Copy of a Despatch from Governor Sir H. Barkly,
K.C.B., to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle.
My Lord Duke,—Government Offices, Melbourne, 20th April, 1860.
Although the steps taken in the Australian Colonies in consequence of the outbreak of another Maori war in New Zealand will no doubt be reported by the military and naval officers commanding, to their respective departments, it may be well that I should inform your Grace of them so far as this colony is concerned. I enclose, therefore, copies of my letters to Major-General, Pratt and to the Governor of New Zealand, from which it will be seen that this Government not only readily acquiesced in the reduction of the garrison, but placed the Colonial war steamer "Victoria" at the disposal of the Imperial Government on the most liberal terms.
I have suggested to the Governors of the other colonies that they should follow the example likewise here set of prohibiting in Council the exportation of arms and ammunition to New Zealand, as all experience proves the importance of cutting off the supply of such articles at the commencement of any struggle with an uncivilized race incapable of their manufacture.
I trust the precautions taken will lead to the speedy extinction of the present war; but, as the presence of a considerable body of troops in the Northern Island will no doubt be requisite for a considerable time afterwards, I feel it my duty to urge most respectfully upon Her Majesty's Government the expediency of sending strong reinforcements from Home without delay, since the small detachments allotted respectively to these colonies cannot be permanently reduced without extreme inconvenience. Already, indeed, has a discussion arisen in the Legislative Assembly of this province on the subject, as your Grace will perceive from the enclosed newspaper extract; and though the feeling of the House was clearly against Mr. Ebden, the former Treasurer, by whom the question was raised, I could not answer for the result if the next mail should bring more warlike news from Europe.
I have, &c.,
Henry Barkly.His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, &c.