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required and directed punctually to attend the said commissioners, at such time and place as they, or any two of them, mall appoint, and also to observe and execute such orders and directions as the said commissioners, or any two of them, shall make or give for the purposes before mentioned.
And he it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said commissioners, or any two of them, shall be, and are hereby impowered to examine into any corrupt and fraudulent practices, or other misconduct, committed by any person or persons concerned in the management of any
of the offices or departments hereinbefore mentioned: and, for the better execution of this present act, the said commissioners, or any two of them, are hereby authorized to meet and sit, from time to time, in such place or places as they shall find most convenient, with or without adjournment, and to send their precept or precepts, under their hands and seals, for any person or persons whatsoever, and for such books, papers, writings, or records, as they mall judge necessary for their information, relating to any of the offices or departments bereinbefore mentioned; and all bailiffs, confiables, periffs, and other bis majesty's officers, are hereby required to obey and execute such orders and precepts aforesaid, as mall be sent to them or any of them by the said commissioners, or any two of them, touching the premises.
A P P E N D I X, N° 2.
NABOB OF ARCOT'S DEBTS.
R. GEORGE SMITH being asked, Whether the
debts of the nabob of Arcot have increased since he knew Madras ? he said, Yes, they have. He distinguishes his debts into two forts; those contracted before the year 1766, and those contracted from that year to the year in which he left Madras.--Being asked, What he thinks is the original amount of the old debts ? he said, Between twentythree and twenty-four lacks of pagodas, as well as he can recollect. Being asked, What was the amount of that debt when he left Madras ? he said, Between 4 and 5 lacks of pagodas, as he understood.-Being asked, What was the amount of the new debt when he left Madras ? he said, In November 1777 that debt amounted, according to the nabob's own account, and publifhed at Chipauk, his place of residence, to sixty lacks of pagodas, independent of the old debt, on which debt of 60 lacks of pagodas, the nabob did agree to pay an interest of twelve per cent. per annum.Being asked, Whether this debt was approved of by the court of directors ? he said, He does not know it was.Being asked, Whether the old debt was recognized by the court of directors ? he said, Yes, it has been; and the court of directors have sent out repeated orders to the president and council of Madras, to enforce its recovery and payment. -Being asked, If the interest upon the new debt is punctually paid ? he said, It was not during his residence at Madras, from 1777 to 1779, in which period he thinks no more than five per cent. interest was paid, in different diviVOL. II.
dends of two and one per cent.—Being asked, What is the usual course taken by the nabob, concerning the arrears of interest ? he said, Not having ever lent him monies himself, he cannot fully answer as to the mode of settling the interest with him.
Being asked, Whether he has reason to believe the 60 lacks of pagodas was all principal money really and truly advanced to the nabob of Arcot, or a fictitious capital, made up of obligations given by him, where no money or goods were received, or which was increased by the uniting into it a greater interest than the 12 per cent. expressed to be due on the capital? he said, He has no reason to believe that the fum of 60 lacks of pagodas was lent in money or goods to the nabob, because that sum he thinks is of more value than all the money, goods, and chattels in the settlement; but he does not know in what mode or manner this debt of the nabob's was incurred or accumulated.-Being asked, Whether it was not a general and well-grounded opinion at Madras, that a great part of this sum was accumulated by obligations, and were for services performed or to be performed for the nabob? he said, He has heard that a part of this debt was given for the purposes mentioned in the above question, but he does not know that it was fo.-Being asked, Whether it was the general opinion of the settlement? he faid, He cannot say that it was the general opinion, but it was the opinion of a considerable part of the settlement.
-Being asked, Whether it was the declared opinion of those that were concerned in the debt, or those that were not ? he said, It was the opinion of both parties, at least such of them as he conversed with. - Being asked, Whether he has reason to believe that the interest really paid by the nabob, upon obligations given, or money lent, did not frequently exceed 12 per cent. ? he said, Prior to the firit of August 1774, he had had reason to believe, that a higher interest than 12 per cent, was paid by the nabob on monies lent to him ; but from and after that period, when the last act of parliament took place in India, he does not know that more than 12 per cent. had been paid by the nabob, or received from him.--Being asked, Whether it is not his opinion, that the nabob has paid more than 12 per cent. for money due since the ist of August 1774? he faid, He has heard that he has, but he does not know it.-Being asked, Whether he has been told so by any considerable and weighty authority, that was like to know? he said, He has been so informed by perfons who he believes had a very good opportunity of knowing it.-Being asked, Whether he was ever told so by the nabob of Arcot himself? he said, He does not recollect that the nabob of Arcot directly told him so, but from what he said, he did infer that he paid a higher interest than 12 per cent.
Mr. Smith being asked, Whether, in the course of trade, he ever sold any thing to the nabob of Arcot ? he faid, In the year 1775 he did fell to the nabob of Arcot pearls to the amount of 32,500 pagodas, for which the nabob gave him an order or tankah on the country of Tanjore, payable in fix months, without interest.-Being asked, Whether, at the time he asked the nabob his price for the pearls, the nabob beat down that price, as dealers commonly do? he said, No; so far from it, he offered him more than he asked by 1,000 pagodas, and which he rejected.-Being asked, Whether, in fettling a tranfaction of discount with the nabob's agent, he was not offered a greater discount than £.12 per cent. he said, In discounting a foucar's bill for 1,80,000 pagodas, the nabob's agent did offer him a discount of £. 24 per cent. per annum, saying, that it was the usual rate of discount paid by the nabob; but which he would not accept of, thinking himself confined by the act of parliament limiting the interest of monies to £.12 per cent. and accordingly he dif
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counted the bill at £. 12 per cent. per annum only. Being asked, Whether he does not think those offers were made him, because the nabob thought he was a person of some consequence in the settlement? he said, Being only a private merchant, he apprehends that the offer was made to him more from its being a general practice, than from any opinion of his importance.
APPENDIX, N° 3.
A BILL for the better government of the territorial pos
sessions and dependencies in India.
[One of Mr. Fox's India bills.] ND be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid,
that the nabob of Arcot, the rajah of Tanjore, or any other protected native prince in India, shall not afsign, mortgage, or pledge any territory or land whatsoever, or the produce or revenue thereof, to any British subject whatsoever; neither shall it be lawful to or for any British subject whatsoever, to take or receive any such assignment, mortgage, or pledge; and the same are hereby declared to be null and void; and all payments or deliveries of produce or revenue, under any such assignment, shall and may be recovered back by such native prince paying or delivering the same, from the person or persons receiving the same, or his or their representatives.