Imágenes de páginas

against the high authorities by whom III. c. 63, “ to confer a power on the sentence was pronounced. Defeated Indian Government, of enacting such on all sides, and goaded by defeat into laws as may be essential, provided desperation, it only remained to give they are not inconsistent with the utterance to their despair, in ridiculous principles of the laws of England.” and absurd attacks upon all parties, This is surely the obvious meaning of all authorities, all proceedings, and all the phrase; and though we are not law, directly or indirectly bearing upon perfectly satisfied even with the estheir case.

pression “ the principles of the laws To such persons, if any of those of England,” without any definition of whom we have described have found those principles, still we think, in a their way to this country, do we at- general way, that no doubt can exist tribute the first agitation of a question, what those principles are. For inwhich we have lately heard discussed stance, the supreme power of Parliaby some from whom we had hoped ment is an undoubted and prominent better things, whether the celebrated principle of British law. The perfect ordinance for licensing the periodical enjoyment of personal liberty, to any press in India, was or was not legal, extent not inconsistent with the right as being opposed to, or conformable and safety of a fellow-subject, is with the laws of this realm.

another undoubted and prominent If we enter at all into this discus- principle of British law. Again, the sion, it is not because we consider the trial by jury on all questions of fact question doubtful, and still less from is (and we scruple not to say it, though any respect that we entertain for those

we anticipate the inference that will whom we believe to be its authors: falsely be deduced from it) an unbut we regard it as a part of our duty doubted principle of British law. to assist in clearing away the mists of Once more, the inadmissibility of doubt, in which artful or vindictive secondary evidence where direct evimen are constantly endeavouring to dence can be obtained, and the exinvolve the proceedings of those who clusion of all attempts to extort are invested with authority in India. self-condemnation, are principles of

We have a great dislike to vague British law understood by the most and uncertain phrases in legislative ignorant of the community. enactments, and we freely admit the When principles so broad, so clear, words in question to be of this cha so intelligible as these are established racter; though we by no means con and universally adopted in the creasider it of importance what their pre- tion of our laws, and many more might cise meaning is with reference to the be instanced of a character not less ordinance licensing the periodical press, decided, surely it is unnecessary to Whatever doubt may exist on the torture ingenuity to discover possible question, “what may be repugnant difficulties, in reconciling our oriental to the laws of this realm,” we are con laws with the laws of this realm. It fident, and will shortly prove, that never was meant, and obviously never this ordinance was beyond all ques- could be meant, that no discretion tion, in perfect accordance with them.

must be exercised in adjusting the In our remarks upon the free press, legislation of India to the circumin our number for October last, we

stances and peculiarities of our Indian accidentally adopted an expression, fellow-subjects. It was sufficient to without reference to any question like declare that British jurisprudence the present, which conveys, as should form the model, and British conceive, the full force and definite equity (we do not use the term in its meaning of the words. We there ca

technical sense) the basis on which the sually explained the Act of 13 Geo. infant state should found its proceed


ings; more than this was never in- necessary to adapt them to the inhabitended, for more than this could never lants of India. So much for the gehave been effected. It would, indeed, neral question; and whether our views bave been absurd to transport the are right or wrong as respects the British Statute-Book to India, and to general question, we undertake to shew have mended the roads in that country that in the case which gave rise to the by the turnpike acts of this. In a discussion, there was not a shadow word then, if we were asked what of " repugnance to the laws of this was meant by that accordance to the realm.” laws of this realm, which is required On this point, argument is unto pervade all the ordinances of India, necessary, and illustration is much we should have no difficulty in saying, better. Let our readers compare the that it simply intended that those extracts we have made from the ordiordinances should be founded upon nance of the Indian Government, and such fundamental principles as we have from the Act of Parliament of the described, subject to such variations in 38th of Geo. III. c. 78, which, for the form and expression, as the wisdom of facility of comparison, we have printed the Governor General in Council and opposite to each other in adjoining the Supreme Court should consider columns. necessary

38 Geo. 38 Geo. III.c. 78.

ORDINANCE OF THE 14th March 1823. For preventing the mischiefs arising government of this country, as by law

Whereas matters tending to bring the from the printing and publishing news

established, into hatred and contempt, and papers, and papers of the like nature, by to disturb the peace, harmony, and good persons not known; and for regulating order of society, have of late been frethe printing and publication of such quently printed and circulated in the news. papers in other respects.

papers and other papers published in CalI. No person shall print or publish, or

cutta : for the prevention whereof it is cause to be printed, &c. any newspaper or deemed expedient to regulate by law the other paper containing public news or in- printing and publication within the settletelligence, or serving the purpose of a ment of Fort William, in Bengal, of newsnewspaper, until an affidavit or affirmation

papers, and of all magazines, registers, is made, and being signed as hereinafter pamphlets, and other printed books and mentioned, is delivered to the commis

papers, in any language or character, pubsioners of stamps at their head office, or to . Iished periodically, containing or purportsome of their officers in towns; and at ing to contain public news or intelligence, the offices by them appointed (but which or strictures on the acts, measures, and shall not be on stamped paper), containing proceedings of government or any political the matters hereinafter specified.

events or transactions whatsoever : II. Such affidavit or affirmation shall

I. Be it therefore ordained, by the specify the real names, additions, descrip- authority of the Governor General in tions, and places of abode of all persons Council of and for the presidency of Fort who are, or who are intended to be printers William, in Bengal, &c. that fourteen days and publishers of the newspaper or other after the due registry and publication of paper mentioned therein, and of all the

this rule, ordinance and regulation in the proprietors of the same, if their number,

Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort Wils exclusive of the printer and publisher, does liam, in Bengal, with the consent and apnot exceed two; and if it does, then of two

probation of the said Supreme Court, if of such proprietors, exclusive of the printer the said Supreme Court shall in its discre. and publisher, and also the proportional tion approve of and consent to the registry shares of such proprietors in tlie property and publication of the same; no person or of the newspaper or other paper, and the

persons shall within the said settlement of true description of the house where such Fort William print or publish, or cause to paper is to be printed, and also the title of be printed or published, any newspaper or

magazine, register, pamphlet, or other III. Every such affidavit, &c. shall be printed book or paper whatsoever, in any in writing and signed by the person making language or character whatsoever, publistithe same, and shall be taken by one of ed periodically, containing or purporting to such commissioners, or by one officer contain public news and intelligence, or specially appointed by them to receive such strictures on the acts, measures and pro. affidavits

, &c., and such commissioners and ceedings of government, or any political may take such affidavits on the events or transactions whatso.ver, without oathi 2 G 2


such paper.


oath of the person making the same, and having obtained a license for that purpose such affirmations in the case of Quakers. from the Governor General in Council,

IV. When the persons concerned as signed by the chief secretary of Governprinters and publishers of any newspapers, ment for the time being, or other person &c., together with such number of pro- officiating and acting as such chief secretary. prietors as are required to be named in II. And be it further ordained by the such affidavits or affirinations, shall not al. authority aforesaid, that every person aptogether exceed four persons, such affidavit plying to the Governor General in Coun&c. shall be sworn or affirmed, and signed cil for such license as aforesaid, shall deby all such persons who are adult; and liver to the chief secretary of Government when they exceed four by four of them for the time being, or other person acting who are adult, if so many, and if not by so or officiating as such, an affidavit specifying many as are adult, but the same shall con and setting forth the real and true names, tain the real names, descriptions, and places additions, descriptions, and places of of abode of all the persons who are or are abode, of all and every person and persons intended to be the printers and publishers, who is and are intended to be the printer and of so many of the proprietors of such and printers, publisher and publishers of newspapers, &c. as is hereinbefore required, the newspaper, magazine, register, pam. and the persons so signing and swearing phlet, or other printed book or paper in the to the truth of such affidavit, &c. in the last said affidavit named, and of all the promentioned case shall give notice within prietors of the same, if the number of such seven days after such affidavit, &c. shall be proprietors, exclusive of the printers and so delivered, to each of the persons not publishers, does not exceed two; and in signing and swearing or affirming such case the same shall exceed such number, affidavit, &c., but named therein that he is then of two of the proprietors resident so named, and in case of neglect to give within the presidency of Fort William, such notice, they shall each forfeit £50. and places therelo subordinate, who hold

V. An affidavit or affirmation of the the largest shares therein, and the true delike import shall be made, signed and scription of the house or building wherein given, as often as any of the printers, pub- any such newspaper, magazine, register, lishers, or proprietors named in such affi. pamphlet, or other printed book or paper davits, &c. shall be changed, or shall change aforesaid is intended to be printed, and their residences or printing-house or office, likewise the title of such newspaper, maga. or the title of their paper, and as often as zine, register, pamphlet, or other printed the commissioners of stamps shall think book or paper. proper to require the same to be made, III. And be it further ordained by the signed, and sworn, and affirmed, and shall authority aforesaid, that every such affidavit give notice thereof by leaving such notice shall be in writing, and signed by the perat the place mentioned in the affidavit, &c. son or persons making the same, and shall last delivered, as the place at which the be taken, without any cost or charge, by newspaper to wbich such notice relates is any Justice of the Peace acting in and for printed.

the town of Calcutta. IV. And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, that where the persons concerned as printers and publishers of any such newspaper, magazine, register, pamphlet, or other printed book or paper as aforesaid, together with such number of proprietors as are hereinbefore required to be named in such affidavit as aforesaid, shall not altogether exceed the number of four persons, the atidavit hereby required shall be sworn and signed by all the said persons who are resident in or within twenty miles of Calcutta; and when the number of such persons shall exceed four, the same shall be signed and sworn by four of such persons, if resident in or within twenty miles of Calcutta, or by so many of them as are so resident,

V. And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, that if any person within the said settlement of Fort William shall knowingly and wilfully print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, or shall knowingly and wilfully, either as a proprietor thereof, or as agents or servants of such proprietor, or otherwise sell, vend, or deliver out, distribute or dispose of; or if any bookseller, or proprietor, or keeper of any reading-room, library, shop, or place of public resort, shall knowingly and wilfully receive, lend, give, or supply, for the purpose of perusal or otherwise, to any person whatsoever, any such newspaper, magazine, register, pamphlet, or other printed book or paper as aforesaid, such license as is required by this rule, ordinance and regulation, not having been first obtained, or fter such license, if previously obtained, shall have been recalled, such person shall forfeit, for every such offence, a sum not exceeding sicca rupees four hundred.

It will first be noticed, that the ob- from the printing and publishing peject of the enactments in both cases is riodical papers by persons unknown, similar. In the one case being intend and in the other case specifying those ed to prevent the mischiefs arising mischiefs by name, and then grounding

upon them the necessity of the pro- ordinance, as if the framers of it had posed law. Thus then here at least a been governed by scrupulous anxiety strict analogy is to be found, both to avoid all deviation from fundacountries deprecating alike evils of the mental principles of British law, no same class, and proceeding from the such proviso is to be found, and they same source. The means, it is true, have preferred abandoning their model, in some degree vary, as would the to following it in a point of doubtful materials used for the repair of a road, propriety. according to the nature of the soil in We might, if it were necessary, prothe different stages of that road, secute the illustration further, and although such repairs were required shew in the same manner the strict and provided for by one Act of Par- and liberal accordance between the reliament; the one country considers a gulation for licensing printing-presses previous license requisite, the other given in our number for November, deems an affidavit verifying the pro- page 471, and the Act of Parliament prietors, &c. sufficient; but both con for regulating the printing of books cur as to the evil to be remedied, and and papers, of the 39th Geo. III. c. 79; both correspond in the nature of the but to avoid this article proceeding to penalty to be inflicted for the offence. an unusual length, we content ourWe have extracted several of the selves with referring our readers to the clauses in both, for the sake of shewing originals. how nearly they agree, even in verbal We consider the distinction which expression, so great was the anxiety will of course be taken, between the of the Oriental Government to act operation of the license and the affidaliterally, where it was possible, up to vits as more nominal than real, for in the Act of Parliament from which their both cases it amounts to this, that authority emanates. But it is worthy permission must be obtained to do a of remark, that the Act of Parliament certain act, by a compliance with ceris in one respect far more severe, and tain forms, and that permission is only far more repugnant to the general continued upon the due observance of principles of English law, than any certain conditions. The principle of inopponent of the ordinance has ven- terference, on the part of the Governtured to describe that enactment to ment with the printer and the pubbe; for, in opposition to that rule of lisher, in the discharge of their busievidence to which we have before ad- ness, is precisely the same in both cases, verted, the Act of Parliament declares and it is this strict analogy of principle that the affidavit which it requires for which we are contending. We shall be received as conclusive evi- consider this so obvious, and the supdence, not only against the parties posed distinction so puerile, that we making it, but even against all parties do not think it necessary to refer very named in it, throwing upon the ac. particularly to the thousand instances cused the onus of rebutting that evi, in which a license eo nomine is required dence by other testimony*. In the by the law of this country to be ob

*"Ail such affidavits, &c. shall be filed by the tained from some authority or other, Commissioners of Stamps ; and the same, or co. by almost every professional man. pies thereof certified to be true, as herein after. mentioned, shall, in all proceedings civil and

The divine, the lawyer, the physician, criminal, touching any newspaper of other such the shopkeeper, nay the very scavenger, paper mentioned in such affidavits, &c., or any publication of thing contained therein, be re

must get his license ere he can prac

tise the duties of his calling, and in matters therein stt forth, as are hereby required all these cases it is, strictly and proto be therein set forth against every person who signed, swore, or affirmed, such affidavits, &c.; perly speaking, a license or permission, and agaio, all persons who have not signed, &c. and the delinquent who acts without it the same, but who are mentioned therein as pro. prieturs, printers, or publishers, of such news

is liable to penalties and the loss of paper, &c., unless the contrary is proved." business for his offence. It is true

feived as conclusive evidence of the truth of all

that, in these cases, the object of re- suggest to some gentlemen at home quiring such license is different, but who have incautiously lent themselves only because the evil against which to support the special-pleading to the precaution is adopted is of a dif- which certain bold offenders resort, for ferent character. The mischief pro- the purpose of protecting themselves in duced by the unlicensed publisher is their criminal career, that it would be political, but will it be said that such doing but common justice to themmischief bears a less dangerous charac- selves to fathom the motives of the ter than the unskilfulness of the phy- assailants of our Oriental Administrasician or the ignorance of the solicitor: tion ere they countenance their attacks, and why is it not to be prevented by or adopt their arguments. An irritated similar means ?

democrat, wincing under the chastiseIt surely must then be conceded, ment which his folly and his offences that the interference of the laws of this have brought upon him, is certainly an realm with the private and personal object of commiseration, but a bad affairs of its subjects is universal, and preceptor in the school of law, more almost vexatiously particular, and fully especially in matters relating, however bears out the legality of the ordinance, remotely, to the source of his personal so far as it depends on its consistency complaints. It is not without reason with them.

that we throw out this hint; we hope We here close our argument: but ere

that it will be as well received as it is we take leave of the subject, we would amicably intended.


(In a Series of Letters to the India Gazette.) LETTER I.

one of those boundless plains peculiar to Sir. It is with much satisfaction I re Rajpootana, intersected by small ranges sume my pen, for the purpose of commu. of barren rocky hills, and covered with nicating to you the few remarks I made on innumerable pieces, great and small, of Jypore, and the adjacent country, during loose rocky flint, as well as huge masses a hasty journey through it a short time sprouting out of the earth, which may since. I have copied verbatim from justly be termed the only production of my journal written on the spot, be- the soil (which, so abundant are they, they cause I conceived I should thereby best very nearly hide), for not a particle of explain to you my feelings, in viewing the cultivation, and, except in the rains, not objects I attempt to describe.

a blade of grass is there to be seen. To My route on this journey was via Nus the rear (S. E.), and left of cantonment, seerabad, which place I formerly alluded scarce a solitary hillock presents itself to to as a considerable outpost station on bound the view, which is only terminated the western frontier, situated close to Aj- by the horizon; but in the front (N.W.), mere ; and as I at that place first came to and on the right, at the distance of from a resolution of keeping a diary, I cannot three to four miles, successive ranges of do it such injustice as to pass it over un these same uninteresting hills, of the real noticed; but as I believe I have been appearance of which language is unable anticipated on that subject, I shall not to give you a correct idea, form an effectrouble you with a very copious description tual barrier to the survey. Notwithstandof it.

ing the levelness of the plain, advantage Nusseerabad, then, I am led to under- had been taken of a slightly (scarcely perstand, derives its name from the title of ceptible) rising ground, on which the can“the Nuwab Nusseer Ud Dowleh,” be- tonment is situated, and to give you some stowed by the court of Delhi on Major idea of the extreme feruility of the counGeneral Sir David Ochterlony, Bart., by try, I must inform you, that from the whom, on its formation, the station was most elevated spot, but one stunted dwarf considerably benefited. It is situated on tree, which by some fortuitous chance

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