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into consideration and to decide on the inde- regard to the condition of the country of Tanterminate rights of the rajah of Tanjore and jore, which had been within a few years four the nabob of Arcot; and in th:4, as in the times plundered, (twice by the nabob of Arcot, former case, no power of appeal, revision, or and twice by enemies brought upon it solely alteration was reserved to any other. It was a by the politics of the same nabob, the declared jurisdiction, in a cause between party and enemy of that people,) and without discounting party, given to the court of directors specif- a shilling for their sufferings, they accumulato cally. It was known that the territories of the an arrear of about £400,000 of pretended former of these princes had been twice invaded tribute to this enemy; and then they order the and pillaged, and the prince deposed and impri- directors to put their hands to a new adjudisoned, by the company's servants, influenced by cation, directly contrary to a judgment in a the intrigues of the latter, and for the purpose judicial character and trust, solemnly given of paying his pretended debts. The company by them, and entered on their records. had, in the year 1775, ordered a restoration of These proceedings naturally called for some the rajah to his government, under certain con- inquiry. On the 28th of February, 1785, Mr. ditions. The rajah complained that his terri- Fox made the following motion in the house tories had not been completely restored to him; of commons, after moving that the clauses of and that no part of his goods, money, revenues, the act should be read~" That the proper or records, unjustly taken and withheld from officer do lay before this house copies and exhim, were ever returned. The nabob, on the tracts of all letters and orders of the court of other hand, never ceased to claim the country directors of the united East India company, in itself, and carried on a continued train of new pursuance of the injunctions contained in the gotiation, that it should again be given up to 37th and 38th clauses of the said act;" and the him, in violation of the company's public faith. question being put, it passed in the negative

The directors, in obedience to this part of by a very great majority. the act, ordered an inquiry, and came to a de- The last speech in the debate was the foltermination to restore certain of his territories lowing; which is given to the public, not as to the rajah. The ministers proceeding as in being more worthy of its attention than others the former case, without hearing any party, re- (some of which were of consummate ability) scinded the decision of the directors, refused but as entering more into the detail of the the restitution of the territory, and without subject.


The times we live in, Mr. Speaker, have recriminatory bill of pains and enalties, been distinguished by extraordinary events. grounded on a breach of public trikt, relative Habituated, however, as we are, to uncommon to the government of the very same part of combinations of men and of affairs, I believe India. If he should undertake a bill of that nobody recollects any thing more surprising kind, he will find no difficulty in conducting it than the spectacle of this day. The right with a degree of skill and vigour fully equal to honourable gentleman,* whose conduct is now all that have been exerted against him. in question, formerly stood forth in this house, But the change of relation between these the prosecutor of the worthy baronett who two gentlemen is not so striking as the total spoke after him. He charged him with se- difference of their deportment under the same veral grievous acts of malversation in office; unhappy circumstances. Whatever the merits with abuses of a public trust of a great and of the worthy baronet's defence might have heinous nature. In less than two years we boen, he did not shrink from the charge. He see the situation of the parties reversed; and a met it with manliness of spirit, and decency of singular revolution puts the worthy baronet in behaviour. What would have been thought of a fair way of returning the prosecution in a him, if he had held the present language of his paper, to examir e no witness. He did not tell act, that no others, by virtue of general power, us (what at that time he might have told us can obtain a legal title to intrude themselves with some shew of reason) that our concerns into that trust, and to exercise those special in India were matters of delicacy; that to di- functions in their place. I therefore consider vulge any thing relative to them would be mis- the intermeddling of ministers in this affair as chievous to the state. He did not tell us, that a downright usurpation. But if the strained those who would enquire into his proceedings construction, by which they have forced theinwere disposed to dismember the empire. He selves into a suspicious office (which every had not the presumption to say, that for his man, delicate with regard to character, would part, having obtained in his Indian presidency, rather have sought constructions to avoid) the ultimate object of his ambition, his honour were perfectly sound and perfectly legal, of was concerned in executing with integrity the this I am certain, that they cannot be justified trust which had been legally committed to his in declining the inquiry which had been precharge: That others, not having been so for- scribed to the court of directors. If the board tunate, could not be so disinterested; and there- of controul did lawfully possess the right of fore their accusations could spring from no other executing the special trust given to that court, source than faction, and envy to his fortune. they must take it as they found it, subject to

old accuser? When articles were exhibited * Right honourable Henry Dundas.

against him by that right honourable gentleman Sir Thomas Rumbold, late governour of

he did not think proper to tell the house that Madras.

we ought to institut , no inquiry, to inspect nc

Had he been frontless enough to hold such the very same regulations which bound the vain, vapouring language in the face of a grave, court of directors. It will be allowed that the a detailed, a specified matter of accusation, court of directors had no authority to dispensa whilst he violently resisted every thing which with either the substance or the mode of incould bring the merits of his cause to the test; quiry prescribed by the act of parliament. If had he been wild enough to anticipate the ab- they had not, where, in the act, did the board surdities of this day; that is, had he inferred, of controul acquire that capacity? Indeed, it as his late accuser had thought proper to do, was impossible they should acquire it.-What that he could not have been guilty of malveré must we think of the fabric and texture of an sation in office, for this sole and curious reason, act of parliament which should find it neces that he had been in office; had he argued the sary to prescribe a strict inquisition ; that impossibility of his abusing his power on this should descend into minute regulations for the sole principle, that he had power to abuse, he conduct of that inquisition; that should comwould have left but one impression on the mit this trust to a particular description of nind of every man who heard him, and who men, and in the very same breath should believed him in his senses-that in the utmost enable another body, at their own pleasure, to extent he was guilty of the charge.

supersede all the provisions the legislature had But, Sir, leaving these two gentlemen to made, and to defeat the whole purpose, end, alternate, as c-iminal and accuser, upon what and object of the law? This cannot be supprinciples they think expedient; it is for us to posed even of an act of parliament conceived consider, whether the chancellor of the ex- by the ministers themselves, and brought forth chequer, and the treasurer of the navy, acting during the delirium of the last session. as a board of controul, are justified by law or My honourable friend has told you in the policy, in suspending the legal arrangements speech which introduced his motion, that formade by the court of directors, in order to tunately this question is not a great deal intransfer the public revenues to the private emo- volved in the labyrinths of Indian detail. Cerlument of certain servants of the East India tainly not. But if it were, I beg leave to assure company, without the inquiry into the origin you, that there is nothing in the Indian detail and justice of their claims, prescribed by an which is more difficult than in the detail of any act of parliament ?

other business. I admit, because I have some It is not contended, that the act of parliament experience of the fact, that for the interiour re(id not expressly ordain an inquiry. It is not gulation of India, a minute knowledge of India asserted that this inquiry was not, with equal is requisite. But on any specific matter of deprecision of terms, specially committed under linquency in its government, you are as capaparticular regulations to the court of directors. ble of judging, as if the same thing were done I conceive, therefore, the Board of controul had at your door. Fraud, injustice, oppression, no right whatsoever to intermeddle in that busi- peculation, engendered in India, are crimes of ness. There is nothing certain in the prin- the same blood, family, and cast, with those ciples of jurisprudence, if this be not undeni- that are born and bred in England. To go no ably truc, that when a special authority is given farther than the case before us: you ai just to any persons by namo to do soine particular as competent to judge whether the s of

four millions sterling ought, or ought not, to I confess I feel a degree of disgust, almost be passed from the public treasury into a pri- leading to despair, at the manner in which we vate pocket, without any title except the claim are acting in the great exigences of our counof the parties, when the issue of fact is laid in try. There is now a bill in this house, apMadras, as when it is laid in Westminster. pointing a rigid inquisition into the minutest Terms of art, indeed, are different in different detail of our offices at home. The collection places; but they are generally understood in of sixteen millions annually; a collection on none. The technical style of an Indian trea- which the public greatness, safety, and crodit sury is not one jot more remote than the jargon have their reliance; the whole order of crimiof our own exchequer, from the train of our nal jurisprudence, which holds together society ordinary ideas, or the idiom of our common itself, have at no time obliged us to call forth language. The difference therefore in the two such power; no, nor any thing like them. cases is not in the comparative difficulty or There is not a principle of the law and confacility of the two subjects, but in our attention stitution of this country that is not subverted to to the one, and our total neglect of the other. favour the execution of that project.* And Had this attention and neglect been regulated for what is all this apparatus of bustle and terby the value of the several objects, there would rour? Is it because any thing substantial is ex be nothing to complain of. But the reverse of pected from it? No. The stir and bustle itself that supposition is true. The scene of the In- is the end proposed. The eye-servants of a dian abuse is distant indeed; but we must not short-sighted master will employ themselves, infer, that the value of our interest in it is de- not on what is most essential to his affairs, but creased in proportion as it recedes from our on what is nearest to his ken. Great difficulview. In our politics, as in our common con- ties have given a just value to economy; and duct, we shall be worse than infants, if we do our minister of the day must be an economist, not put our senses under the tuition of our whatever it may cost us. But where is he to judgment, and effectually cure ourselves of that exert his talents ? At home to be sure; for optical illusion which makes a briar at our where else can he obtain a profitable credit for nose of greater magnitude, than an oak at five their exertion? It is nothing to him, whether hundred yards distance.

the object on which he works under our eye be I think I can trace all the calamities of this promising or not. If he does not obtain any country to the single source of our not having public benefit, he may make regulations withhad steadily before our eyes a general, com- out end. Those are sure to pay in present prehensive, well-connected, and well-propor- expectation, whilst the effect is at a distance, iioned view of the whole of our dominions, and may be the concern of other times, and and a just sense of their true bearings and re- other men.

On these principles he chooses to lations. After all its reductions, the British suppose (for he does not pretend more than to empire is still vast and various. After all the suppose) a naked possibility, that he shall draw reductions of the house of commons, (stripped some resource out of crumbs dropped from the 23 we are of our brightest ornaments, and of trenchers of penury; that something shall be our most important privileges,) enough are yet laid in store from the short allowance of reveleft to furnish us, if we please, with means of nue officers, overloaded with duty, and fainishshewing to the world, that we deserve the su- cd for want of bread; by a reduction from offiperintendance of as large an empire as this cers who are at this very hour ready to batter kingdom ever held, and the continuance of as the treasury with what breaks through stone ample privileges as the house of commons, in walls, for an increase of their appointments. the plenitude of its power, had been habituated From the marrowless bones of these skeleton to assert. But if we make ourselves too little establishments, by the use of every sort of cutfor the sphere of our duty; if, on the contrary, ting, and of every sort of fretting tool, he flatwe do not stretch and expand our minds to the ters himself that he may chip and rasp an emcompass of their object, be well assured, that pirical alimentary powder, to diet into some every thing about us will dwindle by degrees, similitude of health and substance the languishuntil at length our concerns are shrunk to the ing chimeras of fraudulent reformation. dimensions of our minds. It is not a predilec- Whilst he is thus employed according to his tion to mean, sordid, home-bred cares, that policy and to his taste, he has not leisure to will avert the consequences of a false estima- enquire into those abuses in India that are tion of our interest, or prevent the shameful drawing off money by millions from the treadilapidation into which a great empire must {all, by meart -aparations upon mighty ruins.

Appendix No. 1

sures of this country, which are exhausting criminals, by being inexorable to the paitry the vital juices from members of the state, frailties of little men; and these modern llawhere the public inanition is far more sorely gellants are sure, with a rigid fidelity, to whip felt than in the local exchequer of Englan their own enormities on the vicarious back of Not content with winking at these abuses, every small offender. whilst he attempts to squeeze the laborious It is to draw your attention to ceconomy of ill-paid drudges of English revenue, he la- quite another order; it is to animadvert on vishes in one act of corrupt prodigality, upon offences of a far different description, that my those who never served the public in any honourable friend has brought before you the honest occupation at all, an annual income motion of this day. It is to perpetuate the equal to two-thirds of the whole collection of abuses which are subverting the fabric of your the revenues of this kingdom.

empire, that the motion is opposed. It is Actuated by the same principle of choice, therefore with reason (and if he has power he has now on the anvil another scheme, full to carry himself through, I commend his pruof difficulty and desperate hazard, which to dence) that the right honourable gentleman tally alters the commercial relation of two king- makes his stand at the very out-sel ; and bolddoms; and what end soever it shall have, may ly refuses all parliamentary information. Let bequeath a legacy of heart-burning and disa him admit but one step towards inquiry, and he content to one of the countries, perhaps to is undone. You must be ignorant, or he cannot both, to be perpetuated to the latest posterity. be safe. But before his curtain is let down, This projeci is also undertaken on the hope of and the shades of eternal night shall veil ou profit. It is provided, that out of some (I eastern dominions from our view, permit me, know not what) remains of the Irish hereditary Sir, to avail myself of the means which were revenue, a fund at some time, and of some furnished in anxious and inquisitive times, in sort, should be applied to the protection of the demonstrate out of this single act of the preIrish trade. Here we are commanded again sent minister, what advantages you are to delo task our faith, and to persuade ourselves, rive from permitting the greatest concem of that out of the surplus of deficiency, out of

this nation do be separated from the cognithe savings of habitual and systematic prodi- zance, and exempted even out of the compegality, the minister of wonders will provide tence, of parliament. support for this nation, sinking under the moun- The greatest body of your revenue, your tainous load of two hundred and thirty millions most numerous armies, your most important of debt. But whilst we look with pain at his commerce, the richest sources of your public desperate and laborious trifling; whilst we credit, (contrary to every idea of the known are apprehensive that he will break his back settled policy of England,) are on the point of in stooping to pick up chaff and straws, he being converted into a mystery of state. You recovers himself at an elastic bound, and with are going to have one half of the globe hid a broad-cast swing of his arm, he squanders even from the common liberal curiosity of an wer his Indian field a sun far greater than English gentleman. Here a grand revolution he clear produce of the whole hereditary re

commences. Mark the period, and mark venue of the kingdom of Ireland.*

the circumstances. In most of the capital Strange as this scheme of conduct in mic changes that are recorded in the principles and nistry is, and inconsistent with all just policy, system of any government, a public benefit of it is still true to itself, and faithful to its own some kind or other has been pretended. The perverted order. Those who are bountiful to revolution commenced in something plausible : crimes, will be rigid to merit, and penurious to

in something which carried the appearance at service. Their penury is even held out as a

least of punishment of delinquency, or correcblind and cover to their prodigality. The

tion of abuse. But here, in the very moment (economy of injustice is, to furnish resources of the conversion of a department of British for the fund of corruption. Then they pay off government into an Indian mystery, and in the their protection to great crimes and great very act in which the change commences, a

corrupt, private interest is set up in direct opThe whole of the net Irish hereditary reve.

position to the necessities of the nation. A nue is on a medium of thelast seven years, abuut diversion is made of millions of the public €.330,000 yearly. The revenues of all deno. money from the public treasury to a private minations fall short more than £.150,000 yearly purse. It is not into secret negotiations for of the charges. On the present produce, if Mr. Piu's scheme way to take place, he might gain war, peace, or alliance, that the house of comfrom seven to ten thousand pounds a year. mons is forbidden to enquire. It is a matter

of account; it is a pecuniary transaction; it is servants in a debt from the nabob of Arcot, the demand of a suspected steward upon ruined was the first thing which very particularly tenants and an embarrassed master, that the called for, and long engaged, the attention of commons of Great Britain are commanded not the court of directors. This debt amounted to inspect. The whole tenour of the right to eight hundred and eighty thousand pounds honourable gentleman's argument is consonant sterling, and was claimed, for the greater part, to the nature of his policy. The system of by English gentlemen, residing at Madras. concealment is fostered by a system of false. This grand capital, settled at length by order hood. False facts, false colours, false names at ten per cent. afforded an annuity of eightyof persons and things, are its whole support. eight thousand pounds.*

Sir, I mean to follow the right honourable Whilst the directors were digesting their gentleman over that field of deception, clearing astonishment at this information, a memorial what he has purposely obscured, and fairly was presented to them from three gentlemen, stating what it was necessary for him to misre- informing them that their friends had leni present. For this purpose, it is necessary you likewise, to merchants of Canton in China, should know with some degree of distinctness, a sum of not more than one million sterling. a little of the locality, the nature, the circum- In this memorial they called upon the company stances, the magnitude of the pretended debts for their assistance and interposition with the on which this marvellous donation is founded, Chinese government for the recovery of the as well as of the persons from whom and by debt. This sum .ent to Cninese merchants whom it is claimed.

was at 24 per cent, which would yield, if paid, Madras, with its dependencies, is the second an annuity of two hundred and forty thousand (but with a long interval, the second) member pounds.* of the British empire in the east. The trade Perpiexed as the directors were with enese of that city, and of the adjacent territory, was, demands, you may conceive, Sir, that they not very long ago, among the most flourishing did not find themselves very much disembarin Asia. But since the establishment of the rassed, by being made acquainted that they British power, it has wasted away under an must again exert their influence for a new uniforma gradual decline; insomuch that in reserve of the happy parsimony of their serthe year 1779 not one merchant of eminence vants, collected into a second debt from the was to be found in the whole country.* Du- nabob of Arcot, amounting to two millions ring this period of decay, about six hundred four hundred thousand pounds, settled at an thousand sterling pounds a year have been interest of 12 per cent. This is known by the drawn off by English gentleman on their pri- name of the Consolidation of 1777, as the forvate account, by the way of China alone.f mer of the nabob's debts was by the title of If we add four hundred thousand, as probably the Consolidation of 1767. To this was added, remitted through other channels, and in other in a separate parcel, a little reserve called the mediums, that is, in jewels, gold, and silver Cavalry debt, of one hundred and sixty thoudirectly brought to Europe, and in bills upon sand pounds, at the same interest. The whole the British and foreign companies, you will of these four capitals, amounting to four milscarcely think the matter over-rated. If we lions four hundred and forty thousand pounds, fix the commencement of this extraction of produced at their several rates, annuities money from the Carnatic at a period no ear- amounting to six hundred and twenty-three lier than the year 1760, and close it in the year thousand pounds a year; a good deal more 1780, it probably will not amount to a great than one-third of the clear land-tax of England, dcal less than twenty millions of money. at four shillings in the pound; a good deal

During the deep silent flow of this steady more than double the whole annual dividend stream of wealth, which set from India into of the East India company, the nominal masEurope, it generally passed on with no ade- ters to the proprietors in these funds. Of this quale observation; but happening at some pe interest, three hundred and eighty-three thouriods to meet rifis of rocks that checked its sand two hundred pounds a year stood chargecourse, it grew more noisy and attracted more able on the public revenues of the Carnatic. notice. The pecuniary discussions caused by an accumulation of part of the fortunes of their * Fourth report, Mr. Dundas's committee, p. 4.

HA witness examined before the committee of

secrecy says that eighteen per cent was the * Mr. Smith's examination before the select uzual interest ; but he had heard that more had committee, Appendix, No. 2

been given. The above is the account whicb Appendix, No. 2.

Mr. B. received. VOL. I.-25

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