The GOVERNOR-GENERAL IN COUNCIL to the SECRET COMMITTEE OF THE HONOURABLE THE COURT OF DIRECTORS. (Extract.)
FORT WILLIAM. June 2nd, 1805.
HONOURABLE SIRS, — The Governor-General in Council now submits to your honourable Committee the arrangement which has been adopted by this Government for the purpose of providing for the future maintenance of his Majesty Shah Allum, and the royal family, and for the general settlement of his Majesty's affairs, and the principles upon which that arrangement is formed.
It has never been in the contemplation of this Government to derive from the charge of supporting and protecting his Majesty, the privilege of employing the royal prerogative, as an instrument of establishing any control or ascendancy over the states and chieftains of India, or of asserting on the part of his Majesty any of the claims which, in his capacity of Emperor of Hindustan, his Majesty may be considered to possess upon the provinces originally composing the Moghul Empire. The benefits which the Governor-General in Council expected to derive from placing the King of Dehli and the royal family under the protection of the British Government are to be traced in the statements contained in our despatch to your honourable Committee of the 18th of July, 1804, relative to the evils and embarrassments to which the British power might have been exposed by the prosecution of claims and pretensions on the part of the Mahrattas, or of the French, in the name and under the authority of his Majesty Shah Allum, if the person and family of that unhappy monarch had continued under the custody and control of those powers, and Especially of the French. With reference to this subject, the Governor-General in Council has the honour to refer your honourable Committee to the contents of the inclosure of our despatch of the 13th of July, 1804, marked A, and to the seventy-third paragraph of that despatch, in proof of the actual existence of a project for the subversion of the British Empire in India, founded principally upon the restoration of the authority of the Emperor Shall Allum under the control and direction of the agents of France. The difficulty of every project of that nature has been considerably increased by the events which have placed the throne of Dehli under the protection of the Honourable Company. The Governor-General in Council further contemplated the advantages of the reputation which the British Government might be expected to derive from the substitution of a system of lenient protection, accompanied by a liberal provision for the ease, dignity, and comfort of the aged monarch and his distressed family, in the room of that oppressive control and the degraded condition of poverty, distress, and insult, under which the unhappy representative of the house of Timur and his numerous family had so long laboured.
Regulated by these principles and views, the attention of the British Government has been directed exclusively to the object of forming such an arrangement for the future support of the King and the royal family, as might secure to them the enjoyment of every reasonable comfort and convenience, and every practicable degree of external state and dignity compatible with the extent of our resources, and with the condition of dependence in which his Majesty and the Royal Family must necessarily be placed with relation to the British power. In extending to the Royal Family the benefits of the British protection, no obligation was imposed upon us to consider the rights and claims of his Majesty Shah Allum as Emperor of Hindustan, and the Governor-General has deemed it equally unnecessary and inexpedient to combine with the intended provision for his Majesty, and his household, the consideration of any question connected with the future exercise of the Imperial prerogative and authority.
The Governor-General in Council has determined to adopt an arrangement upon the basis of the following provisions: —
That a specified portion of the territories in the vicinity of Dehli situated on the right bank of the Jamna should be assigned in part of the provision for the maintenance of the Royal Family. That those lands should remain under charge of the Resident at Dehli, and that the revenue should be collected, and justice should be administered in the name of his Majesty Shah Allum, under regulations to be fixed by the British Government. That his Majesty should be permitted to appoint a Deewan, and other inferior officers to attend at the office of collector, for the purpose of ascertaining and reporting to his Majesty the amount of the revenues which should be received, and the charges of collection, and of satisfying his Majesty's mind that no part of the produce of the assigned territory was misappropriated. That two courts of justice should be established for the administration of civil and criminal justice, according to the Mahomedan law, to the inhabitants of the city of Dehli, and of the assigned territory. That no sentences of the criminal courts extending to death should be carried into execution without the express sanction of his Majesty, to whom the proceedings in all trials of this description should be reported, and that sentences of mutilation should be commuted.
That to provide for the immediate wants of his Majesty and the Royal household, the following sums should be paid monthly, in money from the treasury of the Resident at Dehli, to his Majesty for his private expenses, Sa. Rs. 60,000; to the heir-apparent, exclusive of certain Jagheers, Sa. Rs. 10,000; to a favourite son of his Majesty named Mirza Izzut Buksh, Sa. Rs. 5,000; to two other sons of his Majesty, Sa. Rs. 1,500; to his Majesty's fifty younger sons and daughters, Sa. Rs. 10,000; to Shah Newanze Khan, his Majesty's treasurer, 2,50O; to Syud Razzee Khan, British agent at his Majesty's Court, and related to his Majesty by marriage, Sa. Rs. 1,000; total per mensem, Sa. Rs. 90,000.
That if the produce of the revenue of the assigned territory should hereafter admit of it, the monthly sum to be advanced to his Majesty for his private expenses might be increased to one lakh of rupees.
That in addition to the sums specified, the sum of Sa. Rs. 10,000 should be annually be paid to his Majesty on certain festivals agreeably to ancient usage.
The Governor-General in Council deemed the arrangement proposed by the Resident at Dehli for the establishment of a military force for the protection of the assigned territory and of the North-Western frontier of our possessions in Hindustan, to be judicious, and accordingly resolved to confirm those arrange meets, with certain modifications calculated to afford a provision for part of the irregular force in the service of the British Government, from the expense of which it was an object of the British Government to be relieved, and also for a proportion of the European officers heretofore in the service of Dowlut Rao Scindiah, who quitted that service under the proclamation of the Governor-General in Council of the 29th August, 1803.
On the basis of this plan of arrangement detailed instructions were issued to the Resident at Dehli, under the date the 23rd May, with orders to carry it into effect with the least practicable delay.
The Governor-General in Council entertains a confident expectation that the proposed arrangement and provision will be satisfactory to his Majesty, and will be considered throughout all the states of India to be consistent with the acknowledged justice, liberality, and benevolence of the British Government.
The Governor-General in Council also confidently trusts that the proposed arrangement will be sanctioned by the approbation of your honourable Committee, and of the honourable the Court of Directors.
We have the honour to be,
Your most faithful, humble servants,
G. H. BARLOW,
["Wellesley Despatches," vol. iv. p. 553.]