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Agreed to the report of the refolutions of yefterday, for railing money by a lottery. The Clerk of the Crown attended, and amended the writ for Carlifle, by inferting the name of John Chriftian, Efq. and erafing that of John Lowther, Efq.
The Fortification bill ordered for this day, on the motion of Sir George Howard, was deferred to this day fe'nnigh'.
The House feemed urgent that Mr. Burke fhould immediately enter on the propofed enquiry into the Rohilla war, as the ground of the first charge of Mr. Haftings; on which Mr. Burke, after waiting till the Houfe filled, about five o'clock rofe, and having thanked the affembly (which by this time was very full) for waiting, confeffed that he never felt himself in fo arduous a fituation before, on which account he hoped that gentlemen would fo far fympathize in his feelings, as to pardon fuch unintentional omiffions as must neceffarily occur in the particulars he had to lay before them.
They were not come this day to decide on the character of an individual; they were come to decide on maxims of ftate, on a code of laws, that millions unborn fhould either be governed by or appeal to; that at prefent attracted the eyes of furrounding netions, and would either prove a blot on the name of an Englishman, indelible thro' time, or raife it, if poffible, to a higher degree of national eftimation for juftice, humanity and public faith, than it has hitherto held in the impartial annals of hiftory-the very idea of which, in the prefent occafion, fhould preclude all prejudice or partiality; that every thing fhould give way to thofe great objects, that raifed Rome to that enviable dignity, that every nation flowed in to her, and was proud to own her fway. He did not wish to detain the Houfe in declamation; he only wished to prepare them for a train of facts, that, he trufted, could not be controverted-that even Mr. Haftings had pleaded guilty to-and the only difference was on the principle of them; and fince he had mentioned Rome, he would point out how the fupported her provinces, as long as a fpark of patriotifm remained in her bofom. In the first place, fhe maintained them by a continuity; they were moftly connected by land, or flightly diffevered by fea. In the next place, the Greek was univerfally fpoken throughout them; and of courfe every man heard the other fpeak in his own language, like the miraculous gift of the tongues at the feast of Pentecoft. And, laftly, he that had either conquered, or was delegated to govern a province, adopted it with a degree of parental affection; he became the father of the people he was fent to prefide over; inftead of privately joining to exterminate them, he redreffed their wrongs, poured oil into their wounds, or gathered them under his wings, even as an hen gathered her chickens. This
was the pride, this was the emulation of every governor; and the cenforial accufer was a character of the firft dignity, and fought after by men of the first repute (which was not the cafe in the prefent affair-India was diftant: there is a gulph like that betwixt Dives and Lazarus, betwixt them and us; their language is known to few) who met with every aff tance in carrying forward the profecution;formality was neither dictated nor decried, nor papers refused; every archive was thrown open, and every record subjected to public infpection; which was not the cafe in the prefent affair, as was visible to the world, to the difinterested;but that, in spite of all, he hoped to come off victorious even in the defeat, as he was well convinced that the mate ter of charges he had brought were grounded entirely on fact; that timewould ftrengthen inftead of diminishing them; and that he should find resources in his own bofom on this confideration, that if he should retire under the ftigma of a falfe accufer, he should have the bulk of mankind on his fide; and that it would be a confolation that those who had cleared Mr. Hattings, had condemned him, in open defiance of the strongest facts, and the most refpectable evidence in corroboration of thofe facts. This affair involved in it the honour of the Houfe; they had pledged themselves to bring it forward: let their honour therefore never be tarnished; let that. be fafe with father Paul, Efto perpetua.— Having premifed this and much more, he went over the ground of the charges he had already exhibited against Mr. Haftings, ftrengthening fome, explaining ethers, and collecting the whole, as it were, into one point of view-in one, appealing to the humanity of the House: in another, to the justice; in a third, to the policy of nations at large, which he dwelt on for fome time, elucidating by applications from history, ancient and modern, for the purpose of crowning his remarks.
After this he adverted more particularly to the Rohilla war. Having given a geogra phical account of the fituation of those people, he painted the fimplicity of their manners, love of agriculture and manufactures, and peaceable difpofition.The whole amounted to above two hundred and forty thoufand, and above fixty thousand of thofe were driven, like a flock of deer, beyond the Ganges, men, women, and children, without any provifion, without any just, or even plaufible plea for fo doing, befides the num bers butchered with fuch circumstances of cruelty as would harrow up the foul. The Rohillas thus treated, thus butchered, thus exterminated, were the prime nobility of the country, the artizans, the bankers, &c. The wife of one of the first princes amongst them, was dragged through the country with every mark of unmerited indignation and contumely; and for what did Mr. Haftings confpire to lay wafte the country of the Rohillas,
which in his own letter he acknowledged to be the garden of India? Wherever the Roman Eagle flew, liberty and fcience followed after; every race of barbarifm vanished; the afpiring temple was taught to feek the fky, and the husbandman to tame the ftubborn genius of the foil; the reverse prefented itself this minute in the Rohla provinces, and the revenue of that country had confequently fallen, one third. Not a complaint had come from thofe people in thirteen years. And why fo? Because they were stified. At length their cries had found the way, and he hoped the ear would not be fhut against them; they ftretched forth their hands, and spoke to us in an unknown tongue, but the voice of diftrefs was known in every tongue; as it exceeded words, it did not require the drefs of them; they did not threaten, they only fupplicated, and he hoped their fupplication would not come in vain. Mr. Haftings had already exercifed unbidden authorities; he had removed fervants without orders; accepted prefents and bribes, which he was ftrictly forbidden; he had in many cafes ftretched forth the arm of power unfinewed either by authority or juftice; he had placed a fword in the hand of a defperado; he had encouraged infidelity, duplicity, rapacity, and every crime that difgraced the name of a man. The Houfe had already condemned his conduct, when they knew lefs of it than they do at prefent; he hoped they would therefore a&t confiftently.
Mr. Williamson spoke in favour of the motion, and Mr. Nicholls against it.
Mr. Powis difliked the manner in which the charges were worded, as he might think Mr. Haflings guilty and impeachable in fome of them, though not in others; he would rather recommend a question--Whether on the whole of the charge he was guilty of impeachable matter?
This produced a converfation, in which Mr. Burke, Mr. Fox, Mr. Wilberforce, and Mr. Pitt fpoke; at length Mr. Powis's amendment was carried, to the purport already defcribed.
Mr. Powis then ftated the two circumftances in which he conceived Mr. Haftings guilty of this charge. The first was the fuppreffion of the treaty, and the fecond the extirpation of the Rohillas, even if he were a party; for that, even in that cafe, he had no right to do more than enforce the forty lacks of rupees demanded by Sujah Dowlah. He was alfo against the indemnity, from an opinion that punishment should not be retrofpective in its object, but calculated to prevent the future repetition of crimes.
Mr. Ellis fpoke aga nft the motion.
Lord North defended his own conduct in re-appointing Mr. Haftings after these crimes were committed, by alledging, that they were not known in Europe at the time. And tho' he difapproved the Rohilla war, yet the exi
gency of the times rendered it inexpedient for him to take any other measures for the removal of Mr. Haftings, than those which were adopted during his administration.
Mr. Barwell declared, that he had no knowledge of the treaty between Mr. Haf tings and Sujah Dowlah for the extirpation of the Rohilas, though he was then in the Council.
Lord Mulgrave, Mr. Vanfittart, and the Lord Advocate spoke.
Mr. Fox then rofe, but hearing round the Committee a general cry of " Adjourn, adjourn;" be faid he was the more difpofed to comply with the inclination of the Committee, as he was apprehenfive of being obliged to trouble them at confiderable length. The debate was then adjourned till twelve next day, and the Houfe being refumed, adjourned at past three o'clock in the morning.
The order of the day for going into the further enquiry of Mr. Hattings, relative to the Rohilla war, being read,
Mr. Francis got up, and in a speech of fome length, fummarily recapitulated the heads of the charges, ftrengthening each, as he went on, either by reference to written papers, or the evidence at the bar, and declaring that declamation, infinuation, &c. fhould not come forward as operative in his favour. As he stood in the light of an accufer in common with his Honourable Friend (Mr. Burke), which he acknowledged in the face of day, he thought it incumbent on him, in juftification of his character, to declare, that perfonal animofity to Mr. Haftings did not in the leaft urge the decided part he had taken in the prefent affair; he went out to india with a spotless charafter, he returned with one, which was more fatisfactory to his own mind, and to his friends, than if he had returned laden with millions. He had early reprobated Mr. Haitings's conduct, contrary to his own intereft: but in this he was not fingular; General Clavering and Colonel Monfon had done the fame; and it was but juftice to their memories to declare, that they had done fo; their names were irreproachable, and when he thought of their worth, it animated and fired his bofom. These men reprobated the conduct of Mr. Haflings, not through envy, for their minds were fuperior to it; not through the hopes of aggrandizement, for they already filled exalted ftations; and Gen. Clavering was above fixty years of age when he went to India. As for himfeit, what could he have expected by the removal of Mr. Haftings ? Neither to be Commander in Chief nor Governor-Gencral? And what hopes or views had Mr. Burke in this procedure? He had no difpute with Mr. Haltings; no hopes of preferment in his difgrace; he had made himself many
enemies by the bufinefs; he was advancing into years he could not enlarge his fame in carrying it forward, but he felt for the honour of the Houfe, and the honour of the nation, and he stood up as the defender of the defenceless. Mr. Francis then inveighed bitterly against the manner in which Mr. Haftings had fet up the lands of the native proprietors in Bengal to public fale, to the vagabonds of India, the Banyans, &c. and meaneft fervants, that could lay out a rupee in the purchase of them. To this he added a fuccinct account of the Rohillas, their origin, turn to agriculture, manufactures, and numbers; he infifted that they could have fent, at the time of their extirpation, above 80,000 fighting men into the field; that they had poffeffed the country above fixty years; and that but a fhort time previous thereto they had fent to battle above 40,000, befides 12,000 that were preparing to march after. He then recited the cruelty that attended their extermination, confirm ing all he had faid from the letters of Col. Champion, which he read, to prove that Mr. Haftings was aiding and abetting in his cruelties. He next read Mr. Haftings's letter to Sujah Dowla on the fubje&t, in which he made the extirpation of thofe harmless people one of the principal ftipulations for aiding Sujah Dowla in their destruction, which Mr. Francis drew in very affecting colours, with many other remarks, which he promiled to fubftantiate in letter and fpirit; concluding with the affertion, that this cruel and oppreffive war could not be carried on without Mr. Haflings, who was the SINE QUA NON of it.
Mr. Grenville drew a very nice line of diftinction between public and private juf. tice, on which he founded an opinion that the Rohilla war was juftifiable on the part of Mr. Hallings; and that the charges of cruelty refted entirely on the teftimony of Col. Champion, whofe mind might be under a bias, as it was certain that thofe only were driven beyond the Ganges who had taken up arms against Sujah Dowla, the ally of England. The Rohillas, he obferved, were a tribe of not quite fixty years fettkment, feated between two contending powers, the Mahrattas and Sujah Dowla; they had but three choices, viz. either to join one fide or the other, or fland neuter. In this fituation, Sujah Dowla called upon his ally Mr. Haftings, who affifted him, through the jufteft policy, inafmuch as it placed the balance of power in Mr. Haitings's hands.
Mr. Burton contended for the juftice of the Rohilla war, and argued, that as the ally of Sujah Dowla we could not avoid entering into it. He detailed all the circumstances of that war, and concluded with a panegyric on the merits of Mr. Haftings. His abili ties, he faid, were fhining and command
ing; and he was not more remarkable for genius than humanity: bumanity, indeed, was the leading trait in his character; and fuch was his tenderness of nature, that it approached even to womanish weakness.
Mr. Fox began his fpeech with vindicating the conduct of his noble Friend (Lord North) in regard to the continuance of Mr. Haftings in his government.
It had been thrown out, he obferved, and he thought very improperly, that party fpirit had in a great measure dictated the proceedings against Mr. Haftings. The best anfwer he could give to an affertion fo un. founded, was a flat negative. But at any rate he hoped it would not be faid that the proceedings of the Secret Committee, on which the principal charges against Mr. Haftings were founded, had been the refult of party spirit. The advocates of Mr. Haftings had laid much firefs on the meritorious fervices which he had rendered to his country, and had from thence argued that they were a fufficient atonement for his former errors, if he had committed any. But this was a principle which he for one never could admit.
He remembered, when Lord Clive was brought to the bar of the House, a fimilar argument was attempted to be fet up in his favour. A noble Lord who now filled a fplendid fituation ir. another place (the Lord Chancellor) had then a feat in that HoufcHe, with that manliness of character and with that nervous eloquence which peculiarly diftinguish him, crushed to atoms that idea which could, against enormous crimes, attempt to inftitute a SET-OFF on account of fubfequent fervices, however meritorious. He was of the fame opinion, and in that argument was proud to enlift himself under the banner of the perfon to whom he alluded. But he would ask, what meritorious fervices Mr. Haftings had performed to entitle him to fuch a plea? For his part, he knew of no inftance wherein that gentleman had rendered an effential good to his country, except by the Mahratta peace. It was founded on the breach of a folemn treaty, and confidering it in that light, it was but a poor fubject for triumph. His conduct to Lord Macartney, in difapproving of his treaty with Tippoo Saib, was no great proof of his ardent defire for peace. He adverted to the very great levity and indifference with which fome gentlemen affected to treat the fubject of extirpation or expulfion of the Rohillas-It was called the removal of an army from a country where they had fome property.
To illuftrate this argument, he would fuppofe, for inftance, that the French were to invade Ireland, and to infft on all the English who were proprietors of lands there to remove to their own country-to tell them, that they had only to erofs the Chan
nel, where they no doubt would be received and kindly treated; but at any rate they muft not on any account remain longer where they were. Would this be confidered only in the fame light as the removal of an army? But in the cafe of the Rohillas, Mr. Haftings had not urged even the fpecious pretence of restoring the country to its ancient mafters.
He reprobated in pointed terms that policy which could carry the defolations of war into any country, for no other reason but the acquisition of wealth, and that reafon Mr. Haftings does not fcruple to avow as the motive of the Rohilla war.
The extent of dominion is not the object that England ought to have in view, or the policy the fhould adopt. It is the eftablishment of justice, humanity, moderation, and good faith, that must preferve her empire in the Eaft; and it is by that alone that the can expect to regain her loft credit.
With respect to the cruelties which had been committed in the profecution of the Rohilla war, it had been urged in extenuation, that no blame ought on that account to be imputed to Mr. Haltings, because they were not perpetrated by his authority, and that he had made an ineffectual application to the Vizier to put a stop to them. But had he no other refource, failing that application? To have prevented the difgrace of the British name, he ought even to have oppofed them by force. But he could have done it with a breath for what was Sujah Dowla without the affistance of the English? A mere name, a cypher. The cruelties of the Rohilla war had never been charged to Mr. Haftings perfonally. And with refpect to them, he might have the gentle nature, the meek inoffenfive difpofition of a weak and timid woman, as his panegyrift had afferted. But can his conduct to Cheyt Sing be forgotten, or his treatment of the principal inhabitants of Oude be crafed from our memory? He was willing to give Mr. Haftings credit for thofe kind obliging manners, that polite and condefcending accommodation to all men, which often paffes in the world for humanity, though, in reality, it frequently is a veil for injustice and tyranny. He judged of him not from the partial account of his friends, but from the more unerring opinion of thofe who had fuffered from his defpotifm. He read his character, not from his companions and partizans, but from his actions, and from the deiolations of Indoftan. These were ftriking inftances that ftrongly marked the prominent features of his mind, and were unequivocal proots of his inordinate ambition, and of his contempt of his fuperiors.
He arraigned in fevere terms the conduct of Mr. Dundas, and called upon the Houfe to confider, that the honour and dignity of Parliament, as well as the juftice due to an
injured people, were involved in the event of the vote of that day.
Mr. Burke made a very long and empaf. fioned fpeech, the chief tendency of which was to charge Mr. Dundas with having betrayed that Houfe into the difgraceful fcrape in which it then found itfelf. The Right Hon. and learned Gentleman had, he faid, in the abfence of Mr. Haftings, bafely libelled and calumniated that gentleman, and when he came to the bar of the Houfe as a culprit, inftead of acknowledging the juftice of the Refolution of 1782, he had complained of it as a grofs and undeferved attack on his character, and demanded reparation for his injured honour. Now that there was an opportunity to do Mr. Haftings full justice, provided he could prove his innocence, the Hon. and learned Gentleman flew off from his charge, and bafely abandoned that doctrine which he had publicly avowed in the face of Parliament, and perfuaded that House to accept as the doctrine of truth. If the Hon. and learned Gentleman did not move to refcind the Refolutions from the Journals, he was guilty of having equally difgraced that Houte and Mr. Haftings.
Mr. Wilberforce declared, that he perfectly agreed, that Mr. Haftings's conduct, in a great many inftances, had been highly laudable; but, notwithstanding this, his conduct in the Rosilla war was not wiped away; and therefore, although it would give him great pain, yet as an honeft man he muft vote in favour of the motion.
At laft the queftion being called for, Mr. Martin faid, he could not give a filent vote in a cafe which appeared to him to contain fo much criminality, the more of which he heard, the more he was confirmed that Mr. Haftings merited punishment.
At leven in the morning the gallery was cleared, and there appeared,
Ayes for the Charge, Noes,
Majority in favour of Mr. Haftings, 52 That his conduct in the Rohilla war is NOT IMPEACHABLE.
Mr. Burke then gave notice, that he would move the fame refolution on each of the articles feparately, on Monday fe'nnight. After which the Houfe adjourned till JUNE 7.
The Report of the Committee of Supply, in which 59,000l. had been voted laft weck for fortifications, was brought up, read, and agreed to.
The order of the day was then read for taking into confideration the Report of the Committee of the whole Houfe on the wine bill.
Mr. Alderman Newnham moved that it fhould be recommitted.
Mr. Rofe obferved, that as the Hon. Member had not thought proper to allign
one fingle reafon to prove that the bill ought to be recommitted, he prefumed the Houfe would not be difpofed to adopt the motion. Mr. Newnham then read, from a manufcript, fome objections that had been put into his hands, to feveral claufes of the bill. When he concluded, the queftion was put upon his motion, which was negatived by a majority of 39: Noes, 61.
The House then went through the various
amendments that had been made in the Committee; after which
Mr. Beaufoy begged leave to propose a new claufe, which he thought abfolutely neceffary, in order that juftice might be impartially adminiflered under this bill. The fummary proceedings of the Commiffioners in levying penalties under the Excife laws were incompatible with the fpirit of the conAitution, because they fuperfed d the trial by Jury, which was the bulwark of the conftitution. The fummoufes iffued by the Commiffioners on the information of an Excife Officer were returnable in three days; and as perfonal fervice was not neceflary, it might happen that the first notice a man fhould get of an information having been Jodged against him, might be by the Sheriff's feizing his goods; and as the fummonfes did not ftate the ground of information, he mut neceffarily be unprepared for a defence. He would move therefore for leave to bring up a claufe that fhould give the perfon accufed an option to have his cause tried either by the Commiffioners or by a Jury in the Court of Exchequer; and he thought this the more reafonable. as the Excife Officers were at prefent intitled to this option by Jaw. He concluded by moving for leave to bring up the claufe.
Mr. Pitt faid, he felt uncommon concern, when he conceived it to be his duty to oppofe a meafure fo popular, and fo justly popular, as was that of fecuring to every man his birthsight, the trial by jury. But the fame necity which firt introduced Excife laws, had fuperfeded, in fome cafes, that beft of trials, beraufe the collection of the revenue could not have been otherwife fecured. The fecurity of the revenue was now the fecurity of public credit, and confequently of the conflitution, which could not furvive the ruin of the faith, credit, and character of the nation. The putting f the wine duties under the management of the Board of Excife was but an experiment; and thould it be unattended by the fummary trial before the Commiflioners, it might turn out to be very highly prejudicial, and not at all advantageous to the revenue. To extend the Excife laws at all was to him a painful meafure, which nothing could induce him to propofe, but a firm conviction that frauds to an enormous degree had been committed upon the Cuftons in the article of wines, and that the regulations contained in
the bill, together with the fummary jurifdic. tion of the Commiffioners, would tend, in a very great measure, to prevent the repetition of them in future. He reminded the Houfe that this fummary jurifdiction was not a new thing in this country; and begged that gentlemen would obferve that, if it was to be taken away in this inftance as unconftitutional, the conftitution could not be fecure until every veftige of it was removed from the ftatute-books; and confequently to go as far as the honourable Mover wifhed, and no far. ther, would be doing the business by halves and ineffectually. He hoped therefore, when he refifted fo popular a claufe as was then a fubject of debate, that he should not be thought to be lefs zealous for the trial by jury than any other man in the Houfe; but that the Houfe would give him credit that nothing could make him refift the motion, but a strong apprehenfion that, by agreeing to it, he should take the credit of the nation, and thereby endanger, if not abfolutely ruin the confti
2. "That a yearly duty of 11. 10s fterling be charged upon every gallon, English wine meafure, of the cubical content of every fiul, including the acid which fhall be used for making low wines or fpirits from corn or malt, which fhall be erected within the entered warehoufes of any dilliller in Scotland.
3. That a yearly duty of 21. 10s. fterling be charged upon every gallon, English wine-meafure, of the cubical content of fuch fills which fhall be used for making low wines or fpirits from mclaffes or fugar.
4." That a yearly duty of 31. iterling be charged for and upon every gallon, English wine-meafure, of the cubical content of fuch falls which fhall be used for making low wines or fpirits from foreign materials (except melaffes and fugar).
5. That a duty of 25. per gallon be laid upon all fpirits brewed or made from