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as well as the nature of them, rendered Mr. Hastings's first postponing, and afterwards totally declining, all denial, or even defence or explanation, very extraordinary. No Governour ought to hear in silence such charges; and no Court of Directors ought to have slept upon them.

The Court of Directors were not wholly inattentive to this business. They condemned his act as it deserved, and they went into the business of his legal right to dissolve the Council. Their opinions seemed against it, and they gave precise orders against the use of any such power in future. On consulting Mr. Sayer, the Company's Counsel, he was of a different opinion with regard to the legal right; but he thought, very properly, that the use of a right, and the manner and purposes, for which it was used, ought not to have been separated. What he thought on this occasion appears in his opinion, transmitted by the Court of Directors to Mr. Hastings and the Council-General; "but it was as great a crime to dissolve the Council upon "base and sinister motives, as it would be to assume "the power of dissolving, if he had it not. "lieve he is the first Governour, that ever dissolved

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a Council inquiring into his behaviour, when he 66 was innocent. Before he could summon three "Councils and dissolve them, he had time fully to "consider what would be the result of such conduct,


"to convince every body, beyond a doubt, of his "conscious guilt."

It was a matter but of small consolation to Mr. Hastings, during the painful interval he describes, to find that the Company's learned Counsel admitted that he had legal powers, of which he made an use; that raised an universal presumption of his guilt.

Other Counsel did not think so favourably of the powers themselves. But this matter was of less consequence, because a great difference of opinion may arise concerning the extent of official powers, even among men professionally educated, (as in this case such a difference did arise) and well-intentioned men may take either part. But the use, that was made of it, in systematical contradiction to the Company's orders, has been stated in the Ninth Report, as well as in many others made by two of Your Committees.

*AS the Appendixes, originally printed with the foregoing Reports, and which consist chiefly of official documents, would have swelled this Volume to an enormous size, it has been thought proper to omit them, with the exception of the first nine numbers of the Appendix B. to the Eleventh Report; the insertion of which has been judged necessary for the elucidation of the subject-matter of that Report.


COPY of a Letter from the Governour-General to the Court of Directors.

To the Honourable the Court of Directors of the Honourable United East India Company.


29th November, 1780.

Honourable Sirs,

U will be informed, by our Consultations of


the 26th of June, of a very unusual tender, which was made by me to the Board on that day, for the purpose of indemnifying the Company for the extraordinary expense, which might be incurred by supplying the Detachment under the command. of Major Camac, in the invasion of the Mahratta dominions, which lay beyond the district of Gohed, and drawing the attention of Mahdajee Sindia, to whom that country immediately appertained, from General Goddard, while he was employed in the reduction of Bassein, and in securing the conquests made by your arms in Guzerat.-I was desirous to

remove the only objection, which has been or could be ostensibly made to the measure, which I had very much at heart, as may be easily conceived from the means, which I took to effect it. For the reasons at large, which induced me to propose that diversion, it will be sufficient to refer to my Minute recommending it, and to the letters received from General Goddard near the same period of time. The subject is now become obsolete, and all the fair hopes, which I had built upon the prosecution of the Mahratta war, of its termination in a speedy, honourable, and advantageous peace have been blasted by the dreadful calamities, which have befallen your arms in the Dependencies of your Presidency of Fort Saint George; and changed the object of our pursuit from the aggrandizement of your power to its preservation. My present reason for reverting to my own conduct on the occasion, which I have mentioned, is to obviate the false conclusions, or purposed misrepresentations, which may be made of it, either as an artifice of ostentation, or as the effect of corrupt influence, by assuring you, that the money, by whatever means it came into your possession, was not my own; that I had myself no right to it, nor would or could have received it, but for the occasion, which prompted me to avail myself of the accidental means, which were at that instant afforded me, of accepting and converting it to the property and use


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