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the extent required by the said Hastings, did, in a minute of the 4th December, 1784, after stating å supposition, that, contrary to his opinion, the said troops should not be reduced, propose to employ them under the command of the Mogul's son, then under the influence of the Mahrattas, in a war against the aforesaid people or religious sect called Seiks, defending the same on the following principles: “I feel the sense of an obligation, imposed on me by the supposition I have made, to state a mode of rendering the detachment of use in its prescribed station, and of affording the appearance of a cause for its retention.”
XXIV. That the said Hastings did admit that there was no present danger to the Company's possessions from that nation which could justify him in such a war, as he had declared that the Mahrattas were the only power that bordered on the Company's possessions and those of the Vizier; but he did assign as a reason for going to war with them their military and enthusiastic spirit, — the hardiness of their natural constitution, — the dangers which might arise from them in some future time, if they should ever happen to be united under one head, they existing at present in a state little different from anarchy; and he did predict great danger from them, and at no very remote period, “if this people be permitted to grow into maturity without interruption.” And though he doth pretend that the solicitations of the heir-apparent of the Mogul, who, he says, did repeatedly and earnestly solicit him to obtain the permission to use the Company's troops for the purpose aforesaid, had weight with him, yet he doth declare, as he expresses himself in the minute aforesaid, that “a
stronger impulse, arising from the hope of blasting the growth of a generation whose strength might become fatal to our own, strongly pleaded in my mind for supporting his wishes.”
XXV. That the said Warren Hastings, after forcibly recommending the plan aforesaid, did state strong objections, that did, “in his judgment, outweigh the advantages which might arise from a compliance with it.” Yet the said Hastings, being determined to pursue his scheme for aggrandizing at any rate the Mahratta power, in whose adult growth and the recent effects of it he could see no danger, did pursue the design of war against a nation or sect of religion in its infancy, from whom he had received no injury, and in whose present state of government he did not apprehend any mischief whatsoever; and finding the Council fixed and determined on not disbanding the frontier regiments, and thinking that therein he had found an advantage, he did ground thereon the following proposition.
“If the expense [of the frontier troops] is to be continued, it may be surely better continued for some useful purpose than to keep up the parade of a great military corps designed merely to lie inactive in its quarters. On this ground, therefore, and on the supposition premised, I revert to my original sentiments in favor of the prince's plan; but as this will require some qualification in the execution of it, I will state my recommendation of it in the terms of a proposition, viz., that, if it shall be the resolution of the board to continue the detachment now under the command of Colonel Sir John Cumming at Furruckabad, and if the prince Mirza Jehander Shah shall apply, with the authority of the king, and the concurrence
of Mahdajee Sindia, for the assistance of an English military force, to act in conjunction with him, to expel the Seiks from the territories of which they have lately possessed themselves in the neighborhood of Delhi, it may be granted, and such a portion of the said detachment allotted to that service as shall be hereafter judged adequate to it.”
XXVI. That the said Warren Hastings did, in the said proposal, endeavor to circumvent and overreach the Council-General, by converting an apparent and literal compliance with their resolution into a real and substantial opposition to and disappointment thereof. For his first proposal was, to withdraw the Company's troops from the Vizier's country on the pretence of relieving him from the burden of that establishment, but in reality with a view of facilitating the Mahratta pretensions on that province, which would then be deprived of the means of defence. And when the Council rejected the said proposal on the express ground of danger to the province by withdrawing from the Mahrattas the restraint of our troops, the said Hastings, finding his first scheme in favor of the Mahrattas against the provinces dependent on the Company defeated by the refusal of the Council to concur in the said measure of withdrawing the troops, did then endeavor to obtain the same purpose in a different way; and instead of leaving the troops, according to the intention and policy of the Council, as a check to the ambition and progress of the Mahrattas, he proposed to employ them in the actual furtherance of those schemes of aggrandizement of which his colleagues were jealous, and which it was the object of their resolution to counteract.
XXVII. That, in the whole of the letters, nego tiations, proposals, and projects of the said Warren Hastings relative to the Mogul, he did appear to pursue but one object, namely, the aggrandizement of the lately hostile and always dangerous power of the Mahrattas, and did pursue the same by means highly dishonorable to the British character for honor, justice, candor, plain-dealing, moderation, and humanity.
XIX. - LIBEL ON THE COURT OF DIRECTORS.
I. THAT Warren Hastings, Esquire, was, during the whole of the year 1783, a servant of the East India Company, and was bound by the duties of that relation not only to yield obedience to the orders of the Court of Directors, but to give to the whole of their service an example of submission, reverence, and respect to their authority; and that, if they should in the course of their duty call in question any part of his conduct, he was bound to conduct his defence with temper and decency; and while his conduct was under their consideration, it was not allowable to print and publish any of his letters to them without their consent first had and obtained; and he was bound by the same principles of duty, enforced by still more cogent reasons, to observe, in a paper intended for publication, great modesty and moderation, and to treat the said Court of Directors, his lawful masters, with respect.
II. That the said Warren Hastings did print and publish, or cause to be printed and published, at Calcutta in Bengal, the narrative of his transactions
at Benares, in a letter written at that place, without leave had of the Court of Directors, in order to preoccupy the judgment of the servants in that settlement, and to gain from them a factious countenance and support, previous to the judgment and opinion of the Court of Directors, his lawful superiors.
III. That the Court of Directors, having come to certain resolutions of fact relative to the engagements subsisting between them and the Rajah of Benares, and the manner in which the same had been fulfilled on the part of the Rajah, did, in the fifth resolution, which was partly a resolution of opinion, declare as follows: “That it appears to this Court that the conduct of the Governor-General towards the Rajah, whilst he was at Benares, was improper; and that the imprisonment of his person, thereby disgracing him in the eyes of his subjects and others, was unwarrantable and highly impolitic, and may tend to weaken the confidence which the native princes of India ought to have in the justice and moderation of the Company's government.”
IV. That the said resolutions being transmitted to the said Warren Hastings, he, the said Warren Hastings, did write, and cause to be printed and published, a certain false, insolent, malicious, and seditious libel, purporting to be a letter from him, the said Warren Hastings, to the Court of Directors, dated Fort William, 20th March, 1783,"calculated,” as the Directors truly affirm,“ to bring contempt, as well as an odium, on the Court of Directors, for their conduct on that occasion”; and the said libel had a direct tendency to excite a spirit of disobe