Object #1000901 from MS-Papers-0032-0581

4 pages written 12 Sep 1859 by Thomas Henry Smith in Onehunga to Sir Donald McLean in Wellington

From: Inward letters - Thomas Henry Smith, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0581 (69 digitised items). Letters written from Auckland, Maketu, on board SS Egmont off Napier; on board SS Lord Ashley off Napier, 1856-1872. Includes piece-level inventory, 1856-1866 (excludes letters from 1969 accession)

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)


Sep. 12 -59

My dear McLean,

I drop you a hasty line to go by the 'Airedale' to-morrow. Your officials and private letters per 'Eliezer' and 'White Swan' came duly to hand those by the latter on Saturday the 10th inst. Your success at Hawke's Bay is a matter for congratulation both to yourself and the Govt. and any one else less 'used to it' would doubtless feel considerably elated by it - Meanwhile the other provinces are impatient of your absence and you are wanted in half a dozen places at once besides head quarters where we are doing our best to keep the wheels moving smoothly until you can resume your post at the helm. There are many important questions which require your experience and practical knowledge to suggest the proper mode of dealing with them, but as these are not at present available we are fain to substitute them as we best may -- I have not time to enter into the various plans and schemes proposed for settling the primary question of the day - the native land question - The Governor is sending home a most important despatch on the subject in which he urges upon the Imperial Govt. the necessity of declaring in some unequivocal manner that the colonization of this country so far as the rights and interests of the Aboriginal natives are concerned is a matter of Imperial concern and must not be made the subject of uncertain local legislation - In support of this view H. E. has obtained opinions from the Bishop, Dr. Martin and Mr. Swainson expressed in clear and unmistakeable language -- Ministers have prepared several drafts of Bills intended to meet the requirements of the case as viewed by themselves but these all fetter the power of the Governor by requiring the powers conferred on him to be exercised with advice and consent of his Executive Council for the time being and are therefore so far open to objection I cannot enter into the details of the plan submitted by the Governor, it appears to me to unite and combine all that is good in the other plans and if embodied in some Act of the Imperial Legislature may prove the key to unlock the native difficulty. I brought home a bag full of documents relating to this question this evening upon which I have to report and have spent the last 3 hours in their perusal.

I will endeavor to get a copy of the minutes upon which the letter relating to young Buller's appointment was written -- And enclose it with this -- it is I believe on the letter of the Revd. J. Buller to the Governor -- Your Memo. recommending the appointment of Mr. Buller junr. as A. N. S. at Wellington was, after lying in abeyance for some time, objected to by Richmond -- such, however, is my impression but I will refer to the papers again.

Rogan is absent - he has been to settle the Waikeri a wera, also to Whangarei to examine a ''mare's nest'' found by Sir O. Gibbes, from which I am afraid he will not bring home any ''young ones'' -- he is now, I believe, at Omaha, for the purpose of enquiring into Kiri case -- of which he takes a more favorable view than was adopted at the office -- The fault lies at the door of the Surveyor who never made the circuit of the boundaries -- Kiri has been warning Europeans off the ground and a correspondence between the Prov. and Genl. Govts. has resulted. Sinclair has been engaged in preparing plans for the Governor shewing the extent of territory acquired from the natives -- there is abundance of work in the office to keep him employed for some time to come. John White is back but is principally engaged in connection with the Land Claims Dept. -- Halse has been offered the appointment of Magistrate for the Waikato to and this mail conveys instructions to him to come up to Auckland by the return of the steamer. Fenton returned on Saturday -- he reports that the Waikato tribes are prepared to receive a Magistrate to visit them periodically but does not think they would be willing to have one resident at Rangiaohia. Fenton will probably be offered the appt. of R.M. for the Bay of Plenty of the state of which as regards willingness to submit to law etc. he reports most favorably I have thought he would make a good A.N.S. for Wellington. There are many other items of news in connection with the Nat.Dept. which I might give you if I had time but must postpone them -- You will see by the Taranaki News that the Settlers have been memoralizing the Gov. about the Ch.Commr. L. P.Dt. whose presence is considered indispensable to prosecute negotiations in connection with land purchases generally and Te Teira's offer in particular. Parris has made a successful tour to the north exploring the proposed mail route inland of Mokau -

By way of private and domestic -- I cannot report very favorably -- We are all suffering much from influenza but, I trust, getting over it -- We unite in kind regards --

Believe me My dear McLean
Your's sincerely
Thos. H. Smith
Donald McLean Esquire J. P. Wellington

Part of:
Inward letters - Thomas Henry Smith, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0581 (69 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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