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A COMMITTE2 that was instituted merely for the information of the Court of Directors, yet he did not feel himself thoroughly satisfied with his own proceedings. 70 It 101 was evident, that to them his and Mr. Barwell's reasonings would not appear very respectful of satisfactory; he therefore promises to give them fall satisfaction at some future time: In his letter of the 14th of September 1775, he reiterates a former - declaration, and assures them of his resolution to this purpose purpose in the strongest terms." I now again recur to the declaration, which I have before made, that it is my fixed determination to carry literally into execution, and most fully and libe"rally explain every circumstance of my conduct "on the points, upon which I have been injuriously

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arraigned; and to afford you the clearest con"viction of my own integrity, and of the propriety "of my motives for my declining a present defence "of it."

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These motives, as far as they can be discovered, were the violence of his adversaries, the interested character and views of the accuser, and the danger of a prosecution in the Supreme Court, which made it prudent to reserve his defence. These arguments are applicable to any charge. Notwithstanding these reasons, it is plain by the above letter that he thought himself ound, at some time or other, to give satisfaction to his masters; till he should do this, in his own opinion, he remained in an


unpleasant situation. But he bore his misfortune, it seems, patiently, with a confidence in their justice for his future relief. He says, what "whatever evil may "fill the long interval, which may precede it."

That interval he has taken care to make long enough, for near eight years are now elapsed, and he has not yet taken the smallest step towards giving to the Court of Directors any explanation whatever; much less that full and liberal explanation, which he had so repeatedly and solemnly promised.


It is to be observed, that though Mr. Hastings talks in these letters much of his integrity, and of the purity of his motives, and of full explanations, he no where denies the fact of this corrupt traffick of office. Though he had adjourned his defence with so much pain to himself to so very long a day, he was not so inattentive to the ease of Khân Jehan Khân as he has shown himself to his own. He had been accused of corruptly reserving to himself a part of the emoluments of this man's office; it was a delicate business to handle, whilst his defence stood adjourned; yet, in a very short time after a majority came into his hands, he turned out the person appointed by General Clavering, &c. and replaced the very man, with whom he stood accused of the corrupt bargain; what was worse, he ha been charged with originally turning out another, to make room for this man. The whole is put in




strong terms by the then majority of the Council; where, after charging him with every species of peculation, they add, "we believe, the proofs of "his appropriating four parts in seven of the salary, "with which the Company is charged for the "Phousdar of Hughley, are such as, whether suffi"cient or not to convict him in a Court of Justice, "will not leave the shadow of a doubt concerning "his guilt in the mind of any unprejudiced person. "The salary is 72,000 rupees a year; the Gover66 nour takes 36,000, and allows Cantoo Baboo four "thousand more for the trouble he submits to in

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conducting the negotiation with the Phousdar. "This also is the common subject of conversation " and derision through the whole settlement.-It "is our firm opinion and belief, that the late "Phousdar of Hughley, a relation of Mahomed "Reza Cawn, was turned out of this office merely "because his terms were not so favourable as those, "which the honourable Governour-General has "obtained from the present Phousdar.

"The honourable Governour-General is pleased "to assert, with a confidential spirit peculiar to "himself, that his measures hitherto stand unim"peached, except by us. We know not how this "assertion is to be made good, unless the most

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daring and flagrant prostitution in every branch "be deemed an honour to his administration."

The whole style and tenour of these accusations,


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.

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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. I be"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.

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