May 31, 1870.
My dear Maclean,
I was dining a few days since with Mantell, and he told me that the reason he heard Fox had given for my non employment, was that I had failed to account for public money intrusted to my keeping!! I am sure he has been misinformed, as I am not aware that during the three years I was at Ch. Ch. I had any public funds to be answerable for beyond the monthly receipts for the sale of ammunition, which was invariably paid into the Bank of New Zealand the day it was sold and received. If the accusation is during the time I commanded at Wanganui, it is equally false, as I obtained from Haultain a private and official certificate that I was perfectly correct in that respect, during the period of my prolonged absence at the front, a great expense was caused by the Quartermaster in leviing means of transport to convey prisoners etc. to the Wairoa position, and relief of Piperiki, but that expense only amounted to £1500 and the Imperial charge for the conveyance of half the number of Troops to Pipiriki alone cost 18,000!!!
It is really a hard case for me, not only to be received in my possession, but to hear this kind of dirt hinted at, and Fox, and his Government endorsing it,
by neglecting even to restore me to the position from which I was illegally dismissed. It is acting prejudicially to my employment here in any capacity, even in a private one. I feel confident that you will not permit such a slander any longer to continue, I don't want paid employment, as it may annoy Southern men, but what I do want is that the rank of Lt- Colonel in the New Zealand Service should be restored me from the date that rank was given viz. the 21st. June, 1865, you can do this, and it will silence my enemies currish yell.
I hope the few hints I gave you on the subject of the Militia Act, have met your approval, rely on it, volunteering is a farce and was never more thoroughly proved than on the 2th. when such a turn out I never saw, or such manoeuvres attempted, I dont blame Col. Harrington or Cooper, but the drill was dmnable, The Press, who sell their wares to the Volunteers, said other wise and praised the exhibition up, but it would not pass muster, with an impartial critic present.
By the way you quite forgot to return me Fox's letter, I like to keep it not to show or to make use of, but to have a record by me, that a man out and a man in are very different sorts of being.
I am going thro' the Court, as you may know, as I have never yet got my discharge having hoped to square
with all, but as I see no prospect of that, I have been advised to undergo the ordeal.
I shall be ready, like many others then to accept any illet I can get provided I can present a clean bill of health for honesty!! which I want.
Haultain always askd me if I have got anything, it is rather good, since he sacrificed me to save John Hall, and the Canterbury clique, however I gave Haultain a ''Roland for his Oliver'' or at least helped to and so we are quits. Reader Wood is in for Parnell, this time but I doubt his return next October. I shall vote for him as I think he is the most respectable man that Auckland seems inclined to send.
Charles Cecil Rooke.