Object #1012930 from MS-Papers-0032-0296
3 pages written 10 Aug 1870 by Thomas Samuel Grace in Auckland Region to Sir Donald McLean in Wellington
From: Inward letters - Surnames, Gor - Gra, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0296 (31 digitised items).
Correspondents:J E Gorst, Grammar School, undated letter; Edward Gorton, Auckland, 1869 & 1874 (2 letters); H Goulstone, 1863 (1 letter); Henry Govett, Taranaki, 1869 & 1871 (5 letters); Margaret Govett, Taranaki, undated letter; Morgan Stanislaus Grace, Wellington, 1869-1876 & undated (10 letters & enclosure); Thomas S Grace, Tauranga & Auckland, 1870-1873 (3 letters); Mrs Grace, undated (6 letters)
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
10th Augt. 1870
My Dear Sir,
Knowing the great interest you take in the welfare of the Natives, will you allow me to make a few remarks respecting them.
When on my last journey I could not help observing the great willingness of the Natives in many places to be employed by the Govt. in road making.
The present mode of employing by contract is open to many objections. They have very imperfect views of what is a fair payment by contract for a piece of work of any magnitude, they consequently loose much time in planning and scheming about the work before it is agreed to, and when they at length go to work do very much as they please, and there is little or no control over either them or the work. They assemble on the road men and women, old and young, and if possible obtain mony or flour and sugar etc., either in advance from Govt. or on credit from dealers. While the food lasts they eat and drink and work little, and after repeated delays when the work is at last finished, the really hard working men
amongst them having little or nothing to receive find, that they would have been perhaps better off if they had remained at home taking care of their own plantations.
The plan of working by contract is, moreover, so much in their own way of doing things that we cannot expect it to produce any permanent good or civilising effect.
To avoid these and other evils I feel persuaded, that if the Govt. would employ parties of able bodied Natives as day laborers in a sort of half Military way issuing rations of flour and sugar etc. when required to those on pay and to none others. Always requiring a fair days work for a fair days wages, that it would be productive of the best results, politically, socially and religously. I have had considerable experience in employing natives and think that with judicious European overseers the difficulty of getting a fair days work would be overcome.
I have always found the Natives much more willing to receive religious instruction when industriously employed than when comparatively idle, and should be most willing to do my best to attend to the spiritual wants of
any parties so employed in road making in my own district.
I hope you will not think that in taking an interest in this matter I have greatly changed my views on the contrary I have always desired to promote what I believed would lead to peace. When road making tended to war I could have nothing to do with it, the case is now very different and may be made to promote peace and social happiness amongst us.
I have the honor to be
Your Obt. Servt.
T. S. Grace
The Honble D. McLean
Inward letters - Surnames, Gor - Gra, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0296 (31 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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