and the surplus from budgetary sources could be utilized to provide the annualinvestment. In fact Bengal was not only expected to supply the export goods to Europe but also the silver to finance the company’s purchase tea and silk in china. By the 1780’s both East India company’s servants and private British traders has succeeded inestablishing a position of dominance in the maritime trade of Bengal, madras, andBombay and had generally greatly reduced the share of the native merchants in theexports and imports trade. Other European groups did better partly because they had anindependent economic base to operate from and partly because of a special reason after the battle of Plessey there was suddenly and enormous increase in the amount of privatefortune belonging to the company’s servants who wished to send it to England at a profitable rate of remittance. In the period from 1765-1786 was the great period of private trade by the East India Company’s and servants, such excesses were graduallychecked with the improvement in the company’s administration in India and itsincreasing control by the parliament. In 1776 Adam smith had condemned the company’smonopoly as being both detrimental to British foreign trade, as well as destructive toIndia’s economic welfare. In a lengthy memorandum written in 1792 for the board of control an attempt was made to estimate the total volume and value of India’s direct tradewith Europe. A summary of it is given in the below table it shows that the company’sshare of European exports to India was only 14.4% of the total value, while that of imports from India came to 26.8%.
TRADE BETWEEN INDIA AND EUROPE ESTIMATED ANNUALAVERAGE 1780-90
Imports in toIndia(£)(%)Exports fromIndia(£)(%)Foreign companies: Dutch, French,Danish, Portuguese992,64041.52,757,76337.6Clandestine trade: English trade under foreign flags615,30025.72,000,00027.3English private trade: licensed by the EastIndia Company439,60018.4403,5655.5East India Company346,07014.41,962,09526.8Privilege goods shipped on the company'sships208,1462.8Total 2,393,6101007,331,569100
Trends and fluctuations: total exports and imports, 1814-1947.
With the charter act of 1813 which removed some the chief institutional restrictionsand anomalies, India overseas trade began to take on a more recognizably moderncharacter. The immediate effect of the opening of trade was a spectacular expansion, andthe long term trends through out the 19
century were in an upward direction. Thegeneral progress however, occurred in a series of uneven spurts and the whole period was punctuated by short fluctuations it is well known as the change in the techniques of