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reseived from earl Moira to the court of fullest information upon the circumstandirectors, from the commencement of the ces and conduct of that war which had late war, to the last dispatches received now come to a termination. It was comfrom his lordship upon that subject : to petent for them to know whether the gether with such dispatches as had been terms of peace which had been granted to sent by the court of directors to his lord the enemy were or were not advantageous ship, excepting such as from their nature to the company. The hon, and learned require secresy.” The hon. Chairman was
gentleman's reasoning did not apply to the pleased to ask him (Mr. J.) whether it present case. This was a complete and was his wish that these papers should be determined transaction, and the court of advertised generally, according to the directors had it in their power to give eve. usual course with respect to the company's ry information which the court of prodispatches. · Where there were dispatches prietors could require. No injury to the on both sides, he believed it to be the uni public service of the company would hapform practice to advertise them, when pen from the disclosure of such circumthey related to a question necessary to be stances as had come to the knowledge of brought under the consideration of the the directors. If the war had been inproprietors. Certainly, he (Mr. J.) was complete, or if any negociations were the last person in the court who would going on between the company and the press any thing disagreeable to the feelings enemy, there might then be a just apoloof the court of directors ; but he begged gy for making premature communications, to state that in making this motion, he which would be injurious to the common had not merely the convenience of the cause. But no such reason could now be proprietors now present, in view, but he urged in opposition to the motion. The looked to the convenience also of those proprietors were in a fit state to receive who were absent. He was not desirous information, and the directors were in a however, of carrying his motion farther condition to give it. There was no prethan the personal convenience of the pro tence for suggesting that the proprietors pietors seemed to require. If these papers would make an ill use of any communicawere open to the use of the proprietors, tion which the directors might think prothe object of his motion would be answered. per to make upon the subject. The hon.
The Chairman thought that the court gent’s. reference to the practice of the could not be put in possession of the house of commons had no sort of force as means of forming a complete view of the it respected the present question; for subject now alluded to, until further dis the hon. and learned gent's. observation patches, expected, had arrived from lord applied to cases where it would be impruMoira ; therefore, even supposing that dent to disclose information touching all the dispatches now in possession of treaties at the time depending ; and no the company were left open to the view man could doubt the reasonableness of reof the court of proprietors, they would sisting applications for premature informanot give the court that complete insight tion under such circumstances. He hoped necessary to the proper understanding of and trusted that the directors in complythe subject.
ing with what was now required would Mr. Twiss opposed the motion altoge have no reason to refer it to a concession, ther and deprecated the idea of calling for by which no injury could possibly be done. papers by instalments, when, by little It was important the proprietors should delay, the whole of the papers necessary know something of the history of that to the elucidation of the subject, might war, which was now brought to a state with propriety and convenience, be laid of conclusion,—that they should know before the court. It was impossible for something of the terms of that peace the court to form a connected, rational, which had been concluded. If the hon. and sound judgment upon papers pro and learned gent. had any well grounded duced by piecemeal. Beside the incon reason for opposition upon this subject, venience and the injury which might arise he hoped he would reserve his opposition to the interests of the company, he until some future occasion, when a mothought no good could be derived from tion should be made upon the subject; the production of papers in an incomplete but he confessed he could not understand form. In the house of commons, the the reason for opposing a motion, the minister was extremely cautious of pro object of which was to obtain full informaducing detached papers upon any given tion upon the subject to which the attensubject, pending negociations connected tion of the court was directed. with the public welfare. It was not the The Chairman said it had been suggespractice of that house to require papers ted to him from a respectable quarter à priori unless strong grounds were made that if it were allowed to lay these paout. It would be wise for the executive pers before the proprietors, there would authorities of the company to imitate that be great difficulty in selecting those which practice upon occasions of the like kind. were really important from those which
The hon. D. Kinnaird submitted, that might be considered as immaterial. It the time had now arrived when the court was impossible to define the importanoe of proprietors had a right to expect the of any particular paper. In the desire
however, which the court had of com them and the board of contront.' At municating every information in their present the directors were in a state of power to the proprietors, he saw no rea suspence upon the subject ; but, as far son fo. publishing the contents of these as the documents went, as far as they papers to the world. Although it ap were completed, they were fairly open to peared to him to be premature to publish the inspection of the hon. member who these papers, he at the same time had no had mentioned the question, or any other objection that they should be exhibited at hon. proprietor who might have a desire the house, for the use of such proprie to see the progress which had been made. tors as chose to read them. To this pro The hon. D. Kinnaird said he was not position he had no objection to agree. disposed to exact any information upon
The question was then put, and upon the subject, which would tend to embarthe shew of hands it was negatived. rass the court of directors. They would,
MR. SHERSON AND MR, COOKE. he was sure, feel every wish to further the The Chairman now begged to call the views entertained by the members of the attention of the court to what an ho court of proprietors upon this interestnorable gentleman (Mr. Kinnaird), in ing subject ; and he was also sure the the commencement of this day's business, directors would recollect that they had had referred to, namely, as to what re communicated to the proprietary the lated to Mr. Cooke. If that honourable letter which had been sent out to India, gentleman had not put any question to containing a paragraph in furtherance of the chair in that stage of the proceedings, the resolution of this court to reinstate it was his (the chairman's) intention to Mr. Sherson in his offices, and to prohave offered a word upon the present state cure his return to the favour of the goof that subject. It would be recollected vernment of Madras. Subsequent to that that there was a motion made, that the time, another part of the same question, resolutions regarding that proceeding he meant the conduct of Mr. Cooke, had should be read. Within the last week or been under the consideration of the court; . ten days some honorable gentlemen en and it would not be forgotten by the quired if any further papers were in the honourable chairman that the reason possession of the court of directors, with given for not entering into a resolution regard to that subject. The answer re at once upon Mr. Cooke's conduct, in turned was, that there were further pa April or May last, was, that he (the pers, but that they were in an incomplete hon. chairman) thought it would be prestate, in consequence of what had passed mature to form any resolution at that between the court of directors and the time upon the subject; and the hon, board of controul. It was true that a chairman intimated to the court, that communication had been made to the the government of Madras had taken up board of controul upon this subject, and the subject, and would, no doubt, act he believed the question had undergone upon it, and that he (the hon, chairman) consideration before that board, but what expected dispatches home by the next the result of their deliberation was the ship. In the result, however, it turned court of directors were not at present out that those expectations were disapdistinctly apprized. This morning, how- pointed, for no dispatches had as yet arever, just before the sitting of the court, rived. No man could doubt that it would a letter was received from the board of be highly conducive to the interests of controul, in answer to one written to the company, as far as the administrathem by the court of directors upon the tion of justice was concerned, if by the subject of Mr. Cooke's affairs. But it earliest ship that should go out to India, was impossible for the court of directors the order for restoring the much injured to enter into the consideration of that Mr. Sherson to favour, had been accomletter this morning, for there was not panied by an order to inquire into the time for it before the hour at which he conduct of Mr. Cooke. It was desire(the chairman) was obliged to take the able, therefore, that as little time as chair ; but most certainly the court would possible should be lost in sending out a enter into the subject on an early day, paragraph to desire that the most strict and see what this letter contained': and inquiry should be instituted into the conhe (the honourable chairman) had no ob duct of that gentleman, whose behaviour jection, for one, to say, that as far as had been productive of so much misery the proceedings had gone upon this sub and ruin to the unhappy gentleman in ject, they might be open to the inspec- question. A debt of justice was due to tion of members. At present he was not Mr. Sherson, not merely in his complete able to state any thing upon the subject restitution to favour to office, but in the for the information of the court, until punishment of the author of his misforthe answer alluded to was considered. tune.
He was glad to find that in the Probably that communication would af former respect, steps had been taken to ford a satisfactory answer upon the suh do Mr. Shersoń justice, but he now colject. . All that the court of directors had lected from the chair that with respect to do was, to bring forward the corres to the latter object, it was still under the pondence which had taken place between consideration of the court of directors,
and that consequently no paragraph had now, as he had already mentioned, reas yet gone out to India respecting Mr. turned their opinion, but the court of direcCooke. Some discussion it seemed tors had not had time as yet to consider had taken place between the board that opinion, After all these proceedings, of control and the court of directors up he hoped the matter was now arrived at on the subject of Mr. Sherson's misfor its ultimate stáge, when the court of ditunes. He hoped and expected, however, rectors could come to a definitive resolu. that as little delay as possible would take tion. Most certainly they had no intenplace in doing ample justice to that gen tion of delaying the proceedings to be ileman. There was no doubt of the feels adopted a single hour longer than necesing of the board of controul upon this sary. They had already a good deal of subject ;--they would, he was surę, come trouble and ditficulty upon the subject; to this court and support the directory in and however long the delay might seem to whatever measure they thought necessary some gentlemen, they had an important to adopt. In all events he (Mr. K.) most and responsible duty, to discharge which earnestly deprecated every thing like de no circumstances, however apparently lay, in carrying into effect that which pressing, should induce them to waive. strict justice seemed to require. He ho The gentlemen who seemed to think that ped every thing would be done for Mr, this à matter of course, might Sherson in the way of restriction on the think otherwise, if they knew the diffione hand, and of justice upon his oppres culties which presented themselves upon sors on the other. There was only one the subject. It was impossible at preother observation he had to make, name sent to say what would be done; but ly, that as the court of directors had most certainly when the court of directors been pleased to communicate to the pro came to make up the whole account, prietors, the paragraph which had been they would do that which the exercise of sent out respecting Mr. Sherson, he hoped their best discretion and consideration the like act of deference would be paid to should dictate ; assuring the court that the feelings and judgment of the court they had an anxious desire to do what with respect to the paragraph intended to was right, consistently with the regular be sent out relative to the proceedings and approved course of proceeding. The against Mr. Cooke. He hoped the terms of hon. gent. had alluded to what had fallen the paragraph would be submitted to their from him (the hon. Chairman) on a former consideration as in the former instance. occasion, in a ministerial capacity, when
The Chairman begged to say, in an the court of proprietors passed a resoluswer to what had fallen from the hon. tion respecting Mr. Sherson. Certainly gent, that with regard to the suppo the court of directors had a right to exsed delay that had taken place as to ercise their own discretion as to what the proposition of the court's sending should be done in a case of this descripout dispatches, respecting Mr. Cooke, tion. They knew no masters to direct he could only observe, that there was no them in the course of their duty, and, intention on the part of the court of di- in readily obeying the suggestion of the rectors, to delay what ought to be done court of proprietors, they were not to be in that gentleman's case a single moment considered as obeying the orders of a sulonger than was avoidable. There was perior power, but as doing that which more difficulty in coming to a satisfactory they conceived to be right and proper. judgment upon the subject, than the hon. It was not the course of business in that member seemed to think. So long as the court for the proprietors to be permitted court of directors were acting under that to alter the dispatches of the court of didiscretionary power, with which they rectors. There was no order of the were vested, in order to enable them to court, or bye-law, authorising such a discharge their duties properly, they practice. As long as the matter was left would discharge them according to the to them they would exercise their soundbest means they had of forming their est discretion, and form their resolutions judgment. After the court of directors
upon the best materials they could obtook time to consider what opinion they tain; but it was for them, and them ought to form, as to the terms in which only, to determine what ought to be their dispute ought to be framed, it was done. He concluded by repeating, that in the usual course of business, that their there should be as little delay as possible dispatch should be submitted to the board in coming to a final judgment npon the of revision. Their dispatch was altered in subject ; but he assured the court that such a way by the board of revision, that any anxiety to press the directors upon the court of directors could not agree to the subject, so far from hastening, would send it out in that shape; and they thought delay their determination. it necessary to consult the law authorities Mr. Kinnaird wished to know whether upon the question. That proceeding, of it was to be understood that the propriecourse, occupied more time; and the re tors, in this instance, as in the former, sult of such reference to the law authori would be made acquainted with the paties was the communication of that result ragraph, which the directors intended to to the board of controul. The board had send out respecting Mr. Cooke :
The Chairman. Certainly.
mediately suspend their paragraph untif Mr. Kinnaird gave notice that it was they had received the directions of the probable he should suggest some addition court of proprietors.
He therefore now to the paragraph, when it was laid before gave notice, that he should request that the court.
à court be called for the specific purpose The Chairman requested that the hon. of agreeing to such a requisition,—that member would not mistake the matter. when the court should be summoned, he No doubt, whatever paragraph the court should request the proprietors to take of directors chose to adopt, would be the subject into their consideration ; and submitted to the proprietors ; but it was he had no doubt that the resolution would to be distinctly understood, that the pa- meet the approbation of the court of diragraph, whatever it might be, was not rectors. He was persuaded that the hosubject to alteration by the proprietors. nourable body would not only follow up So said the law of the company, and it the proceedings' against Mr. Cooke with must, in this, as in all other instances, the greatest promptitude, but that they be strictly adhered to.
would give express and positive direcMr. Kinnaird wished to know whether tions to the Madras government that he the hon. chairman meant to say, it should be forthwith suspended from his was to be understood, that if the board employments, and that they would insof control acquiesced in a paragraph sent tantly proceed on the other hand, to refor their approbation by the court of ward the merits of Mr. Sherson, whilst directors, after that it was not in the in the other, they would proceed, by all power of the court of proprietors to alter legal means, to punish the gross misconthat paragraph ?
duct of his oppressor. It was true a conThe Chairman. The law says, no. pensation had been voted to Mr. Sherson,
Mr. Kinnaird said, that it was now his but that was not a sufficient offering to duty to state, in consequence of this com- public justice. It was not enough that munication from the chair, that the only Mr. Sherson was proved innocent, but reason why a distinct resolution was not his wrongs ought to be avenged in the passed on a former occasion, on the sub- prosecution and just punishment of him ject of Mr. Cooke,-a resolution recom who had conspired to bring ruin upon mending the court of directors to direct his character, and destruction to every that a suit should be immediately com- thing dear to him in this world. If Mr. menced against Mr. Cooke for a conspi- Cooke was innocent, it ought to be made racy,
1,- that he should be immediately manifest by a public trial; so that his suspended from his office, and that he conduct might be rescued from the heavy should not be continued in the office he charges which lay at his door ; but, if held—and that Mr. Sherson should be guilty, he ought to be visited with that placed in the situation from which Mr. punishment which his misconduct justly Cooke should be dismissed; and, finally, deserved. that Mr. Cooke should be rendered inca Mr. Alderman Atkins said, that after pable of holding any office in the com what had just dropt from the chair, it pany's service. The only reason (he said) was quite clear that no decisive judgment why this resolution was not carried by could be formed upon the subject for the the court of proprietors, (which they present, but he should hope that care most certainly intended to do), was, that would be taken to lose no time in coming it had been communicated to them by to a final decision. It did not appear to the hon. chairman, that it would be a him that the mode of proceeding adopted premature step, as the directors were in by the court of directors and the board daily expectation of the arrival of dis- of controul was quite correct. After the patches from the Madras government. If feeling manifested by the court of proit was now to be understood, that the prietors on a former occasion, and after business was to be settled, without re that feeling was repressed in the way ferring the matter to the court of pro- already mentioned, there was something prietors for their consideration and ap- uncandid in the communication proval, he must, for one, say, that he made, that any objection which the proshould call upon the proprietors to pass a prietors might think proper to suggest to resolution, giving directions to the court the wording of the paragraph, would be of directors, in this instance, as in the deemed inadmissible; this, he must say, former, to word their paragraph, with was not quite fair dealing with the proparticular orders and directions to the prietors. If this determination should be Madras government, “that a suit be im- persisted in, he most certainly should mediately commenced against Mr. Cooke, support the recommendation proposed to and that he be suspended from his office.” the directors, for wording their paraThis he thought to be his duty, and he graph in such a way as that complete jushoped the court of directors would at tice should be done. · Having so much tend to this recommendation as in the justice done to Mr. Sherson, as the resoformer case.
He had no doubt that lution of the last court had obtained for when such notice was given on the part of him, he (Mr. Atkins) for one, thought the proprietors, the directors would im- that in the further pursuit of that object,
it would be well to institute inquiries thing more to do than adopt whatever the into the conduct of Mr. Cooke, and if proprietors thought proper to suggest ; found guilty, that he should be punish- that they must fill up their dispatches just ed; but he hoped that, in carrying that as it pleased their taste or wishes. He inquiry into effect, no degree of violence would not enter into the merits of the or revenge would mark the proceeding. case, nor would he enter into the consiThe proprietors had, in his judgment, a deration of what might or might not be right, at least, to call upon the directors the determination of the court of directo give some pledge, or some declaration, tors; they would exercise their own judgthat in their paragraph they would take ment and discretion, and give their own care that strict justice should be done to orders accordingly. He could not conboth parties ; at the same time that they ceive what the object of the present diswould guard against any undue means of cussion was, after the communication he obtaining that object.
had made, that the court were willing to Mr. R. Jackson submitted, that all the lay before the proprietors all the papers papers upon this subject should be laid that were necessary. With respect to the before the proprietors, before they were proposition for sending a paragraph out, called upon to form any conclusion as to for the immediate suspension of Mr. the merits of the question. He contend Cookė, and putting him upon his trial for ed, that if the proprietors were not per conspiracy, he had only to say, that it mitted to suggest alterations in the para was not an usual thing for the East-India graph now alluded to, it would be a con Company to dismiss their servants from travention of the resolution which had office, without first hearing what they been formerly passed respecting Mr. had to say to the charges imputed to Sherson; and a contravention of what them. It was in this spirit that the court was the understanding upon this subject of directors forbore to adopt such sumat that time. If this principle were ad mary measures as had been suggested. mitted, the directors might send out Mr. Bosanquet lamented that any mistheir paragraph without the proprietors understanding should take place between knowing any thing about the matter. He the court of directors and the proprietors, doubted very much whether the directors but justified the conduct pursued by the had a right to divest the proprietors of
former. this right ; but iu all events he thought Mr. Jackson explained. that, upon the score of courtesey, a Mr. Kinnaird in explanation notified. quality so necessary to the harmony of that he should not personally persist in every public body, the proprietors were his motion at the next general court, but entitled to the consideration of the direc said it would be open to any other protors.
prietor to bring the question forward. The Chairman said that, without ad Mr. Hume bore testimony to the exverting to what might be the opinion of cellent qualities of Mr. Sherson, with the court of directors in this latter stage whom he had served for some years in of the proceedings, to which he was not India. authorized to allude, and therefore he After some further desultory conversacould only give his own opinion, if he tion, and mutual explanation, between were to say, any thing upon the subject; the Chairman, Mr. R. Jackson, Mr. Kinhe had only now to say, that for himself naird, and Mr. Dixon, the discussion generally he had not the slightest objec- upon this subject ended without any detion to lay all the papers before the court cisive result. of proprietors for their perusal; those papers would be very much at their ser Mr. Hume said he came down to the vice. But he had no conception that court with the intention of moving for what the learned gentleman now stated, papers connected with a subject which with respect to the paragraph founded was sufficiently notorious, he meant the upon the former resolution, was true in disturbances at the East-India College ; fact. He had no idea that the paragraph but as he understood that the proper offadopted in favour of Mr. Sherson, con cers were occupied in investigating the tained in itself an order for the entire conduct of the students, he should not suspension of Mr. Cooke; he never un make any motion at present. derstood that such a communication to The Chairman said that all he had to the government of Madras was then in observe was, that whenever the honourtended to be , made; he had not the able gentleman chose to bring forward slightest conception that any intention of any question upon that subject, as it was that kind was expressed, still less adopt a question of importance, involving many ed, by the proprietors. He was at a loss points of public as well as private inteto understand how the course now pro rest, he trusted that it would be discusposed by the directors was a contraven sed fully and impartially; and he hoped, tion of the former resolution of the pro if possible, that all considerations, other prietors. What was now suggested by the than those in which the public interest proprietors, seemed to him to go to this was concerned, would be excluded. extent, that the court of directors had no The court then adjourned, sine dies