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sources, were powerfully instrumental in supplying Fox with the materials from which he formed his bill; a bill, to the passing of which neither Burke nor Fox anticipated any powerful obstruction. The Ministry had certainly many symptoms of strength superior to that possessed by any Ministry since the commencement of this reign. It combined the leading members of both parties during the American war. It united philosophy and genius with official experience.
To consolidate parts, formerly heterogeneous, into one mass, a great weight of aristocratic influence was superinduced. Lord North retained many of his numerous supporters. Fox had a less numerous, but more able band of friends. The result of this union of genius, experience, rank, and property, was a majority seldom seen in favour of the Minister from the time of the illustrious Pitt. It was more likely to continue, because not depending solely on the native genius of the Minister, it had so many strong adventitious supports. Strong, however, as the building appeared,
there was a latent flaw. The Administra-
The people also regarded the coalition with a jealous eye. The party which the coalition had driven from power, it might well be supposed, would narrowly watch every opportunity which either the favour of the Sovereign, or the people, might improve to them. The India bill of Mr. Fox afforded them the opportunity they wished.
The session met on the lith day of November. The speech and address were received in the House of Lords, without any censure, except from Earl Temple alone; and in the House of Commons with unanimity and applause.
Nov. 18, Fox introduced, with a speech that few ever equalled, and even he himself never surpassed, his famous India bill. to enter into a detail of a measure so well
known, would be unnecessary, and, indeed, foreign to my purpose. It may not, however, be irrelative to repeat its leading objects and features, as Burke was its most strenuous supporter. The system proposed by Fox characterised his ardent daring spirit, his comprehensive, expanded, and inventive genius. Whether in its tendency and principles a good or a bad measure, it was undoubtedly at once open, decisive, and efficient. He cither assumed or concluded that the East India Company had so completely mismanaged their affairs as to be in a state of insolvency, and that their servants had been guilty of the most atrocious oppression in India. On this liypothesis or conviction he formed his plan. To prevent the continuance of mismanagement by the East India Company, he proposed what would have been certainly very effectual as to that object, the taking the management of their own affairs, territorial and commercial, entirely out of the hands of the Proprietors and the Directors; their house in Leadenhall-street, together with all books, papers, and documents: vesting the entire management, the appointment of all officers and servants, the rights of peace and war, and the disposal of the whole revenue, in the hands of certain Commissioners, to be appointed, in the first instance, by the whole Legislature, and afterwards by the Crown. It was proposed they should hold their offices by the same tenure as the judges of England, and thus not be dependent on the Minister of the time. The proposed Cominissioners were eight of the particular friends of Mr. Fox, venting oppressive and despotical proceedings in the administration of the territorial possessions, a second bill was added, ascertaining precisely, the powers of the Governor-General, supreme council, and other officers which the Commissioners might appoint ; and also the privileges of the Zemins dars (landholders) and other natives. *
* This bill was approved of by many who reprobated the principal bill. In furning the second plan, the communications of Mr. Francis had been peculiarly useful and inpor tant,
· Mr. Pitt took a vigorous and decided part in opposing this bill. From him indeed and Dundas did it meet with almost the sole opposition it experienced in its passage through the House of Commons. Pitt attacked it in the first place'as an infringement, or rather annihilation of the Company's charter ; insisting that the charter was as clear and strong, and the right founded on it as well ascertained, as that of any chartered body in the kingdom ; that the violation of the India Company's rights, glaringly unjust in itself, militated against , the security of all chartered rights. He argued, that besides its injustice respecting the Company, it would be dangerous to the constitution, by establishing an influence independent of the Legislature ; an influence that, from its nature, would be under the controul of its creator, Mr. Fox. He did not hesitate to impute so unjust and so unconstitutional a plan to an ambitious desire of being perpetual dictator. Dundas coinciding with Pitt's idea, that the system was unjust and unconstitutional, and concurring