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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

Enclosure. — Address from the Executive Council

Address from the Executive Council.

Wellington.—Address of Executive Council to Sir George Grey on his Retirement from the Government.

His Excellency Sir George Grey, K.C.B., &c.

When, immediately, on the receipt of the first intimation that your Excellency would shortly be informed of the name of your successor in the Government of New Zealand, both Houses of the Legislature, by simultaneous addresses, marked their high regard for your Excellency personally and their appreciation of your distinguished public services, and while numerous bodies of colonists page 184 hastened to re-echo those sentiments of respect which everywhere greeted you in your late visit throughout the provinces, we abstained from approaching your Excellency with any expression of sympathy, because we could not but believe that at the close of your career in New Zealand Her Majesty would have been advised to mark her appreciation of your services; but the tone of the late despatches addressed to your Excellency impels us no longer to withhold the expression of the sentiments entertained towards you by those who have witnessed near at hand the devotion to the Empire and to public duty which has distinguished your long career. Seldom has a Governor been placed in circumstances more trying, and amid duties more conflicting and embarrassing. In so difficult a position we cannot hut think that your Excellency might reasonably have expected that you would not have been left unprotected to bear the unjust aspersions to which you have been exposed. Again and again during the last twenty-six years, where there has been danger and difficulty in the administration of colonial affairs, your Excellency's aid has been involved by the most eminent statesmen of the day. Sacrifices you have disregarded, and trials have served as opportunities of evincing devotion to public duty, and we cannot but regard it as an indication of the indifference, if not positive disfavour, with which the colonies of the Empire are regarded, when loyalty, zeal, and high intelligence displayed in the administration of their affairs are passed by without even the courtesy of a cold acknowledgement. Nevertheless, it will be no mean gratification to your Excellency to feel assured that upon your retirement from the Government of New Zealand it is universally recognized that, in defence of constitutional government, the honour of the colony intrusted to your guardianship, and the best interests of the Empire, you have added to your sacrifices that of the assured prospect of some still more honourable position in Her Majesty's service, or a distinguished retirement from the cares of office. We trust that the day may not be far distant when the high services you have so freely and ably rendered will meet with a fitting recognition. We pray your Excellency to accept these few words as expressing the sentiments of Ministers who have had the honour of being associated with you in the administration of the affairs of New Zealand.

Wellington, 20th November, 1867.

E. W. Stafford.
J. C. Richmond.
T. M. Haultain.
J. Richardson.
W. Fitzherbert.
J. H. Harris.
J. Hall.