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Meanwhile the question of the mode of publication of the Vedas has been referred to the Oriental Sub-Committee, who are as yet unprepared with their Report. The Rev. Dr. Hæberlin has recently intimated to the Committee that he is publishing the Smritis under the Society's authority, and that the whole of the grant for 1847 is thus forestalled. But as the records of the Society contain no evidence of this publication having been duly authorized, and as it appears that the greater portion of the Smritis have already been published by a Native Editor, the Committee recommend that the work be not further proceeded with, until the Vedas are finished.*
Lastly, with reference to Mr. Bushby's letter, the Committee of Papers suggest that, should their views meet the approbation of the Society, the Secretaries be directed to draft a reply in corresponding terms and submit the same to the Committee for revisal, and that in this reply the Society should, under the circumstances now elicited, beg the permission of Government to withdraw their former application.
The financial difficulties above specified render it obviously impracticable to carry out the Society's resolution to print Colonel Everest's Trigonometrical observations, as a volume of Transactions. It becomes equally impossible to proceed with the "Burnes" drawings.
Of these there were in all....
These have been lithographed and coloured, 50
To finish the whole as directed by the Society in 1841,† would cost
* A proposition on this subject received from the Rev. Dr. Hæberlin on the 28th January will be submitted to the next meeting.
+ See Vol. XIII. Part 2d, Proceedings, page c.
at least 12,000 Rupees more, a sum altogether beyond our means, or
our reasonable prospects.
The Zoological Curator Mr. Blyth, is engaged in the MS. of the descriptive drawings completed, and the Committee propose to issue the whole in a Portfolio to the members of the Society, as soon as Mr. Blyth enables them to do so.
Regarding Dr. Cantor's very beautiful drawings, the Secretaries have failed to obtain some essential information, and which they cannot hope for, before Mr. Torrens' expected visit to Calcutta in the ensuing month. The Committee of Papers confidently expect that in connexion with the Journal nearly the whole of Dr. Cantor's drawings will be published by the Society within a moderate period.
Alterations in Society's rules.
The Committee next invite the consideration of the Society to a proposal they regard as one of very great consequence. It has lately happened on several occasions that at scanty meetings, measures have been adopted and officers elected without any previous notice or opportunity for deliberation,—or for the expression of the general opinion of the members on the several proposals. The danger to which this exposes the society, is equally serious and obvious. They may at any time find a few members voting away funds or altering their organization so as to favor some particular pursuit. To prevent this the Committee suggest that in future all proposals affecting expenditure, election of officers, changes of organization, and generally all questions of importance, be first duly notified at a general meeting, then referred to the Committee of Papers for report, and not decided on finally, until passed by a general meeting, (after such report shall have been submitted,) at which at least 12 members must be present.
Institution of Sections.
The Committee are further desirous to advert to the strong necessity which appears to exist for forming special Committees or Sections among the members resident in Calcutta and its vicinity, for advice and reference to on subjects demanding peculiar acquirements in the individuals who are consulted.
It may be said that the Committee of Papers are so constituted or so
intended as to represent the different objects of the Society, but experience has proved beyond doubt that it never has so answered. The Committee has been at one time almost exclusively composed of gentlemen who deemed Oriental Literature the paramount object of the Society, and at another period we have seen researches in Oriental philology nearly abandoned in favour of Zoology and kindred sciences. By the appointment of Sub-Committees or Sections, subject to annual election, for advice and reference, to which their functions should be strictly limited, and to be referred to only through the Committee of Papers, as Council of the Society, we would have the means of combining in one group men of similar attainments, to whom the Society, through the Committee of Papers, could refer their doubts and difficulties for consideration and advice, and who would, from time to time, themselves suggest the objects to which the patronage of the Society might be profitably applied.
How efficiently this plan works in the French Institute, in the British Association, and in the Royal Society of London, the Committee need not press on consideration. They are persuaded it will prove highly beneficial if adopted by the Asiatic Society. It has already been partially acted upon at the November meeting, by the appointment of the following gentlemen as an Oriental Sub-Committee. Members.The Rev. Dr. Hæberlin, the Rev. Mr. Long, Major Marshall, and Dr. Roer.
It is now proposed to extend the plan by forming for the following year similar Sub-Committees.
1. Geology and Mineralogy.
2. Zoology and Natural History. 3. Meteorology and Physics.
4. Geography and Indian Statistics.
It is recommended that the Secretaries of the Society be the Secretaries of the sections also. The Sub-Committees should be ex-officio Inspectors of the Museums in their several departments, and it should be strongly urged upon the section of Meteorology to take measures for securing for the Society a monthly Meteorological Report of Barometer, Sympiesometer, Thermometer, Hygrometer, also Rain Gauge, Anemometer, and a Register of thunder storms on the plan prescribed by Arago (v. Annuaire, Art. "Tonnerre,") such as those which in the
time of the lamented James Prinsep adorned each issue of the Journal, and provided data for Meteorologists all over India, wherewith to compare and correct their individual researches.
The Committee have only further to express their earnest hope that the members of a Society, the oldest in India, and holding a distinguished place in the estimation of the scientific world, will individually as well as in co-operation with each other, make their best efforts to promote the objects for which the Society has been instituted. In every department for research we number members of eminent acquirements. Those residing at distant stations will find in the sections now proposed representatives of their special pursuits with whom to correspond, with whom to compare, or mature the results of their enquiries. The Committee trust that new and efficient labourers will thus be soon induced to join our ranks thereby increasing our funds to such an amount as may enable us with the generous aid at present afforded by Government, to extend efficient patronage to every branch of research, which it is the province of the Asiatic Society to promote.
In submitting the preceding Report the Secretaries desire in justice to their eminent predecessor to republish here the resolution of the Society passed at the meeting of November, 1816, respecting the previous management of the accounts and expenditure.
Extract from Proceedings of Nov. 1846.
A letter having been read from Mr. Torrens to the Co-Secretary regarding the accounts and expenditure of the Society during his secretariat
It was resolved unanimously and directed to be laid before the next general meeting for record.
That the Committees beg leave to repeat prominently the previous declaration of the Finance Committee, that the confusion in the accounts of the Journal arose entirely from an accidental omission and error on the part of the accountant, and further that they consider that every act of Mr. Torrens, in the management of the Society's pecuniary affairs has been done most openly and with their full cognizance and sanction. (Adopted by the November Meeting.)
The following Accounts, and documents are appended for the information of the Society :
1.-Mr. Bolst's abstract annual accounts, from January, 1842, to July, 1846.
2.-General sketch of account from 1842 to Dec. 1846, compiled by Mr. Muller, from Mr. Bolst's statements.
3.-Detailed account of expenditure on Oriental publications for the same period.
4.-Statement of the amounts received by the sale of Oriental pub
5.-Statement of the Society's income.
6.- List of Members, and Office-bearers for 1847. Asiatic Society of Bengal, January, 1847.
SUPPLEMENT TO REPORT.
At a Meeting of the Asiatic Society, held on Wednesday evening, the 10th FEBRUARY, 1847.
The Hon'ble Sir J. P. GRANT, in the Chair.
The Report submitted to the January meeting was taken into consi deration.
Major Marshall objected to the mode in which the vacancies in the Committee of Papers had been filled up at the last meeting, and thought a bona fide annual election should take place, which he proposed should
now be resorted to.
After some discussion it was proposed by the Lord Bishop of Calcutta, seconded by Mr. Ward, and carried with but one dissentient voice, that a formal election of all office-bearers should be resorted to in future, leaving the present arrangement undisturbed.