our opinion, it bad the effect of materially varying the Agreement. That despatch was not communicated to us until the 1st of February last; nearly seven months
after Governor Fitzroy had quitted this country; and when it would have been idle in us to express how much we differed with Lord Stanley as to the true interpretation of the words in the Agreement. We can positively assure you, however, that we should never have entered into an agreement containing such words as those of Lord Stanley's interpretation of the agreement into which we did enter. If that interpretation had been communicated to us at the time, we should have endeavoured to persuade Lord Stanley to recall it, and, failing in that attempt, we should have protested against an important variation of the contract by one of the parties to it without the consent of the other.
That variation, however, took place not merely without our consent, but without our knowledge. We were not even afforded an opportunity of submitting to Governor Fitzroy (with whom we at that time held frequent and most friendly personal communications) our view of the meaning of the Agreement, as opposed to that of the other contracting party. Our local agent, whom we instructed to carry out our part of the Agreement according to its words—to fulfil the engagement which we had contracted according to the terms of the contract—is probably not even aware of the new interpretation of the engagements of the Government, which has been given to Captain Fitzroy, in the shape of instructions. And even if the Governor should communicate those his instructions to our agent, the latter will be wholly ignorant of our views on the subject.
We are bound fast to our engagements; while the local Government is set free from the obligation of viewing Lord Stanley's engagements with us in the sense deliberately agreed upon between the parties.
This disregard of good faith by the Colonial Office, may be productive of very serious practical wrong towards you, and the settlers in Cook's Strait. We proceed to an explanation of this danger.
When you shall have read the correspondence in
Appendix C., you will have no doubt of the accuracy of the common opinion, which traces the present lamentable
state of things in New Zealand to the policy of the local authorities in attempting to colonize without means, instead of merely governing the colonists and natives. Hence came the establishment of the seat of Government at Auckland, where there was nobody to be governed, not far from one of the extremities of a
narrow country 800 miles long, and practically more distant from the great bulk of the colonist population, than either New South Wales, or Van Diemen's Land: hence also the systematic endeavours of the local Government to discourage settlement in the centre of New Zealand; to encourage, by very unscrupulous
means, the re-migration to Auckland, or its neighbourhood, of emigrants from this country, who had been taken out at the Company's expense, and settled on its lands. The success of these endeavours would inevitably have proved ruinous to the Company's settlements. Our duty to those who had purchased land from us, whose money we had spent in conveying population to that land, with a view of giving it value—our duty to all the colonist inhabitants of the shores of Cook's Strait, who had settled there under an assurance that the central parts of New Zealand would be the field of the Company's operations—our duty to you, whose
property in land was all there; commanded us to resist—most urgently forbade us to aid in giving effect to—the views of the local Government in this respect. Any neglect of these obligations would have subjected us to severe and deserved reproach from the colonists, whose reliance upon us demanded that we should take a special care of their interests. You will understand, therefore, with what reluctance we consented to that
part of the Agreement with Lord Stanley, of May, 1843, by which we engaged to take lands at Auckland, and to colonize there.
The suggestion that we should do so, came to us originally from the local Government of New Zealand, in an extract from Governor Hobson's despatch to Lord Stanley of the 26th of March, 1842, which was communicated
to us by his Lordship on the 27th of December
in the same year. We viewed that suggestion as part and parcel of the system that sought to promote the colonizing prosperity of Auckland at the expense of Wellington, Nelson, and New Plymouth. It appeared to us of a piece with Governor Hobson's strenuous efforts to induce the body of colonists who settled at
Nelson to plant themselves in the neighbourhood of Auckland. We knew also, that the project, which had not been kept a secret in New Zealand, was regarded with no less favour by members of the local Government, and others having a personal interest in serving Auckland at the expense of Cook's Strait, than with suspicion and alarm in the Company's settlements. You may ask with impatience, what then induced us to consent? Our answer is, we felt that the interests of the settlers and proprietors were so completely at the mercy of the Colonial Office and the local Government, with respect to the vital question of land-titles in the Company's settlements—that the proceedings of the local
Government in that respect were leading to such fearful results—that the total ruin of your settlements, and terrible collisions between the settlers and natives, seemed so likely to grow out of the then state of the land-titles question:—on all these grounds we deemed it our duty to obtain some determination of that question by means of almost any sacrifice. Our consent to the engagements with respect to taking land at Auckland was the price which we paid for Lord Stanley's engagements with respect to land-titles. We undoubtedly entertained hopes that the Company might, by colonizing at Auckland, put an end to those feelings of jealous rivalry between the Company's settlements and that of the Government, which had arisen from the efforts of the Government to colonize without means. Even these hopes, however, were chiefly encouraged by the appointment of Captain Fitzroy as successor to Governor Hobson. We felt assured, that Governor Fitzroy would execute Lord Stanley's engagements as to land-titles, according to the letter and spirit of the Agreement. Our reliance on Governor Fitzroy's strict sense of justice and honour remains undiminished; but the letter of the Agreement has been altered by additions
which, in our opinion, greatly alter its spirit. These alterations relate only to Lord Stanley's engagements: ours stand as before. We pay the price agreed upon, but are deprived of the engagements in consideration of which we consented to the bargain. Our part of the bargain has probably been fulfilled, for we
lost no time in desiring our agent to carry it into immediate effect: we look with alarm for news of what may have come of Lord Stanley's engagements, as altered by himself without our consent or knowledge.
But we have not yet made you aware of all the practical importance of the alterations in question; still less of all
the grounds on which we should have declined to enter into the Agreement if an opportunity of forming a judgment upon it as now altered had been afforded to us.
By referring to the correspondence in Appendix C.,
you will learn that, as respects the Company's rights to land in New Zealand, the Agreement with Lord Stanley in May 1843, was substituted for another Agreement into which we entered with Lord John Russell in November 1840, when the latter noble lord was pleased to advise Her Majesty to grant this Company a Charter of Incorporation. By what it will be convenient to term Lord John Russell's Agreement, the
Company abandoned all title or pretence of title to any lands purchased or acquired by them in New Zealand, other than the lands to be granted to them by the Crown under that Agreement; and it also undertook to raise a further capital of 200,000l
. in addition to its original capital of 100,000l
. Both the surrender of the lands and the additional subscription of capital were clauses of the Agreement insisted on by Lord John Russell. On the other hand, his Lordship engaged that you should receive from Her Majesty a grant of as many acres as the Company had expended crowns in the business of colonization; and it was further agreed between the parties that the quantity of land so to be granted by the Crown should be selected by the Company within a certain district, to the whole of which they had previously laid claim on the ground of purchase from the natives when New Zealand was a foreign country.
The obvious principle of Lord John Russell's Agreement was in harmony with all the dictates of experience and sound policy in such matters. The Government stepped in between private colonizers and the natives; forced the colonizers to abandon their claims
to land, founded on contracts between themselves and the natives; forbade the Company to perform a function so exclusively proper to the Government as the extinction of native titles; and itself undertook a task in which none having a private interest should ever be allowed to participate. It was only by a strict observance of this sound principle of Lord John Russell's Agreement, that the colonization of New Zealand could be expected to go on with benefit to the settlers and natives, or without the infliction of terrible evils upon both races. You will find by the correspondence in Appendix C., that this principle was utterly disregarded by the local Government, which seems always to have treated Lord John Russell's Agreement as waste paper.
A Court of Claims was established in the midst of
the district to which the Company had acquired a claim by native purchase when there was no British authority nor any other government in New Zealand; and into this Court the Company was called as a party, and required to establish the claims which Lord John Russell's Agreement had properly compelled them to abandon. The natives were the party on the other side. Intermediate parties appeared in the form of whites claiming to have purchased from natives before the Company. The Court consisted of a gentleman who did not understand a word of the native language. The Interpreter of the Court held the office of Sub-protector of Aborigines, and in that character
not only prepared out of Court the claims of the
natives against the Company, but acted as their counsel in Court. There has since been added to his functions that of Arbitrator, to assist in determining the amount of compensation to be paid by the Company to natives under decree of the Court. He had been
appointed, moreover, to the office of Sub-Protector of Aborigines by his father, the Chief Protector for New
Zealand—a lay missionary, personally and largely interested in whatever might affect the value of landed property at and near Auckland. There was no surer method of raising the value of land near Auckland—no more certain means of promoting colonization near Auckland at the expense of the Company's settlements—than by decisions of the Court of Claims adverse to the Company, or by delay in coming to any decision. The Court sat for nearly two years without deciding a single case. When you are informed that the gentleman filling the incompatible offices of Protector and Interpreter, and subsequently of Arbitrator, was under twenty years old at the time of receiving these appointments—when you reflect on the right qualifications for the office of Protector of Aborigines in a country like New Zealand, such as experience, habitual prudence, weight of character, and perfect freedom from even the suspicion of self-interested bias—when you consider how the real value of land, and the ideas of the natives on that subject, had been altered by British colonization—when you think of the utter confusion of ideas which even now prevails among the natives with respect to their own rights to property in land—and when you make allowance for the facility, and the hope of profit for themselves, with which some of the whites might instigate
the natives to set up new and extravagant claims for compensation,—you will not be surprised at the failure of the Commissioner's Court to produce any but the most deplorable results. In our opinion, the massacre
at Wairoa flowed directly from it.
But it is not to the Court that we object, or have ever objected. A Court of Claims seems to have been necessary, in order that the native title should be extinguished
by the Government
. What we object to is, the making of the Company a party before the Court, instead of only a witness on behalf of the Crown, according to the principle of Lord John Russell's Agreement. That Agreement contained, in fact, a surrender by the Company to the Crown of all the land which you previously claimed in virtue of purchase from the natives. If the Company and other Europeans claiming to have once purchased from the natives, had only been called as witnesses to satisfy the Commissioner that the purchases had really taken place, the follies and calamities of such a litigation as actually occurred, would have been avoided. The spectacle which that litigation presented
, excited a general ridicule. The claims and counter-claims, direct and intermediate, were as numerous as the considerations alleged to have passed, and the proofs of contract, were various and conflicting. Some of the parties in this strange contention of private
interests employed English attorneys and barristers; one or other of the languages used was always unknown to one or more of the parties interested; the very thoughts of the several parties on the subject of property in land were so different, as to be respectively incomprehensible; the parties best informed on the subject in debate—the natives, whose law of real property was to be the guide of the Court—never had any law
of the sort, but only vague, diversified, conflicting customs; and, to crown all, the Court itself, whose functions were really more important and more delicate than those of the Governor, consisted of a country attorney recently imported from England.
The picture is really shameful. We present It to you in order that you may estimate a sacrifice made by us in consenting to the substitution of Lord Stanley's Agreement for that of Lord John Russell. When we
learnt that the policy of the local Government, which had
placed the natives and Company in conflict as parties before this strange Court, was approved by the Colonial Office, and had probably originated there, we nevertheless believed, that if the subject were publicly examined, Her Majesty's Government, Parliament, and the country would condemn a proceeding which was so unjust towards us, if our Agreement with Lord John Russell had any validity, and so perfectly calculated, at all events, to produce hostility between the settlers and
natives. But time pressed. The mischief was partly done. Even then we had to inform Lord Stanley (in your Governor's letter of 14th February, 1843) of the
actual commencement of that series of collisions between whites and natives, which ended in the calamity at Wairoa. In order that no time might be lost in at least mitigating the evils of the land-titles question—in order to obtain immediately some sort of settlement of that matter—we determined to forego such an appeal to Her Majesty's Government and Parliament, as we doubt not would have given effect to the sound principle of Lord John Russell's Agreement. It was under the pressure of time and fear that we entered into the agreement with Lord Stanley of May 1843.
Considering all that had passed, however, you may be sure that we carefully weighed every word of that Agreement, and that we never should have become a party to it if we had imagined that the other party would virtually alter it without our knowledge. The; addition to the Agreement of Lord Stanley's own interpretation
to the meaning of its concerted words, has really deprived us of the particular consideration which induced us to abstain from publishing our correspondence with his Lordship on the subject, and appealing to the justice of Parliament. Lord John Russell's Agreement,
which we are sure that public opinion would have sustained, if only for the sake of the natives, has been set aside; and the Agreement which took its place, has been in our opinion, so vitiated by the subsequent instructions to Governor Fitzroy, that we really cannot pretend to anticipate the issue. We purposely abstain from comment on the transaction, trusting that enough has been said to accomplish our sole object, which is that of making the whole matter plain to you with the aid of the Appendices to this Report.
We entreat of you to examine for yourselves all the documents relating to the subject.
When publishing the correspondence in Appendix C., we owe it to ourselves to state, that its suppression hitherto, so far as we are concerned, arose from no engagement or understanding with the Colonial Office, but was determined on spontaneously by ourselves as being required by the amicable sequel of the controversy. We trust, however, that under no circumstances should we have been tempted to publish one side of any part of the controversy without the other. A different view of the obligations of honour seems to have actuated the Colonial Office. In answer to two long letters from your Governor to Lord Stanley, dated the
24th and 25th of January, 1843, his Lordship, in Mr.
Hope's letter of the subsequent 1st February, gave a summary of what he understood to be the conclusions of the New Zealand Company with respect to native rights to property in land. This summary represents the Company as an unprincipled rapacious body, utterly regardless of the rights and welfare of the natives. This summary, we find, was made public in New Zealand
by the local Government on the 19th of September, 1843, but unaccompanied by any portion of the two letters whose conclusions it purports to express. We refer you
to those two letters, and especially to that of the 25th
of January, which relates exclusively to the natives. When you shall have read those letters,—when you shall have seen how contrary to the truth is the accusation founded on them,—you will perceive all the unfairness of publishing that accusation without a word of the letters. The impolicy of thus, in the name of Her Majesty's Government, proclaiming the Company as foes to the natives is another matter, of which we take no notice here: our present business is with the unfairness of the proceeding. Viewed in this light, we cannot help connecting it with the unfounded reproaches addressed to us by Mr. Hope on the 4th instant,—with the alterations of the Agreement of May last without our knowledge,—and with a portion of the suppressed correspondence of 1843, to which we must now direct your attention.
We here allude, in the first place, to a quotation of certain words from Lord John Russell's Agreement, in Mr. Hope's letter to your Governor of the 10th January, 1843;
which words, as quoted by Mr. Hope, have a meaning totally different from that which they bear in the sentence from which he extracts them, and of which they form an essential part. You will find this extreme unfairness exposed in your Governor's letter to Lord
Stanley of the 24th January, 1843. We allude also to the manner in which the Colonial Department treated a letter from your Governor to Lord Stanley, bearing date
24th November, 1841, which we withdrew on the 10th of January, 1842, and sent in again on the 30th January, 1843. You will obtain a knowledge of the whole matter by reading Mr. Hope's letter of the 15th of February, 1843,
and your Governor's reply of the 22nd
February. And, finally, we allude to a letter from Mr. Stephen, one of the Under-Secretaries of State for the
Colonies, to Lord Stanley, dated 1st March, 1843, which his Lordship transmitted to us on the 15th of the same month. That letter closes the correspondence in Appendix C., and appears unanswered. In fact, it never was answered. It did not reach us till the correspondence preceding it had resulted in amicable negociation between Lord Stanley and ourselves; and we then deemed it imprudent, on account of those interests of which we were bound to take care without regard to our personal feelings, to send an answer, which must have been so very painful to Mr. Stephen, as a positive re-assertion of the statements which he deliberately contradicts, together with ample proof that some of the minutely circumstantial evidence which he brings in support of the contradiction, cannot be founded in fact.
In pursuance of our main object in framing this Report, which is rather to furnish you with a sort of index to the voluminous documents appended to it, than either to narrate the Company's proceedings, or to argue disputed points, we now refer you once more to your Governor's
letter to Lord Stanley of the 24th November, 1841, where you will find a particular account of the difficulties with which we then had to contend. They have gone on increasing from that time to the present, in spite of that full, faithful, and earnest representation of them. We again beg of you to read that letter with attention. You will there observe how our general plan of colonization was deranged by a sudden and very important change in a provision on which we had based the whole course of the Company's future operations;—what the Company's settlements suffered from being left without a Government,—how the very friendly relations between the settlers and natives which had been uninterruptedly preserved by the good sense of two or
three individuals possessing no legal authority, gave way to disorders and collisions upon the appointment of a Governor,—how your emigrants were carried off from Wellington to the seat of Government at Auckland,—how, in concert with Lord John Russell, we sent out his Agreement with you, and instructions to Governor Hobson for carrying it into effect by a fast-sailing vessel expressly engaged for the purpose, and how utterly those instructions were disregarded,—how the private interests of a Government officer really placed the seat of Government at Auckland,—how originated the system, which has ever since been steadily pursued, of carrying off to Auckland the great bulk of the public revenue, raised by taxing the settlers in Cook's Strait,—and lastly, how we, the Directors of a Company in London, required by your charter to invest a large capital in the business of colonizing waste lands in New Zealand, were peremptorily subjected to the necessity of using the local Government at Auckland, as the channel of our communications with the Colonial Department respecting matters of a local nature affecting your interests in the centre of the Islands.
For information concerning the manner in which
Governor Hobson's fatal policy was pursued after his
death by his successor, Lieutenant Shortland, the provisional Administrator of the Government, as well as the
extent to which its evil consequences were aggravated
by substituting the monstrous litigation of the Court of Claims for Lord John Russell's Agreement, we refer you to a number of documents in Appendices E. and H.
Some of these are private letters, which we lay before
you as evidence of the aggressive temper of the natives since the massacre at Wairoa, and of the consequent fear and hatred of them, which are growing among the settlers. We hope it is unnecessary for us to disclaim
any participation in that feeling of vengeance towards the natives, which some of these letters exhibit. We consider that the native race are, in a great measure unconscious of right or wrong, according to European notions; that their present conduct and ultimate fate depend entirely on their new Government; and therefore, that they ought to be held free from many of the responsibilities attaching to civilized men. But the fact of the present war of races must not be concealed
We predicted it in 1841, in a letter to Lord Stanley saying,—"If the collision, which we earnestly deprecate, should occur, it must be attributed, not to us who from the earliest period, have sought to make provision for the future improvement of the natives, and inculcated a scrupulous regard for their present rights, interests, and even prejudices; not to the settlers, who have fulfilled our wishes by exemplary justice and forbearance to them; not to the natives themselves, whose kind reception of our countrymen, and whose desire and capacity of improvement merited the protecting care of Government: the guilt of the disaster will attach to Captain Hobson and his policy."*
That policy has been still more mischievously carried out by his successor, At Nelson it left several thousand settlers with no other government than a single police magistrate; it incited
H. Nos. 1 to 8.
H. No. 16.
some warlike natives living on the north side of Cook's Strait, and under the immediate influence of the operation of the Court of Claims, to cross over to the Nelson district, and there to revive and sustain by violence, rights of property in land which they had long before sold to the Company; it left the police magis-
trate with no means of asserting his authority, except the aid of a posse of emigrants; and it resulted in that fatal affray at Wairoa, the true particulars of which can never be ascertained, because the only Europeans acquainted with them were killed on the spot. One of these was the agent of the Company in the Nelson district, and the founder of that settlement. We need not tell you with what sagacity, prudence, laborious painstaking, and admirable temper he executed that difficult task; but we cannot deny ourselves the satisfaction of referring you to testimony in his favour, which is beyond the suspicion of our partiality. This you will find in the form of a set of documents in Appendix H.,
which give a narrative of his life and services in the navy for twenty-seven years. It is well you should learn, from these, what sort of man Captain Wakefield was, and, from his private letter to his brother, written just
before starting for Wairoa, with what a conviction of the rectitude of his own purpose he accompanied the magistrate on the occasion of the massacre in which he fell.
Certain proclamations and reports of the officers of Government, relating to that event, are inserted in Appendix H. They all bear marks of an eager disposition
to condemn the settlers, and to palliate the conduct of
the natives. Mr. Macdonough, police magistrate at Wellington, issued an Address to the "British settlers in Cook's Strait," containing statements most inculpatory of the whites, when he had evidence to the contrary in his possession. One of these, which represented the whites as the agressors in the affray, he was afterwards compelled to retract as unfounded. Major Richmond, the principal officer of the Government in Cook's Strait, intemperately denounces preparations for defence made by the Wellington settlers after the Wairoa massacre,
as being contrary to law, and then allows another person to retract the groundless accusation by taking the blame of it on himself. But you will best judge of the spirit which actuated the local authorities on this
occasion, from the Report of the Chief Protector of Aborigines to the Administrator of the Government. This gentleman, the father and official superior of the youth already described as acting in the Court of Claims at Wellington, as Protector, Interpreter, and Arbitrator describes the attempt to execute a lawful warrant at Wairoa, with the tight and dreadful butchery of the whites that ensued, as "the unconstitutional and murderous proceeding of the Police Magistrate and his colleagues, in attacking an inoffensive people killing three, and obliging the remainder in self-defence to turn their assailants." Such a spirit as these documents exhibit in persons vested with authority, could not but aggravate the mutual hostility of whites and natives, which the Court of Claims and
E. No. 58.
H. Nos. 16 to 26.
the event at Wairoa had produced. You will fine ample evidence to that effect in Appendices E. and H.
One immediate result of a new sense of superiority to the whites, which the natives appear to have entertained after the Wairoa massacre, was numerous act of intimidation and violence towards settlers, with view of forcing them to remove from their farms. You must remember, that the Company's settlements contained full 10,000 Europeans, whose means of subsistence for the most part depended on the cultivation of land. Many of them had been settled on the land for years, had turned it into farms by their industry, and had enjoyed unquestioned possession until the Court of Claims came into operation. The occupation of land, or the exercise of such acts of ownership as habitation and cultivation, had become an absolute necessity for the
colonist population. This necessity was too obvious to have been overlooked by any body. Yet on the 12th July last, a few days after he must have received Mr. Clarke's report of the 8th, which speaks of the whites who fell at Wairoa, as murderers, the Representative of Her Majesty in New Zealand issued a Proclamation in the following words:—"Proclamation. By his Excellency
Willoughby Shortland, Esquire, the Officer administering the Government of the Colony of New Zealand and its Dependencies, and Vice-Admiral of the same, &c. &c. &c.: Whereas it is essential to the welfare of this Colony, that confidence and good feeling should continue to exist between the two races of its inhabitants, and that the native owners of the soil should have no reason to doubt the good faith of Her Majesty's solemn assurance that their territorial rights would be recognized and respected: Now, I, the Officer administering the Government, do hereby publicly warn all persons claiming land in this Colony, in all cases where the claim is denied or disputed by the original native owners, from exercising acts of ownership thereon, or otherwise prejudicing the question of title to the same, until the question of ownership shall have been heard and determined by one of Her Majesty's Commissioners appointed to investigate claims to land in New Zealand. Given under my hand, and issued under the Public Seal of the Colony, at Government House, Auckland, this twelfth day of July, in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and forty-three. Willoughby Shortland, the Officer administering the Government. By His Excellency's command (for the Colonial Secretary), William Connell. God save the Queen!"
This Proclamation, and the publication of Lord Stanley's "summary" before mentioned, were the
last blows, of which we have any account, struck by the local Government at the Company's settlements, They have proved as effective as might have been anticipated. The colonist population now holds all property, and life itself, upon no better tenure than the forbearance of tribes of savages, flushed with a bloody triumph over those whose superiority they before acknowledged, incited to rapacity by hopes of being able to exact money in proportion to what must appear to them the enormous value that land acquires in the hands of Europeans, and led to believe that the Queen's authority, which they may still respect, is hostile to the colonists. What the issue may be, we cannot pretend even to conjecture.
The Appendices contain abundant proof of our just dispositions towards the natives, and of the facility with which colonists may establish relations of harmony and mutual benefit with such a people, by means of judicious behaviour towards them. Some documents relating to this subject, which have been published before, reappear
in Appendix F. They consist of our original instructions to your Principal Agent, and his letters, showing how thoroughly he adopted their spirit, and what eminent success attended his prudent and skilful execution of them. If any one of you should not have read these papers before, we hope that he will examine them now. No fair judgment on the proceedings of the Company can be formed without perusing them; and Colonel Wakefield's narrative of the expedition with which the British colonization of New Zealand began, is full of interest apart from any question relating to the Company. Our plan of reserving portions of land for the natives, in the midst of the property
of the settlers, is too well known to require much
notice here. Notwithstanding the disapproval of it by
the Colonial Department, our opinion remains unchanged, that it affords the best, and indeed the only probable means of placing the native race on a footing of social equality with the colonists. Those to whom the subject is not familiar, will find it explained in
our original instructions to Colonel Wakefield, Mr. Montague Hawtrey's letter to Lord Stanley, of the 12th March, 1842,
and your Governor's letter to Lord
Stanley, of the 25th January, 1843.
The course of events in New Zealand which we have here described, has necessarily produced the effects upon the Company which were briefly mentioned in our Report of the 15th ultimo. During the last two years, our usual expenditure has continued, while the resources of the Company have gradually diminished. We have laid out, partly from your subscribed capital and partly from payments made to you for land, no less a sum than half a million of money in colonization; and you are still without a secure title to one acre of that property which Lord John Russell's Agreement awarded to you more than three years ago in consideration of your large expenditure for public purposes. The gradual diminution, ending in a total cessation, of land sales in this country, and the stoppage of all sales in the colony, have necessarily deprived you of income, while your expenditure has been very greatly increased by that insecurity of title which cut off your resources. You will learn from the correspondence in Appendix A., together with a rough statement of receipts
and expenditure, accompanying your Governor's letter to Lord Stanley, of the 29th February last, how
both effects have resulted from the single cause—how reports from the colony of growing uncertainty as to land titles has put a stop to sales here,—and how that insecurity of property in the settlement has deprived
masses of labourers of employment, and induced
the Company's agents to support them rather that see them starve. We have nothing to add to that full exposition of the manner in which the present ruinous condition of your affairs has been brought about.
It was unavoidable, however disagreeable to us, that this Report should principally consist of complaints and crimination directed against a department of the Executive Government; for when you assembled to hear an account of the ruin of the Company, we were bound to state to you without reserve by what means that result had been produced, and we really know of none except the errors and hostility of the Colonial Office and the local Government. In all other respects a remarkable success has attended your proceedings,
The most sanguine hopes concerning the natural resources of New Zealand have been realized; your
plan of colonization has found such favour with the public as to supply you amply with the means of carrying it into effect; no difference with natives, no disaster, no loss, no discouraging circumstance, has occurred from accident or from causes over which you had any control: the one all-pervading difficulty with which you have had to contend throughout, is the policy of the Colonial Office and the local Government, including their hostility to the Company.
How carefully we have avoided provoking that ill-will, you may learn from several parts of the Appendices. We refer you in particular to the papers at the
end of Appendix D.
What course the Company ought now to adopt is a question not easy to be determined. We have called you together rather for the purpose of making you acquainted with the true state of your affairs, than with the hope that you will be able to suggest any specific means, within our power to employ, which
will afford a prospect of restoring your prosperity. Your operations as a colonizing body must necessarily be suspended, perhaps abandoned altogether. It will be our duty to fulfil, to the utmost of our power, any engagements or honourable obligations which we have incurred on your behalf,—to complete any transactions which the parties dealing with us may be capable and desirous of carrying through to the end; but we are sure that you will echo the expression of our opinion, that the entering into any new transaction, the undertaking of any fresh engagements or liabilities, would be an act of folly under present circumstances. The course which we propose to adopt, with your sanction, is that of meeting every liability of the Company with the least possible delay, cutting down expenditure to the minimum, and waiting for events.
The mention of expenditure reminds us of Lord Stanley's notice of the cost of your "Establishments;" a subject on which we are desirous of saying a few words, with the view of removing false impressions not confined to the Colonial Office. Of the 1500l
. a year voted to us by your resolution of 31st May, 1842, we have taken 833l
., which is the whole cost of the management of your affairs by the Court of Directors, for nearly five years. The servants of the Company in this country have at most times had more work than they could get through during the usual hours of business; and the highest salary paid to any of them has been at the rate of 1000l
. a year to the Secretary, for two years and a quarter, and 500l
. a year for the remainder of the five years. The salary of your Principal Agent in New Zealand has been at an average rate of about 880l
. a year, besides a gratuity of a thousand guineas presented to him
as some mark of our high estimation of his services; and of the Agents at Nelson and New Plymouth
. a year each. Your three local agents declined the enjoyment of any "perquisites" or "advantages," contenting themselves with the bare salary, and deliberately abstained from acquiring land, or otherwise engaging in any speculation which might have diverted their attention from your affairs. The assistance afforded to your Principal Agent in the performance of his most arduous duties, is that of a chief clerk and accountant at 300l
. a year, a land clerk at 200l
. a year, and another clerk at 100l
. a year; to your agent at Nelson, one clerk at 150l
. a year; and to your agent at New Plymouth one clerk at 150l
. a year. The remainder of your local; "establishments," has consisted of a body of engineers and surveyors (which it may be said in passing, some have reproached us with not making strong enough), engaged for purposes, such as surveys, roads and bridges, which it is the proper business of Government to effect, but with the effecting of which you were specifically charged by Lord John Russell's Agreement, and other contracts with the Government. The rest of your expenditure in New Zealand has been occasioned, as before explained, by the necessity of supporting labourers, whom the state of the land-titles question prevented from obtaining
employment. Our contributions here towards religious and educational institutions for the settlers, have indeed been large; but they were made while public confidence in your powers of usefulness, and in the validity of Lord John Russell's Agreement, placed ample funds at your disposal. If any of you should now object to their amount, our reply would be, that the outlay formed an essential part of that general plan of colonization which originated with yourselves, and of which there is no more prominent feature than ample provision for religious and educational endowments.
A severe pressure of business arising from the necessity
of hastily preparing this Report, and its voluminous Appendices for the press, induces us to postpone, until your annual meeting next month, more particular information, as to the state of your finances, and some recommendations on that subject.
Although we have felt bound to lay before you the condition of your affairs in their worst aspect, you must not suppose that we consider them irretrievably ruined. We have confessed that to a considerable extent we attribute their present disastrous state to our own too long silence with respect to the causes of their progressive decline. Our reluctance to entertain a belief in the systematic hostility of the Colonial Office has been destroyed at last. You may now appeal for justice to a higher tribunal. Conscious as we are of the great disadvantages under which "individuals" or "private parties" labour in struggling for no more than justice against the policy of any department of the Government, we nevertheless rely on the flagrant character of the wrong which has been done you by Lord Stanley's interpretation of Lord John Russell's Agreement; an interpretation which virtually annuls that deliberate contract between the Crown and a body of Her Majesty's subjects. We cannot suppose that either Parliament or Her Majesty's ministers collectively, will fail to perceive, or decline to remedy, the gross injustice of first requiring you to surrender a large tract of land which you obtained when New Zealand was treated as a foreign country, and to treble your original capital of 100,000l
., and then denying you the promised grant of land from the Crown in proportion to your expenditure for public purposes, which formed the consideration for that surrender and for that increased subscription of capital. We also believe that Parliament will make allowance for the undoubted fact, that the formation of
this Company was first proposed by the Colonial Office, and pursued by its founders against their own inclination, as the only means then available of securing New Zealand for British colonization. We believe that the sanction by the highest authority of your objects and plans, which is implied by the terms of your Charter under the head of "Objects of Incorporation," will not be overlooked by Her Majesty's Ministers or Parliament.
But an appeal against the Colonial Office for justice is not our sole reliance. Even if the love of fair play, which characterizes our country, should not prefer justice to the indulgence of that Department in its animosity towards the Company, we should still hope for a reversal by Parliament of the policy of the Colonial Office in New Zealand. Ever since you, in reality, snatched those islands from the dominion of France, their colonization by England has been inevitable. That may be impeded, but cannot be prevented. Terrible disasters may befal our countrymen now settled there; the war of races which has begun may continue for years; accounts of shocking scenes of bloodshed and starvation
may even now be on their way; but still in the end British colonization will proceed. How it may be controlled and regulated so as to benefit instead of exterminating the native race, is a subject of which all the interest must now revive. A former inquiry into that subject by Parliament, exposed the mischiefs of the irregular colonization which went on under the mockery of a native sovereignty, really but feebly exercised by British missionaries, and steadily upheld by the Colonial Office as preferable to regular colonization. The strange policy which the Colonial Office had till then pursued towards New Zealand, was set aside in favour of more comprehensive, more rational, and really more humane views. But the execution of the new po-
licy has been miserably defective. To say nothing of the lavish expenditure of the local Government, with no result but that of fomenting hatred, and producing collision between the two races—or of its actual bankruptcy, notwithstanding the considerable revenue which it has derived from your colonization, and chiefly expended without benefit to anybody but the recipients of official salary—the state of relations between the colonists and the natives is such as to call for the interference of Parliament. We confidently trust that the whole subject of colonization and government in New Zealand, including the proceedings of this Company, will be strictly investigated by that competent authority. A full and searching inquiry into our own conduct is what we most desire. It cannot take place without tending at least to the removal of the causes of your present ruin, and the restoration of your means of accomplishing the valuable public objects which your Charter of Incorporation has in view.
We owe you some apology for printing such a mass of papers along with this Report. Our first design was to lay before you only those which should upon examination, seem most important; but we soon perceived that the choice could not be attempted without much risk of witholding some information which you ought to possess, and still more of our appearing to have made a partial selection. We therefore abandoned the plan of selection, and resolved to place in one or other of the Appendices, every letter or other document in our possession, which any one desirous of obtaining the fullest information on the subjects mentioned in the Report, could wish to see; including, of course, those which would be excluded by a partial selection for the mere purpose of supporting the allegations of the Report. We cannot doubt that on reflection you will
approve of this course. If its should have happened, in the haste with which these papers have been got ready for the press, that any are omitted which anybody may think ought to have appeared, the error will have been unintentional on our part. We hope and believe that room has not been left for such a complaint from any quarter.
In addition to previous references to documents in the Appendices, some account of the order in which they are placed, may assist you in examining them.
Exclusive of the Company's two charters, which are: placed by themselves, the Appendix is divided into, nine parts, arranged in the manner that appeared most; convenient for reference, and distinguished by the first nine letters of the alphabet.
Appendix A. comprises merely the recent correspondence with the Colonial Department, commencing; with the letter written to Lord Stanley, on 29th February, 1844, after receiving a copy of the written instructions given to Governor Fitzroy, on 26th June, 1843.
Appendix B. in like manner comprises only the correspondence relating to the agreement entered into with Lord Stanley in May, 1843, and extending from that date to the receipt of the instructions relating thereto on 1st February, 1844.
Appendix C. contains the entire correspondence relating to the agreement entered into with Lord John Russell in November, 1840, and disputed points arising out of it.
In Appendix D. is contained all correspondence with the Colonial Department and the local Government, except those comprised under the two foregoing heads, or relating to the investigation of the Company's land-titles in the colony, which is placed in Appendix E.
In addition to the correspondence of Colonel Wakefield with Mr. Spain, Commissioner of Claims, and Mr. George Clarke, jun., Sub-protector of Aborigines, Appendix E. contains only some supplementary correspondence, elucidatory of the same subject.
Appendix F. shows the instructions given to Colonel Wakefield, and the manner in which he fulfilled them in the first establishment of the Colony, more particularly in the purchase of land from the natives.
Appendix G. consists wholly of the correspondence with the Bishop of New Zealand and others, relating to the provision made by the Company for endowments for the Colonial Church and the natives; with the addition of the instructions issued to Mr. Halswell, when appointed by the Directors Commissioner for the Management of Native Reserves; and the reports and correspondence of that gentleman.
The intelligence from the Colony contained in Appendix H. commences with the first acts of aggression on the part of the natives in the Company's settlements, connects them with the unhappy occurrences at Wairoa, and comprises all matters of interest down to the latest date received. In the anxiety to complete this as soon as possible, the latter portion was first printed, and in consequence there is a double series of numbers in this Appendix. H. Nos. 1* to 24* are prior and introductory to H. Nos. 1 to 26.
Appendix I. consists merely of public documents affecting the Colony at large.
A few omissions and errors which have been discovered in some of the foregoing Appendices, are collected in a Postscript marked as Appendix K.
It was intended to have added copious extracts from the instructions given to your principal Agent from time to time, and of the Reports received in reply, so
as to exhibit a detailed view of the actual policy and proceedings of the Company. But this, the want of time, and the voluminous nature of the Appendices already compiled, have rendered absolutely impracticable.
New Zealand House
26 April, 1844.