Object #1004771 from MS-Papers-0032-0159
From: Letters - Francis Dillon Bell to W Fox & W Gisborne, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0159 (9 digitised items). Nine letters written from London and Dunedin, 1869-1870 (some undated)
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24 Feby 1870
My dear Gisborne,
Many thanks for your note of 26th December. But when you say you have little to say beyond what we might see in the papers, you counted without your host, for not one paper had been sent either to Morrison or us except an old Independent. They may perhaps come by Southampton, but if so they will be too late for any good.
And as for any information of the movements of Government or the natives we have none. You speak of telegraphing any important matter: but what on earth could be of greater importance to us here than to know whether the telegram published in the Times was true (yesterday) that Te Kooti was surrounded by King Chiefs and suing in a desperate condition for peace? Lord Carnarvon and many of our friends
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were excessively anxious to know the truth; and equally surprised that we could not enlighten them: indeed the opinion is gaining ground that we dont know as much of what is going on as the meanest newspaper. Fox's move up the Wanganui seems to have been a great success; but I have not had time to read all the details yet.
I shall be curious to see the line you all take in answering Lord Granville's despatch; and wish very much you had given us an inkling of your own views. We are asked every hour what our colleagues say about it, and can give no answer: moreover, the apathy and indifference with which the dispatch was received throughout the Colony prevents us from saying anything as to public opinion any more than as to the views of our colleagues. All this places us at a great disadvantage, but it cannot be
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As to Immigration, I dont see what we can possibly do without further powers. It is a disappointment to everyone without exception, that we are not armed with any real authority, People say that the only things the Act enables us to do we cant get done, but that the act just avoids enabling us to do what could be done at once. There is a passionate movement going on here in favour of Emigration, public meetings in all directions and a monster petition to the Queen signed by more than a hundred thousand working men praying for State aid: the subject is ripe for good handling, and if we had power (not money it is not required) to make agreements we could most certainly take the ball at the ground hop and do a stroke for the Colony. It is the great misfortune of New Zealand to be always too late. We send missions home in ignorance of what we ought to get the
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missions to do, and then by losing the favourable moment we los our chances altogether. Emigrants are going in shoals to other places, we are having none out. However, by next mail I dare say Featherston or I will be able to make some suggestion for the Assembly to with. We tried to do so by this mail, but it is literally true that we have not had a moment
up to the main question of the troops, and have not been able to go and see a single relation or friend.
I was greatly shocked to hear of poor Paterson and Balfour's deaths. No two men could have been worse spared. Mrs. Bell is pretty well, but this awful fog and and cold hasn't been pleasant.
F. D. Bell
Hon, W. Gisborne
Letters - Francis Dillon Bell to W Fox & W Gisborne, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0159 (9 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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