Letter from H.T. Kemp,
to Donald McLean,
dated 16th. September 1854.
16th. September 1854.
My dear McLean,
The Members are off at last, and by the steamer I send your letters, some papers, and a few lines to say how we are getting on. We heard of your detention in that craft at Kawhia, and it has come out since that it was the intention of the Agents that she should have called there; although they were not honest enough to say so before you engaged your passage. We hope, ere this, that you have safely arrived and found things, upon the whole, in a pretty quiet state. We learn that the Taranaki people have requested the Government to send troops, etc.,
I send you the Gazette, with the Estimates as prepared and sent to the House by the Government; and a paper with the Estimates as they stand now. I have no doubt that you will observe that they made some (I mean the Government) fearful mistake in laying the Estimates in the first instance before the
House, for I have heard since that they would have dealt liberally, had they been aware of what our arrangements really were. I hear, moreover, that Colonel Wynyard is not disposed to undertake any great responsibility in the disbursement of the Public funds, unless absolutely necessary. Over the Land Fund, and Customs, I believe he will have considerable sway..
Major Nugent's Department, they struck out altogether. The Colonel sent a message for a re-consideration of it. After a long discussion, it was ungraciously given; the House having divided, leaving only a majority of two. You will see by this arrangement that we shall be relieved of a deal of work which must inevitably have been saddled upon our office. The House dealt very much upon the necessity of keeping the two officers as distinct from each other as possible. The question was even asked how it was, "that Major Nugent, as Diplomatic Agent, was not sent on the Mission upon which you are now engaged." The Assembly is, I believe, to sit in Auckland the next time, --- and for the last.
I must now give you an outline of our office matters. We are going on with the arrears; getting up the Deeds into ship-shape order; translations, duplicate copies, etc., which gives useful employment. The natives have also personally, and by letters, sent in
some few objections to some of the Piako arrangements; which they have agreed shall stand over till you return.
Mr. White has been here from Mangonui. I find that the purchase he made is attended with some difficulty, in reference to the claims of the young Chiefs I named to you. Had it not been for this, I think I should have repaid him the £100 he advanced, out of our funds.
There are several applicants for lands there; but I think, from what White says, that Nopera is inclined to repudiate his own transaction.
Capt. Russell, after making several attempts, could not raise natives sufficient to accompany him to Whangaroa under 4/6 per day, and rations; and scarcely then. Under these circumstances. as it was getting very late in the month, he undertook the Waiheke purchases, proceeding there by a cargo boat; and White has gone with him. I sent this pay list, and other accounts; but nothing has been heard of them; and I therefore gave him a cheque for £20, to enable him to go on, and pay his way, in the meantime.
Johnson's leg is getting better, and he proposes setting out for Waikato. He has seen Te Whero Whero, who does not promise him much success up
the Waikato. The natives are all so busy planting, that there is great disinclination to move anywhere. Even where the parties are themselves concerned in the sale of the land.
Everything is quiet here. The proceedings of the Assembly have by no means given satisfaction. A strong effort was made to remove the seat of Government to Wellington; and during these debates the feelings of the Northern and Southern members came out in the most undisguised and unmistakable manner.
We shall be very glad to hear from you, and to hear that affairs have settled down quietly in the Taranaki settlement.
yours very sincerely
To:- Donald McLean.