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The War in New Zealand.

Chapter XIII

page 178

Chapter XIII.

Serious Differences between Governor Grey and General Cameron—1. As to asking for Reinforcements—2. The War denounced by General Cameron as an "Iniquitous Job"—3. Question of Removal of the Troops—4. The Expediency of capturing Wereroa Pah—5. About Colonel Warre's Expedition—6. Secret Correspondence and Private Letters—How Mr. Cardwell disposes of the "Difficulty."

The campaign between Sir George Grey and General Cameron seems to have been by far the most "vigorously prosecuted" of any which was ever carried on in New Zealand. If those "two able and distinguished persons" had exhibited as much energy and determination in fighting the rebels, as they did in fighting each other, the war might perhaps have been brought to a much earlier termination; at least there is an old proverb about a house divided against itself, which seems to favour such a conclusion.

I shall endeavour to give as concise an outline of the leading points of the quarrel, and as page 179nearly in the very words of the official documents as I can.*

General Cameron immediately on receiving orders from the Governor to commence the Wanganui campaign on the 5th January, intimated "that he thought he should not be wrong in informing Earl de Grey that there is no prospect of an early reduction of the force or the military expenditure; indeed he thought that they ought at once to apply for reinforcements." On the 30th of January, having got to Wanganui, he writes, "I would therefore recommend that your Excellency should apply by the first opportunity for a reinforcement of at least 2,000 men, and for a still larger reinforcement, if, in addition to the occupation of the country between Wanganui and Patea, the road between Taranaki and Wanganui is to be opened," &c. The Governor seems to have given no reply; so again on the 8th March, the General "strongly advises

* The entire Correspondence, which extends over more than 73 folio pages, has been printed among the Assembly papers. It is C. P. P., and further papers, A. No. 4, and A. No. 4A. See also most of them just published in P. P. House of Commons, Feb. 1866.

page 180his applying for a reinforcement of 2,000 men; you may depend on it your plan of occupying the whole line of coast cannot be carried out without them." On the 12th March he renews the subject:—"I was anxious to hear whether you intended to apply for the reinforcements I recommended," &c. On the 13th March the Governor intimates that he has consulted his Ministers, and entirely concurs in their opinion, that reinforcements were unnecessary, and gives reasons for that conclusion. General Cameron replies, 15th March,—"All the reasons you mention for deciding not to apply for reinforcements are, to my mind, the strongest reasons they should be applied for. In my opinion what is now taking place does not afford the most distant prospect that the natives will submit. Their submission never appeared to me so far off as at present. I do not agree with you that the colony will be able to occupy the country between Patea and Taranaki in two years; twenty would, in my opinion, be nearer the mark."

"The reinforcements thus asked for," says the Governor, writing to Mr. Cardwell, "would page 181have raised Sir D. Cameron's force in officers and men at Wanganui alone (to open the last 16 miles of road to the Patea river,) to upwards of 6,500, and including Taranaki, to upwards of 9,000 officers and men.

"I felt it to be my duty to decline to ask for the reinforcements applied for, which I judged to be obviously unnecessary, and I did not think it right that any stop in the operations entered on should take place. Had I consented to the applications made, and had I stopped operations until reinforcements of at least 2,000 men had arrived from England, rebellions would have broken out in other parts of the island, and an enormous useless expenditure of money and loss of life would have been incurred.

"If anything could have at once alarmed and dispirited troops, it was knowing that their commander believed that they were opposed to a numerous and determined enemy, with whom they were unable to cope without being reinforced by at least 2,000 men."

It should be observed that the number above given by the Governor, "upwards of 9,000," page 182would have been in addition to some 5,000 other troops, regular and colonial, in other parts of the colony. I think the British tax-payer will quite agree with the Governor, "that such reinforcements were obviously unnecessary."


The next ground of difference which arose was this:—On the 11th January General Cameron wrote to the Governor,—"Major Greaves says one thing is very certain, and that is, that the man who sold the block had no right to do so, and it is the old Waitara dodge for getting up a war, and the consequent military expenditure at Wanganui." On the 28th January he further wrote,—"Since I have been in this part of the world I have made inquiries about the purchase of Waitotara, and have reason to believe that it is a more iniquitous job than the Waitara block. I am not surprised that the natives have opposed our road-making." I do hot know "Major Greaves," but I do know that neither he nor General Cameron can have the smallest acquaintance with the subject of native titles in general, or of the title to the particular block referred to. If the Governor has any touch of humour about page 183him, he must have been greatly moved when he was seriously told by the General, that "Major Greaves is quite certain that you are using her Majesty's forces in support of an iniquitous job." However, he simply replied, "that the expedition was essentially necessary; that the question of the possession of the Waitotara block had never entered into his calculations; and that what he desired to see was the subjection and punishment of tribes which had been guilty of great atrocities, and had instigated others to commit similar acts. Until they are put down I am sure there can be no peace or safety in this island for her Majesty's European subjects, or loyal and well-disposed natives."

But the charge made by the General was too serious to leave where it was. The Waitotara block had, by the Governor's authority, been sold by the provincial government of Wellington to a large number of purchasers, on the faith of a title guaranteed by the Crown, through whose representative, Governor Browne, it had been bought from the natives. The Governor, therefore, referred the General's charge to his ministers. His ministers instituted inquiries, intending, if they page 184found that any dispute existed as to the completeness of the purchase, to request Sir William Martin, ex-chief justice of the colony, to investigate it. They, however, could meet with no one who had a word to say on the subject; and having no complaints before them, they were entirely at a loss what they should direct any commission they might appoint, to inquire into. On this the Governor wrote to the General as follows:—

"As I am very anxious to do justice in the matter, to do my duty to the Home Government, and to keep nothing back from them of which they should be informed, I should feel very much obliged to you if you would inform me of the nature of the inquiries you made about the purchase of the Waitotara Block—what are your reasons for believing that it is an iniquitous job, and upon whose information your opinions are founded?

"Immediately I am in possession of this information, a full inquiry shall be instituted, and ample justice done, as the state of the country will now, I believe, shortly permit of such proceedings being carried out."

To this the General replied,—

"Sir,—It is no part of my duty to collect information for your Excellency on such a subject as the purchase of the Waitotara Block, regarding which you have ample means of obtaining all the information you require, and page 185I therefore decline entering into any correspondence with your Excellency on the subject.

"I will now, however, make her Majesty's Government fully acquainted with the information on which the opinion expressed in my private letter of the 28th January was founded."

General Cameron, when he penned this reply, did not apparently observe that the Governor had never asked him "to collect information" for him; but had requested him to state the grounds of a most serious charge which he had made, and to let him know on whose information he had alleged "that an iniquitous job had been perpetrated." Neither was General Cameron's reply in other respects exactly what might have been expected from a gentleman of his profession, when challenged to substantiate the truth of his statements.

As regards the Waitotara purchase, it passed, in revision, under my own eye, when I was Native Minister; and I have no hesitation in expressing my conviction, that there is no real foundation whatever for the allegations made on the subject by General Cameron.*

Cotemporaneously with these differences,

* See Appendix, note A.

page 186others of a more immediately practical bearing had arisen. The question of the time at which the troops could be safely dispensed with was clearly one of a political character, and such as ought to have been left to the sole discretion of the Governor. When, however, the Imperial Government determined to remove five regiments from New Zealand, it thought proper to depart from the usual practice, and left it to "the discretion of General Cameron to determine the period at which these measures could be carried out." General Cameron writes to the Governor, "I should be glad to know your Excellency's views as soon as convenient." The Governor, no doubt hurt at the slight put upon him by the Home Government, replied, "I should not think it right to interfere with the large discretion left to you," and declined to express any opinion. General Cameron, who had a month or two before been urging the Governor to send for reinforcements of 2,000 men, and saying that the submission of the rebels never seemed so far off, now expressed his intention of sending away one regiment immediately, and another as soon as page 187the first should be embarked. The Governor replied, that the removal of the two regiments at that moment "would plunge New Zealand into greater difficulties than any it had yet had to encounter." He then criticised the instructions received by General Cameron, and showed that the latter had misunderstood them; and he pointed out that, however large a discretion they might leave to the General as to the time of removal of the troops from the country, &c., they did not give him the power of moving a single man, or changing the disposition of the forces in the colony. "To assume the power of determining these questions (although you have probably overlooked this fact), is to violate the terms of my commission; to assume the entire government of the country, and to place it in a position of the greatest difficulty." Now, as the troops could not be sent away without first moving them through the colony, and without an extensive change of military posts in it, the General was placed in a very neat dilemma, and compelled to abandon the idea of sending away any of the troops, "protesting that the responsibility for page 188their detention, as well as for undertaking any operations on which they might be employed, would rest on his Excellency."

Ultimately this Gordian knot was cut by fresh instructions from the Home Government, which restored the decision of the time when the, troops should be sent away to the discretion of the Governor, the only person who could form a correct opinion on political grounds of the safety of the step, and who ought never to have been deprived of the function.


But the greatest feud of all, and that which ultimately gave the greatest triumph to the Governor, was one which directly involved the character for military skill and judgment of the two disputants, and which, as the one was, and the other had been, a military officer, assumed a very interesting aspect.

When General Cameron advanced up the coast in February, he left immediately in his rear, and a little on his right flank, a fortified native pah, called Wereroa, supposed to be a place of great strength, and occupied by about 300 rebels. It was a post of the utmost importance, as it not page 189only commanded the General's rear, but threatened the town of Wanganui, compelling a large force to be maintained there, and it kept open the only available line of road which the rebels had between the sea-coast and upper Wanganui, where a large rebel force was still seeking the opportunity of attacking the settlement, and was actually engaged in operations against our native allies and colonial forces. The General, however, did not like the look of the pah. He wrote to the Governor on the 28th January,—

"I consider my force insufficient to attack so formidable a work as the Wereroa pah. It would be necessary to establish two posts to keep our communication open with Wanganui, and we should have to furnish escorts daily for convoys. This would reduce my force to 700 or 800 men, which would not be sufficient to provide for the protection of the camp in such a country, and at the same time to carry on all the laborious operations of the siege. Instead of 1,100 men, my present available force, I should require 2,000. Besides, I should not have a single soldier left in reserve, and if anything should happen in any other part of the settlement, it would take a week or ten days to remove all the stores and raise the siege. For these reasons I do not intend to attack the pah, but to cross the Waitotara, and see what can be done on that side."

page 190

As the General would not attack the pah, the Governor proposed to let the friendly natives do it; he writes to General Cameron,—

"The natives of this place and their friends, about 500 strong in all, wish to be allowed to attack the Wereroa pah at Waitotara. Will their doing so interfere with your operations? If not, I will give them permission to do it. I am satisfied if they enter upon this task that they will not commit any acts of cruelty, but will proceed in entire conformity with the rules of civilized nations.

The General, who had no faith in "friendly" natives, replies,—

"So far from interfering with my operations, the friendly natives will materially facilitate them by attacking the Wereroa pah; which Mr. Mantell affirms they will take 'in little more time than they will require to march thither.' I am quite sure that we could not take it in that off-hand manner, nor take it in any manner without considerable loss—that is, supposing the natives defend it in earnest, which there is no reason to think they will not do."

And a few days after,—

"I was anxious to hear what the friendly natives are about. I expect to hear that their supposed desire to attack the Wereroa pah was all bounce, though both page 191you and Mr. Mantell seem to have believed in it. However, if our operations should have the effect of drawing the greater part of the garrison out of the pah, which I expect they will, the friendly natives may have an opportunity of attacking it with some prospect of success."

The Governor replies,—

"Mr. Mantell tells me that when the natives arrived at Wanganui, elated with their late victory over Pehi, they were anxious at once to have proceeded against that place, but he did not feel justified on his own responsibility in allowing them to do so. Since that time many of them have dispersed, and although they have repeatedly pressed me on the point of their going there, I have thought it better for a little time to watch the course of events, and see what opportunities presented themselves, and what your movements may be, and what results flowed from these."

The General rejoins, with a chuckle,—

"I was very confident that the desire stated to have been entertained by the friendly natives to be allowed to attack the Wereroa pah was mere bounce; and I was astonished that you should have believed in it, that is to say, if you really did believe in it; and yet you could hardly have proposed that 500 natives should attempt what I told you I would not undertake at that time with fewer than 2,000 soldiers, if you did not really believe that they would succeed. As to Mr. Mantell, he appears page 192to me an excitable person, entirely devoid of common sense, and I shall pay no attention whatever in future to his opinions."

A few days afterwards, however, he writes more soberly,—

"The country north of Wanganui to the Patea can not be subdued without taking possession of the Wereroa pah; indeed I believe that the capture of that position is all that is necessary to give us possession of the whole country between the Kai-iwi and the Patea, for between the Waitotara and the Patea the country is perfectly open, and not likely to be defended. I wish, therefore, you would inform me whether you consider the immediate possession of the Waitotara block of such consequence that you wish me to attack the Wereroa pah at once not-withstanding the risk to which I have referred; or whether you wish me to continue my advance towards Taranaki."

The Governor answers:—

"You have in your own correspondence, answered the question whether or not I can wish you to attack the Wereroa pah at once. However necessary I might think the capture of the pah to be, to prevent wrong impressions in the native mind, or to attain the important objects, which you have pointed out in your letter of the 17th instant, would follow from the capture of that pah, it is quite impossible for me to request you to attack it at once, when you have told me that you consider your force in-page 193sufficient to attack so formidable a work, and that to enter upon this task you would require an available force of two thousand men; that the natives have rendered the pah so formidable a position, and have at the same time occupied it in such strength, that it could not be taken without serious loss, uncompensated by any corresponding loss on the side of the rebels, who could at any time escape into the bush with impunity. The other alternative presented to me, must, therefore, necessarily be the one that I choose, viz.,—that you should continue your advance towards Taranaki, so far as the means at your disposal will admit."

The General now left the coast and retired to Auckland without having attempted to take the pah. Then the controversy was renewed, the Governor writing on the 19th May,—

"I have said that I have not taken so gloomy a view of the state of affairs as you appear to have recently done. I believe that large numbers of natives were prepared to submit to the Government. I think that they have in some measure been led to pause in this intention from what has taken place in regard to the Wereroa pah, and the rumours which have for the last two months been circulated of the intended withdrawal of the troops; but I still think much may shortly be done to bring about the submission of many of their leading men.

"My own view of the course which ought to be taken in the present circumstances of the country is, that a page 194sufficient force should be collected with the least delay practicable, to take the Wereroa pah in such a manner as, if possible, to secure a marked and decided success on our part; that the local government should then, occupying as it would an advantageous position, attempt to come to terms with the leading rebel chiefs, which I believe it could speedily do; and that then, as a consequence naturally and properly following the pacification of the country, the proposed reduction of the troops should be promptly carried out. The colony having in the interim made such arrangements as it thinks necessary for raising additional local forces to take the place of the troops which are to be sent home. In this way I think effect might safely be given to the instructions of her Majesty's Government."

To this, General Cameron replies,—

"In regard to your Excellency's proposal to collect with as little delay as possible a sufficient force to take the Wereroa pah, I must inform your Excellency that I consider it impossible to take that position by any formal operation in such a manner as your Excellency wishes, viz., so as to secure a marked and decided success, inflicting a large loss on the enemy, and sustaining but a trifling loss ourselves. I believe that in any formal attack on this position, (which it must be remembered cannot be surrounded, and from which the natives can effect their escape at any moment,) our loss would most probably be heavier, much heavier, perhaps, than that of the enemy; and that, under such circum-page 195stances, the mere possession of the place would not be followed by the important advantages which it is your Excellency's desire to attain.

"On the contrary, it is possible that its capture, with a loss on our side exceeding that of the enemy, might have an injurious moral effect on the natives, and instead of hastening their submission, encourage them in postponing it.

"It is, indeed, a matter of surprise to me, that any one with a knowledge of the country between Wanganui and Taranaki, can entertain a hope of striking a decisive blow there. The nature of the country forbids the idea, and if her Majesty's troops are to be detained in the colony until one is struck, I confess I see no prospect of their leaving New Zealand."

And again:—

"With reference to your remarks as to the expediency of now attacking the Wereroa pah, I would observe that the numerous army which you state to be at present in the colony (and which I may remark is distributed in posts on lines amounting to some hundreds of miles in length, with the finest artillery in the world, and abundance of scientific appliances), is not wanted for such an operation as an attack on the Wereroa pah; and were the army in the country much more numerous than it is, I should consider it unadvisable at the present time to assemble a large force for a formal attack on this position, by which there is, in my opinion, no reasonable grounds for expecting that the advantages your Excellency page 196desires could be obtained. I stated my opinions fully on this subject in my last letter, and expressed my readiness to attack the position if, after the expression of those opinions, you thought proper to instruct me to undertake the operation.

"As your Excellency, however, still confines yourself to the expression of opinions in which I find it impossible to concur, and leaves the decision of the question to me, I must exercise my own judgment as to the time and manner of getting possession of the place; and I shall not allow myself to be influenced by remarks, however disparaging, to undertake an operation for the success of which, I alone am responsible, in a manner which I do not fully approve.

"Under any circumstances, I consider that the capture of the Wereroa pah, at the present moment, is not of sufficient importance to justify the detention of the whole force in the colony, after the instructions received from her Majesty's Government."

Remembering all that the General had said about not being able to attack Wereroa with less than 2,000 men, and that he was now at Auckland expecting his relief, these last quoted letters clearly amounted to a positive refusal to attack the pah.

The Governor now applied to Brigadier-General Waddy, who had been left in command on the page 197coast, to know "whether the instructions under which he was acting would permit of his investing Wereroa and to carry on operations for its reduction." General Waddy replied:—"I cannot undertake this operation unless I receive the orders of General Cameron."*

The Governor at last determined to take the matter in hand himself. He got together a "scratch" force consisting of 309 friendly natives (the same whose "bounce" General Cameron had derided), 139 (colonial) Forest Rangers, and twenty-five Wanganui Cavalry, in all 473. He persuaded General Waddy to lend him 400 Queen's troops, not to take part in the operations, but to parade in front of the pah in terrorem of the enemy, like Chinese wooden guns, while the colonial forces attacked the pah. 200, however, of the Queen's troops only arrived, and the Governor ingeniously added to their apparent number by leaving the tents of the colonial force standing. He then despatched

* General Cameron denies that he had given any instructions which would prevent General Waddy from acting. Possibly it was the absence of instructions that the latter referred to. See C. P. P. 1865, A. No. 4A. p. 8.

page 198the native contingent and colonial force, under Major Rookes and Major McDonell (both of the local forces) by an extremely difficult bush track, over a precipitous country, in a deluge of rain, to attempt the capture of an outlying redoubt in the rear of and commanding the pah. The service was most gallantly performed, with the capture of fifty prisoners (a contingent of rebels who were coming to relieve the pah), and without the loss of a life on our side. The pah was now no longer tenable, and in a few hours the rebels were seen to be hurrying out of it pell-mell. There was only one route by which they could escape, and had that been stopped by the Queen's troops not a man could have escaped. Owing, however, to their not being on the spot, or not available for combative purposes, the Maories got off without loss. The next morning the little force of natives and colonial troops entered the evacuated pah, which had been the subject of so much controversy on paper and so little conflict in the field. The whole operations occupied barely two days.*

* See Correspondence between Grey and Cameron, ante, and Wereroa papers, C. P. P. 1865, A. No. 7.

page 199

Another serious difference arose between the Governor and General relative to the expediency of allowing Colonel Warre, C.B., commanding at Taranaki, to force his way, as he offered to do, with a column of 500 men from that place to Patea, where he might meet General Cameron on his advance from Wanganui. General Cameron received the offer with the utmost contempt. Writing to the Governor, he says,—

"You will have heard of Colonel Warre's advance to the Stoney river, and the apprehension of the natives suspected of murder. Colonel Warre talks (how easy it is to talk) of marching down the coast with a flying column of 500 men and meeting me at Patea; but for what object he does not explain. He calculates on meeting with no opposition, and his march would of course only be possible on that condition, for 200 men in a good pah would effectually bar his progress, and if attacked by such a body as that by which we were attacked on Wednesday he would inevitably come to grief."

This estimate of the relative prowess of the natives and the Queen's troops is not a little startling, and if such views were known to be entertained by the General, it would certainly page 200(as the Governor remarked) not be very encouraging to the soldiers serving under him.

Immediately after General Cameron left for Auckland, Colonel Wane seems to have started on his expedition, marched without opposition to a place twenty-five miles from Waigongoro (General Cameron's advanced post), where he was met by Colonel Weare of the 50th regiment, and the line of coast from Taranaki to Wanganui opened from end to end, without the loss of a man, or an enemy seen, except in the three skirmishes in the months of January and March already recorded.


Two other bones of contention require notice as they have a very serious bearing on the public service. General Cameron appears to have corresponded with the authorities at the War Office by despatches and private letters, the contents of which he never showed to the Governor, though he made in them charges of the most serious character against him and the Colonial Government. When the quarrel became hot and open, and the Governor called on the General to give him copies of these despatches page 201in which, as he said, he had "traduced him behind his back;" he distinctly and positively refused to do so; and the Governor found himself in the position of having to reply to the repeated censure of the Colonial Office without having seen a line of the documents by which his conduct had been impugned. One can scarcely believe that such an un-English practice would be tolerated by two departments of the Imperial Government—the War Office and Colonial Office: but the perusal of these papers not only shows that it was so, but apparently that Lord de Grey and Mr. Cardwell thought it was the proper thing to encourage. The Governor's complaints of it are very bitter and justly so; though I should have felt more sympathy for him had I not myself repeatedly suffered and seen others suffer at his hands, by a similar practice, in his correspondence with the Home Government, when his quarrels were with the Colonial Ministry or private colonists.

The remaining topic of dispute to which I will refer, was the Governor's publication of the correspondence between the General and himself, and its communication by him to his Ministry page 202and the Colonial Parliament. Until the middle of April, 1865, all Sir George Grey's and General Cameron's letters to each other, on public and official subjects, except a very few, such as the reports of engagements, returns of killed and wounded, and the like, commenced "My dear General" and "My dear Sir George." Though in this form, they were practically official letters, and the Governor generally, if not always, showed them to his Ministers. When the Governor and General quarrelled, the Governor gave these letters to his Ministers, they were laid before the Assembly by "his Excellency's command," and printed in a voluminous parliamentary paper. General Cameron was so indignant when he found out that his letters had been shown to the Colonial Ministry, that he sent off, at a great cost to the public, an express steamer to Melbourne, carrying a supplementary mail containing his complaints to her Majesty's Government on the subject. It turned out, however, that General Cameron had already sent, from time to time, copies of his "private" letters to the War Office; and the Governor justified the course he had pursued on page 203the ground that in doing so the general had made his letters public (official?). This argument would, I think, have been conclusive, but for one fact. In the course of the previous year, when the Colonial Government were printing papers for the General Assembly, they had asked the Governor for two letters of General Cameron's which they had been shown, for the purpose of establishing a point in dispute between the Governor and themselves. They were exclusively on a public subject; but being in the form of "private" letters, the Governor declined to allow their publication, without the General's consent, which being refused, the Governor would not allow the letters to be published.* After this General Cameron certainly had a right to expect that his letters of the same class written subsequently would be similarly respected, and not treasured up by the Governor against a day of wrath, then to be converted into official documents.

I shall not further turn over the leaves of this

* C. P. P. 1864, E. No. 1, p. 4.

page 204remarkable "State Paper." There were besides these important grounds of quarrel, a dozen more or less material differences; but they have no particular interest except as showing a state of discord between the two high contending parties, utterly subversive of the public service, and most fatal to the prospect of good government. Of the tone and style of the correspondence I shall, say little; it must be perused to be appreciated. "My dear Sir George" and "My dear General" disappear from its pages, and the recalcitrant writers become the most formal of "obedient servants." Such expressions as these are of frequent occurrence:—"I deny your right to traduce me behind my back"—"It is not true"—"If I wished to traduce you behind your back, I had only to follow your own example"—"Your unwarranted statements"—"Your misrepresentations of fact, some of the most important of which you have omitted"—"Your proceedings are calculated to undermine the discipline of the forces"—"I regret to be unable to perceive that your proceedings were guided by a sense of public duty"—till at last the Governor's private secre-page 205tary is found returning to the military secretary a letter of the General's, stating "that if Sir D. A. Cameron will be good enough to put it into more usual and becoming language, his Excellency will lose no time in replying to it," which the military secretary on the part of the General refuses to do.

I have not raked the ashes of this unhappy quarrel for the purpose of disparaging two "able and distinguished persons," who, in England, are supposed to have done the State some service, but because, under those ashes lie buried the best interests of the colony. We are expected to pay 40l. per man for troops which march at the rate of a mile a day, and whose General tells us that 500 of them can be stopped by 200 Maories, and that it is useless to let them follow their enemies to the bush! When we complain we are denounced as ungrateful. Again you send us your "able and distinguished men;" we cannot get on with them; we are denounced as impracticable colonists. We reply, "Read this State Paper; you will then see who is impracticable. If you wish to know what sort of man a captain page 206of a ship is, see him on his quarter-deck. In these State Papers you may see two of your great land-captains, each on his own quarter-deck."

But perhaps the most unsatisfactory thing connected with these serious differences, is the manner in which they are disposed of by Mr. Cardwell.* One would at least have expected from him some positive decision and some definite action. If General Cameron were justified in charging Governor Grey with deliberately involving us in fresh hostilities with the natives, and using her Majesty's forces in "support of an iniquitous job," what punishment could be too severe for such conduct? If, on the other hand, General Cameron had made such charges recklessly and without proof, and had allowed his military action, as the Governor implies, to be interfered with by his political views, what sentence could be too heavy for him? Mr. Cardwell entirely shirks this plain and formidable issue, and disposes of the difference as if it was a mere matter of opinion on a point of expediency,

* Despatch of 26th July, 1865, No. 50.

page 207making no allusion at all to General Cameron's serious charges, but delivering judgment on secondary points only, in the balancing see-saw style, which leaves the merits of the case with either party according as this or that hypothesis might be true. He expresses profound regret at such a correspondence having occurred between two such "able and distinguished men," and he gives a sort of mild disapproval of the publication of General Cameron's "private" letters. No doubt these things to the official mind were grave offences. But on the serious consequences which must have resulted to the colony—the loss of life and enormous cost caused by the prolongation of an "iniquitous" war—Mr. Cardwell has not a word to say. Leaving those serious matters on one side, he hastens on to express the entire concurrence of her Majesty's Government in the policy of the Colonial Ministry, which held out a prospect of a discontinuance of the expenditure on the part of the Imperial Treasury. The despatch, in short (which is an exceedingly well written one,) would afford an excellent illustration of some of the rules laid down in Taylor's Statesman, or page 208Single-speech-Hamilton's book on political logic, to enable an official writer to evade giving a decision on a troublesome or difficult question. The subject, however, is of far too much consequence to be shelved in this summary manner. It is not the official régime of the public service which is the real issue at stake. The question is, who is to bear the responsibility of having prolonged the New Zealand War, and rendered utterly useless the enormous expenditure incurred by the Home and Colonial Governments. Mr. Cardwell has not thought it necessary to look at the question at all from this point of view; but it is hoped that if the subject is brought before the House of Commons, the interests of the colony and of the English tax-payer will be taken into consideration, and not merely the interests of the two Government departments, or the merits of the two "able and distinguished men" who have been engaged in this most discreditable and unfortunate controversy.*

* See Appendix, note B.