THE NELSON EXAMINER. Nelson, December 27, 1851.
Journals become more necessary aa meu become mote equal and individualism more to be feared. It would be to underrate their importance to suppose tnat they serve only to Mcure liberty : they maintain civilization. DE TOCftUBVILLE, Of Democracy in America, vol. iv., p. 230.
On Thursday morning we had an important arrival from England ; the fine new ship Maori, with fifty- three passengers, a great part of whom are for this place, after a quick passage of 105 days, arrived in time to be greeted with a hearty Christmas welcome. By this opportunity we have returned to us one of our oldest settlers, Mr. H. Seymour, whose duties, as the principal agent for the absentee proprietors of land in Nelson, took him to England two years ago; and the result of this journey will be, as we hope, beneficial to the settlement, from the more extensive powers which many of the absentees have given to their agents to deal with their land here.
But although we are greatly pleased to announce the arrival of a vessel with so large a number of passengers for Nelson, the intelligence which she brings of the settlement of our long- pending Trust Fund question, makes her doubly welcome to us. An Act has been passed by Parliament, which will be found in our paper of to-day ; and as it has been agreed that the amount of the Funds due to us shall be determined by Mr. Lefevre's Report, and that gentleman having stated that the minimum sum he should report due to us would be £40,000, we may assume this at least to be the amount which the Trustees, now acknowledged by Parliament, will in a very few weeks have placed at their disposal for our local purpoica ; although, •■ it will be
seen, -they will have to await a proclamation from the Governor of the colony before they will be able to commence their labours. " .
The Act, as it now appears, is a very different measure to the Bill which Ministers, in the first instance, introduced to Patliament. In the original Bill, they sought to perpetrate that most illegal, most infamous act, of which rumours had given us notice, and make the debt due by the Government to the Company of £260,000 a first charge on the revenue of the colony after paying the official salaries. Thanks to the exertions of our friends in England, although it was Jintende:! to smuggle the Bill through the House of Commons in a most indecent mtnner, an opposition was raised against it which alarmed Ministers, and the obnoxious measure was abandoned for the session — we hope for ever, for surely, when the full iniquity of the proposal is understood by Parliament, not even the hangers-on of a Whig Ministry would sanction the imposition of 6uch a debt on a helpless colony, and thus at once blight all its prospects for many long years. The colonists of New Zealand are greatly indebted to Mr. Tytler, Mr. Seymour, and Messrs. Fox and Weld, who were also on the spot, for the spirited protests they made against the Government scheme, and, backed by the Canterbury Association, an opposition was got up, which, as we have said, drove the Ministers to abandon the obnoxious Bill for the Session.
Next week we purpose printing all the documents which have reached us respecting these transactions, when we may find it necessary to offer some further remuks upon them, but meanwhile the following letter, which appeared in the Spectator on the 2d of Augutt, will throw some light upon them —
" Sir— The New Zealand Settlements Bill has given rise to some proceedings in the House of Commons this week, of which no intelligible account appears in any newspaper. The Bill originally contained provisions ou four points. 1. It proposed to charge the debt of the New Zealand Company on the local revenue. 2. It authorized the Colonial Office and the Governor and Lieu-tenant-Governor of the colony to alter the existing terms of purchase of lands within the settlements 3. It proposed to submit a dispute between the Nelson colonists and the New Zealand Company relative to the amount of the trust funds of the settlement (now become a liability of the Imperial Government) to the Lords of the Treasury. 4. It enabled the local Government to issue grants or conveyances to purchasers under the Company who have not yet received them.
1. The first and most objectionable part of the bill, that relates to the Company's debt, was withdrawn, on Mr. Gladstone expressing his determination to oppose it.
2. The second reading of the remainder of the Bill was moved on Monday night, or rather Tuesday morning, at a quarter past one o'clock. Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Adderley, and Mr. Vernon Smith opposed it, on the ground that it proposed to constitute the Government judge in its own case, by leaving the disputed amount of trust funds to the sole adjudication of the Lords of the Treasury, without affording the colonists any opportunity of being heard. Mr. Hawes asserted in the most positive manner, that the colonists of Nelson had already, by means of parties representing them in this country, given their assent to the provisions of the bill ; so that the bill was framed in accordance with their express wishes.
Now, on the 19th July, Mr. James S. Tytler, of Edinburgh, the only authorized representative of the Nelson colonists in this matter, had in writing protested most strongly against the measure : his letter is printed in the Parliamentary Papers just issued ; and in the course of the correspondence the Colonial Office recognizes him as representa tive of the Nelson colonists.
On the strength of Mr. Hawse's assertion, the House allowed the bill to be read a second time ; and the Colonial Office would have persevered with the bill as it stood, but on the following morning, Mr. Tytler, having seen the bill and learned that it was to be pressed on, came up post-haste from Edinburgh, went straight to the Colonial Office, and renewed in person the protest he had made in writing.
" The result was, that private arrangements were made with him, by which the Office pledged itself, in carrying out the provisions of the bill, to act on Mr. Tytler's suggestions, substantially the same as those contained in his written protest printed in the Parliamentary Papers; and this pledge being put in some shape satisfactory to him, the Nelson . clauses were allowed to pass as they stood.
The point to which I wish to call your readers' attention is Mr. Hanes's positive assertion on Monday night, that the colonists had assented to the bill; when he had before him Mr. Ty tier's written protest against it, which was so soon after enforced in person, and the force of it admitted by the Colonial Office substantially backing out the clauses, and adopting (though not on the face of the bill) the very provisions insitted on by Mr. Tytler. Putting out of sight, however, Mr. Tytler's personal protest, can you understand how Mr. Hawes's positive assertion, that the colonists had assented to the bill through their representative in this counry, is to be reconciled with Mr. Tytler's written protest, addressed to Mr. Hawes, and printed by the Colonial Office in the Parliamentary Papers, two days before Mr. Hawes made the assertion ? A New Zealand Colonist. London, July 31.
The question oi a Constitution for New Zealand seems not to have been raised in Parliament in the past Session. From the
advanced period of the year when the petitions of the colonists reached home, it was deemed advisable by our friends not to bring them before the House at a time when it was almost certain they would receive but little attention ; and it is to the next session that we have therefore to look for that melioration of our present political state, which, from one end of the colony to the other, is bo eagerly looked for. The Duke of Newcastle gave notice in the House of Loids, just before Parliament broke up, that he should bring forward the question pf a Constitution for New Zealand ea:ly next year, unless the Government was prepared with a measure of its own ; so that the session of 1852 is not likely to be a barren one also. The Government, we may say, announces that it shall be prepared to legislate for us; and as the time will then have expired during which Sir George Grey thought it might be dangerous to entrust the colonists of New Zealand with the management of their own affairs, we have reason to believe that his Excellency, having carried his point in this particular, will no longer oppose himself to our wishes, but on the contrary, if truth be not a thing utterly discarded from official life, will be found to have sketched out and recommended such a Constitution for the colony as, in all its broad features, the great majority of us will be happy to accept — content with the powers it will give us, and willing to overlook some minor objections which we shall have the power ourselves to amend. It has been from the almost certain conviction that nothing would be done by Parliament for New Zealand during its late sitting, and a well-grounded belief that a really liberal scheme of Government for the colony had been recommended by Sir George Grey to be enacted next session, that has kept down our political ardour for the last few months. The deliberate and well considered wishes, not of the people of this settlement only, but of the other settlements of New Zealand as well, have been forwarded home and entrusted to proper hands — -we can now do little more than bide our time ; but if meanwhile we find that the views which the colonists have expressed are to a great extent, and in many of the most important particulars, supported by the authority of the Governor of tl.e colony, we may naturally hope to see a Constitution given us which we ihall be able to accept with satisfaction. If our faith proves n.isplaced, the rep;oach will not lie with us, but with those who will show themselves utterly destitute of all public morality, and whose words will be as worthless as the winds.
We saw stated in a recent Sydney newspaper, that the London Gazette had announced the appointment of H. S. Chapman, Esq., one of the Judges of New Zealand, to be Colonial Secretary of the colony of Van Diemen's Land. It is not our business to enquire whether this somewhat novel translation of a public functionary from a high judicial to a civil office is gratifying and acceptable to the party most concerned — in a pecuniary point of view, the gain we understand will be considerable to Mr. Chapman, and we hope the appointment itself is in every respect agreeable to him — but there are certain public considerations that spring out of it which it is our dnty not to suffer to pass unnoticed.
First, if this colony is to lose the services of Mr. Chapman, it is necessary that we should speak ot the conduct of that gentleman while he has filled the high and responsible office of one of its judges. We dislike dealing out adulation as much as any one, but where praise is well merited, it is unjust to withhold it. For the eight years that Mr. Chapman has presided over the Courts of this province we can truly say that he has shown himself to be a wise, a liberal, and an upright judge. If we attempted a longer panegyric, we could add nothing in force to what we mean to convey by these few words.
We know not how soon Mr. Chapman enters on his civil duties, but though the path he has to tread must be somewhat a thorny one to a man of independent and liberal mind, we make no doubt that, as Colonial Secretary of Van Diemen's Land, Mr. Chapman will still preserve the character he has always borne of being the friend of justice and freedom. For his success he has our humble, yet most earnest wishes.
The next consideration is how the vacancy created by Mr. Chapman's removal is to be filled up. Will the Government appoint another Judge in the place of Mr. Chapman, or will it allow Mr. Stephens, the present " Otago judge" without business, to have a little work bestowed upon him? This latter gentleman has been at the far south something more than a year, and we have never heard that his forensic knowledge
has been called into request by our Otago brethren, so that he at least cannot complain of being over-woiked for his £800 a year • and, we may say of this third judgeship for the colony, that whatever other sinecures may exist here, Mr. Stephens has enjoyed the snuggest for the time. The necessity for that gentleman's appointment may be judged of, from the statement of one of the previously existing judges, that, with means to move from settlement to settlement, he could himself do the judicial business of the whole colony with ease. In the face of these well-known facts, and when, as we hope, we are on the eve of seeing steam communication established in the colony by some means or other, it will bo a most disgraceful thing to seek to keep up the number of judges beyond the actual requirements of the colony.
The New Road to the Wairau.— The return of Mr. Barnicoat and his party from culling the trial line to the Wairau by way of the Pelorous and Kahuna, enables us to announce that no difficulties exist to obtaining a good bridle road through the valleys named, by which the Wairau Plain may be reached in less than forty- nine miles from Nelson, instead of by the present circuitous route of upwards of 100 miles. The supposed difficulty of crossing the Wairau river, Mr. Barnicoat shows can be easily obviated by a ferry about five miles above the Kaituna, where the river flows in one deep channel with well defined banks, so that during a freshet, when the fords are not safe, the ferry will always offer to travellers the means of crossing, and to many without adding to the length of their journey. As it is probable we shall next week be allowed to publish Mr. Barnicoat's Report, our readers will then be made acquainted with all particulars. Massacre Bay. — We are glad to be able to state that Major Richmond, during his late visit to Massacre Bay, was able to arrange satisfactorily with the natives for the purchase of a large tract of land in that district, which had not been previously alienated to the New Zealand Company. We hear also favourable accounts of "the coal and other mineral treasures in the same district, and we have seen a specimeu of quartz, brought over by Mr. Travers, which, if not containing gold, has something imbedded in it which bears a strong resemblance to gold. We believe, however, that it has stood the application of the proper tests, and shown itself to be what we say, hut the quantity is far too small to be of any account to trea-sure-hunters, otherwise than proving the existence of gold in the country, and the discoveries it may lead to of larger quantites existing in the neighbourhood. Major Richmond, we are sorry to say, while in Massacre Bay, met with an unpleasant accident, which must have caused him great pain and annoyance. In fording one of the rivers, his foot slipped, and he fell on the stump of a tree, which severely wounded his forehead. Although confined to his room since his return, we are happy to be able to state that he is novr fast recovering. Presbyterian Church. — Last Sabbath was the Second Anniversary of the opening of the Presbyterian Church, when excellent discourses were preached by the Rev. S. Ironside, and the Rev. D. Dolamore. On Monday evening there was a very large Tea party, comprising members from all the diiferent Churches in Nelson ; and after tea (provided by Mr. Ross in an excellent manner), there was a Public Meeting numerously attended, and admirably presided over by the Hon. C. A. Dillon. Such meetings are surely calculated to keep down sectarian strife, and to cherish that magnanimous catholicity of the Gospel which oversteps the narrow boundaries of denominational distinctions, and loves every true disciple of the Saviour, in whatever communion he may be found. We would say, let the members of the Presbyterian Church continue to take a truly catholic stand, embracing every opportunity of fraternizing and co-operating with other evangelical Christians, in extending the borders of the Redeemer's kingdom, and ameliorating the moral and social condition of their fellow creatures. The Sacred Music for the evening, under the leadership of Mr. Charles Bonnington, was to the delight of all ; and the satisfaction of the Meeting was expressed by a vote of thanks to Mr. Bonnington and his kind assistants. — Communicated.
The brig Sisters arrived this afternoon from Wellington, bringing papers to the 24th. By the same opportunity we have news from Canterbury to the 15th of November, Otago the Bth, and Auckland the 25th. Flour in Wellington is down to £11 a ton. The Cornwall, which sailed about three weeks before the Maori, had arrived at Canterbury, and her mail had been for*
warded to Wellington by the schooner, but though a fortnight had since elapsed, tbc vessel had not made irs appearance.
Permanent link to this item
THE NELSON EXAMINER. Nelson, December 27, 1851., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume X, Issue 572, 27 December 1851
THE NELSON EXAMINER. Nelson, December 27, 1851. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume X, Issue 572, 27 December 1851
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.