Imágenes de página

proper that I should state shortly the ob- take upon me to say, that within one ject for which I move the reprinting of the month after the papers are printed, I shall papers, and of the printing of such others, be further prepared to move those resoluas appear to me to be requisite for the tions on the papers, 'which I shall judge thorough understanding of the affair. It requisite. I am of opinion it could be done has been said, ,and the same sentiment in much less time, if necessary ; but the seems to pervade the whole correspon- subject is important, and demands a full dence of the East-India company and the enquiry. I hesitate not to say, that I bring governor of Madras, that policy might this subject forward as an independent membave rendered it necessary that we should ber of parliament, anxious to rescue the assume the government of the from the imputation of misconduct; My motion goes to lay before the house and I beg leave to observe, that I have no those papers which shew whether there connection whatever with those who were then really existed any ground or pretence first concerned in bringing this subject forfor saying that the conduct of the nabob ward. With regard to Mr. Paull, I have had rendered that assumption necessary. no difficulty in stating, that I think he deIt is observable, with reference to the con serves well of his country for the part he duct of marquis Wellesley, immediately has taken in these transactions. I never after the surrender of Seringapatam, that saw him in my life. My reason for promohe refers to an intended account which was ting this enquiry arises from an anxiety I to be rendered of the motives which indu- feel, that this country should not suffer in ced the noble marquis to assume the govern- its character from imputations which it ment, alleging that he would send a review does not deserve. I shall conclude with of those transactions to England ; but it moving, “ that the papers which were predoes not appear that he ever sent that pro- sented to this house upon the 21st and 23d mised statement. There are some letters days of June 1802, and upon the 10th day of the court of directors, too, which re- of August 1803, relative to the Carnatic, quire explanation, on which I give no be reprinted for the members of the house. opinion at present; by which it appears Mr. Sheridan thanked the bon. baronet that some difference existed between my for his liberality and candour, and acknowlord Clive and the marquis Wellesley, in- ledged the pledge which be had given to volving matters which are not, in any de- proceed with the enquiry. He had stated gree, explained. The third set of papers the reasons which induced him to give it up, regard the Polygar war, in 1801. It ap- when the hon. baronet was not a member pears from the treaty of 1792, that the of the house. He would again state them Company's government had a right depu- at the proper time, and then the hon. baroted to them to collect the pishcash or tri- net would be satisfied that he did him no bute from the Polygars; and to enforce more than justice, in giving him credit for the payment, if necessary, on the requisi- the purity of his motives. The question, tion of the nabob. But every act to be as he thought, was confined to the conperformed, was to be done in the nabob's duct of the Madras government, but from name, and by his authority. Now, this volumes of papers afterwards moved for, it war, which was a very extraordinary one, appeared that the Bengal government, both in its alleged cause and consequences, the directors, and the board of controul must, at first sight, appear to have been were also implicated. This was however sanctioned at least by the nabob. It will, not the ground of his abandoning the case. therefore, be necessary to ascertain whe- He thought the hon. baronet ought to conther, in point of fact, it was so or not; in fine himself to the reprinting of the papers order to shew that the nabob's government before produced. If he moved for new was either the cause of the war, or to free ones, and was retorted upon in the manner it from the consequences and the blame he had been, he would subject himself to be which might attach to that measure. But, called over the coals, and the business sir, before I submit this motion to the might be delayed longer than he could at house, it may be asked of me whether I do present have any idea of. When he brought pot think I owe some apology to the house forward the charge, however, he would as to the time which will be taken up by experience every support that he could bringing this subject forward ? and I think give him. it is perfectly correct to ask me that ques- Sir John Anstruther hoped that the hon, tion. Sir, if this motion be agreed to, Ibaronet would declare what was his object, and against whom his motion was to be di- of directors never did approve of that mearected. Did he mean to attack lord Welles-sure; for the sake, therefore, of having the ley, or lord Powis, or the directors, or the conduct of the court of directors investiboard of controul, or the late ministers ? gated, he was friendly to the present motion. He wished to know what he was driving at, He was very glad that the friends of lord if he knew it himself, for he seemed to have Wellesley were so desirous of entering into some doubts about the matter. In the mean this investigation. He declined, however, time he hoped that the house would not to enter into the merits of the revolution in allow the characters of the executive officers 1801, and he could speak with the greater to be complimented away by the praises freedom, as he had not at that period any wbich the right hon. gent. and the bon. share in the direction. It was to be obserbaronet, had thought proper to bestow on ved, however, that the board of controul each other. He contended that the con- took that affair into their own bands, and duct of the executive officers had been ap- superseded altogether the court of direc. proved of by the directors and the board of tors. And the right hon. baronet (Sir J. controul, the cabinet, and this house. They Anstruther) opposite to him, was completely had only executed the orders they had mistaken in considering the secret commit. received, and the responsibility therefore tee, and the court of directors, as being did not rest with them, though he did not connected ; it was, in point of fact, a comadmit that they had by any means even plete mistake, in form as well as in sublent themselves as instruments to any im- stance. The secret committee was the proper act. He then adverted to the in- express, direct, and immediate organ of the justice done to persons accused, by allowing board of controul. Their proceedings were ibe charge to hang over. He also said, that utterly unknown to the court of directors, from his own knowledge, be could affirm The secret committee was subject in no way ibat the revival of old charges was attended or respect whatsoever to the court of direcwith great mischief to our Indian goveri- tors, who were indeed entirely ignorant of ment. It shook the confidence of the na- the proceedings of the secret committee. tives in its stability, and nourished a desire This act, therefore, of the secret commit. of change, which prevailed in a particular tee, which the right hon. baronet treated degree in these people, and was generally as the act of the court of directors, was the case in arbitrary governments. He an act in which they had no share, of wished to know specifically what was the which they had no knowledge, an act with design of the hon. baronet before he gave which they had not the slightest concern; bis assent to the motion ?

and it was an act on which the board of conMr. Grant said, though he did not flatter troul had exercised its authority ; and as himself that much benefit would result from that board was superior in India concerns, this discussion, yet, as a friend to discus- it became extremely difficult for the court sion in general, and considerivg the house of directors even to express an opinion, of commons as the only security which the much less exercise a judgment on a deciinhabitants of British India had for protec- sion of the board of controul, without intion and redress, and the only place in curring the imputation of resisting superior which an investigation into the affairs of authority. It was liable to the objection of India could be instituted, it was necessary leading to great derangement in their affairs. that he should take notice of some asser. Another reason which prevented the intertions which had been made in the course ofference was, the subject of the asumption this debate. It was asserted, that they of the Carnatic had become the subject of had recommended, if not ordered, the parliamentary enquiry, which superseded revolution which took place in India, by both the board of controul and the court of the assumption of the territories of the Car- directors. natic, to which it must first be answered, Sir John Anstrut her denied that, he wishthat they disclaimed all interference in the ed to oppose enquiry. He ovly said that nature of compulsion, avd he read an ex- it ought not to be allowed to drag on for tract from their minutes, by which such an years. The court of directors had justructinterference was expressly disclaimed, and ed their officers to pay the same deference then asked how such a proceeding should to the orders of the secret committee as to be tortured into an approbation, much less those of the directors themselves, and as an authority; for the revolution which took the secret committee had approved of the place ? He could state, that the court conduct of lord Wellesley, he was fully warranted in saying that the directors | way back in an enquiry into Indian trans: through them had expressed tijeir appro- actions. It was but reasonable that he bation of it.

bould allow the same privilege to others. Mr. Grant denied that the court of He was glad that the subject had come undirectors submitted themselves entirely to der investigation, and was not much alarmthe guidance of the secret committee. ed as to the result. He denied that the

Sir Arthur Wellesley said, he was dis- directors had given any ilustructions to sancposed to pursue the sanie live he had adopt- tion the revolution in the Carnatic. The ed last session, and was, therefore, wil Court of directors were quite distinct from ling to accede to every motion for papers, the secret committee, which was not rethat could enable the house to decide upon sponsible even for, such papers as had its the whole case. Neither would any friend own 'signature. of his noble relation give any opposition to Mr. Tierney would not object to the rea the production of such information. But printing of the papers which had been beit was his opinion, that all the papers fore produced, and agreed that that house should be 'reprinteri, and with that view he was the dernier resort in such cases. But should feel it his duty to move, as well he lamented that the subject had been now for those omitted by the hon. baronet, as brought forward, as he could see no good for any others that might be necessary for that could result from it. It had before the elucidation of the transaktion. He been properly brought forward, and he wished the house to consider the situation lamented inat it had not then been proceedof his noble relation with this charge 'hang. ed in. He begged of the house to coning six years over him. It appeared by the sider the consequence:. The subject was papers, that the court of directors had sent one of the deepest importance, particularout instructions to take possessioù of the ly with a view to the transfer of property, Carnatic, at the commencement of the which had taken place since the transacwar with Tippoo Sultan, and not to restore tion which had been adverted 10. But, it to the nabob. ll was rather extraordi- at the same time, he admitted that even nary, therefore, that a charge should be the inconvenience that might result from brought for a transaction commanded and the disturbance of property; ought not to approved by the court of directors, and deter the house, if it was called upon, from sanctioned by his majesty and by act of investigating the case, and applying ilo parliament.

censures where censure was due. He was. Mr. R. Thornton complained of the ac-sorry that the hon. baronet had nou mencusations thrown out against the directors tioned more distinctly whom he intended without docuni 'nats on the table to warrant to accuse. He admitted that the board of them. He regretted the delay which had controul was responsible for the secret comtaken place, but maintained that no blame mittee, but he denied that this committee rested with the directors, The reasons was such a nullity as some iniglit suppose given by the right hon. gent. over the way from the description of it which had that (Mt. Sheridan), for his abandoning the case, night been given, and he cautioned gentledid not appear to him satisfactors. When men against speaking of it in these terms, he had brouglit forward the question, he as they might, by these means, propagate thought he was going band in hand with an opinion that it was useless. He gave him, but he soou found thrat he himself was no opinion respecting the merits of the to be accused. There were soine points transactions. He agreed to the motion of re. with respect to the government in India printing the fornier papers; but it was doubt that required the interference of that house, ful whether the others could be granted, till which was the dernier resort in such cases. the hon. baronet should state what they But the court of directors were not the were, and till he had an opportunity of proper persons to beeuthe accusers. If examiving whether they could be produced they put themselves forward in this way, without detriment to the public service. they might do a great deal of irischief to Lord Folkestone contended, that with our interests in India. From the nature respect to the assumption of the governof their situation, it was not expedient in ment of the Carnatic, blame lay some any view that they should come prominent- where, and that it was a matter of serious ly forwarts, unless-assured of effectual sup- investigation to ascertain where all the port. The hou. baronet (sir J. Anstruther) censure of that most extraordinary revoluhart himself before gone a considerable tion should devolve. The hon. barones YOL. VIII.


had been pressed to state distinctly his ob- fore, in the present stage of the business, imject in calling for thuse papers ; he did possible for him distinctly to pledge himnot think this fair; it might be impossible self, further than avowing it as bis intenfor the hon. baronet distinctly to state his tion to submit a motion committing the object, until he had been previously fur- house to a censure of the East-Judia comvished with the necessary evidence by those pany, or its servants, in the assumption of papers; but before that evidence should be the government of the Carnatic. The hon. furnished, he thought it a subject of too baronet concluded with an appeal to the great magnitude to warrant any member feelings of the house, in which he alluded in distinctly pledging himself to a specific to the melancholy fate of the deposed charge.

prince, who, he could prove, had perished Mr. Hiley Addington begged gentlemen in a dungeon. to recollect, that there bad been more pa. Sir A. Wellesley explicitly denied that pers relative to India called for, and pro- the prince, as stated by the hon, baronet, duced in the last session of the late parlia- was imprisoned in a dungeon, or died by ment, than for six sessions before; he was any other than natural causes. He thought entirely of opinion, that in calling for pa- it became a gentleman of the hon. baropers upon any subject, the object should net's profession, to be more cautious in mahe distinctly stated; he acquitted the hon.king such charges. barovet of being actuated by any sinister Sir ?. Turton maintained that the papers motives of party or vanity in bringing fully bore bim out in his assertion, though forward his present motion, and praised he did not in the least implicate lord Welthe manly and inge:uous conduct of the lesley in that dark transaction. gallant general (Wellesley) in every ques- Mr. Fuller thought the enquiry should tion relating to Indian enquiry.

be fully gone into. Mr. S. Stanhope thought it a most extra- Mr. Sheridan, while he acquitted in the fulordinary mode of opposing the bon, baro- lest manner the noble lord (Weilesley), had nel's motion, by refusing to assent to the not a doubt upon his mind, that the young production of the papers called for, until prince came to his death by foul and exthe object had been distinctly stated, traordinary means.—The motion was then which object the papers in question were put and carried. alone to ascertain. He conplained of a radical defect in the present state of the go

HOUSE OF LORDS, vernment in India, and knew not whether

Friday, Februury 27, more governments had been subverted by it [INSOLVENT DEBTORS.] Lord Ilolland jo the East or by Bonaparte in the West. presented a petition from the debtors con

Sir ?'. Turton, in reply, said that when tined in the king's bench prison, praying it appeared from the arguments upon both for such relief as to the house should seem sides, that it was a question whether the meet. His lordship observed, that, after court of directors' approved or disappro- what passed last session respecuing this ved of the conduct of their servants in In- subject, it was almost needless for bim to dia, he did not think a stronger argument say, that it was not his intention to protban this very doubt could possibly be ad- pose any bill for the reljet of insolvent vanced in favour of the motion he had debtors.' The petition, indeed, did not submitted to the house : his object was pray for any such bill, but rather for a gesubstantial justice, and in the pursuit of neral law respecting debtor and creditor, that, however deficient in other respects, by the operation of which they might be he should not be found defective in zeal, restored to their families. Qf tbe necesdiligence, and perseverance. As to the sity of some law of this nature there could voluminous papers with which he had been be no doubt; and he was happy that : threatened from the other side, if such papers noble friend of his, whọ bad formerly cal. contributed in the least degree to the defence led the attention of the house to this imof the accused, be himself should gladly portant subject, bad again applied bis second the motion for their production. mind to its consideration; and that, in He had been urged to state distinctly the another place, a part of the subject bad object of his motion; it was impossible been taken up by a gentleman of distinto state in a case of such magoitude,' on guished talents and benevolence. From whom the evidence found in these papers these circumstances, he looked forward might especially bear; and it was, there with the greatest satisfaction to the adop.


tion of some measure respecting this sub-/him to convey all that he wished to say ject, which would have the effect of reino. upon the subject, he had on the preceding ving many of those evils which at present day put down his ideas upon paper, and, existed. He should merely now move with their lordships' permission, he would that the petition do lie on the table.-Or- read them. His lordship read to the house dered.

several observations similar in purport to [TAXATION.) The Earl of Warwick those be had previously made, and afterwards entreated the indulgence of the house, stated his plan, which proceeded upon the whilst be endeavoured to state to their calculation of 12,000,000 of population; lordships the outline of a plan which he then taking 3,000,000; at 6d. per day expenwished to propose, with a view of introdu- diture, the amount would be, for 3 millions,at cing a more equal and equitable system of 6d. per day, 27,375,0001.; for one million, at taxation. At a period like the present, 1s. per day, 18.250,000l. ; at 2s. per day, when the great aggrandizement and insa- 36,500,0002.; at 3s. per day, 54,750,0001.; tiable ambition of France called upon this at 48. per day, 73,000,0001.; at 58. per country for every exertion that could be day, 91,250,0001.; at 10s. per day, made, in order to carry on the war with 182,500,000l.; at 12s. per day, 219,000,0001. ; vigour and effect, when peace was placed at 158. per day, 273,750,000l. ; at 208. per at a distance not to be calculated upon, day, 365,000,000l. ; total, 1,341,375,0001. and when all Europe looked to this coun. The classes up to 5s. inclusive, his lordtry as their great stay and hope, it was of ship reckoned the employed, and the other the utmost importance to consider how that classes the employers. Taking the populaamount of revenue which must necessarily tion at 12,500,000, there would remain be bad, could be raised with the least pres- 500,000 persons, whom he would suppose sure upon the people. He objected to the to spend 10001. a year each, amounting to present complicated system of taxation, 500,000,0001. ; but even supposing that to as not calculated to attain the desired ob- be the case, he would make a present of ject, and as proceeding upon erroneous da- that amount to their lordships, and rely ta ;

at present, whilst taxation pressed upon the remainder, a small per centage heavily upon some classes, others in a upon which would produce considerably great degree escaped. His great object more than the property tax did at present, was that it should be borne equally and whilst it would fall equitably upon every equitably by all. To effect this, he had one, and each would at once know what formed a plan which was totally novel, and he was to pay. He thought the best mode which had never yet either been spoken or of proceeding would be to refer his plari written upon. The more he had consi- to a committee, and concluded by making dered this plan, the more he was convinced a motion to that effect. of its efficiency, and of the inadequacy of Lord Grenville thought, that in point of the present system of taxation. He ob- form the motion could not be entertained jected to making property the criterion of by the house, as there was no paper before taxation, because it was difficult to define their lordships which could, consistently what property was; he would only consider with the fornis of the house, be referred to property by means of its sign, labour. a committee. "Vith respect to the plan The great objection to the tax upon pro- proposed by the noble lord; he had consia perty was, that whilst it got at some de- derable doubts of its efficiency: Expenscriptions of property, persons engaged in diture was undoubtedly taken as one of commerce, in manufactures, in profes- the criterions of direct taxation, it besions, and in various speculations, made ing the sign of wealth ; but where the exigenwhat returns of property they pleased, and cies of the country required a large sum to paid accordingly. "He wished that taxa- be raised, the more the amount of taxatioa . 'tion should be equal and equitable, and at necessary to be raised was diffused in differthe same time general and compulsory, ent channels, it would be found that the less not partial and voluntary. He had made was the pressure upon the people. It was several calculations for the purpose of es unquestionably an object of the greatest tablishing the efficiency of his plan, the intportance where burthens were to be imresult of which had astonished him, and posed upon the people, to make them fall would no doubt surprize their lordships ; as lightly as possible, and the great advanthe basis he took was expenditure. Being tage of indirect taxation was, that it fell to doubtful whether his voice would enable a certain extent upon articles, respecting

« AnteriorContinuar »