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enemy as should prevent a repetition of made common cause with the freebooters, insult.
II. THE next subject which engaged the attention of the House with regard to Indian affairs, was the distribution of the Deccan prize-money. We have been at some pains to ascertain the merits of this question, and the following is the result of our inquiry.
and met our advancing armies in the field. All were ultimately overpowered; the Pindarees, however, with Holkur, soonest; so much so, that the operations for sweeping the Pindaree country, being finally concluded in January and Fe bruary 1818, an entirely new distribution of all the forces was then made under Lord Hastings' orders, and the nominal distinction of army of the Deccan was done away. This occurred in the midst of the operations against the Peshwa and Bhoosla, which were not finally concluded till the capture of Aseergurh in April 1819. Though delayed somewhat beyond the occasion, the final orders for dissolving the army of the Deccan were published by Sir Thomas Hislop himself, on the 31st of March 1818, and Sir Thomas, immediately after, returned by sea to Madras. It appears, that in the conjoint operations against the Pindarees, very little booty was taken; whereas, the forces left originally to watch, and afterwards employed against the Peshwa and Bhoosla, and those sent to help them, took a great deal, some before, but most, after the dissolution of the army of the Deccan, of which, while the name lasted, some, though not all, were nominal divisions. Sundry questions arose as to the
When the Marquis of Hastings planned the operations for suppressing the Pindarees, and other predatory hordes of Central India, he had to keep in view, First, the character of the enemy's force, which, like quicksilver, would divide upon collision, and re-unite in various directions; secondly, the probability that the Mahratta powers, or some of them, would make common cause with the depredators. In this state of things, it seemed expedient to form as many separate armies as possible; some, to beset the avowed enemy; others, to watch the conduct of suspected friends. This was the plan adopted, and for its execution, the whole disposable force of the three presidencies was ordered into the field. Lord Hastings placed himself in a central position in Hindostan, to superintend the operations, and prescribed the formation of every separate force, and the line on which it should act. In order, how-distribution of this booty, and as all ever, to bring up the resources of Madras, and give consistency to the movements on that side, Sir Thomas Hislop, the commander-in-chief of that presidency, was ordered into the field by his lordship, and the several armies formed to the south of the Nerbudda, made up partly of Bengal troops, but chiefly of those of Madras and Bombay, together with the reformed troops of our allies, were constituted into divisions of the army of the Deccan. All these Sir Thomas was nominally to command in subordinate cooperation with the divisions of the grand army of Hindostan, of which Lord Hastings was the commander-in-chief. Thus commenced the campaign entirely under his lordship's personal direction. While, however, the armies brought up from the south, were, with those from the west and from Hindostan, sweeping the tract where the Pindarees lay, the two Malratta powers most strictly in alliance with us, viz. the Peshwa and Bhoosla broke out into hostility behind the line of our operations. A third, the Holkur Durbar,
booty in theory belongs to the crown, it was for His Majesty with the advice of his Lords of the Treasury to decide. Lord Hastings seeing the impossibility of determining in all cases to whom the booty should belong, recommended that the whole should be formed into a fund for the benefit of all the troops employed in any way in the different operations, and a claim was preferred on his part, in England, to share as commander-in-chief. This was resisted by Sir Thomas Hislop and his staff, who claimed to be commander-in-chief and general staff for the army of the Deccan, and who desired such a distribution as would exclude the Hindostan troops, and their commander. The pretensions of all parties having been fully argued before the Lords of the Tressury, the majority of these lords deter mined (against, it is said, the opinion of their chief,) that the booty should not be formed into a general fund, and that the claim of Lord Hastings, as commanderin-chief of all the armies, should be dis allowed. The principle of actual cap
ture was to be adhered to as far as possible, with an exception in favour of one detachment of the Hindostan army, sent down to assist in the operations against Nagpoor and with the addition, that the East India Company should have none of the booty.
The Duke of Wellington and Mr. Arbuthnot, of the Treasury, were, on the 22d of March, 1823, made trustees to collect the booty, and prepare a scheme of distribution on the principles so declared. Mr. Atcheson was solicitor for Sir Thomas Hislop and the staff and army of the Deccan. Having carried his point with the Lords of the Treasury, he proceeded to lay before the trustees, statements of the booty claimed for his constituents. The trustees took his information as long as he had any to give, but refused altogether to place themselves on confidential terms of intercourse, or to lend themselves to his views in contesting with the East India Company various extensive claims set up by him. The trustees seem, indeed, to have considered him as preferring claims on behalf of the Deccan army, such as no officer would ever have thought of advancing. Mr. Atcheson's statements are before the public, and the principle on which he proceeds seems to be, that all the advantage obtained by the East India Company from the war, is to be considered as military booty, and that the Company should therefore not only refund all it had obtained in cash, but, further, purchase of the army all prospective advantages, all palaces and public buildings, and even all additions to the revenue that have resulted from the war. Dismayed at these pretensions, the trustees sought to cut off all further communication with Mr. Atcheson, by opening a direct correspondence with Sir Thomas Hislop and the military men sent home as prize-agents. Mr. Atcheson
continued to address letters to the trustees, enclosing the opinions of counsel, and insisting that the trustees should communicate with him as sole law-agent for the Deccan army. The principal matter in which Mr. Atcheson required to be dealt with thus confidentially, was this: the trustees had received his statements of booty, and had submitted the statements to the law-officers of the Crown, by whose opinion they and the Treasury were resolved to be guided. Mr. Atcheson in
sisted that the opinions so given by the crown-lawyers should be communicated to him, that he might submit them to other counsel on the part of the Deccan army. The trustees refused Mr. Atcheson's request. They further expressed their opinion, that there was too much disposition shown to go to law; but offered to submit all the proceedings to Sir Thomas Hislop's inspection, or that of any number of officers of his army.
A petition was next presented to parliament from Colonel Fitz-Simon, of the Deccan army, complaining of the delays tarown in the way of the distribution, and attributing them, in plain terms, to the trustees, and their refusal to admit Mr. Atcheson to their confidence. Dr. Lushington then declared the parties to have been insulted, in a letter from the Duke of Wellington, and imputed the opposition. Mr. Atcheson had experienced to his refusal to allow a son of Mr. Arbuthnot to be nominated a joint prize-agent. The fact is undoubted, that such a nomination was in agitation, and. was given up after, if not in consequence of, the opposition made to it by the existing prize and law agent. The matter might have ended here, but for the anxiety of the military friends of the noble Duke to stand forth as his defenders. On the third day only, after the reading of Colonel Fitz-Simon's petition, another petition was produced, asserting the perfect satisfaction of the Madras army at the conduct of the trustees, and bearing the signature of Sir J. Malcolm, with that of three other officers, in respect to whom it came out, that one being in Scotland, a friend had taken upon himself to sign his name. Mr. Atcheson's bill was stated in parliament to amount, at that time, to about 17,000l.; at present, we hear it amounts to about 25 or 30,0001. And it was against proceedings calculated to increase this bill, that the trustees set their faces.
A third and a fourth petition were presented to the House of Commons on the same subject, one from Sir Evan John Murray M'Gregor, a sharer, disavowing the declaration of general satisfaction put into the mouth of the army by Sir John Malcolm; and the other from Mr. Atcheson, exculpating himself from the charge of desiring to promote litigation, and complaining of the treatment he had experienced at the hands of the trustees.
The trustees have since continued
In so far as the booty captured from the Peshwa or Bhoosla was taken in forts or camps which fell before the conquering armies, the principle of actual capture might well be applied; and if the capture were made before the dissolution of the army of the Deccan, Sir Thomas Hislop and his staff might claim the usual proportions of commander-in-chief and staff over the divisions which made the capture. But much, indeed the bulk, of the amount claimed on the part of the army, was state-prize, which fell to the civil officers of the government that succeeded the Peshwa and Bhoosla; and how was it possible to apply the principle of actual capture to such booty? Thus Baja Row Peshwa had sent the bulk of his state-jewels to be concealed in a private house in the open town of Nasik. Information of the hoard was given to Mr. Elphinstone, the civil commissioner, some time after the dissolution of the army of the Deccan, and when a few operations against the Arabs of Kandês were all that remained to complete the reduction of the country. Mr. Elphinstone sent immediate orders to his civil deputy in that part of the country, who happered to be a military man (Captain Briggs), and he proceeded with a small personal escort, borrowed from the force of Colonel M Dowall, to take possession of these jewels. Had the crown been the governing authority of India, the prize would probably have been deemed a droit, so as not to fall to the army: but the governing authority happening to be the Company, which is precluded from any right or interest in booty resulting from war, the crown has ordered the Nâsik jewels to go to the army. Upon the principle of actual capture, however, Mr. Elphinstone, who directed the operation, must be the commander-in-chief, and Captain Briggs, his civil assistant, the actual captor. Neither Sir Thomas Hislop nor his staff can have a better claim than any other indifferent person. But if there be absurdity in the principle of actual capture, as applied to these jewels, there is still greater in respect
to two other items claimed for the Deccan army, viz. ; first, a sum of money deposited by Bajee Rao, with a native banker of Bombay, and recovered from him by proceedings in the Recorder's court, conducted by the Company's Advocate-General there; and, secondly, a large quantity of jewels sent from Nagpoor for deposit at Bunares, with a merchant of that city, and for the recovery of which suits have been instituted in the native courts. of Bengal, which so far as we are informed, are still undetermined. Who, we would ask, are the actual captors in these two instances? And yet these items, as state-prize, which the Company is not entitled to, will probably be awarded to the army. The last-mentioned jewels it was intended by the Bengal government, to restore to the Raja, by whom Apa Saheb has been succeeded at Nagpoor, but the award of the Treasury Lords has deprived the Company of all power of disposing of them, and if they be now restored, it must be after re-purchase from the army. These difficulties were inherent in the case from the beginning, and suggested the recommendation of the Marquis of Hastings, that all the booty should be thrown into a general fund. They must have been fully argued by the counsel employed in support of that side, and yet, it appears, that the majority of the Treasury Lords were not convinced until the trustees, finding the difficulty of applying the principle of actual capture to their award, reported the same for further judgment. The arguments of both sides on this part of the case were again heard by the Treasury, on the 7th of January 1826, and the case now awaits the decision of that tribunal.
III. A SHORT discussion took place, before the close of the session, on the Sullers, or burning of Indian widows on the funerai pile of their deceased husbands.
This rite, which is a form of publie suicide, seems so strongly sanctioned among the Hindoos by religion and custom, that it would be difficult, if not impossible to suppress it by direct legisla tive interference,
The Hindoos maintain, that the true Suttee need not bura publicly, but erea if prohibited, will pine away and die, for the sake of joining her husband in paradise.
under the system now pursued on these occasions in India, may tend to assure us, that the suffering, or at any rate the going forth to suffer, is not the result of any other compulsion than that which is occasioned by superstition and family pride. If this be so, it seems hopeless to expect any alteration, except in the progress of truth, and the decay of superstition; and it may fairly be asked, whether those members of the House whose imaginations seem so deeply affected, by this distant, irremediable, and comparatively small amount of suffering, might not employ their time and faculties better, by attempting to remove the causes of misery prevailing to an enormous extent in their own country, and for the removal of which little more is requisite than a moderate portion of disinterestedness.
The presence of the police-officers | never voted in favour of any tax. Taxation is, in fact, the price which we pay for government; and our object in this, as in all other purchases, should be, to obtain the best article we can at the lowest price. For this purpose it is necessary not only that the affairs of government should be conducted with the greatest wisdom and economy, but also that the revenue which is required should be levied in such a manner as to occasion the smallest possible loss of enjoyment to the contributors. It is on this subject alone that it is our province at present to treat. We have nothing fo do with the amount of the sinking fund, the standing army, and other like objects, which have found their way into the deIn this place we bates on taxation. must assume that a certain revenue is necessary, and we have only to inquire how it may be raised in the most advantagcous manner.
FINANCE AND TRADE.
I. The Budget-Assessed Taxes-
A striking alteration has taken place, during the last four years, in the management of this department of our government, by the resignation of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Vansittart, now Lord Bexley; a minister who repeatedly proved himself to be ignorant of some of the simplest of those principles which ought to have guided his conduct, and who, in several instances, systematically persevered, year after year, in increasing duties, when he might have learned from the returns, that the only effect of such increase was the rapid reduction of the revenue*. Mr. Robinson has, therefore, had the culiar good fortune, on entering into office, to be enabled at the same time to reduce taxation and to increase the revenue. As it may be useful to ascertain how and in what cases these desirable objects may be effected; and as it is a sub
very fully explained; we shall not apologize for enlarging on this topic. We do so with the less hesitation, as by laying down some of the general principles of taxation in the first instance, we shall facilitate our subsequent inquiries.
I. IN entering upon the first of these subjects, we may observe, that whilst, on the one hand, we disagree with those me-ject which we believe has been never taphorical reasoners who would persuade us that the money which is taken in taxes is not really taken from the people-a proposition which has been proved by a simile, in which taxes are made to resemble the moisture which, being first drawn up from the earth, is sent back We may of course assume that the to it in refreshing showers; neither on whole annual revenue of the inhabitants the other, can we coincide in opinion of every country, whether they be prowith a certain worthy county mem-. ductive or unproductive consumers, is exber, who is reported to have made pended on the various articles produced a subject of self-congratulation, at a meeting of his constituents, that he had
*See Edinb. Rev. vol. xxxvi, p. 534.
by labour and capital. We may also take for granted, that the relative quantities of the articles consumed, will depend upon two circumstances, viz. the desire of the consumer for the article in question, and the cost of producing it; that it will be directly as the former, and inversely as the latter. Now if an equal ad valorem duty be laid upon all commodities, it is clear that their relative prices will remain unaltered; and if we suppose the relative desire of the consumer for the different commodities to remain the same, the relative consumption of each article will remain unchanged, and the tax will fall equally upon all consumers, exactly in proportion to the value of the commodities which they consume. Let us now suppose the tax upon some one commodity to be greatly increased, so as to raise its price to such a degree as greatly to diminish, or entirely prevent, its consumption. It is evident that the whole, or a great part, of the income which was for merly expended upon this article, will now be employed in the purchase of other commodities. The revenue, therefore, will not be increased in proportion to the increase of taxation; but at the same time, it will not be diminished, because these other commodities will remain taxed to the same extent as before. But since, in all countries, there are some articles which are taxed either not at all or to a very small amount, it is evident that, if the consumer should have recourse, as he probably would, to these articles, the revenue would actually be diminished by increasing the tax. It is in this way alone that an increase of taxation can be attended by a diminution of revenue. For let us put a different case. Let us suppose that an equal ad valorem duty is laid upon all commodities except one, which either is altogether exempt, or is taxed only to a small amount. If this article be now subjected to the same taxation as the rest, it is obvious that its consumption
will be probably greatly diminished, or that it may cease altogether, and that consequently the produce of the tax on this particular commodity, will be diminished to little or nothing. But since the income which was formerly expended on this untaxed article, must now be employed in the purchase of taxed commodities, it follows that the whole revenue of the state, instead of being diminished, may be increased. From these conside
rations, we think we are justified in drawing the following conclusions. First, that there is not, as is often supposed, an absolute limit to every duty, beyond which an increase of taxation necessarily occasions a loss of revenue; but that this loss is the consequence, not of high but of unequal taxation. Secondly, that even when it appears from the returns that the increase of a tax on any article has caused a diminution of revenue on that particular article, it does not necessarily follow that it has caused a loss to the revenue generally, because the loss may be made up by an increased consumption of other articles, taxed to an equal or greater amount. But whenever an increase of duty is attended by a diminution of revenue on an article more highly taxed than the average of the commodities of the country, we may generally conclude that the additional taxation has been unprofitable or pernicious. Thirdly, it appears that inequality of taxation is generally injurious in the three following ways: 1st, in causing a loss to the revenue; 2dly, in producing inconvenience to the consumer, inasmuch as it narrows his choice of the articles of consumption; 3dly, in causing injury to the producer and the merchant, by whom such articles are distributed, by compelling a transfer of their capital from one employment to another a process which can rarely be accomplish ed without both inconvenience and loss.
There is also another consideration of great importance, which would lead us to disapprove of unequal taxation; we mean the encouragement which it affords to smuggling. It is quite unnecessary to detail the injurious consequences which result from this offence, or to demonstrate the impossibility of preventing its continuance so long as the present high duties exist, as these topics are a constant subject of discussion, both in and out of parliament. It may be sufficient to remark, that its prejudicial effects to the commu