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tion was the only object of the war, and Boston was then taken possession of as the only military operation necessary; but in a short time that town was abandoned again, and with so much avidity, that a great minister of state, now no more [lord SUFFOLK] had even gratulated parliament on the occasion. We then possessed ourselves of New York, finding the flame of rebellion had extended farther southwards, and there continued till this hour, though it seemed it was not a situation for offensive measures. The next enterprize was levelled at the middle colonies, and Philadelphia taken; which success was preceded by a very important victory; yet that place was abandoned also much to our satisfaction, and the retreat from it had eternised the name of CLINTON. After this, we discovered all at once, that the Southern Colonies were most vulnerable and proper for an attack. A noble lord [lord WEST
. COTE] proclaimed their inhabitants to be effeminate and enervated by the heat of the sun: his lordship being a scholar reasoned on the topic very scientifically, and his ideas were at once adopted : Charlestown in consequence was taken ; and but for extraordinary exertions of bravery, would have turned out a conquest more injurious to our cause than any of the preceding. In short, we had now attempted every province but Virginia and New Hampshire, the latter of which he was sorry to find could not be invaded without great difficulty; but as to the former he understood it was to be the next object of enterprize: now he would be happy, to learn whether after the thirteen colonies had been in vaded, without advancing our grand object a single step, ministers would at last consent to relinquish this most destructive war. If he could only obtain an assu
rance of that, he would readily consent to an attempt on Virginia, and think he made a good bargain for his constituents.
The honorable gentleman adverted to an expression of lord GEORGE GERMAINE on a former day, that ministers surely could not want disposition to a peace, as they had a stake in the hedge. Perhaps it might be objected to him, that not having a stake in the country, he was not sincere in his professions, and that his arguments ought therefore to be disregarded. It was very true that his personal interest, his personal stake in the country was very small : he would, however, claim the praise of as sincere a regard for his country as any man in it, be his fortune what it may; and he conceived that his proposition would not be less attended to, because he himself had not the wealth of those men, who had been accu. mulating princely fortunes by the calamities of their country. But if he had no stake, the respectable body of men whom he had the honour to represent, and whose interests he was appointed to guard, had a stake for which it became him to be solicitous. The city of Westminster was materially affected by the continuance of the war. They had suffered most severely in the struggle, and he knew that he spoke their wishes, when he recommended to ministers to take every possible means of reconciling us with our brethren in America.
After a variety of other arguments, he moved, " That this House do resolve itself into a committee to consider of the American war;" and intimated his intention of moving in the committee, should it be appointed, a resolution, " that his Majesty's ministers ougiit immediately to take every possible measure for concluding peace with our American colonies."
He observed, that his proposition differed essentially from that suggested by his honorable friend on a former occasion, for that only provided power to ministers, when the will was wanting ; but this laid a parliamentary injunction on them, to supply want of inclination, and left them to apply for power, if they should find any necessity for so doing. He hoped the noble lords in administra. tion would not object against any measures tending to peace, though they were a disgrace or humiliation to them : they were blackened enough already, and surely, in his opinion, it could not do much harm to add one more disgrace to the many already sustained. He hoped also not to be answered, as on former occasions, by, saying, that ministers had a large stake in the country; for it was not their stakes, but those of their constituents for which they were playing : for his own part, it was well known he had no stake to lose, but that should not abate his zeal for the public interest; on the present occasion, he asked no credit for any assertion he had made, but referred for every thing to the authority of the gazette, and on that rested his argument.
The motion was vehemently opposed by lord WestCOTF, Mr. RIGBY, lord GEORGE GERMAINE, and other members on the ministerial side, some of whom having in their speeches misrepresented the political opinions of the lately deceased earl of CHATHAM, his youngest son [WILLIAM PITT] made the following reply:
• He was induced,” he said, “ to rise from certain expressions, which had fallen from a right honorable gentleman on the floor [Mr. RIGBY], and another gentleman on the other side of the house [Mr. ADAM] respecting the ministerial and legislative conduct of a dear and most respected relation of his [lord CHATHAM] with
regard to the American war, and the progressive measures which had produced it. He thought it was his duty, as the son of that noble lord, and as a member of that House, to rise upon the occasion, to correct the gentlemen who had spoken, and to prevent the House from going away under a persuasion, that the conduct and sentiments of the noble lord were such as had been described. The silence of one so nearly connected and allied in blood and affection might seem to countenance what had been so confidently but erroneously stated. There might be many gentlemen in the House, who were well acquainted with the political opinions of that noble person. To them no refutations of the assertions of this night would be necessary; but there might be some who were perfectly ignorant of them; or who knowing them but imperfectly, might be deceived by misrepresentations, perhaps unintentionally made.
“ Actuated by these motives, he thought it incumbent to state his relation's opinion, as it appeared in his public conduct, and as it came further confirmed by private communication made to himself and the rest of his family. The noble person, whose name had been so often mentioned in the course of the evening, most heartily re. probated the American war in all its parts; as well on the principle on which it was taken up, as its progress, and the ultimate objects to which it pointed. He had expressed himself uniformly so on the subject; and he was persuaded never gave a vote or opinion in contradiction to those sentiments. Those who acted with him, well know it. There were many living testimonies of the truth of this assertion ; and innumerable circum. stances could be adduced, if farther evidence were required. The only opinion declared by him, which could have afforded the most distant color for such an as
sertion, was, that he thought this country had a right to Jay duties for the regulation of commerce-duties incidental to the extension of trade, calculated for the mutual benefits of both countries; but not a single tax or duty of any kind for the purpose of raising a revenue in America to be remitted home, and to be disposable by the British parliament. This, however, was but a specula- , tive question, totally different and distinct from the doctrines which were productive of the war. Those at least which produced the riot at Boston, from whence it was acknowledged by every side of the House the war ori. ginated, did not come within the above description. They were taxes on the import, laid on expressly by the British parliament, collected under its authority, and intended for the British treasury, and were not even pretended to hold out any advantage to both countries, but to one only; neither were they directed to promote or extend the commerce of America, but merely to draw out of the pockets of the inhabitants of that country certain sums of money for augmenting the revenue of this. These were the true and genuine sentiments of the noble person al
. luded to. To assert, therefore, that because he approved of one mode of conduct which was not adopted, he approved of another system which he had so frequently and openly reprobated, was a most extraordinary kind of logic, indeed.
But he could not think that those who ar. gued in this manner, expected to bring home conviction to the breast of any man who had not before been made a convert to their opinions."
After thus explaining his noble father's principles and conduct, he proceeded to speak to the question. He said, “ some gentlemen had passed the highest eulogiums. on the American war. Its justice was defended in the most warm and fervent manner indeed. A noble lord