In 1832, a treaty was executed by Lord William
Bentinck, the Governor-General of India, through Col. C.M. Wade, with
the Lahore Darbar concerning navigation, through the Sutlej and the
Indus rivers within the Khalsa territory. Another treaty on the subject
was subsequently executed in 1834, fixing a duty on every mercantile
boat, independent of its freight and of the nature of its merchandise.
A third treaty was executed on this subject on the arrival of George
Russell Clerk, agent to the Governor-General, at the Sikh Darbar,
in May 1839, adjusting the rate of duties on merchandise, according
to quantity and kind.
The treaty between the Sikh and British governments, signed in the
time of Maharaja Kharak Singh on 27 June 1840, provided for duties,
on a fixed scale, proportionate to the measurements of boats, and
not on the variety of commodities. The treaty provides a schedule
of rates of duties on the mercantile boats, viz. on boats not exceeding
250 maunds of freight, 50 rupees; on boats exceeding 250 maunds but
not exceeding 500 maunds, 100 rupees; and on all boats above 500 maunds,
150 rupees. Grain, wood and limestone were declared to be free of
duty while duty was payable on every other commodity according to
the measurement of the boat.
The Text of the Treaty:
Treaty of Friendship and Amity between the Honorable East India Company
and the Sirdars Runjeet Singh and Futteh Sing-1806
Sirdar Runjeet Sing and Sirdar Futteh Sing have consented to the following
Articles of Agreement concluded by Lieutenant-Colonel John Malcolm,
under the special authority of the Right Honorable Lord Lake, himself
duly authorized by the Honorable Sir George Hilaro Barlow, Baronet,
Governor General, and Sirdar Futteh Sing, as principal on the part
of himself and plenipotentiary on the part of Runjeet Sing.
Article 1. Sirdar Runjeet Sing and Sirdar Futteh Sing Aloowalia
hereby agree that they will cause Jeswunt Rao Holkar to remove with
his army to the distance of 30 coss from Amritsar immediately, and
will never hereafter hold any further connection with him, or aid
or assist him with troops, or in any other manner whatever, and they
further agree that they will not in any way molest such of Jeswunt
Rao Holkar's followers or troops as are desirous of returning to their
homes in the Deccan, but, on the contrary, will render them every
assistance in their power for carrying such intention into execution.
Article 2. The British Government hereby agrees that in case
a pacification should not be effected between that Government and
Jeswunt Rao Holkar, the British Army shall move from its present encampment
on the banks of the River Beas as soon as Jeswunt Rao Holkar aforesaid
shall have marched with his army to the distance of 30 coss from Amritsar;
and that in any Treaty which may hereafter be concluded between the
British Government and Jeswunt Rao Holkar, it shall be stipulated
that, immediately after the conclusion of the said Treaty, Holkar
shall evacuate the territories of the Sikhs and march towards his
own, and that he shall in no way whatever injure or destroy such parts
of the Sikh country as may lie in his route. The British Government
further agrees that as long as the said Chieftains Runjeet Sing and
Futteh Sing abstain from holding any friendly connection with the
enemies of that Government, or from committing any act of hostility
on their own parts against the said Government, the British Armies
shall never enter the territories of the said Chieftains, nor will
the British Government form any plans for the seizure or sequestration
of their possessions or property.
Dated 1st January, 1806, corresponding with 10th Shawal, 1220 H.E.
Seal of Runjeet Sing Seal of Futteh Sing