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THE dream of an able speculative politician is about to be realized. The ties which bind England to her Colonies, and specially to New Zealand, are to be no longer those of dependence-- "the mere political link of Sovereignty is alone to remain." We are now to behold "England as retaining the seat of the chief executive authority, the prescriptive reverence of her station, the superiority belonging to her vast accumulated wealth, and as the Commercial Metropolis of the World; and united, BY THESE TIES ONLY with a hundred nations," --no longer colonies. 1
Whatever may be the case with the other 99 colonies, it seems clear that the declared policy of the Colonial Office in regard to New Zealand, and the consequent proceedings of the responsible government of that colony must lead to the establishment of some such state of things.
On the 26th of January, 1865, Mr. Cardwell, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, having to define clearly the relations between the Imperial and Colonial Governments in regard to the control of questions affecting peace and war, thus deliberately communicates his views:--
"On my own part I have always declared my determination not to interfere with the principle of social self-government, as regards the affairs either of the colonists or of the natives. But self-government means the control by
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any people of their own forces, their own finances, and their own relations of peace and war. It does not mean that the right of establishing a policy shall belong to one body, and the duty of providing the means of carrying that policy into effect shall be laid upon another." 2
On the receipt of this despatch the ministry of New Zealand, anxious to grasp unlimited authority, at once accepted the distinction pointed out--determined to send away the British troops, and to wage war with their own forces and their own finances, taking care to avail themselves of the troops whilst they were allowed to remain (but without payment), merely by way of "moral force," and making use of the Governor's name as a becoming form--a mere political link of sovereignty! Hence we find that, on the 2nd September last, the Responsible Ministry proclaimed peace throughout the whole of New Zealand, and on the 4th day of the same month proclaimed martial law at Opotiki and Whakatane, the most densely peopled native districts of the northern island; 3 and in order that there may be no mistake about these steps and the consequences, in the minds of the British public (creditors of the colony?), Mr. John Morrison, the agent of the New Zealand Government, is instructed to write to the leading London journals, 4 and to call their special attention to the fact that these proclamations are not only signed by the Governor, "G. Grey," but also countersigned in each case by a responsible minister, "Fred A. Weld," or "J. C. Richmond." God save the Queen!
That the tribes of New Zealand are independent communities, and not British subjects, was long since insisted upon by Mr. Cardwell 5 as being the sole legal warrant for confiscating their lands after defeat.
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The colonial scheme of confiscation has been carried out on this footing, and at the date of the above proclamations two measures were pending before the General Assembly of the colony for the express purpose of conferring on the natives the status and privileges of British subjects.
It cannot well be disputed, therefore, that the prerogative of declaring war and concluding peace has, in a limited form, been conceded to the responsible Government of the colony; and as any laws now passed by the General Assembly of any colony are valid, although opposed to the instructions of the Governor, so long as they do not offend against any act of the Imperial Parliament extending to the colony, or any order or regulation made thereunder, 6 it appears that the Governor and his ministry, with a majority of the assembly, are left perfectly unfettered, and are armed with powers of the most unlimited character. This state of things may be the legitimate result of "the mere political link of sovereignty!" principle, and many other consequences, probably not quite expected, but which will be alluded to in the sequel, may unavoidably flow from it. One thing, however, is certain, that those who are best acquainted with the financial and social position of New Zealand have a strong conviction that the proceedings now being taken in the colony will inaugurate quite a new regime, which may seriously affect the position of the creditors of New Zealand. The British taxpayer is no longer to be called upon to support a war in New Zealand, but English capitalists may voluntarily lend their money to the New Zealand Government for the purpose.
The sovereignty of the islands thus far, at all events, would seem to be henceforth practically transferred to Lombard Street. Whatever evils result, cannot raise a question of law-honour-or humanity, but simply one of £ s. d. Redress cannot, therefore, be fairly looked for in Downing Street, much less from Her Majesty in Council.
As the war must be carried on by loans, and not out of current
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revenue, the finance companies and capitalists of England are alone vested with the constitutional check of refusing supplies.
In the interest then of the monied classes, as well as of those to whom these pages are addressed, it is desired to point out, before any further loans are contracted, that the first conditions of any power to make war are absolutely wanting in the present position of the islands of New Zealand, viz., UNITY OF RESOURCES and UNITY OF POLICY.
I.--WANT OF UNITY OF RESOURCES.
When the colony of Victoria determined to borrow nine millions sterling for the purpose of carrying out great reproductive works (railways and waterworks), it pledged the whole of its revenues, ordinary and territorial, for that purpose. There are some plain people who consider that when New Zealand came into the market to borrow moneys for war expenditure, whether with or without the aid of the British taxes, it ought to have followed this example. When a state or nation engages in war, the whole nation ought surely to assume the responsibility, and all the resources of the entire nation ought to be pledged for its support. The late Duke of Newcastle distinctly called the attention of the Colonial Treasurer to this plain duty so far back as the 26th May, 1862. "It does not appear to occur to him," he says, in his despatch to Sir George Grey, "that the portion of that revenue which is so applied as to relieve municipalities from the necessity of imposing local taxes, might be applied in whole or in part to the more pressing needs of the colony, and that the portion of that revenue which is devoted to public works and colonization may, in times of disaster, and particularly in time of civil war, which is disaster, be directed to the paramount object of averting absolute ruin." This kind of policy did not, however, suit the statesmen (?) of New Zealand, and accordingly
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the whole territorial revenue of the islands has been withheld from the security offered for their government loans, and this entirely in the interest and for the benefit of the settlers of the Southern Island, who have the uninterrupted use and enjoyment of forty-three millions of acres against the ten millions of acres which even now, after the war, form the only demesne lands of the Crown in the possession of the settlers of the Northern Island. 7
There can be little doubt that it is owing mainly to this circumstance that New Zealand 8 per cent. debentures have been selling in the London market below par, 8 whilst Victorian 6 per cents, were readily saleable at 106.
The following table, in which the statistics of New Zealand are compared with those of Victoria, clearly proves that New Zealand, with only one-third of the population of Victoria, has already developed resources which, relatively to the amount of their respective actual debts, afford quite an equal security if the whole resources of the country were pledged for the purpose:--
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COMPARISON OF STATISTICS OF NEW ZEALAND, 1865, WITH STATISTICS OF VICTORIA (AUSTRALIA), 1863.
COMPARISON OF STATISTICS OF NEW ZEALAND, 1865, WITH STATISTICS OF VICTORIA (AUSTRALIA), 1863.
* Acres fenced.
t Allowing 20 per cent, increase only over export of 1863. Amount under estimated. --See Postscript.
tt Allowing 50 per cent, increase over export of 1863.
ttt Actual return for 1863.
tttt Actual revenue of 1862, exclusive of Government Scrip and Land-Orders, equal to £13,200. The return of land sales for 1864 is not complete, except as to Southern Island, where the land sales produced £519,946! thus:
NELSON ....... £23,830
MARLBOROUGH .............. 34,584
CANTERBURY.. .. .......... 233,822
OTAGO.. .. ............. 158,290
. . . . . . . . . . .£519,946
** This is the total given by the Registrar General's statistics, 1863; but the Colonial Treasurer states the amount at £6,615,500.
*** Apportioned thus: General .......£602,623
. . . . . . . . . . .Provincial........1,383,109
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1, 985, 732
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But it is not in the present depressed price of New Zealand Government securities that this selfish exceptional policy has worked a wrong to the settlers of New Zealand, both North and South,
When the late Treasurer of New Zealand negociated the loan of three millions in this country, for the Waikato war, the British Government offered to guarantee one million, at 4 per cent., if the lands of the colony were charged therewith; but the New Zealand Government refused to sanction this course, and consequently instead of one million sterling being raised, at 4 per cent., only £803,657 were realized by the issue of 5 per cent, debentures: the operation, in addition to the increased interest of 1 per cent., inflicting a positive loss of £196,343 on the colony. Again, the war has been carried on since November, 1864, by raising the necessary funds by short loans, at 8 per cent., and the whole three millions (including the payment of the imperial debt with half a million), less £602,623 has been thus raised and expended.
The pending financial operations of the New Zealand Government may be thus summed up--
1st. To raise the £602,623, balance of the three millions loan, to cover the expenses of the war since June last.
2nd. At different periods within the next two years, either to pay off the amount falling due on their short 8 per cent, securities, amounting to about £900,000, or struggle to renew them.
3rd. To provide the means of carrying on the native war with their own unaided resources, after the above balance of the three million loan shall have been expended. The amount required for this purpose, as estimated by Sir George Grey, being simply one million sterling! 9 and lastly (concurrently with these operations) to induce the British Government to forego its claim for £40 per head for all British soldiers who, during the year 1865, shall have been in the colony in excess of 5,000
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men; 10 and from that date its claim for a like sum for every man in excess of one regiment, viz., 1,000 men.
Now in what way does the Weld Ministry hope to carry out these operations? Simply (in the same breath that it affects to dispense with British aid) by asking the Home Government to cover with its guarantee a 4 per cent. loan for three millions, thus making with the one million loan at 5 per cent, and the £650,000 loan, a total general government debt of nearly five millions! 11
The question is--will the Home Government consent to give this guarantee--and if it does, will it not, and ought it not to require that the territorial revenue should form part of the security? 12
It will, no doubt, be said that the territorial revenue has been pledged for provincial loans, and that for this reason the guarantee formerly offered could not be accepted, but it clearly appears from the General Registrar's return, 13 that although on the 31st December, 1863, £2,644,000 had been authorised to be borrowed for the provinces, only £689,750 had been then actually raised. It is possible, also, that nearly a similar amount may have been since raised by the provinces; but, however this may be, any security given to the Home Government can easily be made subject to the actually existing provincial debt, whilst all further borrowing for provincial purposes ought to be entirely stayed, so long as the colony chooses to be at war, or be permitted only, subject to the paramount claims of the general government for all further monies required for this extraordinary expenditure. The colonial ministers will, no doubt, reply, as they already have distinctly intimated, that this proposition being opposed to the interests of the settlers of the Southern Island, is "simply impracticable." 14 If so, it clearly follows, and it is the
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plain fact that the responsible ministry of New Zealand are not in a position to undertake war on their own account, and that British capitalists ought not to encourage them therein by advancing funds for that purpose.
It is easy for Mr. Weld, the colonial premier, to talk of fulfilling engagements entered into between the provinces. These arrangements were made for times of peace and not for times of war, and if Mr. Weld's ministry insist upon the withdrawal of all the troops, simply in order to obtain the absolute control of a substituted colonial force, and further insist, "as a fixed condition of their proposals, that the unity of the colony should be preserved, with its seat of government established in a central position, viz. at Wellington," 15 it follows, as a logical consequence, that unity of all colonial resources must be likewise established, and the South made to bear a real share of the burthen of the war, of which, as will presently be shown, the Southern members were the actual authors and promoters.
The following table, showing the present resources of the North and South islands of New Zealand in detail, will further show what a onesided game this native war must be when carried on as proposed by the Weld ministry, by the unaided resources of the colony, without recourse to any part of the territorial revenue, by way of security or otherwise:--
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STATISTICS OF THE DIFFERENT PROVINCES OF NEW ZEALAND, DECEMBER, 1864.
STATISTICS OF THE DIFFERENT PROVINCES OF NEW ZEALAND, DECEMBER, 1864.
* Framed on Mr. C. Heaphy's Return of 12th April, 1861--taking total area of North Island at thirty million acres, and assuming that three million acres have been since acquired from the Natives by purchase and confiscation.
t 40,000 acres were also granted without purchase in lieu of passage-money.
tt The Land Revenue for the Southern Island alone, during the year 1864, actually exceeded this amount--(See previous Table, p. 8.)
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The character of the vast territory of the Southern Island may be judged from the results exhibited by the last table, which (to say nothing of its export of gold, amounting now to nearly eight millions) have been developed during the short period of fifteen years. The lands of this island, with the exception of the mountain ranges of the west coast, consist for the most part of extensive grassy plains and rolling downs, which have been let to the settlers of Canterbury, Otago, and Nelson at almost nominal rents, so that they may be said to have literally grown fat on Maori grass, purchased from the natives at a fraction of a farthing per acre; whilst the poor settlers of the North Island, to which the war has been altogether confined, and especially those of Auckland and Taranaki, have been experiencing all the miseries of the native war in their own persons, and at their very doors. To them the war has been domestic dissension or civil war, whilst to the South it has been simply a foreign war; and Sir James Mackintosh has clearly pointed out what little effect the latter has on the feelings, habits, and condition of the majority of a nation, to most of whom the worst particulars of the war may be unknown. Indeed, excepting a few military settlers, consisting for the most part of new arrivals from Australia, it may be doubted whether any of the Southern provinces have contributed even a score of original settlers as volunteers, for the aid of their fellow colonists in the North.
As regards contributions in money, the case stands no better--until the amended tariff came into operation about twelve months since, the expenses of the war were scarcely directly felt by the Southern settlers. The Comissariat Chest and the Bank of New Zealand kindly kept the Colonial Treasurer in funds whilst the borrowing process was going on here. When this proved unsuccessful, and the scheme of confiscation failed to repay the expenditure, the Southern members resolved, if possible, to stop the war, and dispense altogether with the assistance of the British forces, provided they could centralize the (Government
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in their own hands at Wellington. "Unity of the colony," and "Reliance on our own resources," are favorite party cries of the Weld ministry. 16 By the former they clearly mean simple centralization, whilst the latter phrase, despite their protestations to the contrary, means nothing more than reliance on substantial assistance from the Home Government.
The Weld ministry are in truth afraid to touch the territorial revenue lest they lose the support of the Southern members, who boldly avow that the lands of the South are their own inheritance, available solely for the improvement by means of roads, railways, and other local works, of the lands already purchased by themselves and the other settlers in the Southern provinces; and the South, instead of assenting to the idea of an united colony, are prepared to vote, as will presently be seen, for an entire separation of the two islands, if any further taxation for native war is to be resorted to.
The great object of the South, "centralization," has already been carried out. Although possessing from their pastoral occupations more wealth and leisure than any other class of colonists, the Southern settlers complained of the voyage to and from Auckland (the seat of Government) as an unsupportable grievance, and, at last, by a majority of one, the rights of the Auckland settlers, like those of the original settlers at Taranaki, were confiscated, and the seat of Government has now been actually removed from Auckland to Wellington. In consequence, Auckland, on the one hand, is insisting on entire separation from the South, whilst Otago, in the extreme South, for its own special reasons, is also insisting on separation from the North.
This brings us to our second point--
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II.--WANT OF UNITY OF POLICY.
The policy of the Weld ministry, now that it has been joined by Mr. Fitzgerald, one of the members for Canterbury Province, and who is the proprietor and editor of the Canterbury Press, cannot be mistaken.
The withdrawal of every single soldier of the British forces from New Zealand has been made a sine qua non by this gentleman; not as a saving to the mother country or the colony, but as absolutely essential for the full development of responsible government according to his notions--
"We know well," he says, "that, so long as the army remains in the colony, and the Secretary of State can send to the Governor, ordering him to do this, that, and the other, so long the Governor must be held responsible to the Crown for all that is done under his Government. He ought, in our view, to be little more than an officer of State; and the real meaning of giving Responsible Government to a colony is to make the Governor's position one of State and ceremony rather than of political power." 17
"If the latter were the case," he says, on another occasion, "what business has the Governor to write letters to the Home Government, charging the Queen's ministers with driving the natives to desperation? Nay, we may go further and say, what business has he to write at all except as he shall be advised by his ministers to write? Did that ministerial responsibility which has been so much talked of really exist, such would be the position of the Governor in the colony. But it does not." 18
And "Thank God it does not" would be the exclamation of ninety-nine out of every hundred colonists, both in the North and South, if
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the question were put to them; for they recognize in these pretensions nothing less than the triumph of the attempt of the old New Zealand Company to establish a separate authority, in fact, sovereign power in the Islands of New Zealand, in the hands of an irresponsible clique at Cook's Straits. Let us take--
1.--THE OPPOSITION OF THE NORTH.
It must always be recollected that New Zealand not only consists of several distinct colonies, each having ends and interests almost as separate and well defined as the five colonies of Eastern Australia; but that a broad hue of demarcation, in truth, antagonism, exists between the Northern Province, Auckland--formerly known as the Province of New Ulster, formed under the auspices of the British Government--and the Southern settlements formed in the Province of New Munster by and through the New Zealand Company. This antagonism had its origin in the very foundation of the colony; for the cession of the sovereignty of New Zealand and the establishment of Auckland as the seat of Government were adopted by the British Government expressly to check the illegal proceedings of the Company (then an association merely) in endeavoring to establish sovereign power at Wellington, to which we have already referred. No sooner were these proceedings checked than the Company and its settlers opposed themselves in every way to the authority of the Government because established in the North, and strove to obtain its removal to Cook's Straits, resorting to every imaginable device to depreciate the great natural advantages of the North as a field for settlement.
When these efforts failed, the Company (then in extremis) strove to obtain a separate proprietory government for the South as the field of European colonization, whilst the North was to be left under the separate
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Government of the crown. The suggestions for this purpose drawn up by the late Mr. Charles Buller, and forwarded by Viscount Ingestrie on behalf of the New Zealand Company to Lord Stanley, are conclusive as to the injustice and impropriety of establishing a central Government at Wellington, as now sought by the Weld ministry. After pointing out that the proceedings of the Government in the North were based on the missionary system, whilst the settlements of the New Zealand Company were founded on the colonizing principle, the paper proceeds thus:--
"These two systems are essentially antagonistic, for the chief scene of the missionary labors has been the Northern Peninsula of the Northern Island. A great proportion of the native population is there--Auckland is there, with the tribes with which the colonial Government has come in contact.
"The chiefs, whose independence we acknowledged, are entirely included in that district, and there alone can the treaty of Waitangi have any legal force, because there alone can it be asserted that the title of the Crown was founded on cession thereby. On the other hand, this district, from the number of natives, &c. &c., does not present a very attractive field for colonization. It contains, however, the positions most desirable for the purposes of a naval station commanding the Pacific, and is the sole repository of that Kauri timber, which is so valuable to our navy.
"This Northern Peninsula should be made a separate government; whether it could be directly placed under the missionaries we cannot pretend to determine, but at any rate the religious societies should be assured that it should be kept strictly under their system, and that the missionaries should be allowed to retain their influence over the natives, whose interest should be the main care of the Government.
"The remainder of the Northern Island, and the whole of the Middle and Southern Islands (being in fact the province of New Munster) should be formed into another government, and be the field of European colonization." 19
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The ingenious attempt thus made to stop all British colonization in the North, by diverting its streams entirely to the South, as might be expected, did not succeed with the present Earl Derby. The Company were, in effect, told that Great Britain did not intend to abdicate the functions it had undertaken, and that it was better that the Company should die decently, and "relieve themselves, the colony, and the Government from the embarrassments consequent upon the then state of their affairs."
This they at length did in 1850, after founding the additional settlements of Otago and Canterbury. But then spirit has evidently survived them, for "the tone of dictation and authority totally subversive of all authority" of which Governor Hobson complained in 1841 has been and is still maintained by the Southern settlers against those in the North, with the addition of arrogance of language--which proves its authors to be totally unfitted for the exercise of the power they seek. The feeling of "bitter rivalry and hostility" of which the same Governor then complained as existing between the Government settlement and that founded by the Company has increased a hundred-fold between Auckland and Wellington, whilst a similar feeling is rapidly springing up between Wellington and Otago in the extreme South.
Nor, indeed is this surprising when it is known that the first act of the new native Minister (Mr. Fitzgerald) was to denounce from his place in the Assembly the Southern settlement (Otago, having 49,000 inhabitants,) as a bubble, and the Northern settlement (Auckland, having 42,000 inhabitants,) as rotten at the core!
The Northern settlers are in fact now contending for the very scheme of separation put forth in the above plan of Mr. Charles Buller; but for various other reasons besides the one there mentioned.
First, Because the Southern members, having succeeded in transferring the seat of Government to Wellington, have entirely excluded the North from any representation in the Government, and they are
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practically deprived of all power and influence in the Assembly; the North having under the Constitution Act 15 members only against 45 Southern members, who are united on all questions affecting the interests of the South as against the North.
Secondly, Because the great bulk of the native population being within the limits of the Northern province, their affairs cannot be administered at a distance of 300 miles by those unacquainted with the natives or their language. The point cannot be better put than in the language of the Wellington settlers themselves to Governor Hobson in 1841, when urging the removal of the seat of Government to the South:--
"The settlers are already brought into contact with a native population of probably 20,000 (?) persons. Without the presence of some controlling power, which may challenge the respect and submission of the natives, and may, at the same time, inspire them with confidence that they shall be maintained in the full enjoyment of their lawful rights, it is impossible to assert that the peaceful intercourse hitherto so happily maintained will be permanent. If, from the absence of such a power, any dissension should unfortunately arise, the presence of your Excellency will be imperatively required, but it may then be too late to cure the evils which an early residence in this place might have prevented; deep-seated distrust and enduring hostility might take the place of the kindness and confidence at present existing." 20
If this were true before hostilities broke out, how much more so is it when the colonists have not only to undertake the work of governing the natives but of first subduing them, and reconciling them to their new rule. Again we quote Mr. Fitzgerald, Canterbury Press, 31st October, 1864:--
"This work is yet to do; nay, rather yet to be commenced. It must be commenced under circumstances of far greater difficulty than of old, because
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the irritation arising out of the war is a new element sorely complicating the question. It must at least be a task of long years, far longer by reason of the war than it need have been."
Thirdly, Because the settlers of the Northern Province have from the earliest times submitted to the policy of the British rule in regard to the natives, whether founded on the missionary or any other principle. Whilst the settlers in the Wellington and Hawkes Bay districts set the law at defiance, and grow rich by leasing large tracts from the natives, contrary to the ordinance, the settlers of Auckland were, in the words of the New Zealand charter,
"Obedient, aiding and assisting to the Governor."
Although confined within the narrowest limits, they devoted themselves to commerce, and became the merchants of the islands. Until the recent war, all lands acquired in the Province of Auckland were honestly purchased from the natives, not at a fraction of a farthing, but at an average rate of 3s. per acre, paid out of provincial revenues, and this although, being principally forest and fern lands, it was necessary, owing to the cost of clearing, to give them away to induce immigration from England, and it being, further, the policy of the Government gradually to introduce population so as to outnumber the natives.
The return which the Home Government now makes to the settlers of the Northern Province is to withdraw their troops, and to hand them over, together with the natives, to the Government of the Southern settlers, who, as already shewn, are unwilling to submit to any sacrifice to carry out the task they have undertaken.
Fourthly, Because the Northern settlers and the British people have to thank the Southern settlers for the existence of the recent native wars. Under the old system of British Government in the North, call it what
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you please, peace was maintained, and the most friendly relations existed between the natives and the settlers.
The state of things then existing is thus truthfully described by Mr. Fitzgerald himself:--
"It is when all the tale is told that history will begin to judge. It will then relate how the English came to New Zealand shores, and were warmly welcomed by the savage islanders; how the natives rapidly dropped their savage customs, abandoned cannibalism, in a great measure gave up their wars, took to English habits, adopted our dress, and used our implements of labor and cultivation. It will tell how for thirty years we lived amongst them, with slight exceptions, in perfect peace, not only in our own settlements and under the protection of our armies, but isolated families, women and children, defenceless in the midst of remote tribes, and yet with no sense of wrong or even of danger. It will record the amazing fact, that, setting aside those scenes in which war was recognised as existing by both races, (and the periods of war have been very brief,) there is hardly an instance during all that time of the murder of a European by a native. It may probably be asserted as a fact that, excepting in those few districts, and at those short times in which we were at war with the natives, there have been more white men murdered by white men than by natives. Do the new comers in those Southern Provinces know this startling fact? When they hear the natives spoken of as a savage people, resisting every effort on our parts to bring them under our law, do the public here know that without force, without police, without law, numbers of Englishmen have been living in all parts of the native districts, and have been enjoying their hospitality during the past thirty years? If they do not know it, history will not be so misinformed; and it will further relate that this people, who are described as acting the part of the dog in the manger in respect of their lands, have voluntarily given up to us something like two-thirds of the whole area of these islands for an amount of remuneration so insignificant that the estate may be almost regarded as a gift. All this will be told with fatal accuracy in times to come; and history will then go on to state, that as we
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poured more and more of our population into the country, a bitter jealousy arose between the two races in respect to the possession of the land." 21
The peaceful state of things here described might have been continued but for the desire of the Southern settlers for the introduction of responsible government; and --with responsible government came the attempt of the South to advise and interfere in the management of native affairs, until at last Governor Browne, yielding himself to the influence, back, and guidance of the squatter spirit of the South, which was then dominant in his responsible Ministry, adopted those disgraceful proceedings for the acquisition of land at Waitara, New Plymouth, which at once precipitated the country into hostile conflict with the natives--a war which 20,000 men (10,000 British troops and 10,000 colonial forces), as was then prophesied by Northern settlers, have not been able to bring to an end. 22
The South, according to the admission of the Southern settlers themselves, were wholly responsible for these proceedings. Let us hear Mr. Fitzgerald on this point. He had, on a previous occasion (31st October, 1864) asserted that Christ Church, Canterbury, was represented by a gentleman whose idea of all government was the sword and pistol, and that it was to the principles advocated by Mr. Cracroft Wilson that the disgrace and disaster of New Zealand's condition was due. Mr. Wilson, at a subsequent public meeting, denied this statement, when Mr. Fitzgerald thus meets his denial:--
"But it seems Mr. Wilson is beginning to feel that the war is becoming unpopular and that it is prudent to disown it. With an energy of language which, as with most weak men, never becomes vigorous without becoming vulgar, Mr. Wilson asserts that it is 'a lie' to say that the votes of the Southern
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members caused the war. It is not safe for men with treacherous memories to handle public affairs. Mr. Wilson must have forgotten that in the debates on the Waitara question as to whether the war policy of the Stafford Ministry should be sanctioned by the House or not, a majority of the Northern members were against the Ministers, a majority of the Southern members were for them. He forgets that Mr. Stafford refused a committee of enquiry into the Waitara question, and that the policy of enforcing the Waitara purchase by force of arms was ratified by a majority of the Southern members. It is humiliating to hear any public men denying well known facts; still more humiliating when the facts are such as he not only would have admitted, but would have boasted of two or three years ago." 23
Again, the same writer says:--
"For our own part, we shall never cease to feel that if the Middle Island, after having forced the North into the war, now even professes to desert her in it, it will be an act of far greater baseness and selfishness than anything of which Auckland has been guilty in working the war to her own advantage." 24
This is plain speaking, and other members of the Canterbury Province (Messrs. Crosbie Ward, and Moorhouse,) have also borne honest testimony to the same fact.
Fifthly, The future promises to increase these Northern grievances ten fold.
All chance of representation of the North in the Assembly is to be still further lessened by a Bill now pending in the Assembly, by which five additional members are to be given to Canterbury, six to Otago and two to Southland, that is to say, thirteen more Southern members, without any increase whatever in the Northern Province.
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So far as the North is concerned, the short sum of the matter appears to he this, that the Northern settlers say, "We will not have these men to rule over us." In the language of the Times, they remind the Home Government that whatever may he the rights of the natives, "they certainly are British subjects, and that as long as they choose to remain so, the mother country has no right to deprive them of their heritage." They object to the Governor's position being one of state and ceremony rather than of political power; they have a great contempt for "this miserable parody of constitutional monarchy with party government and cabinet administration," as it is justly designated by Mr. Goldwin Smith. They will not submit to be practically governed by Southern ministers alone, and to be made the subject of a ridiculous experiment, in order that the Weld ministry and other Southerners may be schooled in politics and politeness, however necessary that may be. Listen to Mr. Fitzgerald on this point:--
"But those who have played in the great game of politics know that the soul of all party government lies in the noble ambition of men to carry into action the speculations of their brains; and that place and power are only valuable as affording opportunity for the gratification of this longing, which is ever keener and purer the greater the mind that feels it. But who would care to devote his intellect and time and labor to the public service, if, no matter how successfully he may have striven in promulgating a view, it is liable to be overthrown and spoiled at any moment by the crotchets and caprices of a power responsible to no one." 25
"Our second objection to Separation is, that by reducing the size, and with the size the number of interests of the colony, the whole standard of its public life will be lowered, and the tone of its public men dwarfed and stunted; we
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should be descending towards the Vestry instead of ascending towards the Parliament. Little interests make little minds." 26
The colonists of the Auckland Province having settled in New Zealand under the auspices of the British Government, and faithfully assisted heretofore in forwarding its objects, conceive that the Home Government had better have allowed the New Zealand Company to establish a separate authority in Wellington in 1840, or have adopted their above-mentioned scheme of 1845, than now abandon the North and direct the settlers there to recognise the sovereignty of the South. They cannot help themselves in what is called a "constitutional mode," having no voice in the Assembly; and if they had, that body cannot pass an Act to alter the Constitution and effect separation without an Act of the British Parliament.
In 1855, before the present war policy was introduced by the South, 1400 men (58th and 65th regiments) for a considerable period were sufficient for the whole of New Zealand; at one time only 360 men being in the province of Auckland. The Northern men now say, Restore peace, and place us in the same position we were in at that period. They still hold to the opinion, formerly the rule in New Zealand, "that the Imperial Government ought to exercise a potent voice and paramount authority in the direction of native affairs;" that the veto by the Imperial authorities on colonial legislation is of some substantial value to the mother country; that the colonizers of New Zealand have conferred a lasting benefit upon Great Britain "by placing her in the most commanding position for exercising a great maritime influence over all the shores and islands of the Pacific Ocean;" that these and other advantages impose corresponding duties, and that, if not of appreciable value, they had better be distinctly given up. The Northern settlers are willing to pay £40 per head for two regiments of British troops rather than
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trust solely to the volunteer system advocated by the South, although they are of opinion that any payment for the use of British troops must give rise to a conflict of authority, and is utterly unworthy of any power claiming to exercise the functions of sovereignty, especially when the troops are to be used for acquiring by confiscation or otherwise additional territory for the Crown, and the extension of British commerce. 27
2. OBJECTIONS OF THE SOUTH.
The leading idea of the Weld-cum-Fitzgerald ministry is "that the Native Difficulty is the school of New Zealand statesmen," and that the administration of native affairs having been conceded by the Home Government at the request of the South, the South must be responsible for the cost of the experiment, whether the result be peace or long protracted war.
The settlers of the Southern Island utterly repudiate this notion. Their leading members, in the recent debate in the Assembly on the question of separation, distinctly intimated that they should support the Weld government, simply and only because the South had pledged itself to an expenditure of three millions; but that as soon as the balance of £602,623, then unissued, was expended, and any further demands were made, there would be no alternative but separation.
Mr. Crosbie Ward, the proprietor of the Lyttleton Times, and member for Lyttleton, also gave notice that the value of all native land confiscated in the North through the war, ought to be treated as an asset, and charged in account as between North and South! Indeed, a meeting of the Southern members was held, in which it was agreed to
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resist all further schemes of taxation until the cost of the war had been actually apportioned to the complete satisfaction of the South. 28
These proceedings can only have one meaning, viz. that the cost of all further native wars, necessary or unnecessary, must, so far as the South is concerned, be provided for by confiscation out of Northern lands, and the South to have the power of making war or peace. They can compel the North to fight, whether they will or no; and charge them with all the expenditure. The land fund of the South, in actual possession, is sacred for purposes of local improvement; but the land fund of the North, when acquired, must defray the entire cost of its acquisition. Roads and bridges in that region, whether for Europeans or natives, being entirely unnecessary!
Again, the Provincial Council of the province of Otago, so long back as November, 1864, passed resolutions in which they 29 condemn the native war, and assert that they have no more direct interest therein than any other province of the British empire; and they further declare "that unless some measures can be taken which shall lead to the early termination of the war, on terms consistent with the honor of the colony, and the safety of the Northern settlement; the province of Otago will endeavor to obtain the concurrence of the other provinces of the Middle Island, in a financial and political separation of the two principal islands of New Zealand."
In the same province also, a league has been formed for the express purpose of effecting the same object, not merely on account of the native difficulty, but because the Middle Island has within itself all the materials necessary for the formation of a distinct and independent colony.
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Their manifesto declares--
"That the size of the Middle Island fully justifies the desire to convert it into a distinct colony. The area of the Middle Island, without including Stewart's Island, is 44,500 square miles, whilst that of the undermentioned colonies is only as follows:--
27,704 square miles.
Nova Scotia and Cape Breton
Prince Edward's Island
Jamaica, the largest colony of the West Indies
Van Dieman's Land
"But the comparison of the size of New Zealand with other colonies becomes yet stronger when its peculiarly long and narrow shape is taken into consideration. From the northernmost point of the North Island to the southernmost point of the Middle Island the length is 1,100 miles, a longer distance than that between any two points in the neighbouring colonies of New South Wales and Victoria, or between those of Victoria and South Australia. The length and narrowness of New Zealand make its government from any one spot more difficult than that of other colonies possessing many times its area. The Middle Island alone is 430 miles in length from point to point, and it covers a more extensive sea-board than the two colonies of Victoria and New South Wales conjoined. Its isolation should also be considered, as for a similar reason the Home Government consented to Tasmania being separated from New South Wales, although but half the size of the Middle Island, and containing at the time of the separation a population of only 12,643 inhabitants, and a revenue of £6,866 1s. 9d.
"In point of resources, the Middle Island is fully qualified to become a separate colony. A comparison of the position of Port Phillip, since named Victoria, when it was allowed to separate from New South Wales, with that of the Middle Island, will show that the latter is justified in asking for the responsibilities of a separate Government.
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PORT PHILLIP, 1844.
£ s. d.
61,343 14 3
183,321 0 0
276,672 0 0
MIDDLE ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND, 1863.
£ s. d.
Ordinary Revenue, exclusive of Land and Provincial Revenue, 1863
380,195 14 10
5,536,772 0 0
3,110,497 0 0
"The territorial revenue of the Middle Island is excluded in the above tables, because the League would urge, as a fundamental principle, that the land fund should be irrevocably secured to the district in which it is obtained.
"With such resources, with a country possessing such capabilities, an already numerous population, and every probability that, as soon as it ceases to be connected with Maori affairs it will become a favorite field for immigration, the new colony would have a splendid career before it, and would doubtless soon attain to a high position amongst the British colonies."
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The British Government, it is said, only gives up the administration of Native affairs to the Colonists because they cannot be managed with justice from a distance. But surely they ought not to relinquish this duty, unless it is willingly accepted by an united Colony, and unless the Colonial Office is satisfied that the hands to whom it is for the future entrusted are equal to the undertaking. It has been clearly shewn that no such union exists, and that it is a farce for the Weld Ministry to talk about dispensing with the British troops, and making war with Colonial resources.
It is not merely that Mr. Weld's position as Minister is entirely dependent on his leaving the South in the free enjoyment of their territorial revenue, but that the South absolutely refuses to accept the unlimited responsibility of managing native affairs. 30
According to the best informed, further outbreaks are sure to occur if any attempt is made to carry out the new measures of the Weld Ministry, and if they do occur, what would be the resources of the Colony if the South, in addition to the opposition of the North, refused to vote further supplies. The best commentary on the present state of things is the fact that, although the responsible ministry have succeeded in gaining absolute power and moulding the Governor to then own purposes, they will not accept the responsibility of directing him to send away all the troops, and that they are pleased to permit him to write letters to the Home authorities requesting assistance in raising monies, for which, although urged to do so by the Duke of Newcastle, they are not willing to pledge all the resources of the Colony. The dispute between Sir George Grey and Sir Duncan Cameron in truth afforded the
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Weld Ministry an excellent opportunity, of which they have not been slow to avail themselves. 31
The Times may say "that a Colonial Governor is not a mere machine to he played upon by a colonial administration, and that it is his duty to use his authority so as to reconcile opposing forces, and to keep the Government of the Dependency placed under his care within the limits of the law." 32 But Sir George Grey will say that the executive had its own battles to fight, and that "self-preservation is the first law of nature," besides, being now free from Imperial instructions, he may ask with the unhappy colonists, "Pray what is the Law?"
The plain answer seems to be that the Colonists of New Zealand, unless Parliament interferes, are about to be handed over to a state of anarchy, in the shape of an unworkable constitution, with responsibilities never contemplated, and which the majority are unwilling to accept, and that, whether English or Native, they are to be left to fight out their difficulties as best they can.
When in 1856 the mere chance of the seat of Government being removed from Auckland to Wellington was adverted to by Governor Browne, the present Lord Taunton, then at the head of the Colonial Office, immediately suggested that "in such a contingency resort must be had to Parliament to give the chief of the executive department in the North sufficient independence of action." 33 How much more is it now necessary that Parliament should be consulted on the whole subject of responsible government in New Zealand, when the North, where the mass of the native population is congregated, is now and has been for the last ten months absolutely left, in a time of war, without any executive establishment or Government at all.
The memorial of the New Zealand Government in 1845, the four
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petitions of the Provincial Council of Auckland, of the 29th December, 1853, 18th of May, 1855, 34 1858, and 1862, together with the memorial or petition of 7,920 adult male inhabitants of the Province, have distinctly brought before the view of the Home Government the opinion of the Northern settlers that the present Constitution "cannot be made productive of good government to any portion of the Colony."
The evil results predicted by them have been more than realized, and are now threatening to bring about the absolute ruin of the Colony. A full, searching Parliamentary enquiry into the whole of the affairs of New Zealand--civil as well as military--seems to be the only remedy for the present disasters; but if this be refused, because inconsistent with the "mere political link of Sovereignty" theory of Colonial government, and the whole of the British troops are to be withdrawn, the public as well as the colonists, however reluctant, may soon be constrained to think with Professor Goldwin Smith, that they must look elsewhere for a solution of their difficulties, and that it is time "this almost invisible filament of political connection should cease to exist."
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THE foregoing Pages were in print before the arrival of the New Zealand October Mail. The news confirms many of the views expressed, and may be summed up as follows:--
Resignation of the Responsible Ministry.--The Weld Ministry, having been defeated, resigned; but, as an effort was about to be made to re-instate them, it cannot be considered as certain that Mr. Stafford, who had been sent for, will succeed in forming a ministry or maintaining his position, 35 and therefore the text of the foregoing remarks is left unaltered. This event, and the circumstances that led to it, afford however strong evidence that in the next Assembly (the present expires by effluxion of time on the 21st of this December) the separation policy is nearly certain to prevail. The Weld ministry were defeated by the champions of provincial interests, who earned a vote that three-eighths of all monies, raised by stamp duties for extraordinary expenditure, should be handed over to the provinces (like the three-eighths of the customs) for local improvements, thus confirming the assertion that the Southern provinces will not submit to further taxation for war purposes alone. It is admitted that Mr. Stafford's supporters are all separationists, and that if he comes into office he must yield to their views.
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Self-Reliant Policy--Has proved to be a bubble, as soon as it came to the raising the actual ways and means for carrying it into effect.
Proclamation of Peace.--This measure was distinctly condemned by the Legislative Assembly, although the vote was subsequently rescinded on a threat by ministers of immediate resignation. It was designated by the settlers as a "ridiculous piece of state-craft," and "not worth the paper on which it was printed." Two murderers, included in the amnesty proclaimed, were at the very instant undergoing trial before the Chief Justice at Auckland--they have since been found guilty and sentenced to death. 36 As for the natives, they not merely treated the proclamation with contempt, but actually murdered two persons (one a native, the other a European and government interpreter) entrusted with the distribution of the proclamation in their districts. The new Commander-in-Chief appeared to hesitate about taking steps to avenge these murders, possibly because he considered the honour of Her Majesty to be in no degree at stake--the war being the war of the responsible ministry, and not of the British Empire.
Mr. Fitzgerald has written a letter, for publication in the Times, 37 commenting severely on recent military operations in New Zealand, but as little intended to "detract from the reputation" of General Cameron and the British Army, as it is to depreciate his own services during his late two months' tenure of office! No doubt the General and the Army will smile and forgive him--by this time they are quite alive to the style of political warfare common in the colonies, and so graphically described by the late Mr. E. G. Wakefield. "It is a general custom in the colonies," that writer says, "when your antagonist withstands abuse, to hurt him seriously, if you can, and even to do him a mortal injury; either in order to carry your point, or to punish him for having carried his. In every walk of colonial life everybody strikes at his opponent's heart. If a governor, or high officer, refuses to comply with the wish of some leading colonists, they instantly try to ruin him by getting him re-called with disgrace: if two officials disagree one of them is very likely to be tripped up and destroyed by the other: if an official, or a colonist, offends the official body, they will hunt him into jail, or out of the colony. Disagreement and rivalry are more tiger-like than disagreement and rivalry in this country."
Mr. Fitzgerald seems to admit that the Proclamation of Peace was a bit of strategy, intended to lull the suspicions--not to say deceive--the natives, as it was calculated to mislead the people of England; and he confirms the
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pleasing intelligence that the confiscated lands in Waikato and Cook's Straits must be fought for again.
Proclamation of War.--Nothing decisive has been done, but the natives (Hau-haus) have entrenched themselves in three pahs, strongly fortified, and Sir George Grey is invited to reduce them as, he says, he did the Wereroa pah. Meanwhile, our old adversaries in the Waikato, under Rewi, have replied to responsible ministers manifestoes by announcing their intention of re-occupying all the confiscated lands in Waikato as soon as the troops are withdrawn.
New Gold Fields on West Coast of Southern Island--Extend several hundred miles along the coast. The yield of gold during the month of September last, as evidenced by the actual receipts from the banks at Nelson, amounted to 45,568 ounces, value £177,000, "giving an export," says the Nelson Examiner, of October 2nd, "at the rate of £2,124,000 a year, from a district where, ten months ago, there was not in all ten persons to be found." This addition to the already large export from Otago will necessarily increase the area of indirect taxation, and so far assist materially the liquidation of the interest of the war loans; but the gold duty and license fees are items of provincial revenue, and form no part of the general creditors' security.
Home Government Guarantee for New Zealand Loans.--Mr. Cardwell, as was to be expected, absolutely refuses this and any other pecuniary assistance. The Southern people are much excited, surprised, and indignant thereat, just as if it was not the natural consequence of their assumption of absolute authority and demand for the removal of all the troops.
Separation of Auckland Province from Southern Settlements.--On the 5th January, 1865, Governor Grey, on forwarding to the Colonial Office, the Petition of the Provincial Council, and of the Settlers of the Northern Province for Separation, distinctly advises Mr. Cardwell as follows:-- "Unless some such arrangement as is thus prayed for is carried out, it will be impossible to bring to a satisfactory termination, the difficulties prevailing in New Zealand;" 38 and he promises to make a full report upon the question on a future occasion. No such report has ever been made, no doubt because the Weld ministry will not permit it. Mr. Cardwell, in his despatch of the 26th July last, alludes to the Governor's silence on this subject, and then quietly adds that he infers that the Governor now agrees with his ministers in opposing separation, and assures
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him that the Colonial Government will receive the support of the Imperial Government in maintaining the unity of the Colony! He does not say what kind of support--whether moral support or a veto on any act passed by the Colonial Legislature for effecting the object; but clearly after this novel mode of dealing with petitions it seems useless to forward any complaint or request to the Colonial office through the Governor.
Withdrawal of Troops, and future Policy of the Colonial Office.--Mr. Cardwell has now not only directed the removal of the whole of the Queen's troops, but, in his despatch of the 26th July last, endorses an opinion expressed by the Weld ministry that the province of Auckland, with its population of about 11,000 adult males, is quite equal to accomplish that which all the British troops and colonial forces, nearly 20,000 men, were scarcely able to effect. Of course he must be aware that these settlers are scattered in isolated settlements along a coast line of more than 200 miles long between Mongonui and Waikato; he expects them to be mobilized--leave their 40 acre farms and families, and be ready for service at the East Cape, or anywhere else in the province for defence, preservation of order, and punishment of native aggressors. It is fair to observe that this despatch was written before Mr. Cardwell had the opportunity of seeing Major-General Cameron, and before the occurrence of the Jamaica massacres. If the Colonial Office now persists in this course of policy, the Northern settlers may perhaps not object, if it is followed to its legitimate results. Perhaps Mr. Cardwell, as soon as Parliament meets, will favor the Colonists and Public with information upon the following points:--
1. Are the Northern Settlers to be allowed to govern themselves, or be ruled from the south.
2. Are they to recoup themselves for loss of time, cost, charges, and expences out of the 131 millions of Native territory in their Province, or to sell their own allotments in the millions of English territory for the purpose.
3. May the Northern Settlers obtain assistance from Australia, or the United States (the Panama line will be very convenient for this purpose), and arrange for their remuneration out of the means placed at their disposal? It will be impossible to invite small farmers and labouring men to come 18,000 miles from England, at a cost of £20 per head, and then ask them to shoulder a brown Bess and subdue
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the natives, instead of quietly subduing the forest on their 40 acre allotments in lieu of passage money!
4. A proposition was suggested by a spirited contractor of Melbourne to put down the Maori insurrection by contract; the contractor to take possession of the country out of which he should drive the Maories. Will the Home Government sanction such a project, involving, as it might, the extermination of the Maories, and cease from intermeddling with the confiscation or cession of native lands, the location of settlers thereon, and such other proceedings as a self-reliant policy may necessitate?
5. Are all the vessels of war to be withdrawn as they were in the early days of Governor Browne's reign, as well as the troops?
6. If the great majority of able-bodied single men leave the Auckland Province for the Gold Fields of the South (the military settlers are already on the move), who is to take care of the women and children?
7. Is the missionary principle to be resuscitated, and will the British Government join with the South in attempting to restore "the link between the races," which is now "absolutely dissolved," entirely through their past united action?
8. Is the petition of the bishops of New Zealand to be relieved of their royal letters patent to be granted, and is any other measure of separation for the colonies in contemplation?
In the meanwhile, the Colonial Office may do well to ponder on the remarks of the New Zealand correspondent of a paper not generally supposed to he very partial to Imperial rule, or government expenditure:--
"It is becoming an alarming question what the end of these things will be. It may be expedient, on some political grounds, for the Imperial authorities to divest themselves of the trouble and annoyance inseparable from the management of native affairs, and insist upon the local authorities assuming all the responsibility and all the cost of restoring order. But let me once more press on your earnest consideration the fact that the Imperial government are not
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merely shirking a duty which, morally speaking, they cannot throw off, but that they are expecting impossibilities from the colonists. Every month widens the gap between the two races; by the atrocious proceedings of the few, comparatively, of the disaffected natives the voices of the European friends of the loyal Maori are silenced, and, as a whole, the colonists--the governing body--are fast drifting onwards to the period when the words 'Maori' and 'enemy' will be considered synonyms, and when the settlers, driven to desperation, will make no exception in the execution of vengeance. Only the untrammelled intervention of the Imperial Government can avert this. The North Island ought at once to be considered a Crown colony, and governed as such until peace and concord be restored."--Morning Star, 15th December, 1865.
REES & COLLIN, Printers, 38, Gracechurch-street, London, E. C.
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