My dear Mr.Maclean
I have just written a public letter to you on the subject of the Act to regulate the sale of Spirituous Liquors within Districts inhabited by Aboriginal Natives. I have there expressed an opinion favorable to the Act, but I have no expectation that the Act will be made to work, unless steps are taken by yourself to make it effective. The Archdeacon wrote to you on the 6th of April, complaining of the encouragement given at Waiapu by the issue of Licenses. I have been reading Mr. Campbells rejoinder, in which he throws a great amount of official dust into the eyes of his superiors. But a little wind will blow that dust away. He tries to make it appear that, he came to the conclusion to issue licenses, as "the best means of preventing the continuance of the sale of spirits". He says moreover that he has issued two Licenses for this purpose. His zeal in this direction has greatly increased during the interval which has followed, for the licenses now held in the District from Te Kawakawa to Waipiro, are four,
besides one to Ropata Wahawaha. These four grog shops cannot therefore be meant for the gratification of the European population which consists of only fourteen householders including the Resident Magistrate. I may mention also two other licensed houses one at Uawa and another at Puatai. The holders of these licenses are dignified by the title of "Merchants trading with the natives". I am quite at a loss to understand how a Magistrate can really desire to put down drunness, and yet legalize the unrestricted sale of spirits. The fact is that Mr. Campbell has no wish to have the practice stopped. I wish you could have listened to the speech of Moki Turei today at the Meeting of our Church Board. We had the subject under discussion. He spoke of a letter which you sent to Mokena, in which you pressed upon him the expediency of putting down drunknness. Mokena went to Mr. Campbell, and said that your letter gave him much concern, and that he wished to act upon it. Mr. Campbell replied, "How can you put it down? What is to be done with the licenses which have been issued by the Government? What can you do about Whanganui, and Turanga, and Wellington? The best way, Mokena, will be to forbid
these sellers of spirits to allow any grog to be carried out of their houses, and to restrict the natives to two or three glasses". The fact is that he has a relish for these beverages, not I believe that he goes to excess, but that having a disposition that way, he is glad to be kept in countenance b those about him. And then by way of making the natives accustomed to it as being a ligitimate pakeha practice, he always presses it upon Mokena or any other leadingperson who calls upon him, and even upon Mohi and Raniera.
Mohi said at our Meeting, It is in vain to think of putting down this evil, if the person in highest authority in the District is a supporter of it, because the voice of the community would refer to him as the upholder of the practice; and he illustrated the case in a very spirited manner by an incident which happened at the Thames. There was a teacher of the name of Hona, who had stollen some seed potatoes from Timoti's whata, and as long as the theft was not exposed Hona stood up with a bold face. One day as he was catechizing the natives he was proceeding with various questions, Kowai a Arama? Kowai a Noa? Kowai a Rawiri? and when he put the
question, Kowai a Hona? the native answered, "Aua, ko te poropiti pea i tirourou nei i te whata purapura a Timoti i Tahuapitoitoi". "Na ka hinga a Hona ki raro, ka kitea hoki tona he". His application was that if a grog case is brought before Mr. Campbell he will be in the same position as Hona.
He added in conclusion, "If Angus White had lived, and had continued our magistrate, we should have had no drinking at Waiapu.
I have already given you my public opinion, and I think I have now said enough to shew you what I think in private.
Believe me to remain
Most faithfully yours
The Honorable Donald McLean