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est of our own country, by not forgetting think that ministers are entitled from it to that other countries have interests and the thanks of their country, honour also, which they are equally bound Sir W. Scott said, that the learned gento assert. I know that those who speak tleman, had uttered sentiments of which from this side of the House must be care- he entirely approved. It was his ipten. ful how they express themselves, to guard tion to have gone through the several against the misrepresentations of having heads of the subject, had not that task spoken against ourselves; but I never can been performed already with such ability forget the good will which we owe to the by his noble friend. As to the convenwhole human race, and the more so from tion, as far as his understanding went, the the high station in which the Divine Pro- essential rights of the country were to be vidence has placed us. I agree to the supported by it; and it was, at the same basis of the convention as expressed by time, perfectly adequate to every fair dethe noble secretary of state, which ought mand of every neutral country. The indeed to be the principle to govern every surrenders we had made also, he thought, settlement of disputes.
Whether a con- were made with perfect propriety. The troversy be between individuals, or be right of search had been preserved to us. tween contending nations, we should with respect to privateers, a popular claalways seek to secure, if possible, the mour seemed to have been raised against interests and reputation of both; because them very undeservedly; for there were it is the only mode by wbich, in the end, points in which the utility of that species they can be amicably satisfied. My pro- of warfare was manifest. He approved, fessional life has ofien placed me in the however, of the modification with respect character of a mediator, and I have always to them in the present convention. Upon endeavoured to obtain this object as the the right of search, he took occasion to only one which led to lasting reconcilia-observe, that it was one to which all the tion, and I rejoice to see it as the founda- rest were subordinate, for it was one withtion of the arrangement which has been out which all the rest were almost use. made. Without it, perhaps, we could not less; it was therefore one of the pillars of have had a peace so likely to continue, and our maritime strength.
This was prewhich I verily believe will be lasting if it served in all its essential vigour by this be pursued as it was made, in the spirit of convention. The subordinate points peace. I wish France and every other might be subject to critical observation, nation to see that our divisions are at an but the general character of them was end. We have made many sacrifices in perfectly intelligible. Under these cirthe course of the late contest, and we cumstances,
his entire approbamust make many more to redeem our tion to the whole of the convention, as a country from the consequences of a war, measure brought about by the valour of the continuance of which might have our arms, and the wisdom of our councils, been fatal to it and to the security of the and which secured the most important, whole civilized world. I hope, Sir, that while it invaded none of the rights of this ministers will now pursue towards their country. fellow-subjects the same liberal policy Mr. Tierney said : I rise to express my which, upon this occasion, they have approbation of the convention. The preshown towards adversaries. This is still sent ministers, when they came into office, wanting- I am now looking forwards and pledged themselves to use their honest confidently maintain that if the people of endeavours to obtain peace, and to use Great Britain and Ireland were governed their power with justice ar, i moderation. according to the spirit of our laws mildly They have fulfilled their pledge, and I administered, they would, to use again the feel myself bound to give them an hopest language of Mr. Burke, for ever cling and support. I am sensible of the difficulties grapple to you, and nothing could tear under which the country. labours, but I them from their allegiance. Nothing see no cause for despair. I think I see a indeed, can estrange them from our inva- ray of hope, and I trust I shall not be disluable constitution but shutting them out appointed. I trust that ministers are defrom its benefits. These are my senti termined to act upon the only system by ments, and I speak them from the bottom which the nation, after its struggles and of my heart. To conclude, Sir, to say that sacrifices can be restored to its former I approve of this convention would be to greatness. With these sentiments, I shall speak more coldly than I feel because I not only give them no opposition, but
contribute every exertion of my humble | longer.—When the East India company talents to aid them in the work.
was first established, at the end of the The motion was then agreed to. seventeenth century, the object of the le
gislature was two-fold. 1. By the sale of Debate on Sir W. Pulteney's Motion for the monopoly to raise a sum of money, a Committee on the Trade between India the grant of exclusive privileges in trade and Europe.] Nov. 25. Sir W. Pulteney being in those days an expedient for fillrose to make his promised motion. Heing the treasury, often resorted to by the began by observing that a variety of do- crown. 2. A second consideration was, cuments had last session been laid upon that a trade so distant could not be carthe table with regard to the trade between ried on by individuals, but only by a jointEngland and India, and his object was, stock company. It was therefore thought that these should now be fully considered. that the wants of government might at The grand question which arose out of once be supplied, and a benefit couferred them was, whether British merchants on the commerce of the company. In were to receive such facilities as to enable the reign of queen Anne the monopoly them to enter into a competition with fo- | was again sold, and a second company reigners in a vast branch of commerce was formed. As they did not go on very The question always appeared to him to well separate, a union between them was be of the first magnitude, and it rose effected, and for this reason the present upon
him in importance the more he con- company was styled the “United Company sidered it. Many objections had been of Merchants trading to the East Indies.” made to the proposed regulations; these The monopoly was long preserved with he had carefully weighed, and the effect great rigour. It was scarcely possible they had taken upon him was, to impress for individuals to trade by themselves, upon his mind a more lively sense of the but every British subject was prohibited necessity of calling for the interference of under severe penalties from having any the legislature. In 1793, when the char- concern with a foreign commercial comter of the company was renewed, various pany trading to the East. For a little clauses were introduced into the act in while our East India company went on favour of private trade. From the ma- very well, but then they were only mernæuvres of the directors, however, these chants. Become soon after victors and were productive of no good effect, and sovereigns their affairs went to ruin. In the intentions of the legislature were com- fifteen years after their first territorial pletely frustrated. From the increased acquisition, their profits had not only endifficulties thus experienced by individual tirely ceased, but their losses were traders, many representations were made, great, that for a rupee, worth 2s, they and at last a committee was appointed to could get no more than 1s. 3d,
Intake the whole subject fully into consi- deed, this was not at all matter of surderation. A report was by-and-by pub.prise. The character of traders and solished, approving, without qualification, of vereigns was inconsistent, and their union the conduct of the Directors. By a court had never failed to prove ruinous to the of proprietors this report was afterwards mercantile concerns of these countinga çonfirmed. It was for an account of these house kings, and to make their unhappy proceedings that he had moved last ses subjects suffer under all the evils of opsion. It was then too late to discuss pression and misrule. On the ground of them, but he had given notice of his in- the complete incapacity of the court of tention to bring the subject before the the directors, a bill was brought into par. House as soon as parliament should again liament in 1783, to take all power and be assembled. That notice he had re management out of their bands. I opposed newed, and it was not his fault that he this bill because I considered it dangerous had been so long in fulfilling his promise. and unconstitutional. It went to estaba He was told that a compromise was likely lish a board with vast authority and ina to take place, and he thought it right to fluence, independent of the crown, to erect see whether justice could be done with an imperium in imperio. After it had out an act of the legislature. He under passed this House, and had been read stood that terms had been offered by the twice in the Lords, it was happily court of Directors, but these were so un- thrown out. Another corrective was then reasonable, so inadequate to the end pro- resorted to, and a board of commissioners posed, that he could remain silent no was appointed, which in various ways
was to check and control the court of di- | hint even at a bad consequence, but sent
No dispatches were allowed to express orders that this might never be be sent to any of the presidencies till done again. The next year, therefore, they had first been communicated to the the governor-general refused permission board, and the commissioners received for the sailing of any home-built ship; great power over the territorial revenue but the year after he again found it and the political concerns of the domi- necessary to employ a considerable numnions in India. To interfere with matters ber. A strong letter was in consequence of trade they received no power, any far- wrote out to his lordship. By way of ther than to see that the mercantile compliance with his representations, they schemes of the directors did not interfere propose some advantages to the private with the well-being of the Indian empire. trade; but these concessions were insidiThings continued in this situation till ous, and would have left them at liberty 1793, when the charter was to be renewed. to hamper it at pleasure. I think it is Before this, it had been perceived, that now time to expose their evasions, and to the revenues must fail if native industry bring the question fairly to issue before a were not more encouraged. Foreigners competent tribunal. were therefore allowed to trade on the The trade of the East India company same terms with the company themselves. consists of two branches; that to China, The jealousy of British merchants, how- where they are mere merchants; and that ever, still remained. Those who had to India where, they are sovereigns. The made fortunes in India, having thus no first is a profitable, the second a losing means of remitting them to England, took trade. The sales are therefore always the benefit of the trade allowed to the confounded. In 1800, they amounted French, Danes, Swedes, and Americans. together to above seven millions. Of that Immense profits were thus made by there was re-exported 4,700,0001., and of foreigners; and they, from thus being the latter sum there was 2,300,000l. from sure of a cargo home, were enabled to private trade, one half of the whole, reexport to India with great advantage, and exported. It is allowed, that the foreign in many
instances to undersell the com- trade to India amounts to 1,500,0001. I pany. In 1793 the bad policy of this believe it to be a great deal more. Ships, system began to be perceived, and many supposed under ballast, have been disclauses were introduced to give facility to covered to be richly laden; and various the private trade. Whoever reads the expedients are used to disguise the act must perceive the extreme jealousy amount of it. Of what consequence then, which the legislature entertained of the Sir, is the question that we are discussdesigns of the directors. It was well ing? To this trade, no bounds can be known, that the directors would use their set: a few years back, Indigo was not utmost endeavours to obstruct this trade; known as an article of commerce between but sufficient guards, it was thought, were the two countries ; and, in 1800, we imintroduced to protect it in its new immu- ported Indigo to the value of a million nities. The directors, nevertheless, have sterling. The importation of cotton and obstructed it materially, and, in as far as various other commodities has likewise in them lay, frustrated the intentions of been wonderfully increased; and it is parliament. The governors of India uni- never to be forgotten, that these are raw formly complained of their conduct, and materials to exercise our own ingenuity recommended a more liberal system. Sir and employ our own industry. The ad. John Shore, Mr. Hastings, lord Corn- vantages to be derived from this trade, wallis ; in short, there is not a single ex- are great to a degree, though not yet unception. To these remonstrances the derstood; and shall they all be forfeited directors obstinately refused to listen, and from the caprice or illiberality of the distill declared war against private trade, rectors? We do not seek to deal in one unless it was carried on in a way which article in which they deal themselves. It prevented all competition with foreigners. is, indeed, strange, that such a question In 1798, marquis Wellesley found it ab should ever have been stirred. All this solutely necessary to send home the pro- art is used to prevent us from coming duce of India in India-built ships. The into competition, not with the comnumber that arrived was very great, yet it pany, but with foreigners. They say, never once was pretended that the smallest you must be under our control, you injury had ensued. The directors did not must employ the ships we send out to you, you must submit to many manifest , upon a change of the direction, they were disadvantages, not for our sake, not for supported by the six new members who the good of the commonwealth, but lest came in, making in all an unanimous you should endanger the mercantile gains body of the thirty persons at the head of of France and America.--It is said, affairs. The proprietors approved of the however, that the company's sales abroad report by a large majority, and a ballos might be injured. But how can this ever served only to show more unequivocally be the case when individual traders never the ascendancy of the directors. Although expose the same articles to sale? The there was no secret history in all this, it company's sales will be injured, to be could by no means be decisive. I have sure, by thus labouring to enable fo- authority to quote against authority. On reigners to import the same articles with my side of the question, besides all the every advantage. But British subjects governors general for the last twenty constitute the only objects of their jea- years, I have the late president of the lousy. Rather than allow India built ships board of control. Have these illustrious to come home, they will be at a great characters had no opportunity to inquire expense,'and send out ships from England. into the affairs of India ? or have they laid To pretend that they thus place the pri- down a resolution to overset the company, vate trader on an equally fair footing, is and to dissolve our empire in the East ?' I puerile. According to this plan, the cargo dare say the directors think they are in must be provided long before; the time the right; but I will now show how they of the ship's arrival is uncertain; when come to think themselves in the right. she may be allowed to be loaded is uncer- When the company was first established, tain ; and it is still more uncertain when like the Bank of England, and other jointshe may be dispatched. Every thing is stock companies, the directors were cramped by arbitrary regulations. But chosen by those who held a small sum of India shipping may be had cheaper ! stock, and the election was annual. The Whether cheaper or not appears to me of qualification to vote was then only 5001. little consequence-it has so many ad. It was thought that the proprietors intervantages in other respects. The goods are fered too much, and the sum was raised provided when the ship is ready, they are to 1,0001. A bill was then brought in to immediately put on board, and the ship change the annual elections, and it was sets sail with them the moment she is fully enacted that six should go out in rotation loaded. Doconsider, Sir, what the company yearly; so that, when once elected, a propose to do. How can they know what member remained in office for four years, goods are to be sent home? How can and had great facilities given him in they proportion the supply of shipping to naming his successor. The indiscreet inthe demand? Have they not, to their terference of the proprietors was preventutmost wish, the power of cramping the ed, to be sure ; but it often happens that, speculations of the merchants ? Let them in attempting to mend one evil, you occaconsider the danger they run, of losing sion others of equal consequence. It is the trade of India altogether. It is a well clear, that ever since the directors have known fact, that in 1793 there were sold been self-created, there is but one solitary in L'Orient alone India goods to the value instance of a gentleman being brought of 1,200,000l. sterling. How great is the into the direction who was not on the trade of France alone, then! and how house-list. They are now a permanent great must be the total of the trade of fixed body, and never talk but of going foreigners, when the extent of the deal- out or coming in by rotation. The conings with India are considered of-Lisbon, stitution is completely altered; there is America, and the states in the north! I now a very powerful, and dangerous arisam by no means of opinion that foreigners tocracy. How is it supported ? I do should be excluded. By these means not blame these gentlemen. The love of alone the revenues can be kept up. All power is natural, and no one who has I ask is, that these advantages should not tasted its sweets will willingly descend be granted to foreigners exclusively. into a private station. The blame lies
That a proposition so clear should be re- with those who allow them to gratify this ceived like this must indeed confound a thirst for domination; and that they are stranger. Not only the twenty-four di- allowed, is indeed much to be regretted. rectors who joined in the report were de- Of all governments, aristocracy is the cidedly hostile to the plan proposed: but, most tyrannical, oppressive, and odious. I abhor it still more than democracy. I pany themselves are about to raise two asked how these men kept themselves in millions, and if there is any danger from power? They have the management of that sum being exported, it is fully as an immense revenue, they have an im- great when it is exported by the company, mense patronage, and ought to have it. Sir, I deny that any danger exists. When I opposed bestowing it on a board of com- capital leaves the country and is lost, it is missioners, and I think it could not be a bad thing; but if it return with a profit, possessed safely by the crown. But this this is the best way it could be employed. . is not all. They have the buying of an The money sent to India will not be given immense quantity of goods for India : in presents to the Hindoos. It will be they have the hiring of vessels to trans-employed in buying raw materials to be port them ; so that their influence is con brought to England, and will thus encou. siderable over the manufacturing, and rage industry at home and abroad, and unbounded over the shipping interest. All add to the strength of the empire. These who furnish ships' stores they can favour. gentlemen tell us, this capital might have When a man's ship is taken up, they tell | been employed more profitably. So they him, you will take your ropes from such a think they can judge better of this matter person, your sails from another whom than the owners of this capital. They are we point out, and your anchors from a to be thanked for their friendly solicitude; third. As a proof of all this, I ask, whe- but they will probably find that their own ther niany who hear me bave not heard it affairs will demand all their attention. 2. said, “Oh, he is a great man ; he is sure We have next set before us the terrors to do well; he has a vote at the India of colonization. Upon this point they House." The directors do tell the truth dwell at great length and with great comwhen they say that, by the encourage- placency. But in telling us that the ruin ment of private trade, the present of the country would be the inevitable constitution of the company would be consequence of any relaxation, they surely overturned; and when they state this, forget the nature of the Indian govern. they state the true and the sole ground ment. At present no one can go to India of their opposition. The private traders without the consent of the aristocracy; would get rich, their influence would and when he is there, the aristocracy can increase, the dependance of the pro- put him on board a ship and send him prietors on the directors would be home as soon as they have a mind. With. greatly diminished, and the aristocracy out leave of the government, no one can would tumble to the ground. Here is a go beyond a few miles from Calcutta. By very good ground for the opposition of a fundamental law, no European is apathe court of directors; but here is no- ble of holding lands in any part of the thing which in any degree affects the company's possessions. Between India question itself.
and America no analogy can be drawn, I have stated the reason which actuates although the separation of that country the breasts of the directors; I shall now had been necessary, instead of occasioned state the reasons which they assign to by mismanagement. In America the cliothers. I shall refer to the report, which mate resembled that of England, and the was drawn up by a very honourable and constitution of government was almost upright man. I never did read a paper exactly the same. Above all, America drawn up with more address, or that was uninhabited, and boundless tracks of showed a greater talent at making the fertile land were presented to the industry worst appear the better reason. While of the planter. India is one of the most one reads, all appears right, and we une populous countries on the globe, and quivocally approve the conduct of the every inch of ground is appropriated. The directors; but the moment we lay down climate is so fatal, that it is almost impose the book, and ask ourselves what argu sible for a European to remain in it alive ments have been urged against allowing a few years ; the form of government must us'the full benefit of our Indian posses- be arbitrary, and may be tyrannical. And sions, we are obliged to confess, None, this is the spot, which, after having bebut that you would thus endanger the come a flourishing colony by draining power of the court of directors: 1. The the mother country of men and money, first ostensible argument is, that if these will at length break off all connexion with privileges were granted, British capital us, and become a formidable rival! 3. But would leave the country. But the com. great numbers of Lascars would be