four millions sterling ought, or ought not, to I confess I feel a degree of disgust, almost be passed from the public treasury into a pri- leading to despair, at the manner in which we vate pocket, without any title except the claim are acting in the great exigences of our coun of the parties, when the issue of fact is laid in try. There is now a bill in this house, apMadras, as when it is laid in Westminster. pointing a rigid inquisition into the minutest Terms of art, indeed, are different in different detail of our offices at home. The collection places; but they are generally understood in of sixteen millions annually; a collection on none. The technical style of an Indian trea- which the public greatness, safety, and crodit sury is not one jot more remote than the jargon have their reliance ; the whole order of crimiof our own exchequer, from the train of our nal jurisprudence, which holds together society ordinary ideas, or the idiom of our common itself, have at no time obliged us to call forth language. The difference therefore in the two such power; no, nor any thing like them. cases is not in the comparative difficulty or There is not a principle of the law and confacility of the two subjects, but in our attention stitution of this country that is not subverted to to the one, and our total neglect of the other. favour the execution of that project.* And Had this attention and neglect been regulated for what is all this apparatus of bustle and terby the value of the several objects, there would rour? Is it because any thing substantial is ex be nothing to complain of. But the reverse of pected from it? No. The stir and bustle itself that supposition is true. The scene of the In- is the end proposed. The eye-servants of a dian abuse is distant indeed; but we must not short-sighted master will employ themselves, infer, that the value of our interest in it is de- not on what is most essential to his affairs, but creased in proportion as it recedes from our on what is nearest to his ken. Great difficulview. In our politics, as in our common con- ties have given a just value to æconomy; and duct, we shall be worse than infants, if we do our minister of the day must be an economist, not put our senses under the tuition of our whatever it may cost us. But where is he to judgment, and effectually cure ourselves of that exert his talents? At home to be sure ; for optical illusion which makes a briar at our where else can he obtain a profitable credit for nose of greater magnitude, than an oak at five their exertion? It is nothing to him, whether hundred yards distance.

the object on which he works under our eye be I think I can trace all the calamities of this promising or not. If he does not obtain any country to the single source of our not having public benefit, he may make regulations withhad steadily before our eyes a general, com- but end. Those are sure to pay in present prehensive, well-connected, and well-propor- expectation, whilst the effect is at a distance, tioned view of the whole of our dominions, and may be the concern of other times, and and a just sense of their true bearings and re- Other men. On these principles he chooses to lations. After all its reductions, the British suppose (for he does not pretend more than to empire is still vast and various. After all the suppose) a naked possibility, that he shall draw reductions of the house of commons, (stripped some resource out of crumbs dropped from the 23 we are of our brightest ornaments, and of trenchers of penury; that something shall be our most important privileges,) enough are yet laid in store from the short allowance of reveleft to furnish us, if we please, with means of nue officers, overloaded with duty, and famishshewing to the world, that we deserve the su- ed for want of bread; by a reduction from offiperintendance of as large an empire as this cers who are at this very hour ready to batter kingdom ever held, and the continuance of as the treasury with what breaks through stone ample privileges as the house of commons, in walls, for an increase of their appointments. the plenitude of its power, had been habituated From the marrowless bones of these skeleton to assert. But if we make ourselves too little establishments, by the use of every sort of cutfor the sphere of our duty; if, on the contrary, ting, and of every sort of fretting tool, he fatwe do not stretch and expand our minds to the ters himself that he may chip and rasp an emcompass of their object, be well assured, that pirical alimentary powder, to diet into some every thing about us will dwindle by degrees, similitude of health and substance the languishuntil at length our concerns are shrunk 10 the ing chimeras of fraudulent reformation. dimensions of our minds. It is not a predilec- Whilst he is thus employed according to his tion to rean, sordid, home-bred cares, that policy and to his taste, he has not leisure to will avert the consequences of a false estima- enquire into those abuses in India that are tion of our interest, or prevent the shameful drawing off money by millions from the treadilapidation into which a great empire must {all, by mear -oparations upon mighty ruins.

Appendix No. 1

sures of this country, which are exhausting criminals, by being inexorable to the paitry the vital juices from members of the state, frailties of little men; and these modern lla where the public inanition is far more sorely gellants are syre, with a rigid fidelity, to whip felt than in the local exchequer of England. their own enormities on the vicarious back of Not content with winking at these abuses, every small offender. whilst he attempts to squeeze the laborious It is to draw your attention to economy of ill-paid drudges of English revenue, he la- quite another order; it is to animadvert on vishes in one act of corrupt prodigality, upon offences of a far different description, that my those who never served the public in any honourable friend has brought before you the honest occupation at all, an annual income motion of this day. It is to perpetuate the equal to two-thirds of the whole collection of abuses which are subverting the fabric of your the revenues of this kingdom.

empire, that the motion is opposed. It is Actuated by the same principle of choice, therefore with reason (and if he has power he has now on-the anvil another scheme, full to carry himself through, I commend his pruof difficulty and desperate hazard, which to dence) that the right honourable gentleman tally alters the commercial relation of two king- makes his stand at the very out-set ; and bolddoms; and what end soever it shall have, may ly refuses all parliamentary information. Let bequeath a legacy of heart-burning and disa him admit but one step towards inquiry, and he content to one of the countries, perhaps to is undone. You must be ignorant, or he cannot both, to be perpetuated to the latest posterity. be safe. But before his curtain is let down, This project is also undertaken on the hope of and the shades of eternal night shall veil our profit. It is provided, that out of some (I eastern dominions from our view, permit me, know not what) remains of the Irish hereditary Sir, to avail myself of the means which were revenue, a fund at some time, and of some furnished in anxious and inquisitive times, to sort, should be applied to the protection of the demonstrate out of this single act of the preTrish trade. Here we are commanded again sent minister, what advantages you are to deto task our faith, and to persuade ourselves, rive from permitting the greatest concern of that out of the surplus of deficiency, out of this nation do be separated from the cognithe savings of habitual and systematic prodi- zance, and exempted even out of the compegality, the minister of wonders will provide tence, of parliament, support for this nation, sinking under the moun- The greatest body of your revenue, your tainous load of two hundred and thirty millions most numerous armies, your most important of debt. But whilst we look with pain at his commerce, the richest sources of your public desperate and laborious trifling; whilst we credit, (contrary to every idea of the known are apprehensive that he will break his back settled policy of England,) are on the point of in stooping to pick up chaff and straws, he being converted into a mystery of state. You recovers himself

' at an elastic bound, and with are going to have one half of the globe hid a broad-cast swing of his arm, he squanders even from the common liberal curiosity of an over his Indian field a sum far greater than English gentleman. Here a grand revolution he clear produce of the whole hereditary re

commences. Mark the period, and mark venue of the kingdom of Ireland.*

the circumstances. In most of the capital Strange as this scheme of conduct in mic changes that are recorded in the principles and nistry is, and inconsistent with all just policy, system of any government, a public benefit of it is still true to itself, and faithful to its own some kind or other has been pretended. The perverted order. Those who are bountiful to revolution commenced in something plausible : crimes, will be rigid to merit, and penurious to in something which carried the appearance ai service. Their penury is even held out as a least of punishment of delinquency, or correcblind and cover to their prodigality. The tion of abuse. But here, in the very moment (economy of injustice is, to furnish resources of the conversion of a department of British for the fund of corruption. Then thoy pay off government into an Indian mystery, and in the their protection to great crimes and great very act in which the change commences, a

corrupt, private interest is set up in direct op * The whole of the net Irish hereditary reve. position to the necessities of the nation. A nue is on a medium of thelast seven years, about diversion is made of millions of the public E.330,000 yearly. The revenues of all deno. money from the public treasury to a private minations fall short more than £.150,000 yearly purse. It is not into secret negotiations for of the charges. On the present produce, if Mr. Piu's scheme was to take place, he might gain

war, peace, or alliance, that the house of comfrom seven to ten thousand pounds a year. mons is forbidden to enquire. It is a matter of account; it is a pecuniary transaction; it is servants in a debt from the nabob of Arcot, the demand of a suspected steward upon ruined was the first thing which very particularly tenants and an embarrassed master, that the called for, and long engaged, the attention of commons of Great Britain are commanded not the court of directors. This debt amounted to inspect. The whole tenour of the right to eight hundred and eighty thousand pounds honourable gentleman's argument is consonant sterling, and was claimed, for the greater part, to the nature of his policy. The system of by English gentlemen, residing at Madras. concealment is fostered by a system of false. This grand capital, settled at length by order hood. False facts, false colours, false names at ten per cent. afforded an annuity of eightyof persons and things, are its whole support. eight thousand pounds.*

Sir, I mean to follow the right honourable Whilst the directors were digesting their gentleman over that field of deception, clearing astonishment at this information, a memorial what he has purposely obscured, and fairly was presented to them from three gentlemen, stating what it was necessary for him to misre- informing them that their friends had leni present. For this purpose, it is necessary you likewise, to merchants of Canton in China, should know with some degree of distinctness, a sum of not more than one million sterling. a little of the locality, the nature, the circum- In this memorial they called upon the company stances, the magnitude of the pretended debts for their assistance and interposition with the on which this marvellous donation is founded, Chinese government for the recovery of the as well as of the persons from whom and by debt. This sum .ent to Cninese merchants whom it is claimed.

was at 24 per cent, which would yield, if paid, Madras, with its dependencies, is the second an annuity of two hundred and forty thousand (but with a long interval, the second) member pounds.* of the British empire in the east. The trade Perpiexed as the directors were with enese of that city, and of the adjacent territory, was, demands, you may conceive, Sir, that they not very long ago, among the most flourishing did not find themselves very much disembarin Asia. But since the establishment of the rassed, by being made acquainted that they British power, it has wasted away under an must again exert their influence for a new uniforma gradual decline; insomuch that in reserve of the happy parsimony of their serthe year 1779 not one merchant of eminence vants, collected into a second debt from the was to be found in the whole country.* Du- nabob of Arcot, amounting to two millions ring this period of decay, about six hundred four hundred thousand pounds, settled at an thousand sterling pounds a year have been interest of 12 per cent. This is known by the drawn off by English gentleman on their pri- name of the Consolidation of 1777, as the forvate account, by the way of China alone.f mer of the nabob's debts was by the title of If we add four hundred thousand, as probably the Consolidation of 1767. To this was added, remitted through other channels, and in other in a separate parcel, a little reserve called the mediums, that is, in jewels, gold, and silver Cavalry debt, of one hundred and sixty thoudirectly brought to Europe, and in bills upon sand pounds, at the same interest. The whole the British and foreign companies, you will of these four capitals, amounting to four milscarcely think the matter over-rated. If we lions four hundred and forty thousand pounds, fix the commencement of this extraction of produced at their several rates, annuities money from the Carnatic at a period no ear- amounting to six hundred and twenty-three lier than the year 1760, and close it in the year thousand pounds a year; a good deal more 1780, it probably will not amount to a great than one-third of the clear land-tax of England, dcal less than twenty millions of money. at four shillings in the pound; a good deal

During the deep silent flow of this steady more than double the whole annual dividend stream of wealth, which set from India into of the East India company, the nominal masEurope, it generally passed on with no ade- ters to the proprietors in these funds. Of this quale observation; but happening at some pe interest, three hundred and eighty-three thouriods to meet rifis of rocks that checked its sand two hundred pounds a year stood chargecourse, it grew more noisy and attracted more able on the public revenues of the Carnatic. notice. The pecuniary discussions caused by an accumulation of part of the fortunes of their * Fourth report, Mr. Dundas's committee, p. 4.

HA witness examined before the committee of

secrecy says that eighteen per cent was the * Mr. Smith's examination before the select uzual interest ; but he had heard that more had committee, Appendix, No. 2

been given. The above is the account whicb Appendix, No. 2.

Mr. B. received. VOL. I.-25

Sir, at this moment, it will not be neces- be no more, that there is an eternal debt, a dalt sary to consider the various operations which “ still paying still to owe," which must be the capital and interest of this debt have suc- bound on the present generation in India, and cessively undergone. I shall speak to these entailed on their mortgaged posterity for ever? operations when I como particularly to answer A debt of millions, in favour of a set of men, . the right honourabie gentleman on each of the whose names, with few exceptions, are either heads, as he has thought proper to divide buried in the obscurity of their origin and them. But this was the exact view in which talents, or dragged into light by the enormity these debts first appeared to the court of di- of their crimes ? rectors, and to the world. It varied after. In my opinion the courage of the minister wards. But it never appeared in any other was the most wonderful part of the transaction, than a most questionable shape. When this especially as he must have read, or rather the gigantic phantom of debt first appeared before right honourable gentleman says, he has read a young minister, it naturally would have jus- for him, whole volumes upon the subject. The tified some degree of doubt and apprehension. volumes, by the way, are not by one tenth pari Such a prodigy would have filled any common so numerous as the right honourable gentleman man with superstitious fears. Ho would ex- has thought proper to pretend, in order to orcise that shapeless, nameless form, and by frighten you from inquiry; but in these volumes, every thing sacred would have adjured it to such as they are, the minister must have found tell by what means a small number of slight a full authority for a suspicion (at the very individuals, of no consequence or situation, pos- least) of every thing relative to the great for sessed of no lucrative offices, without the com- tunes made at Madras. What is that authomand of armies, or the known administration rity? Why 'no other than the standing autho. of revenues, without profession of any kind, rity for all the claims which the ministry bas without any sort of trade sufficient to employ a thought fit to provide for-the grand debtorpedlar, could have, in a few years (as to some, the nabob of Arcot himself. Hear that prince, even in a few months) amassed treasures equal in the letter written to the court of directors, to the revenues of a respectable kingdom? at the precise period, whilst the main body of Was it not enough to put these gentlemen, in these debts were contracting. In his letter he the noviciate of their administration, on their states himself to be, what undoubtedly he is, guard, and to call upon them for a strict in- a most competent witness to this point. After quiry (if not to justify them in a reprobation speaking of the war with Hyder Ali in 1768 of those demands without any inquiry at all) and 1769, and of other measures which he that when all England, Scotland, and Ireland censures (whether right or wrong it signifies had for years been witness to the immense nothing) and into which he says he had been sums laid out by the servants of the company led by the company's servants ; he proceeds in in stocks of all denominations, in the purchase this manner—" If all these things were against of lands, in the buying and building of houses, the real interests of the company, they are ten in the securing quiet seats in parliament, or in thousand times more against mine, and against the tumultuous riot of contested elections, in the prosperity of my country, and the happiwandering throughout the whole range of those ness of my people; for your interests and mine variegated modes of inventive prodigality, are the same. Whal were they owing to then ? which sometimes have excited our wonder, to the private views of a few individuals, who sometimes roused our indignation ; that after have enriched themselves at the expense of you all India was four millions still in debt to them? influence, and of my country; for your servants India in debt to them! For what? Every debt HAVE NO T'RADE IN THIS COUN. for which an equivalent of some kind or other TRY; neither do you pay them high wages, is not given, is on the face of it a fraud. What yet in a few years they return to England with is the equivalent they have given? What many lacs of pagodas. How can you or I equivalent had they to give? What are the account for such immense forluncs acquired in articles of commerce, or the branches of ma- 80 short a time, without any visible means of nufacture which those gentlemen have carried getting them?" hence to enrich India? What are the sciences When he asked this question, which involves they beamed out to enlighten it? What are the its answer, it is extraordinary that curiosity did arts they introduced to cheer and to adorn it? not prompt the chancellor of the exchequer to What are the religious, what the moral institu- that inquiry, which might come in vain recomtions they have taught among that people as a mended to him by his own act of parliament guide to life, or as a consolation when life is to Does not the nabob of Arcot tell us in so mai

words, that there was no fair way of making and confederating on one side, and the public the enormous sums sent by the company's ser- revenues, and the miserable inhabitants of a vants to England ? and do you imagine that ruined country, on the other. These are the there was or could be more honesty and good real plaintiffs and the real defendants in the Caith, in the demands for what remained behind suit. Refusing a shilling from his hoards for in India? Of what nature were the transac- the satisfaction of any demand, the nabob of tions with himself? If you follow the train of Arcot is always ready, nay, he earnestly, and his information you must see, that if these with eagerness and passion, contends for deligreat sums were at all lent, it was not property, vering up to these pretended creditors his terut spoil that was lent; it not lent, the trans- ritory and his subjects. It is therefore not ction was not a contract, but a fraud. Either from treasuries and mines, but from the food way, if light enough could not be furnished to of your unpaid armies, from the blood with

uthorize a full condemnation of these demands, held from the veins, and whipt out of the backs they ought to have been left to the parties, of the most miserable of men, that we are to who best knew and understood each other's pamper extortion, usury, and peculation, under proceedings. It was not necessary that the the false names of debtors and creditors of state. authority of government should interpose in The great patron of these creditors, (to whose avour of .claims, whose very foundation was honour they ought to erect statues,) the right a defiance of that authority, and whose object honourable gentleman,* in stating the merits and end was its entire subversion.

which recommended them to his favour, has It may be said that this letter was written ranked them under three grand divisions. The by the nabob of Arcot in a moody humour, first, the creditors of 1767; then the creditors under the influence of some chagrin. Certainly of the cavalry loan; and lastly, the creditors it was; but it is in such humours that truth of the loan in 1777. Let us examine them, comes out. And when he tells you from his one by one, as they pass in review before us. own knowledge, what every one must presume, The first of these loans, that of 1767, he from the extreme probability of the thing, whe- insists, has an indisputable claim upon the ther he told it or not, one such testimony is public justice. The creditors, he affirms, lent worth a thousand that contradict that proba- their money publicly; they advanced it with Lility, when the parties have a better under- the express knowledge and approbation of the standing with each other, and when they have company; and it was contracted at the mode1 point to carry, that may unite them in a rate interest of ten per cent. In this loan the common deceit.

demand is, according to him, not only just, but If this body of private claims of debt. real meritorious in a very high degree ; and one or devised, were a question, as it is falsely would be inclined to believe he thought so, pretended, between the nabob of Arcot as because he has put it last in the provision he debtor, and Paul Benfield and his associates has made for these claims. as creditors, I am sure, I should give myself I readily adınit this debt to stand the fairest but little trouble about it. If the boards of of the whole ; for whatever may be my suspioppression were the fund for salisfying the cions concerning a part of it, I can convict it claims of bribery and peculation, who would of nothing worse than the most enormous usuwish to interfere between such litigants? If ry. But I can convict upon the spot the right the demands were confined to what might be honourable gentleman, of the most daring misdrawn from the treasures, which the company's representation in every one fact, without any records uniformly assert that the nabob is in exception, that he has alleged in defence of possession of; or if he had mines of gold or this loan, and of his own conduct with regard silver, or diamonds, (as we know that he has to it. I will shew you that this debt was never none,) these gentlemen might break open his contracted with the knowledge of the comhoards, or dig in his mines, without any dis- pany; that it had not their approbation; that turbance from me. But the gentlemen on the ihey received the first intelligence of it with other side of the house know as well as I do, the utmost possible surprise, indignation, and and they dare not contradict me, that the nabob alarm. of Arcot and his creditors are not adversaries, So far from being previously apprized of the but collusive parties, and that the whole trans- transaction from its origin, it was two years action is under a false colour and false names. before the court of directors obtained any offiThe litigation is not, nor ever has been, be- cial intelligence of it. “ The dealings of the tween their rapacity and his hoarded riches. No: it is between him and them combining

Mr. Dundas.

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