Letter from J. Whitely,
dated 31st. August 1852.
31st. August 1852.
My Dear Friend,
I was very glad to receive a letter once more from your pen; and I hasten to prepare a line for the Mail, in reply. Yours reached this place in four days, being dated 24th. August, and came to hand 28th.inst. One of the Mails is a few days behind its proper time,- not the last one, but the next one; and I am trying all I can to get it up to the mark; so that I should be obliged if you would, as you may have opportunity to impress upon the minds of your brother Officials, the importance of having their dispatches ready. Tell them to work overhours, as I do, and sit up in nights to write. For instance, I expect the Mail in from Auckland now every hour. Perhaps the Postman may reach New Plymouth about Monday or Tuesday next. Now if he could return on Wednesday, he might reach here on Saturday night; and thus the regularity would be restored. But if he could not be sent off on Wednesday, Thursday would be something towards recovering the lost time. Indeed, every single hour saved is so much gained towards bringing the thing straight; and if a few hours, or a day, were saved by
by every Mail, then in a few Mails they would be right again. You will understand that these remarks refer only to one of the Mails; the other is right, and has never been wrong,- at least that I can at present remember. But the alternate Mail,- I mean the one that will next arrive at New Plymouth, and so on, every alternate Mail, got out by the sickness of the Postman some 2 months ago; and I have never been able to recover the time he lost. The public complain of the irregularity; but they do not understand that it is only one of the Mails that is out; and that by a little extra despatch in returning the messenger from New Plymouth, the time lost might soon be regained. Mr. Leech supposed that the irregularity was occasioned by the Native getting upset in crossing the harbour. Not at all; that Mail reached Auckland at its time, and has never been out. The other one was out long before that accident; and I have never yet been able to get it in again, just simply because nobody seems to understand that a few lost days want recovering. Now, in the journey to and from Auckland, there cannot be many hours saved; for nearly the whole of the fortnight is required for the journey,- I mean from Kawhia to New Plymouth and back may be performed in little more than a week; so that in that part of the route, the time might soon be saved; if the people would only just get
their letters ready for the Postman, to return as soon as he could. You will understand that all these remarks refer only to every alternate Mail. There are two Mails in four weeks; one of them keeps its time regularly enough; the other got out by losing some 5 or 6 days through the sickness of the messenger; and can only be got in again by recovering those lost days. If we were to delay the other so as to bring them both just a fortnight apart, then both would be a week out with the Mails from Wellington. I must beg your pardon for thus troubling you with this matter; but I do it because I hope you may be able to induce the Government Officers and the public to exert themselves a little so as to have their Despatches ready to come off as soon as possible after the arrival of the messenger; or as soon as possible after the 7 September, the 5th. October, the 2nd, of November, etc.; which are the dates at which the Mail now out of order, ought to leave New Plymouth.
With regard to the subject of your letter, I am decidedly of opinion that the natives should sell land; and that the Government should buy; and I am so wishful that this should be done that I am ready to say I don't care how extensively and how cheaply you can purchase; only get the land out of the hands of the natives as readily and as quietly as possible. Of course I refer to the
vast extent of waste and useless lands, which bring them in no profit, nor ever will. Nine tenths are thus lying dead; wshereas if they were to sell it, and with the proceeds, farm the remaining one tenth, they might soon be
as rich as noblemen. Therefore, buy away as fast as you can, quietly and peaceably. The Mokau natives, I don't know anything against, with regard to their "befriending Snglish settlers"; but my impression is, they would do so. Mr. Turton and Mr. Schnackenberg would be better able to inform you.
I shall be glad to hear of your success at Mangoraka. My respects to Katatore; and tell him to "whakamutu his Pakeke". Love to all the good natives; and our united respects to Mrs. McLean,
(Signed) J. Whitely
D. McLean Esq.