To RÂJAH RÂM CHUNDUR; dated 20th DÂRÂEY. (2d August.)

YOU write, “that, in conformity with our orders, you have established shops, on our behalf, in every Taalûk [under your authority], “and engaged in our service a Surrâf* and accountant, for conducting “the concerns of each: but that, in some districts, the object of profit “is completely frustrated; while, in others, the gains are so very small “as to be even inadequate to the monthly pay of the Surrâfs and “accountants; owing (as you say) to the more considerable towns, “where, heretofore, gold and silver, bullion and specie, to the amount “of thousands of pagodas, used to be brought for the purposes of “traffic, being now forsaken by the traders, who taking alarm at the “establishment of our shops [or warehouses] resort, in consequence, “to other places; none but the poorer classes, in short, ever dealing “with them, and then only to the amount, perhaps, of six or seven “fanams.

It is known. Admitting that the profits, for instance, are only seven pagodas, and that the expence, on account of the wages of the Surrâf and accountants, amount to ten, how long can this last, or the dealers continue to carry their money and bullion to other places? They will, finally, come and make their purchases at our warehouses: you will, therefore, [proceed to] establish Surrâfs and accountants in every Taalûk, according to the amount of its [saleable] produce.

You suggest the establishment of banking-houses on the part of the Sircar, and the appointment of a banker, with a salary, to superintend them. You also propose, with our permission, to open warehouses for the sale of cloths at Bangalore, Ouscottah, and other places. It is comprehended. There is no regulation issued by us, that does not cost us, in the framing of it, the deliberation of five hundred years. This being the case, do you perform exactly what we order; neither exceeding our directions, nor suggesting any thing further from yourself.


The fact of Tippoo Sultan having established such shops, or warehouses, as those mentioned in the foregoing letter, was, I believe, very well known, before the commencement of the last war, to those persons most intelligent in the affairs of Mysore. The present dispatch, by fortunately reciting at so much length the representation of Râjah Râm Chundur on the subject, furnishes a tolerably clear idea of the institution, of which I have no where else met with any account. Till I saw this document, however, I had supposed, that the Sultan’s views in this scheme embraced nothing more than a monopoly of the wholesale trade of his dominions; but it is evident, from Râm Chundur’s statement, that the retail trade also was proposed to be engrossed. “None but the poorer classes,” says the Râjah, “deal at our shops; and then only to the amount, perhaps, of six “or seven fanams.*

I do not clearly know what the result of this extraordinary project was, or whether the establishment, which has been described, continued in existence at the period of its founder’s death. I rather think, however, that Râm Chundur’s prognostic regarding it was verified, and that, though framed “with the deliberation of five hundred years,” it was soon found impracticable, and ultimately abandoned.

Râm Chundur certainly could not have chosen a more unpropitious occasion for submitting his own project of banking-houses, than the one he embraced: nor would he seem to have at all adverted to the character of his master, when he could have the temerity, in one and the same moment, to condemn pretty plainly a favorite scheme of the Sultan, and to offer to his acceptance another of his own devising. The result was such as he might have expected. The Sultan would, at no time, have been likely to listen with complacency to the uninvited sugges­tions of any of his servants; but least of all, when proceeding from one, who had ventured to question the policy of a measure, on which he would seem to have plumed himself in no small degree.