II. [New Zealand Association]
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II. Having ascertained the principal causes of those evils which our past Colonization has inflicted upon the Aboriginal tribes and nations which have been affected by it, the claims preferred by THE NEW-ZEALAND ASSOCIATION to public confidence and support call for particular consideration.
The plan for the Colonization of New Zealand, which is now submitted to the public, has certainly some plausible pretensions.
1. The Association have not altogether overlooked the fact, that our past proceedings have not advanced the cause of humanity. In their book, entitled, The British Colonization of New Zealand, they say, "We are not only ready to admit, but should be amongst the first to assert, that the common effect of mere Colonization has been to exterminate the Aboriginal race." 1
2. They recognise the important principle which it has been attempted to establish in the preceding pages; namely, that barbarous tribes and nations require, in some good degree, to be enlightened and elevated before they can blend with civilized communities,
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or hold beneficial intercourse with them. On this important point, they shall be heard at length for themselves. The Appendix to the book just referred to commences as follows:--
"The conduct of Europeans towards the original inhabitants of newly-discovered countries, has been for the most part so recklessly unjust and destructive, that we should seem at first sight to be conferring a great and unwonted blessing on a barbarous race were we to settle among them as friends, and, having purchased their lands from them at their own price, to declare them our equals in every particular, and surround them in precisely the same measure as ourselves by the just and impartial sanctions of British law.
"Such an assumption, however, would be eminently fallacious. The establishment of the same rights and the same obligations can only be fair between parties who have the same power in the same field; but where one of the parties is immeasurably inferior to the other, the only consequence of establishing the same rights and the same obligations for both will be to destroy the weaker under a show of justice. Now it is obvious that such would be the case with the New Zealanders, or any other barbarous race, if put in competition with the European. And since it is one of the characteristics of civilization, and pre-eminently so of modern British civilization, that every individual is more or less in a state of competition with every other individual, it may safely be inferred that were a Colony of British to plant themselves in New Zealand, on land purchased from the natives, and on which the natives should continue to reside, under the influence of British law, and on a footing of perfect equality with British subjects, though no cruelty were inflicted, though strict and impartial justice were administered, though posts of honour and emolument were offered equally to all, a species of social attrition would at once begin, and never cease till it ended in the degradation and destruction of the New Zealanders.
"In the mean time, neither the New Zealanders nor the British might be conscious of the process; and its effects might be deeply lamented by those very individuals who were the instruments of promoting its operation, and who, from the long-settled persuasion that the principle of 'equal laws and equal rights for all' is the great glory and blessing of a well-regulated constitution, would never suspect the possibility of a state of things in which the same principle would be unjust, tyrannical, and oppressive.
"So that it might well be questioned whether it would not be less destructive to conquer the whole country by force of arms, as Britain was conquered by the Romans, and by arbitrary power to make such allotments of the land, and establish such laws and institutions as should be suitable to the state and genius of the people, than to invite
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them to a community of rights, without placing them in such a position as would enable them to derive from such rights the same benefit as we should ourselves."
3. The Association profess that their plan for colonizing New Zealand materially differs from our past system of Colonization. Thus they say, that
"In selecting New Zealand as a field to which that system may be very beneficially extended, the Association have had an object which may he described as altogether new, --that of reclaiming and cultivating a moral wilderness, --that of civilizing a barbarous people, by means of a deliberate plan and systematic efforts. This, indeed, will be an experiment; for, though professions of a desire to civilize barbarians have often been used as pretexts for oppressing and exterminating them, no attempt to improve a savage people, by means of Colonization, was ever made deliberately and systematically." 2
"Their plan will be found to differ very materially from all other projects for extending British dominion; since, as we have indicated before, and as will be now fully seen further on, it comprises a deliberate and methodical scheme for leading a savage people to embrace the religion, language, laws, and social habits of an advanced country, --for serving in the highest degree, instead of gradually exterminating, the Aborigines of the country to be settled." 3
Such are the views and professed object of the Association. They wish it to be understood, that they do not contemplate merely the formation of a Colony to promote their own interests, extend the British dominions, and advance our national commerce; but that they design, by means of the Colony which they may form, to improve the New Zealanders themselves, and raise them from their ignorant and degraded condition, to a Christian and civilized state. This is what they profess; nor is it intended to call the sincerity of their professions into question. In one of the quotations given above, they judge with severity some of their predecessors in the work of Colonization, when they say, that "professions of a desire to civilize barbarians have often been used as pretexts for oppress-
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ing and exterminating them." Perhaps at the time when those declarations were made, there existed no stronger reason for disputing their sincerity, than for now indulging in suspicions respecting the New-Zealand Association. Not, however, to dwell on this: it shall be assumed, that the Association do really mean what they say; and that their declarations of good-will to the New Zealanders, and of desire for their improvement, are the index of the sentiments and feelings which they cherish in their hearts. Still, however, it remains a matter of indispensable necessity that their proposals should be submitted to a careful scrutiny. A person, or a number of persons associated together for a given purpose, may mean well; but it does not follow that because their intentions are right, their plans will therefore be found wisely framed to carry those right intentions into effect, nor that they can command the means necessary for the accomplishment of their object. There are many well-meaning enthusiasts in the world; and the New-Zealand Association must not be surprised that while the sincerity of their professions is not disputed, the disinterested philanthropist, who has no commercial speculations to carry into effect, but whose solicitude has for its primary object the advancement of the cause of humanity, should withhold his approbation of their plans, until he has satisfied himself that that part of their scheme which professes to aim at promoting the welfare of the New Zealanders themselves is well-devised, and that so far as wise arrangements and adequate means constitute a pledge, a sufficient pledge or guarantee is afforded for its prompt introduction and successful execution.
It is the more necessary that the proposals of the Association should be submitted to a strict investigation, because, in some of the earliest colonizing schemes, the greatest anxiety was manifested for securing the interests of the natives, and their advancement in civilization; and yet even those have not
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formed any exceptions to the general rule, on which the benevolent mind can dwell with satisfaction. The early Colonies, in the founding of which the rights and interests of the natives appear especially to have been cared for, have as signally failed to accomplish their professed humane object as has Colonization in general. Take, for instance, some of the first Colonies which were founded in America. The Royal Charter, granted by James I. in the year 1606, for establishing the Colony of Virginia, runs in this strain:--
"We, greatly recommending, and graciously accepting of, their desires for the furtherance of so noble a work, which may, by the providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the glory of his divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages living in those parts to human civility, and to a settled and quiet government; do, by these our letters-patents, graciously accept of, and agree to, their humble and well-intended desires."
The Connecticut Charter, granted by Charles II. in 1663, is expressed in still stronger terms, and provides that the Colonists-
"May be so religiously, peaceably, and civilly governed, as their good life, and orderly conversation, may win and invite the natives of the country to the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and Saviour of mankind, and the Christian faith; which in our royal intentions, and the adventurers' free profession, is the only and principal end of this plantation."
Both these Charters are deserving of serious consideration; but the latter especially ought to be most solemnly and carefully pondered, in connexion with the declarations of the New-Zealand Association. The Association do not pretend to say that the welfare of the natives is their primary and leading object: from their statements, it obviously appears, that their own commercial interests are their principal aim; and that the philanthropic part of their scheme is only secondary and subordinate. But in the case of the founders of Connecticut, we have an instance of a body of Colonists professing that "the only and principal end of the
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plantation," as contemplated by themselves, was to lead the natives of the country to the enjoyment of Christianity and its attendant blessings; and that a Colony, the founders of which professed to make this their only and principal object, and for the accomplishment of which benevolent object the Charter was expressly granted, should have been, notwithstanding, as prejudicial in its influence upon the natives as Colonies in general have proved, is a consideration which tends to press upon religious and philanthropic persons, with the greatest weight and urgency, the obligation which they are under fully to investigate the plan for colonizing New Zealand, before they contribute to further it by their sanction and support.
MR. EDWARD GIBBON WAKEFIELD, in his recent pamphlet, loudly complains that MR. COATES 4 has overlooked in the book published by the New-Zealand Association, (which has been previously referred to,) the two chapters on "Religious Establishment," and on the difficult and interesting Subject of "Exceptional Laws in favour of the Natives." In the brief inquiry now proposed, these chapters therefore shall receive especial notice.
But before the philanthropy of the plan be considered, its justice must be ascertained. How is it proposed to obtain possession of the lands of the New Zealanders? This is the cardinal question, from which no benevolent professions must divert our attention. Justice first; benevolence afterwards! To this question it is replied, that it is a principle of the Association not to "attempt to convert any part of their country" (that is, of the New Zealanders) "into British territory, without their full, free, and perfectly-under-
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standing consent and approval." 5 This may appear, to those who are satisfied with a superficial view of things, an exceedingly fair method of procedure; but can thinking persons really believe that barbarous, uncivilized people are in a condition to make a "perfectly-understanding" bargain for the transfer of their lands? They may do it "freely," as when they have sold their possessions for a few baubles; but never let it be said that they "perfectly understood" what they were doing in such cases. The argument which the Association, in the lengthened extract given in a preceding page, have been led to use for another purpose, namely, that a social competition between two parties, "one of which is immeasurably inferior to the other," must end in the ruin of the "immeasurably-inferior party," applies with equal force in the present instance. The New Zealanders are the very party who are thus represented so vastly beneath Englishmen; and it may be successfully maintained, that they will be no more able to cope with English Colonists, in the sale of their lands, than they would be if they entered into such relations as the writer was then contemplating. The child would "freely" part with a diamond in the rough, of incalculable value, for a showy trinket of no worth; but would any one attempt to justify such a bargain with a child, on the ground that the child gave its "perfectly-understanding consent?" Certainly not; but it is about as extravagant to talk of the "perfectly-understanding consent" of the New Zealanders, in the sale of their lands, as it would be in the case of such a bargain as has just been supposed. Many of the New Zealanders are beginning to be enlightened, and are obtaining some knowledge of the value of money, and of European manufactures, but they know nothing as yet of the relative value of these things as compared with their own lands and possessions; and they are often found ready, for a
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trivial, inconsiderable sum, to part with rich tracts of country on which grows the finest timber in the world, or possessing a soil in the highest degree capable of profitable cultivation.
The Association have not stated what is the price which they intend to give for the land of the natives, but all their calculations are formed upon the principle that it will be extremely small. A quotation from their book will throw light upon this question, and enable the reader to form his own judgment respecting the bargain which is proposed to be made with the New Zealanders: They say,--
"In order to explain the operation of this system, let us suppose, that persons, intending to settle in New Zealand, and others, are ready to purchase orders for public land to the amount of £50,000, and also to advance upon loan the sum of £100,000: that half of the loan, that is, £50,000, were expended on the emigration of labourers, and the other half for general purposes. The buyers of land would thus receive hack the full amount of their purchase-money in the shape of labour and population; and government would be established; while the £50,000 which had been paid for land (deducting a small portion for local improvements, and also what was paid to the natives for land) would provide interest on the loan until more land had been sold, and a colonial revenue had arisen. With a provision for the regular payment of interest, the whole loan would he expended in improving the security on which it had been advanced.
"Supposing that the operation were not repeated, the loan would either be paid off, half of it out of the produce of future sales of land, and the other half out of the ordinary revenue; or, if it were not paid off, the interest would be defrayed, half of it out of the public lands' fund, and the other half out of the ordinary revenue; --both funds, however, in case of the failure of either, being equally liable for the whole principal and interest.
"But this operation would probably be repeated over and over again, in the formation of new Settlements and the extension of old ones. Suppose that, in progress of time, British New Zealand, or Victoria as it may be called, should be saddled, to use a common expression, with a debt of several millions, --what then? Why, a time would surely come, and long before all the land of these islands had become private property, when it would he not only inexpedient but mischievous to add to the colonial population by means of emigration from Britain; and, from that time forth, the whole of the sums received as the purchase-money of public lands, (deducting payment
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to natives, and a small portion for local improvements would be an available fund for paying off the colonial debt.
"These figures have been employed solely for the purpose of illustration. Common care on the part of Government, and still more the attention of individuals to their private interest, would confine the debt within the probable value of the security. But, considering that the whole of the money borrowed would be spent in rendering the security more and more valuable, --recollecting that, in the United States, the sales of public land (at the very low price of 5s. 7 1/2 d.) produce a revenue exceeding the whole expense of general Government, --and observing the yet more remarkable growth of revenue from the sales of public land in our Australian Colonies, --we may venture to say that British, capital is continually invested, by the million at a time, on securities far less promising than the one which we have endeavoured to describe." 6
From these statements and calculations it is obvious, that the expectations which are formed respecting the success of the undertaking rest, in a great measure, upon the presumed profits arising from the sale of public lands to the emigrants. These profits are to be a principal resource for meeting, in the first instance, the annual interest of the money borrowed for commencing and maintaining the Colony in the years of its infancy; and, ultimately, they are to form a fund for paying off the colonial debt itself, which, it is anticipated, may amount to "several millions." Now, it is most certain, that if the profits arising from the re-sale of the lands of the New Zealanders to the emigrants are to constitute a fund adequate to such purposes as are thus contemplated, the original purchase-money, paid by the Association to the New Zealanders themselves, will amount to little more than a mere nominal consideration.
Let the whole question of the bargain to be made with the New Zealanders for the transfer of their lands now be fairly looked at. What is it that the Association contemplate? Nothing less, as it appears from their own statements, than that the whole of the land of the islands of New Zealand shall become private
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property, --that, with all their lands, for which they are to receive little more than a nominal consideration, the natives are to surrender their "sovereign rights" and thus renounce their national independence, --and that the country shall receive a new name, and be called Victoria, as a mark of its subjugation to the British Crown. Such are the modest pretensions of the Association! And yet they tell the public that it is a principle with them not to "attempt to convert any part of the country of the New Zealanders into British territory, without their full, free, and perfectly-understanding consent." Will they give the Christian and philanthropic portion of the people of this country, to whom they look for help, the further assurance, that, before they strike a bargain with the New Zealanders for their lands, they will put them in full possession of their plans, and make the New Zealanders clearly understand, that if they allow the proposed Colony to be commenced among them, it is intended to carry out the measure to the extent developed in the preceding extract? On their own showing, they are bound to do this. In the first Statement which they published, they laid it down as a principle, that "it is unjust and cruel to lead savage or semi-barbarous men into engagements which they do not perfectly comprehend." Let it be remarked, they say "perfectly comprehend." Well, then, it will follow from their own premises, that if the Association go to the New Zealanders, and begin on the plan of purchasing their spare lands, without making them acquainted with their own ultimate purposes, they will act "an unjust and cruel" part. Any single tribe might, perhaps, be persuaded to part with their spare lands for a comparatively trifling consideration; but let them, before they do this, only be made distinctly to understand, that it will merely be the prelude to the loss of all their other lands, and their national independence, too, and will any one believe, that with such a prospect before them, they
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would give their "full, free, and perfectly-understanding consent and approval" to the transfer of a single acre to an Association which had come among them with such designs? The individual who could believe this would possess strong faith; for, ignorant beyond conception must those Aborigines be, who could not comprehend the simple question respecting the surrender of their all.
To those who are in circumstances enabling them to take an unprejudiced and disinterested view of the subject, and who are, moreover, capable of viewing it in all its principles and bearings, nothing, it is presumed, will appear more certain than that, if the Association do obtain possession of the lands of the New Zealanders, it will not, cannot be with their "perfectly-understanding consent and approval." And what then can be rationally expected to follow the working-out of the plan of the Colonists different from the painful results of our past Colonization? As the New Zealanders become more fully enlightened, and discover how inadequate was the price for which they surrendered their lands; --as they begin practically to understand what is included in the transfer of their "sovereign rights;" --and as the developing plans of the Colonists reveal to them more and more clearly the point to which the whole undertaking naturally tends; --they will become dissatisfied, and suspicious of the Colonists, whom they will regard in the light of deceivers; --revenge will inspire them, --they will act over again the part of the warlike natives of Van Diemen's-Land, rather than of the mild and patient Canadian Indians; and the ruin of the New Zealanders will prepare the way for the extension and consolidation of the British province of "Victoria."
This will be the inevitable result, unless the proposed civilizing process shall prove efficacious enough to prevent it. It remains therefore to be seen,
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what is the policy intended to be adopted in reference to the natives--what is the plan by which it is designed to enlighten and elevate them. In the fourth chapter of their book, the Association propose that the New Zealanders, on parting with "their land and their sovereign rights" shall be received into the Colony, and become entitled "to the rights of British subjects," and that means shall be taken for "placing them, as soon as possible, on terms of intellectual, moral, and social equality with the Colonists." What those means will be we learn from the same chapter. The natives are to have facilities for obtaining legal redress--a provision equivalent to a poor-law is to be made--schools are to be established--and religious instruction provided for them. But as Mr. Wakefield points out two chapters to which he invites special attention, they shall be submitted to a more particular examination. The latter of those chapters, entitled "Exceptional Laws in Favour of the Natives of New Zealand," certainly affords the fullest explanation of the means to be used for civilizing the natives which the book contains.
1. The chapter commences upon the principle, that the New Zealander is not capable of being converted at once into a British subject, and that he cannot, therefore, be placed immediately under British law.
"Since then," it is remarked, "the people are not adapted to our laws the only course which remains for us is to adapt our laws to the people."
2. The recently-discovered method of transplanting a full-grown tree, without injury, from one soil to another, is used as a simile to represent the introduction of the New Zealanders, with their national peculiarities and usages, into the British Colony; removing only those customs which are radically bad, and sedulously fostering whatever may be innocent and characteristic.
3. Chieftainship, being one of the most obvious and
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striking peculiarities of the social system in New Zealand, it is said, is to be respected; and it is proposed, that
"Every Chief who disposes of his lands to the British crown, and consents to liberate his slaves, should have allotted to him, within the British Settlement, such a tract of land, proportionate in the case of each several Chief to the extent of territory which he has ceded, and the number of slaves to whom he has granted their liberty, as would place him in as favourable a position with regard to the possession of landed property as the principal English settlers. This land should be kept in reserve for him, until by education and intercourse with civilized people he had learned to estimate its value."
Where the Chief is to live, and what are to be the means of his support, until, by the proposed educational process, he shall be prepared to take possession of, and enjoy, his reserved estate, is not, however, to be learned from the book. This proposal appears so very liberal, that it is judged necessary to stop and defend it.
"Nor should we," it is argued, "be acting unjustly by ourselves in conferring so great a benefit upon the New Zealander. The benefit which he would confer upon us by ceding to us his territory would be immeasurably great, and beyond all comparison greater than the consideration which he would be likely to demand, or we should be willing to give for it. In order therefore to be just in the sight of our own consciences we must grant him some further benefit; and what benefit can we grant him more suitable for his circumstances, with more case to ourselves, and more in accordance with our own principle of Colonization, than a portion of that land" (that is, a portion of his own land) "which has so greatly increased in value by the mere circumstance of our possessing it?"
This will, no doubt, be regarded by the reflecting reader as one of the most remarkable instances of casuistry--one of the most ingenious remedies for an unsettled and uneasy conscience, that has ever come under his observation.
4. The services of the more respectable Colonists are to be called into requisition in teaching the New Zealanders:--
"It would therefore be incumbent upon the members of the best families among the English to lay themselves out, as one of the finest
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occupations in which they could engage, for the cultivation and improvement of the native mind, for training them up to civilized habits, courteous behaviour, decorous conduct, and generous sentiments."
5. "Some of the picturesque and romantic institutions of the feudal age "are to be revived." The establishment of a principle of social alliances throughout the Colony "is proposed; and it is intended that the principal English families shall adopt, as their friends and allies, the chief families of the territory where they may have established themselves. The advantages of this arrangement are thus argued:--
"Nor would such an institution be without its value for the English gentleman, as well as the New-Zealand Chief. It would confer upon both an honourable distinction of a neutral character, and founded, as all honourable distinctions ought to be, in the high qualities of confidence, generosity, faithfulness, respect for social ties, and regard for the interests of posterity. The offices of the English leader towards his adopted friend would be, --to entertain him as his guest, to instruct him in the point of honour, to correct his savage notions with regard to the retaliation of injuries, to influence his pursuits, to teach him the value of property, and the obligations it entails on its possessor. The younger members of the families of the Chiefs might be introduced into the families of their English protectors, to undergo that wholesome mixture of education, service, manly exercise, and moral discipline, which the sons of our English Gentry were once accustomed to receive in the houses of the wealthier Nobility. Their daughters would be the especial care of the English ladies, and would receive from them such instructions, and render them such services, as would best fit them for their place in society."
6. Next, Heraldry is to render its aid. The chapter proceeds:--
"It can scarcely be doubted, that these alliances would be more palpably and more gracefully cemented, were the English family to confer on the New-Zealand family a coat of arms, somewhat similar to their own, but with such a modification as the rules of heraldry might prescribe, in order to keep up the difference between them. Heraldry, too, with its achievements and honorary distinctions, might be turned to good account in rewarding merit in the New Zealander; it would be a practice well-suited to impress his imagination, and might be made available for purposes which have grown obsolete in England."
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7. Then Chivalry is to contribute its part; and St. Palaye's ancient Chivalry is to be a text-book:-- 7
"The institution of chivalry is acknowledged to have had a wonderful effect, in softening the manners and improving the character of our ancestors in the middle ages; and there are so many points of resemblance between the state of society at that period, and the actual condition of the New Zealanders, that we should not lightly reject the assistance we might derive from St. Palaye, in framing their social institutions."
8. In connexion with chivalry, "the kind of literature which would be likely at once to suit their taste, and to elevate and improve their characters," comes under consideration; and the question is decided in favour of "the old romances of chivalry and the heroic poets."
"Few things," it is said, "would be more interesting than to observe the effect which might be produced upon such natures, by reading to them, in their own language, some stirring passage of Homer, or some affecting incident from the pages of Sir Thomas Maleore."
9. After this, the question of criminal law is considered, on the principle that "it would be palpably unjust to govern savages by the strict enforcement of a criminal law, framed for civilized communities."
The plan having thus been sketched out, a few paragraphs are added respecting the spirit in which this benevolent enterprise is to be prosecuted.
"Such," it is concluded, "are some of the provisions which might be made for preserving and improving the native race, and making it contribute to the future greatness of the whole community; but let us not forget the high and holy principle which must be the soul of every effort for the benefit of mankind." 8
Before, however, the consideration of "the soul" of the system devised for elevating the New Zealanders is entered upon, the reader is requested to pause for a moment longer upon the system itself Can any one
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seriously believe that this scheme describes a middle state, through which it will be practicable to raise the New Zealander from "primitive barbarism," to "high civilization?" Is this to be the process for "converting him into a British subject?" If so, alas for Shunghee, that it was not introduced a few years earlier, before his savage propensities brought him to an untimely end! If this plan is the highest effort, the most perfect result, of the practical wisdom of the Association, slender indeed are their claims to public confidence. It is a reverie in which the classical student might benevolently and safely enough indulge on the banks of the Isis or the Cam; but calculated to fill all sober minds with alarm when they find it proposed by a public Company, as exhibiting something like a sketch or outline of their actual plan of proceeding. If the subject were not of too grave a character; if it did not really and truly involve the destinies of a noble though barbarous Aboriginal race, it might well provoke a smile to imagine the effect which the description of this plan would have upon the mind of the New Zealander himself, did he sufficiently understand it. Could he at all be made to comprehend this heterogeneous compound of his own national peculiarities and customs, ancient feudal institutions, and the regulations of modern civilized society; --could any thing approaching to an adequate idea of chivalry and St. Palaye, heraldry and a coat of arms, the old romances and heroic poets-- Homer and Sir Thomas Maleore--be introduced into his mind; at the same time that he was given to understand that it was intended by these means to transform him into a gentleman, and enable him to take his place among the intelligent and polished subjects of the Virgin Queen, who was to honour his country by giving to it her own name:-- what would be his wonder and incredulity on being permitted to peep through such a vista to his destined future elevation and greatness!
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Let it not be said, that this scheme is too extravagant to awaken any serious apprehensions, and that it can never be really meant that its introduction shall be attempted. Probably MR. COATES thought so, when he passed it over in silence. But what has been the consequence of his silence? Why, MR. WAKEFIELD strongly inveighs against what he calls "Mr. Coates's unfairness in passing, without notice, those parts of the book which were likely to defeat the purpose of his so-called 'examination.'" The only charitable excuse which he can make for the omission is, that Mr. Coates was under the powerful influence of "prejudice." And Mr. Wakefield, as though afraid that the Association would suffer injustice were this portion of the book to be thrown into the shade, addresses the author of this very chapter, telling him that "his coadjutors" (the Association of course)" cannot help seizing this opportunity to thank him for his masterly and very beautiful contribution and then, in order to secure for it the attention of Lord Glenelg and his readers generally, he enumerates consecutively the topics on which it treats. Can any one doubt whether the Association do not attach great importance to this scheme, when the opportunity has thus been embraced, to present the gentleman who has arranged it with their public thanks? And is not the impression of danger strengthened by considering the relation in which Mr. Wakefield stands to the Association? Who is this gentleman? If report be true--the intended Governor of the Colony! It is enough. Mr. Wakefield's enthusiasm in favour of the plan is a further guarantee that it will form the rule of procedure in the attempts which may be made to elevate the native race.
But it must be further inquired--Whether the examination of the proposed scheme has afforded any relief to the dark picture which presented itself, in the prosecution of the inquiry respecting the transfer of the lands of the New Zealanders? That inquiry ter-
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minated in the conclusion, that, unless the civilizing process should prove efficacious enough to prevent it, the Association were likely to obtain possession of their lands on such terms as could not fail to produce collisions, which would, as in other similar cases, end in the ruin of the Aborigines. Has any thing alleviating yet been brought to light which breaks the force of that conclusion? This is a most important inquiry; for in examining their plan, it has been found that the Association themselves admit, that "the benefit which the New Zealander will confer upon them, by ceding to them his territory, will be immeasurably great" --"beyond all comparison greater than he will be likely to demand," or "than they should be willing to give." They further admit, "that to be just in the sight of their own consciences, they must grant him some further benefit." And this further benefit, or compensation, is to consist in a reservation of a portion of his own land, possession of which is to be restored to him when their preparatory training shall have qualified him to enjoy it. Every thing is thus made to hinge on the success of this plan; and should it not succeed in elevating the New Zealander, he will not only remain destitute of all the benefits conferred by civilization, but he will lose, moreover, that further price or compensation for the land he may transfer to the Association, which they in their "own consciences" believe to be his right. If, therefore, the judgment just passed upon the means of instruction which it is intended to adopt, be correct, there exists the strongest possible presumption that the Association must devise some other method for restoring quiet to their consciences, and the hapless New Zealander will be abandoned to his fate.
The system itself having been considered, the apparatus by which it is proposed to reclaim the New Zealanders having been examined, the spirit which is to actuate it--"the soul of every effort" which is to be
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made by its means, becomes the subject of inquiry. This "soul," or "principle," is Christianity. And justice requires the admission that in the conclusion of the chapter on Exceptional Laws, "the regenerating influence of Christianity" is well contended for, as "the only remedy for the disease of human nature;" and it is moreover forcibly maintained, that "if the proposed Colony should not be founded on a Christian and Missionary basis, whatever might be the benevolent intentions of its founders, however wisely they might make their calculations, we might despair of its ultimately promoting the civilization and happiness of New Zealand."
But how does the amiable author of that chapter--for such, notwithstanding the impracticability of his plan, the spirit which pervades his pages proves him to be-- how does he propose to make Christianity bear upon the New Zealanders, in connexion with his plan, or rather, through the medium of its instrumentality? The following appears to be the notion which he entertains. The better classes of Colonists, it is hoped, will consist of "individuals not merely professing the doctrines and observing the forms of Christianity, but actuated by its spirit, and earnestly desirous of perpetuating its blessings among their less-favoured countrymen;" and thus by their teaching their own countrymen, (which would dispose them also to act properly towards the natives,) and by their managing and directing the training system devised for the advancement of the natives themselves, it is proposed that Christianity, as the "soul" of the system, shall be brought to bear upon the New Zealanders, and be made to ensure their improvement and elevation. This is excellent so far as it goes. If any good is to be done to barbarous people, it is of great moment that Colonists, and all others who have intercourse with them, should manifest the spirit, and exemplify the precepts, of Christianity; otherwise the best-constructed plan for instructing and improving the natives
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will, to a great extent, be frustrated. But if the Association intend, in the religious part of their scheme, to rely principally upon what, for the sake of distinction, may be called the remote influence of Christianity, instead of making a sufficiently ample provision for bringing it to bear immediately upon the minds of the natives, by the public ministry and pastoral labours of its regular and accredited teachers, their calculations of success, founded upon this part of their plan, will not be realized. If Christianity be divine, it must be taught according to the mode prescribed by its Divine Author; and it is his appointment that the preaching of the Gospel by a living ministry, set apart from all secular concerns, shall be the primary means for disseminating his religion throughout the world. However important, therefore, it is that the professors of Christianity should recommend it to others by their spirit and conduct, this indirect mode of teaching it must not be made to supersede its direct communication by the ministers of the Gospel. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven," is indeed a precept enjoined by Jesus Christ upon his followers; but this supposes the previous preaching of the Gospel, and is not intended in any degree to supersede or render less necessary that primary mode of communicating Christianity to men. The true import of this injunction is, that the professors of Christianity are required to second the ministers of the Gospel in their endeavours; that, as the ministers of the Gospel lead the way, the professors of religion are to follow after, and render their aid by affording, in their conduct, a practical illustration of the elevating doctrines and holy precepts which the minister teaches and enforces.
This is a point on which too much stress cannot be laid. If it be possible to render Colonization a blessing to any Aboriginal people, it will be a matter of indispensable necessity that a suitable provision be
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made for planting among them, in the first instance--at the very formation of the colony, a sufficient number of Christian teachers. If the evidence given before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Aborigines (which is referred to with approbation in the chapter on Exceptional Laws, now under notice) is to be quoted as furnishing conclusive proof that Christianity is the principal means for promoting civilization, then must that evidence be admitted in all its force, as to the mode in which Christianity must be applied for the accomplishment of this object. That evidence proves, that we must not begin with some merely civilizing process, and leave Christianity principally to operate through its means, as the "soul" of the efforts which are made; but that Christianity must take the lead; that the very first thing to be accomplished is to bring the spirit-stirring, arousing doctrines of the Gospel to bear upon the natives; and that until this is done--until the springs of action within them, which ignorance and superstition had enchained, be by this means brought into play, all attempts to raise them will be time and effort expended in vain. Now, the method observed in the chapter on Exceptional Laws awakens suspicion, that this view of the subject has not been adopted by the Association. If it has, then why is not Christianity put in the fore-front, and the civilizing plan made subordinate? Why does a description of the civilizing "efforts," (such as they are,) which it is proposed to make, take up the whole chapter, with the exception of two or three pages? and why is Christianity brought in just at the close, as the "soul" of all those efforts? This collocation, it is repeated, must necessarily appear very suspicious to all those persons whose minds are fully impressed with the conclusions established by the evidence before the Aborigines' Committee.
At the hazard of a charge of tediousness this question must still be urged: "How, or in what manner, do the Association propose to bring Christianity to bear
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upon the natives, in furtherance of their plan for enlightening and elevating them in the scale of society?" If the proposed Colonization of New Zealand go forward, it is not probable that a larger proportion of truly religious persons will embark in the enterprize than was found among the Colonists who went out, about the year 1821, to form the British Settlement in the Albany District of the Cape of Good Hope. On that occasion, religious families of various denominations of Christians united together, and, assisted by Government, took spiritual guides along with them to be their teachers in the land of their exile. The scene was touching. The arrangement seemed full of promise for the Aborigines of the country; and some of the most enlightened and eminent Christian philanthropists indulged in the pleasing anticipation, that although no appointment of Missionaries to the natives was included in the plan, yet the Christian Church, with all its apparatus of religious ordinances, and accredited teachers to administer them, thus transplanted into the midst of the moral desert, would prove a "light" from which Christianity and civilization would be diffused far and wide around. But what has been the result? It is not denied, that much good has emanated from the Christianity of the religious settlers. The important Wesleyan Mission among the Kaffers grew out of the formation of this Colony. The Wesleyan Settlers allowed their minister, Mr. Shaw, to go and commence a Mission with the Congo tribe; and from that beginning originated the Kaffer Missions, now carried on and supported by the Wesleyan Missionary Society. But then neither would this amount of good have been effected, had not the Missionary Society taken up the work, and promoted it by the application of the funds raised by voluntary contributions in this country; nor did the religious Settlers possess influence enough either effectually to counteract the working of those causes which produced collisions between the Kaffers
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and the Colony, or to secure the honourable recognition of the good which they had actually effected for the Kaffers: but they have been all but overwhelmed in the indiscriminate charge which has been preferred against the Colonists in general. Let then the voice of experience be regarded. A considerable number of truly religious persons might possibly accept the invitation now addressed to them, and go out as Settlers to New Zealand, and the Association might meet the expense of providing for them the regular ordinances of religion, and a sufficient number of Christian ministers to meet the spiritual necessities of the Colonists generally; but unless a provision be moreover made for placing Christian teachers among the natives, in sufficient number promptly to bring all of them who will have intercourse with the Colony under the full influence of religious instruction, it would be extravagant, enthusiastic in a high degree, to expect a more satisfactory result in the case of New Zealand, than in the other case which has been adduced for the purpose of illustration. The Association may descant upon Christianity, as the "soul" of the efforts to be made; and their eloquent advocate in Blackwood's Magazine for December last, may paint in glowing colours the importance of making "New Zealand a kind of moral centre for the diffusion of high principles and enlightened civilization, through all the neighbouring world,"--and may argue "that for this purpose the best possible course would be to carry to New Zealand, not merely a few distant radiations from our own moral sun, but an integral portion of its substance, burning and blazing with all those glorious thoughts and feelings which have been kindled within us throughout a course of centuries, by all the blessed recollections of our social and religious history:" --but the event will prove, that all this is little more than one of the illusions of a lively imagination, an unsubstantial vision of good to the New Zealanders themselves, unless Christianity
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be brought to bear directly and promptly upon their minds, and be used as the principal means for promoting their civilization.
The inquiry arising out of the proposals of the Association to communicate Christianity and civilization to the New Zealanders, necessarily leads, therefore, to the practical conclusion, that the religious and philanthropic portion of the British public, who, on the presumption that they take a lively interest in the welfare of ignorant and helpless Aboriginal tribes and nations, are invited to assist in the formation of the Colony, have a right to expect a satisfactory reply to the two-fold question-- "How many Christian teachers are the Association prepared to support for the benefit of the natives?" and, "When is it proposed that they shall commence their labours?" An explicit answer to this question will divest the subject of the haziness and uncertainty in which eloquence and poetry have involved it, and will place it in a tangible, business-like form, before those whose help is solicited as the especial friends and advocates of the native race. To this important question, however, no satisfactory answer is to be obtained from the book of the Association. The chapter on Educational Laws throws not a ray of light upon the subject, more than what is derived from the assertion, that "it were idle to suppose that every one who engages in this enterprise will be a Missionary and on turning to the other chapter on which Mr. Wakefield lays so much stress, entitled "Religious Establishment," it appears most evident, that the Association have taken care not to pledge themselves to support a single Christian teacher for the natives. On the subject of the religious provision which is to be made, they shall be heard for themselves, in order that the reader may have the fullest means of forming his own judgment on their pretensions. They say-
"Looking still to the great principle on which the Colony will be formed--the removal from this country, not of persons merely, but of
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society--to provide for the religious elements of society is another important object. It is proposed to defray, from the common fund of the Colony, the expense of erecting places of worship, and of paying the officiating ministers. According to a principle which is carried into effect in several British Colonies, and especially in the Canadas, Australia, and our Indian empire, it is proposed that, in the distribution of this portion of the colonial funds, no preference should be given to any one denomination of Christians. Whenever a certain number of families, either in the Settlements or about to emigrate, should combine to form one congregation, they would be entitled to the means of erecting a place of worship, --whether church, chapel, or meeting-house, --and to a salary for their minister. It can hardly be necessary to point out, how important to the well-being and happiness of the Colonists it is, that a provision for the religious wants of all should be made a part of the original constitution of the Colony. Such, therefore, is the basis and outline of the religious establishment that is contemplated; it gives a right to all denominations of Christians, whenever there is a sufficient number, to claim a place of worship and the maintenance of a minister; and it gives to no one denomination of Christians any superior claim, in this respect, over another." 9
Thus far all is very fair and liberal; but then comes the limitation. This intended provision is to be altogether restricted to the Colonists; for it is further remarked-- "If the Colonists were the only persons for whose moral and religious condition provision was required, an establishment formed according to the above outline might be sufficient. But it will be recollected, that one main object proposed in founding this Colony, is to civilize, and Christianize, the native inhabitants of New Zealand. Some farther measure then is necessary for this purpose." For the introduction of this further measure for providing Christian teachers to instruct the natives, the Association, however, give no guarantee. They state, that they have it in contemplation to request that a Bishop may be placed over New Zealand, and propose that the Colony shall defray all the expenses of such appointment; but they make no offer to meet any other expense whatever for religious instruction than that which will be incurred in the sup-
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port of a Bishop and the Christian Ministers who may be appointed for the benefit of the Colonists.
Not only do they withhold every thing like a pledge that they will support Christian teachers for the benefit of the natives, but they hint, not obscurely, that their calculations are formed upon the principle that they expect help for them to come from other quarters. After making the statement just quoted respecting the necessity for some further measure for civilizing and Christianizing the native inhabitants of New Zealand, they proceed:--
"In determining the best measure for this purpose, regard should be had, first, to the instruments already engaged in this humane enterprise; and, secondly, to the character and condition of the New Zealanders--their capacity for civilization, and general improvement.
"New Zealand has for many years occupied the attention of the Church Missionary Society, who have several Stations on the northern peninsula of the north island. In some parts of the country the Wesleyans, likewise, have Settlements. Both parties have been and are at this moment zealously employed; they have removed the first, if not the worst, obstacle to the general conversion of the natives; and they furnish a class of experienced and devoted men, on whose aid and co-operation the Colony may hope to rely in any scheme for the extension of those benefits which they have been so happily instrumental in imparting to their immediate neighbourhood." 10
With this passage must be connected the remarks made respecting the appointment of a Bishop; and the intentions of the Association will become sufficiently manifest. They dwell upon such an arrangement as "absolutely necessary" for "the civilization of the Natives;" that "by no other appointment can the Colony expect to command the labours of many of those who devote themselves to the good of their fellow-creatures,"-- and that it will serve "to awaken at once zeal in the mother-country, and secure confidence in the best application of any means which zealous Societies or individuals may contribute."
The fact is, that the principle on which the Colony
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is to be founded will so operate as to put it out of the power of the Association to make an adequate provision for the religious instruction of the natives. They have a lure for every description of character whom they wish to conciliate and engage in their cause; and the recommendation of their plan, which they give to the political economist, is, that it is a self-supporting Colony which they propose to form. Be it so; but this clashes with the recommendation of it which they give to the Christian philanthropist. They cannot, then, have the means which will enable them to perform their promise to the latter. According to the financial part of their plan, which is pretty clearly developed, it appears that the profits arising from the re-sale of lands to the settlers are to form an emigration-fund; and that the expense of commencing the Colony, and providing for the erection of public buildings, the administration of Government, defence of the Colony, and such like matters, is to be met by borrowing money on interest, until a colonial revenue shall be created. Seeing that this vast and expensive undertaking is thus to be commenced with borrowed money, is it at all likely that the Association would venture to increase that great risk which they must necessarily run, by taking up, at a high rate of interest, those additional sums which would be required to meet the expense of providing a sufficient number of Christian teachers for the benefit of the natives? Believe it who may.
Perhaps it may be said, that they will have it in their power ultimately to devote a portion of their revenue, or income arising from some source or other, to this important object. In their first Report, the South-Australian Company propose to raise a fund for the religious instruction of the Aborigines, by the sale of improved lands; and it may be said, that the New-Zealand Association will be able to adopt some such plan. True; but how would this plan meet the
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present necessity of the case? Many years will elapse before the process referred to will prove productive; and were the New-Zealand Association to adopt it, it would follow, that during the most critical period in the history of the Colony, when the influence of religious teaching would be most especially needed to discipline and form the natives to habits of peaceful intercourse with the Colonists, they would be left, so far as the means of the Association extend, in a state of neglected ignorance and barbarism.
What, then, is the conclusion to which the inquirer is at length conducted? Why, after all the high-wrought panegyrics which have been bestowed upon the new and vastly-improved system of Colonization which the New-Zealand Association have devised; after all the glowing descriptions of its transcendent excellence, as a system for communicating Christianity and civilization to the natives; it turns out that the philanthropic part of their plan, which is thus put forward so prominently, for the purpose of influencing religious and benevolent persons to embark in the undertaking, is not to be carried into effect by the Association themselves. The agency necessary for effecting the elevation of the natives is left contingent on the zeal to be awakened in the mother-country, and the pecuniary means necessary for its support are looked for from zealous societies or individuals, and are not to be provided out of the funds of the Association. If the language which the Association employ have any meaning, then is it most manifest, that the work of Christianizing the New Zealanders, on which, as has been shown, their civilization entirely depends, is to be left in the hands where it now is; and that the Missionary Societies, and their liberal friends and supporters in this country, are to enjoy, as at present, the privilege of providing pecuniary means, as well as agents, for its successful prosecution.
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Let the disinterested and unprejudiced reader now judge whether the proceedings of the Association are characterized by all that openness and candour which the public had a right to expect. If the Association knew, that, however they might desire to see the natives raised to a Christian and civilized state, they did not possess the means for introducing and supporting a plan comprehensive enough for the accomplishment of that desirable object, why have they made such loud professions of having this object in view, and on this very ground recommended their plan of Colonization, as vastly superior to the old system, which they loudly condemn? Is it quite right to endeavour to make use of the Christianity and philanthropy of the country for the furtherance of their own designs, and then to abandon the natives to be provided for as they can? More than this: Is it capable of easy vindication, that they should leave to others, not only to verify their ample promises, but also to make restitution to the natives for the wrong which they purpose to inflict upon them? Have they not admitted that the benefit which the New Zealander will confer on them by ceding to them his territory, will be immeasurably great, --beyond all comparison, greater than the consideration which he will be likely to demand, or than they would be willing to give for it? and have they not acknowledged, that, in the sight of their own consciences, they ought to grant him some other benefit? And what more does their description of this further benefit amount to, than his being put in possession of the blessings of Christian and civilized life? Can it, then, be right, that they should obtain the land of the New Zealanders, for a price beyond all comparison less than the actual value of those lands, and leave it to the Missionary Societies and their friends and supporters, to pay the remainder of the price which their own consciences tell them ought to be advanced, while they themselves enjoy the "immeasurably great" benefit
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which they admit must result from the original purchase?
Nothing can be more obvious than the conclusion, that if the important work of imparting to the natives Christianity, and, consequently, its attendant blessing, civilization, is to devolve mainly upon the Missionary Societies, they have good reason to complain of the interference with their work which must result from the Colonization of New Zealand, rather than to look with satisfaction on the plans and arrangements of the Association. The Association will not help, but hinder, them; and prove the occasion of the expenditure of much more labour, and of larger funds, than are now employed, merely to maintain the work on its present scale, --to say nothing of extending the sphere of their operations. That the Missionary Societies are far from being engaged in a hopeless undertaking, the Association themselves bear witness. The following is their own description of one of the Stations of the WESLEYAN MISSIONARY SOCIETY on the Hokianga River, in New Zealand:--
"Along this river and its numerous tributaries there may he about four hundred natives, of whom the greater part are Christian converts, an interesting and promising people. They have built for themselves a small chapel. It is close to it that the slate quarry already mentioned has been discovered.
"The natives are generally visited by the Missionary every second week, and they are in the habit of coming to the Mission Station in their canoes on Saturday night, and of remaining until Monday morning in attendance on the ordinances of Sunday. As many as sixty canoes have been known to assemble at one time at this Mission Station from the banks of this and the other adjoining rivers; each canoe carrying from twelve to twenty persons, and forming a congregation sometimes of not fewer than one thousand; --devout, and attentive, and decorous. Of this number, about five hundred are dressed in European costume, and of the rest, not more than half a dozen wear merely the native costume without any European addition. Clothing has become, in consequence, a principal article of trade in the district." 11
In addition to this, the same Society have com-
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menced two other promising Stations at Newark and Kaipara; and the operations of the Church Missionary Society are conducted upon a considerably larger scale, and with a corresponding measure of success. At a low calculation, it may be stated, that the Missions of the two Societies occupy not less than two-thirds of the Northern Island of New Zealand, including those parts of the country which would be best suited to the objects of Colonists, and to which the Association now appear particularly to direct their attention; although at the time of the publication of their first "Statement," only a few months since, it was understood that they intended to found their proposed Colony in the Southern Island, in which neither the Church nor Wesleyan Society has a single Mission.
Now it is morally certain, that while the Association will not help forward the work of Christianizing and reclaiming the New Zealanders, in which the Missionary Societies are already successfully engaged, they will retard it, perhaps immeasurably throw it back, by the introduction of their colonizing plans. Unless all past experience is to be set at nought, ere long, collisions between the natives and Colonists cannot fail to take place, respecting the transfer of lands. Too much stress must not be laid on the preventive influence of a "Protector" of the natives, to whose appointment reference is briefly made. Great praise is justly due to the Noble Lord now at the head of the Colonial Department, for the solicitude which he manifests for the Aborigines of our Colonies, in the appointment of officers whose business it shall be to watch over their interests, and protect them from injury and oppression. Much good must necessarily result from this arrangement, especially if the Protectors are men who do not seek the office merely or principally for the sake of emolument, but who have the religious and temporal interests of the natives at heart, and enter upon their office in some-
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thing like the spirit of Missionary sacrifice. But, then, extravagant expectations respecting the beneficial effects of such appointments must not be indulged. A Protector cannot, as some seem to imagine, do every thing. The appointment of a Protector will neither prove a substitute for an adequate provision to secure the religious instruction of the natives, --the duty to make which provision is imperative upon the founders of a Colony, --nor can it change injustice into righteous dealing, or convert wrong into right. If the Act of Parliament, as in the case of South Australia, referred to by the Aborigines' Committee, gives the lands of the natives to the Colonists as "waste lands," or allows an Association to purchase the lands at a price immeasurably below their real worth, what can the Protector do? He cannot extend his protection of the natives farther than the Act of Parliament or Charter may allow; and he will therefore have to sanction sales made by the natives which, in his own conscience, as well as in the consciences of the purchasers, are in violation of the immutable principles of justice and equity. When a Colony has unhappily been founded on wrong principles, the office of Protector is an excellent after-provision for counteracting the operation of those wrong principles, as far as the circumstances of the case will possibly admit; but it does seem a most indefensible proceeding to sit down, and deliberately plan the formation of a new Colony on what is acknowledged to be an unjust principle, and then proceed to appoint an officer, to whom is knowingly allotted the utterly impracticable task of protecting the natives from wrong. Notwithstanding the provision of a Protector, it must therefore be expected that if the Association are allowed to obtain possession of the lands of the New Zealanders at the price which they anticipate--a price, according to their own showing, immeasurably below its real value --collisions between them and the natives must, in the nature of things, eventually ensue; and such collisions
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too, as, considering the warlike character of the New Zealanders, cannot fail to awaken in them those angry and indignant feelings which will indispose them to listen to the mild teaching, and yield to the gentle operations, of the Gospel of peace.
And this will not be all: injurious suspicions will be awakened in the minds of the natives against the Missionaries themselves, in whom they now implicitly confide as their friends and benefactors, and by whose teaching they are becoming enlightened, and are rising into a state of incipient civilization. After a time, when the plans of the Association become more fully developed, and the timber-districts of the natives--the Source of incalculable wealth--their bays and harbours, and other facilities for commerce, with all "their sovereign rights," are seen successively passing into the hands of the Association, and things are converging to that point in which the plans of the Association will receive their accomplishment, and New Zealand will be wholly reduced into a British province, --can it be a matter of surprise if the natives be led to conclude that the Missionaries have betrayed them--that although they would have been glad to allow wise and good English people to settle on their spare lands, that they might have the benefit of their instruction and of commercial intercourse with them, yet they now see that the Missionaries have led the way for their countrymen to follow, not as friends to teach and help them, but to deprive them of their timber, lands, independence, and all? Will the Missionaries be able to remove such suspicions from the minds of the natives which, in process of time, will certainly be excited, or to maintain that beneficial influence which they now exert over them? Impossible. --It would be easy to prosecute this subject to a much greater extent; but enough has been advanced to show, that the Colonization of New Zealand, as proposed by the Association, will not only not advance the cause of Christianity and civiliza-
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tion among the natives, but must, in the nature of things, prove a most serious obstruction to the Missionary Societies, who are already beneficially employed in this philanthropic undertaking.
There yet remains to be considered another of the strong arguments of the Association in favour of their undertaking. They inform the public that "one of the main grounds on which they have built their plan for colonizing New Zealand" is, "to repress the crimes of British Visitors and Settlers, and likewise to prevent the further emigration of convict refugees, and other desperate vagabonds."
That the injuries inflicted upon the New Zealanders by the immoral conduct of convicts, who make their escape from the neighbouring Colony of New South Wales, and of runaway seamen, are great, and loudly call for redress, is not only readily admitted, but strenuously maintained; although it may be doubted whether, notwithstanding such be the tendency of the vicious conduct of white men, this cause has yet been in operation long enough to produce any manifest decrease in the native population. In others of the smaller islands in the South Sea, the wars and barbarous practices of the natives, and the periodical famines to which, through want of industry and forethought, the islands have become subject, are the only assignable causes for a similar decrease in the number of the inhabitants. 12 But, without charging the vicious characters who infest New Zealand with a greater amount of evil than they actually inflict upon the natives, that
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amount is large enough; and the application of a suitable remedy is imperatively needed. It does not, however, follow from this admission, that Colonization will therefore effectually remedy the existing evils, much less that it is the only cure. It must be distinctly understood, that this plan is not proposed on the ground that all other probable means have been tried without success, and that Colonization is now forced upon the public attention as the dernier resort. Nothing, comparatively, has yet been attempted. The only step which has been taken, with a view to counteract the injurious influence exerted upon the natives by our immoral countrymen, has been the appointment of a British Resident at the Bay of Islands. But his circumstances there have been little different from those of a mere spectator. He has been left to witness what was going on, but has not had power effectually to interfere for the suppression of vice and crime, and the protection of the natives. From doing next to nothing, it is now proposed to adopt Colonization, and thus to proceed at once from one extreme to another. The writer is far from being disposed to treat lightly the difficulties which are to be surmounted in devising and applying a suitable remedy, or to presume to dictate upon a subject on which it is more fitting that Statesmen should decide. But the Missionary Committee with which he is connected, as well as the Committee of the Church Missionary Society, have not deemed themselves to be intruding into a province which does not belong to them, by recommending respectfully, yet earnestly, that some such plan should be attempted as that which the "Select Committee on Aborigines" have proposed in their Report to Parliament. That plan is described at length in Mr. Coates's able pamphlet, to which previous allusion has been made. As it is not intended now to go into details, the general character of the measure may be given in a few words. The proposal is, that a Resident or "Consular Agent" be
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appointed, who shall be invested with full powers to apprehend runaway convicts and seamen, to try individuals charged with misdemeanours, and, in more serious cases, to examine witnesses, and send the offender, with the record of the charge, proceedings, and evidence, either to New South Wales or to Van Diemen's-Land, where the Supreme Court should finally dispose of the case. The proposal, moreover, includes, that the "Consular Agent" shall be aided in the performance of these his duties, either by having a small ship of war stationed upon the coast, or by a native police.
One objection which has been urged against the plan is, the difficulty there would be in exercising such authority without infringing on the independence of the native Chiefs. But this objection has been met, by showing that, so far as the principle of the measure is concerned, there would not be greater difficulty in carrying it into effect than will be found, in the working of Lord Glenelg's excellent Bill, (which passed into law August 13th, 1836,) "for the Prevention and Punishment of Offences committed by His Majesty's Subjects within certain Territories adjacent to the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope." This Act provides for the appointment of British Magistrates to exercise their functions in the territories of independent native Chiefs, and there to arrest, commit to custody, and bring to trial "any of His Majesty's subjects, charged, on sufficient evidence before him or them, with the commission of any such crimes or offences within any such territories." There will certainly, therefore, be as much difficulty to reconcile the authority given by this Act with the independence of the native African Chiefs, as would have to be encountered in New Zealand, were the proposed measure adopted. And it is, moreover, worthy of special remark, that the plan of the Association to colonize New Zealand involves precisely the same difficulty. They propose to exercise a similar authority for the suppression of crime, in those parts of New
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Zealand which may, for a season, lie beyond the boundaries of the Colony. But they are far from despairing to reconcile its exercise with the maintenance of the authority of the native Chiefs. They observe:--
"It would be no infraction of the principle of native independence --of the rule according to which native consent should precede every exertion of British authority upon unceded territory--if the Government of the British Settlements were authorized to seize, try, and punish British subjects, for crimes committed on native territory, and to seize runaway convicts who had settled there.
"In order to avoid any infraction of the principle above stated, it would only be necessary to provide, that the authority in question should not be exercised except as regards districts where the native tribes had, by formal treaty, agreed to its exercise. In all probability, there is not a single tribe in New Zealand, but mould gladly accept such protection from the misconduct of lawless rovers, subjects of the British crown." 13
So much for the objection against the measure of the "Aborigines' Committee," on the ground of its anticipated clashing with the independence of the Chiefs.
This objection having been disposed of, another has been advanced. The distance of New South Wales, or Van Diemen's-Land, and the inconvenience, to say nothing else, of sending offenders thither for the final adjudication of their case, have been dwelt upon; and certainly not without show of reason. But then this difficulty has been met by suggesting another plan, which would completely obviate it. If nothing less will avail, then let one of the islets in the Bay of Islands be taken possession of, with the consent of the New Zealanders, as an appendage to the British Crown; and there let a Court of Judicature be established, and every other requisite provision be made, for suppressing the crimes of British subjects, and affording protection to the natives. Undesirable as this measure is, if it could be avoided, yet it would have the recommendation of being a middle plan; and would be unspeakably safer for the New Zealanders than the last resource of Colonization.
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The imperative necessity which exists for the introduction of some effectual check to the excesses of our immoral countrymen in New Zealand, furnishes the only argument which has weight in favour of its Colonization; but even on this subject the Association cannot be heard either as impartial witnesses, or unprejudiced advocates. MR. COATES has well remarked upon the solicitude or distrust which must naturally be cherished, respecting the philanthropic and patriotic professions of persons who are avowedly associated together "for carrying their own purposes into effect." There is great danger, that an undue regard for their own purposes will tend to bias their judgment. If the Association were a number of gentlemen, united together on the same principle as that on which Missionary Societies are based, having no purposes of their own, but aiming solely to promote the welfare of the natives, their arguments in favour of Colonization, as the only remedy for the evils inflicted by our countrymen upon the New Zealanders, would deserve most serious consideration. The writer is convinced, that Her Majesty's Government will judge the subject on its own merits, and not through the medium of the representations of the Association; and he cannot relinquish the hope, that the enlightened and philanthropic Nobleman at the head of the Colonial Department will be able to devise a remedy for the evils which are justly deplored, without having recourse to the extreme expedient of Colonization, --an expedient which, if past experience and the plans of the Association afford means for calculating its effects, will remove partial evils only by overwhelming the hapless New Zealanders in complete and irretrievable ruin; and at the same time seem to compromise the consistency of our own national character. For it must be remembered, that it is only very recently that we have formally recognised the independence of the New Zealanders, and have given to them a national
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flag; and it would appear strange, if we should almost immediately adopt a plan which will eventually blot out New Zealand from the list of independent nations, --unless, however, that measure be required by imperative necessity. The writer does not presume to contend with jurists and statesmen, as to the details of any plan that shall effectually meet the exigency arising out of the present state of things in New Zealand, framed with strict regard to those rules which regulate the intercourse of independent nations with each other; but he must be allowed to express his deep and solemn conviction--a conviction which time and reflection only tend to strengthen--that there is something radically wrong in the argument which would represent Colonization as the only remedy for the evils inflicted by British subjects upon the New Zealanders. It does not require the legal knowledge of the jurisconsult to enable a person to decide that the argument must necessarily be fallacious. Sound, unsophisticated common-sense is all that is requisite for forming a correct judgment upon the principle which the argument involves: Only let it be traced in its consequences, and no doubt can remain as to its character. If it be true that Great Britain has not the ability to interfere and restrain the excesses of her subjects in New Zealand, except by giving it up to Colonization, then will this sad conclusion inevitably follow, that our lawless, gain-hunting countrymen have only to single out and commence their depredations in any barbarous land which may suit their purposes, to compel this country to colonize it; and thus the doom of all the Aboriginal nations of the earth, which have possessions worth coveting, may on this principle be considered as sealed. The expression of our sympathy for the oppressed will, therefore, become a useless lament. The appointment of Parliamentary Committees to inquire into and devise means for preventing our sailors and runaway convicts and others from
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injuring the Aborigines, will be no longer of any avail; for, on this principle, the evil must, by a kind of necessity, go on, until the work of Aboriginal ruin shall be completed, and there be left no more defenceless islands or territories to tempt British cupidity. Is it not morally certain that there must be, somewhere or other, a fallacy in the argument which necessarily involves such tremendous consequences?
One more argument in favour of the proposed plan for the Colonization of New Zealand calls for a passing notice. It is thus stated by the writer in Blackwood's Magazine for December, already alluded to:--
"The benefits which it would confer upon the mother-country are, first, an increase of territory, and, consequent upon this, an increase in the number and wealth of her subjects, and in her power and greatness, as compared with other nations, a new field for British enterprise, a new direction for British industry. Secondly, It would afford a favourable outlet for the superabundant population of the mother-country, and a favourable opportunity for trying the new system of Colonization which she has adopted."
It will not now be inquired, whether "the fact of an extreme redundancy of population in the British Islands," is as clearly established as the writer assumes to be the case, nor is it disputed that the Colonization of New Zealand would promote British enterprise and extend our commerce; but the question is urged, Is there no other outlet for our alleged redundant population? Is there no other quarter in which our commerce might be advantageously extended? To say nothing for the present of Upper Canada, is there not room enough in Van Diemen's-Land, and in the immense regions of Australia, to receive the overflowings of our home-population for generations to come? And could not commercial intercourse be promoted with New Zealand without colonizing it? 14 Let not then the public be deluded by such specious arguments as those just quoted. Let them remember, that, in the countries above-named, we have Colonies in only an infantine
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state, which afford all the facilities requisite for settling our spare population, and extending our commerce; and it will then be seen that it savours more of an undue regard for their "own purposes," as a rival Colonizing Company, than of pure zeal for the public good, when the Association recommend, on such grounds, the Colonization of New Zealand.
The proposals of the New-Zealand Association have now been examined in the light elicited by the previous consideration of the question of Colonization in general; and, What, it may be asked, has been discovered in the plan proposed by the Association to support its claims to the character of a new system, so framed as effectually to advance the interests of the natives, as well as those of the Colonists? Has it not appeared that the Association intend to set out upon the old but wrong principle of obtaining possession of the lands of the natives at a price little more than nominal? Has not the reader already concluded, that the scheme devised for civilizing the New Zealanders is one of the most Quixotic which ever entered into the mind of man? Has it not been made most manifest that the Association do not, indeed cannot, with their means, undertake to introduce a prompt and adequate provision for the religious instruction of the native population? And does it not appear morally certain that if the specious proposals of the Association be adopted, the New Zealanders will be added to the long and affecting catalogue of Aboriginal nations which have been undone by Colonization? It remains to be seen whether the professions of good-will to the natives made by the Association, however sincere, are to have any weight, now that the character and tendency of their plans have become so manifest; whether, in short, the Association are to be allowed and assisted to carry their measures into effect Those philanthropic individuals who, during the last Parliament, applied themselves
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with such unwearied industry to inquire into the condition of the Aborigines of our Colonies, for the purpose of correcting the evils inflicted upon them by our colonizing plans, --cannot remain indifferent to the steps which are now taken to involve another noble Aboriginal nation in similar circumstances of suffering and distress, and a nation too in whose welfare they have already manifested a lively interest. To suppose this, would be an injurious reflection upon them. It would liken them to the novice in Agriculture, who should employ himself in removing the stems and leaves of noxious weeds or plants which infest his ground, but allowing the roots themselves to remain untouched to bring forth another fruitful crop; or it would class them with the ignorant physician who contents himself with prescribing for symptoms, and neglects the primary disease. Intimately acquainted as they have become with the state of our Colonies, and the evils resulting to the natives from our past Colonization, it may be confidently presumed that they will apply a sound, practical philosophy to the subject; will trace those evils to their source in the system itself which has hitherto been pursued; and will employ their powerful influence in endeavouring to prevent the formation of new Colonies on any plan, which, however disguised and recommended by fair professions, is substantially the same old system which, generation after generation, has steadily gone on working ruin to the Aborigines. And the religious and philanthropic portion of the community generally have a solemn duty to discharge on the present occasion. To them the New-Zealand Association make a public and direct appeal for assistance, to be enabled to carry their measures into execution. But will the Christian public render themselves responsible for those measures? which must be the case, to a considerable extent, if they afford the sanction and aid which are required of them. If Colonization were only now in its infancy,
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and its ruinous effects upon the Aborigines had not as yet become manifest, --had not experience so clearly shown how comparatively feeble is the influence which even a considerable number of truly religious persons in a Colony can exert, in counteraction of the injurious working of the system on which all our Colonies have been founded, --it could not excite surprise, if many well-meaning and benevolent persons should listen, with satisfaction, to proposals for communicating the blessings of Christianity and civilization to an ignorant and barbarous people. But can it possibly happen that they will allow themselves to be deceived by appearances and professions, now that the evils of Colonization have become so notorious? It cannot be. The religious portion of the public will think before they act; and, stripping off the covering under which the Association present their plan for acceptance, they will examine it in reference to its real, not assumed, merits: and it is not unreasonable to expect, that, so far from becoming accessories, they will be found exerting their legitimate influence in opposition to a scheme so eminently calculated to overwhelm the New Zealanders in ruin. The nation at large is, indeed, placed in circumstances which call for general attention to this subject. The painful events which have so recently transpired in Canada may, with strictest propriety, be regarded as a practical lesson on Colonization, which it behoves us attentively to regard. There is a worm at the core of our colonial prosperity; and we are called upon to lay the subject to heart, and reflect upon our treatment of the Aborigines where our Colonies have been planted. Doubtless had our Colonies been founded on right principles, with due regard to the interests of the natives, the time would have arrived when it would be proper that they should rise into independence. But then it might have been reasonably anticipated that they would enter into that state, as the child, having arrived at manhood, becomes independent of his parent; and that the
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Colony, having reached a state of maturity, should indeed naturally pass into an independent condition, but, at the same time, cherishing the kindest filial regard for the parent state, and the parent state rejoicing over the developing powers and rising greatness of its offspring. But is it by this natural process, so to speak, that our Colonies are gaining their independence? Did not the British Colonies, now recognised as the United States of America, struggle into that condition through scenes of unnatural discord, which form one of the darkest pages in the national history of our Colonization? And is not the same spirit now at work in our remaining American provinces? Is it not worthy of consideration, that the rebellious example of the French of Lower Canada has found some imitators among even our own countrymen in the Upper Province, the very country where we have so much to answer for respecting our treatment of its Aborigines? If that God who has revealed himself as "a refuge for the oppressed" does indeed "rule in the kingdom of men," there is an admonitory voice in these events to which we are required, as a nation, most seriously to take heed. It is by His overruling providence that God especially speaks to nations, and enforces upon them the precepts of his righteous law. And can it be doubted by the believer in revelation, that our national violation of that law, in our dealings with Aboriginal people, is rebuked by those unnatural contests with our Colonists which are permitted to take place? Could it be, that, if our Colonies had been based in righteousness, we should not have had one instance in which our colonial offspring had risen into independence with kindly feelings towards the parent state? Surely we shall display so much true wisdom, and manifest such a regard for the lessons and rebukes of Providence, as to consider the proposed plan for the Colonization of New Zealand, in connexion with the Canadian tragedy, the scenes of which have just passed before us;
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and resolve from this time to "cease to do evil." Should we act otherwise, --should we, in defiance of the impressive lesson now addressed to us, proceed to involve the New Zealanders also in ruin, it may, not without just reason, be anticipated, that an avenging Providence will remove that which restrains the out-bursting of a similar spirit in our other Colonies; and that Britain may, ere long, be seen stripped of all her foreign dependencies, and dwelling alone, --a melancholy instance of a nation whom God has signally chastised for persisting to do wrong, in neglect of the clearest light, and regardless of the most solemn admonitions.
NOTE, Page 62.
In an interesting article on the Bughis of Celebes, in PARBURY'S Oriental Herald, for January, it is clearly shown, that there are methods of promoting commerce with Aboriginal countries more beneficial to ourselves, as well as more consistent with the claims of humanity, than that of Colonizing them. The writer remarks: "The increasing importance of the last-named settlement" (Singapore) "proves that the system of encouraging the industry of the natives, by opening free ports in their neighbourhood, is more judicious, as well as more humane, than that of endeavouring to take forcible possession of the territories, which can only be effected after destroying half the population, and thus affording a practical illustration of the fable of 'the goose with the golden egg.'"
LONDON:-- Printed by James Nichols, 46, Hoxton-Square.