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DEBATE IN THE COMMONS ON THE NEW ZEALAND BILL., New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume I, Issue 0, 6 September 1839
DEBATE IN THE COMMONS ON THE NEW ZEALAND BILL.
Mr Francis Baring, on June 19, 1838, moved the second reading of the bill " for the Provisional Government of British Settlements in the Islands of New Zealand." He commenced his speech by a statement of the origin of the project, and the bitter and interested animosity by which it had been assailed — " It is now nearly two years since a number of gentlemen, encouraged by the increasing interest which the public took in the matter, and by the knowledge of circumstances which had come under their observation, formed themselves into an association for the purpose of establishing a British colony in New Zealand. They had assembled a large mass of oral and documentary evidence upon the subject. They had sought the evidence of all ithose whose opinion was worth consulting, either from local knowledge or from connexion in any way with the distant countries into' which they were anxious to introduce our religion, our customs, and our laws ; and the result they arrived at was, that it was not only expedient as far as the interest of their own country is concerned that their intention should be persisted ; in, but that they owed it to the natives as a correction of the evils which their communication with us had already entailed upon them. They found that these islands, which, according to the principles followed by other countries, had been acquired by the British Crown by those forms of taking possession which have ever been allowed to constitute a claim against other civilized nations, were situated in a temperate latitude, with a soil of remarkable fertility, a climate perfectly suited to the constitutions of English emigrants, and productions not only ef great value commercially, but of especial importance as rendering us independent of other countries for som? of the most important of their productions. They found that their position rendered them of so much importance to our growing settlements in Australia, that the possession of them by any foreign power would endanger the stability of our empire in that part of the world ; and above all, their researches led them to the conviction that there had arisen, from the settlement on the islands of a lawless and degraded population, an obstacle to any moral improvement in the natives, which was every year assuming a more serious aspect, and which a very short delay might make it impossible to remove. They trusted to this latter circumstance for the obtaining the sanction of tl.e missionary body ; and they confided in the anxiety for the material welfare ofthecountty which government is supposed to entertain, for the ensuring their support to a plan in the success- of which they conceived that the stability of our dominions in those seas was involved. They accordingly brought in a bill." Here Mr Baring briefly stated the principal provisions of the bill, with which the readers of the Spectator are already acquainted. The names of the commissioners printed in the bill were those of the committee of the New Zealand Association ; but Mr Baring would not insist on these names, but leave the nomination to ministers and the House in a future stage of the proceedings. He proceeded to unmask the character of the opposition to the bill '• To this bill there arose an opposition .from a quarter whence we least expected it. It commenced by a series of pamphlets circulated in the dark by the secretary of the Christian Missionary Society, ia which our motives were impugned, and the existence questioned of all those feelings by which honourable men should be influenced. It was announced that we were recurring to the old pretence of civilization and advancement of religion, while there was upon the face of our plan sufficient indication of a design to repeat at the expense of the natives that oppression, and those excesses of arbitrary power, which at all times, and in all other countries, had marked the progress of the European invader, and even degraded the name of civilization : that the sovereignty of the native tribes, which was inherent in them, and, if it wanted confirmation, had been assured by a formal recognition by the British resident, was to be called in question : that we were an association of jobbers, whose only object was tiading in land, — which all their accounts re presented as impossible to be obtained ; and that we should be the means of impeding the great work of religion, and civilization, which, under the superintendence of the missionary body, was rapidly and unfailingly going on. We could not but suppose that when our motives were explained, and the object of our bill fully made known, this opposition founded, as we then supposed it to be, solely upon motives of sympathy for the natives, and alarm on the part of those who had constituted themselves their natural guardians, would give way before a calm examination of the provisions of the bill. We were conscious of having given every protection in our power to the tribes— of having fenced and guarded their interest with a minuteness of jealous care winch in some measme complicated our bill, and encumbered it with provisions which constituted almost the only difficulty of execution. But when we found every overture rejected, we did begin to suspect the existence of some motives beyond those which Mr Coates had thought expedient to avow. Sir, those suspicions have been more than confirmed. Upon a close and searching inquiry, we became convinced that it was less from a desire to .expose our. motives than to conceal their own ; not so much a desire to protect the New Zealander from excess of power on our part, as to maintain the influence which, from motives which appear rather lessTthan spiritual, they had been engaged in founding, that 1 ne J*fe? d raised an opposition which in its tone and language i s little in accordance, with those doctrines of justice and charity which, they so loudly profess. Sir, some curious facts have come out in the course of this inquiry. The difficulty of obtaining land has been "solved by the missionaries' themselves."
Here Mr-Baring showed that land to a large extent had been purchased by members of the Church Mis-, sionary Society, on their own account ; and that one of them, Mr Henry Williams, sold the produce of his estates to the mission of which* he was the chairman. AMr Fairburn had bought a tract of land thirty miles in length. Messrs Hemp find Davis had each four or five thousand acres, which they farmed themselves ; so had Mr Clark and Mr Baker, and several other members of the missionary body. Some of Mr Fairburu's land was part of r the tract sold to an English company in 1825, which the natives had always held sacred, and against the sale of which to Mr Fairburn some of them pro tested, in consequence of the previous transfer. It appeared that the Church, Missionary Society was by no means so successful in the work of conversion as the Wesleyans. The whole number of communicants belonging to the former was only 180, to the latter 1,000 ; although the church missionaries were five times as numerous as the Wesleyans, and their expenses much greater in proportion .to their numbers. Mr Baring continued — ".Is it to be supposed that the worldly circumstances have no influence over the state of things spiritual ? Do we not know that the churches are more deserted, that the schools are less earnestly supported ?> I might make statements upon this subject with less hazard than Mr Coates incurred when he collected imputations against the motives of the association with which lam connected ; and I say so with less hesitation, for I should not want facts i>or testimony to support them. But, Sir, is there nothing to alter Mr Coates's views, in the evidence as to the state of the country, which is contained in the dispatches lately received from Mr Busby, the British resident, and Captain Hobson, who was sent by the Governor of New South Wales on a special mission to. report on the spot 1 His well-known connection with some of the persons employed in the Colonial Office, leads me to suppose it to be difficult that he should not have been cognizant of some of' those dispatches even before he made his first statement; but I will allow him, for the sake of his character for sincerity, the benefit of ignorance on this , occasion. But what is the state of society which has ■ grown up under the mild government of the mission 1 Are not wars, murders, and every possible excess rife in all parts of the island ? have they succeeded in putting an end to the system of slavery which everywhere exists ; have they ventured to attempt it ; are they in a position to counteract the gangrenous influences of the society of runaway sailors and escaped convicts, which is daily augmenting in a frightful proportion ; can they oppose any barrier to the vicious example against which their pre* cepts must struggle in vain, or set any bounds to the profligacy and excesses which are introducing disease and premature mortality into all the districts with which they are in contact? Are we not aware, sir, that all the great religious reformers among barbarous nations have established their creeds by connecting its precepts with the material prosperity of those whom they wished to influence ; and, in some cases, by making articles of faith many of those regulations Tendered necessary by the habits, prejudices, and even the climate of the country to which they are adapted, and which with our purer religion and more rational morality we should leave to be provided for by human institutions ? Can they suppose that these poor savages will not cpnnect the evil doings of these supposed adherents of the new religion with the tenets of their religion, and that in many cases the example will not be more powerful than the precept? lam not blind to -the sacrifices and exertions of the missionary body ; no one is more ready to acknowledge them. Whatever good is achieved in these islands, they will have been the primary cause of ; and the best proof I can give of good feeling towards them, is my readiness to separate them from the person who has constituted himself their organ here, to attribute to them purer motives and a more disinterested zeal. But the time has come when their exertions can no longer singly avail ; and we had hoped that in the plan we had produced they would have found the best co-operation with their labours, and the surest corrective of the evils against which, unaided, they cannot struggle, in the example of a moral and well-ordered community." The next branch of Mr Baring's speech was a detail of the negotiation with the government, and interviews with Lords Melbourne, Howick, and Glenelg, during the last twelvemonth. From this it appeared, that at 'first Lords Melbourne and Howick had given decided encouragement to the project ; then thwarted it ; and so on, backwards and forwards, till at last Lord Glenelg, finding the association ready to act upon every reasonable suggestion of the government, hit upon a condition winch he knew could not be complied with — namely, that they should become a joint- stock company. Mr Baring showed that the principle on which it was proposed to colonize New Zealand could not be put into successful operation by a. trading company, whose first object must be the purchase and sale of land with a view to profit. It was curious that while Messrs Coates and Beecham, in their pamphlets, vilified the association as a joint-stock company, the government opposed the bill because it did not constitute a joint-stock company. What would the government do of itself? " Having made this statement of what passed between her Majesty's government and the association, I/am led to inquire what remedy or what palliative will this government of expedients be induced to adopt ? I can hardly think that the native congress, recommended by Mr Busby, with the adoption of collateral measures, such as. the establishments of courts, &c. — none of which can be admitted without assuming the sovereignty they affect to disclaim — can be in their contemplation. They must know that no number of Europeans are likely to submit to a legislative assembly at Waimate; and that by the time the missionaries have made the first step in their constitutional education, half the population will^have disappeared, and the white invader will have increased twenty-fold. If they mean .to plant factories, at the bottom of, every bay where Europeans resort,, I would aak them, to estimate the probable consequence of small communities: without commerce, without combined labour, arts, institutions, and religion, being grouped round
twenty isolated points in the two islands.. Let them look to Swan. River,, and.. the. expense — I believe nearly 30,000/.— which that settlement of fifteen hundred persons entails upon the country ; to the chances of collisions with the natives, which weak and ill-ordered .communities only serve to invite ; to the irregular purchase and disposal of lands ; and to the thousand evils consequent upon, their dissemination. It may be objected to us, that the same difficulties will attend our entei prise; and that small communities would spring up which we could not control. Our answer is simple. Such communities would not be established. In the formation of a great European society,' we should have all the advantages of high wages, increasing value of property, and, above all, protection to those who joined it. Commerce would centre at the point where supply and consumption are most certain ; and there would be no inducement to any one to resign the certain advantages of a civilized and growing community, to seek a dangerous and precarious livelihood where there could be no security of obtaining the commonest necessaries of life. Sir, I appeal to the house against the decision of her Majesty's ministers, with a full hope that we shall not appeal in vain in favour of a project fraught with advantages so important and so certain to the empire at large."
The Preliminary Expedition, — The Tory, a fine ship of 400 tons, left the river early in May, and finally sailed from Plymouth on the 12th, with Col. Wakefield, principal officer of the company, on board, bound to New .Zealand, to take possession of large tracts of land already purchased, .and to treat with the natives for an extension of the company's territory. A letter has been received from the Tory, dated June 3rd,, in lat. 5 deg/30 m. north, and long. 23 deg. 17 m. west, — stating all to be well on board. . As there can be little doubt the Tory has arrived in Cook's Straits by this date,. des>patches from thence may be expected by the 15th of December next. The Surveying Vessel. — The Cuba, Capt. Newcombe, a hark of 270 tons, left the river at the end of July, and passed Deal on the 2nd August. Capt. Smith, R.A., survey-or-general to the New Zealand Land Company, with such a corps as this intelligent and energetic officer deemed sufficient to proceed rapidly with the surveys, were the passengers. After landing these gentlemen the Cuba will be occupied in making purchases of land and coast-surveying.' • — The Druid, 44,Capt.Lord J. Churchill, will shortly proceed with Capt. Hobson, R.N., to New Zealand, to which he is appointed consul and lieutenant-governor. — Colonial Gazette.
OUTFIT OF EMIGRANT LABOURERS. FEMALE. ' • 2 gowns, 18 yards of printed cotton, s - <*- @ 6d. - - - - • - 0• £ 0 2 petticoats, 6 yards of coloured calico, @6d. - - - -080 2 ditto, flannel, 6 yards, @ Is. - 0 6 O 12 shifts, 80 yards, long cloth, @ 6d. 015 0 , 6 caps, 3 yards of muslin, @ Is. • - 0 3 0 6 aprons, 6 yards of calico, @ 6d. - 0 3 0 6 handkerchiefs, @ 6d. - - - 0 3 0 6 neckerchiefs, @ 9d. - - - 0 4 6 6 towels, @ 6d.' - - - - 0 3 0 1 pair of stays, @ ss. - - -0 506 pairs of black worsted stockings, @ Is. 3d 0 7 6' , 2 pairs of shoes, @ 4s. - - -0 801 bonnet, (g)Ss. - - - -030 Needles, pins, tapes, &c. &c.' - -050 2 lbs of soap, @ 6d., 2 lbs of starch, @6d 0 2 0 £4 0 0 MAKE. £ s . d. 2 fustian jackets, @ 7s. 6d. - - 015 0 2 pairs of ditto trousers, (©' 6s. - 012 0 2 pairs of duck ditto, @ 2s. 6d. - 05 0 2 round frocks, @ 2s. 6d. - - 05 0 12 cotton shirts, @ 2s. 3d. - - 1 7 0 6 pairs of worsted stockings, @ Is. 6d. 0 9 0 2 Scotch caps, @ Is. 6d. - - 0 3 0 6 handkerchiefs, @ 6d. - - 03 0 6 coarse towels, @ 6d. - - - 0 3 0 1 pair of boots, @ 10s. - - - 010 0 1 pair of shoes, @ 6s. - - - 0 6 0 4 lbs of soap, @ 6d. - - - 02 0 £5 0 0 Female - - - - 4 0 0 1 pair of blankets, @ 10s. - 10 0 2 pair of sheets, @ ss. - 10 0 ■ 10 0 Sura required to fit out a couple, £10 0 0 Calicoes, Holland, camlet, fine canvass, and' other articles of the clothing kind, will always be found most valuable to those who can take a little extra stock. — Stephen's South Australia, p. 193. CHARGE FOB. PERSONS PAYING THEIB PASSAGE. £. s. d. First class cabin - ... 75 0 0 Second class cabin ... 50 0 0 Steerage 18 15 0 Allowance of baggage, free of expense, for, each passenger— two tons if in the first or second class cabin, and half a ton in the' steerage.
1. Information relative, to New Zealand, for the use of Colonists. London. Parker. 1839. Bvo. pp. BQ. 2. New Zealand in 1839, in four Letters to the Sight Honourable Earl Durham, %c, on the Colonization of that Island, $c. By John Dunmore Lang, D.D., Principal of the Australian College, &c. London. Smith and Elder. 1839. Bvo. pp. 120. The above works differ somewhat in character and in the circumstances which have given them birth ; yet, in one respect, they exhibit a remarkable agreement; namely, in the evidence they afford of the suitableness of New Zealand as a field for colonization. Of the principles on which the new colony is about to be established — of " the new British system of colonization," a brief exposition will be found in another part of this sheet; and as, more, over, the reader is elsewhere referred to works ■whence he may obtain more ample knowledge thereof, we shall confine ourselves in this article to the distinguishing feature to which we have above alluded. The first of the above works is as well arranged and faithful summary of the testimony of many witnesses respecting the soil, climate, and physical resources of tbe New Zealand group. The second is the personal narrative of a high-minded percipient witness, confirming, in all essential particulars, the accounts of others, and throwing out .some useful practical suggestions, to which we shall presently more particularly advert. '♦The New Zealand Group," says the in tell i« gent author of the ' Information, &c,' " consists of .two large islands called the Northern and Southern, a smaller island called Stewart's, to the extreme south, and several adjacent islets. The group extends in length from north to south from the 34th to the 48th degrees of south latitude, and in breadth from east to west from 'the 160 th to the .179 th degree of east longitude. The extreme length exceeds 800 miles, and the average breadth, which is very variable, is about 100 miles. The surface of the island is estimated to contain 95,000 square miles, or about 60,000,000 acres, being a territory nearly as large as Great Britain, of which, after allowing for mountainous districts and water, it is believed that at least two-thirds are susceptible of beneficial cultivation." — Information, §c. p. I. New Zealand is thus emphatically " on the other side the Ball." It is the nearest land to England's antipodes, and in our voyage thither it is almost a matter of indifference whether we turn to the right or the left, — the east or the west, for it is within a few miles of where-the longitudes, east and west, coincide. If we could push it some sixteen degrees nearer the Pole, — a freezing process, by the way, against which our fellow colonists would have good reason to protest, — our land of promise might well be called Austral Britain ; but we have lived too long in the world to care much about names ; the land is a good land, and of this the proofs are abundant and irrefragable. Of the fertility of the soil of New Zealand, no doubt can be entertained by any one who has attended, in the smallest degree, to the features invariably exhibited by mountainous countries. New Zealand has a bach bone of towering mountains, some of which reach the height of 14,000 feet, their summits being covered with perpetual snow, and their slopes with forests of enormous growth. No v such features cannot exist apart from fertile and well watered valleys, accordingly, " The soil is spoken of by all the writers in the most favourable terms, from Captain Cook downwards. After describing the fertility of many particular spots, Cook sums up his account by saying that the bills and mountains are covered with wood, and every valley has a rivulet of water ; the soil in these valleys, and in the plains, of which there are many that are not overgrown with wood, is in general light but fertile ; and, in the opinion of Mr Banks and Dr Solander, as well as of every other gentleman on board, every kind of European grain, plant, and fruit, would flourish here in the utmost luxuriance. From the vegetables we found here, there is reason to conclude that the v/inters are milder than those in England, and we found the summer not hotter, though it was more equally •warm ; so that if this country should be settled by people from Europe, they would, with a little industry, be very soon supplied not only with the neeei'saries, but the luxuries of life in great abundance." Information, pp. 12, 13. Immediately following the above extract, we find a «»reat mass of concurrent testimony as to the richness of the New Zealand soil ; but, as we have before said, the geological character of the island utterly forbids a doubt upon the point. As to climate — New Zealand, in reference to the equator, may be said to begin where England ends : that is, the coldest extremity of New Zealand is two degrees nearer the equator than the warmest extremity of England — the southernmost (coldest) point of New Zealand being in 48 degrees south latitude, and the coast of Devon being in 50 north. We make use of the terms warmest and coldest, because our associations are somewhat partial respecting North and South, as well as respecting June and December ; June and South being cold in time and place, December and North warm, in the other hemisphere. The climate is, in fact, most beautiful and salubrious, and health almost universal is the result. " In speaking of the climate we should remark that there are no diseases peculiar to the country ; in fact, none of any importance but such as have been introduced by Europeans. Cook says, *As there is no, source of disease, either critical or chronic, but intemperance and inactivity, these people enjoy perfect and uninterrupted health — we never saw any person amongst them who appeared to have any bodily complaint.' Their wounds healed with an astonishing facility, and ' a further proof that human nature is here untainted with disease, is tha great number of old men that we saw, many of whom, by the loss of their hair and teeth, appeared to be very ancient, yet none of them were decrepit, and though not equal to the young in muscular strength, were not a whit behind them in cheerfulness and vivacity.' Unhappily, half a century of irregular European intercourse has intro-
duced disease, and done its usual destructive work , in spite of the climate. "—lnformation, p. 12. Mr Mathews, a recent writer, discusses the effects of the New Zealand climate on female beauty: " The rosy tinge of the cheek," he observes, " is the direct consequences of moist air, of a fresh stimulating coolness. The British fair may rely that England's rose will not fail to blossom in New Zealand in all its natural richness, giving the unmatched tinge of the flower — beauty and freshness. The. danger is that it may even throw that of the mother country into shade ; although its sister, the vegetable rose, has never been seen indigenous in the southern hemisphere, whilst it surrounds the globe in the northern with a flowery chaplet . . . In other respects, from its soft moist climate, New Zealand, like Sicily, may be expected to be especially propitious to women. The prospects now before them must cause tbe bright blood to mantle on the cheek of the British fair." In short, both the soil and climate of New Zealand are, in the highest degree, favourable to animal and vegetable existence,— " the finest samples of the human race are therp to be found, the largest and finest timber grows, and every vegetable yet planted thrives." Comparing the latitude of New Zealand with that of tbe southern countries of Europe, there is no doubt but the vine, the olive, the mulberry, and other productions of Italy and the south of France and Germany, will thrive well ; but they must be introduced by persons well acquainted with their culture. - + Another circumstance which renders -New Zealand a highly eligible field for colonization, is the superior intelligence of the Aborigines, and their peculiar capacity for civilization. The facility with which they adopt the mechanical arts of Europe, is something quite remarkable, and their desire for knowledge is so great, that there is scarcely a year passes that a New Zealander does not, of his own accord, work his passage to England for the mere purpose of gaining knowledge. They are constantly employed on board the whaling ships which frequent the southern seas, and they are described by Lieutenant Breton as exhibiting strength, activity, and intelligence. Dr Lang assures us that the best helmsman on board a vessel by which be once returned to England, was Toki, a New Zealander. " Nothing," says Dr Lang, " could divert his attention from the compass, or the sails, or the sea; and whenever I saw him at the holm, and especially in tempestuous weather at night, I could not help regarding it as a most interesting and hopeful circumstance in the history of man, that a British vessel of four hundred tons, containing a valuable cargo and many souls of Europeans, should be steered across the boundless Pacific, in the midst of storm and darkness, by a poor New Zealander, whose fathers bad, from time immemorial, been eaters of men.'' — Information, B[c. p. 40. The bare mention of eaters of men, reminds us that it is necessary to say a few words respecting cannibalism. John Bull, we know, is rather predisposed to be frightened, though we are not quite sure that the chance of affording a meal to another would alarm him much more than the prospect of losing a meal of his own. Be that as it may, however, it may be well to mention that the New Zea- , land colonist runs no risk of incurring either mischance. The natural productiveness of New Zealand, as we have seen, is such as to furnish meals to millions ; and as to cannibalism, it is now reduced to a war feast (if not always so), and even, as such, is falling into disuse. A race of cannibals once lived where thriving Glasgow* now stands, and in like manner numerous Europeans now live secure in New Zealand, without the protection which a regular government will afford. The Reverend Mr White says :— " But there is another view of the subject to be taken, and that view exclusively concerns those who contemplate the transplantation of themselves and families to the shores of New Zealand. I mean their personal safety. This, I think, is satisfactorily answered by the fact, that since the first residents took up their abode in New Zealand in 1814, up to the period I leltthe island to return to this country, not one single instance which I can recollect, or have heard of, has occurred of any European, or any other foreign settler, having lost his life.'' — Information, $-c. p. 45. We could multiply quotations, but the length to which our remarks and extracts have already extended, warn us that we have yet to notice and glean from Dr Lang's work. * We have already said that Dr Lang bears testimony to the eligibility of New Zealand as a field for British colonization; but he goes beyond this, and shows the evil influence of the systemless colonization which ,has long been going on, and the paramount duty imposed on Great Britain, as the great colonizing nation, to take the matter into her own hands. The present settlers in New Zealand are the outcasts of an outcast population. Escaped convicts from the penal settlements, runaway sailors from the whaling ships, needy adventurers whose ill conduct bath made them men of no country, with a small mixture of worthy and enorgetic men, such as will find their way to all v eligible fields, but'who, in New Zealand, form too inconsiderable a minority to curb the evil passions and neutralize the evil influ- * A valiant tribe of Caledonia, the Attacotti (or Scots),, the enemies and afterwards the soldiers of Valentiniau, are accused, by an eye-witness, of delighting in the taste of human flesh. When they hunted the woods for prey, it is said that they attacked the shepherd rather than the flocks ; and that they anxiously selected the most delicate and brawny parts, both of males and females, which they prepared for their horrid repasts. If in the neighbourhood of the commercial and literary town of Glasgow a race of cannibals has really existed, we may contemplate in this period of Scottish history, tbe opposite extremes of savage and civilized life. Such reflections tend to enlarge the circle of our ideas, and to encourage the pleasing hope that New Zealand may produce, in some future age, the Hume of the southern hemisphere. —Gibbon, Bto. edit. vol. iv, p?feO7, 1613. Cum ipse adolescentulus in Gallia viderim Attacottos (aut Scotos), gentemßrittanicamhumanisvescicaraibus; et cum per silvas porcorum greges, et armentorum pecudnmque reperiant, pastorum nates et femenarum papillas golere abscindere, et lias solas ciborum delicias arbitrari. Such is the evidence of Jerome (torn. 2, p. 75), whose veracity I find no reason to doubt,
ences of the majority, form the present European population of New Zealand. " Of the character of this European population, now permanently settled in New Zealand," says Dr Lang, "it is scarcely necessary to inform your Lordship. With a few honourable exceptions, it consists of the veriest refuse of civilized society, of runaway sailors, of runaway convicts, of convicts who have served out their term of bondage in one or other of the two penal colonies, of fraudulent debtors who have escaped from their creditors in Sydney or Hobart Town, and of needy adventurers from the two colonies, almost equally unprincipled. In conjunction with the whalers that occasionally visit the coast, the influence of these individuals on the natives is demoralizing in the extreme. Their usual articles of barter are either muskets and gunpowder, or tobacco and rum. Most of them live in open concubinage or adultery with native women, and the scenes of outrageous licentiousness and debauchery that are ever and anon occurring on their premises, are often sufficiently revolting to excite the reprobation and disgust of the natives themselves."— -Lang, pp. 7, 8. One of the principal evils which have arisen from the residence of this lawless population, is the extensive cheating of the natives out of their land. Largo tracts of land are parted with by the natives for a camp-kettle, or a few trinkets ; and even the missionaries, and especially the lay-missionaries, as certain non-clerical hangers-on of the missions are called, have shown themselves not less expert than the rest of the population in this species of cheating. Dr Lang tells Lord Durham that "it is absolutely distressing to observe the effects which this system of unprincipled rapacity is already producing upon the truly unfortunate natives of New Zealand, in conjunction with the other sources of demoralization . . . Like mere children, they will give all they are worth to-day for the trinket or gew-gaw which they will sell for the veriest trifle to-morrow. Pomare, an intelligent native chief who speaks tolerably good English, but who has already alienated the greater part of his valuable land i:i the neighbourhood of, the Bay of Islands, observed to one of our fellow voyagers, ' Englishmen give us blankets, powder, and iron pots 'for our land; but we soon blow away the powder, the iron pots get broken, and the blankets wear out, but the land never blows away or wears out.'" — Dr Lang, p. 16. It thus becomes, as Dr Lang clearly points out, a bounden duty on the part of every benevolent Englishman to promote the colonization of New Zealand on a systematic plan, calculated to neutralise the effects of ~a colonization of the very worst kind. Colonized tiie country will be, no earthly power will prevent the occupation of the land by Englishmen and their descendants. The only question which remains is,.— shall the principles upon which that colonization is to be conducted, be those of good or those of evil ? That the principles upon which the New Zealand Land Company is proceeding are fraught with good only, will appear from this, — that in addition to all that distinguishes the " British system" of colonization, as explained elsewhere, the rights of the natives are solemnly recognized, and their protection and improvement are made an inseparable part of the company's operations. The earliest determination of the company was to acquire land by fair purchase. That wise and equitable determination has been, and still continues to be, scrupulously observed ; and it is to be hoped that when government and the legislature do interfere in the concerns of the colony,, some measure will be adopted to render null and void all fraudulent bargains with the natives for land. Dr Lang suggests that the measure should be retrospective ; that all previous bargains should be. revised by a properly constituted authority, and where there has been undoubted fraud, that the bargains should be cancelled. As a means of facilitating this object, says Dr Lang, — ''Let this company lend their influence and support towards the maintenance of her Majesty's undoubted right of pre-emption in all cases, both past and future. The establishment of this principle will be of incalculable advantage to the Nuw Zealanders ; and not only to the New Zealanders, but to all persons whatsoever in this country who are about to embark in any way iv tho New Zealand colonization sehemo." " For this purpose let the company make a voluntary and entire surrender of their native titles to her Majesty's government, to be adjudicated upon individually by a temporary board, like the Court of Claims in New South Wales, to be appointed for the purpose by the government, on the understanding and upon the condition that the company shall have the right of pre-emption from the government at the minimum price of crown land to be established in the island, deducting the full amount tho company may have already paid for their lands, either to the natiyesor to individual Europeans. The moral influance of such an example would be 'salutary in the highest degree in New Zealand, as far as the actual European population are concerned, and would strengthen the hands of the government exceedingly, at the outset of the colony, in carrying out the simple but most important principle of her Majesty's right of pre-emp-tion iv all cases as regards the Aborigines." '« Downright honesty of this kind," continues Dr Lang, " will decidedly be the best ■policy, also, which the New Zealand Land Company can pursue ;" . . . for in such a case " the field for enterprise will be found as extensive and inviting as the most ardent supporters of colonization could desire ; while the career of the future colony will, in all probability, be unexampled in the history of the world." Dr Lang then concludes his fourth letter with the following testimony in favour of New Zealand as a field of colonization superior to all others, — a testimony the more gratifying to the first colonists, coming, as it does, from a man of marked intelligence, of unquestionable sincerity and benevolence of purpose, and who moreover has, throughout his useful career, studiously avoided the evil influence of speculation and land jobbing, which so many of the clergy of all denominations (except the Catholic) appear to have fallen
into,* and who has thereby kept his testimony, in the highest degree, disinterested : — " Unquestionable as are the facilities for colonization in Southern Australia, as well as in New South Wales, they are nol to be compared with, those which New Zealand affords. In one word, whatever may be the destinies of the Australian colonies, I am confident that, if colonized on right principles, New Zealand will one day be the Great Britain of the southern hemisphere. " — Lane. p. 115. *
DEBATE IN THE COMMONS ON THE NEW ZEALAND BILL., New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume I, Issue 0, 6 September 1839
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