페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

of Control, and by the weight of Lord

Cornwal/is's authority.

Having traced the fources of error in the management of Territorial Revenue, it may be neceflary to advert to the errors which tend to perpetuate anarchy and peculation in the other branches of revenue.

If CoJJim Ali could have limited the Company's trade to the import and export trade of its factories, as before 1757, the Mogul's Phirmaund, and the Company's charter, would have anfwered every commercial purpofe of the Company; but the Company grafping at ufurpations of fovereignty, and the Company's fervants grafping at all the internal trade of the Company, the one fet up the pretenfion of levying duties, and Foreign Companies followed their example as far as they could. Conqueft having thrown the power into the hands of the Englifh, the pretenfions of the Company were fan&ioned by Ph'irmaunds; but the fervants of the Company employed them by no other rule than their private intereft, to ftrengthen monopolies,

and eftablifhed decided fuperiority in their adventures over foreign companies and private traders *. The extention of privileges and exemptions granted to the fervants of the Company, could not be granted to foreign companies, without granting in faft, a participation of fovereignty; for the Company's fervants varied the internal duties, at the will of their agents or Banyans, and of their Factors, or Gomajlahs, fuperfeded the civil and criminal jurifdiction of the country. Parliament is pof fefTed of ufeful information on this period -f. The violation of the rights and fources of the revenue of the fovereign is plainly ftated by an able fervant of the Company J. The Nabob CoJJim All, finding it impoflible to participate of the Mogul's revenues, threw open the trade of the country, but the country was not permitted to enjoy his largefs, for he was depofed, and Meer Jaf- f feer was reftored under the condition of implicit obedience to the Company's fervants. At length the abufe of unautho

* Fourth Report Committee of Secrecy.

t Reports of Eafl India Select Committee, 1772.

J Mr. Vanftttart, ad vol. page 99—104.

rifed taxation endangered the territorial revenues *; and notwithftanding the reports in Parliament, and Mr. Grant*s reprefentations, connect the principle and practice of ufurpation with the decline of the Mogul's power, yet all the experiments of reform have hitherto tended only to prune abufes and leave deep-rooted error to invigorate by multiplied fprouts of corruption. I fhall illuftrate this obfervation by tracing, curfbrily, the fyftem of Government impofts or Sair +, under the Company's management previous to 1773. Nine Government Chokees were dependant on three principal Cuftom-houfes; the Packetra at MoorJhedabad, the Buxbunder at Houghley, and the Shawbunder at Dacca; and the Zemindary as well as the Nizamut Chokees had been extended proportionably to Aboabs under which they included all unauthorifed and unconftitutional impofts. The Committee of circuit in 1772! fettled the cuftoms, by allowing Zemindars a compenfation for

* Fourth Report Com. of Seer. 1773—Ninth Report, 1782. t Page 164. J Sixth Report of Committee of Secrecy, 1773

fevcral Chokeei they had eftablimed, to the amount of 9,77,727 Rupees annual abatement of territorial rent, and on a reprefentation that export goods had rifen beyond the prices fuited for the Company's profit in the European market, the Government duty was reduced to 2j per cent; the goods of the Company's fervants were allowed exemptions from duties and tolls; and foreign companies were confined to the privileges of the Phirmaund; they were allowed to declare the cargo; and individuals, under the privilege of their flags, claimed fimilar favour. It is not furprizing that difputes multiplied, and the revenue diminimed under this fyftem.

It may be neceflary to ftate that the eftablimment of a Board of Cuftoms in 1773 confifted of one member of council and four fenior covenanted fervants. The Government Cuftom-houfes at Moorjhedabad, Houghly, and Dacca, were continued ; and one eftablimed at Patna, and another at Calcutta', which brought the Mogul or Government Collection within the Company's boundaries : two other Cuftom-houfes were eftablifhed, one at Malda, to collect duties on goods exported to the Northern parts of Hindojlan; and one at .... to collect on goods exported to the Weftward. The Company's cuftoms were under the cuftom mafter.

I think it may be plainly deduced from the examination of this period, that the Company endeavoured to reduce the importance of Government duties, and to throw them into the fcale of Phirmaund privileges, combined with the intereft of the Company's fervants; and it became neceflary for that purpofe to confound inland duties, and the import and export duties.

It is certain that the Mogul's Phirmaund granted exemption only to articles of import and export by Shipping to or from factories or privileged fettlements ; all articles, whether of manufacture or produce of the country, for exportation, were fubject to the fame charges which affected the natives. Mr. Farifittart and Mr. Haft ings could not diflent from CoJJim Ali on this definition;

« 이전계속 »