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But let us do what we please to put India from our thoughts, we can do nothing to separate it from our publick interest and our national reputation. Our attempts to banish this importunate duty, will only make it return upon us again and again, and every time in a shape more unpleasant than the former. A government has been fabricated for that great province; the right honourable gentleman says, that therefore you ought not to examine into its conduct. Heavens! what an argument is this! We are not to examine into the conduct of the direction, because it is an old government we are not to examine into this board of control, because it is a new one. Then we are only to examine into the conduct of those who have no conduct to account for. Unfortunately the basis of this new government has been laid on old condemned delinquents, and its superstructure is raised out of prosecutors turned into protectors. The event has been such as might be expected. But if it had been otherwise constituted; had it been constituted even as I wished, and as the mover of this question had planned, the better part of the proposed establishment was in the publicity of its proceedings; in its perpetual responsibility to parliament. Without this check, what is our government at home, even awed, as every European government is, by an audience formed of the other states of Europe, by the applause or condemnation of the discerning and critical company before which it acts? But if the scene on the other side of the globe, which tempts, invites, almost compels to tyranny and rapine, be not inspected with the eye of a severe and unremitting vigilance, shame and destruction must ensue. For one, the worst event of this day, though it may deject, shall not break or subdue me. The call upon us is authoritative. Let who will shrink back, I shall be found at my post. Baffled, discountenanced, subdued, discredited, as the cause of justice and humanity is, it will be only the dearer to me. Whoever therefore shall at any time bring before you any thing towards the relief of our distressed fellow-citizens in India, and towards a subversion of the present most corrupt and oppressive system for its government, in me shall find, a weak, I am afraid, but a steady, earnest, and faithful assistant.


No. I.


Referred to from p. 397.

Appointing Commissioners to inquire into the fees, gratuities, perquisites, emoluments, which are, or have been lately, received in the several publick offices therein mentioned; to examine into any abuses which may exist in the same, &c.


be it further enacted, that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said commissioners, or any two of them, and they are hereby impowered, authorized, and required, to examine upon oath (which oath they, or any two of them, are hereby authorized to administer) the several persons, of all descriptions, belonging to any of the offices or departments before mentioned, and all other persons whom the said commissioners, or any two of them, shall think fit to examine, touching the business of each office or department, and the fees, gratuities, perquisites, and emoluments taken therein, and touching all other matters and things necessary for the execution of the powers vested in the said commissioners by this act; all which persons are hereby required and directed punctually to attend the said commissioners, at such time and place as they, or any two of them, shall appoint, and also to observe and execute such orders and directions as the said commissioners, or any two of them, shall make or give for the purposes before mentioned.


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And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said commissioners, or any two of them, shall be, and are hereby impowered to examine into any corrupt and fraudulent practices, or other misconduct, committed by any person or persons concerned in the management of any of the offices or departments hereinbefore mentioned: and, for the better execution of this present act, the said commissioners, or any two of them, are hereby authorized to meet and sit, from time to time, in such place or places as they shall find most convenient, with or without adjournment, and to send their precept or precepts, under their hands and seals, for any person or persons whatsoever, and for such books, papers, writings, or records, as they shall judge necessary for their information, relating to any of the offices or departments hereinbefore mentioned; and all bailiffs, constables, sheriffs, and other his majesty's officers, are hereby required to obey and execute such orders and precepts aforesaid, as shall be sent to them or any of them by the said commissioners, or any two of them, touching the premises.


Referred to from P. 401.


MR. GEORGE SMITH being asked, Whether the debts of the nabob of Arcot have increased since he knew Madras? he said, Yes, they have. He distinguishes his debts into two sorts; those contracted before the year 1766, and those contracted from that year to the year in which he left Madras. Being asked, What he thinks is the original amount of the old debts? he said, Between twenty-three and twentyfour lacks of pagodas, as well as he can recollect.-Being asked, What was the amount of that debt when he left Madras ? he said, Between four and five lacks of pagodas, as he understood.-Being asked, What was the amount of the new debt when he left Madras? he said, In November, 1777, that debt amounted, according to the nabob's own account, and published at Chipauk, his place of residence, to sixty lacks of pagodas, independent of the old debt, on which debt of sixty lacks of pagodas, the nabob did agree to pay an interest of twelve per cent. per annum.-Being asked, Whether

this debt was approved of by the court of directors? he said, He does not know it was. Being asked, Whether the old debt was recognised by the court of directors? He said, Yes, it has been; and the court of directors have sent out repeated orders to the president and council of Madras, to enforce its recovery and payment,-Being asked, If the interest upon the new debt is punctually paid? he said, It was not during his residence at Madras, from 1777 to 1779, in which period he thinks no more than five per cent, interest was paid, in different dividends of two and one per cent.-Being asked, What is the usual course taken by the nabob, concerning the arrears of interest? he said, Not having ever lent him monies himself, he cannot fully answer as to the mode of settling the interest with him.


Being asked, Whether he has reason to believe the sixty lacks of pagodas was all principal money really and truly advanced to the nabob of Arcot, or a fictitious capital, made up of obligations given by him, where no money or goods were received, or which was increased by the uniting into it a greater interest than the 12 per cent. expressed to be due on the capital? he said, He has no reason to believe that the sum of sixty lacks of pagodas was lent in money or goods to the nabob, because that sum he thinks is of more value than all the money, goods, and chattels in the settlement; but he does not know in what mode or manner this debt of the nabob's was incurred or accumulated. Being asked, Whether it was not a general and well-grounded opinion at Madras, that a great part of this sum was accumulated by obligations, and was for services performed or to be performed for the nabob? he said, He has heard that a part of this debt was given for the purposes mentioned in the above question, but he does not know that it was so.-Being asked, Whether it was the general opinion of the settlement? he said, He cannot say that it was the general opinion, but it was the opinion of a considerable part of the settlement. Being asked, Whether it was the declared opinion of those that were concerned in the debt, or those that were not? he said, It was the opinion of both parties, at least such of them as he conversed with.-Being asked, Whether he has reason to believe that the interest really paid by the nabob, upon obliga

tions given, or money lent, did not frequently exceed 12 per cent. ?-he said, Prior to the first of August, 1774 he had had reason to believe, that a higher interest than 12 per cent. was paid by the nabob on monies lent to him; but from and after that period, when the last act of parliament took place in India, he does not know that more than 12 per cent. had been paid by the nabob, or received from him.— Being asked, Whether it is not his opinion, that the nabob has paid more than 12 per cent. for money due since the 1st of August 1774 ? he said, He has heard that he has, but he does not know it.-Being asked, Whether he has been told so by any considerable and weighty authority, that was like to know? he said, He has been so informed by persons who he believes had a very good opportunity of knowing it.— Being asked, Whether he was ever told so by the nabob of Arcot himself? he said, He does not recollect that the nabob of Arcot directly told him so, but from what he said, he did infer that he paid a higher interest than 12 per cent.

Mr. Smith being asked, Whether, in the course of trade, he ever sold any thing to the nabob of Arcot ? he said, In the year 1775 he did sell to the nabob of Arcot pearls to the amount of 32,500 pagodas, for which the nabob gave him an order or tankah on the country of Tanjore, payable in six months, without interest.-Being asked, Whether, at the time he asked the nabob his price for the pearls, the nabob beat down that price, as dealers commonly do? he said, No; so far from it, he offered him more than he asked by 1,000 pagodas, and which he rejected. Being asked, Whether in settling a transaction of discount with the nabob's agent, he was not offered a greater discount than 12. per cent. he said, In discounting a soucar's bill for 180,000 pagodas, the nabob's agent did offer him a discount of 24 per cent. per annum, saying, that it was the usual rate of discount paid by the nabob; but which he would not accept of, thinking himself confined by the act of parliament limiting the interest of monies to 12 per cent. and accordingly he discounted the bill at 12 per cent. per annum only.-Being asked, Whether he does not think those offers were made him, because the nabob thought he was a person of some consequence in the settlement? he said, Being only a private

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