Object #1009010 from MS-Papers-0032-0635

4 pages written by Sir George Stoddart Whitmore in London to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - G S Whitmore, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0635 (105 digitised items). 103 letters written from Hawke's Bay and London, 1862-1869 & undated. Includes letter to Miss McLean written from Wellington by T F? Whitmore, undated; sketch map of area from just north of the Mohaka River south to Whitmore's run (undated). Piece-level inventory of letters accessioned pre-1969.

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

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English (ATL)

Array Navy Club Pall Mall London

My dear McLean

I have now seen all the Provinces and if we do not make a mess of it I think we may still make ours the best of them all. Prices, climate, people all seem to me to favor us.

But our Province till you ascended the throne was awfully messed. Yours is an up-hill task, few would have the brains temper, or patience to retrieve our fortunes as you have done. But your task is only beginning. You must now save us from falling into the state of Southland and Marlboro, without having a Port to help you, as they have.

There is only one way. A complete revision of our Land Regulations. In my humble opinion we may last a couple of years but without a healthy revenue no longer without taxation. Get us a revenue. You will say this is easier said than done. I deny this. I see that to get money into the country obliging banks, model yeoman farmers and loans are all very well - cheap land sales etc. may all hide our want of money for a bit - but the real thing is to make people rich - How can this be done? Only by giving Runholder, farmer capitalist and Banker true security, and not by living one upon the other. The Runholder should have the security of a license which cannot be broken except by Hundreds, or be protected by high prices of land. The farmer unable both to buy and stock his land, besides enclosing and improving it, must borrow and pay interest (which will in practice leave the Province) and ultimately pay 150 per cent to buy back his own improvements. Now what is the remedy - Keep his interest in the place - make sure of his being able to improve and stock all his land by giving him his land on lease for ever with right of transfer, at a rate of say 4/- per acre or 10 p. cent on £2 an acre - and decide who is to have each block by open auction. This can be managed in 2 ways either put the rent to auction or sell by auction a lease for ever of each block for such bonus as people will pay. "Fine" or whatever you may like to call it. If you fear that by competition the rent may be run up to a price people cannot pay call for applications during 3 or 4 months, for each block, and draw lots for who is to have it, publicly - The farmer in our superior climate, on far better terms will be twice as well off as the Canterbury farmers who are living tho' not thriving.

In India (and in some other place I'll tell you when I get home where) this is done and succeeds. I'd sell no more than I could help now of really agricultural land.

You must not be biassed by the fact that at home they are trying to buy up copyholds and extinguish them. They lasted and succeeded for many centuries, when we are as old they may be no longer of use to us. Meanwhile they are.

I have drawn my pay to date from which my leave commences and have sent my Vouchers, drawn up by the Auditor, to you.

Dont forget to send me by next mail or the succeeding one the papers you spoke of, and believe me

Very truly yours
G. S. Whitmore

P. S. They all have it you went up to Auckd. to propose to Miss Rye!!!

Part of:
Inward letters - G S Whitmore, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0635 (105 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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