Francis Carnac Brown.

Letters to and from the Government of Madras, relative to the disturbances in Canara, in April, 1837, with some explanatory notes. To which is prefixed a letter to the Honourable the Court of Directors of the East India Company online

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Online LibraryFrancis Carnac BrownLetters to and from the Government of Madras, relative to the disturbances in Canara, in April, 1837, with some explanatory notes. To which is prefixed a letter to the Honourable the Court of Directors of the East India Company → online text (page 7 of 19)
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which appeared to me of use and interest, whether noted on trials, or
obtained from private sources, — and that I have offered suggestions,
which my information and experience of Canara, extending to a period
of fifteen years, led me to think might be useful. In short, I have
omitted no opportunity of trying to aid him in his duty. When even
my authority had been opposed and was in abeyance, I informed him,
by a private note, (only a few days before I received the censure of
Government,) of the case of a boy, son of a prisoner under trial, and
only ten or eleven years of age, having been in confinement nearly four
months, and, thereupon, procured his release.

7. In proof of the above assertions I can appeal, if necessary, to ex-
tensive correspondence (chiefly private), and to the testimony of my
colleague, who knows how carefully I have studied to avoid irritating
the Magistrate's (to me well known) susceptible temper. The corres-
pondence which I annex, marked B., will show what my disposition
was, even at the time that our official difl'erence was under reference to
superior authority, and after the Magistrate's reflections in his return to
my Precept.

8. 1 confess myself unable to discover the grounds for imputing to me


'* idle notions of dignity ;'' and I hope they may be pointed out for my
correction, as I disavow any disposition to assume authority, while I
consider it a duty to insist on respect for that which is clearly delegated
to me. My observation on the seal can hardly be alluded to, 1 think ;
for, as the Government have deemed it necessary to limit the size, by
printed Regulation, it appears to be my duty to require observance of
the order. I would beg a patient comparison of the terms of my notice
of it, and of the Magistrate's reply.

9. With regard to my interference being called " vexatious," I humbly
request a re-perusal of the whole of my demands made (in the usual
form of Precept), after two letters from the Magistrate had led me to
believe that he had not made due progress in ascertaining whether there
was even slight ground for detaining each person whom he had in cus-
tody. The first demand is comprised in these few words of the 8th
paragraph of my Proceedings of the 20th June, viz. for " a list of all pri-
soners who have not been brought to trial, the dates of apprehension, and
grounds for detention, according to a Form," which shows that the infor-
mation required was very slight : the second was ''to state whether one
Pudmaya Shetty had been charged on oath with any offence, and, if so, the
particulars thereof, as well as the date on which he was charged, and that
on which he was apprehended. If no charge on oath hud been taken, the
grounds for his detention to be stated."

10. The last requisition arose from a special application to me, after
two petitions to the Magistrate were alleged to have failed. So little
was I disposed to interfere, without actual necessity, that I desired the
petitioner to repeat his address to the Magistrate (as stated in the 4th
paragraph of my letter to you of the 24th June), " because it was likely
that pressure of business might have prevented the Magistrate from giving
attention to his first."

11. On making my other demand, I stated, in the 5th paragraph, that
" the Regulations, as well as the first principles of justice, obviously
require that the Magistrate should lose no time in making a list of all
persons in his custody, or confined under his orders, showing the date of
apprehension, and the cause for it. It is very possible that, amid so
much confusion, innocent persons may have been ari-csted." These
observations remain uncontroverted by any of my superiors. The
correctness of my surmise, that the innocent might be so suffering, is
proved by the case of the boy, noticed above, in paragraph 6 ; by the
fact, that Pudmaya Shetty, whom the Magistrate said (in his Return of tiie



24th June) that he had " informed the Government tliat it was 7iot his
intention to release," was discharged on the 15th July (as his brother,
the petitioner, informed me in open Court); that nutiibcrs were released
by the Magistrate, daily, immediately after he made his reference to
Government against my interference (but not before), that only lately
four Madras Coolies (who bought stationery for the public offices) were
released after having been confined (as I am credibly informed) without
the slightest ground for suspicion; and that in case No. 14, the 6th pri-
soner, a youth, was actually sent before the Special Commission, with-
out having been ever confronted with an accuser, and no one would, or
ever did, accuse him.

12. In the 6th paragraph of my proceedings, I showed that I had
consideration for the heavy duties of the Magistrate, and had abstained
from any demand for information, on the appeal made to me, nearly a
month before, (when I visited the jail,) because " the number then in
confinement afforded reasonable ground for conclusion that even a slight
enquiry, to warrant detention, could hardly have been held in all cases,
though even by that time much might have been done."

13. I proceeded to state, in the 7th paragraph, that I thought that the
time for interference was come ; and that I could " foresee no difficulty
as to making sufficient enquiry to ascertain whether any have been
groundlessly seized (a measure of obvious duty before this, as some have
been taken so far back as the 6th April) since the Magistrate, Joint-Ma-
gistrate, and the two Assistants, have all been at this station for a consi-
derable time." And in the lOlh paragraph of my letter to you, of the
23d June, I observed, "If Captain Le Hardy, the sole European civil
officer in Coorg, could send up 189 prisoners (who arrived here via
Cannanore, eleven days ago) with such particulars as I have required, it
can hardly be considered unreasonable to expect as much from the
Magistrate of Canara, with so many European Assistants." The Magis-
trate appeared to me to be wanting in method. The examination of the
189 prisoners, I had every reason to believe, was but an inconsiderable
portion of the duty which had fallen to Captain Le Hardy, who was
without assistants.

14. The only answer which the Magistrate made, to the demand of a
superior authority, which (in his Return of the 24th June) he admits did
" not contravene the Regulations," is this: "The Magistrate wishes to
avoid collision with the Circuit Judge; but finding this almost incompa-
tible with his requisitions, he has determined to apply for the orders of the


Government." The 6tli and 7th paragraphs of my proceedings were
calculated to show him that I was open to reason. Had he, then, evinc-
ing a disposition to yield the obedience which the Regulations require
of him, complied as far as he could with my demand, and proffered
weekly or other periodical additions, I should have given due attention
to his representations, as may be inferred from the latter part of the 3d
paragraph of my letter to you of the 24th June, where I observe, " He
does not deign to represent his difficulties, and request my consideration
of them, and a consequent extension of time for making his Return."

15. In the 9th paragraph, I gave additional grounds for my interfe-
rence, slating that I was aware " that the Magistrate had a large body of
men under a Military guard, independently of 237 whom I found in the
regular jail of the Zilla, who may have no friends, or other means, to
bring the hardship of their cases to iny notice, and {consequentlij) before
the higher authorities ; and as, further, I had heard of most distressing
cases of despondency (which may naturally be expected when there are
such frequent instances of persons being led out for execution) I consi-
dered it an urgent duty to call for such statement without fuither

16. Having quoted Regulations and an order of the Fonjdaree Udalut,
whereon I felt bound to interfere; and the force of them not having
been questioned, I conclude that my interference must have appeared
" vexatious" with reference to time only ; in regard to which it was for me
to exercise my judgment, as prescribed by my oath ; the Regulations
affording me no guide, but, rather, strongly proscribing delay. Though
the grounds which I have noticed (in the 12th to 14th paragraphs) for
my thinking that the time for interference had arrived, may still be con-
sidered erroneous, I trust that I shall not, merely on that account, be
deemed obnoxious to such censure as has been applied to me. Even
the Bench of Judges of England, " learned in the law," frequently differ
in opinion, though unbiassed, honest, anxious, and under check of a
VIGILANT PUBLIC ; and, in every sphere of life, such differences are to be

17. I regret that pressure of business has prevented me from pre-
paring this address earlier.

I have, &c.


Mangalore, Second Judge, Western Division.

31st August, 1837.


Fonjdaree Udalut.
No. 282.


I am directed by the Judges of the Couit of Fonjdaree Udalut to
transmit to you copy of a letter addressed to this Court by the Second
Judge on Circuit in tlie Western Division, together with the copy of the
correspondence which accompanied it, and which the officer requests
may be laid before the Governor in Council for his consideration, with
reference to the extract from the Minutes of Consultation, under date
the 24th of July, 1837.

I have the honour to be, &c.


Fonjdaree Udalut, Register Office, Register.

16 September, 1837.

Order of Government, dated 28 September 1837, on Fonjdaree
Udalut Letter, No. 282.

No. 918.
The Governor in Council sees no reason to alter the opinion expressed
in the Minutes of Consultation, dated the 24th July last. No. 668, upon
the conduct of the Second Judge and the Magistrate. From the tenor
of the former gentleman's communication to the Fonjdaree Udalut of
the 31st August 1837^ it might be supposed that the Government, in
censuring him, had absolved the Magistrate from all blame, whereas, in
fact, they are both included in the animadversions which the Govern-
ment felt bound to record on the occasion, and it is observed that the
censure passed upon the Magistrate's conduct is the stronger of the two.


Chief Secretary.

On the 30lh November, after His Lordship the Governor's return to
Madras, the Second Judge made another appeal, the courteous answer


to which merits to be contrasted with the language of the first reply from
*' the Governor in Council."


Sir, Fort St. George.

1. I have the honour to request that the Judges of the Court of Fonj-
daree Udalut will submit to the Right Honourable the Governor in
Council the following further appeal on my behalf against the censure
recorded on my conduct in the Minutes of Consultation of the 24th
July last.

2. I have deferred making it till this time, partly on account of
pressure of duty, and partly because I did not wish to intrude on his
Lordship's time immediately after receiving (on the 8th ultimo) copy of
the order, dated the 28th September, on my former appeal, it appearing
probable that on his return to the Presidency, many matters of impor-
tance would claim his immediate notice.

3. I trust, however, that His Lordship in Council will now be able
to give his attention to the subject of my appeal, and that he will deem
it deserving of his serious consideration, since it has been imputed to
me that I have been so regardless of my oath as to have " given way to
private feelings and idle notions of dignity," whereas I have asserted,
and with all respect I do assert, that I acted purely on public ones (for
which the Fonjdaree Udalut have given me " full credit"), and I have
requested that I may be shown the grounds on which improper motives
can be imputed to me.

4. No person of honourable feeling can quietly submit to a simple
imputation against his veracity. JNIine has not only been impeached,
as above shown, but my conduct has been pronounced " highli/ discre-
ditable," and I labour under a threat, the operation of which appears to
me to be avoidable only by entire submission to the pleasure of every
Officer, whom the Regulations bind me by an oath to controul.

5. In the twenty-seventh year of my service, under a full conscious-
ness of constant zeal for the interests of Government, a Judge of a Pro-
vincial Court for nearly eight years, I request merely that the same
justice which (under Section 16, Regulation II. of 1802) is the due of


every party in a suit for a few rupees, may be accorded to me; my cha-
racter, the highest property of man, being the matter affected by the

6. My request, for information on the grounds on which I was con-
demned, has been met with the mere observation, that the Magistrate
was also censured, and more strongly than I was. That, however, I beg
to observe, can be no satisfaction to me, when urging my claims for
justice to my own character. I acted towards him, as I conceived that
duty required, and on his resisting, I pursued the course dictated by
Clause 3, Section 40, Regulation IX., of 1816, by bringing his conduct
to the notice of our superiors, that he might be dealt with as they might
think fit.

7. I therefore trust that His Lordship in Council will re-consider my
letter of the 31 st August last, and comply with the requests therein made.

I have, &c.,


Mangalore, Second Judge on Circuit.

30th November, 1837.

Order of Government, dated 3d February, 1838.

Tlie anxious desire evinced by the Second Judge to have the censure
recently passed upon his conduct removed, is considered by the Right
Honourable the Governor in Council to be most creditable to his feel-
ings and character, both private and official, and His Lordship in Coun-
cil, in allowing him the full benefit of the explanations which he has
offered on the occasion, is willing to believe, as asserted by him, that
l\is proceedings were influenced by zeal for the public service.


Chief Secretary.


(Note B. Page 50.)

Lest I should be suspected of dealing in fiction, the following are,
word for word, in the original English, (a few unimportant clauses
omitted,) sanctioned by the Madras Board of Trade, presided over by a
Member of Council, the

Rules for the Collection of the Sea Customs of the Provinces of
Malabar and Canara, and for the Guidance of the Managers.


1 . Duties are to be levied on all Exports, Imports, and Trans-ship-
ment of Goods, on British vessels, or on vessels belonging to Natives of
the British territories, or to subjects of the Native powers of Asia, and
to be subject to the following Rules : — ,


2. Duties on Imports are to be levied according to the value in the
Tariff. 3. The duty is 8 per cent, on the value. 4. A certificate from
any port or place under the Government of Madras is to be taken in
full, or part payment, of this duty. 5. These certificates, when pro-
duced, are to be examined by the Tariff of these Provinces, and the goods
imported are to be valued by our tariff; if they are more valued hy our
tariff, the difference must be taken, and upon the rowannahs, or certifi-
cate which is produced, must be written " the rates of duty," " the total
value," and " the total customs," and then a receipt must be given ac-
cording to this form on the old rowannahs. — {Here follows the form on
a stamp.)

Imports for Exportation.

6. Any person importing goods, and declaring he intends to re-export
them, must deposit the amount of the duty. 7. . 8. On the re-
exportation of such goods, two-thirds of the duty will be returned, if the
goods are exported in six months, passed through the custom-house,
•ucluded in tiie manifest of the export cargo, and in tlie same package

as imported in ; if not so done, then no part will be returned. 9. .

(These six months were afterwards shortened to three.)


Import Duty.
10. Goods imported from ports and places not under the Government
of Fort St. George are to pay import duty of 8 per cent, on the tariff
price. 11. .


12. An export duty is to be levied on all the goods laden on British
vessels, or vessels belonging to British settlements in India or Natives of
Asia. 13. The export duty is to be 8 per cent., except on the articles
which have a particular duty (varying from 15 to 18 per cent, on all the
most valuable articles of produce), and are in the list at the end of this.
14. The duty is to be levied according to the tariff price. 15. The cer-
tificate of the inland duty is to be received in part payment of the sea

duty. 16. . 17. Goods exported from one part of the Coast to

another, between Cochin and Sedashagur, having paid duty, are to be
allowed to be re-exported in fifteen days, otherwise must pay duty again
on exportation.

(Cochin and Sedashagur are the limits, south and north, of the two
Provinces, and include a coast-line of about 400 miles, or one-fifth
that of Great Britain. Grain and rice, the universal food of the people,
were not excepted from this rule, a sample of a Madras corn-law.)

Private Baggage.

18. . 19. Private baggage is not to pay duty, but it must be

really baggage ; any piece of cloth not cut up for use, and all things not
of the description of private baggage, are to pay import duty.

Trans-sh ipping.

20. Goods trans-shipped from one vessel to another shall be charged
with duties the same as if the goods had been imported. 21. As this
may be hard upon the traders, when they object, the Managers will tell
them to apply to the Collector, and state all circumstances ; then the
Collector will order according to what may appear proper, and report to
the Board of Trade. 22. Goods trans-shipped without permission of the
Custom Manager, or shipped on any other vessel, than mentioned in the
permit, are to be charged with double duty, and if done to defraud the
circar (Govt.), to be confiscated. 23. Applications for to trans-ship goods,
must be in the following terms. {Here follows a form of twelve columns.)


Manifest and Port Clearance.

24. , 25. The commanders or supercargoes of any vessels, being

a European, is to deliver his manifest and port clearance at the Custom-
office. 26. The commanders and tindals of all vessels being Natives,
are to deliver true accounts of their cargo, and port clearance, to the
Managers at the Custom-office, and if any doubt of the truth, the Manager
will inquire of the broker, and if there is still any doubt of the truth,
must then make him deliver a list of the cargo according to the account
of the tindals, and require satisfactory proof from him. 27. After the
manifest is seen, and port clearance is seen by the Manager, and found
all proper, then he is to give permit to land the goods. 28. If the port
clearance is not produced, no permission to land or trans-ship from the
vessels is to be given, unless they pay fine of 25 star pagodas (£lO) on
given security for the payment of the fine. 29. . 30. .


31. A certificate of the export duty having been received, shall be
given in the usual form under the seal of the Collector of Customs, and
signed by him, or by his deputy, and countersigned by a sw^orn clerk of
certificates, and also signed by the Managers of the port where the duty

was taken, and sealed with the port seal of the manager. 32. .

33. Where certificates have the part payment of the duties in another
certificate- the amount so in part received, and the numbers of the cer-
tificates are to be inserted under the head of Government Customs
received, and a memorandum made of the amount, date, and number of
the certificates, and place granted at made at the bottom of the certifi-
cate. 34. .

General Rules.

35. . 36. The Managers are to take care that no goods are

landed or shipped, except at the place appointed ; and if they find any
so landed or shipped, they are to seize the same, and report the circum-
stance directly to the Collector or his deputy who is nearest the place at
the time, and await order. 37. Goods and merchandize which should
pay duty, passed, or attempted to be passed, without paying, are to be
seized and confiscated. 38. . 39. Any persons giving informa-
tion to the Custom officers of any goods smuggled, will be entitled to
share of the amount for which they sell. 40. The produce of the sale


of goods to be divided in future, after deducting the duty which sl)ould
have been paid, one-half to the Collector and his subordinates, as the
Governor in Council pleases, one-half to the Custom officers who seized
the goods and the person who informed ; if no informer, all to the Cus-
tom-house officer who seized them. 41. When the goods seized may
be returned on receiving double or treble duty, then, after deducting
the proper duty, the rest to be divided as above between the informer

and the Custom officer. 42. . 43. The Managers are to seize any

goods landed, or shipping from the godowns of the merchants, or others*
without permission of the Collector, or his deputy, is produced on
writing, and report it as in Rule 38. 44. The Managers are to give
permits to boats to be employed in trans-shipping goods, besides the
permit given to the merchant to trans-ship the goods; and if any goods
are trans-shipped in boats that have not got such permit, they are liable
to confiscation. 45. The Managers of the Customs, and all other per-
sons belonging to it, are to do according to the Rules in the Boat Regu-
lations, and seize merchandize on board unregistered boats. 46. The
Managers must cause the Custom Peons to do their duty according to
the rules for them. 47. When a merchant intends to export, a durkast,
or manifest, is delivered ; it sometimes happens that the goods cannot
he shipped, and the merchant then requires back the duty he has paid
on that quantity which has not been shipped, the Managers are not to
return the duty, but to acquaint the merchant he must give proof to the
Collector or his deputy that he was unable to ship it, and then what is

proper will be ordered. 48. , 49, . 50. The Managers of

the Custom Department are to give good security for their personal
appearance when wanted. 51. If the security do not produce the per-
sons they are security for, then they will be held answerable. 52. .

53. The goods are to be searched, weighed, marked, and counted be-
tween 9 o'clock and 4 o'clock ; but as on this Coast the time of shipment
must, for the benefit of trade, be allowed when the boats can go off, and
in places where there are rivers, when the tide serves, from sunrise to
sunset is allowed as the time for shipping the goods which have been

examined. 54. . 55. . 56. The monthly accounts are to

be made up on the 25th. 57. . 58. . 59. The Managers

are to make themselves acquainted with the trade of the port they are
stationed at, with the price of all things selling, buying, with the
exchange of the money. They are to make all the people under them
obey, and take care of the circar (Govt.) interest; and if they do not,


they are to acquaint the CoUector; they are not to be excused any neg-
lect, by saying, " I told to do so ;" they must take care it is done.
They must obey most strictly the orders they receive, and read often,
till they properly understand. They must take care that the people do
not throw any stones in the river, or build banks without permission ;
they must prevent people from building opposite or round the Custom-
houses, so that they cannot see around. They must see the boats em-
ployed in carrying merchandize are good and proper ; they must attend
to their duty, and, by so doing, themselves and families will get good. —
{Sic orig.)

E. P. Blake,
Mangalore, 12 July, 1812. Collector of Customs.

Rules for Levying Duties on the Trade of Foreign European States.

1. Foreign European ships belonging to any nation at peace with the
English that has got settlements in India, may trade with the British
sea-ports ; but if they intend to trade to Europe, they must go straight
to their own country in Europe. 2. Foreign European ships belonging
to any nation that has not any settlement in India, and American, when
at peace with the English, may trade to British ports, if they come direct
from their own country, without touching anywhere except for refresh-
ments or from distress. The papers of such vessels must be sent for
inspection to the Collector of Customs, or his deputy. .3. The above

1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Online LibraryFrancis Carnac BrownLetters to and from the Government of Madras, relative to the disturbances in Canara, in April, 1837, with some explanatory notes. To which is prefixed a letter to the Honourable the Court of Directors of the East India Company → online text (page 7 of 19)