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to the important point of permitting Egypt to our ally and friend for ever, if we will only raise herself, through her own means, to good | permit it to be so.
government and liberty; and thus to attain a greatness as a nation, and establish, as it were, a new kingdom and ome that would gladly bc
London, Cornhill, May 15, 1837.
THE LAW COMMISSIONERS.
We noticed last evening the swearing in, as fourth ordinary member of council, of Mr. Cameron. That Gentleman has for the time ceased to be a law commissioner; and Col. James Young is appointed to succeed him ;the present state of the Law Commission there. fore, we believe, stands thus : Mr. Macleod, who departs for England on the 19th or 20th of February ; Mr. Millett, acting for Mr. Anderson, who has gone into council at Bombay : and Col. Young acting for Mr. Cameron, Mr. Elliott of the Madras civil service, will, we understand succeed Mr. Macleod ; and thus Col. Young and Mr. Millett will be the two officiating commissioners.
On the arrival of Mr. Amos, which will take place very soon, Mr. Cameron will resume office as law commissioner, and until the arrival of Mr. Elliott, whose appointment is not absolutely certain, the two officiating commissioners will, we presume, still continue in office. Taking it for granted, that the appointtnent of Mr. Elliott is not...merely a rumour, and from our authority we understand it is not, there remain still two appointments to be filled up, that of Mr. Macaulay and Mr. Anderson. The fourth ordinary member has nothing ex-officio to do with the Law Commission; the business of the fourth ordinary member is, to assist the Legislative Council in framing laws, and the business of the Law Commission to take the words of the act, constituting it, being any thing in the world, other than the business of legislation. Lord William Bentinck it was, who plunged Mr. Mar caulay into the troubled waters of codificationDuring the vice royalty of this nobleman. the Legislature Department was not occupied sufficiently to assord £10,000 a year's worth of employment to Mr. Macaulay, at least, so, we are toid, thought and said Lord William—and he accordingly sent Mr. Macaulay into the Law Commission, in order to keep him out of mischief. To Lord William then in some sort, is India indebted for the Code—he it was who infused into the quiet, painstaking, investigating and about-to-become-Reporting Law Commission the loftier aspiration after legislation, which swelled the proud bosom of our Calcutta Lycurgus—and under his auspices it was, that a Code was framed, instead of a report or two being digested. The objects to which the attention of the Commissioners was directed, are enumerated in very intelligible terms by the 53d and 54th clauses of the charter, which we may as well perhaps pub lish, by way of refleshing people's memories:
“And the said commissioners shall fully inquire into the jurisdiction, powers, and rules of the existing courts of justice and police establishments in the said territories, and all existing forms of judicial procedure, and into the nature and operation of all laws, whether civil or criminal, written or customary, prevailing and in force in any part of the said territories, and where to any inhabitants of the said territories, whether Europeans or others, are now subject ; and the said commissioners shall from time to time make reports, in which they shall fully set forth the result of their said inquiries, and shall from time to time suggest such alterations as may in their opinion be beneficially made in the said courts of justice and police establishments, forms of judicial procedure and laws, due regard being had to the distinction of castes, difference of religion, and the manners and opinions prevailing among different races and in different parts of the said territories.
“And be it enacted, that the said commissioners shall follow such instructions with regard to the researches and inquiries to be made and the place to be visited by them, and all their transactions with reference to the objects of their commission, as they shall from time to time receive from the said Governor General of India in Council such special reports upon any matters as by such instructions may from time to time be required ; and the said Governor General in Council shall take into consideration the reports from time to time to be made by the said Indian Law Commissioners, and shall transmit the same, together with the opinions or resolutions of the said Governor General in Council thereon, to the said Court of Directors ; and which said reports, together with the said opinions of resolutions, shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament in the same manners as is now by Law provided concerning the Rules and Regulations made by the several Governments in India.”
Such were the objects for the attaining of which the commission was sent out to this country. How far these instructions have been obeyed we have not learnt. How far they will be obeyed in future, time will shew. Whether or not it is the intention to impose on the duties of law commissioner, in addition to those of fourth ordinary member, we have not heard—in that event, however, it might so happen, that only one appointment
of commissioner, would remain to be filled up. task. The experience of the civilians from That the authorities at home will let go this the sister presidencies may be of great use in piece of patronage, it is not very reasonable affording information; but we think will prove to anticipate; and we, therefore, shall in all of none in the digesting such information into probability have some other civil servant a report—and then the question arises, why from the Bombay presidency, sent out to re- must there be a civilian on the , omission for present that portion of the empire. We are Madras. and Bombay respectively, and none told that Lord William Bentinck wrote home, for Bengal 2 and to us it appears, the question and named Col. Young, as a person highly is a very difficult one to answer. qualified for this office, from his very great local knowledge and the experience he pos- || To efféct any real practical good in the way sesses in commercial and mercantile matters of Legislation apparently contemplated by —and as the commissioners are now coming those who conceived the bright idea of a conto a civil code, or at any rate, are on the mission, it appears to us, that the commiseve of collecting information for a digest of sioners should demean themselves, after the civil law, perhaps a more sitting selection fashion of all other commissioners, we ever could scarcely have been made, than that heard of ; namely, that they should collect displayed in the appointment of the new evidence, examine the best officers in revecommissioner. Of the qualifications of Mr. nue, and law, in all the presidencies, get inCameron as a Commissioner, the public may formation from their experience, and then dijudge for itself—he has spent many laborious gest it into a report, the plan of which should years of his life in the very work, which he be settled, and the general outline of the queswill return to on the arrival of Mr. Amos, i. e. tions to be asked, before the commission starinquiring into, digesting, and reporting upon ted on its travels. But it is not from the lithe laws and customs of our Colonial mited experience of one member of the Mapossessions. dras service, of one from Bombay, and of none
We understand that Mr. Cameron has acquired for himself a very high reputation from his reports on the state of the law in the West Indies ; and more recently from his very able report on the customs and laws of Ceylon.
The Madras Conservative is now apparently publishing, by way of supplement, what he calls the Ceylon Charter; but which to us appears as far as it has gone, a mere report upon the state of the law, and the institutions connected with it of that island. It is, we believe. this work which has made the reputation of Mr. Cameron, and which when we shall have more leisure, we contemplate introducing to the notice of our readers.
According to our own notions of things, we confess that hitherto the appointment of Mr. Cameron is the only proper one made ; should Mr. Amos be added to the number of the commissioners, his nomination will add one more, to the score, of fitness of selection. For with every respect for the general acquirements of the commissioners from Madras and Bombay, it is our conviction, that the reports can only be well got up by persons whose
at all from Bengal—and the upper provinces, that the vast body of information, requisite for the work of legislation, can in reason be supposed to be procured. It is, we conceive, the province and duty of the commissioners, to elicit, not from one individual, but from the (lite of the service, the fruits of their experience, reading, and practical knowledge. That this course has not hither to been pursued, we believe we are correct in stating—that it will be pursued for the future, we can only hope ; and that the same judiciousness of selection, in the filling up of the vacant appointments, which has lately been exhibited in the appointment of Mr. Amos, will go a great way to redeem the character of and awaken the dormant capabilities for useful labor, in the Commission,it is our conviction.—Cal. Courier, January, 23.
The orders for these appointments will be
previous education have fitted them for the found in a preceding column.—Hurk. Jan. 23.
COLONEL J. YOUNG,
No public appointment has been announced to the Law Commission. We only reby us for a long time past, more likely to give |gret instead of being a permanent appointgeneral satisfaction than that of J.Young, Esq., I ment sanctioned by the home authorities, or
rather expressly ordered by them to be bestowed on him as the very fittest person to be found in India, it should be merely temporary. There is no one, we are quite sure, whose opinions on the peculiar subjects which come under consideration of the commissioners, would be regarded with more respect, nor would it be easy to find any one whose talents as well as studies, so peculiarly qualify him for the task. It would be no compliment to Col. Young to say, that had he been originally a member of the Commission, the public would have been spared the ludicrous exposure of presumption and imbecility with which it is now amused. From his lang experience in India and former position
of high trust under one of the ablest of its Governors, we hazard little in saying, that had the new code passed under his revision, it would have been as distinguished for practical good sense and regard for public liberty, as it is now for the very reverse, We cannot help expressing the wish, in which we are sure we shall be joined by the greater part of our readers, that when Colonel Young's appointment is known in London it may induce the home authorities to take the first opportunity of making it a permanent one, as they will then have before them a convincing proof of the esteem in which the gentleman is held, both by the local Government and by his fellow citizens.—Englishman, January 24.
The Bengal Herald of Sunday last, comments on our observations relative to the personal hostility which the Press has long manifested towards Mr. Macaulay, and states that the Press “says nothing about him in his personal capacity, nor cares about him in his personal capacity.” We have not, however, seen any great anxiety to draw the line of distinction between his personal and his official character; but it is undemiable that the strongest feelings of hostility have been visible in all the remarks which have been made respecting him. We appeal to the experience of every one who has been in the habit of reading the papers, whether for three years the whole artillery of the Press, from the great guns of the Hurkaru and the Englishman to the little swivel of the Gyananneshun, has not been directed against him with a degree of vehemence and perseverance unexampled in the History of the India Press ; whether, every form of writing, prose and verse, wit and sarcasm, ribaldry and declamation has not been employed to exhibit him in the most odious point of view. We have attentively observed the movements of the Press
in Calcutta for more than a quarter of a cen
tury, and we must confess that we never remember to have seen abuse so indefatigably heaped upon any single individual before. The Herald says, that our defence of his character is feeble and injudicious, but the Editor appears to have overlooked the fact, that we disclaimed every idea of entering upon his defence. We contented ourselves with stating that if for the sake of argument, the fact of his delinquencies were admitted, still the vituperation of the Press appeared to us to have exceeded the bounds of a just and reasonable indignation, and that in the case of an individual so over abused, the probability of a speedy reaction in his favour was strong, And
by this opinion, judging from Mr Macaulay's character and attainments, and from the known principles of human nature, we are still willing to abide.
The Herald goes on to state, that, “the Friend of India will find that he misapprehends the matter entirely. On overpaid officer of the Supreme Court, a case put by the Friend of India, a salt agent, or other semi-sinecurist, is not to be much blamed if he pockets a large salary annexed to his office, for doing little, if he do that little, and no more. The fault is that of the system, not of the sinecurist. He is called upon to do but little and he does it, and it is not his fault that he is overpaid. But Mr, Macaulay engaged to do much; if he does little and yet receives much, he acts dishonestly ; but if he does much harm, and still receives much good, he acts both fradulently and ungratefully.” The Herald says, that if we consult our candour, we shall find that our logic is unsound. We invoke his candour, therefore, while we apply his reasoning to the case ; for we think, under correction, that it is our contemporary who has not clearly apprehended the matter. Adopting his style of argument might it not be said with truth, An overpaid member of the Supreme Council is not to to be much blamed, if he pockets the large salary annexed to his office, for doing little, if he do that little, and no more. The fault is that of the Act of Parliament, not the sinecurist. He is called upon to do little, and he does it ; it is not his fault that he is overpaid. The Act of Parliament which forms the charter, created a new office, that of fourth member of the Supreme Council ; defined its duty to be that of “sitting and voting in the said Council, at meetings of the Council, for making laws and regulations ''
and for the performance of this duty, fixed a
salary of £10,000 a year. To this duty and to this salary was Mr. Macaulay appointed. To pursue the argument of our contemporary, if Mr. Macaulay had confined himself to the duty of sitting and voting in the said Council, large as is the salary attached to it, he would have deserved no censure. Hence, we are brought to the conclusion, that his delinquency consists in his having in addition to this duty, consented to take on himself the drafting of the Acts, and subsequently that of presiding over the deliherations of the Indian Law Commission, and as he was not originally appointed to either of these offices, the delinquency with which he is justly chargeable, is that of having done more than his duty. Now, as Mr. Macaulay on acepting the office which had been created by the Legislature of Great Britain, engaged simply “to sit and vote in the Council ;” and as it has never even been whispered that he neglected this duty, we do not see with what propriety the Herald says, that he is chargeable with having acted dishonestly. As to the charge of his having acted frauduently, in “having done much harm and still receiving much good ;” by which we suppose we are to understand his having sat and voted in Council for the Act, which is typographically called the Black Act, while he was receiving the salary ordained by Parliament ; if it possesses any validity, we do not see how the other members of council, who sat and voted for this Act likewise, while they were receiving the same amount of salary, can escape from the same charge. And as the Court of Directors have now given their concurrence to this Act, while they continue to receive much good from India, in the shape of dividends and patronage, the charge must extend also to them. But the character of this Act, and in fact the character of all the acts in which Mr. Macauly bore share, is a matter of opinion upon which there exists a great diversity of sentiment. Is it upon such grounds that it is attempted to fix on him the heavy moral guilt of fraud?
After the above was witten, we received the observations of the Hurkaru on the same subject Any lengthened reply to that article, we shall not attempt. We see many defects and deficiencies in the Code, and our contemporaries probably see more. The Code is submitted to public scrutiny in this country, as it will be submitted to Parliament in England, in order to draw forth public opinion, with a view to the correction of its anomalies, and the supply of its omissions. The value of our remarks in India will be measured by the calm and dispassionate tone in which they are conveyed. Long previously to the appearance of the Code, however the strongest feelings of hostility had been manifested towards Mr. Macaulay ; and it is an incontrovertible fact that no individual has ever been pursued by the Calcutta Press with more unsparing and continuous acrimony. How far it has been deserved, is a question upon which our successors will decide; but the fact will not admit of a doubt. lt was at thc period when this prejudice against him was
at its height, that the Code, in the compilation of which he had taken so prominent a part, was presented for public examination. This we consider a very untoward conjunction of circumstances ; because, it was scarcely to be expected, that the examination of it could be conducted in a spirit totally uninfluenced by these prejudices. Even if, by an effort of magnanimity, such a freedom from previous impressions could have been attained for the occasion, it would scarcely be credited at home ; and it is to be feared that the comments of the Indian Journals, which ought to be, in a measure, the beacon to direct the judgment of those who are in England, will, therefore, be deprived of a large portion of their value.
But Mr. Macaulay is now beyond the sound of our praise or censure. When we next hear of him it will be in his own natural and legitimate sphere in the British Senate. His place at the head of the Law Commission has been filled, for the time, by Mr. Cameron, and that of Mr. Cameron, by Col. Young. We cordially congratulate the public, on the addition of Col. Young to the Commision. When the project of a Code for all India was first promulgated, the eyes of all men, both in the service and out of it, were simultaneously turned to him as to the individual, without whom, the Commission would not be complete ; and it has been a matter of no little surprize, that in the formation of this legislative body, so great an error should have been committed as the omission of his name. An opportunity has just been placed in the hands of Government of correcting this deficiency, and it has been eagerly embraced. The appointment of Col. Young to the Commission, comes just at the period when his peculiar qualifications can be brought to bear most beneficially on the welfare of the country. The labours upon which the Legislators are now entering embrace the civil rights and privileges of the people, and demand, to a far greater extent than the penal section of the Code, large and comprehensive views, combined with an intimate knowledge of the varied interests of this vast empire; and there is no individual who could have been more appropriately selected to represent, and to watch over those interests, than Col. Young. It must be a source of no ordinary gratification to his friends, that this appointment has given universal pleasure, and inspired general confidence; and that the Press as well as the public, so invariably divided upon every other subject, are for once unanimous upon this. The appointment, however, is but temporary, and must await the confirmation of the Court of Directors. But we very much mistake the character and the public spirit of that body, if they do not discover, in this unanimity of sentinent among those whose interests are most deeply involved, the strongest argument for strengthening the Law Commission, by engaging Col. Young's services till the whole Code is complete —Friend of India, Feb. 1.
NORTH WESTERN PROVINCEs.
Shortly after the appearance of No. IV. of our entertaining Miscellany, a King's Officer, who was running over its pages, was heard to exclaim, “ Ah! mangoes delightful " “white hat! very good :” “Resumption of Rent free tenures' Bah who the devil cares about those d d black fellows.” Now, it so happens, that we do care a great deal about the said black fellows, and shall not be deterred by this exclamation from endeavouring to expound what is a hundred times more interesting than the subject matter of that article. Where tens are affected by resumption, tens of thousands are affected by the settlement of the land revenue.
The discussion of the settlement question, as it affects these provinces, is the more necessary, as it was entirely excluded from consideration in the able summary of the revenue systems submitted to Parliament, by Mr. A. D. Campbell, of the Madras Civil Service ; except in certain insinuations thrown out respecting the superiority of the Ryotwar system, which we fervently pray may never depress and pauperise the flourishing north-western districts. These, we consider, under the peculiar patronage and superintendence of M.U. M., and, therefore, we are happy in being able to show that they have now got every single advantage that ever was predicated of the Ryotwar system, without one of its most glaring defects.
The very successful and rapid progress of the revenue settlements, conducted under the provisions of Regulation 1X. of 1833, has far exceeded the most sanguine expectations. So little effect was that Regulation supposed likely to produce in remedying the errors of Regulation VII. of 1822, that one of the Calcutta Journals commented on its enactment in these terms:
“It is apparently expected that, after throwing overboard so much matter which had cost the unfortunate Holt the deliberation of a thousand years, his regulation will be rendered practicable and efficient; an expectation which we hold to be altogether visionary. The upper provinces, we are persuaded, will never be settled under Reg. VII. of 1822; nor under any amendments which may be devised for it at intervals of eleven years, if they be not more effectual than those which have just been promulgated, . If future Governments shall proceed a patiently as those which have intervened since 1822, the western provinces will never be “settled” at all the main bar to their prosperity will never be removed.
Some idea of the inadequacy of the remedy prescribed by this new regulation (IX.) may be formed from the following statement of the magnitude of the evils to be cured, extracted from a minute of Lord William Bentinck's, dated 20th January, 1832: