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Chambers. The logical consequence of working out any of the above proposals, or any like them, is really that of substituting a single legislative body for two co-operating or conflicting ones. It is hopeless to expect that the rich few can finally control the many who are both rich and poor. With whatever cataclysms or shocks the artificial obstacles to the ascendency of the will of the numerical majority may be overthrown, overthrown they must be, as M. de Tocqueville long ago explained in the parallel case of the progress of democracy in the United States of America. The true and last lesson of democracy is, that a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things that he possesseth.
Before leaving the topic of Colonial Legislatures, it must be noticed that it has recently been laid down that the jurisdiction of such Legislatures extends no further than three miles from the shore. In 1855 the Law Officers of the Crown gave this as their opinion, when, referring to British Guiana, they said : * We con'ceive that the Colonial Legislature cannot legally 'exercise its jurisdiction beyond its territorial limits— 'three miles from the shore; or, at the utmost, can only 'do this over persons domiciled in the Colony, who may 'offend against its ordinances even beyond those limits, 'but not over other persons.'1
2. The history of the Government of India affords a good and memorable instance of the mode in which Parliament may gradually assume the direct and supreme government of every part of the British Dominions. This history comprehends the successive phases of (1) facilitation of trade, (2) organisation of government, (3), the reconstitution of the East India Company as a 1 Forsyth's Catet and Opinions, p. 24.
purely political body, and (4) the transfer of the Government of India from the Company to the Crown as controlled by Parliament.
The history commences with the Charter of William III. incorporating a second East India Company, dated September 5, 1698. The Charter purported to be issued in pursuance of an Act 'for raising a sum not 'exceeding two millions upon a fund for payment of 'Annuities after the rate of eight pounds per centum 'per annum, and for settling the Trade to the East 'Indies.' For a period of nearly eighty years, the Charters which were granted, as well as the Statutes which occasionally supplemented or enforced them, dealt almost exclusively with trade; and the organisation of the Company as a Joint-Stock Trading Association was the purpose of the so-called 'Regulating Act' of 1773.1
So soon as the victories of Clive, and treaties with the native Princes, placed the Company in the actual possession of territorial acquisitions, Parliament passed Statutes for the purpose of confirming the Company in that possession for limited periods of years. Such Statutes were the 7th George III. cap. 57, and the 9th George III. cap. 24, which vested the acquired territory and revenues of the Company in them for periods respectively of two and of five years.
The first effective Parliamentary aggression on the independence of the Company—and, to some extent, also on the Prerogative of the Crown—was the passing of what is called the 'Regulating Act.' This Act recites that 'the several powers and authorities granted by 'Charters to the United Company of Merchants of 'England trading to the East Indies have been found, » 13 Geo. in. cap. 63.
The Regulating Act. 169
'by experience, not to have sufficient force and efficacy 'to prevent various abuses which have prevailed in the 'government and administration of the affairs of the said 'United Company, as well at home as in India, to the 'manifest injury of the public credit, and of the com'mercial interests of the said Company.' The Act, in its 13th section, further recites that King George II. had, by his Letters Patent, granted a Charter constituting Courts of Civil, Criminal and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in Madras, Bombay, and Bengal, and gives power to 'His * Majesty, by Charter or Letters Patent under the Great 'Seal of Great Britain, to erect and establish a Supreme 'Court of Judicature at Fort William aforesaid, to consist 'of a Chief Justice and three other Judges, being barris'tere in England or Ireland, of not less than five years' 'standing,to be named from time to time by HisMajesty, 'his heirs and successors.' This Statute was an important step in the process of consolidating the dominion of the Company as a territorial Government, and of bringing that Government under the direct control of Parliament. A still more decisive step in the same direction was the passing of the Act of 1833 (3 and 4 William IV. cap. 85). This Act, while confirming the Company in the possession of the territorial acquisitions and revenues then held by them for another twenty years, finally abolished the commercial character and operations of the Company, and converted it into a purely political body, having a delegated authority from Parliament to govern the British dominions in India. By the third section of the Act the exclusive right of trading with the dominions of the Emperor of China, and of trading in tea, was to cease in the following year. The fourth section enacted that the Company should ' with all con'venient speed after the twenty-second day of April '1834 close their commercial business and make sale 'of all their merchandise, stores, and effects at home 'and abroad distinguished in their account-books as 'commercial assets, and all their warehouses, lands, 'tenements, hereditaments, and property whatsoever 'which may not be retained for the purposes of the 'Government of the said territories, and get in all 'debts due to them on account of the commercial 'branch of their affairs, and reduce their commercial 'establishments as the same shall become necessary, 'and discontinue and abstain from all commercial busi
* ness which shall not be incident to the closing of their 'actual concerns, and to the conversion into money of
* the property hereinbefore directed to be sold, or which 'shall not be carried on for the purposes of the said 'Government.' It is the 43rd section of this Act which distinctly creates the Governor-General in Council a subordinate Legislature. The general legislative powers conceded are restricted by the latter part of the section, which makes the important exceptions that 'the said Governor-General in Council shall not have 'the power of making any laws or regulations which 'shall in any way repeal, vary, suspend, or affect any of
* the provisions of this Act, or any of the provisions of 'the Acts for punishing mutiny and desertion of officers 'and soldiers, whether in the service of His Majesty or 'the said Company, or any provisions of any Act here'after to be passed in anywise affecting the said Com'pany or the said territories or the inhabitants thereof, 'or any laws and regulations which shall in any way 'affect any prerogative of the Crown, or the authority 'of Parliament, or the constitution or rights of the Act for the Better Government of India. 171
'said Company, or any part of the unwritten laws or 'constitution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain 'and Ireland whereon may depend in any degree the 'allegiance of any person to the Crown of the United 'Kingdom, or the sovereignty or dominion of the said 'Crown over any part of the said territories.' The next section, the 44th, gives power to the Court of Directors of the Company to disallow any law or regulation made by the Governor-General in Council.
The last epoch in the course of claiming for Parliament the direct government of India through the medium of the Prerogative of the Crown is marked by the passing of the Act of 1858 'for the better Government of India,' by which the government of the British territories in India was transferred from the East India Company to the Crown. (21 and 22 Vict. cap. 106.) The first section of this Act enacts that 'the Govern'ment of the territories now in the possession or under 'the Government of the East India Company, and all 'powers in relation to Government vested in or exer'cised by the said Company in trust for Her Majesty, 'shall cease to be vested in or exercised by the said 'Company, and all territories in the possession or under 'the Government of the said Company, and all rights 'vested in, or which if this Act had not been passed 'might have been exercised by, the said Company in re'lation to any territories, shall become vested in her 'Majesty, and be exercised in her name; and for the 'purposes of this Act India shall mean the territories 'vested in Her Majesty as aforesaid, and all territories 'which may become vested in Her Majesty by virtue 'of any such rights as aforesaid.' The fourth section enacts that 'India shall be governed by and in the