Object #1003871 from MS-Papers-0032-0635

8 pages written 1 Jan 1845 by Sir George Stoddart Whitmore to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - G S Whitmore, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0635 (105 digitised items). 103 letters written from Hawke's Bay and London, 1862-1869 & undated. Includes letter to Miss McLean written from Wellington by T F? Whitmore, undated; sketch map of area from just north of the Mohaka River south to Whitmore's run (undated). Piece-level inventory of letters accessioned pre-1969.

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

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English (ATL)

St. George's Sound
New Year's day. [1845]

My dear McLean

I have got safely this far on my journey having made the Run in the most satisfactory manner from Auckland without a single rough day. The "Northern" in which I have taken my passage has an unusual number of passengers, but they are not so rowdy a lot as Australian passengers usually are.

The newspaper I sent you from Melbourne contains a scheme of a New Land Law in Victoria which in part is nearly the same as mine - I feel quite certain that some such scheme as I proposed to you if not done now, will be seen to have been necessary hereafter and before ten years are passed everyone will blame the short sighted policy of those who have ruled us and who neglected the opportunity of making a sound revenue when they had the chance. Another "Run" law is this

The Runs are estimated by valuators who fix the carrying capabilities of the country and then according to their estimate not according to the stock kept, the sheepfarmer is taxed. Thus a run of 200,000 acres, said to be capable of carrying 40,000 sheep is taxed 40,000 sixpences or eightpences according to the locality. This though it may at first appear a democratic arrangement is really a purely capitalist's benefit arrangement. For a poor man who wants to put on say 10,000 ewes must pay four sixpences or eightpences for each. This would crush any poor man who tried to start.

In Adelaide they are trying to tax the acreage at a valuation. This all depends on the country and the rate The ultra democrats talk of sixpence. The present plan is one penny per acre and is thought high.

So much for this now for your settlements scheme.

Believe me, though I speak of course partly in my own interest I mainly speak in that of the scheme itself when I urge you to abandon your Puketitiri Settlement and transplant it to some part of your new acquisition to the North. It is a well known principle that such remote settlements far from markets and far from any port of supply must fail. While it seemed probable that the Auckland road might be made in a short time it was not so ridiculous to fancy that an inland Town 54 miles from Napier might exist. But now that this must at all events be deferred, and now that you want to start a new district it is evident that something more than the mere success of the Military settlement will be secured by planting a number of able bodied men somewhere on the coast, upon good land, whose labor would give the new District a start and who would be able to get supplies at a reasonable rate, and find some employment hereafter whaling, shipping timber etc.

I do not press this as I said before solely or even chiefly on a selfish ground, but I do not deny that I really wish the settlers anywhere but on my Run. They would do so badly that they could do me only harm I don't want their labor, and would rather see them doing real good elsewhere. The success of our Province as a whole must be promoted by the progress of its parts and from all I can learn elsewhere our Province bids fair to become one of the most favorite and prosperous in the Colony if its fortunes are taken care of. I dont believe in cheap land myself, or in selling land at all but I do believe in a good class of settlers, not such as old Powdrell, the brute, but like old Parsons and some few others we have already, and such as if you have remembered your promise to me I can get you out in scores. Get the Pakowai and give it and the Wairoa out as I advised you, and I'll undertake to get you a population who will make your Province the most successful, richest, and happiest in N. Zealand.

Now for ourselves. You need be under no apprehensions about money in our arrangement. I undertake to find £10,000 - and with this you ought to be able to get the greater part of Poverty Bay. I shall stick to my promise and plan in this affair I hope you will not lose sight of it. What I propose is this - Let us get a good tract and choose 1000 or 2000 acres each for our private reserve - The rest let us subdivide on 99 or 50 year leases at the best rent we can get, and put buildings on if asked and guaranteed 12 1/2 per cent, clear of insurance and repairs. For this I undertake to find as many young yeomen as we can want to take 100 to 200 acre farms. We can make such timber reserves, or water frontage, or village reserves as we like besides. The main thing will be the acquirement of a large unbroken block.

Our private reserve if you agree we can farm together putting a proper flock of long woolled sheep and well bred herd of cattle upon it. And you and I can agree upon the right steps to be taken in the management of it.

I am not just writing at random I can and will do all I have proposed if you can manage your part.

I see in this scheme an easy way to acquire a comfortable secure and satisfactory income. With regard to the capital you can either contribute or not as you like. If you do not we must arrange the balance of interest.

I feel so anxious about this scheme that I shall stick to Hawkes Bay till I see whether it will or will not come off. If the Pakowai scheme and this do come off we shall be better off than in any other Province. If not we shall be in a fair way to be eventually bankrupt as a Province and I shall not choose to remain in it when we get Colenso or some other of his kidney for Supt.

As regards acclimatisation.

I propose to bring out both birds and animals if I can on my own acct. For the Province I will do the same but with regard to the sum you authorized me to draw for, please write to Mr. Morrison on this subject and that of emigration and tell him to communicate with me. I presume he will pay me the £150 and make arrangements about passages. If the latitude allowed him is sufficient I propose to communicate with the Agents of the mercantile firms at Napier and try to get a really good vessel chartered to go direct. If I can manage this I'll come myself in her. Speak to Kinross and perhaps he can speak to others. If they let me know in time (i.e. by the Feby. Mail) who their agents are and with whom to communicate I'll try if we cannot get a really good vessel laid on.

Well old fellow here is the end of my yarn. I know you will give me credit for being without any motive but the good of the Province, and to be actuated by the single desire to have our part of the World equal or superior to any other in New Zealand I regard you as being quite as desirous as myself to achieve that object. I also know the disadvantage under which you labor. What with your financial difficulties, and with the class of people who infest the Town -- with the shameful misgovernment of the Province before you took the wheel your task is a hard one. But you have the tact, the perseverance, and temper to carry through any policy and the real power of you Govr. is much greater than the noisy chatter of our pooping democrats would lead a superificial person to believe

Believe me
Very truly yours
G. S. Whitmore

Part of:
Inward letters - G S Whitmore, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0635 (105 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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