Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ 199 papers, containing altogether 13,511 pages ; “ another, a judicial despatch with an appendage of “ 1,937 pages; and a despatch on the revenue with no fewer than 2,588 pages by its side.

" Much credit was due to the servants of the East“ India Company. The papers received from them “ were drawn up with a degree of accuracy and talent “ that would do credit to any office in the state. “ The Board could not, with all the talents and “ industry of the president, the commissioners, or “ even of his honourable friend, their tried secretary, * “ have transacted the business devolved upon it, “ without the talents and industry with which that “ business was prepared for them at the India House.”

Was it known to the honourable Committee, that all matters connected with the provision of the military investments for India; the superintendence of the recruiting for the Indian army, and embarkation of the military and recruits for India ; the adjustment and regulation of matters connected with and arising out of the courts of judicature in India ; the correspondence with the various public offices on the multifarious subjects which are of daily occurrence; the consideration and decision of the innumerable personal cases of servants in the civil, military, and other establishments when in this country; the discussion on and adoption of various measures which are ultimately submitted to Parliament, with the view of promoting the welfare and happiness of the native community; the direction and control of the vast commercial concerns of the Company, affording employment to nearly 4,000 men in their Warehouses only. In short, it is impossible to enumerate, and no person is capable of forming a correct judgment, who does not know the interior manageD 2

ment * Now the Right Hon. T. P. Courtenay.

ment of the whole vast machine, and of what the various, important, and incessant calls upon the executive body, and more especially upon the Chairman and Deputy Chairman, consist. These observations are not advanced for the mere purpose of magnifying in the eyes of the public the present system ; they are capable of proof or of refutation, and upon the one or the other they must stand or fall.

In a work of this nature, and proceeding from the quarter which it does, any observations with reference to the Hon. Executive Body, however just in themselves, would be misplaced. It is fortunate for the East-India Company, no less than for the interests of India generally, that gentlemen, independent in fortune and character, and possessing deserved weight and influence in public, can be found to devote their time and attention to the maintenance of a system which, though not perhaps without its defects, has worked well, and promoted the benefit of all connected with it both in India and in Europe. The truth is, that the principles upon which it has been conducted are little known, whilst at the same time they are greatly misrepresented. It is much to be desired for the country that the illustrious nobleman, who is now at the head of his Majesty's government, and who is not unacquainted with the affairs of India, may fill that arduous and responsible post when the subject of the Company's charter may come under discussion. It will be no less advantageous to a due consideration of the question, that the office of President of the Board should at that time be occupied by a noble lord, who it may be said possesses almost an hereditary knowledge of Indian affairs.

The extent of the subject and result of the present

system

system cannot be better described than in the eloquent terms used by Mr. Canning, on the last occasion on which that highly gifted statesman spoke in public, on the 13th June 1827 :

" I believe there is no example in the history of the “ world, on the one hand, of the existence of an im“ perial corporation, or on the other of the concur“ rence of two co-ordinate authorities, for so long a “ series of years, in conducting without shock or con“ flict the administration of the wonderful, I had

almost said the tremendous empire, over which the “ East-India Company and the Crown jointly preside.

- The construction and maintenance of that vast “ empire are, indeed, as fearful as extraordinary. It “ is a disproof of the common adage, that little wis“ dom is required for governing mankind, to consider “ how such a machine has been gradually formed ; “ how a varied population of nearly 100,000,000 of “ souls is kept together under a government so ano“ malous, and distant thousands of miles, with so “ much comparative happiness, and so little of inter6 nal confusion. But the greatness of the concern “ to be administered has had its natural effect; it “ has produced a race of men adequate to its admi" nistration. I venture to say, that there cannot be “ found in Europe any monarchy which within a “ given time has produced so many men of the first 66 talents in civil and military life, as India has, within “ the same period, first reared for her own use, and " then given to their native country.”

It has been the endeavour to shew, by the foregoing observations,—that where a want of investigation is alleged,—the most minute and extended inquiry has taken place;—that where the government of the

Company Company is stated to have been carried on, on “ paltry, peddling principles,” it is proved to have been conducted on a system unquestionably beneficial, “ shielding under the safeguard of equal law every “ class of the people from the oppressions of power, “ and communicating to them that sense of protection, “ and assurance of justice, which is the spring of all “ public prosperity and happiness ;"—that where the Company have been charged with a desire of conquest and aggrandizement, their orders have been little short of a peremptory prohibition against their government engaging in hostilities;—that where the greatest benefits are anticipated from an unlimited resort to India of Europeans, serious evils from a limited resort have already been experienced ;-and that where judgment has been passed on the economy of the Company's Home management, the nature of the establishment, the duties discharged by it, and the system under which it is conducted, are almost wholly unknown. These observations, apply principally to the subjects connected with the four periods alluded to, viz. 1773, 1784, 1793, and 1813. Whenever the question shall again be brought forward, there is no doubt that the East-India Company will be enabled to shew, that they have discharged the great trust reposed in them with advantage to the interests of the state, and have promoted the welfare and happiness of the immense population placed under their rule.

It is deemed expedient to state, that the contents of the Analysis and this Supplement, until they had passed through the press, were unknown to any person but the individual who has thus laid them before the public, and to whom the statements which they contain are to be solely attributed.

CONTINUATION

OF THE

BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH

OF THE

RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE BRITISH POWER

IN INDIA.

[blocks in formation]

In consequence of the non-ratification by the Burmese of the treaty entered into on the 3d January 1826, at Patanogah, hostilities were recommenced, and on the 19th measures were taken by Sir Archibald Campbell for the attack of Melloon, which important post, after a gallant defence by the enemy, was carried by assault. Its position, although not so well chosen as some others which had been met with, had been rendered more formidable by labour and art, affording the enemy a presumptive security in their possession

of it.

The intelligence of the fall of Melloon created the greatest consternation at the capital of Ava. Mr. Price, a member of the American mission, and Mr. Sandford, surgeon of the Royals, a prisoner at Ummerapoora, were sent down for the purpose of treating with the British authorities. They reached head-quarters on the 31st January, and were informed that the terms proposed at Melloon were still open to the court of Ava. The army continued its progress from Patanogah towards the capital, and on the 4th February reached Pakan Yay, an advance of eighty-five miles, and from thence

« PreviousContinue »