Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 62, 1830. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, [n.d.].
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Die Martis, 30 Martii 1830.
The Lord President in the Chair.
William Chaplin Esquire is called in, and examined as follows:
What Situation have you filled in India?
After my Return to Madras from the College of Calcutta in 1803, my first Employment (with the Exception of a few Months passed in the Northern Circars) was under Sir Thomas, then Colonel, Munro, in the Ceded Districts. I was first appointed under him as Registrar, which Appointment I held for about a Year. I was then nominated Subordinate Collector in the Ceded Districts; to the Charge of the Two Divisions of which Territory I succeeded at different Times, after Colonel Munro's Departure. I was afterwards employed in the Southern Mahratta Country as Principal Collector and Political Agent, where I succeeded Sir Thomas Munro, on his quitting India for Europe, in the Year 1818-19. I remained there a Year and a Half, and was then appointed Sole Commissioner in the Deccan, in which Office I succeeded Mr. Elphinstone, and remained there Six or Seven Years.
Are you still in that Situation?
No; I left it nearly Four Years ago.
In what Manner had the Revenue been settled by Sir Thomas Munro in the Districts where you served under him?
It was settled entirely on the Ryotwar System.
Was there any Survey?
A Survey, Classification and Assessment was undertaken by Sir Thomas Munro in the Year 1801-2, and completed in the Year 1806 or 1807.
Will you state by whom that Survey was made, and in what Manner?
The Survey was made entirely by Natives, under the Superintendence of the Collector's Cutcherry, and ultimately revised by the Collector himself. The detailed Rules under which that Survey was made will be found in the Appendix to the Fifth Report of the Select Committee, and a particular Account of it in a Letter from Colonel Munro, dated 26th July 1807, in that Appendix.
Upon what Data was the Assessment fixed?
The Collections of a long course of former Years were ascertained as far as they could be from the Records of the Villages, from the Information of the Inhabitants, and that of the District Officers and the neighbouring Villages also.
Was any Valuation made of the productive Power of the Land?
Yes; a Valuation was made, founded on the Principle of the Collections and the Price of the Produce of former Years, ascertained as far as it could be from the Records of the Villages. The Accounts of Native Merchants were examined for a long Series of Years to ascertain the Value of the Produce in different Years.
If any Person was dissatisfied with the Assessment fixed upon his Land, what Remedy had he?
An Appeal was made to the Collector eventually, and the Dispute was generally decided by the Ryots themselves of the Villages, or a Punchayet of Ryots of the neighbouring Villages.
Was the Assessment fixed the highest Assessment which it was thought fit in any Case to exact for the Land?
Yes; it was a Maximum Assessment, which was never expected to be wholly raised; it was a Maximum Assessment beyond which no Collection was ever to be made afterwards; it was an Assessment the Total of which was avowedly too high at the Time to be realized without occasional and partial Remissions, and it was recommended afterwards to be reduced.
Was any Abatement made?
No Abatement was at that Time made. A discretionary Abatement was every Year made by the Collector, wherever there was a partial Failure of the Crops, arising from Drought, or from the Poverty of the Inhabitants. The Collection was discretionary on the Part of the Collector.
Still the Sum demanded was the Maximum Assessment?
The Sum demanded was the Maximum.
Has any Abatement been since made?
An Abatement has been since made. It was recommended at the Time of Sir Thomas Munro's Departure from the District, that a Reduction of One Third of the Assessment of Lands irrigated by Wells or Tanks, or other artificial Sources of Cultivation, should be made, and a Reduction of One Fourth of the Assessment of the dry Lands. It was at that Time conceived by the Government that so large an Abatement would occasion a greater Decrease of Revenue than the Financial Resources of Government would admit of, and it was consequently not made; but a new System was introduced, by which it was expected that the same Amount of Revenue would be realized. It was a System of Village Leases, which superseded entirely the former Ryotwar System.
Therefore the Government, instead of adopting the Recommendation of Sir Thomas Munro, to reduce the Assessment, invented a new System for raising the Revenue, under which they thought they could obtain the whole Amount of the Maximum Assessment?
Not the whole Amount of the Maximum Assessment, because that was never realized under the Ryotwar System; but it was expected that the same Annual Revenue would be realized under the Lease System which had been under the Ryotwar System. The whole Maximum Survey Assessment never was realized under the Ryotwar System, and never could be, as long as there were bad Seasons and poor Ryots.
The new System of Village Leases held out no Prospect of the Government realizing a larger Revenue than it had under the Ryotwar System?
It could not, for the Leases were for a Term of Years, for an Amount I believe not exceeding the Ryotwar Settlement.
What then was the Advantage of this Introduction?
It was expected that there would be less Interference by the Revenue Officers with the Ryots, and that the Village Lease System would be more accordant with the new System of Zillah Courts, introduced a short Time previous to Colonel Munro's Departure. The Zillah Courts had been but very recently introduced before he left the District.
How long was the System of Village Leases continued?
The original Leases were for Three Years, and on those Leases expiring they were renewed for Ten Years in the whole of the Ceded Districts; but they were either cancelled or relinquished, I believe, long before the Expiration of the Decennial Lease, in consequence of the Failure of the System.
Under the Village Lease, was the whole Village liable for the Defalcation of Revenue that ought to have been paid by any One Individual?
The Village Renter entered into an Engagement to pay a fixed Amount of Revenue, and the Government no longer interfered with the Collection from the Cultivators. The Renter was left to make his own Arrangements with the Cultivators.
What Powers were committed to him of obtaining the Revenue from the Cultivators?
He had the Power of distraining the Property of the Ryots, and eventually the Power of placing them in Confinement, by resorting to the Courts of Adawlut, if the Rents were not paid.
Were Complaints made by the Ryots against the Exercise of that Power?
Yes. The Ryots were subject, under that System, I think to very great Exactions; and the Collector, being shut out from any direct Intercourse with the Ryots, had no Power to afford them Redress.
Will you state whether, where Lands were uncultivated, any Rent was fixed prospectively on the Event of that Cultivation?
The Survey embraced all Lands, whether cultivated or waste; the waste Lands were also surveyed and assessed.
Upon what Principles was the waste Land assessed?
Precisely on the same Principles that the cultivated Lands had been assessed; with reference to their productive Power, and what they had formerly yielded when in a State of Cultivation.
Where they have not been in a State of Cultivation?
There they were assessed more in a rough Way, on a conjectural sort of Estimate of what they would produce eventually, subject to Revision in case they were brought into Cultivation.
In the event of such waste Land being brought into Cultivation, had the Collectors a discretionary Power of affixing a Value upon it?
That Power was reserved to the Collector; but the Introduction of Village Leases was not contemplated when that Survey was made.
What Portion of the Gross Produce was taken under that Settlement?
I think Colonel Munro's Estimate was, that supposing the Gross Produce to be One hundred, the Government Share was Forty-five, and Fifty-five was left to the Cultivator.
If the Ryot under the Ryotwar System failed to pay the Revenue to Government, in what Manner did the Collector proceed to recover it?
The Collector endeavoured to ascertain what were the real Circumstances of the Ryot, and if he found he had not the Means of paying his Rent, it was remitted; if he had the Means of paying it, it was recovered by Distraint of his Property, and occasionally by Restraint of his Person, but that was very seldom resorted to.
If any One or Two Ryots in a Village failed to pay the Revenue, had the Collector in any Case recourse to the other Ryots for the Purpose of making up the Deficiency?
Yes; that formed a Part of the Ryotwar System. In case of particular Failures the general Community of Ryots were subject to an extra Assessment, varying from Five to Ten per Cent.
Was that Power of levying the extra Assessment frequently resorted to?
Very rarely, in fact. It went in part only to counterbalance the Remissions from the full Assessment that were annually made to the Ryots of Villages.
Can you state in what Manner the Revenue was assessed and collected under the Administration of Poorniah, a Native Minister of the Mysore?
I have had no Experience respecting the Mysore Territory myself, but from its adjoining the Ceded Districts I used frequently to hear of his Management. I believe that Poorniah's System was very much the Ryotwar System, and much on the same Principle as Sir Thomas Munro's - that of forming the Settlement directly with the Cultivators; but a much greater Latitude of Authority was left to the Potails, or Heads of Villages, under the Native Administration, than under ours. I have had no Connection with the Mysore myself, and therefore can only speak from Hearsay.
Do you know whether the Assessment was low under Poorniah?
I believe it was a moderate Assessment, because the Country continued to improve under it.
Was the Improvement of the Country under Poorniah greater than the Improvement of the Districts under the British Government?
No, I think not. We succeeded to the Ceded Districts when the Revenues were in a State of great Dilapidation, and the Resources of the Country very much exhausted; and under the Ryotwar System they gradually improved. I think the Revenue was raised from about Ten Lacs to Eighteen Lacs of Pagodas in the course of Six or Seven Years.
What Powers had you as Commissioner of the Deccan?
I had all the Powers of a Court of Appeal, and I acted in fact as a Board of Revenue. I had the general Controul and Direction of the Revenue and Judicial Administration in the whole of the Deccan.
What Settlement of Revenue did you find established in the Deccan?
We succeeded to the Possession of the Deccan after the farming System of the Peishwa, under whose Government the Districts were farmed out to the highest Bidders. It was a System of Rack Rent under which the Country was very much impoverished.
Was that System continued by you?
No; we introduced the Ryotwar System immediately on succeeding to the Administration.
A Settlement on the same Principle as that established by Sir Thomas Munro in the Ceded District?
Very much so, except that we found it difficult to get our Mahratta Amildars to enter so much into the Detail of the Management of the Villages, and to direct it with so much Exactitude and Regularity as in the Ceded Districts, where our Servants were better trained.
Was there a Survey made in the same Manner?
A Survey was in progress when I left the Deccan, Four Years ago. I do not know what Progress has been made in it. The Rules and Instructions for that Survey will be found in the Third Volume of Printed Selections of the India House, from about Page 880.
How many European Assistants had you?
Under myself, I had Two Assistants; but in each District there were Collectors, and Assistants to the Collectors and Registrars.
What Administration of Justice did you find established in the Deccan under the Native Government?
The System of Justice was conducted entirely by the Peishwa himself and his Officers, his Moamulutdars and Sir-Subahdars; all great Sirdars too administered Justice in their Districts; but the Administration was entirely discretionary and arbitrary; there were no set Forms of Proceeding, no regular Dispensation of Justice, but a great deal was dispensed through the Medium of Punchayets.
What System of administering Justice did you introduce?
For a considerable Time we followed very much the Native System of having Causes settled by the Amildars and the Native Officers, and by Punchayets, and subsequently a Number of Munsiffs and Aumeens were established.
What was the Power in the first instance given to the Europeans?
The Powers given to Europeans were unlimited, as to the Value of Causes they were to settle.
What Power had they in the Administration of Criminal Justice?
The Collectors had Authority, I think, to award Sentences to the Extent of Seven Years Imprisonment: I forget the exact Term of Years; but in Cases where the Sentence was heavier than that, they referred the Cases to the Commissioner; and Capital Cases were referred, through the Commissioner, to the Government.
The Collectors under you had full Judicial as well as Revenue Authority?
Yes; both Civil and Criminal.
Have any Changes been introduced since?
Two Judges had been appointed before I came away to a Part of the Deccan.
So that the Administration of the Revenue is now severed from that of Justice?
It is. The Collectors have still all the Powers of Magistrates in the Police Department.
Is that Alteration in your Opinion an Improvement?
I think that the Collectors would not have had Leisure to have conducted the Survey with any sort of Precision if they had not been relieved from their Judicial Duties.
The Survey being supposed to be completed, would it be advantageous that the Powers of Revenue and Justice should be united in the same Persons in that Country?
I should rather doubt the Expediency of uniting the Two Authorities entirely. The Collectors Duties press upon them often very heavily, and do not allow them to execute Judicial Duties with the Precision required under our Government.
Is the Arrangement now made for the Government of that Country more expensive than that introduced on its first Conquest?
I have no doubt a very considerable Increase of Expence must have been incurred, because Judicial Officers have been employed, and higher Salaries have been given both to Native and European Officers.
Is it in your Opinion better governed than it was at first?
It is governed with more Regularity.
Were Military Officers employed to any Extent in the Revenue and Judicial Line on the first Conquest of that Country?
I think almost the whole of the Collectors in that Country were Military Officers, except in the Southern Mahratta Country.
Did they perform their Duties satisfactorily?
Yes, very much so. They had been selected as Men of Talent, and as having a competent Acquaintance with the Native Languages.
Are any Natives exempt from the Jurisdiction of the Provincial Courts in that Country?
There are several Sirdars who exercise independent Authority in their Districts; all the Putwarden Family, for instance, and the Rajah of Satala and the Rajah of Colopore. Lists of privileged Classes were also drawn out who were to be exempt from the rigid Operation of the Rules of our Civil Courts.
On what Ground were they to be so exempt?
It was with a view to conciliate them, and to prevent them from conceiving that Disgust to our Authority which would probably have been the Consequence of our succeeding to the Government but for that Circumstance.
Was that a Pledge given to them on the first Conquest of that Country?
I am not sure whether to this Class any particular Pledge of that kind was given, but their Institutions were promised to be maintained to them.
So that you would consider that the Subjection of those Persons to the Jurisdiction of the Provincial or any other Court was in fact a Violation of the implied Condition of their quiet Submission to our Government?
The Subjection of any of those independent Sirdars to whom I allude would certainly be a Violation, but not the Subjection of the privileged Classes, because that was more a Matter of Indulgence, I conceive, than of Right.
Was that Indulgence made known to them at a very early Period after our Acquisition of the Country?
Yes, it was.
It has never been violated by the Company's Government?
Not that I am aware of. It has been violated in some respects by several of those Sirdars having been summoned to Bombay by the Supreme Court, but not by our Government.
On what Grounds were they summoned to Bombay by the Supreme Court?
The Transactions adverted to have taken place since I left the Deccan, so that I cannot speak from any personal Knowledge on the Subject.
What is the Condition of the Jaghiredars, and their Position with regard to Authority and Property?
The Condition of many of their Jaghires is extremely flourishing indeed; some of them not so much so; but in general I think they are extremely well managed, particularly the Jaghires of the Putwarden Family. The whole of the Country under the immediate Government of the Rajah of Satala, I think, is extremely well managed. The Condition of the Subjects of the Colopore Government was not certainly so flourishing.
Are there any Persons of large Property in the Deccan who do not possess the independent Authority of the Jaghiredars?
Yes; there are several Jaghires held by Sirdars of considerable Consequence and considerable Wealth, who have not independent Authority in their own Lands.
Is that an ancient Aristocracy?
Part of it I believe to be so. The Putwardens are the principal among the independent Sirdars; but I think they are not a very old Family; I believe that they were raised by the Peishwa about Ninety Years ago.
Do those Jaghiredars and Men of great Property ever come to Bombay?
Very rarely. They have a considerable Apprehension of coming to Bombay, for fear of coming into Collision with the Supreme Court.
On Failure of Heirs, do those Jaghires lapse to the Government?
A great many of them are held only during Life; indeed most of them, I believe, are Life Jaghires; but many of them certainly would have been continued by the late Peishwa; therefore I conceive it would be the Policy of our Government to continue them. Others, that are only Life Jaghires, need not be continued by the Government.
In the event of Jaghiredars having no Heirs, and those Jaghires lapsing, in what Manner do you think the Government could most advantageously dispose of them?
I think it would be a great Advantage to keep all lapsed Jaghires as a Fund to reward meritorious Individuals who distinguished themselves in our Service. I conceive by that Means that we should raise a Native Aristocracy of our own, which, from a Principle of Gratitude, would be very much disposed always to support our Government, knowing that in the Case of any Revolution they would be the first to suffer.
Do the Jaghiredars and Men of Property in the Deccan use British Manufactures to any Extent?
There has been a considerable Increase of the Use of all Articles of Cloth Manufacture of late Years, I think, the superior Skill of our Artisans and our Improvements in Machinery having enabled us to import Cloth, and to undersell the Native Weavers in their own Market.
Have British Manufactures supplanted the Manufactures of the Country?
I think they have, to a considerable Extent, except in Articles of very coarse Cloth used by the lower Classes; those still continue to be manufactured; but the better Description of Cotton and Silk Cloths, and the finer Articles of the Fabric of Indian Looms, have been very much superseded by our Manufactures; and no doubt many Manufacturers are compelled to resort to Agriculture for Maintenance, a Department which is already overstocked, I am afraid.
Do you conceive the Use of our Manufactures has increased, or only that the Natives use the Manufactures of England instead of those of India?
I think they use the Manufactures of England instead of those of India, because they have been latterly much cheaper.
Do they consume apparently a greater Quantity of Manufactures than formerly?
No, I think not; their Circumstances are not so improved as to lead me to believe there is any great Increase of Consumption.
Is Sugar cultivated, or could it be cultivated, to any great Extent in that Country?
Sugar is cultivated in various Parts of the Deccan. There are very few Parts of India where there are Means of Irrigation where Sugar could not be cultivated.
Are there extensive Means of Irrigation in the Deccan?
Not so much in the Deccan as in other Parts of India; we have there fewer Tanks and Reservoirs; but there are Wells and Streams of Water from which by means of Machinery a great Extent of Land is cultivated.
Do you know any thing of the Cotton District in Guzzerat?
No; I have never been in Guzzerat. Cotton is grown to some Extent in the Southern Mahratta Country, but it is of inferior Quality to the Guzzerat Cotton; and as there is no great Demand for it, the Cultivation of it is not extensive, and it is conducted in rather a slovenly Way. The Amount produced is not very considerable.
Do you know whether any Quantity of Cotton is cultivated on the Western Side of the Ghauts?
I think not. I have been in the Concan, but I do not think I have seen any Cotton growing there. It is generally a Red Soil, which is not calculated for the Growth of Cotton. It is generally grown in the rich Loam; the rich Black Soil.
In what Manner, according to your Opinion, could the Condition of the People of that Country be improved?
The only Means of improving the Condition of the People generally is to lighten the Assessment as much as possible; that I conceive to be the best Means of improving the Condition of the People.
That respects the lower Orders. In what Manner would you propose to elevate the Character and improve the Condition of the higher Orders of the People?
By allowing them to have a larger Share in the Administration, and providing them with honourable and lucrative Employment. At present, all Incitement to Exertion is very much destroyed, the Natives being confined very much to the subordinate Offices, and all the Paths of Ambition being shut against them.
Do you think that the Natives could be introduced into higher Offices than those they at present occupy, not only with Credit to themselves but with perfect Safety to the British Government?
Certainly; with perfect Safety to the British Government. You cannot perhaps raise them to an Equality in Rank and Influence with Europeans, who must in general superintend them; but they may be admitted with great Safety to higher Employment, and (if I may be permitted the Expression) to a greater Share in their own Loaves and Fishes.
Have the Natives been employed lately to a greater degree than they were in the first instance?
Yes, they have, to a very considerable degree. A Number of Natives have been appointed, on comparatively high Salaries, to the Judicial and to the Revenue Offices.
As far as the Experiment has been tried, it has pretty invariably succeeded?
I think it has.
Do you think they are more particularly adapted to any one Description of Office than another, from your Observation?
No; I think they are adapted to all Offices. In point of natural Ability, I do not conceive them at all inferior to Europeans; and as they must necessarily be more acquainted with their own Habits and Usages, they are in many respects superior to Europeans. Their intimate Knowledge of the Languages is also a Consideration which must give them great Efficiency in the Administration of all Offices; a Knowledge which Europeans, even after Twenty-five Years Residence, can never acquire in so perfect a degree.
Does this Opinion apply equally to the Mohamedans and the Hindoos?
I think in general the Brahmins of the Country are the best educated, and the best fitted for the Discharge of all Offices. The Mohamedans are in general worse educated, and they have had always a much less Share in the public Business. There are very few Mohamedans in the Deccan.
Have the Native Hindoos as great a Confidence in the Mohamedans, when placed in Offices of Authority, as they have in Persons of their own Persuasion?
I should conceive, certainly not; being of a different Religion, they cannot have the same Respect or Reverence for them that they would have for their own Class.
Have they as great as for Europeans?
Certainly not. The European Character stands in general very high in India. They look up to the European Character with considerable Awe and Respect, which forms the chief Security, I think, of our precarious Tenure in India.
When you stated that the Native Jaghiredars have an Apprehension of coming to Bombay, from its rendering them liable to the Authority of the Supreme Court, to what Exercise of that Authority did you particularly allude?
Their Servants and Followers are very liable to get embroiled with the Native Population of Bombay, and then there is no doubt they would be brought into Collision with the Supreme Court.
You do not mean, then, that there exists any Want of Confidence in the Justice of the Supreme Court?
No; I do not know that there is any Want of Confidence in the Justice of the Supreme Court. I think the Supreme Court stands very high in that respect with the Population at the Presidency; and as long as its Jurisdiction is confined to the Presidency I should conceive it is extremely useful.
In the Cases where the Jaghiredars administer Justice themselves, are their Punishments generally severe, or not?
I think in the Deccan, generally, they are rather mild. Punishments for Treason and Rebellion are generally much lighter than they would be in European Countries. Theft and Robbery are punished sometimes, under the Native Government, by the Severity of Mutilation, but seldom capitally, I think. Under the Native Governments, Capital Punishment is confined chiefly to Cases of Murder, I imagine, except in Cases of Gang-robbery, or very atrocious Cases indeed.
Is the Exercise of the Authority of the Jaghiredar more efficacious in putting down that particular Description of Crime, Robbery, than in the Provinces administered under the English Law?
I think that generally the Police under the Native Governments was very efficient, from the Exercise of their Authority being summary; in many Instances not less efficient than our own System.
You think it was not more so?
In some Cases more so; in some Cases less; depending on the individual Character of the Person at the Head of the Native Government.
You stated the general Capability of different Parts of the Soil of India for producing Sugar; to what Circumstance do you attribute Sugar not having been brought into more extended Cultivation than it is at present?
Because there is no Demand for it.
You have no doubt that if an European Demand existed it would be much more extensively cultivated than it is at present?
I should conceive it would.
Are you of Opinion that under these Circumstances improved Machinery would be employed so as to raise the Quality of Sugar to a higher degree of Perfection than it has now attained?
I think that the Skill and Capital of Europeans might be applied certainly to that Purpose, if there was a Demand for Sugar; if the Duties in England were taken off, and the Sugar of India were admitted on an Equality with that of the West Indies, I think it is probable that Skill and Capital would be applied to improve the Cultivation of it.
Do you conceive that the Natives, of themselves, without any European Assistance, would be able, under the same favourable Circumstances, to improve the Cultivation?
I think that they would require the Assistance, probably, of Europeans. Their Machinery is in a very imperfect State at present; and a great Advantage might be derived from the Skill of Europeans being applied to that particular Branch of Cultivation.
What degree of Interest in the Tenure of Land should you consider sufficient to induce Persons to embark their Capital in creating Sugar Plantations?
If there was a probability of a ready Sale for Sugar, I conceive Leases might be granted for the Term of Ten, Fifteen or Twenty Years, to Europeans, with great Advantage; always provided the Government had the same Controul over Europeans as they at present have.
You think that Term would hold out a sufficient Encouragement for the Investment of Capital?
This sort of Term has been found to answer, I believe, for the Cultivation of Indigo, in the Upper Provinces of Bengal, therefore I conceive it would answer equally well for Sugar. It is a Question to which my Attention has not been much directed, therefore I can answer only imperfectly.
Can you state nearly the Proportion between the Maximum Assessment of which you spoke in the Ceded Countries and the Amount realized?
No, I cannot accurately, without reference to Documents.
The Difference was considerable?
The Difference was very considerable. The Total Assessment by Survey of the cultivated Land in the Ceded Districts, which amounts to 3,200,000 Acres, was Eighteen Lacs and 50,000 Pagodas; and I think the Amount of Land Rent realized, when the Amount was the highest, was from Sixteen and a Half to Seventeen Lacs. The Amount realized, including other Sources of Income, was above Eighteen Lacs.
How long did the Decennial Settlement of which you have spoken last?
The Leases were either cancelled or thrown up about Six or Seven Years, I believe, after the Settlement of the Decennial.
What was substituted?
The Ryotwar System was reverted to, with the Reduction which had been proposed by Sir Thomas Munro. It was reverted to under great Disadvantages, of course, from its succeeding the Lease System, which had so completely failed.
To what higher Description of Offices would you admit Natives?
I would admit them to a very high Description of Offices in the Revenue and Judicial Line, except that they should be always under the Controul, I conceive, of Europeans.
Do you conceive that the Admission of them to that Description of Offices would tend to improve their Physical Condition as well as their Moral Character?
I conceive it would very much tend to improve their Moral Character, which is at present very much degraded, as they are excluded from all the higher Offices of every Description, and confined to the most subordinate Situations.
Is Silk one of the Articles cultivated in those Parts of India with which you are best acquainted?
No, it is not.
The Soil is not suited to the Mulberry?
I have seen Experiments made on a small Scale. I think it might answer. But the Mulberry Plant is not in any great Abundance.
Has any Attempt been made to cultivate the Coffee Plant?
I have not seen it in the Districts I have been acquainted with. I know that it has been cultivated in some Parts of the Mysore Districts, and particularly about Bangalore, and that the Coffee is very good.
Is it a very expensive Species of Cultivation?
I have never had an Opportunity of seeing its Cultivation myself.
Do you conceive it would come into Consumption in England if the Duty upon it was the same as on West India Coffee; it being now Nine-pence, when the other is Sixpence?
I have never had an Opportunity of comparing the Two. The Bangalore Coffee, I know, is very good, for I have drank it; but I have not had an Opportunity of comparing it with the West India Coffee. It is not so good as the Mocha Coffee, I know.
Is there any legal Obstacle to the Export of Sugar from the East Indies to the North of Europe or the Mediterranean?
I am not aware that there is.
You do not know whether any Attempts have ever been made to find a Market in those Parts of the World?
It has been produced in so small a Quantity, I can hardly conceive that any Attempt has been made.
If you think that an Equalization of Duty in England would be an Inducement to cultivate Sugar for the English Market, would not the Existence of an equally open Market in the other Parts of Europe offer the same Inducement?
I should think it would. I should presume that the Sugar of India might be produced probably at a less Expence than the West India Sugar, Labour being so much cheaper in India.
If that is the Case, how does it happen that East India Sugar does not find its Way direct to those Markets that are open to them equally with West India Sugar?
There is very little Commercial Intercourse, I believe, from the Ports of India to Europe through Arabia or Persia. I think there is very little Demand for Sugar in those Countries.
The Question refers to the North of Europe and the Mediterranean, particularly?
I cannot speak from any Knowledge of the Subject myself.
You stated that the Consumption of English Manufactured Cottons was increased in consequence of their superior Cheapness; what Class of Persons are the principal Consumers of those Goods?
The higher Classes of the People. The lower Classes, I think, the Ryots for instance, still use very much their own coarse Manufactures.
Were the finer Descriptions of Cottons the larger or the smaller Proportion of the Cotton Manufacture made in India?
I presume that the coarser Description was the larger Proportion made in India, though not the most valuable.
So that the Native Workmen who have been thrown out of Employment by the Introduction of English Cottons were the Proportion occupied in making the smallest Amount?
I should think so. The Manufacture of the finer Silks, called Kincobs, and other Cloths of that sort, has very much diminished. The Demand had very much decreased.
Are any English Silks imported into India used there?
I believe they are, to a considerable Extent. I have often seen Natives in quilted Silk Jackets, which I believe to be of English Manufacture.
Is that of recent Introduction?
I conceive so; but I could not always distinguish between English Silks and China Silks, or the Silks of Bengal; but I know it was the Case to some Extent, and that the Silk Manufactures of Boorhanpoor and Mongapytun have very much diminished.
You have said that lightening the Assessment would be in your Opinion the best Way of improving the Condition of the Country; how does that apply to the Assessment you have mentioned established by Sir Thomas Munro, the Proportion taken, supposing the Gross Produce One hundred, being Forty-five to accrue to Government?
That is the original Assessment of Sir Thomas Munro I allude to; but he recommended a still further Reduction, which Reduction has since taken place. Assuming the Total Gross Produce to be One hundred, and the Government Assessment to be Forty-five, Twenty-five per Cent. was deducted, leaving the Government Share to be levied upon the Ryots Thirty-three and Three Quarters only. (fn. 1)
That Abatement has been since carried into Effect in the Ceded Districts?
Yes, it has.
You have stated your Opinion to be, that Natives might be employed in some of the high Offices both of the Revenue and Judicial Departments; provided always they should be under the Controul of Europeans; is it your Notion to confine the Employment of Europeans to the highest Offices of all, or that similar Offices should be filled indifferently by Natives and Europeans?
For instance, I would say that the Natives might be advantageously employed at present where our Subordinate Collectors and our Assistant Judges are employed, on a Salary varying from Two to Four hundred Pagodas per Month, (from £80 to £160 a Month.) I do not mean to say that that should take place immediately, but that they might gradually, as Men of Talent were discovered, be so employed to great Advantage. I should not recommend their Employment in the highest Offices; for I think the Policy of our Government would always require that the highest Offices should be filled by Europeans. At present, the Scale of the Salaries of our superior Native Officers in our old Provinces, I think, seldom exceeds 200 Rupees a Month. The highest Salary almost that a Native gets in our old Provinces does not exceed £500 a Year, and that very rarely.
If a Native occupied such a Situation as that of Assistant Collector, would he not be satisfied with a much smaller Salary than that given to an European?
Yes, I have no doubt he would.
Do you think that a Native, well educated, could be placed in the Situation of Zillah Judge?
I have no doubt the Office would be very often conducted with great efficiency by a Native; and there is no Reason why it should not be so, if he was sufficiently well paid to keep him honest.
Would not the Administration of the Revenue and Judicial Departments by means of the Natives be not only as efficient, but more satisfactory to the People, and much cheaper to the Government, than that of Europeans?
I have no doubt it would be much more satisfactory to the People; and I conceive the Efficiency of the Administration would be improved by the Admission of the Natives to those Employments.
If it was much cheaper to Government, would not that lead to a Reduction of the Salaries of the Officers, which would make their Integrity much more questionable?
It would be such a very considerable Improvement, with reference to their present State, that I conceive we should rather secure their Honesty, and a faithful and impartial Discharge of their Duties.
What would you consider a sufficient Salary of an European Sub-collector?
I consider their present Allowances are sufficient. A Subcollector, I think, receives about 400 Pagodas a Month.
What should you consider a sufficient Salary to a Native, if so employed?
I have no doubt that a Native would be found to conduct the Duties of the Office probably for Half or Two Thirds of the Amount.
By the Natives, you mean the Natives you found in the Interior of the Country?
Not those who are found in the Presidencies?
No. I should be very far from recommending the Employment of those at the Presidencies.
Supposing Natives to be employed in the same Manner they are now, do you think it most expedient, more particularly for Judicial Offices, to select Natives in the Country in which they now reside, or to transfer them from one Part of the Country to another?
I should prefer employing them in the Country where they reside.
Have not the principal Frauds which have been detected in the Collection of the Revenue been detected in the Natives?
Yes. In the Districts where the Management has not been efficient, very considerable Frauds have been detected in the Natives; and those must happen under any Government.
In the Natives belonging to the Country?
The greatest Frauds I recollect were in Coimbatore; but I do not recollect whether Casee Chitty was a Native of that Part of the Country; I do not think he was a Native of Madras.
Have not those Cases in which the Natives have been corrupt been Cases in which they received very small Salaries, and had been acting nominally under the Superintendence of a Gentleman who had not done his Duty?
I think in the particular Case alluded to there must have been a considerable Want of Vigilance in the Collector, or Abuses to that Extent never could have taken place; and as to the Salary of the Officer alluded to, I do not recollect what was the Amount, but I think it extremely probable it was on a lower Scale than Salaries usually are in our new Provinces.
Do you recollect the Amount of his Embezzlement?
No, I do not; but I know it was large.
Is it not practically the Case now, that where a Collector is not vigilant, the real Duty of his Situation is performed by irresponsible and ill-paid Native Servants?
Yes, that is very much the Case.
How is Justice administered in the independent Jaghires you mentioned?
It is administered very much according to the discretionary Authority of the Jaghiredars themselves, but a good deal through the Agency of Punchayets.
Did the People appear to be satisfied with that Administration of Justice?
I think, generally, they were. These Jaghires are in a very flourishing Condition; their Villages extremely populous; their Inhabitants were well clothed, and in many respects better off than our own.
Do you think the People were better satisfied with Native Officers than with European?
I am not sure that I have stated that generally to be the Case, but I know it is so in many Instances. I have no doubt the Natives look up to our Courts for an impartial Administration of Justice; that they generally conceive that the Administration of Justice in our Courts is impartial, and free from that Corruption which their own System is more liable to.
In making the Establishment in the Deccan you were employed in, did you make use of Punchayets?
Yes, we did, in the early Stages.
To a considerable Extent?
Yes. In some Parts of the Deccan they were used with great Success, particularly in the Southern Mahratta Country. Under the Administration of the Principal Collector, the late Mr. Thackeray, the Punchayet System succeeded much better than it has done in other Parts, either in our own Provinces or any Part of the Deccan.
Were they used in any Place where they came under your own Observation?
Yes; they were used at Poonah.
Were you satisfied with the Decisions?
In general I think the Decisions were very good; they gave Satisfaction to the Parties; but there were considerable Delays and Difficulties in getting the Members of large Towns to assemble. I do not think it is so well calculated for large Towns as for the Country.
Do not you think they have great Advantages over Europeans in the Examinations?
Yes; their Knowledge of the Language, and their Knowledgeof the Usages and the Habits of the People, give them great Advantages over European Judges.
Do you think that Europeans can ever acquire a sufficient Knowledge of the Language and the Usages and Habits of the People to enable them to examine to the same Advantage?
I apprehend not, for there is very little social Intercourse between Natives and Europeans, and there never can be.
Is there less social Intercourse between the Europeans and the Natives now than there used to be?
There is very little; it is confined very much to Visits of Ceremony.
What is the Manner and Conduct of the Servants of the Company towards the Natives?
In the Deccan, the Necessity of being extremely courteous and civil to the Native Gentry was inculcated on all the European Authorities; and I think that great Satisfaction was given to the Native Gentry in consequence.
How far do you think it would be possible to convert a Punchayet into a Jury, and to apply it generally in the Administration of Justice as Part of the System?
The Punchayet has very rarely been applied at all in Criminal Cases in India; it is confined chiefly to Civil Cases; and I should doubt the Advantage of a Trial by Jury in Criminal Cases, on account of the Intermixture of Castes, which would be a great Obstacle to its Success.
Do you think it might be applied in Civil Cases?
I think the Punchayet should be resorted to in Civil Cases as much as possible, for it is the original System the Natives have been accustomed to.
Are you aware it has been applied both in Civil and Criminal Cases in the Island of Ceylon?
I have heard it; but the State of the Natives of Ceylon being I believe extremely different, the same Rule might not apply in both Cases.
Was there not a Minute directing the Attention of the Authorities of Madras to this Subject?
I think there was; but many Years having elapsed since I was employed under the Madras Government, I cannot speak with Certainty.
You do not know why it was not carried into Effect?
No. I think it was partially tried; but I do not know whether it succeeded or not.
Do you think that an increased Employment of Europeans in the Improvement and Cultivation of Land would tend to create Employments that do not now exist in India?
I think that Europeans could never themselves be employed in the Cultivation of Land; the Climate of the Country would never admit of it. They might be employed generally in the Superintendence of Land; but European Labour could never be employed in Agriculture.
If they were unable themselves to superintend the Cultivation of Land, and were to have Reason to think it would be a beneficial Employment of Capital, would not that of itself afford a considerable Increase of Employment to the Native Population?
I have already said that the Employment of British Skill and Capital in the Cultivation of Sugar and Indigo, and other Articles, might be productive, in my Opinion, of great Advantage.
Do you not therefore think that the Hopes of Employment and Preferment of that kind which would open themselves to the Native Inhabitants would have a beneficial Influence on them?
I have no doubt it would have a beneficial Influence in giving Occupation, and in some degree improving the Resources of the Country.
Would it not have a Tendency to create in them an increased Sense of the Advantages of living under the English Government?
I am not quite sure that the Admixture of Europeans, of the middling or lower Orders, with the Natives, would have that Effect. I should be very much afraid that the Respect and Reverence the Natives now have for the English would rather be diminished than increased by mixing with Europeans of the middling or lower Classes.
Do you not think that the Absence of such Employments, and of the Hope of improving their Situation, rather creates in them an unfavourable Feeling towards the English Government?
I have no doubt that their Exclusion from the higher Offices must have a very considerable Tendency towards debasing the Moral Character of the Natives generally, and on that Account it is that I recommend their being admitted to a larger Share of the Government of the Country.
Do you not think that every Species of Improvement which could take place, and in which they would be allowed to have a Share, would increase their Feeling of Respect for the English Government?
Rather a contrary Effect, if Europeans were admitted in any great Numbers into the Interior of the Country; I mean those of the middling or lower Orders. I am perfectly sure that Native Prejudices would be outraged if the lower Classes of Europeans came much into contact with the Natives, and that it would produce Hostility to our Government, and Disaffection generally.
Would that Disaffection be still more speedily extended through the Native Population if Persons of Half-blood were placed in the Situations to which it is now proposed to elevate the Natives themselves?
Yes; I think it would be extremely bad Policy to admit Persons of Half-blood to higher Situations, for the Native Gentry of the Country would look upon them with no Respect; they look down upon them very much.
Do you think it possible to manage the interior Government of a Province such as the Deccan by means of Natives, allowing a Recourse to be had to that Province by Europeans to an unlimited degree?
Certainly not. I should conceive it would be totally impossible, under the present System of Government. A free unrestricted Resort of Europeans would at no distant Period lead to the total Overthrow of our Government, in my Opinion.
Even supposing those Europeans were as they are at present, with respect to their Residence, under the immediate Authority of the Company's Government?
I conceive that if an Inundation of Europeans of the lower Orders were admitted into the Interior, the Government could no longer have that Controul over them.
Do you know an Instance of any European of Capital being desirous of settling himself in the Interior?
I consider the great Majority of those who resort to India as possessed of no Capital; they borrow Money from the Agency Houses at the Presidencies, and then resort to the Interior; but I believe they have very seldom any Capital of their own.
Do you not think that the Security of the English Government in India would be likely to be rather promoted than otherwise by the Native Inhabitants enjoying increased Advantages?
Yes. I have already stated that by giving them a Share of the Advantages of their own Country we shall very considerably promote their Interests and secure their Attachment; but of course a good deal will depend on the Way in which it is done.
Do you not think that increased Employment of Capital would greatly improve the Land, and would be considered by them as holding out very great Advantages?
No doubt it would. It was on that Principle I recommended a Reduction of the Amount of the Assessment of the Land.
Do you think that the Settlement of Europeans in the Interior would produce the Advantages specified in the Two previous Questions?
I think, if it was limited, that the Extension of the System of Licences might produce Advantage in that respect; but the entire Controul of Government must always be preserved over such Europeans, otherwise they will bring the Government into constant Collision with the Courts of Judicature at the Presidencies, and that Collision tends, not only to degrade the Government, but very much to lower the Dignity of the Court itself.
Do not you think that any Advantages which might be derived from the poorer Class of Natives from the Establishment of Europeans in the Country would be more than counterbalanced by the Degradation of the higher Orders by their Exclusion from those Situations to which they may now aspire?
If Europeans were allowed unrestrictedly to settle in the Interior, I have no doubt it would lead ultimately to the stripping the Natives of their Land, depriving them of every Office or Employment, however subordinate, and ultimately reduce them to the most degraded State of a conquered People.
Are the Half-castes numerous in the Part of India with which you are acquainted?
There are very few in the Interior. Those few are employed as mere Copyists. They are chiefly to be found at the Presidencies.
Does not the unfavourable Opinion formed of them by the Natives in some degree result from the depressed Condition in which they are placed by the Regulations of The East India Company?
No; I think it generally arises from the Prejudices the Natives entertain, from the Circumstance that they are generally the Offspring of low-caste Native Women; and as many of them are reduced, by the continued Admixture of Native Blood, to a Colour more Black than any of the Natives themselves, the Natives regard them with no Respect.
They are not allowed to enter into the higher Employments, Civil or Military?
I do not know that there is any Prohibition; but they are not usually employed in any Offices higher than that of Clerks or Copyists. Some few are employed in the Survey.
You state that some of the Half-castes become more Black than the Natives; is it the Fact that the higher Castes are not so Black?
Some of the Brahmins are nearly as fair as Europeans.
Is that considered a Presumption that they are of high Caste?
No; I do not know that that raises such a Presumption, as there are, I know, various Shades of Colour in the Natives in the different Provinces.
Are not the Natives peculiarly tenacious of their Village Institutions?
Do you not think that any thing which might tend to bring them into Jeopardy would be calculated to create a very dangerous Sensation in the Country?
Yes, I have no doubt it would; any Interference with the Village Institutions would create a general Disaffection.
Do you not think an unrestricted Establishment of the lowest Order of Europeans in the Country would then be calculated to have that Effect?
I have no doubt of that.
You mentioned that you thought the Natives might be trusted with the Situation of a Zillah Judge; do you think the Superintendence exercised over a Zillah Judge would be sufficient in case he was intrusted with that Situation?
I should prefer confining them at present to Offices subordinate to that of a Zillah Judge; the Assistant Judge, or Registrar, or the subordinate Collectorship in the Revenue Line. I should not think it politic at once to raise them to the highest Offices.
Are not the Witnesses examined by the Registrar?
Would it not be advantageous to have the Examination conducted by Natives?
The Examinations are frequently referred to the Native Officers; but I have not been much employed in the Judicial Department, either as Judge or Assistant Judge, therefore I cannot speak decidedly.
Would not the Quality of Sugar raised in India be very much improved, as well as the Collection increased, by the Employment of Machinery in the Manufacture of it?
There is great Room for Improvement. I have no doubt it would.
Is not that Machinery much more expensive than that required in the Case of Indigo?
I am not aware of that. The Process of making Sugar, according to the Native Mode, is extremely simple indeed. I have never seen how it is manufactured by European Machinery.
Do you think that the limited Demand there is now as to East India Sugar is occasioned by the Quality of it not being so good as it would be if Foreign Machinery was used in the Manufacture of it?
I think that is extremely probable. I know there is great Room for Improvement.
Is there any Silk grown in the Deccan?
No, there is not. I have seen it tried as an Experiment on a small Scale; but there was not a sufficient Quantity of the Mulberry Leaf to extend it.
Is it capable of Improvement, in your Opinion?
I think it is.
Are you sufficiently acquainted with it to know whether it requires great Capital?
I am not.
You say that the Quality of the Coffee is very inferior to that of Mocha Coffee?
I think it is.
Is it, in your Opinion, very much like the Bourbon or Mauritius Coffee?
I apprehend it is very much of that Quality.
Is the Cultivation of Sugar perfectly free?
What Description of Labourers are employed?
The Description of Labourers employed in other Modes of Agriculture.
Are the Wages higher for that?
No, I believe not. The Assessment of a Sugar Cane Plantation, previous to a Survey, is generally higher than that of other Lands.
Is the Labour required of the Cultivator more severe?
I believe the Sugar Cane requires a Year or Two before it comes to any thing like its Growth, therefore the Expence of cultivating it is much greater; but the Labour, I apprehend, not more severe.
Is there any particular Season of the Year at which hard Labour is required?
Not any great degree of hard Labour, certainly.
Does Slavery exist in any degree in the Deccan?
A modified degree of Slavery exists in the Deccan, principally confined to Females. There are very few Mahratta Families who have not Female Slaves in their Houses, but it is a domestic and mitigated sort of Slavery.
No, not at all, I believe.
Is the same Salary paid now to the Collectors in the Deccan as was paid to them when they exercised Judicial Functions?
I am not aware that any Reduction has taken place; I believe not.
They are all under the Presidency of Bombay?
Can the Cultivation of Sugar be carried on without Irrigation?
Where there is no natural Supply of Water, it is necessary to incur Expence in the Construction of Tanks?
Yes; or Wells, or Aqueducts for conducting Streams from Rivers.
Under such Circumstances considerable Employment of Capital is necessary?
The Machinery is extremely simple; it is confined, with respect to the Wells, to a Couple of Bullocks and a Bucket, which draw up the Water.
The Witness is directed to withdraw.
Ordered, That this Committee be adjourned 'till To-morrow, One o'Clock.