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becoming from great and flourishing colo- that the powers of Admiralty and Vicenies towards a parent country labouring Admiralty courts in America shall be reunder the heaviest burdens, which, in no strained within their ancient limits, and inconsiderable part, have been willingly the trial by jury, in all civil cases, where taken upon ourselves and posterity, for the the same may be abolished, restored : and defence, extension, and prosperity of the that no subject in America shall, in capital colonies.
cases, be liable to be indicted and tried for And to this great end, be it farther the same, in any place out of the province hereby declared and enacted, that the wherein such offence shall be alleged to general congress (to meet at Philadelphia have been committed, nor be deprived of as aforesaid) shall be, and is hereby autho- a trial by his peers of the vicinage; nor rized and empowered (the delegates com shall it be lawful to send persons indicted posing the same being first sufficiently for murder in any province of America, to famished with powers from their respective another colony, or to Great Britain, for provinces for this purpose) to adjust and trial. fix the proportions and quotas of the se- And be it hereby declared and enacted, Feral charges to be borne by each province by the authority aforesaid, that all and respectively, towards the general contri- every the said Acts, or so much thereof as butory supply; and this in such fair and are represented to have been found equitable measure, as may best suit the grievous, namely, the several Acts of the abilities and due convenience of all: pro- 4th Geo. 3, ch. 15. and ch. 34 ; 5th Geo. 3, vided always, that the powers for fixing ch. 25; 6th Geo. 3, ch. 52; 7th Geo. 3, the said quotas, hereby given to the dele- ch. 41, and ch. 46; 8th Geo. 3, ch. 22; gates from the old provinces composing 12th Geo. 3, ch. 24.—with the three Acts the congress, shall not extend to the new for stopping the port, and blocking up the provinces of East and West Florida, harbour of Boston ; for altering the charter Georgia
, Nova Scotia, St. John's, and and government of Massachuset's Bay; Canada; the circumstances and abilities and that entitled, An Act for the better of the said provinces being reserved for administration of justice, &c.; also the the wisdom of parliament in their due Act for regulating the government of time. And in order to afford necessary Quebec, and the Act passed in the same time for mature deliberation in America, session relating to the quarters of soldiers, be it hereby declared, That the provisions shall be, and are hereby suspended, and for ascertaining and fixing the exercise of not to have effect or exécution, from the the right of taxation in the colonies, as date of this Act. And be it moreover agreed and expressed by this present act, hereby declared and enacted, by the aushall not be in force, or have any operation thority aforesaid, that all and every the until the delegates to be in congress as- before-recited Acts, or the parts thereof sembled, sufficiently authorized and em- complained of, shall be and are, in virtue powered by their respective provinces to of this present Act, finally repealed and this end, shall, as an indispensable condi- annulled, from the day that the new retion, have duly recognised the supreme cognition of the supreme legislative autholegislative authority and superintending rity and superintending power of parliapower of the parliament of Great Britain ment over the colonies shall have been over the colonies aforesaid : always under made on the part of the said colonies. stood, that the free grant of an aid, as And for the better securing due and heretofore required and expected from the impartial administration of justice in the colonies, is not to be considered as a con- colonies, be it declared and enacted by dition of redress, but as a just testimony the King's most excellent Majesty, by of their affection.
and with the advice and consent of the And whereas, divers acts of parliament Lords spiritual and temporal, and Comhave been humbly represented, in a Peti- mons in this present parliament assemtion to his Majesty from America, to have bled, that his Majesty's judges in courts been found grievous, in whole or in part
, of law in the colonies of America, to be to the subjects of the colonies, be it hereby appointed with salaries by the crown, declared by the King's most excellent Ma- shall hold their offices and salaries as luis jesty, by and with the advice and consent Majesty's judges in England, quamdiu se of the Lords spiritual and temporal, and bene gesserint. And it is hereby further Commons in this present parliament as- declared, by the authority aforesaid, that sembled, and by the authority of the same, the colonies in America are justly entitled
to the privileges, franchises, and immu- | that power by every possible exertion this nities granted by their several charters or country was capable of making. He reconstitutions; and that the said charters curred to his former arguments, on the or constitutions ought not to be invaded great constitutional question of taxation or resumed, unless for misuser, or some and representation ; insisted they were legal ground of forfeiture. So shall true inseparable, and planted so deeply in the reconcilement avert impending calamities, vital principles of the constitution, as and this most solemn national accord be. never to be torn up, without destroying tween Great Britain and her colonies, and pulling asunder every band of legal stand an everlasting monument of cle- government and good faith, which formed mency and magnanimity in the benignant the cement that united its several consti. father of his people; of wisdom and mo- tuent parts together. He entreated the deration in this great nation, famed for assistance of the House to digest the humanity as for valour; and of fidelity and crude materials which he presumed to grateful affection from brave and loyal co- now lay before it, and bring it and reduce Tonies to their parent kingdom, which will it to that form, which was suited to the ever protect and cherish them.
dignity and the importance of the sub. The Earl of Chatham rose. His lord-ject, and to the great ends to which it was ship began with reminding the House, ultimately directed. He called on them that the last time he had the honour of to exercise their candour on the present imparting his sentiments to them, he had occasion, and deprecated the effects of informed them, that with their indulgence, party or prejudice, of factious spleen, or a he would submit certain propositions to blind predilection. He avowed himself to their consideration, as a basis for averting be actuated by no narrow principle, or the dangers which now threatened the personal consideration whatever; for British empire; and that in performance though the present Bill might be looked of his promise, he had sketched the out- upon as a bill of concession, it was imlines of a Bill, which he hoped would meet possible but to confess at the same time, with the approbation of every side of the that it was a bill of assertion. House. He proceeded to state the ur- The Earl of Dartmouth observed, that gent necessity of such a plan, as, perhaps, the Bill took in such a variety of matter, a period of a few hours might for ever de- it was impossible for him to pronounce any feat the possibility of any such conci- certain opinion concerning its propriety; liatory intervention. He represented and as the noble earl who presented it did Great Britain and America as drawn up not seem willing to press the House to any in martial array, waiting for the signal to immediate decision, but appeared rather engage in a contest, in which it was little desirous that it should be maturely and matter for whoin victory declared, as fully considered, he supposed it would he ruin and destruction must be the inevita- quite agreeable to him, that the Bill should ble consequence to both parties. He lie on the table till the papers referred by wished, from a principle of duty and af- his Majesty were first taken into consifection, to act the part of a mediator. He deration; if so, he had no objection to the said, however, that no regard for popu- Bill being received on those terms. larity, no predilection for his country, not The Bill was then read a first time. the high esteem he entertained for Ame- The Earl of Sandwich rose, and instantly rica on one hand, nor the unalterable changed this appearance of concession on steady regard he entertained for the dig. the part of administration. He insisted, nity of Great Britain on the other, should that to concede was at once to give up the at all influence his conduct; for though point ; that he was well assured America he loved the Americans, as men prizing had already formed the most traitorous and setting the just value on that inesti- and hostile intentions; that the last dismable blessing liberty ; yet if he could patches brought over an account, that once bring himself to be persuaded, that they had already attacked and taken one they entertained the most distant inten. of the King's forts, and had seized the tions of throwing off the legislative su- King's stores and ammunition to employ premacy and great constitutional superin. them against him, which, if any thing tending power and controul of the British could be deemed rebellion, it was plain legislature, he should be the very person this was. He highly condemned the mode himself, who would be the first and most of bringing this Bill forward, and every zealous mover for securing and enforcing circumstance attending it; and observed,
with no small degree of warmth, that it would gladly enjoy all the substantial was no less unparliamentary than unpre- fruits of that supremacy, in the way of cedented. He said it was impossible, on obedience and submission, in preference so short a notice, to determine on a to wresting them by force and violence. matter of such singular importance, so His lordship then proceeded to animadvert extensive in its objects, and so novel in its on the conduct of administration, and on iotroduction. As to the stale pretension their manifest misconduct respecting the of preserving our commercial interests, insufficiency of the force sent to Boston ; that device could impose on none but but was called to order by the earl of those who were wilfully blind, and who Sandwich; who was also called to order kere resolved to contradict the plainest by the duke of Richmond. His grace inevidence of facts, and shut their eyes sisted, lord Lyttelton ought not to have against reason and common sense; for it been interrupted. Lord Lyttelton conwas clear the Americans were not disput- cluded with a simile drawn from the Roing about words, but realities, it was to man history, where a general in the time free themselves from the restrictions laid of Augustus being sent with a force on their commerce, that was the principal against the Germans, not adequate to the motive for their present obedience; it was service, the general with all his army were not the tea they really objected, for if unhappily cut off. When Augustus heard they could procure it from any other of it, his observation was, that such a place but Britain, they would be well force should have been sent as would have pleased, of which he had the most unde- ensured success. niable proof in his pocket, in authentic The Earl of Shelburne disclaimed the letters informing bim, that there were least knowledge of the contents of the ships now lading at Amsterdam, Port Bill till it was read by the Clerk. He was P'Orient, and Havre de Grace, with various extremely animated, and painted, in the sorts of East India and European com- strongest colours, the probable consemodities, intended for certain parts of the quences of pushing matters to extremities. continent of North America. His lord- A ruined commerce, starving manufacship therefore moved, “ That the said turers, increased taxes, heavy poor-rates, Bill be rejected.”
rents fallen, an exhausted exchequer, Lord Lyttelton set out with the highest and a diminished revenue, were some of encomiums on the great abilities and high the first effects he predicted, that would political knowledge of the noble earl inevitably follow from adopting the meawho framed the Bill. He said his know- sures of administration.
His lordship ledge was as extensive as his intentions proceeded to take notice of another were good and great; that in the most matter which had been hitherto overtrying situations, when the nation was re- looked, but which deserved the most seduced nearly to desperation and despair, rious consideration. It was well known, he stood forth alone, on the dangerous that the vast supplies of bread corn ocean of politics, and rescued the nation brought into this kingdom from America, from the ruin which was suspended over its would now of course be stopped; and head. For these reasons, as well as the that again would add to all our other acparticular merit of the proposition now cumulated misfortunes, riots and tumults made, he thought both the mover and the of the most alarming and dangerous namatter deserved a more favourable recep- ture. People must eat, and it would be tion. He said, though he could not pro- impossible to reconcile them to measures bably agree with the noble earl in many which would at once cut them off from of his ideas, particularly relative to procuring the necessaries of life, unless at the repeal of the Quebec Bill, which was a most exorbitant and advanced price, and included in those mentioned in the Peti- the means of purchasing them almost at tion of the American congress to the any price. He ventured to speak with King, he must still continue to think it the more confidence of what might be was extremely improper at once to reject justly dreaded on this occasion, because, and put a negative on a proposition, which when only one part of the case existed, a carried on the face of it a plan of reconci- scarcity of grain in 1766, when he had the liation ; and made an opening for chang- honour of acting as one of his Majesty's ing negociation for the sword. He avowed secretaries of state, he well remembered his former sentiments respecting the su- the dreadful alarms that were spread on premacy of the British parliament; but account of the risings and tumultuous sed their ports to be filled wire, and their towns with sol
He sting them to the other parts
meetings in almost every part of the king- Earl Gower rose in a great heat, and dom. One day an express arrived from condemned the Bill in the warmest terms. Norwich, another from the inland counties, He contended, that it fell in with the ideas that an ensign, with a few to which troops were sent to quell the of America in almost every particular, and jud reduce them to instant rioters ; the next day, one from South- held out no one security, that although we ampton and the western counties, and a should be base and dastardly enough to be- re interrupted by the earl of fourth from Chester and the north. I tray the rights of the parliament of Great recalled on him to name the would have these things maturely consi- Britain, America would agree to such se Earl Gower was proceeddered and weighed, said his lordship. All parts of it as the noble lord seemed to sus called on to specify the the troops now in Great Britain and Ire- point out as matters of submission or con- *; a which he said, it was land would scarcely suffice to put the cession ; but above all, it not only sanc- an the other House. proposed measures in execution. Think, tified the traitorous proceeding of the conz d (ksihem condemned such then, in time; Ireland naked and defence gress already held, but further legalized eu tery severe terms, said it less, England in an uproar from one end it, by ordaining that another shall be held at er parliamentary, to mento the other for want of bread, and desti- on the 9th of May next. He then endea- apden out of the House ; or if tute of employment. Besides all this, is voured to prove that suspending the Acts a set to some particular exthere, then, a noble lord in administration mentioned in the Bill, would be to every such could not be understood who will rise and tell
me, that he seriously substantial purpose an actual repeal. thinks, the powers of Europe, particularly defended those Acts one after another; 20 and in fact, that the noble naval power clash with ours, will sit totally would be of no avail, would be po more la from him, as he knew too unconcerned, and let slip so favourable an than a dead letter, if the laws forcesta squaintance with the force hurting those interests? I cannot believe ed; for to talk of laws for restricting and less than 40,000 men, that the assurances of their inveterate enemies means of enforcing and executing them, the America, when the part
Perhaps administration trust to regulating their commerce without the loafer regiments, could not and false friends; if they do, all I will add was a mere mockery of reason and com- - France of that continent, is, that I sincerely pity them. The Duke of Grafton complained se encomiums on the Quebec Bill; spoke ta force for full five years,
mon sense. He next launched into great id a third of the former, emverely of the
very manner in which the noble earl had policy; said it was a measure no less hurried the Bill into the House. He said, founded in wisdom and justice, than its then being finished, he had the honour of sitting there longer apparent policy, considering the rebellious than the noble earl, and within his recol- temper of the colonies, was properly directlection he could safely affirm, he never re- ed. He repeated what he had advanced on membered another instance of the kind. a former occasion, that those of the best For his part, he was astonished how any characters and greatest property throughmatter so important in its nature, so ex- out the colonies, were well inclined to tensive in its consequences, and directed obedience and submission to the mother to such a variety of objects, each of them country, that all they wanted to manifest worthy of a separate consideration, could their zeal and attachment was to be probe thus brought forward together, and in tected ; that were it otherwise, Great Bri
In his opinion, the tain was called upon by every tie of in. In the same side, that they such a manner. matter should have been laid before the terest, every motive of dignity, and every House, in separate propositions, each of principle of good government, to assert its select matter in this stage which should be singly discussed, as lead- legislative supremacy entire and undiing to one great comprehensive system. minished. He avowed his advising every His own opinion respecting the general measure hitherto taken against them; and means prepared to speak question, was, he said, perhaps different said he did not mean to screen himself from that entertained by either party. from any consequence whatever, but was When it came before the House regularly, prepared for the worst, and ready to face the two consider it and to enter freely and openly without reserve or pre- that the noble earl who framed the Bill, the every leading proposition and in a proper mode, he should declare it the block in such a cause. He observed as examination, I here pledge men; but when he considered the manner the prowess of the Americans, and to la- thich is great measure indilection for the sentiments of any set of seemed to entertain the highest opinion of Bal tests, particularly the of introducing it, and the immense mass of ment greatly the cruelty and injustice of matter it contained, however highly he sending a military force against them; yet might estimate the talents of the noble he remembered the time the noble earl framer, or great a personal regard he entertained very different sentiments on an might entertain for him, he must be for occasion of infinitely less provocation, antagonists; and if that
8 rejecting the Bill in the first instance.
te he must, it is evident
Izope, sir Jeffery Amherst.
declared in the most unre2, far reducing the Americans
ngare his hearty concurrence ai Sandwich's amendment. nin argued the matter geneBaleaged administration to a
every separate proposiund answer for himself, he be could answer for every
to consider so as to de.
*Bs. It was not, he was cerstanded. I am not, said bis are material part of it; but if,
rescinding the DeSerting that the British en bind the colonies in all
. On that ground I am
when he advised their ports to be filled give way. I will maintain the negative on with ships of war, and their towns with sol- the great principles of the law and the diers; adding, that an ensign, with a few constitution, and prove, that in no one regiments, would reduce them to instant stage of the constitution, were taxation obedience.
and representation ever separated ; and Here he was interrupted by the earl of that even in the case of the county PaChatham, who called on him to name the latines, the very arguments deduced from time and place. Earl Gower was proceed the exercise of taxing them before they ing, but was again called on to specify the were represented, will incontrovertibly detime and place; on which he said, it was monstrate, that legislation and taxation in a debate in the other House.
are neither co-extensive nor co-equal. The Earl of Chatham condemned such The Earl of Chatham replied to the sea procedure in very severe terms, said it veral objections which fell from the lords in was not decent or parliamentary, to men- administration. He descanted with equal tion words spoken out of the House ; or if humour and severity upon the it were, to advert to some particular ex- ordinary logic employed by the noble pressions, which could not be understood duke, his quondam colleague in office, and without referring them to the other parts very humble servant. The noble duke, of the speech; and in fact, that the noble said his lordship, is extremely angry with earl was mistaken, for no such expressions me, that I did not previously consult him had ever fallen from him, as he knew too on the bringing in the present Bill. I well, by his acquaintance with the force would ask the noble duke, does he consult employed during the late war in America, me, or do I desire to be previously told of which was not less than 40,000 men, that any motions or measures he thinks fit to an ensign with a few regiments, could not propose to this House ? His grace seems reduce British America, when the part to be much offended at the manner this possessed by France of that continent, Bill has been hurried. I am certain he which was not a third of the former, em- could not be serious, if he gave himself a ployed so great a force for full five years, minute to consider how the case really under the command of one of the ablest stands. Here we are told that America is generals in Europe, sir Jeffery Amherst. in a state of actual rebellion, and we are This altercation being finished,
now arrived at the first of February, and Earl Gower declared in the most unre- no one step is taken to crush this supposed served terms, for reducing the Americans rebellion : yet, such being the case, I am to submission, gave his hearty concurrence charged with hurrying matters ; but wheto the earl of Sandwich's amendment. ther
may be more justly Lord Camden argued the matter gene- charged with hurrying this business into, rally, and challenged administration to a or his grace with hurrying it out of the full discussion of every separate proposi- House, I believe requires no great depth tion. He could answer for himself, he of penetration to discover. °As to the dared say he could answer for every other general objections, I presume it will noble lord on the same side, that they be recollected, that the last day I submitnever meant to consider so as to deted the proposition about withdrawing the cide on the subject matter in this stage troops from Boston, I then gave notice of the business. It was not, he was cer- that I would present, in a few days, a plan tain, ever intended. I am not, said his of general reconciliation. Eleven days lordship
, by any means prepared to speak have since elapsed, and nothing has been fully to any one material part of it; but if, offered by the King's servants. Under as is always usual on such occasions, they such circumstances of emergency on one are determined to consider it and to enter side, when, perhaps, a single day may deinto a candid examination, I here pledge termine the fate of this great empire, and myself to prove every leading
proposition such a shameful negligence, total inattenon which the Bill rests, particularly the tion, and want of ability on the other, main one, which in a great measure in- what was to be done? No other alternative, cludes all the rest, the rescinding the De- in my opinion, remained, but either to claratory law asserting that the British abandon the interests of my country, and parliament can bind the colonies in all relinquish my duty, or to propose some cases whatsoever. On that ground I am plan, when ministry, by their inaction and ready to meet my antagonists; and if that silence, owned themselves incapable of argument falls, they must, it is evident, proposing any. But even now let them