The Founders of Canterbury
C. B. Adderley, Esq., M.P., 20, Lowndes Square, London. — Reigate, 29th March, 1849
Reigate, 29th March, 1849.
Dear Mr. Adderley,
—I feel obliged by your letter. Before receiving it I had taken a view of the debate exactly corresponding with yours. You have done a great service to the colonies. Of course, after the Debate, there will be plenty of colonial agitation, here as well as in some colonies, against convict emigration.
Assuming that you must be pleased with your success, and trusting that it may encourage you to proceed as a colonial reformer, I venture to suggest for your consideration whether it is not in your power to do another great service to the colonies, by getting rid of the plan of selling public land by auction. The evils of this plan are rather fully set forth in my book. They are monstrous; and I have never been able to meet with any one who could defend the plan by argument. The plan is maintained by the mere sic volo of the Colonial Office, and especially Lord Grey. The opinion of colonists, both here and abroad, is unanimous against it. There would be no difficulty in obtaining petitions in your support if you saw fit to bring the subject (a very important one, if colonization is of importance) before the House of Commons. Mr. Gladstone could hardly avoid speaking on this point; and I page 50cannot doubt that his opinion is thoroughly hostile to this auction nuisance. If you resolved to move, notice should be given before Easter (but without fixing a day) in order that the colonial public here may have time to agitate in your support. I have very fully considered the subject in all its bearings, and feel very confident that success would attend a motion in the House of Commons.
The publication of your speech will be of great use. In order to spread it in the colonies, where it is sure to produce plenty of remonstrance against Transportation, a portion, at least, of the copies should be on thin paper.
I should be very glad of an opportunity of some conversation with you, and still more pleased if you would come here on Saturday to dine and sleep. If you come perhaps you could try to bring Rintoul.