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for preventing it had been submitted ing to the persons as well as to the to the judgment of those whose duty property on board. But a nation enit was to enquire into the subject. As gaged in hostilities with another nato the most convenient weight of tion has a right to the support of all guns, there were very different opi. her subjects, and to take them wherenions among the officers of the

navy. ever she can find them. The declaraSome officers extolled heavy metal tion of opposite principles, by the Amevery much, while nine out of ten of rican government, precluded of course the commanders would rather go to all hopes of an amicable

arrangement. sea without guns of that kind.-Upon Yet, although such was the spirit the whole it was contended that the displayed by the general government motion was altogether unnecessary.

of the United States, a considerable The motion was accordingly nega- proportion of the people continued tived.

hostile to the war. Their burdens On opening the American con- were increasing-their disasters had gress, Mr Madison, as usual, present. been severe—the advantages gained ed a very elaborate philippic against by their arms comparatively unimthis country, which contained among portant ; and Mr Madison’s partizans others the following passage : “ The had some difficulty in managing them. British cabinet must be sensible, that To animate their zeal various devices with respect to the important ques. were resorted to : Among others the tion of impressment, on which the appointment of a committee of conwar so essentially turns, a search for, gress to report in formal array the al. or seizure of, British persons or pro- leged outrages committed by this perty, on board neutral vessels on the country. Even this expedient, howhigh seas, is not a belligerent right, de- ever, fáiled of effect : And the Amerived from the law of nations; and it ricans at last applied to the Emperor is obvious, that no visit, or search, or of Russia to interfere as a mediator use of force for any purpose, on board betwixt them and Great Britain. But the vessel of an independent power on the British government had wisely dethe high seas, can in war or peace be termined never to submit to the judgsanctioned by the laws or authority of ment of any neutral power the im. another power."

portant questions in dispute with A. Thus Buonaparte and Mr Madison merica ; and the mediation of the professed the same principles, and pur- Russian emperor was accordingly desued the same object. Both would clined. An offer was at the same time have deprived Great Britain of the made to enter into direct negociation right of search, by establishing the with America, which, however, led to principle, that free bottoms should no immediate result ; and the unhappy make free goods—the maxim extende contest was still protracted,

CHAP. VII.

Affairs of India.General View of the Reasons for restricting the Monopoly enjoyed by the East India Company --Sketch of the Limitations under which the Charter was renewed by Parliament.

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The first thing which must strike even the statesmen, to whom we are every one who reflects on the merits accustomed on all other subjects to of our Indian policy, is the myste- listen with respect, are heard with rious style in which most persons are distrust, when they come to deliver accustomed to speak upon the sub- their sentiments on the complicated and ject, as if, when examining any ques. mysterious subject of Indian policy. tion relating to India, there existed a Yet it were absurd to doubt that in necessity for laying aside all the re- Asia as well as in Europe, that is the ceived principles of commercial and best system of government which most political science, and for abandoning effectually promotes the great ends of even the most familiar maxims of com- liberty and protection to its subjects, mon sense and sound reasoning. The at the least possible expense of their affairs of India, we are told by those lives and fortunes ; and that the best who profess to be particularly con- plan of commercial intercourse for versant in them, are quite different India, as well as for England, which from the affairs of all other countries, ensures the perfect frecdom of indi. and must be regulated by a separate vidual industry, while it offers the and distinct set of maxims. There is most splendid rewards to the success, something, it is pretended, in the cli- ful exertion of individual talent, and mate of Asia—in the physical consti- the most promising hopes to the fortution of the eastern nations, as well tunate issue of individual enterprise as in their laws, manners, and religion, and speculation. It is impossible to which must for ever baffle those Eu- believe, that there is any thing either ropean politicians who may presume in the climate of Asia, or in the con. to interfere in the legislation of the dition of its inhabitants, which should Asiatics. So successful indeed have prescribe a system of government for the politicians who are supposed to them materially different in its princihave a peculiar and official knowledge ples from those which are recognized of India affairs, been in imposing this in Europe ; or that an upright and singular delusion on the public, that vigorous administration of justice, a

powerful establishment for defence, a It must be superfluous to urge against system of prudent economy on the such an arrangement the ordinary topart of the administration, and a free pics of censure—to declaim on the utand unrestrained intercourse of trade, ter unfitness of such a society at once should be of equivocal or dangerous to play the parts of sovereign and influence in India.

merchant-or to dwell at length on It is scarcely necessary, therefore, the striking impropriety of bending to mention, that, notwithstanding the under the yoke of such masters, a tercamour which has been raised by the ritory of almost boundless extent and zeal of an interested faction, the whole fertility.--It must be equally superquestion as to our Indian policy must Auous to mention that the governbe brought to issue on the hypothesis, ment of the Company, like that esthat such a book as the Wealth of Na tablished in all the other oriental tions really contains principles which states, is a pure despotism; and that do not altogether lose their force when under such a government there exists applied

to the affairs of India. In spite no security for the happiness of the of all sophistry and declamation the governed, except in the wisdom and leading doctrines of moral and politi. benevolence of the administration. cal science possess a significance and It must be unnecessary also to state, application wherever men are found, that the interest in the welfare of In. an application, whose limits arc con- dia, which may be expected from the fined only by those of human society. proprietors and directors of the Com

In conformity with the most obvi. pany, is really the most feeble and ous principles, it must be pronounced unsteady that can possibly be imagia preposterous thing, that an associa. ned; and that of course every thing tion of merchants should be vested might be expected from their admiwith the sovereignty of an empire far nistration, rather than a regard to the more populous and extensive than comfort and happiness of their subthat of which they themselves form jects. From the very nature of the but a small and comparatively insigni- association, the interest of individual ficant portion. The causes, in a great proprietors must be feeble and tranmeasure accidental, of this singular sient, because their great object in phenomenon in politics, to which nei connecting themselves with the sother ancient nor modern times can af. ciety at all, is to secure a certain share ford any thing like a parallel, are well of influence and patronage ; the exerknown as matter of history. But cise of which, to the fullest extent, is whatever these causes may have been, not by any means compatible with a it deserves always to be remembered, disinterested regard to the prosperity that the East India Company, which of the governed. It seems quite nahas no higher rank than what belongs tural to expect from such a governto the greatest mercantile society in ment nothing but avarice, rapacity, the world, is in the actual possession and oppression towards its subjects. of one of the largest and most fertile But all this is very apparent, and has empires, and recently claimed the full already been frequently pressed on the and unqualified monopoly of a trade, consideration of the legislature and which, estimating its value by the fer. of the country. tility of the soil, and the number of But if the natural, and apparently the people to whom it extends, ought incurable, defects of the Company's to leave the trade of all other countries administration of the government of a far behind it in extent and importance. great empire be thus apparent, the ob

jections which, at first view, present common inheritance. This ungenerous themselves to the commercial monopo- partiality, and unfair abridgment of ly, by which the political rights of the natural right, are implied, however, in company were at one time fortified, every establishment of commercial mo-, seem to be infinitely more formidable. nopoly, and afford, independently of all There is no feature, perhaps, of the other considerations, a strong induce.' policy of an enlightened age, which is ment to the immediate discontinuance more strikingly incompatible with the of such of them as still triumph over fair enjoyment of individual rights, or the good sense and liberality of the the rapid progress of general prospe- present age. rity, than this system of monopolies, These general arguments applied and none, certainly, whose absolute in, with a force which was irresistible to congruity with the notions of an ad., the monopoly of the East India Com. vanced period is more palpable. What pany, as it existed before the renewal can be more unjust than the selection of the charter in the present year. But of a few favoured individuals, for the the directors, who could not encount: exclusive enjoyment of all the commer. er, endeavoured to elude their force by cial benefits to be derived from an in- maintaining, that the trade to British tercourse with distant nations, while India would, from circumstances which, the rest of their fellow.citizens, whose they were not very careful to explain, pretensions are in every respect as fa., admit of no extension from the utmost: vourable, remain the idle and discon- freedom of private enterprise ; that the. tented spectators of the advantages se-, competition of private adventurers cured to their more fortunate rivals? would, in India, enhance so much the, It is essential to the prosperity of com- price of every article, that the Compamerce, that it should be free and un

ny would be unable to buy, and in Euconstrained ; that the adventurer should rope reduce the price so much that be left to the exercise of a discretion the Company would be ruined by sell-the most unerring, because supported ing; and that there was something in by the steadiest and most powerful mo- the constitution of the Hindoos which tives, and that he should receive from would prevent them from raising the government the most ample protection supply, so as to meet an increased defor his rights, in order that he may be mand for their commodities. Such enabled to proceed without timidity or were the strange arguments by which hesitation. But can any invasion of the cause of the Company was suphis rights be more gross or insulting ported. than that which is accomplished in the Even if it could be proved that mo. shape of a monopoly, excluding him nopolies tend to promote industry and from a participation in the profits of a opulence, and give a better direction lucrative trade, which opens the most to capital than it would take without promising field for his skill and enter the aid of law, one might still have prise ? Every grant of monopoly is a some scruples as to the equity of the gift out of the great commercial patri. principle, which, for the sake of such mony of the state ; and while it is the advantages, would authorize so arbi- ; duty of a wise government, like a kind trary a restraint on the common rights and affectionate parent, to consult the of society. But it can be established, welfare of all its subjects, it is no won. that the inexpediency of such a system der that much murmuring and discon- not more mai

est than its injustice. tent should be excited by a capricious It has been often proved, that a trade preference in the distribution of the not supported by the profits which it

is calculated to yield, but remaining for it is so obviously beyond the pow. dependent for its continuance on ex- er of human foresight and wisdom to traordinary immunities and privileges, establish prospective regulations for secured at the expence of those who the complicated affairs of a great and do not participate in its gains, is neces. increasing branch of trade, that the ex. sarily a losing trade to the public, what. act adaptation of the means to the end ever may be its result to the individuals will never be credited by any man of by whom it is conducted. No man common understanding. There rewill persist in devoting a portion of his mains, therefore, but one alternative, funds to an employment which does that the monopolists are really unfit not yield him an ordinary return, with. for the beneficial discharge of the trust out assistance from other sources, or reposed in them--that they are withthe sacrifice of other advantages; and out the vigilance, capital, and talents, it may be assumed, that the same max. which are required to the best maims which an individual will find pru- nagement of their concerns; or, in other dent in the management of his private words, that the affairs of their trade affairs, will not prove of doubtful ap: are necessarily and inevitably conductplication when applied to the wealth ed by them to the great loss and inof nations. The trade, therefore, which convenience of the public. requires a monopoly for its support, is · Nor is it a matter of any difficulty in itself a losing trade, and should ne- to point out the precise way in which ver receive the countenance of the le- the loss is sustained by the country, gislature, unless it be found subser, which is unhappily led to sanction so vient to higher interests, which could preposterous an arrangement. The innot in any other shape be so effectual- dustry of the parent state can be promoly consulted.

ted only by a demand for its manufaca Where a monopoly

of colonial trade, tures; and this demand can be increasuch as that of the East India Com. sed in no other way but by competipany, is established, it is quite obvious tion among the buyers. The same obthat one of two consequences must fol. vious maxims of political science apply low, either the monopolists will be also to the case of the colony, whose fully qualified to conduct the whole progressive improvement in industry trade in the very best manner, or they and opulence forms the only lawful obwill not be able to do this, and could ject of the policy of the parent state. not stand the competition of the pri- But when you grant a monopoly you vate merchant. If the first hypothesis destroy this competition ; you make be admitted, then the grant of exclusive the monopolists the only buyers both privileges is a very unnecessary mea. at home and abroad; you make them sure, since the grantees are, in truth, also the only sellers ; in short, you dethe very persons into whose hands the stroy, in so far as it is possible for a nar: whole trade would inevitably fall in row and misguided policy to do so, all the natural course of things; and the the great springs on which the prosmonopoly can serve no other purpose perity of nations must for ever depend. than to excite murmurs among those Every man buys as cheap and sells who may be apt to entertain the erro- as dear as possible ; but the monoponeous notion, that they themselves list alone is enabled to do this with ef. could successfully compete with the fect. There exists no competition to monopolists, were all restraints with restrain the unbounded avarice of his drawo. But this hypothesis is never nature ; and in the free indulgence of admissible in any case of monopoly; the most selfish of passions, he is en

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