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I trust therefore, that she will not blindly rush on her own destruction, and thereby prevent them from serving her; but return to her obedience, as the surest means of obtaining a reparation for any injuries she may have sustained. On the whole, therefore, I sincerely hope, that the present Bill will have the desired effect; that our fellow-subjects in America will wisely and dutifully return to their obedience; and, that as in the present year 1775, we are prosecuting just measures to bring about so desirable an end, so in the year 1776, we may be employed in manifesting the most ample proofs of our removing all cause, or almost possibility of the return of the same evils, by ascertaining their rights, and the constitutional power of this country, on the most fair, equitable, and permanent foundations. It was my task on a former occasion: and I shall with pleasure, in the year 1776, as a strenuous friend to the just claims of America, unremittingly labour in the same cause.

nion of the propriety of the Stamp Act, seemed to have since altered their sentiments. He, therefore, called upon them to declare their minds freely, and not to act under any restraint: for he was ready and willing to unload them of such a burthen, and bear the whole of the blame on his own shoulders; trusting, on the other hand, if it proved a wise measure, that he might be entitled to claim the merit thus abandoned.

Lord Camden rose to explain, in reply to what had fallen from the last noble duke who spoke in the debate. He begged leave to correct a mistake of his grace's, relative to the reception lord Chatham's conciliatory Bill met with, and to recal to the memory of the House, the manner of its total rejection. When the noble lord who brought it in had explained the purposes of the Bill, and delineated its great outlines, he apologized for the matter it contained, and the aukward dress it appeared 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 maturely, 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 2,700,000l. or only 2,000,000l. 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 71,000l.; in 1754, and in either event you will find the Bill 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 800,000l.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 says, it was highly improper, and unparliamentary, to bring a Bill into this House, which by repealing several revenue Acts, was a direct infringement of the right of the Commons, who claim it as an inalienable privilege to originate all bills for rais ing and repealing taxes. Is the noble duke to be informed, that when the Bill got into the committee, was the time to state that objection, where he or any noble lord would be at liberty to put a question separately upon every word, sentence, and clause; by which means not only three or four revenue Acts might be left out, but three or four hundred, if the Bill contained so many? On the whole, my lords, whatever his grace's sentiments may be, it was to the principle, not the clauses, of the Bill, the real objection lay, therefore those who were against the principle acted very properly, not to trouble themselves with the clauses, but to reject the whole

at once.

The Earl of Abingdon said, that reason, justice, conscience, principle and instinct, all prompted him to pronounce the Bill a most diabolic measure. How the right reverend bench reconciled it to their consciences, he was unable to conceive: for his part, he put his trust in the Almighty; and though he knew all he could say would avail nothing against a ministerial majority, yet he cautioned the lords against injustice, as in the judicial visitation of Providence it generally fell heavy on the heads of those who planned iniquity.

The House then divided: For the Bill, 104; Against it 29.

March 21. The Earl of Dartmouth moved the third reading of the Bill.

The Earl of Buckinghamshire offered an amendment. The clause, as it stood in the ingrossed Bill, which his lordship wished to alter, was part of the prohibitory clause, relative to the fishery, where it was enacted, "That if any ship, or vessel, being the property of the subjects of Great Britain, not belonging to, and fitted out from Great Britain, Ireland, or the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, shall be found, after the 20th of July, 1775, carrying on any fishery, of what nature or kind soever, upon the banks of Newfoundland, the coast of Labrador, or within the river or gulph of St. Lawrence, or upon the coast of Cape Breton, or Nova Scotia, or any other part of the coast of North America, or having on board materials for

carrying on any such fishery, every such ship or vessel, with her guns, ammunition, tackle, apparel, and furniture, together with the fish, if any shall be found, shall be forfeited, unless the master, or person having the charge of such ship or vessel, do produce to the commander of any of his Majesty's ships of war, stationed for the protection and superintendence of the British fisheries in America, a certificate under the hand and seal of the governor or commander in chief of any of the colo nies or plantations of Quebec, Newfoundland, St. John's, Nova Scotia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, East or West Florida, setting forth, that such ship or vessel, expressing her name, burden, &c. and describing her, hath been fitted out from some one of the said colonies or plantations:" his lordship moved, That the words New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina, should be omitted.

The Duke of Manchester opposed the amendment. He said, that one half of the continent of North America was at once punished by the proposed alteration, without any trial, proof, or enquiry whatever; that such a mode of proceeding was totally repugnant to the established rules of equity, which always supposed the party accused had been heard before judgment was pronounced.

The Lord Chancellor said, the House was in possession of evidence, fully sufficient to authorize their lordships in agree ing to the proposed amendment; that at the time the Bill originated in the other House, the information alluded to was not known; that it appeared by the several accounts received from the provinces of New Jersey, Pennslyvania, &c. that they were equally culpable with those of New England; and that of course they ought to suffer under one common punishment.

The Duke of Manchester acceded to the general premises laid down by the learned lord; but totally denied the pro priety of the inferences and conclusions drawn from them. He observed, that although the letters stated what his lordship was pleased to call the disobedient and undutiful disposition of the southern colonies, but what he should always esteem as a meritorious perseverance in the cause of freedom, and a constitutional assertion of their rights, those letters were no more in the contemplation of the House, in its le gislative or deliberate capacity, than if

deley, Abergavenny, Wycombe, Torrington, Effingham, Fitzwilliam, Craven, Leinster, Stanhope, Archer.

Protest against passing the Bill for restraining the Trade and Commerce of the New England Colonies.] The following Protest was entered:


they had never existed. Have they, said his grace, been even so much as read? Have they been considered? Have the parties accused been heard in their own defence? Away, then, with such pretences! Has not the minister in the other House, and the House itself, been in possession of the same information? Why then have not they proceeded in the same manner? No; however willing they might be to do it, they plainly saw the insurmountable difficulties which lay in their way, and wisely declined it. The province of New York was permitted to stand in the Bill with the other favoured provinces, though it was well known that they had, in their legislative capacity, denied the right of taxation; and had conformably to those sentiments, transmitted a petition to the King, a memorial to this House, and a remonstrance to the other. His grace, therefore, desired to know the reason why they were singled out from the rest, when the offence was the same. He had no objection to the indulgence; but he could not perceive how their lordships could reconcile their conduct on this occasion with any rule of consistency what


The Earl of Effingham. I have been well informed that a ship has arrived at New York, and that the people of that colony absolutely and peremptorily refused to permit any part of the cargo to be landed. I therefore call on some of the noble lords in administration, to contradict this account if false, or confirm it if it be true. Should the latter be the case, I cannot for my part conceive, on what ground the present exemption in favour of New York can be defended.

1st. "Because the attempt to coerce by famine, the whole body of the inhabitants of great and populous provinces, is without example in the history of this, or perhaps of any civilized nation; and is one of those unhappy inventions, to which parliament is driven by the difficulties which daily multiply upon us, from an obstinate adherence to an unwise plan of government. We do not know exactly the extent of the combination against our commerce in New England, and the other colonies; but we do know the extent of the punishment we inflict upon it, which is universal, and includes all the inhabitants: amongst these, many are admitted to be innocent; and several are alleged by ministers to be, in their sense, even meritorious. That government which attempts to preserve its authority by destroying the trade of its subjects, and by involving the innocent and guilty in a common ruin, if it acts from a choice of such means, confesses itself unworthy; if from inability to find any other, admits itself wholly incompetent to the ends of its institution.

2dly, "Because the English merchants are punished without any guilt, real or pretended, on their part. The people of the proscribed provinces, though failing in their duty to government, ought to be permitted to discharge their obligations to commerce. Without their fishery this is impossible. The merchants of England entertain no fears for their debts, except from the steps which are said to be taken in their favour. Eight hundred thousand pounds of English property, belonging to London alone, is not to be trifled with, or

The Earl of Dartmouth. It is not in my power directly to contradict, or affirm, the intelligence of the noble lord. All I can say on the subject is, that the last account I received was from a gentleman of veracity on the spot, who writing on the Saturday, and informing me of the arriva! of the vessel, assures me, that the goods would be landed on the Monday follow-sacrificed to the projects of those who have ing.

constantly failed in every expectation which they have held out to the public, and who are become more bigotted to methods of violence, in proportion to the experience of their inefficacy, and the mischievous consequences which attend them.

The House divided: For the amendment 52; Against it 23. The question then was put, that the said Bill do pass. The House divided again: For the Bill 73; Against it 21. The following lords 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

6thly, "Because the interdict from fishing and commerce, is not to be terminated by any certain and definite act to be done by the party interdicted, but its duration depends solely on the will of the governors and majority of the council in some of the provinces; upon their mere arbitrary opinion of the state of commerce. In two of the proscribed provinces, the interdict is made to depend on the same arbitrary will in much worse hands, those of mere custom-house officers. A power of such magnitude is not fit to be delegated to any man, however wise or however exalted.

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 of any judicial process, seems equally a violation of all natural and all civil right. 4thly, "Because we conceive that the attempt which has been made to bribe the nation into an acquiescence in this arbitrary Act, by holding out to them, (by evidence at the bar), the spoils of the New England fishery, worth upwards of 300,000l. a year, to be a scheme full of weakness and indecency; of indecency, because it may be suspected that the desire of the confiscation has created the guilt; weak, because it supposes that whatever is taken from the colonies, is of course to be transferred to ourselves. We may trample on the rules of justice; but we cannot alter the nature of things. We cannot convey to Great Britain the advantages of situation which New England possesses for the fishery. If the value of the commodity should be enhanced at the foreign market by the exclusion of so large a part of the supply, it may either greatly injure the sale of the commodity itself, or put the consumers on new articles of consumption, or new methods of supply, to the just ruin of those who, deluded by avarice, have chosen, from the vain hope of an enhanced market, to disturb the natural, settled, and beneficial course of traffic.

5thly, "Because we do not apprehend that the topic so much insisted upon by a lord high in office, in favour of this project, namely, the cowardice of his Majesty's American subjects, to have any weight in itself, or to be at all agreeable to the dignity of sentiment which ought to characterise this House. We do not think it true, that any part of the subjects of this empire are defective in bravery. It is to the last degree improper to act upon such supposition; as it must highly disgrace our arms in case of misfortune, and must take away all honour from them in case of success. Nothing can tend more effectually to defeat the purposes of all our coercive measures, than to let the people against whom they are intended know, that we think our authority founded in their baseness; that their resistance will give them some credit, even in our own eyes; and that we attribute their obedience only to their want of courage.

"But to deliver over several hundred thousands of our fellow creatures to be starved at the mere pleasure of persons in certain subordinate situations, and some of them in an office always more or less suspicious and obnoxious, and necessary to be watched and guarded, rather than vested with absolute power over all; and this without any rule to guide their discretion, without any penalty to deter from an abuse of it; is a strain of such tyranny, oppression, and absurdity, as we believe never was deliberately entertained by any grave assembly.

Lastly, "Because the Bill, though in appearance a measure of retaliation only, upon a supposition that the colonies have been the first aggressors by their associa tion not to import goods from Great Britain, yet is in truth a most cruel enforcement of former oppressions; and that association is no more than a natural consequence of antecedent and repeated injuries. And since the restraint of this Bill is not to be taken off till the several colonies shall agree to receive again all goods whatsoever from Great Britain, and to pay all the duties imposed by parliament, not excepting those upon tea; and since three of them must apply through the medium of the new council of Massachuset's Bay, and the last mentioned province is obliged not only to acknowledge the new charter, but submit in all respects to the severe conditions of the Port Bill, before they can be released from their hardships; since these are the terms, and the only terms, upon which this proscription is to cease, and the colonies must therefore submit to be the slaves instead of the sub

[462 jects of Great Britain; this Bill in its Europe the same weapons, the same disciprinciple is both arbitrary and unjust. pline, the same military arts are in pracAnd as we do not conceive any ground of tice; war is attended with a profusion of expectation that the provinces will yield expence; and the deepest purse is the to such hard conditions, a civil war, which best assurance of success. Hence the may probably end in the total separation encouragement of manufacture and trade of the colonies from the mother country, is the pursuit of every nation in this quarwill too naturally be the consequence of ter of the globe, except two; who derive this Bill; in respect of which, as well as the treasure, which Europe wants, from for the other reasons hereby assigned, we distant mines, with a facility, enervating do most solemnly and heartily protest their own industry, while the rest are against the same. (Signed)Abing- exerting theirs, each for a share in that don, Craven, Abergavenny, Stan-wealth, which the other two introduce, hope, Leinster, Wycombe, Rich- and can only be obtained through the mond, Devonshire, Torrington, commercial channel. By this, Holland, Rockingham, Camden, Effingham, with a territory insufficient to nourish her Ponsonby, Cholmondeley, Fitzwilliam, Manchester."

inhabitants, hath in her day stood forth a bulwark against tyranny and superstition. An artificial strength, created by commerce, enabled her to make head, with numerous fleets and armies, against powers immensely her superiors in natural force. Above all in commercial arts and advantage is Great Britain. Her purse, kept full by her credit, the resource of a trading nation, an annual expenditure at least of 16 to 18 millions recently supported so long, so extensive, and so vigorous a war. Had her purse been scanty, she never would have seen a navy, which bore little short of 90,000 men, could never have

Mr. Glover's Speech at the Bar of the House of Commons in behalf of the West India Merchants and Planters.] March 16. The House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider further of the Petition of the merchants, traders, and others, of the city of London, concerned in the commerce of North America, and of the several other Petitions referred to the consideration of the said Committee. Evidence was heard in support of the Petition of the West India Planters, (See p. 219.) Mr. Glover ap-engaged a potent ally, nor furnished such peared as agent for the petitioners, and manager of the evidence in support of the Petition. After Mr. George Walker, and Mr. John Ellis, had been examined, Mr. Glover summed up the evidence in the following Speech:

I begin with investigating the general system of the British empire, not only in description, but illustration by comparison. Ancient nations were possessed of the widest dominion, not with commercial helps. To be brief, I shall confine the enquiry to one, to the Romans in their ages of purity. Cultivation of their soil, rude manufacture just adequate to their necessities, severity of manners, superiority in martial discipline, enthusiasm for the very name of Rome, and the dulce et decorum pro patria mori made them masters of the world. War was conducted with little expence, and the weightiest arms in the most skilful hands prevailed. Commerce flourished among others, whose affluence submitted to the steel of Rome.

What is the system now? All over

The celebrated author of Leonidas.

troops, as acted so efficiently, and at the same time in such different parts of the globe. Hence it is evident her system is commercial; her strength and resources are wholly derived from trade. I allow, the first interest in rank among us is the landed, but interwoven altogether with trade. Pay no regard to a doctrine from me, but pay all to the supreme authority of the clearest luminary this country ever produced, the great Mr. Locke. His words are these, "The decays that come upon, and bring to ruin any country, do constantly first fall upon the land; and though the country gentleman is not very forward to think so, yet this nevertheless is an undoubted truth, that he is more concerned in trade, and ought to take a greater care that it be well managed and preserved, than even the merchant himself."

On the firm ground of such authority let enquiry be made, whether we should not remain content with the lot assigned us, which hath raised us so high among the modern nations, where all are in rivalry for manufacture and trade; whether we should degrade our refinements by a pa

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