Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 62, 1830. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London.
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Die Veneris, 4 Junii 1830.
The Lord President in the Chair.
Patrick Kelly LL.D. is called in, and further examined as follows:
Have you completed the Calculations you were directed to make for this Committee?
Are those the Calculations you have in your Hand?
Have the goodness to deliver in the same.
The Witness delivers in the same, and they are read as follow:
A STATEMENT shewing the Cost per lb. of the SAMPLES of TEA received by the Commissioners for the Affairs of India from HIS MAJESTY'S CONSULS, and the VALUE affixed to the respective Samples by the LONDON TEA BROKERS.
The Wholesale Prices are adopted exclusive of Government Duties, the Foreign Weights are converted to English Avoirdupois, and the Foreign Monies reduced to Sterling, according to the intrinsic Par of Exchange, computed in Silver at 5s. 2d. per oz. British Standard.
The Witness is directed to withdraw.
John Craufurd Esquire is called in, and examined as follows:
What is your Situation?
I am general Agent for the Merchants and other Inhabitants of Calcutta and Bengal.
How long is it since you left India?
I left India in the Month of July 1827.
Have you paid much Attention to the Culture of Cotton?
I have paid a great deal of Attention to it; but not as a Merchant, or as an Agriculturist.
In Java, as well as in India?
Yes; in Java as well as in India — in British India, as well as in several other Parts of Asia.
Have you read a Paper laid before Parliament, respecting the Cultivation of Cotton and Tobacco in the East Indies?
It is stated in a Letter from the Secretary of the Court of Directors to the Secretary of the India Board, that the Cultivation of fine Cotton in India has been checked by an unlooked-for Difficulty; namely, that the Consumption of Cotton having a long silky Staple is very limited, and that the Demand for the British and Foreign Manufactures does not require, and consequently Purchasers cannot be found, for a large Supply of the Bourbon Cotton. Is this consistent with the Information you have been able to collect upon the Subject?
I believe it is perfectly correct, as far as respects the Bourbon Cotton, which has nearly gone out of Use with the Manufacturers of this Country; but it is not correct as far as respects other longstapled Cotton generally. I have here an Account of the Export of Sea Island Cotton from the United States, which is long-stapled Cotton, and which shews that it is increasing.
Describe the Difference between Sea Island Cotton and Bourbon Cotton?
The Sea Island Cotton and Bourbon Cotton are the Two finest Descriptions of long-stapled Cotton which have ever been used by the Manufacturers of this Country.
Is the Cotton cultivated in India, Bourbon Cotton or Sea Island Cotton?
Long-stapled Cotton of any Description has never been cultivated in any Part of British India. Attempts have been made to cultivate Bourbon Cotton Three or Four Times unsuccessfully; but I believe no long-stapled Cotton has ever been cultivated in any Part of Asia.
Do you know for what Reason it has not been so cultivated?
I will mention, if your Lordships please, the Facts respecting the Introduction and Culture of Sea Island Cotton in the United States.
Can you state to the Committee why long-stapled Cotton has not been cultivated in India?
The obvious Reason of its not being cultivated is, that there has never been any Skill nor any Capital applied to the Cultivation of it; that the Natives do not require it for their own Manufactures, and that it had never been required for Exportation.
Is not that Opinion of yours directly at variance with the Opinions stated in the Letter from the Court of Directors to the Secretary of the India Board?
I suppose it is quite at variance; my Opinions are derived from the Manufacturers of this Country, and I believe it to be perfectly correct.
Have you yourself witnessed the Cultivation of Cotton in India?
Yes, to a certain Extent; it is short-stapled Cotton invariably.
Is any long stapled Cotton cultivated in any Part of India?
It may be as Matter of Curiosity; but certainly not to any Extent, in any Part of India that I have been in.
Are you aware whether there are any Circumstances in the Soil or Climate of India, which render the Cultivation of long-stapled Cotton more difficult than in other Countries?
I am not aware of any Circumstances, except the Want of Capital and Want of Skill in the Cultivators.
Is more Capital required for the Cultivation of long-stapled Cotton than of short?
I would apply my Observation to the Cultivation of good Cotton, long or short stapled, fit for our Manufactures. The Cultivation of Cotton for the Manufacture of this Country is for the most part of short-stapled Cotton.
Does the Capital employed in the Cultivation of Cotton depend upon the Fineness of the Cotton produced?
Certainly; and upon the Degree of Skill required in the Cultivation.
Does it require great Skill?
No doubt it does. I have got here an Extract of a Letter from Bombay, dated the 13th of June 1829, which, with the Permission of the Committee, I will read; it explains this Matter: "I have now very little Hope that we shall be able to do any thing whatever towards improving, even in the smallest degree, either the Staple or Cleanness of the Surat Cotton, for it is not for the Advantage of the Grower of the Article to expend One Rea on the Improvement of the Ground, or the smallest extra Labour in its Cultivation; the Ryot is so completely dependent on Banyans, who have made Advances on the growing Crop, which Advances are the whole Payment the Ryot ever receives for his Crops, and he frequently is obliged to throw Water on the Cotton, and mix up Dirt with it, to bring it up to the Weight he has bound himself to deliver. Of late Years these Tricks have become much more common than they used to be, and we are forced to be very particular in choosing Cotton, to see that it has not been damped. The Picking Time, too, is not left at the Option of the Grower, for until the Company's Revenue Collectors have made their Circuit of the District, to ascertain the Value of the Crops on the Ground, in order to judge what Amount of Taxes to levy, no one is permitted to commence the Harvest; and in some Seasons, as the present one for instance, when the Circuit is not made 'till late, it has all the Effects of a short Crop, until Navigation can be resumed after the Rains. Formerly the Company received their Taxes in Produce, and then as they were very particular in refusing all dirty or leafy Cotton, and when the Ryot was freer in fixing his own Time of picking, we used to receive very superior Cotton to any now seen; and there can be no doubt that were they to return to that System, an Amelioration would soon follow." I believe there has not been the slightest Improvement, as appears from all Merchants and Manufacturers, in the Quality of Surat or Bengal Cotton since the Year 1814; I believe also there has not been the slightest Improvement since the Year 1790, when Indian Cotton was first imported into this Country.
Do you know what Plans are in Contemplation by the Court of Directors for the Improvement of the Growth and Cultivation of Cotton?
I know nothing more than is stated in the Paper laid before your Lordships Committee, and published. I should think that any Plan originating from Persons in Authority is not likely to succeed. The East India Company themselves in this Paper confess that for Thirty Years they have been making Endeavours to improve the Quality of Cotton, and yet it is notorious that the Quality has not been improved in that Time; I think, therefore, such Efforts may be looked upon as hopeless.
Is not the Deterioration of the Cotton attributed, in the Letter you have read to the Committee, to some of the Regulations lately adopted by Government, particularly as to the Mode of collecting the Revenue?
Yes, it is.
If the Facts stated in that Letter be well founded, would not in Improvement in the Cotton take place if those late Regulations were repealed?
I have great Doubts whether any material Improvement would take place by the Repeal of those Regulations. A trifling Improvement would take place by returning to the old System, if the Company received, as they had been in the habit of receiving, at Surat and in the Bombay Presidency generally, their Revenue in Cotton; they would then insist on having the best Cotton delivered to them; but I conceive a Return to that System would be worse than the present.
What Measure would you suggest as best calculated to improve the Cultivation of Cotton?
A free Admission of European Settlers, and a free Admission of European Capital; I can conceive no other Means of improving an Article of that Description; I do not believe that any fine Cotton has ever been produced to any Extent, except by such Means as I am now endeavouring to indicate.
Is there any Cotton finer than that of Dacca?
I see it stated in the Papers already quoted, that the Cotton of Dacca is remarkably fine, and I suppose it is so from the Quality of the Goods manufactured from it; but it is in very trifling Quantities; it is evidently very high-priced, and there is not an Ounce exported. Whether it is fine or coarse is a Matter of very little Consequence to the Manufactures of this Country; it is unknown altogether in the Markets of Europe, and unknown even in the Market of Calcutta.
Has European Capital ever been employed in the Cultivation of it there?
I believe not in the slightest degree.
Has it not been renowned for Years as the finest Cotton of India?
That is what I am not at all aware of.
Is it not notorious that the finest Muslins in India were made of the Dacca Cotton?
Yes; but it is a Fact not generally known that those fine Muslins have been manufactured from that fine Cotton.
Is it, or not, the Fact?
I believe long-stapled fine Cotton is never grown in any Country except in the immediate Neighbourhood of the Sea. The Cotton of Dacca, it appears from the Statement given in to your Lordships Committee, is grown within Twenty Miles of the Sea, and I therefore imagine it may be long-stapled fine Cotton. The Sea Island Cotton is grown in the immediate Neighbourhood of the Sea. The Bourbon Cotton is grown there; and I understand the fine Cottons of China are grown also in the immediate Neighbourhood of the Sea.
Has the Dacca Cotton ever found its Way to the British Market?
From Inquiries I have had made, I am certain it has not.
Have not the finest Muslins of India been always made of this Dacca Cotton?
I cannot state that the finest Muslins of India have been always made of Dacca Cotton.
Is the Dacca Cotton spun by Hand?
Invariably; and every Cotton is spun by Hand in India.
Do you know whether it would bear being spun by Machinery?
I am not acquainted with the Character of that Cotton, and my Opinion respecting it would be but mere Matter of Conjecture; it has never been imported into this Country.
Do you know of what Cotton the fine Muslins of India have been made?
I suppose they have been made from the Cotton produced in the Neighbourhood of Dacca, which has been the Seat of the fine Manufacture of Muslins from Time immemorial; but the Lower Provinces of Bengal, that is, Bengal Proper, have never produced Cotton of any Description, fine or coarse, for Exportation.
Fine Cotton having always been produced in the Neighbourhood of Dacca, and European Capital never having been employed in the Cultivation of it in that Place, may not the Committee conclude that it is not essential to the Production of fine Cotton that European Capital should be employed, and that its Production depends on other Circumstances of Soil and Climate?
The fine Cotton of Dacca never having been produced to any Extent, nor ever been exported or become available to the Manufacturers of this or any other Country, I conceive the Question does not alter the Opinion I have given, that fine Cotton, shortstapled or long-stapled, can only be produced through European Industry and through European Capital. It has never in reality been produced for any useful Purposes but through them.
To what Circumstances do you attribute the Fineness of the Dacca Cotton?
The Dacca Cotton is an Article with which I am not in the least acquainted, either personally or from Inquiry, therefore I cannot speak with the least Degree of Confidence to that. I hold in my Hand a Letter which describes the Mode in which the Sea Island or fine long-stapled Cotton was first introduced into the United States, which I think illustrates this.
Are you yourself acquainted with the Mode of cultivating different Sorts of Cotton; have you ever seen the Thing done?
As a Civil Officer of the Indian Government, engaged in making Revenue Settlements in the Island of Java, and employed in procuring Information on Commercial Subjects on Missions I have been sent upon, I have made particular Inquiry both as to the Cultivation and Preparation of Cotton.
The different Sorts of Cotton, the long and the short-stapled?
Yes; I have paid as much Attention, I think, as most Persons.
Have the goodness to explain to the Committee the Difference which exists in the Manner of cultivating any short-stapled Cotton?
The long-stapled Cotton I absolutely know nothing of, except from Report, because long-stapled Cotton has never been cultivated in any Country I am acquainted with; I have never seen it cultivated except as an Experiment on a small Scale not worth speaking of.
Never having seen it except as an Experiment on a small Scale not worth speaking of, what leads you to conclude that nothing but European Capital can possibly succeed in its Cultivation?
European Capital having succeeded in the Cultivation of fine Cotton fit for the Manufactures of England in almost every Country which can with any Fairness be compared with Bengal or any Part of British India, through European Capital and Skill, I conceive there can be no Ground whatever for believing but that the same Means shall succeed in British India.
The Question is not whether European Capital would fail of producing fine long-stapled Cotton; but why nothing but European Capital should be capable of producing it in India?
My Reply to that Question is, that nothing but European Skill or Capital having produced it, I think there is no Ground, from Experience, to imagine that any thing else should effect it.
Was long-stapled Cotton unknown until European Capital was applied to its Cultivation?
I believe so; as far as I know, it was.
Is the Cotton of Dacca long or short?
I am not aware; I suppose short-stapled; but it is not an Article known at all in Commerce.
Will you state to the Committee why European Capital is required for the Cultivation of long-stapled Cotton, while short-stapled Cotton can be cultivated without it?
I have never said that good short-stapled can be cultivated without it; I do not know that short-stapled has been cultivated without it; I am not aware of any Example of good short-stapled Cotton being produced without European Skill and Capital.
Whether Dacca Cotton be long or short, it has been cultivated without European Capital?
It has been cultivated to a very limited Extent, and for local Purposes.
Has it been entirely manufactured on the Spot?
Entirely, as I conceive; but I would beg Permission of the Committee to decline saying any thing respecting an Article I am not acquainted with, and which is entirely unknown either as an Article of Agricultural Production or of Commerce.
Have the goodness to describe the Cultivation of Cotton you have yourself witnessed?
In most of the Countries I have been in, Cotton has been grown as a second Crop after the Cultivation of Rice. It is an annual Plant which grows in about Four Months; it is cultivated with very little Skill, and is generally a very hardy Plant.
To what Countries do you refer?
I refer to the Island of Java, and to considerable Parts of Cochin China, and some Parts of Siam and Ava; I refer also to some of the Provinces of Bengal, where, however, it is not cultivated in exactly the same Way, but very nearly so.
When you say that it is cultivated without Skill, do you mean that it is a Plant which requires very little Skill?
I apply that to Cotton I am acquainted with; to coarse Cotton, such as is now imported, under the Description of Surat and Bengal Cotton, into this Country.
That is hardy, and requires very little Skill?
Yes; and in proportion as the Cotton becomes fine, it requires more Care.
Have you never witnessed the Cultivation of fine Cotton?
I have witnessed the Cultivation of finer Cottons than others. I know there is a Foreign Cotton cultivated in Java, which is Double the Price of others, and that requires much more Care in the Cultivation.
Specify the Care necessary in the Cultivation of that Cotton— in what Manner it is applied; was it applied in the Selection of the Seed, the Preparation of the Ground, the weeding of it after the Seed was in it; or in what Way?
I am not able to give any particular Details on this Subject; I only know the delicate would require very great Care, the hardy would require but little.
Did it appear to you that more Care was bestowed upon this finer Cotton than on Cotton of an inferior Description?
That is proved by the Price in the Market; it was Double the Price.
Did that arise from the superior Quality of the Soil, or the Seed which was used?
I think it did not. It was a peculiar Seed no doubt.
Was the Ground better?
No doubt there would be a nicer Selection of the Soil.
Was it in a better Situation; nearer the Sea?
I cannot recollect; I think not; but it was cultivated in very small Quantities.
If the Seed was better, and the Ground better, would not those Circumstances alone account for some Superiority of Price?
From any Information you have obtained, what are the Circumstances which it appears to you in the Cultivation of the finer and long-stapled Cotton would require the Employment of considerable Capital?
I beg to state, that I do not confine the Observation I made respecting the Necessity of European Capital and European Skill to the Cultivation of long-stapled Cotton, but to any Cotton; I apply it to all good Cotton, fit for the Manufacture of this Country. The short-stapled Cotton is of far greater Consequence to the Manufacturers in this Country, than the long-stapled Cotton.
Being acquainted with the Cultivation of short-stapled Cotton, have the goodness to explain in what Manner the Cultivation of that would have been improved by the Employment of greater Capital, and what you call European Skill?
There would have been more Care taken in selecting the Seed, and more Care taken in the growing, and, above all, more Care in freeing it from the Seed, and packing it, and bringing it into the Market.
Is there any great Difference in the Price of the different Seeds?
That is a Question which I cannot speak to; no doubt there is a Difference in the Price of the different Seeds.
Any thing material?
The Seed which is more difficult to grow must be of a higher Price than the Seed which is easily grown. Seeds of the common Cottons in India are of very little Value; they are given to Cattle for Food.
Is the Seed of the Sea Island Cotton of Value?
That I cannot speak to.
Have the goodness to explain the Manner in which Capital could have been advantageously applied in the Cultivation of Cotton after the Seed was put into the Ground?
I am not able to speak to that. I am not an Agriculturist. I can only say generally, that European Capital having succeeded in producing very fine excellent Cottons to an extraordinary and unexpected Degree, I have no doubt it will succeed wherever it is tried; it has succeeded in other Parts of the World, and there can be no Question of its succeeding in India or anywhere else.
Do you know how long a Cotton Plantation takes to come to Maturity in India?
The common annual Cotton will come to Maturity in Four or Five Months; but in cultivating the finer Kinds, in India and elsewhere, they may, by Care, be made to ratoon, that is, to grow from the Roots; and then the Varieties which are annual will become perennial, and be cultivated for Three, or Four, or even Five Years; but that is not the general Practice. In India the Seed is sown, the Plant grows up, the Cotton is taken from it, and it perishes within the Year.
There is a Difference, you conceive, between the Indian and the American Cotton in point of Cultivation; the one Plant being an Annual, and the other not coming to Maturity for Two or Three Years?
I believe the greater Part of the American Cotton is annual as well as the Indian.
Is the Sea Island an Annual?
That is a Perennial.
Do you mean that there is any actual Difference in the Plant, or that where it is called Perennial, it is only allowed to remain in the Ground a Year or Two longer?
That is a Point I am not very well acquainted with. There are several Species of Cotton with which I am well acquainted; but I believe the greater Part of the Difference which in Commerce we find in Cotton is produced from Varieties, and that the Plants producing them do not constitute distinct Species; the Sea Island Cotton, for example, grown on the Sea Side, produces a very fine Cotton; removed Ten or Twelve Miles into the Interior, it ceases to be so fine. From the Statement given in to this Committee, I apprehend that the Dacca Cotton will not grow except in a very limited District, within, I think, Twenty Miles of the Sea, to the Length of Fifty Miles from, and I believe to the Breadth of Three from the River Side. I know that Experiments have been made in cultivating the Bourbon Cotton in the District of Benares, and there it totally failed; I know also that an Experiment was made in the Island of Java in my own Time, on a very extensive Scale, for the Cultivation of Cotton from the Bourbon Seed in the Interior, and that also failed.
By whom were the Experiments made?
The Experiment at Benares was stated to me on the Authority of Mr. Henry Colebrook, with whom I conversed on the Subject a few Days ago. I think Mr. Colebrook was in Civil Charge of the District at the Time. The Experiment was made by a Foreigner, a Frenchman. The Experiment in Java was made by Gentlemen, among whom were some Relations of my own.
In both those cases European Capital and Skill were employed, but the Experiment failed?
Yes; but improperly employed; for they attempted the Cultivation of Bourbon Cotton in a Situation where it could never succeed. Benares is Four or Five hundred Miles from the Sea. The Place in the Island of Java where it was tried was also at a Distance from the Sea.
The same Want of Success has attended the Effort to cultivate Coffee in Bengal, has it not?
I have always thought that it would fail. I have known Coffee cultivated, but in very different Circumstances. I always expected that the Experiment in Bengal would fail; and I think it highly probable that it has failed, though I am not aware that it actually has.
You were in Java at the Time it was taken possession of by the English, were you not?
Yes, I was.
Was there any Change made in the Regulations respecting the Cultivation of Cotton, or the Employment of Capital consequent on the Cultivation?
I think no Change that had Cotton particularly for its Object.
Was European Capital more employed in the Cultivation of Cotton, subsequently to the British Occupation of Java, than it had been before?
I think the Regulations were pretty nearly the same. The Dutch have always permitted European Capital and Skill to be employed.
Did the Dutch permit a permanent Acquisition of Property by Europeans?
Always. There were large Dutch Proprietors when we took Possession of the Island, and there are at this Moment large Dutch Proprietors.
The European Proprietors were permitted to conduct the Cultivation of Cotton on the same Terms under the English Government as under the Dutch?
Did much European Capital find its Way to Java during our Possession of it?
There were large Purchases of Land during our Occupation.
Did any improved Cultivation of Soil, in consequence of those Purchases and that increased Application of Capital, take place?
No; I think the Capital was applied to other Employments, particularly the Culture of Coffee.
Have you collected Information of the Circumstances which attended the Introduction of the fine Varieties of Cotton into America?
I have seen what I consider an authentic Letter from one of the earliest Planters of Cotton upon this Subject, giving an Account of the Introduction of Cotton into that Country, by which it appears the Sea Island Cotton was brought from the Bahama Island in the Year 1786, and that the first Parcel of Cotton was exported in 1791; it amounted to 19,200 lbs; and I find from the American Returns of Exports and Imports for the Year 1827, that the total Exports of that Year amount to 294,310,115 lbs. Weight, and to the Value of 29,359,545 Dollars.
Can you state the relative Prices of Indian and other Cottons?
This Paper is taken from the most recent Liverpool Price Current, I have seen. There are Twelve Descriptions of Cotton mentioned in it, and the Prices are the Result of actual Sales.
I have seen some Cotton lately brought from New South Wales that is valued at 10½d. per Pound, and ranks higher than any Cotton in the Liverpool Statement, except Sea Island. I have also seen a Sample of Cotton from Sea Island Seed, grown on the Island of Sangor, at the Mouth of the Hoogley River, that is valued at 8d. per lb.
Is the Sea Island Cotton in the Island of Sangor succeeding?
I refer to a small Sample. The Price was put upon it by a Merchant of Manchester.
Do you know any thing of the Circumstances under which that Experiment was undertaken?
I do not.
What are the principal Defects of the Indian Cotton which make its Price so low?
It is very short in the Staple, so much so as to require peculiar Machinery, and it is of a coarse Quality, and extremely dirty. I believe that some of the best Surat Cotton is nearly as good in point of Quality as that commonly called Georgia Bowed or Georgia Upland.
What is the Price of that?
I think the Georgia Bowed Cotton is about Forty per Cent. better than Surat Cotton; it is better grown, and cleaner. The Difference, I believe, is chiefly in the Mode of cleaning, and in the Mode of separating the Wool from the Seed; but of this I am not quite certain. With respect to the Difference of Price there is no doubt.
As far as that Difference of Price is created by the imperfect Mode of cleaning practised at Surat, may not that Imperfection be obviated by the more extended Use of the new Machinery which has been sent out by the Company within the last Year?
I have not the least Hope of any Success from that Experiment.
Will you state why?
Because The East India Company has been trying similar Experiments without Success during nearly Half a Century back; I may say for Thirty Years, according to their own Account, which is before me. The Indian Cotton is notwithstanding just the same that it was in the Year 1790, when it was first imported into England. There has been great Encouragement given by increasing the Exports from India since the Year 1814, but it is not only not improved, but alleged to have become even worse.
Are you of Opinion that no Export of Machinery by The East India Company can improve the cleaning of the Cotton?
Small Quantities of it may no doubt be cleaned by The East India Company, and may be brought to this Country, and prove perfectly satisfactory as far as a limited Experiment goes, but as far as respects the great Manufacturing Interest of this Country I conceive there can be no Hope of it.
From what Circumstances do you deduce that total Absence of Hope, that Machinery in India will produce the same Effects that it has in every other Case?
From the total Absence of Success on the Part of The East India Company in all their former Schemes.
Then you despair of Success, not because the Machine cannot clean Cotton better than it is cleaned now, but because it is sent out by The East India Company?
I conceive that it is not of the slightest Consequence by whom the Machine is sent out; I do not conceive that can have the slightest Reference to the Question.
Are you of Opinion that Machinery in India will not produce the Effect it produces elsewhere?
I am of Opinion that when Skill and Capital are invested in the Soil of India and in the Industry of India, Machinery, and whatever else is necessary to Success, will be applied naturally and necessarily; and I am distinctly of Opinion that the Interference of the Government of India in that Matter can be of no Benefit whatsoever; and that all that is required of a Government is to afford Protection to Persons and to Property.
Have you ever seen any Machines used in cleaning Cotton?
I have seen the Machines used in India often.
Have you ever seen any of the Hand Machines used in America?
I have never seen any of the Machines in use in America.
Are you aware whether the Machine is of a costly Nature?
I am not.
Are you aware whether it requires any Skill in turning it?
I understand it does not.
Then if it requires neither costly Expenditure in purchasing it, nor Skill in using it, why should it not effect its Object in India as it has in America?
The Americans export large Quantities of Cotton; and they furnished the Manufacturers of this Country with a great deal of Cotton before the Invention of the principal Machine now hinted at. The East India Company, I find by a Paper before your Lordships, had sent out similar Machinery to that used by the Americans, long ago, to India, but the sending out of that Machinery was attended with no Advantage whatever; I do not therefore look for any Advantage from the improved Machinery.
May it not be inferred from that Answer, that you attribute the Failure of Success, in consequence of sending out Machinery before, to the Circumstance of its being sent out by The East India Company, not to any Defect in the Machinery itself, or to any Circumstances in the State and Condition of the People?
I beg to say, that I ascribe nothing whatever to the Circumstance of the Machinery being sent out by The East India Company; it is a Matter of no Consequence by whom it is sent out; the Machinery is sent out to a People who have not Skill or Capital to apply it.
Has it not been admitted, that this Machinery requires the Exercise of no Skill; if that be the Case why should not it succeed?
I cannot see that it has been admitted that it requires no Skill; seeing that this Machinery has been invented and is used by one of the most civilized and one of the most enterprizing People in the World, the Americans.
Must Skill be requisite for the Use of Machinery because that Machinery happens to be in the Possession of a civilized People?
I think so, decidedly; I think your Lordships would not propose to send a Spinning Machine into the wildest Parts of Scotland or Ireland, and expect it should be used there to advantage.
Is there any Comparison whatever between a Spinning Machine and a simple Machine for separating the Seeds from the Cotton; is not it turned by the Hand?
Yes; but it is very different from that used by the Hindoos.
Have you seen the Machine to which the Question refers?
I have seen Drawings of it only.
Supposing the Machine to be there, is Capital required in the Use of it?
Will you explain how?
There must be a Quantity of Cotton produced. There must be considerable Capital invested in the Production of Cotton, to make it worth while to use it.
Is not the Machinery used to supplant Labour, and is it not used only because it enables you to perform the same Operation more cheaply than by manual Labour?
I suppose so.
Does not that Machine supplant the manual Labour of Hindoos?
Yes, I suppose so, if they use it; but The East India Company have sent out improved Machines on former Occasions, which the Hindoos never made use of.
Do you know any thing of the Cultivation of Tobacco in India?
I have seen it cultivated there.
Is that inferior to the American Tobacco?
Yes, very inferior.
In what Degree?
I think it is not worth above One Third Part of the Price of the American Tobacco.
Have you been able to satisfy yourself as to the Cause of its Inferiority?
I think it may be generally ascribed to the Want of Skill on the Part of the Grower and the Preparer; what has been brought to this Country has been in a very unmarketable State.
In what Part of the Process do you conceive the Want of Skill may be traced, either in growing or preparing?
I think the principal Want of Skill is, perhaps, in the Preparation of it. I know that other Asiatic People have cultivated very good Tobacco. I have seen excellent Tobacco grown by the Chinese.
European Skill and Capital, therefore, are not required for the Cultivation of good Tobacco?
Chinese Skill and Capital resemble very much European Skill and Capital; I take European Skill and Capital, however, to be as much superior to Chinese Skill and Capital as Chinese Skill and Capital are superior to Hindoo Skill and Capital.
Have you ever known any Samples of Indian Tobacco prepared by Europeans and Indians of real Skill?
Is it not purchased by European Mercantile Houses, and prepared by them?
Never prepared by them; it is an Article very rarely dealt in at all.
Is not the Reason of that, that in reality it is a very inferior Article to the American Tobacco; entirely inferior?
It is inferior to any Tobacco I know in any Part of the World; it is inferior to the Tobacco grown in Manilla, in Java, in China, in Persia, and even in the Burman Empire; there are very good Specimens of Tobacco in the Burman Empire.
Did you perceive any great Difference in the Mode of cultivating Tobacco in the Burman Empire and in those Parts of India where it is so inferior?
I think I may generally say I saw it grown with more Skill and Care; that more Attention was paid to its Cultivation.
Describe the Manner in which that Care and Attention were applied to the Cultivation of Tobacco?
In Attention to the Selection of the Seed, in Attention to Soil, to weeding, to the Mode of reaping the Crop, and to the Mode of preparing the Drug after the Crop is obtained, and the Mode of packing it.
In all those Particulars to which you have referred, did you perceive an Inferiority of Management in India?
In reference to the Cultivation I am best acquainted with, that of the Chinese in the Island of Java, a most decided Inferiority; but it is impossible to see the Habits of the Two People, the Hindoos and the Chinese, and to see the Mode in which they carry on Agriculture or any other Species of Industry, without being forcibly struck with the Superiority of the one Race over the other.
How do you rate the Javanese with the Hindoos?
I think the lower Classes of Javanese are rather superior to the lower Classes of the Hindoos; but the upper Classes of Hindoos greatly superior to the upper Classes of the Javanese.
Assuming the Qualities to be good, could Tobacco be produced more cheaply in India than it is in America?
I should think not; but the Climates of the Two Countries would produce different Qualities of Tobacco. The People of the United States could not grow the same Qualities of Tobacco which might be grown in India, nor could those of India grow the same Qualities of Tobacco as are grown in America.
Is not the Price of Labour much cheaper in India?
Yes; but the Land is not so cheap, because it is more occupied; and then the Skill is all on the Side of America.
You think that, under no Circumstances, the Indian Tobacco can come into Competition with the American?
I think, perhaps, not generally in Competition with all American Tobaccos, but that it might be extensively consumed in this Country for particular Purposes.
Would you give the same Answer upon the Subject of the East India Sugar as you have in respect of Cotton and Tobacco?
That is a still stronger Case.
In what Respects?
The making of Sugar is more in the Nature of a Manufacture, and requires a greater degree of Capital and a greater degree of Skill.
Are you acquainted with the Cultivation of Indigo in India?
I have seen it cultivated.
Has it been much improved of late?
I understand from those who have been engaged in it, there has been an Improvement.
To what do you attribute that Improvement?
To a free Application of European Skill and Capital, and to that only.
You conceive the same Results would take place in the Cultivation of other Articles, to which you have been examined, by the same Means?
Yes, more or less.
The Witness is directed to withdraw.
Ordered, That this Committee be adjourned to Tuesday next, One o'Clock.