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The Founders of Canterbury

Reigate, 7th May, 1850

Reigate, 7th May, 1850.

My Dear FitzGerald,

—Lest I should not find you to-day before your Committee meets, I write in answer to yours of yesterday.

Full occupation has hindered me from properly considering the Emigration Rules, except on one point; and indeed, that did not require consideration. It is the separation of the Rules from the Application. The bad effects of separating them are not easily foreseen, but would be most serious. In numerous instances—that is, whenever there was the least discontent—the emigrant would deny the validity of the Rules by denying that they were part of his agreement. There is but one way of making them part of his agreement; page 268and that is by letting them he so mechanically. It is a fundamental point of great importance.

But in this and many other paints, it is most desirable that you should sit dawn with me and Bowler to quiet discussion. I cannot discuss such matters in the hurry-skurry of the Charing Cross Office. I can only do it comfortably here. I am unwilling to attempt it with the Sub-Committee: it is far better that you should master the subject, in both generals and particulars, by carefully investigating it with Bowler and me. I have (after four years' rest) more faith in Bowler's judgment than my own, and should be unwilling to say either Yes or No on any point without hearing what he had to say about it.

I would therefore suggest a postponement of decision by your Committee, till after we three shall have met here in peace, and really "considered" the subject. But of course you would not give this reason for postponement, as I wish to be kept out of the way as much as possible.