The Founders of Canterbury
John Hutt, Esq. Reigate, 7th March, 1850
My Dear Hutt,
— With respect to Lord Lyttelton's question, it is most desirable that people should not be pressed for a decision, and that the list of first colonists should not be closed against people wishing for delay; but how to manage it is a difficulty which I do not at present see any way of overcoming. You can hardly require A. B. to pay up, and leave C. D. with an option of losing his deposit and not paying, without giving some advantage to A. B. If not, A. B. will complain that C. D. is favoured, and will ask to be placed on the same footing with him. Lord Lyttelton's object is to secure for people not yet ready the privileges given to the first body—that is, the buyers of the first 100,000 acres. An excellent thing to do, and very necessary, perhaps, in order to sell the maximum; but how can it be done save by extending the time for all? That ought to be done if the Company were reasonable and really wished for the utmost success of the Association. But we hardly know yet where we are. Let us bear in mind that the scheme has only been a reality for five weeks. And unquestionably more publicity is much needed—not advertising, which is at best regarded as puffing whatever it may be—but some such fact as a public meeting the report of which would be generally read. That would happen if the Association could induce Prince Albert to take the chair. Why not? He has done so frequently—or what comes to the same thing as taking the chair, viz., "attending" at the opening of the Coal Exchange, and "laying the first stone" of all sorts of things—as to matters of far less public moment, and far less interesting to the Queen, than this extension of the Queen's dominions.
We have been very unlucky too about Bishops and Bellairs—Ecclesiastical and Lay Leaders—but I trust that next week will remove the former difficulty by the nomination of somebody. I saw a lady yesterday who had heard at the house page 230of a barrister at Balham, Mr. Lucas, the whole scheme denounced as ultra-Puseyite. Is it any relation of our Lucas?