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ceed to suggest some other observa- the steps which may be taken in contions,
sequence of these enquiries, whether The unpleasant duty of increased such abuses shall receive a permanent vigilance is not likely to be perform- check or a virtual encouragement ! ed without some incitement of benefit or disadvantages attendant upon
EAST INDIA HOUSE. the exercise or neglect of it; and it A quarterly general court of the is equally conformable to experience proprietors of East India stock was to presume, that patronage will be held at the India house, to take into abused, so long as no inconvenience consideration the above report, is felt by the person primarily giving, The Chairman informed the court or by the person ultimately receiv. of proprietors, that he had obtained ing it.
a copy of the report of the select Where strict examination is a duty, committee, which he now moved any species of negligence cannot be should be read. The report being wkolly blameless; and it appears not read, unreasonable to curtail; in some de- Mr. Jackson rose. Ile could not, gree, the patronage of those who have he said, refrain from saying a few either not been sufficiently watchful words after the report which had in the disposal of it, or whose diligence been just read; although, he conhas been unsuccessful in preventing the fessed, he had scarcely recovered abuses which are complained 'of. As from the horror and surprise which an additional check against those the enumeration of such a catalogue who are inclined to purchase such of crimes and enormities occasioned, appointments, it may be expedient The idea of such a scene of iniquity that a bond should be given by the was new to him. He had understood parent, guardian, or friend of every from the public papers, that abuses person receiving a nomination, con- and corruptions did exist, but he could taining a penalty to be paid to the not have conceived that the report East India Company, upon proof could have exhibited so foul a list. If being made, at any subsequent per the court itself did not rise up in arms riod, that any valuable considera- against so infamous a system of cortion was given for such appoint- ruption, let them not be surprised that ment; that species of proof being the public lifted up its hand against deemed sufficient to levy the penal- the renewal of the company's charter, ty, upon which the court of diz This was one of the effects of the rectors may think themselves authpextraordinary majority of one hunrised to vacate the appointment. dred proprietors, some years ago.
The practices which are developed He was ņo stranger to the arts then in the present report, and other trans- resorted to, to accomplish that end. actions which this house has recently He had at the time been aware of, had under its cognizance, are sufficient and had endeavoured to point out to demonstrate that patronage of va- the consequences which might be rious descriptions has, in several in- expected to follow; but he could stances, become an article of traffic ; never have supposed they would that an opinion of the generality of have gone to such an extent. He such practices has been prcvulent to a had stated that the proceedings of still greater extent; and that fraudų- that day would rise up in judgment lent agents have availed ihemselves of against the company; but he had this belief to the injury of the credů- greatly under-rated the nature and lous and unwary, and to the discredit extent of the evils to be expected. of those in whose hands the disposition He believed that some of the gentleof offices is lodged. It will depend upon men who supported that system of mystery and concealment, had gone. under government; but the law as into it honestly, supposing that, to the East India company was dié. after the business had been exposed, ferent; there certain penalties and the practice would cease to prevail. forfeitures were inflicted on the corHow far they had been correct in rupt disposal of offices, so that the that idea, let the papers now on the practice itself was turned into a mise table develope. He should not take demeanour. This he conceived tu up the time of the court, by going be the case of the wretches, who, at length into the question, but from the relation of a gentleman conshould at present content himself nected with that company, had a-, with moving, that the report be bused the 'patronage and confidence, printed for the use of the members with which he was honoured, down of the court. He could not sit to another person (the chaplain of an down, however, without expressing illustrious duke) who, in addition his thanks to an honourable direc- 'thereto, had the sacred functions of tor, a member of the house of Com- his office. Against such persons, he mons, (Mr. G. Smith) for the part was of opinion, the company was at he had acted when the character of this moment armed with powers to the directors was called into consi- instruct their solicitor to proceed. deration. He was perfectly con- Mr. Lowndes said that he thought vinced had the deputy chairman he might fairly move, without dan(Mr. Grant) been present, that his ger of losing the question, that the conduct would have been the same. influence of the directors of the East His past services assured the court India Company has increased, is inthat he would be the first to promote creasing, and ought to be diminished. every species of enquiry. He trusted He wished that the overflowing part these honourable gentlemen would of this patronage should be employnotrelax their exertions : they knew ed in establishing a fund for the what documents it was in the com- support of the widows and children pany's power to produce, which of those officers who had been encould at all throw light upon the gaged in the service of the company. enquiry into abuses; and it was for He concluded by moving the thanks them to say, whether the East India of the court to G. Smith, Esq. for company ought not to be included his honourable and meritorious conin the bill introduced by the Chan- duct in parliament on the late en cellor of the Exchequer, for preven- quiry. ting abuses in the sales of offices. Mr. Grant (Deputy Chairman) He was persuaded it would be im- hoped it would not be supposed that possible ever to give an effectual the sentiments expressed on the other check to such abuses, if some law side of the bar were not felt by that was not enacted, subjecting the per- on which he sat. His only reason son practising it, however high his for rising was to assure the court. rank, either to personal punishment, that their directors had no intention or personal disgrace. He trusted to pass by the report without comthis would be seriously considered, ment. They were to have a meeting and zealously attended to. He was on it to-morrow, and the report haeven inclined to go a greater length, ving only come to the hands of the and to doubt whether all those whole- directors yesterday, and that through sale dealers in corruption, mentioned courtesy of the Speaker of the house in the report, were not guilty of misde- of commons, the court would easily meanours, even as the law now stood. see that not a moment had been lost This, he was aware, would not apply in taking into it consideration. He to the abuses practised in offices had no objection, however to the motion of the hon. Proprietor: The mom lic interest: it does therefore determine, tion was accordingly unanimously That in future, all writers and cadets, as agreed to.
well as the students meant for such apo Mr Lowndes's motion for the pointments, shall be examined and cho
sen in an open court of directors, which thanks of the court to Mr. G. Smith,
court shall be bound to make, by the infor his upright conduct in parlia
terrogation of the candidate and of the ment on the late occasion, was then
person recommending him, and by such put.
other examination and means as shall Mr. Jackson submitted, that the seem to them to be expedient for that proper order of proceeding, and also purpose, a full inquiry into the charac
ter, connections, and qualifications of the feelings of the hon. member,
the said candidate, as well as into the would be better consulted by post
means of his introduction to that court, poning the question till the report and
and to record upon their proceedings the itself should be considered.
result of such inquiry, with their deterMr Smith enforced this mode of mination thereon. That all such candi proceeding, and, after a few words dates shall present petitions for their apfrom Mr. Elphinstone, Mr. Grant, pointments; but that no petition shall Mr. Thornton, &c. from all of which be entertained or discussed, unless the
same be indorsed or underwritten by a it appeared, that the committee had
director, in the following terms, over originated in the desire of the direc- and above any declaration now required, tors themselves, Mr. Lowndes ob- viz.-" I, A. B. being one of the directained leave to withdraw his motion “ tors of the East India Company do de in the mean time.
" clare, that I have fully inquired into
“the character, the connections, and The Report was then ordered to
" qualifications of the within petitioner, be printed.
“ C. D. and that, in my opinion, he is
“a fit person to petition the East India Extract from the Proceedings at a Gene “ Company for the appointment which
ral Court of the United Company of “he herein solicits." But that nothing Merchants of England trading to the contained in the said or any other de East Indies, held July 6, 1809. claration from a director, shall relieve RESOLVED,
the said court from the obligation of " That this court having'taken into its pursuing, with the utmost strictness, the serious consideration the Report laid be- aforesaid inquiry. And that it shall not fore it on the 29th of March last, pur- be lawful for any director to circulate any porting to be a Report from a Select written recommendation of any candiCommittee of the House of Commons, date, or otherwise interfere in his ap6 appointed to inquire into the existence pointment, than in an open court of di“ of any corrupt practices in regard to rectors. Provided always, that each di" the appointment and nomination of rector'shall be at liberty so to indorse, « writers or cadets in the service of the or underwrite, so many and such petitions « East India Company," cannot but.ex- as he would, according to the present press its deep regret at the corrupt and mode and rules respecting patronage, be improper transactions therein disclosed : intitled to sign nominations and no more. and that this court, while it observes with And that the court of directors do lay great pleasure the declaration of the said before this court, at least once in each committee, that throughout the whole of year, or oftener if required, an account the evidence they remark nothing which of the number of writers, cadets, and traces any one of such corrupt or impro- students, whose petitions have been per bargains to any director, or induces agreed to, as well as the number of those a reasonable suspicion that they were whose petitions have been rejected. done with his privity or connivance, is Resolved Unanimously. - That the decidedly of opinion, that a greater de- thanks of this court be given to George gree of circumspection in the appointment Smith, Esq. M. P. for the very honourof the civil and military servants of the able promptitude with which he proEast India Company is not only essential posed, in his place in the house of comto its reputation, and to the success of its mons, an inquiry into the alledged abuses, affairs, but highly important to the pub- with respect to the appointment of the
civil and military servants of this com- PETITION OF MR. H.WHITE. pany; and to Charles Grant, Esq. M.P. who seconded the same; and such others of the directors, who, as members of the The Petition of Mr. Henry White, pripé house of commons, supported with so sented to the House of Comnons, by much zeal and unanimity the said in Mr. Whitbread, on the 24th. uf April, quiry.
1803The resolutions of the court of direc SHEWETH, tors, which follow, were read in the ge- That your petitioner is the sole proneral court, the 2d. of June last, viz. prietor of the Independent Whig news
At a court of directors, held on Tues- paper, which from its first commenceday, April 4, 1809:
ment, has been, and still is, printed at The court resurning the consideration No. 23, in Warwick-square, within the of the report of a committee of the lo- said city of London: and that your petia nourable house of commons on the pa- tioner is now a prisoner in the county tronge of the East India company;- gaol of the county of Dorset, in pur
Resolved :--That it is the duty of the suance of the sentence of the Court of court of directors to act in strict con- Pleas, held before the King himself at formity with their resolution of the Westminster, (irsually called the Court 28th. February, 1799; and they there of King's Bench) which sentence was fore resolve, that it is expedient that pronounced at Westminster, a place not the court should resort to the painful within the said city of London, contrary measure of inninediately ordering from to the rights and privileges of the citizens India such persons in the company's of the said city. civil and military service, as shall ap- Your petitioner published, in his said pear by satisfactory evidence to have ob- newspaper in Warwick-square, within tained their appointments by corrupt con- the said city, in the months of December, siderations, paid either by themselves or 1307, and January, 1808, certain letters, through their friends. The court deem signed “ T.C." “ Humanitas," "A Seathis painful determination necessary, not “man," and " Junius," for which publiso much with a view of punishing parties cations criminal informations were filed, who may perhaps be many of them igno- ex officio, against your petitioner by the rant of the circumstances under which King's attorney-general, in Hilary Term, their appointments have been obtained, 1808, at Westminster, a place without and the sufferings therefore of inany of the said city of London, although a whom, even in passing this resolution, grand jury of the citizens of the said city the court does not deem it any impeach- was sitting at the very time within the ment of its duty to commiserate, but said city; in which informations it was alunder an opinion, that such a severe ex- ledged that the above named publicaample is absolutely necessary effectually tions were scandalous and malicious li. to stop such improper practices in future. bels, though the said publications were
Then follow several resolutions for the not alledged to be in any particular false more effectually guarding against similar or untrue. Now it is not only the priviabuses: likewise resolutions for annulling lege of the citizens of the said city, but all those appointments obtained by un. the acknowledged right of every subject fair means, and that the persons in pos- of the British empire who is accused of gession should be disınissed from the crines and misdemeanors, to have an inservice of the company: at the same dictment preferred before the best men time it was resolved, --That writers and of his county, who are to determine cadets dismissed from the coinpany's whether there be sufficient cause to put service, because their appointments were hiin upon his trial; but, as a grand jury procured by corrupt practices, and who is not always sitting, and as danger might are rendered capable of being re-ap- arise to the state in some cases from the pointed into the service, upon the nomi- delay of assembling a grand jury, the nation of individual directors, provided practice of filing a criminal information they have not themselves been parties in before the king at Westininster has been any corrupt practices, shall nevertheless tacitly conceded to the attorney-general after receiving such re-appointment, be of the crown, at such tiines as no grand capable of enjoying the same only by a jury shall be assembled; but it has never Yote of a general court, founded on the been contended that the subject should recommendation of this court.
be deprived of the privilege of having his VOL. Vų,
case submitted to a grand jury of his be strong presumptive évidence that he county, before he be put upon his trial, knows the characters of the persons to except where pernicious consequences to be summoned, and has the power of actthe state would arise from the delay of ing with partiality, which power is concalling together such jury; but this trary to the constitution of these realms, could not obtain in the case of your pe- and is strongly guarded against by the titioner, because a grand jury of his coun- laws, in cases where no attempts are ty, namely, of the city of London, were made to take the trial out of the comactually sitting at the very time the cri- mon course of justice; for, the underminal informations were filed against sheriff (who summons juries) cannot conhim at Westminster.
tinue in office longer than one year, nor Your petitioner humbly craves leave to be re-chosen till after an interval of two remind your honourable house, that it years, lest, from his familiarity with ofwas not even alledged in the said crimi- fice, he may be enabled to select a parnal informations that the matter which tial jury. gave rise to them was false or untrue, Your petitioner also reminds this hothough the matter was alledged to be nourable house, that by a statute of the scandalous and malicious, and that it 7th. and 8th. years of King William III. was the usage of the court of King's (ch. 32,) it is enacted, that “ every sumBench, till within the last forty years, “mons of any person qualified to any of not to permit any information to be filed " the aforesaid services, (namely, serving for libellous matter, which was not al- “ on juries, shall be made by the sheriff, ledged to be false as well as malicious, “his officer, or lawful deputy, six days and indeed the most recent determina- "before, át the least;" but in the case tiou on the subject coincides with the of your petitioner, the summonses to the opinions unifo.mly maintained by our jury were not delivered six days before ancestors; for, in the case of Sir John the trial, nor five days before, nor four Care, and Hood and Sharpe, the plain- days before; from which cause your petif did not recover in action for a publi- tioner was not able to avail himself of a cation which was true, though admitted trial before a special jury, contrary to to be malicious and injurious.
the rights of the subject and the law of Your petitioner having had a criminal the land; and this circumstance of not information filed against him, of the na- summoning the jury six days before the ture and under the circumstances above trial, contrary to the positive and explistated, the solicitor for the crown moved cit enactments of the law of the land, has for a special jury, to which motion the prevented your petitioner from being judges of the court of King's Bench ac- tried by a jury of such men as had been ceded, and a special jury was awarded assigned him as his peers. of such freeholders who were 'entered in Your petitioner was not tried by a jury the Freeholders' Book belonging to the of his peers; for, as the court of King's sheriff, with the addition of freeholder Bench had ruled that a jury of freeholdand merchant, which special jury was ers and merchants were his peers, it nestruck, not by the sheriff, but by the cessarily follows that those who were master of the crown-office, who is a ser- neither freeholders nor mercbants could vant of the crown,-the prosecutor in not be his peers; and yet those who were this instance; and the names were not added to the special jury were neither taken as named by the said master, but freeholders nor merchants, and therefore several were passed over after he had' were not his peers:--and of a jury comnamed them, because he stutéd them to posed of men who were all of them neibe not likelu to attend, tliereby subvert. ther peers of your petitioner, nor peers ing one of the principles of British justice among themselves, a verdict was given. which directs that a jury shall be impurn Your petitioner also craves the attentially selected, and attendance enforced tion of this honourable house, to the by fines of court; and, indeed, the master words used by Sir Nash Grose on the of the crown-office might prevent all im- trial, in his charge to the jury, which partial persons from being summoned on your petitioner humbly presumes to have
jury destined to try between the crown been a deviation from the spirit of the and the subject, if every name be passed constitution, which enjoins lenity and over which he determines to be a person impartiality to form the basis of the conpot likely to attend. And this conduct duct of every British judge, to have been of the returning officer is conceived to also inimical to the letter and fair inter