20th. April 1873.
My dear McLean,
I think you very sincerely for your kind and most considerate telegram and esteem it a very great proof of your friendship for you must have had plenty to think of at that time. I do not think there is any thing political connected with the late murder which appears to have been committed by the same Maories who hit a fellow over the head a short time ago at or very near the same place. I believe there are a few old fanatics led by a very old man who is believed to be mad and whose madness takes the line of murder. That the Natives generally have anything to do with it I do not believe but no doubt you will see fit to take such steps as will prevent a recurrence and vindicate the late act. There is (pehaps naturally) a very great feeling of indignation and a desire for action on the part of the residents about Cambridge and they held a meeting this evening on the subject. Before the meeting many of the settlers indulged in extreme views of their own duty and the duty of the Government but fortunately Norman had gone up to Cambridge to attend a shooting match of the Volunteer Cavalry and he got the thing put in a proper light to his friends before the meeting which then turned out a most quiet and rational affair. In the natural excitement
and spur of the moment many of the hotheaded ones thought that the Govt. ought to take steps instantly to punish the murderers without considering that no such steps could be taken until Govt. had made enquiry and had time to fully complete such arrangements as you thought right. However the Meeting placed the fullest confidence in you knowing that you will do all that is right. It will no doubt be very difficult for you to come to a conclusion for with every horror of, and desire to avoid any collision with the Natives it will not do to permit such acts to pass unpunished. If the Natives will give up the murderers some of whom are known it will be plain sailing, but if they will not give them up then comes the difficulty but of this I feel sure that if the rod must be applied it must be a black rod - Maori v. Maori and not white man v. Maori. I have every confidence in our armed constabulary inside the boundary but I believe in no white men in the Maori country and if the King natives are to be smashed such must be done by Arawas, Ngapuhis etc, no doubt the latter would do it most thoroughly and well all the pleasure in life at no great money cost and no cost of white men. When you come to a conclusion as to what you will do a telegram which could be shown to the Settlers would be esteemed highly by them and be a proof that you desired to show them every consideration. Of course any Govt. telegrams are private and altho reports on such often
get wind necessarily much that is erroneous is spread abroad. You know how anxious I always am to place the acts of the present Ministry in the best possible light and you will there fore forgive my saying so much on this subject.
The Waikato is strong in favor of the existing Govt. and I trust nothing may ever create a different feeling and I believe nothing will so long as you are Native Minister. I must come to a close with this long yarn but I think you will not object to hear from other than official sources the feelings of the inhabitants of the Waikato indeed officials very often are not much aware of what settlers think or say. In every thing however connected with disturbances or anything else every man in Waikato has thorough confidence in the excellent and gallant fellow who commends the District who never makes a panic but who is ever ready and willing of occasion requires. My wife joins with me in very kindest thanks for your very kind thoughtabout the telegram and believe me my dear McLean,
Your very sincere friend,
Kind regards to Vogel. My sister and brothers in law met him in Sydney - they say they were so delighted at his pitching into Parkes as he did. Vogels talents very fully appreciated. How the Melbourne papers gave it to your late
Premier and serve him right.
I was delighted at your going into Kawhia as you did and very glad you had Sir G.A. and not Sir G.B. as I think my good friend Bowen would not have given you as much credit as I hope the Acting Governor was a good kind fellow but oh! how Egotistical no room for anyone but himself in such a case as I now refer to where surely all credit is due to you.
I see he was camping out with the Volunteers in Victoria he knows how to court popularity.
I believe much in our new Governor Sir James Ferguson. He is a great friend of my brothers and was M.P. for Ayrshire when my brother sat for Aberdeen shire. William is a good Judge and says Ferguson is a very first class man I have not seen him since he was a child but I knew his father, mother and all his family very intimately his uncle is one of my oldest friends he is "a bird out of a good nest" as they say in our dear old country.
Inward letters - P Leslie, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0389 (66 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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