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Other questions were carried in the fame manner as to numbers, though all were strenuously debated. Upon the presenting of the petition, and the hearing of counsel, ia behalf of the 5C0I. stockholders, the following resolution was moved, *' That it does nor, appear to this House, that the proprietors of 5061. capital stock, in the united company of merchant; of England, trading to the East Indies, have been guilty of any delinquency in the exercise of their charter rights, according to the several acts of parliament made in that behalf." This motion caused long and warm debates, in which the rights of the petitioners were ably pleaded, and the alledged injustice of the enacting clause, and the violent injury to their property, strongly represented. Upon a division, the motion was rejected by 1*3 to 43.

At length, after more than a month's continual agitation in the Hcuh. of Commons, and finally concluded by long and eager debates in a {ate house, this bill, which had attracted the attention

, ,, of all orders of people,

June 10th. „• , , r r

'was passed by a majo

rity of more than six to one, the numbers being 131 to 21 only. It was opposed in its progress (besides those we have already mentioned) by a petition in behalf of those who were possessed of property in the East-Indies, who represented, that every kind of transaction, either by remittance or otherwise, with foreign companies, or foreigners settled at Bengal, being prohibited W the bill, their property would be virtually confiscated; and ilroni ly claimed the exercise of that right which every Bri

tish subject enjoyed, of remitting his fortune from any part of th» world, in the manner he conceived most advantageous to himself.

This bill did not meet with a much less warm reception in the House of Lords, than the ordeal which it had already undergone ia that of the Commons; it was however supported and carried through, by a power equally efficacious. Upon the bringing it up, the noble duke whom we have before observed to have conducted the opposition to the supervision bill, moved for a conference with the Commous, upon the subject matter of the present bill. This motion was strongly opposed, as an unnecessary application, and leading to a tedious and troublesome delay, at this unseasonable time of the year; the motion was accordingly rejected upon a division, by a majority of 39 to 12 lords who supported it.

The same nobleman made a motion, that a message should be sent, for a communication of the reports of the several committees, that had been appointed to make an enquiry into the affairs of the East-India Company, together with a list of the witnesses that had been examined, and of all the papers that had been produced before the House of Commons, with Copies of their resolutions, and all the other evidences, facts, and matters, which they had proceeded upon, as a ground for passing the bill. This motion was opposed upon the same principle as the former, and upon a division rejected by nearly the fame majority. This refusal of the means of information, was not passed without much debate and animadversion, and was the foundation of a particular protest, in which it is severely complained of, and their present conduct strongly contrasted with thar practised upon former occasions, particularly in the year 1720, when the Lords had a conference with the Commons, which lasted the greater part of the month of July } but by this mode, it fays, the Commons have it in their power to preclude that House from the exercise of its deliberative capacity; they have nothing more to do, than to keep business of importance until the summer is advanced, and then the delay in one house is to be assigned as a sufficient ground for a precipitate acquiescence in the other. It was indeed, generally thought, not very decent for the House of Lords to proceed without any regular parliamentary information whatever, upon matters which the House of Commons had examined so much in detail.

Upon the second reading of the bill, a petition was received from the East - India Company, and counsel heard against it; after which, and many debates, the question was put upon the first enacting clause, with respect to the alteration in the directorship, when upon a division it was carried, to stand part of the bill, by 51 to 16; and the qualification clause was carried on a following division, by nearly the same number. On the

T , third reading, the bill

June iota. was carried through

by 47 to 15; but including the proxies, the majority was much greater, the numbers then being 74 to 17 only. It was however productive of a protest, signed by 13 lords.

Many of the argnments opposed to this bill, were necessarily upon the fame ground with those which

we have stated upon other occasions; the charges of violation qf public faith, private property, and chartered rights, have already been so often recited in the affairs of the Company, that a repetition of them, except wlure they vary in their circumstances from former cafes, would be needless. The tbroving of so immense a power and influence into the hands of the crown, was represented as totally subversive of the constitution, and rn.v.le a cause of great and principal objection. The disfranchising of 1246 freemen of the Company, without a charge or pretence of delinquency, was exclaimed against as an act of the most violent oppression, and Crying injustice; it was observed that those proprietors of 5001. stock, were the only class of voters, known or qualified by the Company's charter; and that the very grievance of splitting stock, by which they had hitherto been injured by the great proprietors, was now assigned as the cause for stripping them of their franchises, while the former were furnished with new powers for the legal multiplying of that evil.

The whole management of the affairs of the Company in India,, being vested in persons who were neither appointed nor removable by them, thereby cutting them off from all means of controul, from the redressing of grievances, and the applying of a remedy to evils, in their own affairs, was represented as the most glaring absurdity, and unaccountable solecism in politics, that ever had entered the mind of man; that this usurpation of right in the appointment of the Company's servants, being loaded with the compulsory payment of large salaries, salaries, arbitrarily fixed, and chargeable on their revenues, without their consent, was an act of the most flagrant injustice, and a violent out/age on all the rights of property.

The appointment of executive officers in parliament, was highly condemned, as unconstitutional, most pernicious in its example, productive of faction and intrigue, and calculated for extending a corrupt influence in the crown; as freeing ministers from all responsibility, whilst it leaves them all the effects of patronage; thereby defeating the wife design of the constitution, which placed the nomination of all officers, either immediately or derivatively, in the crown, whilst it committed the checlc upon improper nominations to parliament, and by confounding those powers which it meant to keep separate, has destroyed this necessary controul, along with every wise provision of the laws, to prevent abuses in the nomination to or exercise of office. Similar objections were made to other parts of this bill. The appointment of judges and a new court of justice, was not so much debated in either House, at other parts of the regulating bill, except upon fixing the nomination in the crown. In the preceding year, the Company itself had formed a plan for courts of justice, little differing from that adopt* ed by government.

Thus this memorable revolution was accomplished. From that time, the Company is to be considered as wholly in the bands of the ministers of the crown.

During the long enquiries which had been continually carried on, by the S:icci Committee, Lord

Clive, with several other civil and military officers, who had been in high itations in India, were frequently interrogated, and underwent the strictest examination in that committee, relative to the foreign affairs, and conduct of the Company abroad. These enquiries took in a period of many years, from the beginning of the war, which brought about the revolution in Bengal, in the year 1756, to the present time.

The severest strictures were passed in some of the reports of the committees, upon the conduct of many of the gentlemen concerned in those affairs, to which all the past misfortunes and present distresses of the Company were principally* attributed. At length, a direct .enquiry being resolved on, a report was brought up by the chairman of the select committee, containing charges of the blackest dye, of rapacity, treachery, and cruelty, against those who were principally concerned in the deposal and death of Serajah Dowlah, the signing of a fictitious treaty with one ot his agents, the establishment of Meer Jasfier, the terms obtained from him upon that occasion, and the other capital circumstances which led to, or attended, the celebrated revolution of the year 1756 ; thereby comprehending Lord Clive, and the other chief actors in those transactions.

The chairman, after regretting the particular situation, which put him under the disagreeable necessity of entering upon so irksome a subject, and expatiating largely and very ably upon the nature and extent of the enormities comprized in the charges, proposed the following resolutions, which were


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under the influence of a military force, or by treaty with foreign princee, do of right belong to the state. 2.' That to appropriate acquisitions so made; to the private emolument of persons entrusted with any civil or military power of the Hate, is illegal. That very great sums of money, and other valuable property, have been acquired in Bengal, from princes, and others of that country, by persons entrusted with the military and civil powers of the state, by means of such powers; which films of money and valuable property, have been appropriated to the private nse of such persons.

The gentleman who moved the resolutions, declared that he would not stop there, that he would prosecute the subject with the utmost vigour, and that restitution to the public was the great object of his pursuit. Though these resolutions, in their tendency, might have endangered the fortunes of most of thole who acquired them in India, and might have established a precedent, equally fatal to private security, and to the military service; yet so strong was the indignation excited by the enormities in India, and so pleasing the ideas of establishing our character of national justice by punishing delinquents* and above all of obtaining restitution to the public,- that they were carried through with great rapidity: and it seem*, probable, that while the tide continued in its full strength, if others had been proposed, they would have been attended with equal success.

Upon cooler reflection, however, a closer view of the subject,

and greater attention to its consequences, it was productive of great debates, and occasioned s me very late nights. The nobleman who was accused gave a general account of his conduct, the several parts of which he vindicated with great ability; and shewed the critical necessity that prevailed in certain situations, where the English power and fortune in Asia depended solely upon rapid, well-timed,' and extraordinary measures.- Most people pitied his present deplorable situation, who, after the great and undeniable services he had rendered to t'ic state and to the Company,' the public and honourable testimonials ot ihem, which he had received from both, and the quiet possession Which lie had so long held of his great fortune, was to have that and his honour put to the hazard, by a strict and severe retror spect, into transactions, which' had happened so many years" before; that they were now become a fitter subject for history than juridical enquiry.

On the other hand, those whd pushed the prosecution, asserted, that for criminal matters there was Tio limitation of time. That the charge must proceed according to the offence. That the idea of a set-off of services against offences,' was ttivial and illegal. That theif former resolutions against those who had embezzled the money of the state, and who had plundered princes in alliance, would be a gross mockery, if the guilty were suffered to escape. That Lord Clive was the oldest, if not the principal delinquent, and had set an evil example to all the rest. "To punish those that followed, and not those who set the example, wou.M

be be gross injustice; and they foretold, that his escape would be an indemnity to the whole corps of delinquents.

These reasons were ineffectual. The principal ground of argument upon which this enquiry was defeated, was the incompetence of the reports from the select committee being admitted as evidence, whereon to found any judicial proceedings in parliament. This matter was accordingly much agitated; but the general fense teemed to be against the admitting of those reports as evidence. The witnesses were personal and principal actors in the affairs on which they were examined, and as the enquiry was only supposed to tend to the suture regulation and government of the Company's affairs, it could not be imagined, that they were under any guard with respect to their testimonies in the relation of transactions, which a: this distance, they could scarcely think, by any retrospect, to affect themselves.

A motion to the following purport, was at length put and carried: That Lord Clive, about the time of deposing Serajah Do*lah, and the establishing of Meer Jaffier, did obtain and possess himself of several sums, under the denomination of private donation; which sums, were of the value, in Englilh money, of 234,000 1. The following words were originally part of the resolution; but after Jong debates were rejected, viz. " To the dishonour and detriment os the state." •^-On this point the grand struggle was made. Those who speculate, observed an extraordinary division of those who on all other occasions acted together. The minister de

clared in favour of the words of censure on Lord Clive, and divided in the minority. The attorney-general was a principal in the attack. The solicitor-general managed hi*? defence. The courtiers went different ways. The most considerable part of the opposition supported Lord Clive, though he hud joined administration, and supported them in their proceedings against the Company.

A motion was then made and rejected, That Lord Clive did, in so doing, abuse the power with which he was entrusted, to the evil example of the servants of the public. A motion was then made, at near four o'clock in the morning, That Lord Clive did, at the fame time, render great and meritorious services to this country; this resolution was carried, and put an end to the enquiry.

While the East-India regulationbill was agitated in the House of Lords, and that for eltublilhing the loin in the House of Commons, a petition was presented to the latter from th^ Company, refusing to accept of the loan upon the conditions with which it was intended to be clogged, and requesting to withdraw their former petition; lett it should be imagined that they were in any degree accessary to their own destruction, or thought answerable to posterity, for tha mischiefs, which thole conditions might bring upon the nation. This petition was treated by administration, rather as an act of insanity, than a matter that deserved any serious consideration; and it was determined to save the Company from ruin in her own despight, and to force the benevolence of the public upon her against her will.

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