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The Lyttelton Times. February 5, 1853.

We publish to-day the proceedings of the Meeting convened to receive the report of the Committee appointed to investigate certain charges brought against the Canterbury Association. It will be observed that the Committee did little or nothing, and that up to the present time the question remains exactly where it stood a month ago —with this difference that there then prevailed a general belief that several acts of injustice had been perpetrated, which are now thought to be based upon very slight foundations. The public Meetings have, therefore, resulted in this good, that the proceedings of those who were chiefly instrumental in calling them, have been thoroughly exposed, and their secret motives' brought to light. , We will briefly recapitulate the facts of the case.

Some six weeks ago. two men who had signed promissory notes for money advanced in England towards the passages of themselves and families to this Settlement, were called upon to pay them, and through inability to do so, and refusing to pay a spe-' cine sum per week towards their liabilities, fixed by the Magistrates, they were sent to jail. With this decision we have nothing whatever to do, nor are we prepared either to justify or to condemn it. It created, however, considerable sensation, and a public meeting was held to consider the case, and the " oppressive conduct of the Association, and others." The proceedings of that Meeting are, doubtless, fresh in the minds of our Readers. It will be remembered that no evidence was adduced that the men were unjustly incarcerated ; in fact, their case was practically ignored, and merely made the pretext on which to found a general charge against the Association. A resolution was passed condemning the Association, notwithstanding a not unreasonable request that the charges ngainst them

should be first investigated. A second resolution was proposed, assailing the proceedings of private Individuals, which was ultimately withdrawn, and a Committee was appointed to investigate the charges brought against the Association. That Committee consisted of seven persons, and it must be • borne in mind that of that number, four ;were mainly instrumental in- calling the tt Meeting, and that the Chairman was also -on the Committee. The Committee, there"fore, was clearly not disposed to view the 'acts of the Association with too great leniency, and was quite prepared to institute a vigorous and searching enquiry into any ease against them. The proceedings of the Committee we have reported at considerable length, and the Public have now an opportunity of forming an opinion why the grievances which were paraded in such glowing colors were not gone into. The Public will not be bamboozled with the wretched sophistry that because the Committee decided upon confining their enquiries to the acts of a public body, that therefore an attempt was made to stifle all enquiry. Such was not the case; the majority of the Committee were earnest and anxious to see justice done, but they were thwarted in that desire by those who were neither anxious nor prepared to substantiate charges which, we believe, they knew to be rotten at the core. At any rate the Public will not let the matter rest where it is ; they will insist upon ascertaining the real truth, and mere assertions made amidst the tumult and excitement of a public Meeting, will not be believed. If injustice has been done—if the Association have been guilty, through their Agents, of wrongous acts—Englishmen will not submit to it; the truth must, and will out, sooner or later; and we call upon the people —not the tavern loungers and *'Loafers" who infest Port-towns, —but the people —to take the matter up, and treat it with the earnestness and gravity which it deserves. If this course be adopted, we are persuaded that every case of hardship will be dealt with in a generous and liberal spirit by the Authorities ; but clamour, chicanery, and bullying will be treated, as it always has been treated, with ridicule and contempt.

The " Minerva" entered our harbour on Wednesday afternoon, after a fair average passage of 112 days from England. The "<■ Minerva" left London the 29th September, and Plymouth on the 12th October, and has had a very agreeable passage, fair weather prevailing throughout. She brings a large number of Cabin and Intermediate passengers, mostly all for this settlement. Mr. Gibbon Wakefield is a passenger, and also Mr. Sewell, both of whom are well known from their connection with the Canterbury Association. Two births and one death (an infant) occurred on the voyage. The chief portion of the cargo is for Wellington. The " Minerva" brings no news of any importance; Parliament had not met, and therefore political affairs were in a state of abeyance. " The Duke " was yet unburied, and expectation was concentrated on the forthcoming public funeral. In France the President was continuing his quasi royal progress, and was received every where with most fulsome homage, each city striving to outdo the other in extravagant external demonstrations of welcome. Paris was preparing an ovation for his return, which is to outvie anything that has ever yet occurred. The Empire was " looming" (we quote a word very much in vogue now in England, it being connected with [the forthcoming policy of the Derby Ministry, according to" Mr. Disraeli) in the future, and the 2nd December was named as the day when France is to be rendered supremely blest, and her future happiness and peace definitely fixed. We wonder who believes in it!

The " Tasmania," 500 tons, was chartered for the Canter/bury Association, and appointed to sail for Otago and Lyttelton on the 14th October, from London. The "Royal Albert," one of Messrs. Willis's ships, Was to sail for Wellington direct on the 20th October. We learn also that a screw-steamer was to leave England for New Zealand, sent out by the New Zealand Local Steam Company to be employed in the service between the settlements. The vessel is called the " "Victoria," is built of iron, with a screw propeller, wrought by engines of 80 horse power. The " Victoria" is 150 feet long-, 23 feet broad, and 13 feet deep, has a draft of water of ten feet, and a speed of 7to 8 knots per hour. We gather these particulars from the Expositor, a Aveekly journal of inventions, designs, &c, which gives an engraving, of the " Victoria," a neat looking craft with three masts, and full-rigged. The New Zealand Journal, however, announces that the Local Steam Company has come to nought, and therefore the "Victoria" "looms" very indistinctly in the future.

We notice that Mr. C. A. Aylmer, late Superintendent of Shipping and Emigration of the Canterbury Association, is about to establish, in exclusive connection with Messrs. Money Wigram, and Sons, of Blackwall, an Emigration Office and Colonists' Rooms, for the six colonies of New Zealand, for the purpose of- maintaining to Canterbury, and extending- to the whole colony, shipping and emigration arrangements similar to those of the Association. Mr. Aylmer has taken the offices of the Association in the Adelphi, and was to commence business on the 3rd October. .At a meeting of the Committee of Management on the 15th September, Lord Lyttelton in the Chair, it was resolved that the Committee regard with great satisfaction the continuance of an efficient management of shipping and emigration for Canterbury, after the functions of the Associations shall be transferred to the Province, and the thanks of the Committee were extended to Mr. Aylmer for his past services.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/LT18530205.2.10

Bibliographic details

The Lyttelton Times. February 5, 1853., Lyttelton Times, Volume III, Issue 109, 5 February 1853

Word Count
1,253

The Lyttelton Times. February 5, 1853. Lyttelton Times, Volume III, Issue 109, 5 February 1853

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