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they will all agree, has been only too editor, was not guided by personal long delayed.
feelings of vindictiveness to Lord But the most important part of the Hastings : it was founded on the asStatement before us will perhaps be sumed right of canvassing, as freely found to be that which notices Mr. as he thought proper, the measures Buckingham's reply, when directed by of Government, and setting at open Government not to insert any remarks defiance the authority, as illegal, which disrespectful to his Majesty of Oude. had subjected, and still retained, the These remarks are not a justification press under a code of recorded reguof his own conduct, for having done lations. This principle Mr. Buckingso, in reply to the displeasure of the ham only waited for what he thought Governor General in Council, ex a fit opportunity for carrying into presssed on this account; but they practical effect; and the appointment are a voluntary and gratuitous exposé of a reverend gentleman to a very of what he considers himself entitled subordinate office in the service, fur. to do, as the editor of a public news nished this opportunity; and it was paper; and, of all his correspondence not overlooked. Government had, with Government, they appear to us, however, by this time, determined, at once the most insolent, and the that forbearance towards the editor most indefensible. The insolence of the Journal was no longer consiswhich could dictate a declaration, that tent with what it owed to its own he considered a desire of the Gover- character, and to the public safety; nor General in Council, that he would and as it was obvious, that the imattend to the regulations laid down portance or unimportance of the for the press, in the same light as a office commented on, did not affect civil request from an agency house, the principle set up by Mr. Buckingand mete out his obedience to it, ham, the penalty of the laws, which with what measure he should deem he had not only so repeatedly transjust, was unparalleled in the history gressed, but had openly declared his of our power in India; and, con intentions to violate, on all occasions sidering the very dependent state in when he thought it expedient, was which this " free mariner” stood, and exacted to the full amount. the total absence of either claims to
After tracing the progress of the indulgence and respect, or interest to late editor of the Journal from the procure them, which existed in his period of his commencing his public case, we should be tempted to term labours at this Presidency, up to the his conduct absolute fatuity, did not day of his transmission, the Statement other circumstances prevent us from before us proceeds to discuss more coming to such a conclusion.
generally the question of “free disIt cannot fail to excite surprise, cussion”
and a free press," as apthat, even after all these aggressions, plicable to British India. The subject Mr. Buckingham was permitted to con has lately undergone much discussion, tinue in the publication of his Jour- and attracted a great degree of attennal; but the leniency which he ex- tion; but we have seen no remarks perienced, was far from inspiring hinn more just than those contained in with either gratitude or respect to his this Statement, which is replete with protector. We have seen already in sound sense and cogent argument. what language he soon after spoke of While it maintains the doctrine, that the nobleman, to whom alone he owed in India there is no public, entitled the indulgence which he had met to exercise a controuling opinion, with. It is, however, but justice to through the press, over the acts Mr. Buckingham to state, that the of Government, nor indeed can be, principle of his public conduct, as an until this Government is thoroughly
new modelled, it admits in the fullest disputed, and its exercise always found latitude the benefit of such a controul, beneficial. They have never shrunk when exercised by those in whom it from the award of that tribunal ; and is legitimately vested; and it proves, of no governments connected with to demonstration, the absurdity of the British rule, have the acts vesting this right either in the servants been more minutely scrutinized, than of Government itself-in those, who those of the Indian. But sure we are, reside in India, not only under favour no real friend of the British rule in and license, but in fact under express India will desire to see a press esagreement, that to no such right will tablished in that country, which like they ever pretend—and à fortiori in Mr. Buckingham's, shall
openly those, not perhaps the least numerous, set the authority of Government at who residing in India without license, defiance; and by giving publicity are in the daily practice of “a mis- to the most unfounded and calumdemeanor at law.” In the course of nious charges, against the military this examination the author of the department of the State, do all in its Statement reprobates, in very sharp power to excite disaffection in our and pointed terms, the conduct of a gallant and faithful army. factious few, who “ for their own self But in looking to the evils that ish purposes,” have agitated the ques. would inevitably occur, under
a press, tion of a free press in India, and over which a Government, situated as advocated the existence of a public, that of British India is, had no conclothed in the same rights and privi- troul, it is also proper to look to the leges, as the public in England. The pretended disadvantages, entailed on Statement before us will, we doubt us by the system, that has been adoptnot, open the eyes of several of those, ed. We are told, that the disseminawho have been so ill advised as to tion of knowledge and civilization, and join this ction; and enable them to even religion itself, must be effectualsee, that while the right which they ly stopped by it! Can any thing be contend for could possibly lead to no imagined more illiberal and uncangood, either civil or political, which did? It has been the uniform endeathey do not already enjoy, so would vour of the Local Governments of this its exercise, under a Government con country, surrounded as they are by stituted as that of British India is, difficulties and dangers, arising open a door to the most dangerous from the religious prejudices which evils. The scrutiny, which the autho- centuries have created in the minds rities at home, and the public voice of of millions of our native subjects, to the people of England, exercise over promote every scheme for the moral the minutest acts of the Local Govern- and religious improvement of our ments of this country, must satisfy dominions. Every succeeding day of every rational and unprejudiced friend our domination has proved more and of liberty. Let the men who call out more the sincerity and zeal of this so lustily in favour of a controul, desire; and because, forsooth, it has through the Indian press, employ them- been deemned expedient to prevent the selves diligently in amassing the wealth daily issue of disrespect to its authothat is to enable them to return to rity, and incitements to disregard its their native country, and they will enactments, even in its military dethere find the most ample opportuni- partment, we are to be told, that the ties, both in Parliament, in the India- march of intellectual, moral, and reHouse, and through the press, to ligious improvement has been imbring the acts of the Local Go- peded !! In direct opposition to this vernment of India to the bar of a assertion we aver, that the progress of public, whose title to controul is un every useful and ornamental art and
science, under our Government, will would be fraught with the most extensive be more completely provided for than mischief, while it would be completely
impotent and misplaced as a constitutional ever, now that this Government, check on the executive power. The true known to the native population for control over the Indian Government lies their former acts of beneficence and in the constituted authorities at home un
der which it acts, and to which all its protection, have a more complete con
proceedings, even the most inconsiderable, troul over certainly one of the most
are minutely laid open; in its responsiefficient means of diffusing know. bility to Parliament, and to the public ledge and improvement. We have voice in England, by which its measures
must be canvassed, and the applause or seen, indeed, - and we are willing, that
censure of the country ultimately prothose who take an opposite view of nounced. the subject, should have all the ad To that scrutiny and control every pubvantage of the admission-- that an
lic functionary must be willing and proud
to submit : but the unrestrained power of effect of the new regulation has been,
discussing and pronouncing on the meato shut up one native press and news sures of the Local Government, through paper.* The editor of this paper has the medium of the Indian press, or (what declared his inability to go on pub- would soon follow) at public assemblies
convened for the purpose, is as inconsislishing, under what he would repre tent with the fundamental principles essent as to him degrading conditions; tablished by the wisdom of Parliament for and he laments that he, one of the the government of this country, as it would most humble of men,” should be no
be dangerous to the momentous public
interests involved in the success of its longer able to contribute towards the administration. intellectual improvement of his coun We cannot take leave of this so trymen. We were totally unacquaint- long agitated subject, without congraed with the merits of his paper, while tulating every Englishman in India, it existed ; and therefore cannot, on on the possession of a public press, our own knowledge, pretend to say which there is now the best guarantee, whether we ought to congratulate, or
can do no injury to our power, and sympathize with the native editors which, in the hands of gentlemen, and countrymen, on the cessation of his
men of prudence and judgment, may labours :t but we regret to observe, do, and we most sincerely hope, will that they should have ceased, solely do much, towards the intellectual, mo: on looking to the reasons assigned for ral, and religious improvement of our abruptly closing them-reasons, which, native subjects-a press which freed whatever sophistical whining may al- from the galling controul, and the lege, have a direct tendency to reflect
partialities of a censor, has been on the act of Government, and to placed equally beyond abuse by the hold it up, as regardless of the im- theories and the crudities of halfprovement of its native subjects.
educated and licentious demagogues. The policy of allowing a free press in India, is so ably examined in the
A Guide to the Commerce of Bengal, Statement before us, that we cannot
8c., containing a View of the Shipdeny such of our readers, as may not
ping and External Commerce of see the document itself, the pleasure
Bengal ; with a copious Appendix, of perusing the closing paragraphs.
comprehending various Details and In every point of view, then, in which
Statements relative to the Shipping the question can be considered, it appears that the toleration in this country of a
and Commerce of Countries connected press uncontrolled by those restraints, with British India and China. By which the Government, in the exercise of John Phipps, of the Master Attenits discretion, may think fit to impose,
dant's Office, Calcutta: 1823.
Ar the period when Mr. Milburn † We have seen, to be sure, a few trifling ex. published his “ Oriental Commerce," tracts from this paper, and have admitted several of them into our pages as curiosities,
the mercantile community of Great
* Mirut ool Acber.
Britaiñ was in a great measure igno from having (in his official capacity) witrant of the nature and details of that
nessed, during a long series of years, the trade, which the Act of the 53 Geo. perienced by commanders and pursers,
unnecessary perplexity and trouble exIII. laid open for the first time. The particularly strangers to the port, and regulations of the Indian ports, when others, transacting business relating to the ther under British or foreign control; entry and clearance of ships resorting to
the river Hoogly, from such individuals the qualities of many of the produc- being imperfectly acquainted with the tions of the East; the history, geogra- multifarious regulations and forms prephical as well as commercial, of the scribed; and the compiler of the followintermediate countries between in. ing sheets trusts that the present arrange
ment of them, in a form peculiarly adapted dia and Europe; were, comparatively for ready reference, and for the guidance speaking, scarcely, or at least but im- of those who may find themselves placed perfectly, known. That work, the under the disadvantages already alluded
to, and which it is intended to obviate, result of considerable personal ex
will be generally approved. He ventures perience, and the fruit of research so to assume, also, that this publication will extensive, as to be highly creditable be found useful to all other individuals to a man employed in the incessant in any way connected with the India trade,
and particularly with the external comavocations of business, was therefore
merce of this city.- Pref. a most acceptable present to the com To analyse, in the usual manner, a mercial world. Although bulky and work of this character, and upon a expensive, it experienced a ready sale, scale so extensive, is obviously imand is now out of print.*
practicable, without exceeding our The compilation before us was in limits. As however the work protended, and is, in fact, a continuation
fesses to be a companion to the of the commercial part of Milburn's “ Oriental Commerce,” which most work, so far as regards Bengal ; but it East-India traders must be familiar has attained a size not originally con
with, we may perhaps succeed in aftemplated by reason, it is stated, “ of fording a correct idea of the “Guide the many valuable and very useful docu
to the Commerce of Bengal,” by shewments, of such an extent and nature,
ing wherein it resembles, and in what that the compiler was induced to ad
particulars it departs from, the plan mit them as it advanced through the of the former work.
Mr. Milburn's plan comprehended The motives which impel an author all the countries and places likely to before the public, are generally not be visited by the trader on his outvery interesting to that public, and ward and home
between are pleaded often to disguise vanity. England and India. He took him as But in the present instance the motive it were by the hand, and explained to to publication is not only commendable him the particulars necessa, y to be in the author, but the public state- observed at every port where he ment of it discloses deficiencies, of touched, the various regulations enwhich all persons resorting to the forced there, the duties and charges port of Calcutta are not aware, but levied by the Government, the comagainst which they ought, if possible, modities the country abounded with, to be provided.
the mode of traffic, with directions The compiler felt actuated to the pub and precautions to counteract fraud lication of the present work chiefly by the or artifice. This extensive plan, esexperienced dearth of accurate informa- pecially embracing as it did, historical, tion on the subject, and urged to a diligent use of the opportunities afforded to him,
financial, and commercial dissertations, of collecting materials within his reach, connected either with particular coun
tries or peculiar articles of merchan* We perceive that our publishers have recent dize, forbid the author from entering ly advertised an abridgment of this work. was reviewed in one of our early volumes (Vol II,
very minutely into the detail of suborpp. 41, 156), shortly after its appearance. dinate regulations, which, however
'desirable to know, must, to a certain ticulars equally minute, 'regarding all extent, be ascertained by experience. matters which concern the subject of
Mr. Phipps, having a smaller hori- Indian shipping : such as the name zon to survey, has been enabled to and history of every vessel built in direct his attention to more minute the various ports of India; expense of matters; and we have not the least sailing; cost of building, rates of timdoubt that, with his “Guide,” a stran. ber, &c. &c. Some data are furnishger would find himself almost at home ed in this part very useful to those in his intercourse with all the fiscal persons interested in the science of and municipal departments at Cal- naval architecture. The finest specicutta. We subjoin as proof the fol men of the skill of Indian shipwrights lowing statement of the contents of is represented to be the Hastings, Part I.: General Instructions to Pilots a 74-gun ship, built by Kyd and Co., for the Cruising Station ; Directions to and launched at the Port of Calcutta Commanders, Pursers, fc. for enter- in January 1818. She is built upon ing and clearing Ships; Prescribed Sir Robert Sepping's principle, meaForms; Regulations respecting the Draft sures 1732 tons, and cost, fitted for \draught] of Water of Ships ; Rates of sea, £.108,938; namely, the hull, Pilotage; Chain Moorings; Row- S.Rs. 7,18,963; masts and yards, boats; Kedgeree Light-house Duty; S.Rs. 65,387; fitting for, sea, S.Rs. Moyapore Gunpowder Magazine Du- 87,053. This expense was defrayed ty; Channel Buoy Duty on Coasting by subscription among the principal Vessels; Port Charges to which Ships merchants of Calcutta, and other are liable ; Registry of Ships; Forms public spirited individuals. The deused on the despatch of Ships for Great cline of ship-building in that country Britain, fc.; Rates of Passage Money; is the concomitant or effect of the Table Money for Military Officers; depression of trade. Regulations respecting the Tonnage and
The third part,
entitled CommerShipment of Baggage for England. cial Statements, &c.” is equally abunBENGAL MARINE EstaBLISHMENT. dant in its details; consisting of acMarine Board; Former Master At- counts of imports and exports by sea tendants ; Master Attendant's Depart- and land; price currents and lists of ment; Marine Paymaster; Naval commodities; insurance companies ; Store-keeper ; Account of Pilot Ves- houses of agency; number of houses sels ; Branch Pilots ; General List of and inhabitants, &c. &c. The tables the Pilot Establishment, 1821; Pen- in this part are brought down to the sioned Pilots; Notices respecting the
1820-21. Pilot Service; Harbour Master's De
We cannot help remarking the department; Marine Registry Office; cline of American trade with Bengal. Regulations; Rates of Seamen's Wages, The following is a statement of the &c. &c.
aggregate value in Sicca Rupees of Such is the composition of the first merchandize and treasure imported part of this work; the second relates into and exported from Calcutta by to the shipping, and consists of par- America, in the following years :
1820-21 1,59,655 27,28,519 28,88,174 19,25,079 At the same time that the North ern portion of that Continent has American trade with British India augmented in nearly equal proporhas diminished, that with the south- tion: