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country, as I have proved this man to have done, if he found the Prince going to do an act which would shake the property of all the nobility of the country, he surely ought to raise his hand and say,
- You shall not make my name your " sanction for such an atrocious and abominable " act as this confiscation would be."
Mr. Hastings, however, whilst he gives, with an urbanity for which he is so much praised, his consent to this confiscation, adds, there must be pensions secured for all persons losing their estates, who had the security of our guarantee. Your Lordships know that Mr. Hastings by his guarantee had secured their jaghires to the Nabob's own relations and family. One would have imagined that if the estates of those who were without any security were to be confiscated at his pleasure, those at least who were guaranteed by the Company, such as the Begums of Oude, and several of the principal nobility of the Nabob's family, would have been secure. He indeed says, that pensions shall be given them, for at this time he had not got the length of violating, without shame or remorse, all the guarantees of the Company. There shall,
says he, be pensions given. If pensions were to be given to the value of the estate, I ask what has this violent act done? You shake the security of property, and instead of suffering a man to
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gather his own profits with his own hands, you turn him into a pensioner upon the public treasury. I can conceive that such a measure will render these persons iniserable dependents instead of independent nobility ; but I cannot conceive what financial object can be answered by paying that in pension which you are to receive in revenue. This is directly contrary to financial economy. For when you stipulaté tó pay out of the treasury of government a certain pension, and take upon you the receipts of an estate, you adopt a measure by which government is almost sure of being a loser. You charge it with a certain, fixed sum, and even upon a supposition, that, under the management of the publick, the estate will be as productive as it was under the management of its private owner (a thing highly improbable,) you take your chance of a re-imbursement subject to all the extraexpense and to all the accidents that may happen to a publick revenue. This confiscation could not therefore be justified as a measure of economy i it must have been designed merely for the sake of shaking and destroying the property of the country.
The whole transaction, my Lords, was an act of gross violence ushered in by a gross fraud. It appears that no pensions were ever intended to be paid; and this you will naturally guess would be the event when such a strange metamorphosis was to be made as that of turning a great landed interest into a pensionary payment. As it could answer no other purpose, so it could be intended for no other than that of getting possession of these jaghires by fraud. This man, my Lords, cannot commit a robbery without indulging himself at the same time in the practice of his favourite arts of fraud and falsehood.
And here I must again remind your Lordships, that at the time of the treaty of Chunar, the jaghires were held in the following manner :-Of the 285,000l. a year which was to be confiscated, the old grants of Sujah Dowlah the grandfather of the Nabob, amounted to near two-thirds of the whole, as you will find in the paper to which we refer you. By this confiscation therefore the Nabob was authorized to resume grants of which he had not been the grantor. [Mr. Burke here read the list of the jaghires.] .
Now, my Lords, you see that all these estates except 25,782 1. a year, were either jaghires for the Nabob's own immediate family, settled by his father upon his mother, and by his father's father upon his grandmother, and upon Salar Jung his uncle, or were the property of the most considerable nobility, to the gross amount of 285,0001. Mr. Hastings confesses that the Nabob reluctantly CC4
made the confiscation to the extent proposed. Why? Because, says he, the orderlys, namely, certain persons so called, subservient to his debaucheries, were persons whom he wished to spare. Now, I am to shew you, that this man, whatever faults he may have in his private morals (with which we have nothing at all to do) has been slandered throughout by Mr. Hastings: Take his own account of the matter. The Na. bob, says he, would have confiscated all the rest, except his orderlys, whom he would have spared, but I, finding where his partiality lay, compelled him to sacrifice the whole; for otherwise he would have sacrificed the good to save the bad. Whereas, says Mr. Hastings, in effect my principle was to sacrifice the good, and at the same time to punish the bad. Now compare the account he gives of the
proceedings of Azoph ul Dowlah with his own. Azoph ul Dowlah, to save some unworthy persons, who had jaghires, would, if left to his own discretion, have confiscated those only of the deserving ; while Mr. Hastings, to effect the inclusion of the worthless in the confiscation, confiscates the jaghires of the innocent and the virtuous men of high rank, and of those who had all the ties of nature to plead for the Nabob's forbearance, and reduced them to a state of dependency and degradation. Now, supposing these two villainous plans,
neither of which your Lordships can bear to hear the sound of, to stand equal in point of morality, let us see how they stand in point of calculation. The unexceptionable part of the 285,000 l. amounted to 260,000l. a year; whereas, supposing every part of the new grants had been made to the most unworthy persons, it only amounted to 25,0001. a year. Therefore by his own account, given to you and to the Company, upon this occasion, he has confiscated 260,000 1. a year, the property of innocent, if not of meritorious individuals, in order to punish by confiscation those who had 25,000 l. a year only. This is the account he gives you himself of his honour, his justice, and his policy in these proceedings.
But, my Lords, he shall not escape so. It is in your Minutes, that so far was the Nabob from wishing to save the new exceptionable grants, that at the time of the forced loan I have mentioned, and also when the resumption was proposed, he was perfectly willing to give up every one of them, and desired only that his mother, his uncles, and his relations, with other individuals, the prime of the Mahometan nobility of that country, should be spared. Is it not enough that this poor Nabob, this wretched prince, is made a slave to the man now standing at your bar; that he is made by him a shame and a