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but little information, (except what was and regulation of its internal affairs, taken for granted from the gross sums) had been so clearly proved as not to adwithin the narrow time that such informa- mit of a question, and that the rapacity, tion could be necessary, with respect to misconduêt, and disobedience of the ferthe present bill. This state of their af vants in the presidencies abroad, was so fairs, was considered by the Company notorious as io be allowed on all hands, and its friends, as a very unfavourable, no reasonable objection could now lie to if not unfair, representation of them; the exercise of that right, when its exand drew many strictures upon the com- pediency, and even necessity, were so mittee, the darkness of its proceedings, evident; and that as every delay in the and the doubtful information that could present circumstances, must be ruinous in be obtained through such a medium. It the highest degree to the Company, and was again lamented, that a fair and open proportionally
prejudicial to the nation ; enquiry had not been carried on, accord it was to be hoped, that no farther oppoing to the happy çenius and spirit of the lition would be made, to the carrying of English constitution, by which every the commission of supervision into immegentleman would have had an opportuni- diate execution, and that the present bill ty, of founding his opinion upon matters would be rejected, as founded upon false as they appeared to himself, and of re- principles, and of an unconftitutional and quiring such explanations as he thought dangerous tendency. neceflary; that the time unavoidably To this it was answered, that the evispent in such an investigation, would af- dence given at the bar, and the arguford leisure for cool deliberation, and for ments opposed by the counsel against the digesting in some degree, the several bill, contained the flrongest reasons that parts of such complicated matter; where- could poflibly have been brought to show by, random opinions and hafty reports, the urgent necessity of its being paffed. framed in a hurry, and without a pofli- That they fully demonstrated the evils bility of seeing all the sides of the sub- in India to be of such a magnitude, than ject, would be precluded ; and at the nothing less than the legislature could re-same time, the parties concerned, would form them; that no powers could be have an equitable opportunity of attend- granted to the supervision, competent ing to their respective intereits, clearing to the remedy of such enormities: that up doubtful points, rectifying mistakes, the commission was besides faulty in and the satisfaction of knowing the ground its principles, as the governors and upon which measures were to be founded, councils in the respective presidencies in whose consequences they were so deep- in India, were joined in power by it, with ly affected.
the supervisors who were intended to be On the other hand it was urged, that sent from England; that as the number the committee had acquitted itself of its of the fornier was permanent, they must, trust with the most distinguished fidelity, soon, by death or sickness become a maand dispatched and had gone through lo jority; that by this means, the capital complicated a business in less time than offenders, who were the authors of all could be expected; which could not the evils complained of, would become have been done, if the committee had the judges of their own crimes, and the been open, and subject to debate on the redrellers of their own oppressions ; was several articles. That it is no wonder it then by men, who had long rioted with that matters of account in such business the most unrelenting cruelty in the difshould appear to produce different conclu- tresses of their miserable fellow-creatures, Tions, according to the different manner that juftice was to be reftored to her proof viewing and Itating them. But unless per course, and the mischief; which their direct falsification were proved, the House iniquities caused were to be removed ? muft neceflarily abide by the statement That the legislature had a supreme of those whom they had chosen for the controuling power, to which all ihings purpose.
must and ought to submit; that this powUpon the third reading of the bill, er could never be applied with greater counsel was heard in behalf of the Com- propriety, or benefit, than in the present pany, after which great debates arose. instance, when the welfare and security It was advanced by the opposers of the of many millions, and the preservation bill, that as the Company's legal right of great countries and revenues dep ndto the appointment of all its own ser- ed upon its exertion. That laws, as vants, and to the entire management well as charters, muft submit to a cha:
of times and seasons, and must be alter- India, were merely imaginary ; the Comed, modelled, or repealed, as circum- pany had well foreseen, and effectually 1tances and the nature of things require ; provided against those evils, in the body that it could never have been intended at of the commission, no act of the superthe time of granting the Company's char- vision can be valid, without the prerers,' to give them a power of legiNation fence of three of the commissioners; the over great countries, in which it was not firit of these is to have the caiting voice, poffible to be supposed they ever could and they are to be allified by the goverhave any other footing, than a permission nor, Commander in chief, and second in to trade as inmates and strangers. That council, only as inferior afsellors; and India affairs were now under the confi- the supervisors have power, if they see deration of parliament, and while mat- cause, to dismiss the governor and the ters were in this suspence, it would be whole council, and have a power of absurd to allow the Company to proceed controul in all cases. on their own bottom, and to snaich the 'That if the particular interests of the business out of their hands: either there Company were con dered as marters of was, or there was not, occasion for the indifference, the great revenues and iminterposition of parliament; if there mense benefits it afforded to the public, was, how could the Company pretend to were not to be wantonly sported with ; act independent of them, after it had that as the restraint in the bill was laid applied for relief to the minister ? if for six months, and the season of the year there was not, why did they apply? would of neceffity continue it for six
On the other side it was observed, that more, twelve shole months, in the preparliamentary interposition had hitherto sent critical liate of their affairs, would been attended with very little advantage be totally, loft to the Company, before to the Company. That the last parlia- any intended regulation, whether by parment had undertaken in the year 1767. liament, or otherwise, could poßibly. the regulation of their affairs, and after take place; that this delay might be prospending the greater part of the session ductive of the most mischievous effect to upon that business, the result was, the the company, as the grievances and evils extortion of a vast sum of money from the which they wanted to remedy or preCompany without any equivalent, and vent, would have the accumulation of all the leaving their affairs to lift for them- that time added to their present amount; felves, without the smallest regulation; and as the design of regulation, would that their affairs had since continued be so long known before-hand to the ofopen to parliament, without any thing fenders, they would use such industry in being done, but the making or renewing their several departments, that there of bargains for the benefit of government, would not be much left for redress, by without the smallest attention to that of the time that it could take place. the Company ; that a select committee But the great force of the arguments had been appointed in the preceding sessi- on this side, was principally directed, to on, which had continued its littings the present unusual and extraordinary zhroughout the summer, and it was not pre- stretch of parliamentary authority ; it tended that the Company had reaped any was acknowledged that a supreme undeadvantages from them; and that a secret fined power was ultimately lodged in the committee had newly started up, the be- legislature ; but it was insisted, that nefits of which were yet to be discovered, such an exertion of it, could only be jufas nothing but complaints, had hither- tified by the most urgent neceflity, and to attended its proceedings. That if the ' that as no such neceflity now existed, it Company was not armed with sufficient was a wanton violation of public faith, powers, for the punishment of its ser- law, and the constitution, without an vants, and the regulation of its govern- equitable motive. That it was the inments in India, the fault lay wholly in ad- vasion of a right, which parliament had ministration, as a bill had been brought not granted but fold; a right for which in for that purpose in the preceding sessi- the faith of the nation was pledged. and on, which was laid by, under pretence which could not be taken away without of waiting for the discoveries that were an act of forfeiture in the company ; to be made by the select committee. nor even in that case without due compen
That the evils apprehended, from the fation. That this violent and dangerous extraordinary powers of the supervision exertion of power, mult not only destroy alling into the hands of the offenders in the credit of the India Company; but
also affect the Bank, the South Sea, and tion; though, as in the other House, the all other public companies, none of opponents were few. A noble duke, which could have any other securities than who had long been distinguished in opthose which were now violated; that position, and who of late had applied whenever a war took place, the effects himself with uncommon industry to obof this unjust and pernicious measure, up- tain a perfect knowledge of India af. on the national credit in general, would fairs, traversed this bill with great vibe too late and too fatally experienced; gour, and almost alone, for the short and that it was not less dangerous in its time in which it was passing through its principle, nor mischievous in its prece- several stages. As the bill was brought dent, to the city of London, and all the o in on a Saturday, and a report was spread ther corporate bodies in the British empire. in the evening, and inserted in the news
A particular charge was also made up- papers, that it had been carried that day on administration, with regard to their through its last reading, (a matter howmotives for this suspension. It was said ever uncommon, which was readily bethat they had arbitrarily and capriciously lieved) the India Company had not time sespended the legal course of business in to go through the necessary forms, for the court of proprietors, and forced this allembling in its corporate capacity, and matter in parliament, only to gratify a framing and presenting a petition, before private resentment; that the Company the following Wednesday, on which it had been officially informed by their was finally passed. A petition figned chairman and deputy-chairman, (the by 14 proprietors was, however, receivonly medium through which they could ed, and witnesses were examined, and have any communication with govern- counsel heard at the bar against the bill, ment) that the measures relative to the We shall take notice of some of the fupervision were approved of by admi- arguments that were used upon this ocniitration; but that as soon as it was cation, so far as they were peculiar to found, that the Company did not chuse the place, or may seem to throw new to intruft their affairs in the hands of light upon the subject
. As the House those who were nominated for that pur- of Lords is close itut, we are obliged pose by the ministers, they immediately for the arguments of the minority in that let their face against the whole measure, house to their protests; those of the miand now had the fortune, to find the niftry, we must suppose nearly the same House fo compliant as to adopt their re with those used in the House of Comsentments.
was urged against the bill, It was observable, that many of those that the arbitrary taking away of legal who either in themselves or their fami- franchifesand capacities, without anylegal lies, were under great obligations to the cause of forfeiture, eftablishes a preceCompany, and particularly such as had dent, which leaves no sort of security to obtained vast fortunes in her service, now
the subject for his liberties; since his exjoined administration in this bill. The ercising them, in the strictest conformity effects of the party disputes with respect to all the rules of law, general equity, to the appointment of supervisors, were and moral conduct, is not sufficient to also very visible upon this occasion, prevent parliament from exercising its Though the question was debated warmly fovereign powers to diveft him of those and ably by the opposition, such was the rights ; by means of which insecurity, force of the general odium in which the the honourable distinction between the Company stood, and such the weakness British and other forms of government, arising from its internal dissentions, that is in a great measure loư, that this misthe numbers against the bill were very fortune is greatly growing upon us, trifling. Besides, many of the oppoli- through teniporary, occasional, and partion had not then come to town. Upon tial acts of parliament, which, without a division late at night, and not a very consideration of their conformity to the thin house, the bill was carried by a general principles of our law and conmajority of more than five to one, the ititution, are adopted rashly and hastily numbers being 153, to 28, only. upon every petty occasion; that though
The restraining bill was presented the it may be difficult to tix any legal limit next day to the House of Lords, and it to the extent of legislative power, it is being so near the holidays, was carried to be supposed, that parliament is as through with the greateit dispatch. It much bound as any individual to the ob
wise, it is impossible to underitand what India, to find at length, that the latter is public faith means, or how public credit only employed in preventing the former can sublift.
fromdoing its duty ; that instead of corThat the India Company mighi have recting the abuse, they oppose thembeen legally called in question, and e- selves to the reformation; that when it ven its charter endangered, for a neglect was expected, that those who had wrongof exercising those necessary powers with ed the Company lould have been which it is entrusted, and the use of brought to exemplary punishment, the which it is now proposed to suspend; and suffering Company itself is deprived of that it must be a government composed its rights; and initead of calling delinof deceit and violence, where men are quents to 'account, the persons legally liable to be punished if they decline, or empowered to correct or restrain them, to be restrained if they endeavour, to are by parliament suspended from their exercise their lawful
powers. That it office, appears by evidence, upon oath at the On the other side, besides many of bar, that ihe Company had been autho-. those arguments which we have before ritatively informed, that the commission feen stated in support of the bill, it is for regulating their affairs, would have said, that the charge upon administratie been approved of by administration ; on, of having at one time given a fancand that their situation was peculiarly tion to the commission for superintending unfortunate, when driven from all con- the Company's affairs, was positively defidence in public faith, and the laws of nied, with respect to such of its memtheir country, they Mould find no secu- bers, as belonged to that House; and rity for their charter privileges even in reasons were brought to shew, why it those very ministers, under whose fanc- could not be well founded with respeito tion they had every poffible reason to others. As to the dangers that were apbelieve they were acting.
prehended from this measure with respect It was much objected to, that the bill to the national credit, they were reprewas brought in at a season, when the sented as merely imaginary; and it was House is always ill attended, and hurri- said, that it would have a totally coned through with a violent, and it was trary effect, as the Dutch, who had faid, indecent precipitation. That a much more money in our public funds, reason of fact was alleged in the pream- than any other foreigners, would think ble, stating the expence of the commis- themselves much safer, when they found fion to be very considerable: and they that the India Company was under the had not before them any account or efti- care and protection of parliament, than mate of the expences actual or probable, if they had been abandoned to their own nor were fupplied with any accounts wild schemes of regulation and managetending to thew the present ability or ment. inability of the Company to bear it; fo That they had no evidence that this that the Lords were to assert facts, and bill was contrary to the Company's inon these facts to ground a law, altering clinations, any more than to their interthe condition, and fufpending the char- ests; that the petition they had heard at ter rights of the Company, without a the bar, was no corporate
and was possibility of knowing whether the facts signed only by fourteen proprietors, out were true or false ; and that with a de- of about seventeen hundred, of which termination to continue uninformed, it the Company consisted; that the valt had been refused to call for the evidence majority by which it was carried through of the directors concerning the expence; the other House, where the most ample or in a matter of such importance, both information was obtained of the Comin itself and its example, to follow the pany's affairs, and the very fmall ancient settled parliamentary course of number that had difsented to it, fufficidefiring a conference with the Commons, ently Thewed the justice, propriety, and in order to be acquainted with the evi- expediency of the measure. Other chardence, which they received as the grounds ges or censures were answered, by the of their proceedings.
fhortness of the time, and the advantage It was said, that it must be a matter the Company might take of parliament of aftonishment to the public, who had during the recess. Upon a division, the for a long time earnestly and anxiously bill was carried by nearly a proportional looked to the Company, or to parlia- majority, to that which had attended it
ing voted for it, to 6 only who opposed melted away insensibly as the frangers its palfing; it was, however, followed increased. by a remarkably pointed and severe pro In this state the Caribbs continued for tcit.
some time, until the French from the Expedition against the Caribbs in the neighbouring islands insinuated them
Ijand of St. Vincent. Some Account of selvis amongst them, being tempted theje People ; Black and Yellow Ca- from the excellence of the soil, and the ribbs; Gelion of the Tand by the late cheap purchases which they made of it, Treaty of Peace. The Caribbs refufe for brandy, and the trifling necessaries to bave their Lands surveyed, and to that are wanted by the savages ; and by Jubmit to the supposed Transplantation. degrees got such footing, as to become New Proposals made and rejected. poilelled of all the fertile vallies that inTroops ordered from North-America ; tersect the mountains on the leeward fide Proposal for Transporting the Caribbs of the island, and to bring them into a to the coast of Africa. Enquiry set on state of cultivation. foot in the House of Commons, as to the Though the French and the Caribbs Nature and Causes of the Expedition ; of both colours, lived in general toWitnesses examined ; Debates; Resolu- gether upon very good terms, and the tions moved, and rejeEled upon a Divi- larter, in process of time, adopted the fion. Treaty concluded with the Cr- religion, and acquired the language of ribbs. Petition from the Captains of the the former; yet the nei
pourhood of Navy for an Addition to their Half- cultivation and villages, was as little Pay; Opposition to the Petition ; ken suited to the convenience and necellities ceived, upon a Division, and the Request of a people, who subsisted principally complied with. Fate of the Disjenters by hunting and fishing, as it was to their Bill. Motion relative to Tests required genius. Mankind, in any state near in the Universities, rejected by a great that of nature, shun crowds, and love Majority.
retirement; ftill willing to live free and AN
N expedition which had been un. unrefirained in their actions, without
dertaken against the Caribbs in the observation or interference. The Caisland of St. Vincent, in the West-In- ribbs accordingly, totally abandoned dies, had occasioned considerable de- their ancient possessions, and retired bates in the course of this session. It to the wind ward and level side of appears that these people consisted of the island. It however appears, though two different races, which, from their we are uninformed as to time and colour, were distinguished by the appel- particulars, that an attempt was once lations of black and yellow Caribbs ; made by the French to enslave these the latter, being descended from the ori- people ; and that the Caribbs defended ginal natives, were the natural proprie- their liberty fo ftoutly, that the French iors of the island ; the former were the were not only glad to renounce the deoffspring of a cargo of African negroes, fign, but were obliged to acknowledge who being on board an English Naving them as a free and independent people. vessel bound to Barbadoes, had been Notwithstanding this migration and caft away upon the coasts of St. Vincent, attempt, a friendly intercourse and corabout a century ago. The negroes hav- respondence was in general continued, ing recovered their liberty by this ac- and the French not only seem to have cient, were hospitably received by the paid a proper attention to their dispofitinatives, and accordingly settled amongst ons and manners, but to have applied themı; but having women of their own, themselves alliduoully to the gaining of they still continued, with some intermix- their friendship and affection; while the ture, a separate people, and soon became Caribbs retained a power of summary numerous. The two nations were not justice in their own hands, by burning more different in their colour, than in ihe houses and plantations of those from their temper and disposition ; the Ame- whom they had received any injury. It is ricans being timid and inoffensive, and probable that these excelles were not ofthe Africans hardy, crafty, suspicious, ten committed: and it does not appear and daring. With these qualities, to- that the French eser considered them as gether with the accession of their runa- fufficient ground for a general quarrel, way countrymen from the neighbouring or revenged them as public injuries. Du islands, they soon became far superior in ring this ttate of affairs, and until th power and number to the natives, who late treaty of peace, the French Kin