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mated description, pleasing painting, and a captivating effect; but unfortunately, when examined, the whole turned out to b» a work of the imagination merely. I have received an anonymous letter, signed:Detector, which threatens me with every possible vengeance, if 1 dare to animadvert on the conduct of Mr. Hastings, and menaces me with a discovery of my own crimes, should I rashly venture to censure that great man, with whom I am known to have differed so much in opinion in India. I thought it necessary to state this circumstance to the House, although I defy the author's impotent malice, and laugh at his empty menaces I
Mr. Francis, July 2, 1784.
I rife in this early stage of the debate, because I conceive myself particularly called upon by what has dropped from the honourable gentleman on the floor (Mr. Francis); and I do assure the House, that in a debate of such great national importance, it was not my intention to have mentioned a syllable about myself or Mr. Hastings. I sit in this House, not as the representative of Mr. Hastings, but as an independent Member of Parliament, having some stake in this country, totally independent of the East-India Company, in whose service my acquisitions are very small, though I had the honour to serve them near sixteen years. The honourable gentleman fays, he has received an anonymous letter, signed Detector, in which the writer threatens him with vengeance if he opposes MrHastings. The honourable gentleman will give me credits when I declare to him, that I did not write the letter; that no man despises anonymous slanders more than I do, and I declare that I never wrote a line in my life., which I would deny, or for which I am not at all times ready to be accountable. But as the writer has assumed the signature of Detector, I assure the honourable gentleman, the person who addresses him is not thev writer of those admirable strictures on the Reports of the Select Committee of the last Parliament. The gentleman who
wrote wrote those letters is not in England, nor in Europe, at this moment. Having said thus much, I will now offer a few remarks upon what has fallen from the honourable gentleman, who has told the Committee they have no security that the same prodigality which has been practised, will not be continued, or that the Company's orders will not be disregarded in future as they had been in times past. Upon this subject I shall ask the honourable gentleman one plain question:—Is it not a fact, that from the year 1772, to the year 1780, a period of eight years, not a single bill was drawn from Bengal, except such as were expressly authorised by the Court of Direators? Is it not equally a matter of fact, that the bills drawn in 1781, and the following years, were for the express purpose of furnishing an investment for the Company? Is it not equally a matter of fact, that this was the only possible mode by which an investment tfould be furnished; and why? Because in the last five years no less a sum than six millions and a half sterling, or six hundred and fifty lacks of rupees, was sent from Bengal to Madras and Bombay, for the support of the war. At this period too, when we were struggling for our existence as a nation in India, when there were opposed to us seventeen sail of the line and six thousand of the troops of France; when we were at war with the Mahrattas, and Hyder Ally in possession of three fourths of theCarnatic, when our armies there were paid and fed in a great measure from Bengal, was it extraordinary that Mr. Hastings was not able to appropriate any portion of the revenues of Bengal to the purchase of an investment? The question therefore was simply this: Was it better to take up money in Bengal for bills upon England, and to apply that money wholly and exclusively to the pur. chafe of an investment, or that the investment for three years should have been discontinued? I am really sorry to be under tlTe necessity of mentioning the name of Mr. Hastings so frequently, but the honourable gentleman reduces me to that necessity; I mean no disrespect to the honourable gentleman,
I a . when when I say, that neither he nor Mr. Hastings are of consequence enough to attract the attention of the Committee for a moment. I give the honourable gentleman full credit for the purity of his motives, and I believe he no longer bears an enmity to Mr. Hastings. But what has the Committee to do with their differences. They are now upon a subject of the greatest national importance, and I really am ashamed to lose a moment in the discussion of points that are purely personal. The honourable gentleman has gone through a variety of calculations, to prove we are ruined past redemption, and that at the end of fix years the Company will owe nine millions sterling and upwards. If that is really the cafe, they are in a most deplorable state: but the honourable gentleman's calculations have ever been unfavourable to the Company and its servants. Let any gentleman read his minutes when first he arrived, in Bengal, or his letter from St. Helena, or from his house in Harley Street, to the Court of Directors. I am sure I do not mean to impute to the honourable gentleman an intention to deceive: but it was the honourable gentleman's custom to state the Company's affairs in the most unfavourable point of view. Mr. Hastings, perhaps, might on the other hand be too sanguine. But without disputing the honourable gentleman's calculations, or entering into the intricacies of the China trade, I will beg leaue to state the transactions in Bengal as they actually happened in the last fourteen years. [Hert a loud laugh.] I beg the Committee will not be alarmed, for I will pass over those fourteen years in less than five minutes. The Committee will recollect, that in the year 1770, bills were drawn upon the Company from Bengal to the amount of one million one hundred thousand pounds, at the recommendation of an honourable gentleman, not now a Member of this House; I mean General Smith, and that this unexpected draft was made in a season os profound peace. The fact being, that after paying the civil and military charges, stipends, &c. there was not a sufficient surplus at the end of six years peace,
for for the purchase of an investment in Bengal. This threw the Company upon this House for relief; and, to use the words of an honourable Baronet, relief and reformation went together. The Regulating Act of 1773 pasted, to which they owed the services of the honourable gentleman in India. In April 1772, Mr. Hastings, by the appointment of the Company, became Governor of Bengal; at which period the bond debt was 100 lacks, and unavoidably increased to one hundred and twenty lacks soon after. Upon this system, the Company could not be expected to go on. But what was the alteration produced in four years. Not only was the bond debt completely discharged—-not only was an ample sum appropriated for the purchase os an investment, but there was actually a balance in the Company's Treasury, in Bengal, of one hundred and seventyseven lacks of rupees. Will the honourable gentleman fay, this state of prosperity was not the consequence of measures adopted by Mr. Hastings previous to his arrival in October 1774, or to the œconomical retrenchments which took place subsequent to that period? I will not detain the Committee by an investigation of the Mahratta war. It was as much condemned by Mr. Hastings, as by the colleagues of the honourable gentleman, General Clavering and Colonel Monson, whose names he ever had mentioned, and ever should mention, with respect. I am happy on this day to have the honour of seeing the noble Lord in the blue ribband (Lord North). The noble Lord will do Mr. Hastings the justice to fay, the second Mahratta war was not to be imputed to him. The noble Lord is fully acquainted with every step taken by Mr. Hastings. He knew the intelligence he receivld, and the credit he justly gave to that intelligence. The second Mahratta war was solely to be imputed to the American war, a fact I am ready to prove at any time. The right honourable gentleman (Mr. Fox,) who sits near the noble Lord, said, and truly said at that time, that one consequence of the American war would be, our being involved, in every quarter of the globe. The honourable gen
I 3 tlernan tleman bad caBed upon the learned gentleman who sat belovr him, to assist Kim in exposing the wild schemes of Mr. Hastings: but will the honourable gentleman be pleased to recollect the ground upon which that learned gentleman proceeded^ His argument was, Mr. Hastings had forfeited the confidence of the native Princes in India. They would not treat with him, he could not make a Mahratta peace, and therefore he ought to be recalled. Will the learned gentlemait now-hold that language? Will the learned gentleman now fay that Mr. Hastings did not enjoy the confidence of the native Princes, or that at a moment of difficulty and danger, he did not conclude the Mahratta peace? What was the difference between the learned gentleman and the Court of Proprietors with respect to Mr. Hastings? Not that Mr. Hastings was a delinquent. I never heard the learned gentleman aver an opinion of his delinquency. The learned gentleman conceived that the removal of Mr. Hastings was necessary to conciliate the minds of the native Princes in India, and for the re-establishment of peace. The Court of Proprietors were of an opinion directly contrary, and experience has proved, that the Proprietors were right, and the learned gentleman wrong. Whether Mr. Hastings was, or was not the author of the Mahratta war, whether he gave too much credit to the intelligence transmitted to him from Europe or not; whether it was the act of a wife man, or a romantic attempt to march a detachment acrofe India, is by no means the present question. Let us consider what was their situation by the latest advices: in the height of the Mahratta war, Hyder Ally Cawn invaded the Carnatic. To preserve that important branch of our dominion in India, Mr. Hastings, at a moment when merchant ships would not attempt a passage to Madras, proposed sending 640 Europeans and 15 lacks of rupees to the Carnatic by sea; and Sir Eyre Coote nobly consented to risque his high military reputation at the head of a defeated and dispersed army. Mr. Hastings also proposed to send a very considerable