August 10th. 1871.
With reference to Te Hapuku's matter which I understand is to be brought before the House I think I ought to mention to you that Mr. Wilson here states that I informed him that you had advised me not to pass the Deed in favour of the Messrs. Russell. I should say that I never made any such statement. I think a few days after Hapuku had ignored the Deed and Mr. Purvis Russell had abandoned it and you had had the interview with Mr. Russell you mentioned that I said that I believed the Native Minister approves of my conduct in the matter. You did once tell me that it was a matter in which I ought to be careful; but I thought nothing of that remark as I knew Hapuku to be the largest chief and to a great extent the largest land owner here, and I had had the Deed under my notice for 5 weeks before you arrived here. During the whole of that time Mr. Wilson tried to get me to consent to the Deed in the dark by not affixing schedules of lands of Te Hapuku and names of creditors in and amount of debt - moreover he never would in reply to my enquiries inform me what the amount of Mr. H. Russells claim was. He told me once that if I consented to the Deed he would properly complete it; but business habits and natural caution actuated me in withholding my consent. It never once occurred to me and I never knew until Mr. Russell had abandoned the Deed that your private interests might be affected by it; nor indeed
did I know of Mr. H. Russells ill feeling until afterwards. When Mr. Wilson finally pressed me for my certificate he told me that Te Hapukus unsecured debts amounted to about £360; but that amount did not include Mr. H. Russells of which he said he could not inform me. He was quite correct as regards the amount of Hapukus known and strictly legal debts. Now, since advertising the total of the debts has been increased to about £1,000, but debts to about half that amount are not legally recoverable. However as regards Hapukus Deed in favour of Messrs. Russell it now turns out from a letter written by Mr. H. Russell to Mr. Maddock (a copy of which will be sent in by Mr. Maddock to the Government) that Mr. Russells claims will be satisfied in February next and that Hapuku will have the 3,000 sheep in Mr. Russells possession back again. As Mr. H. Russell must have known this at the time he and Mr. Wilson were not justified in endeavouring to get me to consent to Hapuku's deed the more especially as they kept back that information which it was their duty to have furnished me with without my having to ask so many times for it.
It will appear from my Report to you that Hapuku's Estate is solvent; but he wants time to realize. If Hapuku could procure a loan of £500 at once before the Estate is frittered away in law costs he could effect a satisfactory settlement of his affairs.
If he should be adjudicated a Bankrupt it will afford
any ill disposed person a loophole to question the validity of the conveyances of Ngatarawa Bks.
I am Sir,
The Honble D. McLean
P. S. I leave for the Wairoa today.
Inward letters - Hanson Turton (jun), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0611 (38 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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