4 November 1872
From the above date up to the 4th of November my time was almost entirely expended in Wellington, - and estimates, plans and Negociations occupied my attention. During the Parliamentary Session there were several Balls, and the Governor and Lady Bowen gave me invitations to their “At homes”, which were always pleasant and agreeable, Lady Bowen exerting herself to make every one enjoy themselves.
In Parliament, the “Brogden” Contracts had been well discussed, and everything criticized in connexion with them. Three Ministries had been in
poweroffice, and a Maori Vote had decided the ruling power. My Private Secretary had been impugned before a Committee of Privileges for Breach of Privilege with a member of the House, the member
being blamed in the end, and of course myself cleared. It was however intended as a political move on the party then out of power. Parliament was prorogued on the 26th Oct;- and on the 4th of Nov Dunny and I with Mr Mainwaring booked to Melbourne in the “Albion” S.S. (£18 each 1st Class) via Nelson, Greymouth and Hokitika.
We arrived at Nelson at 9 pm after 10 hours sail, proceeding thro’ the French Pass which is very narrow, the tide rushing thro’ at a great pace. At one part, it is confined by the rocks so that the race is extraordinary, and the ship goes thro’ about 20 miles per hour. At Nelson I saw Sir David Munro and Mr Gully the Artist. Mrs Beetham gave her belongings in our charge.