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The Founders of Canterbury

Reigate, 7th January, 1850

Reigate, 7th January, 1850.

My Dear Molesworth,

—After a correspondence between Rintoul and Falconer which comes to nothing, I this day put your heads of a Bill into the hands of Mr. FitzGerald, brother of the Society's Secretary, a barrister of learning, thoughtful mind, of exact habits, whom I am led to deem competent to turn the heads into a Bill that will stand criticism. We discussed the subject for some hours; and my mind is now comparatively at ease with respect to having a good Bill ready for you in time.

Several additions and alterations have been suggested by further enquiry. Here are two examples. 1st. That the colony, besides having power to federate with others, should have power to split itself into parts, each of which shall enjoy separately the authority vested in the whole. I have no doubt that in many cases, as the desert parts of large colonies fill with people, this power would be used and greatly prized. 2nd. That something (Heaven alone knows what as yet) should be done to relieve the Church in the colonies from its present statutory subjection to Downing Street. One effect page 190would be to disconnect the Colonial Church from the State; another to gain much Church support here to the very liberal political scheme of government. And the principle of this suggestion is that which is our guide; local self-management without interference from home.

The Society appears to be making a very favourable impression; but it is early days to judge yet. If the curious coalition can he held together,—as alone it can be, by mutual forbearance, toleration, and pliancy—it must have great power. It distresses Downing Street very much, as I am told.

P.S.—Please show this to Baring.