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to preserve existing collections than to incur any avoidable expenses in making additions to our Museums, and that under no circumstances, short of a general vote of the Society, can the scale of "Contingencies" assigned by Government be exceeded in their departments.
Under this head it seems necessary to observe that the European temporarily engaged since November, 1846, as a night watch in the Society's house, at 40 Rs. per mensem, has been discharged from the 5th inst. The native chokedars are retained; the Committee are of opinion that when the Society's funds permit the outlay it will be indispensable to have a European keeper or porter resident in the premises. Such a man can be obtained on the guarantee of the Police Authorities for 40 rupees a month. It should be a part of his duty to accompany visitors through the rooms, and he should be entrusted with the special charge of such coins or other moveable articles of particular value as the Society may possess. Had such a person been employed for the last three years, it is not probable that we now should have to deplore the loss of the fine collection of coins and the gold medal of the Emperor of Russia of which we have been lately despoiled.*
We have next to notice the important subject of the Society's Publications, of which the Journal has first to be considered.
The Committee of Papers are unanimously of opinion that on the maintenance of the Journal, the regularity of its appearance, and the judicious selection of its contents, depend chiefly the usefulness and the reputation of the Society. Recent changes among the officers have interfered with its regular appearance, but measures are now complete for its issue in the 1st week of each month. The Committee append a list of the papers now in hand for their periodical, and the varied nature of these contributions and the known ability of the authors, hold out most gratifying prospects of this department of the Society's labours proving creditable to themselves and beneficial to the public.
The monthly reports of Proceeding having been printed up to the close of 1846, but not issued since March, the Committee of Papers propose to distribute the whole at once this month, as a supplement to
The members of the Committee of Papers have since this Report was drawn up retained at their own cost a retired European Sergeant strongly recommended to them by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, and who now resides on the premises.
the Journal, in the form of the series herewith submitted.* And in future they think it would be conducive to the utility of the Society to publish abstracts of the proceedings in the daily papers, as was done in
For this valuable object a sum of 500 Rs. per mensem, has been munificently granted by Government in the year 1838, and applied in strict accordance with the directions of Government till the close of the year 1840, and the mode of application duly reported to Government. From this period it appears on reference to the accounts published in 1842, for 1841, in the Journal Vol. XI. part I. p. 198, and rendered by Mr. Bolst, but not hitherto published from 1842 to 1846, that through some misunderstanding of the orders of Government, the greater part of the monthly grant has been applied to purposes which, however useful or important, were not contemplated in the terms of the grant. The expenses of the Zoological drawings by Sir A. Burnes, and of those of Dr. Cantor's Chusan Zoology, constitute the heaviest items of this irregular expenditure, being specified in Mr. Bolst's abstracts, under the head of “Oriental Publications," and amounting to Co.'s Rs. 6833: 14: 9, as
1842. Paid J. Bennett for Sir A. Burnes' drawings, Rs.
Messrs. Ballin and Co. for do. do.....
W. Rushton for do. do.
1843. Paid Mr. Bennett for Sir A. Burnes' drawings,..
Drawing paper for do... .
1844. Paid Mr. Bennett for Sir A. Burnes' drawings,..
Do. for Dr. Cantor's Chusan Zoology,
1845. Paid Mr. Bennett on account of Dr. Cantor's Zoo
Mrs. Ballin for printing, ..
Do. balance for Burnes' drawings,
1846. Paid Mrs. Ballin for lithographing Burnes' draw
J. Bennet for Dr. Cantor's Chusan Zoology,
68 4 0
522 12 0
Co.'s Rs. 6833 14 9
*This has been done since the January meeting.
During the period in question the Society has published, or paid towards the publication of " Oriental" works:
Paid for publishing Oriental works,...
Do. for purchase of Oriental works, &c. .. ..
561 15 11
Amount disbursed on account of Oriental Co.'s Rs. 7,682 11
272 0 0
Dec. 31, 1846.
Total Co.'s Rs. 7,954 11 5
While we have received during the same period at 500
Rs. per month for five years, .
leaving Co.'s Rs. 22,045 4 7.
Co.'s Rs. 30,000 0 0
Due by the Society to the account of the grant in question.*
The Committee of Papers have been led to this retrospective view of the subject of the Oriental publication grant by the circumstances which have followed the resolutions adopted by the Society at their meeting of November, 1846, and which gave rise to the annexed correspondence.
To G. A. BUSHBY, ESQ.
Secretary to the Government of India, Home Department.
SIR,-I am directed by the Asiatic Society of Bengal to convey through you their most respectful solicitation that, in the future disposal of the means placed in their hands by Government for the promotion of Oriental literature, they may be permitted to defray from the monthly allowance of Co.'s Rs. 500, the expense of printing in the Society's Transactions and Journal all papers on the subjects named in the subjoined resolution-And also to meet therefrom the cost of preserving the Oriental works now in the Library, for which a monthly allowance of 78 Rs. long awarded by Government has been recently withdrawn.
I have, &c. &c.
(Signed) W. B. O'SHAUGHNESSY, Senior Secretary, Asiatic Society.
* Of which Rs. 1,500, the amount received on this account since Sept. 1846, are in hand and available for the regular purpose according to the Government order.
Resolution adopted by a General Meeting of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 4th November, 1846.
Resolved, that Government be respectfully solicited to permit the Society to defray from the monthly allowance of Rs. 500 for Oriental Publications, first, the expense of the custody of the works now in store (for which a sum of 78 rupees per mensem allowed by Government has lately been withdrawn) and 2d, the cost of publication in the Society's Transactions and Journal of all papers on Oriental literature, History, Antiquities, Geography and kindred subjects of research.
The following reply from Mr. Secretary Bushby, dated 21st November, 1846, was received after the meeting of December.
FROM G. A. BUSHBY, ESQ. Secretary to the Government of India. Dated 21st November, 1846. Home Department.
To W. B. O'SHAUGHNESSY, Esa. Senior Secretary, Asiatic Society.
SIR," I am directed by the Hon'ble the President in Council to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated the 7th instant, conveying the solicitation of the Society, that in the future disposal of the means placed in their hands by Government for the promotion of Oriental Literature, they may be permitted to defray from the monthly allowance of Co.'s Rs. 500, the expense of printing in the Society's Transactions and Journal, all papers on Oriental Literature, History, Antiquities, Geography and kindred subjects of research, and also to meet therefrom the cost of preserving the Oriental Works now in the Library."
2. In order the better to be able to decide on the Society's Application, the President in Council could wish to have before him a statement in detail of the manner in which the Government grant of 500 Rs. per mensem has hitherto been appropriated."
3. "His honor in Council remarks that the conditions of the grant have not been fully carried out by the Society. One of these conditions was that an Annual Account should be rendered by the Society of the manner in which the Government donation had been expended. This seems to have been lost sight of, for the only account current rendered by the Society is that forwarded with your letter dated the 13th January, 1840."
4. "Again it should be shown how the wish expressed by the Hon'ble Court of Directors in regard to the printing of the text of the Vedas, with a commentary, has been kept in mind, and what may be the purpose of the Asiatic Society in regard to the publication of this important Record."
5. The President in Council will on receipt of the statement above called for, be better prepared to judge of the manner of the past appropriation of the Government grant, and to decide on the present application of the Society.
I have, &c. &c.
(Signed) G. A. BUSHBY,
Secretary to the Government of India.
Council Chamber, the 21st November, 1846. On receipt of Mr. Bushby's letter the Secretaries, then but recently elected, made the requisite examination of the accounts, with the result set forth in the foregoing sketch, and which correspond with the general statements previously made by the Sub-Committee of Finance, but unintelligible because unaccompanied by details.
The Committee of Papers regret deeply that any portion of the Oriental Publication Fund should have been used for other purposes, and they consider the Society bound to acknowledge the sum so used as a debt to Government, but one of which the present state of their pecuniary affairs, renders it impracticable for them to offer immediate payment. In partial extenuation of the irregularity, the Committee refer with some satisfaction to the magnificent Zoological collections, to the procural of which no small portion of the fund has been directed, to the very large contributions made to the Muscum of the India House ----and to the additions to their buildings, and the gathering together of suitable monuments in their Hall to the great men by whose labours the Asiatic Society has gained such fame, as the patrons and promoters of Oriental, Literary, and Antiquarian research. The Committe too would represent to Government that for 58 years previous to this grant the greater part of their funds has been expended on the publication of researches of the same, or an allied nature, and in the promotion of every branch of antiquarian investigation. Having at least disbursed more than two lacks of Rupees in this pursuit, the Committee trust that Government will look indulgently on the irregularity which has occurred. They would state that it was in no small degree caused by the indifference of the few Oriental Scholars among us during the period under review to the editing or publishing of works of acknowledged importance. They would express the resolution of the Society-to watch carefully over the future application of the grant, and to refer regarding this on all occasions to the advice of the section of eminent Orientalists already appointed for the purpose.