February 24th. 1870.
My Dear McLean,
I received your note by my son; and cannot express sufficiently the pleasure your continued kindness to him gives me; and I am satisfied also, as you say that as long as you are in the Ministry he will be looked to. Should such a misfortune happen to us as your ever going out of office occur, -- for I hold it would be a misfortune at this time, I would not care much that my son should serve under any other person. The upshot of the affair is that you must have him, and he has my parental charge to be a true liegeman to you, and stand by you in so far as his small power gives, through thick and thin. I sincerely hope that he may be of some little use to you after a time. He is not altogether a blockhead, and certainly I think he has the feelings and principles of a gentleman; and in that point, I think, will not be any disgrace to your department. If he turns out well -- so; but if not, I shall not be the less obliged to you for having given him a chance to make his way in a respectable course.
I should have wished Mr. Hall to have gone on with his studies a little longer; and I shall continue
to pay Mr. Kidd for his tuition till the half year is out, at least; so that in case he may have any spare time, he may be able to make use of it in bettering himself for a Civil Service examination; which it would be well for him to pass; and which Dr. Kidd says he can do, after a little more reading. If, however, you want him, never mind the school. Time will teach.
I wrote to Carleton the other day, to tell him fairly that his leave is up. I think he won't be found again for some time inside the walls of the Senate House, and telling the world in plain terms, that he is the only wise man of Gotham. He is, I think, sure to be beaten; and most likely McLeod will come in. There is no other person at present in the field, who would have a fair chance to beat McLeod. Carleton will have to take to writing in the papers, as a vent for his wrath; and I expect he will pepper the Government and quote Shakespeare at an alarming rate. I shall come in for my share, too; but if he vexes me, he will ''catch it'' as the boys say.
That same Maori representation which you speak of, is a very serious subject; and I have been for years aware that it would force itself on our consideration in a very peremptory manner, sooner or later.
whether we have, or have not, given the natives from the first, privileges which they are as yet unfit to wield with benefit to themselves, or safety to us, is a question which will be answered by time. The natives here are talking a good deal on the subject of representation, and are placing themselves on the roll as voters in considerable numbers; which I think many have been induced to do by Carleton partizans, but most by their own free motion, and from a wish to take part in the elections. This movement amongst the natives, when it becomes more general, will have very serious effects in the North Island, and should be watched carefully; as it will be the cause of either much good, or much perplexity, according as fate may ordain, or the movement be guided by a cool head. Turning to the Kohimirama idea, it is obvious that whatever good pratical use, you might, by your own personal impression, make out of such meetings; and though practically the native mind might be represented, the natives have the franchise now, and have a good chance, if taught how to use it, of being fairly represented in parliament; and consequently have no light to be represented in any other way. But for the purposes of Government, and in consequence of the exceptional condition in which we are, such meetings might be made very useful. But we
should guard carefully against the natives taking up the idea that such Meetings had any authority, or that they had anything, at all in common with a Parliament.
There has been a great increase in the number of names on the Bay of Islands Electoral roll. I should think the numbers have doubled, or more than doubled. The increase is both in Europeans and natives. Carleton's last hope is in the natives, trusting to the influence of his relations; but he will be deceived; and if the election takes place on the new roll, he will he will be beaten without benefit of Clergy. Should the electa, on take place on the old roll, he will do better, but will, I think, certainly be beaten.
The Kooti, I see, has been in some trouble. I had hoped he would have been bagged before this. He is, however, no longer the serious danger that he has been; and my Dear McLean, if ever you have him. at bay again, try at any cost, to rush a heap of men, five or six to one, against him; and force them to come to fisty cuffs as soon as possible. Only once get them to hand blows, and all mixed up together; and the Maoris are so game that everyone almost, on both sides, will be killed; and Te Kooti, unless he has the Devil's luck, will be amongst them. Do not hesitate, or fear
to lose a fight, or what the opposition might make of it. With superior numbers, superior arms, and a resolute determination to win the horse, or lose the saddle, you will win. I would favour and get the fighting men, till the day came when I would make them pay for it, and go to the scratch myself, and make them fight, if necessary. A man can almost make sure of winning a fight before-hand; and in this irregular war, more depends on the animus of the men than on anything else. if you get Kooti to stand again, put five to one on him, drive your men mad, and at him, (the Maoris are easy set mad). The thing can't be done often; but once ought to be enough; and if the fellow isn't fixed somehow, he will be getting a plague some of these days. I should like well enough to be at Auckland for a few days to talk with you about Ohinemuri and other things, and to see yourself; for your late visit did not by any means tire us of you. I see Te Hira has been sending out the old Woman force -- a thing to be noticed. It's enough to make one think the natives know there is lots of gold at Ohinemuri, or at least that they have some reason for thinking so.
My friend F, continues to be ingeniously annoying, without giving me any excuse for a row; but the
row will come, I am afraid, sooner or later. He is all smiles to you now you are at the helm; but that man would be your worst enemy if he had the power.
I am writing helter skelter, having no time to pick my words, or think of half I should like to say to you. The work here is increasing; but partly in consequence of the flax business. Many leases are being taken of flax lands; and many mills are about to be put up. This trade, I forsee, will have good political effects, as well as Commercial, and is in your favour, or will be by and bye. I have some very trying work before me, I am sorry to say. There are claims for hearing in the North, and also at the Bay court; in which, no matter how the award goes,the parties are like enough to fight. In the Bay district, and in all the Ngapuhi. bounds, the natives do certainly give in to the decisions of the Court, pro or con, in a wonderful way; but I fear the Rarawa, to the North, with whom I have not had much to do, are less manageable; and I have private information, of Claimants and Opponents, being hard at work making cartridges. I have handled several of these explosive cases; and hope, with great caution, and the help of Providence, which somehow does pull me through often, to get through
these without mischief. But if fellows will kill each other, it can't be helped.
At the Court I held the other day at Waimate, the Ngapuhi behaved with great propriety, and submitted to decisions against them with a very good grace. But a Chief from the North, Pororua of Mangonui, came to Court drunk, and behaved in a most outrageous manner, speaking of the Queen and the Governor with contempt, and kicking up a fearful row, because his expences were, not paid by the Government, and provisions were not given him while he came to Court to claim land, which to all appearances, as far as the case has gone, belongs to the Government! Those Northern natives, I am afraid, have not had any lessons in ''deportment'' It is to be hoped they will mend. I had to put Mr. Pororua bye for a time; and I don't think his cause in Court will make much progress until he changes his manners.
When I write in this hurried, scrambling way to a friend, I hope to be excused and understood to write for his private torment only. When I write for the public I try to think just a little, and pick my words more. I am really in great haste; but if anything turns up at any time worth writing to you about, I will do so.
I hope most sincerely that you may have a marked success in your present position, and may hold it long, so long as to give you time to effect a great change for the better in our relations with the natives; and up to this time I must say that things have been decidedly taking a more promising appearance; but the work you have on hand requires much time, and the support and confidence of the Public;, and this, I think, you will have to a greater extent than any other Minister has had. I am, from my present occupation, to a great extent hors de combat in a political sence; but nevertheless, in any matter in which I can be of the smallest service to you, I need not tell you to command me; for we have been friends a long time, and quite independent of Political considerations; and for my part I am a sticker, either as a friend or an enemy. Hie Excellency has put off his visit; but when ever he does us the honour to look at Hokianga we shall do our best to entertain him in our poor Pakeha Maori way. We cannot write nice addresses, but we will take care of him at least while he is at Hokianga.
I am, my Dear McLean,