Object #1002468 from MS-Papers-0032-0486

8 pages written 6 May 1876 by John Davies Ormond in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0486 (119 digitised items). 112 letters written from Wairoa, Wellington, Napier, 1873-1876. Includes letter from D M Luckie to Ormond, Nov 1875; Ormond to Fox, Mar 1876; Carlyon to Ormond.

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

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English (ATL)

May 6th. 1876.

My dear McLean,

Somehow I have missed writing you by the two last Auckland Steamers, forgetting you were not at Wellington. This will go by the Columia and I have a good deal te tell you, if I have time - and dont get too much interrupted. First I will reply to a query you put in a late telegram viz. who I think best to move and second the reply to the address. You want a good man from each Island. I would suggest Cox for the North Island and Fitzroy or Murray Aynsley or perhaps Larnach failing the other two for the Middle Island. It is a great thing to get a good class of member to do this kind of thing it gives a good tone. Cox wd. be first rate. about the Speakership so far as I can gather it is all right, Old Fitz accepts and if he takes it - your Govt. gets rid of a formidable opponent indeed Grey without Fitz. will be helpless. Really when one looks back two or three months, and sees what a lot of incapable asses the leaders of the Opposition are, one cant help saying that Vogel has great luck. It is not too much to say that three months ago the Opposition had a majority and yet now before the Session, by the imbecility of the leaders of the party, the Opposition has almost ceased to exist. Old Fitz. sees this or he would never have accepted the Speakership. So far as I see Your Govt. is quite safe as long as Grey can be kept leader of the opposition. The danger is when Grey goes, as he most likely will before the session is half over. I hear from a good many Southern men and the feeling is just what I say - as long as Grey is Leader, any strong opposition is impossible, but if he were got rid of, it wd. be different. I have written you separately about Dillon Bell as you may like to shew my letter to Vogel. I have nothing additional to say only that I think it is a mistake to shut him out, or rather to try to shut him out, for as soon as it is known he is kept out by Vogel, he will get a seat in the House of Representatives and will then be hostile and mischievous. At the present time he is more likely to be on our side than against us - I wd. strongly advise you to look into this and if it is agreed to call Bell get it done as quickly as possible. Bell is an impulsive fellow and is smarting under disappointment and may take action which wd. make it difficult to call him - this wd. be avoided if he were called and his grievance ended.

Now about things here - I wired you yesterday that I wanted now a more active Native Officer than Hamlin, and named Ferris, who you have approved. I have today invited Ferris to come here as Interpreter to Govt. Agents and my opinion is that if he will come he will be very useful J. Hamlin is too sleepy and wants energy - if you send him out to see the Natives he makes a pleasure trip of it, runs out by the mid-day train eats a dinner and back again. What is wanted is a man who will go and spend his time with the Natives - stop at the public nearest the Pah and talk quietly and as occasion offers with the Natives. Hamlin is too lazy for this. As far as I can see and Locke concursthe time has now come when the Natives will welcome a smart officer who can help them by advice. Russell and Sheehan are now pressing the Natives for money or Deeds and Native like they turn against them at once. At Te Aute Russell and Sheehan during the last two weeks have tried coaxing then threatening but all to no purpose and it has ended in the Natives coming for advice. This morning I started Hamlin to counteract their movements but he has no energy and seemed only anxious to get home again tonight which means he will effect nothing. I have directed him to treat for the Te Aute lands either by lease or sale and the effect at any rate will be disastrous to the Repudiation party.

As I telegraphed you lately Henry Russell was unable to leave this mail - the fact is he cannot arrange funds to carry on his places in his absence. Two Banks the Bank of Australasia and the Union have recently examined his position to see if they could advance and both Banks have refused to have anything to do with him. This is in addition to the New Zealand Bank. I shld. think therefore his affairs must be desperate. His home agents will not honor his drafts nor wd. any Bank here advance on his paper. I cant tell you in a letter the trouble I have taken over this business - repeatedly just when he thought he had arranged funds I have stopped it - the last case was today H. Nairn was to have paid £2,100 advance of Rent and bonus on Te Apiti Run. HR. and Sheehan were jubilant and told Locke yesterday that the ''Iron hand'' had predominated at last. This afternoon I saw Nairn and he has now defied the Repudiation office and refused to pay anything. Old Morena and other Natives will support him in keeping the Apiti Run in spite of Russell and Sheehan. You will gather from what I have written that Native matters here are altering for the better. Some of the Natives especially Karaitiana and Henare Temoana stick to Russell - but generally there is distrust. I shall do nothing hastily but watch and if I get Ferris here I believe he will prove a useful agent to meet the other side.

The Lawyers are doing nothing - the truth is H.R. cannot give them money and without money they will not proceed.

We are having magnificent weather very suitable for the country at this season.

Now I must close. Yours always,
J.D. Ormond.
Old Read is here dodging writs which are out against him. The writ will arrive here this evening by the Southern Cross and old Read leaves here for the Bay of Island this morning. What he wants is to put off appearing as long as he can so that the other side may not get together evidence which may be used against him with the Election Committee of the House. J.D.O. About Turton. It would be no harm just now if no Frauds Commissioner existed as then no Deeds could be even taken before him. Turton wants to leave for Dunedin has sold his house etc. If he goes defer appointing a successor as Frauds Commissioner.

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0486 (119 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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