British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

in allaying their private hatreds, their local jealousies, and their personal piques of one another has [sic] rendered the bringing them together, so as to produce the unanimous result that is now before your Lordship, a matter of difficulty and of constant labour greater than I ever experienced. I mention this to your Lordship merely to prove the impossibility of their ever defeating us with the Constitution to which they have agreed, for we can always give more to those if they go with us, than they can possibly expect to gain if they go against us. And therefore I hold that as far as the governing power goes, we have every rational degree of security under the Constitution. The most material point connected with this subject however is the arrangement I have made in regard to their money expenditure. . . . We have kept in our own hands completely the whole management of their revenue and customs. We have kept in the power of the Executive Government with the sanction of the Lord High Commissioner the whole extra expenditure. We have perfect hold over even the common Civil Lists, and I think your Lordship will be inclined to agree with me that the arrangements that are made in the Constitutional Chart upon this head are better than any precise Convention that could have been framed: at all events till we get a competent knowledge of what their revenues are likely to be, when it will be still open to His Majesty through your Lordship to come to any ulterior understanding it may be deemed advisable to adopt on this important topic.

I therefore fairly own my opinion to be, that we have secured the strongest controlling governing power here, a power that I dare say will be thought considerably too great by Mr. Brougham and his associates. The answer to them however, or at least to any man, when judgment is not totally perverted, will be found in the first part of this dispatch, where their true character and their non-fitness for a free Government is so perfectly confessed by themselves. . . .


36
CEYLON: GOVERNOR SIR THOMAS MAITLAND TO LORD CAMDEN, 28 February 18061

. . . I have with much pains waded through the whole of this scene, and I have now the satisfaction of stating to your Lordship that I think I may state without flattering myself, as you will see in my general letter, that I have placed the whole of the Island in a situation totally different, more adequate to its resources, more consonant to the wishes of His Majesty's Government, more respectable in itself and more conformable to every principle of the British Government.

____________________
1

C.O. 54/21. Earl Camden had been Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland between 1795

-142-

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