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tially disordered; and to explain fully the principles of policy, and the course of conduct, by which the

Natives of all ranks and orders have been reduced pneu-to their present state of depression and misery. "

Your Committee have endeavoured to perform this task in plain and popular language, knowing that nothing has alienated the House from inquiries, absolutely necessary for the performance of one of the most essential of all its duties, so much as the technical language of the Company's Records ; as the Indian names of persons, of offices, of the tenure and qualities of estates, and of all the varied branches of their intricate revenue. This language is, indeed, of necessary use in the executive departments of the Company's affairs; but it is not necessary to Parliament. A language, so foreign from all the ideas and habits of the far greater part of the members of this House, has a tendency to disgust them with all sorts of inquiry concerning this tisubject. They are fatigued into such a despair of ziever obtaining a competent knowledge of the trans- actions in India, that they are easily persuaded to fremand them back to that obscurity, mystery, and intrigue, out of which they have been forced

upon * publick notice by the calamities arising from their

extreme mismanagement. This mismanagement has itself (as Your Committee conceive) in a great measure arisen from dark cabals, and secret suggestions to persons in power, without a regular

publick

Laws rela

East India

and its in

external

publick inquiry into the good or evil tendency of anys measure, or into the merit or demerit of any person intrusted with the Company's concerpsia 1° 29vizsy)

The plan adopted by Your Committee is, first, Present to consider the law regulating the East-India Com- ting to the pany, as it now stands; and secondly, to inquire Company, into the circumstances of the two great links of ternal and connexion by which the territorial possessions in

Policy. India are united to this kingdom; namely, the Company's Commerce; and the government exer: cised under the Charter, and under Acts of Parliament. The last of these objects, the Commerce, is taken in two points of view, the erternaks or the direct trade between India and Europe, and the internal, that is to say, the trade of Bengal, in all the articles of produce and manufacture, which furnish the Company's Investment. : -21 The government is considered by Your Committee under the like descriptions of Internal and External. The Internal regards the communication between the Court of Directors and thein Servants in India; the management of the revenue , the exbpenditure of publick money; the civil administration; the administration of Justice; and the state of the -Army --The External regards, first, the conduct and maxims of the Company's government with respect to the native Princes and People dependent on the British authority: and next, the proceedings z with regard to those Native Powers, which are

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wholly independent of the Company. But Your Committee's observations on the last division extend to those matters only, which are not comprehended in the Report of the Committee of Secrecy. Under these heads, Your Committee refer to the most leading particulars of abuse, which prèvajl in the administration of India; deviating only from this order, where the abuses are of a complicated nature, and where one cannot be well considered independently of several others.

Your Committee observe, that this is the second tempt made by Parlia- attempt made by Parliament for the reformation

of abuses in the Company's government. It apa pears therefore to them a necessary preliminary to this second Undertaking, to consider the causes, which, in their opinion, have produced the failure of the first; that the defects of the original plan may be supplied; its errours corrected; and such useful regulations, as were then adopted, may be further explained, enlarged, and enforced..

The first design of this kind was formed in the ings of Ses

Session of the year 1773. In that year, Parliament, taking up the consideration of the affairs of India, through two of its Committees, collected a : very great body of details concerning the interiour economy of the Company's possessions, and concerning many particulars of abuse, which prevailed at the time when those Committees made their ample and instructive Reports. But it does not

Proceed.

appear

sion 1773.

appear that the body of regulations enacted in that
year; that is, in the East-India Act of the thirteenth
of His Majesty's Reign, were altogether grounded
on that information; but were adopted rather on
probable speculations, and general ideas of good
policy, and good government. New establish-
ments, civil and judicial, were therefore formed
at a very great expense; and with much complexity
of constitution. Checks and counter-checks of all
kings were contrived in the execution, as well as in
the formation, of this system, in which all the ex-
isting authorities of this kingdom had a share : før
Parliament appointed the members of the pre-
siding part of the new establishment; the Crown
appointed the judicial, and the Company preserved
the nomination of the other officers. So that if the
Act has not fully answered its purposes, the failure
cannot be attributed to any want of officers of doo
every description, or to the deficiency of any mode
of patronage in their appointment. The cause
must be sought elsewhere.

The Act had in its view (independently of Powers and several detached regulations) five fundamental Act of1773, objects

1st: The Reformation of the Court of Proprie tors of the East-India Company:

2dly. A new model of the Court of Directors; and an enforcement of their authority over the servants abroad:

3dly.

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3dly. The Establishment of a Court of Justice capable of protecting the Natives from the oppressions of British subjects :

4thly. The Establishment of a General Council to be seated in Bengal, whose authority should, in many particulars, extend over all the British settlements in India :

1,
5thly. To furnish the Ministers of the Crown
*with constant information concerning the whole
of the Company's correspondence with India,' in
order that they might be enabled to inspect the
conduct of the Directors, and servants, and to
watch over the execution of all parts of the Act;
that they might be furnished with matter to lay be-
fore Parliament from time to time, according as

the state of things should render regulation or
animadversion necessary.

The first object of the policy of this Act was to
improve the constitution of the Court of Proprie-
tors. In this case, as in almost all the rest, the
remedy was not applied directly to the disease.
The complaint was, that factions in the Court of
Proprietors had shown, in several instances, a dis-
position to support the servants of the Company
against the just coercion and legal prosecution of
the Directors. Instead of applying a corrective
to the distemper, à change was proposed in the
constitution. By this reform, it was presumed,
that an interest would arise in the General Court,

Court of Proprietors.

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