Object #1013398 from MS-Papers-0032-0003A
From: Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0003A (55 digitised items). No Item Description
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Letter from G. Eyre, to Mr. Domett, dated 27th. June 1850. to write Mr. Fox, relative to Mr. McLean's expenses.
Acknowledge Mr. Fox's two letters, of the 24th. June, on the subjects of the payment of the expenses due to Mr. McLean, while negotiating the purchase of lands for the New Zealand Company, and in reference to the discontinuance of that Officer's services for the future.
In reference to the first of these communications, relating to the payment of Mr. McLean's expenses, your letters of the 13th. August 1849, and of the---June (the letter forwarded in my Minute of 20th. June) 1850, would have informed Mr. Fox of the only manner in which the claims he has sent in against the Local Government, can be dealt with, as they are of such long standing, none of them have occurred under my own personal knowledge or directions, - they would further have informed Mr. Fox that it was my intention to bring those claims under the notice of the Legislature at the very earliest opportunity; but I have no power to order the payment of any of them until the Legislature have considered them, and passed a vote for the purpose. It is quite impossible, therefore, for me to comply with Mr. Fox's request and pay Mr. McLean out of any claims which he may have preferred on behalf of the New Zealand Company against the Government, - until those claims have been enquired into and approved by the Legislature, and a sum of money voted for the purpose of meeting them; neither was any such arrangement ever contemplated or alluded to by Mr. Fox at the time he made the agreement with Sir G. Grey at Auckland, to provide all funds necessary for the acquisition of lands for the New Zealand Company, or for payment of expenses in negotiating such acquisitions, - upon requisition being made on him for the sum,
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by the Lieut. Governor of New Munster. On the contrary, it was plainly understood and arranged that Mr. Fox should at once provide whatever funds might be necessary, when called upon to do so; and in all instances, he has acted upon this arrangement, until the time when the last Instalment upon the Wairau became due. To tell the Government now, therefore, after expenses have been incurred (at Mr. Fox's own repeated and pressing instance) that they must set off such expenses against
old claims which have no reference to the arrangements made with him, and cannot be settled without the sanction of the Legislature, is in point of fact to decline to pay Mr. McLean at all; and I trust, therefore, that the Principal Agent, will, on reflection, see the injustice of the course he is adopting towards Mr. McLean; and at once order the payment of the expenses due to that officer.
Mr. McLean is at present engaged in superintending the payment of the Rangitikei natives, of the 2nd. instalment due to them; and as soon as ever he returns, shall be instructed to cease all further negotiations on behalf of the New Zealand Company.
I cannot, however, close this correspondence, without adverting to the facts which seem to have been quite overlooked by Mr. Fox, in his letter of the 24th. June 1850, when stating that no steps had been taken towards these negotiations (relative to the Wairarapa) until the 30th. April (1850);
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and in doing so, imputing (by implication) to the Local Government, - either negligence or indifference, relative to these negotiations; which, were the imputation true, would properly be a ground of just complaint, on Mr. Fox's part.
These two facts are:-
First, - That efforts were made in 184- by Messrs. Bell and Clark, to acquire the Wairarapa district from the natives, and again Mr. Kemp, in the latter part of 1848, and beginning of 1849; but were unsuccessful, owing to causes with which Mr. Fox is aware, but which Government had no power of controlling; whilst since the early part of 1849, or from the close of Mr. Kemp's Mission, Government have, from time to time, been in communication with the natives, on the subject. Until September of that year, when Mr. McLean was requested to undertake the negotiations, and instructions issued to him in communications dated 26th. September, the 2nd. October, and the 22nd. October 1849; and of which the general tenor was embodied in your communication to Mr. Fox, dated the 22nd. September 1849. That circumstances prevented Mr. McLean from entering upon the negotiations entrusted to him for so long a time, no one can regret more than myself. But Mr. McLean was not an Officer of this Province; and had other duties in connection with New Ulster, of which the Local Government at Wellington had no knowledge, and in which they could not interfere; for their earnest and known desire to press forward negotiations, in every noticeable way, - I would refer to the promptitude and urgency with which their instructions were conveyed to Mr. McLean; to the deliberations of the Executive Council, on the subject; and to your letters to Mr. Fox, of the 22nd. September, and 8th, December 1849.
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Secondly. - That although the Government had no cognisance of the particulars of the circumstances which detained Mr. McLean at Taranaki, - they were given to understand generally that those circumstances had reference to land questions at Taranaki; also a settlement of the New Zealand Company; and one too at which I have been given to understand the Company were as anxious to have negotiations relative to the acquisition of further Blocks of land affected; as they had been in respect to the Wairarapa, Mr. McLean, therefore, although obliged to defer his negotiations relative to the latter, was detained, I imagine, under the orders of His Excellency, the Governor-in-Chief, on matters affecting their interests at Taranaki; and I need only point out to Mr. Fox, a fact well known to him, viz, - that there are very few persons in New Munster, either qualified or competent to act as Commissioner negotiating for purchases of land from the natives; and that consequently it was not in the power of the Local Government to nominate for the Wairarapa whilst the Officer was engaged under the immediate orders of the Governor-in-Chief, in attending to the interests of the New Zealand Company at their settlement in New Ulster.
27th. June 1850.
Mr. Fox accordingly by 28th. June 1850.
Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0003A (55 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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