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LONDON, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1845. THE colonisation of New Zealand was commenced on a plan that was, upon paper, perfection itself: the country was described in such terms that it became a marvel how the world could have gone on so long, and left this, one of its fairest corners, neglected. A company was organised that gave public entertainments, and had drawings of land allotments, after the fashion which the Legislature has since abolished in the Art Unions; ship loads of emigrants went out to this latest found of terrestrial paradises; much property was invested in land in the colony, and for a time there was hope; but soon came disappointment, and now the accounts from that distant island are filled with absolute despair. The Company throws the fault on the Colonial Office; the Colonial Office has been, from the very beginning, at variance with the Company; the natives have been puzzled by two authorities, and the settlers having purchased land of one, are refused the confirmation of the grants by the other; the Governor sent out by the Crown appears to have been neither very wise nor very energetic; quarrels with the natives about titles and purchases of land have arisen, attended by bloodshed and massacre, and the result of the whole series of mistakes and mismanagement is, that the colony is ruined. The last accounts are truly grievous. Three hundred individuals have left Nelson to find a home in other settlements, Sydney, or elsewhere; and there is no employment whatever. The failure of the Company has shaken all public credit there; employment there is none; property, especially cattle, is dreadfully depreciated, and in the impossibility of procuring food by labour, the workmen are beginning to take it by force. A continuance of the present state of affairs will undo the work of years, and leave things, after an immense expenditure, and the waste of hope and enterprise on the part of thousands, just as they were at first, or rather worse, if any thing. If ever a case imperatively demanded an inquiry from Parliament it is this. We do not think emigration is the sole, or the best means of bettering our social condition; but it is a most important one, and the failure of a plan, founded on a principle that at first promised so fairly, is almost a national misfortune. The great evil seems to have been in the jealousy between the New Zealand Company and the Crown, or rather the Colonial Office. The Company made its settlement without assistance from the Government, and probably desired nothing more than that it should be "let alone." But this could not be; and from the moment the Government interfered, everything seems to have gone wrong. The lands purchased of the Natives by the Company, and bought of it by the settlers, ought to have become the undisputed property of the buyers; instead of this, it seems that the Crown has put in a claim to large portions of this land, and the buyers, who thought themselves safe after paying the Company's price, have a demand made on them of £5 an acre more by the Crown, which they must pay in addition to the first purchase, or lose all. We cannot help thinking this in the highest degree unjust. The Government did nothing for the colony; it sent out no labour, no emigrants, no armed force for protection; conceding to it a right of territory, that did not constitute it proprietor of the land, which, without labour, was worth nothing. An acknowledgment of the title of the Crown was all that was necessary, and this could have been secured as well by the payment of a halfpenny an acre, as of five pounds. To compel the payment of such a price for land, that not seven years ago was the hunting ground of the savage, and which, but for the labour bestowed on it, could be worth nothing at all, was neither more nor less than bringing ruin on the heads of those who had been unfortunate enough to buy and cultivate it. The feelings of the Colonists may he gathered from the following extract from a letter from Nelson, published during the week:- A sudden rupture between the New Zealand Company and her Majesty's Government has at once deprived us of our possessions; in fact, not only ourselves, but I may add hundreds of others, who, having purchased of the Company here, and not having had that purchase (as they term it) legally recognised by the Home Directors, have been victimised, and that by the fiat of a Commissioner, who sits in judgment to adjudicate on the different claims to land between native and European, and between the Company and the Government. Our section, among others, is declared the property of the Crown, and we have now either to pay into the Government Treasury the minimum price of £5 per acre, for the section of 50 acres, making a total of £250, or lose all. You, no doubt, will think this a queer way to do business, and would naturally suspect that our former purchase-money would be refunded. No such thing; the Company, within the last month, have stopped payment, and we are told by them that we had no right to purchase in such a manner. Here is a case in which what the writer calls a "calm and happy retreat" is broken up by a claim on the part of the Crown of an extortionate price for land which it has neither purchased of the natives, nor conquered by force of arms, nor settled, nor improved, nor cultivated in any way or manner whatever. To the Crown the land never cost fivepence, nor intrinsically is it worth it; without the labour that these industrious settlers have bestowed on it, it will relapse into wilderness. Here, as in many other instances, the Colonial Office doing nothing in the way of good, has a most unfortunate tendency to spoil all things that, without it, were prospering. The Company is by no means free from blame; we are not its advocates; but it did succeed in carrying energy, labour, and capital, into a sphere where all might have been exercised, with advantage, and we have confidence enough in the sturdy spirit untiring industry, and perseverance. of our countrymen, to believe that they would have succeeded against almost any obstacles, if the Government in an evil hour had not interfered; the authority of the Crown over all countries inhabited' by its subjects must be acknowledged; but that does not make the Crown proprietor of the land, or warrant it in exacting exorbitant prices for it. Colonization is but conquest in another form, and should be conducted on terms as favourable a possible to the colonizers — to those who encounter all the risk. We read that when William I conquered England, he gave or divided the land among his Norman Barons, requiring from them only a military suit and service, which was but light in itself, yet served at once as an acknowledgment of the King's authority, and sufficed for the defence of the realm either against outward attack or inward rebellion. And his Barons on that condition built castles and strong holds, which were the germs of future towns, and established peace and security, in which the people gradually prospered, notwithstanding the hatred of races. But suppose William had turned land-jobber and had insisted on his followers—the last colonists of England — paying him fifty pounds or any other exorbitant price per acre for their goodly manors, would he have conquered the land or, if his design was not known, if he had conquered it, could he have kept it? We believe not. The Crown has turned land-jobber in New Zealand; not content with authority it wanted profit; so the colonists are disgusted, are flying from the country, and the whole is summed up in one brief sentence — the Colony is ruined.