Catalogue of the Archives of the Dutch Central Government of Coastal Ceylon, 1640-1796

Description of the Subordinate Components

   The Governor in Council.

   Internal Affairs.

Documents relating to the "liberale gift" of 1753 and of 1792.
In 1747, when the financial position of the United Provinces had become very bad, the first general taxation, called "liberale gift" (liberal gift) was levied on the property of the inhabitants of the United Provinces.
The "Staten Generaal" (States General) held the opinion that the Netherlanders in the colonies too should pay this tax. Although the board of directors in Amsterdam objected to the proposal it had to submit. The consideration that "the prosperity of the V.O.C. depended entirely on the existence and maintenance of the beloved fatherland" was mentioned in the extensive order by which the taxation was introduced in the East [1]. By this order all Company's servants and institutions had to pay 2% from their movable and immovable property, subject however to a large number of exemptions. An oath had to be sworn that the statements entered were correct. The "liberale gift" was introduced into Ceylon in 1751; a commission to collect the tax was appointed here just as in any other comptoir.
Again, in 1791, when the financial position of the V.O.C. itself became very precarious, another "liberale gift" was levied on the personnel of the V.O.C., this time to save the V.O.C. from a disaster, "a blow from which the V.O.C. servants in particular and all inhabitants living under the Company's administration in general would suffer severely" [2]. Another committee to carry out the duties mentioned in this order was appointed in Ceylon.
3035
Secret letters from the outstations in connection with the "liberale gift". With annexes.
1753 June 5 - November 10.
 
Damaged by corrosion.
3036
Instructions regarding the commissioners for the "liberale gift" issued at Colombo. One document: printed.
1792 June 30.
 
Damaged by damp.
The document is signed by governor van de Graaff.
3037
Reports and statements submitted to the Governor relating to the "liberal gift" paid by Company's servants in terms of the "plakkaat " of .
1792 June 28
 
1792 - 1794.
 
Originally these documents were annexes to the council minutes, as the endorsements clearly indicate. They have apparently been collected and placed together at a later period.