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tune that more are not actually represented. The honor. able gentleman boasts of his bounties to America. Are not these bounties intended finally for the benefit of this kingdom? If they are not, he has misapplied the national treasures. I am no courtier of Ameri.
I maintain that parliament has a right to bind, to restrain America. Our legislative power over the colonies is sovereign and supreme. The honorable gentleman tells us, he understands not the difference between internal and external taxation ; but surely there is a plain difference between taxes levied for the purpose of raising a revenue, and duties imposed for the regulation of commerce. When, said the honourable gentleman, were the colonies emancipated ? At what time, say I in answer, were they made slaves ? I speak from accurate knowledge, when I say, that the profits to Great Britain from the trade of the Colonies, through all its branches, is two millions per annum. This is the fund which carried you triumphantly through the last war; this is the price America pays you for her protection and shall a miserable financier come with a boast that he can fetch a pepper-corn into the exchequer, at the loss of millions to the nation? I know the valour of your troops; I know the ikill of your officers; I know the force of this country ; but in such a cause, your success would be hazardous. America, if she fell, would fall like the strong man: she would embrace the pillars of the state, and pull down the constitution with her. Is this your boasted peace ? Not to sheathe the sword in the scabbard, but to sheathe it in the bowels of
your countrymen? The Americans have been wronged; they have been driven to madness by injustice. Will you punish them for the madness you have occasioned ? No; bet this country be the first to resume its prudence and
temper. I will pledge myself for the colonies, that, on their part, animosity and resentment will cease.
Let affection be the only bond of coercion. The system of policy I would earnestly recommend Great Britain to adopt, in relation to America, is happily expressed in the words of a favorite poet:
“ Be to her faults a little blind,
“ Upon the whole I will beg leave to tell the House in a few words, what is really my opinion. It is that the Stamp Act be repealed ABSOLUTELY TOTALLY and IMMEDIATELY."
In the early part of the session of 1770 lord North as one of the first acts of his Administration moved the repeal of the port duties of 1767, excepting the duty on tea, which was continued on the avowed principle of asserting the supremacy of Great Britain--When urged to repeal this also.
« Has the repeal of the stamp act,” said he, “ taught the Americans obedience ? Has our lenity inspired them with moderation ? Can it be proper, while they deny our legal power to tax them, to acquiesce in the argument of illegality ? and by the repeal of the whole law to give up that power? No, the properest time to exert our right of taxation is when the right it refused-To temporize is to yield. And the authority of the mother country, if it is now unsupported, will in reality be relinquished for ever. A total repeal cannot be thought of, till America is prostrate at our feet.”
Governor PowNAL, who moved to include the duty on tea, as an amendment to the original motion, acknowledged that even the total repeal of the duties in question, though it might be expected to do much, would not restore satisfaction to America. “ If,” said he, « it be asked, whether it will remove the apprehensions excited by your resolutions and address of last year for bringing to trial in England persons accused of treason in America, I answer no. If it be asked, if this commercial concession would quiet the minds of Americans as to the political doubts and fears which have struck them to the heart throughout the continent, I answer no.
So long as they are left in doubt, whether the Habeas Corpus Act, whether the Bill of Rights, whether the common law, as now existing in England, have any operation and effect in America, they cannot be satisfied. At this hour they know not, whether their civil constitutions be not suspended and superseded by the establishment of a military force. The Americans think that they have, in return to all their applications, experienced a temper and disposition that is unfriendly ;-that the enjoyment and exercise of the common rights of freemen have been refused to them. Never, with these views, will they solicit the favor of this House. Never more will they wish to bring before parliament the grievances, under which they conceive themselves to labor. Deeply as they feel, they suffer with a determined and alarming silence. For their liberty they are under no apprehensions. It was first planted under the auspicious genius of the con stitution. It has grown up into a verdant and flourishing tree; and should any severe strokes be aimed at the branches, and fate reduce it to the bare stock, it would only take deeper root, and spring out again more hardy
and durable than before. They trust Providence, and wait with firmness and fortitude the issue.”
On the third reading of the bill for quartering soldiers in America in 1774, lord CHATHAM spoke thus :
“ If, my lords, we take a transient view of those mo. tives which induced the ancestors of our fellow-subjects .in America to leave their native country, to encounter the innumerable difficulties of the unexplored regions of the western world, our astonishment at the present con. duct of their descendants will naturally subside. There was no corner of the globe to which they would not have fled, rather than submit to the slavish and tyrannical spirit which prevailed at that period in their na. tive country; and viewing them in their originally forlorn and now flourishing state, they may be cited as illustrious instances to instruct the world, what great exertions mankind will naturally make, when left to the free exercise of their own powers. Notwithstanding my in
. tention to give my hearty negative to the question now before you, I condemn, my lords, in the severest manner, the turbulent, and unwarrantable conduct of the Americans in some instances, particularly in the late riots at Boston ; but, my lords, the mode, which has been pursued to bring them back to a sense of their duty, is so diametrically opposite to every principle of sound policy, as to excite my utmost astonishment. You have involved the guilty and the innocent in one common pu. nishment, and avenge the crimes of a few lawless depredators upon the whole body of the inhabitants. My lords, the different provinces of America, in the excess of their gratitude for the repeal of the Stamp Act, seemed to vie with each other in expressions of loyalty and duty; but the moment they perceived your intention
to tax them was renewed under a pretence of serving the East India company, their resentment got the ascendant of their moderation, and hurried them into actions which their cooler reason would abhor. But, my lords, from the whole complexion of the late proceedings, I cannot but incline to think that administration has purposely irritated them into these violent acts, in order to gratify their own malice and revenge.
What else could induce them to dress taxation, the father of American sedition, in the robes of an East India director, but to break in upon that mutual peace and harmony, which then so happily subsisted between the colonies, and the mother country? My lords, it has always been my fixed and unalterable opinion, and I will carry it with me to the grave, that this country had no right under heaven to tax America. It is contrary to all the principles of justice and civil policy: it is contrary to that essential, that un. alterable right in nature, ingrafted into the British constitution as a fundamental law, that what a man has honestly acquired is absolutely his own, which he may freely give, but which cannot be taken from him without his consent. Pass then, my lords, instead of these harsh and severe edicts, an amnesty over their errors : by measures of lenity and affection allure them to their duty: act the part of a generous and forgiving parent. A period may arrive when this parent may stand in need of every assistance she can receive from a grateful and affectionate offspring. The welfare of this country, my lords, has ever been my greatest joy, and under all the vicis. situdes of my life has afforded me the most pleasing consolation. Should the all-disposing hand of Providence prevent me from contributing my poor and feeble aid in the day of her distress, my prayers shall be ever for her