British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

All the civil servants are kept in their due place, executing as they ought to do the duties of their several situations, and I have inculcated in the strongest manner, and enforced where it is necessary, that the best and surest road to individual independence, is by improving the revenues of the Crown in this Island.

The pay of the civil servants with the whole of the establishment employed in the dispensation of justice is fully covered by the judicial receipts. No man can be confined without immediate trial, and the decrees of the court are carried into effect in the manner directed by the law of the Island.

The collectors of the revenue are made as they ought to be, the receivers, and not the disbursers of the public means: no individual is a public accountant, and not a shilling is advanced or paid without my previous authority and warrant.

The accounts of the Island, both military and civil, are simplified in a manner so as to be perfectly clear and easily understood, so much so, that on the 10th of every subsequent month, I am aware of every shilling that has been received, and expended in the antecedent one.

The establishments have been universally reduced within bounds, calculated on the one hand from a view of the scantiness of our resources, and on the other, of the absolute necessity of such establishment.

It is impossible for me at once to bring back the Island to where it stood before some of the innovations of my predecessor had taken place; but I am advancing by no slow steps to this great object, which your Lordship will see alluded to in my general letter.

Out of these measures a reduction of expense has taken place, to a very large amount, and I am not without hopes that the revenue of the Island covering its expense as it at present stands is no longer a theoretical speculation, but is nearly reduced to a practical inference, arising out of the statements and documents I have already submitted to you. . . .


37
CEYLON: GOVERNOR MAITLAND TO LORD CASTLEREAGH, 28 February 18061

. . . In regard to the civil servants I feel it my duty to state to your Lordship distinctly that in general I conceive they are under paid in point of salary, and what I would propose on this subject is, that if the Island should pay itself as it at present stands that I might be enabled to make an addition to their salaries with directions to strike off every part of their establishment that can be dispensed with.

____________________
and 1798. He was now Secretary of State for War and the Colonies in Pitt's second administration.
1
Draft in C.O. 54/22. The dispatch was formally dated 1 March 1806.

-143-

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