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and, with regard to the rest of the offices, that Mahomed Reza Khan should be employed to fill them.
Mr. Hastings resisted these propositions with all his might, but they were by that happy momentary majority carried against him, and Ma. homed Reza Khan was placed in his former situation. But Mr. Hastings, though thus defeated, was only waiting for what he con sidered to be the fortunate moment for returning again to his corrupt, vicious, tyrannical and disobedient habits. The re-appointment of Mahomed Reza Khan had met with the fullest approbation of the Company; and they directed, that, as long as his good behaviour entitled him to it, he should continue in the office. : Mr. Hastings, however, without alleging any ill behaviour, and for no reason that can be assigned, but his corrupt engagement with Munny Begum, overturned (upon the pretence of restoring the Nabob to his rights) the whole of the Company's arrangement, as settled by the late majority, and approved by the Court of Directors.
I have now to shew you what sort of a man the Nabob was, who was thus set up in defiance of the Company's authority; what Mr. Hastings himself thought of him; what the Judges thought of him; and what all the world thought of him.
I must first make your Lordships acquainted with a little preliminary matter :-a man named Roy Radachurn, had been appointed vakeel or agent, to manage the Nabob's affairs at Calcutta, One of this man's creditors attached him there. Roy Radachurn pleaded his privilege as the vakeel or representative of a sovereign prince. The question came to be tried in the Supreme Court, and the issue was, Whether the Nabob was a sovereign prince or not? I think the. Court did exceedingly wrong in entertaining such a question; because, in my opinion, whether he was or was not a sovereign prince, any person representing him ought to be left free, and to have a proper and secure means of concerting his affairs with the Council. It was however taken otherwise; the question was brought to trial, Whether the Nabob was a sovereign prince sufficient to appoint and protect-a person to manage his affairs, under the name of an ambassadour?' In that cause did Mr. Hastings come forward to prove, by a voluntary affidavit, that he had no pretensions, no power, no authority at all; that he was a mere pageant, à thing of straw, and that the Company exercised every species of authority over him, in every particular, and in every respect; and that therefore to talk of him as an efficient person, was an affront to the common sense of mankind; and
this you will find the Judges afterwards declared to be their opinion.
I will here press again one remark (which perhaps you may recollect that I have made before) that the chief and most usual mode in which all the villanies perpetrated in India,, by Mr. Hastings and his co-partners in iniquity, has been through the'medium and instrumentality of persons whom they pretended to have rights of their own, and to be acting for themselves; whereas such persons were, in fact, totally
. dependent upon him, Mr. Hastings, and did no one act that was not prescribed by him. In order therefore to let you see the utter falsehood, fraud, prevarication and deceit, of the pretences by which the native powers of India are represented to be independent, and are held up as the instruments of defying the laws of this kingdom, under pretext of their being absolute princes, I will read the affidavit of Warren Hastings, Esq. Governour General of Bengal, made the 31st July 1775:-“ This deponent maketh oath, and “ saith, That the late President and Council “ did, on or about the month of August. 1772, * by their own authority appoint Munny Begum, “ relict of the late Nabob Meer Jaffier Ali Khan, “ to be guardian to the present Nabob Mouba« rick ul Dowlah, and Rajah Goordas, son of “. MahahRajah Nundcomar, to be dewan. of
" the said Nabob's household; allowing to the " said Munny Begum, a salary of 140,000 rupees
per annum; and to the said Rajah Goordas, “ for himself and officers, a salary of 100,000
rupees per annum.—That the said late Pre" sident and Council did, in or about the month " of August 1772, plan and constitute regular “ and distinct courts of justice, civil and crimi“ nal, by their own authority, for administration “ of justice to the inhabitants throughout Ben“ gal, without consulting the said Nabob, or “ requiring his concurrence, and that the said “ civil courts were made solely dependent on “ the Presidency of Calcutta; and the said .“ criminal courts were put under the inspection “ and controul of the Company's servants, “ although ostensibly under the name of the “ Nazim, as appears from the following extracts “ from the plan for the administration of justice, “ constituted by the President and Council as « aforesaid.”
My Lords, we need not go through all the circumstances of this affidavit which is in your Minutes, and to save time, I will refer your Lordships to them. This affidavit, as I have already said, was put into the Court to prove, that the Nabob had no power or authority at all; but what is very singular in it, and which I re
commend to the particular notice of your Lord: ships when you are scrutinizing this matter, is, that there is not a single point stated to prove the nullity of this Nabob's authority, that was not Mr. Hastings's own particular act. Well; the Governour General swears; the Judge of the Court refers to him in his decision; he builds and bottoms it upon the Governour General's affidavit ;-he swears, I say, that the Council, by their own authority, appointed Munny Begum to be guardian to the Nabob. By what autho
rity,” the Governour General asks, “did the “ Council erect courts of law and superintend “ the administration of justice, without any 66 communication with the Nabob?' Had the “ Nabob himself any idea that he was a sove
reign ? Does he complain of the reduction of or his stipend or the infringement of treaties? “ No, he appears to consider himself to be, what . “ in fact he really is, absolutely dependent “ on the Company, and to be willing to accept
any pittance they would allow him for his " maintenance. He claims no rights ; Does he
complain that the administration of justice is 5 taken into the hands of the Company? No.
By the treaty, the protection of his subjects “ is delivered up to the Company; and he well “.knew, that whoever may be held up as the “ ostensible prince, the administration of justice