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The Founders of Canterbury

Reigate, 4th November

Reigate, 4th November.

Dear J. A. Smith,

—Notwithstanding the very promising aspect of the only thing that promises well for New Zealand and the Company—which is the Canterbury enterprise, with its real previous survey, its unrivalled site, and a Godley going out as pioneer—there is considerable danger of a breakup of the whole affair,—Canterbury, Company and all: and this break-up would be almost Hudsonian in discredit for the only real Directors of the last three years, who are Aglionby chiefly, and, next, yourself. This danger comes from several sources; but the principal immediate cause is the impossibility of getting a large view of any question taken by the Company when you are not here. Aglionby is ruining all, by haggling for pence and throwing away pounds, and by aggravating everybody when he happens to be suspicious and cross, which he now is nearly always. There are other causes, but they are further off; such as the deliberate preparations of the Colonial Office (not Hawes, and not Lord Grey yet very page 136decidedly) for putting an end to the Company with disgrace to it—that is, throwing on it all the blame of failure.

Wherefore I long to talk with you, in the friendly confidence of old, on the whole subject. Writing is a too feeble means of doing any good. And time presses.