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Former state of Trade;

the lucrative, situations of the army, all the supplies and contracts, of whatever species, that belong to it, are solely in the hands of the English; so that whatever is beyond the mere subsistence of a common soldier, and some officers of a lower rank, together with the immediate expenses of the English officers at their table, is sooner or later, in one shape or another, sent out of the country.

Such was the state of Bengal even in time of profound peace, and before the whole weight of the publick charge fell upon that unhappy country for the support of other parts of India, which had been desolated in such a manner as to contribute little or nothing to their own protection.

Your Committee have given this short comparative, account of the effects of the maritime traffick of Bengal when in its natural state, and as it has stood since the prevalence of the system of an investment from the revenues. But before the formation of that system, Bengal did by no means depend for its resources on its maritime commerce. The inland trade, from whence it derived a very great supply of silver and gold, and many kinds of merchantable goods, was very considerable.-The higher provinces of the Mogul empire were then populous and opulent, and intercourse to an immense amount was carried on between them and Bengal. A great trade also passed through these provinces from all the countries on the frontier of


Persia, and the frontier provinces of Tartary, as well as from Surat and Baroach on the Western side of India. These parts opened to Bengal a communication with the Persian Gulf and with the Red Sea, and through them with the whole Turkish, and the maritime parts of the Persian empire, besides the commercial intercourse, which it maintained with those and many other countries through its own sea-ports.

trade to

During that period the remittances to the Mogul's treasury from Bengal were never very large, at least for any considerable time; nor very regularly sent; and the impositions of the State were soon repaid with interest through the medium of a lucrative commerce. But the disorders of Persia, since the death of Kouli Khân, have wholly destroyed the trade of that country; and the trade to Turkey, by Judda and Bussorah, which was the And the greatest, and perhaps the best, branch of the Indian Turkey. trade, is very much diminished. The fall of the throne of the Mogul Emperours has drawn with it that of the great marts of Agra and Delhi. The utmost confusion of the North-western provinces followed this revolution, which was not absolutely complete until it received the last hand from Great Britain. Still greater calamities have fallen upon the fine provinces of Rohilcund and Oude, and on the countries of Corah and Allahabad. By the operations of the British arms and influence, they


State of
Trade in

are in many places turned to mere deserts, or soL reduced and decayed as to afford very few mate rials, or means of commerce.

Such is the actual condition of the trade of Ben-4 Carnatic. gal since the establishment of the British power there. The commerce of the Carnatic, as far as i the inquiries of Your Committee have extended, s did not appear with a better aspect, even before» the invasion of Hyder Ali Khân, and the conse quent desolation, which for many years to come must exclude it from any considerable part of the trading system.

It appears on the examination of an intelligent person concerned in trade, and who resided at Madras for several years, that on his arrival there, which was in the year 1767, that city was in a flourishing con-、 dition, and one of the first marts in India; but when he left it in 1779 there was little or no trade remaining, and but one ship belonging to the whole place. The evidence of this gentleman purports, that at his first acquaintance with the Carnatic it was a well cultivated and populous country, and as such consumed many articles of merchandise; that at his departure he left it much circumscribed in trade, greatly in the decline as to population and culture, and with a correspondent decay of the territorial revenue.

Your Committee find, that there has also been from Madras an Investment on the Company's



account, taking one year with another, very nearly on the same principles, and with the same effects, as that from Bengal; and they think it is highly probable, that, besides the large sums remitted directly from Madras to China, there has likewise been a great deal on a private account, for that and other countries, invested in the cash of foreign and European Powers trading on the coast of Coromandel. But Your Committee have not extended their inquiries relative to the commerce of the countries dependent on Madras so far as they have done with regard to Bengal. They have reason to apprehend, that the condition is rather worse; but if the House requires a more minute examina tion of this important subject Your Committee is willing to enter into it without delay.

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HITHERTO, Your Committee has considered this system of Revenue Investment, substituted in! the place of a commercial link between India and Europe, so far as it affects India only: they are now-to consider it as it affects the Company. So long as that Corporation continued to receive a vast quantity of merchantable goods without any disbursement for the purchase, so long it possessed wherewithal to continue a dividend to pay debts, and to contribute to the State. But it must have been always evident to considerate persons, that this vast extraction of wealth from a country, lessening in its resources in proportion to the increase of its burthens, was not calculated for a very long duration. For a while the Company's Servants kept up this Investment, not by improving commerce, manufactures, or agriculture, but by forcibly. raising the Land- Rents on the principles and in the manner hereafter to be described. When these extortions disappointed, or threatened to disappoint, expectation, in order to purvey for the avarice, which raged in England, they sought for expedients in breaches of all the agreements, by which they were bound by any payment to the Country Powers, and in exciting disturbances among all the neigh

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