December 20th. 1871.
There is a matter at present affecting me which I take the liberty of mentioning to you privately. I refer to the relations between the Examiner of Titles, Mr. Rochfort, and me under the Land Transfer Act. As you are aware my principal appointment is that of District Land Registrar; and I was specially sent here to fill that office. The qualifications for my appointment and also Mr. Rochforts is as you are aware the circumstances of our being qualified solicitors and it is essential to the success of the system of conveyancing provided by the Land Transfer Act that we work together in examining and passing titles. The Act has been in operation in this District for more than 9 months and there is no blinking the fact that it has been a failure. Tho' I have been engaged as lately stated by me officially to Mr. Moorhouse the greater part of my time here on business under the Frauds Act, it cannot be said that the want of success of Torren's Act is attributable to that cause. There is no reason notwithstanding my work as Frauds Commr. why the Land Transfer system should not have met with success. Without doubt the want of success of the measure is in a large degree owing to the peculiar views of Mr.
Rochfort. I have addressed Mr. Moorhouse officially on points in difference between Mr. Rochfort and me, and my views have been approved of - still Mr. Rochfort will not give way; the consequence is that there is a dead-lock in the Department. People knowing the differences between us tell me that they will not bring land under the Act. A day of reckoning will come; and it will appear to the Government and Legislature that the Act has been a failure here and I shall be claimed to a certain extent if not by the Government by the Legislature I feel that I have a duty to perform to myself and that my conduct in this department be such as not to disappoint the expectations of those who recommended me as a competent solr. viz. Judge Chapman, Judge Richmond, and. Mr. Macassey of Dunedin. I have no wish to be the cause in any way of bringing any misfortune on Mr. Rochfort; but bearing in mind the reasons for the failure of the Act, its future prospects and my position and duty in the matter I do not see how I can avoid again representing matters between as/Mr. Rochfort and myself I have acted fairly by him. I have spoken to him in private repeatedly and also to Mrs. R. on the subject of his crotchety objections to titles. Mrs. R. sees her husbands position in its true light, but she tells me that she cannot do anything with him. Mr. Travers (who is
an old friend of Mrs. R's) advised him yesterday in a friendly way, and he has been talking to him again today. I am now allowing Mr. R, a fortnight or so longer as a Locus pluckutiae to modify his views and sincerely trust he will do so otherwise I shall reluctantly have to move again officially in the matter.
I am Dear Sir,
The Honble D. McLeanWellington
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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