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Extract from the "Australian and New Zealand Gazette," 9th July, 1853.
MR. GODLEY AND HIS DOINGS IN NEW ZEALAND.
IT is just possible that, before what we are writing will be in the hands of our readers, the late agent of the Canterbury Association, Mr. John Robert Godley, will have left New Zealand for good and all.
His career amongst us, from its great pretensions and small performances, deserves to be briefly chronicled. About three years ago, he arrived in Wellington, and immediately attracted public attention as the writer of a letter to Mr. Gladstone, full of novel theories about British colonies. Some people, indeed, looked upon them as the dreams of a dreamer. For instance, Mr. Godley, in denouncing the present system of governing colonies, said-- "It will break up the British empire; a consummation which, at the present rate of progress, will not perhaps take a great deal more than ten or twenty months." This prophecy is dated 12th December, 1849, and remains, we believe, unfulfilled.
Previously to Mr. Godley's employment as agent to the Canterbury Association, he had been for some time a salaried director of the New Zealand Company, installed in that berth in order to promote the cause of systematic colonization; and, in that character, projected the Canterbury Settlement, to be founded by means of selling land at three pounds per acre. A third of the three pounds was to be expended in providing religious and educational establishments; and this part of the scheme (Mr. Godley's special favourite) attracted a large number of most respectable settlers. Before, however, the settlement could be said to have been really established, Mr. Godley declared systematic colonization to be a delusion, and squatting to be the true mode of colonizing. He threw open the Canterbury district by means of licences at a nominal price, and so defrauded the buyers of land at three pounds per acre, by rendering the rights resulting from such purchase of no value whatever. Their right to religious and educational establishments had been long ignored and forgotten by him. Thus has Mr. Godley played his part, as an advocate, and paid agent, of a body colonizing systematically.
During Mr. Godley's residence at Wellington for eight months, he was most actively engaged in vituperating the local government, under whose protection and assistance he had come to found a new settlement, as a mass of corruption, tyranny, and vice; tracing all this iniquity to the plan of governing from Downing-
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street. At the same time, however, that he substituted, squatting for systematic colonization, as if to he consistent in perverseness, he declared that the Canterbury Settlement would be far better managed by the local government than by the Association, and proposed to that body to hand over their functions to the local government accordingly. This proposal is detailed in several communications alluded to in a letter from Mr. E. G. Wakefield to Mr. Fitzgerald, lately published in this paper, all of which have been carefully kept from the public eye.
But caprice and inconsistency have not been Mr. Godley's only failings. He has sold and conveyed to several persons land in the neighbourhood of Akaroa which did not belong to the Canterbury Settlement; and his answer to remonstrances on the subject, published by us last week, evinces a recklessness of the consequences of such acts.
This, it may be said, although a faithful, must surely be a hostile chronicle. Has Mr. Godley surmounted no difficulties, endured no hardships, conferred no advantages, during his sojourn at Canterbury? We answer that he had no hardships to suffer. The great difficulty has been the want of a road from the port to the interior, the want of which has incalculably retarded the progress of the settlement; and that difficulty still remains as it was. The local government proposed to undertake the completion of this road; to this offer Mr. Godley, consistent in his inconsistencies, was vehemently opposed. The only advantage that can result from Mr. Godley's career is, that it will be another warning against companies, associations, and their patriotic agents. Like his fellow-labourer Mr. Fox, he has been chiefly occupied in thwarting and depreciating everybody to whom he has been opposed. First the Government, and then the Association, have been attacked by Mr. Godley. For this he has drawn his salary up to the very last moment of the Association's existence; and, like Mr. Fox, he leaves Hew Zealand the moment his salary ceases. Like Mr. Fox, too, he will leave many causes of heart-burning and litigation behind him, the consequences of his conduct as agent of the Association. As a practical man of business, he appears to have been utterly incapable; the merit of being a fluent talker (if it be a merit) is all to which he can lay claim.
We wish him a pleasant voyage to England, and earnestly hope that the infliction of any similar dilettante performers in the work of founding colonies may be averted from New Zealand. -New Zealand Spectator, Jan. 12.
Extract from the "Guardian," 29th June, 1853.
CANTERBURY AND COLONIZATION.
THE eloquent speech of Mr. Godley, on bidding farewell to the people of Canterbury, which we have elsewhere printed, is the best answer (and it is a most complete one) to those who have pronounced the whole scheme of the Canterbury Settlement an entire failure, and the management of the Canterbury Association either extremely incompetent or very corrupt. It confirms in almost every particular the view we have always taken of this matter, and justifies the sanguine expectation we have uniformly expressed of the ultimate success of the colony itself. The speech is a striking one, as containing the general opinions which a man of vigorous mind and high principle has formed on colonization, after a considerable practical experience in one of our colonies. The well-known principles of Mr. Godley have undergone no change. He is not an atom more enamoured of distant government, nor less disposed to confide in the good sense and discretion of the settlers themselves. Colonial experience has, indeed, led him to appreciate
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more thoroughly the difficulties in the way of the application of any theory, however true; and to see that he and others were induced by their enthusiasm to disregard them too far, and to believe in the possibility of realizing a vision of colonial life, which, at least to the full extent, it was unreasonable to expect to see. He comes before us not less genial, not less hopeful, not less liberal than he was, but with an enthusiasm chastened by knowledge and a judgment enlarged by experience. His evidence as to the Canterbury Settlement is that of a chief resident in the place, with the fullest means of knowing all the facts; his opinion of the Association is that of a man who has differed from and resisted them more than once, who doubts the wisdom of some of their arrangements, and speaks without reserve of the many errors of their management. He is, in short, about as competent and as impartial a witness as any one really desirous of the truth could desire to examine.
Now it will be seen that he expresses the highest opinion of the prospects of Canterbury, viewed merely as a commercial settlement. That colony, in common with New Zealand generally, is at this moment suffering from the withdrawal of labour consequent upon the discovery of the Australian gold. But even as it is, the settlement is, on the whole, prosperous: cultivation is spreading and cattle farming is increasing; and Mr. Godley looks forward to an influx of settlers from Australia itself, the gold regions of which will be no home, he thinks, for the quiet and well-disposed amongst those who have made money at the diggings. Nor can the neighbourhood of so wealthy a country be without its beneficial effects upon the trade and farming of New Zealand. Beyond this, however, Mr. Godley maintains that the Canterbury scheme has answered in its distinctive features, though not so fully as he had hoped. There are schools and churches--there is an endowment hereafter to become valuable--there is a well-educated and well-disposed body of colonists, such as would not have been got together but for the principles professed by the Association, and who are not, on the whole, dissatisfied with their lot. Canterbury is not, indeed, the Utopia or New Atalantis Mr. Godley hoped, and once even believed, it would be. But he is not ashamed of, nor does he repent, his enthusiasm. He says, as Southey said of his republicanism, that he no more regrets it than he regrets having been a boy; and further, that nothing really good, such as he believes the colony to be, could ever have been founded without a good deal of that sanguine spirit which always meets with a certain measure of disappointment. Of the Association he speaks in just and candid terms. They have made mistakes, they have been guilty of mismanagement, and they have become embarrassed. This, unfortunately, cannot be denied. But he does full justice to their zeal, to the purity of motive by which their ostensible managers have throughout been actuated, and to the high-minded manner in which personal sacrifices, sometimes great and ruinous, have been made by many members in no way legally responsible; and he places against their errors of judgment and misplaced confidence in others, their own disinterested and entirely unrequited labours. No member of the Association could ever be a shilling the better for his management; some of them are, we fear, in fact, many thousand pounds the worse.
It must be very satisfactory to them to meet with so just and temperate an appreciation of their conduct from one so well qualified to judge, after the imputations to which an ill-omened alliance with justly-suspected names, and a consequent state of pecuniary embarrassment, had unfortunately exposed them. Mr. Godley's return to this country may, we hope, open the way to a better understanding of the Association's claims, and a juster view of their position, than they have been hitherto able to obtain from the government. Sir John Pakington treated them always with a harshness and insolence which it would be difficult to account for, if they were not to a great extent idiosyncratic. The entire suspension of their powers was the last act of his administration, the formal completion of
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which, we believe, he left, with characteristic good taste, to the Duke of Newcastle, who had been himself an active member of the Association. But the transference of the powers of the Association to the Provincial Legislature, for which Mr. Godley is justly anxious, and which can only be done, we presume, by Act of Parliament, will, we trust, afford the Duke a proper opportunity for rendering that justice to the Association which they are really entitled to, and from which a sense of personal delicacy has probably hitherto restrained him. A colony, founded by their means, as Mr. Godley emphatically testifies, and wishing to assume their powers, should in all reason assume, at the same time, those responsibilities which, but for the colony, would assuredly never have been incurred.
In any case, however, we are glad to have Mr. Godley's warrant for reverting, not to the dreams of a few years since, but to a sober reality with respect to Canterbury, which is sufficiently satisfactory. We are justified in believing it an accomplished fact; a well-ordered, prosperous, and advancing settlement; with a provision for education and religious teaching, and a body of energetic settlers who, in intelligence, refinement, and general capacity for political advancement, cannot be equalled by any English colony so recently established. In all the essential elements of future greatness, it yields to no colony of its own age; and neither is its foundation matter for regret, nor are its future prospects matter for discouragement or apprehension.
THE CANTERBURY SETTLEMENT.
We have had sent to us a copy of the Lyttelton Times giving a full account of a farewell breakfast, on the 18th December last year, to Mr. and Mrs. Godley, previous to their departure for England, whose homely shores they have once more reached in safety. Captain Simeon presided at the festivity, and read an address to Mr. Godley from the inhabitants, expressing deep regret at his departure, and their full appreciation of his unwearied services on behalf of the Colony, which had been crowned with so great a measure of success. The address concludes:--
"We should deeply regret to think that the connexion between us were now to be wholly severed; but we are persuaded that you will never cease to feel a lively interest in the welfare of a settlement with which your name has been so closely linked; and that in any future measures which may be contemplated in England affecting its prosperity, we may rely upon a continuance of your services, to defend or advocate our rights and interests. Especially, in the final adjustment of the relations which are to exist between the Canterbury Association and the Settlement, we earnestly hope you will take an active part, as possessing the entire confidence of the great majority of its inhabitants, and being fully competent to express their sentiments and wishes.
"We desire, at the same time, to offer our acknowledgments of the part in private life, which Mrs. Godley has borne with yourself, by influence and example, in conducing to the friendly feeling existing throughout our young community. We are at a loss how to pay a just tribute to her worth, but we cannot do less than convey to her the very sincere expression of our regret at her departure, and of the high esteem in which her name is held by all classes.
"In conclusion, we beg to offer, both to yourself and to Mrs. Godley, our wannest and heartiest wishes for your future happiness and prosperity; and to assure you that, should you ever return amongst us, you will be welcomed back with the same cordial feelings of affection and respect with which we now bid you farewell."
Mr. Godley replied, with heartfelt acknowledgments for the kindness of the colonists, regretting the miserable necessity of saying farewell to Canterbury,
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which had been to him a second home, dearer, if possible, to him than the first, though he looked forward, should his health be spared, to visit them again in four or five years. The following is the concluding part of his address, referring to the position and prospects of the colony, in which the speaker had taken so active a part in the founding:
"On the whole--that is, looking back at our enterprise as a whole, not dwelling upon this or that detail, not indulging in the plaintive truism that we might have done it better if we had had more experience; but looking on it, I say, as a whole, I am prepared to maintain, not only that it was a great and noble enterprise, but that it has been successfully carried out. We have a magnificent colony in embryo, certain (humanly speaking) to prosper in a material point of view, as rapidly as any other colony of modern times, and to become, within a man's lifetime, a great people; actually containing too, within itself, as much of the elements of high civilization as, I now believe, it is possible to plant in a new country, unless where some forcible instrumentality happens at a particular period, to expel from the old a large section of its people. We have a branch of the Church of England planted here, with a competent supply of clergy, and ample permanent endowments, although the Association, acting, I have no doubt, in ignorance of the value of land in a new country, have made a mistake in trusting too exclusively to land endowments, instead of reserving a fund to meet ecclesiastical expenses until they should be provided for out of those endowments. We have provision for the higher and lower branches of education to as great an extent, I now find, as there is an effective demand for, among a population situated as this is; we have, moreover, to the best of my belief, a more concentrated population, a larger proportion of resident proprietors, and consequently a greater command over the appliancies and civilities of society, than has been attained before, render similar circumstances, by agricultural colonists. At the same time that we enjoy these special advantages, there has not been any deficiency in opportunities of profitable investment for capital, and of profitable employment for labour. On the contrary, considering the inexperience of the colonists, and among a large proportion of them the want of sufficient means to meet their habitual requirements, there have been wonderfully few instances of actual failure--wonderfully few instances of men who are unable to look forward (through struggles, no doubt, and privations, but still to look forward) to an ultimate and certain competence. I know there are many who will not take this view, and who will feel, perhaps, more or less angry with me for expressing it, as though I insulted their disappointments. Yet, at the risk of offending them, I must remind them, that though there have been cruel and undeserved disappointments, there have been also many which were caused by people's expecting impossibilities. I don't blame them for it; for to a great extent I did so myself; but such is the fact. They expected that such an edifice of civilization as it has taken many laborious centuries to build up at home, could be created in a few months out here; while they expected, in addition to this, that a capital, of which the interest would not have supplied them with the commonest necessaries of life in England, would provide for them and for their families, when invested in New Zealand, not only necessaries, but luxuries in profusion, without difficulty, or anxiety, almost without toil. I will not say that I have not been disappointed in many things myself. No man in this world can go through any enterprise that has greatness in it without being often and sorely disappointed, because nothing great is ever done without enthusiasm, and enthusiasts are always over-sanguine. When I first adopted and made my own the idea of this colony, it pictured itself to my mind in the colours of a Utopia. Now that I have been a practical colonizer, and have seen how these things are managed in fact, I often smile when I think of the ideal Canterbury of which our imagination dreamed. Yet I see nothing in the dream to regret or to be ashamed of, and I am quite sure, that without the enthusiasm, the poetry, the un-
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reality (if you will), with which our scheme was overlaid, it would never have been accomplished. This colony, full of life, and vigour, and promise, as it is, would never have been founded, and these plains, if colonized at all, would have fallen into the hands of a very different set of people from those whom I see around me. Besides, I am not at all sure that the reality, though less showy, is not in many respects sounder and better than the dream. Take for example that common notion which so many educated and intelligent people have of colonization--the notion that it will enable them to live a sort of careless, indolent, easygoing life, under their vines and their fig-trees, among their children and their flowers, to revel in the spontaneous plenty of an exuberant soil, and to enjoy all the luxuries of civilization without its responsibilities, its restraints, and its labour. This is the kind of life that many of us fondly dreamed of. I will not say that I did not sometimes dream of it myself. But would this, even if it were not out of the question, be a life worthy of a man--of an Englishman? Is the desire to fly from toil and trouble a worthy motive for colonization? Ought not our motive rather to be a desire to find a freer scope and a more promising object for our toil and our trouble? We all know now that when men colonize, more perhaps than in any other walk of life, they have to eat their bread in the sweat of their face. But this is the advantage, and pride, and glory of colonization. It is the corroding evil of old and highly-peopled countries, that in them whole classes, from the Sybarite peer to the workhouse pauper, have this curse hanging heavy on their lives, that they have nothing to do; and this it is that justifies us in urging men to emigrate, that in new countries every man must do something, and every man finds something to do. (Cheers.) I have seen here clergymen ploughing, and barristers digging--(laughter)--and officers of the army and navy 'riding in' stock, and no one thought the worse of them, but on the contrary. (Cheers.) The principle, then, which it is the business of colonizers to assert, is the nobleness of work--work at any kind, so that it be hard and honest work, and a sound and time principle it is, though it has its own dangers and abuses, against which colonists would do well to guard. But this is a digression. To return to what I was saying. There may have been disappointments among us to individuals, but on the whole, and to the community, there has been remarkable success; and I say with perfect confidence, that five or six years hence those who battle through the first difficulties will have no more to say about disappointments. I trust I shall be pardoned for quoting, in support of what I say, two or three cases which have come lately to my personal knowledge, and which I have no reason at all to suppose extraordinary or out of the way. There may be many more of a stronger kind, but these happen to have been brought before myself. One is the case of a gentleman, of good family and education, who landed in this colony with a land-order for fifty acres, and 300l. He has now horses and cattle alone to the value of his original capital, 300l. He has built an excellent house, has fourteen acres fenced and cropped, and owns four hundred sheep and lambs, and, moreover, he does not owe a farthing in the world. The next instance is that of a man whose capital was still smaller. I was informed it was just 50l. He, too, had fifty acres of land, and a large family, including two grown-up sons. I visited his farm the other day, and found the whole of it fenced in, and divided into five separate fields, all with substantial fences. He has a comfortable house, a particularly neat and well-cropped garden, two cows, with their calves, several pigs, and no less than twenty-seven acres (including the garden) under crop; and am happy to say, I never saw crops look finer or more promising. The third and last case which I mean to quote is this:-- I was told two days ago by a working mechanic--a man who had no money at all when he arrived, not a farthing--that he had saved and laid by, in two years, from the labour of his own hands, no less a sum than 200l. (Cheers.) Such instances as these show that those who said that this colony would prove a fine field for the exertions of a working man, said
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nothing but the truth; for I happen to know that there is nothing exceptional or peculiar in the opportunities or advantages which the men whom I have referred to possess; they have simply exemplified the rewards which honest industry can reap in a new country. I have little doubt but that success of a similar kind to this would have been to a still greater extent the rule among our colonists, if it had not been for the discovery of the gold-fields of Australia. The check which that discovery has given to our growth has undoubtedly been very severe. We have felt it in the price of provisions, in the emigration of labourers, above all, in the difficulty and expense of procuring stock. But my firm belief is, that within a very short period you will begin to reap the benefit which must ultimately result from the neighbourhood of a country so enormously rich as Australia is becoming. If there be one point on which all those who have visited the diggings agree, it is this--that of the hundreds of thousands that have flocked thither from every part of the world, not one intends to live there. Every man intends to go away as soon as he shall have made money enough. No amount of money could tempt a man to make deliberately an El Dorado his home. Now I cannot but look upon it as mathematically certain that a very large proportion of these people will come to New Zealand. You may depend upon it, the great majority of those who have come, even with the intention of returning to England, will not return. Experience shows, that when a man, especially a young man, leaves England, and remains for a few years in a new country, he does not care to go back again for good; somehow or other a new set of habits have been generated, not necessarily worse habits, but different ones, which make the thought of a permanent residence in an old country distasteful to him, and he will rather seek for the blessings of order and civilization, if he can get them, in a neighbouring colony, than in the old world, from which he has with such an effort uprooted himself. It is to be remembered, too, that precisely the best people among the immigrants into Australia will be likely to leave it again soon, because the best people are the least likely to be satisfied with such a state of society as a gold-producing country exhibits. I see nothing, therefore, in the Australian gold diggings to make me alter the sanguine view I have always taken of the fortunes of this colony, or to make me less satisfied with the part which I have taken in founding it. It is impossible for me, my friends, altogether to abstain, on such an occasion as this, from some allusion to the colonizing association which I have represented in this country. The Canterbury Association has not escaped the ordinary fate of colonizing bodies, in two respects at least; it has exceeded its means, and it has incurred considerable unpopularity in the settlement it has founded. This result seems to be inseparable from the nature of such bodies; they generally manage badly, and they are always disliked for managing at all. Yet without them many of our noblest colonies would never have been founded, so that embarrassment and unpopularity are to be taken, I suppose, as part of the necessary burden which those who embark in the glorious work of founding colonies must be content to bear, and, for my part, I will willingly take the one with the other; I am content to bear a share of the burden, if I may be permitted to bear a hand in the work. I am not about to defend the Association's policy in detail, but this at least you will pardon me for saying--and I say so with the utmost confidence-- that no body of men ever engaged in a public enterprise with higher or purer motives, or ever prosecuted it with greater zeal, energy, or disinterestedness. They have made plenty of mistakes, no doubt; that, as I have said, was inseparable from their constitution as a distant governing body, and nobody has protested against what I believed their errors more strongly than I have; but if they have made such mistakes, the leading members of the Association have nobly done their best to redeem them by voluntary personal sacrifices, which no one had a right to demand at their hands. I know those men intimately; they are not rich, any one of them; they were under neither legal nor moral liability to spend their
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private funds in the service of this settlement, because, as yon know, they were not in the position of a trading corporation, and they could not, under any circumstances, have made one farthing by its utmost conceivable success. Yet sooner than hazard the failure of the enterprise--nay, sooner than that funds should be wanting for its vigorous and rapid prosecution, they came forward cheerfully and simply, and without making a fuss about it, and paid sums, and incurred liabilities, which, in comparison with their means, were exceedingly, almost ruinously, large. (Cheers.) Remember this when tempted to forget what they have done for you; remember that errors of judgment and calculation are venial, when redeemed by sincerity, earnestness, and self-denial. (Cheers.) I must just say one word about your new constitution. I rejoice to see so lively and intelligent an interest taken in its working, but I clearly foresee that there will be a reaction, and that there will be great disappointment with it at first. I clearly foresee that a great many of you, probably the best people among you, will be disgusted with the turmoil, and agitation, and strife inseparable from the working of a popular constitution; and disappointed, because its beneficial results will, in all probability, not become very obviously or rapidly visible. But you must fight against this feeling. You must remember that we were never meant to enjoy quiet lives. Quiet lives are for beings of a higher or a lower nature than man's-- for beatified spirits, or the brute creation. It is the business of man, and most of the noblest men, to work, to struggle, and to strive. (Cheers.) Life is a battle, not a feast; and those conditions of existence are the best and the most wholesome which most tend to strengthen and harden us for the combat. (Cheers.) It is in this light that I have learned to regard and value political liberty; not primarily, because it tends to promote material prosperity, ease, and enjoyment, but because by providing a high object for our aims, and a noble field for our intellectual exercise, and by forcing us to take a part in matters which do not concern our individual selves alone, it tends to form a great and glorious national character. (Loud cheers.) Try to work the new system with these aims, and in this spirit, and you will learn to exercise, with satisfaction and advantage, that most troublesome as well as most precious privilege, political freedom. Forgive me if I have seemed to speak in too presumptuous and didactic a tone. My approaching departure, and my deep interest in all that concerns you, together embolden me to express myself freely; and I know I speak to indulgent ears. I must now offer my best and most cordial thanks, on behalf of my wife, for the manner in which you have received her to-day. She bids me say that she has to thank the people of Canterbury for two of the happiest years of her life: she bids me ask you not to forget her, as she can never forget you; she bids me say, that she never could have believed she could have felt such sorrow as she now feels in parting from any country but her native country, from any people but her own people. (Loud cheers.) But it is time for me to stop --if I were to go on till I had said all that I want and should like to say, till I had expressed all the fulness of my heart, I feel as if I should hardly ever come to a conclusion. But the parting word must come--that word which I have been dreading to pronounce--farewell. God bless you, and prosper you. God grant, if it be his pleasure, that we may meet again on earth, and that, whether we meet on earth or not, we may meet in the everlasting mansions of his kingdom. (Mr. Godley resumed his seat amidst loud cheers, a great portion of the company being deeply affected by his parting words.)"
As to the state of the Church in the colony, the Rev. R. B. Paul, in returning thanks for "Bishop Selwyn and the clergy of the diocese," gave the following account:--
"He had never been one of those who thought the ecclesiastical scheme of the Canterbury Association a failure. With the large provision made for the future endowment of the Church in this settlement, he believed that the time would
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come when her own property would be amply sufficient for all her requirements; and, in the meanwhile, they had the satisfaction of knowing, that some of the original founders of the Canterbury Association had pledged themselves to the support, for three years longer, of the clergy sent out at the commencement of the undertaking. As one personally uninterested in the question, he might, without indelicacy, express a hope that the words of this engagement would be interpreted in the most liberal and comprehensive sense, and that no alteration in the affairs of the Association would affect the validity of the equitable claim set up by those gentlemen to whom the guarantee was originally made. In connexion with this subject, he would say a few words respecting the appointment of their Bishop. It was now two years since the first detachment of colonists had landed on the shores of the Canterbury Settlement, and month after month the arrival of the Bishop of Christchurch among them had been deferred. Would it be too much to ask their respected guest (Mr. Godley), on his return to England, to represent to those in whom the appointment was vested, how anxiously the coming of our Bishop was longed for--how bitter would be the disappointment if, under any conceivable circumstances, this most important part of the Association's ecclesiastical scheme were abandoned, or even its execution delayed a moment longer than was absolutely necessary."
Extract from the "New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian," Saturday, February 28th, 1852.
IN our last number we published from the Australian and New Zealand Gazette, an article on the Canterbury lands, in which the writer, who appears to be well versed in his subject, urges the Association, unless they are prepared to cease all further operations, to reduce the price of their lands from 31. to 30s. an acre, compensating those who have purchased land at the higher price, as it is clearly impossible to obtain so high a price for land at Canterbury, when it can be obtained in any of the older settlements for one-third that sum, or even less. He strongly urges the adoption of some uniform system in the disposal of the waste lands, and represents in forcible terms the evils arising from the different and conflicting systems in the disposal of land in the different settlements, and describes them as being sufficient to drive an intending settler to some other colony where such conflicting systems and interests do not exist. In our present number will be found a letter to Mr. Godley from Mr. Cholmondeley, originally published at Lyttelton as a pamphlet, which suggests some other points connected with the Canterbury scheme, as subjects for consideration. The writer, who handles his subject in a masterly manner, touches in a sarcastic vein upon several topics, which are evidently tender places. After describing, in a few rapid sentences, the process of the formation of the settlement, when noblemen were canvassed, land orders sold, ships chartered, promises and engagements made, and the best platform-orator in England retained under the title of Bishop Designate; he reminds Mr. Godley of his neglect of his duty in playing the part of demagogue at Wellington, instead of being at Lyttelton superintending the arrangements for the reception of the colonists. "You, my dear sir, were heard of first at Wellington, and then at Lyttelton." He then points out Mr. Godley's inconsistency in leading the self-government party, and yet acting as the representative of an Association that wishes to impose its nominees on the settlement in the shape of a managing committee; and in "a little history" with great humour and ability states the case as it stands between the philanthropist and his
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too confiding neighbour. Mr. Cholmondeley then puts a few questions to Mr, Godley as agent, as to the pasturage regulations, the publication of the accounts of the Association, and the expenditure of the fund for ecclesiastical purposes, which are more easily asked than answered, and inquires, "Are these fair,--are the answers forthcoming,--is it too much to ask what they are?" and observes-- "I might here pause for an answer." Mr. Cholmondeley might easily have multiplied these questions: as a Canterbury colonist, he might have asked when such efforts have been made by the Association to maintain so high a price for the land, why have the religious and educational features, which, "in the extensive system of touting that has been practised in London," were put so prominently forward, so little reality? Where are the promised churches and schools? When will the cost of chartering all these vessels be defrayed, and by whom? Who are the responsible parties in the Association. The smouldering fires seem on the eve of bursting forth--the dissatisfaction caused by the neglect or non-fulfilment of so many solemn pledges is finding an audible expression; but we fear the able writer of this brochure will pause a long time for an answer, unless Mr. Godley's Irish blood, getting the better of his discretion, impels him to break the silence he has hitherto maintained on these subjects.
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Extract from the "Morning Chronicle," Thursday, July 21, 1853.
THE CANTERBURY SETTLEMENT.
THE return of Mr. Godley, whose services in connexion with the establishment of the Canterbury Settlement are so well known and so justly appreciated, was yesterday celebrated by a public dinner at the Trafalgar Hotel, Greenwich. Lord Wharncliffe presided, and amongst the company we observed:-- Lord Monteagle, Lord Lyttelton, Right Hon. Sir J. Pakington, M.P., Sir W. James, Bart., Sir Horace St. Paul, Bart., Sir P. Hopkins, Bart., Hon. (?) Mr. Chapman, Hon. (?) J. Daly, Hon. E. Twistleton, Hon. Captain Denman, R. N., Messrs. W. Monsell, M.P., A. Stafford, M.P., R. Palmer, M.P., M. Higgins, C. B. Adderley, M.P., Blackford (the Accountant to the Association), Mr. Aylmer (their emigration agent), T. Cholmondeley, W. Forsyth, W. H. Gregory, Logan, J. Simeon, S. Lucas, R. S. Rintoul, J. Ball, M.P., Edward Wakefield.
After the usual loyal toasts had been given,
The Noble Chairman rose to propose the toast of the evening. In doing so he said: We are met on the present occasion to welcome the return of one who has been an old and intimate friend of a very large portion of the gentlemen now present, and of one of whom others are able to say that they have had experience of his kindness, of his friendship, and of his ability (cheers.) I am sure I may express to him, on your part, the hearty welcome which we give him, on his return, after an absence of some three or four years, from a part of the world where he has filled the post of guide and leader of a host of enlightened pilgrims (cheers)--on his return here to fill that station amongst us, and in the land of his birth, to which his talents, his character, and his public spirit justly entitle him (cheers.) When we look back to the functions which Mr. Godley has had to fulfil in that distant quarter of the globe, we must feel that it was scarcely possible for any man to be placed under, more trying and arduous responsibility (hear, hear.) He went there charged with the duty of preparing for the arrival of those who had been led to expect that they were to land upon the shores of New Zealand with facilities and advantages which were never offered to colonists before (hear, hear, hear.) He was placed there to carry out those arrangements which were entrusted to his management--he was placed there, at a distance of 11,000 or 12,000 miles from those who instructed him, with such rare means of communication that he was left almost wholly to act on his own unassisted judgment and decision (hear, hear.) He was placed there, as you will perceive, under difficulties of no ordinary kind, and we are now, I believe, able to say with confidence that he discharged those duties which were entrusted to him manfully and successfully (cheers.) We are here sitting in the old hemisphere, and it may be said that we are not the best judges of the merits of the proceedings of Mr. Godley in New Zealand. On this point I will cite a higher authority--an authority which no one here can question--an authority of undisputed weight, and one which, in my opinion, entitles us to pronounce a correct judgment, in spite of any question which may be raised in those parts of the world with respect to the success of Mr. Godley's operations (hear.) On the 18th of December last, an entertainment, somewhat of an analogous character to this, was given to Mr. Godley upon an opposite occasion, namely, upon his departure from the colony which has lost his services, and an address was then read, expressing the sentiments of the colonists over whom he had so long presided as to the value of those services, to one sentence of which I beg to call your attention. They say:-- We should deeply regret to think
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that the connection between us were now to be wholly severed; but we are persuaded you will never cease to feel a lively interest in the welfare of a settlement with which your name has been so closely linked; and that in any future measures which may be contemplated in England affecting its prosperity, we may rely upon a continuance of your services to defend or advocate our rights and interests. Especially in the final adjustment of the relations which are to exist between the Canterbury Association and the settlement, we earnestly hope you will take an active part, as possessing the entire confidence of the great majority of its inhabitants, and being fully competent to express their sentiments and wishes. If any question is raised here as to our competency to pronounce an opinion upon Mr. Godley's efforts in New Zealand, my answer is the language used by these colonists, assembled in public meeting, without a whisper of contradiction (cheers.) It may be said that was only the opinion of an assembly like the present; but I believe no one will question that it is the prevailing opinion of the colonists (cheers.) I have said that the duties which Mr. Godley had to perform were indeed arduous and responsible; but I will venture to say that in spite of all the charges brought against the Association--in spite of all their alleged delinquencies--they did their duty in the selection of Mr. Godley for this undertaking (cheers.) The operations of such a body, and the progress of such an undertaking, must have depended more than ordinarily upon the character and power of the man chosen to carry it to its issue. They selected a man well known to most of those concerned in the enterprise, as answering that description, and one who was further known by having turned his attention seriously and earnestly to these subjects, and by having attained an eminence and connection with topics of this description (cheers.) Mr. Godley having been selected on these grounds, did, I will venture to say, the utmost credit to that selection (hear.) The noble chairman concluded by proposing "Health and happiness to Mr. Godley," which was responded to by loud and prolonged cheering.
Mr. Godley, after expressing in the warmest manner his thanks for the manner in which he had been received, asked permission to pass to matters of a public nature, and to give some account of the present condition of the Canterbury Settlement. He proceeded: I have heard a good deal in this country about the settlement's being a failure, and I think it worth while to show that such is not the case; not for the sake of those who founded it, for to them personally it signifies very little whether they be considered to have failed or not; but in the first place, for the sake of the colony, which ought not to be discredited; and, in the second, lest future enterprises of a noble and disinterested kind should be damaged by the supposed precedent of our want of success. The best way in which I can meet assertions of failure is by giving you a very short and simple account of the actual condition of the colony, with a statement of what has been done there; and if any one should think I am likely to mis-state, or to over-colour, I can only say I made statements to the same effect six months ago, in the presence of 200 people, at Canterbury, and they, who knew best whether I told the truth, sanctioned what I said by their unanimous applause. I am happy, too, to see here several gentlemen whose friendship I was so fortunate as to acquire in New Zealand, and before whom I could hardly venture upon any great exaggeration, even if I were so disposed. In the first place, then, there arrived from England during my stay in the colony twenty-two ships, bringing about 3100 immigrants, well-selected, with the proportion of the sexes duly preserved, and generally speaking, of good character and industrious habits. I calculate that from three to four hundred people came to us from the neighbouring colonies, and that the gold fever and other causes have deprived us temporarily of about five hundred. The present population, therefore, may be set down at 3300 Europeans, and they are, take them for all in all, as good
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materials, morally and physically, as any colony was ever composed of. Of the site of the colony there can be but one opinion, namely, that it was not only the best, accessible to us, in any part of the world, but that, by peculiar good fortune, it was the most advantageous, though the last selected, site for a settlement in New Zealand. A short description will make its extraordinary advantages clear, even to you. The capital of our settlement is the town of Christchurch; the sea-port, Lyttelton, is eight miles from it. These towns form the centre of a district comprising 150 miles of coast, of which the natural boundaries are, to the west, (what we call) "the snowy range;" to the north, the Kaikora mountains; and to the south, the Waitangi river, and which varies in width from seventy to forty miles. I call these its natural boundaries, because such is their impracticable nature, that in all probability, for an indefinite time to come, they will not be crossed by a road accessible to commerce. Of this district, thus shut in, Lyttelton is (with the exception of the inlets of Banks's Peninsula, also in our settlement, but lying quite out of the way) not only the best and most accessible, but the only harbour. The district consists of low hills and level prairies. It is not of uniform fertility, but the whole of it is admirably adapted for carrying stock. We calculate it to contain five or six millions of acres available for pasturage, which in the natural state will carry at a very low computation two million sheep. These will produce seven million pounds of wool, worth at present prices, say, £500,000. Add £100,000 for tallow, hides, and farm produce (a very low estimate), and you will have on the whole, produce to the amount of £600,000, necessarily exported from Lyttelton, and you will have, on the other hand, the supplies which the producing population will require, drawn either from the same place, so far as they are seaborne, or from the agricultural district surrounding Christchurch. And this prospective trade, very much larger as it is, than the whole export trade of Van Diemen's Land before the gold discoveries--larger than the whole export trade of the Cape--equal, if my memory be correct, to the export trade of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick put together, is not, humanly speaking, problematical and uncertain. It must come. The land wants nothing to be done to it; there are sheep enough on it already to stock it fully, even if there were no further imports, in eight or nine years, and the rest follows as a matter of course. I have used round numbers, it is true, and my estimate may be a little too high, or a little too low, but that does not affect my argument, which is, that by the necessary course of things, the Canterbury settlement must become in a few years one of the richest colonies, and its port one of the most flourishing places of commerce in the South Seas. Now I will take the state of the case at the present time. The number of sheep in the district which I have been describing is at this moment at least 100,000, which will yield, after the next shearing, exportable produce of the value of £25,000, to which must be added a considerable sum as the value of cheese, which is now bringing 14d. a pound, for export to Melbourne; so that the exports of the district during the ensuing year, that is the third year after the foundation of the colony, will be not less than at the rate of £8 per head of the population, or three times as much as the proportion of exports to population m the United Kingdom. Again, notwithstanding the immense enhancement in the price of stock, consequent on the gold discoveries, importation into Canterbury still proceeds with great rapidity. The week before I came away two ships landed 2700 sheep, besides a good number of cattle, at Lyttelton, and were immediately taken up for another trip. On our way to Wellington we met another stock-ship going down with a full cargo. It is difficult, perhaps, for you to realize as I do the full value of this increasing import trade in stock, both as a symptom of present enterprise and as a sure earnest of future prosperity. As regards agriculture, I assert, unhesitatingly, that no body of first colonists ever set to work with so little delay and so much success, to provide food from their own soil. The obstacles to cultivation in a
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new country are such as generally to extend longer than you would deem possible the period of imported subsistence. New South Wales did not feed itself, I think, for twenty years; Wellington does not feed itself now. Well, the people of Canterbury raised last season potatoes enough for their consumption. There were 500 acres under wheat, which will give about two-thirds of the consumption. After next harvest the settlement will cease to import the main articles of subsistence. This a true picture of the state of the colony as regards its industry and its commerce. I ask you, does it look like failure? And now let any fair-minded man just take up any number of the Lyttelton Times--let him observe, in the first place, its tone and style; in the second, the number of its advertisements; then the varied record that it exhibits of the sayings and doings of the colony--let him at the same time remember that that colony was only two years old, and contained little more than 3,000 people, and then let him say whether it is possible to come to any other conclusion than that the community of which it is the organ must be not only advancing and flourishing in a material point of view, but also intelligent, moral, and civilized in a very high degree. Where will you find a rural parish in this country, of equal population--aye, though such a parish, by being placed in the midst of an old and rich country, would have immense advantages over a colony--that could produce a newspaper like this I hold in my hand? I brought it because a speech of mine was published in it, from which I thought I might wish to quote; but I find, in looking through it, ample illustration of what I have been saying. I find recorded, for example, the meeting of a horticultural society, which is said to have been so successful that they meant to have another on an extended scale in March; the performances of a choral society, with an elaborate and well-written critique on them; a long account of horse races (for we have our English sports too); and finally, an entertainment given to myself, at which 150 people sat down, and which I can assure you was got up in a way that would have done no discredit to the old country. These things are trivial in themselves, but they are collectively inconsistent with the notions of depression, apathy, and failure. But it may be asked, assuming the colony to be as you say, how much of all this is due to the Canterbury Association? Now this is, strictly speaking, beside the present question, my object being not to defend or extol the Association, but to describe the actual state of the colony. But I will, nevertheless, in a few words, tell you what the Association has done. In the first place, its agent explored and selected the site, which, up to that time, had been utterly neglected, and almost unknown; it set on foot a survey, which, Captain Stokes told, me, was unparalleled for excellence in the southern hemisphere; it organized, with vast labour, one of the best bodies of colonists that ever left these shores; it conveyed those colonists, with comfort and security, to New Zealand; it provided for them accommodation so ample, that the hardships ordinarily suffered by newly-arrived emigrants have been unknown; it secured for them a cheap and secure title to their land, and made such arrangements for giving them possession, that within two months the whole of the first body were actually in occupation; and it has effectually represented the interests of the colony in this country, especially as regarded the acquisition of constitutional rights. On the subject of what has been done in the way of roads, and of ecclesiastical provision, it is necessary that I should speak a little more at length. Before you can understand the demand for roads in the settlement, or the value of what has been done to supply it, it is necessary that I should recall to your minds the formation of the country. It chiefly consists, as I have said, of level plains and undulating downs, dry, grassy, and traversable by drays in every direction. There is, however, a belt, five or six miles wide, next to the coast, north and south of Lyttelton, containing the richest part of the land, which is thickly intersected by swamps. The plains are separated from the port by a range of hills, from 1100 to
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600 feet high. The only roads, therefore, which, in the existing state of population and commerce, are much required, are, first, one to cross the hills, between the port and the plains; and, secondly, branch lines communicating with it, and leading westward, northward, and southward, through the belt of swampy land, so as to connect the port with the dry land beyond the swamps. The first object we had in view, and that which I considered the most important, was to make the road over the hill. A large sum of money had been spent upon it before I came, and it was estimated by our chief surveyor that 7000l. would finish it. Subsequent and more careful surveys, however, made it clear to me that to finish it to Christchurch on the scale on which it had been begun, would cost from 25,000l. to 30,000l.; to finish it on the inadequate scale of a width of eleven feet would cost (with a bridge over the Heathcote) 16,000l. This, of course, altered my view of the matter, because there was no prospect whatever of getting the sum required; I saw, therefore, that it was my business not to go on sinking my small means in a work that I could not finish, but to spend them in cutting through the swamps from the head of the navigation to the dry land. I should have mentioned before, that the rivers Avon and Heathcote, which flow into the sea close to the heads of Lyttelton Harbour, are navigable for vessels of twenty-five tons close up to Christchurch, and I found, after the experience of some months, that the difficulty of this water communication between the port and the plains had been greatly exaggerated, so that, in the opinion of many of the most experienced colonists, the greater part of the heavy goods would go round by water even if the road were finished. Accordingly, I made a good bridle-path over the hill, and a cart-road from the other side of the hill to Christchurch, touching the head of the navigation. From Christchurch I formed roads to the west, north, and south, with the necessary bridges; so that, when I left the settlement, the country was opened in every direction, and a complete communication for heavy goods effected, partly by road and partly by water, between the port and every part of the plains. At present, I have no hesitation in saying that Canterbury is, on the whole, notwithstanding the want of a dray road to the port, more traversable and accessible in every direction than any other settlement in New Zealand. I will now speak of ecclesiastical and educational institutions. There are four churches in the settlement, built partly by the Association, partly by subscription, in which Sunday service is performed; in one of these there is service every day, in another on alternate days. Besides these regular places of worship, Divine service is performed from time to time in private houses in various parts of the settlement. There is a day school at Lyttelton, and another at Christchurch, both excellently taught and well attended. I tried the experiment of having schools in two other localities, but found the population so scattered, and so busy, that the attendance was not such as to justify my keeping them up. At Christchurch there is a grammar school, conducted by the Rev. Mr. Jacobs, at which there are about twenty boys of the upper and middle classes. Now this may appear not to be much--and I fully admit that it is not as much as was intended; but, on the other hand, I maintain that it is as much as there is an effective demand for. I must again remind you that the population is smaller, and, collectively, far poorer, than that of many villages in England. Now, apply this fact to the question of education. Over estimating, as we always did, the probable extent of our colonization, we thought and spoke a great deal about a college. But a college, in the English sense of the word, for 3000 or 4000 poor and hard-working people, would be out of place. It would die for want of students. I doubt whether there are half a dozen people at Canterbury who would keep their sons at a college conducted on the cheapest possible scale. Unfortunately, in new countries, there is such a demand for men and money, that very few are content, on the one hand, to pay the sum which would keep their sons as gentlemen at college; and, on the other, to sacrifice those sons' services
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just at the age when they are beginning to be useful on a station or a farm. The true criticism would be--not that we have not a college, and many other things of the same sort now--but that we so positively announced that we should have them; and to that criticism there is no answer, except that we were oversanguine. We thought we should make, all of a sudden, a colony large and wealthy enough to demand these things, and that we should have means available to supply the demand; and we have neither. Upon the ecclesiastical endowments there is, in candour, something more to he said. The committee made, in my opinion, a very serious mistake when they invested the whole of their ecclesiastical funds in wild land. There are many objections to this, but the chief is that, as all practical colonists know, wild land in a new country cannot be relied upon for producing an annual income. No doubt, in process of time, the ecclesiastical lands in Canterbury, which have been very carefully selected, will become extremely valuable; but they bring in very little now. The association has engaged to support the clergymen and schoolmasters now regularly employed by it for five years, and if there be not sufficient funds of a public nature to discharge this obligation, it will, I doubt not, be met by individuals. But after that time the support of the Church will depend on the rents of the Church lands, and that is, in my opinion, far too precarious a source of income to be properly relied upon. I have now said nearly all that I have to say about the state of the colony. I do not wish to depict it as a Utopia, either physically or socially; but I say that, taking it as a new country, and comparing it with other new countries, it is, on the whole, the best and most desirable I have seen or heard of. It is always a misfortune to be obliged to emigrate, but if I were obliged to emigrate myself I would go to Canterbury, and it is the place to which I should always recommend any one in whom I had an interest to go if compelled to leave England. He will find a healthy, though not always a very pleasant climate; agreeable society; most, if not all, of the essential elements of civilization; and--I have no doubt whatever--the best investment for a small capital now to be had in the world. I repeat that, taking the rate of profit and the absence of risk together, a capital of from 1500l. to 5000l. cannot in my opinion be so advantageously invested in any other way as in dairy-farming, or sheep-keeping on the plains of New Zealand. I will now make a few remarks on the part which I took in the politics of New Zealand, especially as I understand that in some quarters I have incurred blame for it. While I was at Wellington, waiting for the means of prosecuting the Canterbury enterprise, Sir George Grey came from Auckland, and published a bill which he contemplated passing into a law for the establishment of municipal constitutions in the provinces of New Zealand. These were intended to be the preparation for and basis of a permanent central constitution founded on similar principles. It became, of course, a most serious question whether the colonists should accept this measure, in satisfaction of their claims, or refuse to have anything to say to it, and endeavour to get something else. I will not detain you by stating my reasons for objecting to the measure--for considering it, in fact, a mere mockery of freedom. It is sufficient to say that I did so consider it, and that therefore, as an honest man, deeply interested in the welfare of New Zealand in general, and of Canterbury in particular, I could not refuse to raise my voice against it. Accordingly I strongly advocated its rejection. The colonists of Wellington took the same view; they refused the bill. Subsequently the other settlements pronounced in the same sense. The Governor practically withdrew it, and wrote home, recommending a different and far more liberal measure; and finally, thanks to the energy and liberality of Sir John Pakington, we obtained the constitution of last year, which has been so joyfully and thankfully received in every part of New Zealand. Now, there is not one individual in the colony, or anywhere else, who believes that if the measure which we resisted had been carried into successful
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operation, and if the colony had acquiesced in it, there would have been a chance of getting any improvement on it for an indefinite time to come; indeed there would have been in that case no reason or excuse for a change; and therefore I cannot but regard with the liveliest satisfaction the course which I, and those with whom I acted, took, and the result to which its adoption led. I now look on the political future of New Zealand as assured. The colonists have obtained not only a large measure of actual power, but also the inestimable advantage of being able to express, with authority, their own opinions as to further political improvements. And now, will you pardon my presumption, if I, on the ground that I am half a colonist, and have made colonial affairs my special study, venture to give, even to such men as I see around me, men so superior to myself in ability and position, one word of advice on the subject of colonial policy? Many of you have the power of exercising, directly or indirectly, great influence on the affairs of British colonies. May I earnestly and solemnly impress upon them the one great fundamental maxim of sound colonial policy--it is to let your colonies alone; not chiefly because your interference will probably be of an injudicious kind in this or that particular matter--still less because it will be costly and troublesome to yourselves--but because it tends to spoil, corrupt, and to degrade them, because they will never do anything or be fit for anything great, so long as their chief political business is to complain of you, to fight with you, and to lean upon you; so long as they consider you as responsible for their welfare, and can look to you for assistance in their difficulties. I protest quite as much against subsidies and subscriptions as against vetos and restraints; indeed more, for the poison is more subtle, and the chance of resistance less. I want you neither to subsidize their treasuries, nor to support their clergy, nor to do their police duty with your soldiers, because they ought to do these things for themselves, and by your doing it all, you contribute to making them effeminate, degenerate, and helpless. Do not be afraid to leave them to themselves; throw them into the water and they will swim. Depend upon it the greatest boon you can bestow upon colonies is what Burke calls 'a wise and salutary neglect.' To this rule the Canterbury colony is no exception. It is fortunate for it that the association's career has been brief as well as effective; now it must go alone. It has been called into existence, it has been given its opportunities, it has been started on its way; henceforth it must work out its own destinies. The Canterbury Association has done its work and passed away. Its memory may be unhonoured, its members reviled; they care not; they have done their work--a great and heroic work; they have raised to themselves a noble monument--they have laid the foundations of a great and happy people. [The honourable gentleman, who had been frequently applauded in the course of his speech, resumed his seat amidst loud and prolonged cheering].
Lord Monteagle said that, under the mild despotism that prevailed at a convivial meeting like that, he rose to discharge an obligation which they were all bound to respect; otherwise he should not presume to occupy any portion of their attention, however short, or to intrude himself upon their notice. They could not fail to recollect that their watchword that night was "Welcome to Mr. Godley" (hear). And here they obtained an exemplification of what had often been said, namely, that out of evil good had been realised; for if there had been no farewell there would have been no opportunity of welcome. Mr. Godley had called their attention to those great and leading principles without which a colonial empire became an encumbrance and not a glory, became a sphere of contest and of quarrel, instead of a sphere for the performance of duty and for the privilege of creating happiness. They were glad to have their old friend amongst them again; and in the interchange of sentiment which had taken place that evening, it must almost have occurred to Mr. Godley that his case was like that of the man at the Horse Guards, who thought that he saw on duty there
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the very same sentry as he had seen on an anterior visit (a laugh). He hoped that Mr. Godley, on his return to this country, found the same friends in the same sentry boxes, intent upon the same objects, and pursuing them with the same earnestness (hear, hear). Every day's experience tended to strengthen the ties between the colonies and the mother-country; for there were few amongst them who, in their private circles, had not either friends or relations in the colonists. These ties were being daily drawn closer and closer by means of steam communication, by the electric telegraph, and by the other improvements that were being rapidly introduced; but it behoved the mother-country to be cautious in abstaining from using these very means of improvements as instruments for a more frequent and vexatious interference with the internal affairs of our colonial subjects, and to leave, as far as possible, in their own hands the powers of self-government (hear, hear). But all this had been better said to them by Mr. Godley himself, whom they were glad to receive, not only as a friend, but as a messenger for good, in communicating to them the principles upon which his experience taught him that the colonies of England ought to be governed (hear, hear). But passing from Mr. Godley to the colonies themselves, and above all, to that most interesting colony of which the Canterbury Settlement formed a part--New Zealand--he was happy to have the opportunity of proposing "Success to the Colony of New Zealand," coupling with it the name of Mr. Chapman, a gentleman of great colonial experience, who had not disdained to be a theorist, because he felt that a theorist rightly understood could best become a practical man.
The toast was drunk with applause.
Mr. Chapman, in acknowledging the toast, said that he had personally visited and inspected the settlement which had been the scene of his friend Mr. Godley's exertions, and he was able to endorse almost every word of that gentleman's account of the position and prospects of Canterbury (hear, hear). With regard to the situation of the Australian colonies generally, no two measures could be more calculated to advance their prosperity and strengthen their loyalty and attachment to this country than, in the first place, the steps which had been taken to confer upon them representative institutions; and next, the steps which were about to be adopted to abolish the transportation of convicts (hear, hear).
Sir W. James, in proposing the next toast, said that he believed in his heart and conscience the Canterbury Association had nothing to conceal (cheers), and he felt quite sure that, before long, the public would be made acquainted with all that it had done, and would fully appreciate the zeal, the energy, and the many noble qualities which had been exhibited by the noble lord who was at the head of that body (cheers). He did not deny that they had been blamed; and perhaps in some cases they had been justly blamed; but he was quite certain that whatever faults Lord Lyttelton might have committed had been faults of disinterestedness and patriotism--they had been errors of the head, and not errors of the heart (hear, hear). The honourable baronet concluded by proposing "The Canterbury Colonists," coupling therewith the name of Mr. Cholmondeley (loud cheers).
Mr. Cholmondeley, in acknowledging the toast, said they perhaps might have failed in bringing out the kind of colony which had been contemplated, but they had got together a great and noble body of men from every part of England, who had been furnished with all means and appliances--with churches, schools, a post-office, magistrates, and other officials; and although the company had not done all it wished to do, yet it was entitled to claim credit for what it had been able to accomplish (hear). On his return from the colony, he was surprised to hear that such extraordinary misapprehension existed, and he could not conceive how such slanders had arisen. As a person holding a considerable interest in Canterbury--as a farmer--as a magistrate--knowing almost every person in the colony, he must
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say that, if ever a colony had been established, the colony of Canterbury had been established (cheers). It had been established politically, socially and economically (cheers). In proposing "The Health of Lord Lyttelton," he must be allowed to say that his lordship's name was most highly appreciated in the colony, and it was almost impossible to describe the manner in which it was received in every part of New Zealand, for the people felt that they had in every respect a most faithful, zealous, and noble supporter (loud cheers).
Lord Lyttelton said he was the more sensible of the honour which had been conferred upon him, because he felt that the Canterbury Association and himself were not the most prominent subjects on the present occasion; but as it could be only in connexion with that Association that his name could be noticed, it was incumbent on him to make a few remarks relative to that Association (hear, hear). That Association and himself had at one time been the subject of more praise than they deserved, and perhaps they were now the subject of undue attack. He had been told that he ought to avail himself of every opportunity of defending himself against the attacks which had been made, but he had never been able to bring himself to that opinion. The present was not an opportunity of his seeking, nor did he wish to avail himself of it for the purpose of making a detailed defence of the Association. There was only one public point of view which gave him some occasion to pause. It had been said that the obloquy to which the Association had been subjected might operate as a discouragement. To that he had but one answer to make, which he believed would be assented to by all who had a knowledge of the facts--that whatever faults or errors the Canterbury Association might have committed, they had been committed not in pursuance of the principles on which the Association was founded, but through the misapplication or neglect of those principles (hear, hear). He might venture to note a few points in the existence of the colony. The colonists of Canterbury had had given to them a site unsurpassed, if not unequalled, in Australasia (hear, hear). No colonist had had a moment's delay or difficulty about the title of his land (hear, hear). The colonists had had given to them a survey as complete as ever was presented to a colony; and he believed that no colonist, since the landing of the first body, allowing for a few exceptional cases, had had half a day to seek for any office of the church he desired to attend, or, from an early period, a school suitable for his children (cheers). That could not be said for any colony founded within the last 150 years. It had been said that the scheme in its peculiar feature had failed. He could not argue against that assertion; but he must say that he believed the success of the scheme in its essential feature was not lost, but only deferred (cheers). He did not attribute to the matters which he had recapitulated the success of the Canterbury colony. He attributed it to the character of the people themselves. That they should be people of that character was in no degree owing to the exertions of the Association, but to the exertions of others not now present. He would not dwell further on that subject, but would simply say that the success of the colony was owing to the people themselves (cheers). Although he had been disappointed, he should never regret the part he had taken in the promotion of that settlement (cheers). The noble lord concluded by proposing "The Health of the Chairman," which was responded to most heartily.
The Noble Chairman, in returning thanks, expressed the peculiar pleasure he felt in presiding on that occasion, connected as he was with the colony of New Zealand by links of affection and interest. It afforded him further satisfaction to attend there that evening to evince his gratitude to Mr. Godley, in whom, in many colonial matters, he was happy to say, he had found a guide, a philosopher, and friend. The proceedings of that memorable evening would not easily be forgotten; and should the future success of the Canterbury Settlement correspond with the augury which their excellent friend had given of it, that assembly would
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not only haver done justice to their own feelings towards Mr. Godley personally, but would have marked an era in the annals of the colony itself (cheers).
Mr. Adderley, M.P., said that they had met chiefly to congratulate themselves on the return to this country of the hero of that evening, after what he (Mr. Adderley) was bold enough to call the successful completion of a great enterprise, and he himself might claim a large share of the sympathy which that toast had elicited from that assembly, having had the fullest opportunity, perhaps, of any man present, of appreciating the varied claims of Mr. Godley to any man's friendship. But they must bear in mind that they had not only toasted that honourable gentleman, but the colony, the success of which he had inaugurated. They had offered the first libations, votive of success, to that last and new-born daughter of England, who bore the nearest impress of the features of the parent--the Canterbury Settlement; and he felt it was not taxing too much the proverbial fairness and generosity of Englishmen, to ask them to look with indulgence upon the errors that might have been committed by a body of their fellow countrymen in conducting a great undertaking, which had been conceived with public spirit, carried on at no time with the sordid motive of mere gain or profit (hear, hear), and managed throughout with manful energy and personal sacrifice; and therefore it was not unreasonable for them to ask to be guarded against any incidental loss which might have been incurred in what he would call a national enterprise (hear, hear). But he confessed that he should not have had the heart to enter into the enjoyment of that evening, and he would have blushed even to propose success to this colony, if the colony had still presented itself to them as the slave and dependent, instead of the daughter and sister, of this empire--if it had still been deprived of its civil and political rights, and remained crippled in its own resources, and a burden upon the resources of this country. Five years ago he (Mr. Adderley) met Mr. Godley at Charing-cross, in the first committee meeting, for the purpose of discussing the principles of colonial self-government and representative institutions in connexion with the Canterbury Settlement; and Mr. Godley had the pride and satisfaction of returning to this country, as no man had returned to it since the days of Baltimore, of Sir W. Raleigh, or of Penn, and found that the great principles which he had advocated had been at length recognised by every statesman of eminence. Constitutions had been given, and a renovating spirit had been breathed into every colony in the southern hemisphere, since Mr. Godley left this country. Lord Grey had had the honour--he would not say the merit--of recognising the constitutional rights of the Australasian colonies; and in the following year Sir J. Pakington had conferred upon them the representative institutions to which every community of free-born Englishmen were entitled; but, not wishing to monopolise the credit of so good a work entirely to himself, the right honourable baronet had left to the Duke of Newcastle the credit of doing justice to the claims of South Africa. He only mentioned this in that mixed assembly, as it indicated that Mr. Godley had friends among all political parties; but he must congratulate Sir J. Pakington upon having the gratifying recollection that taking office, and manfully filling it as he did with patriotic feelings, he had embraced the opportunity of not only recognising the rights of British citizens in New Zealand, but of granting representative government to other colonies, and also giving to Australia the control of its own lands, and of the precious metals that had been discovered there, and which, up to his advent to office, had been withheld from those colonies. The right honourable baronet had shown a largeness of principle and a statesmanlike mode of dealing with difficult questions which entitled him to the amplest honour on an occasion like the present; and he had therefore much pleasure in proposing, "Success to the Constitution of New Zealand," coupling with it the health of Sir John Pakington (drunk amid loud cheers).
Sir J. Pakington expressed the deep gratification which he felt at the kind expressions
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of his honourable friend, relative to the success of the constitution of New Zealand. When he was at the head of the Colonial department one of the most pressing questions was the granting of free institutions to New Zealand, and he determined that no exertions on his part should be wanting to fulfil the hopes that had been held out. By the aid of Parliament he succeeded in his attempt, and it was gratifying to him to say that his attempt had not been unsuccessful (cheers). He should be more than rewarded for any labour he had gone through, by the recollection that he had been instrumental in any degree in bestowing upon the colony of New Zealand those free institutions and powers of self-government, without which our fellow-subjects must feel themselves deprived of all the privileges which they ought to exercise as their birthright (cheers). New Zealand was one of the most interesting dependencies of the crown, and within the last few days he had received a private communication, giving him the gratifying assurance that the constitution had been readily accepted in the colony, and that every part of the colony was increasing in material prosperity (cheers). He was glad to hear that Canterbury was no exception to the general rule, and trusted that it would continue to share in the prosperity of the other parts of New Zealand (cheers). He felt satisfied that Mr. Godley had conferred the greatest benefit on the Settlement, and had accepted with the greatest pleasure the invitation to pay to him that honour which he so justly deserved (loud cheers).
The party then broke up, and returned to town by a special train, which had been provided for the occasion.