HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. FRIDAY, June 16, 1854.
The Speaker took the Chair a few minutes past noon ; and acquainted the house that the Officer Administering the Government had approved the Standing Kules and Orders. And that the Committee appointed for that purpose, had agreed on a form of prayer. It would be convenient for him to state the order of transacting the preliminary business of the house. "When prayer was commenced, the Serjt. at Arms would lock the door of the house ; after prayer, the door would be again opened, and the house counted, when, if fifteen members were not present, the house wotild immediately adjourn. Members who were in the house, before the doors were locked, could secure their seats (by ticket) for the day, but not otherwise.
Petition. Mr McAwramw presented a petition from Alexander Mackay, of the Province of Otago, relative to his having sustained loss on an intestate estate in consequence oi neglect on the part of Mr. Secretary Dommett. Sir Cargill seconded Mr. McAndiiew s motion that the petition be received. Petition received accordingly .
Notices of Motion. Mr. Waxefield gave notice that on Tuesday next he would move, " That an humble address to the Officer Administering the Government, praying that His Excellency mil be pleased to accept an expression of the high satisfaction, and deep sense of obligation towards him, with which this house has regarded His Excellency's prompt and unreserved compliance with their desire, that Ministerial Responsibility in the conduct oi legislative and executive proceedings by the Governor should be established without delay." < Mr. "WAivEriELD said, that as he had the sanction ot his hon. friend the member for Lyttelton, for introducing that motion, he would take occasion to offer a few observations as to the ministerial line of poliy that had been brought so fully before the house. Mr Cargill gave notice that on Thursday next, he •would move for a return of all lands sold in Otago, since given up by the New Zealand Company. Mr. LrDLAsr, "to ask the Government to lav on the table copies of any correspondence between the Provincial Government of Wellington and that gentleman relating to the loss of his office, and his claim to compensation." Mr Mackay, "to move that the Report of the Committee to see to the completion of the present bunding, and what improvements may be necessary ior the comfort of members, be adopted." Mr. Fitzgerai^, to move, on Tuesday next, lor leave to introduce a Bill to establish certain offices of the Executive Government of New Zealand, and to amend the provisions of the Constitution Act, relating to the Civil List ; also for leave to introduce a Bill tor Re<nilatin<? the disposal and management of the Waste Lands of the Crown in New Zealand."— And, on Friday, " To move, for leave to introduce a Bill for defining the powers of the Governments of the Provinces of the Colony of New Zealand."
Privilege. Mr. Carletox, rose upon a question of privilege. He had been informed that the hon. member for the Pensioner settlements had applied to his commanding officer for leave to attend that house. By so doing, the hon. member had gra\ely compromised the privileges ot the house,— the more so, indeed, that his commanding officer was a member of the Legislative Council, lhe English practice with regard to officers on half pay, members of the House of Commons, was well known ; the proper course for the hon. member would have been this— to have applied to the Government for a substitute, or to have suggested a substitute ; and then, having provided for the due performance of his medical duties, to come down to the house, without any communication with his commanding officer. He trusted that the hon. member would be able to offer such an explanation as would prove satisfactory to the house, and that the necessity of censure would thus be obviated Dr. Bacot, the hon. member for the Pensioner settlements, rose in explanation, and said,— the hon. member for the Bay of Islands appeared to imagine he (Dr. Bacot) had been guilty of a breach of Privilege m asking the permission of his commanding officer to attend in his place in the house. The hon. member appeared to consider that by so doing, he (Dr. Bacot) had placed the authoiity of a superior military officer in competition with the authority of this house. lie, (Dr. Bacot) considered the position of officers of the army m this Colony, if permitted to vote for, and to hold scats in the House of Itepiesentatives, to be analogous to the position of officers of the army holding scats in the House of Commons in England. He was perfectly aware of the position of the army in England to that house. He knew that the army only existed by the annual vote of that house ; that the army were in fact but servants of the House of Commons, and responsible to that house. But while the House of Commons provided for the maintenance of that army, it also wished it to be an effective army. It did not want an army without muskets, or without ammunition, or •without discipline, and for the sake, and in the name of discipline, he (Dr. Bacot) was bound to ask the leave of his commanding officer. Had he (Dr. B.) left his post, and thereby endangered the public service, and afterwards attempted to shield himself from consequences under the authority of that house, he conceived he should have offered the greatest possible insiilt he could offer to that house. His commanding officer had power to refuse that leave, but he had no right to exercise that power, except the public service rendered his refusal absolutely necessary. [Here the correspondence on the subject was read by Dr. Bacot, and placed at the disposal of the Speaker.] He, (Dr. Bacot) believed it anybody was aggrieved, it was himself, by the delay shown in answering his application ior leave, as no - reason was shown for .ha^ delay. He, (Dr. Bacot) did not believe he had offended against the dignity of the house, but if the house considered he had done so, he was ready to apologise. , Mr. Cabzetox was in the hands of the house, either to press the question immediately, or to suffer it to drop for the moment, pledging himself to bring forward a substantive motion on the subject, on a future day. But Ac thought that it would be unwise to take a decided Jkpse on so important a question, on the spur of the .^^Jment. By permission of the house, he would aiiopt the latter alternative, and take time for mature consideration. Mr. Lee hoped the hon. member for the Bay of Islands would make a substantive motion on the question, as the honour of the House had been compromised by the hon. member for the Pensioner Settlements, or bv a Nominee of the Crown in the other Chamber. *Mr. Caeletox wished to know if the hon. member was desirous that he should immediately press the question ? Mr. Lira; — no — not hastily. Mr. Fitzgerald was of opinion that the question had better be dropped, as the privileges of the House were, as yet, by no means clearly defined. He considered it desirable that a Committee should be formed to ascertain and determine what the privileges of the House actually were. It was a matter to be considered -whether the army in New Zealand stood in the same relation to this House, as the army in England did to the House of Commons. The House would do well to pause, lest it might place itself in a position, from which it might be necessary to make an undignified retreat. The question might arise whether Military Officers on active service should hold seats in this House at all. Mr. Carletox would not consent without time for careful thought, to let the question fall entirely out of his own hands ; but would meet the hon. member at the head of the Government so far as this ; — that whereas he had pledged himself to bring forward a motion, by leave of the House he would simply state his intention of so doing ; which intention, upon sufficient cause being shown,, might yet be changed.
Mr. O'Neill thought the wisest cou eto ho adopted was to make a substantive motion. f^J^JfJ™ hoard but one side of the question ; and if tho gentlonan of the Nominee Chamber was allowed to explain, a different view of the question might begiven. Mr Haht said this House is different to the House question should proceed. ! H Clerk and Sergeant at Arms. On the motion of Mr. Sewell it was agreed that an addiSssbeTesentedto his Excellency the Officer admSrinß the Government for the appointment of S Officers Mr. Sewell would not debate the point I whethi these appointments vested in this House or the Sovemor-he sSply proposed an address as bemg respectful and due to his Excellency. Committees. On the motion of Mr. Weld, Committees were granted to inquire into and report upon the following subiects :— Steam Communication ; report to be brought up on the 22nd June. Bank of Issue :-Beacons LightHouses, &c. :-reports to be brought up 28th June. And Secondary Punishments ; report to be brought up 30 th June. , _, Address to the Queen. On the motion of Mr. Fitzgerald, a respectful address to Her Majesty the Queen, thanking her for granting a Constitution to New Zealand, was agreed to. Mr Fitzgerald would make but few observations on this subject. lie thought the House on its first assembling should recoid its loyalty to Her Majesty. Nearly all the previous addresses that had gone Irom New Zealand contained grievances and complaints, he, therefore, thought it right that the House should give expression to the loyalty which the Constitution granted to New Zealand was so well calculated to enhance. It was an opinion that as colonies increased in strength their ties to the'parent state became 1 weaker. It was his conviction that the more closely colonies Were assimilated to the mother country tho more they become united* to her; whilst the more dissimilar they were rendered the more disloyal they became. He thought, for the sake of principle, it became this House to prove i that the granting free institutions to this country had the effect which he stated. He would not trouble the House with further observations, more than that it was his intention to introduce a few words in allusion to the manner in which his Excellency the Officer administer- j ing the Government had commenced carrying out the principles of the Constitution. Duties of Customs. Mr. Mackay moved for a Select Committee to report on the present Customs Duties levied in the colony. Report to be brought up on 6th July. Mr Cargill seconded the motion. Dr. Mosno wished to know what powers the Committee would possess, as the privileges of the House were not defined. The House ought clearly to understand what powers they delegated to the various Comm Mr e FiTZGEUALD had no doubt the House had power to send for persons and papers, in order to enable them to consider and pass laws-. The whole question of privilege would have to be considered. Mr WAKEriELD remarked there were several questions belonging to the subject to be considered : —the power of examination upon oath, and others. Jrie ■ understood the whole question was to be referred to a Committee of Privilege. Mr. Fitzgerald observed that a member of the House had been summoned to attend the Grand Jury, and had been excused by the Supreme Court not as a matter of privilege but of courtesy. _ Mr Sewell stated it to be the intention of the other House to move for the various Committees appointed by this House, on Tuesday next, so that the Committee would take no steps before that time. Mr J. WAKEriELD said it was possible the two Houses might have different \ iews, and perhaps it would be ' better for the Committees to meet and only to take evidence with the other Committees. The motion ha\ing been agreed to, the House adjourned till Tuesday, (this day) at Noon. 1 Q
TO KUCn CAHLLTON, ESQ., iI.G.A. Auckland, June 2, 1854. My dear Sir,— You paid me the compliment to ask my opinion as to the expediency of bringing the land questions which have so unhappily agitated this community before the House of Representatives ; and I perceive that you have moved for leave to bring in a bill for the settlement of that class of claims which arose under what are called the Pcnny-an-Acn*., and Ten-Shillimjs-an- Acre proclamations. I hope you will succeed in obtaining for those claimants a full equivxlent for the property of which they have been deprived. I trust you will be satisfied with nothing short of a rui.L rauivAixNTnt. That many of them are also justly entitled to compensation for their outraged feelings, I have no doubt whatever. But m these times, when it seems to be so generally considered that gain is good government, even when acquired at the expense of public morality, I fear it is in vain to hope for this. I hope that you will make to the house a full expose of the base conduct of the Government in dealing with these claims, and that should the question arise of a "retiring provision" for any officers of the Government, you will insist upon such an inquiry as will satisfy the House that such retiring officers were not aiders and abettors of such conduct. If the contrary should appear, it is a grave question how far the granting of such retiring allowances may be considered a premium upon want of probity, in the conduct of Public functionaries. With regard to the Original Land Claims, I think they had better be left to the Courts of Law, or to the Imperial Parliament. I have no doubt that the Supreme Court of this Colony is competent to deal with individual cases : and I believe that nothing short of Imperial Legislation can take them out of the jurisdiction of the Courts of Law. At the same tim 3 as it is very desirable that you should be acquainted with the question in all its bearings, I shall take the liberty to offer a few observations for your consideration. The titles of the Original Settlers to lands which they acquired before the date of the Treaty, may be regaided under two aspects. First, as Legally Valid. Secondly, as Eojuitably binding ok the Government. The Legal aspect of the question was the one on which I chiefly insisted in my speech in the Provincial Council. In that speech I endeavoured to show that the Government, having through the agency of sworn Commissioners established the title of the claimants to their land, assumed an authority which it did not legally possess in declaring those titles to be invalid, and in dealing with those lands as demesne of the Crown. It is not my present intention to travel over the same ground in older ta show that the Local Ordinance, under the authority of which the Colonial Government acted in its interference with the titles of the landholders, was "null and void," because repugnant to the laws of England : And that the proceedings of the Local Authorities were a violation of the Queen's instructions, as well as of the law. These points are, I believe, sufficiently established by the Legal Authorities, and authentic documents, which are cited in the speech referred to. My present object is rather to advert to the facts of the case : and to those general principles of law by which the decision of the question must be governed. " The Land of New Zealand never did, in any sense, belong to the Crown. Any right to seize upon it, on the ground of discovery or others ise, was expressly repudiated by the Queen, for herself and her subjects. (See original 'lnstructions to Captain Hobson.) The assumption of Sovereignty, which, in the case of the American Colonies, as well as in Australia, made it necessary for all titles to land to be derived from the Crown, was also, in the case of New Zealand, expressly repudiated. In New Zealand, the Crown acquired its rights of Sovereignty by treaty : and that treaty recognised, in the aborigines, the title to their lands. The pro-\isions of that treaty bound the aboriginal proprietors thenceforth to sell land only to the Queen ; but did not, and could not annul the titles previously acquired by Her Majesty's subjects ; because the chiefs could not convey to the Crown rights which they had ceased to possess. From the date of that treaty, the Queen's aboriginal subjects in New Zealand held their lands subject to the disabilities stipulated in the treaty,— Her Majesty's native born subjects, under the common and statute law of their country. This is a necessary conclusion from the acknowledged principle that a British subject carries ; with him to a British colony all the rights and privileges which he enjoyed in the mother country. Indeed these lights and privileges arc guarded by the restriction placed upon the Legislatures of British colonies, that the laws enacted by them shall not be repugnant to the laws of England. On what pretence, then, can the Queen's Government seize upon the land of a British subject in a British colony, because he cannot shew a grant from the Crown ? Would this be a sufficient reason in England ? Or, rather, are not the courts of law bound to maintain every man's title to his land, such as it is, unless the Qaecn or some one else can shew a better title ? In England, indeed, the law will not allow a man's title to be questioned by an individual after 20 years, or by the
Cro ,vn after GO yeais undiluted possession, even tho-igh a better title may actually exist in some other paity. But here the Crown by its own commissioners first ascertains that the titles of indhiduals are undisputed,— that there are no other titles existing,— and then proclaims those titles to be iivwilid, and the lands to be demesne of the Crown. A more perfect example of confiscation, without even an imputation of default or criminality, could not be imagined. The very evidence which establishes the right, il made the pretence for destroying the right. The authors of Magna Charta, when they framed that bulwark against arbitrary power, could not hare concaved a more wanton act of tyranny to be provided against. The feudal principle that all titles to land must be derived from the Sovereign, if any thing more than a convenient fiction, is as much applicable to the titles of those who purchased before the Queen s sovereignty was acquired, as to those of English or other European landholders. Inasmuch as their titles were derived from the former Sovereigns of the country from whom the Queen's own rights of Sovereignty are derived,— by treaty,-not by conquest, or pretension of conquest. i It was of course perfectly competent to the government to refuse its recognition of the title, and to withhold the confirmation of a grant, though the policy of such a course might well be questioned ; but the validity or invalidity of the title was a question for the decision of the Courts of Law,— not of the Executive Government. Such titles existing de facto, it might well be maintained that it was the duty, because the only sound policy, of the Government, to make them of public record by Crown Grants, or patents. This has been the invariable course pursued by the United States Government, which, in modern times has had the most extensive expeiience in such matters. It was, I believe, the course pursued in all the provinces of the Roman Empire. Your more extensive reading will probably suggest to you examples of this. I have somewhere read, that there existed in Home an extensive administration, the duties of which were confined to this point ; and which possessed ' the most minute records of the lands throughout the provinces,— so minute, indeed, as to specify the number of vines aid fruit trees on each separate property ; together with accurate map:, of the whole, engraved on tablets of brass. In the Australian colonies, as well as in the North American provinces, the public surveys have always preceded the private settlement of the lands, so that all private properties have been, from the first, of public record. If. from the commencement, we had had men equal to their position, or not under the influence of sinister intentions, this would, without doubt, have been the case also in New Zealand. At all events, as 1 have before said, while the giving or withholding of a Crown title, or in other words, the public record ot the titles of individuals, who were proved to be the undisputed proprietors of land, was a question of public policy, rather than of private right, the assumption ot a power to deal with titles not thus recorded, as invalid, was a violation of the chartered rights of British subjects, a violation of the provisions of Magna Charta itself, which guarantee to every man the possession of his land, unless deprived of it by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land. I think I mentioned to you that the correctness of these principles, which I have all along maintained, was confirmed by the late Judge Story, whom I visited in 1841, and who entered into the subject con amove. But they may, I have no doubt, be illustrated and confirmed by the highest authorities on the principles of jurisprudence. Sly speech (bebre alluded do) refers to a letter of Mr. Labouchere, the "Under - Secretary for the Colonies, which, by indicating the intention of the Government to apply to Parliament for authority to invest in the Crown the territorial rights acquired by individuals in New Zealand, admitted the incompetence of the Government to interfere with these rights, without the authority of Parliament. There are two other letters which are worth your attention, as shewing that neither Lord John Russell nor Loid Stanley when Secretaries of State adopted the views of the Colonial Governments. I have not now beside me the Blue Books in which they are to be found, but you will have no difficulty in finding them. The one is the reply to the despatch of Sir G. Gipps, which covered a copy of his speech to the Legislative Council of New South Wales, on the New Zealand land claims. Lord John Russell expresses his admiration of the ability with which he had expounded "his views" or words to that effect. The letter from Lord Stanley is in reply to a letter written by Captain Fitzroy in London, before he came out to assume the Government, enquiring what was to be done with the "surplus lands." The reply is certainly not such a one as we should expect from a high minded minister of state. Instead of a direct instruction how Captain Fitzroy was to meet the difficulty his questions suggested, it says "the hypothesis being "bo and so" it follows from that hypothesis" that the surplus lands are the property of the Crown. All these documents afford strong evidence that three successive Secretaries of State— Lords Normanby, Russell, and Stanley, did not consider that they could legally interfere with those titles, unless armed with authority by a special act of Parliament. Then comes the question raised by Mr. Gilfillan, whether the ordinance having been laid before Parliament, and a certain period thereafter, confirmed by the Queen, has not thereby acquired the force of law. My own opinion is, that the enactments of an act of Parliament can only be repealed by the same authority which enacted them. The Queen's confirmation may give i validity to colonial enactments, which are not repugnant to the laws of England. But certainly not to an ordinance which contains enactments repugnant to those laws, and, therefore, not only not authorised, but expressly inhibited, by the Act of Parliament which created the legislature by which such ordinance was enacted. This appears to me to result from the very nature of the case ; otherwise we should have one branch of the British legislature repealing, in effect, an enactment of the Queen and Parliament, or declaring that to be legal which the Act of Parliament has declared to be illegal. The tacit acquiescence of Parliament in a measure laid before them, sub silentio, cannot surely operate as a repeal of the laws of the realm. I Secondly . With regard to the equitable vie wof the case. Even if the strict letter of the law were adverse to the titles of the original landholders, I have always maintained that the Government was bound, in honor and good faith to maintain those titles, and to make them good. I have put up with this letter a parcel of papers, which, knowing your love for investigation, I have no doubt you will 'take the trouble to read ; and which, though'for the most part, in one sense, of a personal character, are still highly illustrative of the general question :-- No. 1. — In the Parliamentary paper marked JNo. 1, you will find (pages 12 and 13) that the British Resident reported to the Governor of New South Wales (duplicates of this, and of all his other despatches, having been also sent to the Secretary of State,)_ that the country was rapidly passing from the possession ot , the aboriginal owners to that of British subjects ; and 1 that he pointed out the necessity for appointing a commission to ascertain and fix the titles to land thus acquired. This, which was one of many communications containing similar information, was written eighteen months before there was any action of the Government upon ! the question. Whereas, (see extract marked 4, from the ' Sydney Morning Herald') the Governor of New South Wales no sooner heard that the first settlers of Port Philip had purchased land from the aborigines of that district, than he issued a proclamation asserting the rights of the Crown, and the invalidity of these purchases, because that territory was under the dominion of the Crown of England, and within the jurisdiction of the Governor of New South Wales. Though this warning was given to the Port Philip settlers in 1833, no warning was given to the purchasers I of land in New Zealand at that time, or ever after, that their proceedings were contrary to law, or liable to question. But, on the contrary, every encouragement was given to them. No. 2. Is the copy of a despatch from the Secretary of State, intimating the appointment of an " additional British Resident, who had been living upon property acquired by him in New Zealand," on the ground that his holding such an appointment would be "useful to himself and to those similarly situated" No.* 3. Is the copy of a correspondence with the Government of New South Wales, in which a distinct, though indirect sanction is given by the Governor of New South Wales, with the advice of the Executive Council of that Colony, to the purchase of land to any extent, even by a functionary under his control. Sir George Grey, to whom I sent this correspondence, denied that it would bear this construction. But the late Bishop of Sydney, a more honest, and not less acute logician, after having read this correspondence, stated, in his place, in the Legislative Council of New South Wales, that "they had permitted Mr. Busby's subordinate to purchase land, and they surely would not deny the same privilege to the superior officer." Nos. 5, 6, 7. Are copies of correspondence between myself and the Government, relative to my land at Wangarci and Ngunguru. I think you will find them worth the perusal, especially No. 7, which is a protest against the Natives' Land Ordinance, showing that it encouraged persons, so" disposed, to commit robbery, and debaired those whose property was stolen from protecting it. The letter from Lord Stanley is another instance of the evasion of the question, which is illustrated by Ms letter to Captain Fitzßoy.
No. 8. Shews the determination of Sir G. Grey to withhold the protection of the Queen's Government from her subjects m the Bay of Islands district. No. 9. Discloses a series of shifts and evasions only worthy of a pettifogging Attorney. No. 10. Shows the working of Sir George Grey's policy in. disturbing the peace of the country. You will in the "Gazette extraordinary," No. 11, find a public notice from the Government, of its intention to reserve the lands to which claimants should establish a title in the vicinity of Auckland. It is strange that I always overlooked this notice. Had I been aware of its existence, I should have made good use of it in my speech. As if the papers above enumerated were not enough to satiate your appetite for investigation, I have added a letter to Lord Howick, written in 1831, to refute the fallacies of the Wakefield theory which was then just enunciated, though without the name of its author. This may perhaps give it interest enough in your eyes to induce you to read it. You are of course entitled to make any use of these papers which you please. But pray reserve them to be returned to me when convenient. I am, my dear sir, Yours faithfully, James Busby.
To the Editor of the Southern Cross. Sir, — One could, tinder the peculiar circumstances, excuse the Attorney- General for claiming credit as lie did in his Opening Address in the Legislative Council on Tuesday for his "opinion having formed the basis of the late ministerial changes ;"— one could overlook this piece of vanity, I say, hut it is quite another matter when he further takes credit, as he virtually does, for an active share "in laying the foundations and in roughhewing the institutions of a future powerful state, when every person who has "been on the spot is aware that the facts are precisely the reverse. Had he called himself the evil genius of New Zealand, he would have been nearer the mark. If he forget, other people do not that it was he who prevented the settlement of the land claims in Captain Hobson's time, and which have since proved so very disastrous to the individuals concerned, and to the general prosperity. The very first Ordinance introduced on the subject was quite satisfactory to all concerned,excepting a single clause making it compulsory instead of optional with the claimants to give up their own lands for others near Auckland. They would not, on compulsion, take other lands, even if more valuable, and so the Bill was thrown out, and the AttorneyGeneral was as good as his word by introducing and compelling the claimants to take a very much worse measure. Again in 1843, when Auckland was reduced to nearly a state of utter ruin, and when a Memorial was presented to Captain Ilobson pointing out the absolute necessity of reducing the upset price of the waste lands to ss. per acre, in older to afford a stimulus to it by inducing new settlers to come to it, — and when Capt. Ilobson admitted the necessity for that measure of relief, and would have granted it but for the Attorney- General standing in the way and counselling him to refrain from taking upon himself such responsibility. Had Governor Hobson then done this wise act, let any one speculate upon the vast advance we should now have seen in Auckland. Let him do this, and he may estimate the evil which the Attorney- General's advice on that single occasion has caused to New Zealand generally, and to Auckland in particular. Speaking generally, but without exaggeration, I might safely say, that when any beneficial change was to be made, the Attorney General opposed it, and he proved himself always ready to aid Governor Grey in. carrying out his schemes and his policy, which have met with one general condemnation from the one end of New Zealand to the other. Lastly, let the Attorney General say what share he had in preventing the General Assembly from being sooner called. And with what pains he indoctrinated the community of Auckland, through his organ, the ' New Zealander, against calling that Assembly, and against even its members, by showing how much their interests were opposed to Auckland, and how much it would be in their power to injure it. It is of no use therefore, for the Attorney General to make a pretence that he has been doing his best for the interests of Auckland. He has not like other -worthies, the merit of drawing salary and doing nothing- -he has been actively engaged in mischief; and a very large amoxmt of our present grievances are to be traced to him alone. I trust he may not again allude to the past. Under the eye of those whose interests are now uniform with the general advancement, he may yet acquire a name for the future ; but he may believe me when I say, that the past is but a black record against him. ' I am, &c, JUSTITIA.
To the Editor of the Southern Cross. Dear Sir, — I must again trespass on your valuable time for a short reply to the Secretary of the Farmer's Club, published in the 'New-Zealander of last Saturday. In the first place, I return the Club my most hearty thanks for their kind invitation to me to come to dine with them ; and nothing would have given me greater pleasure, had circumstances permitted it ; I like the company of farmers very much, and hope they will accept my best thanks. If I can learn when the Club meets, I will ask admittance. Still, in rooks and crows, the favourites of the Club, I have no faith in respect to them, I will be like Hannibal at the tomb of his father, swearing eternal war against the Romans. In several counties in Scotland, where there is not more scientific agiiculture in the world, the farmers are now and have been paying a premium of £10 per annum for the destruction of these New Zealand desiderations ; the landlords paying as much as all their tenants towards the same purpose. This ought to catise the Club to think a little. These birds are very destructive also to sheep farming, they will pounce upon the young lamb and tear out its eyes, and then its entrails, and even attack them three weeks old, if they find the lamb asleep. I have seen twenty skeletons in one day on a sheep farm that had been so used by them. I am a stranger in the country and may be wrong, (to err is human,) but still I believe that the caterpillar will not trouble you for some time to come, seeing you had them last year. However the only cure is what I mentioned in my last. I never saw rooks follow the plough as described, I have seen them at times light on new-ploughed ground. But when the plough came near, they were off. The willic wagtail was different, he would follow for days and weeks ; but I believe he mostly fed on the common red worm. I think it must be the wire- worm, or a species of it, that has injured the potato, if so, the farmers had better try salt, hot lime, and dry ashes, as recommended in my last ; any of these will prove better than all the rooks and crows in Great Britain. I am, &c. A Canadian Fakmer. Auckland, June 6, 1854.
To the Editor of the Southern Cross. Si r —Allow me to call your attention to the decision of a Public Meeting that was held at Newmarket, to take into consideration a Memorandum received by the Wardens of the Auckland Hundred, from the Commissioner of Crown Lands, suggesting alterations in. our present Crown Lands Ordinance. One of the principal object of the meeting, in my humble opinion, was overlooked it having been evidently the intention, when the meeting was called, to discuss the subject generally, and not to confine the meeting to the Commissioner s Memorandum only ; and which decision was a poor return for the Commissioner's kindness in submitting the Memorandum evidently for our benefit. That an alteration is required, there can be no disputing for at present there are only about 900 acics of Crown land in the Auckland Hundred, which consists principally of mountain tops and scoria, and for which land 110 depasturing licenses have been issued, and 1467 head of great cattle have been apportioned to run at large and depasture on the same. It is impossible that the land in question can grow food sufficient for these cattle, consequently they are constantly trespassing on private property; in proof of which I have been informd that the revenue at the public pound during the past 5 months amounted to upwards of £50. It is therefore yer V evident that Hundreds, as at present, are no benefit to the settlers. But allow me to point out one or two of the injuries the license holders are subject to They are called upon to pay a certain tax in the shape of Assessment on their Cattle. Now, sir, that assessment is not for the benefit and improvement for the pasturage, but is obliged to be partly expended m maintaining a public slaughter-house, erected for the benent of our City, and also for the protection of the cattle property of the whole of the settlers in the Province : consequently the 110 Auckland license holders are taxed for the benefit of our whole community, and the same will apply to the district pound, and also to the public cattle market. This is certainly an injustice to the Auckland license holdeis.
May I be i-rmitod to suggest the propriety of all these establi-lvnents Mng placed, entxre 7 the eonliol of the P-^.incril Authorities and not placed under the supervision of Wardens, who are elected for regulating the depasturing of cattle. I would ai^o suggest that the Hundreds be done away with altogether ; they are now of really little or no benefit, and only lead to great taxation on the few settlers who hold licenses ; and further, whatever altprations are made, lot them be strictly provincial. We have certainly a sufficient number of elective bodies at present for our small community, and whatever impiovements are required in districts, can be regulated by our Provincial Council, and their officers can much better attend to the duties required in seem" such improvements made, than two or three private individuals can afford to give their time gratis for such purposes, in the present state of the colony. I trust this subject will be taken up by abler and better pens than mine, and that we shall find some alterations. I am, sir, &c, Aokicola. June 12, 1854. .
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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. FRIDAY, June 16, 1854., Daily Southern Cross, Volume XI, Issue 728, 20 June 1854
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. FRIDAY, June 16, 1854. Daily Southern Cross, Volume XI, Issue 728, 20 June 1854
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