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several of the Chinese provinces, and which, if destined to be smuggled, the especially in Fukheen, Kwantung, Chinese and Chinese officials themChekeang, Shantung, Yunnan, Kwei- selves would have been the actual chow, &c. ; in proof of which various smugglers. If such be law, be justice, representations to the Government or equity, with how much more show might be quoted, and especially the of all and each might we seize, incarmost recent one of a censor named cerate in Newgate, and heap the most Shaon Chinghwick. But it does not cruel and cowardly indignities upon appear that the ire of the Celestial French and Dutch ambassadors, with Emperor was moved, or his tender all their resident countrymen, on the cares extended to root out the culture, well-grounded plea that French lace, and extirpate dealers and consumers silks, brandies, and Dutch hollands, notwithstanding ; but the reverse. were notoriously smuggled; and there
But whether the prevalent use of to hold them in durance vile, until opium be noxious or not—as no one every craft and lugger known or suswill be found to deny that it is, in ex- pected to be in the Channel with cess or habitual indulgence-that is contraband articles on board, were not the matter in debate. Nor will surrendered without reserve ? The any one question the right of the Chi- apology put forth on behalf of High nese Government to thunder its ana. Commissioner Lin, that in the demand themas against the introduction of and seizure of the opium he was acting opium any more than of cottons or according to the letter of Chinese woollens, if it so please ; ay, and to law, and unknowing of the infraction carry out its interdict to the extremity of public law or private rights, will of the recognised laws by which all not hold, and is disposed of by the fact, nations are bound. Smugglers de that—" the Chinese themselves knew tected in the act of breach of the law, they had no right to seize it; that were rightfully amenable to all its seve- they were conscious of wrong and rities, as those on our own coasts or on injustice in the matter, is proved by shore, when discovered clandestinely their subsequent offer of a paltry reengaged in the landing or sale of ar- muneration of five or six pounds of ticles subject to the payment of heavy tea for each chest surrendered.” Here duties. But is it to be tolerated that we have meanness and insolence in on suspicion, even on grounds of sus- aggravation of injury. Should we picion so probable as to amount almost suffer injustice at the hands of the to certainty, such as may be granted Spaniards, when, as every body knows, to exist, the Chinese commissioner was and the fact is as glaring as the sun entitled to demand the unreserved sur- at noonday, five-sixths of all the Brirender of property, of opium, on board tish goods entering Spain are introvessels distant one hundred miles from duced by contraband? Why should the seat of his authority — on the we be more lenient to China, the highhigh sea, beyond his jurisdiction—and est officials of which have encouraged so protected that the whole naval the trade in opium, and the trade itforce of China could not have seized self so openly carried on for nearly it? Is it to be endured that a body half a century, that all Pekin, to the of British merchants on shore, fol. Emperor himself, was cognisant of lowing their peaceful pursuits, and the fact, and indirectly, if not silently, reposing under the safeguard no less tolerated its existence. The best inof the laws of a friendly and unoffended formed Chinese about Canton, as we state, than of those international laws are credibly informed, state that the which are absolute upon all states; military secretary, the Quongship, rethat the Superintendent, a high officer, ceived 13,000 taels per month from the representing the person of the Sove- commander of each Chinese smuggling reign and the majesty of the British boat, (a tael is about six shillings and empire, should be held in custody, eightpence sterling,) and the Chioutraged, maltreated, and threatened nese dealers paid to the authorities with execution like the vilest of felons, from 60 to 80 doll
per chest for li. to extort from them the surrender of cense to carry on their trade unmolestproperty beyond the control and out ed; the rate previous to the appoint
! of the reach of their treacherous op- ment of Tang, the present Viceroy, pressors ? Of property infringing no having been from 16 to 30, but never law, for it was neither on the coast nor exceeding 40 dollars. The Viceroy, in the act of being smuggled; and of of course, participated largely for him.
self. As foreigners could have no dishonoured, as the following protest communication with the Emperor or would seem to imply:his ministers, how should they be
“ Treasury Chambers, 11th Nov. 1839. aware of infractions of the law, in
“ GENTLEMEN, bringing a commodity to be purchased
“ Having laid before the Lords Comunder authority of the highest func. missioners of her Majesty's Treasury your tionaries ?
letter, in which you apply for a settlement The sin of the opium trade, if sin of certain claims for opium delivered to there be, rests not with British mer. the Chinese Government, and transmit chants, but is divisible, in about equal certificates signed by Captain C. Elliot, I proportions, betwixt the Chinese and have received their Lordships' commands British Governments and the East In
to acquaint you, that Parliament has placed dia Company. Mr Jardine fairly at the disposal of this Board no funds out placed this in the clearest point, as of which any compensation could be made, noticed in a Sydney paper, from
and that the sanction of Parliament would which we make the extract:
be required before any such claim could
be recognised and paid. “ Mr Jardine (the senior partner in the “To prevent any misconception of the firm of Jardine, Matheson, & Co.) being intentions of this Board, my Lords have about to bid a final adieu to Canton, the felt it necessary to direct me further to foreign resident merchants invited him state, that the subject has been under the to a public dinner; and the resident Parsee attentive consideration of her Majesty's merchants presented him with an address Government; and to add, that her Majesexpressive of their respect, and their in- ty's Government do not propose to submit tention to request his acceptance of a ser
to Parliament a vote for the payment of vice of plate of the value of a thousand
such claims. guineas. Mr Jardine says :
(Signed) " R. GORDON.” “I hold, gentlemen, the society of The justice of the claim we shall not Canton high : it holds a high place, in attempt to discuss in the legal point of my opinion, even among the merchants of view; but it is disposed of triumphthe East; yet I also know that this com
antly in the masterly argument of Mr munity bas often heretofore and lately
Warren, to whose pamphlet we refer been accused of being a set of smugglers.
our readers. The honour and ina This I distinctly deny; we are not smug- terests of British merchants could glers, gentlemen! It is the Chinese Go
not have been in better keeping. That vernment, it is the Chinese officers who smuggle, and who connive at and encour
the trade was formally sanctioned by
the British Government and Legislaç age smuggling ; not we : and then look at the East India Company—why, the father ture, is conclusively demonstrated by of all smuggling and smugglers is the
the fact, that its contraband character East India Company.”
was the subject of open discussion in
Parliament. The East India Company first car- ". On the 13th June 1833, Mr Buckried on the trade in opiurn on their ingham made it the prominent subject of own account.
On their discontinu- invective ; stigmatizing, in particular, the ance of the direct export, the drug fact that it was a trade of smuggling, and was still grown on their lands by their
contrary to the law of China, (vide Han. tenants, and on their behalf. They sard, vol. xviii, page 770.) On the 12th made public sale of it to merchants, July following, Lord Glenelg, then Presiwell knowing it was destined for ex- dent of the Board of Control, declared the port to China, where almost alone its subject of the opium and salt monopolies consumption lay. The British Govern- in India was UNDER THE SERIOUS CONSIment and Legislature sanctioned the
or GOVERNMENT, (Hansard, trade for the sake of revenue, as did the vol. xix page 618 ;) and after this serious East India Company, which gained 300
consideration, on the 22d July he stated per cent by it, for profit. Opium was
in the House of Commons, as its conclua necessary exchange for tea, which
sive result, that it was not to be forgotten furnishes about £3,500,000 to the that those monopolies, salt and opium, Exchequer; and in default of opium produced a revenue of £2,500,000 I” for payment, bullion must have incon- The material importance of the veniently " oozed out” from the Uni- opium trade cannot indeed be disputed Kingdom. And yet the certifi. ted, if the argument of the merchants cates of Superintendent Elliot, when rested there alone for the claim to presented at the Treasury, have been compensation for property delivered
up for the " service of the British Go- deliberation ; but the determination, vernment,” on the requisition, and un- whatever it be, cannot be brought to der the guarantee of its agent for pay- bear, like an ex post facto law, upon the ment. A short but pithy letter, en- past in this case ; for here the Go. titled “ A Voice from the East,” places vernment and the India Company stand this in a striking point of view. in the relation of principals, by whom
former laws were made, or the trade “ From the opium trade the Honour
under which carried on licensed, so able East India Company have for years derived an immense annual revenue
far as they were concerned : the mer; and
chants were only the accessories after through them the British Government and nation have also reaped, from the same
the fact, that is, the license to trade, trade, an incalculable amount of advan
The Government, therefore, cannot tages, both political and financial.
Its make advantage of its own wrong, and, profits have not only tended to turn the after taking the lion's share of the balance of trade between Great Britain and spoil, refuse protection and withhold China in favour of the former, and draw indemnification to those who have in an abundant stream of capital from India, person and purse done ample suit and which thus became enabled to increase service for both. For, to say nothing tenfold its consumption of British manu- of the revenue from tea, the profits of factures : but they have contributed di- the India Government, which is but a rectly to support the vast fabric of British branch of the general revenue in the dominion in the East, to defray the ex- trade in opium, have been equal to 300 penses of her Majesty's, as well as the
per cent; whilst those of the merchant Company's, judicial, military, and naval or factor have averaged the usual rates establishments in India; and, by the opera- of mercantile operations, from ten to tions of exchange and remittances in tea
fifteen per cent only. How, moreand other Chinese produce, to pour an
over, could the merchants refuse creabundant revenue into the British exche
dit to the assurances, and not the asquer, and benefit the British nation to the
surances only, but the letters of credit, extent of six millions annually, (as shown in Count Bjornstjerna's work,) without
of Superintendent Elliot, given by the
Government itself? The public law, impoverishing India or draining bullion from England.
no less than the commercial, binds 5. Hence,' says that author, in his work
the principal by the acts of the recogr on the British empire in India,
nised agent; and to re-assure the that England's gain from its East India merchants, if re-assurance were nepossessions amounts to no less than cessary, he himself had called at6,500,000 pounds sterling a year; a sum
tention to the vast extent of his powers, which would in the end completely ruin by stating in a public notice at Canthis colony, (or, more properly speaking, ton, that “ he took that occasion to redrain it of its bullion,) if it were remitted publish that part of the Act of Parliain this form. But such is not the case; ment, and the Orders in Council, on it comes to England in the following man- which his INSTRUCTIONS were founded ner :-East India opium is sent to China, which latter, however, it was out of and is there exchanged for tea ; this is his power to publish.” taken to England, and covers all the ex
For our own parts, however, we change. Such are the phenomena of are inclined to believe, with the Coutrade ; what the one country gains is not
rier, which has enforced this view of lost by the other: they both gain.''
the subject, that ambiguous and unThe claim of the merchants to in- satisfactory as may be the response of demnity in full for the opium surren- the Treasury oracle, the Government dered to order, not under proñise of really meditate no such flagrant wrong payment only, but against actual bills as to repudiate their own acts, and or certificates drawn on the Treasury surcharge the suffering merchants by its accredited agent, and passed by with their own responsibilities. The the payees to account, rest not how larger proportion of the opium sequesever on, and have no necessary con- trate was the property of native nexion with, the profit-and-loss calcu« merchants of Hindostan. The conlation of the opium trade, as it affects sequences would indeed be disastrous the Government and the nation. to our Indian empire-an empire Whether its continuance be wise or founded and reposing in public opin. unwise, be honourable or disgrace- ion only were it to be seen ful, be gainful or prejudicial, may be suspected that the obligations of a fair subject for present or future common honesty were sought to be
evaded, or that we feared to enforce the the anchorage between Anunghoy and right, and shrunk ignominiously from Chumpee. conflict for the right, with the Chi. “ 3. It is fully understood that the nese empire. Against that empire vessels, while discharging their cargoes the Government may judge it more
outside the Bogue, shall pay the measureseemly to proceed with a bill of wrongs
ment charge in the same manner as if they and damage on behalf of the subject,
went up to Whampoa. The pilots' charges than to mix up its dignity with an
shall also be paid as usual. The linguists' account-current of pecuniary injury fees shall be paid in like manner. on its own account. The money sum
" 4. The vessels proceeding to Anungof mercantile damage is not confined, hoy will transport their cargoes by means
of chop boats, and will undergo search by moreover, only to the confiscated
the officers. opium. The Co-Hong corporation of Canton stand indebted to foreign
“By order of the Chief Superintendent,
“ EvWARD ELMSLIE, merchants, almost entirely British, in
“ Sec. and Treasurer to the 3,000,000 of dollars more, and the
Superintendents." Celestial Emperor is the self-consti
The reason was the unexpected entuted guarantee of the Hong. Later events have complicated our
try of the Thomas Coutts, merchant relations with China still
ship, into the river, and arrival at More national outrages have been
Whampoa, after subscribing the humisuperadded to the scandalous viola, fused by all the rest of the trade, in
liating bond, so long resisted and retions of private rights under national protection. Blood has been wantonly tations and request of Captain Elliot
compliance with the urgent represenshed, as well as treasure feloniously himself. The captain and supercargo, abstracted. A small British vessel, the Black Joke, has been boarded at overgreedy of gain, thought to steal a night; and the crew, all unsuspecting
march, and secure a monopoly of proand asleep in the security of peace, in this instance, as in others, was bit ;
fit over their countrymen. The biter savagely murdered. A Spanish brig, and crew and vessel were both left at the Bilbaino, supposed to have British property on board, was burned to
of the exasperated Chinese. the water's edge, and many of the
Lin, however, on the strength of this, crew, who cast themselves desperately British shipping would follow the lead
and concluding that the whole of the overboard, were drowned. By the last arrival of the overland mail from In
of the Thomas Coutts, subscribe the dia, (on the 11th of February,) with bond, and throw themselves into his dates to the middle of November from power, scrupled not to break the treaty
so made. What followed we shall state Canton, we learn that after a tempo. rary arrangement had been concluded
from the Bombay Courier of Decema
ber 24 :for the partial resumption of trade between Commissioner Lin or his au- “China.-Every successive event in this thorized agents and Captain Elliot, it quarter seems to deepen the crisis at which was of a sudden perfidiously can
affairs have arrived, and to complicate our celled. The agreement was to the
relations with the empire. We had scarcely following effect:
issued an extra on Thursday evening, an
nouncing to our readers that the Imperial 6 Public Notice.
Commissioner had broken off the conven“ To her Britannic Majesty's Subjects. perintendent for carrying on a trade out
tion which he had concluded with the Su“ Macao, Oct. 20, 1839.
side the Bogue, had renewed his demand " It has been agreed between their for the surrender of the murderer of Lin. Excellencies the High Commissioner and wei-he, and threatened all the shipping at Governor upon the one side, and the Chief Hong Kong with destruction unless they Superintendent of the trade of British sub- either entered the port, or took their dejects upon the other, that, under existing parture from the coast within three days, circumstances
when intelligence was brought by the Corn“1. The British trade may be carried wallis, that her Majesty's ships of war, on outside the Bucca Tigris, without any Volage and Hyacinth, had an engagement necessity of signing the bond of consent to with a fleet of war-junks off Chumpee ! Chinese legislation, (to be handed to Chi- ending, as might be expected, in the entire nese officers,) upon the condition that the discomfiture of the latter, who, it appears, ships be subjected to examination.
were the first to assume the offensive. “ 2. That the place of resort shall be The facts, as stated in private correspond
If we may
ence, are as follow :- Captain Elliot had proceeded to exhibit what he considered proceeded on board of the Volage, with the present state of our finances. The the Hyacinth in company, to Chumpee, to amount of the deficiency at the close of deliver a chop to the Commissioner, when 1838, was £1,166,000. In the year 1839, a fleet of twenty-nine war-junks sailed out
a deficiency of £1,512,000 ; with the manifest intention of surrounding making together, at the close of 1839, a the two ships of war, and continued to sum of £2,678,000. With respect to the close round them, regardless of repeated charges on the country, there would be an and urgent warning as to consequences, increased charge on the navy estimates this until it became necessary to open fire upon year of £500,000. Adding this to the them; this was promptly returned by the deficiency of 1839, would make it junks, when a regular engagement ensued, £2,000,000. Supposing, then, no further and in less than half an hour five of the increase to the charge, or any other defijunks were sunk, another was blown up, ciency, the amount at the end of the year and the remainder, many of them in a dis- 1840, would be £4,678,000. He had said abled state, crowded all sail to escape. nothing as to the probable deficiency of This they were permitted to do; the ex- the Post-Office, He was himself to some ample that had been made of them having extent acquainted with the Post-Office, been deemed sufficient-or rather, as it is and he thought there would be there a said, Captain Smith of the Volage, having loss of revenue of from £1,200,000 to yielded to the entreaties of Captain Elliot £1,400,000. If they added £1,200,000 to discontinue the destructive fire from the to the other deficiency, the amount at the ships, and to permit the escape of the close of 1840 would be nearly six millions." fugitives. It is allowed that the Chinese
At the last accounts, the only ves. fought pretty well; but the only damage sels of war off Canton were the Volage, sustained on our side is stated to be a 12 lb.
a small frigate of twenty-eight guns, shot in the mizen-mast of the Hyacinth. The prudence of Adm. Kwan must have
and the sloop Hyacinth, notwithstanddeserted him ere he thought of measuring ing the Government were fully aware his strength with the barbarian ships; and
of the critical position of affairs there there probably never was an occasion in
in the month of July last. which he stood so much in need of the
trust the Government prints now, guardian aid of his deified progenitor mighty are the preparations, and the Mars of China—whose protecting in- mightier the projects in hand. The fluence he boasted had been so often shed Hampshire Telegraph is even grandi. over him in hours of peril! Report said loquent in the strain, as may be judged that the admiral had resigned his com
from the following passage :mand; and that the Commissioner com- “ There is no doubt whatever that the plained, that, in ordering the attack, he Government, though taxed with tardiness, had been deceived by the representations have been most actively at work in preof the former into a belief that he would paring a serious demonstration against the be completely successful in his attempt on Chinese ; and that it will be vigorously the British men-of-war. If this be all he
made. It has long been determined to had to complain of on the occasion, we are send a land force to compel these besotted by no means sorry that he has been taught
celestials to listen to a little reason--not a very different lesson."
only for the benefit of this country, but all Thus, then, the die is cast
the war the world; and the delay has been solely has commenced in good earnest-the caused by the prudence of ascertaining sword is drawn, and the scabbard what description of force can be best sent thrown away. Option of peace there
from India. The native army will be is none, unless we consent to drink employed on the occasion, and not less the cup of degradation and infamy to
than 16,000 will be embarked, of which the very dregs, so deeply drained du
a large proportion will be cavalry, horses
for which force be obtained at ring a centuryalmost of prostrate mean
the island of Hainan, at the southern ness and abject submission. Our resources for war, indeed, are none of extremity of that empire; and hav
ing put the city of Canton under conthe brightest, according to the undis
tribution, or destroyed it if necessary, puted statement of Mr Herries, in the
and drawn thereby the Chinese from Commons' House, on the 12th ult.
the northward for the defence of their “ Who (said he) did not feel, judging empire, they will suddenly embark, and, of things abroad and at home, that the taking advantage of the southerly monsoon, finances of the country were in-inconve- dash on to the Gulf of Petecheelee, and, pient was too light a word_in a deplorable landing the forces at Takoo, which is condition ? The right honourable gentleman within 100 miles of Pekin, they will exact NO, CCXCIII. VOL. XLVII.