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INDIA BUDGET-1806

HC Deb 10 July 1806 vol 7 cc1044-83

 

On the motion of lord Morpeth, it was ordered, that the several Accounts and Papers, which have been presented to the house in this session of parliament, relating to the Revenues of the East-India Company, be referred to the consideration of a committee of the whole house. The house having accordingly resolved itself into the said committee, Mr. Hobhouse in the chair,

Lord Morpeth

rose, in consequence of the notice he had given, to submit to the consideration of the house, a statement of the financial affairs of the East-India company, a subject at all times of high importance to this country, but never more so at any period than at the present moment. In all the wide-extended affairs of government, there was not one which more peculiarly called for the vigilant superintendance and scrutiny of parliament, than the system of finance, upon which so materially depended the permanent prosperity of any government; and, though the statement he should this day have the honour to submit to the committee, would not be of a nature so very flattering as had been made of late years, by some of his predecessors in the department he had the honour to fill; yet having devoted the short period, since he had filled his present situation, in endeavouring, with the utmost assiduity, to make himself acquainted with the real state of the company’s affairs, both at home and in India, with respect to their debts, their revenues, and commerce, as well as the various charges upon their government and trade in all its departments, he should lay before the committee the most clear and candid statement he Was enabled to make; leaving it for the committee to decide upon the tenour of that statement, and the motions he should have the honour of founding thereon. He felt it unnecessary to trespass longer upon the attention of the committee, and should now proceed to his proposed detail, referring to the documents on the table, in support of the Several points of his statement. The noble lord then proceeded to a detail of the several items to which he alluded; of which items the following is a comprehensive and accurate view:

REVENUES, No. 1.—Excluding the Revenues of the Ceded Provinces in Oude on account of their intermixture with the Arrears of Subsidy in some of the years, and the variation in the mode of statement in the last year, and, taking the Company’s fried ancient Revenues alone, the average in the three years in this statement amounts to 6,166,581
Which exceeds the, average on the three years one year back 337,692
No. 3. Estimated for 1803–4 8,064,981
Actual Amount 8,060,993
Less than Estimate 3,988
CHARGES, No. 3.—Estimated for 1803-4 5,066,940
Actual Amount 5,434,291
More than Estimate 367,351
Add deficiency of Revenue to excess of Charge, the Net Revenue is less than estimated, by 371,339
And the Net Revenue for 1803-4 is 2,626,702
ESTIMATES for 1804–5.
REVENUES, No. 1 8,167,792
CHARGES, No. 2 5,956,208
Net Revenue 2,211,584
REVENUES estimated more than actual, 1803–4 106,799
CHARGES estimated more than ditto 521,917
Net Revenue, estimated for 1864-5,less than preceding year 415,118
MADRAS.
REVENUES—Excluding the Revenues of Arcot and of the Provinces ceded by the Nizam on account of the early years, being in part Subsidy and in part Revenue Collections, the average receipts on the years 1801-2 to 1803-4,as by No. 4, is 2,965,199
Being less than the average of the three years 1800-1 to 1802-3, in the sum of 49,102
REVENUES, No. 6—Estimated for 1803-4 4,888,895
Actual amount 4,653,401
Less than Estimate 235,494
CHARGES, No. 6—Estimated for 1803-4 5,018,157
Actual amount 6,136,845
More than Estimated 1,118,688

 

£
Add deficiency of Revrenue to excess of Charge, the Net Charge is more than estimated, by 7,354,182
And the Net Charge for 1803-4 is 1,483,444
ESTIMATES, 1804–5.
REVENUES, No. 4. 4,659,326
CHARGES, No. 5. 5,420,029
Net Charge 760,703
REVENUES estimated more than actual of 1803–4 5,925
CHARGES estimated less than ditto 716,816
Net Charge estimated for 1804-5 less than preceding year 722,741
BOMBAY.
REVENUES, No. 7.—An adjustment of these Revenues, as of those of the other Presidencies, should have been made on account of the addition to the two last years, by Treaty and Conquest. As the amount in not specified, the average must be stated on the gross receipts on the years 1801-2 to 1803-4, it amounted to 408,062
Which exceeds the average 1800-1 to 1802-3, excluding a small receipt from the Orded Countries 99,020
REVENUES, No.9.—Estimated for 1803-4 518,575
Actual Amount 558,650
More than Estimate 40,075
CHARGES, No. 9.—Estimated for 1803-4 1,478,881
Actual Amount 1,642,978
More than Estimate 164,097
Deduct Excess of Revenue from Excess of Charge, the Net Charge is more than estimated, by 124,022
And the Net Charge of the Year 1803–4 1,084,328
ESTIMATES. 1804–5.
REVENUES, No. 7 731,391
CHARGES, No. 8 1,873,933
Net Charge 1,142,542
Revenues estimated more than actual, 1803-4 172,741
Charges estimated more than ditto 230,955
Net Charge estimated for 1804-5, more than preceding year 58,214
BENCOOLEN and other SETTLEMENTS.
No. 10, A.—Revenues of Fort Marlbro’ in the year 1802–3 13,985
Charges of ditto 122,132
Net Charge 108,147
SUPPLIES from BENGAL to FORT MARLERRO’ PENANG, &c. estimated for 1803–4 212,628
No. 18.—Actual Amount 304,056
More than estimated 91,428
NO.11.—Supplies estimated for 1804-5 287,680
GENERAL VIEW.
Result of the Year 1803-4 collectively. REVENUES—Bengal by No. 3 8,060,993
Madras 6 4,653,401
Bombay 9 558,650
Total Revenues 13,273,044
GENERAL VIEW
Result of the ESTIMATES for the Year 1804–5, collectively.
REVENUES—Bengal, by No. 1 8,167,792
Madras, 4 4,659,326
Bombay, 7 731,391
Total Revenues 13,558,509
CHARGES—Bengal, by No. 2 5,956,208
Madras, 5 5,420,029
Bombay, 8 1,873,933
Total Charges 13,250,170
Net Revenue of the three Presidencies 308,339
Deduct Supplies to Bencoolen, &c., by No. 11 287,680
Reminder 20,659
Deducted from Interest on Debts, by No. 16 †1,754,843
The Sum then remaining is the Amount in which the Charges and Interest are estimated to exceed the Revenues. 1,734,184
Deduct Amount estimated to be received on the Sales of Imports, by No. 15 602,993
The Remainder is the Amount in which the Charges 1,131,191
£
CHARGES—Bengal, by No. 3 5,434,294
Madras, 6 6,136,845
Bombay, 9 1,642,978
Total Charges 13,214,114
Net Revenue of the three Presidencies 58,930
Deducted from Supplies to Bencoolen, &c. by No. 18 304,056
Leaves a Net Charge of 245,126
Add Interest, &c. paid on the Debts at Bengal, by No. 18 957,727
Madras, 19 334,179
Bombay, 20 *242,852
Total Interest 1,534,758
The Total amounting to is the Sum in which the Charges and Interest exceeded the Produce of the Territorial Revenues. 1,779,884
From which deduct the Amount of the Sales of Imports, by No.15 655,481
The Remainder 1,124,403
Shews the Amount in which, in the year 1803-4, the Resources from Revenue and Sales of Imports were in sufficient to defray the Charges, and the Interest on the Debts.
Amount advanced for the purchase of Investments, Payment of Commercial Charges and in aid of China—
At Bengal, by No. 18 1,380,855
Madras, 19 706,771
Bombay, 20 193,844
Fort Marlbro’ 22 39,014
Total Advances for Investments 2,320,484
Cargoes consigned to Europe, in 1803-4, with Charges by No. 22 1,674,645


*
This Sum includes 140,436l. paid the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund for Interest on the Securities in their Hands.
 †Includes 166,454l. payable to the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund.

£
of Government and Interest on the Debts are estimated to exceed the Resources expected to be derived from the territorial Revenues, and from the Sales of Imports, in the year 1804-5.
DEBTS IN INDIA.
Amount stated, to April 1803 21,881,571 Deduct in the hands of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund 2,012,348
Net Amount of Dehts, on the 30th April, 1803 19,869,223
Amount on 30th April, 1804, by No. 16. of present Account 25,336,263
Deduct Sinking Fund, as above 2,800,056
Net Amount of Debts on 30th April, 1804 22,536,207
Increase 2,666,984
DEBTS BEARING INTEREST.
Amount in April 1803 18,712,933
Deduct in the hands of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund 1,686,917
Net Amount of Debts bearing Interest on 30th April, 1803 17,026,016
Amount on 30th April, 1804, by No. 16 21,276,466
Deduct Sinking Fund, as above 2,244,532
Net Amount of Debts, bearing Interest on 30th April 1804 19,031,934
Increase of Debt bearing Interest 2,005,918
Amount of Interest payable on Debt owing in April 1803 1,574,011
Deduct Interest on Securities in the hands of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund 126,360
Net Amount of Interest payable on Debt owing 30th April, 1803 1,447,651
Amount payable on Debt, in April 1804, by No. 16 1,754,843
Deduct Sinking Fund, as above 166,454
Net Amount of Interest payable on Debt, owing 30th April, 1804 1,588,389
Increase of Interest payable 140,738
ASSETS IN INDIA.
Consisting of Cash, Goods, Stores, &c. in April 1803 14,630,971
Deduct Balance and Securities in hands of Commissioners of the Sinking Fund 2,012,348
Net Amount of Assets on the 30th April, 1803 12,618,623
HOME ACCOUNTS.
No. 25—Aggregate Amount of Sale in 1804-5 8,044,392
Less than the Year preceding 380,876
The Sales of the Company’s Goods were less by 609,991
The sales of Private-Trade Goods were more by 229,115
Making the Net difference, as above 380,876
The Sales of the Company’s Goods were estimated at 6,868,700
The actual Amount was 5,267,578
Being less than estimated 1,601,122
The Receipts on the Sales of the Company’s Goods were estimated at 6,598,496
They actually amounted to 5,730,153
Being less than estimated 5,730,133
Being less than estimated 868,363
The Charges and Profit on Private Trade were estimated to amount to 1,50,000
The actual Amount was 90,536
Being less than estimated 59,464
Consisting as above, on 30th April 1804, by No 21 17,252,399
Deduct Sinking Fund, as above 2,800,056
Net Amount of Assets, on 30th April, 1804 14,452,343
Increase of Assets 1,833,720
Deducting Increase of Assets from Increase of Debts, the State of the Company’s Affairs, in this view, is worse in April 1804, than in April 1803, in the Suns of 833,264
GENERAL RESULT.
From the disappointment in the Produce of the Sales, with a large Payment in Bonds by the Purchasers, and from a greater Expenditure on Account of India and China than first intended, the Deficit would have appeared in the Cash Balance of this Year to a considerable Amount; but the Sum borrowed from Government, a Loan from the Bank, and an Issue of Company’s Bonds, have so operated, that the Balance of Cash estimated to remain in favour of the Company on the 1st of March, 1805, to the Amount of 157,634
was found, by the actual Accounts of the Year to be 12,020
which was less than estimated, by the Sum of 145,614
HOME ACCOUNTS.
ESTIMATE, 1805—6.
No. 23—Sale of the Company’s Goods estimated to amount to 6,301,414
GENERAL RESULT.
Notwithstanding the Receipts from the Sales are estimated much higher than the Actual of the last Year, and the Expectation is stated of a Payment by Government of a Million, the various Demands upon the Treasury are so great for Freight and Demorage,
DEBTS AT HOME.
On the 1st March, 1804 4,788,865
No. 23, on the 1st March, 1805 6,012,196
Increase 1,223,331
the Repayment to Government of 500,000l. borrowed in the last Year, and on other Accounts, that the Balance on the 1st March,1806, is estimated to be against the Company in the Sum of 62,836
ASSETS AT HOME.
On the 1st March, 1804 19,168,736
No. 23, on the 1st March, 1805 20,412,659
Increase 1,273,923
Deducting the Increase of Debt from the Increase of Assets, the Home Concern exhibits, in this view, an Improvement in the Year amounting to 50,592
CHINA and ST. HELENA.
Balance at China, on 31st January, 1803, against 260,000
Balance at China, on 29th January, 1804, in favour, No. 24 182,390
Increase at China 443,290
Balance at St. Helena on 30th Sept. 1802, in favour 105,194
Balance at St. Helena on 30th Sept. 1803, in favour, No. 24 105,382
Increas at St. Helena. 188
Total Increase at China and St. Helena 443,473
GENERAL COMPARISON of DEBTS and ASSETS.
Increase of Debts in India 2,666,984
Increase of Debts at Home 1,223,331
Total Increase of Debts 3,890,315
Increase of Assets in India 1,833,720
Increase of Assets at Home 1,273,923
3,107,643
Add—Net Increase of Balance at China and St. Helena 443,478
Total Increase of Assets 3,551,121
Deducted from the Increase of Debt, will shew a Deterioration to have taken place on the whole Concern in this view, during the Years 1803-4 Abroad, and 1804-5 at Home, to the Amount of 339,194
Add—Amount received in India, and included in the Quick Stock there, dated April 30, 1804, which formed part of the Cargoes afloat Outwards, in the Assets at Home 583,299
Goods in the Export Warehouses in India on the 30th April, 1804, arrived in England, and included in Assets at Home 43,619
626,918
ABSTRACT of ADDITIONAL ACCOUNTS.—BUDGET, 1805.—General View of Estimates, 1805-6.
Revenues of Bengal 3,763,220
Madras 4,774,296
Bombay 742,017
Total Revenues 14,279,538
Charges of Bengal 7,415,370
Madras 5,650,182
Bombay 1,580,292
Total Charges 14,645,844
Net Charge of the three Presidencies 366,311
Add Supplies to Bencoolen, Prince of Wales’ Island, &c. 266,800
Total Surplus Charge 633,111
Add further—Interest on the Debts 1,823,040
Interest payable to Commissioners of Sinking Fund, on Securities redeemed 195,788
Total Interest 2,018,828
Total[…] Excess of Charge beyond the Produce of the Revenues, as estimated for the Year 1805–6 2,651,939
exclusive- of Commercial Charges not added to the Invoices, amounting to 199,806l.
The Amount of the Deterioration will then be 966,112
 

The Assets at Home exhibited an Increase in. Value during the Year, in the Sum of 442,192l. from the Insertion of the Amount of the Claims of the Company on the Public, it having been calculated before it was under the Consideration of Parliament. As this Branch of the Concern is under Examination, upon Principles recommended by a Committee of the House of Commons, which will lessen its Amount, a further considerable Adjustment will hereafter be requisite.

 

DEBTS IN INDIA.
Amount of Debt, 30th April, 1804, by No. 16 25,336,263
[…]Amount, in the hands of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund 2,800,056
Net Amount of Debts, on 30th April, 1804 22,536,207
Amount as to Bengal, January 1805, and Madras, and Bombay, 30th April, 1805 23,197,499
Deduct, Sinking Fund, as above 3,151,065
Net Amount of Debts in 1805 25,046,436
Increase 2,510,227
DEBTS BEARING INTEREST.
Amount in April 1804 by No. 16 21,276,466
Deduct, in the hands of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund 2,245,532
Net Amount of Debts bearing Interest on 30th April, 1804 19,051,934
Amount on 30th April, 1805, generally 24,221,706
Deduct Sinking Fund, as above 2,616,739
Net Amount of Debts bearing Interest on 30th April, 1805 21,604,967
Increase 2,573,033
Amount of Interest payable on the Debt owing on 30th April, 1804, by No. 16 1,754,843
Deduct Interest on Securities in the hands of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund 166,454
Net Amount of Interest payable on Debt owing on 30th April, 1804 1,588,389
Amount payable on Debt in April 1805 2,017,358
Deduct Sinking Fund, as above 195,788
Net Amount of interest payable on Debt owing on 30th April, 1805 1,821,576
Increase of Interest payable 233,181

 

His lordship, on the whole, did not think he went too far, when he said, that, in his opinion, the deficiency or excess of charge could not be taken at less than 3 millions. The debts, bearing interest in India, he was aware, there might be danger of having called in, though the directors had the power of protracting the payment for sometime. should this be the case, some extraordinary means might be necessary to be resorted to; but of this there was no immediate appearance. It might be expected that he should be able to give some account of the measures proposed to be adopted for reducing the expenditure in India. It was well known, that government had lately been pretty much employed in devising measures of reform in the public expenditure, but it was deemed more expedient to wait till it was seen how far any schemes of the kind were practicable, before they should be gone into as to India. It would be the duty of the commissioners, for Indian affairs, to call the attention of parliament to this subject, at as early a period as possible. It was not his intention to trouble the committee on the subject of the treaties with Scindea or Hlkar, nor did he think himself even call ed on to give any opinion on that subject. He knew it was the opinion of others, that these treaties were honourable to the British character, and calculated to preserve pacific dispositions in India. On the whole, though he admitted that the financial department in India did not wear the most cheerful aspect, and although he would be the last person in the world to raise sanguine hopes, which were not likely to be realised, still he thought it would be wrong to give any sanction to unmanly despondency. Our resources in the East were great, and, by proper management and economy, might still be brought to answer our highest expectations. He did not speak of that economy which would teach us to withhold a reward from merit, or to retrench in the becoming grandeur of the executive government—economy which only tended to defeat the objects which it had in view—but that economy, which would teach us to act on principles of moderation, justice, and equity. His lordship concluded by moving his first resolution, shewing the revenues of, the provinces in Oude in 1803-4. On the question being put,

Mr. Johnstone

expressed the high satisfaction which he felt at the fair and candid manner, in which the noble lord had made his statement. He heartily concurred with the noble lord in the importance of the subject, of which, notwithstanding the house had uniformly treated it with so much indifference, the attendance that night furnished an additional proof. He could not, however, help thinking that the noble lord was himself somewhat to blame, in having so long delayed bringing forward the subject, the papers necessary to make the statements having been in this country for nearly twelve month’s; and it having been promised, in the month of February last, that the attention of the house should be speedily called to them. In looking at the accounts, which were as full and distinct as could well be expected, he could not help remarking, that though the period to which they applied was a period of war, a great part of the increase was for civil charges. He thought, without withholding any due reward from meritorious services to the company, the expences in the civil establishment might be greatly reduced. He hoped, with the noble lord, that we should always observe moderation and good faith in our conduct with the neighbouring states; but what concern that could have in diminishing our expences, he could not conceive. The noble lord had guarded the house against any apprehension they might otherwise have entertained, that the splendour of the executive government in India should be diminished. What did this mean? He could understand such an observation, if applied to the monarchies of Europe; but he contended that all our acquirements, all our wealth, and all our character in India, were obtained, without the least idea of maintaining any of the splendour alluded to by the noble lord. He considered, and he believed that it was generally considered, that the conduct of sir George Barlow, in the conclusion of the treaties, and in the economical regulations which he had instituted, was highly meritorious; and it surely would have been becoming in his majesty’s ministers to have allowed him to carry into effect the arrangements which he had commenced. He detailed the circumstances attending the original appointment of sir G. Barlow to the governor generalship of India, with his subsequent recall; and contended, that the act on Which his majesty’s ministers had proceeded, was intended to apply only to extreme cases, of which this was not one. For 22 years, it had never been deemed adviseable to exercise the prerogative which the act established. The first appointment of sir G. Barlow, on the part of his majesty’s ministers, was a deliberate action. Refusing him whom the first minister of the crown (Mr. Fox) had formerly described as the man best calculated to be entrusted with the government of India, (Mr Francis,) they appointed sir G. Barlow. Notwithstanding that his measures even anticipated the hopes and expectations of his employers, he was, in twelve days afterwards, superseded without the shadow of a cause. He had heard it stated, that this removal took place because sir G. Barlow was a servant of the company. However he might feel the propriety of placing a man of rank and consequence at the head of the government in India, in preference to one who might be better acquainted with the details of business; yet he thought that this principle might be pushed too far. If ever there was a case in which it ought to have s been departed from, it was that on which he was speaking. He had also been told, that sir G. Barlow was recalled, because he did not possess the personal confidence of a ministers. Two noble lords, however, under whose administration the British interests in India had flourished, in the highest degree; he meant, lord Macartney, and lord Cornwallis; did not, he believed, enjoy much of the personal confidence of the administrations, which existed in England during the period of their government. Another whimsical reason for this recall, which, when he coupled it with some other extraordinary statements on different subjects, almost made him conclude, that the brain of the right hon. gent., who had used it, was full of paradoxes: Sir G. Barlow was a most zealous supporter of the government in India, which that right hon. gent. approved; but he thought fit to remove him, lest the court of directors, who disapproved of that government, might, on that account, hereafter dislike sir G. Barlow, although they had hitherto approved of all his acts. The statement of the accounts, by the noble lord, presented a gloomy picture: he hoped, that by care and attention, on the part of our government, it might yet assume a more lively aspect.

Lord Henry Petty

replied to the observations of the hon. gent., who had not, he presumed to say, read the act of 1784 with attention, or he would have seen that the interpretation which he and others attempted to put upon it was unfounded. For, in the same clause in which the power of recalling a governor was vested in the directors, it was also vested in his majesty and council; but this seemed to have been overlooked by the hon. member, who condemned the exercise of a power which was necessary to maintain the pre-eminence of the present state. That hon. member would have a dependent state governed without being subject to controul, and yet his brain was unwilling to admit paradoxes. It was asserted by the hon. member, that this power of recall was quite new and extraordinary; and that it never had been exercised before, since 1784; but it seemed to be forgotten, that the same power had been before exercised by the directors. Yet it excited no complaint. But when his majesty ventured to use his undoubted prerogative, some gentlemen appeared to be anxious to raise a clamour against it, and, ministers thought proper to appoint a man of their own choice. But was any thing more natural than that the administration of the sovereign’s government should choose a governor for any of the dependencies in whom they could confide? Were they not, by the statute of 1784, armed with that power? and did not their duty call upon them for the exercise of it? They were as responsible for the government of India, as for that of Ireland; and it would be as just to interfere with their appointment of a viceroy for the one as with that of a governor for the other. The governor, whose appointment had just taken place for India, would, he was persuaded, afford general satisfaction; and this persuasion rested upon the belief that that noble lord would carry out with him to India, those principles of moderation, economy, and a strict adherence to treaties, which the house had heard so distinctly laid down by his noble friend who opened the debate, and which formed the firmest basis of every good government. Under the administration of such principles, the noble lord, no doubt, however lamentable the deficiency at present might be; however much the hopes of the country, excited by the promises of the noble lord on the opposite bench (Castlereagh), had been disappointed; might still be able to restore the resources of India, and place its affairs on a regular, solid, and durable footing.

 

Lord Castlereagh

maintained, that the tendency of the revenues of India was to augment in the manner and proportion which he had described to the house, and that his predictions were falsified by events upon which it was impossible for any man to calculate, namely, by wars which he had not in his contemplation when he made the statement, to which the noble lord on the treasury bench referred. The noble lord vindicated the grounds upon which the late war in India was commenced, the manner in which it was conducted by marquis Wellesley, and also the terms upon which it was concluded by sir G. Barlow. The removal of this deserving individual from the government of India, the noble lord condemned in the most unqualified terms. That sir G, Barlow’s character was the subject of universal praise, was quite notorious, but he could adduce a testimony to his merits, of the very highest order; for he could state that it was the express wish of lord Cornwallis, before he went to India, that when he should have completed the object of his mission; sir G. Barlow should be appointed to succeed him in the government. What could be the object of ministers in discharging sir G. Barlow, so soon after his appointment, he felt it impossible, upon any rational ground, to estimate. As to the debt of the India company in India, his wish was, that it should travel home, and he was sure that their circumstances and credit here would be quite sufficient soon to discharge it.


Sir Arthur Wellesley

after paying some compliments to the noble lord (Morpeth), for the fairness and perspicuity with which he had stated the result of the several accounts now before the house, addressed himself to the chairman, to the following effect:—That he had intended to confine himself to a few observations on the accounts, to which the noble lord had referred; but that, many extraneous topics having been introduced into the debate, particularly by the noble lord who spoke last (lord Castlereagh), he found himself obliged to take notice of some of those topics. A great deal has been said,without any direct relation to the India budget, on the impropriety of the revocation of sir G. Barlow. In the measure itself I have no concern, and, as I do not know the reasons on which it was adopted, I shall neither censure nor defend it. But I am sure that the arguments which I have heard this night against it, are not all conclusive. Nothing can be more clear and explicit than the power vested in his majesty by the act of 1793, to revoke any appointment of a governor-general made by the court of directors. The act was proposed and introduced by lord Melville. The power gives the right, and the exercise of the right is trusted to the discretion of the king’s ministers. Undoubtedly, it is not to be exercised capriciously, or upon ordinary occasions. It is reserved for particular cases and circumstances, on the exigency of which the crown, by the advice of a responsible council, is to judge. Does the noble lord mean to contend that parliament has given a power, which it was intended should never be exercised? But against whom or what can it be resorted to at any time? The answer is, against an act of the court of directors. It can apply to nothing else. At the same time, I am ready to admit, that a wanton or interested application of the power, though according to law, would be just as abusive and criminal as an assumption of it against law. When you admit the trust, you must prove the abuse of it. The services of sir G. Barlow are extolled, and the confidence which the court of directors repose in his attachment to the true interests of the India company, is particularly insisted on. They consider him as a servant of their own in contradistinction to persons recommended by government. This is a new language, sir, considering the quarter it comes from. I have heard him spoken of in very different terms, by persons very high in the direction of the company’s affairs; and even with expressions of indignation, at the uniform support he gave to every measure of lord Wellesley, without exception; and particularly for never attempting to check him in the exercise of independent authority, not warranted by law. Look at their own dispatches on this subject, published by themselves. Sir G. Barlow is not mentioned by name, but he is charged by direct implication. They say, “he is certainly guilty of a dereliction of his duty, and must inevitably incur the displeasure of the court of directors.” In another dispatch, they say that, “by suffering measures not regularly and legally instituted, to be carried into execution, he became partner in the illegality.” They say that the council (that is, sir G. Barlow) “had no right to abandon their part of the government.” On the justice of these censures I offer no opinion. The court of directors were his judges, and they have pronounced upon his conduct. But it seems, the readiness with which he adopted the pacific system of lord Cornwallis, and the expedition with which he has concluded a pacification with Holkar and Scindia, is a great merit, and intitles him to be continued in the government.— Holkar, very lately, was considered as a mere robber, and to be treated accordingly. He is now reinstated in his former territories, and Scindia has obtained possession of the country of our ally the rajah of Gohud, and of the royal fortress of Gwalior; without any right that I know of, to either of them. He might perhaps have claimed Gwalior under sir Arthur Wellesley’s treaty of December 1803. But, if his claim was good then, why was he kept out of the Fort till now? I would have preserved the peace with these people; but, having twice made the war, I should have thought it the best policy not to have brought the Mahrattas back into Indostan, much less to have given them such a strong hold as Gwalior, in the centre of that country. A concession of that kind gives you no security for the continuance of peace; especially if it was made hastily and without sufficient deliberation. I do not mean to say that the terms of these treaties may not be justified by necessity; that is, by the state of the finances of the Bengal government.—If so, it is to be lamented that sir G. Barlow’s situation did not allow him time and means to measure his steps with less precipitation. The Mahratta chiefs have very good intelligence, and know as well as we do, whether our concessions to them are voluntary or not. As to confidence in our justice or good faith, it is in vain to talk of it. My noble friend, who is now appointed to the government of Bengal, will, I am sure, do every thing that can be done, consistently with prudence and safety, to satisfy the princes of India, and to establish the peace of that country on a solid foundation. I confide in his principles, and I think that every thing may be trusted to his sound discretion.—I come now, sir, to the accounts on the table, which properly belong to, and constitute the business of the day. The first thing to be observed, is that the statements from India come no lower than to the 30th of April, 1804; consequently leave us very much in the dark about the actual state of the finances there. We might, and ought to have had them to April 1805, at least. The Indian debt, as it stood above two years ago, was 25 millions sterling; and I think it may fairly be reckoned at 30 millions, more or less, at the present moment. The noble lord on the other side (lord Castlereagh) says he shall be happy to hear that this debt, or the greater part of it, is on its travels to England. In that hope, I believe, his lordship is very likely to he gratified. Above 17 millions and a half are payable in England, at the option of the holders of the securities.—How this demand, when it arrives, is to be received and provided for, is a question, which I am not able to resolve, and therefore I shall leave it to his lordship to settle it, as well as he can, with the court of directors. The company’s situation offers no probability of their being able to meet such a demand, otherwise than by loans in England, or by extending their capital to an equal amount. Now, by an estimate of profit and loss on their sales here, for the year ending in March 1805, I see that their payments exceed their receipts by the sum of 418,540l. Here, then, is a deficiency to be made good, upon their actual domestic charges, and it be an annual deficiency. Eularging their capital, without a proportionate extension of trade, is only running into a debt, which does not furnish the means even of paying its own interest. I have so often objected in vain to the form and construction of the account of their stock per computation, that I shall not trouble the house with any then farther remarks on that subject. In my mind, they only deceive themselves, when they make out an apparent balance in their favour, by totally omitting their capital on one side, and by taking credit on the other for unproductive articles, which, I could easily shew, amount to some millions.—The evidence on the table, though it falls short by two years of the actual state of the company’s affairs, is sufficient to shew whether I have been right or wrong in the opinions which I have maintained on this subject, for many years past. The last Indian injustice that can be done me now, would be to confound the prediction with the cause, and to charge me with the event, because I foretold it. On this night, my noble friend has stated the whole case fairly. He has told us the truth, and I have done nothing but tread in his steps, and follow his example.

Mr. Francis ,

rose and said—Before I proceed, sir, to consider the financial state of India, which is more properly the subject for discussion this night, I shall advert to the political subjects which have been referred to by other gentlemen. The hon. gent. opposite (Mr. Francis) has asked, what right Scindeah had to the fortress of Gwalior, and the territory of Gohud, which have been ceded to him by the late treaty concluded by sir G. Barlow? The hon. gent. must recollect that, subsequently to the treaty of peace concluded by Mr. Hastings with Mandajee Scindeah (the predecessor of Dowlut Rao Scindeah), that chieftain attacked the Rajah of Gohud, and deprived him of all his territories. The family of Scindeah had remained in possession of those territories, and of the fortress of Gwalior, from that time, until the war which commenced in 1803; when the fort of Gwalior was taken, and the country of Gohud fell into the possession of one of the detachments under the orders of the commander-in-chief, lord Lake.—Under the 9th article of the treaty of peace which I was the instrument of concluding with Doulut Rao Scindeah, at the end of the year 1803, the territory of Gohud and the fortress of Gwalior, were to remain in the possession, and at the disposal of the British government. This will be obvious to any man who reads that article, or the conferences in the negociations of the treaty, which are published; and indeed the operation of the 9th article upon this territory was acknowledged by Scindeah’s ministers. The governor-general, lord Wellesley, however, having adverted to the situation in which Scindeah was placed by the treaty of peace in relation to other powers in India, and particularly in relation to his rival Holkar, had deemed it proper to take into consideration the expediency of restoring to Scindeah the territory of Gohud and the fort of Gwalior. I was of opinion, that Gohud and Gwalior ought to be restored to that chief; and I believe that the instructions to the resident with Scindeah upon this subject have been laid before this house. The reason for which the cession was not made until the conclusion of the late treaty by sir G. Barlow, is referable to the state of Scindeah’s councils from the middle of the year 1804, until a late period in 1805. The cession was a matter of favour from the British government to Scindeah, and was to be so considered. The committee will observe, that it is so considered by sir G. Barlow. But Scindeah’s councils were so badly composed, and their conduct was so suspicious, from the period before mentioned, that no concession could be made to Scindeah, without incurring the risk of having it attributed to motives, which never ought to influence the conduct of the British government in India. For this reason the cession was not made by lord Wellesley. The hon. gent. seems to think the fortress of Gwalior important, as a defence of the company’s territories in that quarter. The fortress of Gwalior would defend and cover nothing, excepting itself: the company’s territories are not to be defeaded by fortresses, but by armies in the field. Fortresses are useful as points of support, and as magazines to these armies; and in this point of view Gwalior would be useful, if the object of the company was, or was likely to be, the invasion of Scindeah’s territories in Malwah. But it is of no use with a view to the defence of the company’s territories, unless garrisoned by a large body of troops, which body of troops would be more profitably employed in the field.—Upon the whole, the committee will observe, that I consider sir G. Barlow’s treaty with Scindeah to have been consistent with the spirit of that which I was the instrument of concluding at the close of the year 1803; and that the late gov.-gen. lord Wellesley, intended to have carried into execution that part of its stipulation which refers to Gwalior and Gohud.—Upon a former night I explained to the house, that I did not consider it to be a treaty of peace, as, in point of fact, we had never been at war with Scindeah since 1803. It is a treaty to amend and explain some articles of the former treaty of peace; and I conceive, that every article of it deserves approbation.—In respect to the treaty with Holkar, I do not conceive that there can be any objection to it. The hon. gent. (Mr. Francis) has asked, whether sir G. Barlow was not obliged to conclude that treaty by the financial distresses of the government. Approving, generally, of the treaty, and not knowing the instructions from home under which sir C. Barlow acted, I do not conceive it necessary to look for the cause of his concluding that treaty, in any necessity arising from the state of the finances. The hon. gent. knows well, that when war has been carried on for 3 years in India, it is not very easy to procure money on loan; and I certainly do not mean to extenuate the financial difficulties and distresses which existed in the year 1805, as represented by the noble lord (Morpeth), and by the papers on the table. These difficulties certainly existed; but in possession of such a revenue as is enjoyed by the British government in India, at the present moment, and in command of such large resources, I do not conceive that any temporary embarrassment, or difficulties of a pecuniary nature, could exist to such a degree, as to induce sir G. Barlow to conclude a treaty of which lie himself did not approve, and of which he should not think that his superiors in England would approve.—I have already said, that I was not disposed to dispute the financial statements made by the noble lord (Morpeth), as exhibited in the papers upon the table; but it must be recollected, that these statements refer to a period of most extensive warfare, which was carried on in all parts of India at the same time, and for which the preparations and exertions made were on a scale superior to any ever made upon any former occasion. There was not an officer in command of any detachment, who could prove, to the satisfaction of government, that any addition to the means already in his power would increase his capability of performing service, who did not immediately receive orders to make the increase which he required: and it will be found, that the service performed was proportionate to the expense incurred. With this recollection in our minds, it will not appear that a surplus charge, amounting, upon an average, to about two millions sterling, is very large for such a period, and for such exertions.—The subjects which require explanation in the state of the Finances of India, are—the Deficiency of the Revenues, in comparison with the Charges (including the Interest of the Debts)—and the great magnitude of the debts. My wish is, to shew 1st the real situation in which the Finances of India will be in time of peace; 2d, the real state of the Indian Debt in April 1805, (at the close of lord Wellesley’s government,) and in April 1806; and, 3dly, to compare the debt with the assets, and shew in what manner it has been incurred.—It appears by the account No. 2, presented on the 3d of June, 1806, page 94, that the revenues of India, for the year 1805-6, were estimated at 14,279,533l.; the charges at 14,645,844l.; the interest of the debt at 1,823,040l.; the commercial charges, not added to the invoices, at 199.806l.; the supplies to Prince of Wales’s Island, Bencoolen, and St. Helena, 266,800l.; making a total of charge int 169,354,900l.; and leaving a deficiency to be provided for by loan, of 2,655,957l. It must be observed, however, of this estimate; 1st, that the revenues are not stated to be so high as they really are; and 2dly, that the charges are for a period of war, in which it must be acknowledged, that they would be higher than in a period of peace. If this be the fact, it cannot be ,supposed to be a very unsatisfactory state of affairs, that the charges of a great empire, such as the British empire in India undoubtedly is, should exceed the revenues and resources by 2,700,000l. sterling in one year, in a period of very extensive warfare. This will be observed more forcibly, if the financial state of Great Britain, or of any other country in Europe, is adverted to.—But the duration of war ought not to be calculated upon; intelligence of peace has already been received, and the finances in

Estimate of the late Acquisitions in India, from Conquest and Subsidy, taking the Revenues at the lowest possible scale.
REVENUE. Gross Revenue. Net Revenue In Sonat Rupees.
IN THE DOAB
Etawa 13,91,818
Furruckabad 6,30,084
Seharunpore 3,42,351
Ditto under Moradahad 2,99,015
Ditto under the resident at Delhi 5,50,273
35,13,541
Deduct Tasseeldary, and other allowances, .pensions, mofussil charges,—and balances irrecoverable, estimated altogether at 20 per cent. 7,02,708
28,10,833
Sumroo Begum’s Jagheer 10,00,000

 

India must be viewed in reference to the state of affairs which must exist in consequence of the restoration of tranquillity.—In endeavouring to form an opinion of the financial state of India, in a period of peace, it is necessary to ascertain what will be the revenues in peace, and what the charges. In the year 1802–3, the company were in possession of all the territories which they possess at present, excepting the territories acquired by the treaties with the Guickwar, and by the treaties of Bassein, and of peace concluded with the Mahrattas, in Dec. 1803. The produce of that year will form the fairest datum from which an estimate may be formed of the probable future resource. An average of any number of years cannot be taken; because, in 1801, the provinces in Oude were not in the company’s possession: because, in 1803-4, there existed a drought in all parts of India, which affected particularly the produce and revenues of the ceded provinces in Oude, and in some degree those of the provinces ceded by the Nizam on the Toombudra and Kistna rivers, and those in the Carnatic;—and because, in 1804-5, the revenues of the ceded provinces in Oude must have been affected by the incursion of Holkar’s armies.—The amount of the revenues in 1802-3 will afford an estimate of what they will be in future in time of peace; although there is reason to believe, that they will considerably exceed that amount.—The Revenues in India in the year 1802–3, as appears by the accounts before parliament, were 13,464,537l. To this sum, in forming an estimate of the future probable resource of the government in India, must be added the new subsidies, and the revenues of the British territories gained by the company since the year 1802-3, of which I will read an estimate:

WEST OF THE JUMMA
Agra, exclusive of the Pergunnahs, Dholepore, &c. at first reserved to Scindeah, and now ceded to the company 10,64,255
Districts settled by the resident at Delhi 4,25,594
Syer of Delhi, &c. 1,83,689
Districts unsettled, suppose 4,25,000
20,98,538
Deduct 20 per cent. as above 4,19,707
16,78,831
In Hindustan rupees of sorts 54,89,664 52,70,076
CUTTACK 13,51,405
Deduct 20 per cent. as above 2,70,281
Arcot rupees 10,80,124 10,37,879
BROACH 10,00,000
Deduct 20 per cent. as above 2,00000
Estimated equal to Sonat rupees 8,00,000 8,00,000
Total of Revenue of rupees of sorts 73,70,788
Ditto in Sonat rupees 71,07,955
Sicca rupees 66,81,478
Or, pounds sterling 835,184
SUBSIDIES. Gross Revnue. Net Revenue. In Sonat Rupees.
FROM THE GUICKWAR.
Free gift 2,00,300
Subsidy 6,97,275
Syer Revenue in the Attaweesy 60,000
—in Guzerat 66,000 1,26,009
FROM THE PEISHWAR.
Bundlecund Gross Revenue 15,72,974
Deduct 20 per cent. as above 3,14,595
Stipend to Shumsheer Bahadur 4,00,000 7,14,595
In rupees of sorts 8,58,379
In Sonat rupees 8,24,047
Subsidy in the Attaveesy 6,50,300
Ditto in Guzerat 1,72,300
Syer Revenue in the Attaveesy 1,10,000
Ditto Guzerat 8,000
In rupees supposed equal to Sonats 9,40,000 17,64,047
ADDITIONAL SUBSIDY.
From the Rajah of Travencore 3,48,000
Total Subsidies Sonat rupees 31,35,322
Or Sicca Rupees 29,47,203
Or, Pounds Sterling 368,400
Total Revenues Pounds Sterling 1,203,584
ABSTRACT.
ACQUISITION Sonat Rupees. Sicca Rupees. Pounds Sterling. Total £. Sterl.
In Revenue 71,07,955 66,81,478 835,184
In Subsidies 31,35,322 29,47,293 368,400 1,203 584

 

This will make the future revenue of British India amount to 14,668,119l.—In the commencement of the year 1802-3, a revision was made of all the establishments under the governments of India, with reference to a state of peace. It does not appear, however, that the establishments of European troops in particular, were reduced to a lower scale than that on which they ought to be left at all times, and on which they exist at present. Neither does it appear to be necessary to increase the number of European troops, beyond the number which were in India in the year 1802-3, in consequence of the additional territory acquired since that year. The native military establishments were fixed upon a scale, in the year 1802–3, cal culated for the existence of peace in India; and the continuance of the war in Europe, under the circumstances in which the enemy stands in respect to his marine, does not appear to render necessary any addition to these establishments. The actual charges of the year 1802-3, were higher than the amount at which they were estimated and fixed, with a view to peace.—In Oct. 1802, Holkar gained the victory at Poonah over the troops of the Peishwah and Seindeah, in consequence of which the government of Fort St. George immediately thought it necessary to assemble the troops acting under that presidency, which afterwards marched to Poonah early in 1803.—The army at Bombay was likewise placed on the war establishment; part of it in the field; and both armies were considerably augmented.—My noble friend (lord Castlereagh) has calculated the extraordinary expenses, in the last six months of 1802-3, at 500,000l. above the charges of the peace establishment; and in forming an estimate of the future charges of India, in a period of peace, upon the actual charges of the year 1802-3, it is proper to strike off 500,000l. of that amount. With this sum subtracted from them, the actual charges of the year 1802-3, together with those rendered necessary on account of the treaties of peace and subsidy, and by the acquisitions gained since that period, may be deemed fair data on which an estimate may be formed of the probable future charges of British India in time of peace.

The actual Civil Charges in 1802–3 were £4,599,372
The actual Military Charges were 6,360,614
From which subtract 500,000
Remains 5,860,614
supplies for Bencoolen, &c. *196,848
Making a total of charge in 1802–3 £10,656,834

 

To this must be added the additional civil charges to be incurred in consequence of the late acquisitions, of which I shall also read an estimate.

Estimate of the Annual Increased Civil and Military Charges incurred in India since the Year 1802–3.
PENSIONS AND JAGHEERS.
Rups. of Sorts. Son. Rups.
Scindeah and his family 8,00,000
Royal family at Delhi, including the expence of irregular corps 17,00,000

*These charges are greater by 19,662l. than those stated by lord Castlereagh, in his speech of the 19th of July, 1804; (see vol. 2. 1151)

Rups of Sorts. Son. Rups.
Begum Sumroo 10,00,000
Total in Rupees of Sorts 34,00,000 or 32,64,000
CIVIL ESTABLISHMENTS.
Salary and establishments of seven judges and magistrates 3,92,000
Ditto of six collectors 2,23,200
Residency at Delhi 1,44,000
Civil charges at Bombay 40,800
8,00,000
Total of civil charges, &c. in St Rs. 40,64,000
Ditto in Sicca Rupees 38,20,160
Total of Ditto in Pounds Sterling £477,520
MILITARY CHARGES.
IN BENGAL.
Two regiments of native cavalry, at 20,000 rupees per month 40,000
Seven ditto of native infantry, at 30,000 each per month 210,000
Horse artillery 2,000
Extra cattle to the increase 10,000
Off-reckonings 17,000
Wear and tear of two regiments of cavalry 5000
Military stores,contingencies, buildings, &c. not fixed in the amount 25,000
Per month 3,09,000
Per month 37,08,000
FORT ST. GEORGE.
One regiment of native cavalry, including off-reckonings 22,100
Four regiments of native infantry, at 29,000 each. 116,000
Off-reckonings 6,400
Military stores, and other charges 15,000
Wear and tear of horses for one regiment 2,500
Per month 1,62,000
Per ann. 19,44,000
BOMBAY.
One regiment of infantry 29,000
Off-reckonings, &c. 1,600
Per month 30,600 Per ann. 3,67,200
Total increase of the military charges in Sonata Rupees 60,19,200
Ditto in Sicca Rupees 56,40,000
Ditto in Pounds Sterling £705,000
ABSTRACT.
Civil Charges, Pensions, &c.
Sonant

Rupees.

Sicca

Rupees.

Pounds

Sterl.

Total

£ Sterl.

40,64,000 38,20,160 477,520
Military Ditto. 1,182,520
60,19,200 56,40,000 705,000

 

The increase of the military establishments required in India, and which I have now estimated beyond those of 1802-3, are two regiments of native cavalry, and seven regiments of native infantry, in Bengal; one regiment of native cavalry, and four regiments of native infantry on the establishment of fort St. George; and one regiment of native infantry on thr establishment of Bombay.—In the general distribution of the armies in India, which was made subsequently to the treaties of peace, concluded at the end of the year 1803, it was settled, that the army of Bengal supply the troops required for the subsidiary force to serve with Scindeah (being six battalions), and the subsidiary force to serve with the ranah of Gohuo, (being three battalions), as well as troops for the company’s territories under the presidency of Bengal, including the acquisitions in Bundlecund, those made from Scindeah in the Doab and in Hindustan, and the province of Cuttack.—By the same distribution the government of fort St. George was to supply, as it had formerly done, the troops to serve with the Nizam; and all those required for the southern parts of the Peninsula, including the garrisons and provinces on the coast of Malabar (with the exception of Goa), and one regiment of cavalry for the Peishwah;—and the government of Bombay was to supply six battalions for the subsidiary force to serve with the Peishwah, three battalions to serve with the Guickwar, a garrison for Bombay, a garrison for Goa, and troops to occupy the territories ceded by the Peishwah and the Guickwar in Guzerat, and in the neighbourhood of Surat.—The establishments in the year 1802-3 having been formed on the lowest scale, compatible with the tranquillity and security, and with a view to external peace, it stands to reason, that they could not supply the additional troops required from them, without some additions. The establishment of Bengal required an addition of six battalions to serve with Scindeah, and three to serve with the ranah of Gohud.—The smallest number that could be required for the protection to be given to the cities of Delhi and Agra, to the person of the king, and to the territories in the Doab, in Hindustan, and in Cuttack, is two regiments of native cavalry, and five battalions of native infantry; which numbers complete the augmentation (viz. fourteen battalions) made to the Bengal array since 1802-3.—By the late arrangements made in India with Scindeah, it appears that the subsidiary troops for that chieftain, and for the ranah of Gohud, will not be required for those services; and if it had been intended to make a more favourable statement of the finances in India, than their situation warrants, it would have been possible to strike off from the estimate of increased military charges, (amounting, as I have already shown, to upwards of 60 lacks of Rupees,) the expence of four regiments of native infantry, at least: but it is apprehended, that the service of a portion of these troops will be required in. Bundlecund for some time; and, at all events, that the number of two regiment of native cavalry, and five battalions of native infantry, is scarcely sufficient to perform the additional services which will be required from the Bengal army, in consequence of the additions made to the territories under the Bengal government, by the treaties of peace concluded at the end of the year 1803.—In consequence of the distribution made in the year 1804, the duties of the provinces, on the coast of Malabar, which, in 1802-3, had been performed by the army of Bombay, tell to the lot of the army of Fort St. George. These duties had always required eight battalions; and, when, in consequence of the distribution which I have noticed, it had become necessary to remove the Bombay troops from those provinces to the northward, an augmentation of the army of the Fort St. George, to the amount of four regiments, became necessary. The regiment of cavalry to be supplied to the peishwah, also required that a regiment should be added to the establishment of Fort St. George. The duties which fell upon the Bombay army by the distribution of 1804, required for the subsidiary force with the peishwah six battalions, for the subsidiary force with the guickwar three battalions, and garrisons for Bombay, Goa, Broach, Surat, and troops to occupy the territories of Guzerat and in the neighbourhood of Surat, ceded by the peishwah, and the guickwar, and conquered from Scindeah; the detailed number for each of which services, it is not necessary to mention. It will be observed from this statement, that the additional services required from the armies of Fort St. George and Bombay, in the year 1804, and at the present moment, beyond those required in the year 1802-3, exclusive of the garrison for Goa, are one regiment of cavalry, and six battalions for the peishwah, three bat talions for the gwickwar, and troops for the conquered and ceded territories in Guzerat. Accordingly, the addition made to the military establishments, the expences of which are included in the estimate of 60 lacks, are one regiment of cavalry and four regiments of native infantry for Fort St. George, and one regiment for Bombay; making, in the whole, ten battalions. No reductions of these establishments can, in my judgment, be made with safety. The total of charges, therefore, for a future peace establishment, including the charges of 1802-3, and adding the civil and military charges occasioned by treaties of subsidy, and by the consequences of the Mahratta war, will stand thus:

Charges of 1802–3 £10,656,834
Additional civil charges, rendered necessary by treaties of subsidy, peace, &c. 477,520
Additional military charges 705,000
Total future charges 11,839,054
The revenues, as before stated, will be 14,668,119
Leaving a surplus revenue of £2,328,765

 

From this sum must be deducted the interest of the debt, as stated in the account, No. 2, page 93, 1,823,040l.; to which sum must be added the interest on the sum to be borrowed to supply the deficiency in the year 1805-6, viz. 2,655,957l., being at ten per cent. 265,595l.; making the total interest of the debt, in 1806, 2,088,635l.; and the actual surplus, alter providing for every demand, will be 740,150l. In calculating this surplus, no credit is taken for any augmentation of revenue beyond 1802-3; although it is certain, that some branches, such as salt and opium, must be, and have been already augmented; the revenues of the provinces gained by the peace, will also produce more than they have been estimated at. The actual Debt in India, in April 1805, was, according to account, No. 1. p. 90, 28,197,498l., including arrears of establishments, debts not bearing interest, and demands upon the company of every description. To this debt must be added the deficiency of resource, as stated in page 93, for the year 1805-6, being 2,655,957l.; and the total gross debt, on the 30th of April, 1806, will be 30,873,455l. From this sum ought to be subtracted 3,151,064l., (being the amount in possession of the commissioners for the redemption of the debt, on the 30th of April, 1805,) and the balance will give 27,722,391l., for the net debt of India, on the 30th of April, 1806; of which sum, the amount bearing interest, appears to be 24,250,824l.—When this debt, however large, is compared with the assets in India, and with the value of the forts, houses, warehouses, &c. in India, (valued in No. 23, p. 78, at 9,994,208l., all necessary for carrying on government, which have cost money, and would cost money to the company’s successors, whoever they might be, supposing the transfer of the territory ever to take place,) and when to these sums are added the amount of the company’s claims upon government for money expended in India, on account of the public, it may fairly be stated, that the actual value of the property of the East-Indite company in India, exceeds the amount of their debts.—I am aware of an error in this statement, as in this view of the debts and assets, the amount in the possession of the commissioners of the sinking fund ought to be subtracted from the amount of the quick stock, on the 30th of April, 1804. But there is an error also in the assets. The quick stock is estimated only to April 1804, and is stated, in p.72, to amount to 17,252,399l. But in the calculation of these assets, there is an omission of 12,48,600 pagodas in the cash at Fort St. George. It appears by the paper, No. 19, p. 63, that the balance remaining in the different departments at Fort St. George, on the 30th of April, 1804, was 57,19,605 pagodas; whereas credit is given in the account of the assets to the same period, for only 44,71,005 pagodas. The difference between these sums ought to be credited to the assets in April 1804, viz. 12,4.8,600, or 500,000l.—The additional sum in the hands of the commissioners of the sinking fund, on the 30th April, 1805, ought likewise to be added to the assets calculated to that period. The sum stated, in p.48, to be in the hands of the commissioners for the reduction of the debt on the

30th of April, 1804, is Ct. Rs. 2,80,00,563.
On the 30th of April, 1805, it is Ct. Rs. 3,15,10,648
Difference to be added to the assets calculated up to April 1805 35,10,085
In estimating the assets to April 1806, it is proper to add to them the sum which will be in the hands of the commissioners of the sinking fund in April 1806, viz.
Interest upon the sum of 3,15,10648 current rupees, for one year, from April 1805, to April 1806, at 8 per cent., is about 25,00.000

 

This view of the Debt and assets of different descriptions, however, is taken only as a general one, and not by any means to be relied upon. Measures undoubtedly ought to be taken to reduce the amount of the debt; but if, from circumstances, those means should be impracticable, this general statement will serve to shew, that in case of the transfer of the territory, upon the conclusion of the charter, there is value in India to the amount of the debt. But it may be contended, that this statement is no justification of the amount of the debt, which, from 1793, when it was 7,362,190l., has increased to be, in April 1806, 27,722,391l.; of which sum, 16,669,745l. have been incurred since 1798, under the administration of the late gov.-gen. marquis Wellesley. In order to understand the mode in which this debt has been incurred, it is necessary to advert to the state of the company’s affairs, in the year 1798.

To the assets then, as they stood in April 1804. viz, £17,252,399
Must be added the sum at Madras omitted 500,000
The additional sum stated to be in the hands of the commissioners of the sinking fund, in April 1805 351,008
The interest upon 31,510,648, Rs. or £3,151,064, for one year to April 1806 250,000
And the total of the assets, in April 1806, will be £18,353,407
The revenues at that time were £8,059,580
The charges, including supplies to Bencoolen, &c. 765,654
The interest of the Debt was 603,926
Leaving a deficiency of resource or a surplus net charge, of 194,700
The Debt in 1798 was 11,032,645
The assets in India were 9,922,903

 

This state of the resources in India had been occasioned by a laudable desire to increase the investment as much as was possible, which will be seen by a review of what had passed between the years 1793 and 1798.

In April 1793, the revenues of India were £8,294,399
The charges, including Bencoolen, &c. were 6,155,968
The interest of the Debt was 526,205
The Debt was 7,362,190
The assets were 8,834,538
The surplus revenue, after providing for all charges, exclusive of receipts for sales, &c. was 1,612,226

 

In the course of the five years between 1793 and 1798, the following events occurred to increase the charges in India: there was war in Europe; an expedition was fitted out against Mauritius; and another against Manilla; Pondicherry and Cochin were taken; and maritime expeditions were sent against Ceylon, Malacca, and the eastern islands. It was necessary to keep up large establishments in the conquests made; and salaries were paid to the civil and military servants of our enemies who became our prisoners. During the same period of time, the company’s military establishments in India were new-modelled, and this occasioned an increase of expense. The civil and judicial establishments in Bengal were fixed on the just scale on which they exist at this day; which at that time occasioned an increase of annual expense to a very considerable amount. Accordingly it appears, that the actual charges of the civil and military establishments in 1798, exceeded the actual charges of the civil and military establishment in the year 1793, in the amount of 1,372,209l., and the supplies to Bencoolen, &c. of 1798, exceeded those of 1793 in the amount of 102,477l. But the efficient cause of the state in which the finances were found, in the year 1798, was the continuance to send borne investment at the high rate at which it had been fixed in the year 1793, notwithstanding that the charges of India had necessarily increased, and the revenues had decreased to the amount of 234,519l. By reference to the accounts, it will be found, that in the five years between 1793 and 1798, the cost and charges of investments sent home to

Europe, was £9,898,794
Supplies to China 339,444
Amount advanced in India to the king’s and company’s ships during the same period, was 551,952
Making a total disbursed on account of London, of 10,784,190
The amount of supplies received from Europe,in the same period, for bills drawn, stores, merchandise, export sales, and bullion, was 3,744,425
Leaving a balance of 7,039,765
against London.

 

It appears, by what is above stated, that the charges in India, between 1793 and 1798, had increased considerably; but there was, upon the 5 years, a surplus of receipt of revenue, beyond the charges, amounting to 4,181,559l.; which, being deducted from the balance, before stated against London, leaves the sum of 2,858,206l., which must have been borrowed in India, at high interest, for the purchase of investment.—It will be found, that the debt incurred in the

years, from 1793 to 1798, was £3,665,455
The increase of the assets in those 5 years was 1,088,365
Those in 1793 being 8,834,538
Those in 1798 being 9,922,903
And the actual increase of the debt, in comparison with the assets, was £2,557,090

 

In a minute which lord Wellesley recorded in June 1798, he reviewed the state of the Finances in India; and pointed out the real cause of the increase of Debt in the following words: “From that paper it appears, that, allowing for a supply in the course of the year 1798-9, to Fort St. George, of 75,00,000 sicca rupees, or 937,500l., and to Bombay, of 25,00,000, or 312,500l., the deficiency for which provision must be made, in order to meet the expected demands at the three presidencies respectively, will be, in Bengal, 1,28,68,360; Madras, 43,45,351; Bombay, 41,67,611. The total deficiency, therefore, at the three presidencies, together, will amount to sicca rupees, 2,13,81,321, Or 2,672,655l. The immediate causes of the estimated deficiency, will appear obvious from the annexed accounts. By account No. 27, the sums appropriated, in India, to the purposes of investments and commercial charges, in the years 1796-7 and 1797-8, amounted to 4,96,15,165 current rupees; having been, in 1796-7, 2,30,70,125, and, in 1797-8, 2,65,45,040; and exceeding the amount of bills drawn upon the Court of Directors from India, within the same Period, by the sum of 3,83,39,263 current rupees; the bills drawn on the Court of Directors having been, in 1796-7, 79,88,699, and, in 1797-8, 32,87,203; and by account No. 3, it appears, that the proposed investment, for 1798, from all our India possessions, including the supply promised to Canton, amounts to 2,40,88,000 current rupees.—But the accounts Nos. 4, 5, and 6, shew, that the total sum applicable to the purchase of investment from the revenues in India, and produce of sales of imports from Europe, was, in 1796-7, 81,43,858; in 1797-8, 96,44,550, and is estimated to be, in 1798-9, 78,20,133. This annual demand, for the purpose of investment, upon a scale so far exceeding the annual means of the three presidencies, is the principal cause of the present deficiency.— The comparative view which I have taken of our expences and receipts, in examining the causes of our actual distress, sufficiently proves, that many of those causes are of an absolute permanent nature, and that most of them must be expected to continue for a considerable time; that the investment, at once the most powerful cause of our temporary distress, the main spring of the industry and opulence of the people committed to our charge, and the active principle of the commercial interests of the Company, is more likely to be increased than to be diminished in any future year; and, consequently, that the embarrassments of our finances must be progressive, if some means be not devised for aiding the resources of this presidency, which must now be considered as the general treasury and bank of our Indian empire, furnishing supplies for the services of all our other possessions in India, as well as a large and increasing proportion of the capital employed in the trade to Europe and to China.—The mode of supplying this assistance, which I would recommend, has already been suggested by the accountant-general, and seems to unite several advantages with relation to the interests both of India and Great Britain: it is comprised in the following propositions.—That it be respectfully recommended to the hon. the Court of Directors, to take the earliest occasion of sending out supplies to India to the amount of 85 lacs of rupees, or 1,062,500l. in addition to their usual consignments, by an increase of their annual export of British manufactures and produce to Bengal and Bombay, to the full extent of the indents from Bengal and Bombay respectively; and by an annual supply of silver bullion to Bengal, to the amount of 50 lacs, or 625,000l. The supply of bullion to be provided in part, by a proportinate reduction in their usual consignment to China.—The increase of the export of British manufacture and produce to Bengal and Bombay will, probably, afford considerable relief to the finances of this government; as, by reference to the account of sales of imports from England, it appears, that the averrage profit upon the imports from England sold in Bengal, in ,1796-7, has been above twenty per cent., and at Bombay thirty-five per cent., and that the demand is increasing. This measure would, at the same time, obviously become highly beneficial to the interests of Great Britain.—The export of silver to Bengal would be more advantageous to the Company than the payment of bills, at the present high rate of exchange; a rate which will probably continue for a considerable period of time. Such a stock of silver would be a relief both to public and private credit, and would invigorate all the financial operations of this government. From this resource, supplies might easily be furnished to Canton, through the medium of the trade in opium.—If the sale of British manufactures in Bengal, and at Bombay, should equal the general expectation, an additional supply of near a crose of rupees, 1,250,000l., would accrue to this presidency, from the combined result of the two proposed measures. This supply would be nearly equal to the probable amount of the permanent deficiency of our resources.—Nothing would be more just, than to appropriate a proportion of the profits arising from the sale amount of the investment in Europe, to the augmentation of the Funds necessary for the purchase of investment in India. Unless some such plan be adopted, or some other means devised of furnishing aid to the resources of Bengal from England, it is evident, that a reduction, in the amount of the Indian investment, will soon become inevitable; for it cannot be denied, that a very large proportion of the capital, which has passed into Europe, through the medium of Indian commerce, for these last two years, and is about to pass in the present year, has been, and must be, created by loans of money raised in India under every circumstance of disadvantage. The increase of the investment, therefore, during the period described, must be viewed as representing, not the surplus revenue, but the increased debt of India. The circulating capital of India, which is known to be very inconsiderable, in proportion to the productive and commercial powers of the country, cannot supply so large a drain for any long period of time, even in the event of peace; but if the war in Europe should continue, the difficulty of raising money for the public service, by loans to be negotiated in India, must become nearly insurmountable.—At that early period of time, the governor-general earnestly urged the company to provide for the provision of investment, by increasing the amount of the supplies sent from Europe. They were still continued, however, upon a scale much too low for the amount of the investment, notwithstanding the efforts which were undoubtedly made by the noble lord who, at that time, presided at the board of controul, and by my noble friend lord Castlereagh), and by the Court of Directors, to send out larger sums.—By a reference to the papers before this house, it will be found, that the total amount of the sums laid out in investment, from

April 1798, to April 1804, was £9,619,348
Supplies to China 1,761,263
Of advances to the King’s and to the Company’s chartered ships, in the same period 448,931
Making a total advanced in India, up to 1804 11,829,542
In making up the account of the sums advanced in India, on account of the home concern, the following must be added:—Advances for Ceylon 1,182,472
Making a total advanced, for the home concern, up to April 1804 £13,012,014

 

The total actual amount of the supplies received in India by the sale of goods, in bullion and stores, and for bills drawn on the directors, in the same period, appears to be 9,864,086l. The balance is 3,147,725l. for which London is indebted to India. It may be said, that the Company had a right to expect aid from the territorial resources of India; that the revenues have increased since April 1798; and that the financial distresses which existed at that period, were very soon removed.—The events which have occurred since April 1798, must be recollected. The first of these, in point of time, was the war against Tippoo Sultaun; at the same time that a large army was put into the field on the frontiers of Oude, to oppose Zemaun Shah. The army of Fort St. George did not return to its quarters till the month of Dec. 1799; and, in the month of May 1800, the army of Fort St. George was assembled again, and put down the rebellion of Doondeah Waug. Before this service was completed, an expedition was fitted out against Egypt; and, in a very few months after the troops had returned from Egypt, the armies of Fort St. George and Bombay were assembled and increased, in consequence of the disturbance in the Mahratta empire.—Besides all this, the pay of the king’s and company’s troops, serving under Fort St. George, was increased; and the civil and judicial establishments, under that government, were placed on a more just scale than they had been before.—During these great and extensive military operations, a variety of others were necessarily carried on in different parts of the peninsula, each of which had a tendency to increase the military charges.—According to this statement, it appears, that a very considerable proportion of the debt in India had been incurred at different times, by the purchase of investment. If the account between the revenues of India and the Company had been kept in the form of a merchant’s account, or in the manner in which the East-India Company keep their account against the public, the interest upon each sum borrowed for the commerce of the company, would have been carried to account against them from the moment at which such sum was borrowed.—In this view of the case,the interest, at 10 per cent., upon 2,858,206l., being the amount laid out in India beyond supplies from England, and surplus revenue previous to 1798,

would be, annually £285,820
And, for eight years, to 1806 2,126,560
The interest upon the sums borrowed, since 1798, each for their respective number of years, to 1806 633,005
Making a total of £2,759,565

 

It is evident that all these sums have been charges upon the revenues, and of course have contributed to swell the amount of the existing debt.—There is also in the amount of the debts incurred during lord Wellesley’s government, as before stated, a sum of 1,200,000l. on the revenues of the Carnatic, with interest; which debt was incurred in a former period, previously to lord Wellesley’s arrival. The mode in which this debt was incurred is as follows:—The registered creditors, under the act of 1784, had a right to certain portions of the annual payments made to the company by the nabob, under the treaty concluded with that prince by sir A. Campbell.—In the year 1791, lord Cornwallis assumed the nabob’s countries, and applied all the revenues to defray the civil and military charges of the company. The creditors applied for payment to the company, and the decision was not passed upon the subject till after the year 1798, when the principal which had been due in 1791, with interest calculated to that period, was added to the company’s bonded debt of Fort St. George.—But there is another view which may be taken of the debt of 27,722,391l., which is supposed to be due in India, on the 30th April, 1806; 16,669,745l. of which have been incurred since the 30th of April, 1798.

The assets in India, in April, 1798,were £9,922,903
In April 1806, supposing them the same as in April 1804, they were 17,952,299

 

being the sum applied to investment, to supplies to China, and to his majesty’s and to the company’s chartered ships, beyond the amount of the exports and supplies from Europe, and the result will be, that the debt incurred in India, on account of civil and military establishments and services of all descriptions, including the Egyptian expedition, is 6,292,527l. in eight years, from April 1798, to April 1806.—This view is liable to the same exception as the former, on account of the errors in the accounts of the assets; but the error is not of very great magnitude. In this account of debt, supposed to have been incurred on account of political expenses, is included the amount of supplies to Bencoolen and St. Helena, which, in the six years from 1798 to 1804 only, amount to 1,096,736l. Upon a review of the accounts which have been laid before parliament, at different times, it appears, that large sums have been expended in India, for services chargeable to his majesty’s government; the Egyptian expedition was carried on at the expense of the company; and expenses have been incurred in India on account of expeditions against the Danish settlements, and of their capture; for all of which expenses, the company have a claim upon the public.—But as these expenses have been incurred in India, and have been a charge upon its revenues, the amount allowed for them, and paid, or to be paid to the company, ought fairly to be set off against the amount of the debt, as well as the sums advanced to his majesty’s ships, and for the government of Ceylon already noticed. There are other sums also which now constitute a Part of the debt in India, the value of which the company have received in England. The total charge of the Molucca islands, during the time they were in the possession of the British government, ought to be carried against the home concern in the analysis of the debt in India; as nearly the whole of the produce of the Moluccas was sent home, and sold for the benefit of the East-India Co.—After this view of the Debt, it is to be hoped that its amount, considering all the circumstances which have con- tributed to raise it, will not prove, that the company’s affairs have been managed in an improvident manner; and that the public will see, in the general situation of the company’s finances, ample means of reducing this debt to any amount that may be deemed advisable.—If the mode proposed of drawing a proportion of the debt to England be adopted, and the saving of interest, which will be the result of this operation, be added to the annual interest calculated to amount to 250,000l., upon the principal now in the hands of the commissioners for the redemption of the debt, this revenue alone will make an impression upon the debt, which must soon reduce it to the level to which every body wishes to see it reduced. Notwithstanding the large amount of the Debt, and the embarrassments occasioned in India, at different times, by the great demands for the various services which were in progress, the company’s credit was improving from the moment of lord Wellesley’s arrival in India, to the moment of his departure. On the first of June, 1798, the 12 per cent. paper in Bengal bore a discount of ¾ to ¼ per cent.; on the 29th of July 1805, the 12 per cents. were all paid off, and the 10 per cent. paper bore a premium of 4 per cent. In June 1798, the 8 per cent. paper was at a discount of front 12½ to 13¼ per cent.; in the beginning of 1805, the 8 per cent. were at par, and would have continued so, if it bad been possible to send out specie from England at an early period in the season. In July 1805, they were at a discount of from 3¼ to 3¾ per cent.; in June 1798, the 6 per cent. paper was at 21 per cent. discount; in 1805, the 6 per cents. bore a discount of only 8¼ per cent. —This improving state of the credit is to be attributed to the public confidence gained by the regularity and publicity of all the financial operations of the government, by the measure of establishing funds at Fort St. George and in Bengal for the redemption of debt; and by the judicious measures adopted for the improvement of the revenue.—The amount in possession of the commissioners for the redemption of the Debt, on the 30th of April, 1805, as appears in p. 90 of the printed accounts, is 3,151,064l., which sum, at 8 per cent. interest, will give nearly 250,000l. per annum for the reduction of the Debt.—The improvements effected in the revenue during. lord Wellesley’s government also deserve notice. Exclusive of the increase of revenue, by territorial acquisitions, and by subsidies, it appears, that every branch of the revenue of 1798, under the Bengal government, which, in the five preceding years had decreased to the amount of 234,519l., was improved, under lord Wellesley’s government, as follows:

Increase of assets in that period is 7,229,493
Subtract the increase of assets, from the amount of the increased Debt since 1798, and the remainder will be 9,440,252
Which is the net increase of Debt. Set-off against the net increase of Debt the sum of 3,147,725

 

1798 1803-4 Increase.
S. Rupees. S. Rupees. S. Rupees.
Mint. duties 64540 68042 3502
Post Office 140398 248127 147729
Stamp duties 92416 547137 454721
Licenses for sale of spirituous liquors 47531 138209 90678
Fees and Fines 6606 96049 89443
Provincial police 427928 456217 29289
Land revenue 29825983 31805421 1979438
Salt 10302783 15374223 5071440
Opium 2084184 3989200 1905016
Customs 1251469 3228865 2023396
Increase of the old revenues

of Bengal during lord Wel

lesley’s government

Sicca Rs. 10794652

£ Sterl. 1,349,331

 

The total increase of revenues during lord Wellesley’s administration, in different parts of India, is 6,608,239l.; the revenues having been, in 1798, 8,059,880l.; and those estimated by me for the future, 14,668,119l. The general commerce of the country is improved equally with the revenue. It appears, by the public documents before this house, that the commerce of India is now able to supply the China market so effectually, as nearly to preclude the necessity of sending bullion to China; and large stuns in specie are now imported into India from that country.—After the view which I have taken of the general situation of the affairs of the East-India Co. in India, I hope that it will be found, that their debt, although large, and certainly pressing in a very great degree upon their prosperity, and upon the attention of those who have the management of their affairs, is not of a magnitude to create any danger; that it appears, that there are means of reducing it, at no very great distance of time, to a moderate amount, and that, under the auspices of the noble lord (Morpeth), by a just attention to the system of economy which he has recommended, and by reverting to the system and scale of establishments fixed in 1802-3, with such augmentations as the change of affairs has rendered necessary, and as I have already described, the revenues of that great empire will be found to afford ample means. of restoring the finances.

 

Mr. Whitshed Keene

said, he greatly pre-ferred the situation of India at present, to what it was in 1798, and had such confidence in the benefit that would result from the territorial acquisitions made by marquis Wellesley, inasmuch as they had left no footing for Bonaparte, that he would invest all his property, had he ten times what he possessed, in India stock.

 

§Mr. C. Grant

had a statement in his hand which he had reason to believe to be correct; the only mode of ascertaining where the error lay, was by comparison; it was impossible then to enter into the detail; it might be done upon the report.

 

§Mr. Prinsep

rose, and declared, that he could not allow the committee to rise without first delivering his opinion, at great length, on the alarming aspect of the company’s affairs, whom he declared to be in a state of absolute insolvency. Rather than again forego his privilege, of which he had been more than once deprived in the way now attempted, he would count the house. He was ready at that late hour to enter into this investigation, or to adjourn the debate.

 

§Mr. Hobhouse ,

the chairman of the committee, stated that the hon. member might perhaps have an opportunity of the comparison previous to the bringing up of the report; it would then be equally competent to him to urge his objections as it was at the present moment.

 

§Mr. Paull

was confident, that, upon the resolutions being taken into further consideration, he would be able to disprove every part of the hon. general’s statement.

 

Sir A. Wellesley

declared, that he was extremely willing to shew his statement to the hon. director, or any other member who might be desirous of making a comparison with any statement of his own.

 

Mr. G. Smith

denied that the company was in a state of insolvency, and observed, that such an assertion as that which the hon. alderman had made, required some further explanation.

 

Mr. Prinsep

was proceeding to account for the opinion which he had advanced, when

 

Lord Castlereagh

observed, that, from the hon. member’s course of reasoning, it was evident that his explanation would occupy more time than was desirable at the then late hour. On the suggestion of lord Morpeth, the chairman reported progress, and obtained leave to sit again of Tuesday next.

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