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ture connected with him, as if they had been all guilty, without any charge whatever against them. These are his reasons for taking this extraordinary step.
“ 1 pretend not to enter into the views of others. My own were these. Mahomed Reza Khân's influence still prevailed generally throughout the country. In the nabob's household, and at the capital, it was scarce affected by his present disgrace. His favour was still courted, and his anger dreaded. Who, under such discouragements, would give information or evidence against him? His agents and creatures filled every office of the nizamut and dewannee. How was the truth of his conduct to be investigated by these ? It would be superfluous to add other arguments to show the necessity of prefacing the inquiry by breaking his influence, removing his dependants, and putting the direction of all the affairs, which had been committed to his care, into the hands of the most powerful or active of his enemies."
My lords, if we, of the House of Commons, were to desire and to compel the East-India Company, or to address the crown, to remove according to their several situations and several capacities every creature, that had been put into office by Mr. Hastings, because we could otherwise make no inquiry into his conduct, should we not be justified, by his own example, in insisting upon the removal of every creature of the reigning power before we could inquire into his conduct? We have not done that, though we feel, as he felt, great disadvantages in proceeding in the inquiry, while every situation in Bengal is notoriously held by his creatures, always excepting the first of all, but which we could show is nothing under such circumstances. Then what do I infer from this ? from his obedience to the orders of the company carried so much beyond necessity, and prosecuted with so much rigour ; from the inquiry being suspended for so long a time ; from every person in office being removed from his situation ; from all these precautions being used as prefatory to the inquiry, when he himself says, that after he had used all these means, be found not the least benefit and advantage from them? The use I mean to make of this is, to let your lordships see the great probability and presumption,
that Mr. Hastings, finding himself in the very self-same situation, that had occurred the year before, when Nundcomar was sold to Mahomed Reza Khân, of selling Mahomed Reza Khân to Nundcomar, made a corrupt use of it, and that as Mahomed Reza Khân was not treated with severity for his crimes, so neither was he acquitted for his innocence. The company had given Mr. Hastings severe orders, and very severely had he executed them. The company gave him no orders not to institute a present inquiry ; but he, under pretence of business, neglected that inquiry, and suffered this man to languish in prison to the utter ruin of his fortune.
We have in part shown your lordships what Mr. Hastings's own manner of proceeding with regard to a publick delinquent is; but at present we leave Mahomed Reza Khân where he was. Do your lordships think, that there is no presumption of Mr. Hastings having a corrupt view in this business, and of his having put this great man, who was supposed to be of immense wealth, under contributions ? Mr. Hastings never trusted his colleagues in this proceeding, and what reason does he give ? why, he supposed, that they must be bribed by Mahomed Reza Khân ; for, says he, as I did not know their characters at that time, I did not know whether Mahomed Reza Khân had not secured them to his interest by the known ways, in which great men in the East secure men to their interest. He never trusted his colleagues with the secret ; and the person, that he employed to prosecute Mahomed Reza Khân, was his bitter enemy, Nundcomar. I will not go the length of saying, that the circumstance of enmity disables a person from being a prosecutor; under some circumstances it renders a man incompetent to be a witness; but this I know, that the circumstance of having no other person to rely upon in a charge against any man, but his enemy, and of having no other principle to go upon than what is supposed to be derived out of that enmity, must form some considerable suspicion against the proceeding : but in this he was justified by the company ; for Nundcomar, the great rival of Mahoined Reza Khân, was in the worst situation with the company as to his credit. This Nundcomar's politics in the country had been by Mr. Has
tings himself, and by several persons joined with bim, cruelly represented to the company; and accordingly he stood so ill with them by reason of Mr. Hastings's representations and those of his predecessours, that the company ordered and directed, that, if he could be of any use in the inquiry into Mahomed Reza Khân's conduct, some reward should be given him suitable to his services; but they caution Mr. Hastings at the same time against giving him any trust, which he might employ to the disadvantage of the company. Now, Mr. Hastings began, before he could experience any service from him, by giving him his reward, and not the base reward of a base service, money, but every trust and power, which he was prohibited from giving him. Having turned out every one of Mahomed Reza Khân's dependants, he filled every office, as he avows, with the creatures of Nundco
Now when he uses a cruel and rigorous obedience in the case of Mahomed Reza Khan, when he breaks through the principles of his former conduct with regard to Nundcomar, when he gives him, Nundcomar, trust, whom he was cautioned not to trust, and when he gives him that reward before any service could be done ; 1 say, when he does this in violation of the company's orders and his own principles, it is the strongest evidence, that he now found them in the situation, in which they were in 1765, when bribes were notoriously taken, and that each party was mutually sold to the other, and faith kept with neither. The situation, in which Mr. Hastings thus placed himself, should have been dreaded by him of all things, because he knew it was a situation, in which the most outrageous corruption bad taken place before.
There is another circumstance, which serves to show, that in the persecution of these great men, and the persons employed by them, he could have no other view than to extort money from them.
There was a person of the name of Shitabroy, who had a great share in the conduct of the revenues of Bahar. Mr. Hastings, in the letter to the company, complaining of the state of their affairs, and saying, that there were great and suspicious balances in the kingdom of Bahar, does not even name the name of Shitabroy. There
was an English counsellour, a particular friend of Mr. Hastings's there, under whose controul Shitabroy acted. Without any charges, without any orders from the company, Mr. Hastings dragged down that same Shitabroy, and in the same ignominious prison he kept him the same length of time, that is, one year and three months, without trial ; and when the trial came on, there was as much appearance of collusion in the trial as there was of rigour in the previous process. This is the manner, in which Mr. Hastings executed the command of the company for removing Mahomed Reza Khân.
When a successour to Mahomed Reza Khân was to be appointed, your lordships naturally expect from the character I have given of him, and from the nature of his functions, that Mr. Hastings would be particularly precise, would use the utmost possible care in nominating a person to succeed him, who might fulfil the ends and objects of his employment; and be, at the same time, beyond all doubt and suspicion of corruption in any way whatever. Let us now see how he fills up that office thus vacant.
When the company ordered Mabomed Reza Khân to be dispossessed of his office, they ordered at the same time, that the salary of his successour should be reduced; that 30,0001. was a sufficient recompense for that office.
Your lordships will see by the allowance for the office, even reduced as it was, that they expected some man of great eminence, of great consequence, and fit for those great and various trusts. They cut off the dewannee from it, that is, the collection of the revenues ; and having lessened his labours, they lessened his reward : they ordered, that this person, who was to be guardian of the nabob in bis minority, and who was to represent the government, should have but 30,0001. The order they give is this :
“ And that as Mahomed Reza Khân can no longer be considered by us as one, to whom such a power can safely be committed, we trust to your local knowledge the selection of some person well qualified for the affairs of government, and of whose attachment to the company you shall be well assured.--Sucb person you will recommend to the nabob, to
succeed Mahomed Reza, as minister of the government, and guardian of the nabob's minority; and we persuade ourselves, that the nabob will pay such regard to your recommendation as to invest him with the necessary power and authority.
“As the advantages, which the company may receive from the appointment of such minister, will depend on his readiness to promote our views and advance our interest, we are willing to allow him so liberal a gratification as may excite bis zeal, and ensure his attachment to the company; we therefore empower you to grant to the person, whom you shall think worthy of this trust, an annual allowance, not exceeding three lacks of rupees, which we consider not only as a munificent reward for any services he shall render the company, but sufficient to enable him to support his station with suitable rank and dignity. And here we must add, that in the choice you shall make of a person to be the active minister of the nabob's government, we hope and trust, that you will show yourselves worthy of the confidence we have placed in you by being actuated therein by no other motives than those of the publick good, and the safety and interest of the company."
My lords, here they have given a reward, and they have described a person fit to succeed in all capacities the man, whom they had thought fit to depose. Now, as we have seen how Mr. Hastings obeyed the company's orders in the manner of removing Mahomed Reza Khân from his office; let us see how he obeyed their order for filling it up. Your lordships will naturally suppose, that he made all the orders of Mahomedan and Hindoo princes to pass in strict review before him ; that he had considered their age, authority, dignity, the goodness of their manners ; and upon the collation of all these circumstances had chosen a person fit to be a regent to guard the nabob's minority from all rapacity whatever, and fit to instruct him in every thing. I will give your lordships Mr. Hastings's own idea of the person necessary to fill such offices :
“ That his rank ought to be such, as at least ought not to wound the nabob's honour, or lessen his credit in the esti