The still-born constitution was Mr. Busby's proposed means of checkmating a rival. In the words of Governor Gipps, this "silly and unauthorized act was a paper pellet fired off" at the hero of an even more pretentious fiasco.
Nothing further was heard on the subject for some time, until Sir George Gipps received a letter from Lord Stanley, the Secretary of State, directing him to lay the matter before the Executive Council in Sydney; and stating that, in the opinion of the English Government, the request of Port Phillip was very fair and reasonable.
His offer was, however, declined, on account of the Surveyor-General, to whom the honour rightfully belonged, being in the field. In 1845, the Council increased the exploration fund to two thousand pounds, and Sir George Gipps instructed Major Mitchell to start.
The most expensive liquors were the ordinary beverages of waggoners and shepherds; and, on his visit to Port Phillip in 1843, Governor Gipps found the suburbs of Melbourne thickly strewed with champagne bottles, which seemed to him to tell a tale of extravagance and dissipation.
The new Governor was a man of great ability, generous and well meaning, but of a somewhat arbitrary nature. No Governor has ever laboured more assiduously for the welfare of his people, and yet none has ever been more unpopular than Gipps.
On November 9th, 1838, Sir G. Gipps wrote to Lord Glenelg, stating that "he was happy to say there was no want in the colony of clergy of any denomination!"
"Give me anything there is black, if possible and a brush, quickly." "There's there's Brunswick black, sir, for the stove," said the cook. "That will do; be quick. Oh, there's Gipps, the gardener! You're just the man I want, Gipps. Come and find me a board or a plank, quick as you please!" And Hewitt pushed the old gardener before him into the garden by the kitchen door.
Wakefield then went to Sydney to see Governor Gipps, who said that the whole thing was irregular, but that he would allow the settlers to occupy the land, supposing that every Maori who had a proper claim to any part of it got due compensation, and if twenty acres of the central part of Wellington were reserved for public buildings.
See the case of John Walpole Willis, Appellant, versus Sir George Gipps, Knt., Respondent, 5 Moore's Reports of Privy Council Cases, 379. From an obiter dictum of one of the judges in the case it would appear that the order of amotion from the bench of this Province was finally set aside on technical grounds, owing to the appellant's not having been heard in Canada.
In January 1841, Mrs Chisholm wrote to Lady Gipps, the wife of the governor, on the subject; tried to interest others; and although with some doubts as to the result, all expressed themselves interested. Much jealousy and prejudice, however, required to be overcome. Bigotry was even brought into play.