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their treaiury accounts the proc. crog the dijwid of them, uał W zrui and lois on exchange

the expiration of the year 11 Tucos except Srcas be receiras 1: cries of the Collectors, it bei

2 of Government to put a lot rency of every other species i E..it perioda

This ten years settlement, and new definition of persons, deliberately resolved on, were published, Zemindars were invited to subscribe to it, but scarce had they reached the more distant stations than they were followed by orders cancelling parts of the agreement; for Government found, by the experience of three months, strong objections which ought to have been foreseen by a cursory view of the proceedings of the revenue departments referred to in the above order, and particularly by the correspondence of Sir John Shore and Mr. Law*. The first operation of the article * affećting Absentees appeared in the accounts Havillee Bahar, in those districts of Bahar in which the Mocurrerry settlement had then taken place : the newly defined proprietors were dispoffessed solely on account of their absence; of 70 villages, confifting of 22,452 Begas, assessed at 18,535 rupees ; and 40 villages of 10,760 Begas, assessed at 10,569 rupees, were refused by the proprietors on the conditions offered by

-t'at the above resolutions

o the Collectors of Beich - be directed to prepare te of a settlement according: tions of them, adriiing.cz ine, if anr objections thout chem, either as to tåepre! bility of them, to lube: ! ions, any other propos may deem more eligiöt

* Sketch of late Arrangements. Stockdale, 1792.

Ibid. p. 117.

the Collector ; and 4 villages, consisting of 2,679 Begas, aflessed at 773 rupees, were taken from proprietors without any cause assigned ; and in other parts of the return the detail was by no means sufficiently explained. Sir John Shore could

not withstand public opinion, supported by · such official evidence, and he confessed that

the Mocurrerry, plan, professing to establish hereditary estates with fixed rents *, in practice, established an Ideal permanency ; that the rules which he had deemed adequate to secure Zemindars in their rights, and the Reyuts from oppression, though numerous, had proved indefinite and arbitrary; that the undefined relation of Zeinindars with Talookdars and Reyuts, which he conceived would have been settled by defining the relation of Zemindar to the sovereign, and by leaving the Zemindar to settle with the dependants on his landed property, had brought forward cases which the Revenue Board were unable to understand or define;

* Sketch of late Arrangements; Mr. Law's Letter to John Shore, Esq. President, and Members of the Board of Revenue, p. 48.

and in common cases the want of data precluded decision on principles of justice and policy; and that uncertain decision led invariably either to diminution of revenue, or to confirmation of oppreslive exaction ; that he was therefore convinced, if the Zemindars were left to make their arrangements with the Reyuts, which was the fundamental principle of the Mocurrerry plan, the confusion could never be adjusted. In this dilemma, Sir Fohn Shore recommended that the ten years settlement, promulgated to the country as permanent, should be considered by Government as a period of experiment; if it should be found impracticable to collect the tribute under the acknowledged inequality of assessment, a due distribution of it might prevent the diminution of revenue ; that the new principle would be better introduced by degrees than established beyond the power of revocation, but that during the ten years the asesment at all events should be unalterable ; that he was not sorry Mr. Law's plan had been executed, as the experiment would lead to farther experience, which may assist in determining the general quef

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tion; but he was convinced that many consequences of the plan appeared in a dif, ferent light in practice than they appeared to him when under discussion; and on the whole, that the fundamental principle of the plan, if confirmed, must be corrected by annulling the parts which have a direct tendancy to subvert it, and Government must submit to rescind what it has approved *. I trace Sir John Shore's exploded opinions, supported in England by documents, for which Mr. Rouse acknowledges his obligation to Sir John Shore in his answer to Mr. Grant's Inquiry into Zemindary Tenures t. It is no part of my investigation to ascertain in what degree Lord Cornwallis was embarrassed when Sir John Shore left him to amend his acknow. ledged errors; I make no doubt, all the circumstances were considered; otherwise he would not have been recommended to the honourable marks of Royal favour, and sent back to India as successor to the

“We 1 ments to the country, I lizzie es ciion regarding the rights in the Bil or I should have fubject, or endeav consonant to such giving my opinion

* Substance of Sir John Shore's Minute, $th Dec. 1789.

† Mr. Rouse's Dissertation, 1790.

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Marquis Cornwallis; but while the public opinion in England was reconciled to the definition of the Zemindar actual proprietor and liege lord, by the learned dissertation of the Secretary of the Board of Control, the opinion of that measure in India may be collected from the Dedication of Agricola's Letters to Thomas Graham, Esq. President of the Board of Revenue *, in the following extract:

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“ When I first committed my sentiments to the public on the finance of this country, I little expected the important decision regarding the Zemindars' proprietary rights in the soil would be so soon passed, or I should have forborne treating of the subject, or endeavoured to do it on a plan consonant to such decision. I shall avoid giving my opinion at present on the propriety or necessity of such an acknowledgement on our part, nor is it any longer necessary to investigate their claims to it,

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* General Observations of the Mode of Aflefling and levying the Land Tax, by Agricola. Calcutta, 1791.

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