« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
answerable for all the said decline of revenue, and all the said increase of expense.
XVI. - MISDEMEANORS IN OUDE.
1. That the province of Oude and its dependencies were, before their connection with and subordination to the Company, in a flourishing condition with regard to culture, commerce, and population, and their rulers and principal nobility maintained themselves in a state of affluence and splendor; but very shortly after the period aforesaid, the prosperity both of the country and its chiefs began sensibly and rapidly to decline, insomuch that the revenue of the said province, which, on the lowest estimation, had been found, in the commencement of the British influence, at upwards of three millions sterling annually, (and that ample revenue raised without detriment to the country,) did not in the year 1779 exceed the sum of 1,500,0001., and in the subsequent years did fall much short of that sum, although the rents were generally advanced, and the country grievously oppressed in order to raise it.
II. That in the aforesaid year, 1779, the demands of the East India Company on the Nabob of Oude are stated by Mr. Purling, their Resident at the court of Oude, to amount to the sum of 1,360,0001. sterling and upwards, leaving (upon the supposition that the whole revenue should amount to the sum of 1,500, 0001. sterling, to which it did not amount) no more than 140,0001. sterling for the support of the dignity of the household and family of the Nabob, and for the maintenance of his government, as well as for the payment of the public debts due within the province.
III. That by the treaty of Fyzabad a regular brigade of the Company's troops, to be stationed in the dominions of the Nabob of Oude, was kept up at the expense of the said Nabob; in addition to which a temporary brigade of the same troops was added to his establishment, together with several detached corps in the Company's service, and a great part of his own native troops were put under the command of British officers.
IV. That the expense of the Company's temporary brigade increased in the same year (the year of 1779) upwards of 80,0001. sterling above the estimate, and the expense of the country troops under British officers in the same period increased upwards of 40,0001. sterling; and in addition to the aforesaid ruinous expenses, a large civil establishment was gradually, secretly, and without any authority from the Court of Directors, or record in the books of the CouncilGeneral concerning the same, formed for the Resident, and another under Mr. Wombwell, an agent for the Company; as also several pensions and allowances, in the same secret and clandestine manner, were charged on the revenues of the said Nabob for the benefit of British subjects, besides large occasional gifts to persons in the Company's service.
V. That in the month of November, 1779, the said Nabob did represent to Mr. Purling, the Company's Resident aforesaid, the distressed state of his revenues in the following terms. “During three years past, the expense occasioned by the troops in brigade, and others commanded by European officers, has much distressed the support of my household, insomuch that the allowances made to the seraglio and children of
the deceased Nabob have been reduced to one fourth of what it had been, upon which they have subsisted in a very distressed manner for two years past. The attendants, writers, and servants, &c., of my court, have received no pay for two years past; and there is at present no part of the country that can be allotted to the payment of my father's private creditors, whose applications are daily pressing upon me.
All these difficulties I have for these three years past struggled through, and found this consolation therein, that it was complying with the pleasure of the Honorable Company, and in the hope that the Supreme Council would make inquiry from impartial persons into my distressed situation ; but I am now forced to a representation. From the great increase of expense, the revenues were necessarily farmed out at a high rate; and deficiencies followed yearly. The country and cultivation is abandoned ; and this year in particular, from the excessive drought, deductions of many lacs” (stated by the Resident, in his letter to the board of the 13th of the month following, to amount to twenty-five lac, or 250,0001. sterling) " have been allowed the farmers, who were still left unsatisfied. I have received but just sufficient to support my absolute necessities, the revenues being deficient to the amount of fifteen lac (150,0001. sterling], and for this reason many of the old chieftains with their troops, and the useful attendants of the court, were forced to leave it, and there is now only a few foot and horse for the collection of my revenues; and should the zemindars be refractory, there is not left a sufficient number to reduce them to obedience.” And the said Nabob did therefore pray that the assignments for the ņew brigade, the corps of lorse, and the other de
tached bodies of the Company's troops might not Le required from him: alleging, “that the former was not only quite useless to his government, but, moreover, the cause of much loss, both in the revenues and customs; and that the detached bodies of troops under their European officers brought nothing but confusion into the affairs of his government, and were entirely their own masters.'
VI. That it appears that the said Nabob was not bound by any treaty to the maintenance, without his consent, even of the old brigade, the Court of Directors having, in their letter of the 15th December, 1775, approved of keeping the same in his service, “provided it was done with the free consent of the SuBah, and by no means without it.” And the new brigade and temporary corps were raised on the express condition, that the expense thereof should be charged on the Nabob only "for so long a time as he should require the corps for his service.” And the Court of Directors express to the Governor-General and Council their sense of the said agreement in the following terms: “But if you intend to exert your influence first to induce the Vizier to acquiesce in your proposal, and afterwards to compel him to keep the troops in his pay during your pleasure, your intents are unjust; and a correspondent conduct would reflect great dishonor on the Company."
VII. That, in answer to the decent and humble representation aforesaid of the Nabob of Oude, the allegations of which, so far as they relate to the distressed state of the Nabob's finances, and his total inability to discharge the demands made on him,
were confirmed by the testimony of the English Resident at Oude, and which the said Hastings did not deny in the whole or in any part thereof, he, the said Warren Hastings, did, on pretence of certain political dangers, declare the relief desired to be “ without hesitation totally inadmissible," and did falsely and maliciously insinuate, “that the tone in which the demands of the Nabob were asserted, and the season in which they were made, did give cause for the most alarming suspicions.” And the said Warren Hastings did, in a letter to the Nabob aforesaid, written in haughty and insolent language, and without taking any notice of the distresses of the said Nabob, alleged and verified as before recited, “require and insist upon your [the Nabob's] granting tuncaws [assignments] for the full amount of their [the Company's] demands upon you for the current year, and on your reserving funds sufficient to answer them, even should the deficiencies of your revenues compel you to leave your own troops unprovided for, or to disband a part of them to enable you to effect it.”
VIII. That, in a letter written at the same time to the Resident, Purling, and intended for his directions in enforcing on the Nabob the unjust demands aforesaid, the said Warren Hastings hath asserted, in direct contradiction to the treaties subsisting between the said Nabob and the Company," that he [the Nabob] stands engaged to our government to maintain the English armies which at his own request have been formed for the protection of his dominions, and that it is our part, and not his, to judge and determine in what manner and at what time these shall be reduced and withdrawn." And in a Minute of Consultation,