The Founders of Canterbury
G. F. Young, Esq., Limehouse. — Reigate, 5th December, 1849
Reigate, 5th December, 1849.
My Dear Young,
—Please to return the enclosed by post, as it is my only fair copy. It has been seen by Aglionby, J. A. Smith, Baring, Hutt, and Godley among the Directors, but not by any other Proprietor: and I shall not show it to any but Directors so long as its publication by me might interfere with the Company's proceedings. But it will be here some time in January or February, printed in a Wellington Newspaper.
If the Canterbury affair goes on well and promptly, it would be possible to save the Company, but not without a total change in the mode of direction or management. My own belief is, that the Groverment fully intends to put an end to the Company; and I fancy that some of the Directors are now disposed to agree with the Government in this purpose. If so, the manner of bringing the Company to an end will be fatal to the shareholders: for if the Company abandon the land of the South Province to Colonial office crotchets and neglect, merely stipulating to be paid out of land sales, the colony will rebel rather than consent to ratify the bargain. But if the Company, in dying, would make a stand for transferring to the colonists the entire management of the waste lands, then the Colonists would agree to terms with the Company which in the long run would save the money of the shareholders. This is now the point; and I hope you will reflect on it. If the Company merely dies out, without page 160making one effort for the good of the Colonists, the shareholders will have been done by the arrangement of 1847; and the death of the Company will be very discreditable to the Directors: there will be a storm of reproaches, for mismanagement and fees, after the manner of Hudson's victims.
I have spoken on these points to Aglionby and J. A. Smith as plainly as I now write.
I fancy that Aglionby has made up his mind that the Company must stop: it is either so, or he is stone blind.