CIRCULAR... ENCLOSING THE PAMPHLET...
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(CIRCULAR TO THE PRESIDENT, AND ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE CANTERBURY ASSOCIATION, ENCLOSING THE PAMPHLET IN CIRCULATION AMONGST THE LAND PURCHASERS.)
7, Gloucester Place, Portman Square,
8th August, 1853.
THE propriety of applying to the Members of the Canterbury Association for additional aid and co-operation in developing the resources of the Canterbury Settlement, appears to the Committee of Land Purchasers justifiable, from the following considerations-viz.,
The Land Purchasers were solely induced to buy land by the promises held out to them by the Association, and the advantages "positively announced by the Association as distinguishing the Canterbury colony from any other settlement." (See Mr. Godley's speech at the dinner at Greenwich).
Relying on these promises, a superior class of people, totally unprepared for the hardships incidental to an ordinary colonial life, representing about £75,000 worth of land, and carrying with them not less than £150,000, emigrated to the Settlement.
Notwithstanding this large amount of private resources, exclusive of above £200,000 (vide Appendix, p. 133) received for carrying out the project, owing to well-known disappointments, the population of Canterbury has never increased; and is come "to be far poorer than that of many English villages, there not being half-a-dozen people who could keep their sons at a college conducted on the cheapest possible principles." (See Mr. Godley's Speech).
Upwards of £38,000 was secured for church purposes, of which the entire available proportion has been invested in wild land, a proceeding particularly alluded to in the audit of the Association's accounts by
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the Government inspector (see Appendix, p. 123), as not in accordance with the spirit of the charter, and since admitted by Mr. Godley himself (see Speech at Greenwich), as a "serious mistake, such investment being a resource far too precarious to be relied on."
The prime obstacle to the rise of the colony, and rendering the Church investment (unless the church fund be reinvested) available for its legitimate purposes, appears to he the want of the great road.
The Committee of Land Purchasers fully admit that the motives of the Association, from first to last, have been of the highest kind possible. Such have ever been the sentiments of the majority of the Land Purchasers, especially when remembering the active part assumed by Lord Lyttelton in carrying out the scheme; but they beg at the same time to observe, that the Land Purchasers are not to blame, and ought not to suffer for the sort of dereliction referred to by his Lordship, on a recent public occasion, as follows:
"Whatever faults or errors the Canterbury Association may have committed, they had been committed, not in pursuance of the principles on which the Association was founded, but through a misapplication or neglect of those principles." (Vide Lord Lyttelton's Speech at the Greenwich dinner).
This is obviously not a question to he determined by the measure of independence lately conferred on the colonies of New Zealand in general. Great and unusual have been the hardships which befel the emigrants entirely through those errors or faults alluded to by Lord Lyttelton. The Committee, regarding the position and character of the Association, venture to depend on your concurrence in the object of this application, and they anxiously look for any suggestion you may feel disposed to make to them on the subject.
I am, my Lord, your obedient servant,
HENRY SAVAGE, M. D.,
Honorary Secretary to the Committee of land Purchasers.
The enclosed opinion, the Committee are assured by Mr. Haly, has been drawn up according to their request, with scrupulous regard to facts and the bearings of the case.
His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury,
President of the Canterbury Association.