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The Founders of Canterbury

C. B. Adderley, Esq. Reigate, 29th December, 1849

C. B. Adderley, Esq. Reigate, 29th December, 1849.

My Dear Sir,

—To save myself trouble in writing, I had a copy made of a letter which I sent this morning to McGeachy, and which is inclosed.

You will see, I trust, from it, the necessity of acting with a mature judgement in the case of Lord Grey's anti-ballot veto. People about the Company are urging that the Association should insist on the ballot as a sine quá non. And that is my view; but I say if they do so now, they will exactly play the game of the Office and of enemies in Broad Street Buildings. page 183Whereas if they postpone the declaration of their sine quá non, and, in the meantime, strengthen their hands by getting the colonists together, besides throwing on Lord Grey the onus of proposing a substitute (which he cannot do without making himself ridiculous) they will win the battle. Nay, before the tug of war comes, he may be out of power.

But this is not the only point. There is a want of executive strength in the present composition of the Canterbury Committee. The only working men are Hutt and Lucas. Mr. Wynne, who was to have represented Grodley, has disappeared into Wales. Will it be possible to induce Mr. McGeachy to take a really working part for a couple of months? We ought to get the future Bishop into harness. On all these points, and various questions relating to the Bill for New South Wales (which does render the Resolutions thoroughly practical) I long for ample consultation with you. Molesworth won't move the Resolution unless the Bill be ready: and we want to determine on a lawyer to draw it. In short we are all at sea in consequence of the wide separation of the men who have undertaken weighty practical affairs, whicnow demand from the leaders as vigilant and incessant attention and action as the business of a Secretary of State.

I pray, therefore, that you will allow time for fully considering these matters when you shall come to town for the Canterbury question, and for considering that before the meeting of the Committee.

Whenever the Association takes up its position about the ballot, its case should be stated in an unanswerable letter which should exhaust the subject.

I think that the Protectionists as a body will probably join you in earnest when they shall see that they have no other means of disturbing the Government.