Object #1021688 from MS-Papers-0032-0481

8 pages written 5 Nov 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.

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English (ATL)

Auckland
November 5th - 1863


My dear McLean,

I wrote you by a little vessel the success a few days ago, and gave you all the news up to that time - As we have had northerly winds every day since she left I conclude she will have made a good passage. I told you in my letters by her that you would be wanted up here if only for a few days. The necessity for your presence here is rather increased since I then wrote. The new government have considerably modified views on military settlements and Roads and altho' it is very possible we may get a promise of assistance in these matters before Whitmore leaves tomorrow, still I am pretty sure we shall require to use all the influence we can exert to keep them up to the mark. We are getting together in Deputations of our own Members of both Houses and all these other members who have Hawkes Bay interests - as Johnston, Stokes, Rhodes etc. to get from Whitaker either a body of Military settlers, or the right to raise such a body ourselves for the defence of the Frontier between us and the Waikatos the objects I seek are to get the men for present purposes of defence and to employ them in constructing the Hawkes Bay end of the great line of road it is proposed to carry thro' the Island I want to see this begun on our side. feeling sure that unless it be begun now it will full through altogether, under any change of circumstances that may arise - I wd. have pressed also the location of a body of men at the Rua Taniwha end of of the 40 mile bush but the Wellington Provincial Party are opposed to the scheme being applied to their Province and therefore at present it seems out of the question. You will I am sure recognise without my going further into the matter the necessity for your coming up. If you come by the steamer on the 16th you will have a week here as that steamer will be certain to be kept here until the 24 or 26th to take Members south and as it is known the Session cannot be concluded until about the time I named - Whitmore has orders to return tomorrow by the ''Ashley'' to attend to his duties of Defence. This is in consequence of the plea I am urging and getting others to join me in - that our Province will as the Waikatos are driven inland be placed in a position of great jeopardy - this view is I think a reasonable one and is treated as such by the Govt. At least we can use it for the purpose of getting our Province put into an efficient position of Defence. The answer so far of the Govt. has been that if we would provide Lands they would find us men. I have on the part of the Province expressed our desire to give any lands we have, but have at the same time admitted that at present we do not know of any suitable lands for settlements in our hands - altho' we hope to be able to acquire such - I have however pressed the Govt. to give us men who shall be raised for service anywhere in the N. Island with a condition that they shall be promised land without indicating the locality (these are the terms on which the new levies are to be raised) saying at the same time, that if when required we possess the lands that we shall be ready to give them. In the meantime I press that the case is one of Colonial interest and that as a matter of policy it is necessary and desirable to pen up the rebellious natives in their own country and especially to prevent their obtaining supplies from our District which they could easily do, should they make a raid into our country now. You must come up and help on this subject.

I enclose you the whole correspondence in reference to the Loan. As you will see I have concluded matters with the Union Bank the offers made by the two banks will speak for themselves there is no question which is the best and I think no doubt either but that I have obtained capital terms for the Province. I found however that our form of Debenture was considered by both Banks as requiring alteration before the Loan could be advantageously negotiated in the London market. The alteration required is making the Debenture and Interest upon it payable in London in place of Napier. I have ordered thro' Simpson and in Australia the Bonds and Coupons to be prepared worded in a way that will provide this it will be about six weeks or two months before these Bonds and Couports, are down with you for Signature. In the meantime I am trying to get the Govt. to assist me in passing thro' the House a Bill to amend the Schedule of our Act in the way proposed and this I think I shall manage. If not we must have a Prov. Council meeting and make the alteration. The Loan correspondence will explain itself I need not write you more on it. The Land Act Amendment Bill is being printed and I move its second reading yesterday week I have nade one difference in the Bill as compared with the Councils resolutions that is I have struck out the paragraphs fixing the rates of pre-emptive right and have said the rates shall be fixed (as by Waste Lands Act 1858) by the Gov. A recommendation of Super. and Prov. Council after the classification of lands. This will give the opportunity sought by the Memorialists who occupy the Country referred to. Whitmore will give you all the news of the War which is in effect nil. He will not however tell you what is the general opinion of the taking of Mere Mere. The Papers try to make it out a triumph it is generally considered however that the natives have completely out-generalled us and this is I believe from what I hear from authentic sources the admission of the General himself. Mere Mere has cost us from 2 to £300,000 and has kept our tremendous army at bay for 15 weeks and is at last evacuated without the loss of a man. He will however be able to tell you generally the plans for the future, the formation of a line of forts from Hauraki to Meremere and location of the Military settlements along this line and then when this is completed, and the bush country between that line and Auckland cleared of this enemy we shall it is understood advanced by the river to Ngaruawahia. I am writing all this under great difficulties in the House with speechifying going on all around me. We are now on the Confiscation Bill. Fitzgerald has just made a great speech against it and moved its 2nd reading to this day six months. Mantell has seconded this but the Bill will be passed by a nearly unanimous house. I enclose your copies of this and another Bill equally important. ''Rebellion Suppressing Act'' I cannot support the last-named, my civilian feelings will not allow me to hand myself and brother settlers over to the mercy of any Staff Officer H. E. the Govr. may choose to give a Commission to. I do not think that Bill will be passed but rather that the govr. will be recommended in such cases as require it to proclaim martial law, which at least requires an after justification of the Acts done under it. The Debate on the Confiscation Bill has closed nobody else except an ass called Brodie speaking upon it, Fox of course replying briefly and the Bill read a 2nd time without a Division. I do not think there is anything more very particular to write you of. Come up by the Steamer and bring with you all the information you can get about Land on the frontier and also 40 mile bush. Who shall you leave as Deputy Super. I would if I were you ask Rhodes as a matter of policy.


Yours always,
J. D. Ormond

Part of:
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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