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The War in New Zealand.

Note C

page 267

Note C.

There is one more point in the recently published papers, which requires a word of comment. I refer to two documents relating to the Waitotara purchase, which, as we have seen, General Cameron denounced as "an iniquitous job." It now appears from his own statement, that he made this charge on no other authority than that of a casual conversation with a perfect stranger, who accidentally picked him up while riding into Wanganui; and he appears to have had no other authority for it while he remained in New Zealand. Since he left New Zealand, a Mr. Field, who I presume is the stranger referred to, writes a long letter, dated September 7, 1865, in which he gives his version of the circumstances attending this purchase. The value of the statement may be judged of from the fact that though the purchase was effected some three years ago, Mr. Field appears never to have communicated his facts to the Governor or his ministers, even when in consequence of General Cameron's charges, they endeavoured to discover any foundation for them, but could meet with no one who had any complaint to make. It does seem a very unfair thing that the Colonial Office should have laid this document before Parliament and allowed it to be published in a Blue Book, without first communicating its contents to the Superintendent of Wellington, whose conduct is seriously impugned by it, and who has had no opportunity allowed him of refuting the statements made by Mr. Field and General Cameron, page 268which, I have no doubt, when referred to the Colonial Government, will prove to be what Mr. Carlyle calls, "A story of a frog and a roasted apple." When a charge is made against a Governor, it is an invariable rule with the Colonial Office not to receive it unless forwarded through him; and in this case where it is made against a high colonial official, the Superintendent of a Province, acting as Land Purchase Commissioner, under the Governor's authority, it does seem ungenerous that the spirit of a rule so fair in itself should not have been adhered to.

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