« 이전계속 »
rectors were confirmed by Mr. Shore, "whofe judicious reflections had been perufed with much attention," and that Mr. Francif's opinion, in January 1776, is referred to in confirmation of it, will not be furprifed that the fame letter fnould follow up the approbation, with doubts of the propriety of Sir John Macp.herfott's inftruction to the Committee of Revenue to encourage Zemindars to pay their revenue immediately to the Khalfia, and to reject, as nugatory, both Sir John Macpherfon's plans to avoid balances; the one in October, 1783, to appoint a department to collect balances only; the other in 1787, not to remit balances without the exprefs order of the Directors, but to accept the fecurity of the Zemindary, and le^al intereft on the amount of the arrears; the latter judicious meafure, to cut off the traffic of rcmifiion or fraudulent balances, in the letter of 12th April, is called, ** charging Zemindars in arrear with an additional afleflment of 12 or 13 per cent.:" and when the letter is found finally to conclude with laying down the Directors' principles and rules of conftrudtion of the ad of 1784, and the fteps neceffary to precede the execution of the fyftem refulting from their refearches, though entrufted oftenfibly to Sir John Macpherfon's integrity and zeal, feem in fad: intended, as they proved to be, the inftruction to his fucceflbr, and to anticipate a fanction to the fyftem which Sir John Shore executed immediately after the arrival of the Marquis Cornwallis in India. Thefe obfervations I mean to apply to the neceffity of correct inveftigation as the bans of comprehenfive control, for the purpofe of fubftantial juftice to the individual, or to the public; the intereft of an individual in a high ftation was here involved; but it is unneceflary for me to complicate the prefent inveftigation with the interefts of individuals. Sir John Macpherfon had fucceeded to the government under the provifion of an exifting act of Parliament; and about the date of the above-mentioned letter, a friend of Sir John Macpherfon's, then in Parliament, who had no claim to minifterial confidence, ftated his conftruction of the act, and inquired whether Sir John Macpherfon was to be fuperfeded from motives of expediency
or of difapprobation. Mr. Dundas, in my hearing, told the member, that though he had a good opinion of Sir John Macpherfon, and he had recommended him to a mark of his Majefty's favour, he thought it his duty to endeavour to fend to India a perfon whom it would be no difgrace to Sir, John Macpherfon to make way for. An opinion fo given was no ftate fecret: whence it follows that there was lefs management or concealment in the Prefident of the Board of Control, than in the correfpondence of the Directors. Sir John Macpherfon was created a Baronet, June 10, 1786. Lord Cornwallis was appointed Governor General, and the defects in his appointment were legalized by a fpecial a£t of Parliament: the defe&s in Sir John Macpherforfs removal from his Government were not legalized, poffibly from the confideration, that the facrifice of the fituation of an individual, to the public, might fafely be left to the generofity of the Company and of the Board of Control, who had not, on fuch occafions, been deficient in juftice or in liberality. Confining myfelf, therefore, to the public confideration, as connected with parliamentary control, I look to the Directors' Letter of April 1786, for their conftruction of the act of 1784.
They "apprehend the defign of the Legiflature was merely to declare general principles for the regulation of their conduet towards natives, not to introduce a novel fyftem ;" and that the 3pth fectiou of the act required an inquiry "into the caufes and foundations of the complaints, and to fend orders to redrefs the fame, confiftent with juftice and the cuftoms of the country." I am enabled to trace with what comment this conftru&ion was adopted in Bengal by Sir John Shore.
Mr. Law obferves " hovv lately the Zemindars were publicly adjudged devoid of property in the foil*." "In limiting the land tax, the Briti/h nation voluntarily has granted a novel tenure to a clafs of fubjects who had only a fallacious title to Ufufrufi, while the quantum depended upon the defpots confcience *, (for laws between emperor and fubject are ideal)." "Laws and conftitutions of India is a general cxpreflion. It cannot be fuppofed that the Britijh adminiftration had then any determinate rule in view; permanancy was the object, and a definite fyftem-f-." "My opinion is, that the Zemindar is indifputable proprietor of the foil, and the Reyut but a Vaff / or peafant, who becomes a part of his neceflary property J ." The Pottahs of my plan are for one year, connrmable in perpetuity if approved from Great Britain. The political ends and pecuniary advantages I have already enumerated; the quefrion appears to me rather what fyftem fhould be adopted, than what has exifted §." , <4 In granting Mocurrerees, Government confers a novel pofleffion || .'' And Sir John Shore obferved, "that the plan propofes nothing fpecific for the fecurity of the Reyuts; but, confideriag the impofitions to which they have been fubject, will not
* Sketch of late Arrangements, p. 115.