Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918)
Thursday 10 January 1867
10th January, two p.m.
SUCCESS OF MR. VERDON’S MISSION
Mr Verdon has been made a C.B. His mission to England, asking the Government to furnish a training ship and armour plated frigate to serve as the nucleus of a system of naval defence for the Australian colonies has been completely successful.
A complimentary dinner was given to Mr Verdon at Will’s Rooms, on the 21st, by Australian colonists resident in London, Mr Childers, M.P. was in the chair, supported by the Earl of Carnarvon. Sir John Pakington, Lord Alfred Churchill, Yantlerburgh, M.P., General Macarthur, Sir Daniel Cooper, Alderman Rose, and gentlemen from all the Australian colonies. In returning thanks for the navy Sir John Pakington stated it had been his duty to accede to the request of which Mr Verdon had been the bearer, that the mother country should do for the colonies in Australia in regard to naval defences what at present, only,
they were unable to do for themselves.
The Chairman, in replying to the toast of the Volunteers, pointed out that Australia had created for herself a force of that kind five years before volunteers were raised in England. In responding to the toast of the Ministers, Earl Carnarvon delivered himself of sentiments eminently sympathetic with the colonies, and stated that in dealing with them the Home Government had only adopted a frank straightforward policy, generally leaving them in the main to their own responsible self-government, interfering only on questions of mutual, because of Imperial interest. The speaker paid a high tribute to the business capacity of Mr Verdon, who bad most ably conducted his mission, which was calculated to result in great benefit to the mother country as well as the colony on whose behalf he had acted, and expressed the belief that the visits of distinguished Australians to England operated most beneficially in forming the links of the long chain—personal, polititical and social relations —which existed between the mother country and her dependencies. In proposing the health of Mr Verdon, the chairman gave a brief history of his public career, which commenced early in life by his return as member for Williamstown. He gave as a proof of the estimation in which his integrity and ability were held by all parties, that whereas almost every mail brought home accounts of a change of Ministry in Victoria, that gentleman had absolutely continued Finance Minister for three years duration. The office was the same as the Chancellor
of the Exchequer’s, and one he might envy.
In returning thanks, Mr Yerdon referred to the success of his mission, acknowledged the great facilities given him in the negotiations with which he had been charged, and dwelt especially on the passionate loyalty of Australia towards the mother country. He asked for tender consideration for the youthful impetuosity with which the offshoots of England were working out the responsibilities connected with the establishment of their political and social institutions, founded on those of Great Britain, and observed in particular that they had successfully produced an educational system in which some difficulties existed which in Victoria had been solved. He dwelt on the fact that he had accepted the Companionship of the Bath, which Earl Carnarvon announced had been conferred upon him as an honor not purely personal but as a mark of consideration for the colony he represented.