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Life of Sir George Grey: Governor, High commissioner, and Premier. An Historical Biography.

Imperial Approval

page 27

Imperial Approval.

Meanwhile, he was giving high satisfaction to the authorities in England. In 1842 the Lords of the Treasury allowed that he had "acquitted himself in an able and satisfactory manner of the important trust which had been reposed in him.'' The Secretary for the Colonies chimed in and formally acknowledged "the essential and most effective services" he had "rendered in reducing the expenditure and re-establishing the finances of South Australia." It is a proof of his genuine capacity, as yet unspoiled by perversity or velleities of rebellion, that, two years later, he was still in high favour with the Colonial Office. Lord Derby (who was still Lord Stanley) bore repeated testimonies (he called them testimonials) to the value of his public services in administering South Australia, and he admitted that Grey had shown "energy, capacity, and circumspection in the conduct" of its affairs. These were high compliments, and they seemed to have been well earned.*

His eminent services were to bring him something more real than compliments—they were to bring him promotion; but we may pause for a few moments to describe another and less-disputed phase of his multifarious activity.

* The political portion of the present chapter, like the corresponding chapter of Mr. Rees's biography, was at first mainly written from the material supplied in Dutton's book on South Australia—the contemporary record of a Legislative Councillor who saw at close quarters the things he describes. It has been rewritten to include the facts freshly stated by Professor Henderson, who has had access to the South Australian archives, examined the journals of the time, and been the recipient of the confidences of old colonists.