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gentleman precedence in our Factory above his seniors, and we have accordingly
41. The Select Committee will then consist of Mr. Marjoribanks, Mr. Davis,
We are your loving friends,
No. 1. Copy of a Separate Letter from the Select Committee of Supracargoes in China to the Court of Directors of the East India Company, dated 31st May 1831
No. 2. Copy of a Secret Letter from the Select Committee of Supracargoes in China to the Court of Directors of the East India Company, dated 18th June 1831 6 No. 3. Copy of a Letter from the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the East India Company to the Select Committee of Supracargoes in China, dated 9th December 1831
No. 4. Copy of a Letter from the Court of Directors of the East India Company to the
No. 5. Extracts from the China Consultations and other Documents relating to the
THE AFFAIRS OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY.
COPY of a Separate LETTER from the SELECT COMMITTEE of SUPRACARGOES in China to the COURT of DIRECTORS of the East India Company, dated 31st May 1831.
To the Honourable the Court of Directors of the United East India Company.
Par. 1. OUR last address was under date the 7th instant, and forwarded by the
2. We had then to notice to your Honourable Court the late death of the Hong Merchant Woo Yay, in consequence of the rigour exercised towards him by the Chinese authorities, under the plea that he had been "traitorously" connected with foreigners. Subsequent acts of the Canton government, we regret to say, have proved their disposition to proceed to a more direct system of aggression unless timely checked; and we can without difficulty perceive, in the tone and character of their late measures, an overweening opinion of the extent to which these aggressions may be carried without opposition on our part. The timely application of firm and temperate remonstrances will, we trust, have the effect of opening their eyes to the impolicy of such a course of proceeding, and prevent the infliction of further injuries in our commercial relations with this country.
3. On the 12th instant a visit was made to our Factory at Canton by the Foo Yuen, accompanied by the Hoppo and a strong party of armed attendants. After a general inspection of the premises, during which the covers were torn down from the picture of his late Majesty, which was otherwise treated with indignity, summary orders were given for the destruction of the quay and the space connecting the Company Factory with the river. The head Linguist was at the same time put into chains in the public hall, and threatened with instant decapitation; while Howqua was ordered to prison, and only released, after being an hour upon his knees, at the intercession of the Hoppo.
4. On the receipt of this intelligence we considered it desirable that one or two members of the Committee should be on the spot as early as possible to communicate with the officers of government, and endeavour to prevent the progress of such outrages. Messrs. Daniell and Smith accordingly reached Canton on the 16th instant, when they found the work of destruction in rapid progress on our premises, and the Hong Merchants in a state of terror which seemed altogether to paralyze them, and which for the time rendered them entirely unavailable as the medium of a verbal communication with the government. Under such circumstances, those gentlemen were obliged to content themselves with drawing up a temperate written remonstrance, addressed to the Foo Yuen, which they delivered to the Merchants, with a desire that it might be delivered without delay.
5. On the 20th instant we received a copy of the proclamation recorded under that date, which, under the most favourable point of view, could be considered as no other than a systematic attack upon the security and respectability of our commerce. Of the eight proposed Regulations enumerated in that document there are some of minor import, symptomatic chiefly of the disposition of the Foo Yuen; but others your Honourable Court will perceive to be of such a nature that no considerations whatever could have justified our acquiescence in them, nor any measures but those of prompt and firm resistance have averted the fatal evils which they threatened to the trade. The guard of Chinese soldiers which is enjoined to be placed over each of our ships on arriving in port, would lead to the constant interference of these
No. 1. Select Committee of Supracargoes to the Court of Directors, 31 May 1831.