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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 32

[Beadon visits his Claim]

1874. Beadon visits his Claim.

After visiting the locus in quo on the Piako, pointed out by Mr. Mackay, "as Captain Beadon's land," in October, 1871, in company with Captain Peacock, Beadon being at Auckland, was informed by a land agent, that Mr. Whitaker had just received permission from the Government to select 15,000 acres from the block called Cormack's Block. Beadon immediately enquired the way to Mr. Whitaker's offices, under the full impression that he had obtained this permission from Government as Beadon's attorney, and to thank Mr. Whitaker for his attention to his client's interests. Mr. Whitaker informed Beadon it was for himself or partner, in lieu of some other land near, which the natives opposed his taking possession of.

Beadon calls on Mr. Whitaker.

Beadon reminded Mr. Whitaker of Mr. Shorthand's instructions, in 1814; the power transmitted to him in 1859; the application too, on several occasions, of Mr. Lusk, in 1864; and of Mrs. Chapman in 1865, which Mr. Whitaker said he remembered. Beadon hoped Mr. Whitaker would not select for himself any portion of the block notified in the Gazette by Sandeman as Beadon's. Ultimately Mr. Whitaker promised not to select any portion of Cormack's block without giving Beadon notice, if he sent him his address. Beadon returned to the Governor Bowen Hotel, at Grahamstown, and posted a letter with his own hands therefrom, to enable Mr. Whitaker to perform his promise. This letter was written in a friendly spirit, and a reply was expected thereto; but no answer was received from Mr. Whitaker. The letter asked Mr. Whitaker's co-operation in obtaining justice, and stated that there was land sufficient in Mr. Cormack's purchase to enable him to select his 15,000 acres without his taking that portion allotted by Mr. Sandeman to Beadon. There would still be left a remainder of 120,000 or 130,000 acres for the Government. Some time after this letter was written, Beadon was informed that Mr. Eraser, of Tokatea, had contracted with Mr. Whitaker for some thousands of


acres of Cormack's block. Beadou informed Mr. Eraser that a Title to any portion of Cormack's block must be based upon the fraud perpetrated on Her Majesty's Commissioner at Coromandel, in 1844. Subsequently Beadon met Mr. Whitaker at the Club, at Wellington, when the latter, in a friendly way, complained that Beadon had not sent him one of his pamphlets, in which his name appeared. Beadon explained that he had been hurt at Mr. Whitaker's not having replied to the letter at Grahamstown, addressed, Frederick Whitaker, Esq., solicitor, Auckland. Mr. Whitaker replied, "I never received that letter." After receiving this explanation from Mr. Whitaker, Beadon was not so much surprised as he otherwise would have been, when the Honorable Dr. Pollen brought forward his Piako Land Exchange Bills in favour of Mr. Whitaker and his partner, Mr. T. Russell.

On returning to Auckland, after the close of the Session, in 1875, Beadon was informed Mr. Eraser had paid money to Mr. Whitaker page 13 for a portion of Cormack's block, and that he (Fraser) had taken possession of the land sold to him by Mr. Whitaker. Beadon hopes Mr. Whitaker will excuse him for presuming to give an opinion on legal matters to a gentleman bearing so high a reputation as he does, but he did in this instance according to nautical law:—"hoist his topsails before he had received sailing orders," as the Select Committee of the Legislative Council have refused to sanction Mr. Whitaker's selecting any part of Cormack's purchase.

Little more need be said at present on this violation of the interests of a British subject, in the name of Her Most Gracious Majesty.

It is unfortunate that there should have been such miscarriage of letters.

It is probable that Mr. Whitaker forgot all about Mr. Shortland's having spoken to him, and when he received the power of attorney from Beadon in 1859, no further action could be then taken, because a Crown Grant had been recommended to Arthur Willis, and transferred to Mr. George Graham.

Beadon considers Mr. Whitaker did him service when he obtained an explanation of the case from Commissioner Dillon Bell before the expiration of "The Land Claims Extension Act, 1856—58," extended to 1st July, 1859.

It may be considered that I am exorbitant in claiming 180,000 acres, for which only £380 were paid, but it is a matter of indifference to a man of my time of life, whether any or no land is granted to me, personally because I am now unable to carry out the schemes which I desired to effect in my youth, in New Zealand; and as to the quantity, I am bound by the documentary facts, and I am obliged to claim all for my children. Beadon cannot, as a British subject, be dispossessed of property by post facto laws, administered illegally, whether it bo I acre or 180,000 acres. A member of the Legislative Assembly said to me, "what were we to do? Wentworth, of Sydney, claimed half the North Island." My answer was, the Maories now hold four-fifths North Island. You may have dealt on easier terms with Mr. Wentworth than Tauwhiao.

The writer has been informed that the following gentlemen are in possession of portions of Cormack's Block :—
Messrs. Munro Messrs. Fenton Messrs Mackay
Morrin Murray George
Seccombe Fraser Tailor
H. C. Young Peacock.

There may be others, but all who held any land within the well defined boundaries of Cormack's Purchase for "Sandeman and others," on 31st December, 1839, hold land, the Title to which is based upon a fraud, according to the laws of England, and of the civilized world.

When Mr. Cormack illegally withdrew Beadon's Claim, in 1844, Arthur Willis' Houses were in a state of insolvency, principally on account of his connection with the indebted New Zealand Company, which had sold more land to purchasers in London, than they had secured in New Zealand, and it is a fact that the New Zealand Company got rid of aboriginal purchasers of land by every pretext. By throwing back the land to the original vendors, they were placing it where it would be purchased again from them, under the treaty of preemption, at Waitangi, in 1840.