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Deduct- Increase of assets from
Assets at home and afloat on the the above increase of debts--the
1st of March, 1797
12,476,719 state of the Company's affairs of
Ditto on the 1st of March, 1798.. 13,213,370
Adding increase of assets to the
6,053,401 above decrease of debt, the state Less than last year .... 2,108,908
of affairs at home appears better 1,366,322 Difference in Company's 1,434,488
CHINA AND ST. HELENA. Private traile more than last year
Balance in China last Remaining difference in sale of
year in favour
279,250 Dutch goods.-Sales of Coin
Ditto this year against 718,945 pany's goods, estimated at
6,282,282 Difference at China against. 998,195 Actually amounted to
4,718,822 Balance at St. Helena last
54,248 Decrease at St. Helena....
4,215 Receipts on sale of Company's goods, estimated at 6,555,116 | Less at China and St. Helena ..
1,002,410 Actually amounted to
GENERAL COMPARISON OF DEBTS AND
Increase of debt in India
2,148,455 estimated at 196,000 Decrease of debts at home
631,765 Actually amounted to
Increase of debts 1,516,690
Increase of assets in India 1,572,476
Increase of assets athome 734,557
Deduct 2,307,033 pected to be against the Com
Balance at China and St. pany 1,836,320 Helena, less
1,002,410 Actual balance in consequence of
Nett increase of assets
1,304,623 issue of bonds, of aid by loans, and of smaller payments for
The increase of debt, or the general freight, &c. than expected, was
state of the Company's concerns, in favour
540,616 is, in this view, more than
212,067 Making the balance of cash better
Add charges of four ships from than estimated
2,376,966 Bombay, arrived in time for in
bertion in the home accounts 201,153 ESTIMATES, 1798.9.
The total then is 413,220 Receipt for sales of Company's goods
I shall now request the attention of the
committee to a few short observations, Result,
relating to the general situation of the af. After calculating on a payment to
fairs of the company. It has always been the Bank, amounting to 800,000l.
my endeavour, that the subject of Indian and a large sum for freight, with
finance should be rendered as clear and out reckoning an increase of ca
intelligible as possible. By the mode now pítal, issue of bonds or loans, the
in practice, a comparison of different pebalance against the Company on
riods can easily be effected; and whether 1st of March 1799, expected to be 1,318,937 changes occur for the better, or otherwise,
the causes may be traced with great faciDEBTS AT HOME.
lity. It afforded me real satisfaction, In March 1797
when I last addressed the committee, to In March 1798.
7,288,692 be thereby enabled to state, upon authen
tic documents, the improvement of this Decrease
132,069 valuable concern, on a comparison be
tween the year 1786 and the period then able, by near a million; the general baunder examination. By the present state- lance, on the comparison with last year, ments it has appeared, that an alteration is only 413,0001. worse. Against this has taken place on the unfavourable side. statement it may be objected, that credit The balance of property, contrasted with is taken, in the calculations, for articles the last year, has, from a variety of cir. in India, which cannot justly be reckoned cumstances, turned out to be less in fa- upon as an improvement of property; but, vour of the company; but as the causes on the other hand, it is fair to state, when have been clearly discovered and pointed making a comparison, that the debts have out, and as they appear to have been increased more than a million, from a cireffected, in the most part, by means of a cumstance which by no means applies to temporary nature, some of them arising the concerns of the year, viz. the issue of from the pressure of contingencies una- bonds for payment of arrears to the privoidably produced by a protracted war, Ivate creditors of the nabob of Arcot. trust it will become a matter of surprise, The improvement at home would have that under such events, the general state still been more considerable, if disappointof the affairs has not suffered a more con- ment had not occurred as to the arrival side
ble reverse. It is, however, still of the goods: the property in India, it is satisfactory to reflect, that in India, the true, would have been lessened, but not only inconvenience produced by the war in proportion. The short amount of the has been upon the treasuries, in a certain sales has been stated to arise from this degree; but this effect, it may be pre- circumstance alone; and it is satisfactory sumed, will not be permanent. The suc- to find, that so far as the commerce is cessfultermination of the several important concerned, there is every appearance of expeditions, by which the enemies of this prosperity. The immense sale of private country have been deprived of their set. trade goods, affords a display of the rising tlements in the East,' has afforded addi- commercial prosperity and increasing tional security to the possessions of the wealth of the settlements abroad, and company, and has likewise opened new proves the advantage derived, and to be sources of wealth, from which there is derived, from the extension of privilege every reason to hope a full compensation to private traders, by the act of 1793. will eventually be derived, for the pecu- The increasing demand for almost every niary sacrifices that have been made. species of Indian produce, whether raw
The immediate effect of these measures or manufactured, strengthens the probahas been, to absorb the major part of the bility, that in this point of view, the prosfunds, which would have been derived pects formerly held out will ultimately be from the Indian revenue towards the pro completely realized. But as it may, with vision of the investment. The immensely apparent truth, be asserted, that the imincreased demand, on this account, has provement of the concern at home has enhanced the value of money, so as to been accomplished at the expense of that occasion the necessity of having recourse abroad, and in a manner which may bring to loans, at higher interests than formerly in question the prudence or the propriety in practice: the rate of exchange has also of extending the trade; because the purincreased in proportion. The additional chase of investments has been made princall upon the treasuries for interest will, cipally by money raised on loans, at a for a time, operate unfavourably, and the high rate of interest, from which the debts prime cost of goods must incur some in- in India have increased beyond all reason
The result of all these ever.is, able bounds, and of course the demands however temporarily distressing, is not to for interest, so as to intrench, in an be mentioned, in a comparison with the alarming degree, upon the resources which more substantial and permanent benefits the revenues should supply towards the which may ultimately be expected, both provision of investment, it is expedient to abroad and at home. At home an increase observe, that it was certainly the duty of of assets, and a decrease of debts, has the company to embrace the favourable clearly been demonstrated, and the nett opportunity of addir.g to their trade, improvement ascertained to be 1,366,3221. which offered by the removal,for the most Although the Indian concern has been so part, of foreign competition. My opinion, considerably affected by the circumstances to that effect, was formerly given; and I above pointed out, and although the ba- have now to add, that if they had not lance of stock at China is more unfavour- done it, disastrous effects might have been produced: the industry of the natives - The productiveness of the resources would have been cramped, the cultivation arising from the lands have continued, of the raw material discouraged, and the from year to year, at an amount which manufactures deprived of support. The admits the hope of permanency. In consequence in the company's provinces, Bengal, the present system is so well in these cases, is so self-evident, as to re- understood, and is so acceptable to the quire no explanation; and if it be asked, zemindars and renters, that no opposition how the situation of the company has been, is ever offered to the authority of governor will be affected, by the measure of ex- ment; neither does any other interruption tending the trade at this time, and by the occur to the collection of the public demeans now adopted the reply is, an mands, than what must always be expected undue proportion of advantage will fall to on a rental so extensive. Under the prethe home concern; because a considerable sent regulations, provision is made for the part of the prime cost of the cargoes is realization of balances, and security is paid for in India, by the addition to the found in the improved value of the lands. debt there. The inconvenience produced The idea of the precarious tenure of the thereby is great, but may not be looked resource from salt has been done away for upon as lasting, as measures may be some years. Under the present system adopted to supply from Europe the defi- of management, which took place in 1793, ciency. The produce of the sales must the improvement has been substantial; furnish considerable means, and the court because the objections which might, with of directors are empowered, by act of a great degree of reason, be raised to the parliament, to raise money, by an addition principles on which the monopoly was to the capital stock. The satisfactory ac- upheld, can no longer be said to exist. counts from India, of the increasing de- The labour of the Molungees, or saltmand and profitable sale of the produce makers, is not now compulsory : distincand manufactures of this country, encou- tions in the several classes are abolished; rage the prospect of great advantage by and each receives a just and equal reward an enlarged export ; so that, by a suitable of industry. The laws against illicit trade application of the funds which must be having been effectually put in force, the forthcoming, essential relief may be af- purchaser at the sales reaps the expected forded to the financial system in India, and profit from his dealing; and although the the state of the concern, abroad and at price has, within the two last years, sufhome, restored to a proper
fered an augmentation, the consumer is The internal situation of all the districts not exposed to the inconvenience formerly under the immediate government of the known, because, from the increasing company, continues to exhibit the ap- wealth of the provinces, more profitable pearance of increasing prosperity. Having means of employ are daily found. Every been protected by the successful opera- advice from India states the rising price tions of our fleets and armies, from be- of opium. The contract under which this coming the theatre of war, no interrup- article was furnished, expired in September tion has offered itself to the exertions of 1797, and the system of agency has been the industrious inhabitants. The encour substituted. No judgment can be formed, agement afforded in all instances where a till the expiration of 1798-9, of the effect prospect of general advantage existed, bas of the change; but as measures are taken been productive of the happiest conse- to remove a very material cause of the quences. By accounts received from first declension of the trade, the debased Bengal it is found, that articles, scarcely quality of the drug, and as the markets known a few years ago as an export, have are again opening, it may be expected been manufactured and shipped, to an that the profit will soon equal its former immense amount; and that the export amount. trade of those provinces by sea has been I have had great pleasure in remarking increased, in a quintuple degree, within the attention of the company's government the last twenty years, and has been doubled to the happiness and comfort of the natives, in the last ten : it must therefore appear, and the endeavours always manifested to that the events of an unfavourable nature, remove every species of oppression. They which have been explained to the com- have appeared, in a particular degree, in mittee, are not of a description to affect the abolition of the police assessment. the prosperity or the wealth of the sub. This was a tax levied on the houses of the jects under the British dominion in India. inbabitants in the districts, for the express
purpose of maintaining an efficient police. and in 1797 it was found requisite to enThe charges have, from the first institu- force the treaty of 1792, and to take postion, greatly exceeded the receipts; but session of the three districts assigned as rotwithstanding the gradual increase of security for the company's demand. the latter, as the mode in which, of ne- I have only to add, that the expenses cessity, the collections were raised was in India have been, and for a time must represented to be oppressive, the tax has continue to be, very burthensome ; but been altogether abolished, and a stamp with the exception of the new military duty substituted, for defraying the expense arrangements, and some others of a judi. of this establishment.- in the districts cial nature, a large amount may be consi. under the presidencies of Madras and dered temporary. Economy is enjoined Bombay, although it has not yet been in every department ; but in the present practicable to carry into full effect the be- situation of affairs, it would be completely neficial regulations established in Bengal; unwise to relax in attention to every mearesistance against the company's authority sure, requisite to a state of readiness to is less frequent, and the improvement of meet the attempts of the enemy on any the land revenues becomes each year more part of the dominions. From what has apparent. The disturbance in a northern been stated, the inference is perfectly just, district of the Malabar province, noticed that the wealth of the Indian provinces in my last address to the committee, has has been progressively improving, and that been quelled, and the refractory rajah the affairs of the East India company reduced to terms of submission : measures have derived every advantage that could have also been taken to prevent a similar be expected from this improvement, on occurrence in future. The changes at contrasting the amount of the balance of Oude will come more properly under property at this time with what it was ten remark, when the accounts of the next years back.-- There can be no difference year shall be brought forward. The of opinion, as to the propriety of the comprinces to whom I particularly allude at pany's availing themselves, to the utmost this time are, the nabob of Arcot and the extent of their means, of the commerce, rajah of Tanjore. Their territories are the monopoly of which they hold by their so contiguous to those of the company, exclusive privilege ; but it is to be reand the terms on which the connexion collected, that the imperial interests of with them exists are of such a nature, the country must likewise come under the that although, under the treaties, the presia consideration of those, to whom the condency of Madras have no authority to trol over this great concern is committed: interfere in their governments while their for if a statement, which has been made engagements are discharged, yet they to me, be correct, that the export of the cannot but be essentially interested in the wealth of India to Europe amounts to no prosperity of their countries. For many less a sum than five millions sterling annureasons, a modification of those treaties ally, of which it appears that the company was desirable, both as it concerned the are not able to bring to this country much company, and the interests of the princes more than two millions, while the rest finds themselves. Representations and remon- its way to the several ports of Europe in strances to that effect have been made to other vessels than those which should form the nabob of Arcot. As to the rajah of a part of the strength of the empire ; Tanjore, the committee are already ap. there is nothing deserves more the atprized of the summary measures resorted tention and ardent exertions of his mato with him. In 1796, he was prevailed jesty's ministers, than to devise some mode upon to agree to terms of an arrange- to remedy an evil of so great magnitude. ment, from which there was every reason The interests of our commerce, our navito expect the most beneficial conse- gation, and our power call for it; and if quences, both to his country and to the the plan at present in contemplation, with company; but from some particular cir. regard to the regulation of the duties, cumstances, this arrangement was set should not be sufficient, something farther aside. The long train of evils arising from must be brought forward, before the the grossest extravagance and mismanage- close of the present session. The prement, which had occasioned the necessity eminence established by this country in of this interference, soon produced the India is truly gratifying; and it is the effect naturally to be expected; the stipu- duty, both of the government and of the lated engagements were not discharged ; company, so to frame their regulations, (VOL. XXXIV.]
that no part of the advantages to be de. , nient, and every existing establishment, civil rived from it be lost. The act of 1793 or ecclesiastical, both in Great Britain and had this for its leading object, and it was
Ireland; as well as to dissolve the connexion hoped that the port of London would between the two kingdoms, so necessary to
the security and prosperity of both. have become the grand receptacle of In
The chief hope of accomplishing this dedian produce. Why this object has not sign, bas rested on the propagation of those been more fully obtained, must be made destructive principles, which originally proa subject of the most minute examination. duced the French Revolution, with all the The right of monopoly, vested in the miseries and calamities since experienced in East India company by their charter, France, and now extended over a large part should be supported to the fullest extent;
of Europe. and it is my wish that their means were
The most effectual engine employed for
this purpose, has been the institution of equal to the bringing home the entire political societies, of a nature and description wealth of India : but if it shall appear, before unknown in any country, and inconthat all the funds they can command will sistent with public tranquillity, and with not embrace more than the half of it, the the existence of regular government. The necessity of an arrangement, by which effects of this fatal cause, operating in its the remainder shall be secured to the fullest extent, have been unhappily felt and country, must be admitted, as of the first exemplified in the distractions and calamities importance.—Mr. Dundas concluded with of Ireland. The same cause is known to moving the first of a set of Resolutions have prepared the way for all the different
revolutions by which France has succeeded founded upon the statement which he had in subverting so many of the governments of submitted to the committee.
Europe, and reducing so many independent The said Resolutions were after a short states to vassallaye and subjection. In this conversation agreed to.
country, similar measures have been at
tempted ; and although they have been Report from the Committee of Secrecy of bitherto defeated, by the precautions of the the House of Commons relative to the legislature, by the vigilance of his majesty's Proceedings of different Persons and So- government, and still more by the general cieties in Great Britain and Ireland en-ject is not abandoned. The utmost diligence
good sense and loyalty of the nation, ihe obgaged in a Treasonable Conspiracy.] is still employed in endeavouring, not only to March 15. Mr. Secretary Dundas made sustain and revive those societies whose sedi. the following Report from the Committee tious and treasonable purposes long since atof Secrecy.
tracted the notice of parliament, but to ex
tend their correspondence to every part of REPORT.
this kingdom, to Ireland, to France, and to The COMMITTEE of Secrecy, to whom the those places on the continent, where French several Papers, which were presented
emissaries are established ; and to institute (sealed up) to the House, by Mr. Secre plan, and directed by the same object, as
new societies, formed precisely on the same tary Dundas, upon the 23rd of January those whose influence in Ireland has pro1799, by his Majesty's command, were duced such pernicious and formidable effects ; referred; and who were directed to examine the matters thereof, and report the
and of which, the consequences might have same, as they shall appear to them, to the proved fatal to that kingdom, if they had not House ;
been averted, in a season of the greatest
difficulty, by the wisdom, firmness, and exerHave proceeded, in obedience to the orders tion of his majesty's government, and the of the House, to the consideration of the parliament of Ireland. The extent and unimatters referred to them. They have been formity of this systematic conspiracy, are prevented from sooner laying before the equally striking. The formation and strucHouse the result of their examination, not ture of all these societies, in this country, im only from the extent of the matters which Ireland, and on the continent, are similar; came hefore them; but because some of the their views and principles are the same, as recent circumstances which they have to well as the means which they employ to state, could not, with propriety, have been extend their influence. A continued interdisclosed at an earlier period.
course and concert has been maintained from In the whole course of their inquiry, your their first origin to the present moment; Committee have found the clearest proofs of sometimes between the societies themselves, a systematic design, long since adopted and sometimes between their leading members; acted upon by France, in conjunction with and a frequent communication has been kept domestic traitors, and pursued up to the pre- up with the government of France, to which sent moment with unabated perseverance, to they appear to look as their protector and overturn the laws, constitution, and govern- ally, and which has repeatedly furnished an