( From the Morning Chronicle..
The dinner given on Saturday by the New Zealand Company to Lord John Russell will serve to remove all apprehensions, if any are yet entertained, with regard to the relations between that colony and the Government of the parent state. Many of the first names in the country honoured this splendid banquet by their presence ; and men of all parties, Tories, Whigs, and Radicals, appeared to be actuated only by one common feeling.
The public are now tolerably familiar with the natural advantages of New Zealand, which appears destined to be in the Souther Ocean what Great Britain is in the Northern. Lord Ashburton, with must felicity, observed, ” that the position of the New Zealand islands on the map, their climate, fertility, abundant harbours surrounded with the seas most suited to the whale fisheries, and, above all, the character to the native population, led him to anticipate that these islands were likely to become the great seat of wealth and naval power.” Lord John Russell was justly complimented, on all hands, for adding these important islands to the great colonial empire of this country.
The speech of Lord John Russell was much and deservedly applauded.
“I believe,” said his lordship, “that the foundation of this colony of New Zealand will tend to the honour and dignity of the Crow, and will tend to the prosperity and future greatness of the nation (cheers). It was on this ground, and for these reasons, that I lent my humble efforts in support of those exertions that had been made, and were about to be made, by the New Zealand Company. Gentlemen, in so doing, I should be unworthy of your approbation if I took any extraordinary merit to myself ; for, in the first place, the principle of colonization, the value of colonies to this country, the means they afford of augmenting her strength, of adding to her power, of promoting her wealth, and of increasing her prosperity– all this has been ascertained and demonstrated by the enlightened discussions of past years (hear, hear). With regard to the best mode of colonization, likewise, we have had the advantage and assistance of the most enlightened opinions, and the most adverse discussion I, therefore, can only take to myself the merit of not being blind to the importance and value of those opinions and discussions (hear, and cheers)”
But though his lordship speaks thus humbly of his own merits, in recommending the adoption of these islands by the Crown, it was perfectly well understood by all present that, for his conduct with respect to his colony, he has truly entitled himself to the gratitude of his country. Lord Ashburton only paid him a deserved tribute when he complimented him for the sagacity with which he had appreciated the importance of these islands, so soon as he had entered on the administration of colonial affairs, and for the judicious measure of setting up the British flag in them.
We may observe that the health of her Majesty’s Ministers, proposed by Mr Hutt, M.P., was received with loud and universal cheering, and that Mr Labouchere’s speech, which was a very good one, was well received. Upon the whole, Lord John’s visit to the City on this occasion is calculated to gain the Government favour among the commercial classes. His lordship may well be proud, that though New Zealand was formally taken possession of in the name of the Sovereign of this country many years ago, it was reserved for him to make it a British colony.
Citation: Scotsman (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), 17 February 1841, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/310.