Object #1022434 from MS-Papers-0032-0481

9 pages written 13 Aug 1865 by John Davies Ormond in Wellington 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)

Wellington
August 13th/65


My dear McLean -

The Steamer goes again in the morning for Napier and I must write you what is going on here - The greatest piece of news is that Fitzgerald was sworn in as Native Minister on Saturday, there is a general feeling of consternation at the news - To my mind nothing to dangerous to the interests of the Northern Island could possibly have happened - Within the last few days he has said in the House, he doesn't care what the Arawas or any of the miserable friendly natives think and that Thompson and the brave men who have fought for their liberties are those he wants to meet and treat with. This was said 2 days before he became Native Minister - We had a very good and long debate as to whether a Petition from Thompson (a copy of which I willenclose you with some other House papers) shd. be received. Fitzgerald moved the Petition - The Petition speaks for itself - I spoke very strongly against the Petition and I took advantage of the opportunity to pitch into Fitzgerald for his mischievous interference in native matters - I alluded to his letter to Renata and other circumstances that had come to my knowledge - I made I know the best speech I ever made in my life. I was cheered from the beginning of it to the end and suppose that warmed me up, for I gave Fitzgerald the most severe dressing he has ever had in the House of Representatives - He is tremendously angry with me and it seems that, he who is so fond of castigating others cant stand it himself - In his reply he said very little, what he did say was chiefly in reply to me and was a miserable sneer. He said he didnt wish to attend a meeting of McLean and Hawkes Bay settlers and natives, he didnt expect to hear much from them. I interrupted him and told him - The meeting which he had asked Renata to advise him of was a meeting of natives from all parts of the Island with which Hawkes Bay settlers had nothing to do - We have since had several sets too at Bellamys. The Native Com: Bill has been our subject of debate and the talk has been rather warm. The last ended in this way - We were discussing the effect of the European element in the Commission. I said you will be one. You will start with a considerable feeling in your favor from the native portion of the meeting. He said yes - their feelings will be with me - as they ought to be, and I shall lead them to their just Representative rights. I shall glory in it. He contrasted his views with what he called your miserable temporising - I told him that he shd. have a weeks start and that if you had a seat in that Commission I wd. undertake that the second week he shd. be left without a follower and that you would lead the native element by simply appealing to their common sense and leading them thro' your knowledge of their character and how to appeal to them. I told him it wd. be a bitter pill for him, but he wd. have to make up his mind to swallow it - He got furious and abusive and I dont suppose he will forgive me in a hurry - The House has not met since Fitzgerald's appointment - so that it is impossible to say what may be the effect of it - judging from what I hear outside, the feeling is very strong against it even from Middle Island Members. If anything can destroy Weld's Govt. this will. It becomes however a question of if they are turned out who will go in to succeed them and altho' Middle Island Members may condemn the Appt. it is questionable whether they wd. vote Weld's Ministry out. A few days will shew us better how parties are likely to go I fear Fitzgerald will speedily disgust all the friendly natives in the country by the advantages he will give to those in rebellion. He has not hesitated to condemn the employment of friendly natives by the Govt. will he do so now he is Minister. Of course if he does he throws us back to an extent which in my opinion is incalculateable in the settlement of our difficulties. You will gather little or nothing from the newspaper reports - they are the most rubishing things possible. As a general rule they misrepresent and make utter nonsense of what is said. At first people made a stir about it and exposed these misrepresentations but that is now given up andmembers submit quietly to be mis-reported in the understanding that everybody knows it and it is no use talking about it. I have heard no more about the money from old Fitzherbert. I can get plenty of promises from him to settle always tomorrow or the next day he is full of apologies but has done nothing - The Troops are under orders from Tarranaki and will be with you in about ten days from now - I fear news of this went up by the last steamer - That talking fellow Russell spread the news right and left. When he arrived he was blatherskyting about how secure everything was at Hawkes Bay. I called him on one side and like an ass told him what was about to be done and that he would spoil it if he talked in that way. The next morning I met Matley who told me His Lordship had told them in the steamer that the Troops were going to Napier and insinuated that the Govt. had done it at his instance - However it is public enough now here - Unfortunately also it is generally known that the expedition to Opotiki and Whakatane is about to start. I think this last is most unfortunate as likely to ruin the success of the expedition - Major Brassey (the Pipiriki man) goes in command of this expedition he will take 500 men and go I expect in the 'Brisk' - which is here awaiting the arrival of the men. Major Brassey is here and I suppose his men will be here in a day or two - The Govt. has directed Pipiriki to be occupied by a garrison of Imperial Troops - You ought to make Wood call attention to the fact that we are able to get something done for our Province in the way of getting Troops etc. and have it put what could the opposition do for the place I shd. think on the strength of this Segt, going to Napier, you would get many additional signatures to the requisition to you to stand for Napier - If Weld shd. be beaten on this unpopular appt. of Fitzgerald he would I know dissolve the House - I dont know until I have heard how Fitzgerald is prepared to act as a Minister how I shd. vote. Of course a man as Minister is very different to what he is as Member - I enclose the Militia Act among the Papers I send you - let Lambert have it and tell him to send me any notes he may desire on it - I fear the Bill will be passed however before I shall get a reply. Barabbas still keeps very quiet, nor have I as yet heard anything of the Hau Hau Napier petition - I suppose he is bottling it up - our land are all drawn ready I shall bring them on immediately I was talking with Grey yesterday and tho' he didnt say so I dont think he likes the Fitzgerald Appt. a bit. You remember dont you how Fitzgerald blackguarded him a short time ago in the Press - Weld's Bill to give 25 p. c. of Revenue to out-lying districts was thrown out by a large majority on 2nd reading. The reason was the Bill was a sham it only proposed to give the 25 per cent if the Pro.Council chose to vote it - if the Council voted the 25 per cent, then that District could not claim separation - It also suspended the creation of any new Province for 6 months, quite long enough to give any old Province the chance of sweeping the whole of its Land Revenue if it chose - Jollie is to bring in some resolutions to give absolutely to out-lying districts 25 p.c. of their land Revenue. Macandrew moves the repeal of the N. P. Act both will be very close Divisions as they always have been. I shall still expect you down on the 27th let me hear from you what is going on by each opportunity, and I am always


Yours sincerely,
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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