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'manufacture of cloth or falt, might alfo he handfomely paid by a per centage, but that the quantum of the per centage, whether equal in all, or varied in the different branches of revenue as at prefent, muft be the refult of deliberate confideration, as muft alfo the diftribution of infpection of fuperiour Boards. I conceive that a landed revenue Board might control all the collections of territorial revenue, and the commercial branches, in which advances are neceflary; for where manufactures can be beft promoted, an inveftment agent might be appointed: where falt is the manufacture, a falt agent might be appointed; and where there is no manufacture, advances to the Reyut muft be made by the Zemindar, or the collector. The confignment of goods and the trade, both import and export, might become a fimplified fyftem, under the head of foreign import and export; for no inland trade, according to fuch plan, would be fubjected to Government taxes, except falt and grain; the one operating as an excife by the fale of falt, and the other as a provident regulation to avert famine and encourage agriculture, by the
management of public granaries, and the regulation of Bazars, on certain report of the circum fiances of the country, and recorded evidence of the fupply of grain in every diftrich It is no wonder Government has been puzzled, and that orators have not found limits to their imagery.— Merchants, who are opprefled with vexatious reftri&ions in the branches of trade which are left to them, are not unlikely to exaggerate; but commiffiouers under the prefent act and directors, muft inveftigate and difcriminate real from artificial grievance, and draw the line of policy and juftice: by fome reprefentations it might be fuppofed, that the prohibition of import of coaft falt, was a prohibition of the rice trade. A zealous advocate for the encouragement of agriculture in Bengal, admits that under the difcouragement of the export of grain freighted in veflels which return empty from the coaft, the corn trade has produced, one year with another, 20 per cent profit *. We have known the extent to which the Bengal provinces af
* Jgricola's Letter 5, p. 27.
forded rice to the coaft in 1782; and I have heard that the price of rice rofe in 1783 on an embargo being laid on its exportation. The danger of letting in European fpeculation uncontrolled into inland trade, may be evidenced by the confequences of the partial inundation in 1787 in Bengal; rice was then advanced i o per cent. higher iu price than it had been during the real famine of 1771. If Government is either ignorant or corrupt, the people are equally expofed to fictitious and to real fcarcity.
Having • brought to view the neceflary connection of financial and commercial interefts of Britijh India, I muft not omit to ftate, that a fubferviency of the interefts of commerce to the political limits of the Company's fettlement at Calcutta, felferected into an independent kingdom, formed part of the phantom which vanifhed when the veil was drawn from Indian politics. The artificial denomination of import and export to and from Calcutta by fhipping, and the import and export by boats to and from Calcutta inland, to engrofs, according to circumftances, all the exactions of which European and Mogul practice could afford a precedent, proved unprofitable to the Company, and cannot be maintained in any degree under the prefent act. I have inferted the revenue regulations of lippoo Sultaun to guide our view of a native government, from my conviction, that if a defpot finds the necefr fity of reducing his government to definite rule, a Britijh Parliament will not be fatiffied with emulating his juftice, but will alfo avert his oppreffion. The coafting trade of Britijh India might be extended to confiderable importance; it was but the other day that Tillicherry was to be abandoned; and our prefent more - extended profpects of benefit from the Malabar coaft did not arife from the commercial views of Directors or Government, but from the honourable principle of Lord Cornwallis, who would not defert the Corgee Rajah. And notwithftanding Curwar and Mangalore remain to fippoo, and we have not a port fouth of Bombay, a provident ufe of the coaft fouth of Mount Delhi will amply repay the protection of the whole Malabar coaft. Baliapatnam was the Emporium for the rare produce of Corgee, and the fouthern branches of its river penetrate through the Cherickel country into Cotiete, therefore Baliapatnam, or the Great City, might again acquire more than nominal greatnefs, and the produce of the country, now carried over land to Tillicherry, might, with many other articles, be conveyed by water. On the fame principle of local convenience, Eeypour has the advantage of Calicut; and formerly the Zamonns dominions fupplied the dock yard at Bombay with the beft timber for building and mafls. Among the favourable profpects of commercial fpeculation opened to Britijh India may be reckoned the decay of Tippoo's commerce, who poffibly was advifed to imitate the Company's late fluctuating policy and monopoly. It has been obferved by a gentleman well informed, that Tippoo, by hrs extortion, has loft half of the revenue from commerce which his father received; for Hyder Ally concurred in I'ippoo's political opinion of the propriety of checking European trade, to throw the fpecie into the hands of the Mufcat merchants; and he loaded the com