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Approved and confirmed by H. E. the. Rt. Hon. the Earl of Moira, K. G., Com. in chief in the E. I.
By order : (Signed) T. M MAHON, Col. Adj.gen. Case 3.] G. O. H. G. 26th March, 1819. At a gen. ct.-mar., Capt. R. S., of the 7th D. G., was arraigned upon the undermentioned charges, viz.
1st. “ For sending to Lieut.col. D., comg. the 7th D. G., on the 17th May, 1817, a false and unfounded statement, or report, respecting the conduct and behaviour of a party of dragoons of the said regt., on the 15th May, 1817, at the fair of Glen, in the county of Tipperary; which said party had been detached, and sent to the fair of Glen, under the command of Lieut. R., at the instance, and on the application of R. O'D., Esq., a magistrate of that county; such false statement, or report, being highly injurious to the character of the said R. O'D., and of the officers and soldiers belonging to the said party
2d. “ For refusing all explanation as to the affair, at the fair of Glen, notwithstanding the same was required on the part of Mr. O'D.; and afterwards, on the 10th of June, 1817, going to the house of Mr. O'D., at Stradballa, with a pistol and a horsewhip, and, in a violent and outrageous manner, searching for Mr. O'D., and using threats and insulting language towards him, in his absence, to the terror of his family: all such conduct being highly unbecoming the character of an officer and a gentleman, and to the prejudice of good order and mil. discipline."
Finding—Most fully and honourably acquitted.
ReMARKS by the Court.—The court are unwilling to animadvert on the evidence of Lieut. R., as its nature, on perusal of the minutes, will be sufficiently apparent; but they cannot help remarking, that the whole of these embarrassing circumstances, have originated in his unmil. proceeding, in putting Mr. O'D. in possession of Capt. S.'s official report to his comg. officer.
The court conceive it incumbent on them, to enter more fully into the reasons on which this, their opinion, is grounded, than they otherwise would have done, for the purpose of endeavouring to extricate both the prisoner and the corps, from the embarrassing situation in which they have been so long placed ; in doing which, they feel anxious to confine themselves, as much as possible (in as far as relates to Mr. O'D.), to such observations as will tend to place their view of the subject in a clear and distinct light. In consequence of the nonattendance of all the witnesses expected from Ireland, the court have been obliged to refer to a variety of papers laid before them, and having selected such as bore more immediately on the case, as exhibited in the charges, and the said documents having been authenticated by both parties, the prisoner as well as the prosecutor, they, on a deliberate and careful consideration of the same, are of opinion that
the report, made by Capt. R. S. to the comg. officer of his regt., was absolutely required in the execution of his duty as capt. of a detached troop; that the said report was solely military, and did not contain the shadow of a reflection, on the character of the magistrate, Mr. O’D.: that under that impression, the prisoner was most fully justified, in refusing to resort to the extreme measure, proposed by Mr. H. on the part of Mr. O'D.; that the subsequent conduct of Mr. O'D. was most violent and unprovoked, and was evidently intended to force Capt. S. to a compliance with the proposed duel.
The ct. cannot but remark on the selfish line of conduct, adopted by Mr. O'D., who, first challenging Capt. S., without the slightest provocation, on his refusal to accept the challenge, addressed to him the most intemperate and abusive language ; and, having thus placed Capt. S. in a most embarrassing situation, with respect to his brother officers, by a convenient subterfuge, declined affording him an opportunity of extricating himself from it, and refused, for real injuries and insults offered, that satisfaction, which he had himself demanded for a supposed and imaginary grievance.
That Capt. S. was guilty of error, the ct. will not deny, but they think that error consisted, in not immediately reporting to his comg. officer, the message received from Mr. O'D., and calling on him for his support, when an official report, made by him in the course of his duty, as capt. of the regt., was attempted to be made the grounds of a private quarrel.
The court, therefore, after a dispassionate review of the case, submitted to their investigation, can see no reason why Capt. S. should not return to his duty in the 7th D. G., restored to the esteem and regard of his brother officers.
Approved and confirmed by H. R. H. the P. R. The very proper and satisfactory manner, in which the court have expressed their sentiments on this subject, renders it incumbent upon the officers of the regt. to dismiss from their minds the impressions to the prejudice of Capt. S.'s honour and character, they appear to have imbibed, from the violent and unwarrantable conduct and unfounded accusations, observed and expressed towards him (41).
The P. R. considers the conduct of Lieut. R., in having originated this unpleasant transaction, hy his unnecessary and mischievous communication to Mr. O'D. of Capt. S.'s report, to be highly reprehensible and deserving of censure; and H. R. H. therefore desires, that Lieut. R. may be severely reprimanded, in the presence of the officers of the 7th D. G., and admonished to be more circumspect in his future conduct. By command: (Signed) H CALVERT, Adj.gen.
CHA P. (41) See case 1, sec. 1, art. 1. The promotion in a regt. stopped, where the offi. cer had not received into the mess, an officer who had been pardoned by H. M.
Com. Officers are to see the Soldiers supplied with Provisions at the
Market Price. Art. 1.] (1) All govrs., lieut.govrs., and officers comg. in the forts, barracks, or garrisons, are hereby required to see, that the persons permitted to suttle, supply the soldiers with good and wholesome provisions, at the market price, as they shall be answerable for their neglect.
1. Good and wholesome Provisions.] The European troops in India, have their provisions issued to them by the commissariat dept., and it is the duty of the capt. or officer of the day to see, that what are issued to the men are good and wholesome, and of the proper quality ; and in quantity as allowed by the regs. of the service. If there are any complaints to be made upon the subject, they are made to the comg. officer of the regt., that the circumstance may be reported to the comg. officer at the station, under whose command the commissariat officer is. It is the particular province of the commissariat dept. to see, that every art. of provision be of good quality, and that the agents actg. under them, use every exertion to procure those, which are good and wholesome.
The native troops supply themselves with provisions out of their pay. There is a bazar attached to each regt., and, at large stations, a genl. or station bazar. The object, in establishing these bazars, is to afford the troops the means of procuring their provisions, without the necessity or inconvenience of going to a distance for them, and also to ensure the certainty of a constant supply ; for which purpose an establishment is attached to them, and the whole is under the superintendance and controul of comg. officers. It is, therefore, their duty to ascertain that the buneeahs, attached to their bazar, keep them always well supplied with good and wholesome provisions (2); and it is customary to have a daily report made upon this subject.
2. At the Market Price.] The Chowdrees make a daily report to the comg;
officer, of the price of every art. furnished by, and sold in their respective bazars. The buneeahs are, or ought to be, men of some substance, to enable them to purchase by the wholesale, with a view to retailing the same in their shops; and as they must necessarily have an establishment of cattle for the purpose of bringing in their supplies, from the different villages in the country surrounding the station, &c., they are allowed to increase the price at which they buy, by a reasonable and moderate addition. In considering, therefore, the market, or bazar price, it is fair and reasonable to expect, that it should be the same in all regts, as in the station bazar, and in the latter, as in the bazar of the town or village, where the troops are stationed, and from which the townspeople, &c. supply themselves; since distant and open markets are free to all, and the same profit should be considered a fair remuneration, equally in all the above cases. If, therefore, articles are sold in the bazar of one regt. dearer than in another, or dearer than in the station bazar, or in the latter dearer than in the bazar of the town, &c., some extraordinary profit must be received, or the same cheap method in procuring the supplies, by going to a distance, &c., has not been adopted : for it is not sufficient that the actual profit made be not unreasonable, it is requisite, that the supplies be sold at the same rate as in other bazars at the same place (3). Both officers and men are enjoined to deal with the bazar people of their own regts. at all times (4), to give every encouragement to them in all situations, in return for which, they should sell at the same price as others at the same station, and then there will not be any inducement to go elsewhere; the complaint of such being the case will naturally lead to an inquiry where the fault lies—by a comparison of the prices at which articles are sold in the bazar of the regt. in question, with those of others at the same station.
establishment (1) Ann. Arts. of War, art. 3.
(2) It would be much better were the chowdrees sent from the commissariat department, as by such an arrangement, much trouble would be taken off the hands of comg. officers, and one uniform system would prevade throughout the service; such persons are best calculated to understand where to go for the best articles, and where the best supplies are procurable.
There is perhaps no one thing of such high importance to the interests of the service, as the cheap supply of good and wholesome provisions (5) at the market price ; for as the native troops pay for their own provisions, they are naturally very solicitous on this subject, more than on any
other. Any neglect in the above matters would be tried under art. 2, sec. xxi.
Penalty of exacting in the letting out of Stalls to Suttlers, or laying a
Duty on, or being interested in the Goods sold by them. Art. 2.) (6)No govrs. or officers, comg. in any of the garrisons, forts, or barracks, shall either themselves exact exorbitant prices for houses or
stalls (3) Comg. officers should have a weekly nerik,h of the prices of provisions, from the judge and magistrate of the place. This would be a check on the chowdrees of regts., and knowing this check, there would seldom or never be any complaints made against them. The buneeahs will, sometimes, not take the trouble to go to distant villages for supplies, but will content themselves with buying them, from those bringing them into the town, &c.; and, therefore, to make their usual profit, are obliged to sell at a dearer rate.
(4) Henley's Bengal Mil. Regs., p. 623.
(5) Old grain is purchaseable at a cheaper rate than new, and the buneeahs will, sometimes, not take the trouble of going to a distance for the best.
(6) 4th Ann. Arts, of War.
stalls let out to suttlers, or shall connive at the like exactions in others ; nor by their own authority, and for their private advantage, shall they lay any duty or imposition upon, or be interested in, the sale of any victuals, liquors, or other necessaries of life, or merchandizes brought into the garrison, fort, or barracks under their command, for the use of the soldiers, on pain (upon conviction thereof by a gen. ct.mar.) of being dismissed the service, and of suffering besides such penalty as they may be liable to by law.
1. Exacting exorbitant Prices for Houses or Stalls let out to Suttlers, or conniving at, &c.] The exacting exorbitant prices for houses or stalls let out to suttlers, or conniving at such exactions in others, would be the means of increasing the price of the articles sold by such .suttlers, and as the same effect would be produced in either case, it matters not whether the exaction be made directly or indirectly. In the one case, the party must gain a pecuniary or other valuable consideration from the party from whom he exacts; in the other case, he must be presumed to gain a similar consideration from the party whose exactions he connives at, and thus, in both cases, occasion an increase in the price of the articles sold. (See below G. O. G. G. in C. 15th Jan. 1811, prohibiting such exactions.)
2. Lay no Duty, &c. or be interested in the Sale of Victuals, Liquors, Necessaries of Life or Merchandize for the use of the Soldiers.] The following G. O. of the Bengal govt. having in view the prevention of the abuses contemplated by this branch of the art. in question, are inserted in this place. “No tax, duty, or dustoree whatever, is to be levied under any pretence, in station bazars, or the bazars of corps, on articles for their supply, or on the persons attached to them, or in any manner whatever ; and, with a view to secure the most rigid observance of this regn., the Gov.gen. in Council, deems it proper to announce the resolution of govt., to suspend from the service, any officer who shall be convicted of an infraction of it, by a competent tribunal. This prohibition, however, does not regard the town duties or customs levied on account of govt., by the collectors of revenue and customs, in bazars situated within the limits in which such customs and duties are to be collected, conformably to the regs. of govt.,
which are in no way affected by this order" (7). This order has been highly approved of by the Hon. Ct, of Directors, who, in their genl. letter upon this subject to the Bengal govt., observe, “ You will not fail immediately to bring the offending officer to a ct.-mar., and, in the event of an adequate punishment not being awarded by the court, you will suspend such officer from our service, and send him home to England, by the first opportunity” (8). The Com. in chief also issued the following order, consequent to that issued by govt. “The Com. in chief enjoins the most implicit obedience to the directions of
govt. (7) G. 0. G. G. in C., 15th Jan., 1811.-(Henley, p. 629.) (8) G. L. C. D., 3d Sept., 1813.- para. 38.