« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
MR. BURKE's Speech on the Sixth Charge, continued ;
25 April, 5 May, and 7 May 1789 - pp. 1, 88, 206 REPORT from Committee appointed to inspect the
Lords Journals, in relation to their Proceeding on the Trial of Warren Hastings, Esq.
APPENDIX to Ditto
ing your Lordships, I endeavoured to state with as much perspicuity as the nature of an intricate affair would admit, and as largely as in so intricate an affair was consistent with the brevity, which I endeavoured to preserve, the proofs, which had been adduced against Warren Hastings upon an inquiry, instituted by an order of the Court of Directors, into the corruption and peculation of persons in authority in India. My Lords, I have endeavoured to show you by anteriour presumptive proofs, drawn from the nature and circumstances of the acts themselves inferring guilt, that such actions and such conduct could be referrible only to one cause, namely, corruption. I endeavoured Vol. XIV.
to show you afterwards, my Lords, what the specifick nature and extent of the corruption was, as far as it could be fully proved : and lastly, the great satisfactory presumption, which attended the inquiry with regard to Mr. Hastings; namely, that contrary to law, contrary to his duty, contrary to what is owed by innocence to itself, Mr. Hastings resisted that inquiry, and employed all the power of his office to prevent the exercise of it; either in himself or in others. - These presumptions, and these proofs, will be brought before your Lordships, distinctly and in order, at the end of this opening.
The next point, on which I thought it necessary to proceed, was relative to the presumptions, which his subsequent conduct gave with regard to his guilt : because, my Lords, his uniform tenour of conduct, such as must attend guilt, both in the act, at the time of the inquiry, and subsequent to it, will form such a body of satisfactory evidence as, I believe, the human mind is not made to resist. My Lords, there is another reason why I choose to enter into the presumptions drawn from his conduct and the fact, taking his conduct in two parts, if it may be so expressed, omission and commission, in order that your Lordships should more fully enter into the consequences of this system of bribery.-But, before I say any thing
upon that, I wish your Lordships to be apprized, that the Commons, in bringing this bribe of three lack and a half before your Lordships, do not wish by any means to have it understood, that this is the whole of the bribe, that was received by Mr. Hastings in consequence of delivering up the whole management of the government of the country to that improper person, whom he nominated for it.
My Lords, from the proofs, that will be adduced before you, there is great probability, that he received very nearly a hundred thousand pounds: there is positive proof of his receiving fifty; and we have chosen only to charge him with that, of which there is such an accu. mulated body of proof as to leave no doubt upon the minds of your Lordships. All this I
say, because we are perfectly apprized of the sentiments of the Publick upon this point: when they hear of the enormity of Indian peculation, when they see the acts done, and compare them with the bribes received, the acts seem so enormous, and the bribes comparatively so small, that they can hardly be got to attribute them to that motive. What I mean to state is this, that from a collective view of the subject your Lordships will be able to judge, that enormous of fences have been committed, and that the bribe, which we have given in proof, is a specimen of the nature and extent of those enormous bribes; B 2