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peal of the 46th clause of the Act of the my gallant friend; and I take leave to 53d George III. cap. 155, by which the say that, in doing so, we act in perfect Court of Directors is prohibited from send unison with the practice of all other asseming to India, in the capacity of a Writer, blies, whether dignified or not, which never any person who shall not have resided refuse to hear a question when propounded during four terms at the Haileybury Col. in respectful terms. (Hear!) Let the lege ; and for introducing into the said Court hear what the question is, and then Act a Clause, appointing a Public Exami. decide whether it is proper that it shall be nation, at such times, and under such re entertained (which is the just and regular gulations, as the Court of Directors, with course); ir stead of at once proceeding to the approbation of the Board of Control, the business of the day, and meeting the may direct; to which examination all per request of my gallant friend with a direct sons shall submit their acquirements and negative. (Hear!)”. qualifications for approval, previous to
The Chairman. — “ The Hon. Proprietor their being permitted to proceed in the having stated his view of the case, I hope I capacity of Writers to either of the Presi shall be permitted to say a few words in dencies of Fort William, Fort St. George, explanation of my conduct. I consider it or Bombay.
my duty to state to the Proprietors what “ Doug. KINNAIRD, Joseph HUME, appears to me to be the regular order of Wm. Morgan, John MORGAN,
our proceedings. The Court is summoned Chas. W RDGHT, RichD. WILLIAMS,
to consider a motion which the Hon. ProRANDLE. Jackson, John ADDINELL,
prietor himself is to bring forward. The R. F. BEAUCHAMP, SAMUEL Dixon."
Hon. Baronet stated, plainly and distinctly,
that he wished, “ before we proceeded to THE MARQUESS OF HASTINGS. the order of the day, to address me.' Sir John Doyle.-“ Mr. Chairman, be (Hear!) On this I thought it necessary fore you commence the business of the to state, that we were met specially here, day, will you permit me to solicit your at and that the business of the day had comtention to-"
menced, inasmuch as the requisition had The Chairman.-The Court will allow been read. I laid down no rule or order me to rise to a point of order. This Court, to guide the Proprietors, but I think they it must be observed, is specially met in must see that it would not be proper to consequence of a requisition signed by proceed to other business this day, until more than nine Proprietors. That requisi- that which they are assembled to consider tion having been read, I think the busi is disposed of.” (Hear!) ness of the day has already commenced; Mr. Hume." I believe what has fallen and therefore the gentleman whose name from the Hon. Chairman, as to the law of stands at the head of it is in possession of this Court, is strictly correct. But we the Court. It would, under these circum- have been all long enough here to know stances, be extremely irregular to entertain that the practice of the Court was to allow any other question save that which the questions to be asked, which, in courtesy, Court is assembled to consider ; I hope, were generally answered (I have cer. therefore, the Hon. Bart, will allow the tainly known some to be asked to which regular business to go on.
no answer was returned); although such The Hon. D. Kinnaird.“ I beg leave questions did not relate to the business imto speak to the order of our proceedings. mediately before the Court, circumstances Permit me to suggest that this is the first may occur which would render both the time I have ever known, in an assembly of question and the answer imperatively and gentlemen met for the consideration of irresistibly necessary. This respectable their own affairs, an individual to be de Court always paid attention to the honour nied the privilege of asking a question, and character of their servants—to the That question may, for aught the Chair. honest fame of those who had earned and man knows, be very intimately connected received their thanks and approbation. If with the business regularly announced as it were in their power to rescue the chathe subject of discussion for this day; and, racter of an honourable and zealous serunless it shall appear that the question about vant from a most vile and malicious to be asked has no reference to the inte- calumny that had gone abroad, were they rests of the gentlemen assembled here, I not bound, at the earliest period, to effect think my gallant friend has a right to put that object? (Hear!) If, for instance (I it, and to demand an answer. I submit, that will suppose a case) it were asserted in a it is rather premature to decide whether public newspaper that the Marquess of the question shall be heard or not; and I Hastings was about to be impeached-if it must contend that we are assembled in were publicly stated, that, while filling the this Court under no law, though undoubts dignified situation of Governor-general, a edly we are met for a specific purpose, that deficit of 3 or £400,000 had, through his will not allow us to postpone that purpose, instrumentality, taken place in an estaif it seem fit that we should do so. (Hear!) blishment over which the Court of DirecAs a matter of courtesy we ought to hear tors have the responsible controul-if such
were the fact-if such a charge were sent we, the Proprietors, are masters of our abroad--if it were asserted, that a threaten own proceedings. It is our duty to use ed impeachment hung over the head of our own discretion, and to suggest whatthat eminent individual-ought this Court ever course of proceeding we may think to remain a moment without demanding proper. I say that, to let this business information on the subject ? (Hear, hear!) rest in silence, to refuse answering a quesIf this charge were altogether false and tion of so much delicacy and importance, calumnious, as I firmly believe it to be, merely on account of a point of form, ought it not to receive a prompt and deci- would be most cruel and unjust towards sive contradiction? (Hear!) I appeal to the Marquess of Hastings. It would be you, sir, not as Chairman, but as a man of the only illiberal act, on the part of the honour and feeling, whether, in a case of Proprietors, which I have ever known or such a nature, it was not proper that heard of; their conduct on all other ocquestions should be asked, and that they casions has been the very reverse of illibeshould be immediately answered ? (Hear!) ral: it has been uniformly kind and conThere are no other means under Heaven siderate. As I have already said, let us by which the reputation of this much in. know the truth or falsehood of this accusajured nobleman can be rescued from the tion. If, sir, it be an unfounded calumny, obloquy which has been levelled at it, and we owe it to the Noble Marquess, we owe placed in its true light before his country it to ourselves, and we owe it to justice, and the world. (Hear, hear!) Though, on
to contradict it promptly and decidedly.” a former occasion, when the grant to the (Hear !), Noble Marquis was before the Court, I
Mr. S. Diron.-“ This Court is assemtook a hostile part against the proposition, bled for an especial purpose, and I think and stated my reasons openly and boldly
the Hon. Chairman has a right to stop any for pursuing that course ; but, sir, I should proceeding which appears likely to lead to be deeply ashamed of myself if, when the debate on a different subject. But if the character of the Noble Marquis is assailed, Hon. Bart., or any other Proprietor, says, I did not assist, by every means in my
• I have a matter to which I wish to draw power, to do him justice. Sincerely should the attention of the Court, '-and if the I lament the day I first entered this Court, Chairman agrees, before the Court breaks if I became a member of a body who up, to give him an opportunity to introduce could obstinately adhere to a technical rule, the subject, I think that is sufficient. I and thus prevent a simple question from hope the Hon. Bart. will be satisfied with being put to the Chair-that question hav. having an opportunity to make his stateing for its object the attainment of a de- ment, or ask his question, in the course of claration most important to the Proprietors, this day.” and infinitely interesting to the Noble Sir John Doyle.—" If, Sir, you had per. Marquess. Is it, or is it not a fact, that the mitted me the honour of addressing you as Court of Directors meditate an impeach I proposed--if you had been pleased to ment against the Marquis of Hastings ? hear what I was about to say, I have no That question is easily answered—and the doubt, from my knowledge of your chafriends of the Noble Marquis have an un racter, as a man of honour and urbanity, doubted, a sacred right, to know how the that, as soon as you had understood the matter stands. (Hear!) Sir, the question nature of my application, you would not ought to be met either by a direct and ex
have deemed it necessary to interfere ; plicit denial, or by a clear and positive ad because I am sure that, in appealing to mission. (Hear?) If the assertion be your honour and justice, the appeal would true, I shall call for an immediate special not have been made in vain. I am satisfied, Court to investigate the whole of the busi. Sir, that I shall carry along with me the ness. (Hear!) If it be false, we are calls feelings of every gentleman present, in my ed upon by every feeling of honour, of desire to do justice, in his absence, to the justice, and of humanity, instantly to put distinguished person who lately filled the an end to the slander. (Hear, hear!) We highest executive office of this great Comare bound not to let the character of an in pany. If this had been an ordinary or dividual suffer, even for a moment, under common circumstance, labouring as I am such a load of calumny, when we have it under the pressure of long and severe illin our power at once to dispel and suppress ness, I should not have trespassed on the it . (Hear!) We ought not, by any delay, time and attention of the Court; had it to allow the poison to circulate; and sure been the mere assertion of an anonymous I am that every man in the Court must writer speaking his own opinion, I should now perceive the propriety of an immediate have treated it with the contempt it deexplanation. (Hear!) No point of form served. But this is not the case. It purshould be interposed so as 20 retard the ports to be an account of what has passed attainment of substantial justice. I have, in the Court of Directors, as well as of I believe, stated my sentiments intelligibly; what is farther contemplated by that reand let me tell the Hon. Directors that spectable body: I therefore did feel that
I was justified in calling on the Chairman it be not true, then it becomes the Hon. of the Court of Direetors, as the best Chairman, as a man of honour, as a gelauthority I could find (inasmuch as no tleman, as one worthy of filling the bigh proceeding can take place in the Court of situation be holds, to say distinctly, “ No!” Directors of which he is not cognizant) (Hear, hear !) If, on the other hand, any to declare whether the charge publicly such embezzlement has been discovered, made against the Marquess of Hastings let it be brought forward fairly, boldly, was true or false. I wished, before the and openly. (Hear, hear!) Let us not Court proceeded to other business, to have have to contend with the affected tender. stated that accusation which my Hon. Friend ness of the male Canduurs of the day, who, (Mr. Hume) has laid before the Court while whispering away character, and nodwith such proper feeling and emphasis. ding away reputation, pretend to lament The charge, as the Court will perceive, those reports and rumours, which have resolves itself into this, namely, that an emanated from their own base and covert embezzlement of £300,000 has been dis- malignity. (Hear, hear !) I impute not covered by the Court of Directors, which such conduct to any person who hears me; embezzlement is the act of the late Gover- but, I would ask, what corollary will be nor-general of India. This has been drawn from this refusal to answer so plain publicly stated : therefore I feel justified a question? The corollary which, of nein asking of the Hon. Chairman the fol. cessity, must be drawn by indifferent perlowing questions :-Ist. Whether any em sons is this, that he wło can, if he please, bezzlement or deficit by the Marquis of give an answer, which would remove a Hastings of £300,000, or any other sum, weight of slander and calumny from the had been discovered by the Court of Din character of an honourable man, and rerectors ? 2d. Whether the Court of Direc- fuses to do so, must either be himself the tors, in consequence of such discovery, had libeller, or must have some reason for already negatived a grant to him of £5,000 giving a tacit countenance to the libel. per annum? And, 3d. Whether the Court (Hear, hear !) Let it be observed, that I of Directors, in consequence of such dis- guard myself most particularly from the covery, had any purpose of procuring the idea, that I mean to cast any insinuation impeachment of the Marquess of Hastings? against the Hon. Chairman or his col. Such are the points of the libel; and, in leagues : I impute nothing to them. But the face of this Court, and in the name of I again say that such is the corollary which our common country, I call upon the Hon. indifferent persons would be inclined to Chairman for a plain and distinct answer, draw, from conduct of so ambiguous a chaconfident that when I appeal to his ho racter. (Hear, hear !) They will be led nour and his justice, the application will to believe, that the refusal to answer arises not, cannot be made in vain.” (Hear, from a desire to assist and abet this foul hear !)
calumny.” (Hear, hear !) Mr. Lowndes rose amidst cries of " or Mr. Lowndes rose, but the uproar was der.” He declared that he came to the so great that he could not proceed. Court for the purpose of canvassing this
The Chairman.-" There is no motion business of the £300,000. (The noise in now before the Court, and it is necessary creasing, the Hon. Proprietor was com that we should observe regularity in our pelled to sit down.)
proceedings." The Chairman.—“ With every disposi Mr. Lowndes again rose, amidst great tion to answer any question which may be confusion. He observed that he had seen propounded to me as Chairman of the the statement relative to the discovery Court of Directors, still I must say that on of the embezzlement of £300,000, but this oceasion I feel it impossible for me to no name was mentioned ; and, where do so, as I have received no instructions no name appeared, there could be no cafrom the Court of Directors; and without lumny, such instructions I cannot answer the ques. The Hon. D. Kinnaird.“ Sir, I aptions of the Hon. Baronet."
prehend you have now called on me to Sir John Doyle.-" If I had called on discharge the duty wbich I have underthe Hon. Chairman to speak the sentiments taken, by proceeding to call the attention of the Court of Directors, or to give his of the Court to the question which they are opinion, or theirs, on any point of policy specially assembled to consider. But, preor conduct, I would readily admit that he pared as I am to enter into that discussion, was right in refusing to answer so compre and certainly it is a most important one, I hensive a question. But this is not a ques do not think it advisable to proceed at the tion of opinion—I ask for an answer to a present moment. I trust that no heated plain matter of fact. (Hear, hear !) Either feeling will be excited, that no angry pasit is true that these discoveries have been sions will be roused, but that cool and made, and that certain consequences arising temperate reason alone shall govern the therefrom have been contemplated by the Court, whenever the discussion of that Court of Directors, or it is not true. If question takes place. But I confess that
what has just occurred in the Court has think of proceeding to discuss the question excited my feelings to such a degree, as to of the education of our young gentlemen render me quite incompetent to go on with intended for India, while a charge, imputthat subject. Before I sit down I hope I ing to the Noble Marquess, an utter disreshall be able to convince the Court, that it gard of honour, a deliberate sacrifice of our would be utterly disgraceful to a body of interests in that country, with the governEnglishmen sitting in that room, if they ment of which he was entrusted, remains suffered any other discussion to take place, unanswered. I call for an answer to the until the subject of the atrocious libel on calumny; it is due to the Marquis of the Marquess of Hastings was brought un Hastings—it is due to the country; (Hear, der their serious consideration. (Hear, hear !) and I shall, if this silence is to be hear !) It ought to be taken up at once; preserved, feel it necessary to move an ad. it ought not for a moment to be lost journment of the Court. (Hear!) I will sight of. I cannot believe, Sir, that you tell the Hon. Chairman that there are no acted on your own well-considered and de- tricks, no subterfuges, no evasions, by which liberate opinion, in refusing to answer the public discussion can be prevented in this plain question which was put to you-a country; no point of form will be allowquestion which affected in the most directed to impede the course of justice. (Hear!) manner the character of a high-minded I am addressing Englishmen, who well man, who had served this Company long know the value of character, in public and and meritoriously. (Hear!) I hope you in private life; and there is not one of will yet concede an answer to that question them who, if appealed to by a person placed --that you will not suffer this base calumny in the situation of the Marquess of Hastings to remain uncontradicted—but that, as you at this moment-accused of having been have the power to put down the efforts of a guilty of acts, which, if true, must consign malignant slanderer, you will immediately his name to infamy—there is not, I say, ezért that power, and relieve the minds of one of them, if the accused party, in the the Noble Marquess's friends from the honest confidence of innocence, called on weight of anxiety which oppresses them. him to say “ Yes” or “ No” to the accu. You have, Sir, heard it stated in this Court, sation, who would dare to refuse the applithat a calumny of the most malicious, and, cation. (Hear !) Is it then to be endured, I will add, the most unfounded descrip- that one of your highest, your most estion, has been published against the late teemed, and most efficient servants, is Governor.general of India--a man who charged with betraying histrust—and when has served the Company sedulously—a the question as to the fact " is this so or is man whose services have been but ill-re- it not ?" is distinctly put, I say is it to be quired by the Company—but whom public endured that you shall remain silent ?-is opinion will yet compel them to requite as it to be tolerated that you will not conde. his merits deserved. (Hear !) Yes, Sir, we scend to answer ?---that you will not utter ought to feel big with gratitude, for the the healing expression ? (Hear!) I put it successful efforts which that distinguished to you whether, in domestic life, such person has made to consolidate our empire, conduct would be permitted ? Suppose a and to secure our dearest interests; we servant, not a long-tried and an approved ought not to allow a whisper to go forth one but a servant of six months' standing, against his character, much less should we were accused by you of embezzling your suffer a statement of fact, a statement which property, and that he dared you to the directly impugned his honour, to remain proof, could you, in such a case, remain without refutation. Is it possible, when silent ? No, Sir, you must answer: othersuch an assertion has been made, that any wise you would be liable to an action, man can tamely stand by and not do the and to the penalties attendant on it, as Noble Marquess the common justice--that a party to the slander. (Hear, hear!) justice which is due to the humblest indi- What, then, is the justification for keepvidual—to say plainly whether the asser- ping silent on this occasion ? In the tion be true or false? (Hear!) I do not face of the Court I dare the Chairman to believe, when the public papers of to-mor- say“ yes ” to these interrogatories. (Hear, row give to the world the proceedings of this hear!) He is perfectly aware that no day, that Englishmen will suppose it pos- such discoveries have been made ; that no sible that an attempt was made to get over such impeachment was ever contemplated. this question in silence. (Hear, hear!) I shall act the prophet as well as the hisThey will not believe that a charge imput- torian on this occasion, and I foretell, ing the highest delinquency, riu: hing short that the Court of Directors never will have of high treason to your interests, having an opportunity to charge the Marquess of been advanced against a nobleman, on Hastings with any offence whatsoever. whose honour the breath of suspicion had (Heer, hear!) If, Sir, feelings of jusnever before lighted they will not believe tice, if sentiments of humanity do not that the question, as to the truth or falce- prompt you to speak, will you not listen hood of the allegation, had been met by a to the dictates of prudence? Is the chacold appeal to technical form. I cannot racter of the Marquess of Hastings no part
of the property of the Court of Proprie Sir J. Doyle.--" Having thought it my tors ? A fig for our own character, if we duty, as the friend of the Marquess of do not protect his. If we do not shew Hastings, to put those questions to you, Sir, that we are sensitively alive to his honour, and not having been able to obtain from you who will hereafter be faithful to us? Who a plain answer to a plain matter of fact, I will encounter the obloquy which too often have now, on the part of my Noble attends the career of those whose duties Friend, to say, that I feel perfectly satisare of a difficult and delicate nature, if we fied with the answers which have been manifest no anxiety to relieve a high given by the honourable, high-minded, minded individual, falsely accused, from and venerable Director near you, who, on the pain and embarrassment which must his own responsibility, has fairly met, and necessarily attend such an accusation ? distinctly answered my interrogatories. (Hear!) We represent all England in But why the Hon. Chairman, who is the this Court on the present occasion; and by organ of the Court, should refuse to make our conduct this day will our fellow such a statement, is to me, and I believe countrymen judge of us hereafter. We to every one else, matter of surprise. It are the legitimate protectors of the charac- is a circumstance which, for his sake, I ter of our servants; we ought to be the cannot but regret. If I had asked you, strenuous protectors and supporters of the Sir, an abstruse question, if I had introfame of the Marquess of Hastings, who duced a controverted point of Indian pofor so long a period, and with such glo. licy, and demanded your opinion on it, rious success, directed the affairs of the your silence would have been excusable; Company in India. (Hear!) I contend, a sufficient reason could be adduced for it: Sir, that it is most unjust, when the cha but, when the question related to a plain racter of that nobleman is foully attacked, matter of fact, in which a distivguished to refuse to answer the question put by a individual felt his honour most deeply inProprietor, although you have no pretence terested—so deeply, indeed, that I felt it for that refusal; although the question can necessary to break through the regular be answered without inconvenience; al order of your proceedings, that I might though it is admitted by all that that ques. promptly restore his good name-when tion is reasonable and proper. (Hear!) such was the case, I certainly was astoWhat, Sir, is it right that such a question nished to see a gentleman of acknowledged should be met with contemptuous silence integrity sheltering himself behind a mere on the part of the Court of Directors? It point of form, resolutely refusing to anis an insult on our feelings and under swer, and obstinately barring himself out standings; and I think it absolutely ne from doing justice to a much-calumniated cessary that an answer should be obtain nobleman, under the paltry, shabby preed." (Hear, hear !)
tence of a contemptible technicality. (Hear, The Hon. W. F. Elphinstone." I feel hear)) Since I have been an infant I have it necessary, as the Hon. Chairman has always been taught to believe, and I have declined answering the question, to say always cherished the feeling, that the chathat I, as an individual Director, have racter of the British merchant was one of the no hesitation in giving a direct and explicit highest and most perfect kind; but if such answer. (Hear!) I most distinctly de conduct as I have observed to-day is to be clare that I am ready to stake my reputa- encouraged, if commercial men are im. tation and honour on the truth of what I bued with such a spirit as I have here seen am about to cay. (Hear, hear :) It is, manifested, then I must say with Buonain the first place, demanded whether any parte, that our merchants have ceased to embezzlement or deficit by the Marquess be an honourable and high-minded race, of Hastings of £300,000, or any other and have degenerated into a set of grovelsum, has been discovered by the Court of ling shopkeepers." (Hear, hear!) Directors? I declare for myself (and all The Chairman. " The Hon. Baronet the gentlemen of whom I have inquired who has just down, and the Hon. Pro near me, give the same answer) distinctly prietor who preceded him, have chosen to and positively ‘no.' Such a thing was address themselves personally to me. I, never thought of in the Court of Direc however, present myself here, not as an tors. (Cheers.) In the second place, I individual, but as Chairman of the Court am asked, whether the Marquess of Has of Directors. In that point of view I tings was ever suspected of making away stated, not as a matter of form (for the with a single shilling-instead of £300,000 question was clearly put to me), thai I had -of the Company's money? To this no answer to give, as I had received no also I answer positively “no.” It is, instructions froin the Court of Directors. altogether, a wicked, unfounded, and vil And why did I state this? Because it lainous untruth. (Cheers.) With respect appeared to me, that it was not my opi. to an impeachment, as no such charges nion the Hon. Baronet wanted, but, existed against the Marquess of Hastings, through me, the opinion of the Court of there could, of course, be no proceeding Directors. It is not for me to make any of that kind contemplated.” (Hear, hear") observations on what has fallen from the