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THE HOROWHENUA BREACH OF TRUST., Otago Daily Times, Issue 10333, 13 April 1895
THE HOROWHENUA BREACH OF TRUST.
A PLAIN STATEMENT OF. THE CASH. In liia address at Wanyauai on the sth insfc., Me George Hutchison spoke us Follows, on .the Horowhenua block scandal, and as he put the particulars so clearly that anyone who reads his remarks cannot fail to understand the true pojitiou,' we"reprint what he had to say. ;He spqke'as follows:— < '_■-.*' '. .: '.' '': . Horowhenua. is another burr th^twijl stick. la dealing with this subjeais reference wilkonly. be mxdesto those points already raised, by the Minister for' Lauds, lest exception be taken to tba'iliscuasion of inattew thit Dliaistors ilnay say ..are stilt before the/courts, of law.*. For years, sjssion after soseiuni Parliament' had been .petitioned arid committees had reported asto- the rights, of. Native owners whoae names did not- appear iv the title "under the Land Transfer Act. Kemp and Hunia were the two in whose names the title stoocij and until it was bitiSton' ijp,;they w.ereCiu .tli^.eye of, .the: lajf the;' proprietors; .■ Cut''i'il'was-'a"matter of : notoriety; tib,^t jnauy 6 other* 'Okiraed' tq '•■ be ownerai.also, ] Koinp acknowledged the -trust,: 'Hunia deaied it. 'The Native Laud Court had granted-a partition between those two—the part known as 11b and containing ajiout 1500 • aorea, about which all the trouble is—being in the par,tproipqsedto be:aliptjiad tdiHuai*. « Bab this.partition has n(jver had legal"effect given to it; The other* interested)' being afraid that' Hunia Iritght deal with it on his own" behalf, lodged oayeats forbid.aiug any elealipgs till the Supreme ' Court,, to; whjch they had applied.tp agoertain jtiid define .^hjiig;' rights, haclv.(ieb"idß<l true-owneishjp; , "Ket : H|f''Jphn;.M'K^nzie,' a«; Miniates for LindSj-had pectistedi'tdi-hceiisoDS; , th»i"werS hij!; apparent;' iv: dfsiVmg with; H'ariia, akne'tor.st^e'lSOO'ioyeat'He' topk-a.transfer! from this Nstive iii Oijtosep 1893, while litigation,was;goiiigQa in the Sapl'dme Court. ,In Desctnbej 1834, after the Saptepia Court hail decided that. Hanii was.only a trustee,: Mr M'Koazii had stitod in Dantedin that "the Grown was hot affejted bytho decision," and tbat I'tbfc Gararoineut U»d a ojesr title under the Li.nS.i'l-ahsfer Act."-' The iirst statameDt" was.iuttiji-ly miaieadiDg. The- second. was utterly wjtoDg.; It was,true the Crown wasnot affected by th» decisidn,'b&t i(! wai not affected in.the satoe way as any stranger to the title was hot "affected. ' The Orowii had: no title to be affected. Yet £2000 of public moneyhad previously been paid by Mr M'Kenzie to Hunia for this lanfl to which there was no title. To correctly appreciate tae action of the Minis er it is.. ncceieary to go back to 1893. tha session of that yew, as ia many.previous eesjiops, there hid be9n petitioiiß and^recoaimendtitiqns by committees for legiilatiou bo as to protect the interests of those interested but not named in ths title. On the Ith August one of the Miori members osiied the llliajster for Liiids:—" (1) Whethec theto was any negotiations goiDg on by "the. Government for the purchase of the florowheuua block; and (2) if so, seeing th»t the registered owuers are undoubtedly trusfcaes, wuuld the ; Gpvernnieat see that the baneficiaries agree to auy Bale bsi'ore such in completed ? " Mr John M'Kenzie, the Minister tor Lauds, after mentioning chat overtures for porohaso of a porMou^-the block had been made; stated."thitv.*'if the':Governtiißnt-did: lUHgutiite for the";block.thay Would tsbe good' Caro: before a purcaate was ciuade, "or before'any; iuQn'ey v vfis pai<J oVe£ thtifc tiio ihterasts .of'the: ■henSflcitaie'B s^ald-6 1 ft;prpiBoto'a;?-'"'/S9'..thßt'.j6; willbVsseu"ttiit as.far b&cl?"Bs",'Angwti;.iS93,the> Minister recognistd that flunit was only a trustee. Yet. withia three weeks of the end- of the ' session and while ' ths interests ofl the beaeticiaries were unprotected, except by c&veata, thifc wara -.there bslore t^e Minister gave the antw^r.-jaat quojiad,'he procured-the execation by Huma aloiio of.a transfer by which, in consideration, of £6000, be puvpocted to convey to the Crown the 1500 acres. In his most recent public deliroraace on the subject in Danediu Mr M'ifsnzie stated that at the'time hi the transfer "he fpuncl.Hupia the registered ' proprietor' of the land." Ha found . nothing.'of .the .aort. Hunia never was, and probably never will be, the registered pro-, prietor of tha land. The title remained in the joint names of Korap ~snd Hunia, and all deiliiigs by either or both were prohibited by cavta:s lodged to protect the land pandiag the decision "of the Supreme Court,.' Mr M'Kenzie exyliined that tha,£6ooo moutioued iv the trausfer was repressntad by Govern ment debentures held by the department Mil the matter should bd cleated up. This, although scarcely iv ktiopipg with his.P,rpmi.3B.tj tha House, was comparatively innocent complied with what followed. Mr M'Kfenzie furiher stated at Dunodio, as carryiog on the narrative, that '.'in-August 1894, when ie was represented Hunia wsa about to bjbome bankrupt and that hia interest would pas* 'to the official assignee, who ciuld cell to thji highest bidder, the matter was considered by tue Cabinet, and to prevent the &state falling 4hto ■ the hands of tipecolators itwas decided to .'advance £2009 to HuhiaandtoMtain£Wo of the:purchase money until'the,,claims' of Qther Applicants were debided." This is anything but'/anunyarniahed tale!. If, Hunia. became bankrupt and his. jnteres6 paesed to the official assignee, the latter would have beea bound by-any valid contract. But the Government must have known that their dealing with Hunia alone was improper, and that uo, title could come' through him. As to the land falling into the hands ot speculators, tbab was the sheerest humbug. If Huniacould not sell to tha Crown fee could bo; sell to anyone else, and if ha had contracted to sell to the Crown no one else could possibly interfere. The fact of the matter w&3, it suited their book to defy the law they were there to:uphold. It will be noticed' that the debentures had been quietly dropped. It was money now Government debentures werci of no use to Hunja, to whom Mr M'Konzie arranged to pay over £2000 which did not belong to him. If the transaction were considered—as it truly might be—one in which Mr M'Keuzie was a trueleß for the public, we have the facb of ons tru&tte misippiyiDg trust money to confor a favour on anoiUtr truitae who H known to hive no right 10 receive it. As in keeping wilß the couducfc oi' the parties, tho money was paid ia an unusual mauacr. Iv tha course of the trial in Wanganui it was ascertained that the nrjoucy wsi forthcoming on the solicitation pi; Mr Donaui Frastr, the agenb of Hunia, that Hutid iv.cciiJid it, not through any land purcJiass cEßcer, but iv a letter through tho post ,by chequo. Ont of the £2000 Mr Fraaer received eomething like £300, in addition to about £200 previoviely received by him. Of-
course ParUnment could lyg'shje to overcome thosa (lidlcuUies and iinpt\>priitia?, nnd probably will dr> so at the dictation of the Ministry, osfcmtibly in the' publio intercut; but, judged by any - ordinary, - standard of morality, the action of Mr Johii M'Kapzie deßecves the most serious reprob&tian.' It such"thirigs were attempted in the ordinary way~of "busiaoas it would be difficult: to ssy whoto the punishment would end.
THE HOROWHENUA BREACH OF TRUST., Otago Daily Times, Issue 10333, 13 April 1895
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