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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 10

O. — To the Editor of the New Zealand Spectator


To the Editor of the New Zealand Spectator.

Bishop's House, Wellington.

Sir,—I trust that you will allow me through your columns to clear Archdeacon Hadfield of a grave charge brought against him by Mr. Dillon Bell, as reported in the New Zealander of August 8th. He is there stated to have said, "I cannot conceive how any man having the interests of the country at heart, or desiring to serve the Maori race, could withhold these letters (W, King's to Archdeacon Hadfield) from the knowledge of the Governor, how a minister of the gospel, the friend and adviser of this chief, when war was raging, even while blood was being shed (loud cheers), could have preferred keeping them secret only to find a paltry triumph in making them known in this House when it was too late (loud cheers.)" It is very characteristic of Archdeacon Hadfield, that in his letters to the editor of the Southern Cross, published in your issue of August 22d, he makes no allusion to so grave a charge. With, the independent dignity of an honourable man, conscious of right, and of a character that places him far beyond the reach of such aspersions, he does not even refer to it. But what such a man will not do for himself, another may be allowed to say for him. The Governor was made acquainted with the fact of "William King having written to the Archdeacon as far back as April last; and the reason of his not having been made sooner acquainted with the letter, is given in the following extract from a letter written by me to His Excellency on the 7th of April, the receipt of which the Governor acknowledged.

"I think you have been misled in the matter of Archdeacon Had-field's conduct about this Taranaki war. He told me some months back that he wished to write to you about the state of the natives at Taranaki, as he had received a letter from W. King; but as I then expected you and the General Assembly to be here in February or March, I recommended his waiting till you came, and talking the matter over. We had no idea of the sudden coup de main your Excellency was planning, and the proclamation of martial law in the province of Taranaki came upon us before we had any opportunity of remonstrance." The public can now judge for itself of the value of Mr. Dillon Bell's language as quoted above.

I am, Sir, &c. &c. (Signed)

C. F. Wellington.