Object #1014190 from MS-Papers-0032-0319
From: Inward letters - William Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0319 (28 digitised items). 28 letters addressed from New Plymouth & Taranaki
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24th. November 1856.
My dear McLean,
The "Zingari" has at present disappointed expectation, and may yet do so; so I will again write you by the Overland Mail, though the Postmaster tells me there will only be my letter for it. I do not know if I told you that Bayly was the originator of the movement in favour of Flight. He has been canvassing for him, and he has been unsuccessful to a degree scareely unexpected, when one considers that of every two men who take their bickerings into the Resident Magistrate's Court, one necessarily leaves dissatisfied; and an election would be the opportunity for paying off the score with the Magistrate. Flight's best friends would not think of bringing him, or any man, forward, with the risk of failure. So they have pitched upon Cutfield; and all things considered, they could not have done so well. Up to Saturday the Requisition received 130 signatures; and it is still being taken about for more. Cutfield's idea is to accept a small salary, adding something
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from his own means during the existing depression; and he accepts at once the proposition of an Executive Council, which is popular with the electors. Moreover, it saves him a little world of responsibility; and, to a certain extent, renders office tenum comparatively secure. Indeed, with a good Executive, a man may, I think, hold on as long as he likes. The idea of an Executive, abstractedly considered, is rather absurd. So is the election of Superintendent; and until he becomes a nominee of the Crown, he will work best with an Executive. The present man is, from want of it, at war with his Council, who derive their office from the same power which appoints the Superintendent. He is a small Hapoleon the 3rd. in a superlatively minimum degree; and judging from Saturday's paper, desperate in a desperate cause. Contrary to the recommendations of the Council, unless a majority of the Electors decide for it, and to stay the sale of the absentees' land. This last is a truly iniquitious measure; inasmuch as the Provincial Government for the last two years, have been deriving a considerable rental in the shape of depasturing licences for the Town allotments; the Superintendent has advertised for sale to defray a 5/- rate. Moreover, if an absentee owe 5/- per section on any number, the whole are sacrificed to defray a tax which would be defrayed by
the sale of one. Further, the Superintendent persists in selling, against the recommendation of the Council, because the residents have "Cheerfully" paid the taxes. So if a portion of the community submit to a wrong measure, the rest must, or be sold out. You may remember that a select Committee of the Legislative Council were appointed to consider the Ordinances passed by the different Provincial Councils with a view to the adopting of the unobjectionable ones, by the Central authority. And in particular, they object to these laws of Wellington and New Plymouth, affecting the Titles to land, on the broad grounds that they shake confidence in the Colony. Yet our lands are to be sold. Let us hope there will be no buyers.
You will see by Saturday's paper how Messrs.
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C. Brown, Chilman, and T. King, have been drawn out by R. Brown. The first argues that what he did as Member is nothing to do with Superintendent. This is "a distinction without a difference." Further, it is known that C. Brown was, throughout, animated by a bad feeling towards you, and so acted. Mr. Chilman is only getting deeper in the mire, instead of remaining where he is; and Tommy King, under the guise of "sentiment" trys to escape from a position from which there is no escape. The man's connection with the claimant, was a plea he should have urged to the Council against acting at all, in a course good or bad. It suits the gentleman to be silent on his restless advocacy of the claim, as well as in getting up others against you. It was the venomous bite of the --- (?) easily rubbed off. He once told Parris that if you escaped on Chilman's charge, they would have you on another. The little sneaking monkey! What do you think of his own admission of Mr. W. Halse having produced all the evience on the claim? You know I was summonsed to give evidence "on the native holding at Punahau, claimed by Mr. Chilman"; and I properly confined
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myself to it. I feel assured Mr. Chilman would not have thanked me for volunteering evidence on his claim. And then it was not my evidence that upset him, which I abstained from giving until specially summonsed. Unsupported, it would not have done so. It proved that he was entitled to, and received, 30 acres of Bell, but it did not disprove his claim to the rest. It was left to others to do this, --- to Mogridge, Barriball, Old Senr. (Uncle Croly) (?) and Dr. Sole; and yet Mr. T. King speaks of "Mr. W. Halse" only. I must stop. It is nearly 12. The steamer is to take the Superintendent's letters. I hope the -----(?) will not hesitate to dissolve the Council. I should tell you that C. Brown's most active canvassers are the two Atkinsons. This may be a hint to you as regards Richmond; who, perhaps, supports Brown, from a generous and grateful nature, as being the man who introduced him into public life. All Mr. Richmond's
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connections here go in for C. Brown; so it may not be advisable to put him in possession of my private correspondence with you. What think you of Brown bespattering Colonel Wynyard with praise? They say it is to get the Military votes! What cause for congratulation for being out of debt, when we owe so much to the charity of the other Provinces, and beg so unblushingly for it.
The "Eliza" is here; and takes, I believe, Turton and his family, much to our regret.
In great haste,
Yours sincerely (Signed)
To:--- Donald McLean Esq.
Inward letters - William Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0319 (28 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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