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and charges, at five rupees and three sixteenths per bag; and that even at Madras, where the distress and demand was greatest, the supplies of grain by private traders, charged to the Company, were nineteen per cent cheaper than that supplied by the said Auriol, exclusive of the risk of the sea and of capture by the enemy. That it is stated by the Court of Directors, that the agent's commission on a supply of a single year (the said commission being not only charged on the prime cost of the rice, but also on the freight and all other charges) would amount to pounds sterling 26,873, and by the said Auriol himself is admitted to amount to 18,2921. That William Larkins, the Accountant-General at Fort William, having been ordered to examine the accounts of the said agent, did report to the Governor-General and Council, that he found them to be correct in the additions and calculations, and that then the said Larkins adds the following declaration : “ The agent being upon honor with respect to the sums charged in his accounts for the cost of the articles supplied, I did not think myself authorized to require any voucher of the sums charged for the demurrage of sloops, either as to the time of detention or the rate of the charge, or of those for the articles lost in going down the river; and on that ground I thought myself equally bound to admit the sums acknowledged as received for the sales of goods returned, without requiring vouchers of the rates at which they were sold.” That this transaction the said Warren Hastings has been guilty of a high breach of trust and duty, in the unnecessary expenditure of the Company's money, and in subjecting the Company to a profusion of expense, at all times wholly unjustifiable, but particularly at the time when that expense was incurred. That the said Warren Hastings was guilty of breach of orders, as well as breach of trust, in not advertising generally for proposals; in not contracting indifferently for the supplies with such merchants as might offer to furnish them on the lowest terms; in giving an enormous commission to an agent, and that commission not confined to the prime cost of the articles, but to be computed on the whole of his charges; in accepting of the honor of the said agent as a sufficient voucher for the cost of the articles supplied, and for all charges whatever on which his commission was to be computed ; and finally, in giving a lucrative agency for the supply of a distressed and starving province as a reward to a Secretary of State, whose labors in that capacity ought to have been rewarded by an avowed public salary, and not otherwise. That, after the first year of the said agency was expired, the said Warren Hastings did agree, that, for the future, the commission to be drawn by the said agent should be reduced to five per cent, which the Governor-General and Council then declared to be the customary amount drawn by merchants ; but that even in this reduction of the commission the said Warren Hastings was guilty of a deception, and did not in fact reduce the commission from fifteen to five per cent, having immediately after resolved that he, the agent, should be allowed the current interest of Calcutta upon all his drafts on the Treasury from the day of their dates, until they should be completely liquidated; that the legal interest of money in Bengal is twelve per cent per annum, and the current interest from eight to ten
VIII. - PRESENTS.
That, before the appointment of the GovernorGeneral and Council of Fort William by act of Parliament, the allowances made by the East India Company to the Presidents of that government were abundantly sufficient; and that the said Presidents in general, and the said Warren Hastings particularly, was restrained by a specific covenant and indenture, which he entered into with the Company, from accepting any gifts, rewards, or gratuities whatsoever, on any account or pretence whatsoever. That in the Regulating Act passed in the year 1773, which appointed the said Warren Hastings, Esquire, Governor-General of Fort William in Bengal, a salary of twenty-five thousand pounds a year was established for him, to which the Court of Directors added, “ that he should enjoy their principal houses, with the plate and furniture, both in town and country, rent-free.” That the same law which created the office and provided the salary of the said Warren Hastings did expressly, and in the clearest and most comprehensive terms that could be devised, prohibit him from receiving any present, gift, or donation, in any manner or on any account whatsoever; and that the said Warren Hastings perfectly understood the meaning, and acknowledged the binding force of this prohibition, before he accepted of the office to which it was annexed: he knew, and had declared, that the prohibition was positive and decisive; that it admitted neither of refinement or misconstruction ; and that in his opinion an opposition would be to incur the penalty.
That, notwithstanding the covenants and engagements above mentioned, it appears in the recorded proceedings of the Governor-General and Council of Fort William, that sundry charges have been brought against the said Warren Hastings for gifts or presents corruptly taken by him before the promulgation of the act of 1773 in India, and that these charges were produced at the Council Board in the presence of the said Warren Hastings. That, in March, 1775, the late Rajah Nundcomar, a native Hindoo, of the highest caste in his religion, and of the highest rank in society, by the offices which he had held under the country government, did lay before the Council an account of various sums of money paid by him to the said Warren Hastings, amounting to forty thousand pounds and upwards, for offices and employments corruptly disposed of by the said Warren Hastings, and did offer and engage to prove and establish the same by sufficient evidence. That this account is stated with a minute particularity and precision; the date of each payment, down to that of small sums, is specified; the various coins in which such payments were severally made are distinguished; and the different persons through whose hands the money passed into those of the said Warren Hastings are named. That such particularity on the face of such a charge, supposing it false, is favorable to the party wrongfully accused, and exposes the accuser to an instant and easy detection : for, though, as the said Warren Hastings himself has observed on another occasion, " papers may be forged, and evidences may appear in numbers to attest them, yet it must always be an easy matter to detect the falsity of any forged paper produced by examining the witnesses separately, and subjecting them to a subse
quent cross-examination, in which case, if false, they will not be able to persevere in one regular, consistent story”; whereas, if no advantage be taken of such particularity in the charge to detect the falsehood thereof, and if no attempt to disprove it, and no defence whatever be made, a presumption justly and reasonably, arises in favor of the truth of such charge. That the said Warren Hastings, instead of offering anything in his defence, declared that he would not suffer Nundcomar to appear before the board as his accuser ; that he attempted to indict his said accuser for a conspiracy, in which he failed; and that the said Rajah Nundcomar was soon after, and while his charge against the said Warren Hastings was depending before the Council, indicted upon an English penal statute, which does not extend even to Scotland, * before the Supreme Court of Judicature, for an offence said to have been committed several years before, and not capital by the laws of India, and was condemned and executed. That the evidence of this man, not having been encountered at the time when it might and ought to have been by the said Warren Hastings, remains justly in force against him, and is not abated by the capital punishment of the said Nundcomar, but rather confirmed by the time and circumstances in which the accuser of the said Warren Hastings suffered death. That one of the offices for which a part of the money above mentioned is stated to have been paid to the said Warren Hastings was given by him to Munny Begum, the widow of the late Mir Jaffier, Nabob of Bengal, whose son, by another woman, holds that title at present. That the said Warren Hastings had been instructed by the
* 2d year of George II.