Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 64

Sir George Grey's — Address to the Electors of City West

page break

Sir George Grey's

Address to the Electors of City West,

Sir George Grey met the electors of City West on Monday, in the Choral Hall. The occasion was made, by the great body of electors of Auckland and the vicinity, the opportunity for a political demonstration, which has had no precedent in this city. The time advertised for the commencement of the proceedings was 8 o'clock, but long before the doors of the building were opened (7.30), a considerable crowd had gathered in front of the building. People from One-hunga, Otahuhu, Newmarket, the Whau, and from several of the districts north of the Waitemata, momentarily increased this throng, so that the moment the hall was opened it was nearly full. At a quarter to eight o'clock there was no sitting room to be found in the hall, which will accommodate nearly a thousand persons. The passages between the seats and the approaches to the doors became rapidly crowded to inconvenience, and a great number of persons could not get inside the hall. At 5 minutes to eight o'clock Sir George Grey, accompanied by Mr. Dignan, M.H.R. (City West); Mr. O'Rorke, M.H.R. (Onehunga); Mr. Swanson, M.H.R. (Newton); his Worship the Mayor of the City, entered the hall. Several other members of the General Assembly were present in the body of the hall. The gallery was occupied by ladies. The instant Sir George Grey made his appearance the whole assemblage rose and greeted him with round after round of cheering. When the applause ceased,

Mr. Swanson rose and said : There is no doubt that most of you are very impatient to hear Sir George Grey. I will, therefore, move, without any further ceremony, "That Mr. Robert Graham, of Ellerslie, take the chair." (Cheers.)

Mr. Benjamin Tonks seconded the motion.

The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, read the advertisement convening the meeting, and said : Ladies and gentlemen,—Having been unexpectedly called on to take this position, and at a moment's notice, I will very briefly make a few remarks. I trust that you will hear the speeches that will be made this evening with proper respect and attention. The present occasion is one in which we all feel an interest. I am sure that you all give credit to Sir George Grey for his endeavour to propound a policy that will be acceptable, not only to yourselves but to the whole colony. (Cheers.) Having been myself a member of the General Assembly for twelve years, it will not be thought presumptuous in me to give you a little advice. I am not myself going to ask your suffrages in the forth-coming general elections, and this circumstance will acquit me of any presumption in giving you the result of my past experience. When I was in the House it was my painful position to see Auckland members ranged, seven on one side and eight on the other; it was frequently most painful to me to hear Auckland men speak against Auckland, but now hope and trust that such a thing will never take place again. At the present moment I am ignorant what is the nature of the policy which Sir George Grey has to propose this evening. I have had no opportunity of speaking to him upon public matters since his arrival in Auckland. But you who think his policy is the best policy for the country, and therefore acceptable, I say it is your bounden duty to support him—(cheers)—and return members who will be favourable to that policy and assist him in carrying it out. (Cheers.) If, on the other hand, you believe that his policy is not the true policy to be adopted—that it is not the right policy—it would be your bounden duty to oppose it. But whoever may go to Wellington, let them be united. If they be united their voice will have some effect. I tell you that if your members go to Wellington, one half of them for one thing and the other for the opposite, then it were almost better that you should be unrepresented altogether. The position of public affairs at the present time is such that we may appropriate with a page 4 difference of a word a famous declaration—Auckland "expects that every man shall do his duty." (Loud cheers.) I trust that everyone of you will bind yourselves into a committee to support Sir George Grey,—or not, if you think that he is not right in his views. Every man should do his duty in helping to return members to help him if you believe his opinions are sound. Let everyone, whatever be his opinion, give him a fair hearing, and afterwards use his dis-cretion whether he approves or disapproves of the policy which Sir George Grey shall set forth. (Cheers.)

Sir George Grey, on coming forward to address the electors, was again received with loud and prolonged cheering. He said :—Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, electors of Auckland City West—to whom it is my peculiar duty to address myself this evening,—I will begin by recalling to your recollection one or two circumstances which have bound us together. I was living in retirement, having no thought or intention of again taking part in public affairs, when at your call I came forth from that retirement. (Hear.) I obeyed at once the call which you made. (Cheers.) I am very thankful that I did so, because I believe it would be a base thing on the part of any man under circumstances like those prevailing at the present moment to have shrunk from any duty to which he was called by his fellow-citizens. (Loud cheers.) You did me, perhaps, one injury, because I can assure you, the other day, when I sought for a few days' rest, I could hardly forgive myself for indulging in tranquillity, even for the few hours that I spent in my own home. Your kindness to me impressed me so strongly with the conviction that the noblest thing a man can do is to serve his fellow-men, that I did not like, even for those few days, shrinking from any service of that kind. (Hear, hear.) But you did me one or two great benefits also. In the first place, you returned me unanimously; in the next place, it was a large and important constituency which thus returned me—one of the largest and most important in the colony. That constituency placed me in a position that was a very great advantage to me—they desired nothing for themselves. It was not necessary for me to get any road, or any bridge, or to try to get any job performed for them. (Hear.) They sent me on their behalf to serve my fellow-colonists, and not to obtain any advantage for themselves. (Cheers.) You can well perceive the position of independence in which their behaviour in this respect at once placed me. No one could possibly think that any vote I gave was influenced by any desire of gaining anything for the constituency that sent me to the House of Assembly. I was entirely independent. I was independent myself from fortunate circumstances and by position. I was, as your representative, thoroughly independent as a member of the General Assembly of New Zealand. (Cheers.) I went there in the firm belief that you wished me to serve my fellow-colonists—that you looked to me to do my duty to the country at large; that no selfish motive actuated any one of you in sending me to Parliament; that you only wished that I should act to the best of my ability and judgment in serving you. As an indication of these sentiments on your part, I can say, with pride and pleasure, that I asked no single individual tor his vote. You all know that. Let me tell you that of that large constituency which I serve—many of whom must have wants or wishes of some kind—no man has to the present moment asked any favour at my hands or asked me to procure for him anything whatever, that as far as such thoughts go I am unknown to them, and they are unknown to me. I know only that we are bound by one common bond—the resolution to serve New Zealand to the utmost of our united powers. (Cheers.) Let me tell you of another advantage that you conferred upon me—it was a very great additional benefit indeed, that was in giving me a worthy colleague to cooperate with me—a man thoroughly independent himself, one seeking no favour and desiring nothing from any man—one who in the most friendly, the most loyal, and I may say affectionate manner, aided me on every occasion, and often in circumstances of very great difficulty. (Cheers.) Fortunate, therefore, in all these respects, I meet you to-night. I thank you for what you have done. I tell you, at the same time, that I have done my best to make you an adequate return for these advantages in the zeal with which I have endeavoured to serve you. I have given my time to your service and my abilities, such as they were; and my heart has been fixed in carrying out those objects which I knew you desired should have effect given them. But now, turning from matters which are partly personal to ourselves, let us for one moment contemplate those general questions upon which the future welfare of yourselves, your children, and that of the entire colony necessarily depend. You are all aware that the General Assembly, in which the North Island is but imperfectly represented, determined that certain rights and privileges would be taken from you, and that in place of those rights and those privileges a new form of Government should be set up, which form of Government, as it was detailed in the law proposed and laid before the General Assembly, changed your freedom into servitude—changed your right of choosing your own public servants into a power given to a Governor and his Ministers for the time being to name such persons as they might choose to fulfil those duties which your elected representatives had previously fulfilled—which changed in effect your whole constitution, and altered the freedom page 5 and liberty of choice to a condition of absolute servitude. That Assembly determined that this change should take place without your voices being heard—without your wishes being known. Now, that, to my mind, was a crime. I use the word advisedly—that it was a crime not only against yourselves, but committed against the entire human race, because it was an innovation upon every constitutional rule which throughout the British Empire had been previously observed. It was moreover incumbered with this very great difficulty,—that the proposition was illegal, for undoubtedly, according to my mind, in point of law the Assembly had no power to do what they proposed to effect. Therefore, as your representative, I thought it my duty to say : Whether the people of New Zealand desire this change or not I cannot tell,—it is for them to determine,—for them to decide, whether it shall be so or not. (Cheers.) If they decide adversely to my views, it is my duty, as one citizen of this country, to do my utmost to render their determination successful, whatever their decision may be. (Hear, and cheers.) But if they think that it should not be so, then I say, that if a few determined men will stand together with me, such change shall not take place—(cheers)—until the people of New Zealand have been heard, and have had the opportunity of expressing their opinion upon the change it is proposed to introduce. (Loud cheers.) They shall be treated as intelligent and reasonable men; they shall be dealt with as persons capable of forming an opinion as to what would promote their welfare. They shall not be dealt with slaves or serfs—compelled to follow orders given by rulers not chosen by themselves—rulers not having any natural right to compel them to come under certain laws, but persons whom the choice of distant constituencies, individuals actuated by a variety of motives and interests, residing in various parts of the country, happen at the moment to have placed in power in the General Assembly. I say that so monstrous a thing was never before heard of in any free country. To me it was a matter of astonishment that night after night members could get up in the Assembly and say they were resolved and determined to carry out their own views and intentions, without reference to the will of the people, who alone could have authority in this matter. You all know the struggle that was made to prevent that. (Cheers.) I look around me and see here some of the men who aided nobly in that struggle for the right. I see here my colleague. (Cheers.) I see also here the gentleman who proposed the chairman (Mr. Swan son); he also gave me valuable assistance. (Cheers.) I see here another gentleman (Mr. O'Rorke) who, casting office and emoluments to the winds, would not suffer himself Jo be bought by any offer to his self-interest; who, having separated himself from those that, in his opinion, were resolved upon the ruin of the country, joined our party at the close of the previous session. That gentleman determined to lay down everything in the shape of emolument, and fight for those rights which he believed the people of the country are entitled to. (Cheers.) I can tell you that amongst those who fought your cause on this question were many good, eloquent, and noble-spirited men. What the result was you all know. The proposed Abolition of Provinces Bill has been so far delayed, that until the close of the next session the Act which is to bring about that change, cannot come into operation. It now rests with yourselves what your future shall be. If you look at that question well and wisely, no greater or more noble object can be presented to the mind of any human being. You have it now in your power to determine what the future form of government in this country shall be under which you and your children shall have to live. You are the persons who are to decide what shall be the future hopes and the future prospects of New Zealand. Within the next few weeks you will have to make up your minds on this subject. I wish, before you approach so momentous a question, to offer some few observations for your consideration. Let me tell you this, that I have heard no single argument whatever in favour of the abolition of institutions under which a perfect power of self-government was placed in your hands. The main—argument cannot call it—but the main reason that has been alleged in its favour was one in which reference was made to the past history of Great Britain. A kind of wild desire appeared to possess certain minds to establish in this country what they call the "same system that prevails in England." Now, let us quietly and carefully go to the root of that matter, and consider it. I ask you to bear this in mind, that undoubtedly the institutions of the human race are, and have been for centuries, it may be slowly but still certainly, advancing in that direction which was most likely to secure the greatest happiness to the greatest number. At one time we had the world covered with wars of petty tribes, and men devouring the prisoners that they took. Then we had a change, and the captives were made slaves of, and then the slaves were made serfs of, and at last, after development following development, institutions of greater or less freedom became established, and throughout the whole course of that time there has been one continued progress in favour of the happiness of mankind—and retrograde steps are rarely or never made. Now, how is it possible that we can put ourselves and our institutions in the position of those which prevail in England? Reflect for one moment. In England there is an hereditary monarch, who rules us equally here. What page 6 analogy is there between an hereditary monarch and a Governor hero for a few years, liable to be removed if he offends a clerk in the Colonial Office who happens to have sway there?—(hear, and cheers)—liable to be removed, it may be, if he offends a powerful party in the colony, who may, after all, be but a small minority in it;—liable to be removed from hundreds of causes of which few of you have any cognisance? What permanent interest can such a Governor have in a country such as an hereditary monarch has at home?—an hereditary monarch having to look to the interests of his family, to the interests of his nation, having power to dismiss his Ministers, being incapable of being removed from his seat except by the almost united voice of the entire empire? There is no analogy at all. The Governor is necessarily here the servant of the Ministry for the day and for the time. (Cheers.) Then what hereditary aristocracy have you here for your Upper House? (Laughter and cheers.) Why, the Upper House in England were formerly the owners of the serfs that now constitute the populace of Great Britain, and successive generations and successive ages have raised them to their relative position. But will anyone tell me that if there was no hereditary aristocracy in England, that at the present moment the people of England would set up an Upper House to be chosen by the Ministry of the day, and would agree that no law should be made, however the people of the empire might wish it, unless that Upper House, appointed for life, agreed to it by a majority also? (Cries of "No!") And that the Upper House were—What? Why, to be paid to exercise the power of carrying out their own will. (Cheers.) It is absurd to suppose that such a system could be set up in England; it is difficult even to imagine that the much better system that prevails there would be established if the people of England had now, at this moment, to make free choice of their future institutions, as you have. Do you intend, all of you, that such an Upper House should be set up here? (Cries of "No, no!") Is that your wish? ("No, no!") Well, then, how in that respect again can there be any analogy between the institutions of this country and those of Great Britain? And now let me tell you another thing, and a difficulty which is well worthy of your consideration : In New Zealand at the present moment a sort of equality reigns amongst us all—(hear, hear)—an equality which I confess myself I rejoice to see. (Hear, and cheers.) If a man of wealth amongst yourselves wishes to marry the daughter of some estimable person below him in point of money, what objection is there to it here? Who looks down upon him for such a match, or looks down upon the wife so chosen? (Cheers.) Are there any such differences of rank amongst us as that? No; I say we all approach more nearly to a position of equality. And recollect this, that if you at one bound raise up from amongst yourselves an aristocracy, elevating some men from amongst yourselves, the residue must sink here. (Hear, and cheers.) It is not the raising of the few, but it is the sinking of the mass. (Renewed cheers.) The mass must sink to constitute those persons who are to be the servants of the aristocracy which you may create. (Loud cheers.) It is a totally different thing your position to that occupied by the people of Great Britain; your position is preferable to theirs in every respect. Why are you to abandon it? Why are you to agree that the mass of the people in New Zealand are to sink in their social state in order that suddenly some of their fellows may be raised and elevated above them? Well, this is one point which every man should lay to his heart. Does he intend to say to his children—to look at them, and say, "I have decided to make a sacrifice?"—I won't say that he should say, to offer them to Moloch, but it comes nearly to that, for he says to them, "I have decided that you should sink in the social scale, that you should not have the same hopes and aspirations that your father had, in order that we may create an aristocracy in this country." And for what are they to be created? What services have been rendered by any particular class of men to give them the right to be selected out from their fellows ana raised up above them, and to have their fellows sunk down below the level that they now occupy? (Cheers.) Well, then, you will see what I mean with regard to the impossibility of setting up institutions here similar to those which prevail in Great Britain. And there is another very special reason connected with that, which is quite worth your while to consider. Just let us reflect over this point. In Great Britain the Parliament sits in London, in a city of three million of inhabitants, with such a multitude of eyes directed upon all their actions. In addition to that, there is a large number of journals in Great Britain which report everything that passes in Parliament. The next morning every speech of every member is to be read in the journals. It does not signify whether the House is sitting as a House, or whether the House is what is called "in Committee," every single word that passes is known throughout the whole British dominions; it is criticised by the most able writers, reviewed by persons of every party; the whole nation is acquainted with the reasons for all that the Government have done; whether the conduct of the Government is approved or disapproved, every circumstance connected with those transactions is made known to the whole people at large. Now, here you know not anything of the kind. The Assembly sits in a small town in a distant part of New Zealand; there is no report of the proceedings. (Hear, and cheers.) The page 7 most momentous transactions take place without your being consulted or heard. For months after, you do not know that these things have taken place; there are no newspapers to report what passes. (Cheers.) The telegrams that are sent to you are actually filtered out by the Government. (Laughter, and continued cheers.) Utter ignorance prevails upon all those subjects. What analogy is there between such a Parliament and the Parliament of Great Britain? Do the words of the speakers in your House strike, the next morning after they have been delivered, sympathetic chords throughout the whole of New Zealand? If any disgraceful or discreditable transaction is exposed, it is months before you know it, and many things that took place during the last session are actually unknown to you at the present moment. "You are governed by a power that you do not see—that you know nothing of—that you can in no way influence. What analogy is there between that and what takes place in Great Britain? Now, in proof of what I mean by that, just let me refer to one single circumstance. Close upon the end of "Vast session the most marvellous Act that ever was passed by an expiring Parliament was passed by the General Assembly of New Zealand—an Act which future historians will hardly credit to have been passed, and which, I believe, is unknown to the greater portion of you. Well, now, the wonderful thing about that Act is this, that I looked in the Hansard to-day, and what none of you are aware of, probably, is this: That in the Hansard only the reports of the speeches are printed which take place whilst the House is sitting as a House, and when the House sits as a committee, which is at the time that all the most important business is transacted, no report whatever of the proceedings of such committee appears in the Hansard. (Laughter, and cheers.) Now, at the end of the last session, the Government, knowing that Parliament was about to be put an end to, and, I suppose, having some doubts as to what the future Parliament might be—how it might be composed, or what might take place, determined to pass an Act to indemnify members of the Legislative Council and members of the House of Representatives who had had dealings with the Government, and who were subject to punishment by the law. They determined to pass an Act indemnifying those members, and to prevent them being proceeded against for breaking the law. (Hear, and cheers.) The whole proceeding upon that measure of the least importance took place in committee, and I have had the papers searched, and there is no allusion to those proceedings, and the Hansard contains not a word about it; Hansard only contains some three or four short paragraphs detailing what passed when the bill was read a second time. Those of us who lay by for the committee, our views are absolutely unknown; and even the title of the bill would have given no idea of what the Government was about to do. The Government said they were about to indemnify certain members of the Legislative Council and House of Representatives from disabilities they may have incurred under the Act—the Disqualification Act,—but they did not in-demnify certain members, they indemnified the whole Assembly. (Laughter, and cheers.) Was such a thing ever heard of before, that Parliament, at its last sitting, should pass a law to save themselves from penalties which they might have fairly incurred? That is absolutely the case. Now, we objected, some of us, to this, and objected, I think, with justice. We said, "Indemnify those members who require to be indemnified; state in the law that this Act is to indemnify Mr. So-and-so, Mr. So-and-so, and Mr. So-and-so." (Laughter.) And they said, "There are too many of them—(laughter and cheers)—and we don't choose to hold them up to obloquy." (Renewed cheers.) Why, if they had done no harm there was no obloquy at all in the thing. (Hear, hear.) Our view of the matter was this : Let the question be fairly tried; if any member was sued for penalties incurred under the Disqualification Act, let the thing be fairly tried; if it didn't touch his honor, let him be indemnified, let the truth be known; let the whole thing be heard; but why stamp a brand upon the whole Assembly, and say that any member of the Assembly should be able to plead this law if he was proceeded against in a Court of justice for having disqualified himself. They refused to insert the names of those members in the law. Well, then, I got my friend Mr. Sheehan to get up and propose a resolution in committee to this effect:—"That all those of us who chose should be able to give public notice that we did not intend to avail ourselves of the law"—(laughter and cheers),—and that to prove the sincerity of our act, if we did issue that notice we could not have availed ourselves of the law afterwards. (Cheers.) But they were more angry than ever at a proposition of that kind—they threw it out with the greatest scorn. Now, I put it to yourselves—because I look upon you as the culpable people—I say this, that if the in-habitants of New Zealand give the power to the General Assembly to do any transactions of this kind, it is the inhabitants of New Zealand who are to blame. (Cheers.) Because, in truth, the General Assembly is only legislating in accordance with the public sentiment; the public sentiment should declare itself against such things, if there is any righteous public sentiment in the country. (Hear, hear, and cheers) Well, now, the whole of this, I believe, is unknown to the people of New Zealand; there is no report that I can find upon the subject, and except to page 8 those few persons present in the gallery, who may have heard it in Wellington, the facts are unknown, I believe, to the people of New Zealand at large. And will anyone tell me, that when such things can take place, and the whole people of New Zealand can be left in ignorance, that you are to say that you are going to set up the kind of institutions that they have in England? (Cheers.) Why every check that prevails in England upon their institutions is gone here. It does not exist at the present time. I say that you are not ripe for such a state of things, and that jobbery and corruption of every kind must prevail if you attempt to establish institutions of that sort in this country at present. (Hear, and cheers.) What I mean is this : that hitherto you have had under your own eyes, in great part, legislation upon certain subjects,—well, it is only in great part, I say,—and the Assembly have continually gone on taking away the power from your Provincial Councils, so that at last almost everything has been removed from your view. And in that way I must say that your representatives—those who have struggled for you—have been subjected, I think, to very great disadvantages—very great disadvantages indeed. I would think of some instances, for an example, of where I think we have been subjected to very great disadvantages. I have seen it, for instance, stated that my intention is to ruin the prospects of the people of the Waikato—(laughter),—and that I am one of the greatest enemies that they have—that I am determined to stop everything which is devised for their benefit, and the particular in-stance given of me is this : It is a question of a grant of 80,000 acres of land in what is called the Waikato-Piako swamp. (Laughter.) Well, just let us reason that out together, and think what I have done, and let the electors of Auckland City West decide whether I have done that which they would wish or would not wish me to have done. The law said this : The public lands in the Waikato should be disposed of by sale by auction, and in no other way. The law said the whole of those lands are the property of the Queen's subjects at large, and they shall not be dealt with—they shall not be taken from Her Majesty's subjects except by open auction—public auction. Well, the Government decided otherwise; they decided to break the law—(cheers)—as they have done, I can tell you, in a great many instances. (Laughter, and cheers.) They decided to break the law, and they said that they would give it to one gentleman, who certainly was a great ally and advocate of theirs—there can be no doubt about that. (Laughter.) Mind, I don't say that that was the motive, but it is impossible almost—(laughter)—I am quite serious in that. But what I feel is this: that it would be impossible for me to go dealing privately in a room with a friend without getting under influences that I ought not to get under when I deal with public property. I believe human nature to be such that no man could help getting under influences of

Note.—It having been alleged that the statements made above are "all moonshine," the following extracts from the Report of a Committee of the Legislative Council, which enquired into this matter, are here printed :—

"The proposed sale of the Piako (Waikato) swamp is not authorized by any existing regulations under the New Zealand Settlements Act. The law provides that all lands taken under the authority of the New Zealand Settlements Act, 1863, and the New Zealand Settlements Act Amendment and Continuance Act, 1865, or either of them, and sold or disposed of under the authority of the first recited Act, shall be sold or disposed of under regulations to be made by the Governor in Council, which regulations shall be published in the New Zealand Gazette. Under existing regulations all lands must be sold by auction, and previously surveyed. Notice has also to be given of every intended sale for at least one mouth previously. It does not appear that these conditions have been complied with. It has been stated in evidence that this land had been open for purchase for seven or eight years, but the Committee have been unable to find any record of this."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Your Committee is of opinion that the issue of regulations under which it was intended to dispose of confiscated lands, should have been precedent to any negotiations for the sale of such land, in order to place the public generally in a position to apply on equal terms to become purchasers, and the sale of these lands otherwise than by public auction, and under regulations previously published, is, in any case where members of the Legislature are concerned, incompatible with the intention of the Disqualification Act."

At the time this land was given by the Government to one individual (in April, 1873), it could only be lawfully disposed of under the Regulations of nth May, 1871. These regulations required that all lands disposed of under them should be sold by public auction, and should be only so sold after survey. The Waikato-Piako swamp had never been surveyed, and was not disposed of by public auction. If an intending purchaser had gone to the Land Office, and had offered to buy it, he would have been told it was not for sale. The transaction was therefore unlawful and wrong, as unfair to the general public.

But the law was broken in other important respects. For the protection of the rights of Her Majesty's subjects, and to secure equal justice to all, it said, that these lands could not be sold until notice had been given to the public, for a period of not less than one month, nor more than three months, in the New Zealand Government Gazette, of the day appointed for their sale, of the locality of such lands, of their acreage, of the terms and upset price at which they were to be offered for sale. The law also required that the lands should be openly offered for sale, in the Land Office of the Province in which the lands were situated, or in such other place as the Government should by public notice direct. The law also required that one-fourth of the purchase money should be paid at the time of the sale, and the remaining three-fourths within three months after such sale. But the Government determined that the law should not be observed in any one of these respects. They allege they have disposed of the lands without a survey of them having been made—without public auction—without any competition for them being permitted—without the notice required by law—without payment for the lands being made within the time, or in the manner prescribed by law. The Government allege they have so disposed of these lands, but I need hardly point out that they have done, in fact, no such thing. Ministers cannot part with lands the property of the public at their pleasure; they are the mere instruments to carry out the law. If they have not done that, they have done nothing, and these lands are at the present moment as much the property of the public as they were at first.

page 9 that sort. Well, they determined then to give the 80,000 acres—now that is an immense quantity of land—to one gentleman, upon condition that he was to pay half-a-crown an acre for it, and another half-crown was to be spent in making a road through it, and draining it; and they say that that was a very good bargain for the public. (Laughter.) Well, that point I don't go into; but what I say is this : I have been told over and over again that in objecting to that, in fact putting a stop to the repetition of such things, certainly, I believe, for the future, and rendering it very doubtful how that particular matter will go, I have been told that I have been a great enemy to the people on the Waikato. Now, just think for one moment. The 80,000 acres—that immense extent of really valuable land—was the property, as I say, of the people of New Zealand. There was nothing whatever to prevent them, if the Government wished to drain it, to make a road through it—which is a common thing to do before land is sold—to have spent a portion of those millions that they had in draining that land, if they recovered it from the sale of the land afterwards. (Hear, hear.) When that had been done, they might have thrown it open to the public. Four hundred families might have had 200 acres of land each of first-rate soil given to them. (Hear, hear.) Will anyone say that if I by doing that had sent 400 settlers to the Waikato to equalise the two populations there—400 settlers to raise produce to enrich Auckland and the Thames—400 settlers to confer benefits on the people of the Waikato which that 80,000 acres cannot confer on them now for years, for it is in the hands of one man—in what way should I have injured the people of the Waikato by doing that? (Hear and cheers.) In what way should I have injured Her Majesty's subjects by providing comfortable and happy homes for 400 families? In what way should I have injured anybody by observing the law instead of breaking it? Now these facts, and the reasons which induced your representatives to act are rarely known; it is only when they appear before their constituents that they can speak upon such subjects; but I can assure you that in many other things in which I have been equally blamed during the last session, for taking views adverse to the public interest, I am perfectly certain that a full enquiry would prove that I have done that which was right in every single instance. (Hear, hear, and prolonged cheers.) Let me just refer to one other case. I was accused by the Ministry in terms of scorn, and almost contumely, of having contemplated confiscation. What was the confiscation that I contemplated? You entrusted £750,000 of your money to certain gentlemen to buy native lands for you. To these same gentlemen you entrusted the power of spending millions of money for public works, so that they knew exactly what lands in New Zealand were to acquire prospective value. To these gentlemen you entrusted the power of imposing the Crown's right of pre-emption over any native land they liked, to prevent any other persons but themselves from buying it. According to every rule of law and of good faith the native lands bought by those persons were your property. (Cheers.) Consider for one moment : to take and put the Crown's right of pre-emption over a certain native's property, and say that the native shall sell it to the Crown, and to no other person,—that is, to prevent the native getting the fullest price for his land. And such action can only be defended on the ground that it is done for the good of the public at large. If the native, when he has sold, enters into the same right as any other person, so that he can go and buy part of that land back again, or any of his people can, at a fixed price, there would be some mode and reason for defending the course. But if you put the Crown's right of preemption on, to allow a friend to get the land-(laughter and cheers),—is that a fraud on the natives, or is it not? Is it a wrongful use of the name of the Queen of Great Britain to oppress one subject for the benefit of another, or is it not? What right have those persons whom you send out into the country, paying the expenses for their travelling, paying them salaries for their time, providing them with the money to purchase land from the natives,—what right have they to buy land for themselves or their friends, using those advantages for their own good? (Cheers.) And when I proposed that which I maintain was just in the extreme—that which is the common law between principal and agent—what the law enforces between all the Queen's subjects—should be preserved in this instance whether the purchasers were Ministers or private people, I was attacked. I proposed that the land which was absolutely necessary for the people of this colony—for we have no good land hardly at present to put them on—should remain the property of the public, and that those land purchasers should be reimbursed the sums they might have paid out of their own pockets. (Cheers.) But I was met by an accusation of confiscation. And when that was said to me, my mind turned to the Book of Job, and I thought that as long ago as that book was written it was said that the truly good man, who desires to serve his fellow-men, will snatch the prey out of the very teeth of the spoiler. (Cheers.) I contend now that in asking that those lands, which are your right, should be kept for you, and that the sums of money that the other persons had paid should be reimbursed to them, I acted upon the side of extreme liberality; and if I am returned again by this consti page 10 tuency I shall conceive it my duty, and they must remember that, to do my utmost to get those lands for the people. (Loud cheers.) Now, those are the kind of points upon which, from want of proper means of reporting and circulating information throughout New Zealand, you are left wholly and entirely ignorant. I have stated three things—this Disqualification Act, the case of the lands up the Waikato, and the case of the native lands purchased in the manner that I have told you. The last case was better done and better managed, because through the kindness of friends here statements were published,—the whole of my speech, in fact, was printed in one newspaper in Auckland. But the other points I have mentioned have been left absolutely untouched, and, I believe, remain unknown to the community at large. I have dealt with points of difference between this colony and England in the respects which I have referred to, which make me imagine that any attempt to set up the institutions of Great Britain here is an absurdity. I again positively affirm that I believe that if the people of Great Britain had the power, without a revolution, of remodelling their institutions, they would make an advance upon the institutions which they at present have, and would be quite capable of devising something better for the millions than the institutions which now exist. (Cheers.) And I cannot, therefore, imagine it possible that the people of New Zealand are determined to take a step backwards in retrogression, instead of setting to mankind the example of putting one foot in front and stepping forward. (Cheers.) I cannot imagine that, now they have their destiny in their own hands, they will prove themselves so craven in spirit as to be afraid to make some new experiment which they think will be for their future advantage. (Cheers.) I believe that out of the many thoughts which will occupy men's minds, something will be evolved very different from purely British institutions, and much better suited to your own circumstances and to your own future welfare. Let me now point out some one or two things which have led people's minds astray here as to the proposed changes. For instance, one common cry has been that by the abolition of the provinces we shall get rid of the cost of Provincial Governments, and have only the General Assembly to pay and the general Legislature to provide for. Now let us think that point out for a few moments. I see that the Superintendent of Otago, Mr. Macandrew, after making calculations, has arrived at the conclusion that the cost of all the Provincial Governments—the Provincial Councils and the Executive Governments at present in New Zealand—is under £32,000 a-year. I believe that if you take the present cost of your Governor, and the houses built and maintained for him; if you add to that the sums paid to Sir Julius Vogel on his mission to England, and take the Ministers and their travelling allowances, and some of the superior officers and their travelling allowances, you will make up more than the £32,000 at once. That, I think, would be a perfectly safe calculation to rely upon. Then consider further that the General Assembly and the Colonial Executive at the present moment cost more than £50,000 a-year, and that the departmental charges are £250,000 a-year. That is £300,000 a-year to pay for this great Government at Wellington, as against £32,000 for all the provinces in New Zealand. Now, why should you pay that enormous sum of £300,000 for this distant monster, which swallows up your earnings? (Laughter and cheers.) If any of you who hear me have seen the enormous buildings that are being erected in Wellington and the character of those buildings, and if any of you have witnessed the enormous expenditure which is being there incurred, I think you will say it is wrong indeed that such things should take place. Let us look—I speak now to the electors of Auckland City West—at this under another aspect. I have asked you to look at it as New Zealanders generally; let us now consider it from our own point of view. The general revenue of the country as it was settled by Great Britain was made up of the Customs duties and such like taxes, and the entire land fund belonged to the General Government. When the land fund was taken and given to the different provinces in which the lands were situated, equally the whole revenue of those provinces was made up of the Customs duties there collected, and such like duties, and all the proceeds of the sale of the Crown lands, because they did not belong to the provinces. That was what made up the total revenue of the Southern provinces. Now conceive, if this enormous establishment—this General Government—had been paid for, as it ought to have been, by contributions from each province proportioned to their actual revenue, how small your share would have been ! But it was determined that all these enormous charges should be paid from Customs duties and such like duties alone; hence you have nothing left to you; hence Auckland has had no means whatever of promoting its own prosperity from its own revenues. (Cheers.) I do not know whether I have made myself clear to you on that point, and whether you grasp the question or not—that if each province paid from its true revenues its share in proportion to those revenues of this enormous sum, the amount you would have to contribute from your Customs duties would be very small, and that is what, in point of law, and right, and justice, you ought to have paid. Therefore I think you will all feel that anything which will get back for us the expenditure of our own revenues, is a thing greatly to be desired. You are told that this province is page 11 impecunious. In what does its impecuniosity consist? That you cannot find food enough for that ravenous monster in the South ! You could find plenty, if your funds were fairly and justly administered, to do all you require yourselves, if you were a separate colony—(cheers);—you would be a wealthy community; but as long as all your Customs duties are swept away from you—as long as you have to pay £5 a-head on every man, woman, and child—and they take it all away from you, and send 15s a-head back—as long as that is the case, how can you be anything but impecunious? If you get more they will want more. Until justice is done to you you can know nothing but poverty and want. (Cheers.) Then with regard to forming a united colony,—there is another question. The Superintendent of Otago, who has also an accurate knowledge of the subject, and with whose opinion I entirely agree, says that the abolition of the Provincial Legislatures—I use the term Provincial Legislatures, but the meaning is the forming of one great Government at Wellington to rule the whole colony—is supported by the squatting interest in the hope of getting a renewal of their leases, which are shortly to expire, on better terms under such a Colonial Government than under any Provincial administration. (Cheers.) Now, gentlemen, electors of Auckland City West, why should you give up any rights you have to wrong the people in the South? As Mr. Macandrew has pointed out, when these leases expire the enormous tracts of land now held by single individuals ought to be divided into small sheep farms, where thousands of families could live in competence and comfort, and greatly increase the wealth of the country. Why should you give up any rights or liberties you possess to rob the people of the South of the prospects which the falling in of these leases holds out to them? If you think such will not be the case, let any man conceive a distant Legislature sitting in Wellington, removed, as I say, from the public eye, and pressed upon by an Upper House in which squatting interests at least are strongly represented,—pressed upon also by many members of the Lower House,—and see what a chance there is that any Government would not more or less give way to such demands upon it, whereas if under the eyes of a Council sitting in each province, or in each part of New Zealand, those lands are to be dealt with, and a watchful, eager race of farmers, anxious to improve their own condition, and to get properties for their children, are jealously and narrowly scrutinising every Act, conceive how much safer the public interests are under such circumstances than when dealt with by an Assembly like that which sits at Wellington. (Cheers.) Why blast the prospect of the human race by trying to set up in New Zealand institutions in exact fac simile to those prevailing in Great Britain? It is an absurdity to think we should lend ourselves to anything of the kind. I call upon you, electors of Auckland City West, who have no objects of your own to promote in this instance—in fact no objects of your own, but only the general interest,—I call upon you to stand by your distant fellow-countrymen in other parts of New Zealand, and to say that their rights shall be respected. (Cheers.) Then, again, I tell you, and you must know it yourselves, that a distant Government such as sits in Wellington, supported by such a power as they have in the Assembly, must be extravagant. I would almost defy them to avoid it. To a great extent the Government becomes a Government of clerks—a great bureaucracy—because the new Ministers who came into office must be for several years dependent upon the subordinates they find in the offices, and those gentlemen exercise an influence of which you can form a very small conception. They must ultimately be the real governors of New Zealand if the mad course which has been entered upon is pursued to its end. (Cheers.) How can extravagance be avoided? I ask you, what is the meaning of this Act to indemnify members for having disqualified themselves? How much did it cost to procure the disqualification of so many members? And in what way? It is impossible that extravagance can be avoided under such circumstances as it is proposed should now be set up in New Zealand. Therefore again, on that ground alone, I ask you deliberately to pause and consider well what you do. In proof of the easy manner in which the public may be led astray upon this point if they don't reflect, I will relate an instance of, I was almost going to say, popular insanity which I believe is almost unequalled; and to the electors of Auckland City West I can talk frankly upon this, because they did not join—from their position they necessarily cannot join—those whom I regard as having been almost madmen. Now, what was the plan that was adopted to try to induce the people in a moment to swallow what was called the Abolition Bill? I have told you that the Ministers asserted in the most pointed manner to myself that they would carry the bill through during the last session, and without any alteration; and they asserted that the people should not have any voice in determining their own future. But what were the means taken to do this? It was by offering, what amidst great obloquy I termed bribes; for to all intents and purposes they were bribes, but such bribes as had never before been offered, I believe, by anyone but nurses to children. (Laughter and cheers.) In fact, they said to all the Road Boards throughout the colony : "It must be a very unpleasant thing for you, gentlemen, to have amongst you, or in your neighbourhood, large patches of land owned by absentees and speculators, many of whom do not reside in the colony at all. We will page 12 allow you to tax lands in your vicinity to a certain extent. But a great many of these people are dear friends of ours, and you must not go too far." And they allowed the Road Boards under such circumstances to impose a rate; but it was not to exceed 5 per cent, upon the value of any property, or a penny in the pound on its value for sale, in any one year. The Road Boards might tax to that amount. Then they went on to say, "Well, now, tax away, and for every pound you raise by a tax of this kind we will give you so much." They called these things endowments and subsidies. As I pointed out in the House, the meaning of an endowment is when a man by his own frugality, or by good luck or success in business, has saved a considerable amount of money, or when his forefathers by frugality, good luck, or success in business have done so, and he takes some of it out of his pocket and endows some object. But in this case, what the Government said was, "You may take from these absentees and people this small sum, and when you have done that we will tax you. You shall pay so much upon every cup of tea you drink, upon every pipe of tobacco you smoke, upon every glass of grog that goes to your lips, upon every coat you put on; or your wives shall pay for every gown, your children so much for their shoes—in every way you shall pay. And it will cost us a great deal to raise those taxes, so that for every £2 we shall have to spend, perhaps we shall have to take £2 10s—(laughter and cheers),—but then we will give you £2 of that back again which we take from your own pockets for the £1 you raise. These things being called subsidies and endowments, all New Zealand ran to this at first. It was the most astounding thing. They all thought they were to get something, never for one moment supposing that new taxes must be put upon them to obtain this money if it was to be raised at all. I ask, what is the use of putting these taxes upon you for that purpose? Why not allow you to raise what you want yourselves? Why not let you, with frugality, do the most you can with the money you raise? But why delude you by promising to give you something which is to be wrung from you in a manner which must be greatly to your injury? (Cheers.) I don't believe any nation in the world before ever had such a proposition made to them. And the reason the public were so far led astray was, that hitherto the Government had been taking a part of those endowments, as they are pleased to call them, out of borrowed money. But I could hardly help saying to the people of New Zealand here, "Good people, you will have to pay for all this by-and-by in a way you may little think of. By spending this borrowed money you have been giving enormous value to the lands of absentees and other people. Those persons will not pay any portion of the taxes which will ultimately have to be raised to pay the interest upon the loan, and to repay part of the principal from time to time. You yet have that to meet, and you have an amount of taxation to fall upon you which you very little conceive or consider." It may be said that we shall get rid of this by a land tax or a property tax, and that something of that kind must be done. But it is astounding to relate, and this is the fact, that when I proposed, and shewed clearly that it would be possible absolutely to reduce a great portion of the present taxes raised, which press upon individuals by a property-tax of that kind, and when I shewed that such a property-tax need only be imposed to a very small amount, the answer made to me was, "It is all very well, but you propose to do this by reducing expenditure, and it is a very difficult thing to reduce expenditure, and you propose to do it also in part by imposing new taxes, but it is a very difficult thing to impose new taxes." To which my answer was, "We want men who will see no difficulty whatever in doing such things." (Hear, hear.) And I asserted what is a positive fact, and no man ought to know better than myself, that it would have been quite possible last session, without injuring the public service the least in the world, to have reduced the Estimates by the sum of at least £150,000. Such a thing would not be listened to at all. The only answer was, that it was a very difficult thing to reduce expenditure; and my reply is, that there was no difficulty at all in doing it. And I say this : I don't know whether he is here or not; but if I had my friend Mr. Reader Wood to set to work with me for half an hour, 1 am perfectly certain we would have brought the estimates down to the calculations I had made. I had carefully gone through the Estimates, and there would have been no difficulty at all in accomplishing such a thing. Having said so much to you upon this point, I would ask you to look a little to the future. (Cheers.) My friend, the chairman, said that I was going to sketch out a policy for you, but that in fact is a thing which at present it would be impolitic for me to do in detail. I can give you great subjects of general consideration upon which you must make up your minds, but the other question of an actual policy would be a thing which I think it would be very impolitic for me to attempt to sketch out. Let us think for a moment upon our present position. The state we are in is this: that the day after the close of the next session of Parliament the provinces will be abolished. There are a great many contingencies to come into force first of all, and to be considered. We don't quite know how the next Parliament will be constituted; who will be Ministers; we don't feel certain at all that the abolition will take place. (Cheers.) That is yet a question in the womb of time, and has to be determined by the constituencies of New Zealand. Then page 13 there is this very remarkable fact to come : The Government are about, if they remain in office, just to do the same thing over again next session that they did last session. They have not told you, when the provinces are to be abolished, what your future is to be. We have a right to know that first of all. Strictly speaking, it is the Government who should have said what form of Government they intended to set up hereafter, and they should have gone to the constituencies upon that. They should have let you have some voice in your own future; but next session we are to be surprised into exactly what was attempted last session. Now, under such circumstances, what is our duty? In my opinion—I speak to the electors of Auckland City West—our duty is very plain and very simple. It is this : The law of the Empire affirms, and the law of the Empire has always insisted upon the rule it affirms being carried out, that if a federation is broken up without the consent of the bodies composing that federation, each member of the federation, after it is broken up, shall determine whether it will enter into a new federation or not, and upon what terms. (Hear, hear.) Now suppose the Government had taken this course—that they had proposed a certain form of government, and that they had gone to the provinces, and that each province had passed a law abolishing themselves and accepting the new form of government, the Provincial Council having expressly been returned for that purpose, you would have been bound by that; but if the provinces are by the General Assembly alone without our consent abolished, we have a right as free men to determine ourselves whether we will or will not enter into such federation as the General Assembly may propose to set up. (Cheers.) Now, mind this: We have a right to turn every disadvantage we have suffered under to our advantage if we can, and if an attempt is made to force Auckland into a federation which is contrary to its interests, the wrongs you have suffered through the unjust dealings of the Government with the public lands and public revenues will give you an enormous claim upon public sympathy throughout the whole Empire—will give you an enormous claim upon the sympathy of your Queen, and upon the Parliament at home, and will ensure your voice being heard as to what your own wishes for your future destiny may be. (Cheers.) That is the one cardinal point that I think you should all keep in view. That we have a right as freemen, if the existing federation is broken up, to determine whether we will or will not enter into the federation which may be proposed to take the place of it. (Cheers.) If you determine to do it it must be done. If you determine not to do it, we can be heard in spite of any General Assembly in New Zealand. You need not distress your minds on that subject. Then, I say, there is a clear future before you; no harm can happen to you. I will put several projects before you. I say, that if Auckland stood as a separate colony—as an absolutely separate and independent colony, as Queensland separated from New South Wales, and as Victoria separated from the same colony—it would be one of the greatest and most prosperous colonies of the Empire. (Loud and continued cheering.) The inhabitants of the province of Auckland have shewn themselves equal to every fortune. They have not disgraced themselves in times of plenty, and when money was abundant; they have not disgraced themselves when a powerful enemy thundered at their gates, and their existence appeared to hang upon a thread. They did their duty then. They have done their duty as legislators, and they have done their duty as good subjects. What tumults have taken place here against the Queen's authority? What rising has there been against the law? What have we done that our institutions should be forfeited without our being heard? (Cheers.) Occasionally, and only in very rare instances, Parliament has taken away a Constitution for a time, but it was for acts of rebellion, and as a punishment upon a people who had risen against their Sovereign. What have we done? What crime have we committed? What extravagance has the province of Auckland been guilty of? How much of this twenty millions of debt are we responsible for, or have we had spent among us? What part of the Empire has been wronged by us? I say that we have done our duty as good subjects in every respect, that we have a right to have our privileges respected, and that right shall be recognised by all. (Cheers.) Therefore I tell you that even if it come to that—if we are to stand as a separate colony, a great destiny is before us. Now, let me further tell you that I have never myself been wild enough or foolish enough to believe that any particular form of institutions in a moment produces any great effect upon a nation. I mean even if an institution were of such a kind that the whole nation in some degree had the entire Government and Legislature under their cognisance, and participated in their actions. I believe that it is impossible to devise human institutions in the present state of the world which would not in some respects go wrong, and in some respects commit faults. But I do believe this and in taking that faith I adopted the faith of the greatest minds of the present age—of every nation, that it was possible by degrees to educate a people to be fitted for a higher state of institutions than any portion of the human race yet enjoy. (Cheers.) It might take years to accomplish that object; but the true way in which it is to be accomplished must be by allowing people to aid in their own government, to watch every law that is made, and to train up from the page 14 mass of the citizens a body of experienced legislators and administrators. Such education, we know must, in the course of centuries, raise up a people greater than the world had ever previously seen. It is one of those steps in onward human progress which all good men have desired to see carried out. It was the point at which we arrived in these institutions which are now so maligned, and the essence of which has been destroyed from year to year by successive Acts of the General Assembly. What I am coming to now is this,—I will not put it before you as a thing that you may wish to achieve, but I will put it before you to make you truly understand the subject. It is agreed by all writers of the present time that the people who were most thoroughly educated in the arts and sciences, and who made the greatest figure in the world, were the inhabitants of the free States of Greece. There every citizen was one of the legislators; every law made was attended by the whole of the citizens assembled, and carried by the general vote, so that the whole population was raised to a degree of intelligence and knowledge concerning their own welfare, of which we can now form but a slight idea. I look to the position of Auckland; I look at her power of commanding the commerce of what I may call the new world, and I assert my unhesitating belief that if they made Auckland a free city, giving us the harbour of Auckland and the harbour of the Manukau, with the lands adjacent, we would rise to be a community as great as Carthage—rise to be one of the greatest communities. (Cheers.) If we had the power of training every citizen within those limits to his duties, the power of establishing free-trade here, and of spending amongst ourselves our revenues and the profits of our commerce—even that small tract of country I have mentioned would rise to a greatness which would astonish mankind. (Cheers.) Therefore, I say again, that under no circumstances is there any fear for the province of Auckland. But there is yet a greater view. Of course, it is impossible for me to tell—which is one of the reasons that make it difficult for me to put a policy before you—who may be returned to the new Parliament; what friends I may have banded around me; but I can only tell you that some of the greatest minds—I believe the greatest minds—in the last session of the General Assembly, believed that under existing circumstances, after the shock that has been given to Provincial Institutions, the best solution of the difficulty would be a separation of New Zealand into two States—(loud cheers)—each composed of one of these great Islands; that each island should have, in due subordination to Great Britain, absolute sovereign powers within itself—(cheers)—that it should yield up no portion of its powers, except strictly federal ones, to a small Government sitting at Wellington—I mean simply the regulation of Customs duties, Post Office duties, and certain subjects of that kind; that, like the States of America, each Island should, in its due subordination to Great Britain, be sovereign within its own limits, and that the General Assembly should be the servant of the two Islands, not being able to take any powers from them, but only receiving such powers as the Islands by agreement give them. Such General Assembly and such General Government necessarily being but small in number, meeting but for short periods of time, and settling, as I say, but these few points, and such General Assembly being so regulated that each Island would have equal power within its walls. There would be but little difficulty in carrying out such a plan as that. Even some of the leading minds at Wellington have signified their entire acquiescence in the city of Auckland being made the capital of the Northern Island—(loud cheers)—the Federal Government retaining its seat at Wellington. You will see that although my own conceptions of the education of the human race, in subjects concerning their own interests, would not be fully carried out, inasmuch as there would be only two Legislatures in this Island, and one of those only the General Assembly; still you would have in the North Island two Legislatures sitting. The people here in the North would carefully watch every-thing concerning their own interests which might pass in the Legislature assembled under their own eyes. The people in Wellington would have an opportunity of carefully considering the proceedings of the General Assembly, and what took place there. There really would be two great educational establishments for the human race still existing in the North Island of New Zealand, and I have no hesitation in saying that although, if I came into a view of that kind, which I should feel it my duty to do if the public sentiment ran in its favour—(cheers),—although I should sacrifice something of my own feelings, I should still clearly see my way to future real greatness for the colony of New Zealand as a whole. (Cheers.) I should see a chance of prosperity being again restored to this Northern portion of New Zealand, and of the inhabitants of Auckland again having their own revenues fairly spent amongst them, of having districts now inaccessible to man lying close to our capital opened up by roads such as they have in the South; of seeing those advantages conferred upon this part of the country, without which it must still struggle on for years and years, contending against very great difficulties. (Cheers.) To me it is a melancholy thing to think that, living within so few miles of Auckland as I do, that there is no road by which I can reach the coast opposite my own habitation. It was, the other day, a sad thing for me, when coming back from my own residence, to see the inhabitants of the page 15 coast almost like barbarians, assembled from various places and distances in their small canoes and flat-bottomed boats, waiting for the steamer to put on board their produce for Auckland, instead of having the railway carrying everything from their doors, as would have been the case in the south of New Zealand. I say that we have no hardier race extant than the residents of this part of the colony. Of all the inhabitants of New Zealand, I have seen none who have had to struggle against greater hardships than our country settlers, and who have been left to struggle against them. Therefore, naturally, not only with regard to that part of the province, but with regard to what I know is going on in every part of the province, my heart yearns to see more advantages bestowed upon it, such as have been bestowed upon the Middle Island, and I believe that the plan that I have laid before you now, which is the one which finds the greatest acceptance with my friends,—that of the plan of Insular Separation, is the plan to which, upon the whole, you had better bend your minds. I have laid these plans before you. I have given you my reasons for them. Now, let me add one thing further in closing what I have to say to you. Let me look still further to the future; let me look at the hopes which await yourselves, and pray of you fairly and properly to do your duty under the present crisis. Just conceive for one moment what your position is. Quite recently new fields of enterprise have been opened to the whole human race. California has been recently occupied. I recollect when I first came to New Zealand there were but a few missionaries and savages there; it has now grown into a nation in itself. China is thrown open to you. Japan is thrown open to you. The islands of the Pacific are thrown open to you. Australia is thrown open to you. Look here at your city, as I have said before, situated between two great harbours—outside each harbour an ocean, upon the extremities of each of these oceans the newest and most undeveloped country in the world, teeming with riches—I may say unrifled by the human hand. Such prospects never before opened to the human race. Consider for a moment. Here you have coal in abundance for manufactures; iron, copper, gold, and every means of manufacturing; every means of creating trade; and every means of establishing the commerce of these newly-discovered worlds. You have an abundance of timber for your ships, and all, I may say, that the heart of man can desire—fertile soil, for the great part, and a climate unequalled. What a destiny stands before the people of this province if they will be but true to themselves ! Now, let me ask you, then, in deciding' upon the future of yourselves and of your children, will you now be true to yourselves? Will you turn your minds to the contemplation of the great questions before you? Will you strive manfully, like those who owe a duty to themselves and to future times, to arrive at a decision which may be for the happiness of the whole of the people of New Zealand? (Cheers.) I do not ask you to go with me if you disapprove of the views I have put before you. I ask you to decide well and wisely. When you have decided, if you desire it, with joy and happiness I shall go back to the retirement from which I came. If, on the contrary, you desire me still to work out the objects which you believe are for your welfare and your happiness, as long as health and strength permit me, you may rely upon it., that I shall do so most devotedly.

Sir George Grey resumed his seat amidst great applause.

Mr. Masefield rose and said : Gentle-men,—On behalf of the City West electors, I have very great pleasure in moving a vote of thanks to Sir George Grey, for his able explanation of the proceedings of the late Parliament, for his views on the public policy of this colony, and also for the views and opinions expressed by him of what he considers best for our interests to be followed during the next session of the Parliament. We have to thank him for his indomitable zeal and perseverance in the public interest of this province. We have to thank him for the several important committees which sat during the last session, and opened up matters which, to say the least of them, were not creditable to any administrative body. We have to thank him that we are allowed, at this juncture, to have a voice in the great changes which must inevitably be made in conducting the affairs of this colony; and lastly, we have to thank him that he has left a life of ease and comfort and has come forward to assist us by looking after our interests at a most critical period. (Cheers.) I would take this opportunity of urging the importance of more unity among our members, that, though they may differ on smaller matters, they should act as one man under a leader during the next session of the Parliament. Should Sir George Grey so honour the electors of the Thames as to become a candidate to represent them. I think I can promise, on behalf of the City West electors, that we will return him two men who will support and assist him in Wellington, and I consider it the duty of every constituency in the province to do the same. I beg again to thank Sir George Grey, and to move, "That this meeting expresses its cordial thanks to Sir George Grey, and to those who supported him in his zealous endeavours during the past session to preserve to the people the right of having a voice in preserving their constitutional rights, and records its unabating and entire confidence in Sir George Grey as their representative."

page 16

Mr. D. Goldie seconded the motion. He said :—In seconding the resolution which has just been made, I will simply state that the great mistake we have made has been returning members who have made politics a trade, and who had either themselves or their friends to serve. In Sir George Grey we have a gentleman far above any such motives, and for this reason, if for no other, I have very great pleasure in seconding the motion proposed.

The Chairman put the motion to the meeting, and it was carried unanimously.

On rising to return thanks, Sir George-Grey was received with loud applause. He said : Gentlemen,—After all I have said to you, I will simply now thank you most heartily for the resolution you have passed, but I will ask you to do one thing further. As I have told you, I have been, on many occasions, greatly indebted to my most excellent colleague, Mr. Dignan. I can assure you that there lives no man in the world more resolute for good than he is; no man more determined to support the views to which he has pledged himself, and no one to whom I owe greater political obligations or for whom I have a feeling of more thorough and affectionate friendship. I have seen him tried seriously in public life, and I have found him ever true and good, and I do hope that some recognition of his merits will be made by this great and most important meeting before it separates to-night.

Mr. Jerome Cadman said : Mr. Chairman and gentlemen,—At this late hour of the night it would be hardly proper that I should occupy your time by making a long speech. Fortunately Sir George Grey has made it for me, and a much better and very much more eloquent speech than I could have made. The resolution which I propose to make I feel sure you will carry unanimously. It is, "That this meeting further expresses its satisfaction with the conduct in Parliament of Mr. Patrick Dignan, and its confidence in him as a representative for Auckland City West." Gentlemen, I have only two words to add in tabling that resolution. I think that it is quite right that those who work so hard and so heartily as Mr. Dignan has done on behalf of this province, should at least receive from their constituents some mark of their appreciation of the conduct of their representatives.

Dr. Lee seconded the resolution.

The Chairman put the motion to the f meeting, and it was carried unanimously.

Mr. Dignan upon rising said: Gentlemen, My sense of the resolution which you have now carried is that I do not consider any man should be thanked for the discharge of his duty. When I look back at the last time I had the pleasure of meeting you, I remember that you then did me the honor of electing me as one of your representatives without pledge or promise. If the course I have pursued in Parliament has met with your approval, it gives me great satisfaction to see I have so far discharged my duty towards you. I shall again be prepared to discharge my duty in a similar manner, whether as a member of the Legislature, or as simply a humble elector of Auckland City West. My convictions are fixed that there is a necessity to make a stand, and a positive stand, to lay the foundation of our future prosperity. As Sir George Grey has told you, Auckland has nothing to fear,—nothing to fear from without, but from within, and from yourselves is the cause for fear. I repeat the words he said, "If Auckland is only true to itself, you have nothing to fear; there is a prosperous future before you." As regards the course which I have pursued, it was much more pleasing to myself to join the ranks of a few honorable men to fight for the constitutional rights which I knew an attempt would be made to deprive us of;—this was much more to me and more consoling to my feelings as a man than to be in the ranks of the Government, and to be subject to the beck and call of Goverment whips. Sir, I shall not detain you by making any further remarks, but I do say that there is a necessity for separation—(cheers),—and my exertions, whether as a member for Auckland City West or simply as an elector, will be to aid and assist any man who will render any advantageous service to that cause. I thank you, sir, for the resolution you have proposed, and the gentlemen present for the manner in which they have received it. (Cheers.)

Sir George Grey said: Gentlemen,—There is one last duty to be performed. I will propose a resolution to you, which I have no doubt Mr. Dignan will second, and you will carry unanimously. I propose that we should return a vote of thanks to the Chairman for his excellent conduct in the chair.

This motion was seconded by Mr. Dignan, and carried.

Three hearty cheers were given for Sir George Grey, and three for "Separation," after which the meeting dispersed.