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Mr. SPITTAL.--I am glad there is so good an excuse for their absence. Although they have already petitioned in their corporate capacity, I should like to have had their countenance also. Mr. M‘Farlan having gone so minutely into the subject, that I will not take up your time with a long speech, but, in a question of such vast importance, I trust it will not be considered out of place if I say a few words. It is well known that infant establishments often require the aid of monopolies and exclusive privileges, which are withdrawn in after years. This has been exemplified in the case of the Hamburgh Company, the Russian Company, the Hudson's Bay Company, the South Sea Company, and others, who, at their commencement enjoyed exclusive privileges. The fisheries, too, were encouraged by bounties, but of late years had been allowed to find their own level; and I believe that in a year or two, even the bounty on the herring fisheries will also be withdrawn. The India Company could not now be called an infant establishment, it might rather be said to be in its dotage, for it had now existed 250 years, having been begun in 1579, and was confirmed in 1600. At the commencement of the Company the profits realised were so great, that Government found it necessary to repress them, ordaining that the surplus should be expended in making roads and bridges in India. The Company agreed to do this, but never fulfilled their engagements. For many years the Company has been retrograding; and to such a state was it reduced in 1783, that it was proposed by that great statesman, Mr. Fox, with a view of liquidating its debtsfor it was then almost insolvent--to place it in the hands of commissioners. · At that period the debts of the Company was eleven millions, and its assets only three millions. Ever since that period the Company has been endeavouring to convince Government of the necessity of carrying on the monopoly, with a view to pay off their debts ; but in place of liquidating, they are gradually getting more deeply involved. In 1793, twenty years of exclusive privilege was asked to pay their debts, but in 1813 the deficiency was tripled. Upon a similar reason, twenty years more were then granted ; and I have no doubt that in 1833 the debts will be found
proportionally increased. Another argument made use of, and strongly urged for the continuance of exclusive privileges, was to give the Company an opportunity of remitting their surplus revenue to England in produce to pay those debts. In this they also failed; for since that argument was used they have had no surplus to remit, there being a deficiency in the revenue to meet the expence, to the amount of one, and sometimes to two or three millions. And how can it be otherwise, when they declare that in place of having a profit on the goods carried, they incur a loss upon every article brought from the East, except tea. The advocates for exclusive privileges always hold out the doctrine, and endeavour to convince, how much wealth is, by means of this Company, showered into the lap of the mother country; but the contrary is the fact. The mother country has had to support her child, being in 1808, impoverished to no less an extent than ten millions : as was asserted in a very able article on this subject in the Edinburgh Review. I have not the least hesitation in asserting, that such a ruinous trade would long ere this have been put a stop to, had it not been for two weighty considerations: first, the great capital at stake ; and, secondly, the immense patronage it conferred upon the directors—the Lords of Leadenhallstreet, as they are sometimes designated. I am well aware that such a trade, and such a system, cannot be broken in upon without overcoming many difficulties and great sacrifices being made ; but if the nation at large is to be benefitted, no doubt the Government will take care that the burden shall be spread, and justly spread, over the whole community. It will be but fair, if the nation is benefitted, that it bear a portion of the loss ; which, by the imposition of moderate duties, would easily be made good. Past experience has established, that the Company cannot carry on trade with a profit ; but recent experience has also shewn, that trade may be carried on with advantage, in a national point of view, by throwing it open. In 1814, the last year of the old charter, the exports were two millions and a half to India and China, while in 1826 the exports to India alone amounted to five millions. In 1814 the imports were six millions; but in 1826 they amounted to eight millions, although British subjects remained excluded from participating in the commerce with China. Mr. Macfarlan had given a number of instances of the increase ; I will only give one, that of cottons, to shew the advantages our manufacturers have derived from the partial opening of the trade. In 1814, 818,000 yards of cotton goods were exported, but in 1826 the exported amounted to twenty-six millions of yards, an increase of nearly 3000 times the number of yards in twelve years !-(Hear.) Indeed, were the trade fully open, there would be a demand nearly equal to all we could manufacture, notwithstanding the aid of the powerful mach of Arkwright, and the fruits of the genius of Watt. But for the India Company to go on as at present, would only be to plunge them still deeper in debt. This was well illustrated by what took place in 1797. In that year the Governor-General, with a view to recruit the finances of the East India Company, imposed a number of new taxes, whereby the revenue, at that period eight millions annually, was raised, in 1808, to fifteen millions. This looked like doing business ; but it so happened that the expences of the Government kept pace, so that in 1805, the same year, they amounted to seventeen millions. Monopoly, indeed, has always been the parent of indolence and profusion. By the establishment,' says Dr. Šmith, of the commercial monopoly of the East India Company, the other subjects are taxed very absurdly in two different ways; first, by the high price of goods, which, in the case of a free trade, they could buy much cheaper ; and, secondly, by their total exclusion from a branch of business, which it might both be convenient and profitable to carry on. It is for the most worthless of all purposes, too, that they are taxed in this manner; it is to enable the Company to support the negligence, profusion, and malversation of their servants, whose disorderly conduct seldom allows the dividend to exceed the ordinary rate of profit in trades which are altogether free, and frequently sinks it much lower.' A Com. pany,' says another writer, who carries a sword in one hand, and a ledger in the other--who maintains armies, and retails tea, is a contradiction, that if it traded with success would be a prodigy.' At the same time, let it be understood that, in our petition, and I trust the same feeling will prevail throughout the country, it is merely as to the trading interest which we are expressing a desire to have opened ; not to interfere with the local government of the country. With such a person as the Noble Duke at the head of his Majesty's Government, aided by that enlightened statesman, the Right Honourable Robert Peel, I have not the least doubt, that they who eased the consciences of seven millions of his Majesty's subjects, on a late occasion, without interfering with their political franchise, will be able to bring to a happy issue the grand question as to the East India Company. Trusting that this may be the case, and that it may increase the commercial interests of this great nation, I beg leave to second the resolution of Mr. Macfarlan. (Cheers.)
The MASTER said, that after the very luminous details which had been laid before the company in the able speeches of Mr. Macfarlan and Mr. Spittal, little was left to be said ; but he should still be happy to hear the sentiments of any other member who wished to speak on the subject. For himself, he had always considered the India monopoly as a very delicate and difficult subject to deal with ; it had existed for upwards of two centuries, and had finally resulted in rendering the India Company lords of upwards of a hundred millions of people, who, whatever sufferings they exposed themselves to by submission to the most absurd superstitions, still, he believed, were infinitely more happy, take them all in all, than any other similar mass in the universe. It was, therefore, a very delicate matter to interfere with the internal management of such a mass of population ; and if the Company found it necessary to have the power of removing individuals whose conduct was calculated to interfere with the comfort and happiness of the natives, he thought it a wise measure that that power should be reserved to it.' When he knew that the Company had assented to the domestication of foreigners, as well as our own coun. trymen—when he knew that the Company consented to open their trade, so as to lead to the great results so ably detailed by Mr. Macfarlan—he thought there was little to be desired that might not be expected from negociation. It was said that the China trade was absolutely necessary for the existence of the Company. Be it so; but without now entering on the policy of that monopoly, let them for the present be allowed to enjoy it, so far as regards England. It is unreasonable, however, in them to desire the prohibition of our trade between China and other parts of the world ; and upon this point he thought that the exertions of the Company should principally bear. Here was a trade enjoyed by all the maritime nations of Europe, and more particularly so by our Transatlantic friends; and surely no policy could be shorter sighted than to restrain our own people from competing on their own element with their American rivals. He could wish the resolutions of the Company to steer clear of all interference with internal management, whether political or religious. Mercantile matters were the legitimate object of the Merchant Company, and on these their voice had clearly a right to be heard.
Mr. Grieve said, in 1813 a public meeting was held in Glasgow on the same important subject, when Mr. Kirkman Finlay filled the chair. If he recollected well, that gentleman said, he should not be surprised to live to see Glasgow muslins exported to India. This statement was considered so romantic at the time, as to excite almost universal derision; but it had been fully realized. Mr. Macfarlan had said there was sufficient scope in India for all the goods this country could manufacture, and his prediction was not more unlikely to be realized than the prediction of Mr. Kirkman Finlay was at the time it was uttered.
Mr. G. Yule thought that the resolutions should be published in the news. papers; and expressed a wish that a resolution should be added against the burning of widows.
Mr. A. CRAIG seconded Mr. Yule's proposition of publishing the resolutions, and thought the Company ought to give them all publicity.
The Master had no objection to the publication of the resolutions, but was opposed to any thing not mercantile being mixed up with them.
Mr. MACFARLAN said it would give him great pleasure to see petitions for the abolition of suttees sent from all parts of the kingdom ; but in their character of merchants of Edinburgh, it would be perhaps as advisable to make a distinction between mercantile and religious affairs.
Mr. A. Scott said this was a very delicate subject; inasmuch as one of the most enlightened administrations that ever governed India, discountenanced Christian missionaries, on the principle that they would interfere with the established religion of the country.-(Laughter.)
Some other gentlemen delivered their opinions against the Company then adopting any resolution not purely commercial ; upon which Mr. Macfarlan's resolutions were carried unanimously,
WRITTEN AFTER ATTENDING MR. BUCKINGHAM'S LECTURES.
I ENVY not his step who strays
Upon the Ganges' sultry shore,
The languid spirits to restore.
Of Moslem temples casts his eye,
Seem flashing back from sky to sky.
Her giant shadow o'er the plain,
Oh! who would visit it again ?
And where the bounding waters leap
With thundering sound from rock to rock, And their wild roar tumultuous keep,
Though the earth trembles with the shock. No, 'tis not there that I would rest,
Nor 'neath the Banian's green alcove ; Nor could the islands of the west
E’er tempt my wandering feet to rove. But where the Kidron's silver stream
Pursues its unobtrusive way, Beneath the placid moonlight beam,
Would I with pensive pleasure stray.
Sweet tears of grateful love and joy ;
And glory in the blest employ.
Where Jesu's sacred footsteps trod, And ever in his heart forgot
The sufferings of the Son of God!
Yes—let me weep ;--for there he wept,
In yon lone garden's deepest shade ; And while his poor disciples slept,
He groaned—he agonized—he prayed ! And say
for whom those bitter tears Mysterious—merciful-were shed ? Fall they not yet, like heavenly dews,
On the repentant sinner's head ?
Yet oh! we need not wander there,
Blest tokens of his love to find ; His mercy meets us everywhere,
By clime, by country unconfin'd.
So yonder world of waters rolls,
Sublimely on from land to land; Now visiting the distant Poles,
Now breaking on our native strand,
Rejoice! we need not search the deeps,
Nor seek our God from sphere to sphere;
P. T. MILLER.
PROGRESS OF MR. BUCKINGHAM's LABOURS IN THE COUNTRY.
In addition to the information on this subject, contained in our last, we have the pleasure to state, that the large and populous towns of Newcastle, Shields, and Sunderland, have made arrangements for forming East India Associations, in consequence of the Lectures delivered at each—so that these towns will now be added to the others, in which such Associations have been formed, and the co-operation will be accordingly general and powerful in the day of need. In addition to the several articles that have appeared in the London Papers, during the last month on the subject-we may state that the Country Papers have continued to render the most valuable services to the cause, by their frequent publications on this topic. Three of these we may safely repeat as being remarkable for the clearness of view, as well as simplicity of statement, which characterizes them; and as shewing that in every part of the country, the question is now too well understood to permit of the former fallacies urged by the India Company, exciting any other feeling than pity or derision.
TO JAMES S. BUCKINGHAM, ESQ.
Gloucestershire, Oct. 12th, 1829. Sir,-I am induced to address a few observations to you and to the public, in consequence of some opinions reported to have been expressed by you in the town of Whitby, when animadverting on Mr. Sadler's speech, as relating to the shipping interest.
The Liverpool Times, in commenting on those opinions, designates the argument contained as conclusive and unanswerable, and founds upon it conclusions which I am satisfied, were they to prevail, would prove injurious to the best interests of this great country, and especially its agriculture, by far the largest investment in the state. It is the opinion you expressed of the necessity of adopting the reciprocity system, as regards our shipping, and the idea that a country which has the greatest number of its wants supplied from without is the most favourable to the shipping interest, that I am about to comment on, and the results impugn.
You are engaged in a most important undertaking, and you have succeeded in creating an interest with regard to our Indian possessions-greater perhaps and more universal than has ever been previously experienced ; but I trust, in the pursuit of that object, you will forbear from appealing to the exclusive personal interests and peculiar prepossessions of those classes whom this great question more immediately concerns, if you wish to promote an important and unmixed national good : and that in seeking most meritoriously to advance the prosperity of the great Asiatic continent, you will be careful that you do not attack and injure some of the most important pillars in the British state,
At the very point where the Liverpool paper leaves your argument, in complete satisfaction with its being unanswerable, I desire to take it up, and (admitting all the premises it claims, that foreign nations would exclude our ships, if we excluded theirs) deny the soundness of the conclusion that it is therefore desirable to admit them into our ports, upon terms as advantageous as our own. Great Britain has at least the control over her own ports; her prices are necessarily higher in nearly every point than those of the surrounding nations ; her commerce, in proportion to the country, can employ more shipping than any rival state ; her imports are all of a bulky kind; her exports, chiefly of more finished articles, require only a smaller space ; her own colonies are most extensive and widely spread; her capital is great, and her internal industry and resources of the highest class : is it wise, then, burdened and encumbered as she is with taxation and with debt, to attempt a race of competition with nations comparatively free? Is it desirable to give admission upon equal terms to every foreign flag, to admit them to a participation in such a