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Monday, October 26., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume V, Issue 252, 2 January 1847
Monday, October 26.
Present — All the member*.;. <"l^ ..,.,, ; ' the Governor laidron'ffie table one, of. the Retiirns moved for by Mr. Kennedy. On the motion of Mr. Domett, the Administration of Justice Bill was read a first time. APPROPRIATION BILL. The Colonial Treasurer moved the first (fending of the Appropriation Bill, and that the Standing Orders should be suspended for the second reading. The bill was then read a first time, and upon the second reading Mr. Kennedy observed that upon the examination of the Estimates he found that they were not satisfactorily classified; it would /have- been much better had the several sums been distinguished according to the respective sources from which they are derived. The particular . item* ; which were to be defrayed from the parliamentary grant should have been specified ; and the probable expenditure of the Northern would have been better kept separate from the Southern Division. But, as the Estimates now stood, he felt certain, that the same misconception would arise as had been usual, on former occasions. Upon deducting the general expenses Of the northern part of the island, from the total sum estimated for the colony, which amounted to £40,959 95., he found that there stood for Auckland £13,944 Is. 9d., and for the Bay of Islands and Hokianga £351 55., making a total for the Northern District of £14,295 6s. 9d., including the item of £1,000 i intended for an hospital. The amount which appeared under the head of Miscellaneous he did not properly understand, but he had set down £2,500 of that item. for the north, which he had included in the gross amount. It would have been very desirable for his Excellency to have submitted to the Council an estimate of the probable revenue in connexion with that of the expenditure. He (Mr. Kennedy) had made a calculation of what the revenue would be for this year, and he found that for the Northern District it would amount to £15,500, which would leave a surplus of £1,204 13s. 3d. over the estimated expenditure. He had not taken into account nny portion of the parliamentary grant in his calculation ; for the revenue of this part of the island would of itself do more than cover the proposed expenditure. In the Estimates no amount hoc! been set apart for roads and bridges, or other purposes of public improvement. With the exception of the hospital, the great burden of the estimate was to provide for the salnries of the officers of Government. He hoped that his Excellency would see the necessity of making provision for the opening up of roads and the construction of bridges. The northern settlers had large claims upon the Home Government for such improvements ; and he trusted that out of the £30,000 placed at the disposal of the Governor by the British Parliament, his Excellency would appropriate a sum competent to commence public works of this nature, which would be the means, he was convinced, of increasing the revenue within the next year to £30,000. The Governor, in reply to Mr. Kennedy's observations, remarked that he did not think it at all advisable to separate the expenditure of the two districts, and arrange them under different heads, as had been proposed by the honourable member. He (the Governor) had chosen this mode of arrangement in order to place the items in juxta position with each other, so that when viewed side by side, any unequal division of them would be more easily detected. This was, in his opinion, the best way to classify the various amounts ; but if the Council were disposed to have the expenses of the two divisions separated, they could do so if they thought proper; but he would recommend that no such step should be taken at present. He would object to the honourable member's proposal concerning the parliamentary grant. Nearly all the establishments at Auckland were provided for from that source ; and justice should be done to the other portions of the colony, by providing out of the local general funds for the legitimate expenses of their government ; and he contended, that if &H the advantages of the specific yearly grant were enjoyed by the Northern District, then the inhabitants should act with liberality, and share in the expenses of the south. Viewing the general expenses of the colony in this light, it was evident that, upon that principle, the honourable member's estimation of the expenditure was erroneous ; and, with regard to his calculations respecting the probable revenue of the year, he was also in error ; for he (the Governor) believed that the revenue of the Northern District for the present year would exceed the sum computed by the honourable member for Auckland. With respect to the claims set up hy the honourable member for the settlers of this district, no very great amount, he (the Governor) believed, was owing to the colony. The Lords of the Treasury had been requiring him (the Governor) to refund a sum amounting to £13,000, or £14,000, which they had advanced for emigration; and, on the other hand, he was now called upon by the honourable member for Auckland to satisfy certain claims of the settlers upon the Home Government, He was therefore placed in the position of a judge between the two classes of claimants ; and it appeared to him that the amount of proceeds of land sales, which should have been properly set apart for emigration and the making of roads, had been expended for other purposes in the colony, anc therefore the reason of complaint was considerably lessened. The next point alluded to was, that nc sum had been set apart for roads and bridges And this might certainly appear, at first sight, tc be a most glaring omission; but, not knowing what would be the excess of revenue over tht expenditure, he was unable to form any just esti mate of the sum he could apply to those purposes He believed with the honourable member thai the opening up of roads would do much good ; and he would go so far as to say that he believed it to be the bounden duty of the Home, as well as of the Local Government, to open up the country, and thus bestow upon tue natives a benefit in some measure commensurate with the advantages which. must accrue to Grrat Britain from the acquisition of such »n important addition to her dominions. The native* themselves would be useful auxiliaries in making roads, and, while thus engaged, would certainly improve their condition. They would be taught the advantage of working in masses;
■they would see and become- acquainted ( with the, !use of agricultural implements; they wbuld receive money in payment for their labour, the spending of which would bring them into intercourse with our towns, where they would become acquainted with civilised habits and customs : instead of spending' their nloney in arms and ammunition, they would lay it out on those agricultural implements, the use of which they had ? earned ; and in addition to this, their capabilities &% labourers would be ascertained ; and, from their being 1 employed at Wellington upon 1 public works, it was already discovered that they were by no means inferior to other men in this, respect. Jn ifuct', the outlay of a' few thousand pounds upon 'hese objects would be productive of incalculable pood. It would, in all probability, supersede the necessity of a still greater I ' outlay hereafter, by preventing quarrels and disturbances which could not be quelled without great expense. It would tend, to the security of life and property, and to i.vert from the community the multitudinous evils which idleness ever entails, by bringing the two -.tees into closer and more familiar 1 intercourse with each other, and by affording the 'natives permanent and profitable employment. Mr. Donnelly agreed with, every word that had fallen from his Excellency concerning the parliamentary grant, and also with the remarks of The honourable member, Mr. Kennedy, respecting lie great necessity for the formation of roads and h -idges ; but he (Mr. Donnelly) questioped whether the colony had any just claim upon the Home Government for assistance in such objects. In the early stages of the colony a very large sum of money had been raised by the sales of land, and a certain portion of that sum was legitimately belonging to and set apart for roads and bridges; oat it had been placed in bad hands, and was badly taken care of. The Local Government, who n.id the handling of this money, were to blame, lor they had applied it for different purposes than Cat for which it was intended. The greater por--:.ion of it had been very lavishly expended upon protectors and surveyors, and the benefit resulting '.Li the colony from the services of the former department was not at all proportionate to the outlay it had caused. However, the natives had them- ■ elves strong claims upon the Government, and &.i greater boon could be conferred upon them i i'an the construction of roads and bridges throughout the colony. The Colonial Secretary, in reply to what i.ud been said by Mr. Kennedy upon the division <n the expenses of the Northern and Southern O.stricts, remarked that the separate expenses of eKch district of the colony could always be distinctly ascertained from Returns, such as had been .u.it dp.y laid upon the table. Mr. Domett had a few general remarks to make regarding the size of the establishments in 'different settlements. He would compare, for I.i ttance, the number of persons paid by Governjnt^nt in Auckland, with the number in Nelson. 'C\ course, in fairness, he must substract from the Auckland list all those who formed what could ;"operly be called the general government. The '....at of Government must have these in addition t.> others, wherever it was situated. .As long as A uckland was the seat of Government it must Jiu.ve them. There were one hundred and sixteen p rsons in Government employ at Auckland — in i s 'elson, exactly fifteen in all. Take away twentycvo for the general government, all that could ;ussibly be considered as belonging to it, and |i. ere remained ninety-four. Fifty-one of these (formed the new police force, which brought the j" amber down to iorty-three. Forty-three to i^fteen! — there was the exact proportion between j ,\e local establishment of Auckland and that at .velson. And yet Nelson, if not now, certainly pi. the hist Government census, contained a larger population than Auckland. The expenditure ■i,jain for the government of Auckland came to j-bout £15,000 a year. Take away £8,000 for the general government and the new police force, and ■ ou have £7,000 left for the expense of the Local iOovernment alone. The whole expenditure of i overnment at Nelson for an equal population '".mounts to £1,291. And yet Auckland, by the N'.eturns lately laid on the table, had cost Government somewhere about a hundred and sixty odd thousands of pounds, exclusive of naval and miliJ: :ry expenditure ; while Nelson had never cost it a single farthing I Nor was this monstrous dif\i rence in local expenditure to be justified by the W'fference in. Customs returns. The Customs •: ? venue for Auckland came out of Government's j'-wn pocket If Government spent yearly some 'hundred thousand pounds in a place for military lor other purposes, most of which went in the introduction of imports, it was no great thing for \.\\aX place to return to Government some small |)>er centage on its hundreds of thousands in Customs dues. No great claim on Government was i stablished by that. But every farthing of the j.<-.venue raised at Nelson and' New Plymouth was' >■■ rung from the soil by the labours of genuine i, )lonists. It was all their own money, from first 7 1 last, that they gave to Government. . Wellington, iio was glad to see, for the first time occupied a pspcctable position in the estimates: but poor J'aranaki had never bad any one to speak for it — iiotso much as a newspaper even. He had not compared the Government expenditure and estab--.ihments of that settlement with those of, Auckland, but had no doubt even a greater discrepancy V?ould be found in the last case than even in that oi Nelson. Under these circumstances he did ih ink some part of the parliamentary grant of £30,000, besides the £800 for a gaol, might be applied to the benefit of Nelsou. Both places' tveatly needed some assistance of the sort. Both aad been utterly neglected by Government hitherto, "ji.d indeed might he said not to have been go- ; emed at all. He quite agreed with the Council ■ v the .opinion that public improvements are ini;pensable4 andJK.conalder.ed .that. those, funds -.liich should have been .thus applied, but which •>ad been paid- to protector! of aborigines, were Vruost as bad iv thrown away. With regard to '.it:- debt owing by the Government to the Imperial "rcatury, the settlers at the south had nothing to with that-, the Northern District was alone accountable for the debt 4 and, when the colony was 1 • ice separated* upon that ■district alone would fall "be responsibility of refunding it. He would say u.i more upon the -generals Xeaturei of the eati- ■ .•mtes; it would be bis duty to procure, if possible, \ fair share of the public funds for those sfttle-
ments with which he was more immediately connected,.but Jie feared, bis chance would be similar' to that of a, scn.p9l-.boy shambling for pliinis, who had but one pair of hands against five of his .companions. ' **'■.''" J' . ' ' " -Mr. Donnelly thbti'gbithe, honourable member 'had overlooked the fact that Auckland vyas ' the seat of Government, and that therefore its' establishments must be on a larger scale' than those of other settlements. : The At i o'rney- General had always heard that New Plymouth was the most flourishing agricultural settlement in New Zealand, and did not think it could stand so much in need of Government's assistance as the Honourable member represented., * , Mr. Domett said he held fn his hand a letter from a well-known ' settler of New Plymouth, urging him to call the attention of the Council to their neglected state. Their agricultural condition' could not be so very' flourishing,' since, as every one present well' knew, they had only 3,500 acres to cultivate at all, Captain Fitzßoy having given back tothe native's the whole 60 r OOO acres awarded by Mr. Spain, and re-purchased a block of that amount only with some more of the Company's money. The letter before him] was full of complaints of the difficulties about getting' upon land. "The G6vernor said he believed, from personal inspection of one settlement, and report of the other, that Nelson and New Plymouth were in a sounder and more really thriving condition than any other settlements in New Zealand. But he concurred with the honourable member for Nelson that they had been almost without a Government. It would be seen that a considerable portion of the money proposed to be spent for the benefit of the natives, in the maintenance of the police force and the establishment of hospitals, would be expended at New Plymouth. £With respect to Nelspn, he agreed that it had not had justice done to it in this particular, and could only say that if the honourable member' wonld point out any way in which Government could expend a part of the public money with good reason to expect it would benefit Nelson, he would most readily support any motion the honourable member might make for that purpose?? He wished, to. state to the Council that, althousm there appeared on the estimates for the year 1847 a larger amount than had been set forth for the expenses of former years, yet no great difference should exist between the estimated and the actual expenditure. The lowest expenditure of former years he found to be £37,678, while the sum estimated had been as low as £26,000. He would promise the Council that the expenditure of thfs year' should not exceed the amount estimated ; his great desire would be to keep it rather under than above the sum granted. The Council then went into committee' upon the various items of the, Estimates. The Governor's Establishment. In reply to a question from Mr. Domett, the Governor stated that the Interpreter was the only person attached to his establishment that was not paid from home funds. Amount agreed to, £756. Superintendent of the Southern Division. Mr. Domett said, that were w*e not 30 near a general change in the- constitution, he should have objected to this item in toto. But as it was, perhaps it was better, in schoolboy phrase, to " let the cat die." The present constitution was near its last swing. He had never known the use of the office of Superintendent of the Southern Division. It seemed to him that the history of the officer was, that when a Governor was away from Wellington he did nothing, for the Governor would not let him ; and when a Governor was there, he had nothing to do, for the Governor did it for him. The Attorney- General said this item had always passed without discussion, because it was considered that it was for an establishment especially designed for the benefit of the settlers of the south. It had been granted by Government to the New Zealand Company at their particular request, and as a great boon. Mr. Domett need hardly reply, that what the Company demanded of Government was, a real officer, with the powers of an actual LieutenantGovernor, not a mere - official puppet without power of his own of any kind to do any thing. Mr. Donnelly always thought it had been intended as a sop to the Company. Mr. Domett said it was like a West Indian fruit then, a very sour sop. The Governor said it was necessary there 'should be an officer ait Wellington, not only to hear the complaints of the inhabitants both native and European, but also to correspond with the Government at Auckland. A clerk and interpreter were also required where native complaints were so numerous ; and this expense, with the rent of an office, and a small sum for contingencies, were all included in the item set .down for the Superintendent's department.' His Honour's salary was £500, and when the forage for a horse was taken from that sum, he (the Governor) did not think that it was at all too high- It would be desirable that an officer of intelligence and ability should be at the head of affairs at each settlement, for the purpose of hearing and deciding upon differences that might arise on the spot ; and a very great amount of business of this nature 'had to be performed by the officer at Wellington. Mr. Domktt said that if the 1 services of the Superintendent had been hitherto confined to the arrangement of differences between the 'natives and settlers, he had done very little towards a reconciliation. He had been speaking the sentiments of the Wellington people generally, he believed; as for the settlers at Nelson, they, as his Excellency knew, had been removed from the care of the Superintendent. The Governor said he was always glad to stand up and speak for absent officers, who had no opportunity of replying for themselves. It was right that the difficulties under which the Superintendent had laboured in his office should be known. Within twelve months he had no less ■than three different Protectors sent him from Auckland, two of- whom had objected to his plans and arrangements respecting the natives, and remonstrated with him on the subject. Thrse objections, no doubt cowcientioutly, and perhaps properly, made, were the source of great difficulty .to that officer, and he might be: said to have had nothing to do with the management of the natives. .Upon bis (the Governor's) arrival at Wellington, he saw that the Superintendent was labouring
.under the same disadvantage in dealing with the natives, that he himself bad ' felt at Auckland, iwhich had induced hitu to dispense wifU the services, of the protectors, and toTropolnt' a native Secretary. He had therefore, /appointed a clerk 'and interpreter to' the Superintendent who would be under his control, to act instead of the protector who had been hitherto an' ambassador from ; Auckland, and not responsible to the Superintendent. He should even like to see a similar office created for Nelson', a settlement which was already as large as that of Swan River', and hoped that suph would soon be the case. Such a class of officers would lie exceedingly desirable ; their appointment would prevent the necessity of referring'all little matters of dispute to the Governor, for such affairs could be tried on their own merits, and arranged with greater satisfaction and less delay on the spot. The item of £888 was agreed to. Colonial Secretary's Department. Mr. Kennedy thought that the saalary of the Colonial Secretary was too low when compared with, that of the Colonial Treasurer and Surveyor General. The Colonial Secretary was the next highest, on the civil establishment, to the Governor, and his salary should not certainly be lower than that of the officers he had named. The Governor observed that the salaries of the officers mentioned .by the honourable member increased annually from the date of their appointment. That of the Colonial Secretary, for the present year, amounted to £620 ; the reason why it was lower than the others was, because the Colonial Secretary had been but a short time in office. Upon the item for the Native Secretary, the Governor observed, that on his arrival he found that the management of the natives of the country was in the hands of a Protectorate Department, and he at once felt, with the Superintendent at the south, that the difficulties which would arise in governing the natives in connexion with the protectors would be great. He could easily see that in a country where there were 120,000 of a native population to govern, it would be necessary that he should have direct control,' and that his policy should be carried out without restraint or interference; or else there should be two governors, one of whom should be for the natives alone. The office of native secretary was therefore instituted instead of the former protectors, because he conceived that a qualified individual, holding this office under his own immediate control, would be all that was necessary for carrying on a correspondence with the natives. If, for instance, the question of peace or war should arise, or the taxation of the natives became necessary, so long as the protectorate remained he would be subject to their interference, which, doubtless, might be made upon conscientious grounds ; but then his plans, which perhaps would require immediate execution, by such delay might be frustrated. The Government, then, he conceived, who were responsible for their acts, should have immediate control over the natives without any secondary interference. The amount of £1,535 was. then agreed to for the Colonial Secretary's department. Colonial Treasurer's Department. Mr. Kennedy thought that, as there was an alteration proposed in the Treasury department by the appointment of Sub-Treasurers at Wellington and Nelson, the salary of the Colonial Treasurer would bear reduction. He would therefore propose that the salary for that officer should be reduced £100. Mr. Donnelly seconded the motion. The Colonial Secretary contended that, although the Treasurer's salary was not provided for by the parliamentary grant, yet, as it had been fixed* at home, the Council should not interfere. When men were appointed to offices in the colonies by the Horce Government, and they accepted these offices upon condition of receiving certain salaries, it would be manifestly unjust to at once deprive them of a portion of the amount for which they engaged to perform the duties of the office. The honourable Colonial Treasurer's duties would not be materially relieved by appointments at the south, for all the accounts from those districts would still be forwarded for examination to the Colonial Treasury. He would therefore most strenuously oppose the reduction proposed. Mr. Donnelly objected to the principle laid \ down by the honourable Colonial Secretary that the salaries fixed at home, but levied in this co- | lony, should not be subject to the revision of the Council. If this principle was once admitted, there might as well be no Council convened to vote upon the expenditure of the colony. Really, it was a most absurd position, and one which, if it could be maintained, would tend to swamp the resources of the colony, in providing for whatever number of officers the Government at home should think fit to impose upon us. He was astonished to hear such a statement from the Colonial Secretary. It Was no doubt the duty of the Governor to exercise a paternal solicitude for the officers of his Government; but it was equally his bounden duty to see that no extravagance should take place in the appropriation of the funds of the colonists. The Governor said be would confess that he 'had been wanting in tact in giving cause for this discussion." He was not aware till that moment that the Colonial Treasurer's salary was not included in the Government grant ; if he had known that the salary was chargeable upon the colony, he would have made such previous arrangements as would have saved an honourable member of that Council the unpleasantness of listening to a discussion, like the present, relative to himself. Mr. Domett thought that if the Home Government appointed officers for the colony, they should pay their salaries. The Governor remarked that his honourable friend, the Colonial Secretary, and the other members who had stated their views on the subject, had all seemed to misunderstand the relation in which the colony stood to the Home Government respecting' these salaries. Now, he was prepared to say, that if the colony had to provide for all its officers, then he would come down to that Council determined most unflinchingly to oppose the grant of a single farthing more than what the colonists could really afford to pay. But the real state of the case was, that the Home Government had most liberally granted for the use of the colony a large sum annually, but upon this condition, that the colony should pay the
engagements which had been entered into for it* government. It Wait hardly fair to reduce the pay of officers so appointed, for their prospects Would thus be subject to continual change if their salaries were mad? liable to annual alteration. The 1 fairest way would be, if the Council deemed it wise to make reductions, to recommend such' course to the Home Government, and in all likelihood arrangements would be made that would give satisfaction to all concerned. The Attorney-General said the charter of ! the colony prevented even the Governor from reducing the salaries, of officers appointed by her Majesty. If he had not seen that the general wish was', at any rate,' to preclude additional expense for the Treasurer's department, he would* have proposed a sum for an additional clerk : hebelieved it was now necessary for the honourable. Colonial Treasurer to pay a clerk out of his own. salary, in order that the business of his office should be properly attended to. The Governor said that no officer should be suffered lo incur the expense of an individual to perform- public duties of the Government; he did' not like that system; and, if he was convinced that the Colonial Treasurer really required another clerk, he would take care that there should be oneprovided* He might say, however,- that in Soutb Australia, where' there had been an' expenditure varying in several years from £30,000 to £80,000 r the Treasurer with one clerk did the business, efficiently ; and yet he was enabled to perform the duties of Registrar of Deeds, also. The Council should remember that,- if they .voted any increase in the Treasurer's department here, they should be prepared to'inake a similar allowance for Wellington ; but he really thought there was no necessity for the addition, as he was confident that the workof the office could be performed by the Treasurer himself, with the help of an efficient clerk ; and he appealed to the honourable member, Mr. Kennedy, who had had considerable experience in banking, whether his opinion was not correct. The Colonial Treasurer wouldi only remark upon what had fallen from his Excellency. He wished that the Governor would appoint any four persons' to inspect the business of the Treasury;, and he would be bound to say that their opinion would go to the effect, that any two individuals were totally incompetent to perform the duties of the Treasury. He was aware that it appeared very strange that so large an establishment should be required to manage the accounts of an expenditure of £40,000; but it was the arrangement and supervision of the accounts from the other settlements, re-adjusting those often returned . from England, and the great .mass of work that had arisen out of the debenture system, that had caused such an accumulation of business in his office. No two clerks under the Government were .more industrious than the gentlemen employed in his office, one of whom he was obliged to maintain at his own expense ; yet the business was now so greatly in arrears, that, in order to bring it up, he would even be obliged to employ another. Mr. Kknnhdy believed that under the new arrangement, the Treasurer and one clerk would be amply sufficient to discharge the duties of the Treasury office. The Colonial Secretary had observed the industry and uniform attention of the gentlemen in the Treasury to their duties, and yet they could not prevent the arrears of work from accumulating. In addition to their ordinary work, they were continually receiving " Queries" from home, and colonial " Queries." that required answering ; and, from his knowledge of the business now at the Treasury, he thought it impossible for the Treasurer with one clerk to perform it, although they might be able to do so after the new arrangements had been brought into action. Mr. Domett said here was the first instance of the monstrous difference in expenditure he had alluded to. The Treasury department at Auckland cost £875, at Wellington £325, and at Nelson — £5! The Colonial Treasurer said the Nelson accounts had cost him £10 to correct. The Governor said that the whole of the Colonial Treasurer's remarks amounted to this, that his accounts, which it had taken four persons to prepare, had been returned to the colony as inaccurate. The Colonial Treasurer observed, that his accounts had been revised by the Audit Board here before they were forwarded home. The Governor remarked, that it appeared, in addition to the four clerks at the Treasury, there had been the Board of Audit as well, making in all ten individuals concerned in preparing the accounts, and yet they had been returned to the colony on account of their inaccuracy. Mr. Domett would say in respect to the gentleman whose accounts cost £5 to make up and £10 to correct, that there was not a more zealous officer, nor one he believed of greater natural ablity in the service of Government, than the person in question. But as the honourable Colonial Treasurer had so pathetically described the extreme difficulty even he, after his thirty or forty years experience as a Colonial Treasurer, found in keeping these accounts correctly, from the continual changes made in ' the mode of keeping them, it could hardly be wondered at that a sailor, who had besides the affairs of two or three other departments to conduct at. the same time, should have succeeded no better. As however the Council would have to vote away several thousands of pounds without knowing much about their application, it was hardly worth while to make a fuss about this hundred pounds. He (Mr. Domett) feared, as soon as the change in the constitution was effected, the Colonial Treasurer would have to put his shoulder to the wheel, and make the best he could of it with one clerk only. The Colonial Treasurer in reply said that he had put his shoulder to the wheel already, and had often been so worried with these accounts, that he could not lay his shoulder on his pillow at night The sum of £1,217 was then agreed to. Audit Board. The amount of £465 was voted for the Audit department. . The Committee then adjourned. The Weights and Measures Bill, and the Destitute Persons' Relief Bill, were read a third time and passed. The Council adjourned till Tuesday.
Monday, October 26., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume V, Issue 252, 2 January 1847
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