Despatch from Governor Grey to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.
In reply to your Despatch No. 14, of the 21st March last, directing me to afford such necessary relief to the New Zealand Company as it might be in my power to adopt, in reference to certain complaints made in a letter addressed to you by the Secretary of the Company on the 28th February last, regarding various exceptions which had been made in deeds of grant offered to them for their lands in the Port Nicholson and Nelson districts, I beg to state that, long previously to the receipt of your Despatch, the same complaints had been addressed to me by the Agent of the Company in the Colony, and that on my consulting the law officers of the Crown on the subject, they stated it as their opinion that the exceptions in these grants objected to by the Company were such as to afford them reasonable ground of complaint.
The enclosed copy of the instructions I have issued to Lieutenant-Colonel McCleverty will show the manner in which I have proposed to relieve the Company from the difficulties arising from the loose exceptions which have been made in their grants of all Native pas and cultivations, &c.; and in reference to their complaint of the reservation of certain spots in the town of Wellington to private purchasers, to whom deeds of grant have actually been made, I have the honor to report that, acting under the advice of the law officers of the Crown, I addressed a warrant to the Attorney-General, directing that proper means should be taken for applying to the local courts to annul the grants which have been so made, it being the opinion of the law officers of the Crown, that when the Crown had been recommended to make these grants it had not been advised of all the circumstances of the case, and had injured the rights of other parties.
I have, &c.,
The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, &