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the Company's accounts proved the Company's payment of inland duty on falt *; but the Company's fervants voted that Phirmaunds gave exemptions from internal duties. CoJJim Alt was depofed, and Meer Jaffeer by treaty f exempted the Company from all duties except the duty of 2i per cent. on falt, which ftrengthened the monopoly of the fervants of the Company, by fubjecting foreigners to the government duties from which they exempted their own concerns; and alfo from Zemindary duties, by indemnifying Zemindars by the government rents; and there was a degree of indulgence to foreigners actually- annexed to the regulation. The French and Dutch had been the chief importers of falt; and by a fubfequent inveftigation in 1776, the report of the ColleStor of Cuftoms, and of the Canongoes, afcertained that the old duty on fa/t J had been 2f per cent. on MuJJulmen; 5 and 6per cent. on Hindoos, and 4 per cent. on European importers. The foreign companies therefore continued to import to their factories fubfequent to 1773, and paid 2§ per cent. on exporting it from thence into the country. The Committee of Circuit and the Bengal Government anticipated the order of the act of parliament *. The abufes and fmuggling were laid open; the revenue on falt had funk under 5 lacks; and the refumption of the falt mahals, and the fale of falt by public auction, was fettled in 1772, for the purpofe of bringing to the account of Government all the profits which the Company's fervants and their Banyans had received from the period of Meer Jaffeers treaty; and the Directors confirmed the arrangements in 1775 and in 1776+. The difficulty which then occurred feems imputable to the impoffibility of annihilating competition, the natural corrective of extortionMr. Francis inveighed ftrongly againft the monopoly of falt in 1/75, for it then operated to annihilate its manufacture. The confumption of falt in Bengal was that year computed at 20 lacks, of which 15 lacks was imported from the coaft. Mr. Haftings propofed to ftrengthen the monopoly by a total prohibition of importation; and Mr. Francis admitted that if a prohibition was not ifiued, the French, Danes, and Dutch, would abforb all the falt trade; but that fuch prohibition would not be acquiefced in. It was deemed expedient to check the import of falt, by an additional duty on country veflels of 20 rupees per 100 maunds of falt, which, with the old duty, made it amount to 30 rupees. European veflels were to remain on the old duty. An European on board, or an European certificate, however, eluded the regulation*, and a new experiment became neceflary. Mr. Hajlings, 24th September, 1776, fuggefted the different modes of better managing the falt mahah\\ and in 1777 the plan was propofed to farm the mahah \ to make no advances, but to include the duty in the rent, to be paid in coin, and to admit of no balances; confequently the fale and diftribution of falt was to be at the rifque of the farmer. Zemindars were to have the refufal of their diftricts; but it was obvious that the farmer muft have great capital and mercantile connections, and muft be found chiefly in other defcriptions of men. The Zem'todars would not engage on this plan; and an additional duty of 30 per cent. was added to foreign falt; and an offer was made by Government in 1780 to make advances to Zemindars if the}> would engage; but they ftill refuted. The plan of Mr. Ha/tings, in September 1780*, on the principle of the firft monopoly of the Prefident and Council, was adopted by the Board. His minute explains the caufes of former failures, and their remedy. All the falt of. the provinces to be provided for the ufe of the Company, and fold for ready money, by agents luperintending the manufacture in fix different diftricts, under a Comptroller and his efhUifhment, with an allowance of a commiHion of 10} per cent. befides their falaries, to be eftimated on the ** dif
* Vanfittart, 2d vol. page 143.—151.—271.
t Fourth Seleft Report, p. 481, 1772. Company's printed Treaties, p. 114.
\ This does not appear to have been the general tariff on all articles; the Colle&or of Patna reported in 1773' that the Hindoos ufed to pay 7 J per cent. on Broad Cloth.
* Bengal Letter, yth February 1773. t Ninth Sele£t Eaft India Report, 1783. Appendix No. 30.—No. 33.
ference between the fum of all the antecedent expences of whatever kind; and the produce of the fales, the duty included, of all the falt brought to account of the Company in the divifion, whether by manufacture or confifcation, to be diftributed in proportion of one fourth to the Comptroller, three fourths to the agent, of each divifion refpecYively;" and to ftrengthen the monopoly, a total prohibition was laid on the importation of coaft or foreign falt, which took effect on ift January, 1781, and falt has ever fince been a productive fource of revenue.
The foreign companies appealed to their Phirmaunds, in which they could not find the right to control the Sovereign will, but had unqueftionable rights, if the Company's conftruction of a Phirmaund was allowed to be correft. The Englifi merchants, who had put all regulation of duties to defiance, could not evade a general prohibition, joined in clamour againft the monopoly, as oppreflive to the country, and fupported the pretenfions of foreigners as the means of emancipating their trade.