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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 24

From H. W. Farnall to Agent-General. Belfast, February 19, 1873

From H. W. Farnall to Agent-General.

My Dear Sir,—


I have received your letter of the 13th instant, in which you say you purpose communicating with me as soon as you are able to do so, on the subject of the functions and duties attached to my appointment under the New Zealand Government, about which there is at present some misunderstanding.

You will, perhaps, forgive me if I briefly state in what way I consider my services can be made most useful to the Government.

I entirely concur with you that my chief employment should be visiting the local agents, lecturing where advisable, and personally making known the emigration proposals of the Government, but I would desire to point out that I not only have no means of ascertaining what the sub-agents are doing unless they send their papers through me, but also unless they are aware that I am placed here for the purpose of approving of those emigrants they may select, as well as for the purpose of giving information about the colony of New Zealand, I lose that check over their proceedings which, in my position, I consider I page 7 ought to have. I hold that it is almost as of great importance to prevent those from taking advantage of our emigration scheme who are physically or otherwise unsuitable, as it is to help on those who in every way are fitted to become good settlers. I am willing to carry on all the necessary correspondence with the various sub-agents in this district at my own expense, and I will undertake that there shall be no delay in forwarding to you all papers when completed, together with the passage deposit made by emigrants, and I will, of course, also visit the agents in person.

I regret that you should have thought it necessary to make the observation that, in consequence of my letters being dated from Belfast, you are led to infer that my work has not been done as completely as the service of the Government requires, for I have spared neither pains nor expense in the cause for which I am at present receiving remuneration. I think it will be impossible to judge whether I have or have not done what is expected of me, except by results. Should it happen that a very large number of the best class of emigrants are gained to New Zealand from this part of Ireland in the next few months, it will be but fair, I think, to give me credit for having helped to this end. Should it, however, happen that a much larger number should be obtained from here than from its size and population would reasonably have been expected, then I think it should certainly be conceded that I have done my duty. For my own part, I feel confident of the result, but would much like to work out that result after my own fashion; and I sincerely hope that you will allow me to continue, and carry out, at all events for a time, the system I have adopted. If by chance there is the slightest hitch, or if it interferes in the slightest with the smooth working of your office, I will at once give way, but I think that on the contrary it will very materially assist it. * * *