Object #1008934 from MS-Papers-0032-0486

9 pages written 25 Mar 1874 by John Davies Ormond in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0486 (119 digitised items). 112 letters written from Wairoa, Wellington, Napier, 1873-1876. Includes letter from D M Luckie to Ormond, Nov 1875; Ormond to Fox, Mar 1876; Carlyon to Ormond.

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

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English (ATL)


March 25th /74

My dear McLean

Yours of the 21st came to hand by the Wellington and I see from it that you are off north and thence to Sydney - I have been very much out of sorts lately Hitchings says my Liver is wrong but at any rate I dont get right - I am starting for Wallingford tomorrow morning and hope the change may do me good. It is so unusual for me to be ailing that I daresay a slight illness is more severely felt by me than most people. Yesterday I received from Vogel the proposal you know of that I should go home and either act with or over-ride Featherstone, it was a condition that I should go by the next outgoing mail and this was impossible. Situated as I am here, doing all the work of the Province, and with a lot of big works in hand I could not possibly leave or wind things up at such short notice - Nor indeed could I have put my private affairs in order to leave on such a mission in so short a space of time - Without therefore going further it was impossible for me to accept - Had there been time I should have very carefully considered the whole position before accepting - The duty proposed was a most difficult and arduous one - In my opinion collision with Featherstone would be extremely probable and in such case any one undertaking it wd. have to re-organize everything - Whoever the man was he would have a great deal to learn and in all probability the change wd. bring with it a temporary check to the flow of Emigration. Whatever Featherstone's faults may be he must have learned a great deal and have gained considerable experience in the Emigration work - I should have very carefully weighed all these points before I wd. have accepted such a mission and I think any man who was fit for the position and meant to undertake it and carry it out wd. do so - It seems to me that the bad selection of Immigrants must be chiefly the fault of the Agents Featherstone employs - It is quite impossible that he himself could inspect them all. Therefore I judge that it is the sub agencies that most want reform and in this I suppose Featherstone must be ameanable to instruction from the Government. I have written to Vogel and given him pretty much the same view as I am writing you. Altho' I raise these points I do not say I would not have undertaken the work had time allowed - But at any rate I should before doing so have gone to Wellington and ascertained for myself the grounds on which a change was determined upon - Then had I seen it was requisite I might have undertaken it - Such a work wd. however be most laborious and I am not sorry on the whole that the short notice debarred me from considering the proposal on its merits. I think that explains to you pretty well my feelings and opinions in the matter - As to the selection of Immigrants not being careful enough of that I am quite aware - every shipment that comes here contains a number of people who never ought to have been sent to the Colony - every ship brings a number who go at once to the Hospital and some are incurable invalids who have for years been useless and will be so all their lives - A very few of these cases are sufficient to provoke dissatisfaction and no doubt the conduct of Immigration is freely criticized in consequence. I have not time to write more upon this subject I think before Featherstone is interfered with it shd. be well considered and it may almost be taken for granted that any interference with him wd. lead to collision between him and whoever was sent home. He is just now supplying the required number of Immigrants. What is wanted is an improvement in the quality - I had written you thus fully my mind on this question that you may understand what has influenced me or rather what wd. have influenced me had I considered the position seriously - As I have before said the time was so limited that accepting was out of the question - It is late and I have been hard at work all day so have not time to write on other subjects - Young Eyre is here and altho he does not say much to me about it I hear he is full of his settling ideas - I almost wish he had not come here as I am afraid his ideas of the pleasure and ease of a Colonial life will get confirmed by being made much of - and if he did give up the service his father and mother wd. blame me for it - I shd. not be sorry therefore if he were soon to rejoin his ship and if he could be got away Home that wd. be the best thing for him - He knows nothing about his leave and says he can stay until he is sent for - Will you kindly enquire about it and I think the kindest thing that can be done for him is to get him back to his own ship and thence Home as soon as possible -

Here of course he is riding all over the country and as people are very kind to him he thinks Colonial life wd. always be the same - no doubt it was his former visit here that gave him the notion hence my anxiety

We are having beautiful weather now and the rain we had fairly started the feed. You did quite right in the case of the Guard of Honor and public opinion here is quite in favour of them being disbanded -

I must close
Yours always
J.D. Ormond

Let me hear from you before you go to Sydney - I shall be one' week absent at Wallingford -

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0486 (119 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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