Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Founders of Canterbury

Reigate, 11th January, 1850

Reigate, 11th January, 1850.

My Dear FitzGerald,

—I am not well enough just now either to see any one here, or to go to London for any purpose.

There is much to be said in favour of Mr. Walpole's view. Adderley said it in his Resolutions of last year. I have been saying it for years. Even now if I could please myself, I would have England make English constitutions for English colonies. But England won't take the trouble. Without immense pains-taking, people here can't learn what form of constitution will best suit a distant colony. So those here who engage in constitution-making for distant colonies are sure to make sad blunders. Besides, no community will ever be very fond of a constitution made for them without their participation. Besides, the old English colonies in America did make and alter their own constitutions at pleasure. And lastly, if we don't make haste to do that which we are sure will be acceptable to the eolonies, they will make their own constitutions with a vengeance. Whilst we are discussing principles of colonial government, they will set up independence.

But my present view (which I do not like as well as my old dream of moulding colonies to the British form by means of British-made constitutions) is set forth in the inclosed Tract, which you may leave with Mr. Walpole, if he will do me the honour to read it. But I must beg of you to take care that it gets no publicity, because I wish to confine its publication to the Australian colonies, where copies will soon be.