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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

No. 43. — Copy of a Despatch from Governor Grey to Earl Grey

No. 43.
Copy of a Despatch from Governor Grey to Earl Grey.

Auckland.Transmitting Sale of Spirits Ordinance.

My Lord,—

Government House, Auckland, 1st October, 1847.

I have the honour to transmit, in order that Her Majesty's pleasure may be taken thereon, an ordinance which I have enacted with the advice and consent of my Legislative Council, intituled An Ordinance to prohibit the Sale of Spirits and to regulate the Sale of other Intoxicating Liquors to Persons of the Native Race."

The objects of this ordinance will, I think, be admitted to be sufficiently laudable and proper; and as the opinions of the most influential of the Native race are with me upon this subject, as well as of all those of the European population who are likely to have most influence over the Natives, I entertain little doubt of being able very generally to give effect to its provisions with the cheerful page 48consent and concurrence of the Native population. Should Her Majesty, under such circumstances, be pleased, by sanctioning this ordinance, to permit the experiment to be tried, your Lordship may rely upon my carrying it out in such a way as not to give any just cause of complaint or discontent to the Natives.

I should remark that, for the safety of the European population, it is required that such a law should be in force within the limits of towns, for the use of ardent spirits continues to increase amongst the Native race, and on several occasions chiefs of some importance, and who could bring a large number of armed followers into the field, have been drunk in the streets. By their customs also the circumstance of their apprehension for drunkenness would be regarded as an insult which would require to be revenged, and at any moment most serious disturbances might be created from such a cause. Our own safety therefore requires that we should, in as far as possible, prevent the occurrence of such a casualty

I have &c;

The Right Hon. Earl Grey, &c. G. Grey.