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Governor Johnstone said, that the pro- then took it up in a serious light, and said, position was absurd and cruel: absurd, that he had heard with pleasure many because it took away trade from our own young members speak with much ability colonies, which, those who understood that on this occasion. "They all had apologized trade must know we should not be able to for their want of experience in this session. transfer to ourselves, when it was taken That he was obliged to consider, and apo. from them : that God and nature had logize for himself, as a very young memgiven that fishery to New and not to Old ber of parliament. This will appear, said England: that whenit was once destroyed, he, very strange to those who know that I we should not be able to restore it to those have sat a great many years in this House. from whom it was thus violently taken; It is true I have carried through many turnbecause the little capital, vessels, and im- pike Bills, several draining Bills, a multitude plements of fishermen (many of them of navigations, and inclosures without numpoor) were only kept up by constant re- ber; but I am now come quite a novice to turns of profit: when the profits failed, the ways and means for the ruin of trade the capital and implements would not be and commerce, and the dismemberment of restored. That France, who was suffi- a great empire. He then entered into ciently alert at taking advantages, would the general argument, concerning the juscome in for a part, at least, of the bene- tice of making all parts of a state contri, fits of which we thus thought proper to butary to the support of the whole, and deprive our own people. It was cruel, he that those who receive protection ought said, in the highest degree, and beyond to submit to taxation. He admitted the the example of hostile rigour. That a general maxim to be true; but observed, maritime people always drew a consider that this was only in cases where all the ble part of their immediate sustenance parts received the same protection in equal from the sea. This Bill, therefore, would benefits and equal privileges; otherwise be inhumanly to starve a whole people, equal payment for unequal protection except such as a governor should think it would be injustice itself. That people by proper to favour. That this partial per compact might give up a part of this right; mission must give rise to unjust prefer- but then this compact ought to be proved; ence, monopoly, and all sorts of jobs. and it ought to be proved also, that an He said he had served in the navy the adequate compensation was given for it, whole of the last war; he had in his eye else the bargain would not be fair. And beveral captains, who had cruized off the this brought him to the doctrine of resiste enemy's coasts during the whole war, and ance, which had been handled as best he appealed to them for the truth of what suited the purposes of those who used it. he asserted, that it was a constant rule in That if rebellion was resistance to governthe service to spare the fishing craft, ment, he could not consider all rebellions thinking it savage and barbarous to de- to be alike ;-there must be such a thing prive poor wretches of their little means as justifiable rebellion--and submitted to of livelihood, and the miserable village in the House, whether a people taxed withhabitants of a sea coast of their daily food. out their consent, and their petitions
Mr. T. Townshend urged strongly the against such taxation rejected ; their charcontradiction which prevailed in the prin- ters taken away without hearing; and an ciples of the proposed Bill; for if the army let loose upon them without a possiother provinces were in rebellion, as well bility of obtaining justice; whether a peoas the Massachusets, why were they not ple under such circumstances could not be declared so? If not, why were they in. said to be in justifiable rebellion ? cluded in the very same punishment ? Sir W. Meredith expressed great sorrow Sir George Savile rallied with pleasantry and surprize, that the hon. gentleman some arguments of the lawyers about trea- should call the rebellion in America a jussons, and exposed the idea of depriving tifiable rebellion, since it was the laws a whole province of its subsistence, he which they resisted; and he (Sir George) cause a rebellion, we know not where, nor had consented to the Declaratory Act, by whom, is lurking in it; and then pu. which asserted a right in parliament to nishing a second province, because it is make laws to bind America in all cases bext door to rebellion; a third, because it whatsoever. The power of God himself would be doing nothing if you let them was bounded within the limits of strict escape ; and a fourth, because otherwise justice ; a power to bind, in all cases ministry could not square their plan. He whatsoever, had never been claimed by the greatest tyrant upon earth, nor by any | factures, and starve all the West India earthly power, before the Declaratory Act. islands. To them, therefore, it can only He thought, therefore, the hon. gentleman be said, should move a repeal of the Declaratory Nec lex hâc justior olla, Act, and of every Act that he thought in. Quam necis artifices arte perire sua. jurious to the freedom of America, before Lord John Cavendish and Mr. Townhe exhorted the Americans to bring on shend replied, that they had been in office themselves, their families, and their coun- with the right hon. gentleman who spoke try, all the horrid consequences of rebel- last, when the Declaratory Act passed, and lion. He had opposed, and ever would do afterwards long continued in intimacy with the principle of laying internal taxes on him, but had never heard publicly or priAmerica; but it was not taxation, but the vately, of his objections to the Declaratory trade of Great Britain, which the Ameri- Act, before this year. They thought it cans now opposed. The tea duty is the very odd, that he should have voted for only tax that remains; a tax, which the several severe and proscriptive Acts, in Americans first resisted, had afterwards order to force the Americans to obedience complied with, and paid regularly; but to taxes, since he thought that we had no when the East India Company sent the right to impose any, and that in this respect tea to be sold at a lower price than the he had gone far beyond the most zealous smuggler of Dutch and Swedish teas could partizans of the rights of this country: as afford, then they began to resist the law, little could they reconcile his voting last then they destroyed the merchants'proper year against the repeal of the tea duty, ty, then they began to threaten ruin to the with his aversion to the right of taxation. commerce of this country, not in support Lord Beauchamp and sir Richard Sutof liberty, but merely to support their own ton supported the motion on the equity of illicit commerce. He had promoted the prohibiting the trade of those who had repeal of the Stamp Act, but would never prohibited ours. have taken the part he did, could he have Mr. Burke said, that he did not mean supposed the ministers who gave up the to trouble the committee long-nor to be advantages, would have maintained the heard, beyond those to whom he imme. principle of taxing America. Neither diately applied himself. That by the prowould he have consented to a repeal of the posed Bill, they had disposed of four of Stamp Act, had he not believed that the their provinces. Some were troubled ministers of that time would have made with a concealed rebellion ; others were some effectual provision for the security concealers of that concealment; some and protection of the merchants who trade were infected; others next door to the to America. Instead of which, the Ame infection. Provision, too, was to be made ricans were then taught, that they had by licences and dispensations, and tests for nothing to do but to threaten our mer- those in the several provinces who were chants with ruin, and our manufacturers more innocent or more in favour. But with famine, and then, upon such threats, there was a fifth province, for which no the legislature of Great Britain must sub- provision at all had been made, which was mit to their will. Three times, in the likely to be as great a sufferer as any of space of a few years, they had thrown the the other four, though not in rebellion, whole trade of Great Britain into confu- in the neighbourhood of rebellion. This sion; that it had better be given up, than province had used no other force, but of preserved on such conditions. Life itself one kind, which was not very terrible on was not worth keeping in a state of uncer- earth, though it was said to offer violence tainty and fear. Things were now brought to heaven, the force of prayers and peti
. to a crisis . The conflict must be borne, tions. That this province was England
, and he hoped would never end, but in re- which had now several hundreds of thoulinquishing our connections with America, sands of her property in the four provinces or fixing them on a sure and lasting basis of New England. He then shewed, that As to the proposal of stopping the fisheries, New England was not a staple colony, and whatever distress it might bring on the could only pay her debts through the Americans, they had no reason to com- fishery and the trades which depended plain. It was no more than they had upon it; and that to stop their fishery begun to practise themselves. They had would be to beggar the English merchants ruin our merchants, impoverish our manu- by entering into the nature of the New
This he explained
England trade. He further said, it had lic expence. He did not mean to bring been asserted, falsely, that the New Eng- home this charge to any particular person, land people had refused to pay their debts or set of men ; but it was well known it It had been said also, truly, that they had had been frequently practised by the conno compassion on the English manufac- fidential people in office. turers. But had their dishonesty been as Lord North knew nothing of what had true as the want of compassion, both might been done by such people, but believed have been natural to those we called rebels, upon his honour, that none of the present but what ought we to think of a British confidential servants in office did game in legislature, disabling the payment of debts, the funds; for it would be basely betrayand having no bowels of compassion ing the confidence of their prince. towards the sufferings of our own innocent Lord John Cavendish and Colonel Barré constituents.
accused the noble lord of great inconsiste The question was called for about 12 ency, in thinking so far to blind the House o'clock, when the committee divided ; for as to have it believed that the augmentathe motion 261, against it 85. Leave was tion asked for could answer any purpose accordingly given to bring in the Bill. but to convince the Americans of the inve
teracy of the mother country against them, Debate in the Commons on the Augmen- and to throw a reconciliation to a yet tatim of the Navy.] Feb. 13. The House greater distance: that a few thousand sea. being in a Committee of Supply,
men added to the service would never ef. Mr. Buller moved, That an additional fectually answer the purpose, if that purnumber of 2,000 men be allowed for Sea pose was to prohibit the trade of the most Service for the year 1775. He stated the commercial colonies in America; that the respective services our ships were on, and noble lord must mean only to trifle with said that the proposed augmentation was the House, and with mankind, in declaring necessary to enforce the measures of go- one day America to be in rebellion, the vernment in America.
next prohibiting the commerce of MassaLord North remarked, that the subject chuset's Bay, and the third coming for so had been so amply discussed on Friday, by insignificant an augmentation ; that the being so much blended with the means of gentlemen on the same side of the House restraining the fishery of Massachuset's had repeatedly asserted, that the comBay, that he should have the less to offer merce of the New Englanders, and much upon this occasion; that the rebellious of that of the other colonies, was contradisposition and motions of that and other band; and that America was peopled with colonies made it necessary to have such a smugglers, to the great detriment of that guard upon the coasts of North America, advantage, which would otherwise flow to that the augmentation was highly neces- this country: how could administration, sary; and as the people of New England therefore, with any degree of consistency, could not be restrained from the fishery suppose that such a system of smuggling, without some sloops stationed for that pur added to a new created system of the same, pose, the circumstance made it doubly re- the fishery, be all kept under by any thing quisite to provide accordingly. He gave less than the most powerful armaments ? no precise explanation; but only general Mr. Cornwall, taking an historical cir. assurances that this would be the last ap- cuit of American affairs, in order to shew plication of the kind. He said, he could the connection and dependence of the minot possibly pretend to foretel every event nister's measures on each other, replied to that might happen, and consequently could the objections that had been started : he not bind himself by any specific promise remarked, that to pass Acts to restrain or engagement.
commerce, and to declare the extra-proGovernor Johnstone observed, that this vincial meetings in the colonies illegal, was a most extraordinary mode of pro- whose object principally was to import cedure, and that he was at a loss to deter- arms and ammunition, in order for the mine, whether it proceeded from ignorance purposes of rebellion, would be nugatory or design. He was certain, however, that and absurd, unless corresponding measures it ful scope to gaming in the Alley, were taken to enforce those Acts; that as for stocks had been falling gradually, till to great armaments and feets of men of they had now come down 5 per cent. It war of the line, the gentlemen of the furnished a happy opportunity to those in House in that line of the military well the secret to enrich themselves at the pub- knew them to be unnecessary, and out of [VOL, XVIII.)
the question ; that sloops and the smaller | He then gave an account of a conversafrigates would answer all the purposes, by tion which passed lately between him and being properly stationed; that the New- a French gentleman well acquainted with foundland fishery was so local, that a few the state of their navy; from which he sloops of war would nearly command the was fully satisfied that the whole of our whole, unless some foreign power had a force, in every part of the world, would superior force there, with whom we were not be sufficient to defend us at home, at war, or on ill terms; that in regard to should we blindly rush into a civil war. the objections which had generally been Mr. Temple Luttrell. I rise up under made against using force with the Ame- a number of disadvantages, and shall ricans, he could not see their propriety, scarce be able to express my sentiments since he was persuaded that the Ame- without much agitation and embarrassricans were determined to make the dis- ment, a novice as I am at political disquipute a question of dependency on the sitions, and attempting, (from a seat which crown of this realm.
till this hour 1 might not call my own) to Mr. Charles Fox contended strongly, speaḥ on a subject of such high import
, in that taking the affairs of America on the the presence, and possibly against the opivery footing upon which the hon. member nion of the most experienced statesmen in had thrown them, that their conduct be any country of the universe. But, Sir, it trayed nothing but incapacity; that the has been earnestly recommended to me, gentlemen on the Treasury bench were as well by the electors of the borough of repeatedly telling the House of the rebel which I have the honour to be a represenlion of the Americans, and how strongly tative, as by several other persons of rethey are persuaded that they mean to spectable consideration, that I will exert throw off all dependance on this country; the utmost of my humble endeavours and how then, said he, are we to account for faculties, towards the establishing of peace, that slothful, dilatory conduct of adminis- and conciliating the affections of the Ame. tration, to sit quiet for so many months, rican colonies with their parent state of and to seem in their management to have Great Britain, and to promote the joint no idea that force 'could ever be used happiness of both divisions of this mighty or would ever be necessary. (If ad. empire, on the firm basis of equity and ministration were really persuaded of the mutual good offices : and I should hold it views and intentions of the Americans, an unpardonable omission of duty were I if rebellion was written among them in to remain now silent, especially as I was such legible characters, why did they not precluded by the dependence before partake the earliest opportunity of preventing liament of a controverted return, from dethose intentions and of stilling that rebel claring my disposition towards the oppresslion. Had they conducted themselves ed colonists, at the opening of the present upon the principles of common sense they session, when a speech from the throne of certainly would have been earlier in their the most inimical tendency to America, intelligence to parliament, earlier in their and therefore the most alarming and danapplication, and more vigorous in their gerous tendency to the whole British realm, measures. But this, Sir, is under the sup- received the thanks of this House. I was position that they knew the rectitude of under the same preclusion when commerce their intentions, and approved their own here stood a dejected supplicant, in just conduct. He then deviated into a per. apprehension from the impending storm. sonal attack on lord North, but was un- Well
, Sir, might she be alarmed, to see a commonly spirited throughout.
pilot at the helm, as the winds and the bilCaptain Walsingham insisted that our lows arise, who, rather than part with the present naval force was by no means ade. guns, throws the merchandize overboard ; quate to the execution of our professed in- save them, Sir, he may, by so costly a sa: tentions ; for that the squadron we design- crifice, but not for jubilee or triumph; ed for America would answer no purpose they shall be saved for signals of distress, of stopping their commerce; or if we did and to solemnize the obsequies of your send a sufficient one, our own coasts, com- empire. paratively speaking, must be left totally The merchants were not then to be defenceless; as he was well informed, that heard lest their candid story should set in France alone
had 75 men of war of the the proper point of view those insidious line now, more than one half of which fragments of official letters laid on your were manaed, and fit for actual service. table. What human understanding could
cement such a mangled correspondence agitate questions wrapt up in subdolous together, so as to derive any clear accu- Machiavelian mystery, and only to be derate knowledge of the real condition or veloped by the acutest abstract reasoning. sentiments of the Americans ? Whatso- The present juncture, Sir, requires only a ever might extenuate offences, excuse well principled heart, and a head modeerror, and restore perfect amity between rately conversant with the nature of men the two countries, did the partial hand of and things. administration wickedly suppress, while in It is not, I own, I feel, given to a young too glaring a light was exhibited every member to deliver his ideas with that fact that could serve to widen the breach, guarded correctness, that unagitated conand inflame the passions, and blow up a fidence which long habitude of speaking faint, luckless spark of animosity to the usually supplies; but will he, Sir, yield full combustion and horrors of a civil with less ductility to the dictates and howar! These misrepresentations however nest zeal of inward conscience ? he comes answered the ends proposed, for both among you at least with a judgment unHouses were blindly en trapped to give biassed: he has not pledged himself to their sanction to as sanguinary a scroll any partial junto, whose maxims and ina (in the form of an address) as was ever terests he is at all events to adopt for the laid by a prostitute senate at the feet of measure of his political career : he has not deluded majesty. Did not your ancestors, stood forth an accomplice to any of those Sir, manfully fight, did not some of them manifold mischiefs and blunders which heroically fall, to preserve those constitu- have heretofore been committed in the tional rights of the subject to every Briton, administration of your colonies: he has which you have now by one vote pledged had no share in enflaming the evil by temyourself, at the hazard of life and fortune, porary anodynes; nor has he treated the to subvert and to annihilate throughout imperial concerns of that wide-stretched the better part of the whole British mo- continent as only accessary to, and of trinarchy ?
vial account when compared with his own I do not conceive it possible that any private schemes of ambition and aggranman here present can feel as he ought, be disement. Upon the whole, Sir, I can conscious of the least participation in the but think him rather the more likely to superintendence of the commonwealth, execute the share of such important award and remain a mere tranquil observer, when committed to bis discretion, as becomes so interesting a subject comes before you; an upright delegate of the people at large, a subject on the issue of which perhaps heedless whether his conduct therein may his own individual happiness or misery, quadrate with the narrow, selfish views of doubtless the happiness or misery of his this or that set of men who are candidates Dearest posterity will depend. With what for titles or power: not but that I have hebitude, Sir, must the blood circulate the satisfaction to see here present some through his veins ! What must his defini. characters animated with the true patriotic tion be of an ignominious supineness and spirit, who have long and worthily been apathy !—This is not a debate of slow ani. seated within these walls ; on whose emimation, in which few persons are con- nent talents, on whose approved integrity, cerned, and of limited influence; we are America rests her best hope. now to decide upon the fate of millions Such gentlemen as come within the through a long series of ages, and the scope of any of those disadvantageous al. part which every man shall take on this lusions I have just thrown out, will conoccasion must stamp him with characters sider, that a well-timed recession from indelible through all eternity—a patriot or error claims the next praise to a perfect a parricide. It is, Sir, from the collisions exemption therefrom : they will no longer of controversy that those radiant sparks endeavour to palliate a dreadful disease, are struck out by which truth lights her which, if once arrived at a full paroxysm, sacred torch-nor have I less expectation it will baffle the Esculapian skill of their from those gentlemen who are but just expertest state-doctors to cope with. initiated into parliamentary business, than Our present sagacious rulers had, it from your veteran politicians " deep on seems, drawn their political clue in that whose front engraven”. (to use the phrase quarter of the globe to so Gordian a tie, of Milton) “ deliberation sits and public that despairing to revolve by patience and care.” Such veterans might indeed be sober wisdom through the several impliour surest guides, were we now about to cations their hands had wrought, they