Object #1020498 from MS-Papers-0032-0481
4 pages written 30 Oct 1863 by John Davies Ormond in Auckland Region to Sir Donald McLean
From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0481 (89 digitised items).
85 letters written from Epraima, Auckland, Wallingford & Napier, 1857-1865. Includes a few draft letters from McLean to Ormond.
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
October 30th, /63.
My dear McLean,
I am not intending to write you a very long letter as I expect the Steamer of the 6th will reach almost as soon as this little vessel - I have yours by old Stokes and am glad to hear that all goes on favorably with us at Hawkes Bay. Since I wrote you I have been at the front and I can only say that I was disheartened with what I saw there - To see the stupendous force we have at our command - the result so far is certainly not satisfactory - I could not help feeling that it was Horokiwi and Wanganui over again on a larger scale - The Steamer is now up the river and today it is believed that Mere Mere will be attacked - if not today certainly by the Steamer of the 6th you will hear of it - Our side expects a good deal of loss in the attack and I hear the general himself believes that the Natives will escape by tracks they have prepared through the swamps by which Mere Mere is surrounded - The Government difficulties I before wrote you of have culminated and the resignation of Dometts Ministry has been accepted - the best reason I have heard assigned for it is that they broke down with their own weight - Feuds among themselves were the real reasons - there has been a good deal of underhand work afloat - Whittaker and Russell have worked behind the scenes and brought about present results. I have not time to give you the whole history of the business now - Domett has been with me for the last hour
in my room and delayed my writing until it is almost too late - The case between the late Ministry at last resolved itself into this - The Ministry proposed that Domett shd. resign the Premiership to Whitaker and keep the lead of the House and Col. Secretaryship himself. This Domett declined - but offered to bind himself to do nothing in future without written sanction of his colleagues and to give Whitaker a seat in the Executive which he has not hitherto held - I think they have used Domett badly - Fox is now trying to form a Govt. Grey having sent for him knowing his sympathies wd. at any time be easily enlisted in favor of a patched up peace. There is not I believe any chance of Fox being able to succeed Stafford will then be sent for and will I think be able to form a Govt. He wants his old Govt. put in again - Himself - Weld and Whitaker - I for one shall try and get this amended to some extent. I do not wish to see that old Govt. in again as it was - and I also do not wish to see old Domett thrown over. This is as much as I can tell you now. I have a busy day before me. My work is to see the middle men and get them to force a Meeting of the war party to settle our course for ourselves, instead of leaving it to either Stafford or Whitaker to do for us.
I send you papers just published of a Scheme of Colonization (Military and Road-making - Any Govt. that goes in must take this up and carry it out - of course with alterations the road in our Province is wrong and wd. run under the Rua-hine instead of as laid down - that alteration I wd. see to - I think I wrote you before to send me plans of the N. Frontier and descriptions of the country there - please also let me have by the earliest chance any information you can get as to the line of road from Taupo to the 70 mile bush and of the country in the neighbourhood of the 70 Bush line. If you are able try and initiate a purchase in that locality, we want a Settlement there, as much as on the Northern side.
It is now just six o'clock and I have strange news to give you - Fox finding he could not form a Govt. has been brought together with Whitaker - The result is that a Ministry is to be formed. Whitaker - Premier. Fox - Leading the House of Representatives - with an office of course - the rest are not fixed but tomorrow we shall know all particulars - Wood will be Treasurer I think without doubt - What they will do with Domett I have not yet heard - I saw him a minute or two ago he was furious at what he calls the blackguardly coalition. My own feeling is that Fox has behaved better than could have been expected of him - and provided the remainder of the Ministry be men who can be depended on - and with thorough going views as to the
necessity of prosecuting the war the new Ministry will have a strength that will represent the entire Colony. The house is unsettled as yet. I have the Unions reply to my offer of terms - a great deal more liberal than was offered us at Napier - The New Zealand reply I have not yet - but do not expect (Williamson has told me the purport of it) it will be nearly as liberal as the Union - If you intend to come up you should be here by the Steamer on the 17th the House will be over now speedily I should say in time for all to return by the steamers on the 24th of the month. I am not sure if this will catch the vessel I may send it thro' Daldy - Ahuriri Wethers sold today by auction one pen 27/- the rest about equal portion 1/2 26/- the rest 25/-
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0481 (89 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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