1868 - Sadler, W. E. Free Trade in New Zealand - APPENDIX, p 28-34

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  1868 - Sadler, W. E. Free Trade in New Zealand - APPENDIX, p 28-34
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THE portion of this section ending here was sent to the D. S. Cross, a good while ago, with a request for its insertion as a specimen of forthcoming pamphlet. Peculiar circumstances, perhaps pressure of matter principally, prevented its appearing therein, which certainly was one occasion of deferring this publication. Purpose was that every thoughtsman in these islands should have a copy of it ere expiration of 1867. However, that journal is now spiritedly advocating same or similar line of curtailing policy, and this satisfies.

Forsooth, our disproportionately large and correspondingly expensive governmental machinery is not only coming to he generally known as unprecedented, but also to be looked upon as truly monstrous and ridiculous. A costly machinery very much too large for twenty millions, appointed for a struggling population of one-seventh of a million!! So it was not the Commissariat seven years' cash expenditure for 10,000 troops that made Auckland bankrupt, as some weak ones have been, through the newspapers and on the rostrum, trying to teach! Yet, doubtless, the rural districts, being the seat of war, fared ill. There has existed a political vampyre! Now, Providence inquires. --The fact is, people who give nearly all their time to trade, or to music, &c., and none to exercise in wide, magnanimous thought, and who amiably desire quiet above all things, are awfully at the mercy of scheming, designing politicians. It would have obviated vast misery and effected great good had England shown its legal connexion with Colonies by ordaining that ten per centum of the total proceeds of all taxation shall be the maximum of abstraction from revenue for all official salaries. "But, however," we have freedom! But, voluntarily and willingly, we arc not "free indeed." Oh, we don't meddle with politics!! --Let others, for pay, do your politics, and, the chances are, they will do you. Representatives should represent the voters. If a man having only a hundred pounds orders a house which per contract costs £1500, although he may have been very well reputed virtuous, yet he is most certainly a fool or worse. The bouse will be sold by auction for present necessary demand of contractor; will fetch nearly one-third of its cost; and for the large balance the reckless man will be damned. Yet, notwithstanding, who can deny that it is fine to have a fine house!! Is that New Zealand?

Really it is pitiable to see respectable men searching profoundly "for the cause of present distress and disaster, and gravely and in tears fetching up some recondite reason--parsons affirming it is colonial irreligion, &c., &c. I have been annoyed and well-nigh disgusted with this sort of thing. And it is straight in the teeth of the deposition of all history. Why, the whole thing is plain. If we, infatuated by pride which has culminated to

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insanity, madly desire and will have the magnific pageantry of 1,500 high-paid officials and can barely afford 100, why, of course, &c.

After all the sham profundities, I really must think that if the most pious man puts his hand in the fire he will be burned. Simply and only New Zealand has put its hand in the fire. That is all. Allegation of irreligion is irrelevant.

An extraordinary curiosity has lately appeared; an anonymous writer, after often feebly cursing the writers who opposed ten separate legislative governments for New Zealand, has just now come out saying, in substance, Well, I now see that everybody thinks my curse causeless, and believes me in political error; as legislative provincialism is very evidently doomed, do now just allow me to tell you exactly how to do the whole thing!! And then there follows the wearisome wishy washy. --But, then, this is only a plain specimen of a score of New Zealand cases. It is somewhat after the manner of the notorious L. A. of 1862. Verily we are often nearly on to the conclusion--better had England not so soon given to New Zealand a constitution! -- Newspapers of small circulation must not frequently give strong obvious truth directly in the teeth of subscribers' werk error. Accordingly, some persons sometimes cannot appear therein. No doubt this is a necessity,--an evil incident of small communities.

The grand desideratum for these two large island countries-- geographically near but circumstantially remote--is colonial (not national) independence, like that subsisting between Victoria and Tasmania, which are similarly situated. Much has been written for this desired consummation. And there is now a vast concurrence of mind pro. It is on the foregoing page set forth as the way to reduce. the exorbitant taxation, which reduction is affirmed to be the sine qua non of our retrieval and of our agricultural and commercial well-doing. In the race of the colonies we are heavily weighted, and are not "free indeed." Of the scores of papers the writer has had published (since Prize Pamphlet, a thousand copies of which are scattered far) the following are selected as pertinently proper for representation here:


To the Editor of the Daily Southern Cross.

SIR,--Something fresh has recently turned up in current news bearing on the question of self-government,--a question that has lately moved New Zealand to its heart, and which, it seems to me, demands notice. Reasoners continually cry, Give us facts; these being the solid wood and stone with which they build the structure of argument for the sustentation and protection of correct opinion and right practice. It bodes ill when any one appears afraid of facts. Many talk of the Separation movement

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in New Zealand as though it were a novelty, or a thing unprecedented; ignoring the fact that; about 20 years ago the Australians were in a ferment of political agitation which culminated in an indomitable resolve to obtain governmental separation between Melbourne and Sydney; that success crowned that political movement; and that such vast prosperity instantly ensued,-- whether related to cause and effect, or whether a mere coincidence, they did not trouble themselves to philosophise about: sufficient that it was a patent palpable fact,--that other large districts in that vast country forthwith engaged in a similar movement, and succeeded; so that now, instead of having "the Australian colony," we have "the colonies" of Australasia.

As to cause, &c.: We coolly estimate the effects of the gold discovery in regard to this matter; and shrewdly guess that if Melbourne had not then achieved separation--had she not then done her own government--the principal benefit accruing from her gold bullion would have been cunningly diverted from her, and that, consequently, there would have been a totally different tale reported from that which the whole world (not excepting China) has wonderingly received concerning her during the fifteen years last past--the era of her colonial independence. So, it appears, we are not afraid, in reference to this question, to look at the distinction between cause and effect and mere coincidence, about which philosophers have for long talked in reference to things in general. If separation was not the direct cause of the wondrous advancement of Melbourne, it was incontrovertibly the indirect cause, or the medium through which the chief cause could operate

Melbourne, or Port Philip, won separation--cut its leading-strings with a Downing-street blade--in the year 1851; and its district was then designated Victoria. Just 15 years before that event, it contained exactly 177 inhabitants. Just 10 years after it, the census gave an enumeration of over half a million (510,322). "The Colony or State of Victoria," says the Times of 1802, "is now as populous, as full of gold, of trade, of faction, of public debt, of railways, of newspapers, of grand ceremonials, of volunteer reviews, as the most anxious parent or the most ardent believer in progress could desire. Victoria is only another Britannia, and is only the counterpart of this huge town."

The anniversary of their Separation is a grand gala day-- another fact of significance. Repent, or recant? Nay, nay. Doubtless they would laugh at the idea of a railway from Sydney to Melbourne and a submarine telegraph on to Tasmania being set forth as a good reason for returning to the "glorious old days," when their Government was concentrated in Sydney. Yet such, in parity, is the strain of a London correspondent to a New Zealand newspaper, as per reprint by Daily Southern Cross of 10th current. We are to have a submarine telegraph at the Straits. Well! aye, very well; but is it not rather a reason for increased exertion to obtain independent colonial government for each island as the sine qua, non of concord--a reason for an

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earnest motion to guarantee that increased facility of communication between these two countries may be for good, and not, as is so plainly possible, for evil? If two relatives had been for years quarrelling over a disputed right to property, that surely would be a monstrous intellect that would devise and gravely propound, for a specific redress of the grievance, that those relatives come and live next door to each other. Such prescription might be possibly very good after settlement of dispute by proper means, and the consequent return of amity. But it has not about it even the semblance of being, per se, the proper means to this end.

The writer alluded to is no doubt a sincere well-wisher to these colonists; but in his expression of lovingkindness he has evinced a deplorable ignorance of relative antecedent facts and present circumstances. "Give us facts." There is a fanatical spurious love which receives its expression in what common folks commonly call "blarney." This is not asked. We must hold it in disesteem. But to a particular class of susceptible people it is alluring and proves deceptive. This warning is not superfluous, for some are captivated by it. Yet, undoubtedly, the opposite extreme must be deprecated.

That telegraph argument is not new; it is a London reproduction of an old New Zealand reason. Many a man who feels himself drowning in argument will catch at a straw of sophistry. Well, it is really useful to discuss this great practical question; and, in prosecution, it is only candid and fair to face all advanced objections to its affirmation. Surely the desiderated phalanx of the writer in question could be conglomerated better by means of amity or good will,--indeed this is its essential condition,-- than by means which from the beginning have proved fruitful of feuds. And all of us well know what those different means are. Precedents are necessary to some for confidence. On this question I could be satisfied with the argument a priori. --I have, &c.,

Parnell, March 17, 1866.

The following is last three-quarters of a paper headed "Separate aspects of Separation:

I think the entire tendency hitherto of circumstances and events, spite of some time-serving, is to the consummation wished and asked.

Sir, you know, all our Auckland separate constituencies sent each its representative to the Assembly expressly to labour and to vote for the effectuation of independence of the South country, and so to rid us of humiliating and hurtful control and dictation. I dare not now enlarge on this particular; but would remark on the subject in general; and now wish to submit to you some fresh observations, partly as a resume of the past.

When the people of Auckland united as one man to demand Separation, the common reply by Southern anti-separationists of all classes was, that they knew not what they wanted. The de-

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mand was couched in such vague terms--leaving that an open question which was absolutely essential to the thing, viz., definition--as utterly to preclude a successful repelling of the unambiguous accusation. Particular definition was carefully declined. It might be either the separation of Auckland from the other eight provinces; or from the South Island only, and leaving the other provinces of this North Island in anarchy and to the condition of cringing for support to Auckland, or else to go across the Straits. No one was informed as to which was meant, and strong separationists condemned both projects, believing that the great question did not at all mean Auckland in particular or exclusively. Manifestly, and as subsequent events have demonstrated, there was a prevalent confusion of ideas, or an immaturity of thought, regarding the problem. No marvel, therefore, that their efforts, though worthily united and strenuous, were unsuccessful. From the remarks of John Kerr, in his electioneering speech on Monday, it would appear that he, too, is at sea on this very question, He as good as says we want Separation; {but only on this condition, that the Southerners resign to us our own Island, and throw into the bargain the worth of a great portion of their country--that they, not share equally, but assume all present New Zealand liabilities. Verily, this is an invaluable thought! and, after lauding the Southerners intelligence, with which, quoth he, "we Aucklanders cannot cope," most strikingly pertinent and timeous!

Lately, the misty vagueness has crystalised. Definitive though different propositions are extant. Three of these are remarkable. First: Constitute two central legislative Governments in and for these two island countries, with their appendages of district or provincial boards, &c., in substitution for the present ten legislatures. Second: Exalt the present Provincial Legislatures by increasing their powers and prerogatives, each having a head Superintendent or Governor and a responsible parliamentary executive; and appoint two central General Governments besides; i.e., in short, eleven actual legislatures instead of the existing ten. Third: Financial without legislative separation; with an addition to the prerogatives of Provincial Legislatures; i.e., each province to appropriate and expend nearly the total of of its own revenue; which means, being interpreted, leave the General Government nothing to do; and worse, especially for such a condition, without any money to spend; or, as was lately naively said, twice in two weeks, on the hustings, "Reduce the General Government to a skeleton;" which certainly does look very like something worse than merely to let it die--it clearly means murder. This third proposition, favoured by Julius Vogel, is more than inherently erroneous in politics, it is ostensibly absurd in itself, and any attempt to carry such an anomalous measure must be necessarily inept and vain. And pity that any influential men in New Zealand just now should waste energy and spend their real strength for nought.

The chief objection to proposition No. 2--the eleven parlia-

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ments scheme--is on the score of expense. We now waive the consideration of its absurdity--eleven legislatures for 170,000 people, the amount of population of a third-rate English town--and, at present, only earnestly protest against the expense. Even, if desirable, (but I submit it is not, under any possible circumstances), New Zealand really cannot afford it. This is undeniable. And it is unanimously demanded that present cost of government here be reduced; which necessarily involves curtailment of political machinery, or at all events cannot admit of the increase adverted to. It does really appear, then, that legislative provincialism, as it is, is incompatible with Separation; and we are therefore shut up to proposition No. 1, viz., two central legislative Governments in and for these two island countries, with their appendages of district or provincial boards, &c., in substitution for the present ten legislatures; and which, moreover, seems alike practicable and proper, simplest, cheapest, most efficient, and, for all and everybody, best. --I am, &c.,

W. E. S.
August 10, 1867.


Writer was extremely interested in the passage quoted the other day in the speech by Hugh Carleton from the Hon. Swainson's pamphlet on colonisation. Its existence was previously unknown to me, never having had the pleasure of seeing the tractate containing it. Is it a fact that that particular passage was penned and printed in 1859?

Not unpleasing coincidence of opinion, apparently, has long existed anent the very peculiar constitution originally awarded to New Zealand. But, as in the human countenance, with the strongest and most striking resemblance there is always, singularly, distinctive variety, so, herein, with likeness there is observable difference.

Opposition, nearly amounting at one time to clandestine puny persecution, against a persistent advocacy of the total abstraction and elimination of the legislative element from our "provincialism" has been experienced. This was unnecessary as well as uncandid. It now appears, besides, such advocacy, was no singularity. Said extract gratifies. The course of the newspapers, by line of policy once regularly marked "ultra provincialism," must not be now commented on. And not much must be now said of an individual who tried to avail himself, for the special benefit of the Bay, of the recent Act for increasing the number of provincial legislatures.

But the ex-General Government attorney, writing before the open demand for governmental Separation, assumes the unity of these two countries, and pleads for (as we do with another reference) one legislature for one country. The salient point to be now noted is, that these two large islands, with their numerous

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islets, are not only geographically two countries, but, being circumstantially and extremely diverse, must necessarily and shortly become politically separate. Therefore, to assume continuance of the amalgamation will give erroneous data; and these certainly conduct to a wrong conclusion. The so-called "unity" hitherto subsisting between the two governmentally amalgamated countries has been signalised by one protracted wrangle and an incessant row--a feud which threatens to be interminable or else eternal; or, rather, co-existent with the heterogenous conjunction.

The countries must have two legislatures, as have Victoria and Tasmania--countries similarly situated; and no longer ten legislative governments as now. In short, these countries must be, and must be held to be two,--these countries physically two, must be also (for many reasons) politically two. Main object of present brief note is to point out this difference. Yet, demand for constitutional reformation is nearly unanimous; hereanent disinterested difference is non eat inventus.

FREEDOM for trade, or even freedom for person, cannot well consist with our strangely numerous legislative and political institutes.

After all, and finally, it is really no great marvel that the Agriculturists here should ask whether there be not obtainable some sort of "protection" against the vulture demands of ten confederated legislative governments for a small people

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