Object #1008095 from MS-Papers-0032-0149
From: Inward letters - W B Baker, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0149 (14 digitised items). 13 letters to Donald McLean, written from Auckland and Waiapu, 1857-1862
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June 29, 1859
My dear Sir,
Everything has hitherto proceeded in such a regular course, that I have felt it to be unnecessary to occupy your time with any remarks I might have to make on passing events. But now that the Direct Purchase move has been agitated, and has sustained a signal defeat or has in other words collapsed, a few of the opinions expressed out of the public speeches and meetings may be interesting. I fancy that Mr.Forsaith was the last man they should have chosen as chief orator, for though fluent in speech, he is rather given to contradictory statements, which people having better memories than himself have an unfortunate tendency to remember, and by comparing which they not unfrequently arrive at the conclusion that he is speaking in favor of a bad cause. Just about the time that the affair was at its highest state of excitement a new arrival from England per "Caduceus "
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produced a copy of a pamphlet published in England, which contained the subject matter of the Lectures delivered by Mr.F. during his visit to that
country. This was shown to me. The chief features were,
1st That every inducement was held out, and every facility afforded for immigration
2nd That land was always available and of good quality; that the two Govts. were using every effort to ensure a constant supply of it, that there was always and over abundant quantity for sale and lease by private parties advertized in the Newspapers the average being now lower than from 1,000 to 1,500 acres weekly.
Now Mr. F. asserts that the people are only brought out to be victimised, and that having by means of their agents secured a stream of immigration, the Govt. care not to trouble themselves with providing them with land.
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He also states that the only land open for selection is an immense tract of barren waste near the North Cape -- Muri whenua and otengi -- which will be the certain ruin of those who purchase it. But the climax has yet to come. When the Govr's reply was received Mr. Forsaith remarked -- Mr. Smallfield being my informant -- that His Ex. reply had no weight with him. That of course His Ex. derived his information from, and his reply was framed by the Native Office. That the gentlemen of the Department had to make the best excuse they could for their short comings, and that, as their daily bread depended upon their rebutting the charge of inactivity, they had made a Return which favored them and mislead the public.
But to come nearer home. His Excellency has expressed himself in the strongest terms with reference to the Maori Messengee; and reiterates his wish that the paper should be made more interesting, at the same time
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remarking that he thought the Editorship should not be left to a person who only supplies and is responsible for, a dry detail of shipping intelligence. I think no one will deny that the Messenger has fallen off very much lately. I have been turning over in my own mind, lately, a plan by which I think the style and interest of the articles might be much improved, I have refrained from making any observations to Mr. Smith on the subject, because I believe he cherishes the idea that it never was so well conducted. I shall at any rate be prepared to submit to you upon your return a
system for its better publication in the hope that inasmuch as His Ex. has Desired a change in the Editorship, you may be willing to recommend that I should at least have the opportunity of trying my hand at conducting the paper.
I remain My dear Sir
Very respectfully yours
William B. Baker
Inward letters - W B Baker, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0149 (14 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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