« ForrigeFortsæt »
it does not appear, that “ any entry whatsoever of “ have concealed them from their eye and that of
that, or any other payment by the governour- “the publick for ever.” That the discovery, as “ general, was made in the treasury accounts at far as it goes, establishes the guilt of the said War“ or about the time;" nor is there any trace in the ren Hastings in taking money against law, but company's books of its being actually paid into does not warrant a conclusion, that he has distheir treasury.
covered all that he may have taken. That, on It appears then by the confession of the said the contrary, such discovery not being made in Warren Hastings, that this money was received by proper time, and when made, being imperfect, him ; but it does not appear, that he has converted perplexed, and wholly unsatisfactory, leads to a it to the property and use of the company. just and reasonable presumption, that other facts
That in a letter from the said Warren Hastings of the same nature have been concealed, since to the said court of directors, dated the 22d of those which he has confessed might have been for May 1782, but not dispatched as it might and ever; and that this partial confession was either ought to have been at that time, but detained and extorted from the said Warren Hastings by the kept back by the said Warren Hastings till the 16th dread of detection, or made with a view of removof December following, he has confessed the re- ing suspicion, and preventing any further enquiry ceipt of various other sums, amounting (with that, into his conduct. which he accepted from the nabob of Oude) to That the said Warren Hastings, in a letter to nearly £.200,000, which sums he affirmed had been the court of directors, dated 21st of February converted to the company's property through his 1784, has confessed his having privately received means, but without discovering from whom, or on another sum of money, the amount of which he what account, he received the same.—That, in- has not declared, but which, from the application stead of converting this money to the company's he says he has made of it, could not be less than property as he affirmed he had done, it appears, thirty-four thousand pounds sterling.–That he that he had lent the greater part of it to the com- has not informed the directors from whom he repany upon bonds bearing interest, which bonds ceived this money, at what time, nor on what acwere demanded and received by him, and for count; but, on the contrary, has attempted to aught, that yet appears, have never been given up justify the receipt of it, which was illegal, by the or cancelled. That for another considerable part | 'application of it, which was unauthorized and unof the above-mentioned sum he has taken credit to warrantable, and which, if admitted as a reason himself, as for a deposit of his own property, and for receiving money privately, would constitute a therefore demandable by him out of the com- precedent of the most dangerous nature to the pany's treasury at his discretion. That all sums company's service.-That in attempting to justify so lent or deposited are not alienated from the the receipt and application of the said money, he person who lends or deposits the same ; conse- has endeavoured to establish principles of conduct quently, that the declaration made by the said in a governour, which tend to subvert all order Warren Hastings, that he had converted the whole and regularity in the conduct of publick business ; of these sums to the company's property, was not to encourage and facilitate fraud and corruption true; nor would such a transfer, if it had really in all offices of pecuniary trust; and to defeat all been made, have justified the said Warren Hast- enquiry into the misconduct of any person,
in ings in originally receiving the money; which, whom pecuniary trust is reposed.—That the said being in the first instance contrary to law, could Warren Hastings, in his letter above mentioned, not be rendered legal by any subsequent dis- has made a declaration to the court of directors in position or application thereof; much less would the following terms :—“ Having had occasion to it have justified the said Warren Hastings in “ disburse from my own cash many sums, which, delaying to make a discovery of these transac- though required to enable me to execute the tions to the court of directors, until he had heard “duties of my station, I have hitherto omitted to of the enquiries then begun, and proceeding in enter in my publick accounts, and my own forparliament; in finally making a discovery, such “tune being unequal to so heavy a charge, I as it is, in terms the most intricate, obscure, and “ have resolved to reimburse myself in a mode contradictory. That, instead of that full and “ the most suitable to the situation of your affairs, clear explanation of his conduct, which the court by charging the same in my durbar accounts of of directors demanded, and which the said War- “the present year, and crediting them by a sum ren Hastings was bound to give them, he has“ privately received, and appropriated to your contented himself with telling the said directors, “service in the same manner with other sums rethat, “ if this matter was to be exposed to the “ ceived on account of the honourable company, “ view of the publick, his reasons for acting “ and already carried to their account.”—That
, as he had done might furnish a variety of at the time of writing this letter, the said Warren
conjectures, to which it would be of little use Hastings had been in possession of the govern“ to reply. That he either chose to conceal the ment of Fort William about twelve years, with a “ first receipts from publick curiosity by receiving clear salary, or avowed emoluments, at no time “bonds for the amount, or possibly acted without less than twenty-five thousand pounds sterling a
any studied design, which his memory could at year, exclusive of which all the principal expences " that distance of time verify; and that he could of his residence were paid for by the company.
That if the services mentioned by him were re which in fact may not make part of the gross sum quired to enable him to execute the duties of his so confessed, and that it tends to perplex and defeat station, he ought not to have omitted to enter all enquiry into such practices.—That the said them in his publick accounts at the times when the Warren Hastings in stating to the directors, that expences were incurred. That if it was true, as he he has resolved to reimburse himself in a mode the affirms, that when he first engaged in these ex most suitable to the situation of their affairs, viz. pences he had no intention to carry them to the by receiving money privately against law, has stated account of the company, there was no subsequent a presumption highly injurious to the integrity of change in his situation which could justify his de- the said directors; viz. that they will not object to, parting from that intention.--That if his own for or even enquire into, any extraordinary expences, tune in the year 1784 was unequal to so heavy a incurred and charged by their governours in India, charge, the state of his fortune at any earlier period provided such expences are reimbursed by money must have been still more unequal to so heavy a privately and illegally received.—That he has not charge.—That the fact so asserted by the said explained what that situation of their affairs was, Warren Hastings leads directly to an inference or could be, to which so dangerous and corrupt a palpably false and absurd, viz. that the longer a principle was or might be applied.—That no evigovernour-general holds that lucrative office, the dence has been produced to prove, that it was true, poorer he must become.—That neither would the nor any ground of argument stated to shew, that assertion, if it were true, nor the inference, if it it might be credible, that any native of India had were admitted, justify the conduct avowed by the voluntarily and gratuitously given money privately said Warren Hastings, in resolving to reimburse to the said Warren Hastings, that is, without some himself out of the company's property without prospect of a benefit in return, or some dread of their consent or knowledge.—That the account his resentment, if he refused.—That it is not a transmitted in this letter is styled by himself an thing to be believed, that any native would give aggregate of a contingent account of twelve years. large sums privately to a governour, which he
- That all contingent accounts should be submit- refused to give or · lend publickly to government, ted to those, who ought to have an official controul unless it were to derive some adequate secret adover them, at annual or other shorter periods, in vantage from the favour, or to avoid some mischief order that the expence already incurred may be from the enmity, of such governour. That the checked and examined, and similar expences, if late confessions made by the said Warren Hastings disapproved of, may be prohibited in time; that, of money received against law are no proof, that after a very long period is elapsed, all check and he did not originally intend to appropriate controul over such expences is impracticable; and, to his own use, such confessions having been made if it were practicable in the present instance, at a suspicious moment, when, and not before, he would be completely useless, since the said War was apprized of the enquiries commenced in the ren Hastings, without waiting for the consent of house of commons, and when a dread of the conthe directors, did resolve to reimburse himself.- sequence of those enquiries might act upon his That the conduct of the said Warren Hastings, in mind; that such confessions, from the obscure, withholding these accounts for twelve years to intricate, and contradictory manner in which they gether, and then resolving to reimburse himself are made, imply guilt in the said Warren Hastings, without the consent of his employers, has been as far as they go; that they do not furnish any fraudulent in the first instance, and in the second colour of reason to conclude, that he has confessed amounts to a denial and mockery of the authority all the money which he may have corruptly replaced over him by law; and that he has thereby ceived; but that, on the contrary, they warrant a set a dangerous example to his successours, and just and reasonable presumption, that in discoverto every man in trust or office under him.—That ing some part of the bribes he had received he the mode, in which he has reimbursed himself, is hoped to lull suspicion, and thereby conceal and a crime of a much higher order, and greatly ag secure the rest. gravates whatever was already criminal in the That the court of directors, when the former other parts of this transaction. That the said accounts of these transactions came before them, Warren Hastings in declaring that he should re- did shew an evident disposition not to censure the imburse himself by crediting the company by a said Warren Hastings, but to give the most favoursum privately received, has acknowledged him- able construction to his conduct; that nevertheless self guilty of an illegal act in receiving money they found themselves obliged to confess, that privately.-That he has suppressed or withheld " the statement of those transactions appeared to every particular which could throw any light on “them in many parts so unintelligible, that they a conduct so suspicious in a governour, as the “ felt themselves under the necessity of calling on private receipt of money.--That the general con "the governour-general for an explanation, agreefession of the private receipt of a large sum in “ably to his promise voluntarily made to them.” gross, in which no circumstance of time, place, That their letter, containing this requisition, was occasion, or person, nor even the amount, is speci- received in Bengal in the month of August 1784, fied, tends to cover or protect any act of the same and that the said Warren Hastings did not emnature, (as far as a general confession can protect bark for England until the 2d of February 1785, such acts,) which may be detected hereafter, and but made no reply to that letter before his de
See his letter of the 11th July 1785, at
parture, owing, as he has since said, to a variety | person, from whom any part of the money in of other more important occupations.—That, un- question was received, nor what was the motive of der pretence of such occupations, he neglected to any one person for giving the same.—That he has transmit to the court of directors a copy of a paper, indeed declared, that bis motive for lending to the which, he says, contained the only account he company, or depositing in their treasury in his ever kept of the transaction. That such a paper, own name, money, which he has, in other places, or a copy of it, might have been transmitted with declared to be their property, was to avoid ostenout interrupting other important occupations, if tation ; and that lending the money was the least any could be more important than that of giving liable to reflection ; yet, when he has stated these a clear and satisfactory answer to the requisition and other conjectural motives for his own conduct, of the directors. That, since his arrival in Eng- he declares he will not affirm, though he is firmly land, he has written a letter to the chairman of persuaded, that those were his sentiments on the
that court, professedly in answer to occasion. That of one thing only the said Warren
their letter above mentioned, but in Hastings declares he is certain ; viz. “ That it was the end of the fact giving no explanation or satisfac “ his design originally to have concealed the re
tion whatsoever on the points, which ceipt of all sums, except the second, even from they had declared to be unintelligible. That the “ the knowledge of the court of directors; but terms of his letter are ambiguous and obscure, “ that when fortune threw a sum in his way of a such as a guilty man might have recourse to in “ magnitude, which could not be concealed, and the order to cover his guilt, but such as no innocent “ peculiar delicacy of his situation at the time, in man, from whom nothing was required but to “ which he had received it, made him more circlear his innocence by giving plain answers to “cuinspect of appearances, he chose to apprize plain questions, could possibly have made use of. “ his employers of it.”—That the said Warren That in his letter of the 11th of July 1785, he says, Hastings informs the directors, that he had en" that he has been kindly apprized, that the infor- dorsed the bonds taken by him for money belong“mation required as above was yet expected from ing to the company, and lent by him to the com“him : that the submission, which his respect pany, in order to guard against their becoming a “ would have enjoined him to pay to the command claim on the company, as part of his estate in the
imposed on him, was lost to his recollection, event of his death ; but he has not affirmed, nor
perhaps, from the stronger impression, which does it any where appear, that he has surrendered “ the first and distant perusal of it had left on his the said bonds, as he ought to have done. That
mind, that it was rather intended as a repre- the said Warren Hastings in affirming, that he had “ hension for something, which had given offence not time to answer the questions put to him by the “ in his report of the original transaction, than as directors, while he was in Bengal—in not bringexpressive of any want of a further elucidation ing with him to England the documents necessary
to enable him to answer those questions, or in preThat the said Warren Hastings, in affecting to tending that he has not brought them—in referring doubt whether the information expressly required the directors back again to Bengal for those doof him by his employers was expected or not, has cuments, and for any further information on a endeavoured to justify a criminal delay and evasion subject, on which he has given them no informain giving it.—That, considering the importance of tion, and particularly in referring them back to a the subject, and the recent date of the command, person in Bengal for a paper, which he says conit is not possible that it could be lost to his recollec- tained the only account he ever kept of the transtion; much less is it possible, that he could have action, while he himself professes to doubt whether understood the specifick demand of an answer to that paper be still in being, whether it be in the specifick questions to be intended only as a re hands of that person, or whether that person can prehension for a former offence; viz. the offence recollect any thing distinctly concerning it-has of withholding from the directors that very ex- been guilty of gross evasions, and of palpable planation, which he ought to have given in the prevarication and deceit, as well as of contumacy first instance.—That the said Warren Hastings, in and disobedience to the lawful orders of the court his answer to the said questions, cautiously avoids of directors; and thereby confirmed all the former affirming or denying any thing in clear positive evidence of his having constantly used the interms, and professes to recollect nothing with ab- Auence of his station for the most scandalous, illesolute certainty.-That he has not, even now, gal, and corrupt purposes. informed the directors of the name of any one
“ of it.”
IX. RESIGNATION OF THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOUR
That Warren Hastings having by his agent |“ resignation, if such nomination shall be apLauchlin Macleane, Esquire, on the 10th day of “
“proved by His Majesty :” which nomination October, in the year 1777, “ signified to the court and appointment was afterwards, in due form, “ of directors his desire to resign his office of approved and confirmed by His Majesty.
governour-general of Bengal, and requested That the court of directors did, by a postscript “ their nomination of a successor to the vacancy, to their general letter, dated 25th October 1776, “ which would be thereby occasioned in the su- acquaint the governour-general and council at
preme council,” the court of directors did there- Calcutta of their acceptance of the said resigupon desire the said Lauchlin Macleane “ to nation, of their appointment of Edward Wheler, “ inform them of the authority, under which he Esquire, to fill the said vacancy, and of His Ma" acted in a point of such very great importance ;" jesty's approbation of the said appointment, toand the said Lauchlin Macleane“ signifying there-gether with the grounds of their said proceedings :
upon his readiness to give the court every pos- and did transmit to the said governour-general and “sible satisfaction on that subject, but the powers, council copies of the said instruments of appoint“ with which he was intrusted by the papers in ment and confirmation. “ his custody, being mixed with other matters of That the said dispatches from the court of di
a nature extremely confidential, he would submit rectors were received at Calcutta, and were read “ the same to the inspection of any three of the in council on the 19th day of June, in the year “ members of the court,” the said court of di. 1777; and that Warren Hastings, Esquire, having rectors empowered the chairman deputy chairman, taken no steps to yield the government to his sucand Richard Becher, Esquire, to inspect the au cessour, General Clavering, and having observed thorities, powers, and directions, with which Mr. a profound silence on the subject of the said disMacleane was furnished by Mr. Hastings, to make patches, he, the said General Clavering, did, on the propositions contained in his letter of the 10th the next day, being the 20th of Jane, by a letter October 1776, and to report their opinion thereon. addressed to the said Warren Hastings, require And the said committee did accordingly, on the him to surrender the keys of Fort William and of 23d of the said month, report, “ that, having con- the company's treasuries; but the said Warren “ ferred with Mr. Macleane on the subject of his Hastings did positively refuse to comply with the “ letter presented to the court the 11th instant, said requisition, denying, that his office was “ they found, that from the purport of Mr. Hast“ vacated, and declaring his resolution to assert and “ ings's instructions, contained in a paper in his “ maintain his authority by every legal means.” "own hand-writing given to Mr. Macleane, and That the said General Clavering, conceiving, “ produced by him to them, Mr. Hastings declared that the office of governour-general was vacated “ he would not continue in the government of by the arrival of the said dispatches, which ac“ Bengal, unless certain conditions, therein speci- quainted the council-general of the resignation “ fied, could be obtained, of which they saw no of the said Warren Hastings, and the appointment “ probability; and Mr. George Vansittart had of the said Edward Wheler, Esquire, and that he, “ declared to them, that he was present when the said General Clavering, had in consequence " these instructions were given to Mr. Macleane, thereof legally succeeded under the provisions of " and when Mr. Hastings empowered Mr. Mac- the act of the 13th year of His present Majesty's “ leane to declare his resignation to the said reign to the said office of governour-general, “ court; that Mr. Stewart had likewise confirmed become vacant in the manner aforesaid, did, in “ to them, that Mr. Hastings declared to him, that virtue thereof, issue in his own name summonses “ he had given directions to the above purpose by to Richard Barwell, Esquire, and Philip Francis, “ Mr. Macleane."
Esquire, members of the council, to attend the And the court of directors, having received same; and in the presence of the said Philip from the said report due satisfaction respecting the Francis, Esquire, who obeyed the said summons, authority vested in the said Lauchlin Macleane to did take the oaths as governour-general, and did propose the said resignation of the office of govern- sit and preside in council as governour-general, our-general of Bengal, did unanimously resolve and prepared several acts and resolutions in the to accept the same; and did also, under powers said capacity of governour-general; and did, vested in the said court by the act of the 13th amongst other things, prepare a proclamation to year of His present Majesty, “ nominate and ap- be made of his said succession to the government, “ point Edward Wheler, Esquire, to succeed to and of its commencing from the date of the said “ the office in the council of Fort William in proclamation ; but did not carry any of the acts
Bengal, which will become vacant by the said or resolutions so prepared into execution.
The said Warren Hastings did, notwithstanding | ceded only from their desire to preserve the peace thereof, and in pursuance of his resolution to assert of the settlement, and to prevent the mischiefs, and maintain his authority, illegally and unjusti- which the illegal resistance of the said Warren fiably summon the council to meet in another de- Hastings would otherwise infallibly have occapartment, and did sit and preside therein, apart sioned. from the said General Clavering and his council ; That after the said judges had delivered their and in conjunction with Richard Barwell, Esquire, opinion, “ that the place and office of governourwho concurred therein, issued sundry orders, and general of this presidency had not yet been vadid sundry acts of government belonging to the “ cated by Warren Hastings, and that the actual office of governour-general; and amongst others, assumption of the government by the member did order several letters to be written in the name " of the council next in succession to Mr. Hastof the governour-general and council, and did ings, in consequence of any deduction, which subscribe the same, to the commandant of the “ could be made from the papers communicated garrison of Fort William, and to the commanding to them, would be absolutely illegal ;” and after officer at Barrackpore, and to the commanding the said General Clavering and Philip Francis, officers at the other stations, and also to the pro- Esq. had signified to the said Warren Hastings, vincial councils and collectors in the provinces, by a letter dated the 21st of June, “ their intenenjoining them severally “ to obey no orders," tion to acquiesce in the opinion of the judges ;" “ excepting such as should be signed by the and when the differences in the supreme council “ said 'Warren Hastings, or a majority of his were by these means composed, and the calamities " council.”
consequent thereon were avoided, the said Warren That the said Warren Hastings did by the said Hastings and Richard Barwell, Esq. did once proceedings, which were contrary both to law and more endanger the publick peace and security by to good faith, constitute a double government, other illegal, unwarrantable, and unprovoked acts thereby destroying and annihilating all government of violence; having omitted to summon either the whatever; and, by his said orders to the military said General Clavering, or the said Philip Francis, officers, did prepare for open resistance by arms, Esq. to council; and having, in a council held exposing thereby the settlement, and all the thus privately and clandestinely, and contrary to inhabitants, subjects of or dependent on the British law, on the 22d day of June, come to the followgovernment, whether native or European, not only ing resolutions, viz.. to political distractions, but to the horrours of civil “ Resolved, that by the said acts, orders, and war; and did, by exposing the divisions and weak-declarations of Lieutenant-General John Claverness of the supreme government, and thereby ing, recited in the foregoing papers, (meaning the loosening the obedience of the provinces, shake proceedings of General Clavering in his separate the whole foundation of British authority, and council on the 20th of June,] he has actually imminently endanger the existence of the British usurped and assumed, and taken possession of the nation in India.
place and office of governour-general of the preThat the said evils were averted only by the sidency of Fort William in Bengal, granted by moderation of the said General Clavering, and the act of the 13th of His present Majesty to Philip Francis, Esq. in consenting to a reference, Warren Hastings, Esq. and submitting to the decision of the judges of the “ Resolved, that Lieutenant-General John Clasupreme court of judicature, although they enter-vering has thereby relinquished, resigned, surrentained no doubts themselves on the legality of dered, and vacated the office of senior counsellor their proceedings, and the validity of General of Fort William in Bengal. Clavering's instant right to the chair; and although “ Resolved, that Lieutenant-General John Clathey were not in any way bound by law to consult vering has thereby relinquished, resigned, the said judges, who had no legal or judicial au- dered, and vacated his place of commander-inthority therein in virtue of their offices, or as a chief of the company's forces in India. court of justice, but were consulted, and interposed “ Resolved, that Richard Barwell, Esquire, by their advice, only as individuals, by the voluntary virtue of the said act of parliament, and by the reference of the parties in the said dispute. And death of the honourable George Monson, Esq. is the said Warren Hastings by his declaration, en promoted to the office of senior counsellor of the tered in minutes of council, “ that it was his presidency of Fort William in Bengal, in conse“ determination to abide by the opinion of the quence of the said relinquishment, resignation, * judges,” and by the measures he had previously surrender, and vacation of General Clavering. taken as aforesaid to enforce the same by arms, Resolved, that the office of commander-indid risk all the dangerous consequences above chief of the company's forces in India, by the rementioned ; which must have taken place, if the linquishment, resignation, surrender, and vacation said General Clavering and Philip Francis, Esq. of General Clavering, and by the death of the had not been more tender of the publick interests, honourable George Monson, Esq. does no longer and less tenacious of their own rights, and had per
exist. sisted in their claim, as they were by law entitled “ Resolved, that, for the preservation of the to do, the extra-judicial interposition of the judges legality of our proceedings, Lieutenant-General notwithstanding; and from which claim they re- John Clavering be not in future summoned or