Object #1005118 from MS-Papers-0032-0464

4 pages written 26 Jan 1864 by John Morrison in London to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - John Morrison, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0464 (31 digitised items). 32 letters written from Office of the New Zealand Government Agency, 3 Adelaide Place, King William Street, London

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

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English (ATL)

Private Via Marseilles 3 Adelaide Place, King Wm. Street, London
26 January 1864

My dear Sir

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your private letter of 9th Novr. last and thank you for the same, also for the report relative to your Province enclosed in it. It will be necessary to send the report at any future time via Marseilles as the New Zealand-Examiner is always published the day after that portion of the Mail arrives. By transmitting it via S'ton it cannot appear until the succeeding month by which time there is later news from the Colony and it loses some of its interest. I shall get it first with the above paper and some in the North. By last and this mail I have written you officially about the Rangoon. I am sensible that this matter will much annoy you yet I can assure you that it cannot be greater than what I have had. I have tried every possible means to protect the interest of the Emigrants and I think when the Government observes that neither the Emigration Court nor the Board of Trade could help me that I was powerless. I could not even get redress by law. In fact no Act of Parliament provides for such a case. Again and again I saw Mr. Watson (one of H. M. Emigration Commissioners) and consulted with him but all the satisfaction I could get was his regret. It was a case he said that would bring discredit upon the service the agent and the Government, but was most willing to help me if he could, but he admitted he had no power and had the case occurred with one of their ship he could not have done more than I did. It is a slight satisfaction to myself to know this, but I know well that the feeling in the Colony will be against me, yet I can conscienciously assert I had carefully and prudently taken every precaution to protect the interest of the Emigrants and the Government, and if an unforeseen circumstance arises, I trust the Government will view it as being a matter beyond my control. It has however taught me a lesson and in my future contracts I will take very good care no contractor shall have the same freedom which Messrs. Shaw Savill & Co. have had in the present case. I blame them very much, for daily I called on them to go down to Ramsgate and institute an enquiry into the claims which the Boatmen and others made on the ship but it had no avail. They alleged they had fulfilled their contract with myself. That they were unable to control the Captain and owner, that in consequence of the accident of the seas the ship was detained and such like excuses. They know that until the six weeks expired which the law allows a ship owner to repair his ship I had no legal claim on them, but when I wrote Mr. Watson and the Board of Trade I threaten at the same time to bring up some of the Emigrants from Ramsgate and take them before the Lord Mayor so as to expose them, in fact I exercised every means I could think of to compel them to send the ship to sea and when Mr. Shaw went down to Ramsgate it was the first time they had done so, and the first step they took to urge the owner to despatch the ship, if I may except writing letters to the owner. The difficulties of the unfortunate owner were increased by the extortionate claims made on the ship - The Boatmen at Deal who put the anchor and chain on board of her when in collision claimed salvage to the extent of £1000, and the other necessary disbursements were as monstrously charged. These claims no doubt greatly impeded a prompt settlement. I trust now that she has sailed that she may be favored with a favorable voyage and that no such case will again arise to mar the cause of Emigration to Hawkes Bay. No one could have been more anxious than I was that everything should go right - It has been truly unfortunate. At first there was an evident disposition on the part of one or two of the Emigrants to find unnecessary fault, but on the whole they are to be greatly commended for the patient manner they have met their misfortunes. I beg you will excuse my thus fully going into the matter of the Rangoon, it is with no wish that you should prejudge the case, for I would be glad of the most stringent enquiry-being instituted for I think it will show that I have done all that any Agent would do. You must however consider the suggestion I have made about the passage money. It is unusual to make all payable in the Colony as the Government has not the protection it should have, if half were payable here and anything occurred afterwards, the Government can withhold payment of remainder. In my contract for this year I make it optional with myself to pay half here on account of Government, or the whole in the Colony and should I think it advisable to adopt the system I propose, I will do so and trust to the Government supporting my views. I am also arranging for a reduction on the sale of passage money - By next mail I will send contract. I am vexed I can create no opposition to Messrs. S. S. & Co. and it is likely they will be the contractors. You will learn by this mail the result of the Otago Loan. It will be interesting to know this, unsatisfactory as the issue was. I observe what you say about the Loan for your province. I heard from Mr. Saunders the Secy, of the Union Bk. of A. that they were to negoclate it. From the experience I have had in such matters I may take the freedom to urge you not to make the Bank absolute. In the present stringent state of the money Banks invariably study their own interest, as you observe the Bk. of N. Z. has done regarding the Otago Loan and the Union of Australia are about to do by bringing out the Canterbury Debentures. It is absolute folly to do so at present but I am told the Banks have made advances and the Government do not restrict the period of sale. I have at present the Southland Loan on hand, in connection with the Bank of New South Wales. I have protested against bringing it out and as the Government have vested in myself the sole power of fixing the minimum and reserved to me the power of holding it for 12 months after it has been offered. I have prevented the Bank from offering it as it is only damaging its future sale. I hope you have restricted the power of sale or in the present time it will go below its value. It appears to me now that Banking facilities are most general that the Governments of N. Z. would be able to obtain better terms for the financial transactions if they were arranged here. Competition is greater and charges less. A commission authorized to float the debentures on the best terms and through the most favorable channel would bring the several Banks together with the large Financial Associations that have of late sprung up into competition resulting I have little doubt to the benefit of the Government. You will pardon these observations, for altho they may appear to be a somewhat self interested step, they are submitted for your general guidance and if you avail of them for the benefit of the Province independent of myself - I shall be equally-satisfied for I assure you I am earnest and anxious to assist you to the best of my power. If at any time you require information on the subject of public works I will have great pleasure in getting it for you. I shall be glad to attend to the Commissions for the Club or at any time wants you require executed. I send you separately a very full report of the Wool market for 1863. It is prepared by a Foreigner and interesting for the statistical information - Notwithstanding the stringent state of the money market, the wool trade continues firm both for English and Colonial qualities at full currencies. The next sales will commence at a later period than usual owing it is said to the backward season in the Australian Colonies. It is possible your clips may arrive to the early sales for I look for the ship Napier getting a full cargo from your port. Whatever you do avoid indirect shipments to England. I have Wool on hand from Napier that was sent via Auckland and Sydney which arrived too late for last sales in consequence of the lot being shipped by three different vessels. As I know youare interested in stations I will be very glad to take charge of your shipments if you make them direct to England and send you supplies back. If advances are required draw upon me through any of the Banks and I will be glad to protect your signature - I trust you will be able to control the Natives in your district, it is a misfortune they were enabled to get away from Mere Mere without being taught a lesson and begging you will excuse my lengthened remarks,

I am My dear Sir
Faithfully yours
John Morrison
His Honor Donald McLean Esqr.

Part of:
Inward letters - John Morrison, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0464 (31 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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