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Gualiore. These last services were per-| tleman, though he must differ with him as formed at the head of native troops, under to the application of those principles. the command of British officers. Let it That it was highly necessary for Parlianot be supposed, therefore, that the ment to keep its legislative and its judicial slightest jealousy can subsist, after this | functions separate and distinct, was unonly ground of difference is removed. As doubtedly true; but it was equally true, to the propriety of sending the four regi- | that Parliament ought not to act judicially ments to India, it is a point which the unless in cases of an urgent nature, and right hon. gentleman has promised to de. | where the fair construction of an act of tail hereafter. I am clearly of opinion, parliament could not be obtained without that this is the proper time to augment considerable loss of time, and serious inour European force in India ; and when it convenience. This applied in the present is considered that in Bengal we have a case; for disputes, it was clear, had arisen country of such large extent, and of such between the Board of Control and the infinite importance, to protect and to de- Court of Directors about the construction fend—I am clearly of opinion that we of an act of parliament, respecting which, ought to have at least 5,000 Europeans however, he was free to declare he had there ; and therefore the reinforcement is never entertained any doubt. With remost desirable.
gard to a declaratory law upon the case, Sir Richard Hill termed the Bill of he admitted, that where a question of 1784 the mild hand of friendship, and private right arose, there a declaratory compared it to Mr. Fox's, which he called law upon the case ought never to be the rapacious hand of plunder. He avowed passed, because no public mischief could himself a friend to the Declaratory Law, arise, from the delay of waiting to try the and took notice of the character for good question of right in the courts below; but nature and mildness, which Mr. Sheridan the matter was widely different, when a had, in the last debate, given of Mr. Fox. I question of state was the question in dis. To that character he professed himself pute. A variety of obvious and cogent ready to subscribe, as he had in a vein of reasons would necessarily present them. pleasantry often attacked the right honour. | selves in every man's mind to prove the able gentleman, who had with great good propriety of this distinction Having nature let it pass.
settled this part of the subject, he proMr. Windham laid down the different ceeded to take some notice of what bad distinctions between ordinary acts of been said in the debate, relative to the parliament and declaratory laws. He power of control and application with res said it had been maintained by all wise spect to the revenues of India, that had writers on the constitution of the country been vested in the Board, having been in general, and the constitution and powers contended to be a negative and not a of Parliament in particular, that the legisa positive or affirmative. He adduced argu. Jative and judicial functions of the latter |ments to prove, that a negative power ought to be kept as separate and distinct would not have enabled the Board to have as possible. Indeed, Parliament ought to proceeded with any effect, in those regoexercise its judicial powers as rarely as lations which they had so successfully @ possible, because great and obvious con- enforced. He admitted, however, that in fusion must necessarily arise, if Parlia- some instances a negative power might ment frequently made a law, and then fol operate affirmatively; and put the case, lowed it up with another law to expound I had the power in question really been a what was the meaning of the first. But, negative power, and the Directors had most of all, declaratory bills upon the case proposed any particular mode of applicaought to be avoided. Nothing could be tion of the India revenues, which had not more dangerous. The present was a de- appeared to the Board of Control to be claratory law upon the case; and upon a expedient or wise, they naturally would case too, where the parties chiefly in- have put their negative upon it, and in terested contended strenuously, that the that case, their power of amendment and Act of 1784 had not been either stated or alteration would have effected all that understood to bear any thing like the con could have been effected had they posstruction that the House was now pro- sessed the most undeniable affirmative ceeding judicially to declare.
powers. The Solicitor General admitted most of Mr. Lorraine Smith said, that Mr. Pitt's the principles laid down by the hon. gen. speech appeared to him to be peculiarly
calculated to inspire confidence and beget | not been peculiarly gratified at hearingesteem. . He was sorry, therefore, that he a complete and able defence of almost could not give his vote for bringing up every principle of my own Bill from the the Report; but it would be inconsistent mouth of the right hon. gentleman : at with the tenour of his parliamentary con hearing almost the whole of that measure dact, if he were on any occasion to give maintained and supported with an irrehis consent to any one stage of a bill, the sistible eloquence, and in a flow of lanobject and end of which was, to vest guage peculiar to himself. It will now powers in the Board of Control, alarming no longer be clamoured through the to the constitution, and of an extent far country that I am the violator of chartered beyond those possessed by any one branch rights, or the usurper of the powers of of the Executive Government.
the India Company. Had the right hon. Mr. For remarked, that pledged as he member acted in the same open and fair was to oppose the present Bill in all its way in 1783, all that abuse which I have stages, he trusted the necessity of his now sustained, all that clamour that has been claiming the attention of the House, excited, all that popular phrenzy which would be obvious without a comment; ner disgraced the kingdom from one end of could it appear to bim necessary to say a it to the other, never would have been single syllable by way of apology for rising. provoked. He would then liave said, He then entered upon the merits of Mr. *You take away the Company's charter; Pitt's East India Act. There were two there I am with you; the Aagrant abuses points in which it should be generally the Company have made of it could not considered; first, Whether it was what have been put an end to unless you did the Chancellor of the Exchequer asserted so! You suspend all their rights'; there it to be at the time of passing it a bill to again I am with you; the suspension is regulate the government of India, to pro. necessary for their salyation ! You assume tect the territories there, and to preserve the complete management and control of inviolate the charter of the East India all the Company's affairs civil and military; Company? Secondly, Whether it was and the disposition and application of all what it was now asserted to be; and if so, their revenues ; in all this you do right: what would be its effect? To the first part such an assumption is requisite to give Mr. Fox would apply but a short obser- effect to your system ! But you put these vation ; for if it had been what the mi- powers into the hand of a board of comnister on passing it thought proper to call missioners appointed by parliament; there it, then it would have been inefficient, you do wrong, and there I am not with nugatory, and useless ; for he had always you. I contend that a board of control, asserted, and did now assert that it was appointed by the Crown, is the proper impossible to preserve entire and inviolate board to entrust all these powers with." the charter of the East India Company, Upon that single point ought to have and to save our territories in India even- rested the whole dispute, for that is the tually from ruin. This was his opinion only essential difference between the two when he introduced his own Bill; this was Bills. his opinion at present; and, therefore, he The popularity which that right hon. should be a consummate hypocrite were gentleman had obtained in consequence he to avow the contrary. He introduced of his conduct towards the East India his Bill with this avowal. It produced Company, would surely no longer be pealarm, and was in another House rejected.culiarly his own. All sides of the House What means were used to obtain that had at last agreed, and it was pretty geend, he should not now, although satisfied nerally understood by the public, that an on that particular, enter into the detail of. India bill must be had, which would take He believed the best panegyric ever pro- | the charter of the East-India Company .nounced on his Bill, had just been deli-out of their sole and exclusive dominion. vered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer The right hon. gentleman would now, he himself, with those round and finished trusted, desist from using those sonorous periods of fluent diction, and that happy clamours against the violation of the sacred arrangement, for which he had always and chartered rights of the East-India been eminently distinguished. It is with Company ; those calumnies and that abuse peculiar pleasure (said Mr. Fox) that I of men whose principles were too violent have heard—for I must have been gifted and daring to be entrusted with the ma. with extraordinary feelings indeed if I had nagement of the complicated and de.
ranged state of our extensive Indian ter- l of the present declaratory system, as he ritories; for if he should still continue termed it, for bill it could not be. It those clamours he would become himself assumed more power and patronage than, the prominent character- the leading fea- be hoped, any bill in that House would ture of his own calumny-the very hero ever create; it assumed the whole, sole, of his own tragedy; for he had not only and exclusive right to apply the revenues taken away, or now intended to take of the East-India Company; it gave this away, the charter of the East-India Com- entirely to the Crown, for it gave the pany, but had done it with violent hands, sovereign the right of calling on a private and had given it to persons of all others company of merchants to defray the exthe most unfit to retain it.
penses of his military force; it was calcu. To the first part or description of the lated to ease the half-pay list at the exright hon. gentleman's Bill, namely, that pense of the East-India Company, init was designed to save India, and to pre-stead of the general expense of the whole serve inviolate the charter of the East- kingdom ; it gave power, patronage, and India Company, sufficient had been said. all its concomitant advantages, to the Agreeing, therefore, with the right hon. Board of Control, without annexing to it gentleman, that the charter should be by that which was the first and best of all some means taken away; agreeing that checks against despotism-responsibility. the flagrant abuses of the Company made It had been said that there was no patro. that violent step necessary ; agreeing that nage by the present Bill. What, no the state of India required the immediate i patronage by the absolute and unconinterposition of Parliament, and that a trolled disposal of eleven millions a year! suspension was necessary; that the ma- Would ministers add insolence to their nagement, civil and military, of the affairs absurdity? Would they dismiss decency of India, should not be entirely in the of assertion, and expect the House to hands of the Directors; that the revenues forget the general and obvious maxims of and commerce should be under some common sense, that power and patronage control; agreeing, he said, in all this, the were inseparable; that patronage and inquestion would naturally turn to a simple Auence were inseparable; and that in. fact-Into what hands will you entrust Auence and corruption were, in a degree the affairs of India ? This led Mr. Fox much to be lamented, also inseparable? into a view of his own Bill. It was true Away with such gross, such stupid, such he had suspended the charter of the East- palpable absurdity! India Company; it was true he had He then came, he said, to that part of changed the conduct and the management the right hon. gentleman's speech which of their affairs, and taken them out of the he perceived had a conciliating effect at hands of the Directors; it was also true the moment upon the minds of some of he had avowed this publicly at the time his auditors. He had said, “such is my of his Bill passing that House. Had he desire that this measure should be fully thought proper to conceal his meaning, investigated, and that all points should be and, like the Chancellor of the Exche- guarded that may seem to tend to increase quer, have pretended by any equivocal che prerogative of the Crown, that let any clause to preserve the charter, he should | member of this House state his objections have met with no opposition. By his Bill, to the present Bill, as to the tendency to the conduct of India was to be entrusted patronage, let him produce a clause by to persons immediately under the control way of check against the influence he of Parliament, to whom they were de- fears; and from whatever quarter of the clared to be responsible; and this, if it | House, from whomsoever it comes, that added to the power of any part of the le- man who produces to me such a measure, gislature, gave it where the use of it was in whatever language he may convey it, least to be dreaded. He should not de- whether with severity to myself personally, tain the House any farther on the merits or with the mildness of kind and tempeof his own Bill; for, indeed, it had been rate advice, is substantially my friend." well explained already, and its principles These words, taken literally, and without could never appear to better advantage their context, which had been darefully than wben compared with the Declaratory concealed, would appear bewitching; but Bill which the minister wished to be ac- as the minister had chosen to hide his cepted by that House.
own meaning under a fair and specious Mr. Fox then entered into the merits promise, which in fact meant nothing, Mr. Fox said he would take off the veil,! He next took a view of the commercial and show the House its real meaning. It point which the present question involved.. was this : “ Give me the absolute uncon. It had been asserted that the Board of trolled power of India in my hands, and Control did not interfere with the mmthen you shall have as many checks as you mercial interests of the Company. If he please-& check upon absolute power- had been truly informed, this assertion was a check upon uncontrolled dominion.” | false in fact : for he had been told that This was exactly like the right hon. gen- no commercial dispatch could be sent to tleman's conduct on another view of the India without the signature of the Board present question, namely, when he first of Control. He desired ministers to corclaimed the whole revenue of the East- rect him if he did not state the fact truly. India Company, and gave them the surplus He paused for an answer; but no answer -the surplus after the whole was taken! being given, he took the fact to be as he the remainder-a blank !” Mr. Fox de- stated itand said that there was an endi clared that he should complain if he was then to the boasted liberty of the commerce charged with stating monstrous cases ; of the East India Company. He came for nothing was supposed too monstrous to the point of law arising on the present against his own Bill. Indeed, the fact case, and insisted that a declaratory bill was as he had stated it. The Board of could not constitutionally pass to supply Control might apply the whole of the re- any omission; for it would be declaring venue, under colour of paying for the pro- on that which never existed. He must tection of the territories. It had been as- now touch upon the last and greatest serted that the Board of Control had not charge that had ever been exbibited the right of nominating officers. That against him, in the warmth even of any was true; but had they not the disposal speech delivered in that House. A right of the revenue, aod would it not be absurd hon. gentleman had said, that he had by to suppose that they could not, in a mild, bis India Bill endeavoured to pluck the insinuating manner, recommend ?-and crown from off the head of the Sovereign. was it difficult to believe that the recom. Such language, if it could be applicable to mendation of such persons would be no. any man or set of men in this kingdom, ticed? We knew too well the difficulty, was more descriptive of the ambition of pay, the impossibility of obtaining any others on a different side of the House nomination whatever, without a connexion than of himself. When had he acted, or with, and the countenance of, men in conducted himself, as if he might be suppower. It had been always so, and would posed to have the seeds of disloyalty in continue for ever so: the very nature of his mind? When had he endeavoured to all government admitted of no other mode check the just prerogatives of the crown? of regulating its concerns. So much for He knew too well their value, and he had their possessing no right of nomination, no occasion to wander out of his own disThe Board of Control had the astonishing position, by endeavouring to destroy the right of levying war in India without the just prerogatives of the Crown. Ministers consent of his Majesty: and, therefore, were determined to give him sufficient they could never want an excuse for ap- employment in watching their daring atplying the whole of the revenue towards tempts to exercise prerogatives destructive the defence of the territories. They had of the interests and subversive of the rights the whole power and authority of govern of the people; and in preventing, if posing India upon the very worst of all terms, sible, their creating new prerogatives, as applicable to the interest of the Com- There were, indeed, some prerogatives pany, and of the state. They had the which derived their value from being power without the responsibility ; for rarely used, and while we heard pompous should any officer who held the command and declamatory speeches in defence of in India act in such a manner as to destroy the prerogatives of the Crown, did not let at once the whole of our possessions in us at once forget the privileges and the that extensive portion of the globe, the rights of the Commons. It was not by Board of Control were not responsible; endeavouring to destroy the one, that we for they had not formally, although they were to preserve the otber: they ought to had in effect the nomination of such an go on in harmony and unison; and when officer; in short, it was scarcely possible they clashed and were discordant, then, to name a power more absolute, and of indeed, should we be in real danger. a tendency more destructive,
insinuating that there was but one side of enacting, not only that an account of the the House of Commons loyal to their So- British forces in India should be annually verign, were themselves, in fact, enemies presented to Parliament in the usual form to the constitution. The minister, he of an estimate, but that no troops shall in said, had forfeited the confidence of the future be sent to India without the authoHouse; he had been detected in a fraud rity of a solemn Act of Parliament. This, upon it; he had been detected in bringing however, was not to be understood in all in a bill under false pretences; he had possible cases; because it was only meant been detected in endeavouring to pass, as a general limitation of the powers of hastily, a bill to declare what never ex- the Board; for, undoubtedly, it would be isted; but, when he found the House absurd to suppose, that in a case of emerawake, and determined to stop his career, gency there should be any check on the he then' assumed an air of candour, and executive government, to prevent them wished gentlemen to bring forward their from sending troops to the East more than cbjections. Much better would it be for to the West-Indies, or to any other part of the right hon. gentleman at once to con- his Majesty's dominions. In either case, fess his error, withdraw his Bill, and bring they certainly would be amenable to par. in a new one, adequate to all the purposes liament for their conduct, which alone of saving India, and also the commer- would determine on the necessity or inexcial interests of the Company
pediency of any measure of that nature, The question being put, That the said according to the circumstances of the report be brought up, the House divided : case. The next objection which had Tellers.
been stated as dangerous to the constitu
tion, was the possibility of the commisYeas Mr. Neville - - -2 $? Mr. Steele . . . . $182 sioners perverting the application of the
revenues of India for the purposes of Lord Maitland ,
creating undue influence, by directiog NORS | Sir Janies Erskine
any increase of salaries, or perquisites of The Report was then brought up, and their servants abroad; or in the improper the Bill was ordered to be re-committed distribution of gratuities, to the prejudice on Monday.
of the true interest of the service. With
respect to those, he was extremely deMarch 10. The House having again re- sirous of providing every check, and for solved itself into a committee on the Bill, that purpose he had prepared two clauses.
Mr. Pitt rose to state the object of the The first was, to prohibit any increase of . new clauses, of which he had given notice. salary to the Company's servants abroad, He had drawn them up, he said, in con-, unless sufficient reasons were given, and . formity to the general ideas which he then submitted to the consideration of Parliathrew out. But, in order to give every ment by the Board at least thirty days gentleman full time to consider them, he before their dispatches were to be sent would propose, that after the clauses had out for such increase. The other clause been moved, and read a first and second | declared, that it shall not be lawful for the time, they should be received directly, Buard to order and direct any gratuity and the farther consideration of the report to be paid to any servant of the Company, be postponed till Wednesday. He then, unless it shall originate in the Court of recapitulated the objections which had Directors, and afterwards gain the sancbeen made against the exceptionable parts tion of Parliament. This was also to be of the Bill, and which it was the object of understood with some exceptions. These the new clauses to remove. First, it had were the principal specific provisions been argued, that if the commissioners for which he intended to move the committee the affairs of India were empowered by to agree to. But there was another clause the Act of 1784 to send out troops to which he would also bring forward, though India at the expense of the Company, indeed the conduct of those who now they might, by an improper exercise of acted as commissioners for the affairs of that power, establish an army in India India, seemed to render it in some mea. without the consent of Parliament. To sure unnecessary. He begged leave to prevent any possibility of such abuse, it remind the House, that bis right hon. was his intention to propose a clause friend (Mr. Dundas) had in the last ses. which would operate as an effectual check sion, voluntarily brought a complete inveson the Board of Control. It was a clause tigation of the state of the Company's