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of Ministers

in effect.

the Acte

abroad on the largest Investments; until at length there is great reason to apprehend, that, unless some very substantial reform takes place in the management of the Company's affairs, nothing will be left for investment, for dividend, or for bargain; and India, instead of a resource to the Publick, may itself come, in no great length of time, to be reckoned amongst the publick burthens.

In this manner the inspection of the Ministers Inspection of the Crown, the great cementing regulation of has failed the whole Act of 1773, has, along with all the others, entirely failed in its effects.

Your Committee, in observing on the failure of Failure in this Act, do not consider the intrinsick defects or mistakes in the Law itself, as the sole cause of its miscarriage. The general policy of the nation with regard to this object has been, they conceive, erroneous ; and no remedy by laws under the prevalence of that policy can be effectual. Before remedial law can have its just operation, the affairs of India must be restored to their natural order. The prosperity of the Natives must be previously secured, before any profit from them whatsoever is attempted. For as long as a system prevails, which regards the transmission of great wealth to this country, either for the Company or the State, as its principal end, so long will it be impossible that those, who are the instruments of that scheme, should not be actuated by the same spirit for their

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own private purposes. It will be worse: they will support the injuries done to the Natives for their selfish ends by new injuries done in favour of those, before whom they are to account. It is not reasonably to be expected, that a Publick, rapacious and improvident, should be served by any of its subordinates with disinterestedness or foresight.

11.- CONNEXION OF GREAT BRITAIN

WITH INDIA.

IN order to open more fully the tendency of the policy, which has hitherto prevailed, and that the House may be enabled in any regulations, which niay

be made, to follow the tracks of the abuse, and to apply an appropriated remedy to a particular distemper; Your Committee think it expedient to consider, in some detail, the manner, in which India is connected with this kingdom; which is the second head of their plan.

The two great links, by which this connexion is maintained, are, first, the East India Company's commerce; and next, the Government set over the natives by that Company, and by the Crown. The first of these principles of connexion, namely the East-India Company's trade, is to be first considered, not only as it operates by itself, but as having a powerful influence over the general policy

and

India for

Silver.

and the particular measures of the Company's Government. Your Committee apprehend that the present state, nature, and tendency of this trade, are not generally understood.

Until the acquisition of great territorial revenues Trade to by the East-India Company, the trade with India merly carwas carried on upon the common principles of chiefly in commerce, namely, by sending out such commodities as found a demand in the India market, and, where that demand was not adequate to the reciprocal call of the European market for Indian goods, by a large annual exportation of treasure, chiefly in silver. In some years that export has been as high as six hundred and eighty thousand pounds sterling. The other European Companies, trading to India, traded thither on the same footing. Their export of bullion was probably larger in proportion to the total of their commerce; as their commerce itself bore a much larger proportion to the British than it does at this time, or has done for many years past. But stating it to be equal to the British, the whole of the silver sent annually from Europe into Hindostan could not fall very short of twelve or thirteen hundred thousand pounds a year. This influx of money, poured into India by an emulation of all the commercial nations of Europe, encouraged industry, and promoted cultivation in a high degree, notwithstanding the frequent wars, with which thật country was harassed, and the vices, which existed

in

VOL. XI.

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in its internal Government. On the other hand, the export of so much silver was, sometimes a subject of grudging and uneasiness in Europe ; and a commerce, carried on through such a medium, to many appeared in speculation of doubtful advantage. But the practical demands of commerce bore down those speculative objections. The East-India commodities were so essential for animating all other branches of trade, and for completing the commercial circle, that all nations contended for it with the greatest avidity. The English Company flourished under this exportation for a very long series of years. The Nation was considerably benefited both in trade and in revenue; and the Dividends of the Proprietors were often high, and always sufficient to keep up the credit of the Company's Stock in heart and vigour.

But-at, or very soon after, the acquisition of the territorial revenues to the English Company, the period of which may be reckoned as completed about the year 1765, a very great revolution took place in commerce as well as in dominion; and it was a revolution, which affected the trade of Hindostan with all other European nations, as well as with that, in whose favour and by whose power it was accomplished. From that time bullion was no longer regularly exported by the English East India Company to Bengal, or any part of Hindostan; and it was soon exported in much smaller quantities by

any

How Trade carried on since.

ments.

any other nation. A new way of supplying the market of Europe, by means of the British power and influence, was invented; a species of trade. (if such it may be called), by which it is absolutely impossible that India should not be radically and irretrievably ruined, although our possessions there were to be ordered and governed upon principles diametrically opposite to those, which now prevail in the system and practice of the British Company's administration,

A certain portion of the revenues of Bengal has Investbeen, for many years, set apart to be employed in the purchase of goods for exportation to England, and this is called the Investment. The greatness of this Investment has been the standard, by which the merit of the Company's principal Servants has been too generally estimated ; and this main cause of the impoverishment of India has been generally taken as a measure of its wealth and prosperity. Numerous fleets of large ships, loaded with the most valuable commodities of the East, annually arriving in England, in a constant and increasing succession, imposed upon the Publick eye, and naturally gave rise to an opinion of the happy condition, and growing opulence of a country, whose surplus productions occupied so vast a space in the commercial world. This export from India seemed to imply also a reciprocal supply, by which the trading capital employed in those productions was

continually

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