« 이전계속 »
and in common cafes the want of data precluded decifion on principles of jujlice and policy; and that uncertain decifiou led invariably either to diminution of revenue, or to confirmation of oppreflive 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 confufion could never be adjufted. In this dilemma, Sir John Shore recommended that the ten years fettlement, promulgated to the country as permanent, mould be confidered by Government as a period of experiment; if it mould be found impracticable to collect the tribute under the acknowledged inequality of affeflment, a due diftribution of it might prevent the diminution of revenue; that the new principle would be better introduced by degrees than eftablifhed beyond the power of revocation, but that during the ten years the ajjejfment at all events mould be unalterable; that he was not forry Mr. Law's plan had been executed, as the experiment would lead to farther experience, which may affift in determining the general queftion; but he was convinced that many confequences of the plan appeared in a dif* ferent light in practice than they appeared, to him when under difcuffion; and on the whole, that the fundamental principle of the plan, if confirmed, muft be corrected by annulling the parts which have a direct: tenclancy to fubvert it, and Government muft fubmit to refcind what it has approved *. I trace Sir John Shore's exploded opinions, fupported in England by documents, for which Mr. Roufe acknowledges his obligation to Sir John Shore in his anfwer to Mr. Grant's Inquiry into Ze~ mindary Tenures f. It is no part of my inveftigation to alcertain in what degree Lord Cormvallis was embarrafled when Sir John Shore left him to amend his acknowledged errors; I make no. doubt, all the circumftances were con fide red; otherwife he would not have been recommended to the honourable marks of Royal favour, and fent back to India as fucceflbr to the 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 diflertation of the Secretary of the Board of Control, the opinion of that meafure in India may be collected from the Dedication of jlgricola's Letters to 'Thomas Graham, Efq. Prefident of the Board of Revenue *, in the following extract:
"When I firft committed my fentiments to the public on the finance of this country, I little expected the important decifion regarding the Zemindars' proprietary rights in the foil would be fo foon pafled, or I mould have forborne treating of the fubject, or endeavoured to Jo it on a plan, confonant to fuch decifion. I fhall avoid giving my opinion at prefent on the propriety or neceffity of fuch an acknowledgement on our part, nor is it any longer neceflary to inveftigate their claims to it, but permit me to obferve, that the nature of their prefent tenures has wholly changed their relation to the Company, and that this change involves a queftion of the higheft* importance to their interefts. Before I hazard any decifive opinion on the above, permit me to afk, whether our fyftem of finance is not wholly founded on the contrary idea, viz. " that the Zemindars are not the proprietors of the foil; at leaft I can view it in no other light: I have endeavoured to expofe the feveiiry and impolicy of our conduct, even under that conftruction of their privileges, but I, even now, queftion whether the terms injuftice and violence are not more applicable and expreffive of it.
* General Obfervationi of the Mode of Aflefling and levying the Land Tax, by Agncola. Calcutta, 1791.
"Mr. Law, in his Mocurrerry plan, has tacitly denied the Zemindars' proprietary rights in the foil, and I am induced to attribute the many inconfiftencies which he has iallen into, to the difficulty of acknowledging fnch rights without adopting an entire new fyftem; for it will clearly appear, if their rights be admitted,' that all our regulations are diametrically in oppofition to their exercife thereof. If the Zemindars are the proprietors of the foil, may 1 a(k Mr. Law on what authority or title he claims about one fixth of the country as Crown land before we even inverted them with this nominal right? we never confidered the cultivated and uncultivated lands as the property of different perfons, and under the Moghul government the Zemindars were afleficd for both alike; a plan which ftrikes me to have equity and good policy for its principle, and which I have adopted. Notwithftanding Mr. Law has made this curious refervation, he yet talks of the advantage the Zemindars are to derive from the increafed cultivation of their ertares, which leaves a doubt of his meaning when he fpeaks of Crown lands.
"I cannot but regret that the Zemindars are declared the proprietors of the foil, as it muft prove an almoft infurmountable obftacle to fecure the Reyuts from opprcffion, without a continued infringement of their privileges, of which, no doubt, they will became highly^V<z/0«.r, whenever they come to underftand more fully the mean