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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C149-151
22 Montague Place
Russell Square W.C.
I wrote a letter in Maori to each one of the 4 maories on board the Potosi. Mrs Grace helped me. All that Topia … told us made me the more anxious to do this. Mr Spencer has acted a very crooked part and is just the sort of interpreter who does so much mischief betwixt the natives and English in NZ. I stayed on here till Thursday next partly because I thought you seemed to wished to see Te Wheoro here. Mrs Grace will be here before twelve on Thursday and would then I am sure translate yr talk with Te Wheoro. Te Wheoro does not always understand Skidmore’s translations. Here is a proof! I wrote to Te Wheoro a few words telling him that I had had such a pleasant telegram about Topia … who had slept at a capital hotel in Plymouth and would be escorted with honour to the Potosi after seeing a little of Plymouth. Now arrives from Te Wheoro written by Skidmore but signed by Te Wheoro ‘I am displeased with Topia for not going in the ship, he stays behind to bring disgrace on our cause because he has plenty of money he only amuse himself. It is wrong.’ Does not this show that Skidmore did not translate correctly my few words.
I am quite sure that neither Mr Masby nor I wrote to the Standard nor indeed spoke to any one abt Mr Fuller’s interview here but to you. Mr Spencer either wrote that article or got someone else to do it. Its full of inventions and in post is exactly contradicted by the reports ch follow it (Standard of the 20th) of Tawhiao’s speech at the Mansion House. Mr Spencer abused to the maories the English govrnt and the gentry of this land, said to me in English that the Colonial Office shd have met all the expenses of the maories whilst in England etc etc. I wd only explain, these maories are real gentlemen and with means and have not come here to be treated like paupers. Why old …, Jackson, and Sidney, privately loving hearted people supported and sent back honourably, no application was made, tho they arrived penniless to public alms for them. Mr Spencer has acted ignorantly, like an ignorant man I mean, and not truly saying one thing at one time and one thing at another and setting as far as he cd things in a false light to them. I hope the Colonial Office will not let the matter of that article in the Standard rest unanswered. I expect that Mr Spencer coached some reporter to write that, he did not answer you that morning when you asked him, but turned away. When I had asked him, he answers ‘I know many things but don’t choose to answer questions.’ He really talked like a person bereft of his senses and his rudeness to that great chief Topia … after he found he was a R.C. was shameful.
Mrs Grace and I hope to go to Folkestone on Thursday if Mrs Chesson can find us … suitable rooms for us. She will be my visitor there and comes late on Thursday morning … Rickmansworth.
I shd like to have two more photos of the group, besides I mean the one you are already getting for me, as I am going to give one to Liddon and Mrs Grace wishes for one. I am not likely to be out so if you are disposed to come and see Te Wheoro and Skidmore here pray do so, but perhaps its more convenient to you to do so at yr office. I feel sure that Mr Spencer has tried to set the maories agt you and agt me and agt the Colonial Office and authorities in this country. By twelve on Thursday Mrs Grace will be here. I hope we may have the pleasure of seeing you and Mrs Chesson during part of our stay at Folkestone. I shall write to each of the great chiefs of New Zealand.