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their functions, of their efficiency for the charge, and in whose hands that efficiency really was. I beg, bope, and trust, that your lordships will learn from the persons themselves, who were appointed to execute the office, their opinion of the real execution of it, in order that you may judge of the plan, for which he destroyed the whole English administration in India. “ The committee must have a dewan, or executive officer, call him by what name you please. This man in fact has all the revenue, paid at the presidency, at his disposal, and can, if he has any abilities, bring all the renters under contribution. It is little advantage to restrain the committee themselves from bribery or corruption, when their executive officer has the power of practising both undetected.
“ To display the arts employed by a native on s' ch occasions would fill a volume. He discovers the secrit resources of the zemindars and renters, their enemies and competitors; and by the engines of hope and fear, raised upon these foundations, he can work them to his purpose. The committee, with the best intentions, best abilities, and steadiest application, must after all be a tool in the hands of their dewan."
Your lordships see what the opinion of the council was of their own constitution. You see for what it was made. You see for what purposes the great revenue trust was taken from the council-general, from the supreme government.
You see for what purposes the executive power was destroyed. You have it from one of the gentlemen of this commission, at first four in number, and afterwards five, who was the most active efficient member of it. You see it was made for the purpose of being a tool in the hands of Gunga Govin Sing; that integrity, ability, and vigilance, could avail nothing; that the whole country might be laid under contribution by this man, and that he could thus practice bribery with impunity. Thus, your lordships see, the delegation of all the authority of the country, above and below, is given by Mr. Hastings to this Gunga Govin Sing. The screen, the veil spread before this transaction, is torn open by the very people themselves, who are the tools in it. They confess they can do nothing; they know they are instruments in the hands of
Gunga Govin Sing; and Mr. Hastings uses his name and authority to make them such in the hands of the basest, the wickedest, the corruptest, the most audacious and atrocious villain ever heard of. It is to him all the English authority is sacrificed, and four gentlemen are appointed to be his tools and instruments.—Tools and instruments for what? They themselves state, that, if he has the inclination, he has the power and ability to lay the whole country under contribution, that he enters into the most minute secrets of every individual in it, gets into the bottom of their family affairs, and has a power totally to subvert and destroy them; and we shall show upon that head, that he well fulfilled the purposes, for which he was appointed. Did Mr. Hastings pretend to say, that he destroyed the provincial councils for their corruptness or insufficiency, when he dissolved them? No be says he has no objection to their competency, no charge to make against their conduct, but that he has destroyed them for his new arrangement.
And what is his new arrangement? Gunga Govin Sing. Forty English gentlemen were removed from their offices by that change. Mr. Hastings did it, however, very economically ; for all these gentlemen were instantly put upon pensions, and consequently burdened the establishment with a new charge. Well, but the new council was formed and constituted upon a very economical principle also. These five gentlemen, you will have it in proof, with the necessary expenses of their office, were a charge of 62,0001. a year upon the establishment. But for great, eminent, capital services, 62,0001. though a much larger sum than what was thought fit to be allowed for the members of the supreme council itself, may be admitted. I will pass it. It shall be granted to Mr. Hastings, that these pensions, though they created a new burden on the establishment, were all well disposed, provided the council did their duty. But you have heard what they say themselves -they are not there put to do any duty, they can do no duty, their abilities, their integrity avail them nothing, they are tools in the hands of Gunga Govin Sing. Mr. Hastings then has loaded the revenue with 62,0001. a year to make Gunga Govin Sing master of the kingdom of Bengal, Bahar
and Orissa. What must - the thing to be moved be, when the machinery, when the necessary tools for Gunga Govin Sing, have cost 62,000l. a year to the company? There it is—it is not my representation—not the representation of observant strangers, of good and decent people, that understand the nature of that service, but the opinion of the tools themselves.
Now, did Mr. Hastings employ Gunga Govin Sing without a knowledge of his character ? His character was known to Mr. Hastings; it was recorded long before, when he was turned out of another office. During my long residence, says he, in this country, this is the first time I heard of the character of Gunga Govin Sing being infamous. No information I have received, though I have heard many people speak ill of him, ever pointed to any particular act of infamy committed by Gunga Govin Sing. I have no intimate knowledge of Gunga Govin Sing. What I understand of his character has been from Europeans as well as natives. After—" He had many enemies at the time he was proposed to be employed in the company's service, and not one advocate among the natives who had immediate access to myself. I think, therefore, if his character had been such as has been described, the knowledge of it could hardly have failed to have been ascertained to me by the specifick facts. I have heard him loaded, as I have many others, with general reproaches, but have never heard any one express a doubt of his abilities.” Now, if any thing in the world should induce you to put the whole trust of the revenues of Bengal, both above and below, into the hands of a single man, and to delegate to him the whole jurisdiction of the country, it must be, that he either was, or at least was reputed to be, a man of integrity. Mr. Hastings does not pretend, that he is reputed to be a man of integrity: He knew that he was not able to contradict the charge brought against him; and that he had been turned out of office by his colleagues, for reasons assigned upon record, and approved by the directors, for malversation in office. He had, indeed, crept again into the Calcutta committee ; and they were upon the point of turning him out for malo TOL. VII.
versation, when Mr. Hastings saved them the trouble by turning out the whole committee, consisting of a president and five members. So that in all times, in all characters, in all places, he stood as a man of a bad character and evil repute, though supposed to be a man of great abilities.
My lords, permit me for one moment to drop my representative character here, and to speak to your lordships only as a man of some experience in the world, and conversant with the affairs of men, and with the characters of men.
I do then declare my conviction, and wish it may stand recorded to posterity, that there never was a bad man,
that had ability for good service. It is not in the nature of such men ; their minds are so distorted to selfish purposes, to knavish, artificial, and crafty means of accomplishing those selfish ends, that, if put to any good service, they are poor, dull, helpless. Their natural faculties never have that direction,—they are paralytick on that side ;-the muscles, if I may use the expression, that ought to move it, are all dead. They know nothing, but how to pursue selfish ends by wicked and indirect means. No man ever knowingly employed a bad man on account of his abilities, but for evil ends. Mr. Hastings knew this man to be bad; all the world knew him to be bad ; and how did he employ him? in such a manner as that he might be controulled by others ? A great deal might be said for him, if this had been the case. There might be circumstances, in which such a man might be used in a subordinate capacity. But who ever thought of putting such a man virtually in possession of the whole authority both of the committee and the council-general, and of the revenues of the whole country?
As soon as we find Gunga Govin Sing here, we find him employed in the way, in which he was meant to be employed; that is to say, we find him employed in taking corrupt bribes and corrupt presents for Mr. Hastings. Though the committee were tools in his hands, he was a tool in the hands of Mr. Hastings ; for he had, as we shall prove, constant, uniform, and close communications with Mr. Hastings. And, indeed, we may be saved a good deal of the trouble of proof; for Mr. Hastings himself, by acknowledging him to
be his bribe broker, has pretty well authenticated a secret correspondence between them. For the next great bribe, as yet discovered to be taken by Mr. Hastings, about the time of his great operation of 1781, was the bribe of 40,0001., which we charge to have been privately taken from one of two persons, but from which is not yet ascertained, but paid to him through this flagitious black agent of his iniquities, Gunga Govin Sing. The discovery is made by another agent of his, called Mr. Larkins, one of his white bribe confidants, and by him made accountant-general to the supreme presidency. For this sum, so clandestinely and corruptly taken, he received a bond to himself, on his own account, as for money lent to the company. For, upon the frequent, pressing, tender solicitations of the court of directors, always insinuated to him in a very delicate manner, Mr. Hastings had written to Mr. Larkins to find out, if he could, some of his own bribes; and accordingly Mr. Larkins sent over an account of various bribes ; an account, which, even before it comes directly in evidence before you, it will be pleasant to your lordships to read. In this account, under the head Dinagepore, No. 1, I find, “ Duplicate copy of the particulars of debts, in which the component parts of sundry sums received on the account of the honourable company of merchants trading to the East-Indies, were received by Mr. Hastings, and paid to the sub-treasurer.” We find here, Dinagepore peshcush, four lacks of rupees-cabuleat, that is, an agreement to pay four lacks of rupees, of which three were received, and one remained in balance at the time this account was made out. All, that we can learn from this account, after all our researches, after all the court of directors could do to squeeze it out of him, is—that he received from Dinagepore, ať twelve monthly payments, a sum of about three lacks of rupees, upon an engagement to pay him four ;-that is, he received about 30,0001. out of 40,0001. which was to be paid him; and we are told, that he received this sum through the hands of Gunga Govin Sing; and that he was exceedingly angry with Gunga Govin Sing for baving kept back or defrauded him of the sum of 10,0001. out of the 40,0001. To keep back from him the