Page 32 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 with them in a manner which was found to be fruitful in other spheres of the Republic as well.
Proceedings of directors in the chambers
In the chambers directors were charged with the implementation of the Heren Zeventien s decisions. But, as already pointed out, the directors also discussed matters of general management, and delegates to the Heren Zeventien were given a voting mandate. In Amsterdam and Zeeland directors met two or three times a week, but when necessary extra meetings were inserted and the directors did not shy away from meeting on a Sunday.74
The first clause of the charter indicated each chamber's share of the operations: 'of the equipage the Amsterdam chamber will take care of one half, the Zeeland chamber of one quarter, the chambers of the Maze of one eighth and the chambers of the Noorderkwartier also of one eighth'.7 5 The same ratio was applied to all operations - the building and equipping of ships, the shipping of goods and moneys, the receipt and sale of goods imported. At Zeeland's insistence the ratio had been incorporated in the charter, since in 1602 it feared that on the basis of capital input Amsterdam would get the upper hand
- a fear that at the close of applications proved to be quite justified. A s a result, however, after the closure of accounts in the chambers settlement had to take place in the meeting of the Heren Zeventien - the 'liquidation and equalization'.
For the execution of the various tasks in the Amsterdam chamber committees had been formed, as previously with the Amsterdam ╬Żoorcompagnie├źn. In 1602 there were four: for the signing on of crews, for victualling, for the ships and for merchandize. In 1606 commissioners for the audit office were appointed, the 'rekenmeesteren', and in 1607 some four auditors for the first ten-year account. Up to 1659 the chamber's minutes regularly mention the composition of such committees.76 Later on directors, on appointment, were immediately placed on one of these committees. Eventually there were four, which in the eighteenth century were given the name of 'departments':
- the equipage (charged with the oversight of the building, repairing and equipping of ships and the signing on of crews)
- the warehouse (administration of merchandize; also the selection and appointment of clergymen for Asia was charged to this department)
- the reception (charged with oversight of the cash office, the arranging of finance and the shipping of ready money to Asia)
- the audit office (oversight of accounts and, together with the reception, control of the cash office, also charged with the administration of shares).
The Zeeland chamber had a similar division, in fact there were three departments: that of merchandize, the treasury and the equipage. In Amsterdam's delegation of eight to meetings of the Heren Zeventien, usually directors from each of the different departments were included, and in Zeeland also care was taken that members of all three of the chamber's departments were included in the delegation.77
74 This is apparent from the resolution books of both these chambers, no resolution books of the smaller chambers being extant.
75 This meant that Delft, Rotterdam, Hoorn and Enkhuizen each had to take care of one sixteenth of the equipage; Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 63, 230.
76 A R A , VOC 307, Index to the resolutions of the Amsterdam chamber (under Bewindhebberen). Cf. Klerk de Reus, Geschichtlicher Ueberblick, 61.
77 A R A , V O C 7253, res. Zeeland of 14.3.1695.

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