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Hat contradiction to their recorded sentiments, act, ordered an enquiry, and came to a determitheir strong remonstrance, and their declared nation to restore certain of his territories to the sense of their duty, as well under their general rajah. The ministers proceeding as in the former trust and their oath as directors, as under the ex- case, without hearing any party, rescinded the press injunctions of an act of parliament. decision of the directors, refused the restitution of

The principles upon which this summary pro- the territory, and without regard to the condition ceeding was adopted by the ministerial board, are of the country of Tanjore, which had been within stated by themselves in a number in the appendix a few years four times plundered, (twice by the to this speech.

nabob of Arcot, and twice by enemies brought By another section of the same act, the same upon it solely by the politicks of the same nabob, court of directors were ordered to take into con- the declared enemy of that people,) and, without sideration and to decide on the indeterminate discounting a shilling for their sufferings, they rights of the rajah of Tanjore and the nabob of accumulate an arrear of about 400,000 pounds of Arcot; and in this, as in the former case, no power pretended tribute to this enemy; and then they of appeal, revision, or alteration, was reserved to order the directors to put their hands to a new any other. It was a jurisdiction, in a cause be- adjudication, directly contrary to a judgment in tween party and party, given to the court of di- a judicial character and trust, solemnly given by rectors specifically. It was known that the terri- them, and entered on their records. tories of the former of these princes had been These proceedings naturally called for some entwice invaded and pillaged, and the prince deposed quiry. On the 28th of February, 1785, Mr. Fox and imprisoned, by the company's servants, influ- made the following motion in the house of comenced by the intrigues of the latter, and for the mons, after moving that the clauses of the act purpose of paying his pretended debts. The com- should be read—“ That the proper officer do lay pany bad, in the year 1775, ordered a restoration “ before this house copies and extracts of all letof the rajah to his government, under certain con- “ters and orders of the court of directors of the ditions. The rajah complained that his territories “ united East-India company, in pursuance of the had not been completely restored to him; and “ injunctions contained in the 37th and 38th that no part of his goods, money, revenues, or re- “ clauses of the said act;" and the question being cords, unjustly taken and withheld from him, were put, it passed in the negative by a very great ever returned. The nabob, on the other hand, majority. Dever ceased to claim the country itself, and car- The last speech in the debate was the following; ried on a continued train of negociation, that it which is given to the publick, not as being more should again be given up to him, in violation of worthy of its attention than others, (some of which the company's publick faith.

were of consummate ability,) but as entering more The directors, in obedience to this part of the into the detail of the subject.


The times we live in, Mr. Speaker, have been publick trust, relative to the government of the distinguished by extraordinary events. Habituated, very same part of India. If he shouid undertake however, as we are, to uncommon combinations a bill of that kind, he will find no difficulty in of men and of affairs, I believe nobody recollects conducting it with a degree of skill and vigour any thing more surprising than the spectacle of fully equal to all that have been exerted against this day. The right honourable gentleman, him. whose conduct is now in question, formerly stood But the change of relation between these two forth in this house, the prosecutor of the worthy gentlemen is not so striking as the total difference baronet + who spoke after him. He charged him of their deportment under the same unhappy cirwith several grievous acts of malversation in office, cumstances. Whatever the merits of the worthy with abuses of a publick trust of a great and hei- baronet's defence might have been, he did not nous nature.

In less than two years we see the shrink from the charge. He met it with manlisituation of the parties reversed : and a singular ness of spirit, and decency of behaviour. What of returning

the prosecution in a recriminatory bit the present language of his old accuser ? When of pains and penalties, grounded on a breach of articles were exhibited against him by that right • Right honourable Henry Dundas.

Sir Thomas Rumbold, late governour of Madras.

to | © My honourable friend has told you in the speech

honourable gentleman, he did not think proper to forced themselves into a suspicious office, (which tell the house that we ought to institute no en- every man, delicate with regard to character, quiry, to inspect no paper, to examine no witness. would rather have sought constructions to avoid,) He did not tell us (what at that time he might were perfectly sound and perfectly legal, of this have told us with some shew of reason) that our I am certain, that they cannot be justified in deconcerns in India were matters of delicacy; that clining the inquiry which had been prescribed to to divulge any thing relative to them would be the court of directors. If the board of controul mischievous to the state. He did not tell us, that did lawfully possess the right of executing the spethose who would enquire into his proceedings were cial trust given to that court, they must take it as disposed to dismember the empire. He had not they found it, subject to the very same regulations the presumption to say, that for his part, having which bound the court of directors. It will be obtained in his Indian presidency, the ultimate allowed that the court of directors had no authoobject of his ambition, his honour was concerned rity to dispense with either the substance or the in executing with integrity the trust which had mode of enquiry prescribed by the act of parliabeen legally committed to his charge: That others, ment. If they had not, where, in the act, did the not having been so fortunate, could not be so dis- board of controul acquire that capacity? Indeed, it interested; and therefore their accusations could was impossible they should acquire it. - What must spring from no other source than faction, and we think of the fabrick and texture of an act of envy to his fortune.

parliament which should find it necessary to preHad he been frontless enough to hold such vain, scribe a strict inquisition; that should descend into vapouring language in the face of a grave, a de- minute regulations for the conduct of that inquitailed, a specified matter of accusation, whilst hesition; that should commit this trust to a particular violently resisted every thing which could bring description of men, and in the very same breath the merits of his cause to the test ; had he been should enable another body, at their own pleasure, wild enough to anticipate the absurdities of this to supersede all the provisions the legislature had day; that is, had he inferred, as his late accuser made, and to defeat the whole purpose, end, and had thought proper to do, that he could not liave object of the law? This cannot be supposed even been guilty of malversation in office, for this sole of an act of parliament conceived by the ministers and curious reason, that he had been in office; themselves, and brought forth during the delirium had he argued the impossibility of his abusing his of the last session. power on this sole principle, that he had power to abuse, he would have left but one impression on which introduced his motion, that fortunately this the mind of every man who heard him, and who question is not a great deal involved in the labybelieved him in his senses -- that in the utmost ex- rinths of Indian detail. Certainly not. But if it tent he was guilty of the charge.

were, I beg leave to assure you, that there is noBut, Sir, leaving these two gentlemen to alter thing in the Indian detail which is more difficult nate, as criminal and accuser, upon what principles than in the detail of any other business. I admit, they think expedient; it is for us to consider, because I have some experience of the fact, that for whether the chancellor of the exchequer, and the the interiour regulation of India, a minute knowtreasurer of the navy, acting as a board of controul, ledge of India is requisite. But on any specifick are justified by law, or policy, in suspending the matter of delinquency in its government, you are legal arrangements made by the court of directors, as capable of judging, as if the same thing were in order to transfer the publick revenues to the done at your door. Fraud, injustice, oppression, private emolument of certain servants of the East-peculation, engendered in India, are crimes of the India company, without the enquiry into the origin same blood, family, and cast, with those that are and justice of their claims, prescribed by an act of born and bred in England. To go no farther than parliament ?

the case before us: you are just as competent to It is not contended, that the act of parliament judge whether the sum of four millions sterling did not expressly ordain an enquiry. It is not as- ought, or ought not, to be passed from the publick serted that this enquiry was not, with equal pre-treasury into a private pocket, without any title cision of terms, specially committed under par- except the claim of the parties, when the issue of ticular regulations to the court of directors. I fact is laid in Madras, as when it is laid in Westconceive, therefore, the board of controul had no minster. Terms of art, indeed, are different in right whatsoever to intermeddle in that business. different places; but they are generally understood There is nothing certain in the principles of juris- in none. The technical style of an Indian treasury prudence if this be not undeniably true, that, is not one jot more remote than the jargon of our when a special authority is given to any persons own exchequer from the train of our ordinary by name, to do some particular act, no others, ideas, or the idiom of our common language. by virtue of general powers, can obtain a legal The difference, therefore, in the two cases, is not in title to intrude themselves into that trust, and to the comparative difficulty or facility of the two exercise those special functions in their place. I subjects, but in our attention to the one, and our therefore consider the intermeddling of ministers total neglect of the other. Had this attention and in this affair as a downright usurpation. But if neglect been regulated by the value of the several the strained construction, by which they have objects, there would be nothing to complain of.


But the reverse of that supposition is true. The profitable credit for their exertion? It is nothing scene of the Indian abuse is distant indeed; but to him, whether the object on which he works we must not infer, that the value of our interest under our eye be promising or not. If he does not in it is decreased in proportion as it recedes from obtain any publick benefit, he may make regulaour view. In our politicks, as in our common

tions without end. Those are sure to pay in preconduct, we shall be worse than infants, if we do sent expectation, whilst the effect is at a distance, not put our senses under the tuition of our judge and may be the concern of other times, and other ment, and effectually cure ourselves of that op- On these principles he chooses to suppose tical illusion which makes a briar at our nose of (for he does not pretend more than to suppose) a greater magnitude, than an oak at five hundred naked possibility, that he shall draw some resource yards distance.

out of crumbs dropped from the trenchers of peI think I can trace all the calamities of this coun- nury; that something shall be laid in store from try to the single source of our not having had the short allowance of revenue officers, overladen steadily before our eyes a general, comprehensive, with duty, and famished for want of bread; by a well-connected, and well-proportioned view of the reduction from officers who are at this very hour whole of our dominions, and a just sense of their ready to batter the treasury with what breaks true bearings and relations. After all its reduc- through stone walls, for an encrease of their aptions, the British empire is still vast and various pointments. From the marrowless bones of these After all the reductions of the house of commons, skeleton establishments, by the use of every sort (stripped as we are of our brightest ornaments, of cutting, and of every sort of fretting tool, he and of our most important privileges,) enough are flatters himself that he may chip and rasp an emyet left to furnish us, if we please, with means of pirical alimentary powder, to diet into some sishewing to the world, that we deserve the super-militude of health and substance the languishing intendence of as large an empire as this kingdom chimeras of fraudulent reformation. ever held, and the continuance of as ample privi- Whilst he is thus employed according to his leges as the house of commons, in the plenitude of policy and to his taste, he has not leisure to enquire its power, had been habituated to assert. But if into those abuses in India that are drawing off we make ourselves too little for the sphere of our money by millions from the treasures of this country, duty; if, on the contrary, we do not stretch and which are exhausting the vital juices from memexpand our minds to the compass of their object; bers of the state, where the publick inanition is far be well assured, that every thing about us will more sorely felt, than in the local exchequer of dwindle by degrees, until at length our concerns England. Not content with winking at these are shrunk to the dimensions of our minds. It is abuses, whilst he attempts to squeeze the laborious, not a predilection to mean, sordid, home-bred ill-paid drudges of English revenue, he lavishes in cares, that will avert the consequences of a false one act of corrupt prodigality, upon those who estimation of our interest, or prevent the shameful never served the publick in any honest occupation dilapidation, into which a great empire must fall, at all, an annual income equal to two thirds of the by mean reparations upon mighty ruins.

whole collection of the revenues of this kingdom. I confess I feel a degree of disgust, almost lead- Actuated by the same principle of choice, he ing to despair, at the manner in which we are has now on the anvil another scheme, full of difacting in the great exigencies of our country. ficulty and desperate hazard, which totally alters There is now a bill in this house, appointing a the commercial relation of two kingdoms; and rigid inquisition into the minutest detail of our what end soever it shall have, may bequeath a leoffices at home. The collection of sixteen millions gacy of heart-burning and discontent to one of the annually; a collection on which the publick great- countries, perhaps to both, to be perpetuated to ness, safety, and credit have their reliance; the the latest posterity. This project is also undertaken whole order of criminal jurisprudence, which on the hope of profit. It is provided, that out holds together society itself, has at no time obliged of some (i know not what) remains of the Irish us to call forth such powers; no, nor any thing hereditary revenue, a fund at some time, and of like them. There is not a principle of the law some sort, should be applied to the protection of and constitution of this country that is not sub- the Irish trade. Here we are commanded again verted to favour the execution of that project. * to task our faith, and to persuade ourselves, that And for what is all this apparatus of bustle and out of the surplus of deficiency, out of the savings terrour? Is it because any thing substantial is ex- of habitual and systematick prodigality, the mipected from it? No. The stir and bustle itself is nister of wonders will provide support for this nathe end proposed. The eye-servants of a short- tion, sinking under the mountainous load of two sighted master will employ themselves, not on hundred and thirty millions of debt. But whilst what is most essential to his affairs, but on what is we look with pain at his desperate and laborious nearest to his ken. Great difficulties have given trifling; whilst we are apprehensive that he will a just value to economy; and our minister of the break his back in stopping to pick up chaff and day must be an economist, whatever it may cost straws, he recovers himself at an elastick bound,

But where is he to exert his talents? At and with a broad-cast swing of his arm, he squanhome to be sure; for where else can he obtain a ders over his Indian field a sum far greater than

• Appendix, No. 1


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the clear produce of the whole hereditary revenue made of millions of the publick money from the of the kingdom of Ireland.*

publick treasury to a private purse. It is not into Strange as this scheme of conduct in ministry is, secret negociations for war, peace, or alliance, that and inconsistent with all just policy, it is still true the house of commons is forbidden to enquire. It to itself, and faithful to its own perverted order. is a matter of account; it is a pecuniary transacThose who are bountiful to crimes, will be rigid to tion; it is the demand of a suspected steward upon merit, and penurious to service. Their penury is ruined tenants and an embarrassed master, that even held out as a blind and cover to their prodi- the commons of Great Britain are commanded gality. The economy of injustice is, to furnish not to inspect. The whole tenour of the right resources for the fund of corruption. Then they honourable gentleman's argument is consonant to pay off their protection to great crimes and great the nature of his policy. The system of concealcriminals, by being inexorable to the paltry frail- ment is fostered by a system of falsehood. False ties of little men; and these modern flagellants facts, false colours, false names of persons and are sure, with a rigid fidelity, to whip their own things, are its whole support. enormities on the vicarious back of every small Sir, I mean to follow the right honourable genoffender.

tleman over that field of deception, clearing what It is to draw your attention to economy of he has purposely obscured, and fairly stating what quite another order, it is to animadvert on of- it was necessary for him to misrepresent. For this fences of a far different description, that my ho- purpose, it is necessary you should know, with nourable friend has brought before you the motion some degree of distinctness, a little of the locality, of this day. It is to perpetuate the abuses which the nature, the circumstances, the magnitude of are subverting the fabrick of your empire, that the the pretended debts on which this marvellous domotion is opposed. It is therefore with reason nation is founded, as well as of the persons from (and if he has power to carry himself through, I whom and by whom it is claimed. commend his prudence) that the right honourable Madras, with its dependencies, is the second gentleman makes his stand at the very outset; and (but with a long interval, the second) member of boldly refuses all parliamentary information. Let the British empire in the east. The trade of that him admit but one step towards enquiry, and he city, and of the adjacent territory, was, not very is undone. You must be ignorant, or he cannot long ago, among the most flourishing in Asia. But be safe. But before his curtain is let down, and since the establishment of the British power, it has the shades of eternal night shall veil our eastern wasted away under an uniform gradual decline; dominions from our view, permit me, Sir, to avail insomuch that in the year 1779 not one merchant myself of the means which were furnished in anx- of eminence was to be found in the whole counious and inquisitive times, to demonstrate out of try.t During this period of decay, about six hunthis single act of the present minister, what advan- dred thousand sterling pounds a year liave been tage you are to derive from permitting the greatest drawn off by English gentlemen on their private concern of this nation to be separated from the account, by the way of China alone.I If we add cognizance, and exempted even out of the com four hundred thousand as probably remitted petence, of parliament. The greatest body of your through other channels, and in other mediums, revenue, your most numerous armies, your most that is, in jewels, gold, and silver, directly brought important commerce, the richest sources of your to Europe, and in bills upon the British and fopublick credit, (contrary to every idea of the reign companies, you will scarcely think the matter known, settled policy of England,) are on the point over-rated. If we fix the commencement of this of being converted into a mystery of state. You extraction of money from the Carnatick at a period are going to have one half of the globe hid even no earlier than the year 1760, and close it in the from the common liberal curiosity of an English year 1780, it probably will not amount to a great gentleman. Here a grand revolution commences. deal less than twenty millions of money. Mark the period, and mark the circumstances. In During the deep, silent flow of this steady stream most of the capital changes that are recorded in of wealth, which set from India into Europe, it the principles and system of any government, a generally passed on with no adequate observation; publick benefit of some kind or other has been but happening at some periods to meet rifts of pretended. The revolution commenced in some- rocks that checked its course, it grew more noisy thing plausible; in something which carried the and attracted more notice. The pecuniary discusappearance at least of punishment of delinquency, sions caused by an accumulation of part of the or correction of abuse. But here, in the very mo- fortunes of their servants in a debt from the nabob ment of the conversion of a department of British of Arcot, was the first thing which very particularly government into an Indian mystery, and in the called for, and long engaged, the attention of the very act in which the change commences, a cor- court of directors. This debt amounted to eight rupt, private interest is set up in direct opposition hundred and eighty thousand pounds sterling, and to the necessities of the nation. A diversion is was claimed, for the greater part, by English gen

• The whole of the net Irish hereditary revenue is, on a medium of the last seven years, about 330,0001. yearly. The revenues of all denominations fall short more than 150,0001. yearly of the charges. On the present produce, if Mr. Pitt's scheme was to

take place, he might gain from seven to ten thousand pounds a year.

† Mr. Smith's examination before the select committee, Ap pendix, No. 2

1 Appendix, No.

tlemen, residing at Madras. This grand capital, tion, possessed of no lucrative offices, without the settled at length by order at 10 per cent. afforded command of armies, or the known administration an annuity of eighty-eight thousand pounds. * of revenues, without profession of any kind, without

Whilst the directors were digesting their asto- any sort of trade sufficient to employ a pedlar, nishment at this information, a memorial was pre-could have, in a few years, (as to some, even sented to them from three gentlemen, informing in a few months,) amassed treasures equal to the them that their friends had lent likewise, to mer- revenues of a respectable kingdom? Was it not chants of Canton in China, a sum of not more enough to put these gentlemen, in the noviciate than one million sterling. In this memorial they of their administration, on their guard, and to call called upon the company for their assistance and upon them for a strict enquiry (if not to justify interposition with the Chinese government for the them in a reprobation of those demands without recovery of the debt. This sum lent to Chinese any enquiry at all) that when all England, Scotmerchants, was at 24 per cent, which would yield, land, and Ireland, had for years been witness to if paid, an annuity of two hundred and forty thou- the immense sums laid out by the servants of the sand pounds.

company in stocks of all denominations, in the Perplexed as the directors were with these de- purchase of lands, in the buying and building of mands, you may conceive, Sir, that they did not houses, in the securing quiet seats in parliament, find themselves very much disembarrassed by be- or in the tumultuous riot of contested elections, in ing made acquainted that they must again exert wandering throughout the whole range of those their influence for a new reserve of the happy par- variegated modes of inventive prodigality, which simony of their servants, collected into a second sometimes have excited our wonder, sometimes debt from the nabob of Arcot, amounting to two roused our indignation : that after all, India was millions four hundred thousand pounds, settled at four millions still in debt to them? India in debt an interest of 12 per cent. This is known by the to them! For what? Every debt for which an equiname of the Consolidation of 1777, as the former valent of some kind or other is not given, is, on the of the nabob's debts was by the title of the Con- face of it, a fraud. What is the equivalent they solidation of 1767. To this was added, in a sepa- have given ? What equivalent had they to give ? rate parcel, a little reserve called the Cavalry debt, What are the articles of commerce, or the branches of one hundred and sixty thousand pounds, at the of manufacture, which those gentlemen have carsame interest. The whole of these four capitals, ried hence to enrich India ? What are the sciences amounting to four millions four hundred and forty they beamed out to enlighten it? What are the thousand pounds, produced at their several rates, arts they introduced to cheer and to adorn it ? annuities amounting to six hundred and twenty- What are the religious, what the moral institutions three thousand pounds a year; a good deal more they have taught among that people as a guide to than one-third of the clear land-tax of England, life, or as a consolation when life is to be no more, at four shillings in the pound ; a good deal that there is an eternal debt, a debt“ still paying more than double the whole annual dividend of the “ still to owe,” which must be bound on the preEast-India company, the nominal masters of the sent generation in India, and entailed on their proprietors in these funds. Of this interest, three mortgaged posterity for ever? A debt of millions, hundred and eighty-three thousand two hundred in favour of a set of men, whose names, with few pounds a year stood chargeable on the publick exceptions, are either buried in the obscurity of revenues of the Carnatick.

their origin and talents, or dragged into light by Sir, at this moment, it will not be necessary to the enormity of their crimes ? consider the various operations which the capital In my opinion the courage of the minister was and interest of this debt have successively under the most wonderful part of the transaction, espegone. I shall speak to these operations when I cially as he must have read, or rather, the right come particularly to answer the right honourable honourable gentleman says, he has read for him, gentleman on each of the heads, as he has thought whole volumes upon the subject. The volumes, by proper to divide them. But this was the exact the way, are not by one tenth part so numerous as view in which these debts first appeared to the the right honourable gentleman has thought procourt of directors, and to the world. It varied per to pretend, in order to frighten you from enafterwards. But it never appeared in any other quiry; but in these volumes, such as they are, the than a most questionable shape. When this gigan- minister must have found a full authority for a sustick phantom of debt first appeared before a young picion (at the very least) of every thing relative to minister, it naturally would have justified some de- the great fortunes made at Madras. What is that gree of doubt and apprehension. Such a prodigy authority? Why no other than the standing auwould have filled any common man with supersti- thority for all the claims which the ministry has tious fears. He would exorcise that shapeless, name thought fit to provide for-the grand debtor—the less form, and by every thing sacred would have nabob of Arcot himself. Hear that prince, in the adjured it to tell by what means a small number letter written to the court of directors, at the preof slight individuals, of no consequence or situa-cise period, whilst the main body of these debts

• Pourth report, Mr. Dundas's committee, p. 4.

# A witness examined before the committee of secresy says, that eighteen per cent. was the usual interest; but he had heard VOL. 1.


that more had been given. The above is the account which Mr. B. received.

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