Page images
PDF
EPUB

DEBATE AT THE EAST-INDIA HOUSE,

answer.

course.

[ocr errors]

East-India House, March 22. military subject, he would receive a civil A quarterly General Court of Proprie

He wished to know whether the tors of East-India Stock was this day held muskets, cannons, and the other weapons at the Company's House in Leadenhall- of offence and defence used by the Comstreet,

pany's army in India, were proved before The minutes of the last Court having they left this country. been read,

The Chairman.-" They are." Mr. Ellis said, before they proceeded to Dr. Gilchrist said, as they were reguthe regular business of the day, he rose to larly tried, he supposed, at the Ordnance, make a complaint to the Chairman of he should be glad to know who was at the some of the officers of that house, whose

expense of the trial. conduct had occasioned considerable in- Mr. S. Diron rose to order. convenience to himself and several other Dr. Gilchrist..-" I wish not to be inproprietors. When he came down at eleven terrupted. I ask, who pays for the trial ?” o'clock, the hour for which the court was The Chairman. “ The Company, of summoned, he wished to go into the pro

I believe it is pretty well known prietors' room, to look into some papers, that we get little gratuitously.” relative to the shipping of the Company, Dr. Gilchrist.-—“Are the blunderbusses, which had been moved for at a preceding muskets, pistols, &c. proved ?”. court, and which required the most serious The Chairman.-"I answer, yes." consideration. When he arrived at the Dr. Gilchrist.

.-" Is it at the Company's house, with this view, he found the door

expense?” of the proprietors' room locked, and he

The Chairman.

“I have not the books waited more than half an hour, and had

to refer to, but I imagine the Company to send three different messages, requiring bears the expense. I am under that imaccess to the room, before he could get pression." in. When he did at length obtain admit- Dr. Gilchrist. Are these arms of oftance, he found that none of the papers fence and defence again tried in India, were there ; and not before a quarter of before they are used there or not? There an hour had elapsed, were those docu

are some military gentlemen behind the ments laid on the table. He mentioned bar, who can inform me.” this to prevent the recurrence of similar

The Chairman.-6. The hon. proprietor conduct. The Chairman (C. Marjoribanks, Esq.) interrogation than he has a right to do,

is travelling farther with his system of said, he was very sorry for the circumstance. He had been at the India House being questioned in this way.”

(Hear, heur!) and I must protest against

(Hear!) since a quarter before nine o'clock, and,

Dr. Gilchrist."'This is a simple question if the hon. proprietor had let him know that he could nut get into the room, steps

put by a proprietor; and every proprietor

has a right to know what is going on with would have been taken to remove the in

respect to affairs in which he is interested." convenience, which he trusted would not

The Chairman.-" I have given the occur again. Mr. Ellis.-" I did not think of trou.

hon. proprietor the only answer in my

power.” bling you, sir, on such an occasion.” The Chairmun.“I think it no trouble ing more on these subjects than you are,

Dr. Gilchrist. “ I am, perhaps, thinkto perform my duty.” Dr. Gilchrist said, he was one of the

(Order.) I am an ignorant man, and sufferers on this occasion. He had been

want information on these points.” kept standing at the door, but certainly it

The Deputy Chairman.--" I am not never entered his head to call on the at all surprised that the Chairman is not Chairman to have the door unlocked. prepared to answer such a number of deHe always wished to take time by the sultory questions upon a military subject; forelock, and therefore he hoped, when and, perhaps, I might say, that I myself gentlemen arrived at eleven o'clock, they

am scarcely prepared to do so, though would not be kept waiting for a moment.

long a member of one of the military Here the conversation eni!ed.

boards. This, however, I can say, that

no musket was ever put into the hands THE COMPANY'S MILITARY EQUIP

of any soldier in our service, in India, MENTS.

whether Europeans or sepoys, that had Dr. Gilchrist trusted, that, though his not a proof-mark stamped upon it. (Hear, name was out of the Company's red book, hear!) This answer, I hope, will be conit was not in the black one; and that, when sidered satisfactory." (Hear, hear!) he asked a civil question, although on' a

Dr. Gilchrist. " How does it happen, Asiatic Journ. Vol. XXI. No. 124.

3 z

that

[ocr errors]

that the orders of the Court of Directors, of a ljutant or interpreter, the duties of sent out to India, on military matters, which situations, according to the rules have not been obeyed ? It has been de- of the service, ought not to be performed clared, that, when an officer arrives at

by any officer of higher rank than that of the rank of captain, he shall not act as lieutenant; the individual thus situated adjutant or interpreter ; yet, at the present is only captain by brevet, and not by moment, six captains are acting as in. commission.(Hear!) terpreters. I think--"

Dr. Gilchrist said, he thanked the hon. Mr. S. Dixon rose to order. The hon. Deputy Chairman for the answer which proprietor certainly had no right to ask a he had given. It was his (Dr. Gilchrist's) question, and to proceed to argue upon it. ignorance which induced him to ask the

Dr. Gilchrist. -" Then I will confine question. He would not, however, be myself to the simple question. Is what I put down when he wished to obtain inhave stated so or not?'"

formation; and he must observe, that in The Chairman.-" I wish to say a very assemblies of a much higher description few words on this subject. I am, at all than this, questions were asked by inditimes, disposed to give every information viduals, and were promptly answered. If in my power to any hon. proprietor; but they were not allowed to ask questions in I think that the end in view would be that court, he saw no use for calling them much better accomplished, if gentlemen together. did not come to the court with a long The Chairman.—" Permit me to say, as string of questions, without giving any the hon. proprietor has alluded to another previous intimation that they intended to assembly, that when it is intended to put ask them. (Hear!) If the hon. pro- an interrogatory to the minister, and the prietor had had the courtesy to apprize me only way in which a proper answer can be of his intention to put the questions he elicited, is by giving the person of whom has submitted, he may be assured that I the question is to be asked, a previous would have come to the court prepared to knowledge and understanding of the naanswer them fully. (Hear!) But, if ture of that question. When this course le supposes that I can, on the moment, is taken, I shall be always ready either answer every question, I can only say, to answer a question, or to assign my that it is not in my power, mor, I believe, reasons for declining to do so. (Hear.) in that of any other person. (Hear!) But I cannot be expected to answer a Having said this, I hope the court will series of questions propounded to me on now proceed to the regular business of the the moment. day. If the hon. proprietor chooses to General Thornton hoped no gentleman propose a motion on the subjects to which would ask a question, relative to the prohe has referred, the court will deal with priety of answering which any doubt could it as they think proper ; but the course be entertained. Since the hon. gentleman which he has adopted is both unusual filled the situation of chairman, there was and inconvenient; and, therefore, I must no cause of complaint on the subject of decline receiving any farther questions." granting information. On every occasion ( Hear!)

he appeared perfectly ready to answer any Dr. Gilchrist said, he never understood question put to him. There were questions that the proprietors of East-India Stock of such a nature, that it was proper to give were to be deterred in this way from seek- an intimation of them before-hand, being that information which their interests cause those who wished to ask them might required. Surely he, and all other pro- not know to what an extent they were prietors, had a right to ask questions with likely to lead. But any other questions respect to the Company's affairs. If he he thought the hon, chairman was bound had been aware that he was at all out of to answer; and he thought the proprietors order in asking questions, he certainly in general ought not to throw any difficul. would not have taken up the time of the ties in the way of their being answered. court. When a simple question was asked, The Chairman laid before the court, in it was certainly easy to answer it, -aye or conformity with the resolution of the 25th

If the hon. Chairman was unin- of January last, formed on the subject, it was very easy for “ An account of the annual amount bim to say so.

paid to each professor and assistant proThe Deputy Chairman.—“I rise to fessor in each of the colleges or seminaries protest against this sort of catechism, of education in England and in India, which appears to me not at all calculated stating the amount of regular or fixed to forward the business of the court, or to salary, and of allowances, whether for serve,

in

any respect, the interests of the house-rent or otherwise ; also whether a Company. The last question which has house or quarters are provided for them, been put by the hon. proprietor, I think I for the past year, as far as the same can can satisfaetorily answer. I believe the be inade out." hon. proprietor will find, that, in every Also, “a return of all sums, exclusive instance where a captain holds the post of fixed salaries and allowances, paid to

teachers any very efficient exertions.

[ocr errors]

no.

.

no

teachers or professors of Oriental lan. and I therefore propose the 6th of April guages, in India and in England, for next, for the decision of the question by extraordinary services of any kind con

that process.” nected with the Oriental languages, stat- Mr. S. Dixon wished to know, whether ing the names of such teachers or pro- the gratuity or allowance connected with fessors, the dates on which paid, and the the return of an officer to the service comamount of each grant.”

menced on his arrival in India, or at the

time when permission was granted to him SIN JAMES EDWARD COLEBROOKE, BART.

to return. The Chairman.-“ I have to acquaint The Deputy Chairman. -" The allowthe court, that the Court of Directors, on ance commences on his arrival in India.” the 7th instant, came to a resolution, to Dr. Gilchrist said, he rose, not to offer recommend to the General Court of Pro- any opposition to the motion, but merely prietors, “ That Sir James Edward Cole- to ask, whether the case of the hon. bart. . brooke, Bart., late of the Bengal Civil was similar to other cases, where applicaEstablishment, be permitted to return to

tions were made to allow officers to return the service under the provisions of the act to India, and were rejected by the Court of 33d George III. cap. 52, sec. 70,

of Directors. with the rank which he held when he The Chairman.-" I believe this to be quitted Bengal, agreeably to the act of a much stronger case than any of those to the 53d George III. cap. 155, sec. 85.” which the bon. proprietor has alluded ; That resolution would now be read to the because the Court of Directors are very court.

much opposed to a departure from the The resolution was then read, as fol- principle by which civil servants are prelows:

vented froin returning to India, after an “ At a Court of Directors, held on absence of more than five years, except “ Tuesday, the 7th of March, 1826 :- under very peculiar circumstances : such • Resolved unanimously, That although circumstances do exist in this case. Sir “ the court are decidedly averse upon

Edward Colebrooke has been employed “ principle from resorting to the mode of in the most difficult situations, and has “ restoration, prescribed by the act of 33d performed his duties with distinguished “ George III. cap. 52, sec. 70, of civil ability. I believe I may safely say, that 6c servants who have been absent more servant of the Company possesses “ than five years from India, except in higher merits

greater talents and very special cases; they are of opinion, acquirements than Sir Edward Colebrooke. “ that the application from Sir Jaines ( Hear!) Besides, he has only exceeded “ Edward Colebrooke, Bart, to be re- by a very short period the time prescribed “ commended to the General Court of by the act of Parliament—so short, indeed, “ Proprietors, for permission to return to is the period, that the delay appears to have “ his rank in the civil service on the Ben- arisen from a mistake on his part, in con“ gal establishment, is justly entitled, from ceiving that the act applied to five years' “ his high character, and long faithful residence in England, instead of that pe" and meritorious services, to the most riod of absence from India.” “ favourable consideration, and that the Dr. Gilchrist.-" I am satisfied. I have “ circumstances attending it constitute a nothing to say against Sir E. Colebrooke; “ special case.

but I wished to see whether this was a “ That accordingly, whilst the court measure of common justice or of favour. “ lament the necessity which Sir Edward Mr. Trant said, this appeared to be a “ Colebrooke has stated for his proceeding peculiar case, from the statement con“ again to India, it be recommended to tained in the record which had just been “ the General Court of Proprietors, to per- read. But, as he had served in India, “ mit him to return to the service, under both under and with Sir E. Colebrooke, “ the provisions of the act of 33d George and as he was particularly acquainted with “ III. cap. 52, sec. 70, with the rank his merits, he wished to say one or two “ which be held when he quitted Bengal, words on this occasion. (Hear!). It was “ agreeably to the act of 53d George III. to him a subject of very great pleasure, cap. 155, sec. 85.”

(hear !) and he heartily congratulated the The Chairman then moved, “ That the court on having restored to active service Court of Proprietors agree to the resolu- one of the most useful, intelligent, and tion of the Court of Directors, for per- excellent men, that bad ever been eminitting Sir J. E. Colebrooke to return ployed by the Company. (Hear!) In to the service, agreeably to the provision ordinary cases, he should doubt whether of the 33d and 53d of Geo. III.”

an individual, who had arrived at the age The Deputy Chairman seconded the of Sir Edward Culebrooke, could make motion.

After forty The Chairman.—“ By the 33d of Geo. years of arduous service, lie should doubt III. cap. 52, sec. 70, it is necessary that whether there was any great deal of service this motion should be decided by the ballot; left in him. (A laugh.) But he was sure,

3 2 2

that

or

6

that he (Mr. Trant) had not half the during his absence to any agent or other youth of Sir E. Colebrooke; and he be- person for his use; and in the event of his lieved, that, for a number of years to not returning back to his station at such come, no man could serve the Company presidency or settlement, or of his coming more ably or efficiently than Sir E. Cole- to Europe, his salary, &c. should be deembrooke. (Hear.)

ed to have ceased from the day of his The ballot was then fixed' for tlie 6th of quitting such presidency or settlement;" April.

and proceeds to declare, " that it has hap

pened, that officers, as well civil as miliEAST-INDIA WRITERS' BILL.

tary, in the service of the Company, who The Chairman.-" I have now to ac- have quitted the presidencies or settlements quaint the court, that it is made special, to which they respectively belonged, in for the purpose of laying before the pro- consequence of ill health, with the intenprietors a draft of a bill now before Par. tion of returning to their stations at such liament, entitled, “A Bll to suspend the presidencies or settlements without proprovisions of an act of his late Majesty ceeding to Europe, have died during such respecting the appointment of writers in temporary absence, within the limits of the service of the East-India Company, the said Company's charter, or at the Cape and to authorize the payment of the al- of Good Hope; and that it is just and lowances of the civil and military officers reasonable that the representatives of such of the said Company dying while absent officers should be entitled to the salaries, from India.' The bill shall now be read.” &c. of such officers from the time of quit

The bill was then read by the clerk. ting their stations: it therefore enacts, that After reciting the provision in the 53d it shall and may be lawful for the said of Geo. III, which rendered it impera- Company to cause payment to be made to tive on persons proceeding to India as the representatives of officers in their serwriters to have resided at Haileybury vice, civil or military, who, having quitted College for four terms; the bill sets forth, or left their stations, and not having prothat “there is not a sufficient number of ceeded, or intended to proceed to Europe, persons qualified, according to the said but intending to return to their stations, provision, to be appointed writers to fill have died, or may hereafter happen to die, the vacancies which exist, and which are during their temporary absence, within likely to occur in the civil establishments the limits of the Company's charter, or at in India ;” and it then proceeds to enact, the Cape of Good Hope, of such salaries, “That at any time within three years from &c., or such portion of salaries, &c., as the passing of this act, it shall be lawful the officers so dying would have been entifor the Court of Directors to nominate tled to if they had returned to their staand send to the presidencies of Fort Wil- tions." And as certain payments had liam, Fort Saint George or Bombay, in heretofore been made under such circumthe capacity of a writer, any person who stances, it farther enacts, “ That all such shall produce such testimonials of his payments shall be deemed to have been character and conduct, and pass such an legally made ; any thing in the said recited examination as, by rules and regulations to act of Parliament to the contrary notwithbe framed and established as hereinafter is standing; provided that nothing herein mentioned, shall be required ;” and “ that contained shall extend to authorize the said the said Court of Directors shall, with all' Company to make any such payment to convenient speed, by and with the appro- the representatives of any such officer who bation of the Board of Commissioners for shall have quitted or left his station prior the Affairs of India, frame and establish to the 9th day of May 1821.” proper rules and regulations respecting the The Chairman.-"I have now to move necessary qualifications of writers; and “ That this court concur in the provisions that it shall be lawful for the said of the bill now submitted to the proprieCourt of Directors, with the approbation of the said Board of Commissioners, to Mr. Poynder wished to ask whether this alter and vary such rules and regulations bill, the draft of which had just been read, from time to time as circumstances may was introduced in consequence of any appear to require; and that the rules and previous agitation of this question in-or regulations so altered and varied shall be rather any decision come to by—the Court of the same force and effect as the original of Directors. His reason for putting rules and regulations.” It then recites the this question he would briefly explain. clause of the 33d of Geo. III., which pro. He was not, at present, going to enter vided, “ That if any governor-general, or

into arguments for or against the measure, any other officer whatever in the service of or to offer any motion on the subject. All the Company, should quit or leave the pre

he could know of the matter was, that a sidency or settlement to which he should majority of 280 (he believed such was belong, other than in the actual service of the number) of this Court of Propriethe said Company, the salary, &c. apper- tors had decided, that the College, as it taining to his office should not be paid now stood, was a proper and beneficial

institution,

tors."

institution, and that it should be con- be adduced a more striking proof that an tinued ; and the next information they re- alteration in the system was long since ceived was, that a bill was pending in requisite ? He hoped the hon. proprietor Parliament, the provisions of which went would go home with a change of opinion ; to upset that vote : whether the vote was a and that, instead of offering any motion proper one or not, he would not now stop on this subject, he would concur in the to inquire ; (hear !) but the fact was proposition before the court.

This meaexactly as he had stated it. The Court of sure would enable the directors to make Directors followed up this proceeding by the best use of their patronage : they might calling on the proprietors to agree to this confer it as they pleased; provided that, bill; and what appeared to him most ex- after due examination, the persons seeking traordinary, without a single reason being it were found fit to proceed to India. assigned in the bill itself for the change (Hear!) There was one point which he that was about to be made. (Hear?) had never heard, so far as his recollection He therefore wished for some explana- went, adverted to in that court, when this tion.

subject was under consideration ; namely, The Chairman." On the 19th of Au- that, as the system was at present constigust last, the Court of Directors found it tuted, much injustice was done to the necessary to state to the President of the descendants of some of the ablest indiIndia Board, that the College, as at pre

viduals that had ever adorned their service. sent constituted, did not meet the de- The means of realizing a fortune in India mand which existed for civil servants,

were not now the same as formerly: reand that therefore, to insure the neces.

strictions had very justly been placed on sary supply, some alteration was called the cupidity of men, and money was not for. On this ground it was that a letter acquired so rapidly as heretofore. The was written to the President of the Board, consequence was, that men who had large explaining the reasons which induced the families, and who had served the Company Court of Directors to wish that some "faithfully, without having amassed wealth, change should be made. That letter con

were not able to send their children to any tains the only explanation I have to offer, of the great public seminaries—to Eton or and therefore it had better be read.” Harrow, or the college at Haileybury, to The clerk then read the letter.

fit them for the higher employments of life. The Chairman," Such was the com

Now, however, the place of education munication inade to the Board of Con

mattered not; and, if they found indivi

duals who had served them faithfully seektrol.”

ing provision for their children, it must Mr. Poynder.-“ I return my thanks to afford those who had the disposal of patrothe chair for this explanation ; and will

nage the most heartfelt satisfaction, to senot, at the present moment, make any far- lect and send out those children, when ther observations on the subject.”

they proved themselves worthy of such a Mr. Gahagan- In consequence of a few provision, by the goodness of their moral words which had fallen from the hon. pro- character, and the propriety of their eduprietor, he requested leave to make one or cation. (Hear!) two remarks. He sincerely hoped that this Mr. Hume said he was happy, on the court would unanimously concur in the present occasion, to concur entirely in the present motion : if any reason were want- measure now before the court; and he only ing to fortify his mind as to the propriety regretted that years ago, when the altenof this measure, that reason was to be tion of the court was directed to this subfound in the letter addressed to the presi- ject for several days, the efforts then made dent of the Board of Control ; and if any were not successful : he was glad, howthing, more than another, could convince

ever, at any time, to take any thing which him that the large majority which had been was conducive to the public service. His alluded to had come to an erroneous de- motto was,

“ better late than never.” cision, it was that letter ; (hear !) nothing (Hear !) He hoped, however, that the could possibly shew the inefficiency of the removal of the existing restriction would institution at Haileybury more plainly. not not be confined to so short a period as (Hear!) He did not mean to say that the that which was proposed. As a system of system of education there was bad ; but competition was now to be tried, a fair that the casualties of the Company's ser- opportunity ought to be allowed for ascervice called for such supplies as this cele- taining the effect produced by the alterabrated and much-boasted institution was tion : he therefore submitted that the not able to furnish; and, consequently, it court should take into its consideration, did not answer the purpose for which it whether it would not be better to extend was formed. At length the directors were the time to four or five, instead of limiting obliged to say,

we must look for educa- it to three years. He thought it more likely tion elsewhere, to enable us to have a pro- that, at the end of the longer period, the per supply of young men on whom we court would be able to come to a more may confer our patronage.

Could there sound conclusion as to the merits of the

:

two

« PreviousContinue »