Die Jovis, 13 Maii 1830.
The Lord President in the Chair.
Sir Thomas Strange is called in, and further examined as
Has it occurred to you that any Improvement can be introduced
into the Judicial Administration of the Provinces?
Yes it has; it occurred to me upon a Reference made to me
some Months ago, previous to the Appointment of this Committee,
by a Noble Lord whose Name I am at liberty to mention,
When I had the Honour of being here the Day before Yesterday,
I had not obtained that Liberty, but I have subsequently obtained
it; it was my Lord Wynford, who addressed a Letter to me, which
I received upon the Eve of my leaving Bath for Scotland in the
Month of January last; and in the Course of my Journey I turned
the Matter in my Mind, and replied to his Lordship's Letter;
and I am in the Direction of your Lordships, whether I should
state in any general Way what my Suggestions were to Lord
Wynford, in answer to that Reference to me, or whether it would
be your Lordships Pleasure that I should use the Means of doing
so, submitting to your Lordships in Writing an Extract of the
Answer I addressed to Lord Wynford upon the Subject of his
Note to me.
Sir Thomas Strange is informed, That the Committee are
desirous of receiving in Writing his Observations upon the
The Witness is directed so withdraw.
Stephen Wilson Esquire is called in, and examined as follows:
In what Line of Business are you?
I was a Silk Manufacturer.
Are you still in the Trade?
My Sons are in the Trade; I have in a great degree retired
For how many Years were you engaged in the Trade?
Very near Forty Years.
Were you, during that Period, an extensive Purchaser both of
Italian and of Indian Silk?
What Proportion did your Purchases of Indian Silk bear to your
Purchases of Italian Silk?
They very much varied, according to the Prices and the different
Purposes to which we could apply them.
Has the Quality of Indian Silk varied during that Period?
Has it improved?
I think it is worse than it was.
Has that Deterioration been gradual?
I think it has of late.
Is there no particular Quality of Indian Silk that has improved
of late Years?
I think none, of late Years,
Did you use Indian and Italian Silk in the Manufacture of
I think I may say that I have used them both in the Manufacture of almost every Article in the Silk Trade, except
Do Articles manufactured of Indian Silk bear a lower Price than
those manufactured of Italian Silk?
Did it appear to you that there was some natural Deficiency of
Quality in the Indian Silk, or that a different Mode of Preparation
could make it equal to the Italian Silk?
I think that the Quality, as well as the first reeling from the
Cocoones, have been defective.
It was rather then in the Manufacture of the Silk in India than
in the natural Quality that the Inferiority existed?
I think more in the Manufacture of the Silk than in the
original Quality of the same kinds.
Is there much Variation of kinds in Indian Silk?
A great deal of Difference.
Does that Variety exist in the several sorts of Silk exported
from the same Ports of India?
I think that there is good and bad from almost every District
Does any large Quantity of Silk come from any Part of India,
I cannot say.
Can you describe the peculiar Quality of Indian Silk which
makes it inferior to that imported from Italy?
I think the Want of Staple and the Want of Cleanness are the
Two principal Faults.
Have you ever made any Inquiries relative to the Mode in which
the Silk is produced in India?
Some Years ago I took very great Interest on the Subject, and
made many Inquiries.
Have the goodness to state the Result of those Inquiries?
The Result of those Inquiries was to convince me that the
Principle upon which Silk is obtained in India tends to prevent
the Improvement of the Quality; and also the Quantity has been
such that it has injured the Quality. I mean that there has always
been such a Quantity wanted, and the Demand has been so great,
that it has prevented paying requisite Attention to the Quality;
for there cannot be so much good Silk produced as there can of
the inferior sorts. I have a Copy of a Letter which I have
brought with me, which, if I may be permitted to read, will
throw some Light upon that Subject. I have preserved it as a
valuable Document on the Subject of Silk in India, as it led me to
see the Reasons why it was not equal to Italian Silk. It is a
Letter from One of the Company's Agents in the East Indies upon
this very Subject, written in the Year 1796; by Mr. Atkinson of
Jungapore. "The major Part of the Cocoones produced by the
large Annual Worm are very superior to those from either of
the latter Description of Silk Worm, and may in general be
reeled into Silk of a Quality that will bear being thrown into
Organzine; yet still a very considerable Portion of the Annual
Cocoones is frequently very imperfect, not better than and scarcely
to be distinguished from Decey Cocoones. It is not difficult to trace
the Origin of the Annual Silk Worm, as its Introduction into
these Provinces does not exceed the Period of Eighty or Ninety
Years; and, on the most particular Inquiries, I learn from every
Quarter, that this Worm was first cultivated at a Village in this
Neighbourhood, and that it was originally brought by a Dealer in
Elephants from the Country to the Eastward to Tipperah or Sylphat.
This Account has been invariably the same. Hence I presume that
the Annual Silk Worm is a Native of the Countries bordering on
China, or perhaps of the Western Provinces of that Empire. I have
discoursed with some Cocoone Cultivators advanced in Years whose
Fathers had the first Breed of this Silk Worm, and they informed me,
that it is so much degenerated as not to bear any Comparison to what
it formerly was. They even assure me that the Cocoones do not
yield much more than One Half the Quantity of Silk that they in
their Youth remember them to have done. The Causes which have
operated towards the degenerating these Cocoones, as well as of the
Decey and China Species, I shall endeavour to account for. The
real Decey Cocoones are next in Quality to the Annual; but I have
Reason to believe that in their Aurung very few of this Description
are free from Adulteration, by crossing the Breed with the China or
Madrassie Worm, which, from the best Information I can gain, has
very materially debased the Quality of the Decey Cocoone. The
Period when this Species of Silk Worm was introduced into Bengal is
very remote, on which Account it is difficult to trace its Origin; yet,
from what I have heard, I think I am warranted in concluding that
this, as well as the Annual Worm, originated in China. In
favourable Bunds, a Portion of the Decey Worm may be convertible
into Silk fit for Organzine, but it will require a careful Selection to
procure even a Part sufficiently good for that Purpose; and for the
Reasons adduced in the latter Part of the Second Paragraph, the
Decey Cocoones will with Difficulty be applicable to any Purpose.
The China or Madrassie Cocoone is at present inferior to either of
the Two former Species of Cocoones. I believe it was first introduced into these Provinces by a former Resident at this Station, in
the Year 1780 or 1781; but having been delivered to the Native
Cocoone Cultivators, the Cocoones Quality degenerated, owing to
Carelessness and improper Management of the Worms. The
Species was again introduced by the present Superintendent of the
Silk Investment, Mr Frushard; and whilst under the immediate
Inspection of this Gentleman, I have heard that the Cocoones were
very good, both in respect to Produce and the Quality of the Silk.
I can speak with more Precision as to the Quality of the Cocoones
of what I believe was the Third Importation of the China Silk
Worm, the Eggs of which were produced from Canton by the late
Colonel Kyd in the Year 1788, and being committed to my Charge
were cultivated by me for a considerable Time, during which Period
the Cocoones continued very good, and from the Care which was
taken in the Points of Food and Management they visibly improved
every Bund. In respect to the Quality of these Cocoones, which
were converted into Silk by my Predecessor on this Station, I shall
take the Liberty of quoting the Opinion of the Broker to whom a
Sample of this Produce was submitted in England, by The Honourable Court of Directors. This Gentleman says, 'If the Sample of
Raw Silk in imitation of that from China was made from Six to
Eight Cocoones, it would be quite fine enough for all the Uses of
China Silk in Europe.' It is excellent Silk, and well reeled. This
Opinion was transmitted under the following Observation:
'Enclosed are the Remarks of a very judicious Broker on the
Muster of Silk sent of the China Assortments, that it may be seen
how much it is worth Culture. I have ventured to intrude these
Particulars to demonstrate that the Monthly China Cocoone was
originally excellent, yet, when this Breed of Silk Worm was
committed to the Charge of Natives, it almost immediately degenerated to the present Standard of China or Madrassie Cocoones,
which of late Years have been so bad as to induce my Predecessor,
as well as myself, to endeavour to prevail on the Natives to give up
the Culture altogether; but these Efforts have been ineffectual,
because this Species possesses various Advantages which would be
really valuable if the Cocoones were good. These Advantages are:
First, That the China Worm, after quitting the Egg, completes his
Cocoone in Ten Days, or One Fourth less Time than the Decey
Monthly Worm, consequently a shorter Attendance and a less
Proportion of Food are requisite: Second, This Worm will feed on
harsh and bad Mulberry Leaf, which the Decey Worm would
reject: and Third, the China Worm is much more hardly than the
Decey Species, in bearing the Vicissitudes of the Weather. These
Points are considered by the Natives of so much Importance, that
the China Silk Worm is the Favourite in their Aurungs; and in
endeavouring to engraft the Advantages thereof in the Decey Worm,
the Quality of the latter are greatly injured. The Causes to which
the Degeneracy of our Cocoones may be ascribed are various.
First, Improper Food, which Point need not be enlarged upon, as
the Superintendent of the Silk Investment has frequently noticed the
Evils resulting from the rearing the Silk Worms in the dwindling
kind of Mulberry Leaf generally appropriated to that Purpose in
this Country.' My private Opinion is, that they have not got the
proper Mulberry in India. In Italy, the Mulberry which produces the best Silk is the White Mulberry; and from Experiments
I have tried in this Country, where I have reeled some of the
Produce of the Silk Worms fed on the White Mulberry, it is so
very different from that of the Worms fed on the Black Mulberry,
that I have Reason to believe that the Difference arises from that
'Secondly, The improper Management of the Silk Worm by the
Native Cocoone Cultivator has in my Opinion tended greatly to
debase the Quality of our Cocoones. It is not necessary to declare
the absurd and superstitious Practices in use among the Natives,
although it is certain they are very prejudicial. Moreover, in the
general Situation of their Houses, surrounded with Trees and
Jungle, the Silk Worms cannot have the Benefit of a free Circulation of wholesome Air; and they are subject to noisome Smells
arising from stagnant Water and other Nuisances, which, to a
Person acquainted with the Economy of the Silk Worm, are well
known to be very pernicious to that Insect. But above all, I
cannot help considering the present Mode of conducting the Company's Silk Investment in the Aurungs as having materially
conduced towards impairing our Cocoones. Advances being made
for an Article, the valuable Part whereof bears so small a Part to
the invaluable Part of a given Weight or Number of Cocoones, no
Argument is necessary to prove that the Quantity, and not the
Quality, is most productive of present Advantage to the Cultivator;
for though he may pay some Attention to a Portion of his Cocoones,
for the Purpose of delivering the same as a Sample for fixing the
Factory Prices for a Silk Harvest, yet no sooner are their Prices
established and published, than it becomes his immediate Interest to
distribute the Mulberry Plant he can command to as many Silk
Worms as the same can possibly keep alive; and if more Care and
a larger Proportion of Food are bestowed on a Part of his Worms,
the Cocoones thereof are invariably designed for private Trade, and
the inferior are only delivered in Liquidation of his Balances.
Although it is very certain that the Existence of the whole Crop
originated in the previous Advances made to him on account
of the Company, yet the Resident has no means of preventing
the Practice. It is true that the Evil will in some degree
revert on the Cocoone Cultivator, because the Silk Agent must
necessarily lower his Prices as he finds the Cocoones decrease in
Value; but few or none of the Lower Order of Natives being
capable of sacrificing present Interest to any Prospect of future
Gain, the Silk Worms of these Provinces have been for many
Years gradually declining, and I am afraid will continue to decline
until some Remedy can be applied to correct the Evils above
mentioned. Previous to the Introduction of the Filatures, the
Profits of the Silk Cultivators depended immediately on the
Excellence of the Cocoones, as they must be reeled into Silk before
the Harvest could be carried to Market. In this Case it was the
especial Interest of the Owners to produce the best Cocoones in
their Power, and to guard the Breed of Silk Worms from
degenerating. But since the Establishment of Filatures has
enabled them to put off very bad Cocoones, they have become
remiss and negligent; and the more minute, yet still essential Precautions and Attentions necessary to attain Perfection in Cocoones,
have, from Disuse, it seems, been entirely forgotten. It being very
certain that the above Cocoones do not afford Silk Agents any room
for hoping to meet the Expectations of The Honourable the Court
of Directors on an Extensive Scale, the Improvement therefore of
the Breed of Silk Worms becomes a Consideration of Importance,
which I am afraid cannot be effected but by the Introduction from
the other Countries of a more perfect Race than we at this Time
have in Bengal. Supposing it practicable to procure a Species of
Silk Worms superior to those we at present possess, the Mode
which most obviously occurs to establish a general Culture thereof is
to distribute the same throughout the Cocoone Villages of the
different Aurungs; but I greatly fear that the Carelessness and
improper Management of the Natives would render this Mode
ineffectual, as indeed is evident in the Case of the China or
Madrassie Cocoones. The Method which next presents itself is
the Establishment of Breeding Houses, or Nurseries, under the Inspection of Silk Agents, for the Purpose of rearing Cocoones for
supplying the Filatures. From attending to the Subject for several
Years, I am convinced that this Method might be carried to a considerable Extent; yet still the Expence requisite for constructing
Breeding Houses equal to the furnishing an extensive Filature with
Cocoones renders this Mode exceptionable; and moreover, the Circumstance of ensuring a Sufficiency of Food for the Silk Worms
would create a Necessity of distributing the Trading Houses
throughout the Aurungs, and consequently remove the greater
Number of them from the personal Care of the Agents; in which
Case, although healthy Situations might be chosen, yet I apprehend
it would be equally difficult to guard against Imposition, and
prevent the Quality of the Cocoones from being impaired by Want
of Care and judicious Treatment of the Worms especially. They
must necessarily be fed on such Mulberry Plant as the Natives are
in the habit of cultivating. Under the Presumption that it is very
possible to obtain a Renovation of our Breed of Silk Worms, I
take the Liberty of offering my Opinion on the Mode of conducting
the Business that appears to me the least objectionable. The
Method I would propose is the Introduction of Breeding Houses,
for the Purpose of producing Lunch, or Silk Worms Eggs alone,
there to be distributed to the Cocoone Cultivators at lower Rates
than the Market Prices, or, in other Words, that it be made
more to the Advantage of the Bussoonah to deliver the whole of his
Harvest of Cocoones, than to reserve any Part thereof for Seed.
By this Mode, and by due Care and Attention at the Breeding
House, I think the Quality of the original Cocoones might be preserved and even improved; and under the above Circumstances, as
the Bussoonah could have no Motive for reserving Lunch, the
Cocoones would never pass beyond the first Stage to degenerate. I
am further of Opinion that the Expence of an Establishment of this
Nature would be very trifling; and I think that the Price to be
paid for Lunch by the Cocoone Cultivator, considerably below the
Market Rates, aided by Silk from inferior Cocoones which it might
not be eligible to retain for breeding, would nearly, if not quite,
defray the Charge of the Breeding House, to which the Use that
might be made of the Cocoones which the Moth had perforated
would also contribute. To ascertain the Countries from whence
the best Breed of Silk Worms is procurable, I am unalterably of
Opinion that nothing more is necessary than to know where the best
Raw Silk is produced, for I have no doubt that the most perfect
Race of Silk Worms will be found there. Those heretofore produced from China were Natives of the Southern Provinces of that
Empire. As I believe The Honourable Company's Raw Silks are
obtained from the Northern Provinces, it may fairly be assumed
that their Situations are possessed of superior Cocoones; and as I
have the fullest Reason for believing that our Annual Worm is from
the Western Borders of China, I think that Efforts from the
Eastern Districts of the Company's Provinces might be successful
in effecting a Renewal of the Breed; and if what I have heard on
the Subject is true, this would be of very great Importance. The
Italian Cocoones are beyond Comparison superior to those of this
Country. In the Course of the last Season I received a Parcel of
Eggs of the Italian Silk Worm from Europe, which, to my great
Mortification, all perished. Along with these were sent Two
Cocoones as a Sample; and although the Culture of the Silk Worm
was not unknown to me before I left Europe, I could not examine
these Cocoones without the utmost Astonishment. I shall only
observe, that with such Cocoones I should not have a doubt of
obtaining every Perfection that Raw Silk is capable of. I take the
Liberty of mentioning that the above was written several Months
ago; but I delayed submitting it to your Perusal 'till I had verified,
by the Test of Experiment on the November and January Bund
Cocoones, my Ideas how far it was possible to manufacture Silks
equal to the organzining Operation. From the uncommon Scarcity
of Mulberry Plants, owing to the Inundation in October last, the
Cocoones of the above Bunds have been very indifferent, especially
those of the Annual January Bund, which could hardly be distinguished from the Produce of the Monthly Worm. Repeated
Attempts were made by the most experienced Spinners to reel Silk
fit for the Fabric of Organzines from these Cocoones; but after
every possible personal Attention I found, that although Silks
might be made to look well in the Skein, yet on a minute Examination they were so loaded with fine Waste that I had not a
doubt of the ruinous Consequences of submitting such Silks to the
Operations of the Mills. Indeed, in general these Cocoones were
of so flimsy and weak a Texture, that a large Portion of them were
not all equal to the Formation of the common Letter A Silk, nor
could they be reeled into that Letter without considerable Loss of
Produce; besides which, the Silk was of very indifferent Quality.
On the whole, I have at present no Reason for indulging a Hope of
being able to fulfil the Expectation of The Honourable Court of
Directors, until a Species of Silk Worms more capable of yielding
good Silks may be introduced into this Part of the Country."
Are you aware whether any Measures had been adopted
according to the Suggestions contained in that Letter for improving
the Breed of Silk Worms in India?
I am afraid not since Mr. Frushard, the Gentleman mentioned,
who went out to India, and improved the Quality, particularly of
the Gonatea Silk.
Have you made any Inquiries as to the Quality of the India
Mulberry; whether it really differs from the Mulberry in this
I have understood the Mulberry there is generally raised from
very inferior Shrubs, merely the Seed planted, and therefore
inferior low Shrubs.
Do you know whether it is by Nature the same Plant?
I should suppose it must be the same; it came from China, and
all Silk originally came from China.
Is the China Mulberry a White Mulberry?
I should think not. In Italy they have the Black Mulberry as
Have you at any Time received any further Information on the
Subject of the Culture of Silk in India?
Upon the same Points as referred to in that Letter, I have.
If you can give any further Information upon the same Point,
the Committee would be desirous of hearing it?
I conceive One of the great Evils is the purchasing of Cocoones
by Weight. My Opinion is, that it is possible to get as good Silk
from India as Italy can now produce; I can produce some Cocoones
raised in this Country very good indeed.
Can you state the relative Prices of Indian and Italian Silk,
Thirty-five Years ago and now?
I think, since the Time of Mr. Frushard's Improvement, the
Indian Silk is deteriorated.
Can you furnish the comparative Statement of Prices at which
you have purchased the Indian and Italian Silk?
I am afraid that would furnish no Criterion, for it has often been
nothing but a gambling Trade. The Supply has frequently been
unequal to the Demand; then the Prices went up enormously; and
this has been one great Cause of the Deterioration of the Company's
Silk. Orders have been sent out for more Silk than could be well
furnished, and the Consequence has been, that the Supply of the
Quantity was looked to, to the Injury of the Quality.
The Price then has not been a Proof of the Quality?
It has not. I happened by Chance to hear from a Friend, that
the Worm which produces that Silk (producing some Cocoones of
White Silk) was a different Worm from that which produces the
Yellow Silk. He procured me some Worms; and I found that,
instead of being a White Worm, it was a Black Worm.
Do you perceive any Inferiority in that Silk you have produced
to that produced in Italy by a similar Worm?
Not the least.
Do you apprehend, from what you have understood, that Climate
does not materially affect the Quality of the Silk produced?
As the Silk Worms are all kept under Cover in Doors, I cannot
conceive that Climate can make any Difference. Wherever Mulberry Trees will grow, I conceive good Silk may be produced.
Are they kept within Doors in India?
Will you state the Measures which in your Opinion will enable
them to produce Silk equal to that produced in Italy?
I think the Breed of the Worm being improved, the best Breed
being got, and proper Attention to their Food and to the reeling,
would produce it equal to that of Italy.
Have you at any Time seen any Sample of Indian Silk which
in your Opinion was equal to that of Italy?
I think Silk comes over for every Sale that in point of Quality
is equal to that of Italy.
Is that in small Quantities?
In very considerable Quantities; but owing to the Way in which
it is reeled it is very foul and much inferior. I conceive there are
Four particular Properties in Silk, which are Cleanness, Evenness,
Staple and Quality. By Quality, I mean bright and pale, soft and
mellow or harsh and hard. The greatest Fault of all is Want
of Cleanness, and that Fault the East India Silk particularly has.
Does that Deficiency of Cleanness apply to the best Qualities of
Yes; little Nibs upon the Thread which prevent its being applied
to the best Purposes. This (producing a Sample) is a Skein of
East India Silk of very excellent Quality; but it has the Nib,
which makes it what we call foul.
Is that from Want of Attention in the reeling?
Have you a Skein of Italian Silk with which it could be compared in point of Cleanness?
The Witness produces several Skeins, and states the Prices of
them respectively to their Lordships.
In your Opinion, is the natural Quality of the Italian you
have produced, which cost Twenty-one Shillings a Pound, superior
to that of the Indian Silk which cost Twelve Shillings and Sixpence
I think not.
What gives it a greater Harshness?
It may arise from several Causes; from the Warmth of the
Water in which they reel it, or from the bad Food of the Worm.
There is no Difference in Quality?
I think the constituent Principles of Silk are all the same; let it
be produced from what Worm it will, its Properties and Quality
will be owing to the Mode of its Culture, and in a greater degree
to the Difference in the Manufacture.
Is it not owing also to the Difference of Management of the
If they are stinted in their Food, very inferior Silk is produced.
Is not that the Case generally in India?
I think it is.
Do you conceive that arises principally from the Want of Integrity
of the Natives who conduct it?
From their aiming at Quantity rather than Quality, it being their
Interest to do so.
Does any Method occur to you by which that might be obviated,
by an Interference of Europeans?
My Opinion is, that it is of so much Importance to the Silk
Trade of this Country, in its present State, to have Quantity, that
I should hesitate very much to deprive the Trade of Quantity, even
to improve the Quality.
The inferior Quality is wanted to be used in the Manufacture of
We cannot improve Quality without enhancing Price, and in
the present State of Competition of the Silk Trade with other
Countries, it is China and Bengal Silk which alone can enable us
to compete with them.
Is it the Custom to mix different Qualities together in producing
the same Article?
The Price regulates in a great degree. In Italy the Filatures
descend from one Generation to another; and they are so particular
in the reeling, that the Silk when it leaves the Filature is sealed
up, and never opened 'till it comes to the Mill; they know the
Mark, and can rely upon it, and will often throw it into Organzine
for Two per Cent. Waste without opening it, knowing they can
always rely upon the Quality.
What is the Difference of Expence of Freight from India to this
I cannot answer that Question.
There is a ready Market for the inferior Qualities of Silk, and
has been for a length of Time?
I think that since so large a Quantity of Brussa Silk, Turkey
Silk, has been introduced, the inferior Bengal Silks have not found
so ready a Sale.
Do you apprehend that it would cost more in India to produce
the clean Silk than it does to produce the Silk in the State in which
you have exhibited it to the Committee?
I have no doubt that to produce a fine clean Silk they could not
produce above Two Thirds of the Quantity that they could of the
inferior Quality; perhaps not more than One Third.
Would not that materially affect the Price?
As far as the Expence of Labour, the Expence of the Filatures,
and the Factory.
Can you at all state the Proportion which the Price of Labour
on the Silk bears to the total Price?
No, I cannot.
Is it not possible that Carelessness in the Workmen may produce
a considerable Proportion of that Inferiority?
Principally; I think more probably Want of Skill.
Has there been of late Years any Improvement in the Machinery
for reeling Silk?
I have not heard of any in India.
Has there been in this Country or in Italy?
I have understood there was in this Country; that Mr. Gibson
had made some Improvements in the reeling of Silk. I conceive
one great Defect in Bengal Silk is what is called Want of Staple-
Want of Strength in the Thread, which I am of Opinion is entirely
from a Defect in the reeling; and I am more convinced of this from
an Extract of a Letter of July 1797, which seems to confirm that
Idea, that the Silk was not sufficiently crossed.-"Mr. Touchet, at
Radnagore, desires to have a Hundred Sets of Brass Cog-wheels for
the Perfection of Silk." It cost the Company a large Sum for the
Consignment of this Article, which was totally abandoned. It is to
be feared the Process of crossing, even by the simple Process of the
Country, is neglected. It benefits the Silk, but it is against the
Facility of winding. He is desired to report how they answer.-
"Royaucalty, 15th September 1787. I am not partial to the
crossing Machine; where Cocoones are remarkably good, they may
be of Service; but there is seldom Two Bunds throughout the
Year that produce Cocoones of Stamina strong enough to resist
their Effects, and when this is the Case the Machines do more
Harm than Good." In Italy, when the Silk is reeled they reel
Two Threads at Once, those Threads meet together, and are crossed
round each other Fifteen or Sixteen Times, then they separate
again, and go to the Reel, and form Two Skeins. Now, your
Lordships must see immediately, that if there comes a Nib or Gout
when it crosses so often it breaks there, consequently the Thread
cannot go upon the Reel with those little Nibs. What they call
the Staple is occasioned by the Threads being thus crossed; it makes
the Fibres of the Cocoones more compact together. The Gum is
of such a Nature the hot Water softens it, and makes the Threads
unite together, and makes a firm round Thread; and in every
Process of the Manufacture this first uniting together of the Fibres
gives Staple, which it never loses afterwards. Now, that Process
not being enough made use of in India sufficiently accounts for the
Complaints we have of the East India Silk being of a soft Nature,
and not so firm.
Can you see, by examining the East India Silk, whether that
Process has been performed?
I am afraid not, because it is of so fine a Nature no Glasses
would enable us to discover it.
Is there any other Information upon this Subject which it
occurs to you it would be desirable to communicate to the
I am not aware of any.
You have said there is, in your Opinion, no Difference in the
Quality of Silk from whatever Worm it is produced?
What I meant to imply was, that the Silk was of the same
Nature or Property, a Species of Gum or Resin, from whatever
Worms produced; but I conceive the Quality must in some degree
vary, from the Food or the bad Treatment of the Worms.
Do you conceive the Silk from the Indian Worm to be inferior
to that from the Italian?
Yes, from Want of Attention to the Food and the Breed.
Do you know whether those Improvements which you understood Mr. Gibson had lately made have been Improvements by
which reeling has been more effectually done, or by which manual
Labour has been saved?
I think it is an Improvement of the Quality in reeling.
Is the Mode of reeling you have spoken of as being so useful
in Italy pursued here?
There is no Silk grown in this Country for Consumption; only
Is not Raw Silk reeled in this Country?
No; there has been, for Experiment; but Labour in this
Country is much too dear to reel it here; the Freight and the
Carriage of the Cocoones would also be too great an Expence.
The Improvement Mr. Gibson has introduced in the reeling is
not carried on in this Country?
I believe it has, more by way of Experiment than in any other
Have Mr. Gibson's Improvements been adopted?
I think they have been adopted Abroad, in France and Italy.
Do you believe they have been adopted in India?
I am not aware that they have.
Have you seen lately any fine Samples of Indian Organzine?
I have not; I never saw any Indian or China Organzine. All
the Indian Goods I have seen have not been made with Organzine,
but with Single Warp.
What is the Quality of China Silk as compared with Indian?
I think the Quality of China Silk is equal to that of any in the
World, and the Colour superior to any other; it is all White, or
at least principally White, and of the most beautiful Colour.
What is the Price the China Silk bears in this Country, as
compared with Indian?
It is much about the same as the best Company's Silk.
It is inferior to the Italian?
Has it the same Defects as the Company's Silk?
In general it is not near so foul, and it has more Staple.
Is the Quality of Italian Silk supposed to be improving, or
I think improving; some has arrived at Perfection; it cannot be
The Witness is directed to withdraw.
Ordered, That this Committee be adjourned 'till To-morrow,