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Title: A Short View of the Laws Now Subsisting with Respect to the Powers of the East India Company - To Borrow Money under their Seal, and to Incur Debts in - the Course of their Trade, by the Purchase of Goods on - Credit, and by Freighting Ships or other Mercantile - Transactions
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Short View of the Laws Now Subsisting with Respect to the Powers of the East India Company - To Borrow Money under their Seal, and to Incur Debts in - the Course of their Trade, by the Purchase of Goods on - Credit, and by Freighting Ships or other Mercantile - Transactions" ***

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  Now subsisting with Respect to the Powers of the


  To borrow Money under their Seal, and to incur Debts in the
  Course of their Trade, by the Purchase of Goods on Credit,
  and by freighting Ships or other Mercantile Transactions.


  Printed for W. NICOLL, in St. Paul's Church-Yard.

A short View, _&c._

As many erroneous opinions have been industriously propagated with
respect to the powers of the East India Company to contract debts, I
think it a duty to the Company and to the public, to give a fair state
of the laws now subsisting with respect to these matters, by which the
prejudiced may be set to rights, the ignorant informed, and the
malevolent deceivers of the public exposed and detected.

By act 9 and 10 William III. c. 44. § 75. the Company is allowed to
borrow on the credit of the two millions lent to Government, but is
restrained from borrowing any greater sums than shall be employed in
their trade, without, however, any restriction as to the amount of such
borrowing, only such borrowing must be under common seal.

By § 86 of the same statute, the Company is directed to take care that
the sum total of its debts do not exceed the amount of its funds and
effects, and if they shall reduce their funds and effects by dividends,
so as not to leave sufficient to answer their debts, the persons who
receive the dividends are each made answerable to pay the debts, to the
amount of the dividend respectively received.

By act 9 Ann, c. 17. § 2. The Company having lent to the public
1,200,000_l._ more, they are allowed to borrow under their common seal,
to the amount of 1,500,000_l._ above what they might lawfully borrow by
the preceding act.

By act 7 Geo. I. c. 5. § 32, the Company is allowed to borrow under
their common seal for carrying on their trade or lending on bottomry, to
the amount of the sum due from the publick, _or five millions_.

By act 17 Geo. II. c. 17. § 8. the company having advanced _one million_
more to government, the power of borrowing under their common seal, is
extended to one million above what they might borrow before that act.

In consequence of these acts, the Company has always considered itself
entitled to borrow to the amount of six millions under its common seal.

By act 23 Geo. II. c. 22. § 5 and 6. the Company was authorized to
convert part of its bond debts into annuities, to the amount of
4,200,000_l._ but it is declared that its power of borrowing granted by
former acts should continue in force, but that the amount of the annuity
should be computed as part of what they were empowered to borrow.

In consequence of this last act, the Company did convert 2,992,440_l._
or near _three millions_ of their bonds into annuities, and they owe
besides, by bonds under their common seal, 2,898,124_l._ so that the
total amount of their bonds and annuities is 5,890,564_l._ which is
109,436_l._ under the six millions which they are entitled to borrow by
bonds and annuities.

In the course of the Company's trade, they have been in the practice,
like all other merchants, of purchasing goods upon credit, and of
contracting for ships upon freight, and only advancing a part of that
freight 'till after the voyage was compleated. It was impossible for
them to carry on their trade in a proper manner in any other way, for if
they had paid ready money for all their goods, and advanced the whole
freights, they would have been exposed to imposition in the quality of
the goods, and to misconduct in the freighters of the ships, without
retaining in their hands a proper sum to repay such damage as the
Company might suffer by the hands of the freighters or merchants.

It never therefore was supposed that the Company transgressed the
statutes which restrained their power of borrowing under their seal to
six millions, by carrying on their trade in the way of purchasing goods
on credit; and indeed if this had been meant, the law would and ought to
have allowed them a more extensive power of borrowing; for it is certain
the Company's fortifications in India have cost more than _three
millions_, and the nature of their trade in India requires that they
should always have to the value of at least _three millions_, in goods
and cash, or what is called quick stock, employed in India for making
their investments, (including the cargoes afloat going out and coming
home) so that here is the whole sum which they are allowed to borrow,
disposed of in India, besides the value of the goods which they must
always have in their warehouses at home, to the amount of more than _two

If it had been therefore the intention of the Legislature to restrain
the Company from purchasing goods on credit, or from incurring freights
or other such debts, and that their whole debts of every kind should not
exceed six millions, it is very plain to those who are versant in
mercantile transactions, and who know the state of this company's trade,
that they could not have carried on their affairs in such a manner as
they have done, nor have rendered the trade of India so great an object
as it is, to this commercial kingdom.

It has sometimes happened to this Company, as it frequently happens to
other merchants, that its returns have not arrived at the time expected,
and that their investments during some particular years have fallen
short; in such cases they have not been able to pay, with the strictest
punctuality, the price of the goods bought on credit, nor the freights
due for shipping or other articles of the same kind; and in such cases
the furnishers of these goods or ships have indulged the Company with a
delay of payment; and in order to indemnify themselves for that delay,
these creditors have either taken a higher price for their next goods,
or sometimes have been allowed interest from the Company, but in no
instance have these debts, so contracted, been converted into debts
under the Company's seal, nor were ever considered as money borrowed.

The purpose of restraining the Company as to their power of borrowing
under their common seal, was merely to prevent their interfering in the
market with government loans, exactly upon the same principle that
private lotteries, &c. are prohibited by law; but in all other respects
the Company is unlimited, as every private merchant is, as to the
exercise it may chuse to make of its credit in the purchase of goods, or
incurring debts in any other mode except coming into the market to
borrow under their seal, by which alone the Company can interfere with
the loans required by Government for the purposes of the state.

So long as the Company carries on its trade with advantage to itself and
the nation, and preserves entire, an ample sufficiency of funds to pay
all its debts, and repay its capital, there can be no reason in common
sense for preventing its employing its credit in the purchase of as
great a quantity as possible of our own commodities to send to India,
and employing as great a number of shipping as the trade will possibly

The Company's trade is so much extended of late years beyond its former
limits, that its power of borrowing on annuities and bonds ought also to
have been increased; for if six millions was thought reasonable forty or
fifty years ago, the publick ought now by the same parity of reason to
allow at least eight or ten millions to be borrowed under seal,
especially as the wealth of the nation, and of consequence the market
for borrowing has so greatly increased during that period. The expensive
wars which the Company carried on for many years, obliged them, for want
of cash, or a power of borrowing, to diminish both their exports and
imports to the great prejudice of the nation; so that the kingdom in
general has no reason to applaud the wisdom of that law which retrained
the Company to six millions. Besides, we have of late years extended our
China trade beyond any thing that was ever attempted in former times,
insomuch that above _three millions_ sterling is now invested in teas
alone. It is impossible that we could either have carried on these wars
which have ended with so much success, or have extended our commerce and
the exportation of home commodities to the amazing degree we have done,
if the statutes restricting our borrowing under seal had been understood
to prohibit the using our credit in the purchase of goods.

The debts due by the Company at present, exclusive of its bonds and
annuities, are particularly set forth in an account delivered in by
order of the House of Commons, the particulars of which debts are

  For customs on goods, sold and unsold,
  now in England,                                      £ 1,200,605

The customs are not payable till the goods are sold, and even as to
those sold, a long delay of payment is always allowed. The arrear of
customs on goods sold, is at present about 300,000_l._ or 400,000_l._

  To what owing for silver and to sundrys,
  with interest thereon,                                   581,756

The greatest part of this debt is due to the bank of England, as the
price of silver bought from the bank for exportation, several years ago.
The Company never granted any security under their seal for this debt,
more than for the price of other goods bought on credit; and this debt
stands at this day upon the footing of a simple entry in the Company's
books, and in the books of the Bank, as a sum due for the price of
silver, and the Bank have willingly accepted interest at 4 _per cent._
and have indulged the Company with a delay of payment.

  To the amount of bills of exchange drawn from India,
  unpaid, with interest,                                   338,000

  To freight and demurage,                                 305,000

  To tradesmens bills in the department of the committee
  of shipping,                                             155,909

  To ditto, in the committee of buying,                     64,079

  To dividends on stock not yet demanded,                   23,883

  To dividend on stock, due at Midsummer, at the rate
  of 10 _per cent._                                        859,704

  To interest on annuities to Midsummer, including
  interest not yet demanded,                                75,406

  To interest on bonds to Midsummer, including interest
  not yet demanded,                                         60,553

  To commission due to supercargoes,                        30,000

  To the proprietors of goods sold in private trade,        75,900

  To warrants passed the court unpaid,                       7,500

  To alms-house at Poplar,                                  13,503

  To salaries of clerks, _&c._ and for tradesmens bills
  for work done to the house, _&c._                          5,000

To ballance to government for naval and garrison stores received in
India, 9,223_l._ but as government owes to our company 33,750_l._ as
the price of salt-petre, this ought not to be stated.

These are the whole debts dated by the Directors themselves as due by
this Company, besides their bonds and annuities, a great part of them
are not payable in the common course of business for a considerable
time, some of them not till the year 1769, and the Company are possessed
of effects now in England, independent of the cargoes of this year daily
expected, sufficient to pay them all; but at any rate none of these
debts fall within the prohibition of the statutes by which the Company
is restrained from borrowing under their common seal to a greater amount
than six millions, for none of these debts have been borrowed under the
Common seal, nor indeed have been borrowed at all in the sense meant by
the act of parliament, but are merely book debts contracted as the price
of goods, _&c._ in the common course of merchandise.

It further appears by a calculation made by one of the Directors
themselves, a member of the committee of treasury, that by the sale of
goods in the common course of the Company's sales, the Company will be
in cash, to pay off all these debts and also to pay the dividend of
6-1/4 _per cent._ against the month of February 1768. A copy of this
account is annexed.

But whatever may be in that matter, it is sufficient for the present
argument, to shew that none of the debts due by the Company, over and
above their bonds, fall within the prohibition of the statutes which
have restrained the Company's power of borrowing under seal; none of the
Company's creditors have complained of the late increase of dividend,
the Directors alone and their faction have objected to it, and have
pretended as their excuse that they deemed it illegal to make any
increase of dividend while the Company owed any debts beyond the six
millions in bonds and annuities. They have not urged the argument as a
matter of inexpediency merely, for that argument would have appeared too
groundless when the payment of all these creditors must in every way
take place almost immediately, but they have put the argument on an
objection of illegality, founded upon the statutes which restrain the
Company's power of borrowing; and indeed if the objection of the
Directors had arose from inexpediency alone, they could not have been
justified in making so violent and obstinate an opposition to the
sentiments of the Proprietors, nor could they be justified as honest men
in endeavouring to shake the very foundation of the Company's credit,
and to injure its stock, in order merely to save the Company from paying
a sum of 40,000_l._ more or less, in February next. But indeed upon the
footing of the Directors argument that the Company can never divide if
they have other debts besides their bonds and annuities, no dividend can
ever take place, for the Company cannot carry on their trade in a proper
manner without contracting such debts as the price of goods purchased on
credit, and the freights of ships employed by them.

It is proper therefore, after having premised this general view of the
statutes which restrain the Company's power of borrowing, to consider
these statutes more particularly one by one, to see if we can discover
any pretence for that doubt which the Directors have affected to
entertain concerning the Company's power of borrowing.

It is extremely remarkable, that when the Directors were asked in the
general court whether they had taken any opinions of council to justify
their pretended doubt as to the Company's power of contracting such
debts, they declared that they had not, and the chairman said, he did
not think they would have been justified if they had taken such
opinions. Nothing can shew more clearly the unjustifiable motives of the
Directors opposition than this answer: they opposed the dividend upon
pretence of a doubt of the Company's power of incurring debts beyond six
millions, and yet they did not take the opinion of council concerning
the Company's real powers. They knew that no opinion could be procured
to give a foundation for the doubt which they pretended to entertain,
and therefore they took no opinions, but made use of their pretended
doubt as a mask to cover the real motives which induced them to engage
in their conspiracy against the interest of the proprietors whose
servants they are.

The act 9 and 10 of king William, c. 44. contains no clauses which can
any way restrain the Company's power of borrowing or extending its
trade, except what is to be found in section 61, 62, 64, 75 and 86.--By
sections 61, 62 and 64, there is no other restriction except that the
Company shall not, _in any one year_, successively, send or cause to be
sent to the East Indies from England or any other country, goods,
bullion, or commodities to any greater value than their principal stock
subscribed. And the fact is, that the Company never has sent _in any one
year_, goods, bullion or commodities to the value of one-third of their
principal stock, and therefore no argument can be founded on the
limitations contained in these three clauses.

The section 75 of this statute, begins with a recital of the act 8 and 9
of king William in favor of the Bank of England, _viz._ that no other
Bank than the Bank of England shall be erected, permitted or allowed by
act of parliament, and then the act proceeds, that for the better
securing the priviledges of the Bank of England, _It shall not be
lawful_ (in the record it is _shall and may be lawfull_) for any Company
to be established by virtue of this act, to borrow or give security for
any sum or sums of money on credit, on any publick funds hereby granted,
and that it shall not be lawful for such Company to be established by
virtue of this act, to borrow or give security for any greater sum or
sums of money, than such as shall be really and _bona fide_, expended
and laid out in and for the buying of goods, bullion or commodities, to
be exported for the proper account of the said Company to be
established, or shall be otherwise employed in their trade, all which
sum or sums of money so to be borrowed for the purpose aforesaid, shall
be borrowed only on their common seal, and shall not be made payable or
_bona fide_, agreed to be paid at any time less than six months from the
time of borrowing thereof: and that it shall not be lawful for the
Company to be established by this act, to discount any bills of
exchange, or other bills or notes whatsoever, or to keep any books or
cash for any persons whatsoever, other than only the proper monies and
cash of the said Company.

The plain import of this clause is not to restrain the Company with
respect to the extent of their trade, but merely to prevent its
interfering with the business carried on by the Bank of England. The
purchasing goods upon credit can never be considered as an interference
of that kind.

The 86th section of this act does no way restrain the Company with
respect to the amount of its debts, excepting only that the Company
shall take care that the sum total of all the debts which they shall owe
at any one time shall not exceed the value _of the principal or capital
stock or stocks which at any such time shall be and remain to the said
society undivided_; and that in case the Company, by any dividend
whatsoever to be made amongst themselves, shall reduce or lessen their
joint stock, principal or capital, without paying off or proportionably
reducing the sum total of their debts, so that the value of the joint
stock, principal or capital undivided, shall not be sufficient to
answer their just debts then remaining unpaid. In every such case the
particular members receiving such dividend shall be severally liable to
the amount of the dividends received, to pay and satisfy the debts which
shall remain due and unpaid by the Company.

The plain import of this clause of the act, is to secure the creditors
of the Company from any unjustice by the Company's dividing their
effects so as not to leave a sufficiency for payment of its whole debts,
and can never admit of the construction which has been attempted to be
put upon it, as if the Company's debts could never exceed the sum of
money subscribed to Government.----By the words principal or capital
flock or flocks undivided, is plainly here to be understood the total
funds and effects of the Company, which are in fact the capital upon
which the Company does trade; and there would be the greatest absurdity
in supposing, that in a case where the Company had in its warehouses
goods and effects to the value of three times its debts, the debtors of
the Company could have an action against the receivers of dividends,
under pretence that the sum total of the Company's debts exceeded the
sum total of the capital stock subscribed to Government, at a time when
the Company's total goods and effects might, as at present, exceed its
total debts, in such a proportion as not only to pay its whole debts,
but also to repay its capital advanced, and leave five or six millions
over of clear ballance to be divided amongst the proprietors.

But if the words, principal capital stock or flocks undivided, could in
this clause admit of the construction which is put upon them, yet
certainly the words _sum total of debts_ can in that case be only
understood to mean the ballance of debts after deducing the fair value
of the Company's effects, other than its capital subscribed; and if the
_debts_ are understood in this sense, viz. as the ballance of debts,
there would be no inconsistency, that when the sum total of the ballance
of debts exceeds the capital stock subscribed, that the receivers of
dividends should be respectively answerable to pay the debts in
proportion to what they receive, but unless the words, principal or
capital stock or stocks undivided, or the words, sum total of debts are
to be understood in the sense here affixed to them, the statute can not
be explained so as to be agreeable to common sense or reason.

By the act 6th Q. Ann. c. 17. § 2. it is provided, that for the better
enabling the East India Company to raise and pay the sum of
1,200,000_l._ advanced to the publick, the common seal of the Company
shall and may be made use of to borrow any sum or sums of money, from
time to time, upon account of their united stock and funds, so as the
sum total of all the principal monies which at any one time shall be
owing upon the security of the said seal do not exceed 1,500,000_l._
over and above the monies which might lawfully be borrowed thereupon
before the making of this present act.

If any obscurity had in fact existed upon the footing of the former
acts, this clause of the act 6 Q. Ann is sufficient to clear it up, the
Company are no way restrained by the plain words and meaning of this
last clause, as to the other book debts which they may owe not under the
common seal, because debts under the common seal are the only ones which
could interfere either with the Bank of England or with Government

By the act 7th of George I. c. 5. p. 32. it is enacted, that it shall
and may be lawful for the East India Company to borrow or take up money
upon any contracts, bonds, &c. under their common seal, for carrying on
their trade, or for lending money, by way of bottomry, so as by the
monies already borrowed by them, and by the monies which they shall
hereafter borrow pursuant to this act, the whole sum which they shall
owe at any one time do not exceed the sum due at that time from the
public to the said Company, or the sum of _five millions_ of pounds
sterling in the whole.

The plain meaning of this clause is, that the Company shall not owe,
_under their common seal_, at any one time, a greater sum than
5,000,000_l._ but it neither imports nor implies any restriction upon
the Company with respect to the purchasing goods upon credit, or
freights due to ships, or other book debts incurred in the common course
of trade without borrowing.

A criticism has been made on this clause, as if the Company could not
take the benefit of borrowing to the amount of five millions under this
statute, because the first part of the statute recites a plan or scheme
which had been formed for incorporating nine millions of the South Sea
capital stock into the stock of the East India Company, which scheme
never took effect, and therefore it has been argued that the power of
borrowing given to the East India Company being a part of that scheme,
must fall with it.

But the answer is very obvious: the power of borrowing given to the East
India Company is not granted under any condition whatever, but is given
in positive and direct words, to the amount of five millions--and the
act does not proceed upon the intention to incorporate the nine millions
of South Sea stock as a condition, but only recites that as a
proposition, and gives leave to the several Companies to carry it into
execution if they thought proper.

But if any doubt had remained concerning this power of the Company to
borrow five millions, it is fully removed, not only by their having in
practice explained the act in the most extensive manner, without
challenge, but by the subsequent act 23 Geo. II. c. 22. § 5 and 6. which
plainly proceeds upon the supposition, that the Company was at that time
intitled to borrow to the amount of six millions, and allows them to
convert 4,200,000_l._ as part of their bonds into annuities.

The 33d section of the same act is a repetition almost verbatim of the
75th section of the act 9 and 10th of king William, c. 44. by which, in
order to prevent the Company from interfering with the Bank of England,
they are allowed to borrow on the credit of their capital stock,
provided the sum so borrowed shall be laid out in goods to be exported
or otherwise employed in their trade, or lent on bottomry, and that such
sums shall only be borrowed under their common seal, and shall not be
payable on demand but at six months, and that they shall not discount
bills or notes, or keep cash for other persons.--In this clause the
words "_it shall not be lawful_," in place of "_it shall and may be
lawful_," are erroneously copied from the printed clause 75th of the act
9 and 10th of William, c. 44.

The act 17th Geo. II. c. 17. § 8. gives the Company simply a power in
order to raise the sum of one million paid by them to Government, of
borrowing _under their common seal_ to the amount of one million more
than they could before lawfully borrow.

This seems to be a compleat view of the whole subsisting statutes by
which the East India Company is restrained from borrowing money; and it
must appear evident, that by none of them the Company is prohibited from
purchasing goods upon credit, or incurring book debts, and therefore the
great clamour which has been raised, as if the Company had acted
contrary to law, or in an inexpedient or improper manner, by incurring
the book debts which it presently owes, over and above its bonds and
annuities, must appear totally groundless and absurd.

It further appears, that the Company's affairs are now in such a
situation, that every one of these debts will be paid off in a very few
months, and that the 40,000_l._ of additional dividend, voted to take
place at Christmas next, will in no respect retard the payment of these
debts; and that the Company will be further possessed, when the ships of
this season shall have arrived, of effects equal to the payment of
almost the whole of their bond debts, which, however, there is no
intention nor no occasion to pay off.

But supposing the whole of the Company's book debts could not be so soon
discharged, this can be no objection to the small additional dividend of
40,000_l._ considering the present flourishing state of the Company's
affairs. The creditors to whom the book debts are owing are under no
uneasiness, nor do they complain of the increase of dividend, which it
is now allowed the Company are fully able to pay, and to continue that
payment out of the profits of their trade alone.

Every merchant, when he regulates the sum to be bestowed by him upon his
subsistence, or the annual expence of his family, considers, _first_,
what is the total amount of his effects, compared with his debts; and
secondly, what is the amount of his annual profits; and if he finds that
he has a considerable fortune over and above his debts, and that his
annual profits are also considerable; he freely resolves, and with great
propriety, to bestow a share of his annual profits upon the support and
expence of his family; and it never can enter into his deliberation, in
fixing what that annual expence shall be, whether or not at every
particular period of the year, he is sure of having a balance of cash in
his banker's hand; because, if his total expence is properly regulated,
so as not to exceed what he can really afford, he knows the goods he is
possessed of, must always be able to command cash sufficient for his
temporary occasions: and indeed, if this rule were erroneous, there are
many merchants in London possessed of fortunes to the amount of
150,000_l._ and their annual profits two or three thousands, who could
not afford 50_l._ a year for their usual subsistence. If they were to be
restricted in the manner now proposed for the India Company, they could
not purchase a dinner and pay their debts; their effects probably in
America or the West Indies, in the way of trade, their returns
uncertain, as to the particular time, and large debts due in England, as
the price of cargoes sent abroad; so that, upon the footing of their
banker's book, after deducting all their debts due at home, they might
be obliged to subsist upon air for several years together.

The credit of a public company is much superior to that of private
merchants; those to whom they owe the prices of goods, freights or other
book debts, are much more ready to indulge them with delays of payment
than the creditors of particular merchants. The India Company is under
no embarrasment with respect to its creditors; its only embarrasment is
from the choice it has unhappily made of a set of Directors, who seem
determined, if possible, to stab the credit of the Company, and to try
to what degree of injuries and insults the patience of the Proprietors
will tamely submit.

The Proprietors have resolved to apply to Parliament, by petition
against a bill now depending, for rescinding the 2-1/2 _per cent._
additional dividend, voted by the general court on the 6th of May last,
in strict conformity to the powers granted by charter. The respect due
to the Legislature restrains me from expressing my sentiments with
regard to this retrospective law relating to private property and public
credit. If any thing is interesting in this happy constitution, these
points certainly are. The questions concerning general warrants, and
dispensing powers, were, in respect of these, of very inferior
importance. It is the duty of every British subject to submit with
reverence and veneration, to whatever obtains the sanction of the three
branches of the Legislature; but when any particular bill appears, to
common apprehension, to be of dangerous consequence, we are entitled to
hope and presume that it never will pass into a law.

     State of the East India Company's affairs with respect to the cash
     which will come into their treasury, and what must be issued from
     thence at different periods.

                          Cash.                             Dr.
  May 11.  To ballance of the account of the debts    _l._  _s._  _d._
           and credits of the East India Company in
           England, made out by the Court of Directors,
           estimated to the 11th of May 1767, after
           deducting the amount of the bonds from the
           debt side, and what the government owes
           to the Company from the credit side,      66,408

  Sep.     To part of the produce of the cargo by
           the Asia, that will be exposed to sale,   30,000

  1768.    To part of the produce of eleven ships,
  Jan.     viz. from Bengal and Madras, three from
           Bombay, and one from Mocha, the prompt
           payment,                                 665,386   13   4
                                                    761,794   13   4

           To this sale might be added the prompt
           of the sale of 1000 peculs of silk,
           by the fourteen ships from China,        150,000

           China ware, drugs, &c.                    20,000

           To balance to February 5, 1768, brought
           forward,                                 544,485   13   4

  July 31. To part of the produce of the eleven
           ships to be exposed at the March
           sale, the prompt,                        332,693    6   8

           To the private trade,                     22,000

           To transacting the annuitants,             1,687    1
                                                    900,866    6   8

    1767.              _per Contra_,                 _Cr._
  Oct. 31.  By 1/4 interest on the bonds and
            annuities, deducting what received
            from government, due at Michaelmas,      12,679

  Dec. 25.  By 1/2 a year's salaries, and other
            contingencies,                            5,000
  Feb. 5.   By 1/2 a year's dividend on the
            stock, at 12-1/2 _per cent.
            per annum_,                             199,630
            Balance of cash in favour of the
            Company in February 1768,               544,485   13  4
                                                    £761,794  13  4

            By the above balance,                   544,485   13  4
            By silk and drugs, &c. on the
            _Dr._ side,                             170,000
                                                    714,485   13  4
  March 25. Due to government, by agreement,
            the first payment                       200,000

  May 1.    By 1/2 a year's interest on the
            Bond and annuities, deducting what
            received from the government, due
            at Lady Day                              25,358

  June 29.  By 1/2 year's salaries, and
            other contingencies,                      5,000

  Aug. 5.   By 1/2 a year's dividends,              199,630
            By balance of cash in favour
            of the Company in August 1768           470,878

     When this account was produced to the general court by the accurate
     and intelligent Director who made it out, he declared that he had
     dissented in the court of Directors from the opinion of the other
     Directors as to the 12-1/2 per cent. dividend, in which he had been
     joined by several other Directors, though a majority opposed this
     dividend, and he explained the above account in a very clear and
     satisfactory manner, and shewed, that in the preparing the account,
     he had made the most ample allowances of every kind, and declared
     himself ready to answer every objection which the other Directors
     could offer against it.--The other Directors fairly acknowledged
     that none of them had carried their calculations so far down as
     February 1768, when the dividend was to become payable.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber's Notes:

The transcriber made these changes to the text to correct obvious

  1. p. 11 councel --> council
  2. p. 12 commodies -->  commodities
  3. p. 20 50l. --> 50_l._
  4. p. 20 subsistance --> subsistence

End of Transcriber's Notes]

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