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These resolutions were warmly adopted by the house. BOOKIV But when the application of them came to be made to individuals ; and especially when the ruin was contemplated which that application would draw down upon Clive ; compassion for the man, and the consideration of his services, blotted by offences, yet splendid and great, operated with effect in the breasts of the assembly, and put an end to the inquiry. According to the style, which the spirit of English laws renders predominant in English councils, inquiry was rejected ostensibly upon a subterfuge, of the nature of a legal shuffle; incompetence, to wit, in the reports of the Select Committee to be received as evidence. As if that were true! As if no other evidence had been to be found! On the other hand, the considerations which fairly recommended the rejection, or at least a very great modification of the penal proceeding, were not so much as mentioned ; That the punishment threatened was more grievous than the offence; that it was punishment by an ex-post-facto law, because, however contrary to the principles of right government the presents received from Meer Jaffier, and however odious to the moral sense the deception practised upon Omichund, there was no law at the time which forbade them ; that the presents, how contrary soever to European morals
' The concluding debate did not take place until the 31st of May. After a long discussion, a declaratory motion, to the effect that Lord Clive did receive certain presents upon the enthronement of Meer Jaffier was carried. It was then moved that “in so doing he abused the powers with which he was intrusted to the evil example of the servants of the public.” The motion was rejected without a division : a motion was finally made about “five in the morning,” that Robert Lord Clive, did at the same time render great and meritorious services to his country, which passed unanimously. Life of Clive iii. 360.-W.
BOOK IV and ideas, were perfectly correspondent to those of
the country in which they were received, and to the 1773. expectations of the parties by whom they were
bestowed; that the treachery to Omichund was countenanced and palliated by some of the principles and many of the admired incidents of European diplomacy; that Clive, though never inattentive to his own interests, was actuated by a sincere desire to promote the prosperity of the Company, and appears not in any instance to have sacrificed what he regarded as their interests to his own; and that it would have required an extraordinary man, which no one ought to be punished for not being, to have acted, in that most trying situation in which he was placed, with greater disinterestedness than he displayed.
The inquiry into the financial and commercial state of the Company exhibited the following results. The whole of their effects and credits in England, estimated on the 1st day of March, 1773, amounted to 7,784,6891. 12s. 10d.; and the whole of their debts to 9,219,1141. 12s. 6d.; leaving a balance against the
" This vindication of Clive is unanswerable, and should have protected him against some of the remarks and insinuations to his discredit, which have previously occurred. Whatever errors he may be charged with they were those of his time, and his situation; his merits were his own. The whole of the parliamentary proceedings against him originated in a spirit of vindictive retaliation, which his private and public measures had provoked:—the vehemence with which he had opposed an influential party in the Direction, and the unmitigated sternness with which he had repressed all opposition to his will in the Government of Bengal. He was himself a good hater, and had, therefore, little reason to complain of having incurred the like animosity from others, but when his enemies assailed him through the pretext of public justice, they converted the great council of the nation into an instrument of personal revenge, and disgraced parliament more than they dishonoured Clive.-W.
Company of 1,434,4241. 19s. 8d. The whole of BOOK IV their effects and credits in India, China, and St. Helena, and afloat on the sea, amounted to 6,397,2991. 10s. 6d. The whole of their debts abroad amounted to 2,032,3061. ; producing a balance in their favour of 4,364,9931. 10s. 6d. Deducting from this sum the balance against the Company in England, we find the whole amount of their available property no more than 2,930,5681. 10s. 10d. ; so that of their capital stock of 4,200,0001., 1,269,4311. 9s. 2d. was expended and gone."
From the year 1744, the period to which in a former passage is brought down the account of the dividend paid annually to the Proprietors on the capital stock, that payment continued at eight per cent. to the year 1756, in which it was reduced to six per cent It continued at that low rate till Christmas, 1766, when it was raised by the General Court, repugnant to the sense of the Court of Directors, to five per cent. for the next half-year. On
* Second Report of the Committee of Secrecy in 1773. The Committee say, “They have not included in the above account any valuation of the fortifications and buildings of the Company abroad. They can by no means agree in opinion with the Court of Directors, “That the amount of the fortifications, &c., should be added to the annual statement.'”_-Undoubtedly no assets of any party can be compared with his debts, further than they can be disposed of for the payment of those debts; the manure which a farmer has spread upon his fields, or the hedges and ditches with which he has surrouuded them, are nothing to him, the moment his lease is expired. The money expended in fortifications and buildings, from May 1757, was stated at nearly four millions.-M. The illustration is not wholly applicable, nor as far as it is applicable is it true. The connexion between the country and the Company is not exactly that of a tenant on lease, and the occupant of an estate in which he has more than a passing interest, may equitably expect an equivalent for permanent improvements.-W. 2 Supra, vol. iii. p. 50. VOL. III.
BOOK IV the 7th of May, 1767, it was resolved in the General
Court, that for the following half-year the dividend 1773. should be six and a quarter per cent.
But this resolution was rescinded by act of parliament, and the dividend limited, till further permission, to ten per cent. per annum. It was continued at ten per cent. till the year commencing at Christmas, 1769, when, in pursuance of the new regulations, it was advanced to eleven per cent. The next year it rose to twelve per cent. The following year it was carried to its prescribed limits, twelve and a-half per cent.; at which it continued for eighteen months, when the funds of the Company being totally exhausted, it was suddenly reduced to six per cent. per annum, by a resolution passed on the 3d of December, 1772.
In the interval between 1774 and 1772, the sales at the India House had increased from about 2,000,0001. to 3,000,0001. annually; their annual exports, including both goods and stores, had fully doubled. In the year 1751, the total amount of shipping in the service of the Company was 38,441 tons, in the year 1772 it was 61,860.”
See the Third and Eighth Reports of the Committee of Secrecy in 1773.
Fifth Report of the Committee of Secrecy.
FROM THE FIRST GREAT CHANGE IN THE CONSTITUTION
OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY AND IN THE GOVERN-
Administration of Hastings till the Time when the
Parliamentary Members of the Council arrived and the Operations of the New Constitution commenced, including.- Arrangements for collecting the Revenue and administering Justice ostensibly as Dewan.—Treatment of Mohammed Reza Khan and the Raja Shitabroy.—Elevation of Munny Begum.— Destruction of the Rohillas.-Sale of Corah and Allahabad to the Vizir.— Payment refused of the Emperor's Revenue. — Financial results,
By the new parliamentary authority, Mr. Hastings BOOK V was appointed Governor-general, and General Clavering, Colonel Monson, Mr. Barwell, and Mr. Francis, the members of Council ; not removable, except by the King, upon representation made by the Court of Directors, during the period assigned