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WAIRAU AFFRAY.

The Nelson settlers seem determined never to forget the unhappy Wairau disasters. A public meeting was held some timo ago, at which they adopted a petition to tho House of Commons complaining of tho conduct of tho Governor in not bringing Rauparaha aud Rangihaeata to trial for the massacre of tho Europeans. Wo make every allowance for the deeply wounded feelings of tho Nelson settlers, but we are quite convinced they would more consult their own interests and that of the Colony generally by forever dropping that unfortunate subject. They are very wrong in persecuting tho matter so far. The punishment of tho Natives, whether right or wrong, would be no compensation, no comfort to the survivors for the loss of justly esteemed friends. — The Governor's conduct in referenco to the Natives has been certainly that which prudence and humanity would under the circumstances justify, and we aro quite certain that if matters aro fairly represented to the Houso of Commons, it will meet witli their full approbation. We are sorry that the Nelson people should be so far forgetful, if not regardless, of the evil that their constant Wairau agitation is calculated to inflict, not only on their own settlement, but upon the Colony. One of the speakers at tho meeting, the honourable Mr. Dillon, has preferred a very grave charge against Major Richmond, the Superintendent at Port Nicholson, of which avc avp astonished that neither his Honor nor the Government have taken any notice. If Mr. Dillon's statement bo correct, Major Richmond is certainly not fit to hold a responsible official situation for one moment. We do hopo his statement is founded on mere rumour, but coming from such high authority, tho Government is bound to enquire into tho matter. Tho idea that any man in authority would propose to sacrifice it may bo an innocent Nativo as an expiation for tho crime of a high chief, is so monstrous that wo cannot credit that such could bo entertained by any person, much less by a high officer of this Government. We give Mr. Dillon's speech as published in tho Nelson Examiner, and we aro certain the Governor will, for the honour of his Government, enquiro into tho circumstances. "Tho Honourable C. A. Dillon, in proposing the first resolution, expressed a wish that some more fitting person, who could have done it more justice, had been selected for tho task ; but his tonfidenco was restored when he remembered how the wholo thingspoke for itself. He felt proud of tho settlement when he saw so largo a meeting assembled, and he was certain that the resolution would bo responded to : tho signatures 'to the petition to Parliament and tho way that the last 17th Juuo was observed assured him that such would be tho case. As regarded the agitation, which had been condemned by a few interested individuals and place-huntci's, ho thought it had been of tho greatest use (hear, hear). Ho was one of tho magistrates who had resisted the attempt first to cajole and then to bully them, made by Major Richmond, and tho result was that the depositions had been published in England, and that our countrymen at home were made aware of tho truth of our statements and of the falsehoods propagated by the Government and its hirelings (loud cheers), lie alluded to tho disgraceful proposition mado by Major Richmond, to sacrifice a Maori chief of inferior rank instead of tho really guilty parties (loud cries of " Shame !" and " Groans for Major Richmond"). Ho hoped tho agitation would continue, not in this affair alone, but in all matters where the Government was to blamo (cheers). Agitation, wholesome constitutional agitation, was the only thing left for them (hear, hear); and he trusted and felt assured, when he looked round and heard their cheers, that it would continue. As far as lie himself i

was concerned, though tho highest authority in tho colony had declared that he was too young a man and too recent a settler (ho was 31 years of age and had been eighteen months in a colony two years old), ho should continue his agitation. Ho had agitated, ho did agitate, and would continue to do so as long as ho had breath in his body to shout or a shilling in his pocket to support it (loud and repeated cheers)."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DSC18440810.2.12

Bibliographic details

WAIRAU AFFRAY., Daily Southern Cross, Volume 2, Issue 69, 10 August 1844

Word Count
730

WAIRAU AFFRAY. Daily Southern Cross, Volume 2, Issue 69, 10 August 1844

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