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Revenue

Address to the

“ that they are the proprietors; that the lands regulations in council, to be observed are their estates, and their inheritance ; that, in executing the same :--that anong board, 14th

May 1772. “ from a long continuance of the lands in their these regulations it was specially and “ families, it is to be concluded they have rivetted strictly ordered, that no farm should exceed the

an authority in the district, acquired an ascen- annual amount of one lack of rupees ; and “ that

dency over the minds of the ryots, and ingra- no peshcar, banyan, or other servant, of whattiated their affections. That, from continuing ever denomination, of the collector, or relation “ the lands under the management of those, who or dependant of any such servant, should be “ have a natural and perpetual interest in their " allowed to farm lands, nor directly or indirectly “ prosperity, solid advantages might be expected to hold a concern in any farm, nor to be security “ to accrue : that the zemindar would be less “ for any farmer :"_that, in direct violation of “ liable to failure or deficiencies than the farmer, these his own regulations, and in breach of the “from the perpetual interest which the former publick trust reposed in him, and sufficiently de“ hath in the country, and because his inheritance clared by the manifest duty of his station, if it “ cannot be removed ; and it would be improba- had not been expressed and enforced by any posi

ble, that he should risk the loss of it by eloping tive institution, he, the said Warren Hastings, did " from his district, which is too frequently prac- permit and suffer his own banyan, or principal "tised by a farmer when he is hard pressed for black steward, named Cantoo Baboo, to hold “the payment of his balances, and as frequently farms in different pergunnas, or districts, or to be “ predetermined when he receives his farm :”. security for farms, to the amount of thirteen lacks that notwithstanding all the preceding declara- of rupees (£130,000, or upwards) per annum; and tions made by the said Warren Hastings of the that, after enjoying the whole of those farms for loss of one third of the inhabitants, and general two years, he was permitted by the said Warren decline of the country, he did, immediately after Hastings to relinquish two of them :—that on the his appointment to the government, in the year subject of the farms held by Cantoo Baboo, the 1772, make an arbitrary settlement of the reve- said Warren Hastings made the following declanues for five years, at a higher rate than had ever ration : “ many of his farms were been received before, and with a progressive and “taken without my knowledge, and courtes of die accumulating encrease on each of the four last “almost all against my advice. I resten 25th years of the said settlement.

“had no right to use compulsion, or That notwithstanding the right of property and“ authority; nor could I with justice exclude him, inheritance, repeatedly acknowledged by the said “because he was my servant, from a liberty alWarren Hastings to be in the zemindars, and other “ lowed to all other persons in the country.—The native landholders ; and notwithstanding he had “ farms, which he quitted, he quitted by my addeclared, “ that the security of private property “vice, because I thought, that he might engage * is the greatest encouragement to industry, on “ himself beyond his abilities, and be involved in “ which the wealth of every state depends ;” the disputes, which I did not choose to have come said Warren Hastings, nevertheless, in direct vio- “ before me as judge of them.”—That the said lation of those acknowledged rights and principles, declaration contains sundry false and contradicdid universally let the lands of Bengal in farm for tory assertions :—that, if almost all the said farms five years; thereby destroying all the rights of were taken against his advice, it cannot be true, private property of the zemindars; thereby de- that many of them were taken without his knowlivering the management of their estates to farmers, ledge :--that, whether Cantoo Baboo had been and transferring by a most arbitrary and unjust his servant or not, the said Warren Hastings was act of power the whole landed property of Bengal bound by his own regulations to prevent his holding from the owners to strangers :—that, to accom- any farms to a greater amount than one lack of plish this iniquitous purpose, he, the said Warren rupees per annum ; and that the said Cantoo Hastings, did put the lands of Bengal up to a Baboo, being the servant of the governour-genepretended publick auction, and invited all persons ral, was excluded by the said regulations from to make proposals for farming the same, thereby holding any farms whatever :—that if (as the diencouraging strangers to bid against the proprie- rectors observe) it was thought dangerous to pertors; in consequence of which not only the said mit the banyan of a collector to be concerned in proprietors were ousted of the possession and ma- farms, the same or stronger objections would alnagement of their estates, but a great part of the ways lie against the governour's banyan being so lands fell into the hands of the banyans, or concerned :--that the said Warren Hastings had principal black servants of British subjects, con- a right, and was bound by his duty, to prevent his nected with and protected by the government : servant from holding the same ;—that, in advising and that the said Warren Hastings himself has the said Cantoo Baboo to relinquish some of the

since declared, that by this way the said farms, for which he was actually engaged, he sult. 29th Jan. lands too generally fell into the has acknowledged an influence over his servant,

hands of desperate or knavish adven- and has used that influence for a purpose inconturers :—that, before the measure herein before sistent with his duty to the India company, namely, described was carried into execution, the said to deprive them of the security of the said Warren Hastings did establish certain fundamental | Cantoo Baboo's engagement for farms, which on

Revenue Con

1775.

trial he had found not beneficial, or not likely to India company was grossly imposed on, in the continue beneficial, to himself; and that if it was first instance, by a promised encrease of revenue ; improper that he, the said Warren Hastings, should and defrauded, in the second, not only by the be the judge of any disputes, in which his servant failure of that encrease, but by the revenues falling might be involved on account of his farms, that short of what they were in the two years preceding reason ought to have obliged him to prevent his the said settlement to a great amount. - That the servant from being engaged in any farms whatever, said Warren Hastings, being then at the head of or to have advised his said servant to relinquish the the government of Bengal, was a party to all the remainder of his farms, as well as those which the said imposition, fraud, peculation, and embezzlesaid Warren Hastings affirms he quitted by his ment, and is principally and specially answerable advice :—that on the subject of the said charge, for the same; and that whereas sundry proofs of the court of directors of the East India company the said peculation and embezzlement were brought have come to the following resolutions : “ Resolu- before the court of directors, the said directors ed, that it appears, that the conduct of the late in a letter dated 4th of March 1778, and signed “president and council of Fort William in Bengal, by William Devaynes and Nathaniel Smith, “in suffering Cantoo Baboo, the present gover- Esquires, now chairnian and deputy chairman of

nour-general's banyan, to hold farms in differ- the said court, and members of this house) did “ent pergunnas to a large amount, or to be se- declare, that, “ although it was rather their wish “curity for such farms, contrary to the tenour and “ to prevent future evils, than to enter into a “ spirit of the 17th regulation of the committee of severe retrospection of past abuses, yet, as in “ revenue at Fort William, of the 14th May 1772, some of the cases then before them they con“ and afterwards relinquishing that security with- “ceived there had been flagrant corruption, and “out satisfaction made to the company, was highly in others great oppressions committed on the "improper, and has been attended with consider- “ native inhabitants, they thought it unjust to “able loss to the company :"--and that, in the “ sutter the delinquents to pass wholly unpunishwhole of this transaction, the said Warren Hast- ed; and therefore they directed the governourings has been guilty of gross collusion with his general and council forthwith to commence a servant, and manifest breach of trust to his em- “ prosecution against the persons, who composed ployers that, whereas it was acknowledged by the committee of circuit, and their representathe said Warren Hastings, that the country, in tives, and against all other proper parties ; "the years 1770 and 1771, had suffered great de- but that the prosecutions, so ordered by the court population and decay ;-and, that the collections of directors in the year 1778, have never been of those years, having been violently kept up to brought to trial; and that the said Warren Hasttheir former standard, had added to the distress ings did, on the 23d of December 1783, propose of the country,—the settlement of the revenues and carry it in council, that orders should be given made by him for five years, commencing the 1st for withdrawing the said prosecutions ; declaring, of May 1772, instead of offering any abatement that he was clearly of opinion, that there was no or relief to the inhabitants, who had survived the ground to maintain them, and that they would famine, held out to the East India company a pro- only be productive of expence to the company, and mise of great encrease of revenue, to be exacted unmerited vexation to the parties. from the country by the means herein before described :—that this settlement was not realized, but fell considerably short, even in the first of the five years, when the demand was the lightest ; and that, on the whole of the five years, the real

PART II. collections fell short of the settlement to the enormous amount of two millions and a half ster- That the said Warren Hastings has, on sundry ling and upwards ;-that such a settlement, occasions, declared his deliberate opinion generally if it had been, or could have been, rigorously against all innovations, and particu- 30 Nov. 1772 exacted from a country already so distressed, larly in the collection and manageand from a population so impaired, that in the ment of the revenues of Bengal ; that “ he was belief of the said Warren Hastings it was impos- “ well aware of the expence and inconvenience, sible such loss could be recruited in four or five which ever attends innovations of all kinds on years, would have been in fact, what it appeared “ their first institution.—That inno- 220 April to be in form, an act of the most cruel and tyran- “ vations are always attended with nical oppression ; but that the real use made of “ difficulties and inconveniencies, and innovathat unjust demand upon the natives of Bengal « tions in the revenue with a suspension of the was, to oblige them to compound privately with collections :

:-that the continual variations in the persons, who formed the settlement, and who “ the mode of collecting the revenue, and the threatened to enforce it :--that the enormous ba- “ continual usurpation of the rights of the people, lances and remissions on that settlement arose “ have fixed in the minds of the ryots a rooted from a general collusion between the farmers and “ distrust of the ordinances of government :" collectors, and from a general peculation and em- —that the court of directors have re- 5th Feb. 1777. bezzlement of the revenues, by which the East peatedly declared their apprehensions, 4th July 1777.

24th Oct. 1774.

1775.

revenue

3d Nov.

1772.

“ that a sudden transition from one mode to an- again specially included, and special jurisdiction

other, in the investigation and collection of their assigned to the said councils. That the court of

revenue, might have alarmed the inhabitants, directors, in a letter dated 5th of February 1777, “ lessened their confidence in the company's did give the following instruction to the gover“ proceedings, and been attended with other nour-general and council, a majority of whom, “ evils:"—that the said Warren Hastings, imme- viz. Sir John Clavering, Colonel Monson, and Mr. diately after his appointment to the government Francis, had disapproved of the plan of provincial of Fort William in April 1772, did abolish the councils.—“ If you are fully convinced, that the office of naib duan, or native collector of the “ establishment of provincial councils has not revenues, then existing :--that he did at the same “ answered, nor is not capable of answering, the time appoint a committee of the board to go on a purposes intended by such institutions, we hereby circuit through the provinces, and to form a set “ direct you to form a new plan for the collection tlement of the revenues for five years :—that he “ of the revenues, and to transmit the same to us did then appoint sundry of the company's servants“ for our consideration.—That the said Warren to have the management of the collections, viz. Hastings, in contradiction to his own sentiments one in each district, under the title of collector: repeatedly declared, and to his own advice re—that he did then abolish the general board of peatedly and deliberately given, and in defiance of

or council at Muxadavad the orders of the directors, to whom he transmit

for the following reasons : “ that ted no previous communication whatever of his “ while the controuling and executive part of intention to abolish the said provincial councils, “ the revenue, and the correspondence with the did, in the beginning of the year 1781, again “ collectors, was carried on by a council at change the whole system of the collections of the “ Muxadavad, the members of the administration publick revenue of Bengal, as also the administra“ at Calcutta had no opportunity of acquiring that tion of civil and criminal justice throughout the “ thorough and comprehensive knowledge, which provinces. That the said Warren Hastings, in a “ could only result from practical experience: that letter dated 5th of May 1781, advising the court “ the orders of the court of directors, which of directors of the said changes, has falsely af“ established a new system, which enjoined many firmed, “ that the plan of superintending and col“ new regulations and enquiries, could not pro “lecting the publick revenue of the provinces,

perly be delegated to a subordinate council ; " through the agency of provincial councils, had " and it became absolutely necessary, that the “ been instituted for the temporary and declared “ business of the revenue should be conducted purpose of introducing another more permanent under the immediate observation and direction “ mode by an easy and gradual change:"—that, of the board :"—that, in November 1773, the on the contrary, the said Warren Hastings, from said Warren Hastings abolished the office of col- the year 1773 to the year 1781, has constantly lector, and transferred the collection and manage- and uniformly insisted on the wisdom of that inment of the revenues to several councils of revenue, stitution, and on the necessity of never departing commonly called provincial councils :-that on from it that he has in that time repeatedly the 24th of October 1774, the said Warren Hast- advised, that the said institution should be conings earnestly offered his advice (to the govern-firmed in perpetuity by an act of parliament : our-general and council then newly appointed by that the said total dissolution of the provincial act of parliament) for the continuation of the councils was not introduced by any easy and grasaid system of provincial councils in all its parts: dual change, nor by any gradations whatever ; but —that the said Warren Hastings did, on the 22d was sudden and unprepared, and instantly accomof April 1775, transmit to the directors a formal plished by a single act of power : and that the said plan for the future settlement of the revenues, and Warren Hastings, in the place of the said coundid therein declare, that, “ with respect to the cils, has substituted a committee of revenue, mode of managing the collection of the revenue, consisting of four covenanted servants, on prin" and the administration of justice, none occurred ciples opposite to those, which he had himself " to him so good as the system, which was already professed ; and with exclusive powers, tending to “ established, of provincial councils :"—that on deprive the members of the supreme council of the 18th of January 1776 the said Warren Hast- a due knowledge of, and inspection into, the maings did transmit to the court of directors a plan nagement of the territorial revenues, specially and for the better administration of justice : that in unalienably vested by the legislature in the gothis plan the establishment of the said provincial vernour-general and council, and to vest the same councils was specially provided for, and confirmed; solely and entirely in the said Warren Hastings. and that Warren Hastings did recommend it to That the reasons assigned by the said Warren the directors to obtain the sanction of parliament Hastings for constituting the said committee of for a confirmation of the said plan : that on the revenue are incompatible with those, which he 30th of April 1776, the said Warren Hastings did professed when he abolished the subordinate transmit to the court of directors the draught or council of revenue at Muxadavad :—that he has scheme of an act of parliament for the better ad invested the said committee, in the fullest manministration of justice in the provinces, in which ner, with all the powers and authority of the the said establishment of provincial councils is governour-general and council:—that he has there

by contracted the whole power and office of the the committee, that to limit them to one year would provincial councils into a small compass, and vested be the best period, he, the said Warren Hastings, the same in four persons appointed by himself:- approved of that limitation, in manifest contrathat he has thereby taken the general transaction diction to all his own arguments, professions, and and cognizance of revenue business out of the declarations, concerning the fatal consequences of supreme council :—that the said committee are annual leases of the lands :--that, in so doing, the empowered to conduct the current business of the said Warren Hastings did not hold himself bound revenue department without reference to the su- or restrained by the orders of the court of directpreme council, and only report to the board such ors, but acted upon his own discretion ; and that extraordinary occurrences, claims, and proposals, he has, for partial and interested purposes, exeras may require the special orders of the board : cised that discretion in particular instances against that even the instruction to report to the board, his own general settlement for one year, by grantin extraordinary cases, is nugatory and fallacious, ing perpetual leases of farms and zemindaries to being accompanied with limitations, which make persons specially favoured by him ; and particularly it impossible for the said board to decide on any by granting a perpetual lease of the zemindary of questions whatsoever ; since it is expressly pro- Baharbund to his servant Cantoo Baboo on very vided by the said Warren Hastings, that, if the low terms :—that, in all the preceding transactions, members of the committee differ in opinion, it is the said Warren Hastings did act contrary to his not expected, that every dissentient opinion should duty, as governour of Fort William, contrary to be recorded ; consequently the supreme council, on

the orders of his employers, and contrary to his any reference to their board, can see nothing but own declared sense of expediency, consistency, the resolutions or reasons of the majority of the and justice; and thereby did harass and afflict the committee, without the arguments, on which the inhabitants of the provinces with perpetual changes dissentient opinions might be founded ; and since in the system and execution of the government it is also expressly provided by the said Warren placed over them, and with continued innovations Hastings, that the determination of the majority of and exactions against the rights of the said inhathe committee should not therefore be stayed, un-bitants; thereby destroying all security to private less it should be so agreed by the majority ; that is, property, and all confidence in the good faith, that notwithstanding the reference to the supreme principles, and justice of the British government; council, the measure shall be executed without and that the said Warren Hastings, having substiwaiting for their decision. That the said Warren tuted his own instruments to be the managers and Hastings has delivered his opinion, with many ar- collectors of the publick revenue, in the manner guments to support the same, in favour of long hereinbefore mentioned, did act in manifest breach leases of the lands, in preference to annual settle- and defiance of an act of the 13th of His present ments; that he has particularly declared, “ that Majesty, by which the ordering and management " the farmer, who holds his farm for one year and government of all the territorial revenues in

only, having no interest in the next, takes what the kingdoms of Bengal, Bahar, and Orissa, were “ he can with the hand of rigour, which, even in vested in the governour-general and council, “the execution of legal claims, is often equivalent without any power of delegating the said trust and " to violence. He is under the necessity of being duty to any other persons; and that by such

rigid, and even cruel ; for what is left in arrear unlawful delegation of the powers of the council " after the expiration of his power, is at best a to a subordinate board appointed by himself, he, “ doubtful debt, if ever recoverable. He will be the said Warren Hastings, did in effect unite and

tempted to exceed the bounds of right, and to vest in his own person the ordering, government, augment his income by irregular exactions, and and management of all the said territorial reve

by racking the tenants, for which pretences will nues :—and that, for the said illegal act, he, the “not be wanting, where the farms pass annually said Warren Hastings, is solely answerable, the from one hand to another. That the discou- same having been proposed and resolved in council,

ragements, which the tenants feel from being when the governour-general and council consisted “ transferred every year to new landlords, are a but of two persons present: namely, the said

great objection to such short leases; that they Warren Hastings, and the late Edward Wheler, “ contribute to injure the cultivation, and dis- Esquire ; and when consequently the governour“ people the lands. That, on the contrary, from general, by virtue of the casting voice, possessed

long farms the farmer acquires a permanent the whole power of the government.—That in all “ interest in his lands : he will, for his own sake, the changes and innovations herein before describlay out money in assisting his tenants in imed, the pretence used by the said Warren Hastings

proving lands already cultivated, and in clearing to recommend and justify the same to the court of " and cultivating waste lands.” That nevertheless directors has been, that such changes and innovathe said Warren Hastings, having left it to the tions would be attended with encrease of revenue, discretion of the committee of revenue, appointed or diminution of expence to the East India comby him in 1781, to fix the time, for which the pany that such pretence, if true, would not ensuing settlement should be made; and the said have been a justification of such acts; but that committee having declared, that, with respect to such pretence is false and groundless. That, the period of the leases in general, it appeared to during the administration of the said Warren Hastings, the territory revenues have declined ; a direct and intended waste of the company's prothat the charges of collecting the same have perty, is charged with, and answerable for, all greatly encreased ; and that the said Warren the said decline of revenue, and all the said inHastings by his neglect, mismanagement, and by crease of expence.

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That the province of Oude and its dependen- That the expence of the company's temporary cies were, before their connexion with and subor- brigade encreased in the same year (the year of dination to the company, in a flourishing condi-1779) upwards of £.80,000 sterling above the tion with regard to culture, commerce, and popu- cstimate; and the expence of the country troops lation, and their rulers and principal nobility under British officers, in the same period, encreased maintained themselves in a state of affluence and upwards of £.40,000 sterling; and in addition to splendour ; but very shortly after the period afore- the aforesaid ruinous expences a large civil estabsaid, the prosperity both of the country and its lishment was gradually, secretly, and without any chiefs began sensibly and rapidly to decline ; in- authority from the court of directors, or record in somuch that the revenue of the said province, the books of the council general concerning the which on the lowest estimation had been found, in same, formed for the resident, and another under the commencement of the British influence, at up- Mr. Wombwell, an agent for the company; as wards of three millions sterling annually, (and that also several pensions and allowances, in the same ample revenue raised without detriment to the secret and clandestine manner, were charged on country,) did not, in the year 1779, exceed the the revenues of the said nabob for the benefit of sum of £.1,500,000, and in the subsequent years British subjects, besides large occasional gifts to did fall much short of that sum, although the persons in the company's service. rents were generally advanced, and the country grievously oppressed in order to raise it

V.

his

II.

That in the month of November 1779 the said

nabob did represent to Mr. Purling, the company's That in the aforesaid year 1779 the demands of resident aforesaid, the distressed state of his revethe East India company on the nabob of Oude nues in the following terms : “ during three years are stated by Mr. Purling, their resident at the past, the expence occasioned by the troops in court of Oude, to amount to the sum of £.1,360,000 brigade, and others commanded by European sterling and upwards, leaving (upon the suppo- officers, has much distressed the support of my sition, that the whole revenue should amount to “ household, insomuch that the allowances made the sum of £.1,500,000 sterling, to which it did to the seraglio and children of the deceased nanot amount) no more than £.140,000 sterling for “ bob have been reduced to one fourth of what it the support of the dignity of the household and “had been, upon which they have subsisted in a family of the nabob, and for the maintenance of very distressed manner for two years past. The

government, as well as for the payment of the “ attendants, writers, and servants, &c. of my publick debts due within the province.

court, have received no pay for two years past ;

" and there is at present no part of the country, III.

“ that can be allotted to the payment of my fa

“ ther's private creditors, whose applications are That by the treaty of Fyzabad a regular brigade “ daily pressing upon me. All these difficulties I of the company's troops, to be stationed in the “ have for these three years past struggled through, dominions of the nabob of Oude, was kept up at “ and found this consolation therein, that it was the expence of the said nabob; in addition to “complying with the pleasure of the honourable which a temporary brigade of the same troops was company, and in the hope, that the supreme added to his establishment, together with several “ council would make enquiry from impartial perdetached corps in the company's service, and a sons into my distressed situation ; but I am great part of his own native troops were put under now forced to a representation. From the great the command of British officers.

encrease of expence the revenues were neces

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