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we doubt extremely. With what do they propose to pay the Chinese in return for teas, silks and nankins? Not with woollens or metals from home, because these cannot be disposed of among the Chinese but at a great loss; the Hong merchants must still continue to take them from individuals, as they take them from the Company. Will they pay them with cotton from Bombay and opium from Calcutta? The former they will find already monopolized by the resident merchants, and the latter is strictly prohibited by the Chinese. How then, as some of the merchants pretend, the trade to India is not worth having, unless that to China be thrown open, we are quite at a loss to comprehend. But, as far as India is concerned, to which the Company neither trade so cheaply nor so largely, as the subjects of the British empire both there and at home have a right to expect, we would throw open the trade, by which all parties, even the Company itself, must ultimately be benefited. The observations of Lord Melville, with which we shall conclude this part of the subject, are to us at least decisive on this point.

'As far as relates to the trade with India, and several other countries, included within the limits of the Company's charter, the court does not appear to have succeeded in establishing the proposition, that any detriment will arise to the public interest, either in this country or in India, or ultimately even to the Company themselves, from the introduction of private adventurers. If the Company carry on their trade more expensively, and with less activity and industry than private individuals, it is unjust to the country, as well as to the inhabitants of British India, that the exclusive monopoly should be continued; and in such a state of things the trade is more likely to be advantageous to the country, and beneficial to the individuals, in their hands, than in those of the Company; but if the latter shall conduct it with skill and enterprize, and with due and unremitting attention to economy, the extent of their capital, and the superior facilities which they must continue to possess of providing their investment in India at the cheapest rate, will undoubtedly afford them the means of successful rivalship with all other competitors."

We are now arrived at that point in our journey where the plain and straight-forward highway of commerce branches out into the intricate paths of dominion—where the merchant, in fact, consigns us over to the sovereign. It is not our intention, however, to dwell long on the merits of the Company in that capacity; it is the less necessary, on the present occasion, from its opponents having disclaimed any wish to interfere with its territorial rights or political privileges ;-in other words, they give themselves no concern about the sixty millions of their fellow subjects in India, be

* Letter from Lord Melville to the Chairman, &c. 21st March, 1812.

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yond the free liberty of trading with them. His Majesty's ministers, however, will find it not quite so easy to shake them off thus. They manifested, indeed, at a very early period of the discussion, a disposition to go much beyond any of the petitioners against the renewal of the charter; and, among other important changes,' to effect an alteration in the military system in India, for the removal of those jealousies and divisions which have unfortunately been too prevalent between the different branches of the military service in that quarter;'--and for the correction of the anomalous system of divided responsibility which prevails at present in this country, in every thing that relates to the military defence of India.* The shortest and most effectual way of doing this was stated to be the transfer of the Indian army to the crown.' But the temperate arguments of the two Chairs+ induced ministers to relinquish this part of their plan, and to propose other measures for promoting the discipline and efficiency of the army in India.'— It is possible, however, that the altered tone of the Directors may induce ministers to go beyond what they had intended.

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Mr. Dundas had announced to the Chairs, so early as December, 1808, the earnest desire of His Majesty's government to suggest to parliament such a system only as should be conformable to the principles on which the Regulations of 1784 and 1798 were founded.' The subsequent proposition for taking the army out of the hands of the Company was looked on, by many, as a signal departure from, and as a step that would lead, by no slow degrees, to the entire subversion of, that system-probably to the annihilation of the Company as to its sovereign character. It was accordingly observed, on the part of the Chairs, that if they were to be no longer masters of a single regiment, no longer capable of entertaining any soldiers, nor of giving one subaltern's commission; if the immense body of men who have so long looked up to them were to be transferred from them, the people must consider their power as fallen, and drawing rapidly to a close.' We think so too. The sovereigns of sixty millions of subjects, and seventeen millions of territorial revenue, should not be thus stripped of their troops and left even without a body guard. It seems but fair to continue to them the command of an army raised out of the population of those territories which they have the merit of having acquired, improved, and protected, if it be intended to leave them in possession of those territories. We do not say that both the one and the other ought not to be annexed to the crown of Great Britain,

* Letter from the Right Honourable R. Dundas, dated 28th December, 1898. + Letter of the 13th January, 1809, Printed Papers, page

Letter to Mr. Dundas, 15th January, 1809.

te

to which, as a matter of right, they unquestionably belong, and an ample indemnification made to the East India Company; but, deprive them of either, and the system of 1793 no longer exists; the avowed principle of which was, that the Indian patronage, civil and military, should be kept entirely out of the hands of the servants of the crown-at any rate, in whatever hands the government of India may be finally settled, the civil and military power should be united.

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The arguments of the chairman and deputy chairman, in reminding the president of the India Board of the determination of an adherence to, while he was actually departing from, the old system, are sufficiently ingenious and forcible, but by no means conclusive. We think too that they overrate the merits of their own officers, in supposing that they alone possess that happy mixture of bravery and generosity, of firmness and kindness, exercised towards the sepoys by their European officers.' But be it so; admit that the sepoys require to be commanded by officers who have been trained up among them, who know and respect their prejudices, who are acquainted with their character and customs, and who speak their language;-we are not to suppose that those officers will at ouce part with their qualifications by the mere transfer of their services from the Company to the King. In transferring the army, the officers, who are the most essential part of it, were necessarily intended to be included; and if it should be found that the constitution of that army is best adapted for the service of India, there could be no desire on the part of ministers to alter it. No one will refuse the merit that is due to the Company's officers, who have always deserved well of their country when opposed to the enemy; but the directors themselves avow the policy, we might add, the necessity,-of keeping at all times a certain proportion of king's troops in India. So long as this shall be the case, whilstwo armies, so differently constituted, are serving the same country on the same spot, while the officers of one of these armies are in the enjoyment of emoluments and advantages' from which those of the other are excluded; whilst these, again, young, and of no Indian experience, having obtained their commissions by purchase, take rank of men of long and tried service-we fear there is no great probability of any termination of

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those jealousies and divisions' which have too much prevailed between the officers of His Majesty's army and those employed by the Company. Whatever disadvantages might result from the consolidation of the Indian army with the King's troops, it would at least have the good effect of allaying all jealousies on the score of difference of rank and emolument.

At the same time we are aware that the experiment could not

be

be made without some risk of exciting a spirit of insubordination among the sepoys. These people, so remarkably the creatures of habit, and the slaves of prejudice, might easily be tampered with. A few mischievous spirits would find but little difficulty in misrepresenting the measure, in raising doubts and alarms in their minds, and in exciting them to a general mutiny. A sepoy army is indispensable without it the government of India could not possibly be administered, nor the country held for a month; it is the main instrument by which it has been acquired and must be retained. The foundation of our power in India is laid in the minds of the people, out of whom the army is taken. All the inferior offices of the revenue, of police, and of detail, in every branch of the government are, and must be, filled by natives. We fought battles and governed provinces as the native powers did; and our new subjects, undisgusted with the sight of a foreign conquering army, supposed the government to continue substantially the same, and the principal change to be in the individuals who exercised it.' This was the system adopted by Lord Clive, whose valour opened the way to the conquest of India, but whose wise policy consolidated our power there by entwining his laurels round the opinions and prejudices of the natives.'

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Too great caution cannot be observed in the measures taken for reducing the expenditure of the military establishment; and on no account would it be wise, at the present moment, to deprive the officers and subalterns of those little allowances which, from long usage, they have been taught to consider as their due. The reduction of the native army should be very gradual, even that of the staff; and no reduction ought to be made as to uumbers, it being of the first importance to keep the sepoys together as much as possible. War with them is an hereditary profession; it is their only means of subsistence: disband them, and they will immediately seek service under another master, and turn their arms and their

military experience against us. A warlike attitude must be preserved in the midst of peace. No trust can be placed in the good faith of the native powers; the treaties which they make with us are made only to be broken whenever it may suit their purpose. Their hostility is, therefore, always sudden-too sudden to allow of looking for succours from home. As we govern in the minds of the natives, we should never risk a defeat; the success of our arms carries with it a charm which the loss of a battle might dissolve.

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It would be a most happy circumstance, if the anomalous ystem of divided responsibility' could be corrected,' and one sole commander-in-chief, appointed by the King, be charged with

the

the undivided responsibility of providing for the military defence of India. In the same person should unquestionably be united the powers of the governor-general and commander-inchief. We cannot agree with the directors that because the King appoints the commander-in-chief of his own troops in India, and they appoint the commander-in-chief of the Company's troops, 'the law, as it now stands, is wisely conceived, since it does not. halve the responsibility, but double it:'-we should rather say with Lord Melville that it is an anomalous system of divided responsibility' between His Majesty's ministers and the Court of Directors, from which nothing but discord and confusion could well be expected. The civil and military authority, as we before observed, should be inseparably united, and placed in the hands of the Governor General, and himself alone made responsible.

It is to be hoped, at any rate, that on whomsoever the responsibility for the safety and defence of India shall rest, he will be relieved from the operation of that clause in the act of 1793 which declares it to be unlawful for the governor-general, &c. either to declare war or commence hostilities, or enter into any treaty for making war against any of the country princes or states in India without the express command and authority of the Court of Directors or Secret Committee, by the authority of the Board of Commissioners for the affairs of India.' If Clive and Hastings had waited for orders from the Court of Directors, or Cornwallis and Wellesley from the Board of Controul, India had long since ceased to be an object of interest or concern to Great Britain. Fatal might the consequences have been, if Lord Wellesley had waited for instructions from home to attack Tippoo Sultaun when he was stirring up all India for our expulsion: he assumed the discretionary power with which it is to be hoped all future governors-general will be intrusted, and the consequence was that, in spite of an act of parliament and a resolution of the House of Commons, the Park and Tower guns announced, nearly at the same moment that the intelligence of the war was received, the final overthrow of the tyrant.

The natives of India are not insensible of the benevolent intentions of the Company's government, and of individuals in its service, towards improving their condition. Their exertions, indeed, for effecting this humane purpose have been made without the semblance of applying force or inspiring fear. By gentle and persuasive means they have succeeded, in a great degree, in putting a stop to those horrible customs of destroying female infants, and burning widows with their deceased husbands. Every day the good effects are more and more visible which a just and beneficent government

produces

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