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LIEUT.-COLONEL HARRIS. train, so as persons seeking for justice
should not suffer a delay of two, three, Mr. D. Kinnaird rose to ask a ques. or four years. Their sei vants looked to tion, on a subject which would not re the executive body for protection, and it quire much discussion, as he did not mean ought not to be withheld from them. He to say any thing to challenge it ; but he would not say that the government of did think it was one worthy of interesting Bombay was partial, but when an indivithe proprietors very much. The charac- dual was three times acquitted of charges ter of the person he was about to advert preferred against him, and still continued to, was sufficiently well known to insure suspended from his situation, justice was the attention of every unbiassed and dis called for at the hauds of the court of interested proprietor. He alluded to the directors, who ought not to allow the case of Lieut.-Colonel Harris, which was business to remain unsettled, one mnostill under the consideration of the court
ment longer than could possibly be of directors. He should be sorry if any avoided. He asked whether a delay of thing that might fail from him should nine or ten months was not certainly have a sinister effect on the consideration too long, under such circumstances ? of that case: but when he recollected Surely, if they had any regard for their that the memorial was
now for nine
servants, they would not permit military months before the court of directors, and questions to lie over for one, two, or when he beliered it was a case that might three years. He had hoped that a system have been decided ju as many days, he would have been adopteil, to prevent the .could not avoid noticing it. It was very recurrence of such an evil. He had reason hard that justice was not done in this mat to know, that the British goverument did ter; and, in behalf of Colonel Harris, he not suffer any military question to remain must observe, that his character ought not three weeks upanswered, and he knew to have been suffered to lie under an im not why the Company should he less putation for a considerable period, in con prompt and decisive. He stated, some years sequence of, what appeared to him to be, ago, in that court, that not one of their an unnecessary delay. He wished to in commercial accounts in Bengal was left form the court of directors, that there unaudited six months after it was formed, were a great many proprietors exceeding- and he expressed au opinion that their ly interested about ihis investigation, and military references were treated with equal they would feel extremely obliged to the expedition. He was extremely sorry his executive body, if they would hasten it experience now called on him to say, as much as possible. He begged to say that he was grossly mistaken in his opifurther, but without any reference to the nion, and that cases of extreme hardship decision of the court of directors, that had occurred, in consequence of delay. whatever their decision might be, he Such indeed was the system with the held himself bound, from the knowledge court of directors, that it was an age he at present had of that case, to ask before a man could procure justice. for papers on this subject, at a future Twelve months ago, the petition of Lieut. period, in order to enable him to submit Col. Harris was placed in the hands of some motion to the court, with respect the directors. An individual, with whom to the conduct of the government of Bom he was unacquainted, shewed it to him, bay.
and on perusing it, he immediately said, The Chairman—" The case to which the case was so strong that it could not the hon. proprietor has alluded, has re be controverted, it must be set at rest imceived the greatest attention. The papers mediately. It was not, however, yet we have had to examine are very volumi. determined. Was it right, after a service nous, and the matter itself is extremely of twenty-two years, that an honorable intricate, which may satisfactorily ac individual should be treated with such count for the delay complained of. I can, neglect ? He suggested, with great deferhowever, conscientiously say, that the enee, the necessity of meeting all military utmost desire to sift the business to the references promptly. Justice in those, bottom, in all its bearings, prevails as well as in all other cases, depended amongst the directors, and I am in hopes upon the celerity of their proceedings. the court will speedily come to a decision Mr. Grunt begged leave to offer a few
observations on what had fallen from the Mr. Hume said he was happy to hear hon. proprietor who had just spoken. that the investigation was almost brought When they considered the number of to a close, and as the subject was men functionaries employed by government in tioned, he would take the liberty of im the military department, and the very pressing on the executive body that to few whom the dictates of economy alwhich he had, at former courts, solicited lowed to be engaged in that house, it their earnest attention ; namely, that their could not be matter of surprise, that military affairs should be placed in such a questions should be longer ander consi
deration there than at the horse guards. I might feel it to be my duty to bring the As to what the hon. proprietor had conduct of the Bombay government under stated, that, by a different modification the notice of the court of proprietors. I of the military business in that house, say this because the question is very far questions of this kind would be more frem being connected with the case of expeditiously decided, he (Mr. Grant) Colonel Harris alone : its range is iufi. could not see that this would be the case nitely greater. The honorable director at all: because, let the alteration in observes, that delay must necessarily preliminary matters be what it might, ensue, when individuals abroad involve the directors themselves must still finally themselves in difficulty. I must be aljudge every question. That was a power lowed to say, that the character of the which they could not delegate to others. government of Bombay is shaken to its If the matters were digested and laid be foundation by their conduct on this ocfore them, they must still take time to casion.” form their judginent; they could not suf The Deputy Chairman rose to order, fer sa important a branch of their func- The hon. proprietor, he observed, had tions to be exercised by any servant, gone away from the question altogether, however great his talents, and there aud was proceeding with the considerafore, no further expedition would be pro tion of details not before the court. He duced, beyond what at present existed. was prejudging the case and aspersing It was most certain, that delay was to be the character of the government of Bomregretted. But, as the whole of the time bay, by inuendo in the beginning of his of the directors was employed in the speech, and by direct assertion in the transaction of the Company's affairs, it close of it. He lioped the hon. proprictor was to be presumed that they did not would spare such observations, which he create any wilful or unnecessary delay; could not cousider otherwise than as exand if persons abroad involved themselves tremely improper. He had told the in situa:ious of such complicated difficul. court hypothetically, that it might be ty, as rendered it exceedingly hard to his duty to bring the conduct of the Bominvestigate them, it could not be a matter bay government before the proprietors; of surprise or wonder that considerable if he couceived it to be his duty to make delay was occasioned. He conceived Lieut. such a motion, it would of course be Col. Harris's case to be of this descrip- the duty of the directors to attend to it, tion; and whatever the result might be, it but it certainly was improper to introcalled for a long and patient examination duce an ex parté statement on this ocbefore gentlemen could make up their casion. The hon. proprietor possessed opinions upon it. The hon. proprietor much good sense, and lie therefore hoped impressed ou the minds of gentlemen be he would not press the subject further.-hind the bar, the necessity of administer. (Hear! hear !) ing prompt and impartial justice; he Mr. D. Kinnaird certainly did not in. could not see what other motives could tend to enter into any detail of this quespossibly influence then, beyond the desire tion, but he would take leave to say, of distributing strict justice. That object, that his feeling on the subject did not and that only, they always had in view, arise from any personal interest, which he and he hoped they did not acquit them- might be supposed to cherish, with resselves with less propriety and correctness, pect to the individual. He had given a because they took time to consider be sort of half-notice, which he would refore they decided.-- (Hear ! hear!) The peat, was entirely independent of what hon. proprietor, who introduced the sub the result of Lieutenant Colonel Harris's ject, threw out an intimation, at the case might be. If he had not risen to close of his speech, which had something contradict the inference which an hon. like the character of an attempt at inti director had drawn from that notice, it midation. He seemed to insinuate “ jf might have operated to the prejudice of you, the directors, dou't do so and so, I Colonel Harris ; but the motion he would shall call for an inquiry.” Now he was propose, whatever decision the court of ro enemy to inquiry; he was always directors might feel themselves called on glad to promote investigation, when it to give. He was sure they would, and was necessary. But he thought the ob- always did, act to the best of their judge servation of the hon. proprietor was per ment, but he thought some course ought fectly uncalled for, and miglit therefore to be adopted, on all military questions, have been spared.
which might expedite the business, and not Mr. D. Kinnaird." The hon. direc leave individuals in a state of suspense tor has misunderstood me. Perhaps I did. for years. The Company had confidennot make myself suficiently intelligible. tial servants, persons in high authority, I think, however, I gave notice that in that house; and such subjects might whatever was the decision of the court of be referred to one of them, to report his directors, whether favourable or unfa- decided opinion thereon. This could be vourable to Licutenant Colonel Harris, unct by the assent or dissent of the direc
tors, and thus a ground would be formed voluminous documents are to be referred for speedy investigation. Howerer, he to, it requires some 'pause, some consicould only say, as he was not acquainted deration, before a conscientious decision with the details, that his observations cau be made." were meant to call the attention of the Mr. Hume wished to say a few words, directors to this subject. The proposition for the purpose of obviating an observahe had just made, for the purpose of tion which was made by the hon.'direciusuring greater expedition, he saw elici tor, and of shewing the mischief which ted a smile from some of the practical arose from their governments abroad not gentlemen behind the bar. Perhaps his sending home memorials. Major Keeble suggestion might be wrong ; but this he was injured in his health in India : he would say, that, whatever their system drew up a memorial, praying to be sent
it must be bad if it were attended home, which was done : he afterwards with delay, which, in some of the noblest came to the directors for leave to return; documents drawn up by their ancestors, they went to the board of control, wlio was considered as almost tantamount to immediately said, “ No, we will not cona denial of justice.
sent, we have not received his memo, Mr. Hilme begged to state, most ex rial." Here was great injury done to an plicity, that if his lion. friend had not individual from the neglect of the governgiven the notice which he had done, he ment abroad. He therefore contended would himself have given it; and lie that the system should be immediately would further observe, that if his hon. altered. The court of directors, in this friend did not follow up his notice very instance, were placed in a most awkward soon, it was his intention to bring the situation with respect to the board of question under the consideration of the
control, in consequence of the memorial court. Cases, in the highest degree cruel, not having been sent home. Gentlemen hal · arisen, from their governments objected to his round-about general obabroad withholding from the court of di- servations, but he now came to a parrectors the memorials of their servants, ticular point, and he challenged any genwliich ought to be sent to England by the tleman behind the bar to answer it. earliest opportunity. By this means the The hon. W.F. Elphinstone observed, executive body was prevented from doing that the question was not now before the justice. One case to which he intended court. to allude was that of Major Keeble. He Mr. D. Kinnuird-o" My hon. friend drew up a memorial to the court of and myself stand in a very awkward predirectors, but it was not sent home. dicament. Having been stopped once or
The Deputy Chairman, to order twice in the course of our observations, " The hon. proprietor is now going to I fear it will be imagined that we are very another question. It is morally impos- troublesome. But permit me to state, sible to give an opinion on such a that at a quarterly general court, above complicated military question. Its de all others, it is the duty of the proprietails, if gone into, will last you a full tors to start questions and introduce couple of hours, and if you take the points, for elucidation, which they outline which the hon. proprietor wishes might not be ready to do, when a spe's to give, you will depart with certainly an cial court was called for a particular imperfect, and probably an erroneous view purpose. It is our interest not to have of the case. I do not mean to say any general courts called for particular pur. thing uncivil to the hon. proprietor, but poses, if it can be avoided, where a few he undoubtedly takes up matters hastily judicious questions may obviate the necesand unadvisedly. He conceives that Mr. sity of such a measure. I know that the Macpherson is put aside and Mr. Keeble gentlemen on the other side of the bar put forward (Hear ! hear ! from Mr. can have no feeling of jealousy on' acHume) or vice versa, and then, without count of any observation that may fall farther consideration, he proclaims it to 'from individuals on this side of it, and be a hard proceeding. An hon. proprie no imputation can be cast on them, if tor (Mr. D. Kinnaird) observes that the questions, started ou the moment, are case of Colonel Harris has been before not immediately answered.
They may the directors for nine or ten months, not be competent, at the moment, to anwhen it ought to have been decided in as swer au interrogatory.
At the same many days. Yes, it might have been time, it is a fair presumption, as they brought to a conclusion, in the manner in have access to the same sources of inforwhich he and his friend would have set mation which suggest certain questions tled it: (Hear! hear !) but the ques to proprietors, that their attention has tion was, would they decide it properly ? been called to particular points, and that would'they settle it on the right grounds ? they would be ready to give information Nothing is so easy as to say, that a mat on them. I therefore submit it to the ter ought to be so, or ought not to be judgment of the proprietors, whether, so, but where a case is intricate, and when we now and then ask a few qués
tions, which are likely to prevent subjects a certain station the goods purchased being taken up more seriously, we do not amounted to £5000, the salaries of offrender a benefit instead of creating an cers were £2000 a year, perhaps £2,500, evil? I can assure the court it is not done In the ceded districts the expense of for a vexatious purpose, but because we the establishment was 324,000 pagodas, feel that it is as well to have information being thirty-seven and a half per cent. on on particular points."
the whole investinent.
Ju other places
it was ten, fourteen, and sixteen per cent., THE COMPANY'S TRADE.
speaking of salaries only. Now, he askMr. Hume said, he rose to give notice ed if, under these circumstances, they of his intention, at a future court, to could meet competition ? Could they, bring under the consideration of the pro- when the private trader was driving on prietors, the whole of the commercial his trade on the lowest possible scale, transactions of the Company. This hope to meet him in the market with any was a very large question, but in bring degree of success ? He felt that this was ing it forward, he was desirous to a question of the greatest possible imporstate to the gentlemen within the bar, tance ; that it was one which nearly couland also to those without it, that he cerned the vital interests of the Company, had no wish to injure the Company, and therefore could not be entertained too but, on the contrary, he felt most de soon. The papers, on which he founded sirous that the Company's affairs should his statement, were in the power of the be carried on in as profitable a man .court of directors, who could point out ner as possible. He might be asked by his error if he were wrong. If they lookthat court, why he ventured to bring ed to the charges at the different stations forward such a question at present and in the ceded districts, they would find he felt himself bound, in the first instance, there was not one of them in which less to state his reasons for adopting such a than ten per cent. was paid for wages,
From every inquiry he could and in some of them the salaries amountmake, he had been induced to draw this ed to thirty per cent. But exclusive of conclusion, that the Company's commerce wages, there was five per cent. commisto 'Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, with 'sion, factory charges seven and a half per the exception of a very few articles, was cent., three and a half per cent. ou buildcarrying on at a great loss; and if conti- ings, together with the interest of money mned to be longer prosecuted on the pre and various other items; so that they sent system, the Company would be were carrying on a trade in those disa obliged to call for assistance from the tricts at an expense of thirty-six per cent. country, in order to enable them to pro more than what the private trader was ceed. He should now submit to the court in the habit of paying. If the documents one great causc wbich operated to place on which he made those statements were then in this situation. He held in his hand correct, which he submitted they were, statements of all their commercial charges it was clear that they were losing by their at Madras, which he would, when the commerce instead of deriving a profit proper time came, introduce to the court, from it; and therefore, he conceived as a most important document, to be con something ought to be done, and done troverted by their executive body, if pos- speedily. In justice to the court of die sible. It purported to be the amount of rectors he must state, that, for the last six expense incurred simply for salaries. mouths they had had this question under From this it appeared, that the expense cousideration, and had made several reon an investment of ten lacs cf pagodas, ductions ; but, if an alteration were not for salaries alone, was one lac eleven effected in the shipping and other departthousaud pagodas, being ten per cent. on ments, it would be impossible for the the investment for the year, which invest- Company to meet the private merchant. ment was about £100,000. This, coup The Chairman-Iliope the court will Jed with other expenses, which he would not separate under the impresssion that detail when he subinitted his motion to we are carrying on trade at a great loss. the court, shewed that the Company now When there are many goods in the marcarried on their trade at a charge of twen- ket, when it is glutted with certain arti. ty-five per cent. beyond what the private cles, some loss must be sustained; but I trader could procure the same articles for. will maintain, and I will prove, when the He demanded the particular attention of accounts are brought before the court, the court to this question. He liad' in his that tie Company's commercial affairs possession a statement of their commer have met with the greatest attention, that cial expenses at the different presidencies their expenses are formed on the scale under the Madras government, and he of economny, and that the result of their regretted to say, that on the amount of trade, compared with that of individuals, goods purchased at those respective sta is creditable to the gentlemen behind the tions, the salaries chargeable were extra bar and profitable to ourselres.[/lear! vagantly highi. For justauce, where on a hear 1)
the point of standing before his constitu
He hoped and trusted that the Mr. Hume said, that seeing an hon. ex
hon, ex-director would clear himself from director in his place, he was anxious to
the imputation, so improperly, he would ask a question of the utmost importance.
not say cruelly, because he did not think He hoped the hon. gentleman would feel,
his hon, friend would do a cruel action, that in bringing this subject before the
cast upon his character. If this were a court, he acted with great reluctance; but charge that ought to be elucidated before the honor and welfare of the Company
the day of election, he conceived that depended on their executive body holding
some notice ought to have been given to a high and unimpeached character; and
the hon. ex-director, that it was intendwhen that character was attacked in the
ed to be this day brought under the conperson of an individual member, he trust.
sideration of the court.-(Hear ! hear !) ed that no censure would attach to him
-He was persuaded the hon. ex-director for noticing the circumstance.
would feel the necessity for his own sake, not unknown to many gentlemen, both within and without the bar', that a charge after what had passed, of offering some
and for the sake of the Company at large, of the most serious nature ever brought explanation on this subject at a proper against a public man, had been preferred time, and he trusted that his hon.friend against an hon. ex-director. It was one
would perceive the propriety of foregoing of the most extraordinary charges he had ever heard of, and he hoped the hon.
any farther proceedings at present. The
hon, ex-director might, through the me. gentleman would be able to repel it.-
dium of the newspapers, address his jus(Cries of order!)
tification to the proprietors at large, or The Chairman--" The lion. proprietor he might offer it in that court on another is vow attacking an individual, not on do
occasion. He hoped nothing more would cuments regularly laid before the court,
be said about it now; but he thought but on certain printed statements, and I that some notice ought to be taken of it ask of him, and of the court, whether
between this day and the time of election. that be a direct and proper proceeding?" If the proprietors had known, that the
Mr. Hume-"I throw myself entirely subject was to be introduced this day, he on the court. It is gratuitously taken, that was convinced there would have been a I mean to attack the hon. ex-director; I much fuller attendance. It rested entirely declare that my intention is misunder with the feelings of the hon. gentleman stood, I mean quite the contrary. I can whether he would demand inquiry at the not agree in the sentiment of the hon. present moment. It struck him, however, Chairman, that we have nothing to do ihat the court was taken by surprise, with this business, because we have not and that the gentleman accused was in printed documents before us. I, and
some degree unprepared for a proceeding many others, expected that the subject of this description. The proprietors had would be brought before the court in it now a very serious matter to consider; regular manner this day. The hon. ex namely, whether, having heard thus far, director stands charged by a gentleman they would stop where they were or go lately high in your service, with most im farther? proper conduct, and I hope some explana- : Colonel Allan said, he, in common with tion will be afforded to the proprietors on the rest of the court, was completely taken this subject.”-(Cries of order !)
by surprise on this occasion. He had Mr. S. Dixon said, he hoped nothing of however, yesterday received a letter from this kind would be allowed to be brought Colonel Wilks on this subject. It was a forward on the present day. As the hon. private letter, but with the permission of ex-director, (with whom he was unac the court he would have it read, as well quainted, whose name he did not even as a letter which it inclosed. The incloknow,) was likely to become a candidate, sure was a letter addressed by Colonel be hoped there was charity sufficient, in Wilks to the editor of the Quarterly Re
every man's breast, to prevent any un vlew, in answer to certain observations on