Object #1016634 from MS-Papers-0032-0486

10 pages written 6 Apr 1876 by John Davies Ormond in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0486 (119 digitised items). 112 letters written from Wairoa, Wellington, Napier, 1873-1876. Includes letter from D M Luckie to Ormond, Nov 1875; Ormond to Fox, Mar 1876; Carlyon to Ormond.

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)

April 6th. 1876

My dear McLean,

I have two long letters from you to reply to - the first came by the Luna with Bowen and the last this morning by the Rangatira. She returns to Wellington this afternoon with the English mail so I must write now. Of course Bowen had some talk with me whilst here and gave me some idea of your Plans, and generally so far as I understand what is intended to be proposed to Parliament I concur. I was also glad to hear from him and also now from you, that you think the tone towards the Government is improving both North and South. In my opinion the Government is greatly indebted to Grey and nothing could be better for you than that he should remain in Parliament and lead the opposition. So long as he does the latter the Government has nothing to fear. From letters I have lately received I gather that the Opposition does not see how to get out of keeping Grey as Leader although fully conscious of the weakness he will be to their Party. In fact your strength is that there is no united opposition and I dont see how the opposition men are to unite on general questions. Moreover I know that Stafford, who will have a larger following this Session than last, will not help the opposition. These are all strong points in your favour. At the same time your Government is strong mainly because your opponents are divided and so weak. When you wrote me the other day that it was probable John Hall would join I thought it a very wise step on Vogels part asking him. He would have been a valuable colleague and especially satisfactory to the Middle Island. I cannot however but think he is wise in refraining from active political life which I understand the medical men have warned him against. Now about what you say as to Vogels wish that I should join the Government. In the first place now that Provincialism is about to end I shall be free and active work is what I like. Also your Government is working in the direction I have always advocated - these considerations would influence me towards accepting but there are other reasons which appear to me to make it undesirable and especially just when Parliament is about to meet. One of the chief objections I see is, that the Government as at present constituted has a preponderance of Northern men in it. No one thinks less of such considerations than I do, but many other people think no Government satisfactory which does not contain equal representatio of the two Islands. On that ground alone I think my joining the Government at the present time would be impolitic - and for myself the last thing I should like would be to feel that on any account I was a weakness. Meeting as your Govt. is a new Parliament containing a large number of new men I think the wisest course is to make no addition to the Government Bench at present. I might it is true be of service on the Bench but I can help equally well off it. Stafford and I are on good terms and perhaps I may serve you better off the Bench in that way than I could if I were in the Government - please tell Vogel what I think - with his help you will be quite strong enough on the Ministerial Bench to carry on the work of the Session and if on consideration you can see your way clear to get through the Session without more help than I am sure will be the wisest plan. In replying in this way I am considering the position of the Government quite as much as my own. There are many other reasons I could point out but I have not time in this letter. There are two points on which I should want to be thoroughly satisfied before I would join any Government - one is that Retrenchment, which can I am certain be effected should be carried out. This appears to me absolutely necessary and the Country will not be satisfied unless it is done. The other point is settlement on the land. This is a difficult subject and it is the point in which the Public Works Policy has to a great extent failed. These two subjects will be forced on the attention of the Govt. and must be taken up. Now I will reply to other matters referred to in your letters. Re the Speakership I still think Rolleston the most eligible and I have no doubt he would be carried. This you must make sure of whoever is proposed. Seymour is talked of I hear, but I do not think he wd. be carried and altho' Vogel might carry Reynolds if he were the Govt. candidate, He is so unfit for the position that endless trouble to the Govt. and the House wd. ensue. In putting Rolleston into the Chair you would secure a gentleman. He is a quick learner and would soon read up and master his duties. I have no feeling at all in the matter only that it is really desirable in the interests of the House to have a good man in the Speakers chair. Respecting Lyndon and Newton as justices of the peace I will gladly recommend both of them. I will do it if I have time this mail. Respecting Tyler I never thought he would do for R.M. - But he wd. do the accounts of the Gen. Govt. well. He is also Sheriff and Receiver of Land Revenue and could in addition if he recovers do the work of Commissioner of Crown Lands. As to the R.M. the Lawyers all wish a legal man appointed to be also District Judge. A deputation waited on Bowen the other day proposing this.

Glad to see you have recovered some allowance for Hamlins widow. Poor Locke is in great grief at the state his wife is in - she is very weak and low and scarcely conscious. I shd. fear it is very doubtful if she will recover. She is however young and strong and may. Lord Henry still gives out he is going home and almost immediately. The repudiation party has not succeeded in getting money from any one and unless they do I believe they must break up - there is nothing fresh doing in Native matters and I think we have effectually stopped them getting any money. Sheehan looks very dejected and I hear talks now rather slightingly of H.R. saying ''he is not everything with the Natives'' etc.

The governor seemed to enjoy his visit very well. He is a very nice old fellow and I did all I could to see he had everything done properly. I gave him all my time whilst he was here and on leaving he expressed himself very pleased with his visit and thanked me heartily. He goes away with a very good opinion of Hawkes Bay and its Capabilities. The Electors Roll expenses here I will see about. I promised you and I would subscribe liberally, and when they get the accounts in the Committee will let me know what is wanted. By all means settle Studholme's Patea run business if you can - it wd. be a great thing to get rid of all such questions before the Session. You telegraphed me yesterday about who should act as Govt. Officer at the Native Land Court Waiapu. Of course old Campbell is a donkey, but still I think Porter not desirable. It is without doubt wrong in principle to employ the Land purchase officer as the Officer to represent the Govt. and look after the Native interests - moreover Porter is related to the owners of the Lands the Court is going to adjudicate upon. All this will be made a handle of by Grey- If Rogan were asked to see old Campbell makes no mistake - all wd. go right.

I must close - this is a long letter and I have a lot to write before the mail leaves.

Yours always
J.D. Ormond.

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0486 (119 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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