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PRINCIPLES, OBJECTS, AND PLAN
THE colonization of uncivilized countries, by Europeans in modern times, presents one of the darkest pictures of that dark subject--History. Like the Prophet's scroll, it is written within and without, with lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Whether we look to the Antilles; to America, in its Southern or its Northern Division; to South Africa, or to New Holland; the result has been one and the same. Everywhere the Aboriginal Tribes have been despoiled of their lands, demoralized, thinned in their numbers, and, in some instances, exterminated by colonization. Causes of general and powerful operation must be inseparably connected with a system, the working of which has been so disastrous to the Native Population, whether it has been administered by Spaniards or Portuguese, by the French, the Dutch, or the English. It would be inconsistent with the brevity of this Letter to enter at large into the facts by which these statements might too surely be confirmed, in their full extent. A passing notice may suffice. The cruelties and slaughters of the Spaniards in South America, in Mexico, and in the Antilles, were so flagrant and enormous as to draw
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down upon them the severe and indignant reprehension of their own Las Cases. The horrible details are given in his work on the "Destruction of the Indians." --Robertson thus describes, in general terms, the devastating effects of Spanish contact on the Native Population:--
"The first visible consequence of the establishments made by the Spaniards in America, was, the diminution of the ancient inhabitants, to a degree equally astonishing and deplorable. I have already, on different occasions, mentioned the disastrous influence under which the connection of the Americans with the people of our hemisphere commenced, both in the islands and in several parts of the continent; and have touched upon various causes of their rapid consumption. Wherever the inhabitants of America had resolution to take arms in defence of their liberty and rights, many perished in the unequal contest, and were cut off by their fierce invaders. But the greatest desolation followed after the sword was sheathed, and the conquerors were settled in tranquillity. It was in the Islands, and in those provinces which stretch from the Gulf of Trinidad to the confines of Mexico, that the fatal effects of the Spanish dominion were first and most sensibly felt. All these were occupied, either by wandering tribes of hunters, or by such as had made but small progress in cultivation and industry. When they were compelled by their new masters to take up a fixed residence, and to apply to regular labour; when tasks were imposed upon them disproportioned to their strength, and were exacted with unrelenting severity; they possessed not vigour, either of mind or of body, to sustain this unusual load of oppression. Dejection and despair drove many to end their lives by violence. Fatigue and famine destroyed more. In all those extensive regions, the original race of inhabitants wasted away: in some it was totally extinguished. In Mexico, where a powerful and martial people distinguished their opposition to the Spaniards by efforts of courage worthy of a better
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fate, great numbers fell in the field; and there, as well as in Peru, still greater numbers perished under the hardships of attending the Spanish armies in their various expeditions and civil wars, worn out with the incessant toil of carrying their baggage, provisions, and military stores." 1
Similar have been the consequences, in a more or less aggravated degree, in the Colonies of Portugal, Holland, and France.
Not less injurious to the Aborigines has been the effects of British Colonization in South Africa and New Holland. The Hottentots of the Cape are reduced to a scanty number; and the deplorable effects of our intercourse with the Caffres, and other Tribes in the interior, are too well known to your Lordship, and have been too recently brought to public notice, in all their revolting details, to render it necessary that I should dwell upon them here.
When Columbus touched on the shores of the New World, he found the fruitful Islands of the West Indies teeming with people. Of these myriads, not a vestige remains. So complete has been the exterminating effects of European colonization on these beautiful and fruitful portions of the globe, that not a single Aboriginal inhabitant remains--not one, I believe--to tell the fearful tale of the wrongs of his extinct race. But--the record is on high!
If in those portions of the North-American Continent which have been colonized by our own country
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there has been less of slaughter, the wasting effects of encroachment, aggression, and demoralization, by the Colonists, have been as extensively destructive and ruinous to the Aboriginal race, if not even more so, in the course of ages, than in the Spanish portions of the American Continent. Thinned by unequal conflicts with their more powerful invaders, and successively driven back into the wilderness, upon lands less suitable for their subsistence, and of a less genial climate, the appalling result has been, that, in 1822, they were estimated by Dr. Morse at no more, in the whole extent of the United States' territory, than 471,134! - This estimate, be it observed, is not based on loose conjecture, but is the result of careful and extensive inquiry into the actual state of the different Tribes, by order of the United States Government; and the data on which the statement rests are comprised in an elaborate Report, filling, with its appended documents, a large octavo volume. These scanty remains of the Aboriginal Tribes of North America are scattered over those almost illimitable regions which stretch from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, comprising more than fifty degrees of Longitude, and a mean of fifteen degrees of Latitude! Further, this estimate includes no less than 350,790 Indians, in countries not yet settled, and lying between the States already formed and the Pacific; --a district, hitherto, little more than nominally under the sovereignty of the United States Government. Mark, My Lord, this appalling fact! In the whole of those vast countries, which, properly speaking, constitute the United States, only 120,346 of the Aboriginal inhabitants remain! -- a result of Colonization at which humanity shudders!
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In our own Island of Newfoundland, Natives were seen in every part of the coast, when it was first visited; and proofs are not wanting, that recently they were numerous. The present state of the island shall be described in the words of the Report of the Aborigines Committee of the House of Commons of the last Session:-- "Under our treatment, they continued rapidly to diminish; and it appears probable that the last of the tribe left at large, a man and a woman, were shot by two Englishmen in 1823!" 2
The state of the Indians in our Provinces in the Continent of North America is detailed in the Document just quoted (pp. 6-9). One passage only I transcribe. "The general account of our intercourse with the Northern American Indians, as distinct from Missionary Efforts, may be given in the words of a converted Chippeway Chief, in a Letter to Lord Goderich:--
"We were once very numerous, and owned all Upper Canada, and lived by hunting and fishing; but the White Men who came to trade with us taught our fathers to drink the firewaters; which has made our people poor and sick, and has killed many Tribes, till we have become very small."
The effect upon the Natives of the extensive district of British Guiana, of our intercourse with them, is thus summarily described in the same document:-- "It is acknowledged, that they have been diminishing ever since the British came into possession of the Colony." 3
With regard to New Holland, the Aborigines Report--after noticing that "the inhabitants of New Holland, in their original condition, have been de-
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scribed by Travellers as the most degraded of the human race" --remarks; "But it is to be feared that intercourse with Europeans has cast over their original debasement a yet deeper shade of wretchedness." 4 It adds, that the effects of the formation of the Australian Settlements "have been dreadful beyond example, both in the diminution of their numbers" (that of the Aborigines) "and in their demoralization." 5 When the original state of the Natives of New Holland is considered, a more affecting proof of the inevitable tendency of European Colonization to injure and degrade the Aborigines of any country, can scarcely be imagined.
The case of Van Dieman's Land furnishes a recent instance, of the most afflictive kind, of the effects of European Colonization upon the Natives. Such was the state of unappeasable hostility generated between the Natives and the Settlers, "provoked," the Aborigines Report observes, "by the British Colonists," 6 that the Governor, Colonel Arthur, honourably distinguished as he is by humanity and religion, felt himself compelled, by a sense of public duty, to remove the whole of the Aboriginal Inhabitants from their native soil, and locate them on Flinder's Island. On this occurrence the Aboriginal Report remarks:-- "In their case, it must be remembered, the strongest desire was felt by the Government at home, and responded to by the Local Government, to protect and conciliate them: and yet, such was the unfortunate nature of our policy, and the circumstances into which it had brought us, that no better expedient could be devised, than the catching and expatriating of the whole of the Native Population." 7
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Such is a hasty survey of the crimes of Colonization, and of the wrongs of Aborigines. Again and again must it be repeated, that these direful effects are not insulated cases, but the one, uniform, unvarying, terrible result of the system, however and by whomsoever administered. Emphatically may I accommodate the words of the Patriarch to these tremendous consequences of the lust of power and the lust of gain in the European Nations, and the awful responsibilities which they involve--They are graven with an iron pen and lead, in the rock for ever!
Under the feelings which this recital of facts is calculated to produce, I solicit your Lordship's attention to the scheme of New-Zealand Colonization, which has recently been put forth.
I am quite ready to give to the Gentlemen connected with the Plan full credit for the purity of their motives, and the benevolence of their intentions. I am willing to believe that their efforts would be studiously directed to shape their course by the principles of justice and religion, and to benefit the New Zealanders, while they advance their own plans of commercial advantage. To this, and all else of an apologetic nature, which may be urged to vindicate and recommend the scheme, my reply is, grounded on the experience of ages, and instances without number, that, without one solitary instance as an exception, the result has been, as already shown, calamity and misery to the Native Population; and that the influences, operating both on the Colonists and the Natives, being
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unchangeably the same, the consequences must be the same also. Are these Gentlemen prepared to put forward the pretension, that they alone act on principles of religion, and justice, and benevolence, in forming a plan of Colonization? Or, that they alone have the power or the wisdom to controul the course of future events in the execution of their design, so as to ensure to the Natives of New Zealand those beneficial results which they promise to the public? If not, how can they demand the public confidence for such a scheme, in the face of all past experience?
Possibly the case of Sierra Leone may be adduced, as an exception. On examination, it will be found not to be so. It was colonized in 1787, by a Company incorporated under the authority of Parliament. Though the Colony was formed on purely benevolent principles, by men whose known character was a guarantee both to the Government and the public that their avowed principles would be faithfully adhered to in their future proceedings--and the event justified the confidence reposed in them -- the scheme utterly failed. After struggling through numerous difficulties and disasters, which, notwithstanding all the prudence and caution of the Colonial Authorities, included collision with the Natives; and sinking large sums of money, probably altogether not less than 300,000l., the Company, involved in inextricable difficulties, relinquished the undertaking, and transferred the Colony to Government in 1807. The inference, therefore, to be drawn from the case of the Sierra-Leone Company, seems to be, that however pure the motives of the parties engaged in such an undertaking, and however benevolent and disinterested their intentions, there is
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an incompatibility between objects so prosecuted, and the exercise of coercive authority in the prosecution of them, which cannot be overcome, and which leads unavoidably to loss and failure.
Without stopping to quote other instances of the defeat of the benevolent schemes of former projectors of Colonies, I will proceed to examine more particularly the course proposed to be taken by the New-Zealand Association.
In the course of the last summer, a "Statement of the Objects of the New-Zealand Association" was published: and recently, a small volume, entitled "The British Colonization of New Zealand, being an account of the Principles, Objects, and Plans of the New-Zealand Association," has been put forth. 8
It is said that "the British Government does not possess any right to form Settlements in New Zealand" 9 --Good. This is explicit; and would, according to common apprehension, seem to stop the progress of the Plan at the very outset: for if the British Government possesses no "right to form Settlements in New Zealand," it can confer none on British Subjects to do so. But no; these Gentlemen have discovered a method by which the British Government may, without right, rightfully possess itself of the sovereignty of New Zealand. It is this. "One of the bases or principles of the Association is, that the free, full, and perfectly-understanding consent and approval of the
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Native Tribes should be publicly given to every cession by them of unoccupied lands for the purpose of settlement by Englishmen. 10 For what valuable consideration this "cession" of lands is to be made, is not stated; and, consequently, the equity of the transaction cannot be tested. But how would the "cession" of the lands, in a way of bargain and sale, enable the Association to impart to the Natives the "precious advantage" of "admission to the rights and privileges of the British Subjects!?" 11 On what principle are the Natives of New Zealand to be constituted "British Subjects," and brought under the coercive administration of British law, merely by the sale of a portion of their unoccupied lands to the Association? Whether the insufficiency of such an arrangement to effect the object designed was not discovered till after the publication of the "Statement;" or whether--which I should be unwilling to suppose--the whole truth was not to be told at first; certain it is, that the later publication states the matter with a very important variation. "The first step will be to obtain from those Tribes which are already disposed to part with their lands and their sovereign rights, certain portions of territory, which would become part of Her Majesty's Foreign Possessions." 12 -- So, then, the "sovereign rights" of the Natives are to be included in the cession of the land purchased! --Now, one cannot look without some feelings of solicitude at the motives by which a body of persons associated together "for carrying their own purposes into effect" 13 should be induced to volunteer the purchase of the sovereignty of a distant Island for the patriotic purpose of adding to the "foreign possessions of Her
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Majesty." Is it quite reasonable to expect, that to a public body, who have purposes of their own to carry into effect, implicit credit should be given, for being actuated solely by pure and disinterested zeal, to "lead a savage people to embrace the religion, language, laws, and social habits of an advanced country?" 14 At all events, this is so unusual a procedure in human affairs, that clear and full evidence of the fact is due to the public.
But what do those--to my apprehension, somewhat ominous words--"purposes of their own," import? To a common understanding, they imply, taken in connexion with various passages in both publications, that gain is, in fact, the main-spring and ultimate end of the whole scheme. If so, why is not this fairly stated? Such a statement, however, seems to be studiously withheld. The public have a right to demand distinct information of this point. They will not, cannot lay aside the suspicion, while concealment is practised, that gain is the latent object of the whole speculation. It is too high wrought, too Utopian, to believe that a miscellaneous body of men will expatriate themselves, to a savage land at the antipodes, merely out of a benevolent regard to the civilization and moral improvement of the Natives. This point must be made unequivocally clear; for distrust of the real motives of the whole scheme cannot be excluded from the minds of impartial bystanders.
There is another point, My Lord, on which the public are entitled to call for distinct information. It is, relative to the administrative authorities of the
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proposed Settlements. We have, prefixed to "British Colonization," the names of the Committee of the New-Zealand Association. I infer, from the sixth chapter of that work, that these Gentlemen "would form a Corporation. to carry the measure into effect." Among the powers which it is proposed to confer on this Corporation, is this-- "To delegate portions of their authority to bodies or individuals resident in the Settlements." 15 No one knows better than your Lordship, how much depends on the personal character and qualities of those to whom the administration of the affairs of a distant Colony is confided; how difficult it is to regulate and controul such authority; and how much more difficult to correct errors and abuses. The whole history of Colonization is full of the disasters and irreparable evils which have resulted from the faults, indiscretion, or incompetency of those entrusted with authority, especially at the commencement and in the earlier stages of such undertakings. Why, then, is there a total silence on this subject--a silence which one can hardly avoid considering as studied, throughout the whole of the publications put forth by the Association? This is the more remarkable, as it is generally and confidently reported that it is already settled that the chief administrative authority should be confided to Mr. Edward Gibbon Wakefield. If so, why is it not told? Why are the public kept in ignorance, on a point so deeply affecting the success of the undertaking?
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I resume my inquiry into the objects of the Association. In the latest exposition of its views, the Association is said to consist of "those who contemplate emigrating to New Zealand." 16 An "Emigration Fund" is also spoken of. 17 Hence it appears that Emigration is one of its objects: but it is only slightly noticed; and thus there is a want of openness on this point, also calculated to excite some distrust. Was it, that broadly to avow that Emigration was an end to which the Association was directed, would have dispelled the fairy dream of benevolent regard to the civilization and moral improvement of the New Zealanders as the leading object of the Association, elsewhere, as we have seen, held out? Would it not have necessarily raised the inquiry, 'Are there no remaining unoccupied lands in Canada, or South Africa--in New South Wales, or Van Dieman's Land--in Western or Southern Australia? If there be, why is the curse of Colonization to be inflicted on the Natives of New Zealand?' --It might also be asked, apart from considerations affecting the justice of the undertaking, why are we to add to our possessions of this nature; of which we have, perhaps, already rather too many, than too few? I may safely appeal to your Lordship, whether the consolidation of our present Colonies be not a wiser policy than the formation of new ones. This notion of emigration to New Zealand proceeds, I suppose, on the principle of a redundant population at home. But, whatever that redundancy may be, abundant space is to be found for it, and a hundred-fold more, in the Colonies just referred to. Besides, I solemnly protest against the principle of seeking relief from an inconvenience that presses ourselves, by casting our
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surplus population on the shores of New Zealand, with all the evils that must inevitably follow in their train, even if other resources were not, as I have shown them to be, already abundantly within our reach.
The Association proceeds on the principle of raising the necessary funds "without any charge upon the State." 18 This is plausible, and calculated to draw a sanction to the Plan, which otherwise, as was well known, it could not possibly obtain. But on what basis does it rest? --That of the voluntary sale of sufficient quantities of land on one spot, for the formation of a Settlement; or on different spots, for a succession of Settlements. --Is it quite clear that this is practicable? The Association avows, "that no right to form Settlements in New Zealand can be acquired, except by treaty with the native inhabitants and that this "can only be" done "by persuasion, founded on exact justice." 19 Knowing, as I do know, that it is not without difficulty that the Missionaries have been able, on some occasions, to obtain a sufficiency of land for their objects, the peculiar character of which were well understood by the Natives, I hold it to be in the highest degree improbable that tracts of sufficient extent and entireness could be acquired by the Association for their Settlements; and I have the strongest persuasion, that a "cession of sovereignty" will not be voluntarily made by the Chiefs of New Zealand. It is a fact, fully established by the intercourse of the Missionaries with the Natives, that extreme jealousy is entertained by them of being deprived of their inde-
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pendence and sovereignty, by their intercourse with White People. They are fully aware of the effects of Colonization in New South Wales upon the Aborigines of that country; and point to the fact, as a justification of their own distrust and anxiety on this subject. Let, therefore, the Association make the Natives clearly understand, that they surrender their sovereignty over the portions of territory ceded for the location of the Settlements--and this they are bound to do, on the principle laid down by themselves, that "it is unjust and cruel to lead savage or semi-barbarous men into engagements which they do not perfectly comprehend" 20 --and a stop must inevitably be put, in limine, to this Utopian scheme.
But, I ask, is it practicable to put savage or semi-barbarous men fully in possession of the consequences of such a transfer of their lands to the Association, as that contemplated? The very state of barbarism in which the Natives are found, would, I apprehend, render it quite impossible to make them fully comprehend the ultimate consequences to themselves of such an arrangement. The ignorance, too, of the Natives of the English Language, and the rudeness and poverty of their own, would form very serious obstacles to their entering into so serious a bargain as that proposed by the Association, with a clear comprehension of its import.
The projectors of the Association are well aware that their object cannot be effected without the inter-
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vention of the Legislature. The powers which they demand are large. They state, that the Corporation which they propose to form "would be authorised to make treaties for cessions of territory, and all other purposes; to administer, upon lands ceded to the Crown, the whole system of Colonization, including the receipt and expenditure of the Colonial Funds; to establish Courts in the Settlements for the administration of British Law; to make regulations for local purposes, having the force of law within the Settlements; to exempt Natives in the Settlements from the operation of some British Laws which are inapplicable to their present uncivilized state, and to make special regulations for their government; to provide for the defence and good order of the Settlements by means of a Militia, a Colonial force of Regulars, and a Colonial Marine; to delegate portions of their authority to bodies or individuals resident in the Settlements; and to appoint and remove at pleasure all such Officers as they may require for carrying the whole measure into effect." 21
Truly, indeed, these powers are, as the Association with much naivete remark, "considerable"; 22 and such as, if granted, would inevitably place New Zealand in the complete power of the proposed "Corporation." They are to be empowered to acquire "cessions of territory," indefinitely; --to make, for instance, treaties of alliance, offensive and defensive, with the neighbouring Chiefs; and thus proceed, step by step, to the conquest of New Zealand, as our Merchants did to the conquest of Hindostan. But this is not all:-- and, for "all other purposes!" Truly this is a modest demand; and will, no
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doubt, be duly appreciated, if ever such a proposition should ever find its way into the House of Commons. Farther still. They ask to be empowered to provide "a Militia," "Regulars," and "a Marine"; and to "delegate portions"--indefinitely--"of their authority to bodies or individuals" in the Settlements. Woe to the poor New Zealanders under such a regime! --But here comes in a provision, to render all this palatable. "It is not proposed that such powers" --such powers! --should be held for more than "years." Then "the Crown and the Parliament would review the whole subject." -How considerate! How equitable! How calculated to allay all alarm and uneasiness! --But the veil is too thin. Neither the Public nor the Legislature can be misled. Give the Association the powers demanded for a term of "years," and neither the Crown nor the Parliament, potent as they are, could avert or remedy the tremendous evils which the exercise of such powers, in such circumstances, must inevitably generate.
A fruitful source of the evils of Colonization has been the collisions between the Colonists and the Natives. So many causes--entering into the very nature of Colonization sustained by national authority--give rise to such collisions, that they may fairly be set down as inevitable. The incessant working of the great principle of strife, which lies deep in human nature, meum and tuum--petty squabbles--wrongs and retaliations--misunderstandings, arising out of different views of right and wrong, incident to civilized and uncivilized man--aggressions on one side, and the infliction, as it
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is styled, of chastisement on the other--the resistless power of the law of self-preservation, which compels the repelling of force by force, and the unappeasable state of hostility which is in consequence engendered and perpetuated--these must, while man is man--and the preponderance of power is immeasurably greater in civilized men than in the savage--lead to those evils of spoliation and sacrifice of life, the demoralization, and, too frequently, the gradual extermination of the Aboriginal People, which mark the whole course of such Colonization. If such be the general result, the natural character of the New Zealander leads to the inference, that these causes would operate with peculiar force in his case. Of great physical and intellectual powers -- fierce, uncontrolled, and ungovernable -- proud of his rights and independence, and prompt to avenge the infringement or supposed infringement of either -- no good intentions, or prudence, or foresight, or promptitude, on the part of the Colonial Authorities--armed as those would be with national power, and charged as they also would be with the conservation of the colonists' interests--could avert collision, and its direful consequences. Imperatively, My Lord, are we therefore called upon to pause, before we enter on a path from which there is no retreat?
That such is the fact, in contests of this description, is thus forcibly expressed by Lieut.-Colonel Stockenstron, in reference to the case of South Africa:-- "You can stop no where: you must go on: you may have a short respite, when you have driven panic into the people; but you must come back to the same thing, until you have shot the last man."
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It will be urged, that the New-Zealand Association proceeds on a new principle, which the Gentlemen connected with the Association designate "The New British System of Colonization," in contradistinction from the mode of proceeding formerly pursued. To this it might be sufficient to reply, that it is an untried theory; and to point to the case of Sierra Leone, already referred to, as showing that a plan somewhat analogous, but more simple in its object and more unequivocal in its designs, was found, in the event, unable to overcome the difficulties, inseparable, it is believed, from undertakings of this nature.
It may still be alleged, that the case of the South-Australia Company, on the principles of which the New-Zealand Association professes to be formed, shows that means have been found of overcoming the difficulties formerly experienced, and of averting the evils which flowed from former plans of Colonization. Facts, however, will not warrant such a conclusion:--
1. The operations of the South-Australia Company are only at their very commencement; and, consequently, the practicability of the scheme has not been tested by experience. No argument, therefore, can be drawn from that case.
2. This Company carries on its operations in a country which was previously a British Possession, or at least assumed so to be. Whether that assumption be correct, it is not my present business to inquire. It is on this assumption, however, that the Legislature passed the Act incorporating the Company. But New Zealand is confessedly a foreign state: therefore the course taken by the Legislature, with regard to South
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Australia, forms no precedent for the proposed incorporation of the New-Zealand Association for the colonization of that country. How far it would be rightful or equitable in the British Legislature to make itself a party to the acquiring of sovereignty over a country so circumstanced, is a question, I humbly submit, demanding the grave consideration of Her Majesty's Government, apart from the other objections to the scheme which I have noticed.
3. The South-Australia Company operates in a country of vast extent, and over which the Aboriginal Population is thinly scattered: hence the danger of immediate collision with the Natives is considerably diminished. In New Zealand, the country is of comparatively small extent; and immediate intercourse with the Natives, for the purchase of lands, forms the foundation of the whole scheme.
4. The South-Australian plan includes that union of coercive authority with benevolent intentions toward the Natives, which all experience, confirmed by the fact of Sierra Leone, proves to be irreconcileable principles, when applied to colonial intercourse with uncivilized people under administrative powers of large extent, and consequently easily abused; but which the nature of the case renders it absolutely necessary to confer on those exercising government over such a community in such circumstances.
The case of the South-Australia Company, therefore, cannot be admitted as a precedent for the formation of the New-Zealand Association.
But, while the New-Zealand Association profess to take the South-Australia Company as their model, there
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is one point of difference. It is this:-- "Out of the fund received as the purchase money of land, it would be necessary to deduct the amount paid for land to the Native Tribes." 23 This arrangement seems calculated to produce an additional element of strife. If the Colonists are to pay to the Association a price in advance, of that which the Association pay to the Natives, it would seem likely to operate as an inducement to them to go to a better market; in other words, to make purchases direct of the Natives beyond the borders of the Settlement. Thus the Association, instead of correcting, as they profess to aim at doing, the evils arising out of British Subjects being scattered over the island without controul, they would aggravate that evil, by carrying to the shores of New Zealand, Settlers, who would be induced, by the prospect of buying on lower terms, to quit the Settlement of the Association, and betake themselves to that course of life among the Natives which is, confessedly, a source of so much evil.
Another fallacy, in the views of those who have projected the Association, is, the prospects, which they hold forth in their publications, of obtaining native labour. It is said, that each new Settlement "would form a point of attraction to those Natives in the vicinity who were most inclined to work for wages" 24 -- Again, "In the employment of labourers, the Government should give a preference to Natives, whenever any were employed; and special facilities should be given to the Natives for accumulating savings from the wages of their labour." 25 This language seems to
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imply a facility of obtaining native labour, which does not exist. The process is usually long, and slow, by which a savage, especially one possessing the energetic, barbarous, and independent character of the New Zealander, can be brought to the formation of habits of labour and industry. The success of the Missionaries in this respect, though considerable when viewed in relation to the original condition of the people, is small when compared with what exists among ourselves. One of the most striking proofs of the efficacy of religious principle is, the withdrawing him, even partially, from his vagrant course of life, and influencing him to any thing like continued labour. Though the influence of the Missionaries has effected a favourable change among those more immediately in connexion with the Missionary Stations, yet is the labour of the Natives far from being continuous; and is liable to be interrupted and broken off at any moment, when any circumstance occurs to draw their wishes or inclinations another way. The idea of obtaining native labour at present, to any extent, or with any degree of steadiness, is perfectly chimerical.
Again it is said, that "the Natives are strongly disposed to sell land, and otherwise to encourage settlement of Englishmen in their country." 26 This may be true, so far as respects small patches of land; from the occupation of which, by Englishmen, a particular Chief may expect to acquire some advantage to himself. As a general statement, and with reference to operations on a large scale, I do not conceive it to be well founded. But we are farther told, that "the different Tribes are not merely willing, but anxious to make cessions of
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territory, for the purpose of British Colonization." 27 Certainly such would not be the case, if their eyes were open to the fact, that sovereignty was ceded for the reasons assigned above; --not, if made clearly aware, of what is elsewhere avowed by the Association, that, in their contemplation, "by degrees, and by the desire of the native inhabitants, British sovereignty and laws would be extended over the whole of New Zealand." 28
But I shall doubtless be told, that an Individual long connected with the Wesleyan Missionary Society, and who acted several years as one of their Missionaries, is avowedly an advocate of the New-Zealand Association; and that it has received the approbation of the Wesleyan Committee in this country. To this, my reply is brief. I have reason to know, that the statement in question is made under misapprehension-- that the Wesleyan Missionary Committee have not expressed any favourable opinion respecting the proposed Colonization--that some of the leading Members of that Committee view the proposal with great apprehension--and that the official persons connected with the Wesleyan Society know nothing of the correspondence which is said to have been transmitted by Native Chiefs, and others, in favour of the Colonization of New Zealand; and that they were much surprised, when they saw such statement in print. With regard to the opinion of the Individual, it cannot weigh against the evidence of facts, or the reason of things.
In the Introduction to "British Colonization," the following passage occurs:-- "After numerous Meetings
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of the Committee and other Members of the Association, at which every part of the subject was very carefully examined, a proposal was submitted to the Prime Minister; and, after a correspondence, and several interviews between the Committee, and Members of Her Majesty's Government, preparation was made for bringing a Bill into Parliament, to give effect to the objects of the Association." 29 The impression which this passage is intended to convey, is, I think, clear-- that the plan of the New-Zealand Association had received the sanction of the Prime Minister, and of Her Majesty's Government; --though the sentence is so constructed, as to admit of the disavowal of such an intention, should it eventually be found convenient to do so. --I disbelieve the fact. I cannot bring myself to believe that Her Majesty's Government would treat with utter disregard the opinion, on this very scheme, solemnly delivered by a Committee of the House of Commons, at the close of the last Session:--
"Various schemes for colonizing New Zealand, and other parts of Polynesia, have at different times been suggested; and one such project is at present understood to be on foot. On these schemes your Committee think it enough, for the present, to state, that, regarding them with great jealousy, they conceive that the Executive Government should not countenance, still less engage in any of them, until an opportunity shall have been offered to both Houses of Parliament of laying before Her Majesty their humble advice as to the policy of such an enlargement of Her Majesty's Dominions, or of such an extension of British Settlements abroad, even though unaccompanied by any distinct and immediate assertion of sovereignty."
Much less can I, for a moment, credit that the New-Zealand-Colonization scheme can ever acquire the sanction of a Statesman, of your Lordship's enlightened
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views and religious principles, occupying, as you do, a position to inform yourself fully of the wrongs and miseries which have ever been inflicted by Colonization on the Aboriginal Tribes of the British Possessions.
"One of the main grounds on which the Association 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" 30 into New Zealand. I am quite prepared to admit the reality of the evils here adverted to; but I must say, deliberately, that of all remedies for them, Colonization is the very worst. It could not cure: it could scarcely fail to aggravate them. The immoral, vicious, and reckless British Subjects who are the pests of New Zealand, are scattered over the island, prosecuting their criminal and licentious objects as their passions or their interests may dictate. The formation of Settlements on the coast, by the Association, could not prevent this; and therefore could not correct the evil. --But a corrective, we are told in a passage already quoted, would be applied. It is this--that "the Government of the British Settlements" should be "authorised to seize, try, and punish British Subjects for crimes committed on native territory; and to seize runaway Convicts who had settled there." 31 If the projectors of the Association had studiously formed a plan which must necessarily lead to collision with the Natives, and that at the earliest period, surely it is this. Are these Gentlemen so little acquainted with the native character, or have they so ill read human nature, as not to know that the attempt to execute such a scheme as
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this, by authorities like theirs, must inevitably give rise to those discussions, broils, and conflicts, which Colonization invariably draws after it? A Government situated at the antipodes--empowered "to make regulations for local purposes having the force of law within the Settlements"--holding at their absolute command "a Militia," a "force of Regulars," and "a Colonial Marine"--authorised "to appoint and remove Officers at pleasure"--armed with authority "to seize British Subjects and runaway Convicts on native territory"--for such a Government, so situated, so constituted, and so acting, to escape collision with the Natives, and all its baneful fruits, would assuredly be the most extraordinary event in the whole history of Colonization. No one is more competent than your Lordship to judge of the necessary consequences of such an employment of coercive power, in circumstances like those under consideration. Yet, be it observed, this is the Association's remedy of the evil complained of; or it has none. It may, therefore, safely be concluded, that the Association will obtain no support from your Lordship on this ground.
But, though I utterly repudiate the Association from the delicate and responsible office of correcting the evils in question, there is no Member of it more solicitous than myself to see a suitable remedy applied. The Government, and the Government alone, are competent to do this in a satisfactory manner. The question is one of great difficulty and complexity; arising chiefly out of the fact, that the New Zealanders, though uncivilized, are, strictly speaking, an Independent State, and to be dealt with accordingly. Under these circumstances, the principles of inter-national law are to be applied to a people inca-
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pable, from their state of uncivilization, to comprehend those principles, or to recognise the obligations which that law imposes on Independent States, in their intercourse with each other. The difficulties hence arising are so embarrassing, as to be only capable of being dealt with by the Government to the real advantage of the Natives, in relieving them from evils inflicted by British Subjects, and that perhaps only to a limited extent. In the hands of the Government, however, the matter is best left, on the distinct understanding, that the means employed to attain the object in view proceed, and are throughout regulated, on the principle of maintaining inviolable the national independency and rights of the Natives, and exclusive altogether of Colonization. How this subject can be successfully attained, it is not for me to say. I presume to suggest, that it is a question, to the solution of which all the powers of your Lordship's mind would be well applied; guided and governed, as I am persuaded they would be, by those great yet simple principles of Divine Revelation, which are the only rule of right, while they are also the fruitful source of every temporal and spiritual blessing.
Some suggestions are contained in the Report of the Aborigines Committee, to which I beg your Lordship's attention. The case is thus stated by the Committee:--
"Great Britain will not, it may be hoped, ever exert her power to destroy the political rights of these comparatively feeble and defenceless people; yet it cannot be denied, that their national independence cannot be consulted without some immediate injury to their
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social welfare. British merchants, seamen, and runaway convicts from our Australian Colonies, are enabled to commit crime with impunity in the South-Sea Islands, because we regard them as foreign states; while yet they are destitute of the resources by which other independent powers defend themselves and their people against outrage and wrong. Without police, or a regular armed force, or judicial tribunals, the Natives have none of the methods of preventing or punishing crime which are in use in the civilized world; and, at the same time, are unable to invoke the aid of those institutions, as established in the British Dominions, in Australia. True it is, that the statute defining the Constitution of those Colonies has rendered British Subjects amenable to their Courts for offences committed in the South-Sea Islands; but, though it be the recognition of an important principle, it is yet no real provision against the evil. A crime committed by an Englishman at New Zealand may be tried at Sydney; but the criminal will not choose, and cannot be compelled, to repair to Sydney for the purpose. The witnesses for or against him are as reluctant to attend as himself; and there is no provision for defraying the expenses of such proceedings, even if all parties should be disposed to prefer them. Unless some method of trial on the spot can be devised, the South-Sea Islands must be delivered over to the most degrading and intolerable of all forms of tyranny; namely, that of brigands, triumphing, by mere audacity, over every restraint of morality and law."
The Remedial Suggestions of the Committee are thus explained:--
"To arrest the progress of this evil, your Committee
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would suggest, that Consular Agents should be appointed in each of the principal islands; --that they should be armed with powers similar to those of British Consuls in the Barbary States; that is, with a judicial authority, to arrest, commit for trial, and try all British Subjects committing offences within the limits of the Consul's Commission; --that, in aid of this jurisdiction, the island should be periodically visited by some of Her Majesty's ships of war; --that the Officers of any ships should, when required by the Consular Agent, act as assessors or jurors for the trial, with him, of any criminals subject to his jurisdiction; --that, within a certain limit, a Consular Agent should be authorised to proceed to the immediate infliction of the punishment; and especially of the punishment of removal from the island; for which purpose a ship of war might be employed, to carry the sentence of banishment into effect; --that, in graver cases, a record should be made of the accusation, of the defence, of the evidence, and of the judgment; and that the prisoner should be forthwith removed to the first part of the British Dominions which the ship of war might reach, in which any Criminal Court should be established; --that the judges of that Court should thereupon review the whole proceedings, and decide whether the crime imputed to the prisoner had been sufficiently established by the evidence, and what punishment, according to that evidence, would have attached to the offence, if committed within the realm of England. To that punishment the offender should then be adjudged: or, if the Court should be of opinion that no offence had been established by the evidence, he should be discharged, and provided, at the public expense, with a passage to England.
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"With a full perception of the defects of this system, your Committee are yet of opinion, that it is incomparably better than the entire impunity which at present prevails: nor do they doubt, that, when carefully elaborated by persons competent to the task from professional knowledge, it would be found susceptible of such modifications as, without impairing the general basis of the plan, would obviate many of the particular objections to which, at the first view, it may appear to be liable.
"Your Committee deprecate any further interference with the internal affairs of the South-Sea Islands, except as they would authorise the Consular Agents to frame, and the King in Council to establish, all such special rules as may be necessary for maintaining peace and order amongst British Subjects resident in or resorting to the island. "
The great recommendation of the course proposed by the Committee, is, that it excludes Colonization, and places in the hands of the Government the making and executing such arrangements as may be suitable, and feasible, to repress the disorders and punish the crimes of British Subjects resident in New Zealand. The interference of Government would be limited to this single object, and be grounded in the recognition and maintenance of Native sovereignty. Hence measures of a nature somewhat analogous to some proposed by the Association might, thus limited and regulated, be safe and salutary in their hands; which would, without any imputation on the parties and by the operation of causes which they could not controul, prove injurious, and that in a high degree, if administered by the Authorities of the Association.
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Whether the measures proposed by the Aborigines Committee, or others, shall be adopted, to meet the exigency, it will be for your Lordship to decide. --I beg to particularize those which appear most applicable to the circumstances of New Zealand:--
1. To continue the Consular Agent, and strengthen his position by every proper means, will, I presume, be deemed indispensable. Every degree of authority that the circumstances of the case may admit, whether of Magistrates' Commission, or otherwise, is indispensable, in order to the effective discharge of his duties.
A Letter from your Lordship to some of the leading Chiefs, explaining the objects of the Agent's appointment--the solicitude of Her Majesty's Government that he should receive every practicable degree of support --and pointing out how such support might be most effectively given--would probably be of material service. The Chiefs are decidedly attached to this country; and might, therefore, be expected to adopt the views of Government in reference to the subject, were those views fully laid before them, in the manner most likely to be influential.
Occasional presents, of no considerable amount, might also, if judiciously made, be rendered subservient to strengthen the influence of this country with the Natives; and of thus providing, by the most legitimate means, adequate support to the Consular Agent, in apprehending and dealing with British Subjects who misconduct themselves.
2. The organization of a Native Police, to be placed under the direction of the Consular Agent by the Chiefs themselves, might possibly be brought about
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by degrees, through the influence acquired with the Native Chiefs in the manner just explained. --Should this be found practicable, it would go far to remedy the evils arising out of the residence in the island of runaway Convicts, and other British Subjects of vicious and desperate character. This, therefore, is an object well worthy of employing the best attention and most earnest endeavours of Government to accomplish.
3. The stationing of a small ship of war on the coasts of New Zealand would probably be found of considerable potency, in awing and restraining, and perhaps of punishing the crimes of British Subjects in New Zealand, when delivered up for that purpose by the Native Authorities, or otherwise falling into the hands of the Commander, without intrenching on the independence of the Natives. The success, however, of this measure would depend very much on the character of the Officer commanding the vessel. It would, of course, be requisite that the object of placing a ship of war on the coast should be fully explained to the Chiefs, and that their active co-operation should be engaged in furthering a plan especially directed to secure themselves against wrongs and injuries.
4. It is further submitted to your Lordship's consideration, whether it might not be practicable and advisable to impart to the Consular Agent, the Commander of the ship of war, and possibly some other individuals, jurisdiction, to enable them to try, legally, British Subjects charged with the commission of crimes in New Zealand. If this were done, it would probably go far to repress the evils in question.
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It would probably be right, as suggested by the Aborigines Committee, that the jurisdiction to pass sentence and inflict punishment should be restricted to misdemeanours, or to removing the party from the island; and that where a party stood charged with a more serious offence, the Court so constituted should only proceed to trial; taking down the evidence on both sides, which should be given in the presence of the prosecutor and the accused. The Court, in such more serious case, if satisfied of the party's guilt, should send him, with the record of the charge, proceedings, and evidence, either to New South Wales or to Van Dieman's Land, where the Supreme Court should finally dispose of the case. The proposal of the Committee seems to be, that the Supreme Court should simply examine the proceedings; and if found correct, pass sentence. But it would, perhaps, be more satisfactory that the record transmitted with the prisoner should merely stand in place, and form the basis of an information or enditement under 9 Geo. 4. cap. 83; and, that if the prisoner should plead not guilty, the Supreme Court should proceed to try him thereupon, in the manner prescribed by that Act; receiving, however, the evidence transmitted, or the record, in the same way, and so far, as it would have been admissible evidence, if the witnesses had been produced and examined on the trial before such Supreme Court.
5. It is proposed, that the principle upon which the whole of these proceedings should rest, is this --the recognition of the independence of the Native Authorities. No individual should be arrested in New Zealand, nor any act of authority exercised in the island, except
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with the concurrence of the Native Authorities, given either upon some general system, or, in each particular case, pro re nata.
I have hitherto considered this question on general grounds; but it claims your Lordship's attention from its practical bearing on the Missions which have been formed, in the Northern Island, by the Church Missionary Society, and the Wesleyan Missionary Society. -- Of these, the most considerable is that of the Church Missionary Society; and to it, therefore, my observations will chiefly refer. This Mission was commenced in 1814, and has been carried on, through a series of difficulties and trials, to the present period. The Mission Establishment comprises five Ordained Missionaries; and twenty-seven other Englishmen, employed as Catechists and Artisans. The progress of the Mission is slow; but, under the Divine Blessing, it has steadily advanced. It numbers more than fifty Schools, and fifteen hundred Scholars. Religious instruction is imparted extensively among different Tribes. It numbers more than 150 Communicants, who are Converts from among the Natives, whose sincerity is attested by a general consistency of conduct. 32 The Lord's Day is observed, even among some who have not hitherto received Christian Baptism. Considerable portions of the Scriptures have been translated into the New-Zealand Language, and printed; copies of which are earnestly sought by the Natives. A printing-press has been introduced into the island, and is actively
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employed in meeting the demands of the Natives for books. Many, even of the adults, laboriously acquire the art of reading, in order to become acquainted with the Christian Scriptures. Agriculture has, under the encouragement and influence of the Missionaries, been promoted; and a corn-mill erected on the Kerikeri river. It is incidently noticed by one of the Missionaries, that he had been able to purchase not less than 200 bushels of wheat from the different growers. Capt. Fitzroy, who visited the island in 1825, when in command of H. M. ship "Beagle," expresses his strong satisfaction at the progress of the Mission, in these words:--
"Dec. 28--I went to Waimate; the Settlement lately formed by the Mission, with the view of introducing agriculture and the mechanical arts among the Natives. The thoroughly English appearance of three well-designed, respectable houses, surrounded by gardens, out-houses, and well-cultivated fields, was surprising and delightful. About twenty acres of land seemed to be worked. Corn was in full ear, and looked well. I was received by a person whose intelligent, kind, and truly-respectable demeanour at once excited a kindly feeling. This was Mr. Davis, the Superintendant of the farming establishment. Mr. William Williams and Mr. Clarke were absent, having gone to the opposite side of the island, to attend the funeral of a young Missionary of the Wesleyan persuasion. In the garden, all English vegetables seemed to thrive. The farm-yard was thoroughly English. A large barn, built entirely by Natives, under Mr. Davis's directions; a blacksmith's shop and forge; English carts, and farming implements, successively engaged attention. In the barn, two Natives were thrashing corn: another Native was attending to the winnowing-machine. A mill, and mill-dam, entirely the work of the Natives, were next examined: they were good works of their kind; and would have been interesting, independent of their locality."
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Such is the testimony borne by this intelligent, impartial, and every way unexceptionable witness, to the beneficial effects of the Mission on the social state of the New Zealanders.
The progress of the Mission in its primary object, that of imparting to the ignorant and savage New Zealanders the knowledge and blessings of Christianity, is thus described by the Rev. Samuel Marsden, the venerable founder of the Mission, in a Letter bearing date March 27, 1837:-- "I met with numbers, wherever I went, who were anxious after the knowledge of God. I was much pleased to find, that, wherever I went, I found some that could read and write. The Church Service has been translated into the Native Language, with the Catechism, Hymns, and some other useful pieces. They are all fond of reading; and there are many, who have never had an opportunity to attend the Schools, can read. They teach one another in all parts of the country, from the North to the East Cape. The prospect of success to the Mission is very great. Since my arrival at the Missionary Station, I have not heard one oath spoken, either from European or Native. The Schools and Church are well attended; and the greatest order is observed among all classes."
These are facts which I am confident your Lordship will weigh and appreciate; and, having done so, pause long ere you give your sanction to this scheme of the New-Zealand Association.
But, My Lord, the formation of the proposed Settlements of the New-Zealand Association could scarcely
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fail to interrupt the progress of the Mission. This will appear by a reference to the parts of the island occupied by the Missionaries. In the Bay of Islands, the principal harbour of New Zealand, the Church Missionary Society has five Stations, and the visits of the Missionaries extend to the northern extremity of the island. To the southward, five Stations have been formed, partly on the River Thames, stretching across to the River Waipa, which disembogues itself into the Pacific Ocean, on the western side of the island. In the northern part of the island, the Wesleyan Missionary Society occupies Stations on the Hokianga River, flowing also into the Pacific, on the western side of the island. These waters--the Bay of Islands and the Hokianga, the Thames and the Waipa--are the most considerable ones in the northern island; and the points, therefore, to which the operations of the New-Zealand Association can scarcely fail, sooner or later, to be directed, since they present the most favourable situations for commercial and agricultural speculation. Connected as the Missionaries are with the Chiefs and Tribes of the whole of the districts which I have mentioned, no prudence or effort on their part could possibly prevent their being mixed up with the proceedings of the Association; and, as I hold it to be a matter of certainty that those proceedings would lead to collision and warfare with the Natives, the Mission itself would be involved in all the disastrous consequences of such a state of things.
This is a result most earnestly to be deprecated by every philanthropist, as well as by every Christian. The Mission of the Church Missionary Society has, under the blessing of Almighty God, risen to its
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present hopeful and promising state, not only without the intervention of coercive power, but, I very believe, because the Missionaries have had it not; --for it is the possession of coercive power on the part of Colonists which is the occasion of collision and bloodshed. Where this is possessed, it will most certainly, sooner or later, be used in furtherance of the interests or security of the possessor. The Missionary, on the other hand, has simply the religious and social good of the people in view; and for success rests, under God, on the substantial blessings which he has it in his power to impart, and on his own prudence, forbearance, and moderation, totally exclusive of human power. He, therefore, is in a state of constant dependence on the Chiefs; and can maintain his position, and advance his object, only by the influence which he acquires from his character and labours. If wronged, he suffers it. If exposed to alarms and dangers, he patiently endures. He has no means of forcible resistance; and therefore with him there is no place for collision and its consequences. It is true, that at times, and particularly in the earlier periods of the Mission, the Missionaries have had much to suffer, in the prosecution of their arduous and self-denying work; but, sustained by the grace of that Gospel which they preach to others, they have held on their toilsome way, the blessing of God has signally crowned their labours, and their influence over the Natives is decided, and widely diffused. Wherever the Missionary goes, even among strange Tribes, he is not only safe, but his presence is hailed with joy, as a harbinger of good; for he is known to be a man of peace. Throughout the whole course of the Society's operations in New Zealand, extending now through nearly a quarter of a century, no serious personal
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injury has been suffered by any single Missionary at the hands of the Natives. How is this remarkable difference, between Missionary intercourse with an uncivilized people, and that of Colonists, to be accounted for, if it be not found in the fundamentally and essentially different principles on which they severally proceed; and on the possession of coercive power by the Colonists, and the entire absence of it in the Missionaries?
Again and again, therefore, would I implore your Lordship to interpose your powerful influence, to avert the evils which threaten at once the Native Tribes of New Zealand, and the interruption of that good work which is in such happy progress in diffusing among them the blessings of Christianity, and its inseparable fruits--civilization, and social well-being. Only let New Zealand be spared from Colonization, and the Mission have its free and unrestricted course for one half century more, and the great political and moral problem will be solved--of a people passing from a barbarous to a civilized state, through the agency of Europeans, with the complete preservation of the Aboriginal race, and of their national independence and sovereignty. I am persuaded that your Lordship will esteem the promotion of such an object worthy of your highest regard as a Christian and a Statesman.
I cannot close this Letter without copying some general remarks of the Aborigines Committee, in their Report, which have strong claims to your Lordship's attention. After noticing various evils which have resulted from Colonization, the Report proceeds:--
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"These unhappy results have not flowed from any determination on the part of the Government of this country to deal hardly with those who are in a less-advanced state of society; but they seem to have arisen from ignorance--from the difficulty which distance interposes in checking the cupidity and punishing the crimes of that adventurous class of Europeans who lead the way in penetrating the territory of uncivilized man--and from the system of dealing with the rights of the Natives. Many reasons unite for apprehending that the evils which we have described will increase, if the duty of coming to a solemn determination as to the policy we shall adopt towards ruder nations be now neglected. The chief of these reasons is, the national necessity of finding some outlet for the superabundant population of Great Britain and Ireland. It is to be feared, that, in the pursuit of this benevolent and laudable object, the rights of those who have not the means of advocating their interests, or exciting sympathy for their sufferings, may be disregarded."
The Committee add--
"This, then, appears to be the moment for the nation to declare, that, with all its desire to give encouragement to emigration, and to find a soil to which our surplus population may retreat, it will tolerate no scheme which implies violence or fraud, in taking possession of such a territory; that it will no longer subject itself to the guilt of conniving at oppression; and that it will take upon itself the task of defending those who are too weak and too ignorant to defend themselves."
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And the Committee close their Report with a passage highly honourable to their character, as Christian Legislators:--
"The British Empire has been signally blessed by Providence; and her eminence, her strength, her wealth, her prosperity, her intellectual, her moral, and her religious advantages, are so many reasons for peculiar obedience to the laws of Him who guides the destinies of nations. These were given for some higher purpose than commercial prosperity and military renown. 'It is not to be doubted that this country has been invested with wealth and power, with arts and knowledge, with the sway of distant lands, and the mastery of the restless waters, for some great and important purpose in the government of the world. Can we suppose otherwise, than that it is our office to carry civilization and humanity, peace and good government, and, above all, the knowledge of the True God, to the uttermost ends of the earth?' 33 He who has made Great Britain what she is, will inquire, at our hands, how we have employed the influence He has lent to us, in our dealings with the untutored and defenceless savage; --whether it has been engaged in seizing their lands, warring upon their people, and transplanting unknown disease, and deeper degradation, through the remote regions of the earth; --or whether we have, as far as we have been able, informed their ignorance; and invited, and afforded them the opportunity of becoming partakers of that civilization, that innocent commerce, that knowledge, and that faith, with which it has pleased a Gracious Providence to bless our own country."
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With the entire persuasion that you fully and cordially concur in these just views and beneficent sentiments of the Aborigines Committee, I leave this deeply important subject in your Lordship's hands. Occupying that post in Her Majesty's Government which places this great question immediately under your Lordship's cognisance and responsibility, you will, I doubt not, consider it your highest honour, as a British Statesman, to apply the great principles of humanity, justice, and Christian philanthropy, in furtherance of the social and religious welfare of those portions of our race who, themselves defenceless, may, under the wise and firm exercise of British power and influence, be protected from wrong and injury. Not less will it be an object of your Lordship's solicitude to promote, by all suitable means, their participation in those blessings of Divine Revelation, to which, under God, we owe the civil and religious advantages which so conspicuously distinguish our own country among the nations of the Earth.
I have the honour to remain,
with much respect,
Most obedient, humble servant,
Nov. 27, 1837-