The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29
In recommending the establishment of a British Colony in New Zealand, I beg to assure your Lordship that I have bad no intercourse or connection of any kind with the parties concerned in introducing a bill into the Imperial Parliament for the accomplishment of that object during the past year. Whatever may have been the motives or the character of certain of these parties (and I understand both were sufficiently decried at the time), I am in no way responsible for either; my first and principal object in these letters being the protection of the interesting but unfortunate natives of New Zealand, their rescue from that system of wholesale plunder and progressive extermination, to which they are at present exposed, and their ultimate elevation to the rank and character of Christian and civilized men.
If the system of non-interference, on the part of European Governments, with the natives of New Zealand, were likely to secure the attainments of these important objects, and to promote the general advancement of that most interesting race of aborigines, I should be the first to decry all such interference, and to advocate the propriety of leaving them entirely alone. But I trust, my Lord, it will be abundantly evident to your Lordship and the public, from the preceding details, that the continuance of that system will only render the New page 53 Zealanders an easy prey to the shoals of unprincipled European adventurers, who are ever and anon landing on the island from the Australian Penal Colonies, or from the whalers and trading vessels that occasionally visit their coasts; and that every year longer that the system in question is allowed to subsist, the number of these adventurers will only be the more increased, and the case of the New Zealanders the more hopeless. Under the system at present in operation it is actually the interest of such adventurers to demoralize the New Zealanders, and to engage them in exterminating wars with each other, by selling them rum, gunpowder, and firearms, that they may the more easily obtain possession of their valuable land.
It will also be evident to your Lordship and the public, from the preceding details, that the case of the New Zealanders cannot be entrusted, with any degree of safety to that interesting people, even to missionaries; and more especially to the agents of the Church Missionary Society. Even if these missionaries were inclined, they have no longer the power to protect the natives from the aggressions of unprincipled Europeans; but their own flagrant example, as purchasers of land from the natives, has deprived them of all moral power for the protection of the New Zealanders, and shewn but too plainly that they had but little inclination to exert such a power, if they ever possessed it.
The grounds on which the Bill for the Colonization of New Zealand was successfully opposed in the last session of Parliament were: That the establishment of a British colony in that island would necessarily be effected on infidel and not on Christian principles; that the rights of the natives would consequently be sacrificed and themselves speedily exterminated; and that these natives, being a sovereign and independent people, advancing rapidly in civilization and Christianization, the British Government had no right to interfere with them in the manner proposed. In direct opposition, however, to such ideas, I am confident, my Lord, that a British colony could, with the page 54 utmost facility, be both established and conducted in New Zealand on Christian and philanthropic principles, and that such a colony would not only afford the requisite protection to the natives, and the requisite security for the maintenance of their rights, but would form a most desirable point d'appui and centre of action for missionary labour among the Aborigines.
In regard to the alleged independence of the New Zealanders, and their paramount sovereignty in their own island, the fact undoubtedly is, that these islands are at present divided into innumerable independent and sovereign chieftainships, in each of which the whole of the land belongs in common to the whole freemen of the tribe—as is uniformly the case also among the Indians of North America; but it is also the melancholy fact that, through the rapid extension of British commerce and colonization in the Southern Hemisphere, during the last twenty years, these independent and sovereign chieftainships are now almost universally undergoing a rapid process of annihilation, while their territories are virtually seized and appropriated on the most impudent pretences by lawless adventurers from the British Penal Colonies, and from every whaler or trading vessel that touches on their coasts. It is, therefore, for Her Majesty's Government to determine whether so preposterous a system of downright plunder and oppression is to be allowed to subsist under the sanction of Great Britain, and in the immediate neighbourhood of a series of British colonies, or to be put an end to at once by the assumption of the sovereignty of the islands, on the part of Her Majesty, and the establishment of a British Colony on their shores.
It is quite unnecessary, I apprehend, my Lord, to consult Puffendorff or Grotius as to the right of Her Majesty's Government to colonize New Zealand, and to assume the sovereignty of the island. The necessity of the case demands such a measure on the part of the British Government; humanity calls loudly for it; every independent chief in New Zealand will most assuredly hail it as a blessing to himself and his country; and however insignificant it may appear, among the page 55 occurrences of the moment, posterity will undoubtedly regard its accomplishment as one of the most important events of Her Majesty's reign.
It may not be improper, however, to discuss the question of right in the first instance, as far at least as that question is capable of discussion. It is acknowledged, therefore, as a maxim or first principle of the law of nations, that the discovery of any waste or uninhabited country by a civilized nation confers on the nation making such discovery a right to colonize that country in preference to all other civilized nations—a right, in short, to take possession of its territory, and to exercise sovereignty over it. Thus the small, but beautiful island, called Norfolk Island, to the northward of New Zealand, having been discovered by Captain Cook, and having been found waste and uninhabited, Great Britain not only acquired by that discovery a right to colonize the said island, in preference to all other civilized nations, but the island itself became thenceforth British property, a part and parcel of the British Empire.
It is acknowledged also as a maxim or first principle of the law of nations, that if the new country so discovered is inhabited, and under a Government of any kind, the mere discovery of it by a civilized nation (while it still gives such a nation a right to colonize it, if it is susceptible of colonization, in preference to all other civilized nations) confers on that nation no right of sovereignty over it—no right of property to a single inch of its territory. In the celebrated case of the Cherokee nation against the State of Georgia, tried before the Supreme Court of the United States in the year 1832, the late eminent Chief Justice Marshall, in his admirable summing up of the argument on both sides, laid down this equitable principle as having been the principle on which the British Government had uniformly acted towards the Indians in the colonization of America, previous to the war of American independence; and proved incontestably that as the American Governments had merely inherited British rights by the event of that war, they page 56 could have no right of property whatever upon the territory of a free and independent Indian nation.
In fact this equitable principle appears to have regulated the transactions of the more respectable civilized nations with semi-barbarous tribes from the remotest times. Whether we believe the story, handed down to us from antiquity, of the bullock's hide cut into a thong of great length for the purpose of measuring off the piece of land which had been previously purchased by Queen Dido, from the natives of Northern Africa, for the erection of the city of Carthage, or not, the very fact that such a story was told and credited by the ancients, sufficiently apprises us of the principles on which the merchant-princes of Tyre and Sidon were known to regulate their intercourse with uncivilized men; for instead of seizing it by force of arms, and thereby exciting a war, that would in all probability have laid waste the country and ruined their own commerce, the Phoenicians evidently purchased from the native chief of the district, at a certain fixed price, the piece of land they had selected in his territory as the site of their trading factory of Carthage.
To apply these principles to the case of the proposed colonization of New Zealand by the British Government, it cannot be denied that that island was originally discovered—not by the British, but by the Dutch. In the year 1642, Abel Jansen Tasman, a Dutch navigator, who had been commissioned by His Excellency, Anthony Van Dieman, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, to ascertain the extent and character of the newly discovered continent of New Holland, sailed for that purpose from Batavia, in command of the yacht Heemskirk and the pinnace Zeehaen, and discovered the island of Van Dieman's Land, which he considered the southern extremity of that continent, and also the island of New Zealand. On Van Dieman's Land, Tasman effected a landing in various places, and had some intercourse with the natives. On New Zealand, however, he never landed, having merely seen that island from his ship's deck.
By this discovery the Dutch unquestionably acquired a right page 57 to colonize both of these countries in preference to all other nations; but having made no use of that right for the long period of 145 years, and the British Government having in the meantime followed up the discoveries of Tasman by discovering and surveying the whole eastern coast of New Holland and the islands of New Zealand, that Government undoubtedly succeeded to the right to colonize in both cases, which the Dutch had originally possessed, but had thus virtually renounced. Van Dieman's Land, the discovery of Tasman, was therefore included as a portion of the colony of New South Wales, on the east coast of New Holland, and was taken possession of accordingly by the British Government, in virtue of the subsequent discoveries of Captain Cook, in the year 1787. If, therefore, the Dutch title was held to have merged or been extinguished in reference to Van Dieman's Land, on which Tasman had actually landed, a fortiori it must have been held to have merged also or been extinguished in reference to New Zealand, an island which that navigator had merely seen, and on which Captain Cook, who surveyed and described it minutely a hundred and thirty years thereafter, was the first European who had ever landed. The Royal Commission of 1787, appointing Captain Phillip to be Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over the territory of New South Wales and its dependencies, accordingly included all the discoveries of Captain Cook in the Southern Pacific; the said territory and its dependencies being described in that commission as extending "from Cape York (the extremity of the coast to the northward), in the latitude of 11° 37′ south; to the South Cape (the southern extremity of the coast), in the latitude of 40° 30′ south; and inland to the westward as far as 135° of east longitude, comprehending all the islands adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, within the latitudes of the above-mentioned Capes."
If it should be urged, however, that this description could not be supposed to include islands so far to the eastward of New Holland as New Zealand, I beg to reply, my Lord, that page 58 it was not only supposed to do so, but that it really did include such islands; the island, called Norfolk Island, situated to the northward of New Zealand, on the same meridian, being actually colonized by Captain Phillip, in virtue of his commission above quoted, as a part of the territory of New South Wales and its dependencies. Nay, shortly after the commencement of the present century, the British Government had it seriously under their consideration to appoint a Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, as a subordinate penal settlement and dependency of New South Wales, on a representation, pointing out the propriety of such an appointment, by Lieutenant-Colonel Foveaux, of the New South Wales corps. Happily, indeed, for New Zealand, that recommendation was not acted on; but so lately as the close of the government of the late Major-General Macquarie, in the year 1820, that island was still regarded, not theoretically but practically, as a dependency of New South Wales, and within the limits of the government of that colony; for when the Rev. Mr. Butler was about to proceed to New Zealand, as Superintendent of the Church Mission in that island, he was actually created a Justice of Peace for the territory of New South Wales and its dependencies, by Governor Macquarie, and authorised to exercise his functions in that capacity in New Zealand.
At all events, it must be obvious to your Lordship and the public, that the British Government have not allowed their right to colonize New Zealand, in preference to all other civilized nations, acquired by the discoveries of Cook in the years 1770 and 1775, to fall into abeyance and become extinguished, like that of the Dutch, acquired in the year 1642, by the original discovery of Tasman. And as it is solely the expenditure of eight millions of British money during the last fifty years in the colonies of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, or rather the extraordinary facilities for extending colonization in the Southern Hemisphere which that expenditure has created, that renders the colonization of New Zealand at all practicable at the present moment, it would page 59 clearly be an act of the grossest injustice to Great Britain—independently altogether of the right she acquired to colonize that island through the discoveries of Captain Cook—for any other civilized nation to attempt to appropriate the fruits of that enormous expenditure, by forming a settlement on its coast.
But the right to colonize, my Lord, most certainly gives Her Majesty no right whatever to occupy a single inch of the territory of New Zealand, except on such terms as its native inhabitants shall accede to: in other words, it merely gives Her Majesty the right of pre-emption from the natives. That important right, however, neither Her Majesty nor any of her royal predecessors has yet renounced in any way; and as it is a right clearly available, not merely against all European foreigners, but against all Her Majesty's own subjects, it follows unquestionably that whoever has purchased land from the natives in New Zealand, has done so at his own risk—has done so in defiance of Her Majesty's right of pre-emption; nay, has done so in the face of his late Majesty King George III.'s virtual protest against all such purchases in his commission to his first Captain-General of New South Wales.
A few years ago, when a few adventurers from Van Dieman's Land crossed over to the south coast of New Holland, and discovered a splendid country, which is now rapidly settling, in the neighbourhood of Port Phillip, they negociated for the purchase of vast tracts of land for a mere trifle from the black natives. The deeds were drawn up in due form, the natives having appended their respective marks with all the customary formalities of English law; and certain lawyers in Van Dieman's Land, who, it was alleged, were concerned in the speculation, pronounced them valid. But the Imperial Government, insisting on his late Majesty's right of preemption, or, in other words, of treating exclusively with the natives for their land, very properly disallowed the whole transaction, and the native deeds were consequently held null and void.page 60
Now I conceive, my Lord, that the case of all purchases of land from the natives of New Zealand is a case precisely similar; and the interests of humanity, as well as of Her Majesty's Government generally, demand that Her Majesty shall not suffer the Royal prerogative to be invaded by individual and unwarranted speculation in that island, any more than it was allowed to be invaded in a similar manner on the south coast of New Holland. By maintaining the Royal prerogative in the case of New Zealand, as it was maintained at Port Phillip, Her Majesty will reserve to herself the salutary and important right of revising every alleged purchase of land in that island—will retain the power of confirming honest men in their possessions, and of obliging persons of a different description to restore to the natives, or to the Government on their behalf, the land they have acquired dishonestly—and will thus establish a precedent of most beneficial operation for the aborigines of every uncivilized country in the South Seas having relations with British subjects in all time coming.
In regard to the assumption of the sovereignty of New Zealand, on the part of Her Majesty, considered as distinct from the right to colonize the island on the terms I have mentioned, I am aware of no other principle on which such a measure could be justified than that of sheer necessity; a principle which, your Lordship is aware, however, is superior to law, or rather which creates a law for itself. It is absolutely necessary, on the one hand, that a regular and energetic Government should be established forthwith in that island; but the native chiefs are utterly incapable, on the other, of forming such a government of themselves—being altogether destitute of the intelligence, virtue, and energy of character that would be indispensably requisite to sustain a republic, and too jealous of each other to allow any one of their number to exercise authority as lord paramount over the rest. But if the sovereignty of the island were at once assumed by Her Majesty, and exercised, as it would undoubtedly be, for the page 61 protection of the natives from European aggression, for the preservation of peace between their different tribes, and for the promotion of their intellectual and moral advancement, there is no room to doubt, from all I have heard of the New Zealanders in all parts of the island for the last sixteen years, that such an event would be universally hailed by the natives and most cheerfully acquiesced in. The New Zealanders are uniformly desirous that Europeans should settle among them; and so untutored are they in regard to the ideas of civilized men on the points of national independence and sovereignty, that they have often represented it as a singular instance of bad taste, as well as of partiality, on the part of the British Government, that the Sovereign of Great Britain should have sent a Governor for so inferior a race as the black natives of New South Wales, and none for them.
I beg, therefore, most respectfully to suggest that Her Majesty should be advised forthwith to assume the sovereignty of New Zealand, for the general purposes of colonization from the mother country, as well as for the protection and preservation of its aboriginal inhabitants; such colonization to be effected on the principles on which the colony of South Australia has recently been established, but with a special reference to the superior intellectual condition and general prospects of the Aboriginal race. If an Act of the Imperial Parliament could be obtained for such a purpose, it would doubtless be highly desirable; but it appears to me that under the original Act of Parliament authorising the King in Council to form a Colony on the east coast of New Holland, including within its jurisdiction the adjacent islands of the Pacific Ocean, Her Majesty is fully authorized to take immediate steps, if she shall think fit, for the colonization of New Zealand, without the sanction of a new Act of Parliament at all.
|1.—||That the land in all the islands constituting the New Zealand group—including Chatham Island, the Auckland Islands, Norfolk Island, and Lord Howe's Island—belongs to the Aborigines of these islands respectively; and that no part of that land shall be settled by European colonists without the express consent of the natives, and without having been previously purchased from the natives at what they shall consider a fair and adequate price.|
|2.—||That all private purchases of land from the natives, whether past or future, shall be utterly disallowed, as an infringement of Her Majesty's undoubted right of pre-emption; the Government, or Commissioners acting on their behalf, to be the sole purchasers from the natives, and a Board of Protectors of the Aborigines to ascertain beforehand, and to certify to that effect in every particular case, that in all such purchases the interests and feelings and wishes of the natives have been duly consulted.|
|3.—||That the land so purchased from the natives shall be sold by the said Commissioners at not less than a certain fixed price per acre, and that the proceeds of such sales shall be appropriated in the following manner, viz.:—
That a vast extent of eligible land of the first quality could in this manner be purchased from the natives of New Zealand, page 63 in all parts of the island, at a merely nominal price, is undeniable. The islands of the New Zealand group are but thinly inhabited; and as the natives are not a pastoral people, and as there is no game on the islands to employ them in hunting, a comparatively small portion of land is adequate to all the wants of a New Zealand tribe or family. On the other hand, it is by no means desirable that in their present circumstances the natives should receive a high price for their land from the colonizing Government; for that price would in all likelihood be squandered away very speedily in procuring for them some trifling or momentary gratification. It would be incomparably better for the natives to have a certain portion of the proceeds of the lands so purchased from them and resold to European colonists, appropriated for the establishment of some permanent provision for the furtherance of their intellectual and moral advancement.
It is in reference chiefly to these probable results of the sale of their land, in the event of its being sold exclusively to the Government, and not to the mere difference of the price they would receive for it, that it becomes a matter of the highest importance, not only to the New Zealanders, but to the British nation generally, that Her Majesty's right of pre-emption from the natives should be maintained inviolate. If the New Zealanders, for example, are willing to sell a hundred thousand acres of their land at a penny an acre, let them do so by all means; the land may in all probability be worth no more to them, and the fair price of a thing, surely, is what it is worth to the seller. But it is a very different question altogether, whether they shall be allowed to sell their land at that price to the Queen of England exclusively, or be at liberty to sell it, if they please, to Mr. Fairbairn, the Christian, from Parramatta, or Mr. Polack, the Jew, from Sydney.* For even supposing, page 64 in the latter case, that the stipulated price of the land should be all well and truly paid, without cozening or cheating of any kind, by Mr. Fairbairn or Mr. Polack—and such a supposition, my Lord, can only be made by that charity which hopeth all things—the natives will in all likelihood be told to go about their business as soon as the deeds are signed, and be left thenceforth to live and die as mere beggars, if they please, among the whalers and other dissolute Europeans in the seaports of their own island; while the land they have sold will be suffered to lie entirely waste until it acquires a comparatively high value from its situation, from the influx of Europeans, or from some other adventitious circumstance; and when it has acquired such value, the price at which it will eventually be sold in small portions, or the yearly rental it will yield when let to European cultivators, will only serve to elevate the family of the Fairbairns, of Mount Fairbairn, or the Polacks, of Polack Hall, to the rank and dignity of an illiterate, narrow-minded, purse-proud, heartless colonial aristocracy—one of the most intolerable nuisances on the face of the earth. But if sold to Her Majesty the Queen, and resold to European capitalists at a pound an acre, in the way I have proposed, a portion of that price will be appropriated towards the maintenance of a body of men whose peculiar duty it will be to look after the interests of the natives, and to protect them from European aggression; and another portion of it will be appropriated towards the support of schools and other kindred institutions, for the furtherance of their intellectual and moral page 65 advancement; while the rest of it will he devoted towards the conveyance of a large body of European emigrants to New Zealand, to settle with their ministers and schoolmasters in the midst of the natives, to set them the example of European arts and industry, and to allure them by acts of brotherly kindness to the reception and practice of the Christian religion. It is surely not difficult, my Lord, to determine which of these systems is the best, or to recognise the deep interest which every British subject, of right principles, ought to feel in maintaining Her Majesty's right of pre-emption in New Zealand, against all persons whatsoever.
It is extremely gratifying to observe that the generous and philanthropic policy I have thus advocated, in regard to the Aborigines of New Zealand, has found supporters, in the highest and most influential quarters, in regard to another most interesting race of Aborigines, in the United States of America. The General Government of the United States, as your Lordship is well aware, allows no private individual, nor even a Sovereign State, to acquire land from the Indians in any way; the right of acquiring such land being vested by the Constitution in the Supreme Government exclusively. The land so acquired, whether by purchase, or exchange, or by the extinction of native titles in any other way, is sold thereafter by the General Government at a certain fixed price—about five shillings per acre—and the proceeds of such sales are thrown into the Public Treasury of the United States. In his Report to the President, however, of November 25, 1832, the American Secretary at War strongly recommends that in future the revenue (amounting recently to four millions sterling per annum) arising from such sales, should be appropriated exclusively towards the general improvement of the Aborigines.
"It cannot be doubted," observes the philanthropic Secretary, in the Report referred to, "that a course, so consistent with the dictates of justice, and so honourable to the national character, would be approved by public sentiment. Should we hereafter discard all pecuniary advantage in our purchases from page 66 the Indians, and confine ourselves to the great objects of their removal and establishment, and take care that the proceeds of the cessions are applied to their benefit, and in the most salutary manner, we should go far towards discharging the great moral debt which has come down to us as an inheritance from the earliest periods of our history, and which has been unfortunately increased during successive generations by circumstances beyond our control. This policy would not be less wise than just. The time has passed away, if it ever existed, when a revenue derived from such a source was necessary to the Government. The remnant of our aboriginal race may well look for the full value, and that usefully applied, of the remnant of those immense possessions which have passed from them to us, and left no susbtantial evidences of permanent advantage to them."
The circumstances of our own Government, however, in regard to the colonization of New Zealand, are altogether different from those of the General Government of the United States, in regard to the settlement of the waste lands of the American Union. In both cases the claims of the Aborigines are doubtless the same; but in the case of New Zealand, a revenue to be derived from the sale of land, over and above what may be indispensably requisite to meet the claims of the natives, is absolutely necessary for the promotion of an extensive emigration from Great Britain and Ireland; but such a revenue may be raised, my Lord, and the great national object of effecting an extensive emigration to New Zealand accomplished, with the utmost facility, simply by raising the minimum price of land in that island to four times the American rate, or a pound an acre.
The land purchased from the natives by the Government could easily be sold either to European capitalists or to emigrant colonists, at a pound per acre. It would be well worth that amount to those who could turn it to a proper account; and provided a considerable extent of land were sold annually, as would infallibly be the case, in the event of the islands page 67 being thrown open for colonization, such a price would afford abundant resources for all the objects I have enumerated. The price of land even at present in the neighbourhood of the Bay of Islands, notwithstanding the uncertainty necessarily attending the native titles, is from eight to ten shillings per acre; and for building allotments near the anchorage ground in that Bay, as much as a pound sterling per foot of frontage has already been paid for land having an extent of sixty feet back. In short, the rates established for South Australia, viz., twelve shillings for the first twelvemonths, and £1 per acre thereafter, could be established with perfect safety to all parties as the minimum price of Crown land in New Zealand.
Supposing, therefore, that such a plan should be carried into effect, and that considerable bodies of European colonists should be settled at the Bay of Islands, the River Thames, the Hokianga, Kaiparra, and Munakau Rivers, and at Port Nicholson in Cook's Straits; and supposing that the same duties on all imports and exports should be levied in these settlements as in New South Wales, I am confident that the revenue derived from such a source during the first three years of the existence of the colony, would be fully adequate to all the expenses of its civil government; for although there might be a deficiency during the first year, there would in all likelihood be a surplus revenue during the third. A large portion of that revenue, I am sorry to say, would in all probability be derived from duties on the importation and sale of ardent spirits. If indeed the importation and manufacture of ardent spirits could be altogether prohibited in New Zealand, it would doubtless prove an unspeakable blessing, both to the natives and to the colonists; but as this would obviously be utterly impracticable in a maritime country frequented by vessels of all nations, and having a coast line of upwards of two thousand miles, with innumerable harbours, it would be the policy of the Government to subject the importation of ardent spirits to a comparatively high duty, and to place the sale of them under proper regulations. For this purpose an efficient police would be requisite in the princi- page 68 pal maritime ports of the island—at the Bay of Islands especially—from the very first.
In the event of the colonization of New Zealand, I conceive my Lord, there would be no necessity for a body of military to protect the colonists. If many hundred Europeans can live at present in perfect safety among the New Zealanders in all parts of the island, even when pursuing a species of traffic that reduces the unfortunate natives to absolute beggary in their own land, it must be evident that as many thousand Europeans would stand in still less need of military protection, especially when living together in concentrated communities, and all their intercourse with the natives conducted on the principles of impartial justice and enlightened Christianity. The protection of one or two ships of war, to be employed surveying the coast, and in establishing a friendly intercourse with the native tribes at a distance from the principal settlement, would be all the protection which the colonists would require from the mother country. A colonial police, with a corps of native constables, attired in a gay uniform and receiving rations and moderate pay from the Government, would be quite sufficient for the maintenance of the civil power in the island.
As New Zealand will always be the head quarters of the South Sea Fisheries, and as the supply of provisions to the whalers frequenting the Bay of Islands will, in the first instance at least, form a considerable item in the general trade of the island, it would obviously be good policy, on the part of the Government, to encourage the resort of these vessels to the principal seaports of the island, by establishing a low rate of port charges; and thereby prevent their resorting for supplies to places or islands where there is no European Government established, and where their influence on the natives is in general exceedingly demoralizing. The exorbitantly high port charges of Sydney repel the South Sea Whalers from New South Wales, and induce them to look for their supplies in places where there is either little or nothing to pay under that head.page 69
|America, almost exclusively whalers||56|
|Colonial, from Sydney,||22|
|Colonial, from Hobart Town,||2|
From the preceding list, which exhibits only the arrivals in a single port, although at present the principal one in New Zealand, for the past year, it must be evident to the commercial reader that in a country enjoying such advantages of situation, and possessing such extensive intercourse with the civilized world as that list implies, there could be no difficulty apprehended as to funds, in establishing and supporting a Government in the island on European principles. At all events there would obviously be no necessity for applying for a grant from the British Treasury for the establishment of a colony in so favourable a locality; for if this was found unnecessary in South Australia, it would certainly a fortiori be equally so in page 70 New Zealand. The latter is a commercial country already, frequented for its valuable timber, its flax, and its provisions for whalers; and its numerous native population are daily acquiring a taste for British manufactures. These they obtain at present at an exorbitant price in exchange for potatoes, pork, flax, and maize; but if they could dispose of these native productions at their fair value in a public market, the demand for such goods, and consequently the public revenue arising from their importation, would be indefinitely increased.
Supposing, therefore, that the principles of colonization above mentioned were established in the case of New Zealand, either by Act of Parliament or by Royal Ordinance, and Commissioners appointed, as in the case of South Australia, to carry these principles into effect, a Joint Stock Company could immediately be formed in London, with the most favourable prospects of success, for the prosecution of the Black "Whale Fishery along the coasts of New Zealand; for the fishermen to be employed in the Fishery, the carpenters to build their boats and small coasting-vessels, and the rope-spinners to manufacture their whaling-gear from the native flax, could all be carried out to the Colony, with their wives and children, their ministers and schoolmasters, free of cost to the Company, and at the expense of the Land Revenue. Such a community would obviously be strong enough to protect its individual members from all attacks from without, on whatever part of the coast it might be settled : it would constitute, moreover, a valuable market for the agricultural and dairy produce of the other Colonists; and, by preserving the moral restraints of the mother country, it would exert a salutary influence on the surrounding natives, many of whom would gladly join the Europeans in their different occupations, and be at length amalgamated with them in the same Christian community. It is evident, at all events, that such persons would prove formidable competitors with the Americans and the French in the Fisheries of New Zealand.
Independently altogether of agricultural emigrants, or page 71 rather, in addition to such emigrants, the cutting and collecting of spars and other timber for exportation, and the gathering and preparing of the native flax for the home market, as well as for Colonial manufacture, would likewise afford immediate permanent and profitable employment to a considerable European population, which could also be carried out free of cost, in addition to agricultural emigrants properly so called. There would thus be a considerable variety of employment for the industrious portion of the Colonial population—a state of things which is always advantageous to society, as it enables its different constituent parts to afford each other mutual support.
Much of the beneficial influence to be hoped for from European colonization in New Zealand, as far as the natives are concerned, would depend on the number and concentration of the colonists, and on the moral and educational machinery with which they should be attended from their first landing on the island. The settlement of a few straggling European adventurers among the uncivilized aborigines of any country is always unfavourable to the moral welfare of both parties. It would, therefore, be of importance to the New Zealanders to prevent such dispersion, and to induce the Europeans settling in the island to concentrate themselves in suitable localities. In a pastoral country like New South Wales, this would doubtless be both absurd and impracticable; but in a maritime and agricultural country, like the northern parts of New Zealand, it would be comparatively easy. Besides, the Government Commissioners, and Board of Protectors, would have it fully in their power to prevent any European colonist from acquiring property in land wherever his settlement might be deemed likely to prove unfavourable to the natives.
As the climate and soil of the northern parts of New Zealand are similar to those of the South of Europe, it would be extremely desirable, in the first instance at least, to encourage the emigration and settlement in the island of agricultural emigrants from Germany, Switzerland, and page 72 France; to introduce those brandies of culture that are peculiarly suited to such a climate, but with what the natives of the British islands are unacquainted—such as the culture of the vine, the figure, the olive, the mulberry, and the tobacco plant, &C.; with the making of wine, the preparation of dried fruits, the rearing of silkworms, and the manufacture of tobacco. These branches of agriculture and manufacture, the mere English fanner is slow to learn. He will never learn them from books; and they can never be expected to be introduced into a new country colonized from England, unless by an agricultural population imported expressly for the purpose, and accustomed to them in their native land. Besides, the actual condition of the native population of New Zealand renders it peculiarly desirable that there should be introduced into the island, as speedily as possible, branches of agricultural labour or manufacture suitable for women and children; which, it is well known, the branches I have just enumerated peculiarly are.
In short, while the state of things which subsists at present in New Zealand,—where every European adventurer is at perfect liberty to treat the natives as he pleases, and to do whatever he deems right or profitable for himself, and where the natives are consequently oppressed, and trodden down, and exterminated in every direction—affords a complete exemplification of the uniform character and results of British colonization in all times past; I am confident that the colonization of New Zealand, on the principles and in the manner I have stated, would prove an incalculable blessing to the natives, and would not only afford a sufficient guarantee for their protection and preservation, but would greatly hasten their adoption of the manners and religion of Christian Europeans, and their final amalgamation with the other subjects of the British crown,—a consummation, my Lord, which even in remote anticipation, I am sure your Lordship will regard as incomparably more gratifying to a philanthropic mind than all the dreams of poetry or the visions of romance.page 73
Colonization in New Zealand, to be of any real benefit to the natives, must be engaged in vigorously, and pursued to a great extent; and it is gratifying to reflect that there is no conceivable amount of British capital which might not be expended in effecting that object, so as to afford a handsome return to the capitalist, and to be productive of much real benefit to all others concerned. At all events, I am confident there is no country in which all the necessaries of life can be procured with greater facility by industrious free emigrants on their arrival, or in which moderate labour would meet with a more certain or plentiful return. There are thousands and tens of thousands of the half-starved semi-maritime population of the north and west of Scotland in particular, who, if suffered to remain in their native country, will only be a dead weight to the community, neither adding to its strength nor increasing its resources; but who, if transplanted into the more genial soil and climate of New Zealand, would not only arrive in due time at comfort and independence themselves, but would secure for Great Britain and her colonies, what they are otherwise so likely to be deprived of, the riches and the empire of the Southern Seas.
In regard to the politico-ecclesiastical system which it would be proper to establish in New Zealand, in the event of the colonization of that island, your Lordship is sufficiently aware that the time has gone by in which the British Government could even attempt to set up an exclusive ecclesiastical establishment in any new colony of the Empire. If the Government are henceforth to support religion at all in new Colonies, by grants of money from the Public Treasury, these grants must be given indiscriminately to all religious denominations. No other principle will any longer be tolerated by the people. This principle, my Lord, has recently been publicly recognized, and acted on extensively by the Government, in the Australian Penal Colonies, in which your Lordship is doubtless aware, there is now either no established church at all, or all churches are established and supported alike.page 74
That such a system must at once put an end to all those heart-burnings and jealousies which the existence of an exclusive establishment in the Colonies is sure to give rise to, is evident and undeniable; but that it will promote in a high degree the moral welfare and religious advancement of the Colonies, is a very different question, in regard to which I would merely put your Lordship and the public in possession of the following facts, from which the right inferences may be deduced with comparative facility.
In the first place, therefore, the system in question has already established in the Australian Colonies a powerful Popish Hierarchy; such, indeed, as could never have existed in these Colonies, at least during the present generation, but for the support of Government. Viewing the Romish religion merely in a political light, as being an acknowledged and monstrous incubus upon the intellectual and moral energies of man, such a result of a political regulation, sincerely intended, as I firmly believe, by the British Government, for the public welfare, cannot surely be regarded without painful feelings by any rightly-constituted mind.
In the second place, the system in question has also established in the Australian Colonies that species of Protestant Episcopacy of which the peculiar principles are delineated in the Oxford Tracts; which holds, as the first and most important tenets of Christianity, those doctrines of the dark ages, baptismal regeneration, apostolical succession, and the indefeasible right of the Church to lord it over the understandings and consciences of men; that species of Protestant Episcopacy, in short, which Messrs. Sheill and O'Connell regard with so much reason and so much complacency as the symptoms of an eventful and speedy return to Romanism. Whether the Colonial Episcopalian laity would have either tolerated or supported such a species of Episcopacy, if the State had only left them to find religious instructors for themselves, I leave your Lordship and the public to determine.
In the third place, the system in question has in a great page 75 measure neutralized the efficiency of the Colonial Presbyterian Church, as one of the chief bulwarks of Protestantism in the Southern Hemisphere, by throwing open its doors for the admission of ministers who, after having run the gauntlet for church-preferment over all Scotland, and been beaten in every parish, betake themselves as a last resource to the Antipodes, for the Government salaries that are now so easily to be had there.
Finally, the system in question has not only afforded the Colonial Government a pretext for interfering in ecclesiastical matters, in the way of petty and vexatious regulation and legislation—a species of interference which is uniformly disastrous to the Christian Church—but has given rise to an unseemly canvassing for mere names, to swell their Government Lists of adherents, among the ministers of different religious denominations; it being too frequently the case that after the name is given the individual is forgotten.
Nay, it is already the avowed opinion of some of the ablest financiers of New South Wales, that the system of supporting the clergy of all denominations from the Public Treasury of that Colony cannot possibly subsist long; and that the salaries allowed, under the General Church Act of 1836, must either be greatly reduced, to enable the country to bear them at all, or entirely withdrawn; and this consummation, it is generally supposed, moreover, will be greatly accelerated by the establishment and success of the South Australian Colony; in which the Government have, with only one insignificant exception, which I am given to understand is not likely to be permanent, left all religious denominations to shift for themselves.
With such examples so close at hand, I conceive, my Lord, it would not only be impolitic in the highest degree, but even hazardous in the extreme, to establish the politico-ecclesiastical system of the Australian Penal Colonies in New Zealand, in the event of the colonization of that island. Let the Government only leave the truth in matters of religion—whatever it page 76 may be, and wherever it may exist—to find its own level; as it is no longer practicable to support the truth beyond seas without also supporting innumerable forms of error. It may, doubtless, be a good maxim in English law, that it is better that ten guilty men should escape than that one innocent man should suffer; but such a maxim is surely altogether inapplicable to the case of religious establishments; for I maintain that, in the event of the colonization of New Zealand, on the principles I have enumerated, the innocent man—the man who would propagate the truth—would run no risk of suffering from merely being denied support from the public treasury. I certainly do not mean to assert that, in the event of that island being colonized and no Government provision made for the support of the ordinances of religion, the people would support of their own accord so many ministers of religion, in proportion to the population, as are soon likely to be found in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, under the new politico-ecclesiastical system of these colonies; but I do mean to assert, that if these ministers were chosen and supported exclusively by the people, one-half the number would do at least double the duty.
The Bay of Islands, to which I have so repeatedly alluded as the present head-quarters or principal rendezvous of the South Sea whalers in the Southern Pacific, is a splendid harbour, although by no means to be compared with Port Jackson. At its entrance the cliffs and detached rocks, to the right and left, exhibit the black columnar appearance that characterizes a basaltic formation; and the land immediately around it rises abruptly into irregular hills of considerable height, exhibiting a reddish clayey soil, and a scanty vegetation. Either for grazing or for agriculture, the land adjoining the Bay of Islands is decidedly of inferior quality; but the various navigable streams or inlets, of which it constitutes the common reservoir, conduct to large tracts of valuable land at no great distance, and will eventually afford a considerable extent of inland navigation. I was particularly struck, on ascending the Kaua- page 77 kaua River, one of these navigable inlets, at observing various native canoes, some with an English blanket, and others with a native mat for a sail, pushing towards the Bay, deeply laden with potatoes. On my return I found the owners of the canoes busily engaged in bargaining for their cargoes with Europeans residing in the neighbourhood. One would have an English blanket in exchange for his produce; another would have an iron pot, and a third a quantity of tobacco; while one native dealer, to whom I could not help giving credit for a very sinister look, would take nothing for his load but gunpowder.
About twenty years ago the shores of the Bay of Islands were inhabited by a numerous and comparatively powerful native population. That population, I am sorry to say, has already almost entirely disappeared; leaving only the names of the places where their Pahs or fortified villages were formerly constructed on the head-lands of the Bay. The land for a considerable distance around the Bay has thus become the property of Englishmen residing in the neighbourhood; and the purchases they have effected have doubtless tended, in no small degree, as I have already observed in the case of the chieftain Riva, to hasten the extermination of the natives. The largest proprietors are the Church Missionary Society, who occupy the greater portion of the southern and western sides of the Bay, and who have large establishments at Paihia, Tippunah, and Waimaté, on the Kidikidi River. Of these the station at Tippunah, on the west side of the Bay, was some time since the most considerable; but the Society have latterly had serious thoughts of abandoning it altogether in consequence of the depopulation of the neighbourhood. The second class of proprietors in the vicinity of the Bay of Islands are the Missionaries, considered as private individuals; the 'remaining proprietors being a few reputable Englishmen, who have built comfortable houses and established themselves permanently in the island, together with a company of "publicans and other "workers of iniquity," in the rising village of Kororadika.
In the prospect, therefore, of the colonization of New Zealand, page 78 on such principles as those I have taken the liberty to suggest to your Lordship and the public, it becomes a question of importance, What is to be done with these parties, and with all the other Europeans who have acquired land in that island, by alleged purchase from the natives ? Are their titles to be held good in all cases, and are the British Government to become a party to the iniquitous bargains they have notoriously concluded in many instances, and to the wholesale injustice and oppression they have avowedly perpetrated on the defenceless natives ?
For my own part, knowing that there are reputable men in New Zealand, who have acquired the lands they occupy by fair and honourable means, and who have greatly improved these lands by the erection of valuable buildings, while there are others whose regularly drawn deeds in the English and New Zealand languages, give them no title in equity to the lands they lay claim to, I would respectfully recommend that, in the event of the colonization of New Zealand, and the assertion of Her Majesty's right of pre-emption in all cases whether past or future, a Board should be appointed, like the Court of Claims in New South Wales, with full powers to decide definitively, in all cases of land claimed on the ground of purchase from the natives; and that that Board should be instructed to lay it down as a general principle that no such deeds as I have mentioned should be regarded as a valid title to land, but that each case should be decided upon on its own individual merits, and according as it should appear that the natives had or had not been fairly treated, and that an adequate consideration had or had not been given, the holder of the native deed should either receive a deed of grant from the Crown for such part of the land he claimed as he should be found fairly entitled to, or should merely have the right of pre-emption within a certain period at the Government minimum price. By this means the rights of honest men would be secured, while the Government would have ample means of doing justice to those natives who have been wrongfully despoiled of their lands by unprincipled Europeans.page 79
If a British subject has a right to purchase the whole territory of a semi-barbarous chief, residing beyond the limits of the British Empire, for a paltry consideration, he has a right to purchase his sovereignty also, and to establish an independent government of his own. And, incredible as it may seem, my Lord, this has actually been attempted within the last two years in New Zealand. When the Rev. Mr. Kendall, the first superintendent of the New Zealand Mission, was residing at the Bay of Islands, the native chiefs in the district of Hokianga made him a present of a large tract of land in that district, on condition that he would take up his residence among them. Mr. Kendall, having gone to England sometime thereafter, transferred his title to the said property to the Baron de Thierry, an English adventurer with a Continental title; the payment having been made in certain articles of British merchandise. Mr. Kendall afterwards left New Zealand and was settled for some time as an English chaplain at Valparaiso; from whence he subsequently returned to New South Wales, where he settled as a farmer at Kiama, on the east-coast to the southward, and was at last drowned in a small coasting vessel when bound with a load of cedar from his farm to Sydney. It was not till the year 1837, that the Baron de Thierry reached New Zealand; having touched on his way thither at Sydney, where he engaged various mechanics and labourers to proceed with him to his estate in that island. In the meantime he had procured a number of blank forms, with a lithographed heading, which, from the fabric of the paper and the form of the letters, appeared to have been of Parisian manufacture, to be thrown off to serve for manifestoes or other public documents in the island. The heading was singular enough : being, "Charles, by the grace of God, Sovereign Chief of New Zealand." Such, my Lord, was the princely style assumed by this adventurer; and it appears, from various circumstances, that having probably no prospect of succeeding in such an attempt at Downing Street, he had been at some pains to get his title as a Sovereign Chief acknowledged by the French Government. The Baron page 80 is still at Hokianga; but as the native chiefs have refused to acknowledge his title to the land he claims, on account of Mr. Kendall's failure to fulfil the original condition of his grant, and as his workmen have left him for more profitable employment, I am sorry to add that his sovereign chieftainship has turned out but a sorry affair after all. At all events, it is evident from this case, that if a few foreigners were acquiring native titles to land and jurisdiction in New Zealand—and I know myself of one case of the kind, that of an American shipmaster, naturalized in France, who had purchased a whole island in the Bay of Islands—and were placing themselves under the protection of any foreign power having numerous whalers in the South Seas, and ships of war to protect them, it might be difficult, if not impracticable, for Great Britain, in a few years hence, to form a colony on that island at all—a state of things which would not only be deeply injurious to British interests, and ruinous to the New Zealanders, but calamitous in the highest degree to the cause of civilization and genuine Christianity in the Southern Hemisphere. It is evident, therefore, that whatever Her Majesty's Government can do for New Zealand—and I am confident, my Lord, it can do all that is necessary in the case, and without putting the country to one farthing of expense—ought to be done quickly. That island is too splendid a prize to be lost sight of by other maritime and commercial nations, if Great Britain should neglect to pursue the course to which her own interest and her bounden duty alike unquestionably prompt her, by establishing a British Colony on its shores.
Such, my Lord, was the general impression produced upon my own mind by my short visit to New Zealand in the months of January and February last. While that impression was strong and vivid, I committed my ideas on the subject to writing, a few days after we had lost sight of the island, while our vessel was pursuing her homeward course across the Pacific; and with only a few unimportant alterations, the preceding pages page 81 have been printed as they were then written. In writing these pages I was, therefore, entirely unconnected with either of the parties who, I knew, had been at issue, in England, on the New Zealand question; I had no private interest to serve in the matter; I had no motive to induce me to write but a sincere desire to subserve the cause of humanity, and to promote the interests and extension of the British Empire. On touching at Pernambuco in the course of my voyage home, I was fortunate enough to obtain a copy of your Lordship's report on the affairs of Canada, which had then just arrived from England in the Brazils; and on my arrival in London, I was induced, from my perusal of that admirable report, and from the fact of your Lordship's having subsequently become the Governor of a Company established for the colonization of New Zealand, to address these letters to your Lordship. With the same entire freedom, therefore, from all party prejudice and personal considerations, with which, I am confident, the preceding pages were written, I shall now make a few concluding remarks on the peculiar position and general prospects of that Company in regard to its principal object, the colonization of New Zealand.
If I understand the subject aright, therefore, the New Zealand Association of 1837 was formed for the colonization of that island, on the principles already established by H. M. Government for the settlement of South Australia. With this view a Bill for the colonization of New Zealand was submitted to Parliament during the past year, but was rejected by a majority of the House of Commons; chiefly, I believe, through the opposition of the Church and Wesleyan Missionary Societies and the consequent misapprehension of the public on the subject. In these circumstances the New Zealand Land Company has been formed to effect the original object of the Association of 1837, without the sanction of an Act of Parliament at all, and entirely on the principle of a Joint Stock Speculation. For this purpose the Company have acquired titles to certain large tracts of land in various parts of the island; the said land having been previously held by private individuals, on deeds of page 82 sale from the natives, but since disposed of by these individuals to the Company; and the Company propose to resell this land to intending emigrants or capitalists at the rate of one pound per acre, and to allow the purchasers three-fourths of their purchase-money in the conveyance of industrious emigrants of the humbler classes of society to New Zealand; the remainder of the purchase-money being appropriated for the payment of the cost price of the land, and the maintenance of the general establishment of the Company.
In regard, therefore, to the tenure on which the Company hold their land, they stand precisely in the same situation as any European adventurer—such as Mr. Fairbairn, the Christian, or Mr. Polack, the Jew—who buys land from the natives for the merest trifle, and perhaps over-reaches them in the payment. The Company do not even know whether the lands they have bought have been honestly come by—whether the natives have been fairly dealt with in the purchase of them or not. They do not even profess to guarantee the titles they promise to give to the purchasers of their land. These titles will doubtless be as good as the Company's own title; but the less, I apprehend, that is said about the validity of the Company's title, the better. Now I conceive, my Lord, it is impossible that the public can have the requisite degree of confidence in an undertaking which rests on so uncertain a foundation; nay, it is anything but desirable that they should.
But even supposing that the Company could guarantee the titles they propose to give to the purchasers of their land, what possible inducement, I ask, my Lord, can any capitalist have to purchase the Company's land at all ? Instead of purchasing that land at a pound an acre, the capitalist or intending emigrant can go to New Zealand himself and purchase a tract from the natives, quite as good as the Company's, and perhaps adjoining their boundary line, at probably not more than five farthings an acre, payable in British goods moreover, on which the capitalist will realize a profit of at least fifty per cent. But if the Company should inform the capitalist, or intending page 83 emigrant, that three-fourths of the purchase-money of the land they dispose of are paid back to the purchaser in the conveyance of valuable labour to the colony, the capitalist can reply, that for one-fourth that amount he can import the same quantity of labour from the colonies of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land. In short, I conceive there can be no possible inducement at present for any capitalist or intending emigrant to purchase the Company's land.
But whether the Company should succeed in disposing of a large portion of their land or not, the mere existence of such a Company will produce an immediate and powerful effect in New Zealand and the Australian colonies, whenever the fact comes to be generally known, and will exert a reflex and superlatively evil influence on the unfortunate New Zealanders. The fact, which the existence and operations of the Company will sufficiently proclaim, of its being practicable to purchase land in that island, perhaps even at a penny an acre today, and to sell it at a pound tomorrow, will immediately excite the cupidity of a whole host of speculators and adventurers in these regions; and the scramble for land in New Zealand, which is at present active and unprincipled enough, will consequently be increased tenfold, and be generally characterized by a total disregard of all moral principle, and of the rights of humanity. So far from discountenancing such procedure, the existence and acts of the Company will only give it character and respectability; as the titles to all the land which the Company have purchased in the island are merely the titles of individuals who, in all probability, have been despoiling the natives in precisely the same nanner. The march of injustice and oppression, of demoralization and extinction, on the part of the Europeans towards the unfortunate natives, will thus be prodigiously accelerated, and the consummation which has been already realized in Van Dieman's Land, will perhaps ere long be realized also in New Zealand—I mean the complete extermination of the Aboriginal race. We are accustomed to talk, my Lord, with virtuous indignation and abhorrence, of the brutal atrocities of Cortez and Pizarro, page 84 and of the gaol-gang of Spanish ruffians that followed these bandit chiefs in Mexico and Peru; but we forget that even in the nineteenth century we have ourselves, as a civilized and colonizing nation, been acting over again the same bloody tragedy on a different field. Why, my Lord, it has only taken the same period of time—about thirty short years—to exterminate the Aborigines of Van Dieman's Land, under the mild sway of Britain, that it took to exterminate the Aborigines of Hispaniola, under the iron rod of Ferdinand and Isabella. Within the last twenty years there were four different nations of Aborigines, each speaking a language of its own, in the island of Van Dieman's Land; but for several years past there has not been a single native on that island !
Now, my Lord, the very individuals who have been perpetrating these atrocities upon the aborigines of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land for the last twenty years, are now swarming in New Zealand; and the formation of the New Zealand Land Company, conjoined with the sanction which the British Government is at present indirectly giving to all sorts of aggression upon the unfortunate natives of that island, will only increase their number, and their nefarious operations, tenfold. It is vain to talk either of the Company or of the Missionaries being able, from their influence of any kind, to prevent such proceedings. The private adventurers will point to the Company's and the Missionaries' estates in New Zealand; and when they ask, Why they should not have as good a right to plunder the natives as others? I confess, my Lord, I am utterly unable to divine what answer either the Company or the Missionaries can give them.
Your Lordship will not suppose that these observations could possibly have been dictated by any desire to prevent the colonization of New Zealand; on the contrary, I regard the extensive colonization of that island—on right principles, such as Her Majesty's Government could at once establish and carry out, without expense to the country, and with the happiest effect—as affording the only hope for the preservation page 85 and general advancement of the native race. Neither will your Lordship suppose that the observations I allude to could have been dictated by a spirit of hostility towards the New Zealand Land Company; on the contrary, I am most anxious for the success of that Company—I mean for the attainment of its general objects—and I have merely endeavoured, as an honest man, to point out to your Lordship and the public the precise position and the real prospects of the Company, to prevent eventual disappointment and probable ruin on the part of its friends and supporters,—a consummation which, I conceive, would be equally fatal to the aboriginal race.
I had written thus far when I observed from the public journals of the 26th June, that Her Majesty's Government had it actually in contemplation to colonize New Zealand, or rather, to throw open that island for colonization under the sanction and protection of the British Government. In such circumstances, my Lord, the interest and duty of the New Zealand Land Company are plain and obvious; and I would, therefore, beg most respectfully, through your Lordship, to point out to the friends and supporters of that Company the course which, as honest and honourable men, they ought, in these circumstances, decidedly to pursue.
Let the Company, therefore, lend their influence and support towards the maintenance of Her Majesty's undoubted right of pre-emption, in all cases, both past and future. The establishment of this principle will be of incalculable advantage to the New Zealanders; and not only to the New Zealanders, but to all persons whatsoever, in this country, who are about to embark in any way in the New Zealand colonization scheme.
For this purpose, let the Company make a voluntary and entire surrender of their native titles to Her Majesty's Government;—to be adjudicated upon individually by a temporary Board, like the Court of Claims in New South Wales, to be appointed for the purpose by the Government, on the understanding and condition that the Company shall have the right page 86 of pre-emption from the Government, at the minimum price of crown land to be established in the island, deducting the full amount the Company may have already paid for their lands, either to the natives, or to individual Europeans. The moral influence of such an example would be salutary in the highest degree, in New Zealand, as far as the actual European population of the island are concerned, and would strengthen the hands of the Government exceedingly, at the outset of the Colony, in carrying out the simple but most important principle of Her Majesty's right of pre-emption in all cases as regards the aborigines.
Downright honesty of this kind, my Lord, will decidedly be the best policy also, which the New Zealand Land Company can pursue, in reference to the really important objects they profess to have in view in the colonization of that island. Let the important principle I have laid down be only recognized—and let a Government, simple in its machinery, just in its dealings, and energetic in its character, be established in New Zealand—and I am confident, my Lord, that the field for enterprize, in every department in that country, will be found as extensive and as inviting as the most ardent supporters of colonization could desire; while the career of the future Colony will, in all probability, be unexampled in the history of the world. Unquestionable as are the facilities for colonization in South Australia, as well as in New South Wales, they are not to be compared with those which New Zealand at this moment affords. In one word, whatever may be the destinies of the Australian Colonies, I am confident that, if colonized on right principles, New Zealand will one day be the Great Britain of the Southern Hemisphere.
I have the honour to be, My Lord, Your Lordship's most obedient And very humble servant,
John Dunnore Lang.
* Mr. Polack has four or five estates in New Zealand. I walked over one of them, near the Wai Tangi, or Cataract River; but I am sorry I do not at present recollect how few muskets and how little gunpowder he had given for it. There was a New Zealand encampment on the land at the time, at which an amusing incident occurred during my stay. My fellow-voyager, M. Lacoste, introducing himself, with the usual frankness of his nation, to a tidy New Zealand woman, who was sitting in front of her hut, with a little naked savage of from two to three years of age in her arms, for the purpose of shewing some mark of kindness to the child, the latter became exceedingly alarmed at the approach of the white man : first screaming violently, and then seizing a large withered branch from the side of the hut, and striking with all its might at the Frenchman, to the great amusement of all the New Zealand women of the encampment, and especially of its own mother.