Object #1025050 from MS-Papers-0032-0195

4 pages written 11 Sep 1867 by Henry Francis Butt to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Surnames, But - Byg, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0195 (5 digitised items). Correspondents:Includes undated letter from F B Butler of Auckland; undated note from John Butler re claim for horse hire; William Butler, Mangonui, 1875 (1 letter); Henry F Butt, Blenheim, 1867 (1 letter); F Button, Napier, 1870 (1 letter); H Bygum, Napier Gaol, 1866 (1 letter).

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

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English (ATL)

Blenheim
Sept. 11, 1867


My dear Maclean


It is a long time since we met to have a chat about Maori affairs, I was very much gratified to see a speech of yours in the House advocating the admission of Maori's to the House of Representatives, I am glad that some one has lifted up his voice for "the remnant that is left" as you justly remark they contribute to the revenue and therefore should be represented I think it should be made a sine qua non that they should speak English. It has always been a pet scheme of mine, and when Mr. Weld was in power I talked over the matter with him, He thought that the time had passed but I do not My scheme would be this I would get some of the chief leading tribes, to elect from among themselves one of their number as Chief and let him be recognized as Chief by the government, if possible, I would subsidize him say that you give him fron one to 3 hundred a year on the condition that he would sanction the residence of an English Police Magistrate, at his head quarters, and let them sit in conjunction on any case that might arise, you would thus secure the cooperation of the natives, and instruct them in English law, This plan could not be carried out without some trouble But what plan can be, The Maori, as you know better than I, is extraordinarily fond of law and appreciates government, some simple plan of this kind would I imagine meet with their ready approval - They require some form of government and it was mainly from the want of it that this late lamentable war was owing - The plan of paying the native chiefs would effectually keep a check over them and their being recognised by the Government would flatter their self esteem.

If any real progress is to be made by the Maori, it must be done not by dealing with the masses but through their own leading men, If you can get them to interest themselves and I think it can be done, the others will follow in their lead. The chiefs are looked upon with great respect even now. If you could get a few resident Englishmen as Police Magistrates, men who have the interest of the Maori at heart. What a world of good he might effect, by inducing the Maori to lay aside his idle habits and to get them to build better dwellings and take more care of their health than they do now, you may perhaps think a plan of this sort impracticable but I have seen the Native assessors often sitting with our resident Magistrate and Mr. Muller and have been surprised and pleased with the soundness and common sense of their decisions - The Maori assessors left to themselves are not to be trusted to carry out the law of England it is far too complicated a piece of machinery - Why - we have 3 consts. - R. M. - District and Supreme, I imagine few laymen understand the working of these Courts, a Maori is utterly lost and bewhildered, He cannot understand the need of 3 Kai Whakawas' - neither can I, for the matter of that -

I feel sorry for the poor-natives they are not such fine fellows as some would paint them nor are they by any means so black as others describe them they are just human beings with all the faults and many of the virtues of more civilized races. We must ever remember that we are living on their land not they on ours - May God preserve and bless them, -

I remain
Yours truly
H. F. Butt
D. Maclean Esqr.

Part of:
Inward letters - Surnames, But - Byg, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0195 (5 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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