John William Akerman to Earl Carnarvon, 14 June 1876, C123/74, in Akerman to Chesson, 14 June 1876, C123/71

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Akerman, John William









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C123-74


Copy of letter of Mr J.W. Akerman MLC to Early Carnarvon

PMBurg Natal
June 14 1876

My Lord,

Having received permission from the Lieut Governor to communication with Your Lordship with reference to the delegates elected by Natal to attend the Conference in London, I venture to take the liberty of bringing to Your Lordship’s notice the following particulars.

The Legislative Council has in a special session nominated two delegates, has in a special session nominated two delegates, myself and Mr Robinson, and in its address to the Lieut Governor expresses the hope, in which I would remark that I most cordially concur, that both delegates may if possible obtain seats at the conference. The Council however has not named either of the two for the one seat formally alluded to by Your Lordship, should an opening be found but for one delegate. An omission I beg to observe for which I am in nowise responsible having avoided taking part in proceedings … but could explain in few words if necessary.

As I undertake the journey to England at no little personal sacrifice and endurance and solely in deference to a widely expressed public opinion that I should go whoever might be the second; have received the highest number of votes from the Council itself as the enclosed certificate from its clerk testifies and am moreover the senior of the two both in years and public life, I desired the Lieut Governor to be good enough in the covering despatch conveying the address to name, but without comment this fact of my seniority to Your Lordship.

The Lieut Governor however declines to do this lest it should imply, as I understand, that the nominate of the one delegate omitted to be made by the council devolved in any manner on Your Lordship.

Under these circumstances and while most anxious to avoid controversy or intrusion I feel myself compelled to bring the fact of my seniority under the eye of Your Lordship, venturing at the same time to express the belief that were Your Lordship to summon myself to the conference being senior, and in the event of the exclusion of my colleauge being inevitable, this would not amount to an act of nomination or choice on Your Lordship’s part but would but constitute simply a compliance with the usual forms of proceedure regulating similar cases which are always governed by seniority. So fare as I can ascertain this is the view entertained by the members of the council generally and is the view likewise expressed by the press of the colony in every instance but one, which has remained silent.

I have without doubt the honor of being the senior nominee as delegate of the legislative council and therefore in humble dependence that my position will be respected, shall proceed to London relying confidently on Your Lordship’s kind and equitable consideration.

I have the honor to be
Your Lordship’s most obedient servant

J.W. Akerman
Senior member for the City

The Right Honorable
Earl Carnarvon


I hereby certify the following to be a true and correct account of the votes taken on June 6th 1876 for the election of delegates in the legislation council.

Akerman 13 votes
Robinson 13

(Signed) S. Stranack
Clerk to Legislation Council