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On the 4th February sundry accounts relative to raw and 1828. thrown silks, also as to bandannoes, were ordered by the House of Commons.
On the 18th February accounts were ordered of all articles Accounts exported from the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and o Ireland to the East-Indies in each year, from 15th January Imports. 1820 to 5th January 1827, and of all articles imported from the East-Indies into the United Kingdom in each year, from 5th January 1820 to 5th January 1827.
On the 11th March a return was ordered of the number of Account of ships cleared out from the different ports in the United King- Shipping, dom for British India in each year, from 1801 to 1826 both ordered. inclusive, specifying their tonnage, the number of seamen employed in navigating them, whether British or Indian, and distinguishing the ships belonging to or chartered by the EastIndia Company from those of private merchants.
East-India Trade.—Accounts were ordered “ of the number Account of 66 of ships, with the amount of their tonnage, which have ordered 66 entered inwards and cleared outwards at the several ports of 66 Great Britain, from and to the East-Indies, in each of the 66 five years ending 5th January 1828.
66 Of all goods exported from Great Britain to the East66 Indies and China, in each of the five years ending 5th 66 January 1828.
65 Of the value of all articles, being of the growth or manu66, facture of the United Kingdom, exported by the East-India 66 Company in each of the five years ending 5th January 1828.
66 Of all goods, the produce of the East-Indies and China, 66 imported into and exported from Great Britain in each of 6 the five years ending 5th January 1828.
« Of the amount of duties of customs received upon goods 6 imported from the East-Indies, in each of the five years end6 ing 5th January 1828.
Of all goods of the produce of the East-Indies and China, 66 imported into Great Britain in each of the five years ending 66 5th January 1828, specifying the quantity and value of the “ principal articles imported.
66 Of all goods exported from Great Britain to the East66 Indies and China in each of the five years ending 5th Janu
1828. « ary 1828, specifying the quantity and declared value of the Account of 66 principal articles exported.” Trade, &c. ordered. On the same day, an account of tea imported and exported
and retained for home consumption in Great Britain in 1826 and 1827 was ordered.
On the 14th March regulations passed by the Indian governments were presented to the House.
On the 17th April an account of raw-silk sold at the EastIndia Company's sales for five years ending January last,
was presented to the House. Mr. On the 18th April Sir James Mackintosh brought before the
House the case of Mr. Miles O'Reilly, who claims reparation for mischief he states to have sustained from the Directors of the East-India Company. This case arises out of the insolvency of Mr. Ricketts, the late registrar of the supreme court at Madras, upon which subject a collection of documents
were laid before the House on the 25th June and 7th July 1827. Criminal On the 22d May Mr. Williams Wynn gave notice of his Law.
intention to move, on the 3d June, for leave to bring in two bills, one for the extension of the late improvements in the criminal laws to India, and the other to extend the benefit of the insolvent act. The bills were brought in and read the first time
on the 6th June, and were passed into a law on the 25th July. Debtors in Mr. Hume submitted a motion for a return of the numIndia.
ber of persons confined for debt in the gaols at Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, in each of the years 1826 and 1827, or either of them, stating the number of years each person has been in confinement, and whether at the suit of government or individuals; and at the same time stated that his object was, to induce both the House and the government to carry into effect those measures of redress which were necessary.
Mr. Williams Wynn observed, that he had already given notice of his intention to move for leave to bring in a bill for the relief of insolvent debtors in India. After some remarks by Sir Charles Forbes and Sir James Mackintosh as to the evils consequent upon imprisonment for debt in India, the motion was agreed to. The bills were introduced on the 6th June, and passed into a law the 13th and 25th July; vide INSOLVENT DEBTORS and CRIMINAL Law.
On another motion made by Mr. Hume, a copy of the table 1828. of fees sanctioned by the courts, and charged by the officers of Ag
Fees in his Majesty's Supreme Courts of Judicature at Calcutta, Supreme Madras, Bombay, and Prince of Wales' Island, were ordered. India.
On the same day Mr. Hume presented a petition from certain native inhabitants of the Island of Bombay against the clause which enacts that all juries for the trial of persons of the Christian religion shall consist solely of individuals professing the Christian faith. ·
On the 4th June a motion was submitted by Mr. Hume, for StampTax. a copy of the memorial presented by the merchants of London trading to India, in February last, to the Court of Directors of the East-India Company, respecting the stamp tax lately imposed in Calcutta on commercial transactions; and a copy of any answer from the court to that memorial, and for a return of the amount revenue received from stamps in India in the years 1823-4 and 1825-6, under certain heads, was agreed to. The said memorial and accounts were presented to the house on the 16th June. On the 10th June Mr. Astell obtained leave to bring in a Unclaimed
Prize bill for regulating the proportions of unclaimed prize-money acquired by soldiers or seamen in the East-India Company's service. The bill was brought in and read a first time the same day, and received the royal assent the 15th July. On the 16th June the Marquess of Lansdowne presented to Petition
against the House of Lords a petition from the merchants, traders, Stamp Tax. and inhabitants of Calcutta, relative to the stamp duties imposed there by order of the government. His Lordship did not offer any opinion on the important legal question arising out of the complaints, or on that course of policy which the government of India, as he was bound to suppose on some sufficient authority, had thought proper to pursue. The petition having been read, Viscount Melville remarked that any observation which he might make, was not offered with any view to defend the authorities in Calcutta against any charge so far as regards the petition. What had been done was done under an act in the propriety of which he fully concurred.
The legality, his Lordship contended, was founded upon the 53d of the late king, by which both duties and taxes are allowed
1828. to be imposed; and the Supreme Court had unanimously dePetition cided that the imposition was lawful. An appeal lies to the against StampTax. King in Council, who will of course either reverse or confirm
it as the case may require. The power was known to be possessed by the government in India. The measure had been sanctioned by the Board when Mr. Canning was at its head; and as to the government having interfered to prevent the inhabitants from meeting to express their opinion, they had only obeyed the orders which they had received from home; and that Lord Petty himself, in 1806, when a member of the board, approved of instructions to the Bengal government to prevent any such tumultuous proceedings.
The Earl of Darnley considered the subject of the petition deserving attention.
The Marquess of Lansdowne admitted the legality of the act, but remarked that, with reference to the order to prevent such meetings being signed by a certain individual, such an argumentum ad hominem ought not to have been applied, as the party alluded to could only have signed it as an individual member of the Board. The petition was ordered to lie on the table.
On the 17th June Sir James Mackintosh presented a petition to the House of Commons on the same subject from the inhabitants of Calcutta, against the tax in question. On this occasion the right hon. and learned member entered into a general review of the comparatively disadvantageous circumstances under which the British inhabitants of Calcutta are placed; pointing out the impolicy of the measure, and deprecating the haste and little consideration with which subjects connected with India, and more especially at the several periods of 1773, 1783, 1794, and 1813, have been passed through Parliament.* The petition having been read, Sir James Mackintosh moved that it be referred to a select committee. Upon which Mr. Williams Wynn doubted whether, if a select committee was appointed, the objects enumerated in the speech of his right
* With reference to the right honourable and learned gentleman's statements, vide “ Preliminary Observations."
hón, friend could, in the slightest degree, be obtained. After 1828.
Petition adverting to several of the topics touched upon by Sir James Acainst Mackintosh, Mr. Wynn submitted whether it was possible, on StampTax. so limited a question as that of the stamp regulation, to engraft the general extensive question of what restrictions are advisable on the commercial and other intercourse between this country and India. He did not chink any inquiry was necessary into the subject of the petition, and saw no grounds which would warrant an examination of the question.
Mr. Hume entered at considerable length into the subjects and animadverted upon the general system under which the affairs of India are administered. He believed the Directors to mean well, but said the system they follow is a bad one. Instead of following what he might call the golden rule of Buonaparte, the court reject every information except what comes to them through their own special sources. He also thought colonization might be permitted without fear. · Mr. Astell remarked, that the legality of the question was set at rest. As to the charge of the Directors not attending to private information, he felt that they would ill discharge their duty if they would proceed on such grounds. It is well known that nothing is either done or declined on private information. The Government of India as at present constituted he conceived to be the best that circumstances would admit, and the proof of its excellence is to be discovered in the gradual and progressive improvement of that country. As to a more extended resort to India of Europeans, the misfortune was that too many went out who had neither capital nor reputation to insure them a . chance of doing anything else than ending their days in poverty.
As to the resort of persons to India, the principle on which many applications were refused was this, that the situations of clerks and others in mercantile houses were occupied by halfcastes, and it would be hard that Europeans should infringe on their employment. Permission has been given on the application of any respectable responsible houses, and he might fairly say that in every instance in which it could be shewn there was a power of furnishing employment, licenses have been given. The local government has also granted many. The motion for a Select Committee was then withdrawn.