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empire at large, from the disastrous consequences of unbounded innovation.
We have the honor to be, My Lord,
Your Lordship’s most obedient, humble servants,
The Right Hon. the Earl of Buckinghamshire,
&c. &c. &c.
The question respecting the East India Compairy's exclusive privileges appears to be confined to one point; which is, whether certain of the Outports of the United Kingdom shall be allowed to import goods therein from the East Indies.
The China monopoly is not disturbed, his Majesty's Ministers having stated their willingness to recommend to Parliament, the continuation of this most important trade entirely to the Company.
The Company, it also appears, have agreed to a trade from the Outports of the United Kingdom to India, on condition that the returns of such export trade shall be brought into the port of London only. So that from this it seems to follow, the Company are willing to allow both import and export to the port of London; and it is presumed to be their intention, that the returus to the port of London should be housed and sold by the Company as at present.
Presuming the above to be a just statement of the question on the part of the Company, the real matters at issue are the following:
The greater injury the Company's sales will suffer from the sales of similar goods in different parts of the United Kingdom, such sales not being subject to the Company's general arrangement, than those sales would suffer in the event of opening the trade to London only, and continuing the sales on the present system,
And the injury the Company would suffer in their tea trade, by the expected introduction of teas in the ships importing Indian goods in the Outports; as it is contended by the Court, no regulations whatever could prevent the illicit traffic in teas under such circumstances.
As the Company have agreed to abate their monopoly of the Indian trade, in conceding an open trade to the port of London, it is clear the question between the Company and the Outports turns on the validity of the above objections. And indeed these objections contain in them matter for such serious apprehension as to the future management of the home finances of the Com- · pany, that it cannot have caused any surprise to find it asserted, in the printed correspondence, that without the import of Indian goods being confined exclusively to the port of London, it is impossible for the Court of Directors to look forward with any confidence to the fulfilment of the important part assigned them in the Indian system.
But the Ministers lay it down as an undeniable maxim, that the subjects of this country have an undoubted right to as much liberty of trade as they can enjoy, without injury to any other important national interest; therefore the Ministers contend, the Outports and others have a full right to a participation in the trade to and from India, the Company's exclusive privileges therein not being considered by the Ministers sufficiently important to the nation to continue such exclusion in the Company's favor.
If, from the operation of the circumstances stated, the sales of India and China goods should be materially affected, it may be justly asked; how are the Company to meet the very large pecuniary demands lately brought, and expected to be annually brought in future on their home funds ?
Now, if the argument is sound, from which is deduced the conclusion, that there is no probability of any material increase, if indeed any increase at all, of the late average total sales of Indian goods in England, it then clearly follows, that whatever part of the future consumption of Indian goods is supplied by the imports into the Outports of the United Kingdom, must operate as a deduction in the amount of the Company's sales ; and of course, in the proportion of the value supplied through the Outports, Vol. II, Pam.
deduct from the Company's means for meeting the heavy charges above noticed.
This part of the question is not so much a question of profitable trade, as a question of mere remittance. For it must bé evident to every one conversant with Indian affairs, that if the Company have to pay in England a large annual sum on the proper account of India, in addition to the former payments on that account, further means must be supplied from India, to enable the Company to meet such additional demands, as the profits on the present trade are already absorbed, in the payment of the divi dend on the capital stock, and other fixed and permanent charges.
India is, 'or ought to be, able to furnish the necessary funds to enable the Company to fulfil these obligations on the account of India. But in what way are these funds to be made available in England for that particular purpose ? The trade, it is contended, cannot be increased, and if any part of the present trade remaining to the Company, after admitting the Port of London to a participation, is occupied by the Outports, it then seems clearly to follow, that the funds accumulated in India for remittance to England, through the medium of the Company's commerce, to discharge the Indian debt and other Indian expenses transferred to England, must either remain in India, useless as far as this particular and urgent purpose is concerned, or those funds must be returned to England in bullion.
India capnot be expected to furnish this bullion from its own currency, as part of a regular and general system of remittance; because, as India possesses no mines within itself, its currency can only be replenished from without, to make good its own peculiar drains, without adding a new and constant drain for the supply of the funds of the Company in London. Hitherto, the Indian circulation has been supplied from the same sources whence the currency of Europe has been supplied. Whether those supplies have found their way to India direct from South America, or through Europe in the first instance, or, in the second, from Europe and America through China. Little indeed, comparatively speaking, can now be expected direct from Spanish America, owing to its own troubles, and to the disturbed state of Old Spain, which-together have very much inpeded the usual influx of bul