British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

your discoveries of the situation, harbours, marks, and produce of the islands near the coast of Mergue, transmitting to us from time to time, as opportunities may offer, such observations as you may deem worthy of our notice with an accurate narrative of your transactions.

Should you think there is a probability of establishing a settlement at Rhio you must in that case apprise the other Presidencies of that appointment and correspond with them. . . .


10 1
HENRY DUNDAS TO W. W. GRENVILLE 2 September 1787

... I do not think our interest can in any such degree be affected by the fate of the Dutch East India Company as to dispose us to embark at all in any measures for its extrication. . . . I feel pretty decisively that, if we attend to our own commercial interests in India, the advantages we possess are of so predominant a nature as to render us independent of the situation of the state of the East India Companies of the other European nations. . . . I believe it to be a mistake to suppose that the trade of any country, be it as prosperous as it may, can so effectually ensure to itself a monopoly as to exclude a considerable share to each country, to the extent at least of its own consumption. What I mean is that, although the great share of the trade of both India and China ought and probably will be in the hands of Great Britain, still France, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and other countries will certainly have a share, and to the extent that goes, may be used as useful channels of remittance of our revenues. In this view the existence of East India Companies in other nations may be beneficial for us, because we could not be trusting the individuals of those nations with loans in India, however safely or wisely we might be induced to give credit to established companies. In what I have said I have stated the whole interest I feel we have in the existence or fate of the East India Companies of other European nations. But such an

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1
Fortescue MSS. preserved at Dropmore ( Historical MSS. Commission, Lond. 1899), vol. iii, pp. 419-21. Henry Dundas had made his maiden speech in opposition 0to Lord North's propositions for conciliating America in 1775. He held the office of Lord Advocate for Scotland under North, Rockingham, and Shelburne. In Pitt's administration in 1784 he became a member of the Committee of the Privy Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations and a member of the Board of Control. He became President of the Board of Control in June 1793. W. W. Grenville had been secretary to his brother, Lord Temple, during the latter's first tenure of office as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and was at this time vice-president of the Committee for Trade and a member of the Board of Control. In June 1789 he became Secretary of State for the Home Department and in March 1790 succeeded Lord Sydney as President of the Board of Control. In November that year he was created a peer to conduct the business of the Lords. In June 1791 he was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in place of the Duke of Leeds, and was succeeded at the Home Department by Henry Dundas.

-13-

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