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ON retiring from active service I consider it a duty which I owe to myself and my fellow-colonists to publish a short statement of facts which occurred during my command upon the West and East Coasts of this Island, leaving those who read them to draw their own conclusions.
During the last six or seven years, the colony has unfortunately, been engaged in a conflict with the Native race in which I, as a subordinate officer, as commander of a division, and as commander of a Field Force, rendered, to my fellow-colonists services for which, I repeatedly received the thanks of our late Governor, Sir George Grey, General Cameron, Major-General Chute, and the Colonial Government, in documents a few of which I am now compelled to publish as an Appendix to my statement in self-defence.
This is a duty which I owe to myself on retiring from active service, because in a portion of the press of the colony I have been censured, and even accused of being in some measure the cause of disasters upon the West Coast which never would have occurred had my plans of operations been carried out in such a manner as my own common sense, experience in colonial warfare, and thorough knowledge of the language, habits, customs, and prejudices of the natives with whom I had to deal dictated, without the interference of the Native Department. I wish to show, in justice to myself, that if armed with the authority subsequently conferred upon mv successor, I could have crushed the disturbances in the Patea District in the bud, and thus prevented them assuming the shape of a formidable rebellion under the leadership of Titoko Waru.
In the second place, it may be of service to my fellow-colonists,
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in the present crisis of affairs, to have placed before them some convincing proofs of the necessity of an entire change in our present system of dealing with the Native race; not only those of them in open rebellion against us, but also the neutral, as well as loyal Natives. Until there is a radical change in the entire system, our continuing the conflict as we have been doing for some years past, is--as I stated to the Hon. the Defence Minister in my letter of resignation:--"Simply useless, and only throwing away men's lives, and expending money for nought."
Having never interfered with politics, I refrain from publishing some official and semi-official correspondence, the publication of which might be imputed to motives which I repudiate, and therefore only publish such extracts as are necessary to elucidate the objects which I have in view.
Finally, I repeat that no temporising policy will ever succeed with the Native race. The disaffected must be taught to respect our authority, and nothing but the firm maintenance of that authority can firmly attach the loyal natives to our standard, and make those who remain neutral cautious before they risk the chance of joining those in rebellion.
How far I would have succeeded in carrying out my plans, based upon those sentiments, if free and unfettered whilst in command of the Field Force in the Patea district, I leave the readers of the following short statement of facts to judge.
Wanganui, 29th April, 1869.