Die Marlis, 23 Februarii 1830.
The Lord President in the Chair.
Thomas Gore Lloyd Esquire, Accountant General of The East
India Company, and James Cosmo Melvill Esquire, Auditor
General of The East India Company, are called in and
examined as follows:
(To Mr. Melvill.) Can you state the aggregate Result of the
Financial Administration of the Territorial Branch of Revenue
since the Commencement of the present Charter?
During the Fourteen Years of which the Accounts have been
made out the Territorial Gross Revenue has aggregated
£284,804,085; the Gross Charge incurred for the same Period,
including Charges omitted in the Statements lately printed, has
amounted to £304,188,859. The Aggregate Deficit, therefore, in
that Period, has been £19,384,774. Of this Amount the Charge
incurred in India was £278,911,469; whereof the Proportion
of Civil Charges was £117,606,336; of Military Charges,
£137,253,467; and of Interest of Debt, £24,051,666. The
Expences of St. Helena amount to £1,362,256. The remaining
Sum was the Charge incurred in England, and amounted to
£23,915,134, which includes £1,300,000 paid in discharge of the
Loan, from the Public to the Company, of 1812, and some other
Items omitted in the printed Statements.
Can you distinguish the Charge incurred in England from that
which has been paid in England?
The whole of this has been paid in England; but there has also
been paid in England something more, which is comprised in the
Charges incurred in India. The Total Amount defrayed in England,
including what is absolute Charge, and what is already comprised in
the Indian Accounts, is on the Average Three Millions Sterling
What is the Nature of those Charges already stated in the Indian
Interest upon the Indian Debt. Some of the Capital of that
Debt has been paid off in England; but that Payment does not
enter into the Revenue and Charge Accounts of India, being a
In what Manner have Funds been provided for that Amount of
Deficiency which you have stated?
By Money borrowed in India, and by Surplus Profits of the
At what Rate of Exchange have you converted, in this Account,
the Money of India into Sterling Money?
The Bengal Accounts are kept in India in Sicca Rupees. The
Sicca Rupee is converted in those Accounts into the current Rupee;
the current Rupee being considered Sixteen per Cent. less valuable
than the Sicca; and then the current Rupee is taken in these
Accounts as worth 2s. The Value affixed to the Sicca Rupee by
that Mode of Conversion is 2s. 3 84/100d. per Sicca Rupee.
Is that Valuation beyond the intrinsic Value of the Coin?
In calculating the Total Deficiency of the Revenue of India since
the present Charter, have you made any Allowance for the Benefit
the Territory may have derived from the Rate of Exchange adopted
in the Transactions between the Territorial and Commercial
No, I have not.
Can you state to the Committee the Amount of Benefit which
has been received by the Territory from that Rate of Exchange?
A Calculation has been made, which will shew the Amount of
Profit to be more than Seven Millions Sterling.
Have you that Calculation with you?
(Mr. Lloyd.) The Benefit that the Territory has derived by
using those Rates, as compared with the Mercantile Rate of
Exchange, in all the Transactions hitherto settled, I estimate at
£5,154,135; added to which, as the Territory has been short
charged to that Amount, there is a further Charge of Interest
of £941,880 as between the Two Branches; a still further Profit
of £1,091,163 would arise by extending the Calculation to the
Amount that still remains unsettled; making the Total Benefit to
the Territory, by reason of using the Board's Rates in contradistinction to the Mercantile Exchange Rates, of £7,187,178.
By the Account unsettled, do you mean the Debt due in this
Country from Territory to Commerce?
Are you prepared to state, at this Moment, the Sum which has
been disbursed from the Surplus Profits of the Company for the
Payment of Indian Debt?
The Surplus Profit actually applied to Territorial Purposes has
Then the total Benefit which the Finances of the Territory of
India have derived directly or indirectly from the Commercial
Funds of the Company, since the Commencement of the present
Charter, amounts to £12,110,198?
During what Period has the large Deficiency of Territorial
Revenue principally arisen?
(Mr. Melvill.) Two Thirds of that Deficit have accrued within
the last Four Years.
Can you state what Circumstances have produced so great a
Deficiency during the last Four Years?
The Total Increase of Charge which arose in the last Four
Years, as compared with the Year 1823-4, is £4,529,494 annually,
whereof the Part incurred in India is £3,827,158, and the Part
incurred in England is £702,336. Of the Part incurred in
India, £1,108,251 is for an Increase of Civil Charge; £2,695,749
is for an Increase of Military Charge; and £23,158 is for the
increased Interest on Debt. The Average Increase of Receipt in
the same Period has been £803,483 per Annum, so that the Net
Increase of Charge in the last Four Years, as compared with
1823-4, is on an Average £3,726,011 annually. The Increase
in the Civil Charges has arisen in Bengal and at Bombay, not at
all at Madras, and principally in Bengal; and appears chiefly in
the following Heads of Account;-Embassies and Missions, including the Mission to Persia, and the Payment of some Arrears
of Subsidy; Provincial Battalions; the Ecclesiastical Establishment;
in the Contributions to Civil and Annuity Funds; to Schools and
Charitable Institutions; and in the Revenue and Judicial Establishments generally. The Augmentation of Military Charge has
been caused by the Burmese War, the Operations against Bhurtpoor,
and by an Increase in the Number of King and Company's
Regiments in India. The Augmentation of the Charge incurred
at Home has been caused by an Increase of the Sums issued for
Officers Pay on Furlough and Retirement; by increased Expence
for King's Troops serving in India; and by an Increase in the
Quantity of Territorial Stores supplied to India.
Can you state what Proportion of that increased Charge is
apparently of a permanent, and what of a temporary Character?
An Estimate has been prepared of the Territorial Revenues and
Charges of India for 1828-9, and that Estimate indicates a Deficit
in 1828-9 of only £644,186. This, however, is arrived at, after
crediting certain Sums expected to be received in that Year,
which, I conceive, cannot be regarded as affording Ground to
expect the same Amount of Receipts in future Years. I allude
to Arrears payable by the Government of Ava, under Treaty,
and to the Balance payable by the Gwalier State, which are
applicable to that particular Year. If we consider the Average
Receipt of the Three last actual Years as that upon which to
depend hereafter, then the Receipt in future Years will be
£834,018 less than that shewn in this Estimate for 1828-9; and
in that Case, supposing the Charges in future Years to remain at
the same Amount as the Estimate shews, then the Deficiency in
future Years would be £1,478,205, which can only be met by a
Reduction of Charge.
In forming that Calculation, do you use the Rate of Exchange
fixed by the Board of Controul?
Yes, I do.
Are you prepared to state what would be the Amount of Deficiency if the Territory were to repay to the Company what is
advanced by Commerce in this Country at the ordinary Mercantile
Rate of Exchange instead of the Board Rate?
The Proportion of the India Revenues expended in England
on the Territorial Account amounts, as already stated, on the
Average, to £3,000,000 Sterling annually. This Sum is issued
by the Company out of their Commercial Funds, and the Amount
so issued is repaid to the Commercial Branch in India at the Rates
of Exchange fixed by the Board of Controul. By this Method the
Territory exchanges 2.58.62.069 Rupees in India for £3,000,000
Sterling in London. If the Territorial Branch had to provide this
Remittance by Means of Bills purchased in the Indian Markets, it
would require, according to the Rate of Exchange prevalent by the
last Advices from India, 3.13.04.349 Rupees to produce £3,000,000
Sterling in London; which, moreover, would not be paid until
Twelve Months after the Money had been issued in India; and
the Interest for Twelve Months would increase the Cost to India
to 220.127.116.116 Rupees; which exceeds the Sum now spent by
70.07.497 Rupees, or, at the Rates of Exchange observed in the
Parliamentary Accounts, £812,169 annually.
What is the Rate of Exchange used in these Computations?
1s. 11d. the Sicca Rupee; that being the Mercantile Rate.
What then, at the Mercantile Rate of Exchange, would at
present be the total prospective Deficiency of the Territorial
It would be about £1,877,000 annually.
When you speak of the Rate fixed by the Board of Controul,
and the Parliamentary Rate of Exchange, you mean the same
Thing, do you not?
The Rate the Board fixed was the same as that used in the
Do you look forward to any Diminution of the Territorial Charge
defrayed in this Country?
I apprehend that in One or Two Items there may possibly be a
Reduction; in the Item of Stores for Example; but in other Items
there will probably be an Increase. The Military Pay and Retirement are increasing, and seem likely still further to increase. The
Payments in this Country, on account of Allowances and Annuities
to Civil Servants, seem likely to increase. The Demand in England
for Payment of Interest on the Debt is likely rather to increase than
diminish; but there is an Option possessed by the Holders of a
Portion of the Company's Paper of receiving their Interest in
England or in India, which Option the Home Authorities have the
Power, at Pleasure, of withdrawing.
Have the Sums demanded as Interest of Indian Debt under that
optional Arrangement increased of late Years?
To any considerable Extent?
(Mr. Lloyd.) They now amount to £450,000.
Is that a considerable Increase on the former Payment?
A considerable Increase.
What Proportion of the Company's Paper is subject to that
Option, and what Proportion is not?
The Total Interest of the Company's Paper subject to that
Option is £927,000, of which £450,000 has actually been
demanded in England.
Can you state to the Committee what Sum was demanded as
Interest of those optional Loans in the Year 1827?
So far as I can recollect, about £300,000.
In proportion as the Sums payable in England on Territorial
Account increase, the Pressure upon the Territorial Finances for
Remittance to England must increase likewise?
Can you look forward to any considerable Reduction of those
Charges paid in England which originate here?
I conceive not.
Can you state the Nature of those Charges?
(Mr. Melvill.) Pay to Officers on Furlough and Retirement,
and their Off-reckonings; this Item amounted to £388,072 in the
last Year. Passage of Military, and Supplies to them on the
Voyage, £72,730. Political Freight and Demurrage, £106,663.
Political Charges included in Charges General, £366,532. PayOffice Demands, being the Expences incurred in England for His
Majesty's Troops serving in India, £354,801. Retiring Pay and
Pensions to His Majesty's Troops, £60,000. Absentee Allowance
to Civil Servants, £36,369. Territorial Stores consigned to India,
From what Fund have the Advances to Territory in this Country
been made by the Company?
(Mr. Lloyd.) The Sale Proceeds of the Company's Goods; the
Charges and Profits on Private Trade; Interest on the Annuities
due from the Public; small Remittances from the Agent at the
Cape of Good Hope; Almshouses at Poplar; the Fee Fund for the
House and Warehouses; the Widows Fund; Dividends on Three
per Cent. Stock; Remittance from the North American Colonies;
Sale Proceeds of Private Trade Goods; Customs and Freight on
those Goods; and the Tea Duties.
Can you state what Sum under those different Heads has passed
through the Hands of the Company since the Commencement of
the present Charter?
The Total Commercial Receipts of the Company in the Fifteen
Years has been £193,299,826, including the Tea Duty.
It has been from those large Commercial Funds passing through
their Hands, that they have been enabled to make the large
Advances to the Territory in those several Years since the
To what have those Advances amounted in any one Year?
In the Year 1823-24 we paid £5,291,586.
What is the Sum now due by Territory to Commerce in consequence of those Advances, exclusive of Interest?
Will you state the several Modes in which the Territory has
remitted Funds from India in Repayment of those Advances?
Remittances have been made sometimes in Bullion, sometimes by
Bills of Exchange upon the Departments of His Majesty's Government, but principally by Means of Consignments of Merchandize
either through China or direct from India.
Can you state the Sums remitted under those several Heads?
We have received in Net Produce of Bullion, £3,566,927; we
have received for Bills for Supplies to the Public Service in India,
£2,169,277; we have received for the Produce of Spices sold for
Government, £609,692. The Advances on account of the Indian
Investments for Europe have been £20,069,928, which is without
taking in the Year 1827-8, of which the Books are not yet in this
Country. The Advances to China, in Repayment of Territorial
Charges defrayed, is £4,268,122.
Can you state what Portion of the Remittance from India has
been made by Means of Merchants Bills?
We have not made use of that Mode of Remittance at all.
Have any Attempts been made by the Company to obtain
Remittances by Merchants Bills?
The Company have issued Advertisements inviting Tenders for
Bills on the several Presidencies in India and on their Factory at
Canton; the whole Amount tendered did not exceed £50,000, at
the Average Rate, per Sicca Rupee, of 1s. 8 985/1000d.
Are you enabled to state at what Average Rate the Sicca Rupee
has been remitted by the Company from India in Goods since the
Commencement of the Charter?
The Average Out-turn per Rupee, remitted in Goods, deducting
Interest, has been 2s. 2 69/100d.
Can you state what would have been the Average Out-turn of
the Rupee during this Period, if remitted in Bills at the Mercantile
Rate of Exchange?
By Bills drawn from Calcutta, deducting the Twelve Months
Interest included in the Rate, it is 2s. 1 69/100d.
The Difference, therefore, in favor of the Remittance in Goods,
appears to be 1d. the Rupee?
Can you state what Advantage the Company has derived since
the Commencement of the Charter, from remitting in Goods rather
than in Merchants Bills?
Can you distinguish the Portion of the Remittance from India
through China which has been remitted in Bills upon India, from
the Portion obtained by Proceeds of Goods sent to Canton?
The Amount remitted to Canton by Bills on India has been
£5,099,767; the Proceeds of Goods from India to China has
Can you state the Average Out-turn of the Rupee remitted from
India through China?
The Rate of Remittance per Sicca Rupee, through China,
without Interest included in that Rate, has been 3s. 7 57/100d.
Will you state the Out-turn of the Rupee, remitted from India
through China, in the last Year of which you have the Account?
3s. 4 48/100d.
Will you state the Out-turn of the Rupee, remitted direct from
India, according to the last Account?
It is 1s. 9 70/100d. that is in Merchandize.
For that Rupee producing 1s. 9 70/100d. in Merchandize, the
Company have reimbursed 2s. 3d., have they not?
Nearly 2s. 4d.; 2s. 3 84/100d.
Are you enabled to state the Total Amount of the Commercial
Capital of The East India Company appropriated to Territorial
Purposes under the Act of the 53d George 3d?
The Total Commercial Capital of the Company Abroad and at
Home on the 1st of May 1828, (England,) and the 1st of May
1827, (India,) was £21,731,869.
That is exclusive of any Claim they may bring forward to any
Property in the Territory previous to the Year 1814?
What is the Sum received by the Proprietors of East India
Stock in Annual Dividends?
£630,000 a Year.
What Interest does that Sum give on the Total Amount of their
Commercial Capital, as you have stated it?
Less than Three per Cent.
What is the present Valuation by the Company of their several
Claims on the Territory?
The Total Amount is estimated to be £12,044,934, exclusive
of Territory acquired by Grant, Cession or Purchase previously to
the Grant of the Deccannie.
Will you state the Items?
Up to the Year 1780 it was computed, in a Petition presented
to Parliament by the Company, that the Charge incurred by the
Company in the Wars, which led to the Acquisition of the
Territory, in Excess of the Sums afterwards derived by them from
the Revenues, amounted, exclusive of any Charge for Interest, to
£3,616,000. An Estimate has been recently made of the Balance
of Supplies between India and England, from the Year 1780 to the
Year 1793, from which it appears, that India returned to England
short of the Funds sent thither and the Amount of Payments made
at Home on the Territorial Account, this Result being also
exclusive of the Charge for Interest, £6,829,557. An Estimate
upon a similar Principle, continued from the Year 1793 to the
1st of May 1814, and principally drawn from Statements exhibited
to the Committees of both Houses of Parliament in 1813, shews a
further short Return from India, being, as in the Two previous
Instances, exclusive of Interest, of £1,599,377.
Has any Application been made by the Company to Parliament
for pecuniary Assistance since the Commencement of the present
The whole Disbursements made here and in India on Territorial
Accounts have been made from the Territorial and Commercial
Funds the Company possess?
All the Advances have been made from their own Funds.
Will you state the Capital of the Indian Debt; has it increased
(Mr. Melvill.) It has. The Principal of the Debt amounted on
the 1st of May 1814 to £27,002,439; and on the 1st of May 1827
What was the Annual Amount for Interest on the Debt at the
former and at the latter Period?
On the 1st of May 1814, £1,502,217; and on the 1st of May
What is the present Charge of the Interest of that Debt, so far
as you can estimate it?
It was £1,912,725 on the 1st of May 1828; the Increase being
caused by the Augmentation of the Debt in the last Year.
What has been the Variation in the Rate of Interest during that
The Average Rate of Interest was Six per Cent. in 1814, and
Five per Cent. in 1828.
What was the Amount of Interest payable in India on the
Indian Debt previous to the Commencement of the Burmese
In 1822-3 it was £1,694,731, and in 1824-5 it was £1,460,433.
When you estimate the present Amount of Interest on the
Indian Debt, to what Period do you estimate it?
To the 30th of April 1828.
What do you apprehend to be the present Interest payable on
At what Period did the Reduction of Interest from Six to Five
per Cent. take place?
Will you state the Surplus of Revenue, both in India and in
England, in the last Year of Lord Hastings's Administration?
The Surplus in 1822-3 was £1,363,479, omitting the extraordinary Payment in that Year of £1,300,000, in discharge of the
Loan from the Public.
What was the Surplus in the previous Year?
Between that Period and the present the Total Revenue of
India has increased; has it not?
In the Year 1826-7 there was an Increase; and the Estimate for
1827-8 indicates a further Increase.
To what Extent?
The Revenue in 1826-7 was £23,327,753, whereas in 1821-2 it
was £21,753,271; and in 1822-3, £23,120,934.
Has that Increase of Revenue you have stated proceeded chiefly
from the Imposition of new Duties, or from the increased Produce
of Duties previously existing?
Chiefly from Duties previously existing. There has been an
Extension of the Stamp Duties to Calcutta, which has caused it in
part; but it is chiefly from Increases from old Sources of Revenue.
Is there not an apparent rather than a real Increase in the
Receipts from the Salt and Opium, in consequence of the greater
Extent of Advances made now?
I think not in the Years since 1823-4; but in the whole of the
Period since the Charter, a large Increase, in consequence of the
Malwa Opium Arrangements, which is in a great measure
Can you account for the Charges on the Subsidies collected from
the Native Princes being so high as Thirty per Cent. on the Net
I apprehend that the Charges include the Payments we are
bound by Treaty to make to those Native Princes. The Company
collects the whole of the Revenue in gross, and accounts to the
Native Prince for his Portion of it, fixed by Treaty.
Can an Account be prepared in this Country, giving the Particulars of those Charges?
What was the Rate of Commercial Exchange at the Time of the
Renewal of the Charter?
(Mr. Lloyd.) The Rate of Commercial Exchange in the Year
1814-15 was, for Bills drawn from Calcutta on London, 2s. 6 5/100d.
In the Estimate of the Advantage gained by the Territorial
Account as compared with the Commercial, have you from Year to
Year compared the actual Mercantile Exchange with the Exchange
settled by the Board of Controul, or is the Comparison made on
the Aggregate of the whole Transaction during the whole Term of
From Year to Year.
Can you state what is the greatest Difference that has at any
Time occurred between the Commercial and the Parliamentary
Rate of Exchange?
In the Year 1824-5 the Difference was 5 9/10d.
Have you any Account which would shew the Out-turn of the
Rupee remitted from India in the several Years since the Charter,
in Bullion, by the Merchants, by the Company, and in Bills of
Exchange at the Mercantile Rate?
We have such an Account; I can furnish that Account; I have
it not with me.
You mentioned that the Excess of Expenditure above the Revenue, which has arisen chiefly during the last Three or Four Years,
was occasioned by some Charges which would only be of a temporary
Nature; could a Return be made from the India House, distinguishing those which would be of a permanent Nature from those
which are but temporary?
(Mr. Melvill.) Not further than is indicated by the Estimate,
the Particulars of which have been explained to the Committee.
You mentioned likewise, that it was an Advantage to make
Returns from the East rather in Merchandize than in Bills; is that
Advantage equally applicable to the China as to the Indian Trade?
(Mr. Lloyd.) Clearly so, in a greater Ratio.
The Witnesses are directed to withdraw.
Ordered, That this Committee be adjourned to Thursday next,