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was made a permanent addition to his salary, which had by that time reached £420.
With James Mill's outside work-important as it was—we have here nothing to do, but we must record a few more facts about his official career. On September 16, 1829, as a mark of the Court's approbation of the great attention and ability with which he has discharged the duties of his office,' his salary was increased by £300, to date from the 29th of that month. A year later M'Culloch intimated his intention of retiring1 and the Committee of Correspondence advised that Mill should be appointed to succeed him. The matter was debated by the Directors at a meeting held on December 8, 1830, when considerable opposition was manifested. It was urged that M'Culloch's post should not be filled up-meaning apparently that Mill was to do the work on his existing salary. This, however, was negatived; and it was resolved that he should be made Examiner from Christmas, at £1900 a year, and that the vacancy thus created should not be filled, but Strachey and Peacock should be appointed Senior Assistants on £1200 (a rise of £200 for the latter).2
The next event of importance in the history of the department was the death of Strachey. This necessitated the appointment of someone to look after the judicial work; and, as Indian experience was apparently considered essential, a new Assistant was introduced (February 8, 1832), to rank next below Peacock, with a salary of £1000. The person chosen was David Hill, who had spent eighteen years in the Madras Civil Service and had recently been Chief Secretary in that Presidency.
The Company was now in the midst of the great struggle which was to terminate its existence as a commercial body. During the period that had elapsed since the last renewal of its charter, public opinion had set strongly against the continuance of its privileges, especially of its monopoly of the China trade. The growth of liberal views, the stimulus given to commerce by the conclusion of a general peace, and the consequent cry for new markets, had made the merchants of England unanimous in
1 Professor Bain says that he was told that M'Culloch's reputation as an administrator was very high, his despatches being accounted perfect models and even superior to Mill's.' As, however, this statement is traceable to Horace Grant, a clerk in the Examiner's department who bore a grudge against James Mill, the Professor thinks that the comparison is not altogether to be trusted.
2 These particulars, and some of the others given above, correct in several respects Professor Bain's statements in his Life of James Mill.
demanding unrestricted access to the ports of the Far East; and in this they could count on the hearty support of the general public, aggrieved by the high price of tea. The chief plea urged by the Company in defence of its monopoly was that from the profits of this trade came not only the dividends of the proprietors, but also the wherewithal to meet the deficits of the Indian administration; but this provoked the obvious retort that there was no reason why the nation should pay a high price for an article of prime importance in order to find funds for these two purposes. As early as 1820 Committees of both Houses of Parliament had reported in favour of a relaxation of the restrictions imposed by the Company; but the Government of the day refused to take action, and attempts made nine years later to raise the question afresh were foiled in like manner.
However, action of some sort was so clearly necessary, in order to satisfy public opinion, that early in the session of 1830 Committees were appointed both in the Lords and Commons 'to inquire into the present state of the East India Company and the trade between the East Indies, Great Britain, and China.' In July both Committees submitted preliminary reports, dealing chiefly with the China trade; but the further prosecution of their inquiries was stopped by the dissolution entailed by the death of the King, and the matter was not taken up again until February, 1831-this time by a Committee of the Commons alone. Even then, the conflict over the Reform Bill brought about a fresh appeal to the country in April, and a third Committee was not constituted until the end of June.
Ministers had already avowed their intention of throwing open the trade with China, and consequently the Committee turned its attention chiefly to the details of Indian administration. James Mill was called in August, and his evidence lasted through eight sittings. It was restricted to revenue matters, and is remarkable for its thoroughgoing defence of the existing system. He strongly condemned the Permanent Settlement of Bengal, and suggested as a partial remedy the purchase by Government of the zamindari rights as they came into the market, to be followed by a resettlement with the tenants on the old hereditary principle. Asked as to the probity or otherwise of the subordinate native officials, he replied that there was a total absence of a moral feeling in the country. . . . It is not shameful to be dishonest in a public trust.' These and other answers appear to have irritated certain of the members opposed to the Company, and
on the last day of his examination he was pointedly asked: 'Do you conceive that it is possible for any person to form an adequate judgment of the character of a people without being personally acquainted with them?' to which he made the quiet reply: If the question refers to myself, I am far from pretending to a perfect knowledge of the character of the people of
The Committee briefly reported, on October 11, 1831, the evidence they had taken; but everybody's attention was absorbed by the struggle over the Reform Bill-which the Lords had thrown out three days before-and no attempt was made to deal with the question of India during the rest of the session. On January 27, 1832, the appointment of a Committee was once again moved and agreed to. This time sub-committees were formed, who took up the subject in six branches. On four of these Mill was again examined. He expressed himself in favour of relieving the Supreme Government from the task of conducting the local administration of Bengal; he also advocated the substitution of Lieutenant-Governors for the Governors of Madras and Bombay, and the amalgamation of the Presidential armies. He strongly supported the recommendation of the Indian Government for the establishment of a Legislative Council, which he would constitute of one or more experienced civilians, one lawyer, one native, and an individual thoroughly versed in the philosophy of man and of government.' The existing exemption of Europeans from the jurisdiction of the Company's courts he severely condemned, as well as other defects in the judicial system. He considered the use of Persian in the law courts an absurdity, but the substitution of English would have an equally bad effect; the only proper course was to employ judges familiar with the vernacular. He approved the opening of the civil service to public competition (of the Haileybury system he had come to an opinion by no means favourable'), and would also do what was possible to educate the natives. As regards the employment of the latter in Government service, he would observe strict impartiality, taking the best man for the post, whether a native or a European. On revenue topics, he repeated his conviction of the 'pernicious' effects of the Permanent Settlement, and opposed the abolition of the salt duty ('I know of no substitute for the tax on salt which would be so little onerous to the people'); while as regards opium he could see no objection to the present mode at all.' Questioned as to the
native states, he expressed strong opinions regarding the misery caused by their misgovernment-a misgovernment which, he thought, the policy in vogue did much to perpetuate by abstaining from any real interference in the internal administration of those states, whilst guaranteeing their rulers against the natural remedy, rebellion. Either, he said, the states should be left entirely alone
course which he admitted was in most cases out of the question) or the administration should be taken over and the princes reduced to the position of pensioners.
The Committee reported to the House on August 16, 1832; but the close of the session prevented further action. Meanwhile a long and elaborate correspondence went on between the Court of Directors and the Board of Control regarding the terms to be allowed to the Company by the Government; and in this Mill of course bore a leading part. We need not enter into the details of the controversy, except to say that the honours of debate appear to have fallen to the Company's representatives, and that considerable concessions were obtained as the result of their efforts.
The Bill was introduced in the Commons at the end of June, 1833, and was read a second time on July 10, when Macaulay, as one of the Commissioners of the India Board, made a masterly speech in its favour. Part of his task was to justify to the Reformed Parliament the abstention of the Government from any attempt to provide India with representative institutions; and in doing this he made a clever use of the evidence given by Mill, whom he characterised as a 'gentleman extremely well acquainted with the affairs of our Eastern Empire, a most valuable servant of the Company, and the author of a History of India which, though certainly not free from faults, is, I think, on the whole the greatest historical work which has appeared in our language since that of Gibbon.' That gentleman,' he said, 'is well known to be a very bold and uncompromising politician. He has written strongly, far too strongly I think, in favour of pure democracy. He has gone so far as to maintain that no nation which has not a representative legislature, chosen by universal suffrage, enjoys security against oppression. But when he was asked, before the Committee of last year, whether he thought representative government practicable in India, his answer was: "utterly out of the question."
The Bill emerged from Committee practically unaltered, and was carried up to the Lords at the end of July. A few
amendments were made, in which the Commons concurred, and in August the measure became part of the law of the land.
The passing of the Act was followed by the appointment of Macaulay to the newly created post of Legal Member of the Governor-General's Council-an appointment generously supported by Mill, who bore no malice for the attacks which the younger man had made on him in the pages of the Edinburgh Review. The late Chairman,' wrote Macaulay to his sister, consulted him about me; hoping, I suppose, to have his support against me. Mill said, very handsomely, that he would advise the Company to take me; for, as public men went, I was much above the average and, if they rejected me, he thought it very unlikely that they would get anybody so fit.' Between Macaulay's appointment and his sailing, he and Mill held frequent conferences. Another consequence most welcome to the latter was the nomination of a small commission to inquire into the Indian judicial system, with Macaulay as president. One of the commissioners, Mr. Charles Hay Cameron (afterwards himself Legal Member), was an old friend of Mill, who eight years before had endeavoured, but without success, to get him elected to the chair of philosophy in the newly founded University of London. He too availed himself of every opportunity of consulting Mill before setting out to take up his post. In August, 1834, the latter writes to Brougham: Cameron has been down with me for some days, mainly with a view to go into the details of his magnificent charge. He views it with the proper spirit; and I doubt not India will be the first country on earth to boast of a system of law and judicature as near perfection as the circumstances of the people would admit.' How well this anticipation was fulfilled by the Criminal Code, which was the outcome of the Commission's labours, is now a matter of common knowledge.
In 1835 a writership in the Bengal Presidency was procured for Mill's second son, James Bentham Mill. He went through the ordinary routine of appointments, serving mostly in the North-Western Provinces; retired in 1852; and died ten years later. A younger son, George Grote Mill, was appointed a clerk in the India House in 1844. He is described as very able and of a genial temperament, but constitutionally delicate. Having
1 With equal generosity Macaulay refused to include these articles in his Collected Essays, and in the preface expressed regret for his 'unbecoming acrimony' and his satisfaction that Mill was, when his valuable life closed, on terms of cordial friendship with his assailant.'