Object #1012215 from MS-Papers-0032-0481

2 pages written 30 Jul 1865 by John Davies Ormond in Wellington to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0481 (89 digitised items). 85 letters written from Epraima, Auckland, Wallingford & Napier, 1857-1865. Includes a few draft letters from McLean to Ormond.

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

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English (ATL)

July 30th/65

My dear McLean,

I havent much to write you by this chance (Star of the South) but you will be wanting to know how things are going on - We had a fearful passage down here 3 days and 2 nights knocking about in that beast of a vessel - Nothing has been done yet in the House except a little hard hitting between Stafford and Sowell Stafford is said to be very bitter against Sewell and Fitzherbert but general opinion is that Weld's Ministry will stand. If beaten there is almost certain to be a dissolution. Had you not better initiate proceedings for your election for Napier - You might have it given out that you would stand if a requisition were got up to you to do so - The Wereroa pah is the last great success that is talked about - I think a deal more is being made of it than it deserves - the 57 prisoners are here - it is reported they are to have a hulk prepared for their reception - as usual who was to have charge of them is a vexed question nobody seems to care about it. Grey I hear talks of this business as a very successful piece of generalship - on his part. I have not seen Weld yet Richmond and Atkinson I saw yesterday they told me Govt. were thoroughly satisfied with what had been done on the East Coast - they referred to my last private (semi official) report to Weld during your absence in which I said that the natives attending Tareha's meeting were Hau Haus and were coming (according to report) armed to it (the latter there is no doubt about they were seen before I left) I said also you had directed that they shd. not come armed and I told Weld he ought to express the Govt. views as to what shd. be done in the event of a collision between Tareha and Karaitiana's party. It seems my letter has stirred them up - Richmond hoped I shd. make no reference in the House to their having failed to communicate with you on this subject before and said they were all agreed a definite policy must be laid down as to what shd. be done in such a contingency. He asked our views I said that I wd. meet them today and talk it over - We (you and I) are agreed that nothing connected with these meetings is of sufficient importance to our Provincial interests to risk a breech of the peace of the district for them. I want however to have Ministers to bear the responsibility not us - It wd. ruin you at the approaching election if it leaked out supposing we did not guard against it.

There is no copy of the letter I am referring to - in your office. It was not an alarm letter on the contrary I said I was assured no intention existed in the minds of either party to molest the Europeans. I said however that if war between the 2 sections of the natives occurred we cd. not be responsible one day for what might follow - I shall write you more on this by the Ashley and I shall push for the Opotiki demonstration -

Pihiriki is the present point to which all eyes are turned a large colonial force has gone up the Wanganui river to join in an expected engagement with the refugees from Wereroa Pah etc., The correspondence between Cameron and the Governor is all published. I have been reading it last night and this morning it is fifty thousand times worse than the old Memoranda between Grey and Whittaker Fox Ministry. I will try and send it you. The general has beyond all doubt laid himself open to the severest censure. He calls letters addressed to my dear Sir George (and touching upon nothing in any case but public business) private letters as you will see by the correspondence the whole business of the war has been carried on through what Genl. Cameron now calls private letters- the only private character of the letters are their address. The old General goes viciously at Mantell, about whom he writes - "as to Mr. Mantell, he appears to me an excitable person, entirely devoid of common sense, and I shall pay no attention whatever in future to his opinions" rather strong language that isn't it. You will by the Papers that the Govt. are proposing a conference of chiefs at Wellington this will do away with the proposed meeting at Ahuriri. This is of course reverting back to the old Kohemarama conference - it is simply and nothing else - If Tareha Hapuku and Karaitiana are sincere in their assurances that they wd. leave their disputes to be settled by an arbitration there will be plenty of opportunities at the meeting in question, see what they say to the proposal.

My next mail I shall probably be able to write you more definitely as to the chances of Weld's Govt. The two questions they are in danger on - are - 1. Sending away all the Troops 2. Finances and taxes -

The general view on these questions will develop itself within a few days. I have given you all the gossip I think. Please send on the enclosed letter. I have only one 6d stamp in the house and therefore put them all under care to you - I shall be able to write more certainly on the 5th about all matters. If the House goes on and you can come down about the 15th will be the time. Pray send down the Native Petitions about enlargement of our Province as soon as they reach you and if the St.Kilda goes again tell Deighton to have them signed by as many M's as possible.

Yours sincerely,
J. D. Ormond

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0481 (89 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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