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disposition and violent conduct of the natives, and the precarious tenure on which the lives and properties of the settlers depended. On the 21st of July, a petition was presented by Mr. Ward from the New Zealand Company, praying the House "not to separate without taking measures calculated to allay the apprehensions prevalent among the colonists of New Zealand, and to revive confidence in the Company, by which its usefulness would be restored, the friendly communication between the colonists and the aboriginal races renewed, and the prosperity of New Zealand secured:" and on the same day, Mr. C. Buller proposed a resolution which he prefaced with a speech of considerable length, that "The House regarded with regret and apprehension the state of affairs in New Zealand, and that those feelings were greatly aggravated by the want of any sufficient evidence of a change in the policy which had led to such disastrous results." A debate ensued, which was continued by adjournment on the following evening, in which the recent and former policy of the Colonial Government, the history and proceedings of the New Zealand Company, the transactions with the natives about the purchase of lands, the merits of the treaty of Waitangi, the administration of Governor Fitzroy, and the policy and personal conduct of Lord Stanley, were again keenly and rigorously canvassed. Many of the points now contested were the same as had been so fully debated upon Mr. Buller's former motion, and it is therefore needless to recur to them. The advocates of the New Zealand Company pressed hardly upon Lord Stanley, whom they represented to have been
actuated by feelings of enmity to the Company, and that the construction which he had placed upon the treaty of Waitangi was inconsistent with their rights and with the colonization of New Zealand. With respect to the recent disasters in the colony, Mr. Buller and the speakers who concurred with him attributed them entirely to the policy of the Government. They denied that they could be, with any justice, ascribed, as Lord Stanley had alleged, to the conflicting engagements which the Government had made with the Company by the agreement of 1840, and with the natives by the treaty of Waitangi. It was contended by Mr. Buller and his friends, that the true cause of the recent outrages was the impunity extended by Captain Fitzroy to the perpetrators of the murders in the south of New Zealand. From fear of irritating the natives, Captain Fitzroy had placed himself and the colony completely at their mercy but Captain Fitzroy had recently stated to his Council, that if the colony was in a defenceless condition, it was not his fault, for he had repeatedly placed the defenceless condition of it before Her Majesty's Government at home. The House had now before it the result of Captain Fitzroy's policy, and for that policy Lord Stanley was responsible. They strongly censured the Colonial Office for the undefended state in which the island had been left, and the want of an adequate force to defend the lives and property of the settlers. They referred also to the promising language held out by Sir Robert Peel in the former debate, in which he had made a declaration favourable to the creation of a representative
government in New Zealand, and the establishment of local self-government by municipal bodies; but they complained that no indication had been given by the Colonial Office of an intention to realize
these promises. It was true that Captain Fitzroy had been removed from his office, but it was no satisfaction to the public that he was made the scape-goat, unless they saw the Government bond fide adopting a different course from that hitherto pursued. These arguments were enforced by several members. Mr. Roebuck, in addition, commented in strong terms upon the conduct of the missionaries, upon whom he laid most of the blame of the recent disasters. He alleged that the Colonial Office was under the sway of missionary influence, through Mr. Stephen the Under Secretary, who governed Lord Stanley, being himself governed by the missionaries. Mr. Roebuck's attack upon the latter class of persons was warmly repelled by Sir R. H. Inglis as unjust and unfounded; and the insinuation upon Mr. Stephen, which, however, Mr. Roebuck qualified by a subsequent explanation, called forth emphatic panegyrics upon that gentleman, from Lord John Russell, Sir Robert Peel, and Mr. Labouchere.
On the part of the Government, the arguments urged by Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Under Secretary Hope, the Attorney General, and other speakers, completely exculpated Lord Stanley from the blame of the late transactions. In answer to the imputation that the Colonial Office had been actuated by a spirit of hostility towards the Company, they referred to the instructions given by Lord Stanley, on the 27th of June, to the suc
cessor of Captain Fitzroy, in which he had stated that the early settlement of the Company's claims was an object of more paramount importance than the opening of questions of strict right, and the carrying on of an unfriendly controversy. With regard to the blame laid on the Government for not providing troops for the defence of the colony, it was denied that Captain Fitzroy had made such requisitions for more troops as he had stated to his Council, and observed that the members of the Government alleged that statement with as much surprise as Mr. C. Buller had. When the colony was first settled, Lord John Russell had determined that 100 · men should be the whole amount of force sent out for its protection. Remonstrances were made against that determination, but Lord John persisted in it, and declared that no greater force could be sent out. The next correspondence showed that a vessel of war was sent out to New Zealand with orders to cruise off its coast, and along with it 150 more soldiers. Afterwards Lord Stanley directed the militia of the colony to be enrolled; and the non-enrolment of the militia was an act of Captain Fitzroy, in direct defiance of his orders, and was one of the grounds of his recall. Lord Stanley had since directed a regiment to be sent to New Zealand, and had caused letters to be written to the admiral on the Indian station, requesting him to send an armed steamer to that colony. Moreover in the Australian colonies there was now, and would be in future, a force of 4,000, instead of 2,500 men, which hitherto had been stationed there. The late disturbances were not occasioned by any act of the
Government; they were caused by the dislike of the natives to any regular government, and by Heki's desire to exhibit a warlike spirit in resisting the authority of the Queen. It was not true that Lord Stanley had supported Captain Fitzroy in all his proceedings: on the contrary, Captain Fitzroy had been recalled on account of Lord Stanley's dissatisfaction with his financial policy, his neglect to embody the militia, and his hasty legislation. The promises which had been held out by Sir Robert Peel with respect to the establishment of a representative government in New Zealand had not been departed from; Sir Robert Peel had spoken with reference to a future period: such institutions would not be practicable in the present condition of the colony. It was indispensable that the treaty of Waitangi should be adhered to. If it were meant that the Government should do its best to put the Company in possession of the land at the earliest possible period, by legitimate means, there was no question between the two parties; but Government would not be justified in guaranteeing to the Company certain amounts of land without reference to the title of the natives. The original impolicy was in the instructions given by Lord Normanby to Captain Hobson, in 1839, acknowledging New Zealand as "a sovereign independent state." But however unwise such pledges might be, they must now be maintained on the ground of expediency, as well as of good faith.
Upon a division, Mr. Buller's motion was negatived by 155 to 89; majority, 66.
A few nights afterwards, on the vote being proposed, in a com
mittee of supply, of 22,5657. for New Zealand, Mr. J. A. Smith stated that negotiations had been resumed between the Colonial Office and the New Zealand Company, and that the result only wanted the final approval of Lord Stanley, who was unavoidably absent from town; but he asked, if the hope of a favourable issue were not realized, whether Sir Robert Peel would afford another opportunity, before the close of the session, for some remarks on the present state of New Zealand? Sir Robert Peel promised to do so, but expressed a strong desirea very strong desire"--to co-operate in the colonization of New Zealand, and to bring the differences with the Company to a conclusion. Mr. Hope stated, that a gentleman quite unconnected with the subject had been called in to give his advice, and he was now engaged in arranging the matter for his full consideration.
A question of vital interest, in connexion with our foreign relations, was stirred in both Houses of Parliament shortly before the Easter recess our controversy with the United States as to the territory of the Oregon. The inaugural address of the new President, Mr. Polk, which reached England at this time, contained a passage which created strong apprehensions in the public mind of an intended encroachment upon our rights in that direction.
On the 4th of April, Lord Clarendon, in the House of Lords, introduced the subject, with a view to elicit from the Government some information as to our relations with the United States upon this question, and the course it was intended to pursue in case Congress, acting upon the
the express opinion of the President, should proceed to take possession of the country. His lordship, after briefly noticing the conduct of America towards Texas, and the extraordinary terms in which Mr. Polk had declared the unequivocal right of the United States to the whole territory, temperately reviewed the grounds upon which the British claims were found ed, and concluded by expressing his anxious hope, that while what ever could be justly claimed should be readily conceded, the Government would not shrink from vindicating, if necessary, the nation's honour, and upholding her in
Lord Aberdeen said, he would willingly lay before the House the details of the negotiation upon the subject of the Oregon territory, and appeal to them for his entire justification in the face of Europe; but although this might hereafter be necessary, it would now certainly be impolitic. He declined to enter into an examination of the British title to the territory in dispute, but proceeded to explain the course the negotiation had taken since the signing of the treaty of Washington, and quoted the expressions of President Tyler in his message of the 19th of February, as indicative of a friendly feeling, and of a desire that the question might be brought to an amicable solution. In a fortnight after, however, Mr. Polk had delivered his inaugural address, in which he claimed for the United States an undisputed title to the whole country. It was, indeed, to be observed, that this speech did not possess the force of an official document, as no ministry had been formed, Congress was not in session, and it formed no part of
legislative proceedings; but it was still worthy of the most serious attention. Our position was precisely the same as it had been for the last eighteen years, under the treaty of 1827. The provisions of that treaty had been prolonged for an indefinite period, subject to the right of either party to terminate it by giving a year's notice. This could not be done without a vote of Congress, and that body would not assemble until December; so that sufficient time was still left to bring the matters in dispute to a satisfactory conclusion. The negotiation had commenced, and would continue upon the principle of an amicable adjustment by the mutual concession of extreme claims; and although he was daily accustomed to see himself described as "pusillanimous, cowardly, and base," he was perfectly satisfied that those vituperative terms might be translated as applicable to conduct consistent with justice, reason, and common sense. No one was ever more ardently desirous of peace, or disposed to make greater sacrifices to preserve it, but there were limits which could not be passed; and although our character and position enabled us to regard with indifference matters respecting which other countries might be justly more sensitive, our honour must never be neglected, and we might owe it to ourselves and to our posterity to adopt a course which was repugnant to all our inclinations. With the most anxious desire for peace, he still trusted that this question might be amicably concluded; but if not, we possessed rights, clear and unquestionable, "which," continued the noble earl, amidst loud and general cheering," by the blessing of God, and the support
of Parliament, the Government is ready are our people preparing to prepared to maintain.”
In the House of Commons on the same day, Lord John Russell called attention to that part of the message of the President of the United States, which related to the territory of Oregon. It was not his intention, he said, to enter at all into the question of the foreign policy of Her Majesty's Government, or even of their policy on this very subject of Oregon, neither was it his wish by any observations which he might then make to embarrass their proceedings. But the inaugural address of President Polk had taken the question out of the ordinary course of diplomatic arrangement, and required some notice on the part of the members of that House. That distinguished functionary had adopted a course entirely new, which, if it were not met with something unusual on their parts, would cause questions of great national importance to be decided hereafter by popular addresses from the head of the Government, and by the popular action resulting therefrom. The President, in his message, had alluded to the annexation of Texas to the United States, an allusion which he only noticed for the purpose of show ing that the present policy of the executive Government of the United States tended to territorial aggrandizement. In his next sentence the President declared his intention to assert and maintain by all constitutional means the right of the United States to that portion of their territory which was situate beyond the Rocky Mountains.
Our title," said he, "to the country of Oregon is clear and unquestionable, and al
perfect that title by occupying it with their wives and children." In consequence of this declaration, he (Lord John Russell) felt compelled to call the attention of the House and the country to this question, in order that they might see how far the President was justified in saying that his title to the country of the Oregon was clear and unquestionable, and in declaring his intention to take it into his possession without any regard to those treaties, which were generally the bonds of peace between independent nations. There were three modes by which a title might be acquired to a country like the Oregon; the first was by ancient discovery; the second, by treaty; and the third by discovery, ancient or modern, followed by occupation and settlement. He then entered into a statement of considerable length for the purpose of showing that if the title to the Oregon rested on ancient discovery, England could put in a claim far superior to that of the United States; that if it rested on treaty, we had a claim that was undeniable, whilst that of the United States had no ground whatever to stand on: and that if it rested on modern discovery, the discovery of Columbia, made, carried on, and authorized by regular officers of the British Government and the subsequent settlement of the territory surrounding it by British subjects, gave us a title which the American Government could not displace. Captain Vancouvre had discovered the river Columbia; his lieutenant had sailed ninety miles up its stream, and British subjects from Canada had erected eighteen forts on its banks, and