Imagens das páginas
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


Desirous of placing on record, for future reference when necessary, a complete History of the late Discussions in India respecting the Freedom of the Press; and, at the same time, unwilling to intrude on the space which should be appropriated to subjects more calculated to interest the general reader,-we have thought it best to occupy a few additional sheets, by way of APPENDIX, with the Official Correspondence that follows... The Documents could not be given at separate intervals, and in a broken and disjointed manner, without materially lessening their interest, and diminishing their force; nor would it be doing justice to the question to offer a mere abstract of their arguments. We shall leave to the enemies of a Free Press in India the task of presenting garbled and ex-parte statements, on this subject, to the world; and, for ourselves, adopt the more impartial plan of giving, complete, the Letters which have been written on both sides ; leaving the reader to form his own conclusions on the facts and opinions therein developed and expressed. Under the system of terror that prevailed in India, towards the close of Lord Hastings's Administration, it was deemed unsafe to publish even these official documents, at least in that country; and when the permission of the Indian Government was asked for this purpose, no answer was made; as if the members of it were unwilling to grant and yet ashamed to refuse so just and reasonable a demand. It was then determined to make a compilation of the letters, and print a few copies for private distribution, until a period should arrive when it might be safe to publish them to the world. That period, it is conceived, is now arrived ; and from their publication here, the British community will see the nature of the writings which the Indian Government thought it necessary to restrain in their Eastern dominions, and estimate rightly the slender grounds of their pretended alarm.

A brief Statement of the principal Events connected with the Question of Summary Transpor

tation without Trial, as a Punishment for Offences through the Press in India. Compiled chiefly for the elucidation of certain points referred to in the Official Correspondence, which has recently passed between the Chief Secretary to Government and the Editor of the Calcutta Journal.- Printed exclusively for the private Information of the Editor's Friends ; but neither published nor sold.- August 13, 1821.

The impossibility of multiplying manuscript which Summary Transportation without Trial copies of the recent Official Correspondence, is made the threatened punishment for alleged between the Chief Secretary to Government offences through the Press. Such cases as and the Editor of the Calcutta Journal, on have been brought before the King's Court, the sabject of Discussions through the Press, to be tried as libel by the laws of the land, so as to satisfy the wishes of friends wlto feel cannot of course be considered to bear on the interested in the question, has led to the Edi- main question of the Freedom of the Press in tor's adopting the present method of gratifying India, since abuses of the press must necestheir desire, by printing a few copies for pri. sarily be subject in every free country to its vate use only. It is to be understood, there. legal judicial tribunals. The only legal profore, by all those into wbose hands such co- ceedings yet entered into on this ground, have, pies may fall, that they are to be regarded in moreover, been before made public in the the same light with written transcripts of the newspapers, as Reports of the Court; and the originals, and as Private Papers, not to be object of the present Pamphlet is merely to communicated without the writer's express show the real state of the question as far as permission.

Summary and Forcible Banishment from the To elucidate the question, and explain Country, without Conviction or Trial, is conDany references that are made in the course sidered the proper punishment for any act of the Correspondence alluded to, it has been which the Government, without the interven. thought advisable to reprint certain Documents tion of any court, may deem objectionable. bearing on the Freedom of the Indian Press, As bearing particularly on this question of and to confine the Official Letters to those in Transportation without Trial, whicb, what

Orient. Herald, Vol. 1. App.

« AnteriorContinuar »