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some degree occasioned that remissness, which rendered even the imperfect powers originally given by the Act of 1773 the less efficient. This defect was in a great measure remedied by a subsequent Act: but that Act was not passed until the year 1780.



Your Committee find, that during the whole Disorders period, which elapsed from 1773 to the commence- since 1775. ment of 1782, disorders and abuses of every kind multiplied. Wars contrary to policy, and contrary to publick faith, were carrying on in various parts of India. The allies, dependants, and subjects of Vide Secret the Company were every where oppressed; dissen- Reports. sions in the Supreme Council prevailed, and continued for the greater part of that time; the Vide Select contests between the Civil and Judicial powers Reports, threatened that issue, to which they came at last, an armed resistance to the authority of the King's Court of Justice; the orders, which by an Act of Parliament the Servants were bound to obey, were avowedly, and on principle, contemned; until at length the fatal effects of accumulated misde

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meanors abroad, and neglects at home, broke out in the alarming manner, which Your Committee have so fully reported to this House.



In all this time the true state of the several Proceedings in In

known to

Presidencies, and the real conduct of the British dia not Government towards the Natives, was not at all Parliament. known to Parliament: it seems to have been very


imperfectly known even to Ministers. Indeed, it required an unbroken attention, and much comparison of facts and reasonings, to form a true judgment on that difficult and complicated system of politicks, revenue, and commerce, whilst affairs were only in their progress to that state, which produced the present inquiries. Therefore, whilst the causes of their ruin were in the height of their operation, both the Company and the Natives were understood by the publick as in circumstances the most assured, and most flourishing. Insomuch that, whenever the affairs of India were brought before Parliament, as they were two or three times during that period, the only subject-matter of discussion, anywise important, was concerning the sums, which might be taken out of the Company's surplus profits for the advantage of the State. Little was thought of but the disengagement of the Company from their debts in England, and to prevent the Servants abroad from drawing upon them, so as that body might be enabled, without exciting clamours here, to afford the contribution, that was demanded. All descriptions of persons, either here or in India, looking solely to appearances at home, the reputation of the Directors depended on the keeping the Company's sales in a situation to support the Dividend; that of the Ministers depended on the most lucrative bargains for the Exchequer; and that of the Servants abroad

abroad on the largest Investments; until at length there is great reason to apprehend, that, unless some very substantial reform takes place in the management of the Company's affairs, nothing will be left for investment, for dividend, or for bargain; and India, instead of a resource to the Pub

lick, may itself come, in no great length of time,

to be reckoned amongst the publick burthens.

of Ministers

in effect.

In this manner the inspection of the Ministers Inspection of the Crown, the great cementing regulation of has failed the whole Act of 1773, has, along with all the others, entirely failed in its effects.

the Act.

Your Committee, in observing on the failure of Failure in this Act, do not consider the intrinsick defects or mistakes in the Law itself, as the sole cause of its miscarriage. The general policy of the nation with regard to this object has been, they conceive, erroneous; and no remedy by laws under the prevalence of that policy can be effectual. Before Before any remedial law can have its just operation, the affairs of India must be restored to their natural order. The prosperity of the Natives must be previously secured, before any profit from them whatsoever is attempted. For as long as a system prevails, which regards the transmission of great wealth to this country, either for the Company or the State, as its principal end, so long will it be impossible that those, who are the instruments of that scheme, should not be actuated by the same spirit for their


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own private purposes. It will be worse: they will support the injuries done to the Natives for their selfish ends by new injuries done in favour of those, before whom they are to account. It is not reasonably to be expected, that a Publick, rapacious and improvident, should be served by any of its subordinates with disinterestedness or foresight.


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IN order to open more fully the tendency of the policy, which has hitherto prevailed, and that the House may be enabled in any regulations, which may be made, to follow the tracks of the abuse, and to apply an appropriated remedy to a particular distemper; Your Committee think it expedient to consider, in some detail, the manner, in which India is connected with this kingdom; which is the second head of their plan.

The two great links, by which this connexion is maintained, are, first, the East India Company's commerce; and next, the Government set over the natives by that Company, and by the Crown. The first of these principles of connexion, namely the East-India Company's trade, is to be first considered, not only as it operates by itself, but as having a powerful influence over the general policy


and the particular measures of the Company's Government. Your Committee apprehend that the present state, nature, and tendency of this trade, are not generally understood.

India for

ried on


Until the acquisition of great territorial revenues Trade to by the East-India Company, the trade with India merly carwas carried on upon the common principles of chiefly in commerce, namely, by sending out such commodities as found a demand in the India market, and, where that demand was not adequate to the reciprocal call of the European market for Indian goods, by a large annual exportation of treasure, chiefly in silver. In some years that export has been as high as six hundred and eighty thousand pounds sterling. The other European Companies, trading to India, traded thither on the same footing. Their export of bullion was probably larger in proportion to the total of their commerce; as their commerce itself bore a much larger proportion to the British than it does at this time, or has done for many years past. But stating it to be equal to the British, the whole of the silver sent annually from Europe into Hindostan could not fall very short of twelve or thirteen hundred thousand pounds a year. This influx of money, poured into India by an emulation of all the commercial nations of Europe, encouraged industry, and promoted cultivation in a high degree, notwithstanding the frequent wars, with which that country was harassed, and the vices, which existed




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