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NINTH REPORT

From the SELECT COMMITTEE (of the House of Commons) appointed to take into consideration the state of the Administration of Justice in the provinces of Bengal, Bahar, and Orissa, and to report the same, as it shall appear to them, to the House; with their observations thereupon; and who were instructed to consider how the British Possessions in the East Indies may be held and governed with the greatest security and advantage to this Country; and by what means the happiness of the Native Inhabitants may be best promoted.-(25th June 1783.)

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1-OBSERVATIONS ON THE STATE OF THE
COMPANY'S AFFAIRS IN INDIA:

N order to enable the House to adopt the most proper means for regulating the British Government in India, and for promoting the happiness of the Natives, who live under its authority or influence, Your Committee hold it expedient to collect, into distinct points of view, the circumstances, by which that government appears to them to be most essenVOL. XI. B tially

tially disordered; and to explain fully the principles of policy, and the course of conduct, by which the Natives of all ranks and orders have been reduced Te to their present state of depression and misery,T

Your Committee have endeavoured to performi this task in plain and popular language, knowing that nothing has alienated the House from inquiries, absolutely necessary for the performance of one of the most essential of all its duties, so much as the technical language of the Company's Records; as the Indian names of persons, of offices, of the tenure and qualities of estates, and of all the varied branches of their intricate revenue. This language is, indeed, of necessary use in the executive departments of the Company's affairs; but it is not necessary to Parliament. A language,so foreign from all the ideas and habits of the far greater part of the members of this House, has a tendency to disgust them with all sorts of inquiry concerning this subject. They are fatigued into such a despair of ever obtaining a competent knowledge of the transactions in India, that they are easily persuaded to remand them back to that obscurity, mystery, and intrigue, out of which they have been forced upon publick notice by the calamities arising from their extreme mismanagement. This mismanagement has itself (as Your Committee conceive) in a great measure arisen from dark cabals, and secret suggestions to persons in power, without a regular

publick

publick iqquiry into the good or evil tendency of any measure, or into the merit or demerit of any person intrusted with the Company's concerns To

Laws rela

East India

and its in

external

The plan adopted by Your Committee is, first, Present to consider the law regulating the East-India Com- ting to the pany, as it now stands; and secondly, to inquire Company, into the circumstances of the two great links of ternal and connexion by which the territorial possessions in Policy. India are united to this kingdom; namely, the Company's Commerce; and the government exer cised under the Charter, and under Acts of Parliament. The last of these objects, the Commerce, is taken in two points of view, the eternal or the direct trade between India and Europe and the internal, that is to say, the trade of Bengal, in all the articles of produce and manufacture, which furnish the Company's Investment bas zcobi is He

The government is considered by Your Committee under the dike descriptions of Internal and External. The Internal regards the communication between the Court of Directors and their Servants in India; the management of the revenue; the expenditure of publick money; the civil administration; the administration of Justice; and the state of the Army. The External regards, first, the conduct and maxims ofaithe Company's government with respect to the native Princes and People dependent on the British authority: and next, the proceedings with regard to those Native Powers, which are wholly

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Second at. tempt made

ment for a

reformasion.

wholly independent of the Company. But Your Committee's observations on the last division ex

tend to those matters only, which are not compre hended in the Report of the Committee of Secrecy. Under these heads, Your Committee refer to the most leading particulars of abuse, which prevail in the administration of India; deviating only from this order, where the abuses are of a complicated nature, and where one cannot be well considered independently of several others...

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Your Committee observe, that this is the second by Parlia- attempt made by Parliament for the reformation of abuses in the Company's government. It ap pears therefore to them a necessary preliminary to this second Undertaking, to consider the causes, which, in their opinion, have produced the failure of the first; that the defects of the original plan may be supplied; its errours corrected; and such useful regulations, as were then adopted, may be further explained, enlarged, and enforced.

Proceedings of Ses

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The first design of this kind was formed in the sion 1773. Session of the year 1773. In that year, Parliament, taking up the consideration of the affairs of India, through two of its Committees, collected a very great body of details concerning the interiour economy of the Company's possessions; and concerning many particulars of abuse, which prevailed at the time when those Committees made their ample and instructive Reports. But it does not

appear

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