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So this remedy is inapplicable, and cannot arise from the union ; and besides this there is much more of evil in the combination. For instance, the subordinate is every alternate night obliged to break off in the inves: tigation of a criminal case, for the purpose of converting himself the next day into a stamp vender, statement reviser, or some such reptile. In those alternate davs what opportunities are offered to the wily Bengallee to weave
stronger and thicker his tissue of fraud, whereas had the case been continued the next day no encouragement to grosser acts would have been afforded by such like too, ties, and the previously flia,sey deceit would have been without further delay exposed and duly deal with. In every large district such as the 24-Pergunnahs, Hooghly, Nuddea, Moorshedabad, Burdwan, Midnapore, Jessore and Dacca, there is plenty of work for both a separate magistrate and joint magistrate all the week, month and year round. It may be true that the collector requires assistance, but it is only in office detail, and his ho bery pack of Regulation IX. deputy collectors can surely afford him that ; and thus a covenanted deputy seems superfluous. In further proof of this, it is a notorious fact, that where the offices of magistrate and collector are united, the collector's work was done by the principal, the Magistrate's work by the subordinate, i. e., the joint magistrate, and a deputy collector existed but in name. li will be asked if young men are not traincid for collectors, where are those typifications of bumbailiffs to be procured ? The answer is to be found in the old directories, from which it would appear, that the juniors had the choice of three separate lines, the jucicial, the revenue, and the political. Let things revert to that state. Further, it is impossible to serve two masters, God and Mammon, and it is almost so to serve a magistrate and a collector. For instance, as a joint magistrate on Monday, you have to punish a party of jovial bacchanals for remaining till “ the little hours”, at a Restaurateur's, and in your deputy collector's office on Tuesdav your most thriving and punctual abkar in the person of the Restaurateur aforesaid, throws up his shop assigning no reasons and merely leaving you “ to send in a better man” in 15 days if you can. The experiment at least should be made to allow a separate joint magistrate to each of the magistracies of the large districts.
grown on the native mind that, eui peccare licet peccat minus, and even when discovered the slightest excuse saves them from commitonent, and the magistrates appear to think non percat quicumque potest pecca'sse negare, every body exclaims why is it so 2 The quirks and quibbles of Mahome dan law in these cases, render a refereence to the nizamut a lawlut generally necessary ; and session judges dislike references, and magistrates study the likes and dislikes of sension, judges, and sooth their consciences by the illigal act of indicting six months' imprisoninent under the indefinite section 19, Regulation IX. of 1807, denominating the crime in the statements under the indefinite name fraud (“ sureebkaree") besides the magistrate has not time to connect all the perjuries that “ press him in from every side.” The required remedy of “ moral regeneration cannot he effected in one day has the suaviter in modo,” and unless it be effected our criminal justice will never be reformed. Let it be so by the “fortiter store,” let the su prior authorities watch that every perjurer be committed, and when convicted let the culprit receive never less then seven years' imprisonment with the ancient wholesome disci, line of 30 rattans, and the tusheer. Criminal business may then be expedited, the magistrate may be relieved of the irritating duty of wading through confusing masses of perjury to decide a case. and every assistant need not be told in taking his seat for the first time on a judicial bench and asking advice from the principal, that he is to decide on the evidence, and recollect that “every witness is perjured.”
(4) “ Turpe, reos erupta miseros defenderee linguá" is far too sweeping a sentiuent, but the class of mook tears employed in criminal cases is well known to consist of those whom the land holders in a district do not consider sufficiently respectable to be intrusted with the business they require transacted in the collector's of ice, and thus the scum of this race are forced to employ their versatile talents in fabricating false charges or screeni, g delinquents from criminal punishment. They are aware that they are the despised of their germs, and as nothing tends to blunt a man's moral feeling more than the losing the sympathy of his fellow creatures, their morality is at a very low ebb, and no measure is too vile, no lie too barefaced, no cruelty too heartrending which they will not attempt in order to obtain their ends. The remuneration for one particular case is not the incentive to such villany, but the deeper they dive in the sink of iniquity, and the more successfully their arts rescue themselves and their employers from the punishment due to both, the more sureely “Illi turba clientium set major,” and the more certain is the future worldly prosperity of their career. It is known that a mook tear employed in a particularly revolting case of torture on the part of a landholder, having taken measures to delay the trial in the interim, manufactured a similarly featured case, making an innocent ryot of the landholder's play the part of prisoner ine ely to discover the probable tenor of the questions and investigation of such a case in order to be more readily prepared for the extricatian of his wealthy client. To enumerate similar seats would be far too lengthy a task. To obviate these evils should be the object. The on y remedy, and the only method of weeding these hot beds of pujury and abomination, is by strictly and unremittingly punishing every wilful offence of fraud, and dismissing every olfender from employment in any court in any district. Even this would not be complete alone and of itself, because the instigators and modellers of all these villainies do not always appear in court in a tangible shape, but compound their preparations in their own houses. Not unfrequently the noxious animal yelept a thannah wakeel is the initative, and consulting with his “ learned brother” of the bazaar of the sudder station, carries on the case, both remaining in visible. The check to e e.: forced is to allow no thannah wakeel, and whenever the active instigators may not he forthcoming, to inflict double punishment on the passive instruments of fraud. These thannah wakeels are enab ed to flourish in the good will of the darogail, and more pros. perously, nay officially to cally on their systei" of roguery, by being the gratuitous assistants in the darogah's correspondence department. No doubt can exist of the expediency of abolishing these thannah wakeels, and appointing Government police assistants.
(5.) The adage of “too much of a good thing,” &c., seems to apply most strongly to the reiterated orders of the Court of Directors to the effect that not only should justice be, but all India should be impressed with the certain knowledge that justice is administered : for although every magistrate administers justice in all equity and good conscience, very, very few take thought whether the people receive the impression that he does so. For instance, the magistrate decides a case and dictates his whereas: es in Persian or Hindoostanee, they are recorded, no one interprets them, and the Bengallee can by no earthly possibility know the reasons of a decision, and receive the impression that justice is done him without paying for more stamp paper to obtain a copy of the proceedings and more agency to translate it to him. Here, as every where, the inability of our officers to carry on a colloquy with the Bengallee in his vernacular, is painfully evident. Again, you punish a police chokeedar and you furnish the instructions for his future guidance, and for saving him from punishment hereafter, through the medium of an unintelligible language. . How can you, expect the rules and principles , you wish inculcated to be so 2 Further, the explaining the reasons of every decision vivá voce to the parties in the vernacular is an actual saving of time, for many merely from want of this explanation have
felt dissatisfied, and inundated the superior courts with appeals.
(6.) In the present time there is some super vision over the omlah, formerly there was none ; but even still a peculiar tact and management is wanting, to make that supervision complete, namely , ille at t of implanting in every mind the pet tect contideuce and knowledge that such supervision does practically exist; the secure belief that extortion is not winked at, may participated in by the superior, the thorough ce. Iainty in the lordly zemindar that no omiah can screen hito, and in the poor
peasent that none have authority, right or power to demand augilt from him. It is not
over easy to command this tact, it requires an exact and mediu in course of pilotage to prevent the servant fostel ing the mischievous idea that his master looks upon him with suspicion, and at the salue time to preclude the encouragement silew n to an industrious officer from tempting him to abuse ille kindness exhibited towards him, by in a king it appear “ the outward and visible sign" of his own allpowerful and at the same time all purchasea le influence. It is dislic uit to lay down a rule for the attain onent of tills tact demanded for the super vision of the ou, all ; tact must a ways depend on the character of the magistrate, and is a trait which should be inot e coulponent of and more requisite in it, than any other; it is, in fact, a couibitiation of talent, temper, and judginent. I may mention this inu ci, that the in 13 is rate should be sailiciently acquainted with the habits of life of his oullah to enable him to pretend to know more than he does without exposing him to the chance of displaying biuniering ignorance on the subject; the other minutiae must be met by the ucsiderated tact. In concluding timese remarks, I must add my conviction, that the peace and happiness of every individual disstrict is as mainly dependent on the character of every individual tuagistrate as on the general system ; that it is most incumbent on Government to train up officers in the judicial line, who may be qualified to secure these blessings to the country, and to allow them such a competence as to preclude the necessity of magistrates who should at any month in the year be moving east, west, north and south, calculating whether their personal ineans will allow them to expend 50 Rs. on a sudden dák journey to a thannah and back, (an expense the Government will not pay, unless they themselves order the trip) and to prevent the prevalence of the distressing and demoralizing idea that judicial officers, the protectors of the people, and the responsible guardians of the comfort of millions, are, forsooth—“ the rejected of the Revenue Board.”
Yours faithfully, EXPERTIS CREDE, Hurkaru, Jan. 27.]
THE OPIUM QUESTION.
We think that one of the best arguments that can be used against the injustice complained of is that the trade of one of the principal commercial depôts in the empire has been seriously assected by it. Had prices kept down in Calcutta many parties here who entered largely into opium speculations would have held back either partially or altogether, as they could not in that case have seat their commodity to the China market, int at a very heavy disadvantage with the Calcutta drug. But on comparing the extravagant rates fetched by the Bengal opium with the coinparatively moderate prices of their own, the Bombay speculators thought they might with some chance of safety invest a much larger sum in their purchases than they had otherwise intended. It never once occurred to them that the condition of a Government sale would be violated, or that those who had with a full knowledge of the market and persectly aware of the ruinous consequences that might foliow desperate speculation, would be allow ed a modification of the terms upon which they had voluntarily entered with Government - in a commercial transaction. Such a thing was altogether unprecedented, and they, the Bombay or any other traders, might reasonatly be permitted to calculate on the chances of gain which were held out to them in consequence of a bad bargain made by others under the hitherto un violate I san 'tion of a Government sale. Had indu cements been offered by Government to the buyers, to enhance the demand for opium, as had the uncertain prospect of a speedy opening of the Canton market becom repre-ented to a certainty, then might Governme it have been with reason called upon to step between speculators and their losses, but the same sources of information were open to both parties, and the one was as fully apprized of the probabilities of advantage or disadvantage as the other, and we therefore contend that in no point of view whatever are the dabblers in opium entitled to relief from Government. If they are entitled to relief then also arc the traders of Bømbay, who on faith of bond file transactions having been entered into between the Calcutta Government, and the buyers, made their calculations accordingly and are entitled to be indemnified for the injury they must sustain by a violation of that transaction. The opium shipped to China by the latter, instead of being laid down there on somewhat favourable terms, will have to compete with the Bengal drug at a disadvantage hitherto unexperienced; the relative values of the two will be completely altered, and the holder of Malwa will be surprised by the late advices to hear that Patna and Benares opium will be brought forward at prices varying from ten to eighteen per cent. Iess than their previous -letters had led them to anticipate. What
will be the inevitable consequence of such a
recommend a public meeting of all interested in the question, and indeed of the mercantile community generally. At such a tribunal will the unost efficient measures be recommended either for present redress, or to guard against the recurrence of a similar grievance. —Bombay Gazette, Sept. 9.
We have refrained, during the long discussion which has been agitating Calcutta on the subject of opium, from adding any observations of ours to the ve! hose debate ; because the pretensions, set up for a bonus or reduction on the part of the opium holders, were so novel and extraordinary we could never anticipate that any Government would lend an attentive ear to such preposterous requisitionists. We could not help :hinking all along, tluat the heads of some persons in Calcutta had become a little heated, and that a slight castigation on the part of the Government would have established again the equanimity of the opium speculators, and induced thenselves to ridicule the extraordinary presumption, not to say impudence, which induced them to speculate so largely on the gullibility and credulity of the Bengal authorities. But when we saw that, instead of experiencing a rebuff, an opening seemed to present itself to the clamours of the petitioners, we could with difficulty suppress a lising indig nation, which we only managed to stille, from an intense eagerness to see to what a pitch of folly and mischievous precedent a government could be impelled by a vociferous but undeserving mendacity. We are unable in this day's publication to view the act which the Bengal Government has now consummated in its various important bearings and relations, but no coulse, we can assirin, was ever pursued more intensely calculated to create an unfavorable impression of the purity of authority, more injurious to fair trading or more encouraging to wild and reckless speculation, than the bait which the Government has thrown out, to pamper the cravings and ill conditioned appetite of a few opium jobbers and speculators. But the evil does not stop here ; the position in which the Government has placed itself is so eminently false, its intentions are of such difficult divination that few will believe it actuated by those motives, founded on an an xiety for the maintenance of the revenue, which have been so industriously, and so innocently put forth to justify its injurious policy, and to amuse a few perhaps, but not, we apprehend, to deceive any one. We may ask, by what right a Government thus interferes with respect to any branch of commerce, and that a questionable one too, as it has done in this instance 2 We may inquire why a Government thus abandons its just and noninterference position ; why it dabbles with the free competition in opium, that noxious drug as respects the main purposes for which it is intended, more than with any other article of commerce. We ask why opium, contraband opium, an article more destructive of human life and happiness than perhaps any drug or compound
in the known world, is to be the pet of our Indian rulers, for the display of a mischievous systein of finance, and of a meddling interserence, rather than any of those numerous articles which are the subject of an useful and virtuous interchange and commerce. But if the conduct of Government in this particular has surprised us, not the less has the barefaced declaration which some part of the Indian press has put forth with reference to that traction of the opium trade which is conducted at Bombay. The Calcutta Courier, as our extract will shew, shamelessly proposes that the Government should seize upon the Portuguese settlements of Diu and Danaun. For what * For this, then, and no other, for this pious and beneficial o ject, that it may annihilate the opium trade of this side of India—to protect the monopoly, to gratify the spleen, and to fill the purses of its subjects of Bengal, to the emptying of ours, and to the ruin of this now flourishing community. A community as British, loyal and having as much and just claim on a paternal Government, as the grasping Bengallees themselves. We hardly know whether, in the history of profligacy, we have read any thing worse than this, any scheine more cold-blooded or better calculated to sow a lasting dissensien in these British possessions, or better conceived to operate the annihilation of a Government of opinion.— Bonbay Courier, Sept. 12.
The late concessions to the Opium Merchants in Bengal, have been a most fruitful topic of discussion in the Calcutta papers, and no sooner do these give it a respite than it is taken up warmly at the other presidencies, where, however, the writers have not the opportunity of seeing he wheels within wheels in operation, and consequently can only argue upon some broad principle, being of course liable to error in proportion as they are misled by misstatements or conealinent of facts. In the Bombay Gazette just received more than two columns of editorial are devoted to a censure of the Government for having remitted any thing. It is indeed admitted that the biddings at the sales were much more than the value of the article, that even the rices of the June sale “ astonished every one” in Bom ay,+that—
“In the face of the most gloomy accounts from China of the inactivity of the Bombay market for the drug, and the general apprehension of a still further depression in the demand at Canton, the speculators of Calcutta involved themselves deeply, we may say ruinously, in the purchase of the article. The prices offered could only be authorized by the most savorable accounts of the market, and as prudent men—as men of the character of merchants, they ought to have held back from the article altogether unless they could obtain it upon moderate terms. They are themselves to blame, and Government, in its anomalous capacity of Merchant, was perfectly right in taking the best prico it could get for its commodity.”
So far well: our contemporary presently startles us with two assertions— 1st “The people who could afford to pledge themselves for so large a sum as the total purchase-money of the opium, could be very little affected by the loss among them of the comparatively small amount remitted, and rather than stultify themselves, as they have nost egregiously done, in the eyes of the mercantle world, by offering more than a commodity was worth, and quite aware at the time how much they were exceeding the bounds of rational speculation, they ought to have sub mitted to a loss which, though considerable when taken by itself, dwindles into insignificance when the whole amount thus recklessly pledged to Government is taken into consideration. 2nd. “The most extensive dealers in the drug, who will of course be the principal sharers in the remission, must be fully aware that, but form their avaricious grasping of the best part of the market to themselves, prices would never have risen so preposterously high. Had they not contributed to enhance the rates, the produce of the season would in all probability have been much more generally distributed. People of more limited capital would have entered into competition with their rich er neighbours, and the returns for the opium being in a much greater number of hands, would be offered at a more favourable rate to the public, both as regards the comodities of trade and bills of Exchange. But no ; not only did those desperate men grasp at a monopoly of the opium market in China, but also at a monopoly of the returns from that country, —and all this to the disadvantage of the whole mercantile community except themselves.” Our brother of the Boambay Gazette must have a very princely notion of the wealth of the Calcutta opium merchants when he considers a loss of thirty lakhs of rupees a mere trifle to them, and these not the whole body but a few “avaricious, grasping” firms and individuals, who ran up prices in order to make “a monopoly of the opium market in China,” and keep the profits of the season to themselves; and that not content with this, they would monopolise the returns too ! Why, the general complaint is the want of any returns at all this year ; but how the returns, when they should come, are to be monopolised to the disadvantage of the rest of the mercautile community we cannot imagine. The rest of the mercantile community in Calcutta who meddle with the opium trade, are either Armenians and natives who take advances from the principal firms connected with China and get the surplus proceeds remitted to them through the same channel, that is, the channel of these supposed monopolists whose principal interest it is to get all the returns as quickly made as possible, for the amount of their advances as well as for the surplus, if any ; but, alas ! this year there has been no surplus at all on any shipment we have heard of—nothing redrafts for deficiencies, and that to a very large amount. Or they are general Mershants and Agents connected with London,
and Liverpool, and Glasgow, who make the opium trade a medium of circuitous remittance through China, or means of providing funds to corresponding firms at Canton for the execution of orders for teas and silks, &c., destined for England. Would the Bombay Gazette have a competition between the the leviathan monopolists and “people of more limited capital 2" It was to be found in abundance at all the four regular sales of the season ; and to the large proportion of the latter class, or rather to the numerous bidders who had little or no capital at all, and not to the large capitalist purchasers, has been justly ascribed most of the evil of the excessive prices given and the embarrassed position in which Government has been placed. The positive necessity of a sacrifice in their case combined justice with expediency in the remissions to others. But while our contemporary at Bombay blames the Government for the general measure it did adopt, he declares his opinion that it ought to have adopted a general Imeasure of still a bolder character, and for the reason that it would have pulled down prices more than the other—to such rates as to tempt prudent men to buy:
“We think that Government ought to have caken this last view of the case, and have thrown the whole of the opium unshipped back upon the market. This would have been only fair dealing, and the speculators could not possibly have any objection to such a course. On that which had been already shipped no remission whatever ought to have been given.”
The above proposition, or some thing very like it, we believe, was actually entertained. But we may be permitted to express some surprise to see such a proposition from the same pen which deprecates remissions involv. ing much less sacrifice, and which in our opinion will not prove so acceptable a bonus to the monopolists as this would have been.
Our brother of the Gazette next takes up the Hurkaru's comparison between the case of the opium merchants and the land revenue; and forgetting his own proposition, which we haye just quoted, treats the 28 or 30 lakhs of opium remissions as if they were a voluntary gift, contrasting strangely with the sparing character of the remissions for failure of crops. The severity of the Land Revenue system we shall not attempt to justify ; but the cases are not similar, because the opium was uncleared and the Govornment could not realize the nominal prices at which it was sold : just as in the case of a talook undersequestration and not worth the arrears of revenue, leaving therefore a deficit if forced to sale. Now, we would ask our brother at Bombay, if he is really so much attached to notions of general principle, as to deny the propriety of any attempt to save important interests from ruin, even by measures not call culated to injure, but to benefit (by lessening the loss of) the public revenue.
Is it not the duty of Government to look to the general interests, and lessen as much as