Object #1026386 from MS-Papers-0032-0481

7 pages written 6 Apr 1864 by John Davies Ormond in Wallingford 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)

April 6th. 1864.

My dear McLean,

As I did not hear from you by the Mail to day I conclude there was nothing of any interest going on and that the excitement connected with the Poara Toki business had died out. Up here (the inland district or rather Waipukurau, and its neighbourhodd) the effects of the Poara affair are just making themselves felt and as I think an unnecessary degree of active preparation for danger is desired by some. You will I know be addressed by them - H. Russell, Cooper, Lambert, and other begging you to call out the whole Militia of the Province at once. Cooper sent me down yesterday a draft of a letter he had written the Col. Sec. recommending this and going at great length into the question of our defensive preparations - a very silly letter I thought it - and one that if it had been sent wd. have brought him a reprimand for censuring the head of his office. It certainly is not the duty of R.M.'s to criticize and condemn the military arrangements for defence however open they may be to criticism. I wrote Cooper telling him I did not see the necessity for calling out the Militia as in my opinion there is no appearance of danger. I told him also that the proper person to apply to if it was desired to call out the Militia was yourself as all the necessary powers for the purpose had been delegated to you. I have another letter from him by this mail after receipt of mine. He and the rest still cling to the calling out all the Militia. But he is now addressing you upon the subject indtead of the Col. Secretary and is doing what I recommended him - viz. reporting to the Col. Secretary only his view of the present condition of the Native mind in his district. I have written the inland people that I would urge you to get the long talked of company of soldiers sent inland at once and I think you might very well do so now. There is an excuse for asking for them to be sent, in the uncertainty as to whether the Waikato may not make a raid here. The presence of the Troops up here would check this disposition for alarm and do away with the necessity for calling out the Militia again at present. The latter would be a most unpopular act to all but a very small section of the inland community. The Defence Corps men could easily be moved from the Waipawa Stockade to the Waipukerau it would never do to leave the two Corps together. There is a great deal of complaint inland that the men a long ago promised were never sent owing they say to the interest of the Officers who do not wish the change of quarters. I care very little for what is said, but we must remember that our main strength lies in the country and that it is necessary to show them they are not forgotten if we wish to retain their support. It appears to me that this is really a very good time and opportunity for sending the Troops up and it would be the best reason you could urge on the Gel. Govt. for carrying out their promise of increase to our Military force - if you could say that you had been compelled to ask the Military authorities to send troops inland and thus reduce the available force in case of a raid on the N.P. frontier I hope you will see your way to do this and if you do the sooner it is done the better. Of course I do not oin in the apprehension of danger but I do think the Genl. Govt. should send an increase to our force when they are driving the enemy step by step upon us. In a very short if this continues - Napier wd. be a very good point to attack from. The Natives about here are very keen for news in relation to Mr. Poara Toki. I tell them that the Governor will have him imprisoned whenever he is caught and that his land is of course gone. How wd. it do to point out his position in the Maori paper I have a great opinion of the value of these beacons of consequences. The Natives in my neighbourhood are more busy in industrial pursuits than they have been for a long time and they are all very eager for improvement of the roads and employment upon them. I dont think that man Power who is Weber's Sub. is a good man to deal with the Natives. I am just writing Weber now to ask him to do certain things which he undertook to do when up here and which his man repudiated. Weber got me to make an arrangement, a very good one for the Govt. with Ropera. He came to me today to complain that Power says now he will only pay £50 instead of £60 for the work which is completed. Weber through me said he would employ the Natives on the road through their land a party of their relations have been got over from Manawatu for the purpose and now they are refused employment. I don't think Weber knows anything of this but it is not right. I have a bad finger and cannot write very legibly let me hear from you by the mail.

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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