« ZurückWeiter »
“ To assure his Majesty, that we re-fulness, grant to his Majesty every necesceire, with the highest sense of his Ma- sary supply; and that they consider themjesty's goodness, the early information selves bound by gratitude as well as duty, which he has been pleased to give us of to give every proof of their most affecthe state of the province of the Massa- tionate attachment to a prince, who, dure chuset's Bay.
ing the whole course of his reign, has “ That we feel the most sincere con- made the happiness of his people the obcern, that a spirit of disobedience and re-ject of all his views, and the rule of all his sistance to the law should still unhappily actions.” prevail in that province, and that it has Mr. Thomas De Grey, jun. seconded broke forth in fresh violences, of a most the motion. criminal nature; and that we cannot but Lord John Cavendish, after condemnlainent, that such proceedings should have ing the conduct of administration respectbeen countenanced and encouraged in any ing the colonists, moved the following other of his Majesty's colonies, and that Ainendment to the question, by inserting any of his subjects should have been so far after the word “ throne,' at the end of deluded and misled as to make rash and the first paragraph, these words; “ And unwarrantable attempts to obstruct the to assure his Majesty, that, animated with commerce of his Majesty's kingdoms, by the warmest zeal for his service, and for unlawful combinations.
the glory and prosperity of his reign, we “ To present our most dutiful thanks to shall enter into the consideration of the his Majesty, for having taken such mea- present situation of his colonies in Amesures as he judged most proper and effec- rica, with that care and attention, which tual for carrying into execution the laws the delicacy and importance of the object which were passed in the last session of require. the late parliament, for the protection and « And humbly to represent, that our security of the commerce of his Majesty's inviolable duty and respect to his Majesty, subjects ; and for restoring and preserving as well as our situation in an immediate peace, order, and good government, in the delegated trust from his people, will not province of the Massachuset's Bay. permit us to form any opinion upon a
“ That, animated by his Majesty's gra- matter, which may not only sensibly and cious assurances, his faithful Commons deeply affect the landed and commercial will use every means in their power to as- interests of our constituents, but lead to sist his Majesty in maintaining entire and consequences of a still more alarming nainviolate the supreme authority of this le- ture, without the fullest and most satisgislature over all the dominions of his factory information : and to that end, crown; being truly sensible that we should most humbly to request, that his Majesty betray the trust reposed in us, and be would be graciously pleased to give orders wanting in every duty which we owe to that all the accounts received from Amehis Majesty and to our fellow subjects, if rica may be laid before this House with we fail to give our most zealous support to all convenient dispatch. those great constitutional principles which “ And that when, by such information, govern his Majesty's conduct in this im- we shall be enabled to form a proper judgportant business, and which are so essen- ment, we will humbly offer our advice on tial to the dignity, safety, and welfare, of this delicate situation of affairs, and endeathe British empire.
vour to find the means effectually to sup" That we learn with great satisfaction, port the honour of his Majesty's crown, that a treaty of peace is concluded be- and the true dignity of parliament, which tween Russia and the Porte, and that by shall be best adapted to connect both with this happy event the general tranquillity the permanent peace, concord, and prosis rendered complete ; and that we enter- perity, of all his Majesty's dominions.” tain a well-grounded hope, that his Ma- The friends of the Address, as moved jesty's constant endeavours to prevent the by lord Beauchamp, argued, that an Adbreaking out of fresh disturbances will be dress was no more than a general compliattended with success, as his Majesty con- ment, a measure of course at the beginning tinues to receive the strongest assurances of every session ; that particular measures from other powers, of their being equally were not now the objects of consideration ; disposed to preserve the peace.
and that the judgment of the House upon " To assure his Majesty, that his faith the affairs of America would be taken on a ful Commons will, with the utmost cheer- future day,
The friends of the Amendment argued, they were so highly interested ; and conthat though no particular measures were cluded by a succession of very pointed and at this instant under consideration, yet, severe animadversions. the Address being drawn up in such very Mr. Hartley (a new member) entered general terms, it implied, and even con- fully into the contents of the Speech and tained, a general approbation of all the Address, and urged strongly the necessity late measures taken with America; that of the proposed Amendment. this general judgment could not, nor ought Colonel Barré was very able on the not, to be given without the fullest infor- same side. He said that America had mation; and that a delay in forming such offered terms. He read a passage in Mr. judgment, while the most important con- Dickinson's pamphlet, entitled “ A New cerns of England and America were de- Essay, &c.” which in his opinion conpendent upon it, might be fatal.
tained a very sufficient ground to accept Some gentlemen, who declared them- and to negociate upon. He said the selves not attached to either side, said, scheme of reducing the colonies by force they would vote for the Address as moved was wild, incoherent, and impracticable; by lord Beauchamp; not because they and even though it were not, that a domiwould be thought to approve of the late nion supported by force would answer no measures against America, on the con- end whatever. He said, a report pretrary, they did not consider this vote as vailed, that general Gage was shortly to making any engagement to approve of any be recalled, but that would signify nomeasures ; for they should consider them- thing; for send whom we might, send a selves, notwithstanding this vote, entirely second, recall him, and send a third, it at liberty upon all future questions; but would all be to no effectual or substantial they would vote for the Address, because purpose. an Address was become a business of Sir George Macartney answered the course.
colonel, and spoke with facility and preLord North said, this was not a proper cision. He was against the amendment, time to enter upon any discussion of the and in general for spirited measures. affairs of America; that however neces- Lord Carmarthen entered fully into the sary and agreeable a reconciliation with contents of the proposed amendment, and America might be, yet, as no terms had dwelt much on the spirit of sedition, turbeen offered by America, England would bulence, and rebellion, which had mani. not submit first; and as matters, therefore, fested itself from one end to the other of were in a state of suspense, he hoped the the American continent. noble, lord would withdraw his motion. Sir William Mayne declared himself He made some apologies for the late par- unconnected with either side of the liament, which passed the Acts against House. He said, his mind was unbiassed, America, and called it a good parliament. and his conduct should be unfettered ;
Mr. F. Montagu in general disapproved that on the present occasion he was of the Address, and seconded the motion against the amendment, but reserved his for the Amendment very strenuously. opinion till the question, and the informa
Governor Johnstone thought America tion necessary to discuss and determine not tenable upon the terms and principles on it, came properly before the House. laid down in the proposed Address. He He was heard with great attention, and was very glad to hear some apology made general approbation. for the late parliament; for, in his opinion, General Smith was of the same opinion, no parliament ever stood in greater need observing, that the present was no proper of an apology
time to take so great and important a Mr. Charles For was very pointed in question into consideration; and that his observations on the manner the Gallery his being now against the amendment, was cleared. He said it was a mere mi- would not hereafter preclude him from pisterial trick to stifle enquiry and shorten giving his thoughts freely, when the debate; for if the gallery had been open, matter came before the House in another administration must have been obliged to form. break that silence and unconcern they Mr. T. Townshend was for the amendnow affected to hold. It was extremely ment, and was very severe on the general unfair, he said, that persons should be conduct of administration. shut out from being present at the discus- Mr. Edmund Burke compared the lansion of a question, in the event of which guage now artfully held to the new members, of the Address being only a compli- | that province, and that it has broke forth ment, to the insinuations of a designing in fresh violences of a most criminal nalover, who, under the pretence of honour- ture: and we cannot but lament that such able addresses, first squeezes the hand of proceedings should have been countehis mistress, then asks her to take a turn nanced and encouraged in any other of in the park, next into the country, and so your Majesty's colonies ; and that any of on, step by step, till at length he disho- your subjects should have been so far denours her. In the last parliament, he luded and misled, as to make rash and unsaid, it was the minister's language, that warrantable attempts to obstruct the comthe late Acts would humble America, that merce of your Majesty's kingdoms by un. by punishing Boston all America would lawful combinations. be struck with a panic : Boston would be “ We beg leave to present our most du. abandoned, all would be afraid to give any tiful thanks to your Majesty, for having relief to Boston, lest they should share taken such measures as your Majesty the same fate. The very contrary is the judged most proper and effectual, for car. case. The cause of Boston is become the rying into execution the laws, which were cause of all America. Every part of passed in the last session of the late parliaAmerica is united in support of Boston. ment, for the protection and security of By these acts of oppression, said he, you the commerce of your Majesty's subjects, have made Boston the lord mayor of Ame- and for restoring and preserving peace, rica
. The present situation of America order, and good government, in the prohe compared to a funeral; trade and vince of the Massachuset's Bay. commerce were pall-bearers, the merch. “ Your faithful Commons, animated by ants and traders chief mourners, the West your Majesty's gracious assurances, will Indian and African merchants closed the use every means in their power to assist procession, and the army and navy, at a your Majesty in maintaining entire and indistance, looked on in gloomy silence at so violate the supreme authority of this lemelancholy a spectacle.
gislature over all the dominions of your Mr. Van spoke strongly for the most crown; being truly sensible that we should firm and decisive measures.
betray the trust reposed in us, and be Mr. Solicitor General Wedderburn spoke wanting in every duty which we owe to fully and ably, and endeavoured to answer your Majesty and to our fellow subjects, every thing offered against the Address. if we failed to give our most zealous sup
The House then divided upon the port to those great constitutional prinAmendment. The Yeas went forth. ciples, which govern your Majesty's conTellers.
duct in this important business, and which
are so essential to the dignity, safety, and Yeas Mr. Frederick Montagu Mr. Byng
} 73 welfare, of the British empire.
“ We learn with great satisfaction, that
a treaty of peace is concluded between Mr. Cooper
Russia and the Porte ; and that, by this So it passed in the negative.
happy event, the general tranquility is
rendered complete: and we entertain a The Commons' Address of Thanks.] well-grounded hope, that your Majesty's The following Address was then agreed to : constant endeavours to prevent the break“Most Gracious Sovereign,
ing out of fresh disturbances will be ata “We, your Majesty's most dutiful and tended with success; as your Majesty loyal subjects, the Commons of Great Bri- continues to receive the strongest astain in parliament assembled, return your surances from other powers, of their being Majesty our humble thanks, for your most equally disposed to preserve the peace. gracious Speech from the throne.
“ We assure your Majesty, that we will, ** Permit us to assure your Majesty, with the utmost cheerfulness, grant to your that we receive with the highest sense of Majesty every necessary supply; and that your Majesty's goodness, the early infor- we consider ourselves bound by gratitude, mation which you have been pleased to as well as duty, to give every proof of our give us of the state of the province of the most affectionate attachment to a prince,
who, during the whole course of his reign, “We feel the most sincere concern, has made the happiness of his people the that a spirit of disobedience and resistance object of all his views, and the rule of all to the law should still unhappily prevail in his actions.",
Noes Mr. St. John
- The King's Answer.] His Majesty re- | ticularly pressed it at this time, as a point turned this Answer:
to be desired even by ministers, that the “ Gentlemen,
public might be informed of the grounds “ I return you my particular thanks, for on which they proceeded in regard to the this very loyal and dutiful Address. I re- measures to be pursued respecting Ameceive with the highest satisfaction and ap- rica, whose interests were so interwoven probation your assurances of assistance with those of Great Britain, that the atand support, in maintaining the supreme tention of the people of this country could authority of the legislature over all the do- not be too much awakened at this truly minions of my crown. It shall be my care important crisis. to justify, by my conduct, the confidence The Lord Chancellor acquainted the you so affectionately express, and to shew Lords, that he always looked upon himthat I have no interests separate from those self as a servant of the House, whose duty of my people."
it was to see their orders enforced; but
that as it seemed to be the desire of many Motion for the Admission of Members of to relax their standing order in this point, the House of Commons into the House of he thought the civility due from one lord Lords.] December 6. The Lords having to another should induce the House to thought proper, on the 10th of December come into the proposal. 1770,* to clear their House of all strangers, The proposition was accordingly acand not to admit even members of the ceded without further debate. House of Commons since that time, except to deliver Bills, and upon those occa- Debate in the Commons on the Mode of sions ordered them to withdraw imme. Proceeding with Election Petitions.] Dediately, the Commons in return excluded cember 6. Mr. Speaker said : It is usual the Peers from their House. Many incon- that the double returns be heard first, veniences having occurred in consequence next the undue elections, and lastly comof this harsh treatment,
plaints concerning undue elections; but * Lord Lyttelton moved, " That the Lords what I have to acquaint the House with, is be summoned to attend this House to- of much higher consequence. By the morrow, in order to take into consideration standing order, it is ordered, that all pera motion for dispensing with the Standing sons who shall question any returns of memOrder of the 5th of April 1707, so far as bers to serve in parliament, do question to admit the Representatives of the Com- the same within 14 days next; and by the mons of Great Britain into this House, late Act for determining controverted during the sitting thereof." His lordship elections, it is enacted, that whenever a gave many reasons for dispensing with the petition, complaining of an undue elecorder, and for admitting the other House tion, &c. is presented, it shall be received, to hear their debates.
be read by the clerk, and a day fixed for Lord Suffolk, the duke of Manchester, appointing a committee to determine and lord Sandwich, lord Weymouth, lord try the same." Such being the state of Gower, and several other lords, spoke the matter, I should be glad to have the upon the occasion; and upon the question direction of the House in what manner to being put, 28 were for the motion, and 36 act. against it.
Mr. Cornwall. I rise, with all imagina
ble diffidence, to impart my doubts on December 15. Lord Lyttelton made a what has now fallen from the chair, besecond proposition to the House, and re- cause I conceive it to be involved in great commended that the doors should be difficulty. By the standing order, if a opened to the members of the House of petition be presented the 15th day, it will Commons, the sons and brothers of peers, come too late, and must, contrary to the peers of Ireland and Scotland, and to so general sense of the House, be rejected, Dany of the public at large as should be unless we break through the ancient and introduced by English peers, each peer to established usage of this House. On the have the privilege of introducing one per other hand, if we do not receive it, we reson.
sist the positive words of an act of parliaThe Duke of Manchester joined in the ment; for by them we are obliged to enrecommendation. His grace said, he par- tertain a petition, and send it to a com
mittee whenever it is presented, though * See Vol. 16, pp. 1317, 1322.
the cause of complaint, ex. grat. rose in
this session, and redress should not be tion in several respects, than I do. I am sought till seven sessions hence. I would not surprised, therefore, if the learned gentherefore submit it to the good sense of tleman thinks such a power as I have the House, whether, considering the na- mentioned would lead to defeat the Act, ture of the standing order, and the relation that he should be desirous to prevent its it should have to the Act, and the Act supposed ill consequences; but I suspect with it, it would not be proper and conve- he has equally mistaken my meaning and nient, that we might have, in the first in- intentions. All I wish for is, that the stance, a power to enlarge the time to House, if a petition on a true ground were more than 14 days, as well as reject peti- presented, might be deemed competent tions, if frivolous or ill.grounded; and when to entertain it, though the 14 days prether in fact, that would not be the rational scribed by the standing order, should be and substantial construction of the Act in expired. As to the learned gentleman's question.
fears, that such a power might be abused, Mr. Dunning. My hon. and learned the Journals of parliament do not furnish friend over the way has started an objec- an instance of a petition being rejected, tion, which, were it to prevail in the complaining of an undue election, without mander he seems desirous it should, would being sent to a committee.* in reality defeat the Act, which some short Mr. Dunning. How the fact now time since appeared to be so justly the fa- stated by the hon. gentleman may be, I vourite with a majority of this House. I will not pretend to say; but this I am contrust there are many friends to that Act fident of, that if it were strictly true, dow present; and I have a learned and it would still be a stronger motive with me honourable one now in my eye (Mr. to resist the vesting any such power in Wedderburn) who I make no doubt, will this House ; because, if in former times exert himself in its support, and do all in the House did not reject in the first inhis
power to resist such an attempt, how. stance, the reason was obvious, as those ever ingeniously urged, or covertly and who led it could effect with certainty and plausibly conceived. The evil which the faciliiy, under the appearance and sanction Act was designed to remove and guard of a judicial decision, what, if they had against, was partial decisions in this House done in the first instance, would carry with on controverted elections. I believe no it the strongest marks of the most mani. man here will deny, that too many in- fest partiality. But being by the Act now stances of that kind have happened ; in- under consideration, totally precluded deed, its several provisions are the clearest from exerting that shameful influence, proof, that that was the sole intention of should the reasons now offered by the its framer and friends. What, then, will learned gentleman prevail, they will, in a be the probable consequence were my summary way, be enabled to do that which learned friend's ideas to prevail ? It would is denied them in any other. Should the be this
, that a majority of this House, no matter whether of this or that party, (for * The hon. gentleman was mistaken : as we cannot be ignorant of what party is appears from the following extract froin the capable of doing) without enquiry, and Journals of the 4th of March 1716 : perhaps only knowing the name of the “A petition of divers of the inbabitants of town, or the petitioner, or chusing to usurp the borough of Leominster, in the county of a jurisdiction to determine the merits in
Hereford, was presented to the House, and the first instance, could at once take upon
read; setting forth, That the right hon. Tho. itself to reject a petition, without any self and agents, by bribes, threats, and other
mas lord Coningsby has endeavoured, by himother hearing or trial whatever. In fine,
illegal practices, not only procured bimself to if this be the method the hon. and learned be elected a member of this present parliament; mover, and his friends, have devised to but also, by the same indirect practices, prodefeat every true and salutary purpose of cured Henry Gorges, esq. to be elected for the the Act, both in point of sense, construc- said borough : and praying relief therein. And tion, and letter, I would wish them sin a motion being made, and the question being cerely to speak out, and attack it directly, put, That the said petition be referred to the rather than thus side-ways endeavour to committee of privileges and elections; and defeat it, by forcing an interpretation it report the same, with their opinion thereupon, no means admit of.
to the House ; the House divided. Yeas 69– Mr. Cornwall. No man in this House Noes 79. So it passed in the negative. more highly approves of the Act in ques- “Resolved, That the said Petition be rejected."