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servants with the nabob were concealed from the said governour and council have, in rolo the first, until they were found out,” (says Mr. rious violation of the trust reposed in them, Sayer, the company's counsel,)" by the report manifestly preferred the interest of private indo of the country.” The presidency, however, viduals to that of the company, in permitting the at last thought proper to send an official ac- assignment of the revenues of certain valuable count. On this the directors tell them, “to districts, to a very large amount, from the your great reproach it has been concealed from nabob to individuals,”—and then highly aggraus. We cannot but suspect this debt to have vating their crimes, they adil “we order and had its weight in your proposez aggrandizement direct that you do examinc, in the most imparof Manomed Ali, (the nabob of Arcot;] buttial manner, all the above-mentioned transacwhether it has or has not, certain it is, you are tions; and that you punish by suspension, guilty of an high breach of duty in concealing degradation, dismission, or otherwise, as to it from us."
you shall seem meet, all and every such serThese expressions, concerning the ground vant or servants of the company, who may by of the transaction, its effect, and its clandestine you be found guilty of any of the above offences." nature, are in the letters, bearing date March “We had (say the directors) the mortification 17, 1769. After receiving a more full account to find that the servants of the compary, who on the 230 March, 1770, they state, that had been raised, supported, and owed their pre“Messrs. John Pybus, John Call, and James sent opulence to the advantages gained in such Bourchier, as trustees for themselves and service, have in this instance most unfaithfully others of the nabob's private creditors, had betrayed their trust, abandoned the company's proved a deed of assignment upon the nabob interest, and prostituted its influence to accomand his son of FIFTEEN districts of the plish the purposes of individuals, whilst the inte nabob's country, the revenues of which yielded, rest of the company is almost wholly neglected, in time of peace, eight lacs of pagodas and payment to us rendered extremely preca[£.320,000 sterling] annually; and likewise an rious." Here then is the rock of approbation assignment of the yearly tribute paid the nabob of the court of directors, on which the right from the rajah of Tanjore, amounting to four honourable gentleman says this debt was lacs of rupees, (£.40,000.”] The territorial founded. Any member, Mr. Speaker, who revenue, at that time possessed by these gen- should come into the house, on my reading tlemen, without the knowledge or consent of this sentence of condemnation of the court of their masters, amounted to three hundred and directors against their unfaithful servants, sixty thousand pounds sterling annually. They might well imagine that he had heard an harsh, were making rapid strides to the entire pos- severe, unqualified invective against the presession of the country, when the directors, sent ministerial board of controul. So exactly whom the right honourablo gentleman states do the proceedings of the patrons of this abuse as having authorized these proceedings, were tally with those of the actors in it, that the kept in such profound ignorance of this royal expressions used in the condemnation of the acquisition of territorial revenue by their ser- one, may serve for the reprobation of the other, vants, that in the same letter they say, “this without the change of a word. assignment was obtained by three of the mem- To read you all the expressions of wrath and bers of your board, in January 1767, yet we do indignation fulminated in this dispatch against not find the least trace of it upon your consulta- the meritorious creditors of the right honourtions, until August 1768, nor do any of your let- able gentleman, who according to him hare ters to us afford any information relative to such been so fully approved by the company, would transactions, till the 1st of November, 1768. By be to read the whole. your last letters of the 8th of May, 1769, you bring The right honourable gentleman, with an the whole proceedings to light in one view." address peculiar to himself, every now and
As to the previous knowledge of the com- then slides in the presidency of Madras, as pany, and its sanction to the debts, you see synonymous to the company. That the prethat this assertion of that knowledge is utterly sidency did approve the debt, is certain. But unfounded. But did the directors approve of the right honourable gentleman, as prudent in it, and ratify the transaction when it was suppressing, as skilful in bringing forward bis known ? The very reverse. On the same 3d matter, has not chosen to tell you that the preof March, the directors declare, “ upon an ime sidency were the very persons guilty of conpartial examination of the whole conduct of our tracting this loan; creditors themselves, and late governour and council of Fort George agents and trustees for all the other creditors. (Madras) and on the fullest consideration, that For this the court of directors accuse them of
breach of trust; and for this the right honour- nance from the nabob ; oven our discarded able gentieman considers them as perfectly good officers, however unworthy, are received into authority for those claims. It is pleasant to the nabob's service."* It was indeed a mathear a gentleman of the law quote the appro- ter of no wonderful sagacity to determine bation of creditors as an authority for their whether the court of directors, with their miown debt.
serable salaries to their servants, of four or five How they came to contract the debt to them- hundred pounds a year, or the distributor of selves, how they came to act as agents for millions, was most likely to be obeyed. It those whom they ought to have controuled, is was an invention beyond the imagination of all for your inquiry. The policy of this debt was the speculatists of our speculating age, to see announced to the court of directors, by the a government quietly settled in one and the very persons concerned in creating it. “ Till same town, composed of two distinct members ; very lately,” (say the presidency,) " the nabob one to pay scantily for obedience, and the placed his dependence on the company. Now other to bribe high for rebellion and revolt. he has been taught by ill advisers, that an inte- The next thing which recommends this parrest out of doors may stand him in good stead. ticular debt to the right honourable gentleman He has been made to believe that his private is, it seems, the moderate interest of ten per creditors have power and interest to over-rule the cent. It would be lost labour to observe on court of directors."* The nabob was not mis- this assertion. The nabob, in a long apoloinformed. The private creditors instantly qua- getic lettert for the transaction between him lified a vast number of votes; and having made and the body of the creditors, states the fact, themselves masters of the court of proprietors, as I shall state it to you. In the accumulation as well as extending a powerful cabal in other of this debt, the first interest paid was from places as important, they so completely over- thirty to thirty-six per cent. it was then brought turned the authority of the court of directors at down to twenty-five per cent. at length it was home and abroad, ihat this poor baffled govern- reduced 10 twenty; and there it found its rest. inent was soon obliged to lower its tone. It During the whole process, as often as any of was glad to be admitted into partnership with these monstrous interests fell into an arrear, its own servants. The court of directors esta- (into which they were continually falling,) the blishing the debt which they had reprobated as arrear, formed into a new capital, I was added a breach of trust, and which was planned for to the old, and the same interest of twenty the subversion of their authority, settled its per cent. accrued upon both. The company, payments on a par with those of the public; having got some scent of the enormous usury and even so, were not able to obtain peace or which prevailed at Madras, thought it neceseven equality in their demands. All the con- sary to interfere, and to order all interests to sequences lay in a regular and irresistible be lowered to ten per cent. This order, which train. By employing their influence for the contained no exception, though it by no means recovery of this debt, their orders, issued in pointed particularly to this class of debts, came the same breath, against creating new debts, like a thunder-clap on the nabob. He cononly animated the strong desires of their servants to this prohibited prolific sport, and it
"He (the nabob) is in a great degree the soon produced a swarm of sons and daughters,
cause of our present inability ; by diverting tho
revenues of the Carnatic through private chan not in the least degenerated from the virtue of nels.”—“ Even this Peshcush (the Tanjoro their parents.
tribute) circumstanced as he and we are, he has From that moment, the authority of the assigned over to others, who now set themselves
in opposition to the company.” Consultations, court of directors expired in the Carnatic, and
October 11, 1769, on the 12th communicated to every where else. "Every man,” says the the nabob. presidency, “who opposes the government 1 Nabob's letter to Governour Palk. Papers and its measures, finds an immediate counte
published by the directors in 1775; and
papers printed by the same authority, 1781.
| See papers printed by order of a general * For the threats of the creditors, and total court in 1750, p. 222, and p. 224, as also nabob's subversion of the authority of the company in letter to Governour Dupre, 191h July, 1771, " 1 favour of the nabob's power, and the increase have taken up loans by which I have suffered a chereby of his evil dispositions, and the great Joss of upwards of a crore of pagodas (four derangement of all public concerns, see select millions sterling) by interest on an heady committee Fort St. George's letters, 21st No. interest."-Letter 15th January, 1772, “ Not vember, 1769, and January 31st, 1770; Septem. withstanding I have taken much trouble, and ber 11th, 1772. And Governour Bourchier's let. have made many payments
my credito cers to the nabob of Arcot, 21st November, 1769, the load of my debi, which became so great, by and December 9th, 1769.
interest and compounc Inletes!, is not cleared
sidered his political credit as ruined ; but to measure, no man shall ravish from ine find a remedy to this unexpected evil, he shall be safely lodged in the sanctuary of my again added to the old principal twenty, per heart ; never, never to be torn from thence cent. interest accruing for the last year. Thus but with those holds that grapple it to life. a new fund was formed ; and it was on that I say, I well remember that bill, and every accumulation of various principals, and inte- one of its honest and its wise provisions. rests heaped upon interests, not on the sum is not true that this debt was ever protected or originally lent, as the right honourable gentle- enforced, or any revenue whatsoever set apart man would make you believe, that ten per cent. for it. It was left in that bill just where it was settled on the whole,
stood ; to be paid or not to be paid out of the When you consider the enormity of the nabob's private treasures, according to his interest at which these debts were contracted, own discretion. The company had actually and the several interests added to the princi- given it their sanction; though always relying pal, I believe you will not think me so scep- for its validity on the sole security of the faith tical, if I should doubt, whether for this debt of him,* who without their knowledge or conof £.880,000 the nabob ever saw £.100,000 in sent entered into the original obligation. lt real money. The right honourable gentleman had no other sanction ; ought to have had suspecting, with all his absolute dominion over no other. So far was Mr. Fox's bill from profact, that he never will be able to defend even viding funds for it, as this ministry have wickthis venerable patriarchal job, though sancti- edly done for this, and for ten times worse fied by its numerous issue, and hoary with transactions, out of the public estate, that an prescriptive years, has recourse to recrimina- express clause immediately preceded, posi tion, the last resource of guilt. He says that tively forbidding any British subject from rethis loan of 1767 was provided for in Mr. ceiving assignments upon any part of the terriFox's India bill; and judging of others by his torial revenue, on any pretence whatsoever. own nature and principles, he more than in- You recollect, Mr. Speaker, that the chansinuates, that this provision was made, not cellor of the exchequer strongly professed to from any sense of merit in the claim, but retain every part of Mr. Fox's bill which was from partiality to General Smith, a proprietor, intended to prevent abuse ; but in his India bill, and an agent for that debt. If partiality which (let me do justice) is as able and skilful could have had any weight against justice and a perforinance for its own purposes, as ever policy, with the then ministers and their issued from the wit of man, premeditating this friends, General Smith had titles to it. But iniquity-hoc ipsum ut strueret Trojamque the right honourable gentleman knows as well aperire Achivis, expunged this essential clause, as I do, that General Smith was very far from broke down the fence which was raised to looking on himself as partially treated in the cover the public property against the rapacity arrangements of that time; indeed what man
of his partisans, and thus levelling every obdared to hope for private partiality in that struction, he made a firm, broad, highway for sacred plan for relief to nations?
sin and death, for usury and oppression, to It is not necessary that the right honourable renew their ravages throughout the devoted gentleman should sarcastically call that time revenues of the Carnatic. to our recollection. Well do I remember The tenour, the policy, and the consequences every circumstance of that memorable period. of this debt of 1767, are, in the eyes of minisGod forbid I should forget it. O illustrious try, so excellent, that its merits are irresistidisgrace! O victorious defeat! may your me ble; and it takes the lead to give credit and morial bo fresh and new to the latest genera- countenance to all the rest. Along with his tions! May the day of that generous conflict chosen body of heavy-armed infantry, and to bo stamped in characters never to be cancelled support it, in the line, the right honourable genor worn out from the records of time! Let tieman has stationed his corps of black cavalry. no man hear of us, who shall not hear that in If there be any advantage between this debe a struggle against the intrigues of courts, and and that of 1769, according to him the cavalry the perfidious levity of the multitude, we fell debt has it. It is not a subject of defence; it in the cause of honour, in the cause of our is a theme of panegyric. Listen to the right country, in the cause of human nature itself! honourable gentleman, and you will find it But if fortune should be as powerful over was contracted to save the country; to preven fame, as she has been prevalent over virtue, at least our conscience is beyond her jurisdiction. * The nabob of Arcot. My poor share in the support of that great Appendix, No. 3.
nutiny in armies; to introduce economy in re- dily gave the sanction of the company to those venues; and for all these honourable purposes,
servants who knew that the company, whose it originated at the express desire, and by the re- sanction was demanded, had positively prohipresentative authority of the company itself. bited all such transactions.
First, let me say a word to the authority. However, so far as the reality of the dealing This debt was contracted not by the authority goes, all is hitherto fair and plausible; and of the company, not by its representatives, (as here the right honourable gentleman concludes, the right honourable gentleman has the unpa- with commendable prudence, his account of ralleled confidence to assert,) but in the ever
the business. But here it is I shall beg leave memorable period of 1777, by the usurped to commence my supplement: for the gentlepower of those who rebelliously, in conjunction man's discreet modesty has led him to cut the with the nabob of Arcot, had overturned the thread of the story somewhat abruptly. One lawful government of Madras. For that rebel- of the most essential parties is quite forgotten. lion, this house unanimously directed a public Why should the episode of the poor nabob be prosecution. The delinquents, after they had omitted ? When that prince chooses it, nosubverted government, in order to make to body can tell his story better. Excuse me, if themselves a party to support them in their I apply again to my book, and give it you from power, are universally known to have dealt joos the first hand; from the nabob himself. about to the right and to the left, and to any “ Mr. Stratton became acquainted with who were willing to receive them. This usur- this, and got Mr. Taylor and others to lend pation, which the right honourable gentleman me four lacs of pagodas towards discharging well knows, was brought about by and for the the arrears of pay of my troops. Upon this, I great mass of these pretended debts, is the wrote a letter of thanks to Mr. Stratton; and authority which is set up by him to represent upon the faith of this money being paid immethe company; to represent that company which diately, I ordered many of my troops to be disfrom the first moment of their hearing of this charged by a certain day, and lessened the corrupt and fraudulent transaction, to this hour, number of my servants. Mr. Taylor, &c. have uniformly disowned and disavowed it. some time after acquainted me, that they had
So much for the authority. As to the facts, no ready money, but they would grant teeps partly true, and partly colourable, as they payable in four months. This astonished me; stand recorded, they are in substance these. - for I did not know what might happen, when The nabob of Arcot, as soon as he had thrown the sepoys were dismissed from my service. I off the superiority of this country by means of begged of Mr. Taylor and the others to pay these creditors, kept up a great army which this sum to the officers of my regiments at the he never paid. Of course, his soldiers were time they mentioned ; and desired the officers, generally in a state of mutiny.* The usurping at the same time, to pacify and persuade the Suppose his highness not to be well broken tenance of the troops that they may be ready in to things of this kind, it must indeed sur- to exert themselves in the service of your prise so known and established a bond-vender, highness." as the nabob of Arcot, one who keeps himself Here, Sir, you see how these causes and the largest bond warehouse in the world, to effects act upon one another. One body of find that he was now to receive in kind; not troops mutinies for want of pay; a debt is to take money for his obligations, but to give contracted to pay them; and they still remain his bond in exchange for the bond of Messieurs unpaid. A territory destined to pay other Taylor, Majendie and Call, and to pay be troops, is assigned for this debt; and these sides, a good smart interest, legally 12 per cent. Other troops fall into the same state of indigence (in reality perhaps twenty, or twenty-four per and mutiny with the first. Bond is paid by cent.) for this exchange of paper. But his bond; arrear is turned into new arrear; usury troops were not to be so paid, or so disbanded. engenders new usury; mutiny suspended in They wanted bread, and could not live by cut- one quarter, starts up in another ; until all the ling and shuffling of bonds. The rabob still revenues, and all the establishments are enkept the troops in service, and was obliged to tangled into one inextricable knot of confusion, continue, as you have seen, the whole expense, from which they are only disengaged by being to exonerate himself from which he became entirely destroyed. In that state of confusion, indebted to the soucars.
that they laboured hard with their men belonging to them, that their pay would master the nabob, to persuade him to reduce be given to them at the end of four months; and these mutinous and useless troops. He con- that till those arrears were discharged, their pay sented; but as usual, pleaded inability to pay should be continued to them. Two years are them their arrears. Here was a difficulty. nearly expired since that time, but Mr. TayThe nabob had no money; the company had lor has not yet entirely discharged the arrears no money; every public supply was empty. of those troops, and I am obliged to continue But there was one resource which no season their pay from that time till this. I hoped to has ever yet dried up in that climate. The have been able, by this expedient, to have les. soucars were at hand; that is, private English sened the number of my troops, and discharged money-jobbers offered their assistance. Mes the arrears due to them, considering the trifle sieurs Taylor, Majendie and Call, proposed of interest to Mr. Taylor, and the others, as to advance the small sum of £.160,000 to pay no great matter; but instead of this, I am opoff the nabob's black cavalry, provided the pressed with the burthen of pay due to those company's authority was given for their loan. troops ; and the interest, which is going on in This was the great point of policy always Mr. Taylor from the day the teeps were grantert aimed at, and pursued through a hundred de
to him." What I have read to you is an exvices by the servants at Madras. The presi- tract of a letter from the Carnatic to Governour dency, who themselves had no authority for the Rumbold, dated the 22d, and received the 24th functions they presumed to exercise. very rea- of March, 1779.*
* See Mr. Dundas's 1st, 2d and 3d, reports.
* See further Consultations, 3d February, 1778
in a very few months after the date of the meHad it stood here, the transaction would morial I have just read to you, things were have been of the most audacious strain of fraud found, when the nabob's troops, famished to and usury, perhaps ever before discovered, feed English soucars, instead of defending the whatever might have been practised and con- country, joined the invaders, and deserted in cealed. But the same authority (I mean the entire bodies to Hyder Ali.* nabob's) brings before you something if pos- The manner in which this transaction was sible more striking. He states, that for this carried on, shews that good examples are not their paper, he immediately handed over to easily forgot, especially by those who are bred these gentlemen something very different from in a great school. One of those splendid paper; that is, the receipt of a territorial re- examples give me leave to mention, at a somevenue, of which it seems they continued as what more early period, because one fraud long in possession as the nabob himself con- furnishes light to the discovery of another, and tinued in possession of any thing. Their pay- so on, until the whole secret of mysterious injments therefore not being to commence before quity bursts upon you in a blaze of detection. the end of four months, and not being comple- The paper I shall read you, is not on record. ted in two years, it must be presumed (unless If you please you may take it on my word. Il they proved the contrary) that their payments is a letter written from one of undoubted into the nabob were made out of the revenues formation in Madras, to Sir John Clavering, dethey had received from his assignment. Thus scribing the practice that prevailed there, whilst they condescended to accumulate a debt of the company's allies were under sale, during £.160,000 with an interest of 12 per cent, in the time of Governour Winch's administration. compensation for a lingering payment to the One mode," says Clavering's correnabob of £.160,000 of his own money. spondent, “ of amassing money at the nabob's
Still we have not the whole: about two years cost is curious. He is generally in arrears to after the assignment of thoso territorial reve- the company. Here the governour, being cashnues to these gentlemen, the nabob receives a keeper, is generally on good terms with the remonstrance from his chief manager, in a banker, who manages matters thus: the goverprincipal province, of which this is the tenour nour presses the nabob for the balance due from -"The entire revenue of those districts is by him; the nabob flies to his banker for relief, your highness's order set apart to discharge the banker engages to pay the money, and the tuncaws (assignments) granted to the grants his notes accordingly, which he puts in Europeans. The gomaslahs (agents) of Mr. the cash-book as ready money; the nabob pays Taylor, to Mr. De Fries, are there in order to him an interest for it at two and three per cent. collect those tuncaws; and as they receive all per mensem, till the tuncaws he grants on the the revenue that is collected, your highness's particular districts for it are paid. Matters in troops have seven or eight months pay due, which they cannot receive, and are thereby pendix, No. 2, 10, 18, for the mutinous state
* Mr Dundas's 1st report, p. 26, 29, and Ap reduced to the greatest distress. In such times, and desertion of the nabob's troops for want of it is highly necessary to provide for the sus- pay. See also report 4, of the same committee