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measure ; and concluded in replying to | His grace next disclaimed all ideas of taxwhat the noble marquis dropped early in ation and commercial regulation, as being the debate, that the repeal of the Stamp clearly out of the question. He observed, Act was the source from which all our pre- that a noble lord in administration (the sent confusions had totally originated. earlof Suffolk) had very improperly imputed

The Earl of Radnor said, he was at the all the present confusions to the repeal of throne, going out, not intending to yote the Stamp Act. I was the person, said on either side, when he heard the last his grace, who framed those resolutions, noble earl pledge the faith of parliament, and had the honour to propose them to a that so valuable a branch of our commerce committee of this House, on which the was intended to be given up to the New Bill for that repeal was afterwards formed, Englanders, as a sacrifice for their return. brought in, and passed. I was then the ing to their duty. It was an improper advocate, and still take a particular pride language to be held in that House, nor in being the steady friend of America

. was the policy in every respect less ex- The delicacy of my situation then, as well ceptionable ; for both which reasons he as now, will not permit me satisfactorily had returned to give his voice against the to explain the motives which led to that Bill.

repeal, nor the consequent very disagreeThe Earl of Suffolk said, he did not able circumstances which succeeded it, and mean as a minister to pledge the faith of perhaps now regulate my conduct; but parliament, nor did he promise the people this however I am at liberty to declare, of New England that the fishery should that the argument so confidently urged, be given up; the intentions he wished to that America contributes nothing towards impress being only, that the present Bill the common support, however plausibly was not a Bill of commercial regulation, maintained, or forcibly expressed, is a but of coercion ; which as soon as the fallacious one. I affirm, she does conends proposed were attained, would cer- tribute largely to the public burthens, in tainly be repealed, leaving parliament ne the great consumption of our manufacvertheless, to take the matter up on mo- tures ; and I should be very sorry to tives of policy:

see, that what appears now a specuThe Earl of Radnor, not at all satisfied lative composition, liable to be controwith this explanation, adhered to his verted, should ever come to be demonformer opinion, and declared, that he strably, nay actually, proved. Will any could not, in conscience, give his vote in noble. lord, at all conversant with the trade favour of a Bill, obedience to which was and commerce of this country, contend, to be purchased on the implied conditions that we are not enabled to pay the great of sacrificing the most important branch load of taxes we labour under, by the vast of commerce belonging to the British emo increase of our exports to that continent; pire.

or that the various articles of leather, &c. The Duke of Grafton said he had not and in short all exciseable commodities the least difficulty in giving his vote on exported to that country, as well as the the present occasion, as it did not, in his innumerable benefits derived to every part opinion, rest on the question so much agi- of the three kingdoms, by the circuitous tated on both sides of the House ; the commerce carried on with it, is not in question of taxation, so improperly intro- reality a very great augmentation to our duced into the debate. The present Bill, revenue, and to every substantial purpose, he insisted, was founded on the principle answers the end of an actual tax, unaccomof retaliation and punishment, for an out panied by any of the disagreeable conserage as daring as it was unprovoked, still quences that never fail to attend laying further heightened and aggravated by a burthens on the people, and collecting it ? resistance to all lawful authority, and A noble and learned lord (Camden) almost a positive avowal of a total inde- seemed to take it for granted, that all pendence on the mother country. On thoughts of conciliation are laid aside ; those grounds the propriety of the present and that this Bill is no less than a positive Bill could only be fairly argued ; and the declaration of war on our part. I beg motives of retaliation in one instance, and leave to differ from the learned lord. I a with-holding the benefits only due to a believe that America will trust to the padutiful and obedient conduct in the other, rental disposition of this country, where were what had determined him to give his she has many strenuous friends, among vote, that the Bill should be committed. whom, I number myself one of the warmest. I trust therefore, that she will not blindly nion of the propriety of the Stamp Act, rush on her own destruction, and thereby seemed to have since altered their sentiprevent them from serving her ; but return ments. He, therefore, called upon them to her obedience, as the surest means of to declare their minds freely, and not to obtaining a reparation for any injuries she act under any restraint : for he was ready may have sustained. On the whole, there and willing to upload them of such a burfore

, I sincerely hope, that the present then, and bear the whole of the blame on Bill will have the desired effect; that our his own shoulders ; trusting, on the other fellow-subjects in America will wisely and hand, if it proved a wise measure, that he dutifully return to their obedience; and, might be entitled to claim the merit thus that as in the present year 1775, we are abandoned. prosecuting just measures to bring about Lord Camden rose to explain, in reply so desirable an end, so in the year 1776, to what had fallen from the last noble duke we may be employed in manifesting the who spoke in the debate. He begged most ample proofs of our removing all leave to correct a mistake of his grace's, cause, or almost possibility of the return relative to the reception lord Chatham's of the same evils, by ascertaining their conciliatory Bill met with, and to recal to rights, and the constitutional power of this the memory of the House, the manner of country, on the most fair, equitable, and its total rejection. When the noble lord permanent foundations. It was my task who brought it in had explained the pure on a former occasion : and I shall with poses of the Bill, and delineated its great pleasure, in the year 1776, as a strenuous outlines, he apologized for the matter it friend to the just claims of America, un-contained, and the aukward dress it apremittingly labour in the same cause. peared in; beseeching at the same time

The Marquis of Rockingham observed, the attention, indulgence, and assistance that a noble lord (Dudley), had objected of the House, to amend it in matter and to the accounts of the American exports form, so as to suit it to the magnitude and of 1764, now lying on the table, as well importance of the objects to which it was as that given by a witness at their lord- meant to be directed. What was the imship's bar, (Mr. Watson) and drew a con-mediate consequence? said his lordship. clusion from the method of obtaining them, A noble lord in administration, (lord Dartone being made up from unsigned papers, mouth) remarkable for his candour, conand the other from false entries; that they sented that the Bill should lie on the table, were both erroneous, and consequently to be taken up on some future day, in that every deduction drawn from such order to consider it inaturely, as it conpremises must be equally fallacious and tained such an infinity of matter; but on undeserving of the least degree of credit a sudden another noble lord, high in office, or attention. To this his lordship an- (lord Sandwich) strenuously opposed it, swered, that for the purpose he employed and moved for a total rejection, refusing those supposed facts, it was totally imma- it even the cold compliment, or ceremonial, terial whether they were correct or not; of letting it lie on the table for twenty-four the exports, for instance, might be hours. His grace has a kind of answer to 2,700,0001. or only 2,000,0001. the argu. this, he says, “ though the Bill was not ment either way was equally good. All permitted to go to a second reading, it he meant to prove by stating them, was was never totally rejected, it is still before to shew the vast increase of our trade to the House, and may be still brought under America, from a comparative state of it its cognizance." This I absolutely deny. at different periods. The error, his lord. The Bill, though on your lordships' table, ship said, was uniform ; it existed at all is now no more than waste paper ; it may times

, or not at all. Thus the custom- be there, or any where else, as to any subhouse entries said, the annual exports in stantial purpose. Look into the Clerk's 1704 were of foreign goods 17,000l. of minutes, suppose the Journals made up, home 54,000l. in all 71,0001. ; in 1754, and in either event you will find the Bili 180,000l. ; in 1764, in ten years, more absolutely, to all intents and purposes rethan double ; and in the last nine years jected; and as much out of this House, in again, nearly in the same proportion, the point of order and parliamentary proceedexports being between 7 and 800,0001. ings, as if it had never been brought into to New England alone. His lordship con- it. His grace's reason for objecting to cluded with observing, that some noble the Bill, however new, for I am certain lords, who formerly entertained an opi- nothing like it was suggested in the de bate, is equally curious. The noble duke | carrying on any such fishery, every such says, it was highly improper, and unpar- ship or vessel, with her guns, ammunition, liamentary, to bring a Bill into this House, tackle, apparel, and furniture, together which by repealing several revenue Acts, with the fish, if any shall be found, shall was a direct infringement of the right of be forfeited, unless the master, or person the Commons, who claim it as an inalien. having the charge of such ship or vessel, able privilege to originate all bills for rais do produce to the commander of any of ing and repealing taxes. Is the noble his Majesty's ships of war, stationed for duke to be informed, that when the Bill the protection and superintendence of the got into the committee, was the time to British fisheries in America, a certificate state that objection, where he or any noble under the hand and seal of the governor lord would be at liberty to put a question or commander in chief of any of the coloseparately upon every word, sentence, and nies or plantations of Quebec, Newfoundclause; by which means not only three or land, St. John's, Nova Scotia, New York, four revenue Acts might be left out, but New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, three or four hundred, if the Bill con- Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, taiped so many ? On the whole, my lords, Georgia, East or West Florida, setting whatever his grace's sentiments may be, forth, that such ship or vessel, expressing it was to the principle, not the clauses, of her name, burden, &c. and describing her, the Bill, the real objection lay, therefore hath been fitted out from some one of the those who were against the principle acted said colonies or plantations :” his lordship very properly, not to trouble themselves moved, That the words • New Jersey, with the clauses, but to reject the whole Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and at once.

South Carolina, should be omitted. The Earl of Abingdon said, that reason, The Duke of Manchester opposed the justice, conscience, principle and instinct, amendment. He said, that one half of all prompted him to pronounce the Bill á the continent of North America was at most diabolic measure. How the right once punished by the proposed alteration, reverend bench reconciled it to their con- without any trial, proof, or enquiry whatsciences, he was unable to conceive: for ever ; that such a mode of proceeding was his part, he put his trust in the Almighty; totally repugnant to the established rules and though he knew all he could say would of equity, which always supposed the avail nothing against a ministerial ma- party accused had been heard before jority, yet he cautioned the lords against judgment was pronounced. injustice, as in the judicial visitation of The Lord Chancellor said, the House Providence it generally fell heavy on the was in possession of evidence, fully suffiheads of those who planned iniquity. cient to authorize their lordships in agree

The House then divided : For the Bill, ing to the proposed amendment; that at 104 ; Against it 29.

the time the Bill originated in the other

House, the information alluded to was not March 21. The Earl of Dartmouth known; that it appeared by the several moved the third reading of the Bill. accounts received from the provinces of

The Earl of Buckinghamshire offered an New Jersey, Pennslyvania, &c. that they amendment. The clause, as it stood in were equally culpable with those of New the ingrossed Bill, which his lordship England; and that of course they ought wished to alter, was part of the prohibi- ; to suffer under one common punishment. tory clause, relative to the fishery, where The Duke of Manchester acceded to it was enacted, “ That if any ship, or the general premises laid down by the vessel, being the property of the subjects learned lord; but totally denied the proof Great Britain, not belonging to, and priety of the inferences and conclusions fitted out from Great Britain, Ireland, or drawn from them. He observed, that althe islands of Guernsey and Jersey, shall though the letters stated what his lordship be found, after the 20th of July, 1775, was pleased to call the disobedient and carrying on any fishery, of what nature or undutiful disposition of the southern colokind soever, upon the banks of Newfound- nies, but what he should always esteem as land, the coast of Labrador, or within the a meritorious perseverance in the cause of river or gulph of St. Lawrence, or upon freedom, and a constitutional assertion of the coast of Cape Breton, or Nova Scotia, their rights, those letters were no more in or any other part of the coast of North the contemplation of the House, in its le America, or having on board materials for gislative or deliberate capacity, than if they had never existed. Have they, said deley, Abergavenny, Wycombe, Torringhis grace, been even so much as read ? ton, Effingham, Fitzwilliam, Craven, LeinHave they been considered? Have the ster, Stanhope, Archer. parties accused been heard in their own defence ? Away, then, with such pre- Protest against passing the Bill for retences ! Has not the minister in the other straining the Trade and Commerce of the House, and the House itself, been in pos. New England Colonies.] The following session of the same information? Why Protest was entered : then have not they proceeded in the same

“ Dissentient, manner? No; however willing they might 1st. “ Because the attempt to coerce by be to do it, they plainly saw the insur- famine, the whole body of the inhabitants mountable difficulties which lay in their of great and populous provinces, is withway, and wisely declined it. The pro- out example in the history of this, or pervince of New York was permitted to stand haps of any civilized nation ; and is one in the Bill with the other favoured pro- of those unhappy inventions, to which vinces, though it was well known that parliament is driven by the difficulties they had, in their legislative capacity, de- which daily multiply upon us, from an obnied the right of taxation ; and had con- stinate adherence to an unwise plan of formably to those sentiments, transmitted government. We do not know exactly a petition to the King, a memorial to this the extent of the combination against our House, and a remonstrance to the other. commerce in New England, and the other His grace, therefore, desired to know the colonies; but we do know the extent of reason why they were singled out from the punishment we inflict upon it, which the rest, when the offence was the same. is universal, and includes all the inhabitHe had no objection to the indulgence; ants: amongst these, many are admitted but he could not perceive how their lord to be innocent; and several are alleged by ships could reconcile their conduct on this ministers to be, in their sense, even me. occasion with any rule of consistency what- ritorious. That government which atever.

tempts to preserve its authority by deThe Earl of Effingham. I have been stroying the trade of its subjects, and by well informed that a ship has arrived at involving the innocent and guilty in a New York, and that the people of that common ruin, if it acts from a choice of colony absolutely and peremptorily re- such means, confesses itself unworthy ; if fused to permit any part of the cargo to from inability to find any other, admits be landed. I therefore call on some of itself wholly incompetent to the ends of the noble lords in administration, to con- its institution. tradict this account if false, or confirm it 2dly, “ Because the English merchants if it be true. Should the latter be the are punished without any guilt, real or case, I cannot for my part conceive, on pretended, on their part. The people of what ground the present exemption in fa- the proscribed provinces, though failing in vour of New York can be defended. their duty to government, ought to be

The Earl of Dartmouth. It is not in permitted to discharge their obligations to my power directly to contradict, or affirm, commerce. Without their fishery this is the intelligence of the poble lord. Al i impossible. The merchants of England can say on the subject is, that the last ac- entertain no fears for their debts, except count I received was from a gentleman of from the steps which are said to be taken veracity on the spot, who writing on the in their favour. Eight hundred thousand Saturday, and informing me of the arriva! pounds of English property, belonging to of the vessel, assures me, that the goods London alone, is not to be trifled with, or would be landed on the Monday follow- sacrificed to the projects of those who have ing.

constantly failed in every expectation The House divided : For the amend- which they have held out to the public, ment 52; Against it 23. The question and who are become more bigotted to methen was put, that the said Bill do pass

. thods of violence, in proportion to the exThe House divided again : For the Bill perience of their inefficacy, and the mis73; Against it 21. The following lords chievous consequences which attend them. divided against the Bill: Camden, Rich. 3dly, “ Because the people of New mond, Devonshire, Portland, Rockingham, England, besides the natural claim of manPonsonby, Abingdon, Manchester, Cour kind to the gifts of Providence on their tenay, Tankerville, Scarborough, Cholmon- own coast, are specially entitled to the

fishery by their charters, which have never | This is to call for resistance, and to been declared forfeited. These charters, provoke rebellion by the most powerwe think, (notwithstanding the contempt ful of all motives, which can act upon with which the idea of public faith has men of any degree of spirit and senbeen treated,) to be of material considera- sibility. tion. The Bill therefore not growing out 6thly, “ Because the interdict from of any judicial process, seems equally a fishing and commerce, is not to be termiviolation of all natural and all civil right. nated by any certain and definite act to be

4thly, “ Because we conceive that the done by the party interdicted, but its duattempt which has been made to bribe the ration depends solely on the will of the nation into an acquiescence in this arbi- governors and majority of the council in trary Act, by holding out to them, (by some of the provinces ; upon their mere evidence at the bar), the spoils of the arbitrary opinion of the state of commerce. New England fishery, worth upwards of In two of the proscribed provinces, the in300,0001. a year, to be a scheme full of terdict is made to depend on the same arweakness and indecency; of indecency, bitrary will in much worse hands, those of because it may be suspected that the mere custom-house officers. A power of desire of the confiscation has created such magnitude is not fit to be delegated the guilt ; weak, because it supposes that to any man, however wise or however whatever is taken from the colonies, is of exalted. course to be transferred to ourselves. We “ But to deliver over several hundred may trample on the rules of justice'; but thousands of our fellow creatures to be we cannot alter the nature of things. We starved at the mere pleasure of persons cannot convey to Great Britain the advan- in certain subordinate situations, and some tages of situation which New England pos- of them in an office always more or less sesses for the fishery. If the value of the suspicious and obnoxious, and necessary commodity should be enhanced at the fo- to be watched and guarded, rather than reign market by the exclusion of so large vested with absolute power over all; and a part of the supply, it may either greatly this without any rule to guide their disinjure the sale of the commodity itself, or cretion, without any penalty to deter from put the consumers on new articles of con- an abuse of it; is a strain of such ty. sumption, or new methods of supply, to ranny, oppression, and absurdity, as we the just ruin of those who, deluded by believe never was deliberately entertained avarice, have chosen, from the vain hope by any grave assembly. of an enhanced market, to disturb the na- Lastly, “ Because the Bill, though in tural, settled, and beneficial course of appearance a measure of retaliation only, traffic.

upon a supposition that the colonies have 5thly, “ Because we do not apprehend been the first aggressors by their associa. that the topic so much insisted upon by a tion not to import goods from Great Brilord high in office, in favour of this pro- tain, yet is in truth a most cruel enforceject, namely, the cowardice of his Majes- ment of former oppressions ; and that asty's American subjects, to have my weight sociation is no more than a natural consein itself, or to be at all agreeable to the quence of antecedent and repeated injuries. dignity of sentiment which ought to cha. And since the restraint of this Bill is not to racterise this House. We do not think it be taken off till the several colonies shall true, that any part of the subjects of this agree to receive again all goods whatsoempire are defective in bravery. It is to ever from Great Britain, and to pay all the last degree improper to act upon such the duties imposed by parliament, not exa supposition; as it must highly disgrace cepting those upon tea; and since three of our arms in case of misfortune, and must them must apply through the medium of take

away all honour from them in case of the new council of Massachuset's Bay, success. Nothing can tend more effec- and the last mentioned province is obliged tually to defeat the purposes of all our not only to acknowledge the new charter, coercive measures, than to let the people but submit in all respects to the severe against whom they are intended know, conditions of the Port Bill, before they that we think our authority founded in can be released from their hardships ; their baseness; that their resistance will since these are the terms, and the only give them some credit, even in our own terms, upon which this proscription is to eyes; and that we attribute their obe- cease, and the colonies must therefore dience only to their want of courage. submit to be the slaves instead of the sub

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