Page 21 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 agreement was made, whereby in exchange for renewal of the charter the directors were to pay over the period 1755-1774 a sum of fl 1,200,000, to be settled largely in the form of saltpetre. When in 1774 the matter of extension was again raised, the internal situation came under discussion, and at first the States-General granted a period of two years only, but in 1776 once again an extension of twenty years was agreed upon, until 1796.26 The revolution and founding of the Batavian Republic in 1795 meant the end of the directors' position: they had to hand over control and were replaced by a 'Committee for the affairs of the East India Trade and Possessions'. But at the same time the charter, and therefore the VOC monopoly, was extended for another two years, up to the end of 1798, when it was decided to let the charter expire on 31st December 1799. Government of the 'colonies' in Asia was now committed to a 'Council of Asiatic Possessions', which was to conform to a completely new 'Charter for the Asiatic Possessions'. But for as long as this charter had not yet been completed - and this took until 1804 - the Asiatic Council had to conform to the terms of the old charter.27
Before negotiations on amalgamation were started in December 1601, the various voor- compagnieën had already accumulated funds for the equipping of ships over the year 1602. It was decided to deposit this capital with the VOC and to have the ships depart as one fleet. Thus the shareholders came to participate willy-nilly in a united company, but those who objected to this were given the right to withdraw and have their money back.28 As usual accounts were to be settled on return of the ships. Shareholders in this one-year account had no cause for complaint. The 'Fleet of Fourteen Sail' (plus the small yacht PAPEGAAITJE) (0067-0081) which sailed in two contingents under Wijbrand van War- wijk and Siebold de Weerd, made a successful voyage. As much as 265% of the original investment could be paid out.2 9
The fact that after this first expedition still no permanent capital was formed, indicates that in 1602 a radical break with previous forms of organization was not yet envisaged. Capital was now to be accumulated not for just one expedition but for a limited period of ten years. A t the end of this term liquidation was to follow and the acquired assets of movables and unmovables were to be taken over, together with the funds to be invested in the next ten-year account. The 21 year term of the charter was therefore to consist of three separate accounts: in the first year capital was used which had been taken over from the voorcompagnieën, after that there were to be two accounts, to be liquidated at the end of 1612 and 1622 respectively. Meanwhile shareholders would not have to wait for their dividend until 1612. The charter prescribed that a dividend was to be paid as soon as 5% of investments was received in cash from the sale of goods imported. This clause too was based on the practice of the voorcompagnieën where all capital was paid back and no reserves were accrued.30
On these terms shareholders invested their money. Unlike before, they did not hand it over to one of the directors, but provision was made by the chambers for them to enter in the 'participation books' the amount they wished to invest in the ten-year account.
26Onthediscussionof1776:Steur,Herstelofondergang,108-109. 27 Stapel, Geschiedenis van Nederlands Indie, V, 9-12
28 According to clause 9 of the charter.
29 Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 63, 14-21.
30 Van Dillen, Het oudste aandeelhoudersregister, 31.

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