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Bengal to answer that purpose. These remittances were obliged to be made in a base kind of gold coin, by which the company was said to be at a loss of 40,0001. in the difference of exchange only. These effects of the War, consequently, put a stop to the investments that were usually nude from Madrass to China; no silver being now stirring in the country, and the manufactures at a stand from the fear of the enemy.
Such were the consequences of this ill-judged war, entered into, as it is plausibly asserted, without necessity, badly conducted, and continued with an obstinacy as in- . defensible, as the motives that gave rife to it were odious. It does not appear that Hyder Aly had committed any act of hostility, or given any cause of offence to the company, which could have justified a war. On the contrary, it Is asserted, that their (hips were permitted to trade in his ports without molestation, and their servants had a free intercourse with his dominions, till the very moment of the rupture. We also find, that as soon as terms of peace were proposed, notwithstanding the advantages he had gained, he willingly listened to them, and as readily acquiesced in equitable conditioas. We must also do the justice to a brave and able enemy, to observe, that this war was not attended with the acts of treachery, breach of faith, and inhuman massacres, which were so frequent in the contests we have had with the Other powers of this country; but good faith, ability, and humanity, ah.- generally found in company.
It is not however to be inferred from the ill success of this war,
that the company's principal settlements were, at any time, in any degree of danger. Hyder Aly'» whole force was utterly incapable of talcing the city of Madrass, evert though we had had no army in the field to cover it. But the case was, that we had always an army which he durst not engage; and all that made him dangerous, was the sagacity with which he avoided fighting. The expence of the war, the damage done to their allies by ravaging the country, and the embarrassment occasioned thereby to their commerce, were very prejudicial, and therefore it was very imprudent to enter into it; but they are only such losses as the company must always be subject to, wheh it ever quarrels with the Maratta chiefs, or any other of the country powers, who command great bodies of horse. Such wars exhaust the revenues of the company, but do not seem capable of endangering its security.
In the mean time, Hyder Aly having given our army in the Carnatic the flip, marched, at the head of a body of horse, within a sew miles of Madrass. This motion, together with the apprehension of an alliance which he has forming with one of the most powerful of the Maratta princes, induced at length the presidency of Madrass to enter into a negociation of peace with him. This was a measure the Indian chief was very well disposed to, and the preliminaries were accordingly soon adjusted. The presidency required a truce of fifty days, which was the only proposal that Hyder Aly refused, judging, with his usual sagacity, that so long a time may give an opportunity for collecting fre'fli fof ces; [£?]' * in in which case it would not be difficult to find a pretence for breaking off the treaty. He accordingly limited the time for carrying it into execution to seven days, which proved sufficient for the purpose. « •, The conditions of
\-c peace were simple and
'"' equitable. The forts and places taken on either side were restored, and both parties 'were to sit down with the expences they had been at. A perpetual league, offensive and defensive, was agreed upon, and the number of troops to be furnished in such cases, as well as their pay, was stipulated. The prisoners on both sides were released, and a free trade respectively allowed both in the Carnatic and Hyder Aly's dominions. . Hyder Aly shewed uncommon abilities through the course of this war. Sensible of the great superiority of the English in the field, he not only cautiously avoided general engagements, but he also formed his army upon such principles, that he could not be obliged to sight when he did not like. He totaly laid aside the heavy unwieldy cannon that were used by the Indian princes, instead of which he carried nothing to the field but neat light field-pieces, six and three pounders, which were most excellently equipped and mounted, and as well served. A remarkable proof of which was, that in the whole course of the war, we were never able to take a single piece of cannon from him. For though we . took a great quantity of artillery at the battle of Errour, of which we gave an account in our last volume, they were all the property of the Nizam; and, not withstanding the greatness of the defeat,
Hyder Aly carried every one of his guns safe from the field. By this means, and the care he took to prevent his forces being incumbered with baggage, nothing could exceed the celerity of their motions; so that while our troops were forming, his horse being immediately drawn up with a good countenance, always gave an opportunity to the foot to make a safe retreat, without our being able to bring either to a close engagement.
During these transactions, Sujah Doula had increased his forces to such a degree, as to form a considerable army, which he applied himself, with the most unwea.ried diligence, to discipline, and put into a formidable condition. These motions having justly excited the attention of the secret committee at Bengal, three gentlemen were dispatched to that prince, with directions to make a strict enquiry into the motives of them. This conduct, and the spirited remonstrances made upon the occasion, produced the desired effect. Sujah Doula consented to disband a great part of his army, and concluded a new treaty with the company, by which he is tied up from ever increasing it beyond a certain stipulated number, which will be sufficient to support the civil government, without being in any degree formidable.
The consequences of this ill-advised and unfortunate ,war in the Carnatic, were not confined to the East-Indies; the.alarm was caught at home, where the distance of the object, and the uncertain knowledge of the danger, having full room to operate upon the,.imagination, multiplied, as is usual in such cases, the fears of the- people
concerned in a most amazing degree. India stock sell above 60 per cent, in a few days. It was in vain that the directors produced their dispatches from India, and Ihewed that the war could not be attended with any real danger, and that the company had never been in a more flourrihing state; the epidemical disorder had taken its effect, and must now spend its force before it could be removed.
In the mean time, the directors thought it necessary to take some effectual measures to put a stop to the abuses and mismanagements ■which had so much disgraced the company's government in India, and which had been so pernicious to its interests, both there and at home. To this purpose it was thought necessary, that three gentlemen of character, as well as of great ability and experience in the company's affairs in that part of the world, mould be invested with extraordinary powers, and sent thither under the character of supervisors, with full authority to examine into, and , rectify the concerns of every department, and a full power of controul over all their T other servants in India.
J uneH. Mr_ Vanslttart, Mr. Scrafton, and Col. Ford, all of whom had before served with reputation, the two first in a civil, the latter in a military capacity, in that part of the world, were accordingly appointed to this service.
Though the bad conduct of the company's servants in India was not controverted, and the necessity of some such measure was generally allowed, yet the mode of it, and the degrees of power with which the supervisors were to be
entrusted, occasioned great debates, and a continued succession of general courts to ,be held. The friends and relations of the gentlemen, who already had great appointments in India, and who formed a very considerable party, were of course averse to the sending out of supervisors. Many others were influenced by different motives to oppose it: some had particular objections to the' gentlemen appointed, others from principle did not think it safe to trust any man, or body of men, with, too much power. By this means every inch of the ground was disputed, new objections were continually started, and no resolution relative to this measure could pass, without its being first put to the ballot. ■
When the powers to be granted to the supervisors were at length concluded upon, and the commission for that purpose accordingly passed, some unexpected objections made by the ministry, together with an extraordinary proposal, that the company mould give to a servant of the crown a principal fliare in the direction of their affairs in India, occasioned a 'new delay, and prevented for some time the expediting of this measure.
The directors having considered the great weight that a naval force would give to their negociations with the Indian princes, and being sensible of the good effects that it might have produced in the present war, had, during the course of these debates, applied to government for two ships of the line, and some frigates, to be sent upon that service. No direct answer was made to this application; but as it was known that Sir John Lindsey
[S 3] was was appointed to the command of the ships intended for this expedition, it was looked upon as tacitly complied with. The company would at any time have been entitled to the protection of government, and the large annual revenue which it now paid, seemed more particularly to give it a right to expect not only protection but favour. As the application had however been only made by the 4ij"ectoj;s, it was thought proper, to give it the more weight, that it ihould have the sanction of a general court, and thereby become the act of the whole company. A T i motion to that purpose
* ^ '' was accordingly made, and unanimously agreed to, and another court appointed to be held, to receive the answer of government, and to put the finishing hand to all measures relative to the departure of the supervisors. « At this court a letter
°' 'was read, which had been received the night before from I^ord Weymouth, one of the- secretaries of state, in which it was said, "That the commission appointing the present supervisors to India, had been taken ir.to consideration by his majeiiy's servants, and that it was their opinion, that jn some respects it was illegal. That he was sorry-to find, in an answer wHch he had received from the directors respecting the ap. pointn;ent of a naval officer, with full powers to adjust all maritime affairs in India, that they had not totally acceeded -to it. He now therefore begged of the directors, t,hat they would reconsider the commission in general; and that the particular article, of granting unlimited powers to a naval office^.
might be laid before the proprietary at large."
In consequence of this letter, a long train of correspondence, between the ministry and the directors, upon a subject with which they were before wholly unacquainted, was now laid before the proprietors. It appeared by the powers, which the former required to be granted to the commanding naval officer, that he was in fact to superintend the supervisors, as well as all the company's political affairs in India. The directors acknowledged, that they were wiling to allow the king's naval commander a certain degree of power, in conjunction with the governor anc} council of Bengal; but that there were many sufficient reasons which prevented their acquiescence with the request at large; as welj from the danger of entrusting any one person with such extraordinary powers, as the perpetual opportunity of interference, which would thereby be given to government in all their affairs. At the iame time they informed the proprietors, that the commission had already undergone the revision of council, and had received the sanction of some of the most eminent law opinions in the kingdom as to the legality of every part of it. A ssiort day was then appointed for the holding of another general court, to consider farther of this subject.
At this court ano- «
ther letter was read °
from the fame minister, which had been received that morning. 1% this he acquainted the court, that by the answer which he had received to his last, he imagined that they had in some degree misunderstood him; that it a^ver had been his idea to. invest a naval officer with plenipotentiary powers at large; that he only wanted to establish such a share in the business of administration, as would be both for the good of the company, and the honour of administration. That as his first letter, with the directors' answer, were now to be laid before the proprietors at large, to prevent any future misunderstanding, he recommended only the discussion of the two following points:—— First, the reconsideration of the commission, and next, the degree of authority proper to be invested in a naval officer. To the first of these he said, that as it was a point, on the legality of which there were different opinions among the servants of the crown, and the council of the company, he would not pretend to speak on it; but in regard to the second, as government, at the request of the company, in the nth article of the last definitive treaty of peace with France, made conditions with several princes in India, it highly respected their honour, and that an officer os theirs should be the principal agent in all matters offensive and defensive.
The deihrns of the ministry were now too obvious to be mistaken, and too alarming not to be opposed with vigour. The directors observed to the court, that this requifition was a matter, which affected the consequence and safety of the company in the highest degree; that it was not therefore to be hastily decided, but required the most serious deliberation, and the coolest discussion; that the court should be accordingly adjourned, and sufficient time given to every proprietor, before the ne*t
meeting, to revolve the matter fully in his mind; to consult the charters, and enquire into the privileges of the company; to consi. der well, whether any, or what part of their rights might be given up,- and that in their concessions to government they did not endanger their own safety; that it was hoped they would pay the greatest attention to these points; for that their affairs were never in a more critical situation, nor the honour of the company more deeply concerned.
A considerable time was accordingly taken for the consideration
of this subject; and, at . _
., ,- .J' , Aug. T.O.
the ensuing general ° J
court, great debates arose upon it, It was laid, that if authority was given to the king's officers to interfere in the governmental affiirs of India, the power of the company, in that part of the world, would from that moment be at an end. That applying to government for assistance, and at the fame time investing the officers of the crown with independent powers, was in effect surrendering the company's territorial acquisitions in India, to the direction of the king's mini'ters, the confluences of which might easily be foreseen,. That whenever any contest should arise between the king's servants and the company's, the event must be fatal to the company: that as it would often be necessary to employ the one and the other in the fame service, such contests may ver> naturally be expected to arise, which had already been the ctise upon many former occasions. That if the company is of itself unable to maintain its territorial acquisitions, it were better to surrender [£ 4] "th»