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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

No. 44. — Copy of a (Confidential) Despatch from Earl Grey to Governor Grey

No. 44.
Copy of a (Confidential) Despatch from Earl Grey to Governor Grey.

Auckland.The Constitution to be partially suspended.


Downing Street, 20th November, 1847.

I have had the honour of receiving your two confidential despatches of the 3rd and 13th May. The reasons which you have urged in support of the conclusion to which you had come, that the Colony of New Zealand is not yet ripe for the enjoyment of representative government, are such as at once to command the assent of Her Majesty's servants; and, deeply as we lament the necessity of doing so, we will not fail to adopt the steps which are required for suspending for a time the operations of so much of the Letters Patent and Instructions transmitted to you in my despatch of the 23rd December last as relates to the establishment of-representative bodies having the power of general legislation. With this view, it will, however, be indispensable that the aid of Parliament should be invoked, nor is it in my power, without further time or deliberation, to inform you what will be the precise arrangements which Parliament will be invited to sanction; but-I think it would be advisable to take the earliest opportunity of acquainting you that we are prepared to act upon your advice, by suspending the operation of the Constitution granted to New Zealand to the extent I have mentioned, and that it will therefore be inexpedient that, until you can receive further instructions, you should take any steps beyond those you have already adopted to carry into effect those previously transmitted to you on this subject.

I have &c;

Governor Grey, &c. Grey.