New Zealander, Rōrahi 7, Putanga 545, 5 Hōngongoi 1851, Page 2
Be just atul fdir not • Let nil the ends tliou .iiini't at, bo thy Countrj's, 'I hy God's, and Tuitli't..
SATURDAY, JULY 5, 1851.
By the arrival of the Lucy James at Manakau wp yesterday received several Wellington papers, the files, however, not being complete. Our latest date is the 21st of June. Theie is little intelligence except that contained in the Reports of tlie proceedings of the Legislative Council, which continued to discuss at much length the features of some of the measures referred to in our last, — without making apparently any great practical way. The Customs' Duties Bill was sti'l in committee. One of the most important steps in relation to it was that (as we understand the Report) the proposed duty of £1 per ton on Flour was given up, — and that, foi one year, the importation of Flour is to be permitted duty free. This remission, occurring now when the pi ice of that indispensab'e article is so high, and is likely to remain so high for some time, is a boon of great value to the colony. The rates on other articles so far as agreed on were, Pepper (both black and white) Id. per lb. ; — Spices of all kinds 6d, per ll>.; — Pickles, pipes, pitch, provisions, rosin, sago, salt, saltpetre, slates, soda, soap, spades, shovels, starch, steel, stones, sugar, tar, and tea were passed as per schedule ; block tin Id. per lb.: — the duty of ss. per gallon on spirits was allowed to pass for the time with an understanding that the subject would be again taken into consideration, and the duty probably increased. Tobacco ■was much discussed, the question being whether a higher duty should be imposed on that for common use, and damaged tobacco for sheep washing admitted free ; or whether the duty on tobacco of all kinds should be reduced to 3d. per lb., placing all consumers on the same footing. The subject was reserved for further consideration. We have not the repoit of that consideration, but we are informed on trustworthy authority that the result was — fixing the duty on tobacco for ordinary use at two shillings per lb. [The account of this impost rapidly spread in Auckland yesterday, and the merchants were not slow to take time by the forelock in the way of getting their tobacco as quickly as possible out of the bonded stores, at the present rate of duty.] The duty on Oars was altered from to Id. per foot. The Provincial Councils Bill was read a second time on the 18th of June, after a discussion rendered remarkable by Lieutenant- Governor Eyre's delivery of a speech which seems to have produced so strong a sensation both in and out of Council that we ttansfer it in extcnso from the Independent : His Excellency the Lieu tenant-Governor said, — I rise for the purpose of seconding the motion made by the hon. the Attorney-General for New Zealand, that the Provincial Councils' Bill be read a second time. I do so because I beliere it to be the duty of every officer acting under any government to give his full hupport to whatever measures affecting the policy of the administration the head of such government may deem essential either for the proper conduct of the administration, or for promoting the geneml interests and welfare of the community. But at the same time I deem it not unbecoming my position to express some of the views which suggest themselves to me in reference to the particular measure now before the Council, and I also would not willingly give a silent vote upon a q.iphtion of so much importance, and one involving as this does the groundwork of tbp future political institutions of the country. The chief feeling which I entertain in reference to this Bill, is one of regret that it was not enacted in 1848, in the place of the Piovmcial Councils'
Ordinance, No. 1, Session 9. I bplieve that had sucli beeu the case, it would then have given general, and I think I may say as far as New Minister is concerned, universal satisfaction to all classes and to all parties, and it would then too have afforded in its working a fair test of the value and suitability to Now Zealand, or otherwise, of the system of Provincial Councils — which test certainly cannot be said to be given by the operation of Ordinance No. J, Sess on 9, a*, during the twoand-a-half years that Ordinance has been in existence, a Provincial Legislature has only once met for the despatch of business in New Munsfer, and not at all in the Province of New Ulster. I wish I could feel that thesameunivers.nl .satisfaction which I believe would bare been given by the enactment of this mensuie in 1848 would yet be experienced by its enactment now, but I cannot realize thi* to myself. It appears to me that the lapse of nearly thiee years, and the changed ciicumstances of the Province have created a difTeient feeling in the public mind, and one which I fear will lender the measure before the Council less palatable to them now than it would have been in 18 18. This change of feeling may, I think, be traced to two causes ; first, — the lapse of time, which has brought thepeiiod when the act suspending the Constitution of 1846 will expire so very near, that an impression naturally prevails that if that Constitution is re-modelled it will not be in a less popular form than that ancient constitutional one ■ prevalent prior to the commencement of the nineteenth ■ century, which has been recommended by a Committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council, and which, in point of fact, was adopted by the Crown and sanctioned by Pailiament in the case of New Zealand in the Constitution of 1846. The other cause operating to produce the change of feeling which I have alluded to, may be found in the progress of the Province itself, and in the establishment in it of the new and important settlements of Otago and Canterbury — circumstances which have brought more home to the colonists of the vaiious settlements tbe conviction that isolated as these settlements are from each other, and disunited as they are in matters of local interest, Provincial Councils do not afford that medium of local administration which they are so anxious to obtain. I believe, therefoie, that the colonists of New Munster generally, would rather have only one Geneial Legislatuie for the whole of New Zealand, than in addition to it a Provincial Council, which meeting at oiie settlement only, would not afford a laige measure of local self-management to each settlement of importance. They appear to me to be rather anxious for Municipal Institutions with extended powers and privileges, than for the creation of subordinate Legislaaures ; and I cannot better express the opinion which I believe extensively prevails on this subject, than by quoting a short extract from an Address which was presented to your Excellency by a portion of the Nelfoii Settlers, tind which, with the permission of the Council, I will read :— For a country like New Zealand, offering here and there npon its coat tracts available foi scttlenicntsicpaiatcd by physical barn era, it seems to us that a form of government winch would confer upon the aeveial districts large powers of dealing with all local questions, would be most satiatactoiy and etlicient. The Municipal, using the word in Us widest and most ancient sense, appeals to us the foini best adapted to the reqniiciiicnts ot this country. I'iowncial Councils do not fulfil the desned end, and ate cumbious, epuisie, nul ostentatious. Foi unless the Provinces of New Zealand wcie multiplied to <tn amount winch would entail upon the colony a uunnui Govcrninniit expenditure, it would he impossible to divide it in such a mannei <is not to include vwiliin the same limits flistucts of dissimilar inteitHis. Looking; to tlie vetvgrrat diffctfnce, phjMcai as well as =oei.il, v'hlcliJ'liMinnuislt the Northern fioin the Middle Island, to thu giL.it cxtiMul natiu tl pisluits in the lattei, and the neaily total ,iS-imc oi native inh ihitanls, it would almost appeal as if tiny ure intendul by nature toi two 'epaiate colotius Hut, alwainiiif; lioui pies-ing this point tmther upon Diii Esllllcik} sci'ii'idciritiini at pieseiit.and looking upon New Zi.il.uid as piiM'iit oon-titntcd in one colony, we should suggest th.it one initial I.os^lalme and Executive would be qnitr sufficient An evt I ) pni|io<>eol good t;i) eminent Lol.il pmiliantii"! inigln be nn t and satisfied by t tic muiiicip thtics ot the dis tuets and umimilci ilion of all subjects of a general natme, and atiuting the colons as a whole, bein« ic-ei ved loi the Geneial Legislature. 'Hie t mplosniciH ol steim e->sils npon the coast would iitnove all the ol)>tailci> winch <tt piccnt eviit to this toini of (Ji Tt'iiiiueiit, and entuely supeisede the necessity ot Pioincial Li nncils. '1 heso sentiments I believe to be fully shared in by the S"tt!eis of Otnsro and Canterbury, and to the general principles enunciated I cannot but cordially assent. I should have bwn glnd, theielbre, if any measure could have been brought forward during the present Session (or crea ing 1 <;ueh Municipal Institution:?, and for placing at their disposal a certain proportion of the Revenue of each Settlement for local purpose*. For thp retisoiw, then, which I have mentioned, 1 believe that thp staff of feeling in this Province has so far changed from what it w.l* in 1848 on thp subject of Provincial Councils, that thp Bill now under discussion will not, 1 fear, lie so f'nvouiably received (if passed) as it would li'ive been m that year. I fear, too, that this will be still more the case than I had even previously supposed bitice I learnt from your Excellency's opening address tlw.t it was thp intention cf her Majesty's Government to pa<3B an act (luting the present Session of Parliament creating a General Legislative Council lor the whole of Now Zealand, but as 1 gathered infeienUally, not regulating or defining the nature or character oi the Piovmcial Councils, but giving full powers to the Geneial Legislature to modify or alter the. subordinate Legislatuies to any form they may think ht. It is therefore possible, that as the new Act of Pailiament may be leceived by the end of the piesent jear, any General Legislatuie which may be called together under it, might alter ov modify the form of Provincial Councils which this Bill would create even before an} r one Provincial Council should have been assembled under it. On the grounds, then, which I have stated, I cannot but express my regret that the present measure was not enacted in 1849, or that it ii not now postponed for tbe consideration and decision of the General Legislative Council, which may be called together under the new Act of Parliament, which it is undeistood will be passed dunng the piesent session. I regret it also, because, when 1 remembered the feeling which exists in the Province in refeience to what is called Nomineeism. or the nomination of members of the Legislature by the Crown, and that this feeling has been so general and so stiong as latterly altogether to pr&vent the Local Government from getting together a Provincial Council, undei Ordinance, No. 1, Sess. 9. 1 am unable to satisfy myself that there may not be some room to doubt, whether the same occurience may not take place in reference to the mpnsure before Council, and thus the object of that measure be defeated though the Bill itself be passed and become law. With these general observations, and expiessing my cordial concurrence in the Bill belore tbe Council on the subject of tbe franchise — the system of direct representation, and the duration of the Council, I beg to second tbe motion that the Provincial Council's Bill, be now read a second time. As might be supposed Sir George Grey lost no lime in stating his views of the course thus taken by Mr. Eyrk t Sir Georgp Grey then rose and said, that he did not intend to have offered any lemarks at that stage of the Ihll, as he conceived that his reasons for postponing the introduction of the present measure, bad been sufficiently explained in his various despatches on tbe subject to tbe Home Government, which had been published ; but that alter the grave censure passed upon him, by the Lioutenant-Governor, he could not remain silent. And he would first beg to deny that it was necessary for the Lieutenant-Governor to second the present motion from, a sense of duty} for he (Sir George) could conscientiously asseit that he had never in any Council, '• over which be bad bad the honour to preside, solicited tbe support of a single member to the measures he had thought fit to introduce, but that on tbe contrary be had left members entirely free ami at liberty to act according to their own views and feelings, and he confidently appealed to the members of the Council, whether &uch was not the case. It had been his good fortune to exibt in private friendship with many who had opposed him ; and he had never harboured a single unfriendly feeling towards his opponents, nor allowed their opposition' to influence him in his relations with them. He must, however, at tbe same time say, that in bis opinion, it was highly unbecoming in one occupying such an elevated position as the Lieutennnt-Governor, to pass such a grave censure U|>on bis (Sir George's) administration ; and he therefore felt bound to defend himself, and to set himself light with the public. With regard to the Lieutenant-Governor's expression of regret Unit this measure had not been intioduced two and a half years ago, be would call upon that Council to remember the heavy leepon-ibihty which attached to him as "a great public officer of England's Empire." Great convulsions bad taken place in almost every kingdom of Europe, be was uncertain as to the amount of the military and naval foice, which England could spare him, and he was therefore bound to act cautiously, and to maintain at all events the peace of tins part of Her Majesty's dominions. And he would appeal to England and the whole woi ld, whether he bad not bucceeded in acceompli&bing this great object. He might have erred in the com he he bad pursued in reference to the present measure, but be felt in Ins own conscience, that he had acted from the best of motives, and be would ask the Council, whether when they looked back to the financial and other difficulties of no ordinary magnitude, in which he found tbe colony on his arrival, his policy had not been successful, whether
jxjactj LhJ not been preserved with w>' ii.iiiwa, ,iud whether the settlers could say, they had Wn impoverished, llu wishsd not to cl.iun Ihe < j clu<«ive mnit ol this to himself, for non* but Idium If knew how ably and zealously lie had lipon nisi«ted and suppoifed bv those under him. The present iiu-as'ire had hetn prepared by lumseli and flip Atorney Genpinl, and lie consiJeied it as extremely liber.il. If he li.ni consulted bis own rase, ho would, knowing; that it was tin 1 intention of her Mijcsty's Government to piopose n Constitution for this Colony to P.iilnnv>nt the pir*<>nt Session, Juve done nothing;. He well linew th,t in pioposmg such a measure, he ran tho risk of offending inilupiitial panics at home, but lie took the present lespotihibihty upon himself, because hp frit that flev iMajcaty's Government was not suffioientlv acqu.nn'ed with the cncumstances of New Z'm'uikl to legislate for it in such matters His Excellency then stated that he bad been the means of obtaining for the Wardens of the Hundreds, and foi Municipal Corpotations, a ceitain poition of the funds arising Irom tlie sale and leasing of lands; and added, thaf it was chiefly owing; to his recommendation that id the recent Australian Constitution Act, the franchise had been lowered ; and nlso that he was the iiist to urge upon the Home Government the payment of Members. His Excellency then stated that he had found an insuperable disinclination on the part of the settlers to Municipal Coiporations, although be had offered t© give them lands for the endowment of public chanties, the administration of which would call forth the lwst energies of the settlers in each distiict ; and alluded to his having offered the llutt settleis an endowment of land to keep the uver within us banks, lie then said that Provincial Councils might be established in every settlement, though he admitted that until certain of the Royal Instructions was abiogated, such Councils would necessarily entail the heavy expense of n Lieutenant- Governor, and the other members of his Executive Councils — (the above is necessarily an impel feet sketch of his Excellency's speech — he evidently spoke under strong excitement.) The subject was brought to a close by the following remarks from the Limjtenant- GovrRNOR :—: — i 'lhe Lieutenant Governor in reply to Sir George, ' disclaimed any intention of passing a censure upon his Excellency; he had not given his own opinion on the Bill, further than expressing his regret that it had not been introduced some years since. He had simply confined himself to stating what lie felt assured was : and would be the general opinion of the Settlers in I regard to the proposed measure — and he repeated his I conviction that he had fairly represented the feelings of the Settlers in the |Southern Province ; he was quite ready to bear testimony to the truth of Sir George's statement that he had never requested his support to the measure, but still he must say, that practically speaking, the Officers of the Executive were both bound and expected to support the measures and policy of the head of the Government. The New Zealand Company's Land Claimants' Bill had been read a second time, and was passing through Committee. The following reference was made by Sir George Grey to the point whether holders of scrip should be a* liberty to choose land in any part of this J Piovmce: — Since the subject was last under discussion, he (Sir George) had leceived a despatch from the Licuten.uitj Governor of New Ulster staling that the prayer of the petition from Auckland thai the holders of scrip might be allowed to puichase in any pirt- of hew 1/ lhter might be complied with without injury to the province! | if tins permission were not available ne.ir tho town of Auckland. Such a permission would intpifeve with the rights gianted to the Waidens of Hundreds already established, and would have the effect of stopping public works, the funds of winch bad been advanced by the Crown on the security of the laud fund, but this limitation would only extend to within a few milus round Auckland. Attorney-General Swmnson had given notice of his intention to move the following addition to the 19th clause, to be insetted after the words Colonial Government — And by the Colonial Treasuier of the Province of New Ulster in or towaids the purchase of demesne lands of the Crown in any part of the said Piovince of New Ulster, noi being within the limits of any Hundred, which may from tune to tune be offered for sale by or on behalf of the said Colonial Government. The Census- BUI was making progress Theie was some discussion as to the best time, for taking the census. Sir George Grey deemed it necessary that it should be taken in some pait of the present year. It was resolved that after this year it should be taken triennially. " We observed to -day" (June 6) says the Independent, " that the Attorney General and the Colonial becvetary for New Ulster weic designated the Attorney -General and Colonial Secretary for the New Zealand Islands." The intelligence of the New South Wales gold discovery had reached Wellington. Flour there had risen, it is said, to £40 per ton. The last published market note, however, does not repiesent the advance as so great. We learn from Taranaki that the Government House there was burned on Sunday last, and that the portion of the Stateli/'s mail for Wellington, that had been forivaided by the overland post, was also destroyed by fire. Flour at Taranaki was held at £35 per ton. The farmers were holding wheat at fourteen shillings ; but the natives were selling theirs at ten.
The case tued in the Resident Magistrates' Couit on Wednesday, of which a reporF appears in our columns to-day, will probabJy prove the last of the painful appeals to law arising out of the history of the voyage from England of the Female Emigrants sent out to Auckland in the Stately by Mr. Sidney Herbert's Committee. We sinceiely trust it may be so ; for while our primary wish must be that nothing to give occasion for those appeals had taken place, we cannot hut wish also that the Young Women had suffered " by-gones to be bygones, — even though some of the ends of justice might have been frustrated by the forbearance — 'rather than bring themselves and the occurrences connected with their passage, under the gaze of a world in which there are unhappily to be found, not only curious and gossiping persons, but also persons who, from thoughtlessness, if from no more repiehensible motive, are ever ready to give currency to rumours of scandal, — practically casting abroad arrows, firebrands, and death against reputation, and saying " Am I not in sport?" or, "Am I not in the path of duty?" Short as has been their residence here, these girls have already bitteily learned that they have not escaped beyond the reach of such treatment by coming to the Antipodes. Our present purpose is not to discuss the met its of any of the cases brought before the Resident Magistrate's Court. Those cases have undergone protracted investigation ; have been piesenled on both sides in their most striking aspects by able and honorable lawyers ; and have been decided on lespectively in a manner which, we believe, will cast no stain upon the high character for integrity and impartiality borne by the tribunal before which they were tiied. We desire rather to take a buef view of the matter as aflecting the position and prospects of these Immigrants themselves, and through them, to a gi eater or lesser extent, of our sociely in this district, with which they must in future, whether for good or evil, be identified. Setting aside, then, altogether the inquiry [ how far the^collisions on the voyage were at-
tiibiiuble to diiotdt'i V conduct on the pait of ■!opi" of th" <nrK on (lie one hand ; — or to incapacity for office, or capncious prejudice, or unmanly tyranny on the pad of those placed in auihonty over them, on the othei ;or ( .s is most likely) to a combination o( thosp elements of confusion — varying according to Viiymg circumstances, d n 111 1 n2n 2 the four months the 11 oi " happy family" was coope I up within the tnnheis of the Stnteltj, — Me find these Femal< s on their anival here giouprd almost immediately by (heir o;ti acts 1 >to two classes, — a class th.it we fear must be regarded as at piesent no desirable acquisition, but decidedly the reverse, to the colony ; and a class that will, we trust, piove a valuable acquisition, and that is all the more interesting to every right-minded person for the very reason that its membeis arc so likely to be unjustly mixed up in one indiscriminate censure with those of the former and less reputable section. With respect to a few of these girls we shall speak very plainly : — all the moie so, because we will endeavour to secure that what we now write shall be laid before the Ladies' Committee of the Needlewomen's Emigration Scheme from a quarter which will we have no doubt call some attention to ourobseivations. Then, we at once say, the demeanour and general appearance of some of those "Distiessed Needlewomen," within a few hours after their landing, excited the most disappoined feelings in those who, like ourselves, expected and desired to find them a credit to the Committee and a boon to the Colony. No one could pass them in the stieets without instantly perceiving that they were what they ought not to be. With this simple statement we for the present pass over conduct on which we might with truth comment far more severely. There can be no doubt that the kind friends who sent them out were mistaken in them ; — regarding them as either unspotted persons, or as persons whose spots had been washed away by repentance. We well know the difficulty there is in ascertaining the real character of applicants for relief in any form ; and we could cite not a few instances in which even the most careful investigation was baffled. Such has undoubtedly been the fact in the present case ; — individuals have been sent out here by Mr. Sidney Herbert's Committee who were much fitter for penal discipline at home than for exportation, as virtuous women, to the Colonies. There is, however, another and a widely different class; — girls, some of whom immediately on their anival here, obtained respectable situations which they are now filling ciedilably to themselves and satisfactorily to their employeis. These, we are happy to say, are likely to realize all that could have been anticipated for them in (he most sanguine expectations of the benevolent persons by whose aid they were sent here. Now. we think every generous mind must feel concerned on behalf of these virtuous and well-conducted young females, who are here, in a land of strangers, unprotected, and in a great measure friendless. As we have said, the veiy circumstance of their having had the misfortune of bein>j associated with companions of bad character — (in whose proceedings, however, they took little if any part, and against whose grosser misconduct they would protest with abbonence) — gives them an additional and strong claim on kindly rcgai d. It is easy to say (as we have heard said) that they are " tarred with the same biush," — that they have "touched pitch" and must be " defiled," — that their intimate association with companions such as some of those with whom they were unhappily brought in contact on the voyage, must have undermined their inotals. We do not believe that such must necessarily have been the lesult ; and we have strong confidence that the futuie behaviour of these girls will give an answer more emphatical than words to the aspersion. We should regret, as a public injury, that any impression should be generally made against the reception of Female Immigrants from such associations as Mr. Sidney Herbert's. We have reason to know that the Committee took every precaution in their, power to asceitain the character and fitness of these particular emigrants. Indeed we have seen inquiries and replies with respect to some of them, which, so far as testimony can be conclusive, was conclusive in their favour. Then, what is proved by the fact that a few have turned out badly 1 ? Nothing more, we apprehend, than that the Committee and others were not gifted with the power of reading the heart and predicting the future. And what is the inference to be drawn from the fact "? Is it that until the power of " discerning spirits" is given to some Committee, we shall reject all the offers of Female Immigration which may be made, and say that, much as we want Female Servants, we will not have a supply unless it can be guaranteed to us that each individual will infallibly turn out well ? We presume that no reasonable man will take this ground. As respects these girls generally we would gladly bespeak for them the kind feelings of our readeis. We do not shrink from including even those whose misconduct has most offended and gtieved ouiselves and others. The circumstances in which they found themselves, however they may fail to justify, yet may in some degree extenuate what was reprehensible in them. They are we trust recoverable ; and now that they are of necessity to be a portion of our population, it would be the part of prudence as wpII as of humanity to endeavour to bring them into relations in which they may become useful members of society.
We have heard on good authority that H.M, Steamer Acheron has been placed at the disposal of the New Zealand Government for the performance of those services in the colony hitheito done by the Government Brig Victoria. We are informed that Captain Stokes and the other officeis are to leave the Acheron at Sydney, and probably to proceed thence to England.
Public Melting. — We invite attention to the announcement in our advertising columns of a Public Meeting to be held in the Wesleyan Chapel, on Tuesday evening next, for the purpose of forming in thL-. town a Brtinch of the " Evan- GKiiicAi.. Alliance." This organization, as many of our readers know, has existed for some years at home, with the happiest re&ults in bringing Christians of different denominations into friendly intercourse and co-operation in the support of great truths on which they could cordially agree, however they entertained different views on various minor topics. The Alliance has extended its ramifications to numerous other countries ; and we have no doubt that it woulcj be found both
profitable ami pleasant here also. It will be obbonert tli.it the objects of the movement will be explained by Mn.Li.Lio of several denominations who have ciig.u>ed to atlilvesi the Electing.)