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belief that the early activity of the East India Company in India was animated by self-interest, that in Clive's time the country was fleeced by English officials from Clive himself downward, and that native officials employed by the Company did not hesitate to batten off their fellow countrymen. No monopoly such as the Company could, or ever did, govern wholly in the interest of the people. The Court of Directors at London had to pay dividends which meant that Clive and Hastings had to make India pay. They did, but Clive by methods that were deplorable, Hastings by an efficient and honest reform of the administration. England laid the foundations of her Oriental Empire through the activity of a monopolistic trading Company. Such was the general policy during the 17th and 18th centuries. The system was undoubtedly bad, but Hastings was the agent only of the East India Company, not its creator. The point is, did he as an agent of an approved method of government of his day, animate his administration by ideas so broad and sound that they would be approved and retained when the monopoly was replaced by a direct governmental control acting through an efficient civil service? Undoubtedly he did, although he committed a great error of judgment in fixing the opium monopoly into the Indian system of revenue.
Lord Clive made the military conquest of Britain's Indian Empire, but he was no great administrator. When he left India for the third and last time, in 1767, the territorial foundations of the British Empire in Bengal were safe; but the dual system of government which he established, was conducted by English chiefs and native underlings whose corruption and rapaciousness were unparalleled. In 1772, Warren Hastings fell heir to this system, and it needed his commanding administrative genius to reorganize the Government of Bengal and the rest of British India, so that it remains to this day the foundation of the British Indian Government. llastings had proved himself in minor positions and as a junior member of the Council, a faithful servant of the East India Company; intelligent and honorable, he had an intimate knowledge of Indian manners and customs. When he was appointed to the Governorship of Bengal, in 1772, and as first Governor General in 1774, it was his desire, as well as his express duty under a predetermined policy of the Court of Directors at London, to bring administrative order out of chaos, and to put a stop to the intrigues and continuous quarrels of the independent rulers in India. The later researches of Sir William Hunter, from whom I am freely quoting, G. W. Forrest, Strachey, and Sir James Fitzjames
Stephens have cleared up any doubts as to the personal integrity of Hastings, and there is now in this vindication by G. W. Hastings a final answer to his critics.
The more recent and thorough knowledge of the original manuscripts of the Company show that for the thirteen years — 1772–85 — during which Hastings governed for the East India Company, he brought to bear on Indian problems an indomitable application and patient statesmanship that is unparalleled in oriental administration. Although his foreign policy has been most widely discussed and criticized, his true fame undoubtedly rests upon his administrative capacity. Under the dual system of government established by Clive in 1765, a substance of territorial power was obtained by the East India Company under the guise of a grant from the Mogul Empire. Several Indian provinces which had been overrun by Clive, were handed over to the Mogul Emperor, who in turn granted the Company the fiscal administration of Bengal, Bahar, Orissa and the Northern Circars of Madras. Under this system, the English received the revenues of Bengal, and on their part engaged to maintain an army. Criminal jurisdiction was left in the hands of the Nawab Wazir, to whom the Government of Bengal had been sold. The weakest point in this dual administration was that the actual collection of the revenues was left in the hands of rapacious native officials.
Hastings rapidly changed all this. He created Courts of Justice, placed the collection of the revenue in the hands of English officials, known to-day as Collectors, purged the revenue service of corruption, and laid the foundations for an organized system of police. The paltry salaries of officials were increased, and the common corruption which tainted civil and military life under Clive was practically destroyed. His foreign policy was bold, and it is difficult at times not to regard it as severe; but if he had not protected the Company's territory from the scheming and unscrupulous native Princes, he would liave been annihilated. He had to destroy them, or he would have been destroyed. In all of his great work he was handicapped by a statute of Parliament known as the Regulating Act of 1773. Under this Act he became the first Governor General presiding over a Council, the Members of which, like himself, were governed by the terms of the Act. Like every other Member of the Council he had but one vote, except in the case of an equal division, when he had a casting vote. Had his Council cordially cooperated with him, it would have been a heavy task to put the East
India Company's possessions on a sound economic basis. With a majority of his Council, Francis, Monson and Clavering, hostile to him, using its strength rabidly and bitterly, it is a wonder that he accomplished anything. One great error of judgment he certainly committed, namely the assumption of the Mogul opium monopoly, but this most singularly with the unanimous approval of his Council. This action was all the more deplorable in view of Hastings' statement in duscussing the question as to whether the opium trade should be free or taken over by the Company. He“ urged that it was undesirable to increase the production of any article not necessary to life, that opium was ' not a necessary of life, but a pernicious article of luxury which ought not to be permitted but for the purpose of foreign commerce only, and which the wisdom of Government should carefully restrain from internal consumption.'” Hastings' ethical discrimination is the foundation on which rests the deplorable Indo-Chinese opium trade. It is impossible to vindicate Hastings' ethics in this matter. But the six main charges brought against him in his impeachment and by Macaulay, are effectively disposed of by Mr. G. W. Hastings in his vindication. The author writes with a confidence based on a study of the actual records, and with a touch of affection and admiration for a remote relative that does not detract from the value of his work.
The author takes up the six leading charges brought against Hastings at one time or another. One of them is not pressed as a crime by Macaulay, though strongly condemned. It will suffice to state the author's conclusions in regard to the first and second, namely, the Rohilla War, and the trial and execution of Nuncoomar.
The Rohilla War, as represented by Macaulay, was an unscrupulous device employed by Hastings to obtain money for the Company; as a bargain which he drove with Sujah-ul-Dowla, the Vizier of Oude, to lend him English troops for the conquest of Rohileund and the extirpation of the Rohilla tribes, in consideration of the sum of four hundred thousand pounds paid by the Vizier. The real facts are that the Rohillas brought on the war by their own perfidious and dangerous conduct. Their territory was invaded by the Mahrattas. Help was given from Calcutta and Oude, and the invaders were driven off. The Rohillas covenanted in a treaty witnessed and countersigned by the English Commander to pay the Vizier the sum of forty lacs. Not a roupee was paid, and it was found that they were secretly intriguing with the Mahrattas in order to evade the covenant. This perfidy gave the Vizier a just provocation to
war, and Hastings a valid reason for assisting his alls. After a long and anxious consideration of the facts, the Council, with Hastings at its head, resolved to assist the Vizier, and ordered a brigade to advance into his possession, Oude, for that purpose. The Rohilla power, which had been usurped some sixty years before, was broken by one sharp conflict. Eyewitnesses have contradicted the atrocities so luridly described in the Essay, and Mr. Hastings declares that they may be dismissed as gross exaggerations and malicious inventions. He quotes from Mr. Forrest that “About seventeen or eighteen hundred Rohillas with their families were expelled from Rohilound, and the Hindu inhabitants, amounting to about seven hundred thousand, remained in possession of their patrimonial acres and were seen cultivating their fields in peace.” These facts are placed against the rhetorical account given by Macaulay.
The glowing words in which Macaulay pictures the supposed vindictiveness of Hastings in the Nuncoomar affair have perhaps sunk most deeply. What an opportunity for a master of language? The glamor of India, and moving in it, as a central figure, a high priest of the order of Brahma hanged for forgery. Macaulay drives it into his readers that the end of Nuncoomar was brought about by the machinations of Hastings. The Rajah Nuncoomar was unquestionably an able man, and his influence in the Hindoo community was weighty and wide-spread. Considering the reverence in which the higher Brahmin is held by the Hindoos in general, it needed no great effort on the part of Macaulay to ajouse a wide-spread sympathy for him in England. In distorting the facts to make a literary holiday, he wrote blindly if brilliantly. Yet it should be pointed out that Macaulay knew of Nuncoomar's character. He wrote of him as “ That bad man, stimulated at once by malignity, avarice and ambition,” and that tried even by the low standard of Hindoo morality, he was a discredited personage. Hastings and Nuncoomar had had friction since 1859. A change in the Government of India gave Nuncoomar an opportunity to display his vindictiveness by appearing as the accuser of Warren Hastings. Shortly after the close of the Rohilla War the Regulating Act mentioned above came into force. As the Governor of Bengal for three years Hastings had been supreme Under the Regulating Act the administration of public affairs was entrusted to a new body, a Council composed of a Governor General -- Hastings — and four others. Mr. Barwell, an old and experienced official of the Company, and at this time a friend of Hastings, became a Member of the Council. Clavering, Monson and Francis, who had never seen India,
and who seem to have been not well acquainted with it by any other means, were sent out from England to complete the Council. Immediately on their arrival, these three joined forces in opposition to Hastings. The Rohilla War, just ended, was denounced as impolitic and unjust. Hastings' private correspondence with the English resident at Oude was demanded. It was refused. The three assailants instituted an inquiry into the manner in which the war had been conducted, with the object of bringing the Governor General into disrepute. Their ultimate object seems to have been to supplant the Governor General, and by driving him from India obtain a reversion of the office for one of themselves. Hastings' public policy had been sustained by the Court of Directors. It was necessary to attack his personal integrity, if the conspirators were to succeed. They found Nuncoomar at hand, a willing and ready weapon for their purpose. On the 11th of March, 1775, Francis precipitated the affair in the Council by stating that he had that morning received a visit from Nuncoomar who had delivered to him a letter addressed to the Governor General in Council, and demanded that it should be laid before the Board. It was apparently known to Francis and Monson that the letter contained serious charges against the personal integrity of Hastings, the principal being that Hastings had in 1772 received the sum of three lacs and fifty-four thousand rupees from Nuncoomar, and the Munny Begum. Of this letter Lord Thurlow truly said that “A more extraordinary or more insolent production never appeared, nor one which carried falsehood on the face of it more strongly.” On the 13th of March, a second letter from Nuncoomar to the Board was received and read. In it he reiterated his previous statements, and declared that he had “the strongest written vouchers to produce in support," and asked leave to appear before the Council to establish his accusations against Hastings “by an additional incontestable evidence.” Monson immediately moved “That Rajah Nuncoomar be called before the Board.” Thus the three partisans would have had their Chief sitting in Council openly accused as a criminal. This was too much for Hastings' sense of justice and propriety. With that vigor which characterized him in a crisis, he at once wrote a minute declaring that he would not suffer Nuncoomar to appear before the Board as his accuser.
He knew what belonged to the dignity and character of his administration. He would not sit at the Board in the character of a criminal, nor acknowledge the Members of the Board as his judges. He declared that he looked upon Clavering, Monson and Francis as his accusers, though