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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 73

Wellington, Sunday morning, 27th October, 1895

Wellington, Sunday morning,

Dear Sir,—I have to thank you for your letter of yesterday, expressing regret for what took place in the House during the debate on the Horowhenua Block Bill. Allow mo, however, to point out that this is not a mere question of "personalities," but of a brutal and cowardly attack of the worst possible description. To borrow his own language, your colleague struck at me from behind a hedge. Taking advantage of his position as a Minister, and under shelter of his parliamentary privilege, he did not hesitate to impugn my honour, to impute unworthy motives, and to assail my private character in the most reckless manner, and in language coarse and scurrilous.

I declare that there is not a particle of foundation for the serious accusations which Mr. McKenzie has made in relation to my dealings with the Horowhenua Block. Your colleague says he can prove his words; then, let him do it—not before a "Royal Commission" of his own creation, but in the Supreme Court of the land, and before a jury of our countrymen. That is where I claim my right to meet my traducer, face to face, notwithstanding his insulting suggestion, "What was wanted was a Royal Commission, which Sir Walter Buller could not get round, and which his money could not purchase."

Mr. McKenzie may not wish to try conclusions with me in open Court, but I shall perhaps find means of compelling him to do so. In the meantime I have written to the Hon. the Speaker craving permission to be heard in my own defence at the bar of the House.

—I am, &c.,

W. L. Buller

The Hon. the Premier, &c., Wellington.