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and their being in such cases thrown into the hands of the Attornies of the Supreme Court, and subjected to all the expense and inconvenience of English Law proceedings.”

In answer to this statement, I have simply to remark, that if, from these or any other considerations, Natives should be unwilling to become Justices of the Peace, they would not be appointed to the office. And the Court cannot fail to perceive, with reference both to this and to the former objection, that supposing their anticipations to be realized, the Act would be inoperative, and the evils apprehended as its consequences would not take place.

3dly. The Court conceive that to commit to Natives " a direct cognizance of “ the acts of Europeans” will " have an injurious effect in lowering that estimation “ of the European character which has had so important an influence in upholding our Indian Empire."

In reference to this apprehension, I beg to advert to the fact, that authority is at present exercised over Europeans by Natives of a very inferior rank, who are employed in the apprehension, confinement, and punishment of offenders. The Natives have long been accustomed to see Europeans in situations very unfavourable to the continuance of any such notion of their individual superiority, as could be affected by the proposed measure. But it is not on such a notion, but on a conviction of the superiority of our Government to those of Asiastic States, that the stability of our Empire depends; and neither the elevation of Natives in our own dominions, nor the subjection of Europeans to Native rulers in foreign territories, appears to have produced any abatement of that conviction. The real source of our strength, next to our military power and skill, being the unity of purpose and the justice of principle which have distinguished our Government, the security of our dominion cannot fail to be increased by every measure tending to remove needless distinctions, ard to combine all classes in the administration of the laws.

4thly. The Court do not “ question the intelligence and capacity of the Natives, “ but they consider them deficient in many qualities, particularly firmness of cha

racter, which are so necessary to inspire confidence, and so essential to enable " them to discharge the duties of a Justice of the Peace with usefulness and with “ credit.”

Assuming the correctness of this opinion, it will not, 1 presume, be alleged, that the native character is incapable of improvement in those points in which it is now defective; and it would seem that the most effectual means of accomplishing that improvement, would be to open to the Natives, as objects of honourable ambition, those employinents which obviously require the exercise of the qualities in question. It is also to be remembered that native Justices of the Peace would act under the constant superintendence of European authorities; any evils resulting from their want of firmness, or other defects, would consequently with ease be obviated or remedied.

Further, it may be observed, that the Natives are already, as is stated in your Letter, “ invested with a considerable degree of authority in the ordinary functions of “ administering justice, collecting the revenue, and conducting the Police and

Magisterial duties, within the limits of the several Provincial and Zillah Courts.” To this list may be added also the functions of Petit Jurors. In the execution of these various duties, the same moral qualities are requisite as in the administration of the office of Justice of the Peace.

The decisive answer, however, to this objection is, that with respect to Natives as well as Europeans, the question of appointment to the office will be one of personal qualification, to be considered in each individual case.

Upon this part of the subject I have only to add, that the Natives who may be appointed Justices of the Peace will act under instructions sent from this country; and that in framing those instructions, provision may be made for obviating any practical difficulty which this Board may agree with the Court in anticipating in the working of the measure.

The next object proposed by the Bill is, to render persons not professing the Christian religion eligible to serve on Grand Juries. Their exclusion from this duty, while they are admitted to Petit Juries, is surely an anomaly. It is understood to have been generally lamented in India, as unwise and invidious. The functions of a Grand Juror seem indeed to be such as can with peculiar advantage be entrusted to Natives, on account of their habits and superior means of information. Those difficulties, too, that were supposed to attend their serving on Petit Juries, are little likely to occur in relation to Grand Juries. But I presume that, in truth, the

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only objection to this part of the Bill, refers to the principle of admitting persons not being Christians, to serve on Juries, Grand or Petit. To this objection, which applies of course more especially to Petit Juries, I now proceed to advert.

The Court's argument on this point is, that according to the law of England, “ there should be some community of feeling between those who are to try, and “ him who is to be tried ;" that men should“ be tried by their Peers, by what the “ English Law, with strong meaning, calls the Country;" but that in the trial “ of

an Englishman and a Christian by Hindus or Mussulmans, there is no country, “ no community of feeling, interest or habitude ; and that the idea of such a Trial “ must be intolerable to every Englishman.”

1st. I will not enter on this occasion into any inquiries as to the precise meaning of the terms “ Peers” and “ Country;" although it might, I think, be fairly argued, that in the true sense and substantial justice of those terms, the Constitution of England would recognise as Peers and Country, in matters of this nature, those persons, in every part of our Dominions, who are made amenable to the same Tribunals as their European fellow-subjects. But it is sufficient to observe, that, practically, it does not appear that identity of religion has been considered as necessarily involved in those expressions. Foreigners accused of offences in England are entitled to be tried by a Jury composed of an equal number of British Subjects and of Foreigners. Supposing the accused to be a Mahomedan, the Foreigners who would be placed on the Jury would probably be persons possessing as little community of feeling or habitude” with him, as would exist between an English prisoner and a Hindoo or a Moslem Juror.

2dly. The argument of the Court involves the principle of separation between persons of different religions ; a principle which may be carried to an indefinite application, and, if sound, ought to prevent any intercommunity between the different classes, or any admission of Natives not professing Christianity, to offices which in any degree affect Christians. Thus extended, the principle would obviously be full of injustice, and would be attended with the most injurious and fatal consequences both to the governors and to the governed.

3dly. If the Trial of Christians by Juries composed in part of Hindus or Mussulmans be so inconsistent with the principles of the Law of England, and so repugnant (to use the words of the Court) to English notions of justice, that “'the idea would be intolerable to every Englishman," on what principle can the converse proceeding be justified? The Trial of Hindus and Moslems by a Christian Jury would seem, under these views, to be not merely “ an anomaly," but a mockery, or worse. In the Trial by Jury, we profess to confer on the Natives the advantage of free institutions ; but it would follow, from the argument urged by the Court, that what we have thus imposed on them, we should in our own case regard as an intolerable grievance.

4thly. It is important to bear in mind, that many cases may occur, in which it may be positively for the advantage of Europeans to be tried in part or entirely by Natives. The number of Europeans resident at each of the Presidencies is, after all, comparatively small; and in such contracted societies, we know that local and personal feelings and jealousies are unfortunately too prevalent. In England, a remedy for evils of this kind is found, either in a change of the venue, or in a postponement of the trial. In India, the accused, on some occasions, may find it his best resource to escape to the Native Jury; and why the option of so doing should be refused, it is not easy to perceive.

Lastly. It is to be observed, that the party accused has the right of peremptory challenge of a certain number of Jurymen, and of indefinite challenge for cause assigned. This privilege appears to me to afford all the protection which can be reasonably desired, against any bias which the Jurors may be supposed to entertain against the Prisoner.

I have now examined the reasons assigned by the Court in support of the continued exclusion of the Natives from those functions to which the Bill in question proposes to render them eligible ; and in conclusion, can only express my sincere regret at the determination of the Court to decline becoming parties to it. A reference to the Bengal Government seems to me unnecessary, because I think we have sufficient materials before us to form our judgment.

Under these circumstances, I would fain hope that the Court, on reconsideration, may see reason to take a more favourable view of the matter. If this, unfortunately,


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should prove not to be the case, they will not, I am sure, deem it a want of respect
on my part, for their opinion, if, after having invited without success their concur-
rence and co-operation, I should feel it my duty to adhere to my original intention,
and to proceed with the proposed Measure on my own responsibility.

I have the honour to be, &c. &c.

Charles Grant.

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No. 6

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LETTER from Robert Campbell and John G. Ravenshaw, Esqrs. to the

Right Hon. Charles Grant, M.P. &c. &c. &c.

East India House, 5th April 1832.
WE have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Letter dated the 6th ult.
respecting the proposed Bill to amend the Law relating to the appointment of
Justices of the Peace and of Jurors in the East Indies.

The Court of Directors having fully considered the statements and arguments
which you have adduced in support of your proposition, find themselves compelled
to adhere to the opinions which we had the honour to express in our Letter dated
the 8th of December 1831.

After the full discussion which this matter has undergone, the Court forbear from
urging any further arguments in opposition to the proposed enactments, contenting
themselves with an expression of their regret that they should have the misfortune
still to think, in opposition to you, that the experiment is unnecessary and inex-
pedient, and is at all events of such a nature as to make it desirable to obtain the
opinion of the local Government, before it is made the subject of legislation.
There is only one point in your Letter upon which we will trouble you


any observation. In remarking that the local Governments might decline to act upon the Bill, the Court did not mean to imply that these Governments would attempt to defeat the intentions of the Legislature. You had, in your Letter of the 15th of October, stated it as a recommendation of the measure, that Eligibility was all that the Bill proposed to confer; from which we imagined it to be your wish and intention that the local Governments should be left to avail themselves, or not, of the authority proposed to be given, according to their discretion ; and it was the fear which the Court entertained of the consequences of a declaration by Parliament of eligibility not followed up practically in India, which gave rise to the remark alluded to.

We have the honour to be, &c. &c.

Robert Campbell.
John G. Ravenshaw.

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RETURNS to several Orders of the Honourable House of Commons,

dated 15 December 1831;- for,

STATEMENT exhibiting the Number of PeriODICAL PUBLICATIONS under the

License or Sanction of the British Government, under the several Presidencies of Fort Willium, Fort St. George, and Bombay, with their Dependencies ; distinguishing Native from European Publications, in each Year, for the Years 1814, 1820 and 1830, or latest Period for which the same can be furnished, in so far as can be complied with ;-and,

STATEMENT exhibiting the Number of PRINTING Presses licensed or

sanctioned by the British Government, under the several Presidencies of Fort William, Fort St. George, and Bombay, and their Dependencies; distinguishing English from Native Establishments, in each Year, for the Years 1814, 1820 and 1830, or latest Period for which the same can be furnished, in so far as can be complied with.

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