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into his conduct, and a minute examination of charges made against him by his rivals in the Nabob's court,
they having insinuated to the Nabob that a design was formed for deposing him, and placing Mahomed Reza on his throne; but, on examination, the President and Council declare, that “he had so openly and candidly accounted for every rupee disbursed from the treasury, that they could not, without injury to his character, and injustice to his conduct during his short administration, refuse continuing him in a share of the government."
V. That the Company had reason to be satisfied with the arrangement made, so far as it regarded him: the President and Council having informed them, in the following year, in their letter of the 9th of December, 1766, that “the large increase of the revenue must in a great measure be ascribed to Mr. Sykes's assiduity, and to Mahomed Reza Khân's profound knowledge in the finances."
VI. That the then President and Council, finding it necessary to make several reforms in the administration, were principally aided in the same by the suggestion, advice, and assistance of the said Mahomed Reza Khân; and in their letter to the Court of Directors of the 24th of June, 1767, they state their resolution of reducing the emoluments of office, which before had arisen from a variety of presents and other perquisities, to fixed allowances; and they state the merits of Mahomed Reza Khân therein, as well as the importance, dignity, and responsibility of his station, in the following manner.
“ Mahomed Reza Khân has now of himself, with great delicacy of honor, represented to us the evil consequences that must ensue from the continuance of this practice, — since, by suffering the principal officers of the government to depend for the support of their dignity on the precarious fund of perquisites, they in a manner oblige them to pursue oppressive and corrupt measures, equally injurious to the country and the Company; and they accordingly assigned twelve lac of rupees for the maintenance and support of the said Mahomed Reza Khân, and two other principal persons, who held in their hands the most important employments of that government, - having regard to their elevated stations, and to the expediency of supporting them in all the show and parade requisite to keep up the authority and influence of their respective offices, as they are all men of weight and consideration in the country, who held places of great trust and profit under the former government. We further propose, by this act of generosity, to engage their cordial services, and confirm them steady in our interests; since they cannot hope, from the most successful ambition, to rise to greater advantages by any chance or revolution of affairs. At the same time it was reasonable we should not lose sight of Mahomed Reza Khân's past services. He has pursued the Company's interest with steadiness and diligence; his abilities qualify him to perform the most important services; the unavoidable charges of his particular situation are great ; in dignity he stands second to the Nabob only ; – and as he engages to increase the revenues, without injustice or oppression, to more than the amount of his salary, and to relinquish those advantages, to the amount of eight lacs of rupees per annum, which he heretofore enjoyed, we
thought it proper, in the distribution of salaries, to consider Mahomed Reza Khân in a light superior to the other ministers. We have only to observe fuither, that, great and enormous as the sum must appear which we have allotted for the support of the ministers of the government, we will not hesitate to pronounce that it is necessary and reasonable, and will appear so on the consideration of the power which men employed on these important services have either to obstruct or promote the public good, unless their integrity be confirmed by the ties of gratitude and interest."
VII. That the said Mahomed Reza Khân continued, with the same diligence, spirit, and fidelity, to execute the trust reposed in him, which comprehended a large proportion of the weight of government, and particularly of the collections; and his attachment to the interest of the Company, and his extensive knowledge, were again, in the course of the year 1767, fully acknowledged, and stated to the Court of Directors. And it further appears that by an incessant application to business his health was considerably impaired, which gave occasion in the year following, that is, in February, 1768, to a fresh acknowledgment of his services in these terms: “ We must, in justice to Mahomed Reza Khân, express the high sense we entertain of his abilities, and of the indefatigable attention he has shown in the execution of the important trust reposed in him; and we cannot but lament the prospect of losing his services from the present declining state of his health.”
VIII. That as in the increase of the revenue the said Mahomed Reza Khân was employed as a person likely to improve the same without detriment to the people, so, when the state of any province seemed to require a remission, he was employed as a person disposed to the relief of the people without fraud to the revenue; and this was expressed by the President and Council as follows, with relation to the remissions granted in the province of Bahar: “ That the general knowledge of Mahomed Reza Khân, in all matters relative to the dewanny revenues, induced us to consent to such deductions being made from the general state of that province at the last poonah as may be deemed irrecoverable, or such as may procure an immediate relief and encouragement to the ryots in the future cultivation of their lands."
IX. That the said Mahomed Reza Khân, in the execution of the said great and important trusts and powers, was not so much as suspected of an ambitious or encroaching spirit, which might make him dangerous to the Company's then recent authority, or which might render his precedence injurious to the consideration due to his colleagues in office; but, on the contrary, it appears, that, a plan having been adopted for dividing the administration, in order to remove the Nabob's jealousies, the same was in danger of being subverted by the ambition of two of his colleagues, and the excessive moderation of Mahomed Reza Khân." And for a remedy of the inconveniencies which might arise from the excess of an accommodating temper, though attended with irreproachable integrity, the President and Council did send one of their own members, as their deputy, to the Nabob of Bengal, at his capital of Moorshedabad; and this measure appears to have been adopted for the support of Mahomed Reza Khân, in consequence of an inquiry made and advice given by Lord Clive, in his letter of the 3d of July, 1765, in which letter he expresses himself of the said Mahomed Reza Khân as follows: “It is with pleasure I can acquaint you, that, the more I see of Mahomed Reza Khân, the stronger is my conviction of his honor and moderation, but that, at the same time, I cannot help observing, that, either from timidity or an erroneous principle, he is too ready to submit to encroachments upon that proportion of power that has been allotted him."
X. That, the Nabob Jaffier Ali Khân dying in February, 1765, Mahomed Reza Khân was appointed guardian to his children, and administrator of his office, or regent, which appointment the Court of Directors did approve. But the party opposite to Mahomed Reza Khân having continued to cabal against him, sundry accusations were framed relative to oppression at the time of the famine, and for a balance due during his employment of collector of the revenues; upon which the Directors did order him to be deprived of his office, and a strict inquiry to be made into his conduct.
XI. That the said Warren Hastings, then lately appointed to the Presidency, did, on the 1st of April, and on the 24th of September, 1772, write letters to the Court of Directors, informing them that on the very next day after he had received (as he asserts) their private orders, “addressed to himself alone,” and not to the board, he did dispatch, by express messengers, his orders to Mr. Middleton, the Resident at