HC Deb 28 July 1834 vol 25 cc620-35
Mr. Herries

rose to call the attention of the House to a subject of very great importance. He begged the indulgence of the House as he feared he should be obliged to trespass upon their attention for some time. It had been his intention to have brought forward the subject as an Amendment on any Motion which might be made for a grant for the service of our East-India possessions; but the business of the House was conducted so irregularly, indeed, of necessity so irregularly, that he trusted no apology was required, either for delaying the subject so long or for bringing it forward at the present time. When he considered the nature of the case, and the extraordinary circumstances by which it was attended, it was a matter of surprise to him that no other Member had taken up the affair, and made it a subject of discussion; for he felt convinced that when the House heard the statement he was about to submit to them, they would be of opinion, that the circumstances connected with the case were most extraordinary, and exhibited conduct as strange as any that ever took place in any public department. The House was aware that in the last Session an Act was passed for the better administration of the affairs of India. The topic to which he was about to call the attention of the House was one of the first occurrences in the progress of the new system thus created, and the House would judge whether or not it afforded a good omen of future temperance and discretion in the administration of the affairs of that country. On the one side there was an exercise of power—of authority and peremptory command to put a certain order into execution; on the other hand, on the part of those who received this order there was a fixed and resolute determination not to obey it—a determination which could be justified only by a strong conviction of the injustice of the command which they were called upon to fulfil. From the statement, clear and concise as it could be made, which he should feel it his duty to submit to the House, they must conclude that one or other of the two parties was very much in the wrong. He should first endeavour to state to the House the course of the most singular conflict which had taken place between the two parties. He held in his hand a paper which had been laid upon the Table of the House out of the four corners of which it was not his intention to travel; for that paper contained all that it was necessary to submit to the attention of the House upon the present question. It opened in the following manner:—"On the 12th of April, 1832, the Board of Control addressed a letter to the East-India Directors desiring them to prepare a despatch for the purpose of directing the government of India to compel the king of Oude to pay certain claims upon him on behalf of Calcutta bankers." To this letter of the 12th April the East-India Directors, on the 9th of May, answered in general terms. They replied upon the general principle embraced in the present case, and urged that its decision would involve other cases of a similar description. They pointed out the very pernicious consequences that would be likely to result from their recognizing the principle involved in the direction of the Board of Control. To this letter an answer was received upon the 14th May which was also couched in the most general terms. They were desired to execute the command. They have not executed that command—they have paid no obedience to it, and in refusing to do so they have considered themselves perfectly justified. In this state matters remained from the 14th of May till the 15th of September; on one part an order made, and on the other refused to be executed. On the 15th of September, a letter was addressed by the Board of Control to the East-India Directors, reminding them that they had not executed the order they had received, enclosing them a draft of the order which they were directed to send out, and referring to the Act of Parliament which gave the Board of Control, the power of preparing this order. This letter of the 15th of September contained not only the most peremptory orders to execute the order, but even contained a draft of it, and still the Directors refused to obey it. On the 1st March, 1833, the Directors addressed a letter to the Board of Control which contained the fullest and most elaborate reasons for having opposed the order which had been received from the Board of Control. If there were any Gentleman in the House who had not read that letter, he (Mr. Herries) would take leave to call his most particular at- tention to it. It was decidedly the ablest public document which had ever come under his consideration. It omitted no single point in the controversy. Whoever might have been the author of that document, whether it were the Judge Advocate or not, it certainly did him very great credit, and in his judgment, it showed the impolicy of the course which the Government had pursued. Well, was that document answered? It remained for seven months with the Board of Control, and then how did the House suppose it was disposed of? The reply which was sent acknowledged the receipt of the letter—complimented the Directors as being "entitled to every consideration"—and concluded with a peremptory command to execute the order, which had been originally given. Confident in the justice of the cause they were pursuing, the Directors refused to obey this last order. From the 12th of September, when this short answer was returned to the long and elaborate letter of the East-India Directors, it would appear from the proceedings of the Directors that various communications had taken place between the Board of Control and the Chairman of the Company. In all these communications the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman deprecated the execution of the order. On the 15th of January, 1834, there was a meeting of the Court of Directors, the first public meeting after the receipt of the peremptory letter to which he had adverted. The proceedings which took place at the Court which was held, showed very decisively what the feeling of the Directors was upon the subject. It was at that meeting resolved, that the order of the Board of Control was unjust in principle, that it was inconsistent with the preservation of British authority in India, and that the Directors would not consent, even ministerially, to act on the order of the Board, unless they were compelled by law. At a subsequent meeting of the Board, held on the 5th of February, a letter was received from six of the Directors, expressing their determination not to affix their signatures to the declaration of the order of the Board of Control, and characterising the fulfilment of the order as a measure of spoliation towards the people of India. At the time of which he was speaking, there was another proceeding taking place in the Court of King's Bench. A rule had been moved for, to show cause why a mandamus should not issue, compelling the Board of Directors to execute the order of the Board of Control. On January 31, 1834, a rule was moved for, and it was upon their receiving instructions, that this rule would be moved for, that the Directors had recourse to the proceeding he had just mentioned. The House was aware, that an Act of Parliament gave the Board of Control a power to compel the East-India Directors to send out to India any commands given by the Board of Control. The manner of enforcing this was by application to one of the Courts of Law. However, it would be obvious to the House, that the decision of a Court of Law, upon this question, could in nowise effect the merits of the despatch ordered to be sent out. The decision of the Court of Law would merely prove, that the Board of Directors were obliged to send out the order of the Board of Control, while it left completely untouched the question, of whether or not such an order was either just or politic. At a subsequent Court of Directors, a declaration was read from two of the Directors, expressing their acquiescence in the opinion of the six Directors who had sent the letter submitted to the preceding meeting. If any argument were attempted to be drawn from the apparent want of unanimity amongst the Directors, he (Mr. Herries) could only say, that those Directors who had not signed the document were prevented, not by a conviction that the "order" was not unjust and unwise, but by an opinion, that it might, perhaps, be impolitic to openly and determinedly decline sending out the order of the Board of Control. After some further details the right hon. Gentleman proceeded to express his regret that, on the present occasion, the right hon. Gentleman was not present who happened to act in a new capacity, as one of the officers of his Majesty's Government, and who filled the two distinct characters of a Director of the East-India Company, and of his Majesty's Judge-Advocate-General. He regretted, that that right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cutlar Fergusson) was not then in his place, upon an occasion involving considerations of so much importance to those parties with whom he was connected; because, if he had been in the House, he (Mr. Herries) would have appealed to him for his valuable assistance in ascertaining what course it was intended to pursue. But he knew, that that right hon. Gentleman's sentiments on this question were very strong, and that there were no legal means which he would not resort to, to prevent the execution of these orders. He had thus stated an extraordinary case as regarded the Board of Control. Twenty-three Directors were opposed to this order. Then no reason had been given for the resignation of eight Directors, nor had any reason been given by the Board of Control for their conduct in this affair. He had put the question, whether the Government intended to abandon those proceedings which they had taken, and he was given to understand, that they would not prosecute the transaction; but from what had since transpired, he felt himself perfectly justified in saying that, though the proceedings of the Court of King's Bench had been given up, the matter was not altogether abandoned, because it was intended to adopt some other mode of interference. There was, indeed, in these extraordinary proceedings—first, a remonstrance, and then a positive resistance on the part of the Board of Directors. But let the House look to the transaction itself. What was it but one which referred to the settlement of old usurious jobs of forty years' standing? If this were not an Indian question, he should take it for granted, that every hon. Gentleman had read the whole of the papers connected with it; but, as this might not be the case, he would detail it. Here the right hon. Gentleman gave, at great length, by reading from various papers, reports, &c., an outline of the case, and stated that, up to a certain period, a practice prevailed of lending money to the native princes of India;—a practice which originated a variety of abuses. It was a subject to which the attention of the Government of this country was especially called some half a century since; and it must be admitted, that it was a system of abuse which all Administrations had since wished to repress. By virtue of various treaties, the king of Oude transferred to the British Government in India a portion of his territories in lieu of certain subsidies. By two treaties in the year 1798—by one in 1801—and in no less than seven subsequent treaties, all of the same character and purport, it was provided, that the king of Oude, in respect to his private debts, &c., should be free from all inter- ference on the part of the British Government. A certain proposal, it appeared, was made by the Vizier of the Nabob, or king of Oude (as we understood) to the British resident for his interference, upon the king finding himself placed in a situation of difficulty, but no application had been made to the Government; the proposal did not come from the king. At one period the Nabob of Oude made a complete and favourable settlement with all his European creditors; and (whether the fact were creditable to the ruling powers in India at the time, he would not say) he made an equally unfavourable settlement in regard to his native debts. The result of this unequal arrangement was, that the native creditors had received only one instalment out of six, and, therefore, they were still creditors. The native creditors had applied to the Government in India, who refused to interfere; but, after a lapse of twenty years, a letter was, in the year 1814, obtained, being addressed by the Marquess of Wellesley to the Marquess of Hastings, containing the opinion of the noble Lord, given many years after he had ceased to hold the high office with which he was invested in India. In this it was recommended, in the very strongest terms, that there should be a discharge of all the claims on the king of Oude. This letter went to sanction that which had just been refused by the Court of Directors; and that same letter had never been laid before the Court, but was addressed to the agent, Mr. Prendergast. In the reply, the Marquess of Hastings had declared, that the Government could not, in this instance, interfere in the internal affairs of the king of Oude. In the years 1813, 1814, 1819, and 1822, the matter had been decided in the same way by various authorities. He found it admitted, by the Board of Control, that this principle of interference was one which ought to be avoided, and that they were solemnly bound to abstain therefrom. An attempt had been made to prove, that this was an extraordinary case; but, if it were so, there was no ground for taking it out of the operation of a general principle. The present claims against the king of Oude could only be enforced by the most wretched and grinding system of maladministration, and the most oppressive enforcement of internal taxation; if, indeed, such a system did not lead to the deposition of that monarch, and the total loss of his territory and other legal rights. If the right hon. the President of the Board of Control had been in possession of such reasons and arguments as were sufficient to convince the Court of Directors of the propriety of the course they were called upon to adopt, why had the Board of Control sought for a mandamus from the Court of King's Bench? But if the right hon. Gentleman possessed no such cogent reasons and justifiable arguments, why have recourse to such an order? But if, above all, it was right to apply for a mandamus, why was it so suddenly and without notice abandoned? What justification could his right hon. friend plead for the adoption of such a course? He felt that, under all the circumstances which he had stated, the Government had placed itself in such a situation that some ground of justification, some satisfactory explanation (if such could be given), was due to the House and the country. He was at a loss to know how it was, that a reformed House of Commons could allow a question, involving such monstrous proceedings as were disclosed by the papers on the Table to remain so long without observation. For his own part, he felt that, in bringing forward this subject, he had only done his duty to the House in calling its attention to it; and he trusted that, in his manner of doing so, he had not acted with any want of courtesy or good feeling towards those persons to whom, in the course of his observations, he found it necessary to allude.

Mr. Charles Grant

said, that there were two points alluded to by his right hon. friend, to which he would at once give an answer, because he fully coincided with him upon them. The first was, that he had only done his duty in making this inquiry, and the second was, that, notwithstanding the vast extent to which his right hon. friend's opinions differed from his own, still he (Mr. Grant) was sure the House would coincide with him in admitting the courtesy with which his right hon. friend had called the attention of Parliament to the subject. There was another observation of his right hon. friend which had his fullest concurrence—namely, that the affair called for the most serious attention of the Legislature. He was sorry that an old observation was likely to become proverbial, that the affairs of India were daily becoming more and more matters of indifference in that House. It was, there- fore, right and necessary that this question should be brought under their consideration, but he hoped with a view to the attainment of more beneficial effects than were likely to arise from the advocacy of his right hon. friend. He said this because he felt that his right hon. friend was rather late in giving to the House an example of the interest which ought to be taken in the affairs of that country; indeed it was matter of surprise that his right hon. friend had not earlier turned his attention to Indian affairs. But he recollected that, last year, when the most momentous question that had ever affected India was introduced, so little was his right hon. friend's anxiety on the subject, that he did not favour the House even with a single opinion upon it. Notwithstanding this, however, he hailed even this tardy return of his right hon. friend to a participation in, what he conceived to be, the duty of the House towards the affairs of India, as it might have the effect of directing the minds of other hon. Members in a similar manner. His right hon. friend had expressed his regret that some difference of opinion had taken place between the two great authorities connected with India—the Board of Control and the Court of Directors; but now that those differences were composed, and that harmony was restored, it was kind in his right hon. friend to endeavour to preserve that harmony by reminding them of former differences and going over afresh all the grounds of discord. He had a high respect for the Board of Directors; he felt, that in all questions affecting India, their opinions had, and ought to have, great weight; but he felt, that he, too, was entitled to his opinion, grounded as it was upon the authority upon which he acted He was aware that the local knowledge and experience of the gentlemen composing the Court of Directors was of great advantage; but he could not conceal from himself the fact, that it was also productive of some disadvantage. Gentlemen who had resided for a long time in India, were, from local habits, likely to gather round them a certian Asiatic mode of transacting business. The principle involved in the question before the House was this—were the whole of our British subjects, no matter of what caste or colour, no matter whether European or native, entitled to the same meed of equal and impartial justice at our hands? Had that principle been uniformly acted upon, the House would never have had the present pass brought before it. He would shortly state to the House the justice of that case, which had been somewhat improperly termed an "old job," "a usurious job." That the claims in question were of long standing he freely admitted. They had existed during the last forty years. They arose out of transactions which occurred in 1796, and had been continually kept alive since that period, under a succession of public authorities. The debt was an old one, but he knew of no debt of a State which could be barred by time; if a just debt in the first instance, its justice must continue. But whatever might be said on that subject, the claims were not his; they were handed down by his predecessors in office, and had been preferred at various times for more than the last thirty years. They were made before the Court of Directors in 1811, and also in 1812. They were made in 1816, and were still held to be an open claim in 1819; it was brought under the notice of Mr. Canning. Again, in 1822, it was referred to a Committee, but was not persevered in because the Government was dissolved. It was revived during the Administration of the Duke of Wellington; and Mr. Prendergast, the agent, had drawn up a memorial to be laid before the Government, but the Government was again dissolved. He knew not whether the Duke of Wellington's Administration had made up their minds upon the subject; but of this he was sure, that if they had done so either way, the agent was unacquainted with that fact. He would shortly state to the House his view of the origin and character of this debt. The claims of these parties rested on bonds given by the Nabob of Oude, to persons whose representatives were the present claimants, men who were for the most part eminent bankers and rich men in the East Indies, and who were all subjects of Great Britain. The principal firm had a house of the first distinction in Benares, but had also houses in Calcutta and other places. The father was distinguished as a man of great wealth, and had been remarkable for his attachment and loyalty to the English Government, so much so that in the struggle between Mr. Hastings and the Rajah of Benares, he rendered essential service to the English. By those parties eleven lacks of rupees, or about 111,000l. was advanced to the Nabob of Oude. In 1799, an inquiry as to this debt was entered into by the resident of Lucknow, and the Nabob was told by the Government there, that he was bound to pay it. The Nabob divided his creditors into three classes, to whom he offered different amounts of compromise. The first class consisted of British merchants, the next of his own native subjects, and the third also of British subjects, but of men who were natives. The native subjects in his own territory were compelled to take the terms offered to them; the British merchants also accepted of theirs; but the natives who were British subjects, refused to take the terms offered to them (being less favourable), alleging that they were entitled to receive terms equally favourable with their fellow-subjects of this country. The British Government was applied to; but, perhaps from the colour of the parties, in vain; and from that hour to the present, the native British subjects never received any compensation. It was upon this ground, that he called for equal justice towards all his Majesty's subjects in India, no matter what their colour. It was upon this ground that he applied to the Court of Directors with the power which the law, by various enactments, had placed in his hands. In consequence of his advice a mandamus was applied for; that was in February. The case was to be argued in a limited time after, but in the mean time a measure was proposed between the two authorities, which, if agreed to, would render useless any such legal proceeding. Upon that ground it was that the order was discharged. Some of the highest officers under the Company in India had at various periods expressed opinions favourable to the debt. Amongst them, he mentioned the members of the Executive Government, and three most respectable and able Civilians, Mr. Edmonds, Mr. Seaton, and Mr. Dawson; also Mr. Cherry, the Marquess of Wellesley, and the Marquess of Hastings. He next referred to a letter written by Lord Hastings to the Governor of Lucknow, stating that the debt which had been contracted for the support of the Nabob's troops, and his general Government, ought to be paid. Lord Hastings gave directions to our resident to demand such payments. Lord Teignmouth not only expressed a similar opinion, but gave similar directions. The right hon. Gentle- man next referred to a letter of Mr. C. Wynn, when he was President of the Board of Control, in which it was stated that the claims made by the creditors ought to be honestly liquidated. The opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown and others had been taken upon this subject. They had the opinions of Lords Brougham and Plunkett, and of Lord Lyndhurst and Sir C. Wetherell, who said, that although the claimants had no strict legal right, yet that they most certainly had an equitable right. The opinion of Sir John Leach also went to the same effect. When the question was referred to the present Board of Control, he placed all the papers before the late Sir James Mackintosh, and his opinion was, that the claims should be then considered de novo. Mr. Cherry was sent as resident to Lucknow, to investigate the finances of the Nabob of Oude. He found them in a very dilapidated state. He reported their amount, but not having instructions to investigate the nature of the claims on the Nabob he sent for further powers. These powers were given to him; his report was agreed to by the Governor General and the Nabob; and this took place as far back as 1795. If, indeed, this extension were not permitted, the object of the mission of Mr. Cherry and our Governor General would have been entirely frustrated. In April 1796, Mr. Cherry made another report, which was approved of by General Martin, a gentleman who at that time held a high situation in the service of the Nabob. A copy of the examination taken before Mr. Cherry was sent home, and the propositions suggested by him for the liquidation of the bond claims were agreed to so far back as 1822. It was said, that the general conduct of the East-India Company was one of non-interference with the affairs of the native Princes; but from 1765, down to the present day it was a system of interference—in the times of Mr. Hastings, Lord Teignmouth, Lord Cornwallis, and Lord Hastings—and, in some instances, their interference had gone so far as to depose one prince and elevate another to his throne, and, in many cases, to interfere with the pay and allowances of the native soldiers. In short, he considered, from many documents in his possession, that the kingdom of Oude was only held as a fief of the British Government. The Nabob, as he had stated, had not the means of carrying on his Go- vernment without borrowing money to supply the wants, especially of his army, and to meet the interest of previous loans and the loans he obtained to do so were sanctioned by Mr. Cherry, the agent of the Indian Government. It was clear that, at all events, by implication, the parties who obtained a portion of the loan should so far repay the lenders. But it was said, if these claimants were paid, others would also demand payment. Why not? If these claims were just, though they might not be public claims, yet he would say, in common honesty, that they ought to be paid, though they did not stand exactly upon an equal footing. Objection was taken, however, to the rate of interest which was charged; it was certainly extravagant, whether thirty-six or twenty-four per cent; but it was the rate agreed to—it was the market rate of interest at the time these transactions took place between the parties. He was surprised that the Court of Directors were so hostile to these claims, because it was one of their rules, as between debtor and creditor, that the interest bargained for should be paid at the rate of interest stipulated for by the parties. According to that principle, the Company acted in all their Courts of Justice. His letter, which was written in 1832, left this question to the Governor General of India. The words of that letter, which had been so much complained of, did not imply the use of force. It had been said, that he had written no letter in answer to the Court of Directors;—he had communicated his answer verbally to the Court of Directors. It was plain, that Lord Wellesley did not mean to exclude the consideration of these claims. If the proposition of the Nabob had been accepted, the Company never could afterwards interpose, and they would have been in the situation in which it was said the Directors were. The proposition was rejected by Lord Wellesley, because, as he said, it would cancel all the public debts of the State. Lord Hastings did not agree that there was any impediment to these claims, because in 1816, he had made this application. He knew at what point it could be said, that a State acquired the right of committing wrong with impunity. He therefore could not agree to the declaration of Mr. Canning upon this subject. It should be remembered that this money was not to be drawn from the poor people; but from those resources which ought to go to the payment of the debt.

Sir Robert Peel

said, that the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down were by no means sufficient to bear out his vindication of the course he had adopted in suing out a writ of mandamus from the Court of King's Bench to compel the East-India Company to enforce these claims upon the unfortunate prince on whom they were made. The question was within a very narrow compass, and to make it intelligible to those Members of the House who did not perhaps wish to hear much of the intricacies of the case, or of those strange Eastern names to which English ears were not much accustomed, he should give a very plain statement of the transaction, so as to put it on a footing intelligible to all. This debt, as well as many others of the same nature, was contracted so long as forty years ago, bearing an interest of thirty-six per cent. Since then, several Governors of India had made application for a settlement of these claims, and had endeavoured by their amicable interference to procure an arrangement satisfactory to the parties, but none of them ever thought of proceeding to any other course than that of a friendly interference, He considered it a very harsh measure, and by no means a just one, to call for the interference of the Court of King's Bench to compel the Company to pay this large sum. Was the Government prepared, and did it feel itself at liberty, to vindicate the claim of every British subject who happened to lend his money to a foreign independent State without the Government of the country, or its agents, having in any way become responsible for or guaranteeing the repayment of that loan? This was precisely the footing on which the question stood. If such were the views on which the Government was acting in the matter it was clearly confounding transactions of debt with which we had nothing to do with those other wrongs which alone in an international sense could call for the interference of our Government to protect British subjects. In cases of simple debt contracted by an independent State with a British subject, he contended the Government of this country had nothing whatever to do; but, above all, it could not be justified in attempting to interfere by force. If the right hon. Gentleman was prepared on the part of the Govern- ment to avow this right of interference, with what delight would not the holders of Spanish bonds, and of the bonds of the Cacique of Poyais hear of the avowal. Suppose any British subject were now to engage in a loan transaction with any of the new States of South America, could it be said, that the Government of this country was bound to see that the terms of that loan were satisfied? Certainly not. Yet this. would be precisely a similar case. Did not the enormous amount of interest that was to be paid upon this loan by the King of Oude show, that the lender did not consider that he was to have the guarantee of the British Government or the aid of British bayonets to sustain his claim for repayment. Instead of demanding thirty-six per cent would he not have been satisfied with some reasonable and moderate rate of interest if he knew or imagined that England was to be his security, and not merely the King of Oude? Was it right, then, for the Government to interfere in a purely private transaction? And what would be the consequence of this interference? Why, that other parties would make similar claims, and how could we refuse them if we interfered on the present occasion? The right hon. Gentleman had disclaimed any intention of interfering with force or intimidation; but what other construction than that he entertained such intention could be put on his communications with the Board of Directors, and the instructions which they were required to send to their agents and officers in India? He looked upon this question as widely distinct front the claim which a British subject would have on the protection of his own Government against a positive wrong done to him by an independent State. The right hon. Gentleman had referred to various authorities to sustain his view of the case; but, in his opinion, those authorities made against the right hon. Gentleman. Neither Lord Wellesley, nor any other Governor, ever attempted to enforce those claims. The authority of Mr. Wynn, when at the head of the Board of Control, was decidedly against them; and Mr. Canning was equally opposed to them. If the right hon. Gentleman would say, that he disclaimed all idea of enforcing those claims by any act or threat of intimidation, then he would at once sit down. If the matter was now closed, and that the Board of Directors understood that nothing was to be done, as the right hon. Gentleman had said, without the consent of Parliament, he would be content with that understanding. This was the sole purpose for which his right hon. friend had brought the subject before the House, and not with any view to perpetuate any difference that might exist between the right hon. Gentleman and the Board of Directors. He was willing to leave the matter to be decided by public opinion after it had remained unsettled for forty years without any Government interference. It was clear that the right hon. Gentleman and the Board of Directors took very different views of this subject. He admitted, that if the claim had been sanctioned or in any manner guaranteed by Mr. Cherry, it would materially alter the case, but there was nothing in Mr. Cherry's correspondence that could support such an opinion. He hoped the King of Oude would have the spirit and judgment to follow the example of the Company; and resist a compliance with what he as well as they must feel to be an improper order. It would not do to attempt to enforce this claim upon the King of Oude, unless the Legislature could carry conviction of its justice home to the breast of every native Prince in India, or otherwise we should run the risk of shaking to its foundation our whole Indian empire. Unless we could do this our motives would be misconstrued. If we were determined to violate all Treaties, and in defiance of them to dethrone the King of Oude, let us at least not begin by forcing from him a large sum of money. If we were to usurp and assume to ourselves the Government of the territory of Oude, let us take care that we did not show an interested motive for doing so, and let us be the more cautious in this because we happened to have the power and authority in our hands.

Mr. Hume

doubted very much if the right hon. Baronet, who was so desirous that others should understand the subject, really understood it himself. The right hon. Baronet had asked why this one claim only was selected. The reason was, which the right hon. Gentleman did not seem to know, that this was the only claim that remained unsatisfied. Could any thing be clearer than that the Nabob of Oude admitted the justice of this claim when he offered a compromise? But the agent for the suffering parties refused to take less than they had aright to claim; and this refusal he considered as an additional proof that their claim was well grounded, and that their conviction was, that the transaction was a real and just one.

The subject was dropped.

Back to