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The Founders of Canterbury

Sir William Molesworth, Bart., M.P

Sir William Molesworth, Bart., M.P.

Reigate, 5th July, 1849.

My Dear Molesworth,

—Seeing the success and great usefulness of your late effort for the colonies, and knowing that the settlers in New Zealand confide in your attention to their interests, which are now utterly neglected by most of their old friends, I am induced to send you the copies of some letters which show how much they will suffer if their case be not brought before Parliament this year. There is nobody in the House of Commons so well acquainted with the case as yourself: and you are, more than anybody in the House, their suitable or natural advocate. The discussion on the Australian Government Bill would give you a perfect opportunity, in moving an amendment to the effect that New Zealand ought not to be omitted from any measure for bestowing representative government on the colonies of Australasia. Nothing, of course, can be done this year: but a good speech from you in the Commons would go far towards enabling you to procure a good constitutional law for New Zealand next session: it would compel the Government to perform the promises which they make in private as to what they will do next year: and the colonists, as well as sincere colonial reformers here, would be deeply grateful to you. It is a pity that your speech on moving for a commission has not been published as a tract, together, perhaps, with Gladstone's, whom you drew out capitally. And, if you do resolve to speak for New Zealand, I trust that you will print your speech, and send copies to the Colony, where they would be read with grateful interest, and page 87preserved in every house. People at home little know how colonists under arbitrary government value such proofs of an interest in their welfare by men of mark and spirit at home.

The papers which I enclose indicate the latest state of the case, and show how greatly the colonists stand in need of protection by a hand like yours. You, and you alone in the House of Commons, are master of the case from the Debate in 1845, down to the facts stated in the petition lately sent to you.

Please to return the enclosed papers, as they are all unfit for public use, and I have no copies of some of them.

Your success is very gratifying to me. I wish you could comprehend as I do the impression it will make in the colonies.

Yours ever most truly,

E. G. Wakefield.

The desertion of you the other day by many Directors of the N. Z. Company is melancholy. Hutt was seriously ill. I saw Aglionby in the morning, and urged him to go to the House and support you. They are bought by the Government with paltry loans of money which just enable them to keep up a large establishment and a sham of colonization.