OFFICIAL ANARCHY IN NEW ZEA_LAND.
THERE is official anarchy in the Britain of the South. What- ever may be the good fortune of other Ministers, Mr. Cardwell must be singularly constituted if he can "rest and be thankful" after receiving his recent despatches from Governor Grey, together with certain missives which Lord de Grey has no doubt forwarded from Pall Mall to the Colonial Office. If the Colonial Secretary, after reading, marking, and inwardly digesting these documents, does not wake up out of that dozing frame of mind in which he seems to deal with the affairs of New Zealand, and put a little vigour and states- manship into his despatches, it will be high time that Lord Palmerston contrived to find a Colonial Secretary capable of bringing order out of chaos. For plainly it was chaos and not order that when the last mail left characterized the political life of New Zealand. The doubleor triple Government had become a quadrupleorquintupleGovernment. The Governor, the General, the Ministry, the Maories, and we suppose the Colonial Secre- tary, were all striving to act independently. All idea of subordi- nation seems to have come to an end. The general con- demned the minister and the governor, the governor and the general were not on speaking terms, the governor gave no information of what was going on to the ministers, the general did not communicate with them, and had it not been for the newspapers no one set apparently would have known what the other set were about. In modern colonial history we do not remember to have read of anything at all analogous to this state of affairs. Politics and soldiering had been put into hotch-potch, and had become a "mingled mass, a confused mixture of many ingredients," as the dictionary hath it. The condition of New Zealand politically in the middle of Tune was a practical reductio ad adsurdwn of the existing system, or rather no system of government, and we make bold to say that this is mainly the fault of the Colonial Office, which ought to have intervened with a steady, wise, and determined hand at least two years ago.
As it is, all the authorities were in open disagreement. When the two houses resolved to mave the seat of govern- ment to Wellington, the Governor marked his sense of that step by remaining in Auckland, near his island paradise, and by fomenting, or at least not checking, the selfish agitation of the Aucklanders for secession. When the troops had captured prisoners whom the Ministry wanted to keep, the Governor took charge of them and let them go, and now he has sent them home. When the Governor and Ministry, agreeing for once, directed General Cameron to undertake military operations with the object of opening the coast be- tween Wanganui and Taranaki, in order that a road might be made and the mail service by land be renewed, General Cameron obeyed, but grumbled, and practically frus- trated the policy of the colonial Government by the singular mode in which he carried on the campaign. He crept along the shore, fought only when attacked, " turned " pahs by stealing round them, harassed the troops but did not harass the Maories—the worst lot of Maories in the island, and finally halted and went to Auckland without completing the march to Taranaki. Nor was this all. At the outset he allowed it to be known that he disapproved of the course adopted by the Government. As early as the first week in March somebody said that the war was carried on "for the profit and gratification of the colonists," and the somebody, or "some quarters," to use the phrase of Governor Grey, was thought to be of sufficient importance for him to make a memorandum on the subject, and send it to the Ministers. These gentlemen replied in terms that leave no doubt that the somebody was General Cameron, since their memorandum of March 20 is directed at the General. They vindicate, and on the strongest grounds, the policy adopted in Wanganui. It was between that place and Taranaki that the land league arose. There is the seat and birthplace of sedition anefanaticism. Thence issued those marauders who plundered the settlements in 1861, who now parade the cooked heads of Europeans through the native districts. There arose the new superstition. No mail could cross that region. A mail steamer was wrecked on the coast, and it could not be reached by land. In this Maori Alsatia criminals found refuge, and here cannibals had their haunts. If any natives required chastise- ment those were they. If any district wanted "opening" this was the district. But for some reason General Cameron did not like the work—most unpleasant work at the best— and no doubt ho allowed it to be known. The Ministers were nettled, not at his disapproval, but at his insinuation of im- proper motives. As long ago as March 20 they thought it would be better to do without the imperial soldiers. They advised Governor Grey to oppose the General's demand for reinforcements, they declared they would not "advise any operations to be undertaken which might involve the retention of the imperial forces in the colony," and they expressed their opinion that the colonial forces and the loyal natives would be "sufficient to undertake and execute all operations that were requisite." Such was the state of the quarrel in March. In April, as we now learn, Mr. Weld went a step farther. Governor Grey had officially brought under his notice a " private " letter from General Cameron. In this letter the General charged the Colonial Ministers with prosecuting the war for purposes of aggrandizement, and with showing a cul- pable disregard for the lives of British officers and men. There- upon the Ministers retorted. Regretting that General Cameron should have imputed to them base and unworthy motives, an imputation which in this case tell on the Governor us well as the Ministers, they said that self-respect and public duty would not permit them to "any longer accept assistance so unwillingly rendered." Governor Grey, as we infer, agreed perfectly with the Ministers, and terminated all relations with General Cameron, "excepting those strictly official," while the Ministers, as we have seen, cut the General altogether. To add to the confusion and set everybody by the ears, the Ministerial
memorandum got into the papers, and General Cameron is said to have read it there for the first time. If this were so, the fault would rest not with the Ministers, but with the Governor. Thereupon arose a further quarrel between the General and the Governor, and the former took upon himself to send a special steamer with despatches to Melbourne, and an officer to Gallo to transmit the General's complaints to England by telegraph. Virtually, it seems, General Cameron has been deposed, for we are told that without him, at least without his presence, the troops have been again set in motion, and that two colonels were engaged in completing the work he left undone. Mean- while it is positively stated that the Ministers were entirely ignorant of the movements of the troops, and dependent for information upon the newspapers ! "If the war were being prose3uted in China," says a letter from Wellington, "the Ministry could scarcely know less."
If this is not anarchy, what is ? Mr. Cardwell governs from Downing Street, Sir George Grey governs from Auckland, Mr. Weld governs from Wellington, General Cameron acts as Her Majesty's Opposition. The Secretary of State deals with a Cerberus —each head hostile to its fellow. Mr. Weld is nominally responsible, but as the Governor controls the int- pedal forces, and as the imperial forces were the vital element in the policy, Mr. Weld was responsible for the irresponsible conduct of Governor Grey. General Cameron had two or three masters—the Governor, the Secretary of State, and the Minister for War. Mr. Weld complains to Governor Grey, Governor Grey complains to Mr. Cardwell, General Cameron appeals to Lord de Grey. Two colonels carry on the war, we suppose under the Governor. The Colonial Rangers do a little independent fighting, we suppose under the Defence Minister. General Cameron, standing aloof apparently, sends a special AN-0y home. A greater mess could not well be, unless the " authorities " fought a main, with the Maories for umpires. Surely now is the time for the Colonial Office to prove that it is an institution of public utility by adopting a policy, and sending a capable and honest man to set the cblony in order.
Nevertheless, in spite of this political and military imbroglio, the object of the war is getting itself accomplished. William Thompson has surrendered, and has signed a paper on behalf of the Maori King, who has all along been a tool in the hands of the leading men. Thompson made his submis- sion to Brigadier Carey, his "fighting friend," as he insisted on calling the brigadier, on the 27th of May. Now Thompson is a man of so much influence—he was the brain of the King party, the statesman of the war—that his submission is at least equivalent to peace in the whole country north of the head waters of the Thames, the Horotiu, and the Waipa. The Maories were found to be almost utterly destitute of provisions, even of pota- toes, and the fact that four days later none of them could have put in any claim to land in Waikato no doubt helped to bring about the surrender. Even here, however, we stumble on an indication of the prevailing anarchy among the depart- ments. Brigadier Carey, on the 28th of May, reported this important political fact to General Cameron. Yet on the 14th of June the Ministry actually knew nothing of Thompson's surrender except "from newspaper report." Really one is tempted to come to the conclusion that the "authorities" only communicate with each other through the public press! The surrender of Thompson is regarded as the end of the war, but that may well be doubted, considering that Rewi had not come in, and that the Maories were as well acquainted as we are with the discord in the camp of the pakeha. Thompson never liked the war ; Rewi thirsted for it, and provoked it. Thompson desired to set up his Maori kingdom, and mark out Its boundaries by dint of diplomacy and statecraft; Rewi de- sired to fight the Europeans—to "do the work of his king with the spear." Until Rewi and William Ring submitted the war could not end. With the Pat Marire superstition gaining ground among the savages, and anarchy in the high places of the colony, and Rewi and his fiery friends still at large, there were still abounding materials for a prolongation of this miserable conflict.
The remedy for the mischief must be discovered and applied by the Colonial Office. To us it seems to involve the recall both of General Cameron, who in his methodical way has done much service, and deserves to be respected, and of Governor Grey, who has done no service, and who commands respect neither from natives nor Europeans. Next it would be desirable that a man of capacity, straightforwardness, and good temper should be sent out to look after Imperial interests, but with instructions to leave the colonists to the management of their own affairs. How far a large force of European soldiers should be detained in the colony it is more
difficult to decide, but considering that the colonists are ready and able to maintain a force of their own, to be applied as they please, in accordance with the conditions of warfare in New Zealand, and not in accordance with the conditions of warfare in Europe, as is too much the fashion, it may be in- ferred that comparatively few British soldiers would suffice. Left to themselves the colonists would know how to deal with the Maories. They would fight them in their own fashion, and aided by friendly natives would bring them to reason. But we suppose Exeter Hall, and the Aborigines' Protection Society, and the philanthropists, who love savages better than they love their own countrymen, are powers which, combined with the traditions of the Colonial Office, Mr. Cardwell will not have the courage to affront and overcome. Whatever he may do, he cannot alter the result. A. colony of Englishmen will be masters at whatever cost, and it would be much wiser to give them such support as would enable them to secure a future for the Maori race, than to thwart them and secure that race's certain destruction. In any case Mr. Cardwell is bound to remove the scandalous anarchy existing in New Zealand.