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the messenger was not a peace officer and moreover that the warrant was not backed by a City magistrate, the court, after hearing the case, discharged the printer from the custody of the messenger. The printer in his turn now charged the messenger with a breach of the peace, and was thereupon bound over to prosecute the messenger, who was desired to find bail for his offence. This the messenger refused to do; he was therefore committed to prison (Wood Street counter). By this time the deputy serjeantat-arms arrived from the House and gave the required bail for the prisoner. The Ministry and their party in the House of Commons were enraged at this violent resistance to their power. The Lord Mayor and Mr. Alderman Oliver were ordered to attend the House- The Clerk to the Lord Mayor was also ordered to attend with the book containing the entry of the bail found by the messenger. The Lord Mayor and Mr. Alderman Oliver were committed to the Tower, where they were visited by all the Lords and members of the House of Commons, who were in opposition to the Ministry, as well as by great numbers of private gentlemen. They also received addresses containing expressions of the highest approbation and of the warmest thanks from every Ward in the City of London. The Clerk to the Lord Mayor duly attended the House and was ordered to immediately expunge the entry from his book. Wilkes was left alone, for the House feared to arrest him; they had, however, recourse to a prudent subterfuge. They ordered him to attend on the 8th of April, and then moved the adjournment for the Easter Vacation until the 9th. The Lord Mayor and Mr. Alderman Oliver were liberated on the 8th of May, the day of the prorogation of Parliament. The City was illuminated in their honour, and every mark of rejoicing was displayed. The Corporation of the City of London presented each of the above magistrates with a silver cup, in commemoration of their valuable services in defence of the freedom of the Press. The design of the cup which was presented to Mr. Alderman VVilkes, by order of the Common Council, was as above mentioned.
The struggle between Parliament and the Pressconcerning the printing of debates was not repeated. Parliament seems to have acknowledged that constituents have a right to know the Parliamentary proceedings of their representatives. From that time to the present the Debates in both Houses have been constantly printed in all newspapers, and Parliament, as well as the public, has profited by the facility given to the Press, and obtained by the City of London in the
manner above explained. Tm: EDITOR.
II.——FIXITY OF TENURE IN INDIA.
HE articles entitled “ Indian Affairs” which occasionally appear in the Times are believed to emanate from the India Office and to represent the views of the Indian Secretary of State; and when they conflict with the public utterances of that officer, they create a degree of perplexity as to the actual views of the Government, which cannot fail to weaken public confidence in its intentions. On the 26th ]anuary last Lord G. Hamilton, in opposing Sir W. Wedderburn’s motion for an inquiry into the causes by reason of which the masses in India are helpless to resist even the first attacks of famine, said :
“ The honourable baronet seems to indicate that if such an inquiry were made, it would be possible to stop famine in India. I contest that altogether. Famines are inevitable incidents. It is a mistake and is wrong to hold out the hope that remedies can be suggested, which can prevent famines desolating India.” On the 27th April following, an article on “Indian Affairs" appeared in the Times, maintaining that “famines are not beyond human control, and questioning whether such control has been effectively exercised in India; asserting that the staying power of the people is a main factor in determining the extent to which a failure of crops shall mean wholesale starvation ; that that power is the product of the well-being of the people in ordinary times; that its force depends on the permanent prosperity of the community, and that fixity of tenure—which the Government systematically opposes by periodical enhancements of the land tax——holds the first place
among the conditions which make for the permanent prosperity of agricultural races."
A flat denial is thus given to the Secretary of State’s dictum that famines are inevitable, and that it is wrong to seek the means of stopping them. The Times article, moreover, ascribes the severity of famines in India to the very action of the Government in preventing, by oppressive taxation, the agricultural classes from attaining the degree of prosperity which would enable them to tide over a season of dearth. The article further informs its readers that the Government in 1804 promised a Permanent Settlement in Orissa upon certain conditions which have been fulfilled, and within a certain period, which has long elapsed, and that the Government evaded redeeming its pledge “through loopholes in the fluctuating policy of the last ninety-three years.” Thereupon the article calls on the Government to fulfil its promise now, 'and seems to have been dictated by a sense of justice and sound policy, except in its last paragraph, which reads as if it were the work of an entirely different author. It says: “It is of course not a question of a Permanent Settlement, such as Lord Cornwallis gave to Bengal, which secured definite rights to the landowners and left the rights of the cultivators undefined.”
This description of Lord Cornwallis’s Settlement is simply a misrepresentation, as any one may ascertain, who will glance at the Regulations of january, 1793, which embody that Settlement. The land tax at that time was most oppressive, amounting to ten-elevenths of the rent due to the owner, with the result that rents were proportionately enhanced, that one-third of the country was jungle, inhabited only by wild beasts, and that the State could scarcely realise its land revenue. The pledge which the Government then took to refrain from further enhancing the tax, induced the landowners to offer reasonable terms and even material assistance to all who would come and cultivate their fields. The success of the measure was marvellous, as innumerable official documents testify. Sir Ashley Eden, on being appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, said, on his return from his first tour of inspection :———“ Great as the progress which I knew had been made in the position of the cultivating classes, I was quite unprepared to find them occupying a position so different from that which I remembered them to occupy when I first came to the country. They were poor and oppressed, with little incentive to increase the productive powers of the soil. I find them now as prosperous, as independent, and as comfortable as the peasantry, I believe, of any country in the world; well fed, well clothed, free to enjoy the full benefit of their labours and able to hold their own and obtain prompt redress for any wrong.”
Now this great and rapid improvement in the position of the cultivators could not have taken place had they not been protected in the enjoyment of their rights. The Permanent Settlement Regulations, while they exempted the proprietors of land from future enhancements of the land-tax, established efficient Courts of Judicature for the protection of both landlords and tenants against illegal demands and all wrongs whatsoever; and the motive for misrepresenting and attempting to discredit Lord Cornwallis’s great measure arose from the bar which it raised against the exercise of arbitrary power by the Executive in India, and against the illegal modes of duress which were resorted to for the enforcement of illegal and oppressive demands. The Settlement was attacked early by ofiicials whose conduct it tended to control and regulate, and Sir Philip Francis, the supposed author of the letters of Juuius, who was then a member of the Indian Government, replying to an allegation that the Settlement neglected the rights and interests of the ryots, recorded a Minute, in which he said :—
“ It is proposed to secure to the ryots the perpetual and undisturbed possession of their lands. The language, I know, is popular and has often been used to give countenance and colour to acts of violence and injustice against zemindars and superior ranks of natives. Before we give perpetual possession, we ought to determine the property. The State does not consist of nothing but the ruler and the ryot, nor is it true that the ryot is the proprietor of the land ; but it does not follow that because the ryot has no direct permanent property in the land, he should therefore have no rights or that no care should be taken to protect him. Without his assistance the land is useless to the zemindar. If they are left to themselves, they will soon come to an agreement in which each party will find his advantage. To dictate the specific terms of any lease is an invasion of the rights of property. The intervention of the Government between the zemindar and the ryot should have no object but to enforce their respective engagements.”
If we now consider, in the light of Sir Philip Francis’s observation, the last paragraph of the Times article vaguely advocating undefined rights on behalf of the cultivators, a revelation is disclosed, indicating that the Government, on pretence of fulfilling the promise of 93 years ago, is