1854 - Selfe, H. S. - The Accounts of the Canterbury Association, with Explanatory Remarks, in a Letter to Lord Lyttelton - [Letter from Selfe] p 3-54

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  1854 - Selfe, H. S. - The Accounts of the Canterbury Association, with Explanatory Remarks, in a Letter to Lord Lyttelton - [Letter from Selfe] p 3-54
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[Letter from Selfe]

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January 16th, 1854.


VARIOUS members and friends of the Canterbury Association have expressed a wish that an abstract of the financial accounts of the Association should be published.

The accounts which follow have accordingly been prepared by Mr. Blachford, our Accountant.

Your Lordship is aware that, as required by the terms of our Charter, an Inspector, appointed by the Board of Trade, has examined in detail, and reported upon the accounts of the Association, for three successive years.

The first account, examined and approved, extended to the 13th of November, 1850, and was published in the Canterbury Papers, page 262. The second account, to the 13th of November, 1851, similarly examined and approved, appears in the Canterbury Papers, page 327. The third account, extending to the 1st of December, 1852, in England, and to the 31st of December, 1851, in the colony, was made the

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subject of a special report by the Government Inspector, which appeared in the Times of January 28th, 1853.

The statement now published incorporates the three accounts so previously inspected, and also the receipts and expenditure in England to the present time, as well as the colonial accounts to September 30th, 1852, the latest which have reached this country.

I propose to offer in this letter a few remarks explanatory of some of the items which appear in the accounts. And to make these more intelligible, I will first give, as shortly as possible, and in chronological order, a narrative of the proceedings of the Association, so far as they seem to me to bear upon the question of finance. May I bespeak the indulgence of those who read this letter, if I repeat statements familiar to them, as introductory to details which it may require some little attention to master?

In March, 1848, appeared the first document respecting the Association. It was subsequently published in the Canterbury Papers, page 1, and contains the earliest outline of the plan formed for the establishment of the Canterbury Settlement, and of the views on which that plan is founded. The site of the settlement was not then fixed, and the document in question only states the general principles and intentions of the promoters of the scheme.

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About the same date, the Association was formed, but not incorporated.

In May, 1848, the New Zealand Company guaranteed an advance of 20,000l. for the preliminary outlay in the colony for the purposes of the Association, and of 5000l. for certain outlay in England.

In July, 1848, Mr. Thomas sailed for New Zealand as agent and chief surveyor, with a deputy-surveyor and assistant, with instructions to select, in concert with the Governor and Bishop of New Zealand, a suitable site for the proposed settlement. The necessary negotiations obliged Mr. Thomas to visit Wellington and Auckland, and some time and money were necessarily spent before the final selection; but having at length procured the consent of both Governor and Bishop to his own selection of Port Lyttelton, Mr. Thomas, accompanied by his assistants, and a body of labourers, whom he had engaged in other settlements, arrived in Port Lyttelton in July, 1849, and in the same month commenced operations.

In October, 1849, Mr. Felix Wakefield was appointed by the Association agent for the sale of land, on the conditions, first, that he should receive 5 per cent, commission on the gross price of all land sold, 'provided that 100,000l. worth of land be sold within six months after the Association shall give notice to the New Zealand Company that they are prepared to offer land for sale;' and secondly, 'That the Associa-

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tion be not responsible for any expenditure which he may incur, whether the necessary quantity of land be sold or not.'

On the 13th of November, 1849, the Charter of Incorporation was obtained (page 57 of the Canterbury Papers). The Charter says nothing about the price of land, but declares that 'the expenditure of the funds of the body corporate shall be regulated according to the distribution and appropriation thereinbefore mentioned' --i. e., 'the said funds shall be considered as divided into six equal parts, whereof one-sixth part shall be appropriated to the acquisition of the tract of land requisite for the site of the said intended settlement; two other sixth parts shall be appropriated to the emigration of settlers; two other sixth parts thereof shall be appropriated to ecclesiastical and educational purposes; and the remaining sixth part thereof shall be appropriated to the general purposes of the Association, including the execution of preparatory and other works and operations.'

On the 1st of December, 1849, an agreement was entered into between the New Zealand Company and the Canterbury Association, 1 by which the New Zealand Company bound themselves to reserve and to place at the sole disposal of the Association, as the site of the

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settlement, 2,500,000 acres, more or less, situate, &c.; and that the land should be so reserved for the Association for ten years, provided the Association sold land to the amount of 100,000l. by the 30th of April, 1850, and to the amount of 50,000l. in each succeeding year. The Association on their part undertook to sell the land at not less than 3l. per acre; to pay the Company for the land itself not less than ten shillings per acre, or one-sixth of the amount received by them; and in addition to this ten shillings per acre, to deliver over to the Company five shillings per acre, being one-twelfth part of the amount received by them, (half their miscellaneous fund) towards repayment of the said advance of 25,000l. for preliminary expenses. Then followed an important provision, that on neglect or failure by the Association to perform any portion of the foregoing stipulations, the Company was to be released unconditionally from further reservation of the land above mentioned for the purposes of the Association.

In the same month of December, 1849, Mr. Godley sailed for the colony, with the expectation and intention of superintending, on his arrival, the preparations for the colonists.

In January, 1850, the Association for the first time offered land for sale, and published in the Canterbury Papers, page 41, the first 'Terms of purchase.'

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Up to this time, and for some months subsequently, the whole scheme of the settlement was avowedly hypothetical and contingent only. The Association had deemed it right to make public the provision before mentioned in their agreement with the New Zealand Company, by which, as was truly stated, 'the whole scheme will fall to the ground in the event of sales of land to the amount of 100,000l. not being effected by the 30th of April.' They had, in a paper published in the very first number of the Canterbury Papers, page 20, stated, in reference to the intended ecclesiastical and educational endowments, 'The Association wish distinctly to point out, what is applicable, indeed, to the whole subject, but peculiarly so to the present branch of it, that such anticipations and calculations are at present wholly hypothetical.' And in the Terms of purchase, issued on the 1st of January, 1850 (Canterbury Papers, page 43), the 28th clause is as follows:-- 'In case, through any unforeseen circumstances, it should be determined on or before the 30th of April, 1850, that the enterprise of the Association should not proceed, all deposits and purchase money previously paid will be returned in full, without interest.'

It will be well that this should be borne in mind, because, as your Lordship is aware, confident assertions have been made, that 'for the price of 3l. an acre, purchasers were promised free communication between different parts of the settlement--a Church Establish-

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ment, and Collegiate arrangements for the education of their children, equal to the wants of a superior Church community, &c, and the advantages and privileges before named were unconditional--i.e., not contingent on the amount received from the sale of land.'

So far from this being the case, it was notorious that the only funds at the disposal of the Association were the 25,000l. advanced by the New Zealand Company, as before mentioned, and three-fourths of whatever monies they might receive from the future sale of lands-, the remaining one-fourth, or 15s. per acre, being payable to the New Zealand Company, as I have already explained. Accordingly, in publishing in the first two numbers of the Canterbury Papers 'all the information at present procurable,' after giving extracts from Mr. Thomas's despatches, it was added, page 22, 'During the present year (1850) it is therefore calculated that a large proportion of the whole territory will be surveyed and rendered traversable by the formation of main roads. Mr. Thomas is also empowered to erect such buildings as may appear indispensable to the convenience of the first colonists. In the performance of this task, he must, however, be limited not only by the time, but by the amount of funds at his disposal. It is impossible to state accurately beforehand how much these funds will enable him to do; and, therefore, all that the Association can guarantee is, that they shall be, so far as lies

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in them, and (as they entirely believe) in Mr. Thomas's power, expended economically and effectually in improving the settlement, and in promoting the interests of the colonists.'

It was under these circumstances that an address, signed by intending colonists, was, on the 30th of March, 1850, presented to the Committee of Management, 2 representing that 'the general uncertainty which at present exists as to your going on with your undertaking (which, according to your own announcement, as contained in clause No. 28 of the terms of purchase, depends entirely upon a contingency), is operating very seriously as a bar to the sale of land, and serves essentially to retard that absolute success which, in our opinion, the foundation of the settlement should command. We have reason to know that a large number of families might be induced to decide at once, could any certainty be afforded that the plan, under any circumstances, would be persevered in; and this number we think would be immediately and largely augmented if the contingency could be converted into a reality, free from all uncertainty and doubt. We earnestly entreat you to take this subject into your immediate consideration, in order to remove the uncertainty, and to satisfy the public mind that

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the settlement will really be founded. We are confident that on your announcing your resolve to embark the first body of colonists at an early period, with arrangements in accordance with your declared principles, you will not fail of all the desired success.

(Signed) 'W. G. BRITTAN.
J. CAMPBELL, Lieut. Col.
C. L. ROSE, and others.'

On the same day, 30th of March, 1850, Mr. Felix Wakefield addressed a letter to the Committee 3 to the like effect. The letter is too long to give in extenso, but the following passages occur:--

'If I were to give a list of those whom I have heard as being likely to purchase land, and emigrate, when the plan shall be declared a reality instead of a contingency, the number of names would satisfy the Committee that at least 33,000 acres will be sold, if the Association can promptly announce that all uncertainty is at an end with respect to the expedition of the first body of colonists.......I am quite persuaded that the 33,000 acres will be sold, and a much greater quantity probably may be, if the main obstacle to success be at once removed. Indeed, I

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fully believe that if all suitable steps were taken for the purpose, the maximum of 100,000 acres would be sold. The most important of such steps would be, an advertisement by the Association stating the time, or thereabouts, when the first expedition of colonists will positively sail.' The writer then proceeds to urge on the Committee the expediency, first, of extending the time for making applications for land, for three months, viz., from the 30th of April to the 30th of June; 'if this was done, and the uncertainty removed, I shall feel very confident of selling the whole 100,000 acres,' and, secondly, of adding to the terms of purchase a provision for allowing a preemptive right to occupiers of pasturage. He concludes by assuring the Committee that 'the view which I take of the prospects of the Association (provided the means of success shall be adopted immediately) has been formed with the utmost care, and with due regard to the mortifying and painful situation in winch I should be placed if my confident anticipations were not realized.'

The Committee, perhaps unfortunately for themselves, though not for the colony, acceded to these 'earnest entreaties' of, the intending colonists, and relied upon these 'confident anticipations' of Mr. Felix Wakefield. Without waiting for farther advices from the colony as to the progress of the preparations there made, or for the result of the first land sales,

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they entered into immediate negotiations with the New Zealand Company, which speedily resulted in the consent of the latter being given to waive the provision which required 100,000l. worth of land to be sold by the 30th of April. But such consent was given only upon a personal guarantee by Lord Lyttelton, Mr. Richard Cavendish, Mr. John Simeon, and Mr. Edward Gibbon Wakefield, 'to whom, in fact, at this crisis of its affairs, the Association, and the Colony, may be said to owe their existence,' who became bound, to the amount of 3750l. each, to make good to the New Zealand Company (on the 31st of December, 1851) the amount which the Company would have received if the 100,000l. worth had been sold on that 30th of April, 1850; in other words, to secure to the Company 25,000l.: viz., 16,666l. 13s. 4d., being ten shillings an acre on 100,000l., the price of the land sold, and 8333l. 6s. 8d., being five shillings an acre in repayment of the 25,000l. advanced by the Company.

The Committee of Management, on the 16th of April, 1850, in announcing this change {Canterbury Papers, page 60), stated, not that 'all the advantages and privileges' which their plan in its completeness contemplated, should unconditionally and infallibly be secured, (the extent to which these could be provided was still necessarily dependent on the amount of funds the Association might receive;) but, 'that the Association was enabled to enter into a

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positive engagement to deliver the land that might be paid for, and to announce that the first body of colonists would positively proceed to their destination at the time originally contemplated.'

They accordingly extended the time for receiving applications for land to the 30th of June; they stated the first week in September as the very outside time at which the first ship would sail, and they added to the Terms of purchase a clause by which the preemptive right of freehold purchase was secured to the occupiers of pasturage; in short, they 'adopted immediately' every one of the 'suitable steps' which Mr. Felix Wakefield had recommended in his letter of the 30th of March, above quoted, and upon the adoption of which he had expressed his full belief 'that the maximum of 100,000 acres would be sold.'

One consequence of the removal of the 'deterring contingency' was, that Mr. Felix Wakefield's commission on land sales, which up to this time had been entirely dependent on this contingency, became a certainty--viz., five per cent, on any amount less than 100,000l., that might be received. Accordingly, he received subsequently, as the accounts show, 3277l. 5s. for commission on land sales; whereas, if the New Zealand Company had not been induced to waive the provision in question, he would have received nothing.

It has been found convenient by certain hostile critics of the proceedings of the Association, to sup-

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press and ignore altogether these letters of the 30th of March, 1850, though they in truth furnished the ground upon which the Committee of Management determined to commence the execution of a large and comprehensive plan, with means very unequal to the completion of more than a section of it.

Your Lordship already knows, though it may surprise others to be informed, that it is mainly at the instigation of our sanguine land agent, nay, by himself, that every kind of complaint is now made against the Association and its agents, not only for wasteful expenditure, but for not having completed a particular road in the colony, (which is intended to pass through Mr. Felix Wakefield's land,) without reference to the amount of funds at our disposal; and 'for the great mistake in having allowed a settler to come out before the road was made passable;' nay, the Association are actually taunted with having 'based their plans on the assumption that the sale of 100,000 acres would be quickly effected, an idea (adds Mr. Felix Wakefield's anonymous coadjutor) ridiculously inconsistent with any rational expectation.'

In April, 1850, Mr. Godley reached New Zealand. He found that Mr. Thomas had exhausted upon works in the colony, which are specified in the following account, the 20,000l. placed at his disposal; in fact, he had exceeded the limits of his credit by nearly 4000l., while the road from Port Lyttelton to the Plain was

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still incomplete. The accounts now published show in what proportions this 24,000l. was devoted to different objects, viz., to surveys, roads, buildings, &c.

Mr. Godley of course directed the suspension of further outlay which he had no authority to incur, and which the Association might have no means of making good, and he immediately wrote home his first despatch, stating distinctly the works which had been effected by Mr. Thomas; that 'but one opinion was expressed in that country by those qualified to judge, that the interests of the Association could not possibly have been confided to more efficient hands,' but stating also that the road from the port to the Plains was unfinished; that by 'a conjectural estimate' at least 7000l. was required to complete that road alone, and that 'all operations must remain at a stand-still until fresh remittances shall arrive from England.'

Mr. Godley was necessarily unaware that in the meantime, at the request of the colonists themselves, the settlement was to be founded, 'and the plan persevered in under any circumstances,' and that the time of the departure of the first body had been determined without waiting for news of the extent of the preparations made for their reception.

In May, 1850, the Committee of Management having determined to charter ships on account of the Association, Mr. William Bowler was appointed Shipping and Emigration agent, and before the amount of

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land sales, or the consequent emigration could be known, an agreement was entered into with him, by which he was to receive a commission of 7 1/2 per cent, upon the first 20,000l. expended, (he paying all expenses of advertisements, printing, and surveys,) and upon any outlay after the first 20,000l., a commission of 5 per cent. It is probable that your Lordship, in common with every other member of the Committee, will now consider that this was an ill-advised arrangement, inasmuch as, like that respecting the commission on land sales, it now appears improvidently liberal towards the employes of the Association.

On the 1st of July, 1850, the applications for the purchases of land were opened in the order determined by ballot, when it appeared that 8650 acres only had been sold (producing 25,950l.), instead of the 100,000 acres predicted and expected. This was disheartening; and I remember, as a land purchaser myself, then entirely unconnected with the Association, that the propriety of postponing the execution of the scheme was mooted. But to have postponed would have been virtually to abandon; and the Committee determined to go on with such means as they had.

On the 5th of July, 1850, the New Zealand Company surrendered their charter to Government. The consequence of their so doing was, that they thereby disqualified themselves from performing their part of

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the agreement of December the 1st, 1849, viz., to reserve the Canterbury Block for the purposes of the Association for ten years; the title to all the Company's land unsold at once reverted to the Crown, and the Canterbury Association possessed no legal power to make any further sales. To remedy this defect, which, unremoved, must have been fatal to the further progress of the scheme, a bill was immediately introduced into Parliament, which became law as the 'Canterbury Settlement Lands Act,' on the 14th of August, 1850. The bill was drawn by Mr. Henry Sewell, who had just been appointed Deputy Chairman of the Committee of Management, and your Lordship can, I think, bear witness to the correctness of my statement, that it never would have passed but for his exertions. Considering the period of the session at which the bill was introduced, it unavoidably passed through both Houses of Parliament with some haste, and it was, in some respects, defective; particularly in its incorporation of certain pasturage regulations previously arranged by the founders of the Association, which practical experience in the colony soon showed to be imperfect. This defect was, at the earliest possible period, viz., the next session of Parliament, removed by the Legislature, the only authority competent to the task. But the Act of 1850 revived the power of the Association to dispose of the lands in the Canterbury Block; the conditions were, that rural land should be sold at 3l per acre;

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that one-sixth of the produce of the sales, and of rents for pasturage, should be paid to the Crown (instead of to the New Zealand Company, as the agreement of 1849 had provided), and that the lands sold in each year from the 1st of March, 1850, should average 50,000l. This last condition was particularly insisted on by Earl Grey. Failing compliance with any of these conditions, section 8 gave power to the Secretary of State to put an end to the Association's power of disposition over the lands in question.

Armed with these powers the Association resumed operations, and, on the 30th of August, 1850, further sales of land, to the extent of 4500 acres, were effected, making in all 13,150 acres, producing 39,450l. Of this 39,450l., one-third, viz., 13,150l., or (after deducting 650l., the land agent's commission) 12,500l. was the whole sum applicable to religious and educational purposes; and out of this sum 9000l., to which was added 1000l. collected by Mr. Jackson in aid of the Diocesan Fund, was forthwith paid over to the trustees of the Colonial Bishopric Fund, this being insisted on by Government before consenting to the creation of the See. There remained therefore only 3500l., belonging at that time to the Ecclesiastical Fund. Of this sum 675l. was at once invested in the purchase of 225 acres of land, with the concurrence and approbation of Mr. Jackson, the bishop designate, and in the belief that as a permanent endowment for religious uses, this was

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the best form of investment. Certain other investments in land for religious uses were made at the same time, but these were provided for by subscribed funds. The particulars of all these investments, as well those made by means of the ecclesiastical fund as by the liberality of private individuals, were distinctly stated in the despatch to Mr. Godley, 1st of October, 1850, printed at the time in the Canterbury Papers, page 237. They passed under the notice of the Inspector at his examination of the accounts, and were approved of by him.

On the 7th of September, 1850, the first four ships sailed for the colony. Just before their departure, Mr. Godley's first despatch, before mentioned, reached England, and was shortly afterwards published in the Canterbury Papers, page 185, together with the reply of the Committee of Management thereto, dated 7th September, 1850. In the latter the Committee stated -- 'In a financial point of view, the amount of land sales, small as compared with previous anticipations, is attended with inconvenience. In particular, it does not enable the Committee at once to place at your command the full amount which you estimate as required to complete all the works in progress in the colony.' In this emergency, three private individuals --Lord Lyttelton, Mr. John Simeon, and Mr. Thomas Somers Cocks, Junior--stepped forward, and gave their personal guarantees to the Union Bank of Australia for

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a credit of 10,000l., on which Mr. Godley was authorized to draw, if necessary. As Mr. Godley most accurately informed the colonists immediately on their arrival, 'As you are probably aware, the means at my disposal are very limited, the land sales having fallen far short of repaying what has already been expended; indeed, if individual members of the Association had not consented to become personally responsible for advances made, I should have hardly any means at all.'

But here it must in fairness be admitted, that the notice prefixed in the Canterbury Papers to these despatches, page 185, was too positive and unqualified in its terms, and was calculated, for the time at least, to encourage unfounded expectations of the extent to which the colonists might look for the outlay of funds, which they well knew the land sales--their own contribution towards these expenses--had not provided. I do not know who wrote the notice, but of course the Committee generally are responsible for it. It stated, 'that the reported suspension of the works was fully anticipated by the Committee, and that measures had been taken since the termination of the dependence of the Association on the New Zealand Company, to provide Mr. Godley with the means of resuming and completing the works in question, and, so far as may be necessary, making preparations for the settlement of the first colonists.'

The notice was no doubt written and published in

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haste, in the sanguine belief that the 'conjectural estimate' of 7000l. for the completion of the road might be relied on as sufficient; and without reference to the fact, that other expenses on the first landing of the colonists would be unavoidable--for which the credit of 10,000l. could alone provide. These circumstances may explain, but they do not excuse, the promulgation of so absolute a statement, which indeed the terms of the despatch of the Committee (above quoted) immediately following it, qualified and contradicted.

In October, 1850, Mr. Jackson sailed for New Zealand. The main object of his voyage was to see and confer with Bishop Selwyn, and to make arrangements with him as to the future territorial limits of his new diocese. The difficulties which had arisen upon this point, and which seemed to render such a personal interview desirable, are stated with great distinctness in the Committee's despatch--Canterbury Papers, page 210. In this the main object of his mission--undertaken with the knowledge and approbation of many of the leading colonists--Mr. Jackson was successful; but his expedition necessarily involved the Association in considerable expenses. Indeed, together with the items already mentioned, the outfit, passages, and salaries of the clergy who left England for New Zealand in 1850 absorbed the amount belonging to the Ecclesiastical and Educational Fund received in that year.

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The Association chartered eight ships for Canterbury in 1850; and in each ship the Committee thought it right to send a Chaplain. Four only of them, however, were sent with any promise of employment in the colony. Considering the limited funds at the disposal of the Association, different opinions may fairly be entertained as to the expediency of expending so large a sum in providing spiritual superintendence for the emigrants during the long outward voyage. The Committee acted, upon this point, on the best judgment they could form, and with no object but the good of those who were temporarily entrusted to their care.

In January, 1851, was published the Shipping Report of Mr. William Bowler, printed in the Canterbury Papers, page 268. I am bound to say that, in my judgment, that Report merits much of the condemnation which has been bestowed upon it. Mr. Bowler is in New Zealand, and unable to defend himself; without, therefore, assenting to the assertion that the Report was 'wilfully and designedly untrue,' it is sufficient to say, that a closer examination of its contents shows it to be fallacious and untrustworthy; and I for one feel that we deserve much blame as men of business, for not detecting earlier its omissions and inaccuracies--for having allowed ourselves to be misled by it--and for publishing the Report, as we did, with expressions of approbation which it does not deserve.

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Two or three instances, though more might be cited, may show how calculated the Report was to mislead. The writer of it evinces considerable acquaintance with the shipping expenditure of the New Zealand Company. He could hardly fail to have been aware, therefore, that the colonial expenditure 4 upon each ship despatched by that Company was estimated at 200l. The colonial expenditure upon each ship despatched by the Association was certainly not less than 200l. (See the account No. III. appended hereto). Yet there was no suggestion in the Report, no item in the debit side of the accounts, of any such expenditure. This alone on these eight ships would have made a difference of 1600l. Again, the Report takes credit for 9750l., as contributed by the land fund for emigration in the steerage in these eight ships. We ought to have known (whether the Emigration agent knew it or not), and to have perceived at once from his statement--first, that if 9750l. had been so contributed, the emigration fund must have been considerably overdrawn, for the whole amount at that time received by the Association applicable to steerage passages, did not exceed 7800l.; and secondly, knowing as we did that the respective land-purchasers were entitled by the terms of purchase to nominate emigrants who should receive assistance from

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the Association towards the passage to the fall extent of the said 7800l., if we had carefully examined the accounts we should have seen that these land-purchasers had at that time exercised their right to the extent of 3800l. only, and that consequently the Association were liable--as they afterwards had, in fact--to provide passages for nominated steerage emigrants to the amount of the balance, about 4000l. True, the colony had the benefit of the additional labour thus provided by the over-expenditure, but the fact of such over-expenditure was not disclosed by the shipping agent's report, or by the Committee who too readily adopted and circulated it.

In February, 1851, the New Zealand Journal was revived at the instance of Mr. Edward Gibbon Wakefield, and the Committee agreed to take 200 copies of each issue. On the face of that journal was the following standing notice:-- 'The present conductors of the New Zealand Journal are entirely unconnected with, and independent of, any particular Association or local interest in the islands.' This statement was not true; and I have never ceased to regret that the Committee of Management did not peremptorily insist on its suppression, or withdraw their subscription to the Journal.

And here I must take leave to interpose a very few words respecting Mr. Edward Gibbon Wakefield. That gentleman was, with Mr. Godley, the first originator of

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the Canterbury Settlement, and ungrateful would the Association be, if they did not acknowledge the benefit derived in many instances from his experience, sagacity, and unremitting devotion to the cause of New Zealand colonization, particularly for his assiduous efforts in collecting the emigrants to Canterbury; for the pains which he took to organize them as a united body in this country; and for his large share in the successful enactment of the New Zealand Constitution bill of 1852. But Mr. Wakefield never was a member of the Association. For whatever good they may have done, the members of the Committee of Management have been largely indebted to his suggestive genius and untiring energy; but, as they would not if they could, and could not if they would, shift from their shoulders to his the burden or responsibility of any of their acts, so, on the other hand, they have surely a right to claim that neither the Association nor the Committee be held answerable for his independent and uncontrolled action, nor in particular for any verbal representations which he may have made without their sanction or cognizance.

I cannot but take this opportunity of stating most positively that Mr. Edward Gibbon Wakefield never received one shilling directly, nor, as far as I know, indirectly, from the funds of the Canterbury Association. To your Lordship and the other members of the Committee of Management, this declaration is unnecessary; but all members of the Association may

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not be aware that the charge has been made, sometimes in vague though violent terms, the intended application of which it would be affectation to misunderstand; and on one occasion at least, by a specific assertion that Mr. Wakefield received 1000l. from our funds. For this assertion there never was the shadow of foundation. Of the private family arrangements between Mr. Edward Gibbon Wakefield and his brother, to which the latter has thought proper lately to refer, I know nothing; nor do I consider it necessary further to advert to them.

T resume the narrative of the proceedings of the Committee. In April, 1851, they arranged the purchase of 1100 acres of land on behalf of the Ecclesiastical and Educational Trustees for the use of the Church and College. The Committee stated their intention with all possible publicity, in their report laid before the Association at large, and printed in the Canterbury Papers, page 200, which contains also a statement of the reasons by which they were actuated. 'In making the latter investment, your Committee are of opinion that they have laid the foundation of a far more valuable endowment for the Church and College than could have been obtained in any other form. Having regard to the small quantity of land as yet appropriated, the absence of speculative purchasers, and the concentrated nature of the Settlement, there is no doubt that the value of all land purchased at the

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present time, and judiciously selected, will rapidly increase.'

The transaction was completed in June, 1851. It was submitted to the Government Inspector at the following examination of accounts. He not only did not disapprove of it, but he expressly reported--see Canterbury Papers, page 327--'That all the money received from land sales had been appropriated to the proper funds in accordance with the Charter.'

It is not my intention to offer any argument in support of the propriety of the step thus taken. It was assented to by all members of the Committee who attended; there was cash in hand belonging to the Ecclesiastical Fund sufficient to pay for the land so purchased; no whisper of objection to land investments had at the time reached the Committee; it received the distinct approval of the Government Inspector; and it remains to be seen whether the land so purchased will not in truth fulfil the expectations of the Committee, and ere long prove to be 'a more valuable endowment than could have been obtained in any other form.' The 3300l. so invested forms, as will be seen, a further portion of the item 15,093l. 6s. in the annexed account, No. II.

On the 22nd of April, 1851, the Committee received a despatch from Mr. Godley, dated November, 1850, written before the arrival of the colonists, which was immediately published in the Canterbury Papers, page

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290. Mr. Godley informed us, 'At least 25,000l. will be required before the most essential works and surveys can be completed, and the settlers put into possession of their land; and I most earnestly trust the Association will be able to furnish me with that sum, either from land sales, or by borrowing in anticipation of land sales.'

This statement of course demonstrated to the Committee, and to every one who read it, that the credit of 10,000l. with which Mr. Godley had been furnished (not received by him at the date of his despatch), would be insufficient for the completion of the works which it was desirable to effect. The Committee, therefore, in the same published report (May, 1851), after stating that the 'road from Port Lyttelton into the Plains was still incomplete,' and 'that the funds were exhausted,' proceeded to say--Canterbury Papers, page 200--Your Committee, being strongly impressed with the importance of completing these works, in which view they have been confirmed by Mr. Godley's despatch, have decided upon obtaining, if possible, in the present session of Parliament, an Act to enable them to obtain a loan, to be applied towards this object.'

If we had obtained Parliamentary powers to borrow money, the loan might have been legally charged upon future land sales in the Canterbury Settlement. Without such power it was hopeless to attempt to act upon

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Mr. Godley's suggestion to borrow money, except upon the security of property already legally vested in the Association, or from individuals whose interest in the settlement might make them willing to incur the personal risk attending such advances.

The attempt to obtain borrowing powers under the Act of Parliament failed. The reasons for this failure I need not here detail at length; they are fully explained in the 'Correspondence between the Colonial Office and the Canterbury Association.' 5 But I may remind your Lordship, that Lord Grey made the assent of Government to the grant of such powers dependent on the success of a bill promoted in the same session by the New Zealand Company, by which the sum of 200,000l. was to be made a charge in favour of the Company upon the general revenues of New Zealand. That bill was opposed and defeated.

The bill promoted by the Canterbury Association passed in August, 1851, without the clauses authorizing them to borrow money, and is the Act 14 & 15 Vict., chap. 84. By section 8 of that Act, the Association are expressly authorised to appropriate, and by deed vest in themselves in trust for any purposes of the Act, any lands previously unsold, charging to the fund in respect of which such lands should be so appropriated, the price which an ordinary purchaser would pay for them.

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The section contains a proviso that lands shall not be so appropriated unless the part of the funds in hand applicable to the purpose shall be sufficient to pay for the lands, after deducting the amount which would be appropriated to such part of the said funds. Thus, for instance, if there were 3000l. in hand belonging to the Ecclesiastical Fund, the Association were at liberty to purchase land on account of the Ecclesiastical Fund to the amount of 4000l.

The first object of this section was to preserve the miscellaneous reserves for the Association, and through the Association for the colonists, to whom the Association always looked forward to transfer their functions and their property. The Committee, so long previously as the 7th of September, 1850, had, in their first despatch to Mr. Godley, pointed out {Canterbury Papers, page 203), 'As to all sites, either reserved or to be reserved for public purposes, it will be desirable that plans should be immediately transmitted to this country, with accurate measurements, &c, in order that such sites may be regularly appropriated, and conveyed for the purposes of the Association, so as to be permanently dedicated to the uses designed.' Plans of the sites so reserved were accordingly transmitted to this country by Mr. Godley. But on consideration it had seemed to the Committee that they could not, under their then existing powers, conferred by the Charter, and the Canterbury Land Sales Act of 1850 only,

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regularly appropriate,' and 'permanently dedicate,' to public uses, lands of which the fee remained in the Crown, and of which the Association had only the temporary disposition. It also appeared to them doubtful whether under their existing powers they could purchase such lands with their corporate funds. Let it be remembered that if the Association's power of disposition over the Canterbury Block had from any cause ceased before the provisions of the statute 14 & 15 Vict., chap. 84, sect. 8, had been acted upon by them, all unsold lands would have reverted to the Crown; the temporary destination of certain portions of unsold lands by the Association to quasi-public uses would, or at least might, have been unavailing; and property, upon which large sums had been expended, might have been sold by Col. Campbell, the Crown Commissioner in the Colony, for one pound an acre, or (since the late proclamation summarily reducing the price of land) at ten shillings an acre. The Committee felt bound to guard against such a risk. Accordingly, the Act having passed, by deeds executed in September, 1851, and February, 1852, certain lands called 'Miscellaneous Reserves,' which had not been open to the public for selection, and on many of which money had been laid out for public purposes, were conveyed to the Association, in accordance with the provisions of the Act of Parliament, for the sum of 4271l. 17s. 4d. men-

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tioned in the account No. IV. appended hereto. Attested copies of these deeds, with schedules and maps, showing the exact amount of the property thus reserved and conveyed, are now in our possession, and are open to the inspection of any member of the Association. The original deeds are in the Colony.

The second avowed object in obtaining by Act of Parliament this power of purchase, was to authorize by law, beyond the possibility of doubt, the investment of ecclesiastical funds in land, and particularly in lands reserved under the terms of purchase for public ecclesiastical purposes, such as the sites of churches, parsonage houses, and cemeteries. Accordingly, in the same months of September, 1851, and February, 1852, certain ecclesiastical reserves were in like manner purchased, on account of the ecclesiastical fund, for 918l. 6s. This forms other part of the 'investments in land,' charged to that fund in account No. II. hereto annexed. This transaction was also submitted to the Inspector, and received his approval.

From the commencement of the proceedings of the Association, and down to the autumn of 1851, the Association had been urgently pressed, both by the Crown and the New Zealand Company, for payment of the sums from time to time due to them respectively on account of land sales--viz., the ten shillings and five shillings per acre. The Committee of Management had requested forbearance both from the Crown and

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the Company, urging upon each the difficulties the Association were under from the necessarily large expenditure on the first establishment of the Settlement; but stating their belief that there was no fear that their liabilities would ultimately outrun their assets. The Committee of Management also entertained the belief, the grounds of which they very early laid before Government, that while the liability of the Association to pay the ten shillings an acre to the Crown was undisputed, the New Zealand Company were not entitled to receive from the Crown (for the benefit of their own shareholders) the whole of this money; but that a portion of it was fairly and legally applicable to the expenses of surveys and emigration, of which the Settlement might have the advantage.

I do not propose to renew the discussion of these questions. It is sufficient to say that the request for forbearance was not attended to. Both the Crown and the New Zealand Company pressed for payment of the money due, without abatement or delay.

Under these circumstances, the Association having failed in their attempt to obtain parliamentary borrowing powers, were in want of money to pay the demands in question, and at the same time to carry on operations in emigration, and to defray miscellaneous expenses chiefly in the colony. Again, there was danger that our proceedings might come to a premature and abrupt termination, if funds were not provided.

In October, 1851, therefore, the Committee of

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Management borrowed 12,000l. from bankers, Lord Lyttelton, Mr. Cavendish, Mr. Simeon, and Mr. E. G. Wakefield personally guaranteeing--giving promissory notes to--the bankers for its repayment. No sufficient counter security was, or could be, given by the Association to those who incurred the liability on their behalf. But the understanding between the guarantors and the Committee of Management was, that the money should, if possible, be provided for out of future land sales.

In the same month (October, 1851), the Committee of Management also borrowed the Bishopric Fund, 10,000l.; and as there has been a good deal of misapprehension on this point, a more detailed explanation seems necessary. First, a word may be said as to the propriety of borrowing money at all on the security of the Miscellaneous Reserves. Now it will be seen from the accounts (post No. IV.), that the whole sum applicable to miscellaneous expenses, which has been received by the Association from land sales, does not amount to 19,000l. In October, 1851, it had not reached 13,000l., and of this sum, half, as it was from time to time received by the Association, was claimed by the New Zealand Company, in repayment of their advance of 28,964l. On the other hand, it will be seen, that the expenditure under this head in the colony alone, has been 42,000l., a large portion of it upon, and in respect of, these very Reserves. The Committee were not aware of any objection to their raising a portion of the money expended,

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and to be expended, in excess of their receipts on this head, by a mortgage of the property to which such over-expenditure had given value. The Charter expressly gives them power 'to sell, mortgage, charge, or otherwise dispose of their property as well real as personal, as they shall think proper.' And believing it to be a perfectly legitimate and advisable proceeding to borrow money upon this security, they did not perceive--and I am at a loss to understand-- why the money should not be borrowed from the Bishopric Trustees. It can make no difference to a borrower whether he pays interest to A or to B; it matters not to a lender upon what security his money is lent, provided the security be ample and the interest be paid. The facts regarding this mortgage have been succinctly and correctly stated by Mr. Sewell, in a letter published in the Lyttelton Times. They are these. The 10,000l. had been lying for fifteen months comparatively unproductive in the Bank of England, in the names of the Trustees of the Colonial Bishopric Fund. The Committee proposed to borrow the money on the security of the Reserves. Lord Grey was apprised of the intended arrangement, and his consent was asked. He left the Association to do what they thought right. The Trustees of the Colonial Bishopric Fund were also applied to, and the object explained. While disclaiming responsibility for the investment, they certainly expressed no disapproval of the plan. The mortgage security was prepared accordingly, and

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executed by the Association, for securing 10,000l., at 6 per cent, interest, to the Ecclesiastical Trustees, as part of the ecclesiastical funds. A copy of the deed, with maps, and schedules describing the property mortgaged, was immediately transmitted to the colony, and the original deed is now there; a copy of it is in our possession here. The property is abundant security for 10,000l. Appended to the accounts, post, p. 80, will be found a schedule of a portion only of these miscellaneous reserves, vested in the Association, and included in the mortgage deed. The same schedule shows that in July, 1852, the annual rental of these portions of the reserves was upwards of 900l. There is no more ground for saying that the Bishopric Fund has been either secularized or misappropriated, than there would have been if it had been lent on mortgage of broad acres in Yorkshire to a private gentleman who wanted to expend the money in the improvement of his estate. The Bishopric Fund never was 'invested in land,' except on mortgage as above stated; nor did the Association, nor any one on its behalf, ever say, or ' pledge their honour to the fact that it was invested in land, ' as has lately been mistakenly re-asserted; on the contrary, in a letter published in the Australian Gazette, in November, 1852, I gave the most distinct denial to the statement, which, I repeat, is without foundation. We have intimated an opinion, which nothing I have heard has ever shaken, that whenever lands can be bought in the Colony for 10,000l.,

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which will produce the same income--(300l. a year (but not till then), it may be expedient that the money should be so permanently invested instead of remaining on mortgage. But we have not so permanently invested it. The observations of the Government Inspector, in his report on the third audit, and the consequent strictures of the Times newspaper, had no relation whatever to the Bishopric Fund, the mortgage of which took place in October, 1851. Those observations were exclusively directed to appropriations of land which took place in February, 1852, in respect of other portions of the Ecclesiastical Fund comprised in the item 15,093l. 6s.

These appropriations, to the extent of 10,200l., have now to be adverted to. I wish to explain these transactions as distinctly as I can; in attempting to do so, I ask for the patient and candid attention of those who may read this letter. I believe the matter has hitherto been much misunderstood, and I am conscious that there may be some little difficulty in stating the details with the clearness I desire.

By the Canterbury Sales Lands Act, 1850, as before remarked, the Secretary of State possessed the right of determining the Association's power of disposition over the lands in the Canterbury Block, in case the proceeds of their sales in any year, ending on the 1st of March, should not amount to 50,000l. On the 18th of February, 1852, the land sales for the current and preceding years had reached altogether 80,448l.

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only, including the purchases already mentioned in the preceding May and September, on behalf of the Ecclesiastical and Miscellaneous funds respectively. The Committee feared that the Secretary of State might enforce the forfeiture of the land-selling powers, on the coming 1st of March; indeed, from all that had passed before, and has passed since, there can be very little doubt the forfeiture would have been enforced. The consequences of the forfeiture would have been-- first, that the functions of the Association could never have been legally transferred to the colonists; second, that those who had guaranteed re-payment of the loan of 12,000l. in the previous October, would have lost all prospect of re-payment. At this date, be it observed, the Association had cash in hand, as their bankers' books will show, amounting to 5839l., of which sum 2550l., and no more, was the balance due and belonging to the Ecclesiastical fund.

The responsibility of deciding upon the course to be taken at this critical juncture was thrown upon very few members of the Committee of Management, for though every member of that body, twenty-six in number, was regularly summoned to each meeting, the attendance was irregular and scanty.

And here, before I go further, I am sure your Lordship will permit me to say a few words respecting Mr. Henry Sewell. As Deputy-Chairman of the Committee of Management, and ever most assiduous in his attendance at our meetings, he is perhaps more directly

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responsible for our acts since he joined the Committee, than any other member of our body, with the single exception of your Lordship. He is now in the Canterbury Settlement, the elected representative of Christchurch in the General Assembly of New Zealand; and, I doubt not, devoting to the interests of his constituents the same knowledge, ability, and zeal he here displayed in the service of the Association. Had he remained in England, his hand, more fitly than mine, would ere this have traced the history and offered the explanations this letter contains. For as his connexion with the Association was earlier than my own, so his official position necessarily made him more intimately acquainted with all the details of the business transacted. From his fair share of the responsibility thereby attaching to him, Mr. Sewell would be the last man to shrink. He needs no eulogy or vindication from me, nor shall I presume even in his absence to offer any. But I take leave to object, by anticipation, to any attempt, should such be intended, to throw upon him more than that fair share of responsibility. Especially do I conceive it but a simple act of justice to declare my belief, that for the main causes which, in my judgment, led to the financial difficulties of the Association, Mr. Sewell is less responsible than most other members of the Committee. He did not join the Committee of Management till July, 1850. The agreement to pay the New Zealand Company 10s. for each acre sold; the guarantee to repay them 25,000l. by

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a certain day; the determination to go on with the means at your disposal, whatever they might be, and to embark the first body of colonists; the amount of remuneration promised to Messrs Felix Wakefield and Bowler; the mission of Mr. Jackson; the resolution to charter ships, and the whole emigration arrangements consequent thereon; the sending paid chaplains in each ship; --all these things were either done, or resolved on, before Mr. Sewell had joined your board, or had a voice in your councils. And I feel sure at least that no one who did sanction the arrangements I have above enumerated, and who may now perceive objections to them, would permit the blame, if blame there be, to be cast upon the person not originally responsible for these arrangements. Nor do I believe that their absence from meetings, at which their attendance was always earnestly desired, will, even in their own estimation, absolve any members of the Committee of Management from the responsibility of the course taken by those who were able to be present.

Those of us who did attend in February, 1852, acted after much anxious thought upon the best judgment we could form. First, it was resolved, with the consent of those who were guarantors for the re-payment of the 12,000l., that they should become land purchasers to that amount, and land orders were issued to them accordingly. But the effect of changing that which, in October, 1851, was a loan or guarantee, into a land purchase in February, 1852, was that the

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amount became thereby, and for the first time, distributable in the proportions required by the Charter and the Act of Parliament. Thus, 4000l., one-third of the sum, was forthwith carried to the credit of the Ecclesiastical Fund; and the balance of that fund, which up to the 18th of February, 1852, was, as I have stated, 2550l. only, became, on the 19th of February, 6550l.

The Inspector, in his third report, takes no notice of this transaction; he treats--it cannot be said that he bad not a right to treat--the land purchase of 12,000l., in February, 1852, as he treated any other land purchase: and he does not explain--he was not bound to explain--that the ecclesiastical fund was thus increased by 4000l., entirely by the monies of three members of the Committee. But the absence of this explanation lias surely produced, though unintentionally, an erroneous impression; more especially when the Inspector attributed the accumulation of the balance to the comparatively small demands for ecclesiastical purposes in the infancy of the colony.

It is this 6550l. which the Times referred to as 'funds placed at the disposal of the Association,' and which it accused the Association of 'misappropriating in a manner more than ordinarily discreditable'--of 'laying their hands on the money devoted to ecclesiastical purposes--of misappropriating it to secular objects, in direct violation of their duty, and of concealing this fraud on the Sanctuary by a nominal sale to the Church of their own unsaleable land.'

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The Committee of Management may or may not have been unwise in adopting the course they took, but we certainly felt more entirely at liberty to direct the mode of investment of funds thus 'placed at the disposal of the Association,' and thus 'devoted to ecclesiastical purposes' by members of our own body, even though such investment should not produce immediate return, than we might have felt if these funds had really been, as has been represented and supposed, wholly the contributions of colonists themselves. When the Church Committee in the colony, founding themselves on the Inspector's report and the Times article, express an opinion adverse to the wholesale commutation of Church revenues for land, they could hardly have had present to their minds by whom the larger portion of those Church revenues were provided.

The Committee of Management accordingly made, as the inspector. states, 'successive appropriations of land to the value respectively of 6900l., 2250l., 750l., and 300l., in favour of the Trustees of the Ecclesiastical and Educational Fund.' The land was necessarily sold at 3l. per acre, as the Act of Parliament directs, but as for every acre so sold 1l. reverted to the Ecclesiastical Fund, the investment was really only at the rate of 2l. per acre; and thus the one-third of the 6900l. so reverting to the Ecclesiastical Fund, furnished the 2250l. in respect of which the second appropriation was made, and so on in succession with the other smaller sums.

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This should always be borne in mind, because the item 15,093l. 6s. for investments in land, in the account of the expenditure of the Ecclesiastical Fund, may seem unduly large. Perhaps it would be so if it had all come out of the 27,000l., the full amount of the colonists' land-purchasers' contribution to this fund. But first, in truth the actual expenditure in land from the Ecclesiastical Fund was 10,000l. only (reproducing, as above explained, about 5000l., which was again re-invested in a similar manner); and secondly, of this 10,000l., 4000l. was the money furnished by three members of the Committee.

Further, it has been said that the investment in land of 10,200l. was an after-thought, 'after the Ecclesiastical Fund had been spent.' So far from this being the case, the dates of these transactions will prove the contrary. The 12,000l. loan was changed into a land purchase on the 19th of February; the land investments of the Ecclesiastical Fund were completed immediately afterwards--viz., on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of that month; and the determination to make such investments had been simultaneous with the arrangement respecting the 12,000l. It was, in fact, part of the same transaction; and up to the 19th of February, as I have already stated, a sum double in amount to that which belonged to the Ecclesiastical Fund was in hand at our bankers'. Though it is true that up to that time there had been a considerable

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excess of expenditure for emigration and miscellaneous purposes, yet it is nevertheless equally true, that the Ecclesiastical Fund had not been spent to meet it-- and for this reason: the means of meeting the excess in other departments had been supplied by the loans before adverted to, for the repayment of which loans the Ecclesiastical Fund was not liable.

I think it cannot be denied that, even if these arrangements were otherwise unobjectionable, they have the positive demerit of being somewhat complicated, and may be easily misapprehended, and unintentionally misrepresented. It was principally on this account that your Lordship was dissuaded by myself and others, contrary to your own judgment, from appending to the Report of the Government Inspector, which you forwarded to the Times for publication in January, 1853, the further explanation now offered. It may be matter of regret that our counsel prevailed with you; for no misrepresentation of the actual facts could, be worse than the suspicions which the absence of the explanation has engendered.

A further reason, besides those already stated, weighed with me, and probably with others, in favour of these land appropriations of 1852. It was this: I expected that, when completed, the collateral effect of them would have been, by making up the required amount of land sales, to relieve from responsibility those who had signed the original guarantee to the

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New Zealand Company in April, 1850; (See page 13, ante. ) I may be wrong; but I still think it a legitimate additional motive to have influenced us, that, without any real sacrifice of the interests of the Church, the course taken not only lessened the financial difficulties of the Association, but did protect from loss, to some extent, 'those to whom the Colony owed its existence.' And I feel justified in using the terms 'without any real sacrifice of the interests of the Church,' because, I repeat, that if the course we took had not been taken, the Church would have had, instead of lands representing 10,200l., only 2550l. in money; and I believe that the former not only will be, but is by far the more valuable of the two. For it will be satisfactory to the friends of the Church in the Canterbury Settlement to learn, that all accounts from the colony concur in representing that the selection of the lands vested in the Ecclesiastical Trustees was made by Mr. Godley with great judgment. And I cannot refrain from mentioning one practical proof of the value of a portion of them which has come to your Lordship's knowledge within the last fortnight, and which is sufficient to qualify the sweeping assertion, that they are all 'worthless and unsaleable.' Thirty-three acres at Kaiapoi, portion of the land so selected, and which in 1852 cost the Ecclesiastical Trustees nominally 99l. (actually 66l.), were re-sold by them in July last for 140l. Some complaint has been even made that

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they have been now sold under their value. If this be so, it only tends to show that there is less ground for the fear expressed by the Inspector, that the tract of land appropriated to the Ecclesiastical Fund 'may remain for an indefinite period before it acquires saleable value.' If, however, that fear should be well founded, still the Committee will not be open to the charge of 'misappropriation, fraud, and sacrilege;' terms which they must feel to be utterly unjust, but they will, as frankly stated by Mr. Godley in his parting address to the colonists, (Guardian, June 29, 1853,) 'have made a mistake in trusting too exclusively to land endowments, instead of reserving a fund to meet ecclesiastical expenses until they should be provided for out of those endowments.' At the same time, it seems obvious to remark, that if the churches, schools, parsonages, and larger stipends originally contemplated and desired, had been provided, there would have been no permanent endowment at all.

Perhaps a more substantial objection, at first sight, to the land purchases of February, 1852, including under that title both the appropriation of the 12,000l. loan, and the 10,200l. investment for Church purposes (which in fairness should always be considered together), is that stated by the Government Inspector-- 'By this means the amount of land sales was apparently increased by the sum of 10,200l. (he might have written 22,200l.), and the responsibilities of the

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Association proportionally augmented, while no addition was made to their actual resources by the transaction.' This is true. The Crown became entitled to claim 3700l., and the New Zealand Company 1850l. from the Association in respect of these appropriations. It may be doubted now, taking into account subsequent events, whether this was not too heavy a price to pay for the prolongation of the Association's powers.

But in fairness let it not be forgotten, that the Committee of Management could not anticipate or foresee the liberal provisions of Sir John Pakington's bill, giving the colonists the control over their own land fund--that one of the main objects of the Committee in prolonging the powers of the Association was to transfer them to the colonists as soon as they could legally do so--and that in so transferring them, they would have transferred not only existing property, but the right of dealing with a large revenue, every year steadily increasing, from pasturage licences as well as land sales, within the Canterbury Block.

We thought that for such an object it was worth while to incur some liability, and by fair and candid minds our decision will be judged of--not in the spirit of that cheap postvenient wisdom which can see so clearly, and denounce so loudly after the event, but with regard to circumstances as they existed at the time it was necessary a decision should be come to.

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Let it be supposed that the Constitution Bill of 1852, giving the colonists the control of their own land fund, had not passed--(and it is well known that up to the last moment it was doubtful whether it would be introduced)--can it be doubted that, as in that case the only mode by which the Canterbury colonists could have obtained the control of the land fund in the Canterbury Settlement would have been by transfer from the Association, the colonists would have gladly undertaken, in return for the possession of such control, the liabilities which the Association had thus assumed, in order to retain the power to make the transfer?

On the other hand, suppose the land appropriations of February, 1852, had not taken place--that the forfeiture of the land-selling powers of the Association had followed on the 1st of March, and the Constitution Bill had not become law. In February, 1852, the bill was not in esse, hardly in posse; few, if any, were sanguine enough to dream of its liberal provisions. In the case supposed, would not the colonists and their friends, nay, possibly even members of the Association itself who had the interest of the colony at heart, have turned to the Committee of Management, or to those of us who attended its meetings, with the complaint, 'Surely you might have devised some means to prevent this forfeiture, and the consequent cutting off of all our means for proceeding with our work? Surely we have not planted Ibis colony, incurred these

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liabilities, created this revenue, and given value to these unsold lands, only that they may be handed over to the arbitrary control of the Governor and his executive council'?

Before the Committee of Management are condemned for the course they took, let a thought at least be given to the then probable consequences of our not taking it.

I have, my Lord, very little more to add. The Constitution Act passed in July, 1852. It contains powers for the Association to transfer their functions, property, and liabilities to the colonists, if the latter think fit to accept them. Whatever may be the decision of the colonists on that point, the Committee of Management felt that the work of the Association, as a body selling land, was at an end; and, as a consequence, that it was no longer their province to incur the expenses of despatching emigrants to the colony.

Accordingly, in June, 1852, we determined to discontinue all operations in this country on the following 30th of September. All accounts of shipowners, &c, were called in and discharged, by advances from the private funds of twelve members of the Committee of Management, aided to the extent of 1025l. by seven members of the Association. By means of similar advances the claim of the New Zealand Company upon the Association in respect to the five shillings an acre in repayment of their advance of 28,964l., was subse-

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quently settled by the payment of 2080l. 19s. 8d., which made up, together with what the company had previously received from the Crown, the sum of 25,000l. The New Zealand Company were made aware of the fact that this payment of 2080l. 19s. 8d. was made from the private resources of individuals, and they remitted 'as an act of grace, but not of right,' their claim to the further sum of 1289l. 10s. 9d. in respect of land sales beyond the amount of 100,000l. These private advances, amounting altogether to 8374l. 19s. 6d., appear in detail in the account No. VII.

Notwithstanding the cessation of our operations in England since September, 1852, and our being consequently without funds here, the necessary expenditure in the colony over income has compelled those who administered affairs there to continue drafts upon the credit for 10,000l. furnished to Mr. Godley in 1850; and the members of the Committee who guaranteed that credit have accordingly paid on account of it, from private funds, since September, 1852, 4168l. (See Account, post, No. VIII.)

The debt due to the Crown remained unpaid, and has, from time to time, since March, 1852, been increased by land sales in the colony, no portion of the proceeds of which has ever been remitted to this country. But the Committee of Management did not, in 1852, feel themselves at once called upon to attempt

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the discharge of this claim, as they had discharged the debts due to shipowners and others, from their private resources; because while acknowledging the legal liability of the Association to make the payment to the Crown, the Association was possessed in its corporate character of property in the colony, which the Committee believed sufficient to discharge the debt, and they conceived that the property in question might be, in the first instance, fairly chargeable with the payment. The Crown, however, in November, 1852, refused to await either the realization of the property, or the decision of the colonists as to their assumption of this liability together with the functions and property of the Association. And, after due warning, in default of payment, Sir John Pakington, before leaving office in December, 1852, exercised the power which the Act of 1850 gave him, and put an end to the land-selling powers of the Association.

Her Majesty's Government being advised by the law officers of the Crown, that the Crown was bound to pay to the New Zealand Company one-sixth part of the price received by the Association for land sold, insisted, in July last, on payment of the debt due by the Association, and intimated their intention, if payment were not made, to institute proceedings not only against the Association in its corporate capacity, but to attempt to recover the amount from the members of the Committee of Management individually.

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Without admitting, nay, protesting against, any legal personal liability, the members of the Association, with very few exceptions, as well as every member of the Committee of Management who has been applied to on the subject, have combined to liquidate the claim by further voluntary advances, and payment of the debt of 5193l. 2s. 5d. has just now been made from their private resources. (See Account, post, No. IX.)

I have extended this narrative to a greater length than I had anticipated; for though it was my intention to confine it as closely as possible to remarks explanatory of the accounts which follow, yet I have found it difficult to offer these without touching on matters apparently only indirectly connected with the financial condition of the Association. For the opinions I have expressed, of course I alone am answerable. For the facts stated, I unhesitatingly appeal to your Lordship to confirm my entire accuracy. I desire that that accuracy should be tested in any fair mode which friend or foe can devise.

As to other charges unconnected with matters of finance, brought not only against the proceedings of the Committee of Management at home, but with equal violence against every one of the Association's principal agents in the colony--upon these, however strong the temptation, I abstain from entering.

To remarks disparaging the administration of affairs in the Settlement, the present condition of the Settle-

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ment is the best, and happily the most triumphant answer. Your Lordship and the Committee of Management may well be content, acknowledging the mistakes we have made in attempting to realize, with insufficient pecuniary means, a part only of what we once hoped to accomplish, to bear the blame to which these mistakes may justly expose us. For we can point to Canterbury--despite all short-comings and disappointments --not only established, but in healthy, vigorous, and steady progress, 'bidding fair, no long time hence, to equal or surpass, in stability and general well-being, any other province in the splendid islands of New Zealand.'

I have the honour to be
Your Lordship's faithful servant,

1   Parliamentary Papers relating to the New Zealand Company, No. 570, 1 July, 1852, p. 442.
2   Parliamentary Papers relating to the New Zealand Company, 1852, No. 570, p. 482.
3   See Parliamentary Papers, ibid., p. 480.
4   See Parliamentary Paper: New Zealand, No. 570, p. 605.
5   Parliamentary Papers, No. 48, 1852, p. 14.

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