The Founders of Canterbury
Reigate, 13th January, 1850
My Dear Mr. Baring,
—I am very glad to receive your letter, and more especially to learn that you will henceforth be free from New Zealand Company's responsibility and discredit.
The Canterbury difficulties are got over at last; but it was only done with vast trouble, and chiefly by threats of exposing the roguery in which alone those difficulties originated. To please Lord Grey, whose passions the others had moved beyond their control—so that when they got frightened and wanted to give in, he would not—the real ballot on which we insisted has been so disguised that it may be called something else. Grey will contend that it is not a ballot: we shall have page 196to prove that it is; for otherwise those who understand the subject will not buy at all.
I think that the Canterbury people would be gratified if you now offered to join them: or, if you like it better, they will move first by making you a member, and informing you that they have done so.
There will be much difference of opinion in the Council of the Colonial Reformers; but I think that, after discussions, there will be sufficient agreement for all practical purposes. I rely greatly on Walpole's practical ability.
As to the Government, you have guessed what I hear they intend; viz., to speak of Colonial Government in the Queen's Speech, and to propose a very far-going Bill for the Australian colonies. I am not sure but that they will go beyond the Society.
I am assured that it is the formation of the Society which has moved the Government to this purpose. Even as it is, they must make haste; or the colonies will do the work themselves, and "something more."