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obnoxious persons by preference. How far this violent use of authority, for the purpose of destroying rivalship, has succeeded in reducing the price of goods to the Company, has been made manifest by the facts before stated in their place.

The recriminatory charges of the Company's agents on the native merchants have made very little impression on Your Committee. We have nothing in favour of them, but the assertion of a party powerful and interested. In such cases of mutual assertion and denial, Your Committee are led irresistibly to attach abuse to power, and to presume that suffering and hardship are more likely to attend on weakness, than that any combination of unprotected individuals is of force to prevail over influence, power, wealth, and authority. The complaints of the native merchants ought not to have been treated in any of those modes, in which they were then treated. And when men are in the situation of complainants against unbounded power, their abandoning their suit is far from a full and clear proof of their complaints being groundless. It is not be cause redress has been rendered impracticable, that oppression does not exist; nor is the despair of suf ferers any alleviation of their afflictions. A review of some of the most remarkable of the complaints made by the native merchants in that province is so essential for laying open the true spirit of the commercial administration, and the real condition

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of those concerned in trade there, that Your Com→ mittee, observing the records on this subject, and at this period, full of them, could not think themselves justifiable in not stating them to the House.

Your Committee have found many heavy charges of oppression against Mr. Barwell, whilst factorychief at Dacca; which oppressions are stated to have continued, and even to have been aggravated on complaint at Calcutta. These complaints ap pear in several Memorials presented to the Supreme Council of Calcutta, of which Mr. Barwell was a member. They appeared yet more fully and more strongly in a Bill in Chancery, filed in the Supreme Court, which was afterwards recorded before the Governour-General and Council, and transmitted to the Court of Directors.

Your Committee, struck with the magnitude and importance of these charges, and finding that with regard to those before the Council no regular inves tigation has ever taken place; and finding also that Mr. Barwell had asserted, in a Minute of Council, that he had given a full answer to the allegations in that Bill, ordered a copy of the answer to be laid before Your Committee, that they might be enabled to state to the House, how far it appeared to them to be full; how far the charges were denied as to the fact: or, where the facts might be admitted, what justification was set up. It appeared necessary, in order to determine on the true situation

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The Secretary to the Court of Directors has informed Your Committee, that no copy of the answer is to be found in the India House; nor has Your Committee been able to discover that any has been transmitted. On this failure, Your Committee ordered an application to be made to Mr. Barwell for a copy of his answer to the Bill, and any other information, with which he might be furnished with regard to that subject.

Mr. Barwell, after reciting the above letter, returned in answer what follows:

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Whether the Records of the Supreme Court " of Judicature are lodged at the India House, I "am ignorant, but on those Records my answer is "certainly to be found. At this distance of time, "I am sorry I cannot from memory recover the "circumstances of this affair; but this I know, " that the Bill did receive a complete answer, and "the people the fullest satisfaction; nor is it ne ❝cessary for me to remark on the state of parties

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at that time in Bengal, could party have brought "forward any particle of that Bill, supported by any verified fact. The principle, that intro“duced it in the proceedings of the Governour"General and Council, would likewise have given "the verification of that one circumstance, what"ever that might have been.

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As I

As I generally attend

"attend in my place in the House, I shall with "pleasure answer any invitation of the gentlemen of the Committee to attend their investigations


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up stairs, with every information and light in my power to give them."

- St. James's-square,

15th April, 1783

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Your Committee considered, that with regard to the matter, charged in the several petitions to the Board, no sort of specifick answer had been given at the time and place where they were made, and when and where the parties might be examined and confronted. It was considered also, that the Bill had been transmitted with other papers relating to the same matter to the Court of Directors with the knowledge and consent of Mr. Barwell; and that he states, that his answer had been filed, and no proceedings had upon it for eighteen months. In that situation it was thought something extraordimary, that no care was taken by him to transmit so essential a paper as his answer, and that he had no copy of it in his hands.

Your Committee, in this difficulty, thought themselves obliged to decline any verbal explanation from the person, who is defendant in the suit, relative to matters, which on the part of the complainant appear upon record, and to leave the whole matter, as it is charged, to the judgment of the


House to determine how far it may be worthy of a further inquiry, or how far they may admit such allegations as Your Committee could not think themselves justified in receiving.

To this effect Your Committee ordered a letter to be written to Mr. Barwell; from whom they received the following answer:


" In consequence of your letter of the 17th, I "must request the favour of you to inform the "Select Committee, that I expect from their jus


tice, on any matter of publick record, in which * I am personally to be brought forward to the "notice of the House, that they will at the same "time point out to the House what part of such matter has been verified, and what parts have

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not, nor ever were, attempted to be verified, "though introduced in debate, and entered on the "records of the Governour-General and Council "of Bengal. I am anxious the information should "be complete, or the House will not be competent “to judge; and if it is complete it will preclude "all explanation as unnecessary.

"I am, Sir,

"Your most obedient humble servant,

St. James's-square,

22d April 1783.

"Rich Barwell."

"P. S. As I am this moment returned from the

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