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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69


page 36

The second proclamation respecting the titles to land is that of which we give a fac simile, and dated the 30th of January, 1840.

Our other fac simile is a somewhat singular proclamation which Governor Hobson felt himself constrained to issue in regard to the proceedings of the New Zealand Company's settlers at Port Nicholson. In a despatch in reference to their proceedings, Governor Hobson said:—

"Those persons who have settled at Port Nicholson under the auspices of the Company are, from their rank, their numbers, and their wealth, by far the most important in the colony. But it is to be regretted that, from the impunity with which they have heretofore, in defiance of the Government, encroached on the land, they assume a tone of dictation and authority which is totally subversive of all Government, and which must evenntually be overcome, or the sole management of the affairs of the island must be surrendered into their hands. On a recent occasion Sir George Gipps gave them the permissory occupation of 110,000 acres around Port Nicholson, on condition of their confining themselves to that limit, with a promise to recommend to your Lordship to obtain for them from Her Majesty a free grant to that extent, in return for the expense the Company had incurred in importing immigrants into the colony. But almost coincident with that act of grace, they spread themselves over the land of Whanganui, to a distance of 90 miles, in direct opposition to a notice simultaneously published both by Sir George Gipps and myself respectively. . . . It is quite evident, notwithstanding the extraneous matter introduced into the Port Nicholson petition, that the whole matter resolves itself into the simple fact, that I have not studied the exclusive advantage of the company, by fixing the seat of Government at Port Nicholson, and it is equally certain that the counter petition must be attributed to my having chosen my position on the Waitemata."