Object #1000120 from MS-Papers-0032-0481
9 pages written 29 Nov 1865 by John Davies Ormond in Wallingford to Sir Donald McLean
From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0481 (89 digitised items).
85 letters written from Epraima, Auckland, Wallingford & Napier, 1857-1865. Includes a few draft letters from McLean to Ormond.
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
Novr. 29th, /65.
My dear McLean,
Mail day is come round again and I have a larger pile of letters to write than usual - really the way this correspondence accumulates upon me is really frightful - I see Colenso's address is partly published in the Herald but not all - When I have got the whole of it I will draft a reply to it and answer most of the points he makes capital out of - As I wrote you before, look after your Election, the writs are sure to be out almost directly and Colenso will leave no stone unturned. I see what you say about our Balance being reduced to £2,000 over draft - As to your proposal to Col. to take soldiers for the road making at 5/- a day I dont approve of it at all. They would be almost useless for the work that wants to be done to open the Manawatu road. They would be over dear for such work at the rate soldiers are usually paid for road work viz. 1/- a day - Altogether they are unsuitable in every respect and I should strongly advise you to give up the idea of employing them - There is no difficulty in getting men for the labor part of the business and if you want a force to protect the works whilst in progress, why not take a company of Military Settlers and pay them for the road making out of Provincial funds - You could spare one of our Companies now probably for Turanga. I need hardly say that I shall be delighted to
see the Manawatu Road in progress but the Province cant afford to throw money into the sea and you might as well do that as employ soldiers to cut the Bush line thro' the 40 Mile Bush - You will find I am sure if you consult the other members of the Executive that they will all be agst. this proposal as strongly as I am - It is one you could not justify to the Council and it will damage you also in your approaching election for Napier - My objection is grounded on two points -
1. Soldiers are not worth a rush for Bush work until they have long experience at it - they dont earn their salt.
2. A working party for such a work as cutting thro' the 40 mile Bush must be done by a number of detached parties, a few here, a few there - it is not a road we want made or can afford to pay for - only a bridle track.
My plan of operations wd. be
1. to Start some one instantly to mark the line in such a way as ordinary Bushmen could follow it -
2. Then I would import Bushmen from Auckland advertizing that there wd. be so many miles so wide to cut - and that Bushmen could take it by contract at per mile or chain for so much - or else work for day wages, naming them - You would get from Auckland in 10 days a lot of men who wd. jump at the chance of lucrative contract work and you would cut the line for the amount the Council have voted and in a short time - employ the soldiers and you wont cut ten
miles for the sum you have to spend - This road is the work I admit that the Province wants most and I would strain every point to forward it but pray do it in a way that we can reasonably hope may be successful - The Ngarerou Bridge ought to be forwarded if possible - at any rate as far as getting the timber prepared so soon as ever we can find the money to pay for it.
Now that we can scarcely hope to realize our Loan I should advise stopping land purchasing for a time - Now that the Loan is out of the question, of which there is no doubt - Every sixpence we spend out of Revenue on Land buying is so much money diverted from its proper objects as voted by Council and with which we have no right to interfere. I should propose as a rule the following that no Land purchases be proceeded with unless under a special agreement with the Bank that the advances for the Purchase were not to be called for until the Lands themselves could be brought into the market - In a word I would not expend money - being Revenue and appropriated - with an indefinite prospect of recouping the same and interfering with the legitimate decisions of the Council - There, that is all my Prov. talk - I have written Govt. like yourself urging colonization of East Coast, not that there is a chance of their thinking of doing so, but because it is a subject we must press. I also asked them to
leave alone your settlement with the Waiapu natives about their Lands - I half expect you will find them kick at your mode and mine of interpreting their Instruction. What date is fixed for the Land Court to sit?
I want the Hawkes Bay Papers with my letter "Fact" and Barbbas' reply - when I get the Herald I will touch him up about the Lexicon business etc. That is the point to work with the mob.
If there is any hitch about the Manawatu road business etc. and I can help I will make a trip down if needful. The great thing in the Manawatu Road case most wanted is despatch. I am too tired to write more.
Yours most sincerely,
J. D. Ormond.
You will be back from Poverty Bay before this I hope you found your expectation of things being virtually settled there justified. I should almost doubt it - What a success the Wairoa sale has been - it has very much exceeded my expectations - When does the Land Court sit we might advertize almost beforehand that we shall lease the land on the Plains by auction on such a day naming a time after the Court's sitting - If there were any contre-temps we could easily withdraw the notice but of that I dont think there is any chance - Please think of this - I should say name a day about 1 month after the Court will sit and decide the cases - This will save us a good deal of loss of time and bring us in our rents sooner - I have the Heralds about Barabbas and will try and get something ready for next post - We must make him look small if possible - nothing hurts a candidate like that I shall be perhaps better spirited next week and better able to do such work than now. I shall not write more tonight.
J. D. Ormond.
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0481 (89 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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