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Historical Records of New Zealand

Earl Bathurst to E. Littleton

page 634

Earl Bathurst to E. Littleton,

Stanhope Street, 29th March, 1825.

Dear Mr. Littleton,—

On thinking over what passed yesterday, when I had the honor of seeing you and Mr. Lambton, I think it desirable to enter into an explanation with regard to some particulars. I understood you to say that your intentions were purely commercial—that you disclaimed military occupation and projects of conquest; but afterwards one of you (if I recollect right Mr. Lambton) observed that the interests of New South Wales might possibly be compromised by a demand being made upon the Government for military assistance in the event of the natives not allowing you peaceable possession. Now if all which you meant by this is that should the natives not allow you to carry on your commercial concerns you will apply to the military to enable you to withdraw in safety, I see no objection to the troops being so employed; but if you consider the Government pledged to protect you against the natives, and to employ the military to enforce your occupation of the territory, it appears to me that the character of your enterprise will be changed—at any rate, I ought to apprise you that I am by no means prepared to give you assurances of military support for such objects, and I should be very sorry to have encouraged you in this undertaking by such a misapprehension of what passed yesterday.

I have, &c.,