of the Affairs of the East India Company
and of the British Possessions in India
(24 Geo. Ill, c. 25), 1784*
For the better government and security of the territorial possessions of this kingdom in the East Indies, be it enacted by the King’s most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the King’s majesty, his heirs and successors, by any commission to be issued under the great seal of Great Britain, to nominate and appoint such persons, not exceeding six in number, as his Majesty shall think fit, being of his Majesty’s most honourable privy council, of whom one of his Majesty’s principal secretaries of state for the time being, and the chancellor of the exchequer for the time being, shall be two, to be, and who shall accordingly be commissioners for the affairs of India.
II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That any number, not less than three of the said commissioners, shall form a board for executing the several powers which, by this or any other act, shall be vested in the commissioners aforesaid.
III. And be it further enacted, That the said secretary of state, and, in his absence, the said chancellor of the exchequer, and, in the absence of both of them, the senior of the said other commissioners, according to his rank in seniority of appointment, shall preside at, and be president of the said board; and that the said commissioners shall have, and they are hereby invested with, the superintendance and controul over all the British territorial possessions in the East Indies, and over the affairs of the united company of merchants trading thereto, in manner herein-after directed.
IV. And be it further enacted. That in case the Members present at the said board shall at any time be equally divided in opinion, in respect to any matter depending before them, then, and in every such case, the then president of the said board shall have two voices, or the casting vote.
V. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the King’s majesty, his heirs and successors, from time to time, at his and their will and pleasure, to revoke and determine the commission aforesaid, and from time to time to cause any new commission or commissions to be sealed as aforesaid, for
* Statutes at Large. XXXIV, pt. 3, 492–508, 510.