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Considerations on colonial policy with relation to the renewal of the East India Company's charter online

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permitted to add a few words. The pro-
spect of returning to their native land,
after having realized a competency abroad,
has always induced the residents in India
to look homeward with affection, and to
respect the stability of that country's pro-
sperity which is to- be their resting place






88

after the fatigues of active life. To keep
up in the minds of their servants an affec-
tionate feeling towards Britain, was long
an object of the wise policy pursued bjr
the Company. This cement is now dis-
solved ; this tie is now broken. The
Company has been obliged to reduce the
emoluments of its servants, and administer
its affairs on a more contracted, not to call
it a parsimonious scale. The urgency of
affairs, which has induced the Company to
adopt these measures, has been unques-
tionably great ; but it must ever be de-
plored, that any temporary pressure should
have caused them to narrow their remu-
nerations to such a degree, as to hazard a
disunion of interest between the parent
state and her Indian colonies. The late
minister for India always relied upon the
strong bond of affection which the hope
of returning home maintained between the
colonists and their native land. May India
never become to England what South
America is to Spain ! The ancient libe-
rality and enlarged policy, observed by
the Government of India, are at an end !
The impoverished state of the Indian



89

finances made some retrenchment neces-
sary ; but the civil servants of the Com-
pany have undergone such privations as
have lowered their consequence and au-
thority in the estimation of the natives.
They have even incurred debts which re-
duce them to a state of dependency on
those who ought to look up to them for
protection. The servants of the Company
must consequently grow lukewarm in their
affection for Britain. The residents feel
themselves almost expatriated. Their num-
ber, which is perhaps already too great,
must certainly increase, if the flood-gates
of the out-ports shall be opened ; this will
only tend the more to lessen the legitimate
opportunities of realizing fortunes ; home
will be less and less thought of, and every
inducement to separate the colonies from
the mother country will act with the greater
force.

Thus the economy so urgently pressed
in this country, and carried rigidly into
effect in Asia, had produced most distress-
ing effects. It has created a sensation of
disaffection and estrangement, which it will
be very difficult to remove.

N



90

The general principles of colonization
have been laid down, and their bearing
on our Indian policy examined. A case
has been made out, claiming the consi-
deration of Parliament, which, it is pre-
sumed, will secure to the Proprietors of
East India Stock a renewal of their Charter,
with certain modifications. The errors of
the Court of Directors have been noted, it is
hoped, without asperity ; and the deviation
from the wise system established in 1802.
for the cheap transit of goods to and from
India, has been explained. The incal-
culable injury sustained by the revenue,
and the British artificers and manufactu-
rers, by employing the natives of Hindostan,
and the unrestrained introduction of Indian
shipping, together with the probable conse-
quences of this most dangerous measure, has
been clearly set forth. It is therefore with
confidence that the author looks to the
united wisdom of the Legislature for such
enactments as will secure the government
of India on sound colonial principles, and
preserve the advantages derived from the
present system ; such as will give to the
British merchant ami manufacturer every



91

facility (compatible with higheradvantages)
in the transit of goods to and from India,
and the remittance of private fortunes, by
the permanent establishment of a class of
ships on the principles laid down in 1802 ;
and, at the same time, will protect the in-
terests of the British ship-owner, manufac-
turer, and artisan, and provide for the con-
sequent prosperity of the country, by such
duties on the Indian shipping and manu-
factures, as are equivalent to the taxes,
direct or indirect which affect the same
manufactures in this country.

The French East India Company once
partook of the commercial advantages
derivable from their settlements in the
Peninsula. The laying open their trade
occasioned first the ruin of the Company,
and was afterward followed by that of the
private adventurers who sought, on plau-
sible grounds, an admission to their exclu-
sive privileges. The British East India
Company have now gained possession of
the factories once held by their ancient
enemies, and have likewise driven from
the East every competitor for the trade
of Hindustan. May no delusive schemes



92

of wild speculation place our acquisitions
in jeopardy ! May the events of past times,
and the misfortunes of other nations, make
us wise ere it be too late! Nothing is so
dangerous as to try experiments on states.
Let us know when we are well off, and let
us be admonished by the victim of empi-
ricism, who, though dead, speaks most sen-
sibly from the tomb :


" I was well ;
I would be better ;
1 took physic;
And here I lie."



THE END.



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Online LibraryEast India CompanyConsiderations on colonial policy with relation to the renewal of the East India Company's charter → online text (page 5 of 5)