1848 - Arrangements for the Adjustment of Questions relating to Land in the Settlements of the New Zealand Company - The Cooks Strait Settlements, p 58-76

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  1848 - Arrangements for the Adjustment of Questions relating to Land in the Settlements of the New Zealand Company - The Cooks Strait Settlements, p 58-76
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-- No. 10. --


New Zealand House, 17th December 1847


I AM instructed by the Directors of the New Zealand Company to return their best acknowledgments to your Lordship for the communication of the various important Despatches from Governor Grey, contained in Mr. Hawes' several letters of the 14th and 19th of October, the 10th, 12th, and 20th of November, and also of the 9th instant.

Some of the arrangements described in those Despatches are at variance with the wishes of the Directors, and would, under other circumstances, have induced the Court to protest against their adoption. But in all, not excepting the transaction relating to the Wairau, which the Directors think the Governor will one day reconsider with regret, the object both of Captain Grey and Colonel Wakefield has undoubtedly been the same; and though these Gentlemen have been led, by the necessities of their respective positions, to regard par-

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ticular facts in a different light, and to estimate particular contingencies by different standards, it is obvious that the common aim of both, in dealing with the embarrassing questions before them, has been to smooth difficulties and remove occasions of dissent. So strongly I am instructed to state has this conviction been impressed on the minds of the Directors, by the perusal of the Despatches now under acknowledgment, that, passing by minor points of difference, they are prepared to recommend a mode of carrying out the great purpose of final adjustment founded on these arrangements.

The Questions involved may be considered as consisting of two Classes, viz.: --

1st. Those between the Company and the Purchasers of its Land.

2nd. Those between the Company and Her Majesty's Government.

First, with regard to the Company and the Purchasers of Land.

Each of such Purchasers, or his legal representative, is entitled to obtain--

(1.) Beneficial occupation of the full quantity of land that he purchased.

(2.) The particular piece of land, if practicable, which was originally allotted to his purchase.

(3.) If such appropriation be not practicable, then a just equivalent in land elsewhere.

(4.) An instrument conveying to him, absolutely, the fee simple of his land; --or in other words, actual possession of his land, with a legal title to it.

The features of particular cases may vary in detail, but it is believed that the essential elements of all are comprised with sufficient exactness in these general terms. Any more precise information that may be desired will be best and most readily supplied by Colonel Wakefield on the spot.

To facilitate, in each case, the assignment of the proper extent of land to the Purchaser, the Directors propose, if it meet your Lordship's concurrence, to place at the command

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of Captain Grey, under certain limitations, the whole of the 1,300,000 acres to which the Company's right has been recognised by Her Majesty's Government, including all those portions which it has purchased at an enhanced price, as its Private Estate.

The Limitations adverted to are as follows:--

1st. That the Arrangements now to be undertaken shall embrace the whole of the Company's Settlements in Cook's Strait, Wellington (including Porirua, Manawatu, and Wanganui), and Nelson, and also New Plymouth; so that they may afford no ground for suspicion of partiality, and that they may be final.

2nd. That the Award made in every case shall be in Land and not in Money.

This stipulation is indispensable. Your Lordship is aware that in framing the Estimates, on which was based the Loan to be advanced by the Crown to the New Zealand Company, the very lowest sum was assumed which was in any way compatible with the active existence of the Company, and that the Estimates never contemplated any provision of this nature. To hold out, therefore, to the Colonists any expectation of pecuniary compensation, would not only multiply claimants, but would contemplate an act inconsistent with the very being of the Company.

3rd. That nothing shall be required by the Colonists which is incompatible with the existing engagements of the Company to other parties. The Directors allude more particularly to the proposal which has been made to give to private individuals a portion of the Town Belt of Wellington, and to that part of the Prospectus of the Settlement of Otago which stipulates, that no person shall there acquire land from the Company except with the previous consent of the Otago Association. The Directors are of opinion, that in neither of these cases has the Company the power so to satisfy the claims of the Colonists. They could not do it, in their judgment, if they would; and they ought not, if they could.

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4th. That the same kind of condition which the Directors conceive to be necessarily attached to the grant of lands in the Otago District, to Strangers, be applied also to an area of 300,000 acres in the Ruamahunga Country; viz., that it shall be made only with the consent of the parties to whom the Company shall have stipulated to assign the exclusive property of that District.

5th. That the entire arrangement shall be effected exclusively by the Governor of New Zealand, without the intervention of any other person whatever.

Your Lordship will probably concur with the Directors in thinking that no satisfactory investigation of the claims put forth by the Colonists can be made by any one who is not on the spot; and that no one in this country could undertake to award land to the Colonists in satisfaction of their admitted claims.

It had been the original design of the Directors to request your Lordship's permission to associate the Principal Agent of the Company, Colonel Wakefield, in this difficult and delicate undertaking, with Governor Grey: subsequent reflection has, however, convinced them, that while on the one hand in Captain Grey's wisdom and integrity they have ample security for justice to those interests which they are bound to protect; on the other, the Claimants will feel more satisfied by the award of one who cannot be suspected of partiality or of undue personal concern.

The Directors, therefore, though perfectly convinced of Colonel Wakefield's disposition to do exact justice to all parties concerned, propose to leave the final adjustment to Governor Grey alone.

* * * * * *

The Company is most anxious to exist in cordial harmony with all its Settlers; and with this feeling the Directors sent,

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in March last, instructions to the Principal Agent of the Company in New Zealand to consult the Settlers in the Nelson District as to certain proposals which they had drawn up, with an earnest hope that they might be the means of adjusting all questions relating to land in a manner satisfactory to the Purchasers. Should this hope, however, be eventually disappointed, the Directors are most anxious that your Lordship would be pleased to direct Governor Grey to enter at once on the final settlement of those differences, as well as all others relating to land.

To carry this purpose into execution, your Lordship is aware that two Measures on your part will be necessary.

First. The consent of Her Majesty's Government must be given to the necessary alienation of the Company's Lands, notwithstanding the Mortgage on them as Security for the Loan from the Crown; and notwithstanding also the contingency that, by this arrangement, some small portion of the Company's Land may be virtually parted with by them for less than Twenty Shillings per Acre. The Directors are of opinion, that by no single step could equal value be imparted to the Security, or the object of the Land-Sales' Act be more efficiently promoted.

Secondly. The issuing to Governor Grey such Instructions as will secure the continuance of his zealous and intelligent co-operation.

On neither of these points do the Directors anticipate any impediment; and, assuming that the arrangement will be effected, they will be prepared, as soon as the Crown Grants shall be issued to the Company, and a Schedule received, under the signature of Captain Grey, setting forth the Names of the Parties, and the description of the Lands assigned by him to them, in any given District, to take

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immediate steps for executing the legal conveyances to these Parties, according to the provisions, framed by the Law Officers of the Crown and introduced into the Act for granting certain Powers to the New Zealand Company, 9 & 10 Victoria, Chapter 382.

There may still remain two classes of cases which the proposed arrangements may not reach; those, namely, where the parties not being in the Colony cannot give their assent to them; and those where the parties may refuse to assent to them.

The first, if any occur, must be decided on their own merits, and the decision on them will be much facilitated by the knowledge that nearly all others are in progress of adjustment. These cases cannot be numerous; and, for the sake of an inconsiderable class, it cannot be wise to disturb o postpone a measure of general arrangement otherwise satisfactory. To the adjustment of cases of the second class, if unhappily any should occur, which is perhaps unlikely, nothing can tend so directly as the recorded opinions of Governor Grey.

With the aid of those opinions, the means of easy settlement will probably be supplied.

It remains only to consider the Questions which may arise between the Company and Her Majesty's Government. These the Directors imagine must relate exclusively to the Price of the lands acquired, or to be acquired, from the Natives.

As a simple mode of adjusting them, the Directors would suggest the following arrangement: --

1st. That the whole price of such lands be provided in the first instance by the Local Government.

2nd. That it be settled, concurrently by the Governor and Colonel Wakefield, what portion of such lands constitute a part of the Company's 1,300,000 Acres.

3rd. That the Price of such portion be charged to the Company, and be taken as part of the Loan of 36,000l., to be

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advanced to the Company during the year ending the 5th of April 1850.

4th. That the Price of the remainder be defrayed by the Crown, as being incurred on account of the Crown Demesne.

On receiving an intimation of your Lordship's sentiments on the proposals which the Directors have thus the honor to submit, they will lose no time in forwarding the necessary instructions to their Principal Agent, Colonel Wakefield; of whose cordial co-operation in promoting measures for the removal of difficulties, with which the Settlements have so long had to contend--difficulties which have hitherto been the objects of his anxious solicitude--they feel the amplest assurance.

I have the honor to be, &c.
The Right Honorable the Earl Grey, &c, &c, &c.

-- No. 17. --


New Zealand House, 23rd December 1847.


NOT to encumber with too numerous limitations the arrangement for the adjustment of questions relating to Land in the Settlements of the New Zealand Company, which was submitted in the letter that I had the honor to address to your Lordship on the 17th instant, and which the Directors desired to render the fullest and most comprehensive that the means at their command would permit, --no mention was made therein of the enhanced value and peculiar character which attach to particular tracts, whether from the circumstance of their being peculiarly eligible as the Sites of Towns, or their containing Coals or other Minerals, or from other causes.

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Such Sites have been long contemplated by the Court at Porirua, at Port Underwood, Queen Charlotte's Sound, Massacre Bay, and the Harbour called South Wanganui, at the Northern extremity of the Nelson District; and others are doubtless known to their Local Agents, or will suggest themselves to Governor Grey when on the spot. The Directors have no wish to impede the arrangement by the exclusion of such tracts therefrom; but it seems not unreasonable that in regulating an exchange, or calculating an equivalent, regard should be had to such additional value, by whatever circumstance conferred.

It is worthy of consideration also whether it be not to the advantage of the Community that the Sites of the Towns above mentioned, and of any others likely to rise into importance, shall not become (in blocks) the property of any private individual, to be kept uninhabited at his pleasure, or to be sold for his exclusive benefit; but be rather left open to be disposed of by the Company, like the rest of its Lands, whenever parties shall express a wish to purchase, and under regulations which provide that the whole of the price shall be applied to the common benefit of the Company and of the Settlement, under the same trusts and in the same proportions as other Lands in the District.

If these suggestions appear to your Lordship to be founded on justice and deserving of attention, perhaps in communicating with Governor Grey you will deem it proper to bring them under his notice.

I have the honor to be, &c.
The Right Honorable the Earl Grey, &c., &c., &c.

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-- No. 18. --


Downing Street, 3rd February 1848.


I AM directed by Earl Grey to acquaint you, for the information of the Directors of the New Zealand Company, that his Lordship referred to the Commissioners of Colonial Land and Emigration your Letter of the 17th of December, with the various Papers therein alluded to, and that having since received the Report of the Commissioners, his Lordship has attentively considered the proposal of the Directors, that the pending questions between the Company and its Settlers in New Zealand should be referred to Governor Grey, with full powers to provide for the adjustment of the same out of the whole Landed Estate of the Company, subject only to the limitations which are set forth in your communication.

I am now desired to acquaint you that Lord Grey is fully impressed with the difficulty, amounting almost to an impossibility, of satisfactorily settling in this country Claims connected with Lands in a Colony so remote as New Zealand; and as the proposal of the Company to refer the whole matter to the Governor of the Colony appears to his Lordship fair, and the conditions by which it is accompanied reasonable, he has much satisfaction in agreeing to the arrangement, subject only to one exception--I allude to the Town Belt of Land around Wellington. Lord Grey fully appreciates the motives which render the Company desirous of stipulating for the fulfilment, if possible, of every just and reasonable expectation formed by their Settlers; but it would appear, by the terms of Governor Grey's Despatch of the 21st of April last, that it will be indispensable to appropriate some portion of the proposed Town Belt to the satisfaction of other and prior claims. Subject to this unavoidable exception, Lord Grey

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readily acquiesces in the proposed arrangement, and will, upon receiving your Reply, immediately address the necessary instruction to the Governor.

I have the honor to be, &c,
T. C. Harington, Esq., &c, &c, &c.

-- No. 19. --


New Zealand House, 29th February 1848.


I HAVE had the honor to receive and lay before the Directors of the New Zealand Company Mr. Hawes' letter of the 3rd instant, stating that, with only one exception, which appears to be unavoidable, your Lordship readily acquiesces in the arrangement proposed by the Directors for referring to Governor Grey the questions pending between the Company and its Settlers, with full powers to provide for the same, under certain limitations, out of the Company's Landed Estate; and in reply, I am instructed to submit the following supplementary suggestions for your Lordship's consideration.

With regard to the exception alluded to--the appropriation to private individuals of a portion of the Wellington Town Belt--the Directors hope that such a measure will yet be found unnecessary, and that the whole of the Reserve in question will be preserved inviolate, for the public purposes to which it was originally destined. At the time of writing the Despatch of 21st April 1847, to which your Lordship refers, Governor Grey was not aware, either that the Company possessed a Private Estate of 1,738 Acres in the Settlement of Wellington, or that this could be rendered available for the satisfaction of the Claims to which the Town Belt was pro-

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posed to be applied. Such claims appear, from Colonel McCleverty's Report enclosed by Governor Grey, to amount in all to no more than 212 Acres; for which quantity it can scarcely be necessary to disappoint what your Lordship most correctly designates as the "just and reasonable expectation" of the Settlers. But having already placed at disposal the Company's Private Estate for this purpose, the Directors leave the matter in your Lordship's hands, a friendly and final adjustment of the questions relating to land being all-important.

Since I had the honor to address your Lordship, on the 17th and 23rd of December, on this subject, the intelligence received from Nelson, and forwarded to your Lordship on the 18th and 21st instant, has shown that the anticipations of the Directors have been fully verified, and that the Claims in that Settlement are virtually extinguished, or at least placed in course of extinction under the arrangement proposed by the Landowners themselves; with the exception, possibly, of some few special cases, which will remain for the decision of Governor Grey. The land which might otherwise be supposed to be required for that purpose may therefore be now considered as available for other objects.

In my letter of 17th December, one of the limitations mentioned was that no part of an area of 300,000 acres in the Ruamahunga Country should be appropriated to any private individual, except with the consent of the parties to whom the Company should have stipulated to assign the exclusive property of that District. The parties thus prospectively alluded to were the Promoters of the intended Church-of-England Settlement. As communicated to your Lordship on the 20th of December, means and opportunities for the establishment of such a Settlement had then presented themselves under circumstances which held out great hopes of success; and the experience of every day has since served to confirm the Directors in a belief of the correctness of the expectation thus raised. The interest evinced by persons of

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the highest station and influence gives assurance that, in magnitude and importance, the Settlement in question will exceed the most sanguine expectations of its original Projectors. But in order to this, it is indispensable that its Promoters be assured of an ample field, intact and uninterrupted, for the extension of persons whose sentiments and principles are in unison with their own. The Directors, therefore, consider it to be a matter of great moment that, instead of being restricted to 300,000 acres only, the prohibition of private appropriations shall be extended to the entire Basin of the Wairarapa Valley and its Tributaries, including Ruamahunga.

It is possible that a portion of the District thus indicated may not ultimately be included in the Company's 1,300,000 acres. But whether the Property of the Company, or the Demesne of the Crown now entrusted to the Company's administration, the same consideration will apply with equal force, and the exclusion of persons not in accord with the members of the intended Community be equally expedient and indispensable.

In thus suggesting the reservation of what will probably prove to be a portion of the Crown Demesne, the Directors have, of course, no intention to exclude it from general colonisation for any great length of time: but for such period only as may be necessary (if it be finally decided on as the site of the Church-of-England Settlement) for the full development of the plan on which that Settlement is proposed to be established.

It is manifestly, on every account, most desirable that all existing Claims shall be ascertained and satisfied, and all arrangements necessary thereto be brought to a conclusion at the very earliest moment that may be consistent with a discreet and effective performance of the task. The Directors trust, therefore, that your Lordship will instruct Governor Grey to lose no time in pursuing this object to its completion.

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Anticipating a concurrence in the whole of these propositions, the Directors do themselves the honor to enclose for your Lordship's information a copy of the Instructions which they are about to transmit, by the ship Victory, to the Company's Principal Agent; and in which they have entered, in a manner which they trust will obtain your approval, into various details which it was not considered necessary to specify in the original proposal.

I have the honor to be, &c,
The Right Honorable the Earl Grey, &c, &c, &c.

-- No. 20 --



No. 13/48. New Zealand House, 29th Feb. 1848.


THE Correspondence with the Colonial Department, which I now do myself the honor to enclose, will put you in possession of the proceedings and intentions of the Court, on various important matters that have formed the subject of numerous Despatches received from you, to which the Court was unwilling to return replies, while a decision was not yet formed as to the nature of those proceedings, or the result of that decision uncertain. You will perceive that, with a view to bring to an early, final, and satisfactory conclusion all questions still pending between the Company and any of its Land-Purchasers, in any and all of its Settlements, the Directors have proposed that the whole of these questions shall be referred to the arbitrement of Governor Grey, with full power to provide for the same, under certain limitations, out of the entire Landed Estate of the Company; that Earl Grey has expressed his ready acquiescence in the arrangement, with the exception of that part which proposed to

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reserve the Wellington Town Belt; and that in their reply (bearing even date with this Despatch, and therefore of course not yet submitted to his Lordship), the Directors point out the grounds on which they hope that the necessity of encroaching on that Belt may be obviated.

You will also perceive that, with regard to the price of lands which may be purchased from the Natives, it has been arranged that the whole of such price shall be provided in the first instance, by the local Government; that it shall be settled concurrently by Governor Grey and yourself, what portion of such lands constitute a part of the 1,300,000 acres to which the Company is entitled; and that the price of such portion shall be taken as part of the Loan of £36,000, to be advanced to the Company by Her Majesty's Government during the year ending on the 5th of April 1850.

The several arrangements and the conditions to which they are subject are so distinct and explicit, that the present Despatch might probably here end, with the addition of a simple instruction to give to Governor Grey, with your usual ability and zeal, every facility and assistance for bringing the proposed measures to the desired close, with the least practicable delay. But there are a few points, upon which it may be expedient to touch briefly, lest by being supposed to have been overlooked, they furnish occasion for doubt, and a further correspondence.

The cases to be adjusted may in one sense be considered as divisible into several Classes; as for instance, --those in which the possession of the Company's Purchaser is disputed by a Native Occupant, as in what have been termed the "Native Cultivations" at Wellington; those in which the contending Occupant is an European, as in the cases of Mr. David Scott and others; and those in which the Company has not heretofore been able to throw open lands for selection though not actually occupied either by Natives or by Europeans, as at the Wairau.

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But as in fact the one obligation which the Company has taken upon itself, is to give possession of a certain quantity of land; as the circumstances above mentioned, though supplying several causes why that obligation has not been fulfilled, make yet no difference in the fact of the obligation itself; and as the remedy to be supplied is in all cases the same, namely the provision of other land elsewhere, --whether that other land is to be given to the Company's Purchaser, the Native, or the contending European--it has been thought more conducive to simplicity and clearness to comprise all in a single Class; to leave to the Arbitrator the adjustment of the remedy, in such manner as he may think expedient, to the peculiarities of each individual case; and with that object to place the whole (with the exception specified) at his discretion. --Not that it can be supposed that any very large portion out of the whole can be required; but that it is deemed advisable not to fetter Governor Grey's power; --the Directors being necessarily ignorant of the localities where land may be most available for carrying out this important adjustment. At Nelson the number of cases will have been materially diminished, if not extinguished, by the arrangements proposed in the Settlers' Resolutions of the 1st of July 1847.

It is stated, in the letter addressed to Earl Grey on the 17th of December, that some of the arrangements described in the Despatches of the Governor, are at variance with the wishes of the Directors, and would under other circumstances have induced the Court to protest against their adoption. You will readily understand that the arrangements more particularly alluded to, are those at Porirua, the Wairau, and New Plymouth. The Court feels deeply on these points. But it appreciates also the difficulties which Governor Grey has had to encounter. And it is satisfied that, in the course it has adopted, it has best consulted the real interests of its Settlers. It cannot, however, divest itself of anxiety until it learn the actual and final result of the arrangements in ques-

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tion. Up to the date of the latest intelligence, the perfect fulfilment of them by the Natives did not appear to be by any means certain.

The same remark applies with yet greater force to Wanganui, at which place no arrangement can be said to have been yet concluded. But with regard to this also, the Directors see no reason to doubt the expediency of leaving all to the unfettered judgment of Governor Grey.

On the value to be attached to certain Town Lands, if given in exchange, you will perceive what is said in my letter to Earl Grey, of the 23rd of December. Some of the Town Sites therein alluded to are not yet the property of the Company, but it is extremely desirable that they should be obtained, --more especially the Site referred to by the Nelson Settlers in their Resolutions of 1st July 1847, --before the prices become enhanced by the settlement of the adjacent Districts, and for the purposes of the adjustment now contemplated. You will therefore submit to the Governor a representation to this effect.

On the subject of the Wellington Town Belt, it is unnecessary to add anything to the letters of 17th December and the present date. In the offer made by the Court, of the Company's Private Estate, the Settlers will recognise the sincerity of the Directors' desire to fulfil their every engagement, and to defend from encroachment the reservation made at the foundation of the Town, for the continual health and recreation of its Inhabitants.

On the establishment of the Church-of-England Settlement I shall have the honor to address you separately; merely pointing out in this place, that a request is preferred, that not 300,000 acres only, but the whole Basin of the Wairarapa Valley and its Tributaries, including Ruamahunga, may be preserved intact, as the future site, if finally decided on as such; whether such Basin be ultimately comprised wholly in the Property of the Company, or consist in part of the Demesne Lands of the Crown.

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With regard to that part of the arrangement which has reference to Money, there are certain sums, such as the expenses of the Scire Facias Cases of Mr. David Scott and others, which as you were apprised in the Despatch of 15th May 1847, Wellington, No. 17/47, are in the opinion of the Court justly chargeable to the Government. Governor Grey has also himself raised the question whether the Government ought not to bear the expense of at least some of the purchases from the Natives, more especially those occasioned by the proceedings of Governor Fitzroy at New Plymouth. Of any sums of either class to which you believe the Company to have a well founded claim, you will submit a statement to Governor Grey. If his Excellency considers the claim to be just, he will doubtless award payment. If not, the Court has no wish that the Correspondence should be continued, or the conclusion of a final and complete arrangement delayed, for the sake of an amount which must be comparatively unimportant. The whole matter being referred to the Governor, the Court makes no application to the Home Government on this subject; but it is hoped that in every case in which you may see what you consider to be just grounds for submitting a claim, Governor Grey will also see grounds for its allowance.

On every other point I beg to refer you to the enclosed Correspondence.

I have the honor to be, &c.
Colonel William Wakefield, Principal Agent of the New Zealand Company, &c. &c. &c.

Correspondence now sent.

1. --1847, Dec. 17. Mr. Harington to Earl Grey.
2. ---1847, Dec. 23. Ditto to Ditto.
3. --1848, Feb. 3. Mr. Hawes to Mr. Harington.
4. ---1848, Feb. 29. Mr. Harington to Earl Grey,

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-- No. 21. --



Downing Street, 22nd March 1848.


I AM directed by Earl Grey to acknowledge the receipt of your two letters dated the 29th ultimo, the one of them expressing the readiness of the Directors to close finally with the terms of the proposed reference to Governor Grey of all matters in dispute between the Company and their Settlers-- the other enclosing a copy of a letter of Instructions which have been addressed by the Company to their Resident Agent in New Zealand.

I am desired by Lord Grey to acquaint you that the whole of the Correspondence will now be forwarded immediately to Governor Grey, with a request that he will undertake the proposed office, and will do his best to effect the objects contemplated in the letters which have passed on the subject between this Office and the Company.

* * * *

I have the honor to be, &c.
T. C. Harington, Esq. &c. &c. &c.

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Printed by STEWART and MURRAY,

Old Bailey.

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