§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Cardwell.)
§ MR. ARTHUR MILLS
rose, pursuant to notice, to move that the Bill be read a second time that day three months. He had refrained from offering any opposition to the earlier stages of the measure, because he thought it fairer that the House should be in possession of all the papers on the subject; but now that the House was called upon to express an opinion upon the principle of the Bill, he was determined to give it all the resistance in his power. It would be admitted on all hands that the general principle of an Imperial guarantee for a colonial loan was objectionable. That was laid down by high authorities. It so happened that this was not the first time that a similar demand was made. In 1857 an Imperial guarantee was asked for a loan to New Zealand, and the House would forgive him if he read a few words which fell on that occasion from the late Sir James Graham. On the 6th of August, 1857, when it was proposed that the Imperial Parliament should guarantee a loan, Sir James Graham said—I think the relations between the mother country and the colonies cannot be placed on a more insecure basis than that of creditor and debtor. Whatever aid is afforded to the colonics should, in my opinion, be in the nature of a grant, the reasons for which may be assigned, sifted, and debated in this House. I regard these dormant securities as dangerous, and I think the motto on the entablature of the Colonial Minister's official residence in Downing Street should be—No lender be;For loan oft loses both itself and friend." —[3 Hansard, cxlvii. 1135.]He would ask whether the position of New Zealand in reference to the Imperial Government was materially altered now, in 1864, from what it was in 1857? It appeared to him that when the Imperial Parliament was asked to incur a fresh guarantee of £1,000,000 to the colony, it would be well that the House should be placed in possession of the liabilities it had already incurred; and fortunately the means of estimating the amount of liability which the Imperial Government was 1472 under during the current year were at hand. In 1859, which was a year of peace, we had 1,279 men of all arms in New Zealand, the cost of which to the taxpayers of this country, according to Returns which had been laid upon the table, was £104,850. Now it was a very simple rule-of-three sum to calculate what 11,000 men would cost in 1864 if 1,279 cost the United Kingdom £104,850 m 1859. The sum total, he apprehended, even supposing the commissariat expenses to be at the same rate now as then, would not be less than £1,000,000, But it so happened that the commissariat expenses now were nearly double. He had good authority for saying that they were more than £1,000 a day; that fact he gathered from the papers which had been laid upon the table of the House that morning. He would take the liberty of referring presently to a letter which had arrived from New Zealand, and which bore the signature of the Deputy Commissary General. The House had heard over and over again during the last few months, and it was repeated in a parrot-like manner by the press, that the war in New Zealand was virtually at an end. The Under Secretary for War in Committee of Supply on the Army Estimates proposed a reduction of the sum which originally appeared on the Estimates, on the ground that the Government had good reason for believing that the New Zealand war would be at an end in five months. He (Mr. A. Mills) thought at the time that was rather a sanguine estimate; but now he held in his hand a letter dated the 1st of April— a very appropriate day—and written by the Deputy Commissary General to the Under Secretary for War, in which it was stated that the Commander-in-Chief in New Zealand had been pleased to approve the proposal to prepare the ground for sowing the seed which was to produce forage for the Commissariat transport horses six months after the Under Secretary for War had stated his belief that the war would be at an end in five months. On the 27th of June a letter was written from the office of the Secretary of State for War, in which it is stated that Lord De Grey thought it expedient that the Commander-in-Chief should be fully informed of the increasing expense, and also of the fact that the war was likely to be prolonged under circumstances which would involve a large and increased expenditure. Now, the question which he would ask was whe- 1473 ther, when the House was invited to guarantee a loan of £1,000,000, it was not right to inquire first as to the liability of Parliament in respect of the colony for the current year? He was prepared to state on good authority, that the taxpayers of England had to pay not less than £1,500,000 for the war now going on in New Zealand, and that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would next Session have to ask Parliament for that sum. Perhaps he might be told that there were inducements for the Imperial Parliament to guarantee the loan, and he found by the papers before the House that the inducements were, first, that the colony of New Zealand, or its agent in this country, engaged to pay back the sum of £500,000, which had been formerly lent, and which was to be a first charge on the new loan of £1,000,000 —second, that a bargain was made by which the colony was bound to pay £40 for every soldier of the line, and £55 for every artilleryman sent to serve there, or about one-third of the cost to the mother country; and that the colony also undertook to expend £50,000 for Native purposes. If these were bonâ fide engagements, they might be well worth looking at; but there was not a syllable in the Bill alluding to those undertakings, and Mr. Reader Wood, the agent of the colony, the negotiator of this business at the Colonial Office, declared plainly and honestly that he had no power to bind the Legislature of New Zealand. So that, in fact, we had no security whatever that these engagements would be carried out. The question, therefore, presented itself whether Parliament would, under these circumstances, guarantee the proposed loan? He might be told that Sir George Grey, the Governor of New Zealand, recommended the loan. He did not wish to say a word in disparagement of one who might be a very able Governor— no doubt Sir George Grey discharged his duties efficiently—but he might perhaps be permitted to observe, without risk of contradiction from the Treasury Bench, that among Sir George Grey's qualifications might be enumerated a noble disregard of all considerations of economy. The revenue of New Zealand was represented by the Colonial Treasurer to be in a flourishing condition. It was stated to amount to £700,000 a year, nine-tenths of which were derived from Customs, and that it afforded an ample margin for the repayment of the loan. Then, if that wore 1474 the case—if the colony were so overflowing with prosperity—why did not the colony go into the market and obtain the loan for itself? The question now was, not whether the mother country should tax the colonies, but whether the colonies should tax the mother country? Here was a colony with a revenue of £700,000, nine-tenths of which were derived from Customs, or, in other words, by the imposition of high duties on British manufactures, which jealously resented as an outrage the slightest attempt at Imperial interference, which possessed the fullest power of self-government, and yet which came to the Imperial Legislature asking for the credit of the Imperial Parliament in order to obtain a loan to carry on a war, as to the righteousness of which the people of this country had serious misgivings. He would not now allude to the great and fearful calamity which had occurred there, and the bereavement consequently felt in many a home in England; but he maintained that the proposed Bill involved this country in pecuniary engagements which the British taxpayers might have to discharge. Under these circumstances, the colony applied for the guarantee of this loan, and desired that no questions should be asked as to whether the object of the loan was not to enable the colonists to acquire as much land as they could, and to profit as much as possible by the expenditure on account of the war which was now being carried on. He was not there to apologize for the conduct of the Maories, or to say that serious outrages had not been perpetrated by them; but he contended that their conduct, whatever it might have been, had been grievously aggravated by the system carried on in the colony of allowing the Colonial Parliament to make a puppet of the representative of the Crown, and that the measures passed by the Colonial Legislature could have no other effect than that of stimulating the hatred of the Natives against us. It might be said that the colony was placed in very difficult circumstances, and that the entire adult population of Auckland had made stupendous sacrifices in this war. No doubt they had made great personal sacrifices; but as to pecuniary sacrifices, they had made none, while the effect of the war was to charge £1,500,000 upon the taxpayers of England. But it was argued, as a ground for guaranteeing this loan, that a certain old debt due to us from New Zealand was to be a first charge upon the money when raised. What, then, were the 1475 items which constituted this bad debt. The bad debt of New Zealand to this country arose from the non-fulfilment of the engagement to pay £5 per man annually for the troops employed in New Zealand, but of which sum they had never paid a farthing, and from debts of a similar character, and advances made for the pay of the local militia. The colony now admitted its liability for this half-million, and proposed that it should be a first charge upon the million they proposed to borrow on the Imperial guarantee. In regard to the debt, he would rather that England should say to the colony, "You say you cannot pay this debt, you sue in formâ pauperis, and we will make you a present of the money at once, wipe the slate clean, and start afresh." Instead of doing that, however, the Government proposed an Imperial guarantee for a loan of £1,000,000 to enable the colony to pay back a debt of £500,000. It seemed to him that that was very like throwing good money after bad. The other parts of the bargain, as to defences and so on, were mere moonshine, for the colonial agent acknowledged he had no power to bind the Legislature of New Zealand. He trusted that the House would not, in the teeth of the opinions of the soundest and most experienced financiers, sanction this request for an Imperial guarantee, the effect of which would be to throw fresh obligations on the already overburdened taxpayers of the mother country, to incur the risk of embarrassing our own resources, and the still further risk—which was to his mind a still more important consideration—of retarding the advance in self-reliance and national vigour which colonies could realize only when they were brought to the conviction that those who claimed the privileges and enjoyments of freedom, must share also the burdens and responsibilities which the blessings of liberty involved.
§ Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."—(Mr. Arthur Mills.)
§ Question, That the word "now" stand part of the Question,
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, he would not interfere with that which was the proper duty of his two right hon. Friends who were connected with the Colonial Department, but would confine himself to that portion of his hon. Friend's speech which related to the financial part of the question. The matter had, 1476 of course, been considered by the Government in a financial point of view, for they undoubtedly incurred a very serious responsibility when they asked Parliament to lend an Imperial guarantee for any undertaking, whether at home or abroad. He confessed he agreed entirely in the principles which his hon. Friend had laid down, but he ventured to challenge his minor premiss; indeed, he might even claim his assent to the principle of the Bill on the very ground he had alleged against it in the closing part of his speech. His hon. Friend laid down the proposition, which was not only true but of vital importance, that the inhabitants and the Legislatures of free colonies must learn self-reliance, and that the question of the present day had come to be, not whether the mother country should tax the colonies, but whether the colonies should tax the mother country: indeed, he might say that that had ceased to be a question, for England had been taxed very largely for the colonies for some length of time. His hon. Friend said it was their business in all the steps they took to endeavour to effect the amendment of that vicious system, and to teach the colonies that having the conduct of their own affairs they must take the responsibility of the results. He entirely agreed with those propositions, both as to their truth and importance, and he asked his hon. Friend to give the Government credit for having proposed the present measure in furtherance of those objects.
What was the case of the colony of New Zealand with regard to the general reasonableness of the loan? In the first instance the colony asked for a guarantee to the amount of £3,000,000; and the Government had consented to a guarantee of only £1,000,000, which was only about two-thirds of the sum guaranteed some years back, in the case of Canada in regard to public works. He mentioned this fact for the purpose of showing that it was not to be supposed that the pauperism of a colony constituted a ground for receiving a guarantee. Pauperism might, but he did not say it would, raise the question whether aid should be directly extended to a colony; but, plainly, it would not raise the question of an Imperial guarantee. It was absolutely the duty of the Government to propose no Imperial guarantee to a colony, unless they were perfectly convinced of the ability and disposition of the colony to pay its debt and his right hon. Friend the Secretary for the 1477 Colonies would show that there was not the slightest question as to the solvency of the colony. The Bill involved only a question of economy—of saving so much money to the colony. His hon. Friend (Mr. A. Mills) seemed to think that as the revenue of the colony was large there was something unreasonable in raising a portion of their expenditure by loan. But the revenue of a colony that had grown so rapidly as New Zealand had considerable demands on it even in time of peace, It was, however, war which had driven the colony to the necessity of a loan. He did not see how England could with justice throw the whole responsibility of the war on the colony. The policy which had led to the war had not been exclusively that of the colony. The Home Government had approved it, and were so far responsible for it. And what was the state of the case? For the first time in modern history, for the first time since the dissolution of the connection between the mother country and the American colonies, England had a colony which was paying a moiety, or at any rate a very large proportion, of the expenses of a war in which it was engaged. That, of itself, betokened an advance. What colony before had done as much? What, for instance, did the Cape of Good Hope ever contribute to the cost of the wars which were waged there? The reasonableness of meeting by a loan the charge of a war which imposed on the colonial exchequer a burden of hundreds of thousands of pounds was not primâ facie very seriously to be questioned. That, however, had nothing to do with the Home Government taking part in it. There were two inducements to them to do so—first, the repayment of the large debt already owing by the colony, and second, a matter which he considered of great importance—the great improvement they proposed to establish by a virtual compact with the colony for the future regulation of its military charges. The repayment of the £500,000 might not be a very great object in a fiscal point of view; but it would be a great political advantage. Every unsettled account between a colony and the mother country was in the nature of a political evil, because it tended to complicate and embarrass the relations between them. It might be said that the advance should never have been made; but that was not now the question, although he believed that it was granted on the responsibility of the Governor, who was the representative of Eng- 1478 land, under the pressure of what he deemed an overruling political necessity, connected with the lives and safety of the people, admitting of no delay and of no reference home. Well, this £500,000 was to be repaid to the Imperial Exchequer. [Mr. W. WILLIAMS; Hear, hear!] His hon. Friend cheered sceptically, but there was no doubt on the subject. The £1,000,000 borrowed would not be handed over to the colony with a request for £500,000 back again. The £500,000 would never leave this country at all, and would as soon as raised be paid into the Treasury. The remaining part of the question was, perhaps, of more importance. His hon. Friend remarked truly that, although there had been a great deal said about requiring colonial contributions to military expenses, very little had been done in that direction. No doubt £5 per head towards the expenses of an army which could not be maintained in New Zealand for less than £100 a head—he was not speaking with departmental authority, but that must be about the figure —was a payment in the nature of a mere pepper-corn rent. Two things were to be done. One was, that instead of the nominal contribution of £5 a head for the military expenditure, we were to require the real contribution of £40 a head; and the contribution of £40 a head was such a charge upon the colony that no colony would have any legitimate inducement to seek the multiplication of British troops when that was to be the rate they were to pay for them. Therefore this arrangement would be a matter of economy to us, because in reality it would be a check upon the disposition of the colony to call for troops; it would be a lesson to them in self-reliance and self-government, and it would go a great way towards rectifying the present distorted relations between the colonies and the mother country on this essential matter of military expenditure. The hon. Gentleman would no doubt say, "This is all very good upon paper, but will you get the £40?" That was a question upon which the House was perfectly at liberty to take its own course. It was in the power of the House to insist that this should be a substantial contract. The £500,000 was a case beyond recall; but with respect to the £40 a head, it was in their power to press on the Colonial Government, through the Secretary of State, whatever conditions or modes of proceeding they thought fit in order to 1479 secure that the compact with the colony should be carried out. As he understood the matter, a colonial Act must be passed before any proceeding could be taken to give effect to this guarantee. It was, therefore, in their power to require from the colony any declaration or instrument they might think fit, involving an assent to the principle and plan of future military contributions. Of course the great security was this—that the announcement would be formally made to Parliament. A despatch was on its way to New Zealand at this moment, declaring that on these conditions alone, with the exception of one single regiment, would the mother country consent to continue to supply troops for the defence of the colony. It was really as a question of reform in our colonial policy that it was important the subject should be entertained. If the House felt disposed to say, "We will not give this guarantee," he did not see how they could make a single step in extricating themselves from a false position. They had so far made a step that the colony was at this moment considerably charged; but they wished to make a further step in reference to all military expenditure, even whether war was or was not raging. They proposed to do it by means of this arrangement. They did not seek to give a guarantee 'without consideration, but they wished to give it in reference to prospective measures of legislation which were in contemplation. At the same time, they were willing to receive suggestions from the House as to the best mode of obtaining securities that the guarantee should be placed on such a footing that it would form a road to lead us out of the system by which Great Britain was taxed fur the benefit of the colonies, into a sound and wholesome system, by which the colonies should be required to bear the expenses of their own freedom, and be charged with the legitimate burdens of their own defence. These were generally the grounds on which the measure before the House was based.
§ MR. WHITESIDE
said, he wished to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary before he rose to continue the debate. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that we were placed in a thoroughly false position in Now Zealand; and he (Mr. Whiteside) wished to know whether the present war was carried on as the noble Lord at the head of the Govern 1480 ment had said in reference to the Ashnntee war—to maintain the honour of the country, or whether it was to maintain a policy capable of being explained or justified? On the 9th of December, the Governor of the colony in his despatches from Auckland declared the neck of this unhappy rebellion was broken, and that there was no probability of its becoming more general; yet immediately afterwards we received the most horrible details of fresh conflicts, and the consummation of those conflicts was what appeared in the papers that morning. A great number of despatches had been received from the Governor, but those from this country were few and singularly unimportant. There was, however, one upon which he wished to make an observation— namely, the despatch which touched upon what was called the land question. He had road the despatch of the Duke of Newcastle upon that subject, and he should be glad to learn from the Colonial Secretary what was the exact theory of what was called the land question. In a despatch dated the 26th of November, 1863, the Duke of Newcastle discussed a proposal sent to him from the colony as to what was to be done with the land of the Natives, the proposal being to assign the land of the Maories to a large body of settlers on a species of military tenure. The noble Duke said that he did not disapprove the principle of the measure, as he thought that any body of Natives who had been in arms against Her Majesty on such grounds as those which had been alleged were properly punishable by the confiscation of a large part of their common property. There was, he said, no objection to their being used as sites for military settlements; and then he added—Since it is probable that the Natives of those districts, unlike those in the Cape Colony and Kaffraria, will soon become an unimportant minority of the inhabitants.The noble Duke probably meant by that, that in the process of time all the Native inhabitants would be killed off. The noble Duke went on to say that, while he acquiesced generally in the principles which had guided the colony, be thought the application of those principles was a matter of great danger and delicacy. The noble Duke then declared that for all that was done the Colonial Government must remain responsible— thus shifting the responsibility of confiscating the land to the Colonial Government abroad, which was a most convenient way of evading the question. The 1481 despatch proceeded to gay that it would be very difficult to control within just limits that eagerness for the acquisition of land which the announcement of an extensive confiscation was likely to stimulate among the old and new settlers, and which, if uncontrolled, might lead to great oppression. Throughout the whole of the despatches the land dispute was repeatedly referred to, and he (Mr. Whiteside) was anxious to obtain from the Colonial Secretary an explanation of what the policy of the Colonial Office was in that respect—if, indeed, they had a policy. In a despatch given to the House that morning, and dated the 29th of February, 1864, the question was again referred to. The Governor said—My responsible advisers have requested me to transmit for your Grace's information the enclosed copy of a memorandum which they have drawn up in relation to your despatch.And the Memorandum said—With respect to his Grace's apprehension that the Natives who still remain friendly may view confiscation not as a punishment for rebellion but as a flagrant proof of the determination of the colonists to possess themselves of land at all risks, Ministers have to state that every means have been taken to persuade the Maories in general that the property and persons of innocent tribes will be strictly respected, and that the measure of punishment will be apportioned to the degree of guilt.He would ask the right hon. Gentleman, who was well acquainted with what occurred in regard to Lord Ellenborough's celebrated despatch relative to the Talookdars of Oude, what was the policy of the Government on this question? Had any instructions been issued in consequence of the last despatch from New Zealand? Where General Cameron now was he did not know, but the right hon. Gentleman opposite had made some startling statements to-night on that part of the subject. It appeared that these savages could reason, and that they held public meetings. He was informed that they expressed themselves with good sense and considerable moderation, and that they showed a disposition to obey the law. He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the alarm which existed among them was owing to any impression that there existed the intention to exterminate the Natives and distribute their land among the settlers in the way mentioned in the despatch to which he had referred?
§ MR. ROEBUCK
said, he wished to place the responsibility in respect to this matter upon the shoulders which he thought ought to bear it — namely, those of the 1482 people of England. Our countrymen some years ago went to New Zealand to colonize in spite of the Government of the day, and the mere fact of their going there was an invasion of the country. That was not the first time we had done that in our history. In America we did the same thing. There our colonists were left to themselves, drove out the Natives, and, to use their own phraseology, "smote the Heathen hip and thigh." In New Zealand the case was the same. Our colonists, in going there as they did, were marauders and plunderers. We acknowledged that. But, being there, it was an absolute necessity that the brown man should disappear; for it was a remarkable fact in natural history, that wherever the white man set his foot the brown man disappeared. The white man having put his foot in New Zealand it became an inexorable necessity that the brown man should vanish from the face of the land. That process was going on when the Government interfered and said to the colonists, "You shan't do that." A past Government wishing to act humanely towards the Natives had introduced a new policy of government by which to maintain in New Zealand a Maori as well as a white population which should live harmoniously together. At the time when this policy was announced, he recollected startling the House some years ago by saying that was impossible. When they went to New Zealand they took on themselves the necessity of seeing these people exterminated, and exterminated they must be. He was not speaking as though that was what he desired, he was merely stating a matter of fact; and he remembered telling the Government that they would find themselves in this difficulty—that, by endeavouring to reconcile the two races, they would excite feelings among the Maories which would render civilized government impossible, and that the bloodshed which would ensue would be laid on our heads. His words had come true. The attempt had been made to reconcile the two races, and it had been found impossible to render the Maori a quiet civilized subject of our Government. Insurrection had broken out, which we said we could not allow to continue, and so we went to war; and the consequence would be that the Maories would be exterminated. The fact of our settling New Zealand, and glorifying ourselves upon planting a new colony there, with English laws, all implied the utter destruction of the Natives. In America 1483 had not the brown man receded step by step before the march of civilization, as it advanced from the Atlantic towards the Pacific? The dominion of the Native tribes over their land was narrowing daily, and the North American Indians were rapidly disappearing under the sinister influence of the white man. The white man took to the savage spirits, tobacco, and the manners of civilized life, and under that hot-house influence the savage withered away and the white man possessed his land. That was exactly what was happening in New Zealand, and the moral he was about to draw from it was, that the Government and the people of England, who undertook the policy he had described, were bound to protect the colonists against the mischief into which they had brought them. The colonists said years ago, "Leave this matter to us, we will settle it," and they would have swept the Natives before them. But the English Government would not allow that, and they were now bound to guarantee this loan, and to guarantee it under the dire necessity laid upon them of putting an end to the Native people. They were about to make a long agony of what the colonists would have made a short and sharp misery.
§ SIR HENRY WILLOUGHBY
said, he was very much disposed to agree with the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) as to the perplexing position of this country with respect to this colony; and he felt convinced that the only chance of extrication was the establishment of something like a dictatorship in the colony. Unless something were done to provide a Government which could conciliate the feeling of the two races they could not establish peace and order, and in the result the aborigines would be destroyed. The guilt of breaking treaties must be shared, he believed, by both parties. But, turning to the immediate question before the House, he said that if they guaranteed loans like this they would be sure to have chronic wars. He hoped, therefore, that the House would look closely into this question. The speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that night had disclosed some curious views as to the obligation to guarantee this loan. The colony was said to be in our debt, and to owe us £500,000; but who contracted that debt, and was the Parliament of England any party to it? He desired to have some explanation on that point. The papers on the table showed that there had 1484 been disputed accounts with the colony, and if a Colonial Governor could involve us to the extent of £500,000, might be not involve us to the extent of £5,000,000? They ought carefully to guard against being brought into the position in which they were told that they must either lose their money or guarantee a loan. In 1859, Parliament was misled respecting the former loan of £500,000. Subsequent Correspondence showed that £200,000 would have satisfied the wants of that day, and yet the House was persuaded to guarantee £500,000. The colony was now asking a loan of £3,000,000, and they knew nothing of its debts and liabilities. They were told certainly that the Customs had wonderfully increased. The revenue on that score was £691,000; but what was the expenditure?—670,000. What was the margin. Only £21,000. Was that a fair ground for guaranteeing so large a sum? There could be no doubt that the increase in the Customs' revenue had arisen very much from the war expenditure. On the ground of revenue, therefore, there was not the slightest pretence for guaranteeing this loan. But was it wise, he asked, that we should mix up Imperial finance with a colony, governed as it now was by an independent Legislature, almost wholly free from the control of the Secretary for the Colonies? The Governor, himself an able man, seemed a mere cypher in the face of that Legislature. It was almost idle to talk of the power of the Secretary of State over such a colony. Was it not the fact that the very parties who came to this country in connection with this guarantee belonged to a Government which had since disappeared? ["No, no!"] The much more serious question remained, however. How were we to get the money if the colonists did not pay? The Colonial Secretary might write able despatches, but it appeared to him (Sir Henry Willoughby) that the right hon. Gentleman was entirely without the power to enforce the fulfilment of obligations on the part of the Colonial Government. He agreed with the hon. Member for Taunton, that it would be better to take upon ourselves a temporary outlay of expenditure than guarantee this loan.
§ MR. AYTOUN
said, he should certainly support the Amendment. There were only two grounds on which a loan, or, indeed, any other species of aid, to a colony could be justified. One was that the mother country had injured it, or had retarded its 1485 prosperity by interference, and that was the plea upon which the former guarantee was asked for. The other ground was where the colony was in desperate circumstances. Now, he did not see how either argument could be advanced in the present case. By the former loan we had discharged every liability; and a colony which could advertise for a loan of £2,000,000 on its own security, as the New Zealanders were now doing, for the purposes of emigration and settlement, were not in a position to ask for a guarantee on an additional million. The history of the loan of 1857 should make the House exceedingly cautious in granting a guarantee for a still larger sum now. We ought to be extremely cautious how we granted another guarantee when we found how little care the Colonial Office had taken to ascertain the condition of the New Zealand finances at the time of the former loan. The truth was, it was the anxiety of the colonists to obtain additional land which led to our wars with the Natives, and by putting additional means at their disposal we tended to perpetuate the policy by which these wars had been brought about. There was no doubt that many of the colonists benefited by these wars—in fact, it was said that many of our soldiers had been killed by weapons of British manufacture, sold to the Natives by the colonists. The true policy was, that the colonists should be content with as small a portion of land as they were able to defend, and should not come to us and throw the burden of supporting fortresses for the defence of the colony upon the taxpayers of this country. If we were to throw upon the colonists the burden of this war, we should, to a great extent, impose upon them the only check we could to prevent their engaging in other wars in future. He saw nothing in the arrangements which had been made to induce him to support this guarantee. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that an engagement had been made to the effect that one regiment should be kept there free of expense to the colony; but though it would be some time before such a small force would suffice for New Zealand, he saw no reason why such an engagement should be made. That a guarantee had already been given to Canada was no argument for giving a guarantee to New Zealand, and though half of the £1,000,000 to be guaranteed was to be devoted to repaying a debt owing to us, yet we should remain answerable for the other half, and if the colony repudiated it 1486 we should have to pay it. He should certainly support the Amendment of the hon. Member for Taunton.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
said, he felt great difficulty in deciding how he should vote on this question, and rose rather to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies a few questions on points which hitherto had not been adequately explained, than to make a speech for or against the Bill. The arguments of the Chancellor of the Exchequer—which were not entirely satisfactory — seemed to divide themselves mainly under four heads. First, he told the House that it was desirable to offer this guarantee, because in that way we [should secure the repayment of a debt which might otherwise turn out to be a bad one; secondly, that this was an engagement which it would not be dangerous to undertake, because the finances of the colony were in a prosperous condition; thirdly, that there was a claim on the part of the colony, because it was paying a considerable portion of the expenses of the war out of its own means; and fourthly, that a good arrangement would thus be secured for the future as to the principles on which assistance was to be given to the colony. Upon all these points he wanted some further information than had been afforded in the cursory observations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. First, as to the debt of £500,000, he would remind the House of the significant fact that, just twelve months ago, it was proposed on the part of the colony that the British Parliament should guarantee a loan of half a million. It was part of that contemplated arrangement that a compromise should be come to with respect to certain old debts, and some more recent claims on the part of the Imperial Government, and that those claims should be met out of the half million loan. Mr. Reader Wood, the representative of the New Zealand Government, did not consider himself at liberty to make the compromise that was suggested to him, and consequently no advance of money was made. Subsequently the colony, through its agent, agreed to enter into that compromise; but in the meantime circumstances had changed, the debt of the colony had run up from £200,000 to £500,000, and the loan for which a guarantee was asked had also grown from half a million to a million — the colony, indeed, being willing to accept a guarantee of three millions if it could be 1487 obtained. These were significant facts; and when the Chancellor of the Exchequer told the House that the guarantee might be a good bargain for this country because it would procure payment of an old debt, he should have remembered that it was not entirely an old debt, but that some portion of our claim was of very recent date. He was referring to the £300,000 of debt which had been incurred in the course of the last year. It appeared that a large portion of that amount had been taken from the Treasury chest upon requisitions from the Governor, notwithstanding the objections of the Deputy Commissary General. The Colonial Government finding themselves in difficulties for money, had recourse to that convenient bank, the Treasury chest, and drew upon it at the rate of £12,000 a month for three months, and then it was proposed that until the Assembly of New Zealand could be called together, it was desirable that the Commissariat should make a further temporary advance to the extent of £100,000. The Deputy Commissary General demurred to making that advance, thinking that it was undesirable to make large advances from the Treasury chest, unless some decided steps were taken by the Colonial Government towards providing supplies. That officer also asked how the advances were to be repaid. He was told that provision should be made for repayment out of a loan which the Assembly was about to authorize. It now appeared that the loan was to be guaranteed by the Imperial Government. Now he (Sir Stafford North-cote) wished to ask whether this system of advances from the Treasury chest was to be continued? If whenever the colonial authorities wanted money they were to apply to the Treasury chest—if when the Commissary General objected he was to be told that the Colonial Government was going to provide for the money by a loan, and it turned out that they meant a loan to be guaranteed by the Imperial Government, that was getting into a vicious circle from which they would find it difficult to escape. Upon this occasion, as upon many others, it might be that the first loss would be the least, and that it would be better to abandon a debt of £200,000 or £300,000 than to enter upon a system of advances and repayments by means of guaranteed loans. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer recommended the House to give the guarantee asked 1488 for, because it would be the means of obtaining payment of advances, the right hon. Gentleman ought also to tell them what security there was that the system of advances would not be continued. He also desired information upon another point. In a despatch dated December 26, 1863, the Duke of Newcastle put to Sir George Grey certain questions which the Lords of the Treasury wished to have answered—The desire to know whether, when the necessity of providing further funds became apparent, the Assembly was summoned for the earliest practicable day; whether, when the previous Assembly was prorogued, there was reason to believe that an emergency of this kind to a greater or smaller extent would arise; and if this was the case, whether provision was made to meet it such as to reasonable persons would at the time have appeared sufficient; and if it was not made, what means were taken by you to impress on the Assembly the necessity of making it?Various other questions equally pertinent were put, and he wished to know whether any answers had been returned to those questions, and, if so, what was the purport of those answers? The Chancellor of the Exchequer's next reason for giving the guarantee was that the colonists were making very great exertions on their own be-half. The House would like to have some details of the nature of those exertions, and as to how far they had raised money among themselves by taxation or in other ways. They must not be led into the mistake of supposing that money borrowed upon the ultimate security of the Home Government, or money obtained from the Treasury chest, formed any evidence of exertion. He would like to know how far the militia had been paid out of local funds. Then came the question of the solvency of the colony. They were told that the advances ought to be made because the colony was in a very prosperous condition. Upon that the obvious remark was, that if the colony was so prosperous it did not need a guarantee from this country—the only effect of the guarantee being to reduce the rate of interest on the loan by 1 or 2 per cent. But there were circumstances which should lead them to examine rather critically the flourishing condition of the colony. This loan had been spoken of as being a very heavy one in proportion to the resources of the country, and it was very striking to find that Mr. Reader Wood, in writing to the Under Secretary of State in July, 1863, said—The cost to New Zealand of the war already reaches a round sum of £500,000. This sum 1489 includes only extra expenses entailed upon the colony directly by the war, and might be largely swollen by a number of expenses which spring indirectly from the same cause. The charge of £500,000 in the shape of a debt upon the resources of a population of 100,000 persons, paying taxes to the State at the rate of about £4 per head per year, will appear of its proper magnitude if it be compared, after making all due allowances, with the expenditure of the United Kingdom for similar purposes. Thus compared, it represents an amount of above £100,000,000 sterling. In addition to this enormous burden, the colony is prepared to pay to Her Majesty's Government the sum of £150,000, and the offer to do so is declined as insufficient.Some explanation of that statement was necessary. If such was to be the burden east upon New Zealand by a debt of £500,000, what would be the effect of a debt of £3,000,000? He also wanted information upon another point—how the surplus of revenue over expenditure could be applied to the payment of the debt? It had been said that the revenue of the colony had largely increased between 1863 and 1864, and from the statement in the papers it appeared that the revenue had increased 25 or 26 per cent. But then, on the other hand, the expenditure had enormously increased under four main heads during the same period, by no less than 64 per cent. He wanted to know whether the expenditure included the war expenditure, why it had risen so much in amount this year, and whether it was likely the increase would continue? The last point to which he had to refer was the payment of the troops. Speaking literally, it was always theoretically possible for the Home Government to secure the payment of a proper sum from the colony, because they could say, "If you do not pay your proportion we shall not send you troops;" but practically the matter was not so easy. There was a great difficulty in saying that when British honour was concerned, He, therefore, thought there ought to be a distinct understanding with the colony that a guarantee should be given for its proportion, either by an Act of the Colonial Legislature or in some other forms. He felt that this was a very grave question, and he had not yet made up his mind on it. The bearing of his mind was to look with jealousy on such a proceeding as that proposed by the Government, and he, therefore, hoped that the Secretary for the Colonies would give the House some explanation on the points which he had ventured to bring under his notice.
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, he was opposed 1490 to the system of calling on the mother country to pay the expenses of the colonies. He entirely recognized the principle that the credit of the mother country was her property, and that in lending to a colony the credit of the mother country you did bring the property of the mother country to the aid of the colony. But, notwithstanding these admissions, he thought he should be able to satisfy the House that the demand made by the Government in this instance was on every ground of generosity towards the colony, and of sound policy as regarded the mother country, a I reasonable one, and one which ought to prevail. And he might say in general terms that he agreed with the principles which had been laid down by the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Arthur Mills). Some hon. Gentlemen had referred in strong terms to the origin and circumstances of the war now going on in New Zealand, His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) was not one of them—he took the side of the colonists; but, in answer to the appeal which his hon. and learned Friend made to him, he could not say he entirely coincided in his theory: with respect to colonization. On the contrary, from the moment he first obtained a seat in Parliament, he had always taken a I great interest in the position of the Maories I of New Zealand, and had been anxious to see a solution of the problem of recognizing the necessary and inevitable predominance of the British race in that colony, and at the same time acting with justice and generosity towards the Natives. He did not agree with his hon. and learned Friend; that it was an inevitable necessity of colonization that the brown man must disappear before the white man. On the contrary, the thought that the superior races of Asiatic origin might grow side by side with the European races, and acquire a status which should enable them to take a part in all the social relations of life. At all; events, the circumstances of the present war were perfectly clear. Four or five years ago New Zealand was governed by one of the most humane men that ever ' served the Crown—Governor Browne. He had left this country with the most friendly feeling towards the Maori race, and, having; that feeling, he expressed in his despatches the greatest jealousy of the disposition of I the colonists to acquire land. Notwithstanding those sentiments, Governor Browne found himself engaged in a war. That I war came to a close rather by dying out 1491 than being concluded in the ordinary way; and, as a security, Governor Browne had prescribed certain terms of peace which were to be imposed on the Natives. He was succeeded by Sir George Grey, who was selected, not in the ordinary course of promotion from one colony to another, but because, from his great knowledge of New Zealand, and his experience of the relations between the colonists and the Maories, and from the great regard he had always shown for the interests of the Natives, he was of all men supposed to be the one best fitted to govern that colony in a conciliatory manner, and prevent a renewal of hostilities. And on his return to New Zealand in 1861, did Sir George Grey take any measures calculated to bring about a recurrence of the war? Quite the reverse. The first thing he did was to abandon the terms imposed on the Natives by Governor Browne; the second, to make a personal visit to the disaffected Natives, of which visit there was a most interesting narrative in the papers presented to Parliament. He received a very warm welcome, being addressed in such language as this, "You return to us our parent and friend. If you had remained, war would never have taken place." He gave out also that the King movement should not be a cause of war with him, and that the proceeding which had excited so much suspicion and alarm should not be again revived. In fact, he inaugurated that policy which was now sometimes called Sir George Grey's policy, and sometimes the conciliatory policy of 1861. These facts showed that the origin of the present war could not be imputed to Sir George Grey and the Government of New Zealand. What, then, had been the cause of the war? Every one would remember how a small detachment of British troops had been barbarously murdered while they were moving from one place to another. Two officers and nine soldiers were shockingly assassinated on that occasion by a party which some of the chiefs had in waiting for the detachment; and Sir George Grey stated that plots had been formed for an attack on the settlement of Auckland, and that the Natives were well armed, and had been long preparing themselves for the enterprize. At that time the colonists had made no military preparations. He, therefore, thought it impossible to hold the colonists of New Zealand responsible for the present war, however much one might regret the circumstances of the former conflict and the connection which, undoubtedly, more or 1492 less existed between it and the hostilities which were going on at present. The war very soon acquired large proportions, until at last it became necessary to maintain in the field a force of 20,000 men, one-half of whom were Queen's troops, and one-half forces supplied by the colonists. This involved a large expenditure, both to the mother country and the colony, for the whole population of Auckland able to bear arms were suddenly called upon to give up the profitable pursuits of industry. This was the position of the colony through the autumn of last year, when these advances were made from the Treasury chest. In October the General Assembly of New Zealand met and adopted a plan for a military settlement, which Sir George Grey described as based upon a plan adopted by him in British Caffraria, with such differences as the circumstances rendered necessary. In a despatch of August 29, 1863, Sir George Grey said—I feel certain that the chiefs of Waikato having in so unprovoked a manner caused Europeans to be murdered, and having planned a wholesale destruction of some of the European settlements, it will be necessary now to take efficient steps for the permanent security of the country, and to inflict upon those chiefs a punishment of such a nature as would deter other tribes from hereafter forming and attempting to carry out designs of a similar nature, which must in their results be so disastrous to the welfare of the Native race, as well as to Her Majesty's European subjects.This plan contemplated the ultimate settlement of 5,000 military colonists, and at this moment 5,000 persons were engaged under that plan in the defence of Auckland against the tribes in war against us. The plan was adopted in October by the Assembly, who agreed to a loan of £3,000,000, for the purpose, in some respect, of giving effect to it. The measures came home in duo course for sanction, and arrived just when he (Mr. Cardwell) had succeeded to his present office. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside), in referring to this subject, surely could not have been aware that a discussion had taken place in this House in April last, and that the papers sent to New Zealand in answer to the proposal had been laid upon the table for a considerable period, for the hon. and learned Gentleman had asked him to state distinctly what were the views of the Government upon the land question in New Zealand. Now, these views had been so distinctly stated both in the House on the occasion to which he referred and in the despatches that he would not occupy time 1493 unnecessarily by repeating them. It was enough to say that they appeared thin to be acceptable to the House, as consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi and with justice towards the Native race, aid as dictated by a desire to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent, and whilst punishing the guilty calculated to impress the innocent with a belief in the justice as well as in the power of the European Government, and with a conviction that their property and their rights would be respected. The Colonial Assembly having agreed to apply for a loan of £3,000,000, requested the guarantee of this country, and that guarantee came strongly recommended by the Governor, on the ground that the colonists had made great exertions, and had done all that it was possible to expect from them in their own defence. The proposal was brought home by the Colonial Treasurer, the Financial Minister of New Zealand. He (Mr. Cardwell) at once said that the proposal was one which he could not possibly submit to the House of Commons; that the guarantee of so large a sum as £3,000,000 could not be entertained; and that all that part of the loan connected with the settlement of a large number of persons was a matter with which the colony must deal on its own responsibility. But other points were involved, and he undertook to submit a more limited plan to the just, kind, and generous consideration of the House of Commons. In the first place, he found that the promise had already been given to the colony, that a loan to the amount of £500,000 should be proposed to Parliament, as the subject of an Imperial guarantee; and a Bill for that purpose had been prepared by his right hon. Friend, and the preliminary Resolution adopted last Session. Owing to some difference of opinion between his right hon. Friend and the Colonial Minister, which was now satisfactorily explained by the desire of the colony to accept the terms offered to them, that Bill was not carried through last year. In the recess, however, the proposal was renewed, and there was an engagement to propose to Parliament a guarantee for £500,000. That engagement covered an old debt to the Treasury of £200,000, the particulars of which were to be found in the papers; and there was a proposal to advance £300,000 more for the service of the colony, and chiefly for the benefit of those unfortunate settlers who had suffered most severely during the former war. But 1494 in the meantime further liabilities had been incurred by the colony, amounting, so far as he knew, to close upon £300,000.
He had been asked a question to which there could be but one reply—Whether the system of obtaining advances without the sanction of Parliament from the military chest was not a vicious system? No doubt every advance of public money made without the direct sanction of Parliament was a vicious advance, and one to be avoided in every possible way; but he was afraid it was not possible to carry on a war anywhere without being exposed to the risk that such advances would have to be made under pressure. He believed that the advances made to New Zealand could not possibly be avoided at the outset of this war. These advances terminated in December last, since which time the colony had been spending money from its own credit, and had not, he believed, been drawing any from the military chest. The obligations which he had mentioned amounted to nearly the whole sum which, in fulfilment of the pledge given, would have been placed at the disposal of the colony. He had been asked to explain some observations made by Mr. Reader Wood, but must decline to be responsible for that gentleman's arguments. The present proposal was made up on its own merits, and if he could not sustain it upon its own merits he would not sustain it upon arguments drawn from the letter referred to. There having been a pledge to propose to Parliament a guarantee of £500,000, nearly the whole of that sum was exhausted by debts already incurred. In the meantime the colony was in great difficulties, being subjected to the extraordinary pressure caused by the war, for the origin of which the colony could not be held responsible. It was, therefore, proposed to raise the guarantee from £500,000 to £1,000,000, upon satisfactory and proper conditions. I It was, in the first place, necessary'; that the security should be indisputable, and he believed that he should be able to show that such was the case in the present instance. Those who opposed the guarantee had met its advocates with two objections; they objected that if the security was sufficient the colony could raise the money in the open market with out the guarantee of this country; and that if it were not sufficient this country ought not to be asked to guarantee it. He was not at all disposed to deny that the conclusion was a logical one; but the 1495 House must at the same time be fully aware that the world, and especially the money world of London, was not exclusively influenced by logic. His hon. Friend the Member for Stamford (Sir Stafford Northcote) had asked him somewhat triumphantly, whether the colonists could not, with all their credit, obtain what they wanted in the market? In answer to the question he would say that, although the interest offered amounted to 5½ per cent, the tenders sent in were so few that the attempt was in reality a failure. He must naturally expect, after that statement, to be asked how the security could be good if the money-market failed to acknowledge its value? and in answer he would describe the steps which he had taken to arrive at a satisfactory solution of that question. When on a previous occasion the Government, in opposition to the advice of Sir James Graham, guaranteed a loan of £500,000, the revenue of New Zealand was, he believed, £185,000. The country had never been, and he believed never would be, called upon to contribute one shilling in consequence of that guarantee. The first fact he had endeavoured to ascertain was the actual income of the colony in the last financial year, which had expired on the 30th of June, 1863, and he found that it amounted to £549,000, and on comparing that sum with the expenditure he found that there was a clear surplus of £260,000? He had been asked by his hon. Friend the Member for Stamford in what position the provinces stood with respect to the surplus? and in answer to that question he would state that by the Constitution Act the General Assembly could dispose of the whole of the revenue, and that by their representatives in the General Assembly the provinces of New Zealand had agreed that the whole of the surplus should be applied to the purposes of the present loan. The whole amount of the interest on the loan would only be £60,000, and to meet that demand there was a sum of £260,000 at the disposal of the colony. That amount, however, did not constitute the sole security; because, in addition to the ordinary revenue, the land revenue—the revenue derived from the sale of lands and from mines, which nearly equalled the ordinary revenue—was by the terms of the Bill to which the House was now asked to give its consent pledged as security for the repayment of the loan. He then further demanded an estimate for the current year, 1496 which terminated on the 30th of June last. That estimate showed a still larger income; but as his hon. Friend the Member for Stamford had said, it also exhibited a larger expenditure. Apparently, the balance at the disposal of the colony was smaller than in the previous year, and he had been very justly asked for an explanation of the circumstance. Previous to giving one he might say that, although the year had terminated, news of the decisive financial result had not yet reached this country. They wore, however, in possession of sufficient information to warrant the statement that the receipts had rather exceeded than fallen short of the estimate. A glance at the Estimates would show that the permanent charges, which in the former year had amounted to £79,000, would have increased to £130,000, but that increase would have chiefly arisen from the fact that £40,000 had been sot aside to meet the interest of the very loan which the House had under consideration. The actual expenditure was, therefore, little more than it was last year. There was an item of £15,000 for the Militia, and £40,000 for the postal service for steamers; but the surplus would be pretty much the same as in the former year—or £250,000 to guarantee a loan, the interest of which was £60,000. He believed that he had shown conclusively that although the credit of the New Zealand Government might not be sufficiently well known in London to enable the colony to raise the requisite sum of money at an interest of 5½ per cent, the House was nevertheless incurring no risk in agreeing to the guarantee which was asked of them. If the addition of the ordinary revenue to the revenue derivable from the sales of lands and the produce of mines would not satisfy the House as to the credit of the New Zealand Government he believed that conviction was utterly impossible.
§ MR. ARTHUR MILLS
asked whether the territorial revenue as well as the revenue derived from the Customs could be applied to the purposes of the loan?
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, that the territorial revenue, like the ordinary revenue, was at the disposition of the General Assembly, and ill order that there might be no mistake upon the point he had been careful to insert words in the Bill involving both of those sources of revenue as security for the loan. An hon. Friend of his had said that the taxes were raised upon articles of trade, and were, therefore, deri- 1497 vable in reality from our own revenue. All he could say was that no complaint had ever been made of the mode in which taxes were levied in New Zealand.
His hon. Friend the Member for Stamford had put several questions to him. One was, whether the system of advancing money from the Treasury chest was to continue? His answer was that he believed such advances to have terminated in December last.
§ MR. CARDWELL
could only say that there was not the least desire on the part of either the Government or the Treasury to renew these advances. Such advances were only justifiable in cases of extreme emergency, and the course he now proposed would, he believed, obviate any such necessity for the future, because it would,; if accepted, enable the New Zealand Government to meet all their engagements to the Treasury, and to liquidate those advances which had already been made. As a matter of principle, no one could reprobate more than he (Mr. Cardwell) did any system by which advances of; the public money were made without the sanction of Parliament. His hon. Friend (Sir Stafford Northcote) had asked him what was the annual charge with which the colony had burdened itself in consequence of the war? That was a question which he (Mr. Cardwell) was inable to answer, as the amount had not been, made up. How the colonists would meet those expenses would be a matter for their own consideration. The House should, however, bear in mind the fact to which he had already alluded, that in the province of Auckland every person capable of bearing arms had left his industrial pursuits to fight against the Natives. The other provinces would naturally desire that, in stead of the whole expenses of a war local in its character being paid from the annual income, those expenses should be met by some other means less likely to press so heavily upon their resources. What perhaps was of more consequence was this that if the war came soon to a close, is they hoped it would, a very large expediture would be thrown upon the colony, not only for the war, but also for roads and other material improvements. At all events the loan which the House had to do with was inferior in amount to the sum which the colonists would have expended upon 1498 the war, and was limited to the actual urgency of the case. He spoke from information furnished by the Financial Minister of the colony when he said that the annual expenditure of the colony, at the rate it was now going on, was equal to £1,000,000, His hon. Friend next asked him an important question—namely, whether there would be any binding compact between this country and the colony? He (Mr. Card-well) had already said that of the conditions upon which it was proposed to guarantee the loan, the first and most important was that the Treasury should have ample security. Now, he submitted that he had shown two things which his logical opponents had deemed almost impossible — namely, that the colony might be unable to raise money by its own unaided credit, and yet that its revenue was such that there was no fear of risk to this country in giving a guarantee. He would now proceed to the other conditions. The first was the immediate repayment of all the money due to the Treasury. He had been asked whether there would be any security that, after the House had guaranteed the loan, and the New Zealand Government had got the money, they would repay the Treasury at home? Perhaps in his position he might be permitted to express, on the part of the Colonial Government, some little surprise, nay, in a modified degree, some indignation at such a question as that. It was not a condition on the part of the Now Zealand Government that they should pay the money advanced to them, provided that Parliament should agree to guarantee this loan. They were bound to pay, and he was sure they meant to pay their debt as soon as they could, whether Parliament guaranteed this loan or not. It was true that Mr. Wood had no power to bind the colony, but he (Mr. Cardwell) could assure his hon. Friend that there was no risk in this case, because they would have the very best security in the possession of the money itself. The money was to be raised in London, with the consent of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury; it would be under their superintendence and direction; and, therefore, it would be the duty, as it would be in the power of the Treasury to do what the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said would be done — namely, as the money was received to carry it to the public exchequer, and thereby to repay the debt and extinguish that painful relation of an unliquidated and unsettled debt between the colony and the mother country. 1499 The next condition was, that the arrangement which now existed with respect to the payment for the troops that might be furnished to the colony by this country, should terminate at the close of the present year. The Government of New Zealand agreed to pay £5 a head for the troops of this country who might be in the colony. He had said "agreed to pay" because it did not pay, for the greatest part of the money went back into the Colonial Treasury for colonial purposes. One condition in the new proposal was that this arrangement should be put an end to at the close of the current year, and that an actual payment of a substantial amount should be made. This payment would not only yield a considerable sum to the Imperial Treasury, but it would have a value far beyond its pecuniary amount, because it would place the colony, as it were, under bail that it would for the future so regulate its policy that there should be no further occasion to send for British troops to protect the lives and property of the colonists. The Government had, therefore, stipulated that the security should be ample, that the amount of the loan should not be excessive, that the whole of the debt to the Treasury should be repaid, that a substantial compact should be made with the colony, with regard to future military arrangements, and finally that the Colonial Government should undertake cordially to co-operate with the Home Government in that spirit of just and temperate policy towards the Native races which Parliament had so deliberately adopted and so clearly expressed. His hon. Friend Sir Stafford Northcote had asked what was to bind the Colonial Parliament to that contract? Was a gentleman to do so who admitted that he had not the power? He wished to state with respect to that gentleman, that all his transactions with him had been characterized by the greatest frankness and straightforwardness. But his hon. Friend had forgotten to read the next passage of the letter to which he had referred, and in which Mr. Wood said, "You have the security in your own hands. If we do not choose to carry out our engagements, you need not send out your troops, or you may recall them." But his hon. Friend said, "You cannot withdraw the troops in the moment of danger." No; but his hon. Friend must admit that the solemn engagement of a colony solemnly given was a matter which it was neither just nor 1500 wise to treat as of no value at all. Now, he was not acting on the engagements given by a gentleman who said that he had no power from the General Assembly definitely to conclude any arrangement. The compact should be written in the clearest and plainest terms before the name of England was put to this guarantee, or before a shilling of this loan was raised. It was not easy to write it in the form of an Act of the New Zealand Assembly for the reason that the number of troops would vary, and it was to be hoped it would soon be small. But this he would engage, that before the guarantee should come into operation the sanction of the New Zealand Legislature should be given to the arrangement, in what form he would not undertake to say—that should be a matter for consideration hereafter. But as the Bill was framed, it could have no validity until the sanction of the New Zealand Legislature was given to the arrangement, and he would undertake that without that sanction the loan should not be raised with an Imperial guarantee.
He believed he had answered every question which had been put to him; if not, he was prepared to do so, if hon. Gentlemen would be so kind as to remind him of any which he had forgotten. Well, then, he had shown that the war had not arisen through any act of the Government of New Zealand, that it was forced upon them by the outrages to which he had referred, and by the conspiracy among the Waikato tribes. He had shown that, as the necessity of the colonists was urgent, so their expenditure had been immense, considering the size and population of the colony. He had shown that they sought to meet that expenditure by a loan in the open market, and that they had not been successful; that their revenue was ample for the security which England was asked to give; and, therefore, that this country would by guaranteeing the loan render them a great assistance without incurring any risk. He had shown that the arrangement was one which would terminate an unliquidated debt to the mother country; that it should be ratified by the New Zealand Government before the Imperial Government was committed to any engagement; and that with regard to the military protection of the colony, a practical contribution was secured, and the concurrence of the New Zealand Government in the policy of this country was one of the conditions of the compact. He, therefore, 1501 confidently submitted the proposal to the I favourable consideration of the House. He did not for one moment believe that under these circumstances, having regard to the struggle in which that colony was engaged, to the great sacrifices which the colonists were compelled to make, and to the financial difficulties in which they were placed, the House of Commons would be disposed to refuse them that assistance, coupled with wise and satisfactory conditions, which could be given without any injury to ourselves. The loan was a prior claim upon the whole revenue of New Zealand, and was little more than the whole annual revenue of the colony. The House might be quite secure that they would incur no expense and no risk; and he trusted, therefore, they would confer a great and enduring benefit upon one of the finest and most prosperous colonies of this country in circumstances of great and unparalleled difficulty.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, that on the whole he was prepared, after the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, to give his support to the second reading of the Bill. It was very true that the colony could raise the money for itself; but the guarantee of the Imperial Treasury would enable it to raise as much money as was guaranteed on terms so much more favourable that it might be described as on assistance from England to New Zealand to the amount, perhaps, of £20,000 or £30,000 a year. The question then arose whether there was any risk to ourselves in giving that assistance, and a sufficient reason for affording it? He was as strongly against guarantees for colonial loans as any Member of the House, not so much for fear of risk to the Imperial Treasury, but because he entirely agreed with what had fallen from the hon. Member for Taunton on that point; he entirely concurred with the statement of Sir James Graham, which the hon. Member had cited, that there could hardly be anything more disastrous to the connection between the mother country and the colony than that there should spring up between them the relation of creditor and debtor. But while he entertained that general opinion against the system, he believed there were good reasons for making the present case an exception to the rule. The expenses incurred in these wars with Natives had arisen from a policy originated by the mother country for the protection of the rights of the Natives. It was not till 1852 1502 that the colony of New Zealand had the management of its own affairs, and the responsibility for what happened before and the origin of those wars rested to a great extent with the Home Government, and it would hardly be fair upon our parts wholly to ignore that fact. He was not prepared to say, as the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield seemed to say, that the policy of this country was either in theory or practice a policy of extermination. He denied that statement, and maintained that it would be nearer the truth to say that the policy was quite the reverse, that in New Zealand the wars occurred from the scrupulous endeavour of the Home Government to maintain the rights of the Natives, and from attempting to guard them in too artificial a manner by treaties, which were incomprehensible to the Native mind. The policy which had been pursued was to prevent extermination, but it had resulted in war; and as far as England had without the free voice of the colony originated or maintained that policy we were implicated in its consequences. There was, therefore, something exceptional in the claims of New Zealand for liabilities dating before 1852. Yet, although we were to a certain extent responsible for the origin of these wars, it must not be supposed that we had incurred any permanent responsibility; because the colony had since received complete powers of self-government and complete control over the Natives as well as over their own affairs in those Islands. It would be absolutely impossible, even if it could be deemed right, that we should take upon ourselves an ultimate and enduring responsibility for the results for ever of a policy which was now placed in the hands of the colonists. Nothing could be more extravagant—nothing could be more disastrous—than that one country should be at liberty to consult its own interests and carry out its own designs, while another country had to bear the expense which those proceedings might incur in blood and treasure. The world would cry out against so outrageous and reckless a system. The question was, how they could give the assistance now due to the colony in such a manner as to lead it to more self-reliance for the future, and to lessen its disposition to lean again upon the mother country. As far as the proposition before them had any tendency, it was to increase the sense of responsibility in the colony, to throw upon it the results of its own 1503 policy, and to impose that check upon its engaging in hostilities which consisted in the liability of those who made war to pay the cost. It would thus break off the dependence on the mother country in regard to future wars. They had here, he thought, a case for assistance. He did not put it on grounds of generosity, because he did not wish this country to treat New Zealand as a protege; nor would he endorse the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, that the House, by passing the Bill, would become entitled to the gratitude of the colony. England was bound, in justice, to give some help to New Zealand under existing circumstances, but so that New Zealand should be stimulated in the very process to help itself. That was the full extent of the aid which the Bill proposed, or he would not support it. The hon. Member for Taunton, in opposing the Bill, said, that the revenue of New Zealand was little more than half a million, and that the yearly increase was trifling compared with the increase in the expenditure, which had increased to a million and a half. [Mr. ARTHUR MILLS: I did not say year by year; I spoke of the current year only.] That might be true of a year of war; but what they had to consider was how to limit the incurring of such obligations for the future. His hon. Friend the Member for Taunton said they had better wipe the slate clean, and start afresh. He (Mr. Adderley) said the better plan would be to wipe the slate and not start afresh. He was not prepared to forgive the debt, because that was the way to encourage the colony to get into our debt again; but he would consider if they could not find some method of repayment which should act as a check against the desire to get into debt again, and at the same time be a real quid pro quo for what was given by this country. It was proposed that the mother country should give a guarantee for a million, in return for certain considerations. They were to receive, in the first place, payment of a debt of half a million; and, after the explanations of the Government, there could be no doubt that the money would really be paid to the Imperial Exchequer, for the first £500,000 of the loan raised would be ipso facto applied in that way. The second consideration was much more valuable, and would establish a new system of relations between us and the colony in case of future wars, and would become a precedent for other colonies. It was that 1504 the colony should undertake to pay for all troops, beyond one regiment, whom they might hereafter require, at the rate of £40 per head per annum. That was so important a consideration that he should have been quite ready to give the guarantee for that return alone. It was in itself a sufficient quid pro quo, because it would break down the vicious system of relieving the British colonies of their proper service in self-defence. The only question was whether this consideration was secured, and that appeared to him to be the weak point of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech. They should consider whether they could not insert in the Bill some better security. [Mr. CAKDWELL: We have tried to get the best that New Zealand can give.] There was an old arrangement that the colony should pay £5 per man; but to that day it had never been paid.
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
It was remitted by the Imperial Government on the recommendation of Sir George Grey.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, the result was much the same. The question was, had we better security for £40 than for £5 being paid or not remitted? If New Zealand could not pay £5 could she pay £40? And if she could would she? Of course when £5 per man could not be obtained, the chances seemed much less that £40 would be paid. Perhaps no provision on this point could be introduced into the Bill, because the liability was fluctuating and not fixed, and therefore no fixed stipulated payment on it could be enacted. Ten thousand men might be wanted one year, and perhaps more the next. He understood the right hon. Gentleman, however, to say that he was willing to introduce into the Bill in Committee such terms as would render it impossible that the Imperial Treasury should be liable for the guarantee until the colonial Parliament had passed some sort of a Resolution, pledging them to fulfil that part of the bargain. Even such a Resolution would be imperfect, for it would not be binding except on one Parliament, and, indeed, in one Session. At the same time, there was nothing in the annals of New Zealand to justify the supposition that the colony would repudiate a solemn Resolution passed by its Legislature. A solemn Resolution connected with benefits actually received, would constitute such an amount of equitable and honourable obligation that he had no fear that the colony 1505 would not consider itself bound by it. Of all colonies, New Zealand had been especially faithful in the discharge of its honourable as well as loyal obligations; and if once such a Resolution were adopted, he did not think it would be violated. There would then be a much more solemn obligation in regard to the new terms than in regard to the previous arrangement of £5 per head. There would be an absolute compact embodied in a Resolution referring to this Act, instead of a mere notification in a Colonial Office despatch; and such a compact could not be lightly broken. He believed, there fore, that, on the whole, the proposal was sound, and that it would be for the interests of the colony and of the mother country to adopt it — not so much on pecuniary grounds as on moral considerations, which were of infinitely more importance. The solvency of the colony was, he thought, sufficient to give full security for the repayment of the loan. The increase in the expenditure was of a temporary kind, whereas the increase of the revenue of the colony was steady and permanent. Scarcely one of the colonies of this country exhibited a revenue so rapidly increasing as did New Zealand. The Government having taken securities for repayment, and the case being exceptional, the proposition was one that the House might fairly sanction without laying down a mischievous precedent in regard to other colonies.
§ SIR JOHN TRELAWNY
said, he had felt much difficulty in catching the drift of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Adderley), and could not tell whether he thought that this country or the colony should bear the expenses of the war, till he came to the practical conclusion that he would support the Government project, and bore testimony to the solvency and good faith of the colony. He (Sir John Trelawny), however, held in his hand a document, being a Parliamentary Return setting forth a Correspondence between the Colonial Minister of the day (Sir E. Bulwer Lytton) and the Governor of the colony (Governor Gore Browne), with reference to certain evidence of Mr. H. Sewell, Colonial Treasurer, delivered before a Parliamentary Committee on a then proposed guarantee (£500,000) loan, about 1857, and proving that in an important particular the Committee of the British Parliament which sat thereon was misled. Sir John Trelawny quoted a letter, published with the same 1506 Returns, and relating to the same transaction, written by the Speaker of the Assembly and several other members of it, clearly demonstrating their opinion thereof. The Return was reprinted in the present Session, and it appeared that Mr. Sewell was rewarded by a vote of £1,000, in consideration of the ability with which he had served the colony in that matter. After this, it would be prudent not to rely too confidently on the mere security of the honour and integrity of the colony when a guarantee loan of £1,000,000 was asked for, about which Parliament might be misled again, however inadvertently. He (Sir John Trelawny) did not say but that as we had got into such a difficulty it might not be necessary to escape from it at once and for ever by some strong act of the Government. "But," he said, "let us do it with our eyes open. Do not let us get into a state of confusion as not to know-how we stand in consequence of the manner in which the Government had mismanaged the colony; but let our actual liabilities be for once distinctly settled, so that we may prepare to meet them like men. Murderers, of course, must be punished; but it was beneath the dignity of Great Britain to wage a war like the present with savages, putting our soldiers in positions where they were peculiarly liable to humiliating defeats, and that in a war which was evidently founded in iniquity. Though the people with whom we were fighting might be savages, that was no reason why faith should not be kept with them. The colonists had been rebuked by two or three Colonial Ministers, for the spirit of rapacity some of the colonists had exhibited as regards the land of the Natives, and for a desire expressed to set aside a treaty—that of Waitangi—deliberately pledging the faith of the Crown of England to confirm to the Natives the rights of British citizens. The Government on their part had taken at times a course that could not be palliated or defended, having both endorsed the act of Governor Gore Browne in respect of the seizure of the Waitara Block, and the act of Sir George Grey in giving it up again as having been wrongfully seized. What was the practical solution of the question? He said, punish once for all those Natives against whom delinquency could be proved, but do not go to war with the whole of the Natives, some of whom had been friendly to us, because a few officers and men had been shot by members of a particular 1507 tribe who considered that they had been ill-treated, and made war in despair of otherwise obtaining justice. He thought those were to blame who had got us into these troubles. Unfortunately the Government had never acted on a consistent policy in reference to the affairs of New Zealand. If the credit and revenue of the colony were as good as had been described, why had not the colonists been left to obtain a loan in the general market? As they had come to the Government for a guarantee, he inferred that the credit of the colony was not quite so good as had been represented. He trusted that the Bill would not be pressed by the Government.
MR. J. B. SMITH
said, that if New Zealand had the securities to offer which the Secretary for the Colonies said she had, it was ridiculous to suppose that she would not be able to borrow two or three millions of money in this country. The real difficulty in the case was, that the colony was not prepared to pay a sufficiently high rate of interest. They sought to obtain a loan at 5½ per cent, when settled colonies like Canada were only able to borrow at 6 per cent. If they went into the market and offered 6 per cent they would readily obtain all they required. Their difficulty was not that they could not borrow the money, but it was simply a question of a half per cent. He should support the Amendment, because he regarded it as a false principle to guarantee loans of this description.
§ COLONEL SYKES
said, they were now treated to a Parliamentary representation of the drama of A New Way to Pay Old Debts. The colony owed us £500,000, and the way in which they offered to pay us was by borrowing £1,000,000 on our guarantee. The result would be precisely what it had been in regard to the £500,000. We should in the end lose a million, but in the meantime we should get back the £500,000. Ever since the year 1841 we had been annually granting sums to the colony of New Zealand, varying from £6,000 to £20,000. [An hon. Member: What for?] He was unable to say what for, but he held in his hand a list of the grants which had been made by the House, and a very formidable one it was. Where was this to stop, and what were we to look forward to? Whenever we came into contact with men with black skins we called them uncivilized barbarians, when the truth of the matter was that they had the misfortune to own lands which we 1508 coveted and which we insisted upon having vi et armis. He had no hesitation in saying that it would be most imprudent on the part of the Government to guarantee the loan, the more so considering the precarious tenure of office of the Ministries ruling the colony.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, he did not see why a guarantee should be given if, as was stated by the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. J. B. Smith), colonies where the security was known to be good could readily borrow money at the rate of 6 per cent. To show the progress which New Zealand had made of late years, he might mention that the Customs revenue, which in 1860–1 was £205,000, had increased in 1861–2 to £339,000, and in 1862–3 to £489,000, being an increase of 44 per cent. The population and shipping had also increased in a remarkable manner. How, then, was it necessary for the Government to give such a guarantee as this? It was perfectly clear that the colony could get the money by paying a little higher rate of interest, and putting themselves to some inconvenience. He thought it ought not to be made too easy for the colonists to carry on a war against the Natives. The right hon. Member for Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley) had spoken in terms of laudation of the conduct of the colonists towards the Natives; but if the right hon. Gentleman would look at the Report of Sir William Martin, he would find that, in the opinion of those persons who were well informed upon the subject, there had been a constant exercise of acts of the grossest injustice on the part of colonists towards the Natives in regard to the possession of land. They were constantly endeavouring to evade the engagements they had entered into in reference to land.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, what he had stated was, that the policy of the Home Government was not a policy of extermination.
§ MR. MONSELL
said, he was unable to I see what argument the right hon. Gentleman could found upon that. No one was inclined to believe that it was ever intended by the Home Government to massacre the Natives; but we had given to the Colonial Government for the first time entire jurisdiction over the Natives, and had facilitated arrangements for the future maintenance of troops in New Zealand. Instead of endeavouring to make it easy for the colonists to get money into their hands for the purpose of abusing these privileges, we ought to 1509 make it as difficult as possible; and we ought to have some further proof than that given by the Colonial Secretary, that at a fair rate of interest the money required by the colony could not be obtained in the public market. If the House of Commons were forward in making the raising of money easy, it would render the colonists less anxious than they would otherwise be to put an end to the difficulties in which they had plunged themselves. According to Sir George Grey the distrust which existed in the minds of the Natives had been entirely produced by the conduct of the colonists towards them.
§ MR. WHALLEY
said, he had seen it stated in the New Zealand papers that Sir George Grey, when passing through the disturbed districts, had declared that wherever he had gone he had found continually increasing proofs that the revolt of the Maories had been instigated and had been generally sustained by the influence of the Roman Catholic priesthood. The Roman Catholic population in Canada and other colonies were exuberant in outward demonstrations of loyalty, but whenever a real opportunity presented itself they were the first to organize a system of revolt against our dominion. If it was difficult for him to make his feelings intelligible to the House, how much more beyond him was it to unravel that web of sophistry which had employed, and which still employed, the greatest intellects of the world in weaving around our Empire? He had sought to direct attention to this matter on three different occasions, but the right hon. Gentleman had told him that it was too late to enter into that discussion, treating him, of course, as a monomaniac. That Power, in consideration of its influence in the divisions of that House, received at the present moment not less than about a million sterling annually in support of its institutions, [Cries of "Question!"]
, interposing, wished to know whether the hon. Member for Peterborough was in order, whereupon the hon. Member resumed his seat without further remark.
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
I will not follow the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley) in his pursuit of the Jesuits, whom he finds in every part of the world, and thinks have been at work in the forests of New Zealand; but if we are to take the statement he has made with respect to the conduct of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada 1510 as the measure of his accuracy in respect to New Zealand, we cannot rate it very high. I must say that the Roman Catholic Church, during the rebellion in Canada, so far from fomenting that rebellion, was, on the contrary, a most earnest ally of the Imperial Government on the side of order and loyalty. There are two or three points that have been raised in the course of this debate which I desire to notice. It has been admitted by the Government, from the first word spoken by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer down to this moment, that the practice of guaranteeing colonial loans is objectionable as a system. It is fully and candidly conceded that an exceptional case must be made out by the Government for every colonial guarantee which it proposes. But we submit that an exceptional case has been made out in the present instance for the colony of New Zealand; and, in support of that view, I would refer to the speech of my right hon. Friend opposite (Mr. Adderley). No Member of this House would be likely to look with more jealousy and suspicion on a proposal of this kind than my right hon. Friend opposite; yet it is evident from the valuable support which he gives to this Bill, that he clearly sees that in spite of the guarantee the proposal is one which would promote and forward, instead of retarding, those objects of colonial policy which he has long had at heart. He knows well that the proposal is justified by the great and unparalleled efforts which the colony of New Zealand has lately made for its own defence; and that it is further justified by those conditions as to the future military contributions of the colony that would form the sine quâ non upon which the guarantee would finally be made to rest. The hon. Baronet the Member for Tavistock (Sir John Trelawny) went back to those two favourite topics of his in connection with past transactions in New Zealand, on which I am afraid we shall never come to an agreement — I mean the conduct of the agent of the New Zealand Government, Mr. Sewell, when the loan formerly guaranteed was raised, and the long-contested question of the Waitara purchase. I defy anybody to examine all the transactions connected with the guarantee of that loan, which were submitted to a searching inquiry before a Committee of this House, and to carry away that strange impression from them which seems to have got hold of the hon. Baronet's mind. The matter concerns po- 1511 litical parties in the New Zealand Chamber much more than it does us. Whatever blame may or may not be due to Mr. Sewell—and of his conduct I give no opinion whatever—there is no doubt that the whole question was one very much of a party character—that he was charged with a certain want of frankness in his dealings with this Government, by those who were his political opponents in New Zealand: but, in fact, this House and the Government were not misled in any material degree on the point. The sum of £500,000 was contained in the Resolution of the New Zealand Chamber, and the only question was whether the colony might have accepted a smaller amount, about which there appeared to be some difference of opinion. But there was nothing in the whole transaction which cast any slur upon the good faith of the New Zealand Government, which has punctually met the loan, which is in gradual course of extinction. I will not now return to the question of the Waitara purchase, except to say that I protest against the hon. Baronet's version of that matter, and that, in my conscientious conviction, not an acre of land has ever been taken by the New Zealand Government from the Natives except with the voluntary consent of those who were believed to be the owners of that land. I am aware of the vague suspicion, rather than the knowledge possessed by many on that subject; but I venture to say that in no colony in which Europeans have had to do with a Native race has more scrupulous treatment with respect to their land been shown to that Native race than has been shown, under the direction of the Imperial Government, to the Natives of New Zealand. I now come to the objections of the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. J. B. Smith), who said, "Don't ask us to guarantee this loan, because the New Zealand Government have nothing to do but to go into the market and obtain money if they will pay the market price for it." No doubt that might be so, or that, if they paid enough, New Zealand, a small though rapidly rising colony, would obtain money in the London market upon some terms or other; but we say that it is safe for us under exceptional circumstances to give this assistance to a struggling Colonial Government, which is making great efforts to enable it to repay the advances made to it under circumstances of difficulty, and also to enable it in conjunction with the Imperial Government to 1512 bring the war to an early termination, The difference between the amount of interest which the colony would have to pay if it obtained the loan upon its own security and that which will be payable under this arrangement is a matter of some importance to New Zealand, and is at all events quite sufficient to justify the colony in asking, and the Imperial Government in giving, the assistance which is to be rendered under this Bill. My right hon. Friend the Member for Limerick (Mr. Monsell) is afraid that if Parliament passes this Bill, things will be made too easy for the Colonial Government, and that they will be induced to continue the war instead of concluding peace. If my right hon. Friend looked into the affairs of New Zealand as closely as it has been my duty to do, he would not be afraid that things will be made too easy for the colonists by anything which this House can do. He would have seen an industrious population leaving their industrial employments, and turning out to defend their lives and property, and would have witnessed the remarkable fact of a force of something like 10,000 men armed, trained, and drilled by the colony, and mainly by one province, so that in Auckland there is scarcely an ablebodied man who is not under arms. Under these circumstances, there is no danger of war being made too pleasant to the people of New Zealand. But the fact is that the continuance of war or the conclusion of peace depends not upon the New Zealand Government but upon the Governor, Sir George Grey, in consultation with the General, Sir Duncan Cameron. When the responsibility of the management of the Natives in time of peace was transferred to the local Government, certain inevitable exceptions were made by the Duke of Newcastle, who, at the conclusion of his despatch to Sir George Grey, said—You would be bound to exercise the negative powers which you possess by preventing any step marked by injustice to wards Her Majesty's subjects of the Native race. You would be bound to judge for yourself as to the justice and propriety of employing, and the best mode of employing, Her Majesty's forces.These are the instructions under which Sir George Grey has been acting all along, and I should be sorry to do him the injustice of supposing that if, in his opinion, on consultation with the General, the moment had arrived when the war might be 1513 terminated, and a lasting peace made with the Natives, he would have hesitated to make it, even although in doing so he should have differed from his responsible advisers. If that was always probable, it is now absolutely certain; because the Governor has been supported in this matter in the strongest and most unequivocal manner by the despatches which two months ago were sent to him by my right hon. Friend the Secretary for the Colonies, which directed him, whatever may be the opinion of the Ministers—if, unfortunately (which we do not anticipate), they should differ from him—to make peace with the Natives, whenever, in consultation with the General, he thinks that the right and proper time has arrived. It is, therefore, not to be supposed that the Colonial Government have the issues of peace or war in their hands, or that by the assistance which we propose to give them we shall be making war too easy for them, or lessening their desire for peace. Under these circumstances, I trust that the House will accept the proposal made by the Government, which I am quite certain will be of most important assistance to the colony in bringing this unfortunate war to a close, and, more than that, will for all time to come improve the relations as to military matters between the colony and the mother country.
Sir, I feel thankful to the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Arthur Mills) for having brought this matter under the consideration of the House. Peculiar difficulties always attend the discussion of any principle involving our relations with our colonies. If it is brought forward as an abstract Motion, the Mover, as in the case of the hon. Member for Tavistock (Sir John Trelawny), finds himself counted out. But if it is brought forward on a specific ground, as to-night, we are met with extraordinary unanimity of opinion on all sides of the House, that it is a most improper thing we are going to do. Every one agrees that in principle it is indefensible; but then everybody says this is an exceptional case. I shall express in two words what it is we are asked to do. We have a debtor owing us £500,000, and he says to his creditor, "My credit is not very good in the City; if you endorse my bill for £1,000,000 I will be able to discount it on your credit in the City, and I will pay you the £500,000." Now, I want to know what interest the English people, who are 1514 to give this national guarantee, have in the matter? There has not been a word said on that point since the hon. Member for Taunton opened the discussion—and he dwelt upon the interest the British taxpayer has in the question. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies invoked our generosity and kindness towards the New Zealanders, But if we have any generosity to spare it is wanted by our countrymen—the taxpayers of this country. You have 100,000 people living in this colony of New Zealand, who, in an economical sense, are raised immeasurably above the average condition of the population of England; and you are asking the English population to bear the expense of a war carried on in that colony—and for what object? The hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) tells us in his own peculiar fashion what the object is. He says we are bound by an irresistible necessity to exterminate the Native population of New Zealand; he says also that he told us so twenty years ago, and he appears to feel rather grieved than otherwise, that we have been so slow in the process of extermination. He says that instead of a long lingering agony we should have given them a short pang and be done with them. I want to know how the hon. and learned Gentleman proposes to exterminate the Maori race. He did not give the receipt, or tell us whether it was by strychnine or by what other process. Really I think the hon. and learned Member rather presumes on a long career of eccentricity when he advances a doctrine which in a Christian assembly like this is out of place, and should have been delivered in a Parliament of Thugs. What interest have English taxpayers in fighting the battles of the population of New Zealand? What is the issue? Everybody knows what it means; it is to take possession of the land of the Maories. Wool is enormously high, sheep pasturage is very profitable, and the neighbours of the Maori proprietors would be very glad to elbow them out and take possession of their land. But what interest have the English people in that? The English nation has parted with all sovereignty and jurisdiction over the land in New Zealand. The British Legislature has not power to dispose of a single acre of that land. If Queen, Lords, and Commons together were to pass an Act to give a few acres to some pensioner—some invalid from the army—the New Zealand Legislature would be up in arms against us 1515 for having infringed their rights. Seeing, then, that we have no interest in the land, what interest have we in the proceedings of the New Zealanders in this matter? I think it can easily be shown that the little interest we might have had in New Zealand, apart from the ownership of the land, namely, an interest in their trade, is likely to be very seriously impaired by the policy which we are now pursuing. For, what are we doing? We are proposing to give facilities to the New Zealanders to get into debt. That is the whole object of our proceeding to-day. It is argued that if the New Zealand Government go into the City they cannot get their money for 5½ per cent. It would be very strange if they could when the Bank rate is 6 per cent. If the New Zealand Government, like other Governments and other people, had to pay the ordinary market rate, 6½ or 7 per cent, that would be a motive for borrowing as little as possible. But what we are doing with New Zealand, what has been done with Canada, either by Imperial aid, or by the credit given by bankers upon the faith of the Imperial connection — what we are doing in both cases is this: We are heaping up in these colonies an enormous debt, the interest of which is all paid out of the Customs' duties, and the augmentation of those duties prevents our extending our trade with those colonies. Therefore we are acting directly at variance with our own interests in the only way in which we could have any beneficial relations with these dependencies. When you talk of the revenue of New Zealand you must bear in mind that it is nearly all derived from the Customs' duties. I see by the last Budget that £600,000 out of a revenue of £690,000 is derived from that source. We are told that the colony is very prosperous. I have taken the trouble to refer to the statement of our exports to New Zealand for the last three years, and I find that they have increased from £800,000 in 1861 to £1,200,000 in 1862 and £1,900,000 in 1863. Now, although no doubt an impulse to the trade of New Zealand has been given by the gold discoveries, the Government expenditure by an army in New Zealand adds to our exports to that country. Therefore, to a certain extent, this is a factitious trade and may not continue to increase at that rate. With this increased amount of debt, and consequent charge for interest, it is very likely that in New Zealand, as in Canada, 1516 the Legislature may put an excessive duty upon imports so as materially to interfere with your trade. I told the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in speaking of our relations with Canada, that I could make out a better case for paying the expenses of the garrison of Strasburg or Lille for Prance, than for paying the expenses of the garrison of Quebec for the Canadians. Our tariff with France is much lower than the tariff with Canada, and we shall have a high tariff with New Zealand if you afford them facilities for borrowing money. A debt of £3,000,000 or £4,000,000 is no slight matter for a population of 100,000 persons. If our debt bore a similar proportion to the inhabitants of this country, fabulous as it appears now it would be much larger. I do not understand what the stipulation is that we are to get in return for this loan. The right hon. Gentleman does not seem to have the power that would authorize him to pledge the New Zealand Legislature to anything. You have no guarantee for anything in return for this proceeding. I do not like the terms he offers us. Suppose we receive from New Zealand £40 per head for each man, and the cost of each man is £120 per head, the stipulation is this, that if we agree to pay £800,000 for 10,000 men, then new Zealand bargains to pay £400,000 more. I do not like the bargain; there is no motive for entering into it, and I entirely disapprove of the whole proceeding. And I ask you, is not this the time to come forward and show that we are prepared to take another course in colonial matters? Did we not feel last week that having our forces scattered over the world weakens us in our relations with our neighbours? If the hon. Gentleman goes to a division I will vote with him, and I thank him for having brought forward this subject.
§ SIR JOHN HAY
said, he did not wish to detain the House, but there was one point which had not been mentioned in the debate which weighed with him extremely in giving his vote for the Amendment. Up to 1852 New Zealand was a Crown colony. At that time an Order in Council was in force which prohibited the importation of arms and ammunition into the colony, because it was wisely foreseen that if permission were given to import arms we should be arming the Natives against ourselves. One of the very first acts of the Legislative Assembly the year after New Zealand became a free colony was to 1517 pass an Arms Bill, permitting the importation of arms for sale to the Natives, which was justified on two grounds—one that the traffic was most lucrative; the other was a flagrant crime against the Imperial Legislature—that it was just to arm the Natives, because if they were not armed it would be unnecessary to maintain a large military force from the mother country, whereas if they were armed, it would be necessary that the colony should be protected by a large military force, and a military chest would afford considerable means of lucrative emolument to the colonists. Had the Order in Council prohibiting the exportation of arms into New Zealand been allowed to remain in force, the Natives would probably have remained peaceable subjects of the Crown, and this war, which had arisen in consequence of bad legislation and gross injustice, might have been prevented. For this reason he would cordially vote for the Amendment of the hon. Member for Taunton.
I confess, Sir, I have formed my opinion upon this subject after considerable hesitation and doubt, and I now ask permission to state very briefly the reasons which have influenced me. I object, Sir, to this guarantee mainly on the ground that it seems to me we are giving assistance to the colony in the worst form possible. There is nothing more tempting, but at the same time more fallacious, than the idea of helping your friend without injuring yourself by becoming his security. We all know what that practice comes to in private life. I say if we are to give assistance to the colony of this kind it is much better to give it in hard money paid down at once, for in that case you know the extent of your liability and are under no illusion. But it seems to me that in this case the responsibility you will incur is totally out of proportion to the amount of aid given. The sum guaranteed is £1,000,000, and no one disputes the fact that the colony would be able to raise that amount, say at 7 per cent, in the usual way, without resorting to any guarantee. But if the money be borrowed upon our security it could be raised at 4 per cent, making the difference in the interest £30,000. Now, if Her Majesty's Government have come to the conclusion that they ought to help the colony in a financial way, I think it will be far better and cheaper for them to pay down at once this 1518 £30,000 a year, even without any hope of ever getting it back again, rather than that the Imperial Parliament should become guarantee for the loan now asked for. In the one case there would be a mere temporary sacrifice — in the other you would incur a responsibility for the capital. I want to know what is the security for the repayment of this debt? Her Majesty's Government appear to be embarrassed in their arguments. First they say the colony is poor and cannot raise the money without our security, and then that the colony is in a very prosperous condition, and that there is no fear for the consequences. One or other of these assertions must be untenable. If the circumstances of the colony are such that there is no reasonable probability of our getting back the money, it is a reason why we should not run the risk; and if, on the other hand, the circumstances of the colony are such that they can raise the I sum without difficulty, then the Government have cut from under their feet the ground upon which they rest for granting this loan. Then I want to know, in the event of some difficulty being raised about the payment of this debt hereafter, what means have you of enforcing it? So far as I can see, there are none whatever. We cannot go to war with the colonists to compel them to repay it, nor can we proceed to seize the waste lands which we once held, and very wisely have given up of our own free will. You can exercise nothing but a moral force in getting it back if they do not choose to pay. And with regard to that, when you recollect that the colony depends greatly upon the influx of fresh emigrants, and that the majority hereafter will consist of persons whose fathers were not even in the colony when the debt was contracted, you must allow that a future Colonial Legislature may not attach to this debt that sacred character which attaches to a liability of this kind in England. If we look through the whole civilized world, England is, perhaps, the only country that has not at some time or other compounded — I will not say repudiated— with her creditors, and compelled them to abandon some part of their legitimate claims. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies appears to me to have put forward an argument against his own proposal, when he says he cannot expect that the colonists will be wholly responsible for the expense of the 1519 war, because the management of Native affairs has been kept to a great extent in the hands of the Governor independent of the Legislature. No doubt in that he spoke right. The purport of the despatch written by the right hon. Gentleman, dated the 26th May last, was to advise the Governor that in this matter of war he was wholly independent of the local Legislature, and that he might stop the war at any moment. If, therefore, he has the power of stopping it, he has also the power to carry it on so long as he pleases, independent of the local Government; and if, therefore, the colony cannot bring any pressure to bear on its Government, I do not see how a war of this kind can be brought to an end. The only way in which I think that can be done is by the colonists feeling the whole burden of the war, and that it is to their interest to put an end to it. It may be said that this House has not done so on former occasions, and that it will be a hard case to apply a new rule in the present instance. But a Judge once said, with truth, that hard cases make bad law, because in trying to soften down a general rule to meet what appears to be the justice of a particular case, you run the risk of destroying what is most important to maintain, certainty and impartiality in the administration of the law. I think this is a case in which the House ought to protest against the general policy of guarantees; and I believe that when the balance is struck it will be shown that the colony has paid less towards her defences than the mother country. That being so, the whole question at issue is, whether New Zealand shall pay £30,000 more for the interest of this loan than she will have to pay if we guarantee it? Looking, therefore, at this question as setting a precedent for the future, I think the House may with a clear conscience dissent from the policy of Her Majesty's Government with respect to this Bill.
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
said, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Rochdale (Mr. Cobden), and the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn (Lord Stanley), had put the question upon a different footing to that of the hon. Member for Taunton; and he was afraid that those who voted against the Bill, by the light of those speeches, would find themselves committed to a new policy, which, to a certain extent, would cut the connection between the mother country and her colonies. He 1520 should, therefore, much regret being thereby committed by such a principle to a policy to which he was not prepared to go. He, therefore, called upon her Majesty's Government to give an assurance to hon. Members who did not wish to carry out the principle to such a conclusion, that in the future stages of the Bill they would insert a clause that should bind the colonists to accept such terms as were proposed to them in the despatch which had been laid upon the table of the House—namely, that they should in future maintain the troops necessary for their defence. He was not prepared to go so far as to leave the colonists to themselves, or to leave the poor Natives, to whom we were bound by solemn obligations, at the mercy of the Colonial Government; but if this assurance were given, many hon. Members who, as things stood, might not like to support the proposed guarantee, might have no hesitation in doing so.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
My right hon. Friend the Secretary for the Colonies has already stated that we would exact from the Government of New Zealand precisely those engagements which the hon. and gallant Gentleman intimates would be satisfactory to him and to others. I quite agree with him that many of the doctrines laid down in this debate by those who oppose the Bill go really to the extent of saying that we ought to cast our colonies adrift. I am not, however, prepared to concur in that conclusion. This colony of New Zealand was founded in the expectation that the emigrants who went there would receive that protection which the mother country affords to her colonies. It is a very thriving colony; it is increasing rapidly in wealth and in everything that constitutes a prosperous society. The argument which has been advanced to-night by the opponents of the Bill really is, that we ought to deprive that society of the assistance of the Crown in bringing this unhappy war to a conclusion. Now, I lament the existence of the war as much as any body; but it is not, I maintain, a war arising, as has been stated, from the seizure of the lands of the Native population. It has been explained by my right hon. Friend that it had its origin in the murder of an officer and men, which is a thing totally unconnected with the question of land, and that no land has been taken from the people of New Zealand except by purchase, on the authority and with the consent of those to whom it belonged. The 1521 argument of the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn goes beyond anything that has been advanced by any other hon. Member who has spoken in this debate. They said, "Do not assist the colonists," though the assistance we propose does not involve any charge on the taxpayers of this country; but the noble Lord, not content with exhorting the House to reject the Bill, seems to wish that we should compel the colonists to borrow at 7 per cent without a guarantee, when with a guarantee they could borrow at 4 per cent. Nay, more, he runs down their credit and does his best to prevent them from being able to borrow at all, because, he says, they may hereafter repudiate the debt and then the guarantee will fall upon us. It is clear, therefore, that when they go into the market, people will be apt to say, "The noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn says you are not to be trusted, and we will not lend you anything at all." The real question at issue, however, is, Do we wish that this unhappy war should be brought to a conclusion, or that the revolt should be successful, and that the authority of the Queen and the interests of our fellow subjects in New Zealand should be sacrificed? I cannot believe that this House desires the latter alternative. The sooner, then, the war is brought I to an end the better for all the parties concerned. And let us not suppose that the British colonists in New Zealand do not take an active part in the contest. There are 10,000 of the civil population under; arms, and that is a state of things attended with great expense to the colony. Now, 'as to the security which they can give in' the case of this loan, I need only say that New Zealand has a revenue of £700,000 per annum from the Customs, and that there are waste lands which would yield some- thing like £1,300,000. The security, therefore, is ample, and is it because such security exists that we should allow the colony to go into the market without a guarantee to pay 7 or 8 per cent upon a loan which, with our guarantee, they can get for 4 per cent? I am sure the House, having regard to the interests of the Empire at large, as well as to the requirements of the colony, will not insist upon our adopting any such course.
§ COLONEL W. STUART
should like to hear from the Secretary for the Colonies whether he proposed to introduce into the Bill at a future stage a clause carrying out the terms of the despatch which had been laid on the table? Upon the answer to 1522 that question depended his vote and those of some hon. Friends of his who were anxious to vote with the Government if they could.
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, he had already stated that care would be taken that the New Zealand Government should be pledged to all the engagements upon which the loan was given. He would undertake to consider whether he could frame a clause making the consent of the Commissioners of the Treasury dependent on the acceptance of the Assembly of New Zealand of the terms on which it was proposed that the loan should be advanced.
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 92; Noes 55: Majority 37.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read 2o, and committed for Monday next.